February 19th, 2009

New Project Rifle — Our 6-6.5×47 + 6.5×47 Switch-Barrel

After much anticipation, we finally rolled out our latest project gun, a Bat-actioned 6-6.5×47/6.5×47 Lapua switch-barrel benchrest rifle. Equipped with two (2) Bartlein 30″ 5R barrels, the gun was designed to compete in a variety of disciplines: F-Class, Varmint Matches (Silhouette + Paper), and 600- and 1000-yard Benchrest.

6-6.5x47 Project Rifle

The gun was built to a 17-lb. weight limit, with the goal of achieving the maximum possible accuracy with this pair of cartridges. We chose two identical, 30″ Bartlein barrels so we could evaluate the relative performance of the 6.5×47 and its necked-down 6mm version, holding as many variables constant as possible. Both barrels were chambered by ace gunsmith Mark King with tight-tolerance, no-turn necks.

6-6.5x47 Project Rifle.
Sightron provided the SIII 8-32×56 30mm scope, shown mounted in Burris Signature Zee Rings.

The rifle, two years in the making, features top-of-the-line components. The action is a BAT multi-flat MB, with a +20MOA Weaver-style rail on top. As the action was originally intended to be used in an F-Class rifle, the loading port was enlarged at the BAT factory to load full-length .284 Winchester rounds.

Baer laminated stockThe stock design is unique. It started as a Bruce Baer MB Tooley style, but we added some custom design upgrades. The sides of the fore-end are square (like a McMillan edge), and the underside of the fore-end has been relieved in the middle, creating two “rails”. The rear flat, on the underside of the buttstock, is 1.25″ wide, with a channel cut in the middle (to reduce drag, and to ensure that the bag tracks in the ears rather than on the center stitching.)

The stock was expertly inletted, pillar-bedded, and finished by Alex Sitman of Master Class Stocks. Alex put much time and effort into ensuring that the geometry was square throughout, with straight, parallel tracking surfaces. The BAT MB action has an extended front section, to allow for additional bedding surface. The MB action employs a three-action screw design. Sitman installed pillars for all three action screws then carefully bedded the entire action. Alex, one of the best stock-workers in the world, did a great job on this rifle.

6-6.5x47 Project Rifle

Rifle Will Provide Load Data for New Cartridge Guide
This rifle was originally conceived as a match-grade test bed for the 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge and its wildcat cousin the 6-6.5×47. Jason Baney will test different powders and bullets in the rifle, to develop reliable load data for an upcoming 6.5×47/6-6.5×47 Cartridge Guide. And yes, we will be trying H4350, Reloder 17, and the relatively new Hodgdon Hybrid 100V. Jason will test a variety of flat-base and boat-tail bullets in both 6mm and 6.5mm.

Pet Loads Wanted for 6-6.5×47 and 6.5×47 Cartridge Guide
While Jason will generate load data for our planned 6-6.5×47/6.5×47 Cartridge Guide, we recognize that one rifle (even with two barrels) can’t provide all the key info. Each gun has its powder/bullet preferences, so we want to offer a broad sampling of load data for the new Cartridge Guide. That’s where you, our readers, can help.

If you shoot the 6-6.5×47 or 6.5×47 Lapua, and have developed some really great loads, share them with us. We can then include more data in our planned load charts. Send your “pet loads” to mailbox@6mmBR.com. Be sure to include: Powder Brand, Charge Weight, Primer Type, Bullet Brand and weight, and the OAL or known seating depth. We also request that you list the type of action, barrel length, and contour. Chron data is also important. Include the tested Muzzle Velocity, Extreme Spread (ES), and Standard Deviation (SD) if possible. It’s helpful if you can provide a short summary of your load, such as “Great 600-yard accuracy, near max, works best with light neck tension, low ES/SD.”

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February 19th, 2009

Detailed Review of SEB Coaxial Rest

Mark Trope, Webmaster of the Gun Owner Network website, has written a very thorough review of the SEB Coaxial front rest. Mark’s SEB Rest Review covers all the bases, showing how the rest works with a variety of rifle types, including both wide-forearm match rifles and narrow-forearm sporter rifles. Mark provides dozens of clear photos of the rest, showing many of the fine points of SEB’s impressive design. The review shows how to set-up and level the rest, and how to tune the “feel” of the joystick to suit your preferences. Some rest users prefer the joystick to move quite freely, while others prefer to dial in some resistance so there is no chance of movement when you remove your hand from the joystick.

SEB Coaxial Rest Review

SEB Bigfoot bag eviewAfter covering the features and performance of the SEB Rest, Trope turns his attention to the SEB “BigFoot” rear bag. He explains why it’s a super-stable choice in rear bags, one of the best products available. You’ll note we acquired a SEB BigFoot rear bag for our latest AccurateShooter.com Project Rifle (see story above). After providing tips on how to fill the bag with heavy sand, Trope shows how to adapt a RubberMaid “ActionPacker” plastic storage bin to carry both the SEB Front Rest and the BigFoot Bag.

If you are considering the purchase of a joystick-style front rest, or joystick-style rest top, you should definitely read Trope’s Rest Review. It will definitely help you identify the features you need, so you can make an informed decision, whatever brand you ultimately choose. To learn more about the SEB coaxial rest, or to place an order, contact Sebastian Lambang’s American dealer, Ernie Bishop:

Ernie Bishop
306 West Flying Circle Drive
Gillette, WY 82716
(307) 257-7431
ernieemily [at] yahoo.com

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