August 17th, 2017

New Savage Model 10 GRS in 6mm Creedmoor

GRS Savage Model 10 tactical Rifle Norway PRS 6mm Creedmoor 6.5 CM

Savage has added a new chambering, 6mm Creedmoor, to its impressive Model 10 GRS rifle, already sold in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win. The 6mm Creedmoor version shoots a slightly lower recoil cartridge that is well-suited for both PRS competitions and varminting. Savage’s Model 10 GRS features a very high-quality, strong, and ergonomic composite stock crafted by GRS Rifle Stocks in Norway.

With outstanding Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass now available that can easily be necked down to 6mm CM, we believe this 26″-barreled rifle could become popular with PRS competitors. We like the longer 26″ barrel length and the 1:7.5″ twist lets you shoot the latest high-BC 6mm match bullets, including Sierra’s new 110gr MatchKing*.

GRS Savage Model 10 tactical Rifle Norway PRS 6mm Creedmoor 6.5 CM

We shot a 6.5 CM Model 10 GRS rifle at SHOT Show Media Day and liked it better than many of the metal-chassis rifles being marketed to the tactical/PRS market. The Model 10 GRS is very comfortable to shoot, and the inherent accuracy is impressive for a rifle with a $1449.00 MSRP and “street price” around $1250.00.

GRS Savage Model 10 tactical Rifle Norway PRS 6mm Creedmoor 6.5 CM

The Model 10 GRS features adjustable cheekpiece and adjustable length of pull. The grip area is very comfortable, filling the hand naturally. The stock has a nice surface texture providing good “traction” on forearm and grip. The stock is fairly light but very strong, being made from 15% fiberglass-reinforced Durethan, with 65% glass bedding material. Only right-hand versions are available.

Savage Model 10 GRS Designations:
22597 / 6mm Creedmoor, 26-inch barrel/ 1:7.5″ twist / $1,449
22596 / 6.5 Creedmoor, 24-inch barrel / 1:8″ twist / $1,449
22599 / 308 Winchester, 20-inch barrel / 1:10″ twist / $1,449

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.

* Sierra recommends a 1:7″ twist, but, given the velocities the 6mm Creedmoor can deliver, field testers are reporting success shooting the 110gr SMK with a 1:7.5″ twist.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product, Tactical 1 Comment »
October 26th, 2016

Great Sale on Sierra Bullets at Precision Reloading

Precision Reloading Sierra Matchking Tipped TMK SMK bullets sale

Right now Precision Reloading is running a BIG SALE on Sierra MatchKing (MK) and Tipped MatchKing (TMK) Bullets. These bullets are being offered at deep discounts, with very low prices (some close to wholesale). Precision Reloading says you can save up to $37.00 on 500-ct boxes. Here are just a few examples of the dozens of types of Sierra Bullets on Sale.

Sierra 30 Cal, 200gr HPBT MK, 100 for $35.57 (marked down from $40.29)
Sierra 7mm, 183gr HPBT MK, 100 for $38.37 (marked down from $43.39) (Great new bullet)
Sierra 6.5mm, 142gr HPBT MK, 500 for $167.74 (marked down from $187.69)
Sierra 6.5 mm, 130gr TMK, 100 for $30.58 (marked down from $34.59)
Sierra 6mm, 95gr TMK, 500 for $138.75 (marked down from $156.89)
Sierra 22 Cal, 80gr HPBT MK, 500 for $117.08 (marked down from $132.39)
Sierra 22 Cal 77gr TMK, 100 for $26.19 (marked down from $29.69)

NOTE: This Sierra Bullets Sale runs through October 31, 2016, so you’ll want to place your order before the end of the month.

Sierra offers the widest selection of .30-Caliber match bullets in the world today, producing bullets suited to nearly every form of long-range competition. Along with classic HPBT and HP MatchKings, Sierra now offers the new Tipped MatchKing (TMK) line, which feature an acetal resin tip. The major advantage of adding a tip to the bullet is the reduction of drag, producing a more favorable ballistic coefficient. Another benefit is improved feeding in magazine-fed firearms.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
August 26th, 2016

Whidden on Winning at Long Range: Part 2 — The Cartridge

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anschutz

John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks used the .243 Winchester cartridge to win the 2016 NRA Long Range Championship, his fourth LR title at Camp Perry. John selected the .243 Win because it offers excellent ballistics with manageable recoil. John says that, at least for a sling shooter, the .243 Win is hard to beat at long range. Yes, John says, you can get somewhat better ballistics with a .284 Win or .300 WSM, but you’ll pay a heavy price in increased recoil.

.243 Winchester — The Forgotten 6mm Cartridge for Long Range

by John Whidden, 2016 National Long Range Champion
My experience with the .243 cartridge for use as a Long Range High Power cartridge dates back about 10 years or so. After building a .300 WSM, I realized that the recoil was hurting the quality of my shots. The WSM shot great, but I couldn’t always execute good shots when shooting it. From here I built a 6.5-284, and it shot well. I also had a very accurate 6mmBR at the time, and my logic in going to the .243 Win was to get wind performance equal to the 6.5-284 with recoil similar to the 6mmBR. The experiment has worked out well indeed!

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anschutz

Championship-Winning Load: Berger Bullets, Lapua Brass, and Vihtavuori N160
For a load, currently I’m shooting Lapua brass, PMC primers (Russian, similar to Wolf), VihtaVuori N160 single-base powder, and Berger 105 grain Hybrid bullets. I switched to the Hybrid bullets fairly recently at the beginning of the 2015 season. Previously I shot the 105gr Berger hunting VLDs, and in testing I found that the Hybrids were just as accurate without having to seat the bullet into the lands. The velocity of this combination when shot through the excellent Bartlein 5R barrels (32” length) is around 3275 FPS.

