We all know that reloading components are in very short supply these days — bullets, brass, powder — you name it. Every day we get calls and emails from guys trying to find these items. Here’s a tip for those of you who need high-quality brass: Midsouth Shooters Supply carries Norma Brass, and Midsouth has this brass for many popular cartridge types IN STOCK now. Here’s a partial list of unprimed Norma brass available for purchase at Midsouth as of April 12, 2013:
The .308 Winchester, a shortened version of the .30-06, has almost completely replaced the .30-06 in NRA competition. The .308 is required for Palma shooting, so it is also used by many Palma competitors in other long-range and mid-range prone matches. However, with the exception of M1 Garand matches, you won’t see many .30-06 rifles on the firing lines. Does that mean the .30-06 is obsolete? Is the .308 Win really much more accurate? Or does it just offer the advantages of reduced recoil and reduced powder consumption?
Cartridge photos courtesy Deuce45s.com, a leading source of specialized military cartridges.
In his Sibling Rivalry: .308 vs. .30-06 article on the Rifleman’s Journal website, German Salazar argues that the .30-06 remains a viable competition cartridge, particularly for the long-range game. This isn’t just a subjective opinion. German has data to back up the argument that the .30-06 can still do the job.
German compares the actual scores produced by his .308 Win rifles with the scores from his .30-06 rifles. German analyzes scores, over a two-year period, shot by “matched pair” rifles (one in each caliber) with similar actions, stocks, sights, and barrels. For comparison purposes, German also includes score data from his 6XC, a modern low-recoil chambering.
RESULTS: .308 Has Small Edge at Middle Distance, But .30-06 Is Better at Long Range
Surprisingly, the .30-06 performed nearly as well as the .308 at middle distances. The .30-06 delivered 99.2% of max possible scores vs. 99.5% for the .308 Win. Notably, at 1000 yards, the .30-06 racked up 97.7% of max scores vs. 97.3% for the .308 Win. So, at 1000 yards, the .30-06 actually proved superior to the .308 Win. German explains: “This isn’t too surprising when one considers [the .308's] limited case capacity for the bullet weights typically used in Long-Range shooting. They just run out of steam and dip perilously close to the transonic range as they approach 1000 yards of flight. The extra 150 fps or so that can be safely obtained from the .30-06 case really pays off at 1000 yards.”
In NRA Mid-Range matches (500 and 600 yards), the average score and percentage of possible score for each cartridge was as follows:
If we look at the score averages, the .308 comes out on top at the Mid-Range distances… by 0.3% of the possible score. By the way, notice that the 6XC, as good as it is, simply straddles the .30 caliber cartridges; it is not the winner.
German rarely shoots the .308 in matches that are only 1000 yards; most of his 1000-yard .308 shooting is done in Palma matches which include 800, 900 and 1000 yards. To make the comparison useful, the Long-Range results are presented only as a percentage of the possible score and the 800- and 900-yard stages of Palma matches were NOT included.
In NRA Long-Range and Palma matches, the average percentage of possible score for each cartridge at 1000 yards was as follows:
Editor’s Note: Among the three cartridges German studied, the 6XC actually proved best at 1000 yards, delivering 98.9% of the maximum possible scores. The .30-06 was second-best with 97.7%, slightly better than the .308 Win at 97.3%.
You’ll want to read German’s full Sibling Rivalry article, which includes an interesting history of the .30-06 and .308 in High Power shooting, along with tables showing German’s actual scores with his .30-06, .308 Win, and 6XC rifles. German’s story first ran in 2011.
German Salazar, a top small-bore and centerfire shooter, uses the 6XC cartridge in some long-range matches. German has tried a variety of different types of brass for this cartridge, including necked-up 22-250 brass and Norma 6XC brass from David Tubb’s (Superior Shooting Systems). German’s measurements reveal significant differences in water capacity, as well as neck-wall thickness.
