October 11th, 2011

New Berger 105gr 6mm Hybrid Bullets Perform Well

105gr Hybrid Tests Demonstrate Excellent Accuracy and Consistency
By Robert Whitley
After the initial Daily Bulletin Report on the new Berger 6mm 105gr Hybrids, I did some accuracy and consistency field testing with these new bullets. They shot so well, I thought an update was in order. My 100-yard testing has revealed much about these new bullets — all of it good so far. The test rifle was a MAK Tube Gun with a trued Rem 700 action (glued in), with a 6mm Brux 30″, 1:8″-twist barrel chambered with a no-neck-turn 6mm BRX chamber (1.563″ max case and .120″ free bore). The 6mm 105gr Hybrids fit and work well in this 6 BRX chamber configuration. (CLICK HERE to view a print of the reamer I used for the 6 BRX chamber.)

Berger 6mm 105 grain Hybrid bullet

Hybrids Show Excellent Accuracy in Prone Tests (with Sling)
As some may know, I am predominantly a prone shooter and do most of my load testing prone with a sling. I chose to do the same with these Hybrids, to see how they would perform when fired as they would be in a prone match. In this case, shooting prone with sling, I shot four 10-shot groups (two 10-shot groups in each of two range session). All four groups were right around .5 MOA (i.e. each group about .750″ edge-to-edge, minus a bullet diameter of .243″ = .507″). The new Berger 6mm 105gr Hybrid bullets had no problems doing this. The groups shot were also consistent with the best groups I have been able to shoot in the past with the Berger 108gr BT bullets and the Berger 105gr VLD bullets, and I consider both of those bullets to be excellent and accurate. There is no question in my mind that these new Hybrid bullets are accurate, and the consistency is there! Check out my test targets below.

The two 10-shot targets above were shot at 100 yards on September 30th, prone with sling. The 6 BRX load was: Berger 6mm 105gr Hybrids, Lapua brass, 32.0 grains N140, Federal 205M-AR primers, .020″ jump. Note: If you put the targets over each other the groups line up perfectly.

These two 10-shot targets (above) were shot at 100 yards on September 23, prone with sling. The 6 BRX load was: Berger 6mm 105gr Hybrids, Lapua brass, 31.0 grains H4895, Federal 205M-AR primers, .020″ jump. When I can shoot 20 Xs in a row (as I did with these two targets) the rifle is really shooting well.

Accuracy needs to be coupled with consistency, especially when running longer strings of fire or in matches demanding a larger number of hits on the target. I am pleased to report that I have found the Berger 105gr Hybrid bullets to be consistently accurate bullets (i.e. there were no anomalies or fliers, they just keep going where you pointed the rifle). At each of the last two range sessions I shot back to back 10-shot groups with no break between the two (i.e. 20 shots in a row and only switching to the next target after 10 shots). Not only did the individual 10-shot groups stay tight, but if you hold each first target over the second target, the groups are right on top of one another. This is what I look for in terms of consistency — that I can keep shooting, and the bullets keep going right into the group, with no odd fliers.

105gr Hybrid Bearing Surface and Optimum Free Bore
Shooters may wonder how the new 6mm 105gr Hybrids function with the existing freebores on chambers set up for current Berger 105gr VLDs and Berger 108gr BT bullets. Based on the investigation and measuring of various chambers, here are some general guidelines:

1. For a chamber with a 1.5° throat angle, and the bullets touching the lands, the Berger 105gr Hybrid bullets sit up in the neck a little further than both the current production Berger 105 VLD Target bullets and the Berger 108gr BT bullets.

2. Based on basic measuring and testing, for the junction of the boat tail and bearing surface of a 6mm 105gr Hybrid bullet to be in the same spot as other bullets, the 105 Hybrid (Lot #3079) would need about .020″ – .025″ less freebore than recent production Berger 105gr Target VLD bullets (Lot #3220) and about .030″ – .035″ less freebore than recent Berger 108gr Target BT bullets (lot #2791).

3. Since the Hybrids are designed to work both in the lands and jumped away from the lands, some extra freebore may not be a bad thing. In truth, the 105 Hybrid bullets should work well and fit well in various 6mm chamberings (such as 6 BRX, 6 Dasher, 6mmAR etc.) which have been optimized for the previous generation, non-Hybrid 6mm Berger 105s and 108s.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, New Product 7 Comments »
October 11th, 2011

New Nationwide Competition Series for Precision Tactical Rifles

Precision Rifle Series

Tactical Precision Rifle Matches are hugely popular, with many matches “sold out” months in advance. Now it looks like the precision tactical discipline is headed for the big-time. Stealing a page from the 3-Gun Nation playbook, a group of tactical competitors is launching a new nationwide series of matches for tactical shooters, the Precision Rifle Series 2012 (PRS). These matches will involve shooting at distances from 100 to 1000 yards, with a wide variety of stages, many involving barriers, or run-and-shoot challenges. This is not 3-Gun, mind you — at this time the PRS directors want to keep the focus on rifles. However, at some events, Match Directors may offer a couple stages that involve pistol shooting — but this is optional. The vast majority of PRS stages will be rifle-only.

