March 12th, 2013

Lapua .260 Rem Brass Proves Very Uniform

If you have a rifle chambered in .260 Remington, you may be wondering if the Lapua .260 Brass is worth the money compared to domestic-made brass. Well, the answer is “yes” if you demand consistent weight and dimensional uniformity (including neckwall thickness).

Mike Harpster of Dead Center Sports took the time to weigh and measure Lapua .260 Rem brass. His test show this brass to be extremely uniform. Weight variance was less than one (1) grain in a 20-case sample. And case neckwall thickness was very consistent.

Report by Mike Harpster: Lapua .260 Rem Brass Test Results (with Comparisons)
I pulled twenty (20) pieces randomly from one Lapua box to do some measurements. I weighed them on my Mettler-Toledo digital lab scale and here are the individual weights of each case. Remarkably, the Lapua brass had less than one grain total weight variance among all 20 cases!

While checking the Lapua brass I remembered I had just received some Winchester brand .308 brass, so I thought it would be interesting to do a comparison between the two brands. I again pulled 20 cases at random from a bag of 50 and repeated the same measurements. The results are shown in the right half of the table below.

Weight Variance Lapua .260 Rem Brass vs. Winchester .308 Brass

LAPUA .260 Rem Brass Winchester .308 Win Brass

Average: 172.20 grains
ES: 0.94 grains
SD: 0.259

Average: 158.49 grains
ES: 2.64 grains
SD: 0.678

Lapua Brass Further Inspection
With sample Lapua .260 Rem cases, I also measured the neck wall thickness in four places with calipers, not the most accurate method but I feel confident that the thickness did not vary more than .001″ over the 20 cases (.0145-.0155). The inside diameter of the neck measured .260 which would give .004 of neck tension out of the box. I visually checked the flash holes and I did not find any flakes of brass or burrs inside, the holes were round and centered.

Winchester Brass Further Inspection
The flash holes on the majority of the Winchester brass were not round or centered and they had large burrs inside. The neck wall thickness was pretty consistent, varying only .0015″ (.0125″ – .014″). As you can see in the photo (right) many of the Winchester cases were badly dented while the Lapua brass showed very few minor dents. The annealing on the necks of the Lapua brass was clearly evident while the Winchester showed no signs of being annealed. [Editor's note: Winchester tumble-polishes its brass before shipping -- so you would not notice annealing coloration if annealing had been done.]

I have never done these measurements on any other brass so I don’t know how they compare, but I am very impressed with the overall quality of the Lapua .260 brass. If they prove to hold up to the repeated firings I get from my Lapua 6BR brass I believe .260 shooters wil be very happy.

Mike Harpster — Dead Center Sports
105 Sunrise Drive
Spring Mills, PA 16875
phone: 814-571-4655
www.deadcentersports.com

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 12 Comments »
October 7th, 2012

260 Rem vs. 6.5×55 — Laurie Holland Compares the Cartridges

One of our Shooters’ Forum readers, Trent from Louisiana, asked for help deciding between a 260 Remington and a 6.5×55 for his latest gun project. In the Forum thread, respected UK gun writer Laurie Holland provided a good summary of the differences between the two chamberings. Laurie writes:

Remington 260 Cartridge“The 6.5×55 case has 6 or 7% more capacity than the .260s, even more in practice when both are loaded to standard COALs with heavy bullets, which sees them having to seated very deep in the .260 Rem using up quite a lot of powder capacity. So loaded up for reasonable pressures in modern actions, the 6.5×55 will give a bit more performance.

The issue for many is what action length is available or wanted, the 6.5 requiring a long action. So sniper rifle / tactical rifle competitors will go for the .260 Rem with the option of the many good short-bolt-throw designs around with detachable box magazines. If a bit more performance is needed, the .260AI gives another 100-150 fps depending on bullet weight.

Brass-wise, you’ve got really good Lapua 6.5×55 off the shelf that needs minimum preparation, and it’s strong and long-lived. There is an Ackley version too that was popular in F-Class in Europe for a while that isn’t too far short of 6.5-284 performance. If you go for .260 Rem, the American brass isn’t as good but you can neck-up Lapua or Norma .243 Win and trim them (or neck-down .308 Win or 7mm-08). This has the downside that doing so usually creates a noticeable ‘doughnut’ at the case-shoulder junction, that may cause problems depending on how deep bullets are seated.

For purely target shooting, I think I’d go with 6.5×55 if I was making the choice again today for performance and brass-preparation reasons. In fact, I’ve considered going back to the gunsmith to have the barrel rechambered.