For my match ammo, I seat the Berger 105 Hybrids well off the lands — my bullets are “jumping” from .035″-.060″. I only use one seating depth for ammunition for multiple guns (I know some benchrest shooters will stop reading right here!) and the bullets jump further in the worn barrels than in the fresh barrels. The bullets are pointed up in our Bullet Pointing Die System and are moly-coated. The moly (molybdenum disulfide) does extend the cleaning interval a little bit, probably 20% or so. The Lapua .243 Win brass is all neck-turned to .0125″ thickness.

Whidden’s .243 Win Ammo is Loaded on a Dillon
My loading process is different than many people expect. I load my ammo on a Dillon 650 progressive press using our own Whidden Gunworks dies. However powder charges are individually weighed with a stand-alone automated scale/trickler system from AutoTrickler.com (see below). Employing a high-end force restoration scale, this micro-processor controlled system offers single-kernel precision. The weighed charges are then dropped into the cases with a funnel mounted to the Dillon head.

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anschutz

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anschutz

The Lapua .243 Win brass is full-length sized every time, and I run one of our custom-sized expanders in my sizer die. The expander measures .243″ which yields the desired .001″ neck tension. In my experience, the best way to get consistent neck tension is to run an expander in the case neck at some point. When sizing the case neck by a minimal amount such as is the case here, I don’t find any negative points in using an expander in the sizer die.

In my experience, the keys to accurate long range ammo are top quality bullets and the most consistent neck tension you can produce. From these starting points, the use of quality components and accurate powder measurement will finish out the magic.

Great Ballistics with 6mm 105s at 3275 FPS
Running at an impressive 3275 FPS, Berger 6mm 105 grain Hybrids deliver ballistics that are hard to beat, according to John Whidden:

“My .243 Win shoots inside a 6.5-284 with 142-grainers. Nothing out there is really ahead of [the .243], in 1000-yard ballistics unless you get into the short magnums or .284s and those carry a very significant recoil penalty. In the past I did shoot the 6.5-284. I went to the .243 Win because it had similar ballistics but had much less recoil. It doesn’t beat me up as much and is not as fatiguing.

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anshutz

With the .243 Win, there’s no tensing-up, no anticipating. With the reduced recoil (compared to a 7mm or big .308), I can break and shoot very good quality shots. I find I just shoot better shots with the .243 than I ever did with the 6.5-284.”

John Whidden National Long Range Championship Camp Perry 2016 Wind Reading

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Reloading 9 Comments »
August 11th, 2016

New DTAC 115gr Rebated Boat Tail Bullet from David Tubb

DTAC David Tubb 115 grain Sierra Rebated Boat tail bullet 0.620 BC

David Tubb has come out with a new, improved version of his heavyweight 6mm match bullet. David’s new DTAC 115gr 6mm projectile is very slippery — the tested G1 1000-yard BC is 0.620. The DTAC 115 features a Rebated Boat Tail (RBT) design and a factory-pointed tip (what David calls a “closed nose”). This bullet is in production now, priced at $145.00 for 500 bullets. David tell us “the new DTAC 115 has arrived” and his company is currently filling backorders. New orders will be taken at DavidTubb.com starting Monday, August 15th. You can also call 806-323-9488 (8:30 am-4:30 pm CT) to order.

David explained the two main reasons why the Rebated Boat Tail (RBT) design was chosen for the new DTAC 115 bullet:

1. It is easier to precisely hold tolerances when manufacturing the 7 degree boat tail angle. Most conventional boat tails have 9 degree angles (or greater).

2. The RBT more efficiently obturates to the bore of the rifle barrel when fired. (It mimics a flat base bullet design). This will allow the RBT design to extend your accurate barrel life by reducing gas leakage around the bullet when fired in a worn 6mm throat.

NOTE: David does NOT claim the RBT offers a higher BC compared to a conventional boattail design.

DESIGN FEATURES: DTAC 115 Bullet with Rebated Boat Tail

Commentary by David Tubb
In the 1980s we shot 107 grain weight-range 6mm bullets for Silhouette and High Power competitions. Lower recoil and good wind drift were paramount in coming to the 6mm bullet diameter.

DTAC David Tubb 115 grain Sierra Rebated Boat tail bullet 0.620 BCAfter I developed the 6XC case around 2003 I approached Sierra about making me a 6mm bullet in the 115 grain range. Sierra ran prototypes in 112, 115, and 120 grain configurations. I thoroughly tested these and decided on the 115 grain. In 2004 I used these at Camp Perry and the result was a Long Range National Championship Aggregate with a perfect 1450×101 score. Enough said….

In 2007 Sierra had just introduced its plastic-tipped bullets. I had them run a test batch of plastic-tipped 117 grain weights. These didn’t pass my criteria.

We then ran another test batch of 111 grain plastic tip 6mm bullets and they looked great in the Sierra tunnel tests. However when shot them over an Oehler 43 at 1000 yards the results indicated the plastic tips were deformed or nonexistent at the target. These didn’t pass my criteria.

FYI — that plastic tip deformation testing information preceded the Hornady “Plastic tips Are Bad” advertising campaign by more than seven years.

When using a .308 early in my High Power rifle career we shot 190 grain Sierras at the 600-yard stage. When 600-yard accuracy began to fall off a switch to a 185gr Lapua rebated boat tail brought the accuracy back. I remember shooting some very high X-Count scores with 185gr Lapuas. The reason the Lapua worked in a worn barrel is because the rebated boat tail allows the bullet to obturate to fit the worn throat and prevent less gas leakage around the bullet when fired.

I had a bullet-maker friend reform some 6mm 115s with a rebated boat tail (RBT) in 2015 and had excellent results. So it was a natural move to redesign the current DTAC 115 6mm with a RBT and a 7 degree boat tail.

Ballistic Coefficent and Stabilization

High BC Confirmed
David says, “The new DTAC 115 RBT testing is complete and [we] can claim a G1 1000-yard BC of 0.620″.

