November 8th, 2017

Great Video Shows Custom 6.5×47 Lapua Rifle Build by S&S

S&S Precision 6.5x47 Custom Rifle gunsmithing Texas Stick Starks

Here’s one of the most popular videos from the Daily Bulletin archives. If you’ve ever wondered how a top-flight, custom rifle is built, watch carefully….

S&S Precision 6.5x47This video, produced for the folks at S&S Precision in Denton, Texas, shows a full custom 6.5×47 bench rifle being crafted from start to finish. It is a fantastic video, one of the best precision rifles video you’ll find on YouTube. It shows every aspect of the job — action bedding, chambering, barrel-fitting, muzzle crowning, and stock finishing.

You’ll be amazed at the paint job on this rig — complete with flames and four playing cards: the 6, 5, 4, and 7 of spades. Everyone should take the time to watch this 13-minute video from start to finish, particularly if you are interested in stock painting or precision gunsmithing. And the video has a “happy ending”. This custom 6.5×47 proves to be a real tack-driver, shooting a 0.274″ three-shot group at 400 yards to win “small group” in its first fun match. NOTE: If you have a fast internet connection, we recommend you watch this video in 720p HD.

We’re told that the founder of S&S Precision, the inimitable “Stick” Starks, is retiring from full-time gunsmithing duties. This video is a nice tribute to Stick’s dedication to his craft for so many decades.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
January 1st, 2017

6.5 Creedmoor — Velocity and Barrel Length — What to Expect

Rifleshooter.com 6.5 Creedmoor cut-down test

What do you get when you cut a 6.5 Creedmoor-chambered barrel down to just over 16 inches? A lot more velocity than you might think. Our friends at Rifleshooter.com recently did a barrel cut-down test with 6.5 Creedmoor test rifle, shortening the barrel from 27 to 16.1 inches in one-inch increments. Surprisingly, with a 142gr Sierra MK, the total velocity loss (as measured with a Magnetospeed) was just 158 FPS, an average of 14.4 FPS per inch of barrel length. With the lighter 120gr A-Max bullet, the total velocity loss was 233 FPS, or 21.8 FPS average loss per inch of barrel.

CLICK HERE to SEE All Velocity Values at All Barrel Lengths

To perform this velocity test, our friend Bill, Rifleshooter.com’s editor, built up a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle using a Remington Model 7 action, 1:8″ twist Green Mountain CM barrel, and MDT LSS Chassis, all obtained from Brownells.com.

Test Procedure
Five (5) rounds of each type of cartridge were fired at each barrel length and the velocity data was recorded with a MagnetoSpeed V3 barrel-mounted chronograph. The rifle was then cleared and the barrel was cut back one inch at a time from 27″ to just over 16″. NOTE: During this winter test, the air temperature was a very chilly 23° F. One would expect higher velocities across the board had the outside temperature been higher.

Read Full Story with All Test Results at Rifleshooter.com

The photo below shows how the barrel was cut down, inch-by-inch, using a rotary saw. The barrel was pre-scored at inch intervals. As the main purpose of the test was to measure velocity (not accuracy) the testers did not attempt to create perfect crowns.

Rifleshooter.com 6.5 Creedmoor cut-down test

6.5 Creedmoor vs. Other Mid-Sized 6.5mm Cartridges
The 6.5 Creedmoor is a very popular cartridge with the tactical and PRS crowd. This mid-size cartridge offers good ballistics, with less recoil than a .308 Winchester. There’s an excellent selection of 6.5mm bullets, and many powder choices for this cartridge. When compared to the very accurate 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge, the 6.5 Creedmoor offers similar performance with less expensive brass. For a tactical shooter who must sometimes leave brass on the ground, brass cost is a factor to consider. Here’s a selection of various 6.5 mm mid-sized cartridges. Left to right are: 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor with 120gr A-Max, 6.5 Creedmoor with 142gr Sierra MK, and .260 Remington.

6.5 Creedmoor Rifleshooter.com velocity barrel cut cut-down test saw blade

When asked to compare the 6.5 Creedmoor to the 6.5×47 Lapua, Rifleshooter.com’s editor stated: “If you don’t hand load, or are new to precision rifle shooting, get a 6.5 Creedmoor. If you shoot a lot, reload, have more disposable income, and like more esoteric cartridges, get a 6.5×47 Lapua. I am a big fan of the 6.5×47 Lapua. In my personal experience, the 6.5×47 Lapua seems to be slightly more accurate than the 6.5 Creedmoor. I attribute this to the quality of Lapua brass.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tactical 3 Comments »
November 23rd, 2016

Lapua Now Offers 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge Brass

Lapua Creedmoor 6.5 Brass cartridge 1.5mm tactical case

Here’s great news for mid-size cartridge fans, and especially PRS and tactical shooters. Lapua just announced it will produce 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge brass, which should be available in the first quarter of 2017. This premium-quality brass features a small primer, and 1.5mm flash hole (as found on Lapua’s 6mmBR, 6.5×47 Lapua, and 220 Russian brass). We expect Lapua’s 6.5 Creedmoor brass will set new standards for accuracy and case life for this popular mid-sized cartridge. Of course Lapua’s new 6.5 Creedmoor brass can also be necked down and loaded in 6mm Creedmoor configuration. With the small primer pocket and proven strength of Lapua brass, we think 6.5 Creedmoor shooters will see enhanced cartridge velocities with the ability to maintain tight primer pockets even with very stout loads. And we expect accuracy to be on a par with Lapua’s excellent 6.5×47 Lapua brass. Taken together, this is an exciting product release. Here is Lapua’s official announcement:

Lapua Creedmoor 6.5 Brass cartridge 1.5mm tactical case

We are happy to announce the addition of the 6.5 Creedmoor case to the Lapua line! Despite a relatively short time on the marketplace, the 6.5 Creedmoor has made a tremendous splash in the field, rapidly becoming one of the most requested cases we hear about from shooters. Lapua’s 6.5 Creedmoor is designed to function in a short action, which is also a plus for hunters, vitally concerned with the rifle’s weight and compactness. In fact, many of the same features which make for a successful competition cartridge, translate nicely to the hunting fields as well.