6XC Source Brass Dimensions
Case Capacity and Pressure Issues
German has noted significant variances in capacity among the different “flavors” of brass. Norma-headstamp 6XC brass has 49.3 grains of H20 capacity, while Norma 22-250 brass holds only 47.8 grains of H20. Third-generation Tubb-brand 6XC brass is somewhere in the middle, with 48.6 grains of capacity. German did not have a chance to measure the high-quality Lapua 22-250 brass introduced in 2010. NOTE: These differences in case capacity are large enough that you MUST adjust your load to the brass type.
We ran a 6XC QuickLOAD simulation with 115gr bullets and H4350 powder. QuickLOAD predicted that the observed difference in case capacity can result in pressure differentials as much as 4,500 psi! In other words, if you switch from Norma 6XC brass to a lesser-capacity brass type, your pressures could rise 4,500 psi (using H4350 and 115gr bullets).
We recommend sticking with the Norma 6XC brass. It is available from DavidTubb.com for a reasonable $69.00 per 100 cases. These days, that’s cheaper than many other types of premium imported cartridge brass.
Neck Thickness and Chambering Issues
German noted that the different types of available brass varied quite a bit in neck-wall thickness — from 0.0121″ (Norma 22-250) to 0.0140″ (Tubb 3rd Gen). Consequently the diameter of loaded rounds also varied. Depending on the brass you chose, your loaded rounds could be 0.267″ at the neck or 0.271″ (with no-turn brass). That’s a huge difference and it’s something you need to take into account when you have your chamber cut for a barrel. For a cross-the-course rifle, you might want a chamber with at least .003″ total clearance over a loaded round. Obviously, to achieve that clearance, you’ll need to set chamber dimensions base on your preferred type of brass.
NOTE: The research for this story was conducted in 2010. Dimensions may have changed with more recent production, so you should double-check the case capacity of your own 22-250 or 6XC brass.
Rodrigo Rosa is a rising star in the world of High Power shooting. Though he’s been shooting competitively for only four years, he is already a top contender at the national level. In 2011, the young marksman, who now lives and works in New Hampshire, was right up with the leaders at the NRA National High Power Championships. At Perry, Rodrigo finished second in the Across-the-Course phase and finished third in the Long Range National Championship. He was also on the winning 2d Amendment match team with Norm Houle. Over the last couple of years, Rodrigo has lead the field at New England High Power events. He was New Hampshire State Champ in 2010 and 2011, Massachusetts State Champ in 2011, and Mid-Range (and Across-The-Course) Vermont State Champion in 2009. Rosa is also a two-time NE Regional Across-the-Course Champion, winning titles in 2008 and 2011. That’s an impressive shooting resume for a young man who shot his first High Power match in 2008, and had to borrow money to get his first real match rifle.
Rodrigo tells us: “I had a good year in Camp Perry in 2011. My goal was only to perform well in the across-the-course event, so taking second place after Carl Bernosky by only 3 points and taking third place in the Long Range event was a real treat.”
What was the “secret” of Rosa’s meteoric rise from rookie shooter to podium performer at Camp Perry? Rodrigo replied: “Key factors? I would have to say dry-fire practice, and working on consistency and the ‘mental game’. I spent many hours dry-firing last winter, particularly working on my off-hand position. Despite such training my technique was still flawed at the beginning of the year. I could dry-fire very well but the results did not show on target. I believe that my ability to finally build a mental sequence that allows me to perform the same movements time-and-time again, on demand, made the greatest difference on my results.”
Interview with Rodrigo Rosa — Born to Shoot
We had the opportunity to chat with Rodrigo. He told us how he got started in competitive shooting. He then discussed his shooting techniques and his reloading methods. At our request, Rodrigo offers some tips for new sling-shooters. Rosa also revealed his preferences in hardware and shooting gear.
AccurateShooter: Rodrigo, tell us about your background. How did you get involved in shooting?