Required Twist Rate for Stability
David reports: “This bullet stabilized out of true 1:8″ twist or faster barrel at velocities approaching 3000 fps at sea level”.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 6 Comments »
May 26th, 2016

New PRS Production Class Rifle from MasterPiece Arms

Masterpiece arms MPA Production Rifle PRS MPA PCR Savage BA Lite

The Precision Rifle Series (PRS) has introduced a new, price-capped Production Class in an effort to boost participation by making competition more affordable. Under recently-issued PRS rules, Production Class rifles may cost no more than $2000.00. The rules state:

“Production Division combined rifle and scope MSRP as listed on the company’s website shall not exceed $3,000 USD, the rifle shall not exceed $2,000 USD and the optic not exceed $2,000 USD.

Production Division rifles are not permitted to be altered or improved in any way from the original factory configuration.

In an effort to prevent exorbitant costs for beginning shooters, Production Division round count will not exceed 80 rounds.”

Masterpiece arms MPA Production Rifle PRS MPA PCR Savage BA Lite

To fit the new Production Class Rules, MasterPiece Arms (MPA) has developed the new BA Lite PCR Competition Rifle built around a Savage Model 12 short action. Designed specifically for the new PRS Production Class, MPA’s PCR Competition Rifle offers many premium features yet stays under the $2,000 Class limit. The Savage action is upgraded with a Rifle Basix 2-lb trigger, and the adjustable, modular chassis offers a bag rider, barricade stop, and even a built-in bubble level. Bipods can be attached up front to a rail, with optional spigot mount. MPA PCR Rifles come with stainless Bergara barrels, 22-26 inches in length, fitted with MPA muzzle brakes (muzzle thread is 5/8-24 TPI).

MPA BA Lite PCR Competition Rifle Specifications:
Chamberings: 6mm Creedmoor, 243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 308 Win, 6.5 x 47 Lapua, 6mm x 47 Lapua
Action: Savage Model 12 Short Action
Trigger: Rifle Basix Savage Trigger Set to 2 lbs.
Barrel: Bergara 416R Stainless Premium Barrel Blank
Chassis: MPA BA Lite Chassis
Muzzle Brake: MPA High Performance Muzzle Brake
Magazine: AICS Type (10 Round Accurate/AICS Type Magazine Included)
Chassis Weight: 2.9 lbs. (Overall rifle weight depends on barrel length and contour.)
MSRP: $1,999.99

Masterpiece arms MPA Production Rifle PRS MPA PCR Savage BA Lite

Left-Hand and Right-Hand Models in Choice of Five Cerakote Colors
The MPA BA Lite PCR Competition Rifle is available in black, burnt bronze, flat dark earth, gunmetal, and tungsten in both left- and right-handed set ups. All chassis and barrels are Cerakoted® in a multitude of colors and patterns. (Custom patterns are $150.00 extra). Barrel lengths available include 22 inches through 26 inches. The barrel twist is caliber-specific and the barrel muzzle thread is 5/8-24 TPI.

Editor’s Note: While the MPA PCR Competition rifle has nice features, it’s hard not to compare it to the Ruger Precision Rifle costing hundreds less. The latest Gen 2 Ruger Precision Rifle, with a sleeker handguard and factory muzzle brake, is available for under $1500.00 “street price”. Ruger lists a $1599.00 MSRP for the Gen 2 RPR versus $1399.00 for Gen 1 models.

Permalink Competition, New Product, Tactical 2 Comments »
March 14th, 2016

New Equalizer Scoring Reticle for Score Matches

VFS Scoring Reticle

No doubt you’ve heard the term “reticle” before, but it probably brings to mind the cross-hair you see through a rifle-scope. This term “reticle” can also describe an optical aid used to score targets. This story discusses a new scoring reticle with precisely-defined circles etched on clear plexiglass. This scoring reticle (as attached to a magnifying crystal) is used to determine whether bullet holes fall inside or outside the scoring circles on targets. This unique new scoring reticle allows match scorers to “equalize” the shot placements of all popular calibers from .204 up to .308. This way, there’s a “level playing field” for all calibers, and any caliber rifle can compete on an equal basis with the 30s.

New ‘Equalizer’ VFS Scoring Reticle

by Ron Goodger
The ubiquitous controversy over the advantage of larger caliber bullets in VFS (Varmint for Score) matches still rages, but there is a simple solution that is being embraced by all to whom I have shown it. The concept is simple, and it accomplishes the same thing the UBR (Ultimate Benchrest) targets do with the advantage that it can be used on any target a club happens to have on hand.

I had heard shooters complain about the advantage that larger calibers have many times and wish there was a fair way to score targets that would level the playing field for all calibers. The UBR concept came along and I read up on it. When a match was held close enough that I could enter, I did so and observed first hand what it was all about. The UBR targets essentially make the distance from the bullet hole center to the scoring ring edge the same for each caliber by using different-sized rings on the caliber-specific targets. After seeing the accompanying disadvantages of using this method (the chief one being the large number of targets required by UBR rules and the resulting increased time required to hold a match), I began searching for a simpler way to accomplish the same thing. I was aware of a number of mid-West clubs wanting to make scoring fair but unwilling to use the UBR method because of the disadvantages.

VFS Scoring Reticle

I came up with an idea late in 2015 and designed a scoring reticle that would do the job. The following diagrams graphically explain how UBR and my scoring reticle accomplish the same thing. The illustration above shows how different caliber bullets hitting the same center point of impact will each just score the 10 ring edge on the different-sized, caliber-specific UBR 10 Rings . It is clear that it is the distance from the center of the bullet to the scoring ring that is made uniform by the different 10 Ring sizes.