For most species of mid-size game such as deer or boar, the Creedmoor will prove to be a deadly performer. And while the selection of high grade Match bullets in the 6.5 bore size is tremendous, there’s no shortage of exceptionally good hunting bullets either. The 6.5s as a group have always been known as excellent performers on game.

Lapua Creedmoor 6.5 Brass cartridge 1.5mm tactical caseMade with Lapua’s typical dedication to precision, our new 6.5 Creedmoor case has been refined just a bit, to make it an even better performer. We’ve opted for the small rifle primer, which normally produces an optimized ignition and better accuracy than large primers in mid-sized cartridges like the Creedmoor.

We’ve also incorporated our smaller-diameter flash hole (1.5mm, rather than the industry-standard 2.0mm), which has proven to provide enhanced accuracy, and is used in a number of our other accuracy-oriented cases. In this respect, the new 6.5 Creedmoor joins the ranks of our other dedicated accuracy cartridges such as the .220 Russian (6mm PPC), the 6mmBR Norma, the 6.5×47 Lapua, and the .308 Win Palma cases.

And naturally, the new 6.5 Creedmoor will be made with our well-known Passion for Precision. Strictest control over the metallurgy, the forming and drawing processes, precise annealing all performed under the watchful eyes of our production experts. For you, the handloader, that means the durability for which our cases are famous, combined with consistency and long life. Already proven in competition, we predict that the 6.5 Creedmoor will be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.

Comment on Lapua’s new 6.5mm Creedmoor
Our British friend Laurie Holland was excited about the new 6.5 Creedmoor brass from Lapua: “With this and Peterson Cartridge on the bandwagon, plus another U.S. brass maker… the Creedmoor’s momentum is becoming impressive.” Laurie observes: “A small primer Lapua-cased 6.5mm Creedmoor is in effect a 6.5X47 Lapua ‘Improved’!” That’s a pretty interesting concept indeed. Which makes us wonder if the .260 Remington has finally been fully eclipsed. With Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass you can probably get very, very close to .260 Rem performance in a much more efficient case.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News 13 Comments »
August 3rd, 2016

Amazing 2.856″ 10-Shot Group at 1000 Yards — Potential Record

IBS 1000 yard record heavy benchrest Harry Jones Range West Virginia 6.5x47 Lapua Mike Gaizauskas
Yes, there are ten (10) shots. In the lower left (7 o’clock) of the group, two shots overlap!

Stunning 1000-Yard 10-Shot Group
IBS 1000 yard record heavy benchrest Harry Jones Range West Virginia 6.5x47 Lapua Mike GaizauskasYou’re looking at a stunning feat of rifle accuracy. That’s a sub-3″, ten-shot group shot at 1000 yards, all 10s or Xs. Measured at 2.856 inches, this group by shooter Mike Gaizauskas works out to 0.2727 MOA. Nearly quarter-MOA for ten shots at 1K! And the vertical for 7 of 10 shots is under an inch. Now that’s impressive. This was done with an IBS Heavy Class Benchrest gun, chambered for the 6.5×47 Lapua, a mid-sized cartridge originally designed for 300m competition.

Gun Specs: 6.5×47 Lapua chambering, Krieger 30″, 1:8″-twist barrel, Lapua 139 grain Scenars, Hodgdon H4350, CCI BR4 primers, Nightforce NSX scope. Smithed by Mark King, stock by Mike Gaizaukaus.

This amazing group, which establishes new IBS world records, was shot at the Harry Jones Memorial 1000-Yard Gun Club range in Fairview, West Virginia. Set in wooded, rolling hills, this range is shielded on all sides by thick stands of trees. It’s a beautiful facility, and you can see why, when conditions are right, the Harry Jones range can be about as close to shooting in a “tunnel” as you’ll ever get at 1000 yards. The Harry Jones Club in WV hosted the 2014 IBS Long-Range Nationals.

IBS 1000 yard record heavy benchrest Harry Jones Range West Virginia 6.5x47 Lapua Mike Gaizauskas

IBS 1000 yard record heavy benchrest Harry Jones Range West Virginia 6.5x47 Lapua Mike Gaizauskas

Mike’s remarkable 10-shot performance may be a Score Record as well as a group record, because all ten shots were in the 10-Ring and, under IBS rules, group size is the tie-breaker, rather than X-Count. Mike’s target was scored 100-3X, with two of the three Xs just clipping the outside of the X-Ring. Match directors reported: “On 7/24/2016, two new pending IBS 1000-yard world records were shot by Mike Gaizauskas with a 6.5X47 Lapua: 1) Heavy Gun Group (2.856″) and 2) Heavy Gun Score (100-3X). Congratulations Mike!” Here are the listed IBS records that will be broken, when this target is certified:

► Current IBS 1000-Yard Heavy Gun 10-Shot Single Group Record: 3.044″, Joel Pendergraft, 4/18/2009.

► Current IBS 1000-Yard Heavy Gun 10-Shot Single Group Score Record: 100 points, with 3.353″ group size tie-breaker, Gary Nicholson, 7/27/13.

Best 1000-Yard 10-Shot Groups Ever
This jaw-dropping 2.856″ group by Mike Gaizauskas also handily breaks the current NBRSA 1000-Yard, ten-shot Heavy Gun Record, which was 3.9912″ set by Bill Johnston on November 17, 2015. FYI: IBS and NBRSA Light Guns only shoot five-shot groups, so there is no equivalent IBS or NBRSA Light Gun 1K ten-shot record.