Currently, most PRS shooters are fielding bolt-action rifles with detachable box magazines. However, the event is NOT restricted to bolt guns. Rich Emmons, one of the founders of the Precision Rifle Series told us: “About 90% of the shooters are using bolt-action rifles, but we are seeing more interest in ARs and other semi-automatics. Currently the rules are open, so you can shoot your AR if you wish. In fact, on some stages there may be a benefit to using a semi-automatic. But we still expect that most competitors will prefer bolt guns for their accuracy, simplicity, and reliability.”

To learn more about the Precision Rifle Series, visit PrecisionRifleSeries.com or email Rich Emmons at PrecisionRifleSeries [at] gmail.com.

Precision Rifle Series

Precision Rifle SeriesMatches Will Be Hosted at Multiple Venues
Currently nine (9) PRS events are scheduled, culminating in a “Series Finale” in December, 2012 at the Rifles Only facility in Texas. Shooters who register for the Series (and pay the $75.00 PRS annual dues) may count up to three (3) Series events for season points to earn a spot to shoot the 2012 Series Finale. Season Finale contestants will be competing for cash, match prizes and total points. All Finale-qualified shooters who earn a spot to the Finale will receive a reserved slot for the 2013 PRS season.

PRS Rules and Scoring Procedures have been set by an “Oversight Committee” of well-known tactical shooters and match directors: Rich Emmons, Kevin Elpers, Scott Milkovich, Dustin Morris, Vu Pham, and Wade Stuteville.

Precision Rifle SeriesA Series Event win will earn the first-place competitor 100 Series Points. The remaining field of competitors “will receive points normalized from the percentage earned in relationship to the top score”. (We’re not quite sure what that means, except that the points a shooter earns will be based on his match performance.) Points are important as shooters qualify for the Series Finale one of three ways: 1) by winning any qualifying match; 2) by earning enough season Series points to be in the Top 50 shooters nationwide; or 3) by being a Top 15% finisher (or better) at two events.

Upcoming Events
Total Season Series points will be calculated from the highest scoring 3 events listed below. The PRS Committee may add up to three more events to the 2012 Series Schedule.

Lone Star Challenge
December 3-4, 2011
Frost, Texas

Phoenix TPRC
February 18-19, 2012
Phoenix, Arizona

Rifles Only Cup
April 2012 (TBA)
Kingsville, Texas

Score High Tactical Match
May 12-13, 2012
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Oklahoma Tactical Shooters (OTS) Match
September 15-16, 2012
Western, Oklahoma

NCPPRC Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge (TBRC)
September 29-30, 2012
Sacramento, California

North Texas Rifle Precision (NTRP) Match
October 13-14th 2012
Gun Barrel City, Texas

LV STEEL Major Match
To Be Announced (TBA)
Las Vegas, Nevada

Series Finale @ Rifles Only Bash
December 1-2, 2012
Kingsville, Texas
Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
October 11th, 2011

Hodgdon Claims New CFE™223 Ball Powder Deters Copper Fouling

Hodgdon CFE 223 PowderHodgdon Powder has introduced a new spherical (ball) powder called CFE™223. Hodgdon claims that this new powder “greatly deters copper fouling” compared to other propellants. Originally developed for U.S. rapid-fire military systems, CFE™223 incorporates a proprietary chemistry named “Copper Fouling Eraser”. Based on tests with extended shot strings, Hodgdon claims that, by using CFE™223, match shooters, varmint hunters, and AR shooters can maintain accuracy for longer periods, with less barrel-cleaning time.

Load Data Now Available Online for CFE™223
Reload data for CFE™223 is available for 27 different cartridges with 147 loads. It is suitable for loading in many popular chamberings including: .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, 22-250, 6mmBR, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, 7mm-08, and .308 Win. Maximum velocities are obtained in the .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, 22-250, and .308 Win with load data found at Hodgdon’s Reloading Data Center. CFE™223 is a spherical (ball) powder, so it meters well. The new powder will be available in one- and eight-pound containers starting in January, 2012. For more info, call (913) 362-9455 or write to: Hodgdon Powder, 6231 Robinson, Shawnee Mission, KS 66202.

Hodgdon CFE 223 Powder

Permalink New Product, Reloading 4 Comments »