January 25th, 2017

22 Nosler — More Details, Load Data — And a Bit of History

22 Nolser .220 Thunderbolt 224 winchester E5 experimental 22-250

At SHOT Show 2017, Nosler showcased a new .22-caliber cartridge designed for AR-platform rifles. Called the 22 Nosler, the new cartridge resembles a 6.8 SPC necked down to .22 caliber. Comparing Nosler’s ammo specs with Hodgdon load data, it looks like the 22 Nosler can deliver about 250-300 fps more velocity than the standard .223 Rem cartridge. That’s significant for varminters looking for higher performance from an AR15-type rifle. With a 55-grain bullet, highest possible velocity is 3500+ fps with a max load of Hodgdon CFE 223 powder, based on this Nosler Load Chart:

22 Nolser .220 Thunderbolt 224 winchester E5 experimental 22-250

MORE LOAD DATA for 22 Nosler (Click tabs after jump)

22 Nosler LOAD PDFs:
https://load-data.nosler.com/nosler-load-data/pdf/22-nosler/22-nosler-55gr.pdf
https://load-data.nosler.com/nosler-load-data/pdf/22-nosler/22-nosler-64gr.pdf
https://load-data.nosler.com/nosler-load-data/pdf/22-nosler/22-nosler-69gr-70gr.pdf
https://load-data.nosler.com/nosler-load-data/pdf/22-nosler/22-nosler-77gr.pdf

Nosler will produce 22 Nosler ammunition in various bullet weights, starting with 55 grain and 77 grain. To run the 22 Nosler, an AR owner will need a new upper and 6.8 SPC type magazines. This video explains how to convert your AR-platform rifle to run the 22 Nosler.

“Everything Old Is New Again…”

Examining the 22 Nosler cartridge, our friend Grant Ubl had a case of “deja vu”. He thinks the new 22 Nosler bears a striking resemblance to a wildcat from the 1960s: “The .22 Nosler looks like a throwback to the 1963-vintage .224 Winchester E5 experimental cartridge, right down to the rebated rim.” Here is an old Winchester print:

Another poster said this cartridge resembles the “.220 Thunderbolt” a wildcat devised by John Scandale in 2004. Posting on Facebook, Mr. Scandale said the designs were very similar. According to Keystone Accuracy, the .220 Thunderbolt’s “design origin came from the now largely popular 6mm Hagar in its infancy stage back in 2003.” While it looks very similar to a 6.8 SPC necked to .224, the .220 Thunderbolt is different because the 6mm Hagar brass is 0.100″ longer than 6.8 SPC. Read History of .220 Thunderbolt.

Neck-up the 22 Nosler to .25 Caliber?

Dan Z. has inspected in the 22 Nosler ammunition and he’d like to see a .25 Caliber version. On Facebook, Dan posted: “I got my hands on some of the ammo a couple weeks ago. It does look like a .223 that has its body diameter expanded to that of a 6.8. Consequently, it is longer than the 6.8 overall and in the body. I necked a piece of fired brass to 6.8 and it looked like it would provide some improvement in velocity. A more interesting idea might be to neck it to .25 as a .250 Savage performance clone in an AR-15 platform.”

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January 15th, 2014

Ten-Time Champ Carl Bernosky Talks about the High-Power Game

Carl Bernosky Interview SHOT Show Brandon GreenIt’s a rare thing when you can talk with a living legend about the sport he loves. We had just that opportunity yesterday at SHOT Show when we chatted with Carl Bernosky, TEN-TIME National High Power Champion. We covered a lot of ground in the interview, discussing the future of the High Power game and the changes in hardware Carl has seen during his storied career. Carl also offers some “rock solid” advice for younger High Power shooters hoping to improve their skill sets. We also talked about Carl’s plans for 2014 and his epic battle with SSG Brandon Green at the 2013 High Power Championships at Camp Perry. Carl and Brandon battled to the last shot of the last relay of the last day. After four complete days of shooting, the two men remained tied on points and tied on X-count. Apply a tie-breaker rule based on X-count at long-range, Green was named the 2013 Champion, with Carl named runner-up. That 2013 event was a true “Battle of the Titans” between two immensely talented marksmen.

We asked Carl about trends in the High Power game. He said that more and more shooters are moving to the AR15 platform. The accuracy is there, and there are advantages to the self-loading actions particularly during rapid-fire. Carl also felt that it takes more training time to master cycling a bolt while shooting in the standing position. Because he does not have to manipulate a bolt, Carl says his self-feeding AR helps him when standing (Carl is considered one of the best standing shooters ever).

Watch Interview with Carl Bernosky, 10-Time National High Power Champion

Though most readers will recognize Carl from reports of his many National Championships, you may not realize that Carl is also a very skilled stock-maker. Carl produces high quality laminated-wood stocks at his shop in Pennsylvania. He offers a full range of stocks for Prone, Palma, F-TR, F-Open, Long Range Benchrest competition, and he also builds fine tactical stocks and hunting stocks. You can see examples of Carl’s stocks at CarlBernosky.com. Carl recently acquired a CNC machine for inletting. This can create ultra-precise inlets for a wide variety of actions.