Only one other 10-shot, 100-score 1000-yard group was better than this in the history of rifle competition on this planet. Back in 2010, at a Williamsport match, Matt Kline shot a 2.815″ 100-4X. Depending on how Mike’s 2016 2.856″ group is finally measured, it could end up smaller than Matt’s. The difference (before final IBS verification) is only 0.041″, a mere four hundredths of an inch.

In 2014, Jim Richards fired a 10-shot Light Gun group at 1000 yards initially measured at 2.6872″. Shot under Williamsport Rules at the Deep Creek Range in Montana, that 10-shot group may be the smallest ever at 1K. However, the whole group was out in the 8 Ring, for a score of 80, not 100.

About the 6.5×57 Lapua Cartridge

To learn more about the record-setting 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge, including bullet and powder options and reloading tips, visit our comprehensive 6.5×47 Lapua Cartridge Guide.

6.5x47 Lapua Cartridge

The 6.5x47mm Lapua was developed in 2005 as a precision cartridge for 300m CISM rifle matches. Lapua (of Finland) and Swiss rifle-maker Grünig & Elmiger created this new cartridge to match the “pure accuracy” of the 6mmBR, but with even better ballistics. Following its debut as a 300m match cartridge, the 6.5×47 has proven to be a popular “jack of all trades”. Shooters have adopted this efficient, mid-sized cartridge because it offers excellent accuracy, mild recoil, good ballistics, and ample barrel life (plus it feeds well from a magazine). The 6.5×47 Lapua has won two NBRSA 600-yard Nationals. Now that this modern, mid-sized cartridge has set an all-time record for grouping precision at 1000 yards, we expect more shooters to experiment with this cartridge in the mid- and long-range benchrest disciplines.

Story Tip by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions
Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 11 Comments »
May 28th, 2016

The Color Purple — A Father’s Gift to His Daughter

Erik Cortina 6.5x47 Lapua F-Class Rifle Daughter

“My daughter’s favorite color is purple, so I built her a purple rifle….”

Here’s a feel-good story about a family that shoots together, and a dad who did something very special for his daughter. All fathers create things for their children, but it’s unusual to find a Dad who has the skills (and motivation) to build a top-level competition rifle for his child. Our friend, Erik Cortina, did just that. Here is the story of the lovely purple maple F-Class rig Erik built for his girl Amberleeana.

Erik Cortina 6.5x47 Lapua F-Class Rifle Daughter

AUDIO FILE: Erik Cortina and Daughter Amberleeana Talk about the Purple Rifle. (Sound file loads when you click button).

My daughter would always tell me when I would go to a match, “Remember Dad, only Xs matter, the other stuff on the target is just there for decoration!” — Erik Cortina

A Father’s Gift: An F-Classer for Amberleeana

by Erik Cortina
My daughter Amberleeana has been wanting to shoot F-Class for a long time because I have been dragging her to matches since she was a little girl. She would come into my reloading room and watch me reload while she asked a million questions, all which I tried to answer to the best of my abilities. At age 9, she started hunting with a semi-custom rifle her grandfather gave her, a 6×47 Lapua built on a Remington 700 action with a Bartlein barrel. She has been very successful as a hunter so she decided to move to the next step and start shooting F-Class.

She shot my backup rifle before and she really enjoyed it. Here’s a YouTube video from a while back. This shows Amberleeana, at age 11, shooting at 500 yards for the very first time. You can see she does very well.

After hearing about the U.S. F-Class Under 25 (U25) Rifle Team selection trials in Raton this upcoming summer, Amberleeana wanted to try out for the U25 Team. I told her that was OK, but we had to modify the rifle she was currently using so that it could fit her better. After some consideration, I decided instead to sell that rifle and build her a brand new one.

Erik Cortina 6.5x47 Lapua F-Class Rifle Daughter

Her favorite color is purple, so I built her a purple rifle with adjustable cheek piece and butt pad. Shurley Brothers (Austin, TX) crafted the stock from maple, and then applied a purple gloss finish. We think it turned out great. Amberleeana is eager to take the rifle to Raton this summer: “I would like to make the Under 25 U.S. Rifle Team and compete at the F-Class World Championship in Canada in 2017. My main focus now is on the upcoming team try-outs in Raton, New Mexico.”

I hope that my daughter enjoys F-Class as much as I have, which will allow us to spend more time together on the range and in the reloading room.

6.5×47 Lapua Load Development
The purple rifle is chambered for the 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge. Our preliminary load work up shows great promise using Vihtavuori N140 powder, 136gr Lapua Scenar bullets, and CCI 450 primers. We tried a variety of charge weights, starting at 35.7 grains of N140 and ending up at 38.2 grains. The photo below shows an initial series of 3-shot test groups at 120 yards. What do you think is the best node? What charge weight would YOU select among these? [Editor: That final load of 38.2 grains looks very good, but we would want to check for pressure signs and repeat with 10-round strings checking for ES and SD. Also, if you go by the vertical only, the 36.0 and 36.3 loads are worth further testing.]

Erik Cortina 6.5x47 Lapua F-Class Rifle Daughter

Erik Cortina 6.5x47 Lapua F-Class Rifle DaughterPurple Rifle Specifications:
Stock: Shurley Brothers Lowrider XL stock (Maple)
(Finished by Shurley Brothers, bedded by Speedy Gonzalez)
Action: Kelbly F-Class Panda
Trigger: Flavio Fare
Barrel: Brux 32″-long, 1:8″-twist, 4-groove stainless, chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua
(Barrel work and assembly done by Erik Cortina)
Barrel Tuner: ECTuner (matches barrel contour)
Scope: Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition
Front Rest: SEB NEO front rest
Rear Sandbag: Edgewood
Load: VV N140, 136gr Scenars, CCI 450 primers

Erik Cortina 6.5x47 Lapua F-Class Rifle Daughter

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Gunsmithing 7 Comments »
March 28th, 2016

6.5 Creedmoor — Barrel Cut-Down Velocity Tests

Rifleshooter.com 6.5 Creedmoor cut-down test

What do you get when you cut a 6.5 Creedmoor-chambered barrel down to just over 16 inches? A lot more velocity than you might think. Our friends at Rifleshooter.com recently did a barrel cut-down test with 6.5 Creedmoor test rifle, shortening the barrel from 27 to 16.1 inches in one-inch increments. Surprisingly, with a 142gr Sierra MK, the total velocity loss (as measured with a Magnetospeed) was just 158 FPS, an average of 14.4 FPS per inch of barrel length. With the lighter 120gr A-Max bullet, the total velocity loss was 233 FPS, or 21.8 FPS average loss per inch of barrel.