You want a multi-purpose rifle though and that makes things trickier depending on the bullet weight(s) you want to use. The [typical] 6.5×55 and 6.5-08 throats are really designed for 140s, so 90-120s make a long jump into the rifling. If you’re always going to use 130s and up, it’s less of an issue. If you want to use the lighter stuff, I’d say go for .260 Rem and discuss the reamer with the gunsmith to come up with as good a compromise as you can depending on the mix of shooting. 1:8.5″ twist is the norm and handles all the usual sporting and match bullets; you can go for a little slower twist if you won’t use the heavies.

Over here in the UK, in Scotland to be precise, we have a top sporting rifle builder (Callum Ferguson of Precision Rifle Services) who almost specializes in .260 Rem usually built on Borden actions. He throats the barrel ‘short’ so it’s suited to varmint bullets, but will still handle the 100gr Nosler Partition which he says is more than adequate for any British deer species including Scottish red stags.

Accuracy-wise, I don’t think there’s anything between them if everything else is equal. The 6.5 has a reputation for superlative accuracy, but that was high-quality Swedish military rifles and ammunition matched against often not-so-high-quality military stuff from elsewhere. Put the pair in custom rifles and use equally good brass and bullets and you’ll be hard pressed to tell them apart.” – Laurie Holland

Remington 260 CartridgeAfter Laurie’s helpful comments, some other Forum members added their insights on the 260 Rem vs. 6.5×55 question:

“To me, the .260 Remington has no advantage over the 6.5×55 if one is going to use a long action. Likewise, the only advantage the .260 has in a modern rifle is it can be used in a short-action. There is more powder capacity in the 6.5×55 so you have the potential to get more velocity plus there is a lot of reloading data available to you for loading at lower velocity/pressure if you choose. The Lapua brass is great and Winchester brass is pretty good at low pressures. Having loaded a good bit for both, the 6.5×55 would always get the nod from me. To me, if someone wants to use a short-action, the 6.5×47 Lapua is even a better option than the .260 for a target rifle.” — Olympian

“There is just one small item that has been missing from this conversation — the 6.5×55 has a non standard rim diameter of .479″ vs. the standard .473″ of a .308 and all of its varients. Depending on your bolt this may be an issue, or it may not.” — Neil L.

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October 18th, 2011

New Tikka T3 Sporters in Stock at EuroOptic.com

Tikka has started to import its new T3 Sporter, which features an ergonomic, laminated stock, detachable magazine, adjustable cheekpiece and a nice, stiff action with integral dovetail and side bolt-release. The trigger adjusts from 2 to 4 pounds. The T3 Sporter will be produced with 20″ or 24″ barrels in a variety of popular chamberings: .222 Rem*, .223 Rem, 6.5×55 SE, .260 Rem, .308 WIN. We expect this rifle to be popular with tactical shooters and club-level match shooters who want a versatile rifle that can be used for hunting as well as target shooting. The stock is similar to the ISU “standard rifle” design used for 300m position shooting. As you’d expect, it works in all positions: prone, sitting/kneeling, and standing.

CLICK HERE for T3 Sporter Technical Specifications Page (PDF file).

T3 Is Accurate With Smooth-Working Action
We first saw the new Tikka T3 Sporter in January, at the SHOT Show Media Day. The gun we sampled had a nice trigger, smooth bolt, and shot quite accurately with factory ammo. Watch the video below for an overview of the T3 Sporter. The Tikka T3 Sporter was developed in co-operation With Finnish hunting and sport shooting organizations. The design goal was to create a rifle that performs in competition, but can also be used for hunting. The ergonomic stock features an adjustable cheekpiece and adjustable buttplate (length of pull can be changed with spacers). An integral rail allows placement of hand-stops, bipod mounts, and attachments so the rifle can be carried with a double-sling, biathlon style. T3 Sporter weight (without scope) is 9 lbs. with 20″ barrel, or 9.7 lbs. with 24″ barrel.

EuroOptic.com Has T3 Sporters in Stock
EuroOptic.com has T3 Sporter inventory in stock now, priced at $1695.00. Not all variants have arrived yet*, but we’ve been told that the following models are available: .308 Win 24″ barrel, .308 Win 20″ barrel, 6.5×55 24″ barrel, 6.5×55 20″ barrel, .260 Rem 20″ barrel. 20″ barrels are threaded with a cap (18×1 metric) while the 24″ barrels are unthreaded. View details on EuroOptic’s T3 Sporter Page (NOTE: EuroOptic’s web site may not show the latest inventory, so call (507) 220-3159 for availability.)

