Don Nielson Talks about the 6.5×47
This weekend we met with Don Nielson, recent overall winner of the NBRSA 600-yard Nationals. Don shot most of that match with his new 6.5×47 Lapua, using 130gr JLK bullets from Swampworks. Don explained that both his 6.5×47 and 6-6.5×47 shot extremely well in initial tunnel testing, with the 6mm very slightly more accurate. Don asked us not to reveal the group sizes, but we can say this much–those groups (if shot outdoors) would be competitive in any short-range BR match. At the Nationals, Don started off with the 6mm, but after his 6.5×47 shot a 1 3/4″ group, he used that rifle for the balance of the Match. Don’s rifle features a Panda action, fluted Hart barrel (formerly chambered in 6.5-284), and a Kelbly 1M long-range BR stock.
Don told us load development came together very quickly. He knew (based on reports in this website and elsewhere) that RL15 would be a good choice, and he tried only one bullet–the new 130 JLK. Once he backed down his load to moderate levels, the 6.5×47 shot “well under quarter-MOA”. To our surprise, Don felt that shooting at 600 yards wasn’t that much different than shooting at 200 yards with his PPC: “You still have to read the wind right, and pull the trigger when you should.” Don did observe that shooting a 17-lb NBRSA Light Gun was more similar to shooting Cruiser Class in short-range BR, as opposed to his HV or LV 6 PPCs. Click HERE for a short video interview with Don.