CLICK HERE to SEE All Velocity Values at All Barrel Lengths

To perform this velocity test, our friend Bill, Rifleshooter.com’s editor, built up a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle using a Remington Model 7 action, 1:8″ twist Green Mountain CM barrel, and MDT LSS Chassis, all obtained from Brownells.com.

Test Procedure
Five (5) rounds of each type of cartridge were fired at each barrel length and the velocity data was recorded with a MagnetoSpeed V3 barrel-mounted chronograph. The rifle was then cleared and the barrel was cut back one inch at a time from 27″ to just over 16″. NOTE: During this winter test, the air temperature was a very chilly 23° F. One would expect higher velocities across the board had the outside temperature been higher.

Read Full Story with All Test Results at Rifleshooter.com

The photo below shows how the barrel was cut down, inch-by-inch, using a rotary saw. The barrel was pre-scored at inch intervals. As the main purpose of the test was to measure velocity (not accuracy) the testers did not attempt to create perfect crowns.

Rifleshooter.com 6.5 Creedmoor cut-down test

6.5 Creedmoor vs. Other Mid-Sized 6.5mm Cartridges
The 6.5 Creedmoor is a very popular cartridge with the tactical and PRS crowd. This mid-size cartridge offers good ballistics, with less recoil than a .308 Winchester. There’s an excellent selection of 6.5mm bullets, and many powder choices for this cartridge. When compared to the very accurate 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge, the 6.5 Creedmoor offers similar performance with less expensive brass. For a tactical shooter who must sometimes leave brass on the ground, brass cost is a factor to consider. Here’s a selection of various 6.5 mm mid-sized cartridges. Left to right are: 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor with 120gr A-Max, 6.5 Creedmoor with 142gr Sierra MK, and .260 Remington.

6.5 Creedmoor Rifleshooter.com velocity barrel cut cut-down test saw blade

When asked to compare the 6.5 Creedmoor to the 6.5×47 Lapua, Rifleshooter.com’s editor stated: “If you don’t hand load, or are new to precision rifle shooting, get a 6.5 Creedmoor. If you shoot a lot, reload, have more disposable income, and like more esoteric cartridges, get a 6.5×47 Lapua. I am a big fan of the 6.5×47 Lapua. In my personal experience, the 6.5×47 Lapua seems to be slightly more accurate than the 6.5 Creedmoor. I attribute this to the quality of Lapua brass.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
March 9th, 2016

The 6.5 Creedmoor — Profile of Popular Mid-Sized Cartridge

6.5 Creedmoor

We often get questions about the 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge — folks ask where they can find good resources for this cartridge, which is popular with Across-The-Course, High Power, and tactical shooters. We did some searching and found that the August 2011 digital edition of Shooting Sports USA has a good article for all fans of the 6.5 Creedmoor.

6.5 Creedmoor Development of the 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge
In the August 2011 Edition of Shooting Sports USA you’ll find a lengthy feature on the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. This story covers the origin of the cartridge and its performance both as a match cartridge and as a hunting round. Hornady Chief Ballistician Dave Emary explained: “the original intent of the cartridge was as an across-the-course match cartridge. We envisioned it as an off-the-shelf round that would produced the accuracy and ballistics to compete in all match disciplines right out of the box. At the same time we realized that the same characteristics would make an exceptional hunting cartridge with the right bullets.”

6.5 Creedmoor

6.5 Creedmoor Annealing6.5 Creedmoor Brass No Longer Washed After Annealing
Here’s an interesting update on Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor brass and loaded ammo. In a move to improve case quality and neck uniformity, Hornady recently changed the 6.5 Creedmoor production process, eliminating the case-washing step after annealing. So now you will see annealing coloration on 6.5 Creedmoor brass, just like on Lapua brass. Dennis DeMille of Creedmoor Sports wanted to improve the consistency/uniformity of 6.5 Creedmoor case-necks. At Dennis’ suggestion, Hornady conducted tests which showed that the “standard industry practice” of washing brass could potentially alter the necks in undesirable ways. Bottom line, unwashed annealed brass was determined to have an accuracy edge over washed brass. Looking at these results, Hornady decided to forgo the post-anneal washing process. As a result, the latest 6.5 Creedmoor brass now displays the distinctive coloration left by neck/shoulder annealing. Learn something new every day, eh?

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tactical 2 Comments »
January 13th, 2015

Using the Giraud Power Trimmer — Smart Video from Erik Cortina

Forum member Erik Cortina recently launched his own YouTube Channel dedicated to precision reloading and accurizing. Erik’s videos demonstrate the proper use of specialized reloading tools and provide helpful hints. Erik’s latest video is about the “mother of all brass trimmers”, the Giraud powered case trimmer. Erik says: “It you do volume reloading… this is the only trimmer to get. It not only trims to length but it also chamfers your case mouth inside and out.” In his video, Erik offers some very clever and useful tips that will help you get the most from your Giraud.