*Beretta, Tikka’s parent company, controls T3 Sporter imports. EuroOptic.com informed us that it “ordered all the versions we could from Beretta, but no .222 Rem was available in the USA at this time.” So, for the near term at least, it appears that the .222 Rem will be limited to the European market.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 9 Comments »
July 20th, 2011

EuroOptic’s Super Deal on SAKO TRG42 in .338 Lapua Magnum

If you’ve ever lusted for a SAKO TRG42 in .338 Lapua Magnum, now’s the time to break out the checkbook. This could be the deal of the decade. EuroOptic.com is selling brand new, .338 LM SAKO TRG42s for just $2250.00. That is not a misprint. For a limited time (while supplies last), EuroOptic is offering AccurateShooter.com readers new TRG42s in .338 Lapua Magnum for just $2250.00 — that’s over $1000.00 cheaper than the price at some other gun vendors. This was a special purchase, and inventory is limited, so don’t delay. The TRG42s have black furniture with a matte black barrel finish (not phosphate), and no Picatinny rail. The $2250.00 price applies only to black-stock models, chambered in .338 LM. Shop around and you’ll see you can’t come close to this price on a new TRG42 anywhere else. If you order, mention AccurateShooter.com to get the $2250.00 special price.

SAKO TRG42 in .338 Lapua Magnum for $2250.00
Sako TRG 42 338 Lapua Magnum

EuroOptic Exclusive: .260 Remington TRG22s
Want a SAKO TRG22 chambered in .260 Remington? Well you won’t find one at your local gunstore. EuroOptic.com commissioned a special run of .260 Rem TRG22s, SNs 0XX-200, and they are now in stock. These are fitted with 26″, 1:8″ twist, black phosphate-coated barrels. Actions come with milspec Picatinny rails pre-installed. Four different stock finishes are currently available: Matte Black, Remington Green, Desert Digital Camo, and Woodland Digital Camo. The Camo stock sets are an Eurooptic exclusive — not available anywhere else. These are very special rifles, and with the high interest in the .260 Rem cartridge (which won the National High Power Championship in the hands of SGT Sherri Gallagher), you can expect the rifles to sell out quickly. Price for the .260 Rem TRG22s in black and green is $3100.00. The Digital Camo versions are priced somewhat higher, at $3350.00. Shown below is a the TRG22 in Desert Digital. If you have questions, call (570) 220-3159 and ask for Jason Baney. CLICK HERE for sale info and rifle specs.

Sako .260 Rem Remington TRG 22

SAKO TRG 22 Rifle Technical Data (Factory flyer)

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May 4th, 2011

Lapua .260 Rem Brass In-Stock Now at Grafs.com and Eabco.com

Lapua .260 Rem Remington cartridge brass.OK, you .260 Rem shooters, break out your credit cards. The Lapua .260 Remington cartridge brass has finally arrived. Kevin Thomas of Lapua tells us: “Sorry for the wait guys, but it’s here. Grafs.com has its shipment and will begin shipping orders [May 4, 2011]. Kaltron Pettibone received theirs a few days ago and should be filling existing orders as I write. Let us know what you think of this stuff. Looks pretty good so far, but the proof’s in the pudding.” Grafs.com has the .260 Rem brass in stock at $96.99 per 100-ct box (Shipping included with $4.95 handling fee). Eabco.com has the .260 Rem brass in stock for $92.50 per 100-ct box.

Lapua .260 Rem Brass

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 2 Comments »
January 20th, 2011

SHOT Show Exclusive: Interview with Sherri Gallagher

SGT Sherri Gallagher of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit had a spectacularly successful 2010. First she won the National High Power Championship convincingly, setting records in the process. Then young Sherri earned the title of “Soldier of the Year”. Sherri is the first women ever to be honored as the U.S. Army’s Soldier of the Year.

When we learned Sherri was staffing the USAMU booth at SHOT Show, we headed straight there with the hopes of chatting with America’s premier lady rifle shooter. Our correspondent Kelly Bachand was eager to talk to Sherri, as they are friends who once shot together on the U.S. National Junior team. You should really take the time to watch this video. Sherri is very open and candid about her shooting accomplishments, and she offers advice that will help any shooter.