Rosa: I grew up on a farm in Brazil. When I was about 11 years old my mom bought me an air rifle, and I later inherited my grandpa’s Winchester .22LR. I hunted many rabbits and ducks with that rifle until I was 17 years old when my studies became more important. I traveled to the USA in late 2004 to finish my Veterinary clinical training at Cornell University, where I met my wife-to-be. We got married in 2005 and moved to California for internships. It wasn’t until early 2007 when I decided to buy a rifle and join a gun club. All I could afford was a simple .308 hunting rifle. With the .308, I tried (with limited success) to hit small metal silhouettes at 600 yards. Despite my limited success I decided to educate myself about the shooting sports, predominantly by reading books by David Tubb and Nancy Tompkins, as well as foreign publications.
My wife Kate and I moved to New Hampshire in 2007, when I decided to take a personal loan to buy a better rifle, suited for High Power competition. I joined the Nashua NH Fish and Game Association and started to work on my skills. In late 2010 I met Norm Houle who became a good friend and gave me extra motivation to stay in the game.
AccurateShooter: What are your strengths and what are the areas where you need improvement. What training methods do you use to improve those weak points?
Rosa: My strengths are my ability to concentrate, attention to detail and perseverance. The areas I tend to work on the most are my mental systems. I know I am able to shoot a perfect score in any yard line and shooting position, so I spend most of my time coming up with ways to make my shooting sequence as meticulous and repetitive as possible. I believe I still have a lot of work to do….
AccurateShooter: What are the best and worst things about competing at Perry?
Rosa: 2011 was my second year competing in Perry (I also started the match in 2009 but had to leave early for a family issue). I had one of the best weeks of my life! Perry is a wonderfully beautiful and challenging range, and the friends I had the pleasure to share my time with were the highlight of the trip. From previous experience, I would say that the heat and humidity are the worst things
about Perry, but 2011 gifted the competitors with amazingly pleasant weather.
AccurateShooter: Rodrigo, do you have any tips for novice High Power shooters?
Rosa: Start by investing in good equipment — buy quality and you will buy it only once. Seek the advice of successful shooters. All truly good shooters will be glad to share their “secrets”, for it is only worth winning when all competitors can shoot their best. Develop a safe, reasonably good load for your cartridge and quit messing with it! If you already have an accurate rifle your time is much better spent working on your hold than on developing loads. Be ready! Develop checklists, plans, mental sequences. The less you can worry about, and the more prepared you are for adverse situations at the firing line, the better your chances will be.
AccurateShooter: Speaking of load development, tell us what load you shoot, and what methods you use to create accurate ammo.
Rosa: I shoot the 6mmXC cartridge Across-the-Course and Long-Range (except for Palma, of course). I use Federal 210M primers, Norma brass, Hodgdon 4350 powder, Sierra 70gr bullets for 200 yards and DTAC 115gr bullets from 300 to 1000 yards. My loads are: 39.5 grains H4350 with the Sierra 70gr; 37.5 grains H4350 with DTAC 115gr for 300 yards; and lastly, for Mid-Range and Long-Range, I use a stout H4350 load with the DTAC 115s. (Editor: Start at 37.0 grains H4350 and work up with the 115s; Rodrigo’s long-range load is near max).
The most important steps of my reloading are accurate load weighing (I weigh ALL loads) and bullet selection. I select all the bullets I shoot from 600 to 1000 yards by bearing surface and length. I do not spend any time doing elaborate load testing (and re-testing). All I care about is having a reasonably accurate load that functions smoothly in my rifle.
AccurateShooter: Tell us about your shooting coat and sling. Do you have any advice concerning coat fit and sling adjustment?
Rosa: I currently wear a Monard shooting coat. Proper fit is fundamental for anyone who wishes to be competitive in any category of position rifle shooting, and the folks at Monard certainly have got that down. My advice to anyone who is going to invest hard-earned money in a coat is to make sure that the maker uses at least 15 different measurements of his/her body. Anything less than that is not acceptable in my opinion. I also prefer the stiffness and coolness of canvas over leather. Leather tends to mold better to ones body but softens and shrinks when wet. Since High Power shooters must often shoot in the rain I believe that canvas is a more durable and stable material. For a sling I always used the Superior Shooting Systems Heart Breaker Sling. This is an extremely well-made sling crafted to last many decades. It is important to cut the new sling to fit one’s arm diameter so that the “hinge” is located between the arm and the hand. I did not know this important “trick” for the longest time until David Tubb called my attention to it at Perry last year.