The Giraud trimmer is very precise. When set up correctly, it can trim brass with amazing consistency. In the video, Erik trims 5 pieces of brass in 15 seconds (6:32 mark). He then measures all five with precision calipers (7:00-8:08). All lengths are exact within .0005 (half a thousandth). Erik notes that the Giraud trimmer indexes off the case shoulder. As long as you have fire-formed brass with consistent base-to-shoulder dimensions, you should get very consistent trim lengths.

The secret to the system is a 3-way cutting head. This cutter can be swapped in and out in a couple minutes with wrenches provided with the kit. Erik has three different heads; one each for 6.5mm, 7mm, and .30 caliber. The video shows how to adjust the cutting heads to match caliber diameter (and to get the desired amount of inside/outside chamfer).

This is a manufacturer’s photo showing an older model.
Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

To trim and chamfer cases, you simply insert them nose-first into the cartridge-specific case-holder. Erick offers a smart tip — He uses a die locking ring to position the cartridge holder (3:15). This can be locked in place. Erik says die locking rings work much better than the hex-nuts provided by Giraud (with the hex-nut, one must re-set cut length each time you change case-holders.)

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

The Giraud can be used in either horizontal or vertical modes. Erik prefers to have the trimmer aligned vertically, allowing him to push cases down on the trimmer head. But the trimming unit has twin sets of rubber feet, allowing horizontal or vertical orientation.

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

Improved Case-Holder Made with Chamber Reamer:
For his .284 Shehane, Erik had to create his own case-holder (Giraud does not make one for that wildcat cartridge). Erik used his chamber reamer. To his surprise, Erik found that the brass was easier to trim in the custom case holder (compared to the Giraud-made spring-loaded holders). With a perfect fit, trimming and case extraction went more smoothly and the process was easier on his hands. (See 9:00-10:00). Based on Erik’s experience, you may want to create your own custom case-holder.

Trim Bullet Meplats Also
With a special bullet-holder fitting and meplat cutter head, the Giraud power trimmer can be used to trim bullet meplats. Trimming meplats can help make the Ballistic Coefficents of a batch of bullets more consistent. Uniforming meplats is also often done as a first step in the process of “tipping” bullets to improve BC.

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

Giraud Power Trimmer

Permalink - Videos, Reloading, Tech Tip 8 Comments »
October 22nd, 2014

Quick Comparison of Popular 6.5mm Rifle Cartridges

6.5 Cartridge Guide Eben Brown EABco e. arthur brown 260 rem 6.5x47 6.5 creedmoor 6.5x55
Chart created with Ammoguide’s Visual Comparison Tool. Visit Ammoguide.com to learn more.

by Eben Brown, EABCO.com, (E. Arthur Brown Co. Inc.)
The current popularity of 6.5mm cartridges in the USA has been a long time in coming. I won’t go into my opinions on why it took so long to catch on. The important thing is that it finally HAS caught on and we’re now so fortunate to have a wide selection of 6.5mm cartridges to choose from!

6.5mm Grendel – Developed by Alexander Arms for the AR15 and military M4 family of rifles. The Grendel fits the dimensional and functional requirements of these rifles while delivering better lethality and downrange performance. There are now similar cartridges from other rifle companies. We chamber for the Les Baer “264 LBC-AR”. Designed for velocities of 2400-2500 fps with 123gr bullets, it shoots the 140-grainers at about 2000 fps (for comparison purposes).

6.5mm BRM – Developed by E. Arthur Brown Company to give “Big Game Performance to Small Framed Rifles” — namely our Model 97D Rifle, TC Contender, and TC Encore. Velocities of 2400-2500 fps with 140gr bullets puts it just under the original 6.5×55 Swede performance.

6.5mm x 47 Lapua – Developed by Lapua specifically for international 300m shooting competitions (with some interest in long-range benchrest as well). Case capacity, body taper, shoulder angle, and small rifle primer are all features requested by top international shooters. You can expect velocities of 2500-2600+ with 140 gr bullets.

6.5mm Creedmoor – Developed by Hornady and Creedmoor Sports, the 6.5mm Creedmoor is designed for efficiency and function. Its shape reaches high velocities while maintaining standard .308 Winchester pressures and its overall length fits well with .308 Win length magazines. You can expect velocities of 2600-2700+ fps with 140gr bullets.

.260 Remington – Developed by Remington to compete with the 6.5mmx55 Swedish Mauser that was (finally) gaining popularity in 1996. By necking down the 7mm-08 Remington to 6.5mm (.264 cal), the .260 Remington was created. It fit the same short-action [receivers] that fit .308 Win, .243 Win, 7mm-08 Rem, etc. You can expect velocities of 2600-2700 fps with 140gr bullets in the 260 .Remington.

[Editor’s Note: In the .260 Rem, try the Lapua 120gr Scenar-Ls and/or Berger 130gr VLDs for great accuracy and impressive speeds well over 2900 fps.]

6.5mm x 55 Swedish Mauser – This was the cartridge that started the 6.5mm craze in the USA. It is famous for having mild recoil, deadly lethality on even the biggest game animals, and superb accuracy potential. Original ballistics were in the 2500 fps range with 140gr bullets. Nowadays handloaders get 2600-2700+ fps.

[Editor’s Note: Tor from Scandinavia offers this bit of 6.5x55mm history: “Contrary to common belief, the 6.5×55 was not developed by Mauser, but was constructed by a joint Norwegian and Swedish military commission in 1891 and introduced as the standard military cartridge in both countries in 1894. Sweden chose to use the cartridge in a Mauser-based rifle, while Norway used the cartridge in the Krag rifles. This led to two different cartridges the 6.5×55 Krag and 6.5×55 Mauser — the only real difference being safe operating pressure.”]

6.5-284 Norma — This comes from necking the .284 Winchester down to .264 caliber. Norma standardized it for commercial ammo sales. The 6.5mm-284 was very popular for F-Class competition and High Power at 1,000 yards. However, many F-Class competitors have switched to the straight .284 Win for improved barrel life. 6.5-284 velocities run 3000-3100+ fps with 140gr bullets.