YouTube Preview Image
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January 1st, 2011

Lapua Commences Production of .260 Rem Cartridge Brass

.260 Remington Lapua BrassHere is great news for high-power shooters, tactical competitors, and hunters. Lapua will be producing .260 Remington brass starting in 2011. The official announcement will be made at SHOT Show 2011 in Las Vegas, and brass should start arriving in early spring. With Lapua’s introduction of .260 Rem brass, precision shooters now have a “no-brainer” first choice for cartridge brass in this popular chambering. No longer will you have to sort and cull (and re-sort) Rem-brand .260 brass. And you won’t have to fool around necking-up .243 brass or necking down .308 brass, with the problems that come with case-reforming operations.

The .260 Rem offers ballistics similar to the 6.5×55 with a cartridge size that fits short actions. For long range, the .260 Rem works great with 120gr to 142gr bullets, making it highly suitable for both hunting and target shooting. Here is what Lapua says about its new brass:

The .260 Rem was used to stunning effect at Camp Perry to win the 2010 Championships setting an incredible new national record in the process. .260 shooters have hammered their way into the winner’s circles of a wide variety of competitive disciplines, a real testament to the capability of this outstanding cartridge.

The .260 isn’t just a target round. It has also shown itself to be a fine performer in the field for medium game. Effectively duplicating the ballistic performance of the time-honored 6.5×55, the .260 has already developed a well-earned reputation for dependable stopping power on deer, antelope and similar game. Given the tremendous selection of bullets for every conceivable application, the 260 is an extraordinarily versatile cartridge. With such a solid history already established in such a short time, Lapua is proud to add the .260 to our line of premier components for the handloader.

CLICK HERE for LAPUA .260 REM Brochure with Reloading Data

.260 Remington Lapua Brass

[Editor's Comment: I shot the .260 Rem extensively for 3 years, testing many powder/bullet/primer combinations. I tried both Remington-brand brass (very inconsistent), and necked-up Lapua and Norma .243 brass. If you want a reliable, accurate "go-to" load for the new Lapua .260 brass, I recommend Lapua 123gr Scenars with Hodgdon H4350 powder, running at about 2950 fps. Both Fed 210M and CCI large rifle primers work well. If you run the ballistics, you'll find you give up little or nothing shooting the 123s vs. the 140gr class bullets because you can achieve significantly higher velocities with the lighter bullets, when using most powders. If you simply MUST shoot the 140s, try Reloder 17 to get higher velocities.]

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News 10 Comments »
August 16th, 2010

Sherri Gallagher Uses .260 Rem to Win National HP Championship

.260 Remington GallagherFollowing SGT Sherri Gallagher’s record-setting victory in the 2010 NRA High Power National Championship, many readers have asked what caliber (chambering) Sherri was shooting. Well, Sherri was shooting a .260 Remington at all yardages, as confirmed by SFC Emil Praslick, USAMU rifle coach. Runner-up Carl Bernosky was shooting a 6mm Hagar in an AR-platform rifle.

To capture her first High Power Championship, with a record 2396-161X score, Sheri used a Tubb 2000 bolt gun chambered in .260 Rem. According to Praslick: “[the rifle has] the same barrel as last year. I believe it has close to 2000 rounds on it.” To our surprise, Sherri’s ammo was loaded in relatively inexpensive Remington brass. Praslick explained: “We use Remington brass, Federal 210Ms, and Varget powder. For the 300/600 yard lines we use the Sierra 142gr bullet. Her 300RF load is around 2650 fps, the 600SF load approximately 2750 fps. At the 200 [yard line], we use a reduced recoil load using the Sierra 107gr MK.”

.260 Remington GallagherAccuracy Trumps Raw Velocity
Praslick noted that Sherri’s load, while not particularly fast, is ultra-accurate: “All these loads rely much more on accuracy than they do velocity. SGT Gallagher’s rifle has been tested repeatedly at 600 yards. It will easily shoot 3″ to 4″ groups all day long. This is evident by her X-count.” Praslick added: “I am a big believer in the .260 for High Power shooting. [It offers] easy load development, ballistic advantage, and long barrel life.”

.260 Rem Resources
To learn more about the .260 Rem, read Zak Smith’s article: 6.5mm Shootout: .260 Remington vs. 6.5×47 Lapua vs. 6.5 Creedmoor. Zak compares three popular 6.5mm cartridges, weighing the pros and cons of each. Zak himself shoots the Rem .260 loaded with 139gr Lapua Scenar bullets and Alliant Reloder 17.