AccurateShooter: You shoot a Tubb 2000 match rifle. Tell us the features of the T2K you really like, and explain how you set up the sights and buttstock for different positions.
Rosa: The Tubb 2000 rifle is the only rifle I have ever shot Across-the-Course. It is an extremely user-friendly gun that truly allows the shooter to extract all that a competitive target rifle can offer. I used to have only one buttstock and was therefore forced to make adjustments between shooting positions. Now I have three buttstocks individually set up for each position — a major asset in my opinion. My off-hand buttstock is probably the least orthodox of the three. It has a good deal of added weight to help balance the gun and a very narrow buttplate. I like the narrow buttplate because it fits my small shoulder better. This plate is, however, kept mostly flat (very shallow curvature) in order to comply with NRA rules (less than 1/2 inch depth).
Canting — I truly enjoy the ability to cant the T2K rifle to fit my body. Anyone who watches me shooting seated will notice that I use a great amount of canting in that seated position. Canting is a major asset and can greatly improve most shooter’s position by increasing comfort. The key thing with canting is you must be consistent with the amount of cant you use (hint: learn how to use a bubble level).
Forearm — I have shortened the tubular handguard/fore-end of my rifle in order to improve balance as well. People occasionally ask me: Didn’t you get nervous about cutting such an expensive rifle? (I had taken a loan to buy the rifle and it wasn’t even paid for yet). My answer was “Not at all!” My philosophy is that if something does not fit you or does not do the job for which it was intended, then you MUST act on it. It is pointless to have a rather costly piece of machinery if it does not lead to 10s and Xs.
Sights — I use a Warner #1 rear sight and a “Right Sight” in the front. I currently use the “Houle Tube” sight extension tube (bloop tube) made by Norm Houle. This bloop tube has been a major improvement. It lets me have a short, balanced gun for off-hand and a long gun for sling-supported positions. I must admit that I did not believe these extension devices would repeat zero until I tried one. The Houle Tubes are incredible. These extensions come in 2″, 4″ and 6″ lengths and repeat zero flawlessly every time.
Gunsmithing — Dick Beaudoin from Derry, NH has done most of the customization work on my rifle. I want to give him credit. His patience and attention to detail has made all the difference.
Editor’s Comment: We thank Forum member Rodrigo Rosa for taking the time to share his knowledge with our readers. He is a very talented, yet humble young shooter who works diligently on his game. We have no doubt that one day we will see Rodrigo standing on top of the podium at Camp Perry. Boa sorte Rodrigo, we wish you 10s and Xs and continued success…
Many precision-oriented shooters are discovering that the “middle ground” in cartridge size is optimal for the 100gr to 115gr match bullets. With a mid-sized cartridge, you can run these pills faster than a 6BR or Dasher, without giving up much, if any, accuracy to a 6BR or BR Improved. The most accurate 600-yard rifle at this Editor’s local club is a 6-6.5×47. It can shoot as tight as a 6BR past 300 yards, plus it offers better ballistics, pushing 105 Bergers at 3140 fps.
If you’re considering a mid-sized 6mm cartridge for your next rifle, you’re probably wondering WHICH mid-size 6mm cartridge is best. We are often asked “what’s the difference between the 6×47 Swiss Match, the 6XC, and the 6.5×47 Lapua necked down to 6mm?” All three cartridges have 30° shoulders and fit a .308-sized boltface. However, alone among the three, the 6mm-6.5×47 has a small primer pocket and small flash hole. The 6×47 Swiss Match (made by RUAG), and the 6XC (produced by Norma), have a large primer pocket and large flash hole, just like a .308 Winchester.