.264 Winchester Magnum – Developed by Winchester back in 1959, the .264 Win Mag never really caught on and may have delayed the ultimate acceptance of 6.5mm cartridges by US shooters (in my opinion). It missed the whole point and original advantage of 6.5 mm cartridges.

The Original 6.5mm Advantage
The special needs of long-range competition have skewed things a little. However the original advantages of 6.5mm cartridges — how deadly the 6.5mms are on game animals, how little recoil they produce, and how easy they are to shoot well — still hold true today.

6.5 Cartridge Guide Eben Brown EABco e. arthur brown 260 rem 6.5x47 6.5 creedmoor 6.5x55

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 7 Comments »
March 21st, 2014

6.5×47 Lapua Rifles Shine in Oklahoma PRS Match

6.5x47 L Lapua .308 WinMid-sized 6.5mm cartridges proved themselves at the recent Shoot for the Green match in northwest Oklahoma. Four out of the top five shooters ran a rifle chambered for the 6.5×47 Lapua, with the fifth shooting the slightly larger 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. 53 shooters from as far away as California showed up to test their skills in the stiff March winds in NW Oklahoma. The course of fire was challenging, with improvised field shooting positions and targets set as far as 1300 yards out. And there were “Troop” stages that competitors have come to expect in Oklahoma. Match winner Rick Reeves stated, “I enjoyed the troop stages more than anything else, even though I didn’t shoot them the best.”
Precision Rifle Seris

Steve Elmenhorst shooting a Troop Stage.
PRC Shoot for Green Oklahoma

Rich Emmons, who steered his 6.5x47L to fourth place, has written a match report for PrecisionRifleSeries.com. Day One saw temps around 70 degrees with only light, switchy winds. But Day Two was brutal, Emmons reports: “On Sunday… 40-50 mph winds hit NW Oklahoma hard and most competitors were woken up. To say that shooting in the 15-30 mph winds with temps in the high 30s [was really tough] is an understatement. All competitors struggled a bit and scores were understandably lower on Day Two. Conditions were brutal and both the ROs and the competitors deserve a gold star for toughing it out and finishing the match.” CLICK HERE for Complete Match Results

Top 5 Shooters Equipment List

Rick Reeves
6.5×47 Lapua
, 140 Berger Hybrid, Surgeon Action, McMillan A-5 Stock, Bartlein Barrel, Rem trigger, Vortex Razor scope, Built by DMFJ, Tab Sling & bag, Harris Bipod, AAC Suppressor.

Adam Roberts
6.5 Creedmoor
, Desert Tech Armory (DTA), Benchmark Barrel, 123 Lapua Scenar, H4350 powder, Silencer Tech Suppressor, S&B PMII scope w/ H2CMR reticle.

Justin Shireman
6.5×47 Lapua
, Surgeon/ Parry Custom Gun, Silencer Tech Suppresor, Benchmark Barrel, McMillan Stock, Harris Bipod, Swarovski binoculars.

Rich Emmons
6.5×47 Lapua
, Surgeon Rifle, Bartlein Barrel, Mcmillan Stock, Berger 140 Hybrids, Harris Bipod, S&B PM II MSR, Vortex Binoculars, MGM Switchview, 5.11 gear, JEC brake.

John Sommers
6.5×47 Lapua
, Surgeon Rifle, Bartlein Barrel, Mcmillan Stock, Lapua 139, Harris Bipod, S&B PM II MSR, Vortex Binoculars, AAC Suppressor.

Permalink Competition, Tactical No Comments »
October 20th, 2013

22-6.5×47 vs. 22-250 Standard and Improved

In our Shooters’ Forum, there was an interesting discussion of the 6.5×47 Lapua case necked down to .22 caliber. Forum members discuss the pros and cons of a “22×47 Lapua” wildcat versus the classic 22-250 or a 22-250 AI.

Forum member SkeetLee asked: “I am considering a 22x47L or a 22-250 AI. I like the Lapua brass and I have heard some good accuracy reports from the 6.5×47 Lapua case whether it be chambered as a 6.5mm or necked down to 6mm or even 22 caliber. I don’t know too much about the 22-250 AI except that it’s pretty popular and it’s fast…. I don’t see much offered for reloading dies for the 22x47L. I know I can use a bushing die to neck size but what about full length sizing and seating dies? Does it make better sense to just go with the 22-250 AI?”

22-250 Ackley Improved

Respected Savage Gunsmith Fred Moreo, posting as “Medicineman”, offered this interesting advice: “Why not get the best of both worlds? I built a 22×47 Improved for my coyote gun. It is easy as just running the 22-250 AI reamer in .050″ short, and trimming the same amount off the dies. It is actually a little more efficient than the 22-250 AI. My best load for coyotes is a 65gr Sierra GameKing pushed by 39.4 grains of H4350 for 3750 fps. The Lapua brass will take more pressure than any 22-250 brass available, and last four times as long. The 65 Sierra GKs hit like a sledge-hammer, and were originally designed for shooting red kangaroos — they’re pretty tough from what I hear.”

22-250 Ackley ImprovedForum member Vic C. from Oklahoma has experience with the 22-250 AI, and has recently built a 22×47 Lapua. Comparing the 22-250 AI with the 22x47L, Vic tells us: “Accuracy should be very good from either caliber in custom barrels.” Vic continues: “I have two 22-250 AI barrels and a new 22X47 Lapua barrel that I’ve just started load testing. The 22X47 Lapua case capacity is slightly more than a standard 22-250 Rem and less than the 22-250 AI (fireformed). The advantage of the 22X47 L, of course, is the availability of Lapua brass. I have Remington, Winchester and Federal brass for the 22-250 AIs and prefer Remington which I’ve found to be quite good, but not up to Lapua standards of course.

