Cortina Breaks 300-yard Club Record with 6.5×47 Lapua (RL17)
Texan Erik Cortina (aka X3MHunter in our Forum) showcased some great marksmanship recently. Competing at Houston’s Bayou Rifle Club, Erik shot a spectacular 600-49X to break the Rifle Club’s 300-yard F-Class Open division record of 599-32X. Erik smashed the Bayou record, raising the point count to a perfect 600 with 17 more Xs than before. Erik reports: “Conditions were calm, about 65 degrees with about a 1-3 mile wind from right to left. I would say they were almost perfect conditions. I was there at the right place at the right time!” Eric’s three strings, in order, were: 200-17X, 200-16X, and 200-16X. That’s consistency! In setting the new record, Erik demonstrated how accurate the 6.5 x 47 Lapua cartridge can be. (Note: There is no official NRA 3x20x300-yard F-Open Record at this time. The NRA currently logs only an individual 20-shot 300-yard F-Open record, which was set by Shiriz Balolia, with a perfect 200-20X).
We know many of our readers have built, or plan to build, a 6.5×47 Lapua match rifle. The question often arises: “What powder should I shoot and what weight bullet?” We normally advise people to start with bullets in the 120-130 grain-range with a powder such as Varget or Reloder 15. However, the unique properties of Reloder 17 offers a “heavy bullet solution.” In the hands of Asst. Editor Jason Baney, our AccurateShooter.com 6.5×47 Lapua test rifle shot the 140gr Bergers very accurately using Reloder 17. In fact, Jason’s most accurate 200-yard load was with the 140s and RL17.
Erik Cortina also found that the 6.5×47 cartridge can work superbly with 140 grain-class bullets. Erik shot the 139gr Lapua Scenar bullets (jammed .020″ in the lands) with a stout load of Reloder 17 (more than 40 grains). Erik was able to drive the 139gr Scenars well over 2900 fps with the small 6.5×47 case. Erik tells us: “I developed this load doing a ladder test at 500 yards. This might be a very hot load in most rifles but mine is throated specifically for the 139 Scenars since I didn’t plan on shooting anything else. This load does not show pressure signs on my rifle.” Erik got great accuracy with minimal brass prep: “The Lapua 6.5×47 brass is great. After uniforming the primer pockets, I tried to weight sort but only found .3 grains variance on 300 pieces of brass, so I just loaded the brass and went shooting.”
Rifle Components and Smithing
Erik’s rifle features a Lawton 7500 RBRP left-eject action, mated to a 1:8″-twist, 28″ Krieger barrel. The barrel was chambered for a no-turn 6.5×47. The stock is a Richard Franklin Low Rider made by West Custom Rifles. The rifle was smithed by Mark Pharr of Tumbleweeds Custom Rifles.
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