Forum member DesertLefty has provided a line-up photo, with 6mmBR and .260 Rem cases provided for comparison. As you can see, the three mid-sized cases (6x47SM, 6.5×47 Lapua, and 6XC) are very similar. The Swiss Match has the longest neck, while the 6XC enjoys the highest capacity. But performance is very similar among the three cartridges (with the 6.5×47 necked down to 6mm). The same powders, (particularly H4350, Reloder 17, and IMR 4007SSC) work well in the 6×47 SM, the 6XC, and the 6-6.5×47 Lapua. The parent 6.5×47 Lapua case is rated at 63090 psi, while the new CIP rating for the 6XC is 63844 psi (4400 BAR). Both the necked-down Lapua brass and the Norma-brand 6XC brass can hold stout loads. Though the 6mm-6.5×47 has slightly less powder capacity than the 6XC, max velocities with 105-108gr bullets are quite similar. However, you should not substitute loads from the 6XC directly to the 6mm-6.5×47 or vice-versa. Because of the different case capacities and primer sizes, you should work up loads separately for each cartridge.
David Tubb Won the Long-Range National Championship today, shoting a perfect 45 for 45 inside the 10-Ring during today’s Individual Palma Trophy Match. Tubb’s impressive performance secured David the 2011 Long Range High Power Rifle Championship, edging out 2010 LR Champion John Whidden. We believe this is David’s seventh individual long-range title. Tubb last won the Long-Range Championship in 2004, when he shot an “perfect” 1450-101X Aggregate, not dropping a point. Tubb has also won the NRA High Power National Championship 11 times.
Tubb Wins Title, Not Yielding to Whidden’s Strong Challenge
As he took his spot in the final round of the Palma Match, Tubb was stationed to the right of last year’s Long Range champ and 2011 runner-up John Whidden. Whidden, donning his favorite red cap, started with two well-placed sighting shots at 1,000 yards before jumping into the scoring phrase of the match. Tubb, waiting for the wind and that instinctive feeling that’s developed over time, took his first sighter after Whidden started scoring tens.
“Ten” shouted Whidden’s spotter. “X” rang out next. The race was on.
Tubb’s spotter echoed his counterpart’s calls with Tens and Xs of his own. But Whidden had the advantage … he was two shots ahead and two points behind. Scoring ten after ten after X, Whidden was applying the pressure to Tubb as he mounted a final charge. There was even a moment when The Pit mistakenly pulled Tubb’s target as he was about to fire. If there was ever an opportunity for a man to feel the pressure — this was it. I don’t know about the shooters, when when Whidden hit his 13th shot inside the ten ring, my heard started to pump a little bit faster.
The spotter’s calls grew louder and louder as the shooters kept firing and firing. Waiting for one to drop a point, slip outside the ten, make that fatal mistake that would allow the other a path to the championship. Ten, Ten, X, Ten … they just kept coming.
After Whidden Cleaned his Target, the Pressure Was On
Whidden finished clean. Tubb still had two shots to go. Whidden and his spotter silently shifted their scope and glasses to Tubb’s target. I inched a little closer. Hearing a noise, I turned to find an RSO peering over my shoulder to check on Tubb’s progress. The 14th shoot was an X. One shot left. A nine or ten meant Tubb would earn his first Long Range title in seven years. An eight meant we’d go to the X count and a seven or less would give the title to Whidden.
Whidden rose when the spotter cried out ten. The match and the championship was over. “Congratulations David. That’s some great shooting.”
Tubb accepted Whidden’s hand, allowed a smile and returned the admiration. Two shooters with almost a decade’s worth of Championships between them. But this one was for David Tubb. The end of a long road back to the title.
David Discusses his Championship-Winning Tubb 2000 Rifle
In the video below, David Tubb discusses his Tubb 2000 Rifle and the many records it has set. Over the past 11 years, Tubb 2000s have been used by 30 of the 33 “Top Three” finishers in the NRA High Power Championships — that’s a remarkable winning record:
In 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.
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.
At the 50th ISSF World Championship, most of the media attention has focused on air rifle, smallbore rifle, and trap (shotgun). However, the world’s top 300m centerfire shooters are also competing in Munich this week. In conjunction with the 2010 ISSF Worlds, the 300m World Championship is taking place in Munich this week, with mens’ and womens’ prone, 3-position, and team events.