VFS Scoring Reticle

The illustration below shows how my VFS scoring reticle accomplishes the same thing by scoring every shot with an .308-equivalent ring that circumscribes the inner caliber-specific ring. The dotted line shows that the center of each bullet hits the same distance from the edge of the scoring ring. It is clear that, using current VFS scoring techniques, the .224, .243, and .257 bullets would score misses. However, scoring each bullet with the .308 ring around the hole illustrates that all calibers would be scored the same.

Scoring Reticle Converts Any Caliber Shot to a .308-Equivalent Hole
VFS Scoring Reticle

The above photo of an IBS 100-yard target has a 6mm hole that is clearly a nine (9), using current scoring methods. But consider that, if a .308 bullet from a 30 BR hit in the very same location, that .30-caliber shot would score in the Ten Ring. Why should the 6mm bullet, whose center was just as close to the middle of the target, be penalized because of the bullet diameter? The image on the right shows the scoring reticle with the 6mm scoring ring centered on this hole. With this scoring reticle, the .308 ring around the 6mm hole clearly scores the 10 Ring, just as a 30-caliber bullet centered in the same spot would do. That is as fair as it can get.

VFS Scoring Reticle

The above image (two shots per frame) from a Hillsdale Michigan varmint target has two 6mm holes that scored a 16. Score values are 10 points for a shot in the white, 5 points for a shot in the orange, and 1 point for hitting the center dot. This was a match that had 30BRs shooting in it. The next photo shows how scoring this frame with the VFS reticle would have resulted in a 21 because the left side of the reticle’s .308 circle just extends into the 10-point white bulls-eye region. So, in effect, there were two (2) shots in the white for 2×10 points (based on the .308 equalizer effect of the reticle). This shows how the reticle will level the VFS playing field regardless of what target is being used.

VFS Scoring Reticle Features and Specifications
The 6mm circles have been placed in the center of the reticle because it is expected to be the most commonly-used caliber, and that makes it easier to see in the crystal. Any of the ring sets can be used for a .308. The sizes of the circles are guaranteed accurate to within .001″ on the outside edge of the circle by the reticle’s manufacturer. I have found the best magnifier crystal to use is a genuine Badash crystal that measures 3.25″ in diameter. They are available from several eBay sellers and are easily attached using a piece of packing tape about 3/4-inch wide around the edge of the reticle (visible on the crystal in the lower part of the photo). That makes the Plexiglas reticles easy to replace in the event they become scratched up from frequent use.

A number of Midwest rifle clubs have already purchased these scoring reticles. The Plexiglas reticles are available for $15.00 each plus $2.04 shipping from the author (does not include the crystal). Email him at LRGoodger [at] gmail dot com for more information.

Permalink Competition, New Product, Optics 6 Comments »
October 24th, 2015

The 6mm BRDX — a Longer-Necked Dasher

6mm Dasher BRDX whidden Darrell Jones

At the recent IBS 600-Yard Nationals, the 6mm Dasher cartridge was the most popular chambering for both Light Guns and Heavy Guns. The Dasher, a 40° improved version of the 6mmBR Norma case, can definitely shoot — no question about that. But the Dasher has one less-than-ideal feature — its very short neck. This makes it more problematic to shoot a wide variety of bullet types — short bullets as well as long. In addition, the short neck makes it harder to “chase the lands” over time.

For those folks who like the performance of the 6mm Dasher, but prefer a longer neck, there is an excellent alternative — the 6mm BRDX. This wildcat shares the 40° shoulder of the Dasher and has nearly the same capacity. Like the Dasher, the 6 BRDX can drive 100-107gr bullets to the same 3000-3050 FPS accuracy node. But the 6 BRDX has a longer neck than the Dasher. Depending on your “blow length”, the 6 BRDX will typically give you about .030″ to .035″ more usable neck length. That may not sound like much, but it is very useful if you have a longish (.110″+) freebore and you still want to shoot shorter bullets in the lands for some applications.

Your editor has a 6mm BRDX and I really like it. The neck is long enough to let me shoot 90-grainers loaded into the lands as well as 105-grainers. Fire-forming is pretty easy. I just load very long (so there is a firm jam) and shoot with 30.0 grains of Varget and a 100+ grain bullet. With a Brux barrel, my BRDX easily shoots quarter-MOA, with some 100-yard groups in the ones in calm conditions. This is with a Stiller Viper Action, and Shehane ST-1000 stock bedded by Tom Meredith.

6mm Dasher BRDX whidden Darrell Jones

6mm BRDX Reamer, Dies, and Hydro-Forming Service
It’s not difficult to set up a rifle to run the 6 BRDX. Dave Kiff’s Pacific Tool & Gauge has the reamer (just tell him the freebore you want). Whidden Gunworks offers excellent BRDX sizing and seating dies. And if you don’t like fire-forming, give Darrell Jones of DJsbrass.com a call. Darrell can hydro-form 6 BRDX brass and even turn the necks to your specs. Darrell’s hydro-forming service saves you time and preserves precious barrel life.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing 4 Comments »
July 11th, 2015

Tactical Transformer: .243 Win Becomes a 6-6.5×47 Lapua

6mm-6.5x47 6x47 Lapua Tactical Accuracy International

Article by Bill, Editor of Rifleshooter.com
A few years ago I built a custom switch-barrel Remington 700 on an AICS Chassis chambered in .243 Winchester and .308 Winchester. I found the .243 Win finicky during load development and started looking at other options for the 6mm Bartlein 1:8″-twist HV barrel.

6mm-6.5x47 6x47 Lapua Tactical Accuracy InternationalInitially drawn to the 6mmBR and 6mm Dasher, I realized these cartridges wouldn’t feed from an AICS magazine system without extensive modification. I took a look at the 6mm Creedmoor, 6XC, and 6mm-6.5×47 Lapua (aka 6×47 Lapua), all of which feed well from a detachable magazine. At right you can see the 6×47 Lapua in an AICS magazine. It has the “Goldilocks factor” — not too long, not too short.