Recently I’ve been shooting some reformed Norma 6XC brass in the 22-250 AI and find it to be of excellent quality. [Editor’s Note: Lapua also now makes 22-250 brass though it is currently hard to find.] Dies for the 22-250 AI are much easier to come by than for the 22X47 Lapua. For a coyote rifle, if you’re not saving the hides, I think either caliber would be a great choice. For a PD rifle I would go with the 22-250 AI because of much less work prepping the hundreds of cases needed.”

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Reloading 5 Comments »
October 1st, 2013

Smart Way to Neck-Down 6.5×47 Lapua Cases to 6mm

Redding 6BR body dieThe 6.5×47 Lapua necked down to 6mm is a popular wildcat. However, we’ve learned that, when necking down a 6.5×47 Lapua case to 6mm, simply running the brass into a 6-6.5×47 full-length sizer won’t give the best results. Reader “Fireball”, who has worked with both a 6-6.5×47 and a 22-6.5×47, offers this tip: “You don’t want to bring the 6.5mm case all the way down to 6mm in one step — it’s too big of a jump. First, to smooth entry, run a 6.5mm expander in the case mouth, and chamfer the outside of the case mouth — be sure to remove all burrs. Apply some lube to the neck. Then, if you have a .257 bushing, put that in a 6BR bushing neck die, and run the case up [for initial reduction].” Then, use your 6mm die for the final step.

Alternatively, you can use a Redding 6BR body die initially. The body die will funnel the neck down about half way. Body dies are pretty inexpensive ($29.99 at Grafs.com, Item #RED75317). After running the brass through the 6BR body die, then you can run the case into the Forster 6-6.5×47 Full-length sizing die. The Forster die is excellent — it sizes a no-turn neck just about perfectly, so long as you do an intermediate step first.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 4 Comments »
September 15th, 2012

300m European Cup Finals Dominated By 6mmBR Shooters

Lapua 6mmBR Norma ammo300m Lapua European Cup Finals are currently underway in Zagreb, Croatia. The prone events have concluded — and Lapua ammo shooters dominated the field, with the little 6mmBR topping all other cartridge types in both the mens’ and womens’ divisions. There have been challengers to the 300m crown, including Norma’s 6XC and Lapua’s own 6.5×47, but it appears that the 6mmBR cartridge is still “King of the Hill” at 300 meters. We know that Lapua’s 6mmBR factory ammo is outstanding. This factory 6mmBR ammo shot well under quarter-MOA in one Eliseo Tubegun we tested (READ 6mmBR Tubegun Story).

The European Cup Finals continue today with mens’ 3×40 and ladies’ 3×20 matches. On Sunday, the last day of the competition, the Mens’ 3×20 Standard Rifle and Super Finals are slated. Here are results from Friday’s 300m Prone matches:

Mens’ 300m Prone Results

1. Antti Puhakka, FIN 599-34X – 6mm BR
2. Juha Rutonen, FIN 598-42X – 6mm BR
3. Josselin Henry, FRA 597-32X – 6.5×47 Lapua
4. M. Ackermann, SUI 597-32X – 6.5×47 Lapua
5. Mikhael D’Halluin, FRA 596-39X – 6mm BR

All Top 5 male shooters used Lapua
factory-loaded ammunition.

Women’s 300m Prone Results

1. Catherine Houlmont, FRA 599-39x – 6mm BR
2. Charlotte Jakobsen, DEN 598-38x – 6mm BR
3. Eva Friedel, GER 598-32x – 6mm BR

All Top 3 female shooters used Lapua factory-loaded 6mmBR ammunition.

L to R in photo below:
Jakobsen, Houlmont, Friedel

Lapua 300m Europa Cup

Lapua 300m Europa Cup

CLICK HERE for Complete 300m European Cup Results from Zagreb.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
June 23rd, 2012

S&S Precision — Building Tack-Drivers, Texas-Style

S&S Precision, Argyle TXA while back, we featured the East Texas Benchrest Shoot-out in Huntsville, TX. That match was co-sponsored by S&S Precision Rifles of Argyle, Texas. In the video below, the folks at S&S put together some tack-drivers for their customers. There are some nice glimpses of bedding work, and barrel finishing. Watch carefully — at the 40-second mark you’ll see a sub-1/4″, 10-shot group that S&S co-owner “Stick” Starks shot at 200 yards with his 6.5×47 Lapua rifle. That’s serious accuracy. Half-way through the video, Stick offers advice for shooters looking for a super-accurate fun gun for club shoots: “If you want to shoot [at] 100 and 200 yards, I’d get me a 6BR or a 30 BR. It would be the most fun gun you ever had… and the barrel will probably last three or four thousand rounds.” If you want a gun to shoot at primarily 500-600 yards, Stick recommends the 6.5×47 Lapua chambering. He told us: “Run it with the Berger 130s and Hodgdon H4350 powder. That H4350 works great with the 130 Bergers.”

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing 4 Comments »
August 11th, 2010

300m Results at ISSF World Championships — Watch Videos

ISSF World Championships MunichIn international 300m competition the top shooters use high-tech rifles shooting some of our favorite cartridges: 6mmBR, 6XC, and 6.5×47 Lapua. These chamberings all possess superb inherent accuracy, allowing great scores even when shooting with iron sights. This week, both men and women have been competing in prone and three-position 300m events. The level of competition has been high — Bettina Bucher of Switzerland tied the womens’ 599 score record in winning the women’s 300m prone event, and the 600-point mens’ record score has been tied twice in prone matches, once by France’s Josselin Henry, shooting factory 6.5×47 Lapua ammo. To see Bettina Bucher and Josselin Henry in action, visit the ISSF-Sports.org website. There you’ll find complete match results, as well as photos and videos of the action.