Thus far, the 300m prone mens individual and team competition have been concluded, with Mens’ 3-position yet to be held. The womens’ 300m prone event takes place Monday August 9th, while both men and women will shoot the 3-position event on Tuesday, August 10th.
300m Results So Far
In Mens’ Individual 300m prone, Great Britain won the team event, with a 1792-89X combined three-man score. Team Austria finished just one point behind, 1791-104X, but with a much higher X-Count. The French team finished third with 1790-104X, lead by a superb performance by Josselin Henry, who shot a 600-36X, not dropping a point. Though his 4th-place finishing Team Norway did not make the podium, Norway’s Vebjörn Berg shot a brilliant 600-43X, one of the best match scores in 300m history.
In individual mens’ 300m prone competition, the top three shooters were Austria’s Stefan Raser (599-36X), Norway’s Vebjörn Berg (598-44X), and Marcel Zobrist of Switzerland (5989-39X). Top American was Michael McPhail, who finished 7th with 597-36X.
Click these links for ISSF World Championships 300m Schedules and Results:
Frenchman Ties Perfect 600 Record Score with 6.5×47 Lapua Factory Ammo
No equipment lists have been published for the 300m World Championships, so there is very little information on the hardware and ammo used by the top competitors. However, we did learn that France’s Josselin Henry shot his 600-36X using factory-loaded Lapua 6.5×47 ammo. Henry’s perfect 600/600 score was shot in the 300m Prone Relay 2 Elimination match yesterday, August 5th. A perfect 600 was first shot by Norway’s Harald Stenvaag, NOR in 1990, then matched by Germany’s
Bernd Rücker in 1994, and by Norway’s Vebjörn Berg in 2010. Notably, Berg also shot a 600-43X in his own prone elimination match in Munich on August 5th. According to Lapua factory representatives, Josselin Henry shot his 600-36X with factory-loaded 6.5×47 Lapua (123gr HPBT Scenar) rounds, right out of the box, without any test shooting or lot selection.
Lapua’s new 22-250 brass has finally started to arrive on dealers’ shelves. Forum member William P. (aka “Heath”) just got two boxes of the new brass. Both boxes have the same lot number. Heath was kind enough to sort the brass and report his findings.
Based on Heath’s 200-count sample, we can say this new brass is very, very consistent in weight. The total weight spread (delta) for 200 cases was just 1.4 grains! And the vast majority, 83%, were within 0.7 grains in weight (160.3 – 161.0). For the varminter, sorting may be superfluous. Once again, Lapua has produced a superb new product, and we love the new, blue plastic boxes.
FYI, you 6mm shooters should know that the Lapua 22-250 brass can be made into quality 6XC brass. And it’s even easier to create a 6-250 wildcat. In May, Robert Whitley explained how he created a tack-driving 6-250 Wildcat from the new Lapua 22-250 brass.
Our 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.
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).
6mm-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!”
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.
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.”
Credit German Salazar for this smart tip. 6XC dies tend to be pretty expensive. If you already have a 6BR neck-sizing die, you can use it to neck-size 6XC brass. Redding Reloading sells a set of three washers that raise the die in the press, part number 80901. Each kit includes three spacers: (.062) No-crimp or partial resizing, (.125) 44 Spl/44 Mag spacer, (.135) 38 Spl/357 Mag spacer. If you buy two sets ($7.11 each at Midsouth Shooters Supply) and use both 0.125″ spacers and one 0.135″ spacer then you can neck size 6XC cases with your 6BR neck sie without messing with the lock ring setting. You can also use the same spacers to switch pistol dies (e.g. between .38 Special and .357 Magnum). Hornady also sells inexpensive .135″ spacers to switch from .38 spl to .357.
Norma 6XC brass at Bruno’s
Speaking of the 6XC, Bruno Shooters Supply now has Norma-brand 6XC brass, item XCNB. Price is $0.68 per case, or $68.00 per hundred. This is very good brass that uses a large rifle primer, whereas the 6-6.5×47 Lapua uses small rifle or small rifle magnum primers.