.260 Remington Gallagher

Another great load for this cartridge is the 123gr Lapua Scenar pushed by Hodgdon H4350. That was the best overall performing load in this Editor’s .260 Rem. I was able to run the 123s at 2950 fps with great accuracy and extremely low ES and SD. Compare the 600-yard ballistics of the Scenar 123s at 2950 fps with Sherri’s 142gr SMKs launched at 2750 fps. You may be surprised. The 123s have less drop, and the 10 mph wind drift (at 600 yards) is very close: 23.9″ for the 123s vs. 22.8″ for the 142s. (Calculations done with JBM Online Ballistics Calculator using Lapua and Litz field-measured BCs, 59°, 500′ elevation.)

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January 11th, 2010

New Tactical Bolt Action Rifles from Les Baer

Les Baer Custom (LBC) is a highly respected maker of “semi-custom” 1911 pistols and AR platform rifles. Now Baer moves into the precision bolt-action rifle market with impressive new offerings for 2010. Baer will sell two different bolt-guns, each fitted with a Stiller custom action and a cut-rifled barrel made in-house by LBC. Available chamberings (for both models) are .243 Win, .260 Rem, or .308 Win (later this year LCB will release a .338 Lapua). Remarkably, Baer guarantees these new guns can deliver half-MOA 10-shot groups with match grade ammo.

The new Les Baer Custom bolt-action rifles all feature a Stiller Tac 30 action with Picatinny rail, Wyatt precision floor plate with Wyatt detachable box magazine (DBM), along with a “match grade” 24″ cut-rifled, 5-groove LBC barrel. A Timney match trigger with 2.5-lb pull is fitted, and both action and barrel are coated in a matte-black Dupont S finish.

Les Baer tactical rifle

Two different Bell & Carlson composite stock designs are offered. The LBC Tactical Recon Bolt Action Rifle features a tactical-style stock, similar in appearance to the SAKO TRG stock. It has a vertical pistol grip, undercut toe, plus an adjustable cheekpiece and adjustable buttplate. MSRP for the “Tactical Recon” model is $3560.00.

Les Baer tactical rifle

If you want a lighter rifle with a more conventional stock, the LBC Tactical Varmint Classic features a varmint-style composite stock with a narrower fore-arm, “standard” wrist-grip shape, and a straight comb. There is a small hook in the underside of the buttstock. Like the “Tactical Recon” model, the “Tactical Varmint” features a Stiller action, Wyatt bottom metal/magazine, and 24″ cut-rifled barrel. MSRP for the “Tactical Varmint” is $3410.00.

New Les Baer Bolt-Guns have 10-shot Half-MOA Guarantee
We talked with Les Baer yesterday, and he told us that the prototype Baer tactical rifles have show outstanding accuracy during testing, producing some 1/2″ groups at TWO hundred yards. Accordingly, Baer is offering one of the best guarantees in the business. Both LBC tactical bolt-guns “are guaranteed to shoot 10-shot groups under 1/2 MOA with match grade ammo.”

Les Baer tactical rifle

The new LBC rifles will debut next week at SHOT Show in Las Vegas. We hope to get our hands on one for field testing. It will be interesting to see if the rifles can really put 10 shots inside one-half inch (center to center) at 100 yards.

Permalink New Product, News 7 Comments »
April 29th, 2008

Tilley's 260 Ackley Improved

Forum member Ron Tilley finished fourth overall at the recent NBRSA 600-Yard Nationals. This was an impressive performance for a relative newcomer to the 600-yard game without “local knowledge” of the Sacramento range. The top 3 finishers, Jerry Tierney, Peter White, and Craig St. Claire, all have extensive experience shooting at Sacramento.

While many of the top shooters were using a 6mm in Light Gun (such as a 6 Dasher or 6-6.5×47), Ron campaigned a 260 Ackley Improved. This is based on a 260 Rem case, with the shoulder blown forward to 40 degrees. Improving the 260 Rem case adds just enough extra capacity to get the 140gr-class bullets into the 2900+ fps velocity window where they seem to perform best.

Ron starts with Lapua 243 cases, necked up to 6.5 mm. He was shooting 140gr Berger VLD bullets, pushed by Hodgdon H4831sc powder and Russian primers. Ron says this combination has been “very accurate right out of the gate.” Ron’s 2920 fps load delivers 5-shot groups in the high teens and low twos, with very low ES and SD. In the video interview below, Ron explains the merits of the 260 AI cartridge, and offers tips on case prep and loading for accuracy.

CLICK HERE to WATCH TILLEY VIDEO

Ron was shooting an eye-catching rifle. It featured a carbon fiber and wood Terry Leonard stock, BAT Action, and Nightforce scope. With all-premium components, Terry’s 260AI is a beautiful rig that shoots as good as it looks.


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