The ability to simply convert 6.5×47 Lapua brass to 6×47 brass by running the parent 6.5mm brass through a full-length Forster sizing die in a single step was what made me choose the 6×47 Lapua over the 6mm Creedmoor and 6XC (both excellent cartridges in their own right). I also own a 6.5×47 Lapua rifle, so I had a supply of 6.5×47 brass ready to neck-down. Being able to create 6×47 brass easily (one pass and done) was very appealing.

Left to right, below: 6mmBR, 6-6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5×47 Lapua, and .243 Winchester.
Rifleshooter.com6mm-6.5x47 6x47 Lapua Tactical Accuracy International

I cut the chamber end off my .243 Win barrel, threaded and chambered my rifle for the 6×47 Lapua cartridge. I have written a lengthy article on this cutting and re-chambering process. Home gunsmiths interested in this process can READ MORE HERE.

When the re-chambering was complete, I headed to the range and worked up a set of eight loads using Berger 108 BTHPs, H4350, Lapua brass, and CCI 450 primers.

Rifleshooter.com 6mm-6.5x47 6x47 Lapua Tactical Accuracy International

Load development was a little trickier than with the 6.5×47 Lapua parent cartridge. The accuracy nodes were smaller. However, once I dialed in a load with Hodgdon H4350 and the 108-grain Berger BTHP, the rest was history. The 6×47 rig is now one of the most consistent rifles I own, holding just above 0.3 MOA for 5-round groups. Below is a 100-yard test target with 108-grain Berger BT in the 6×47 Lapua. Five-shot group sizes are (L to R): .369″, .289″, and .405″. The average size was .354″ or .338 MOA. [Editor: We think that is excellent accuracy for a tactical-type rifle shot from bipod.]

6mm-6.5x47 6x47 Lapua Tactical Accuracy International

Learn More about this 6×47 Lapua Project
I’ve written more about this 6×47 rifle on my Rifleshooter.com website. To learn more about my experience with the 6×47 Lapua, click this link: 6-6.5X47 Lapua Review.


About the author: Bill has been a serious shooter for over 20 years. A former Marine Corps Sergeant, he’s competed and placed in High Power Rifle, ISPC, USPSA, IDPA, 3-Gun, F-Class, and precision rifle disciplines. In addition to being an NRA-certified firearms instructor and range officer, Bill has hunted big game in North America, South America, and Africa. Bill writes extensively about gunsmithing, precision rifles, and the shooting sports on his blog, Rifleshooter.com.

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing, Tactical 1 Comment »
September 23rd, 2013

Need Bullets? Grafs.com Has Major-Brand Seconds on Sale Now

Graf and sons grafs.com factory seconds blem bullets projectiles discountAre you a high-volume shooter who needs large quantities of bullets at a reasonable cost? Well here’s a very good deal on name-brand bullets. Grafs.com has recently acquired a big inventory of factory seconds from a major, top-tier bullet maker. These bullets should shoot fine, but they may have water spots, discoloration, or some other cosmetic defect. We can’t reveal the manufacturer, but you may be able to figure it out from the list of bullets below. Here are some of the current offerings:

.224 Caliber (5.56 mm), 77gr HPBT, $18.99 per hundred (Item #: GRB2277)

.243 Caliber (6mm), 80gr SP Varmint, $15.59 per hundred (Item #: GRB2480)

.243 Caliber (6mm), 100gr SPT, $18.99 per hundred (Item #: GRB24100)

.308 Caliber, 155gr HPBT, $25.99 per hundred (Item #: GRB30155)

.308 Caliber, 168gr HPBT, $25.99 per hundred (Item #: GRB30168)

.308 Caliber, 175gr HPBT, $27.99 per hundred (Item #: GRB30175)

.308 Caliber, 220gr HPBT, $29.99 per hundred (Item #: GRB30220)

Graf and sons grafs.com factory seconds blem bullets projectiles discount

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
April 7th, 2012

Ron Boyd Shoots 1.462" 5-Shot Group at 1000 Yards

Ron Boyd 1000 yards groupThis past weekend, Forum member Ron Boyd shot a 1.462″ five-shot Light Gun group at 1000 yards in an IBS benchrest match at the MidWest Benchrest Club in Yukon, Missouri. Ron shot a 6mm Dasher with Bartlein barrel and PR&T stock. Ron’s 1.462″ group is 0.065″ off the existing IBS 1000-yard Light Gun record. Ron’s group also happens to be .011″ smaller than the current NBRSA 1K Light Gun record, 1.473″ shot by Bill Schrader in 2002. (But this is not counted by the NBRSA since Ron shot in an IBS match.) Ron’s group was shot in the first relay of the day, in good conditions. The group had three (3) shots clustered in under one-third inch (0.03 MOA)!

Ron Boyd 1000 yards groupThis is truly a spectacular achievement. We think this has to been one of the smallest five-shot groups ever shot at 1000 yards, and probably the smallest ever with a 6mm cartridge. At 1000 yards, 1 MOA is 10.47″. This means that Ron’s group measured in at 0.1396 MOA! To give you an idea of how small Ron’s group really was, at left is a 1.462″ circle shown at 100% scale, along with a quarter at 100% scale.* The circle represents the center-to-center distance of Ron’s five shots at 1000 yards. Total vertical dispersion was just under 1.2″ for five shots. The vertical for the top four shots (measured with OnTarget software) was just 0.398″! Shown below is a flat-bed scan of the actual target. Notice the tight cluster of 3 shots touching. That’s a dime in the photo added for scale.

