May 15th, 2015

Legends of Benchrest: Remington’s Mike Walker

Mike Walker Remington Benchrest 6mmBR 6mm BR benchrest Sierra Bullets

Sierra Bullets recently profiled Mike Walker, Remington engineer and first president of the National Benchrest Shooters Association (NBRSA). In the vintage photo above, Mike is shown with his Remington-actioned benchrest rifle at the 1994 Super Shoot. Mike had reason to smile — at that 1994 event, Walker set a 100-yard small group record with a phenomenal .046″ five-shot group. Mike was truly one of the “founding fathers” of modern benchrest shooting. As Sierra notes: “The field of rifle accuracy and the sport of benchrest shooting would be very different today, were it not for this man.”

Along with Remington Engineer Jim Stekl, Mike Walker helped develop a wildcat that became the 6mmBR cartridge. The original 6mm Benchrest Remington wildcat was a necked-down .308 x 1.5″ Barnes cartridge. That Barnes cartridge was derived from the .308 Winchester case, as shortened to 1.5 inches. The parent .308 Win case has a large primer pocket (though Remington did make a special run of small primer pocket .308 brass). Remington later made factory small primer pocket 6mm BR Rem brass. Compared to the original 6mm BR Remington case, the modern 6mmBR Norma cartridge has very slightly different dimensions, with a small primer pocket and a small 1.5mm (0.059″) flash-hole.

Mike Walker Remington Benchrest 6mmBR 6mm BR benchrest Sierra Bullets

The Sierra Reloading Manual states: “Behind the scenes, Remington’s Mike Walker and Jim Stekl had been working with a series of short, squat little cartridges based on the .308 head size. Based on their results from testing and actual benchrest competition, the BR family (as they came to be called) showed tremendous promise. Since then, both the 22BR and 6mmBR chamberings have been offered in Remington’s vaunted 40-X target rifles. Remington finally standardized the 6mm BR Rem in 1989, offering both loaded ammunition and factory-formed brass. It should be noted that the case standardized in 1989 was changed slightly from the original dimensions of the wildcat 6mm BR. The new case has a neck .040″ longer than the original, making the maximum case length 1.560″.”

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