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June 1st, 2012

6mm HAGAR Hornady Brass Arrives — Varminters Take Note

6mm Hagar Hornady brass AR-X EnterprisesHere’s good news for AR shooters looking for a 6mm option. 6mm HAGAR brass is now available from Hornady, and it looks like this brass is quite good. Those of you who follow the National Matches at Camp Perry know that Carl Bernosky won multiple National High Power Championships shooting the 6mm HAGAR cartridge from an AR Platform rifle. The 6mm HAGAR was derived from the 30 Remington cartridge, and it has the same case head diameter as the 6.8 SPC, also a 30 Remington derivative.

The 30°-shoulder 6mm HAGAR is just about the longest 6mm cartridge that can be loaded in a two-column AR15 magazine and still feed reliably. The advantage of the 6mm HAGAR is that it offers enough “boiler room” to drive 6mm bullets to impressive velocities, yet it can still fit and function well in AR mags. But note, if you are restrained to a mag-length COAL, you can pretty much rule out using 95-108 grain bullets, because they would have to be seated too deep in the HAGAR case. That actually means that the “advantage” of the 6mm HAGAR’s case capacity is lost to some degree — at least when using long, heavy bullets. On the other hand, when loaded with shorter varmint and hunting bullets, such as Hornady’s 75gr V-Max, you can load to 2.260″ mag length and use nearly all of the HAGAR’s case capacity.

For this reason, we think the 6mm HAGAR may ultimately prove more popular with varminters than with the High Power crowd (at least those who do not want to modify their mags to allow heavy 6mm bullets to be seated longer.) If you’re using shorter bullets, you can fill up the HAGAR case and drive 60-75 grain projectiles at serious velocities.

6mm Hagar Hornady brass ARX Enterprises

6mm Hagar Hornady brass AR-X Enterprises6mm HAGAR Basics
The 6mm HAGAR uses a 6.8 SPC AR-15 bolt and 6.8 SPC magazines and a conventional upper receiver, barrel extension, and bolt carrier assembly. Typically this cartridge has been used for varminting, hunting, and High Power competition. We think the 6mm HAGAR should be a kick-ass cartridge for varminters shooting ARs with shorter varmint bullets.

On the other hand, because the 1.775″-long HAGAR case takes up so much space in an AR magazine, the 100-108gr bullets aren’t well-suited for mag-fed 6mm HAGAR applications (unless the mags are modified). These same 100-108 grainers DO work well in single-load situations provided the chamber is properly throated for such bullets.

NOTE: Some High Power shooters have slotted AR mags to allow loading of long bullets up to 2.340″ max, i.e. beyond normal mag length. See modified magazine at right.

Hornady’s 6mm HAGAR Brass Is Shipping Now
Until recently, 6mm HAGAR brass was hard to obtain. Cases could be formed from 30 Rem brass, but this was a tedious, time-consuming process. Now, however, quality 6mm HAGAR brass is available from Hornady. An initial run of 150,000 pieces of 6mm HAGAR brass was produced. Vendors who got some of the first run of HAGAR brass include AR-X Enterprises LLC (Robert Whitley) and Creedmoor Sports.

Robert Whitley reports: “We’ve received our first shipment of factory 6mm HAGAR brass from Hornady. This Hornady 6mm HAGAR brass is hard at the base but well annealed at the neck. The brass has a small primer pocket and a small flash hole. All of these features enable the brass to hold pressures well and to remain serviceable and usable for multiple re-loadings. Internal H20 capacity of the brass case is right around 37.0 – 37.5 grains of water weight. With its larger case capacity the 6mm HAGAR can accurately push the bigger 105gr to 108gr bullets in the range of 2800 fps (when these bullets are seated long and single-loaded, not mag-fed). However, because of its rather long case length (1.775″) relative to max mag-fed cartridge OAL of 2.260″, the 6mm HAGAR may work best with the smaller and lighter 6mm bullets (75gr and under).” [Editor: Do the math … 2.260″ minus 1.775″ leaves only 0.485″ clearance for a bullet to extend beyond the case mouth.]

Loading Long Bullets to Mag-Limited 2.260″ COAL Is Neither Practical Nor Wise:*

6mm HAGAR Magazine length

6mm HAGAR Brass, Dies, Mags and Complete Uppers Offered
Along with 6mm HAGAR brass (at $84.00 per hundred), ARX Enterprises has 6mm HAGAR dies, and magazines. ARX Enterprises is also building complete match and varmint AR-platform uppers chambered for the 6mm HAGAR. You can find out about all these products on Robert Whitley’s 6mm HAGAR web page. To order 6mm HAGAR uppers, die sets, brass, magazines and related products contact:

AR-X Enterprises, LLC (Attn: Robert Whitley)
199 North Broad Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
(215) 348-8789
e-mail: rcw3 [at] erols.com

*Left = 75gr Hornady V-Max at 2.260″ OAL (bullet diameter at mouth of case is .243″.)
Left Center = Berger 100gr BT at 2.260″ OAL (bullet diameter at mouth of case is only .225″.)
Right Center = Sierra 107gr MatchKing at 2.260″ OAL (bullet diameter at mouth of case is only .222″.)
Right = Hornady 105gr A-Max at 2.260″ OAL (bullet diameter at mouth of case is only .225″.)
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