Ron Boyd’s 6mm Dasher Load
Ron Boyd 1000 yard groupRon loaded a stout charge of Long Range Match surplus powder with Spencer 103gr bullets seated about .010″ OFF the lands. The bullets were “right out of the box”, NOT pointed. This powder has burn-rate characteristics very similar to Alliant Reloder 15, and Ron used his regular RL15 charge, adjusted by half a grain or so. Ron was using no-neck-turn “brown-box” Lapua 6BR brass formed into the 40° improved 6mm Dasher case. The unturned, loaded case necks measure about 0.2695″, yielding .0015″ total clearance in a 0.271″ chamber. The brass used for the 1.462″ group had seven previous firings. Ron anneals his brass after every firing using a Benchsource annealing machine. Ron told us: “The Benchsource is the greatest annealing machine there is, as far as I’m concerned.” Ron ultrasonically cleans his brass and then tumbles his brass after the ultrasound process. He does NOT use an internal neck lubricant. He does NOT uniform his primer pockets and he does NOT ream his flashholes. Ron believes this load was running “right around 3000 fps”, but he has not chron’d it yet using the new Bartlein barrel.

Ron Boyd’s 6mm Dasher Light Gun
Ron’s 17-lb Light Gun featured a BAT SV Action, Bartlein 30″ 1:8″ twist, 0.237″ land barrel, and Precision Rifle & Tool “Hammerhead” benchrest stock with 5″-wide wings in front. This stock weighs 4 lbs 1 oz. with an aluminum butt plate and is about 36.5″ long with integrated rails on the bottom of the “wings”. Ron’s friends Rich Griffin and Jerry Kloeppel did the chambering and bedding. Ron recently put the Bartlein barrel on the gun. Ron estimates that the barrel had only 40 rounds through it when it produced the 1.462″ group. Ron tells us: “This new barrel is great, and the 5″ PR&T stock really works. I luckily pulled the trigger at the right time.” Ron told us that this rifle shot in the high ones/low twos at 100 yards during testing.

PR&T Hammerhead Stock (catalog photo)
Precision Rifle and Tool hammerhead rifle stock

*The circle and quarter should appear “true size” when viewed at the most common monitor resolution. If you are running a higher resolution on your monitor, the illustration will appear small than actual size.
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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 »
September 21st, 2011

Berger’s New 6mm 105gr Hybrid Match Bullets — First Look

by Robert Whitley
I recently received some of the new Berger 6mm 105gr Hybrid Match Bullets for testing. There is much interest in these new 6mm Hybrids, so I thought I’d share my initial observations. A couple of things are very striking about these new bullets:

Berger 6mm 105 grain Hybrid bullet

1. They appear to be very long, sleek and aerodynamic, while they still maintain a good bearing surface length (full-diameter shank). I like bullets with a sufficient bearing surface length because I find that it makes for bullets that are easier to shoot and tune. I also feel a good bearing surface length makes for a bullet that has a better potential for consistent performance over bullets with a short bearing surface.

Berger 6mm 105 grain Hybrid bullet

2. The published ballistic coefficient (BC) numbers on these bullets are quite high. They have a stated G1 BC of .547 and a G7 BC of .278. Looking at the bullets themselves it’s easy to see why these BC numbers are so high. The front end of the projectile is quite long and similar to what you see on long-range VLDs, but the transition to the bearing surface has a blended appearance (the Hybrid part) vs. the sharp transition you typically see with most VLDs and secant ogive bullets. The 105gr Hybrid bullets also have a long boat-tail.

Berger 6mm 105 grain Hybrid bullet

3. The new Berger 105gr Hybrid bullets measure right around 1.261″ OAL. By comparison, the many other 105gr to 108gr bullets I’ve measured all seem to run in the range of 1.210″ to 1.225″ OAL. The Berger 105gr Hybrid bullets are thus a fair bit longer than the others, which is why a true 1:8″ or faster twist is recommended for them. The bearing surface diameter of the new Hybrids was dead on at 0.243″. So these bullets are neither “fat” nor “skinny”.

4. The tips on these bullets are quite uniform, with the meplats closed up nicely. The Hybrids have nice small tips similar those on the Berger 108s (reasonably tight in diameter). While I sometimes like to point my match bullets, I like to shoot bullets that are ready to go “out of the box”, and these are just that. I’m hoping they will perform very well without meplat trimming or pointing.

Berger’s 6mm 105gr Hybrids Slated to Go on Sale in Late October
Berger has done its own in-house testing on these bullets and found them to be accurate and appropriate for release for additional testing by shooters out in the field. Unless this additional field testing reveals something that no one anticipated (which I doubt), I suspect these new projectiles will be one of Berger’s most popular bullet offerings. The planned official release date for the new 6mm, 105gr Hybrids has been tentatively set for mid- to late-October of 2011. So, barring some last minute changes, these 105s should be on dealers’ shelves before Thanksgiving.

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March 7th, 2011

Nosler’s ‘Australian Overrun’ Deal: 1000 6mm bullets for $103.80

Nosler is running a great special right now on over-stock 6mm varmint bullets. Nosler is selling 55gr flat-base spitzer bullets at just $103.80 for ONE THOUSAND bullets. That’s right, you read that correctly — you can buy 1000 bullets for just $103.80. And get this, shipping on all Nosler orders over $150.00 is FREE in the contiguous USA.

55 grain 6mm Nosler bullets

55-grainers Were Produced for Australian Shooters
These bullets were specifically made for the Austrailian kangaroo market. They are a flat-base, soft-point, spitzer bullet. According to Nosler, these 55-grainers do “very well for target shooting and varmint hunts”. Why are the bullets so cheap? There was a factory overrun in production, so that’s why Nosler has excess inventory. If you need lightweight 6mm varmint bullets, get your orders in right away. We expect this deal to sell out quickly. (And by that, we mean they could well be gone within 24 hours. You snooze, you lose.)

CLICK HERE For Australian Overrun Sale Shopping Cart Page.

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 3 Comments »
September 30th, 2010

.243 Win Brass Comparison Test — Surprising Results

A while back, Forum member Andy (aka GrayMist) did an interesting test, with five (5) different types of .243 Winchester Brass. He collected Federal, Lapua, Remington, and two different lots of Winchester-brand brass. Then he selected ten (10) cases at random from each brand and measured their weights. To ascertain case capacity, three (3) cases from each brand/lot that were closest to the average weight for that brand/lot were selected. The results were surprising: there was less than one (1) grain capacity difference between all the cases, even with a 14.7 grain maximum difference in case weight!

Measuring Procedures
The cases were sized in a Redding body die then primed with a spent primer. All were weighed before and after filling them with distilled water. The capacity shown is an average of all three (3) cases from that lot and represents grains of water. Note, I tested two lots of Winchester brass. Lot A was purchased in 1999. Lot B was from factory .243 ammo. There is a rather large disparity in case weight between the two lots.

Brand Federal Lapua Remington Winchester A Winchester B
Capacity 53.9 54.4 53.7 54.8 54.8
Aver. Weight 173.28 173.13 165.34 158.58 166.44
SD¹ 0.46 0.39 0.17 0.58 0.42
Range² 1.70 1.10 0.40 1.80 1.40
% of Avg.³ 0.98% 0.64% 0.24% 1.14% 0.84%

1) Standard Deviation in grains.
2) Range is the difference in weight between the heaviest and lightest cases in the test.
3) Case range weight divided by the average weight.

.243 WinchesterWhat the Numbers Mean
… And Some Speculations

Andy observes: “It certainly seems there is a huge difference in case weight between Winchester lot A and any other brand of 243 tested. What is also surprising is that there was less than one (1) grain capacity difference between all the cases, even with a 14.7 grain difference in case weight!

Should one be wary of trying the same loads that were initially tested in the light weight Winchester brass even though the capacity difference is small? I have had some interesting results with one brand brass that I cannot pass on yet, except to say I sent that company a sample of the lot I have been using. The Remington brass weight range was very low. These were taken from a box of once-fired factory ammo. I will have to acquire some more and measure it.”

Results of Larger Lapua Sample
In a previous session Andy weighed all 100 Lapua cases he had on hand. His measurements showed a total variation of 2.1 grains, with the weight range being 172.5 to 174.6 grains. That is a 1.2 percent spread. The most that came in at the same weight were 11 cases at 173.5 grains.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
May 1st, 2010

Whitley Creates Accurate 6mm Cartridge with 22-250 Lapua Brass

Lapua 22-250 brassOur friend Robert Whitley of 6mmAR.com has come up with a new, accurate 6mm wildcat based on the new Lapua 22-250 brass that has just started arriving. Robert provides this report:

“I just received a box of the new Lapua 22/250 cases — beautiful brass! My real desire with it was to make it into a 6mm version, preferably something that was ‘no neck-turn’ with a .308 Win-type body taper that would work well in bolt gun and semi-auto magazines and would have a capacity to allow superior velocities. I considered the 6XC, but since you have to bring a whole lot of the shoulder of the brass up into the neck (when you re-form the brass from 22-250 to 6XC) that would necessitate neck-turning it because with Lapua brass the shoulder metal is thicker than neck metal of the brass.

I wanted a simple ‘neck it up and shoot it’ approach so I made up a 6mm-250 Improved 30 cartridge (i.e. 6mm-250 Improved with a 30 degree shoulder) and this thing works great — just neck up the brass, load it and shoot it! The case is like a 6XC with a .030″ longer body and a .030″ shorter neck, which works out fine if you are going to be shooting mainly the 105-108 gr bullets (which it will do very well shooting 2950 – 3000 fps). If you want to hot-rod things, which I do not, I am certain the case can push the 105-108 gr bullets a fair amount faster.

Whitley 6mm-260 22-250

I set it up and throated the reamer for the Sierra 107s and the Berger or JLK 105 VLDs (i.e. a .090″ free bore on the reamer) and it works great with them. If I was going to use it with the Lapua 105s or the Berger 108s I would add about .025″ – .030″ to the freebore of the reamer (i.e. make the freebore around .115″ to .120″).

The great thing is you can use a 6XC die set for it without modification, and all you need to do is keep the dies about .030″ up off the shell holder from their normal position and use them as is. You can make a spacer washer about .030″ thick that you can put on and take off the 6XC dies and use the dies for both cartridges (i.e. 6XC and 6mm-250 Imp 30).

Lapua 22-250 brass6mm-250 Imp 30 Shows Great Accuracy
Fire-forming loads are real accurate. Here is a 10-shot group I shot prone at 100 yards shooting fire-forming loads with it — the group is the size of a dime. For fire-forming I use a milder, but still very accurate load: 32.0 grains of N140 with a Sierra 107 and a BR2 primer. For fire-formed cases you can jump up to N160 (around 38-40 grains — depending on lot) and it will push the 105-108 gr bullets real accurately in the 2950-3000 fps range, with low ES and SD. This cartridge has a neck length of .268″ which is plenty long for a 6mm shooting bullets with varying bearing surface lengths. The reamer diagram (link below) leaves about a .003″ neck clearance over a loaded round, which seems to work out very well for a ‘no-turn neck’ set-up.

So there you have it … the 6mm-250 Imp 30 is simple, easy to make, accurate as all get out, there are available factory die sets you can use, and it uses great new Lapua brass — what’s not to like!”

CLICK HERE to download Whitley 6mm-250 Imp 30 Reamer Print.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading 12 Comments »
April 28th, 2010

Berger Bullets Special Sell-OFF — Save Big Buck$

Hey guys, here’s your chance to buy Berger Bullets at super-low prices. Berger has arranged an exclusive “Bullet Sell-Off” promotion for AccurateShooter.com readers. These bullets are not blems or damaged. They are mostly first-quality overruns. After yesterday’s sale, what’s left are primarily 22 caliber. Some are moly-coated but most are not. The prices are insanely low on these sell-off bullets. You can save $10 per 100 (or more) on some types.

Eric Stecker, Berger’s Master Bulletsmith, explains: “Over time we accumulate bullets that are either discontinued, overruns or were part of a test that is completed. These bullets are Match Grade and every bit the same as any Berger. Circumstances specific to each lot available is compelling us to release these bullets for very low prices. Below I’ve listed the quantity, description, lot, price and a brief explanation on why they are available for such a low price.”

Berger will sell these bullets for the next few days. To purchase the Special Sell-Off bullets, call Berger’s main line at (714) 447-5456 to place the order. Doing this will help keep things sorted out as the calls come in — first call, first served. UPDATE: The 17 Cal just sold out.

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September 12th, 2009

Norma's 6XC Delivers Outstanding Performance

Our current “Cover Story” for the website is about the 6XC Cartridge. German Salazar, a top prone shooter who has won the Arizona NRA Long-Range Championship using the 6XC, reveals how to get the most accuracy out of the cartridge. German discusses brass options, recommended bullets for long-range competition, and German also discusses the pros and cons of various 6XC dies.

CLICK HERE for 6XC Cartridge Review by German Salazar.

The 6XC cartridge was developed by David Tubb, and it has captured multiple Camp Perry Championships. Now that Norma brass is available, the 6XC is an outstanding choice for shooters looking for an ultra-accurate, easy-recoiling cartridge that offers more “horsepower” than the 6BR or 6BR Improved. Team Norma, shooting factory-loaded 6XC ammo, captured the 2007 300m world championship. This was the first time in many years that a cartridge other than the 6BR has won “all the marbles” in international 300m competition. And just last week, the Swedish Team of Anders Brolund, Johan Gustafsson, and Mikael Larsson won the 2009 European 300m Championship shooting the Norma 6XC.

Forum members and 6XC shooters Mudcat and German Salazar are both very happy with their choice of chamberings. German tells us:

“The 6XC is a great long-range cartridge, it needs no excuses and can hold its own against any other LR cartridge. I prefer to use Norma 6XC brass, but 22-250 brass can be used by running through a 6XC full-length die and then fire-forming. It will look pretty nasty at first, but it will shoot just fine even fire-forming.

I principally use the 6XC for 1000-yard prone shooting (sometimes at 600). The main bullet I use is the Berger 115 VLD (in a 30″ Krieger with 1:7.5″ twist). The best powder I’ve found for the Berger 115 in the 6XC is H4831sc. Velocity is in the 3000 fps range.

Whether the 6XC is ideal for any given person depends on a lot of factors. I tend to shoot fast and keep the rifle in my shoulder. Accordingly, a low-recoil cartridge suits me because it doesn’t require any repositioning of the rifle or rebuilding of position during a 22-shot string. I know how to read wind, so whether a cartridge drifts a few inches more or less than another isn’t really a concern to me, I learn the cartridge’s behaviour and work with what I’ve got. The 6XC shines because it is ACCURATE at 1000 yards and without that, you’ve got nothing. Accuracy, low recoil, reasonable wind drift, good component availability, decent barrel life, what else is there to want in a long-range cartridge?”


Mudcat concurs that the 6XC is a great cartridge for High Power Competition:

“I am not sure there really are ‘downsides’ for the 6XC. Well, maybe barrel life, if you are used to shooting a 223 or 308. I have fired about 15,000 rounds of 6XC over the last couple of years and havent really found a negative. My 6XC barrels get an easy 2,000 rounds. In fact, most get upwards of 3,000 before I move them to strictly off-hand and rapid-fire use. (I am a High Power shooter, not a Benchrester.)

Propellant — Powder choices are excellent. However, contrary to what German has found, I can’t get H4831sc to get me the velocity that the H4350 can. I have found only two powders that deliver more speed than H4350.

Cases — Just use Winchester 22-250 cases as they last 20+ firings and you never have to trim them. I use Winchester 22-250 brass rather than any of the Tubb or Norma offerings — they are just too soft for my liking. With the Winchester, I know what I am dealing with and know I will get at least 20 firings out of it, on average. And, I never have to trim it. While I have a Giraud power trimmer, I would just as soon not do it.

Bullets — Well, 6mm bullets are out there for about anything you want to shoot.

Velocity — The 6XC offers plenty of speed. Is 3000+ fps with a 115 enough for you? I certainly hope so.

Accuracy — I can’t out shoot the 6XC round. About any decent load will work just fine. Shoot, all my 300-yard and less ammo is loaded on a Dillon 650! Overall, I agree with German, the 6XC will definitely hold its own and I am not sure that my 6.5×284 running 142s at 2950 fps actually drifts much less than the 115 VLDs.”

Permalink Competition, Reloading 6 Comments »
July 25th, 2008

McGowin Shoots 300-yard Record Group

Shooting in the Unlimited (rail gun) class, James “Jim” McGowin shot a 0.355″ 5-shot group at 300 yards. This has now been officially “certified” as a new NBRSA record. McGowin’s group beat the previous 0.373″ shot by Art Freund in 1981. McGowin was shooting the 6mm Beggs cartridge in a match in St. Louis, MO. For his record group, Jim used his own 63 grain BT bullet, a 7.5 ogive made on J-4 .750 jackets in a Niemi die.

The 6mm Beggs cartridge is basically a 220 Russian necked up to 6mm, with a very small modification of the radius at the neck-shoulder junction. (Gene Beggs added a tighter radius to reduce case lengthening on repeated firings.) The 6mm Beggs, and its smaller cousin, the 220 Beggs, have slightly less capacity than a fire-formed PPC case. However, in a good BR gun, the “raw accuracy” of the Beggs’ cartridges can rival that of a 6 PPC. Indeed a standard, unmodified 220 Russian is competitive in the 100/200 yard BR game. Lou Murdica, a top shooter on the short-range BR circuit, has won many matches with a “plain-jane” unmodified 220 Russian.

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