ISSF 300m world championship

Right now there are three short videos covering 300m competition. CLICK HERE to access the videos. When the page displays, go to the scrolling menu (on right) and select: “300m Rifle Prone Women”, or “300m Standard Rifle Men”, or “300m Rifle Prone Men”. The video on the 300m prone womens’ competition features Switzerland’s Bettina Bucher who tied a World Record in the event. Note, in the 300m mens Standard Rifle highlights video, the American announcer incorrectly names the winner of the 300m Standard Rifle event as “Henry Josselin”. She got it backwards.

Josselin Henry Wins 300m Standard Rifle Event, But Three Shooters DQ’d
Marco Dalla Dea of the ISSF Media team reports that France’s Josselin Henry won today’s 300m Standard Rifle event, becoming the new world champion with a total score of 587 points. The French shooter, who had equaled the 300m Rifle Prone Men world record of 600 points two days ago, had never won an ISSF medal in this event before. Tomorrow, the 28-year old shooter from Paris will compete in the 300m rifle Three-Position event.

Three competitors were disqualified in the 300m mens’ Standard Rifle Finals. There are strict rules on the geometry and features of a “Standard Rifle”, in contrast to “Free Rifle” class which is pretty much “anything goes”. One shooter was DQ’d for an illegal front sight extension, another was tossed for having an “anatomical” grip, and a third shooter was sent packing because his buttplate had too much curve. In the standing position, a hook-style buttplate extension can provide a significant advantage. This hook configuration is allowed on Free Rifles only.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, News 1 Comment »
April 18th, 2010

Cortina Breaks 300-yard Club Record with 6.5×47 Lapua (RL17)

Erik Cortina F-Class RecordTexan 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 F-Class Record

Erik Cortina F-Class RecordErik 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.

Permalink Competition, Reloading 6 Comments »
March 1st, 2010

SamWOW — Hall Gets Great Accuracy with 6.5×47

IBS 600-yard National Champion and recent 600-yard Shooter of the Year Sam Hall has been hard to beat when he’s got his 6BR or his Dasher dialed in. Sam recently told us that he’s been experimenting with the 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge, thinking that a larger, higher-BC bullet might perform better in the wind.

Sam Hall HG

Sam Hall HG

Sam’s competitors are probably hoping we’ll report that Sam is struggling with the new cartridge, and can’t get his new 6.5×47 to shoot. Well, guys… no such luck. Sam recently took his 6.5×47 Heavy Gun out in some fairly windy conditions, but still returned a spectacular four-shot group at 600 yards. Sam measured the group at 0.357 inches. We measured it at 0.371″ with OnTarget software, but that was going off a photograph, which can be less precise. Either way, 4 shots in well under 0.4 inches at 600 yards is spectacular.

As Sam told us, however, “I just wish I’d shot that in competition… with a fifth shot of course.” Even though Sam’s group was shot in practice, it’s still an amazingly small group — one that suggests that the 6.5×47 Lapua may have great potential as a Benchrest cartridge. The group size, in MOA, is 0.059!

Sam Hall HG

Sam’s load was 37.0 grains of Reloder 15 with 130gr Berger VLDs and CCI BR4 primers. The gun is a Bat-actioned, 47-lb “true heavy” built by Leonard Baity using a McMillan 50BMG stock. The barrel is a 29.5″ Brux, 1.25″ straight contour, with a 1:8.5″ twist. Sam reports:

The gun has a BAT MB 1.55″ round action. The reamer was a Kiff (PTG) .290 neck with .160 freebore. The loaded round is .288 at the neck. I made a mistake labeling the target. The primers were CCI BR4s, not 450s. The 130gr Bergers VLDs are lot 0225 (the early ones). They are in the rifling as far as I can get them (jam). I use a .287 Redding bushing in my Redding “type S” FL dies. I seat with a Wilson seater. The stock is a McMillian Light 50 BMG stock full of lead from McMillian. With the 40x Leupold it weighs 47 pounds. The fore-end is 3.5 inches wide. Leonard Baity did the complete rifle. I had him to put a rail (3 inches wide) on the back so I could use my adjustable rest Leonard made me a few years ago for my Shehane Maxi-Tracker stock. Even though this rifle is only 14 pounds lighter than the 61-pound aluminum stock Maxi-Tracker 6mm Dasher I shot last year, it feels like it is 25 pounds lighter. It is much, and I mean MUCH more manageable carrying this rifle around than the Maxi-Tracker. I can actually use my Farley, joy-stick rest with the rifle. I just replace the 3 inch bag with a 3.5 inch wide bag. I can make adjustments much faster with the Farley than I can twisting knobs.

The reason I built the 6.5×47 Lapua is to try to beat the wind we have here in NC in the spring. Plus, the fact I love to shoot and experiment. The 6.5 bullets are not affected as much by the wind as the 6mms. I started shooting 600-yard competiton with a 6.5-284. I could predict where the bullet was going to hit much better with it than the 6mms I shoot now. In windy conditions, the 6mms seem to “dance around” when sighting in. The heavy 6.5 seems to say on track and Point of Impact is more predictable. In 600-yard competition, score is half the game. I figured if I could get a 6.5 shooting somewhere close to a 6BR or 6BR Improved, I would be ahead of the game in the wind. So far this rifle is agging at 600 yards pretty close to my Dasher and BRX, but not better. After I found this load that shot the 0.357 inch 4-shot group, I went out and shot four more, 4-shot groups in some wind of 10-20 mph and the rifle agged 2.08 inches.

I am still haunted by a “flier” in each group. I am still trying to work that out. The 0.357 group I will say was a fluke because it is the only group I have shot that did not have a flier. The rifle sure won’t group like that every time, but that one time sure was pretty! You may ask why I shoot 4-shot groups during load development and practice. Three is not enough, but four will tell you what the rifle will do, plus I can shoot more groups before the barrel gets too warm.

Our first match is next month at Piedmont. I am going to give this rifle a try. Time will tell if I will stick with this round for serious 600-yard competition or back to the 6mms. — Samuel Hall

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »