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October 16th, 2021

Father and Son Hunting Adventures — Great Gear Options

Hunting gear 1701 father son hunter hunting
Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

One of the most memorable things a father and son can do is go hunting. Time spent in the field together builds bonds that last a lifetime. A young man will remember those special fall hunts he did with his Dad. And as he grows into maturity, that same young hunter will carry cherished memories forward all his life, along with an appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors.

Hunting gear father son hunter hunting
Father and son deer hunting photo courtesy SportsmansGuide.com.

There are many elements to a successful hunt — location, game activity, weather, stalking skills, and yes, a little bit of luck. You can’t control the weather (or the whims of whitetails), but you can increase your odds of success with the right gear. Here are some items that will help a father and son on a hunting adventure this fall.

A Boy’s First Centerfire Hunting Rifle

Mossberg Patriot Youth Super Bantam

Here’s a good choice for a young man’s first hunting rifle. The Mossberg Patriot Youth Super Bantam features adjustable length of pull spacers. This provides a shorter stock that can later be extended. This allow the rifle to be grow with young shooters. This special Youth Model has a shorter stock with 12.5″ length of pull (LOP). Weighing under 5.7 pounds with a light-contour 20″ barrel, this rifle is light enough for a young man to carry easily. The Mossberg Patriot youth is offered in a wide variety of chamberings including .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08, .350 Legend, and .308 Win. Among those offerings we think the .243 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor might offer the least recoil, with still plenty of terminal energy for deer hunting. This rifle retails for $519.00 including scope.

Mossberg Patriot Youth Super Bantam

Great Gear Items for a Father and Son Hunting Trip

Here are some recommended items that our staff owns or uses. All selections cost less than $100.00. If you have a family hunt planned, check out these useful items. The Allen pack carries both your rifle and your gear. The electronic muffs provide hearing protection while still allowing conversations. The SIG Kilo LRF provides vital ranging data. And the walkie-talkies let you communicate with your base camp even miles away.

Remington Twin Mesa Day Pack

This comfortable Allen Hunting Pack provides lots of capacity on the inside, plus a special harness system for toting your rifle. That keeps your hands free for your rangefinder and binoculars. The pack is mesh-lined for comfort and has nicely padded hip belt and shoulder straps. Five outside pockets hold small items securely. Priced at $97.49 with free shipping, this pack is a good choice for a hunter’s carrying system.

Howard Leight Electronic Muffs

These Howard Leight Electronic Muffs are Amazon’s #1 Seller in the Safety Ear Muffs category. These offer 22 dB sound protection with the ability to still hear conversations and range commands. For regular use, we do recommend running plugs under these muffs for higher effective NRR.

Bog-Pod Shooting Sticks Bipod Hunting

We’ve used Bog-Pod shooting supports on varmint hunts. They’re great for down-angle shots from a ridge or kneeling shots to get above terrain obstacles. Bog-Pods adjust from 17″ to 39″.

sig sauer kilo 2200 bdx laser rangefinder

Hunters need to know distance with precision. A compact Laser Rangefinder (LRF) will help you spot and range your prey. The excellent SIG Sauer Kilo 2200 BDX has super-fast ranging, and can transmit ballistics data to a BDX-enabled scope.

Motorola 2-way 22 Chanel Radios

Walkie-Talkies are “must-have” items for long-range shooting. The 22-CH Motorola T100 Two-Way Radio is an Amazon Favorite in FRS/GMRS Handheld Radios.

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July 29th, 2021

BLING Tactical — Red Hot Savage 10 BA Stealth

Savage 10 BA Stealth Red black custom 6.5 Creedmoor

On the 6.5 Creedmoor Facebook page we found an eye-catching Savage Model 10 BA Stealth. Rifle owner Derek P. has done some important upgrades, starting with a wicked, spiral-fluted McGowen barrel with red-painted flutes. The red theme was carried over to the chassis which combines fire-engine red with matte black in the middle. The scope rings and even the magazine were painted red to match as well. The whole effect is very striking, as you can see.

Savage 10 BA Stealth Red black custom 6.5 Creedmoor

The barrel is a 29-inch 1:8″-twist McGowen. The optic is a 4.5-27x56mm Vortex Razor HD GenII with sunshade. That supper-stable rear sandbag is a Protektor DR Bag, one of our favorites. The front sandbag is also a Protektor. The front Rest is the new Protektor Aluminum Rest with Mariners Wheel. Look carefully and you’ll see a flat 2.5″-wide block on the underside of the forearm. That improves stability and tracking.

Savage 10 BA Stealth Red black custom 6.5 Creedmoor

What we really like is the upgraded rear buttstock section. This is NOT standard by any means. Rifle owner Derek has fitted an aftermarket XLR Tactical Lite Buttstock that sits properly in that Protektor DR rear bag. This unit combines an adjustable buttpad with a nice cheek-rest (with upgraded pad from Tactical Works). And, very importantly, the XLR can be fitted with a “tactical bag rider” or you can easily make your own bag rider.

Savage 10 BA Stealth Red black custom 6.5 Creedmoor

As the Savage 10 BA Stealth Comes from the Factory
This video shows a box-stock Savage 10BA Stealth. Note how different the stock buttstock/cheekpiece assembly is compared to Derek’s Red Hot Savage.

Savage 10 BA Stealth Red black custom 6.5 Creedmoor

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July 28th, 2021

Lone Star Silhouette — Fun & Challenging Texas Steel Match

Shooting USA TV show varmint silhouette Texas benchrest Travis Frazier John Scoutten

If you like accurate rifles and reactive targets, you’ll enjoy this 48-minute video from Shooting USA TV, which features long-range varmint silhouette competition in Texas, the Lone Star State. We have participated in these kind of matches on the West Coast — they are definitely a ton of fun. The sport combines the pure accuracy of benchrest competition with the fun of knocking down critter targets. These are smaller than standard silhouettes, so it’s quite a challenge to hit them at 300 yards and beyond.

In this episode, host John Scoutten competes with his 6.5 Creedmoor PRS rifle. He found that 1-MOA Coyotes offered plenty of challenge at 385 meters! Most shooters use benchrest-grade rifles with premium front rests.

Full 48-Minute Episode of Shooting USA featuring Texas Varmint Silhouette:

Steel Targets by Distance:
Mini Prairie Dogs — 200 Meters
3″x3″ Armadillos — 300 Meters
3″x5″ Coyotes — 385 Meters
5″x4″ Hogs — 500 Meters
Chickens (on Swingers) — 600 Yards
Pigs (on Swingers) — 750 Yards

Shooting USA TV show varmint silhouette Texas benchrest Travis Frazier John Scoutten

EDITOR: We strongly recommend you take the time to watch this Shooting USA feature — it shows some top-flight benchrest rifles, and also covers the origins of benchrest varmint silhouette in Pennsylvania. There are even some AccurateShooter Forum members on screen. John Scoutten also does nice job explaining the challenges of shooting this discipline with a PRS rig. We think any benchrest or tactical shooter will really enjoy watching this video.

Shooting USA TV show varmint silhouette Texas benchrest Travis Frazier John Scoutten

Travis Frazier, who created steel targets with Field & Cave Outfitters, says shooters love the reactive targets: “The most exciting thing is seeing your hits — these [targets] really go airborne”. Yep, that’s the best thing about Varmint Silhouette matches — hits deliver instant gratification. Travis designs and produces these steel targets.

This Texas match features multiple target shapes, 10 at each distance: Tiny Prairie Dogs at 200m, 3″x3″ Armadillos at 300m; 3″x5″ Coyotes at 385m; 5″x4″ Hogs at 500m; Chickens (on swingers) at 600 yards; and Pigs (on Swingers) at 750 yards. Competitors are allowed 10 rounds and 10 minutes to hit each set of targets.

Shooting USA TV show varmint silhouette Texas benchrest Travis Frazier John Scoutten

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July 17th, 2021

Lapua Cartridge Brass in Stock at Creedmoor Sports and Graf’s

Lapua brass Creedmoor sports Graf Sons Graf's 6mmBR cartridge .223 Rem .308 Win 6mm 7mm .284 Winchester

Lapua brass Creedmoor sports Graf Sons Graf's 6mmBR cartridge .223 Rem .308 Win 6mm 7mm .284 WinchesterGood news for serious hand-loaders — a large selection of premium-quality Lapua brass is now IN STOCK at Creedmoor Sports and Grafs.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cartridge types available for purchase today at these two leading vendors. Check the lists below.

We’re happy to report that Lapua Brass is IN STOCK, because finding top quality reloading components (brass, bullets, powder, and especially primers) has been a major challenge over the past year. It looks like both Graf & Sons and Creedmoor Sports have received large shipments of Lapua cartridge brass recently. So if need good brass, check the availability list below, and then place your orders. Sorry, no 6mmBR, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×55, 7mm-08, or .30-06 brass at either vendor right now.

As of 9:00 am on Saturday July 17, 2021, here are some of the rifle cartridge types we found in stock.

Creedmoor Sports Lapua Rifle Brass IN STOCK »

Lapua .220 Russian Brass $116.95
Lapua .223 Rem Brass $63.95
Lapua 22-250 Rem Brass $99.95
Lapua .243 Win Brass $109.95
Lapua 6.5×47 Lapua Brass $121.95
Lapua .260 Rem Brass $109.95
Lapua .284 Winchester Brass $137.49
Lapua .308 Win Brass Large Primer Pocket $83.95
Lapua .308 Win Palma Brass Small Primer Pocket $89.95
Lapua .338 Lapua Magnum Brass $299.95

CLICK HERE for Creedmoor Sports Lapua Brass Sales Page
NOTE: On that page, items IN STOCK are listed first. Back Order is allowed for most Lapua brass types not currently in stock. Prices subject to change.

Grafs & Sons Lapua Rifle Brass IN STOCK »

Lapua .220 Russian Brass $128.29
Lapua .223 Rem. Brass $68.99
Lapua 6mm Creedmoor Brass Small Primer Pocket $55.99 (50 ct)
Lapua .243 Win Brass $120.99
Lapua 6.5×47 Lapua Brass $134.99
Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass Small Primer Pocket $103.99
Lapua .260 Rem Brass $120.99
Lapua .284 Winchester Brass $144.99
Lapua 7.62×39 Brass $85.99
Lapua 7.62x54R Russian Brass $158.99
Lapua 7x65R Brass $119.99
Lapua .300 Norma Magnum Brass $226.99
Lapua .338 Norma Magnum Brass $328.99
Lapua .338 Lapua Magnum Brass $321.99

CLICK HERE for Grafs.com Lapua Brass Sales Page
NOTE: On that page, items IN STOCK are listed first. You can Login to be notified when out-of-stock items are back in stock. Prices subject to change.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
July 4th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: 6mm CM and 6.5 CM Switch-Barrel PRS Rig

Zero Compromise ZC517 FFP scope PRS shooting

Today we feature a modern switch-barrel PRS chassis rifle set up for quick changes between 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor barrels. The owner, Forum member Jeff Cosgrove (aka “Punkur67″) uses the 6 CM barrel for competition, favoring the reduced recoil over its 6.5 mm big brother. He does use the 6.5 CM barrel for practice (given its better barrel life). The 6.5 CM barrel also gives him the chance to shoot a variety of factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammo.

- Terminus Zeus action with Quick Change (QC) barrel option.
– 6mm Creedmoor Pre-Fit Bartlein Heavy Varmint 400MODBB barrel for matches
– 6.5 Creedmoor Pre-Fit Benchmark Heavy Palma barrel for training
– MPA BA Competition chassis with full weight kit
– Zero Compromise Optic ZCO 5-27x56mm FFP scope
– TriggerTech Diamond trigger

This rifle represents an evolution for Jeff. Each step along the way in his PRS journey, he has learned more about what he wants and needs in a competition rifle. And what you see here, from the $3760 ZC527 scope to his high-tech reloading equipment, represents pursuit of excellence. Jeff even created a modern, spacious man cave/reloading center in his new house (photos below).

Zero Compromise ZC517 FFP scope PRS shooting

Quick-Change Barrel System with Terminus Zeus QC Action

Terminus Zeus QC action scope PRS shooting

This rifle has two pre-fit barrels that work with the Terminus Zeus QC Action for fast and easy barrel swaps. To remove a barrel, you simply release two tension screws on the front of the action and then unscrew the barrel. To swap in a different pre-fit barrel, reverse the process and then tension the screws. The Terminus Zeus is 3-lug receiver with 60° bolt and integral recoil lug. Both the receiver and bolt are DLC-treated. Jeff reports this action is extremely smooth and has met all of his expectations. Some other Zeus features are threaded trigger pins for quick/easy trigger installation, and a roller-tipped cocking piece.

PRS Discipline Offers Fun, New Challenge for Long-Time Shooter

Zero Compromise ZC517 FFP scope PRS shooting

My name is Jeff Cosgrove, I live in Winchester, California and do commercial heating and air conditioning. I have shot for 20+ years but I found my interest in shooting was dwindling over time. I got somewhat bored with shooting paper at 100 yards or plinking cans out in the desert. About 18 months ago I decided I wanted to shoot long range. I picked up a used MPA in .300 Winchester Magnum and started shooting long range with a new buddy. That day I fell in love with guns all over again with more intensity than ever.

How I Got Started in PRS
With that new .300 WM I soon found my reloads were not up to my expectations (high ES/SD), so I purchased all new reloading hardware. One of my purchases was a used Benchsource Annealer. The guy I bought that from asked if I had ever tried PRS and he invited me to check out a match. So I went to a local PRS event as a spectator. I looked at many rigs on the firing line and took notes. By the end of the day I knew this was something I really wanted to do. I then acquired a used chassis rifle that I thought would work well for PRS. I went to a PRS match the following month but shot poorly.

After working with that first PRS rifle, a 6.5 CM with Stiller Tac30 action, MDT chassis, and Proof Carbon-wrapped barrel, I quickly learned that gun did not handle and balance the way I hoped.* It was too light in the front, the ergos were poor, and scope eye relief was not optimal. So I decided to build my own GEN 2 PRS rifle. This is the story of how I put together my new switch-barrel rig that I now use in competition.

PRS Rifle and Gear Selection — Learning What Works

Barrel availability was limited given the current shortages. Luckily I was able to obtain a 6mm Creedmoor pre-fit Bartlein Heavy Varmint 400MODBB from Southern Precision Rifles. The 6mm Creedmoor is notorious for being a barrel burner cartridge so I went with the special 400MODBB metal. Bartlein says that barrel life expectancy is 1.5 to 2 times longer than the standard 416 grade steel. I also purchased a 6.5 Creedmoor pre-fit Benchmark Heavy Palma barrel for training (Source: Straight Jacket Armory). With the Terminus Zeus quick change system I am able to swap from my match barrel to my trainer barrel in just a couple minutes. I loosen two set screws, unthread the barrel, thread the new barrel on, and torque the set screws to 10 inch-pounds. This also affords me caliber options in case I’m in a pinch for ammo. If I have some 6.5 CM loaded up and don’t have time to load 6mm Creedmoor for a match, then I’m covered.

For the trigger, I went with a TriggerTech Diamond Pro curve model. I have Timney, Jewell, and TriggerTech triggers in other rifles. I like them all but I liked the feel of the TT Diamond the best so that is what I used on this build. I set my triggers around 18-20 oz. — I am not a fan of ultra-light trigger pulls.

MPA BA Competition Chassis with Added Weight
I went with an MPA BA Comp chassis with full internal and external weight kit. I also have Gray Ops external weight on the handguard. I had the same chassis on my .300 WinMag and felt very comfortable with it. I took a PR1 class and found that, with a different gun, I had to force a comfortable hand position for proper trigger pull. After that class I grabbed my MPA and my hand fell in to the perfect position. I did not need to hunt or index my hand with the MPA. The built ARCA rail (RAT) lowered the rifles center of gravity more than my old setup with the ARCA rail bolted to the bottom of the handguard. With the current configuration, the rifle weighs in at 24 lbs. and balances three inches in front of the magwell. I now have the flexibility to add, subtract, or move approximately 6 lbs. of weight.

The Attraction of PRS/NRL Practical Competitions
I really enjoy PRS-style shooting because there seems to be a new challenge every time you compete — no matter what. With PRS I am shooting many different positions and ranges with the pressure of a stopwatch. This keeps things interesting for me. I have taken a few training classes to help establish good, clean fundamentals.

Zero Compromise ZC517 FFP scope PRS shooting
Jeff says it is hard to practice for the many unconventional shooting positions at PRS matches.

My biggest challenges so far have been: 1) building stable shooting positions that I have not practiced enough; 2) proper equipment selection; and 3) time management. Regarding the shooting positions — PRS/NRL is not like F-Class where you can always practice from one position. And it’s hard to practice for unusual set-ups (barriers and positions) you’ve not encountered before. Concerning equipment — you need some experience in the game to determine what really works best for you.

Innovative Zero Compromise Optic — Optimized for the Tactical Game
Zero Compromise ZC517 FFP scope PRS shooting
The scope is a Zero Compromise ZC527 (5-27x56mm FFP) with MPCT2 reticle. Zero Compromise Optic is a relatively new manufacturer, but their scopes are top-flight. The First Focal Plane ZCO has excellent glass that is extremely bright and clear. With a big 36mm main tube, the ZC527 offers 35 Mils Elevation and 21 Mils Windage adjustment. The field of view is 21 feet at 100 yards — one of the widest in the industry. The ZC527 also offers illuminated reticle and locking turrets. When I was at my first PRS match I looked through several different scopes. When I got behind a ZCO scope I knew this was what I wanted — the ZCO scope was super clear, super sharp, with very positive controls.

I put a protective wrap on the scope because with some of our PRS stages it is easy to scratch or dent the scope tube. You don’t want to bang up an expensive scope — the ZC527 retails for $3760.

Reloading for 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor

When starting out with a new cartridge I like to search places like AccurateShooter.com and UltimateReloder.com for popular recipes used by knowledgeable shooters. I am all about paving your own way on certain things but with the consistency, higher cost, and limited supply of components these days I try to stick with the most common loads. I also want to limit barrel wear and get through load development quickly. I don’t want to chase loads for 300 rounds to ultimately land in the same place that so many other people have already found.

6.5 Guys load development Spreadsheet excel PRS shooting

I start my new barrels with virgin brass and load three rounds at each charge weight in 0.2 grain increments. I put the most popular charge weight (for my chosen bullet) in the middle of my load range and load above and below to find a good node while paying close attention for pressure signs along the way. I use the 6.5 Guys spreadsheet (see below) to help analyze my results. With those results I like to re-test a narrower range with 5-10 rounds each charge weight in 0.2 grain increments. I again use the 6.5 Guys spreadsheet to make a final charge weight selection and then I move on to seating depth. I will load different depths to tighten the groups up.

6.5 Guys load development Spreadsheet excel PRS shooting

Load Development Using 6.5 Guys Custom Spreadsheet

To hold and analyze my load development data I use the spreadsheet from 65Guys.com. It helps a ton with making a decision on your final load. This Excel spreadsheet works great and makes it simple to analyze your data. You can even copy and paste your chronograph data if your chrono logs on to a SD card.

6.5 Guys load development Spreadsheet excel PRS shooting

In this 6.5 Guys video Steve provides an overview and tutorial for using the Excel load development analysis model that he has developed. The Excel Load Development Analysis Spreadsheet version 2.0 is FREE. Download from the 6.5 Guys Website.

In this video Steve explains some key statistical concepts for performing load data analysis. He also provides tips and guidance for determining the optimal load for your rifle as you analyze the load data you’ve collected.

New House, New Man Cave/Reloading Room

Jeff recently moved with his family into a great new house. One bonus of this move was that he upgraded from a cramped reloading area to a dedicated “Man Cave” that has ample space for his gun safes, multiple presses, and all his reloading components. Large upper and lower cabinets plus a dedicated “gun closet” provide plenty of storage. Read all about this move in this AccurateShooter Forum Thread.

Here is Jeff’s first reloading area years ago: “My first reloading setup was smashed in my two-bedroom condo so I had a very small bench that was very cluttered. I had to deal with the limited space I had but I made it work. Then in our first house I had a larger bench/cabinet, but it was still not ideal.”

6.5 Guys load development Spreadsheet excel PRS shooting

Here is the new Man Cave in the new house — very open, spacious, with plenty of storage.

6.5 Guys load development Spreadsheet excel PRS shooting

This animated GIF shows the new Man Cave move-in process start to finish:

new reloading bench 6.5 Creedmoor

(more…)

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition, Tactical, Tech Tip No Comments »
May 1st, 2021

Double Wooden Shooting Bench — Impressive DIY Project

do it yourself shooting bench 6.5 Creedmoor

We like well-executed DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects. You can save money with DIY projects, and often create something unique and special that can’t be purchased from any vendor. That’s the case with this very cool double shooting bench built by Jacob D., a pilot and 6.5 Creedmoor shooter. The design of the bench is smart — it allows two right-handed shooters, but it can also handle a right-hander and a left-hander. (The lefty sets up in the right half of the bench.)

Jacob, who flies for Arizona’s Mesa Airlines, built his own side-by-side benchrest shooting bench. He then posted photos of this on the 6.5 Creedmoor Group Facebook Page. We like this — very nice work Jacob!

do it yourself shooting bench 6.5 Creedmoor

Jacob writes: “Sighting in my new Ruger Precision Rifle with Leupold VX3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm and Burris tactical rings, using my benchrest table I built. Very happy with the combo!”

There is plenty of room for two shooters and two rifles on Jacob’s big and sturdy DIY shooting bench.

do it yourself shooting bench 6.5 Creedmoor
do it yourself shooting bench 6.5 Creedmoor

Permalink - Articles, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
March 2nd, 2021

Upgrade Your Tikka T3 with Criterion Pre-Fit Barrel

Tikka T3 T-2 prefit chambered barrel 6.5 Creedmoor Solid Accuracy Criterion Barrels

We have always liked Tikka actions, and now there is a great re-barreling option for Tikka T3 owners. Criterion Barrels Inc. (CBI), makers of “pre-fit” barrels for Savage, Remington, and Rem-clone actions, also produces Tikka pre-fits. These pre-chambered barrels for Tikka T3 actions will be headspaced with a barrel nut, just like a Savage.

Tikka T3 T-2 prefit chambered barrel 6.5 Creedmoor Solid Accuracy Criterion Barrels
Click image for full-screen version

Criterion’s Tikka T3 pre-fit barrels are currently sold through Solid Accuracy, a respected Texas-based outfit that sells high-end scopes, stocks, barrels and other rifle components. Solid Accuracy states: “Each Solid Accuracy/Criterion pre-fit barrel features a hand-lapped bore and meets extreme quality control standards. Utilizing a proven barrel nut design, these barrels can be swapped in just a few minutes using only a barrel nut wrench and the appropriate headspace gauge set. Solid Accuracy offers finished lengths up to 30″ with multiple contour options.”

These Tikka pre-fits were first introduced in 2017, and the accuracy results were impressive. Solid Accuracy’s initial test rifle featured a Tikka T3 action mounted in a KRG X-Ray chassis, with Criterion barrel chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. The group below was shot with a stout load of H4350 and Sierra 140 grain MatchKings seated .009″ in the lands.

Tikka T3 T-2 prefit chambered barrel 6.5 Creedmoor Solid Accuracy Criterion Barrels

Criterion is proud of how well the Tikka pre-fit project turned out. These barrels work great in the Tikka platform. One of Criterion’s staffers was so impressed with the initial test results that he is built his own Tikka T3 rifle, with a Criterion pre-fit of course…

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Tactical No Comments »
February 14th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: 5 lb. Titanium-Action Carbon-Stock Hunting Rifle

Tom Mousel 6mm 6.5mm Creedmoor deer hunting rifle Pierce Titanium Ti action Lilja Barrel Manners composite Carbon Fiber stock
Here is Tom Mousel with Whitetail taken with his ultra-light hunting rifle fitted with 6mm Creedmoor Lilja barrel. Friend Cody (right) actually took the shot. This gun has a second barrel in 6.5 Creedmoor.

“Light is Right” when it comes to carrying deer rifles long distances in the backcountry. A lighter rifle DOES make a difference when you’re hiking many miles and carrying other gear including binoculars, laser rangefinders, food/water, and packs. And then, if you are successful, you’ll be carrying out game meat, so a lighter rifle translates to a lighter overall load.

When Forum member Tom Mousel (a top 1000-yard competitor) considered a new hunting rifle, he wanted a very light-weight rig. What he got was a low mass masterpiece — an ultra-accurate, five-pound hunting rifle. Not only does this twin-barrel rifle, as built by Alex Wheeler, come in under five pounds (before optics), but it has produced some quarter-MOA 3-shot groups at 1000 yards. The 6mm Creedmoor version of this rifle has demonstrated truly stellar accuracy at long range. The 6.5 Creedmoor barrel also shoots well and packs more punch for hunting use.

Tom Mousel 6mm 6.5mm Creedmoor deer hunting rifle Pierce Titanium Ti action Lilja Barrel Manners composite Carbon Fiber stock

Ultra-Light Rifle Specifications:
Pierce Engineering 100% Titanium action — Titanium Receiver, Bolt, Lug
Manners Composite Stocks UC Carbon Fiber Stock
Barrel ONE: Lilja 6mm 21″ 1:7″-twist 3-groove, No. 1 Contour, Chambered 6mm Creedmoor
Barrel TWO: Rock Creek 6.5mm 21″ 1:8″-twist, No. 2 Contour, Chambered 6.5 Creedmoor
Leupold Mark AR 4-12x40mm scope in Talley Rings
Jewell Trigger

Tom Mousel 6mm 6.5mm Creedmoor deer hunting rifle Pierce Titanium Ti action Lilja Barrel Manners composite Carbon Fiber stock
CLICK HERE to view full-screen large version of photo.

Tom Mousel 6mm 6.5mm Creedmoor deer hunting rifle Pierce Titanium Ti action Lilja Barrel Manners composite Carbon Fiber stock

Here is Tom’s rifle weighing in at 4 pounds, 14 ounces with 21″ Lilja #1 contour 6mm barrel. Tom says: “Here’s the rifle with full Titanium action, bolt, and lug, in a Tom Manners 17 oz. carbon fiber stock. It’s exactly one pound heavier fitted with my Leupold Mark AR 4-12x40mm scope in Talley rings.”

Tom Mousel 6mm 6.5mm Creedmoor deer hunting rifle Pierce Titanium Ti action Lilja Barrel Manners composite Carbon Fiber stock

Tom has two barrels for the rifle, one chambered for 6.5 Creedmoor and the other for 6mm Creedmoor. Tom reports: “The 6.5mm is a bit lighter being fluted. But I won’t be switching back now that I’ve shot the 6mm version. Neither has too much recoil, but the 6mm CM just kills the 6.5mm at distance for groups.”

Tom tells us: “What I like about this rifle is there were no corners cut to make it light. On some other ultra-lights, the fore-end has no strength or they are cut down really short. This is a full-sized stock, pillar-bedded with aluminum-filled epoxy and free-floated barrel. The ignition is set up with a TON of firing pin fall to function in the coldest temps.”

Gunsmith Alex Wheeler of Wheeler Accuracy is pleased with how this project turned out: “Tom has shot a bunch of sub-5″ groups and a couple one-inchers back-to-back at 1K. He has the Berger 115gr VLD going about 3050 fps.” Tom noted the 6mm barrel picked up about 50-60 FPS after the first 50 rounds. He shoots 115gr Berger VLDs with CCI 450s and Reloder 16, with the Bergers about .005″-.008″ in the lands.

Groups at 1000 Yards with 6mm Creedmoor Barrel, 115gr Bergers

Tom Mousel 6mm 6.5mm Creedmoor deer hunting rifle Pierce Titanium Ti action Lilja Barrel Manners composite Carbon Fiber stock
Here are two of Tom’s 1000-yard targets. This is with the 6mm Creedmoor barrel shooting 115gr Berger VLDs pushed by Alliant Reloder 16 at about 3050 FPS. The average of the two groups is 0.246 MOA. Pretty amazing for an ultra-light rifle shot off a bipod. Tom acknowledges that he can’t do this every day. He says that “shooting 871 yards at my home range, the rifle typically shoots 4″ to 5″ 3-shot groups”.

Q & A with Tom Mousel About his Ultra-Light Hunting Rifle

Tom Mousel 6mm 6.5mm Creedmoor deer hunting rifle Pierce Titanium Ti action Lilja Barrel Manners composite Carbon Fiber stockQ: Why did you choose to build this rig?
Tom: I just wanted to do it to see how light we could build an accurate, good-shooting rifle.

Q: What are your favorite things about the rifle, and is there anything you would change?
Tom: Definitely the light weight, and the overall size — it has a pretty short barrel (21″), so it’s just handy. I wouldn’t change anything about the rifle, now that I have the Titanium bolt. When I bought the action originally it had the steel bolt.

Q: How does this rifle handle?
Tom: It points well considering it is a light rifle. The 6mm Creedmoor version has very little recoil. On a good bipod I can sight in at 1000 without a spotter.

Q: What are your favorite accessories?
I use a Solo Hntr Mtn Lite stretchy cover. You can see it in the photo at right showing me on a hunt. I like this because you can roll it up like a sock and and use it for a rear support.

Q: Why did you choose Alliant Reloder 16 powder?
Tom: Lonnie Anderson, a fellow Deep Creek shooter, did a 6mm Creedmoor and he said RL16 was absolutely the most accurate. We have also found that Reloder 16 is really consistent on velocities through the seasons — from 90 above to teens below zero.

Q: Could this ultra-light set-up work for a bigger caliber also?
Tom: I’ve tried bigger calibers, but I’ve never been satisfied with the consistency of the groups. There’s a cut-off — there’s too much torque and recoil. We see a limit — you don’t want “too much gun” for the platform. Even here, the 6.5 barrel just doesn’t shoot as well as the 6mm.

Q: What advice do you have for hunters considering ultra-light rifles?
Tom: Be careful about falling in love with ballistics and trying to build too much bang for too small a platform. If I built a 7mm WSM for example, I’d want to rifle to weigh at least two pounds more.

Full Titanium Action from Pierce Engineering
This photo shows the Pierce Engineering Titanium Featherweight short action featuring Titanium (Ti) receiver, Ti bolt, and Ti lug. This unit is a mere 15.90 ounces complete. (NOTE: with Titanium body and STEEL bolt the weight is 18.5 ounces). The long action version is 17.4 ounces for the complete Titanium action with Ti bolt and Ti lug.

Tom Mousel 6mm 6.5mm Creedmoor deer hunting rifle Pierce Titanium Ti action Lilja Barrel Manners composite Carbon Fiber stock

Jud at Pierce Engineering tells us: “Both the Ti action body and Ti bolt are DLC-coated. This action also has an anti-bind rail for added smoothness and ease of functioning. This really is one of the lightest actions on the market. If you’re looking into building an ultra-light rifle I would seriously check one out! We make these with the highest level of detail, pride, and machining tolerances. They’re just sweet actions… and our Ti Featherweight short action is roughly half the weight of a Remington Model 7. So there’s a significant weight savings with the Pierce Ti Featherweight over a Model 7.”

Tom Mousel 6mm 6.5mm Creedmoor deer hunting rifle Pierce engineering Titanium Ti action Lilja Barrel Manners composite Carbon Fiber stock

Owner Profile — Tom Mousel, Hunter AND Long-Range Benchrest Ace
Tom Mousel knows a few things about accurate rifles. He is a top 1000-yard competitor at IBS matches and at the Deep Creek range near Missoula, Montana. In 2016 Tom set a remarkable 6-match Light Gun Group World Record, with a 2.9540″ group size Aggregate for SIX matches. And a year later, in 2017, Mousel set a 10-Match Heavy Gun World Record with a 5.3376″ Aggregate. NOTE: that is for TEN-shot groups in Heavy Gun. That’s an average ten-shot group under 6 inches for 10 matches! Over the past decade, Tom has remained at the top of the 1000-yard game, with many match wins at Deep Creek and other ranges.

Tom Mousel 1000-yard
Tom Mousel 1000-yard

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January 30th, 2021

6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge Load Data from Sierra Bullets

Sierra Load Data 6.5 Creedmoor

Sierra Bullets has released very complete load data for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. This medium-sized cartridge has become one of the most popular chamberings for tactical and PRS shooters. The 6.5 Creedmoor combines excellent accuracy, good mag-feeding, good barrel life, moderate recoil, and reasonable component cost. That’s why this cartridge has caught on quickly.

Sierra Load Data 6.5 CreedmoorDeveloped in 2007 by Dennis DeMille and Dave Emary, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a shortened and improved 30 TC cartridge case that was inspired by the .308 Winchester design. This short action design was created to maximize case capacity and a wide range of loading lengths, while still fitting in standard short action magazines. With the correct twist barrel, the versatile 6.5 Creedmoor can take advantage of the wide range of bullet weights available in 6.5 mm (i.e. .264 caliber). Reloaders should keep in mind that the 6.5 Creedmoor works best with medium to medium-slow powders such as H4350, Varget, Win 760, and RE-17. The light recoil and adaptability of the efficient 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has already proven itself in high power, precision rifle series and benchrest competitions. Couple that with respectable barrel life and its intrinsic accuracy potential and you have a recipe for success which should insure its legacy for decades to come.

Sierra 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data Manual reloading .264

Here are three tables from the Sierra Bullets Reloading Manual (5th Edition). IMPORTANT — This is just a sample!! Sierra has load data for many other 6.5mm bullet types, including FB, Spitzer, SBT, HPBT, and Tipped MK from 85 grains to 142 grains. To view ALL 6.5 Creedmoor DATA, CLICK HERE.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Two More Great 6.5 Creedmoor Reloading Resouces

Want More 6.5 Creedmoor Load Info? View Starline’s 6.5 Creedmoor Guide by Gavin Gear:

Download full 6.5 Creedmoor Guide at StarlineBrass.com.

PRB 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor Load Survey
The Precision Rifle Blog compiled Load Data from PRS Competitors, for both 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor. This is a good place to start. PRB surveyed the match loads for “173 of the top-ranked precision rifle shooters in the country”. CLICK HERE.

PRB precision rifle blog pet loads what pros use 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm CM

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November 24th, 2020

6mm Creedmoor Load Data from Sierra Bullets + BONUS

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets
NOTE: The 6mm Creedmoor now does have an official SAAMI specification. It is no longer just a wildcat.

CLICK HERE for Sierra Bullets 6mm Creedmoor LOAD DATA PDF »

Sierra Bullets Load Data 6mm Creedmoor reloading tips

Sierra Bullets has published load data for the 6mm Creedmoor cartridge, a necked-down version of the popular 6.5 Creedmoor. Sierra has released very comprehensive 6mm Creedmoor load data, covering fifteen (15) different bullets from 55 to 110 grains. NOTE: Hornady-brand brass was used for Sierra’s 6mm Creedmoor load tests, not the newer, stronger Lapua 6.5 CM brass with small primer pockets. Hand-loaders using Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass necked to 6mm may have to adjust their loads.

Sierra writes: “As soon as the 6.5 Creedmoor was released in 2007, a 6mm version was being envisioned. After the 6mm Creedmoor demonstrated its worth at 1000 yards it began to catch the attention of Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competitors. The 6mm Creedmoor is a great fit for those looking for an AR platform-friendly cartridge. It delivers velocities very similar to the .243 Win and yet fits the AR10 magazine length[.] The 30-degree shoulder makes this a very efficient case and helps prolong case life as well. The 6mm Creedmoor works well with powders such as H4350, [RE-16], RE-17, and Ramshot Hunter for heavier long-range bullet weights. Slightly faster powders such as RE-15, Win 760, and Vihtavuori N540 work well with lighter weight bullets.”

Sierra Bullets Tested for 6mm Creedmoor Load Data
55gr BlitzKing (#1502)
60gr HP (#1500)
70gr HPBT (#1505)
70gr BlitzKing (#1507)
75gr HP (#1510)
80gr SBT (#1515)
85gr Spitzer (#1520)
85gr HPBT (#1530)
90gr FMJBT (#1535)
95gr HPBT (#1537)
95gr TMK (#7295)
100gr Spitzer (#1540)
100gr SBT (#1560)
107gr HPBT (#1570)
110gr HPBT (#1575)

In developing its 6mm Creedmoor load data, Sierra tested a very wide selection of propellants, two dozen overall. For the smaller bullets, fast-burning powders such as Benchmark, H4895, and CFE223 were tested. For the heavier 100+ grain bullets, Sierra tested a selection of medium-burn-rate powders including H4350, Reloder 16, Reloder 17, Varget, and Superformance. Sierra did a very thorough job. We know this information will be welcomed by 6mm Creedmoor shooters.

Don’t know what powder to try first? For the 107-110 grain bullets, if you want best accuracy and low ES/SD, our Forum members recommend Alliant Reloder 16 and Hodgdon H4350. If you are seeking max velocity with the 110-grainer, look at Hodgdon Superformance and Reloder 19.

Here are Sierra’s 6mm Creedmoor Load Data Charts for 90-95 grain bullets plus the 107gr MK and 110gr MK. There are five other tables for other bullet types.

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets


BONUS: PRB 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor Load Survey

The Precision Rifle Blog compiled Load Data from PRS Competitors, for both 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor. This is a good place to start. PRB surveyed the match loads for “173 of the top-ranked precision rifle shooters in the country”. One cautionary note: These PRS guys may be loading fairly hot, so work up gradually, 0.3 grains at a time. CLICK HERE.

PRB precision rifle blog pet loads what pros use 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm CM

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October 4th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: New Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 Hunting Rifle

We’re in the thick of hunting season now, so we’re featuring an impressive new hunting rig from Springfield Armory. The new Model 2020 Waypoint rifles feature advanced carbon-wrapped barrels*, TriggerTech triggers, and carbon-fiber, hand-painted camo stocks. The actions are pretty impressive too — with precision machining, enlarged ejection port, and integral recoil lug. These Waypoint rifles rival full-custom hunting rigs, yet are reasonably affordable. Starting price is $1699.00 with stainless barrel, while the deluxe model with carbon-wrapped barrel and adjustable cheekpiece is still under $2,400.00.

Handsome Hand-Painted Carbon-Fiber Stocks

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 Hunting Rifle
Minimum gun weight with carbon-wrapped barrel and fixed cheek is just 6.6 pounds.

All Model 2020 Waypoint rifles feature strong, light-weight, carbon-fiber-reinforced stocks with hand-painted camouflage finishes. Springfield Armory worked with AG Composites to develop these handsome stocks. You could easily pay $700-$800 just for an equivalent camo-painted stock from McMillan or Manners Composite Stocks.

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 hunting rifle

Four Chambering Choices
The Model 2020 Waypoint is offered in four popular chamberings: 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and .308 Winchester. Those are all desirable options. However, because this is a hunting rifle, we would also like to see a 7mm option, and a larger .30-caliber option. At least the barrel twist rates will allow modern, high-BC bullets: 1:7.5″ for the 6mm Creedmoor, 1:8″ for the 6.5 Creedmoor, and 1:10″ for the .308 Win. All barrels are threaded 5/8-24 for the included SA Radial Muzzle Brake.

TriggerTech Adjustable Trigger and Fast Lock Time

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 hunting rifle

We were pleased to see the Model 2020 Waypoint comes with a very good TriggerTech trigger that easily adjusts from 2.5 to 5.0 pounds. This trigger, as combined with a modern fire control system, achieves a very good 19 millisecond lock time — that rivals some custom benchrest actions, and is up to 45% faster than some other factory actions. FYI, “lock time” is measured from the break of the trigger until the firing pin strikes the primer.

Modern Coated Action with Big Ejection Port — Takes AICS-Compatible Mags

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 hunting rifle

Springfield Armory did a nice job with the action. There is a large ejection port and EDM-crafted raceways. The fluted bolt and the action body are coated for corrosion resistance and smooth operation. Additionally, the bolt features dual cocking cams for ease of operation and tool-less disassembly for maintenance.

Factory 3/4-MOA Accuracy Guarantee

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 hunting rifle

Springfield offers an impressive 0.75 MOA three-shot accuracy guarantee with “with quality match-grade factory ammunition, in the hands of a skilled shooter.” That is actually pretty impressive for a hunting rifle that weighs in under 7 pounds before options (carbon bbl version). You could spent a LOT more on a custom rig and not do much better accuracy wise.

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 hunting rifle

Bottom Line — How Does It Feel and How Does It Shoot?
Respected gun writer and hunter Wayne Van Zwoll tested a carbon-barrel Model 2020 Waypoint for Hunting Digital Magazine. He was impressed with the feel of the rifle, the quality of the components, the crispness of the trigger, the smooth mag-feeding, and the demonstrated accuracy:

“This rifle balances well. Running this rifle is a delight! It slurps cartridges seamlessly from the box and is easy to top-feed with single rounds. The magazine is a cinch to release and easily inserted. Springfield Armory’s Waypoint Model 2020 is notable for its relatively modest price — under $2,400 for even the most expensive version, and a starting price of $1,699 — [and] the quality of its parts and workmanship.

Accuracy — My first three shots, after bore-sighting and two to zero, cut a 0.62″ knot. I printed some more groups, which measured .63″ and .70″. Such accuracy from a rifle that, stripped, scales under 6¾ pounds should please any shooter! It’s also a credit to Hornady’s excellent ammunition.

In sum, the Waypoint offers features and performance now expected of top-rung multi-purpose rifles, without bleeding budgets. It should impress hunters as well as shooters scrambling in cross-terrain rifle competition[.] The first new Springfield Armory bolt rifle in a century has impressed me!”

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 Hunting Rifle

* The base Model 2020 Waypoint has a fluted stainless barrel. The carbon-wrapped barrel is an extra-cost option, as is the adjustable cheekpiece.

Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
September 10th, 2020

Cartridge Comparions from Brownells Video Vault

Brownells video archive youtube channel AR15 6.5 Creedmoor Grendel SPC .308 Winchester 7.62x51

Brownells is a well-known retailer of guns, gun parts, tools, accessories, ammo, and pretty much everything gun related. Brownells has a very active video production department that releases new “how-to” and product information videos every week. These videos offer helpful advice on gun cleaning/maintenance, reloading, as well as selecting/assembling components for various kinds of rifles. There now over 1000 videos on the Brownells YouTube Channel, this really is a remarkable resource.

One of our favorite regular Brownells video features are the Quick Tip Cartridge Comparisons. Brownells tech staffers look at a pair of cartridge types and reveal the noteworthy differences. Here are three recent Cartridge Comparison videos from Brownells.

1. 6.5 Creedmoor vs. .260 Remington

Brownells Gun Tech Caleb Savant compares and contrasts the 6.5 Creedmoor rifle cartridge with the older .260 Remington. Both cartridges are often loaded to nearly the same overall length (OAL), but with more of the bullet inside the neck for the .260 Rem. The .260 Remington is basically a .308 Winchester necked down to 6.5mm (.264″). The 6.5 Creedmoor has a shorter case, with a more modern 30-degree shoulder angle. With the same cartridge OAL, that can make it possible to load longer-ogive, higher-BC bullets. However, with a long-freebore chamber, the .260 Rem can certainly run any high-BC 6.5mm bullet made.

The .260 Remington can, theoretically, generate a bit more velocity at the muzzle because its longer case holds a bit more powder. However, with high-quality Lapua brass, in the real world, the 6.5 Creedmoor comes pretty darn close to .260 Rem performance with any given bullet weight. Moreover, the 6.5 Creedmoor is available with small primer pocket brass from Lapua. This brass may give a higher number of reloading cycles before case-head expansion becomes a problem. For the hunter, both choices are good, but the older .260 Rem may feed a bit better from a magazine, given the .260’s case taper and longer body. Overall, we favor the 6.5 Creedmoor for its versatility and efficiency, but the .260 Rem is a good cartridge too.

2. 6.8 SPC vs. 6.5 Grendel

Brownells Gun Tech Caleb Savant compares two medium-caliber cartridges that can work in AR15-platform rifles: the 6.5 Grendel and the 6.8 SPC (aka 6.8mm Remington “Special Purpose Cartridge”). The 6.5 Grendel is typically loaded with a high-BC .264″ bullet, while the 6.8 SPC has a larger-diameter .277″ bullet. Both have the same 2.26″ OAL as the AR-15’s standard .223 Remington / 5.56 NATO round. The big difference is the 6.5 Grendel’s faster velocity and flatter trajectory. With the same bullet weight, Brownells says the 6.5 Grendel will be about 100 fps faster than the 6.8 SPC. Given a 100-yard zero, the 6.5 Grendel will drop about 8.5″ at 300 yards, while the 6.8 SPC will drop 10.5″ at the same range. The 6.5 Grendel is probably a better choice for long-range targets, at least when loaded with a higher-BC bullet. A big difference is brass. You can get superb Lapua brass for the 6.5 Grendel. Not so for the 6.8 SPC, which really has never developed into a widely popular accuracy round.

3. 7.62×51 NATO vs. .308 Winchester (Subtle differences)

Brownells Technician Caleb Savant talks about the .308 Winchester and 7.62x51mm NATO. Most shooters know that both rounds have the same external dimensions. In fact, the military 7.62×51 was developed from the civilian .308 Winchester. So… can they be used interchangeably? The 7.62×51 cartridge normally can be fired from any rifle chambered in .308 Winchester because the 7.62 is spec’d for a lower pressure than SAAMI max in the .308 Win. However, we have encountered some British and Austrian 7.62×51 NATO milsurp ammo that was VERY hot — more than a typical commercial .308 Win Load. Accordingly you should always be careful when shooting new 7.62×51 ammo in your rifles. Likewise you should be careful about shooting higher-pressure .308 Win in some 7.62 NATO rifles. The 7.62×51 NATO chamber is slightly longer, and the cartridge’s case is typically a bit thicker, so it will “flow” and expand into the extra space. NOTE: Some newer rifles with 7.62×51 NATO chambers ARE made to handle .308 Win ammo. Check the owner’s manual or contact your rifle’s manufacturer to find out for sure.

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August 6th, 2020

Hot Rod Ruger — Customized Purple RPR in 6.5 Creedmoor

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod
Check out that bolt assembly. It features a fluted stainless bolt body, laser-engraved Titanium shroud, and Titanium dragon-scale bolt knob with polished stainless handle.

You haven’t seen a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) like this before. Forum member TerryH has customized his Second-Gen 6.5 Creedmoor RPR with a wicked purple finish, snazzy stainless/titanium bolt, and slick HDPE (polymer) bag-riders front and rear. The mods on this Hot Rod Ruger don’t stop there. Terry added a Seekins hand rail, Timney trigger, ergonomic grip, and more…

For his Hot Rod Ruger, Terry has the right skill set, learned on the job: “I work in a body shop and have pretty much custom-painted all my stuff for many years. For this 6.5 CM RPR, colors of choice are House of Kolor PBC-65 Passion Purple and black covered with Cerakote MC-161 matte clear.” Terry even painted his Bald Eagle rest purple to match his Hot Rod RPR.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Terry reports: “I’m shooting an RPR in 6.5 CM. It has a Patriot Valley Arms 26″ barrel. Josh at PVA is making a thread protector for me so I can remove the Mad Scientist brake. The butt stock has a V-Tab adjustable butt plate and Wiebad check rest pad. Glass is a currently a Vortex Gen I PST 6-24x50mm but I have a Golden Eagle on layaway”. To learn more about this rifle or ask TerryH questions about the build, visit this Shooters’ FORUM THREAD.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Ruger Precision Rifle Modifications:
Chassis and Handguards Painted Passion Purple
Patriot Valley Arms 26″ Barrel with Brake
Timney Trigger with Ambi Safety
Custom HDPE (Polymer) Bag-Riders front and Rear
V-Tab adjustable butt plate and Wiebad cheek-pad
Seekins Rail

Good Accuracy with Factory Ammunition
Terry reports: “The RPR is shooting .3 MOA @ 100 with factory Fed American Eagle 140s.” Terry plans to start handloading for the rifle with the goal of shooting F-Class matches next year: “I’ve successfully shot steel out to 1140 yards on the range but [I don’t know] if that will actually translate well in a match. I’m committed to practicing as much as I can and starting to shoot some matches in 2018.”

Front and Rear Bag-Riders with Protektor Rear Bag and Upgraded Bald Eagle Rest
Terry has engineered a slick set-up for F-Open competition and load testing. Up front is a Bald Eagle rest upgraded with windage knob mod, stainless F-Class feet, and longer adjusters. Terry also “changed the hardware to all stainless and added a couple of levels”. In the rear, Terry runs a Protektor Doctor rear bag with 1″ ear spacing.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Impressive additions are the custom HDPE bag-riders Terry crafted himself: “I realized that the butt stock wasn’t going to cut it on the rear bag and even though I got the 2 1/4″ front bag and the Seekins rail is 2″ wide and flat that it wasn’t as stable or smooth as I’d like.” So Terry made his own front and rear bag-riders from HDPE, a material similar to Delrin. Currently the front unit is 2.25″ wide, but Terry will be changing that to a 3″-wide front sled: “I decided that I’d get a 3″-wide front bag and mill a new front bag-rider. I’m going to recess the center to fit around the hand guard and I’ll mill a recess on the bottom of that one.”

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Shown below is the Hot Rod Ruger before Terry added the HPDE Bag-Riders front and rear. Terry says the rifle now handles much better with the bag riders, and he plans to upsize the front sled to 3″ width.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Bling’s the Thing. Below is the Hot Rod Ruger’s bolt assembly. It features a custom flat-fluted bolt shaft, laser-engraved Titanium shroud and Titanium dragon-scale knob with polished stainless handle. Terry confesses: “I simply can’t resist anything shiny!”

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

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August 3rd, 2020

Bargain Finder 254: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Bruno Shooters Supply — Massive BAT Action Sale

bat action sale

Superb BAT custom actions, over 80 on sale at $100 Off

BAT actions have an amazing reputation and are available in more configurations that just about any other action on the market. Head over to Bruno Shooters Supply and choose from over 80 BAT Actions on sale. Many models are avaiable, all discounted $100 off Bruno’s normal pricing. This BAT promo gets you $100 closer to that elite custom rifle you’ve always wanted.

2. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Ruger American Scoped Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor, $539.99

ruger american sale

Great deal on hunting rifles with Vortex Scope, 6.5CM, .308 Win, .243 Win

Sportsman’s Warehouse is running a special on Ruger rifles with Vortex scopes. For $539.99 you can get this Ruger American in 6.5 Creedmoor topped with a Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40mm scope with Dead-Hold BDC reticle. For the same $539.99 price you can also get this rifle in .308 Win, or .243 Win, also scope-equipped. This is a very good option if you are looking for an affordable hunting rig, ready to go.

3. EuroOptic — Vortex Optics Scope Clearance Sale

vortex scope sale

Super-low prices on scopes for PRS, Hunting, and Tactical

Maybe you’re in the market for a new scope for your AR or perhaps you’d like more magnification for your long-range rig. No matter what you’re in the market for, EuroOptic is running a huge Vortex Clearance Sale on scopes ranging from 1-4x24mm up to 6-24x50mm all at crazy low prices. If you’re planning a future build, you may want to grab one of these scopes now — the prices are exceptional.

4. Graf’s — Hornady A-Tip Bullets, All Calibers, Good Prices

hornady a tip sale

High BC A-Tips, wide selection of calibers

Hornady A-Tip bullets has started to earn a place on the line as more and more people are learning how to load and shoot them. As a result stock levels have been spotty at best in popular calibers. At Graf & Sons, we found a full selection of Hornady A-Tip bullets, including hard-to-find bullet weights. If you’ve been interested in trying A-Tips, grab these before they sell out.

5. Bullet Central — Bix’n Andy Benchrest Trigger, $385.00

tipton gun vise sale

Truly superb Benchrest match trigger or get Dakota Trigger for $195.00

Having a light and reliable trigger is critical to success in many disciplines. The Bix’n Andy Rem700 Benchrest Trigger is one of the best out there. With its easy-to-change pull weight and a ultra-crisp break it’s the choice of many competition shooters. If you’re looking for something with a slightly heavier pull at a much lower price, check out the $195.00 Dakota Trigger.

6. Amazon — Tipton Best Gun Vise, $87.54

tipton gun vise sale

Versatile, stable, works with all rifles, including ARs

You need a stable platform at home for your gun when clealing, and most gun vises are too light or unstable to do the job properly. If you’re looking upgrade to a better solution than what you have, grab the Tipton Best Gun Vise. The vise was designed to accommodate the widest possible array of firearms for cleaning, maintenance, or gunsmithing, and is easily configurable to handle bolt-action rifles, break-open shotguns, AR-15s, and handguns. You can also purchase this excellent Gun Vise for $89.99 at Midsouth Shooters, also a good deal.

7. MidwayUSA — MTM Shooting Range Box, $41.16

mtm range box sale

Great unit holds gear and has cradles for cleaning

Whether heading to the range or a weeklong competition, having all your cleaning gear in one easy-to-use place is critical. Enter the MTM Shooting Range Box. This will hold solvents, jags, brushes, patches, guide rods, and tools. PLUS this unit has cradles to support your rifle. This Editor has been using the MTM Range Box for years and wouldn’t dream of attending a match without it. Order now from MidwayUSA for $47.99, or back-order from Midsouth Shooters for $41.16.

8. Amazon — Motion-Sensor LED Interior Light, $15.99

gun safe light vault cabinet motion sensor light motion sensing LED magnet lamp

Activates when door opens, Rechargeable, 3 LED Light Levels

Here’s a great accessory for your Gun Safe or closet. This rechargeable LED lamp turns itself on when you open the door, and off when you close the door. Select three brightness levels: 10LED, 20LED, 30LED. With the supplied 3M adhesive magnetic strip you can easily attach the light to the inner walls of your gun safe. And then quickly remove the unit for charging with a standard USB cord (no batteries to replace!). It works, it’s handy, and it’s inexpensive — just $15.99 on Amazon. These motion-sensor LED lamps can also be used in garages or stairwells. NOTE: this is Amazon’s choice for rechargeable LED Motion-Sensor lights.

9. Amazon — Tipton Universal Bore Guide, $13.59

tipton bore guide sale

Very inexpensive but versatile for full range of chamber sizes

Bore cleaning is critical for rifle longevity and accuracy. But you need a good bore guide to avoid potential damage to your chamber and bore. This handy Tipton Universal Bore Guide ships with multiple chamber adapters. Three tapered tips are included (small fits calibers .17-.24, medium fits most calibers .25-.30, and large fits most calibers over .30). This Universal Bore Guide includes an action collar for AR rifles.

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June 30th, 2020

Berger 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo Shoots Great in PRS Rifle

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Is factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition good enough to win a PRS or NRL competition? The answer is a resounding “YES” if we’re talking about Berger ammunition. Produced with Berger match bullets and premium Lapua brass, this Berger 6.5 ammunition demonstrated excellent accuracy, impressive velocity, and very good ES/SD numbers. When tested at 1000 yards with an MPA-stocked PRS rig with Rem 700 action, this ammo showed just half-MOA of vertical, and produced a group that would have been a 50-1X in F-Class competition. That’s quite impressive for a PRS rig.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

This ammo test was performed by our friend Erik Cortina from Texas. Erik is a top F-Class competitor who also shoots tactical matches (for fun and glory). Erik recently built a new 6.5 Creedmoor with a Remington 700 action. Though this rifle sports a top-shelf MPA chassis and premium Kahles scope, Erik calls this his “budget build” because it has a plain Rem 700 factory action rather than the elite Borden actions he normally runs. Erik’s actions of choice are the Borden Mountaineer for PRS and Borden BRM-XD for F-Class.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Erik posted: “Shot my budget 6.5 Creedmoor today with Berger Bullets factory ammo. I shot five rounds over the chrono to get speed. I used BC info from the box and it all lined up properly. I adjusted my ECTuner to tune load and it took just 15 shots to get it shooting well. It’s simple with good components.”

This Berger factory ammo features Berger 130gr Hybrid OTM Tactical bullets. The Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cases have a large rifle primer. You can see this ammo displays good velocity with Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation rivaling good hand-loads.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brassCortina says the very accurate Brux barrel and razor-sharp 6-24x56mm Kahles scope help achieve this kind of outstanding performance at 1000 yards. Here are the key components for Erik’s latest PRS rig:

Masterpiece Arms BA Competition Chassis
Brux Heavy Varmint 26-inch, 1:8″-twist barrel
Remington 700 Action (custom bolt knob)
ECTuner (by Erik Cortina)
Kahles 6-24x56mm MIL Scope
MPA 1-piece 30mm Scope Mount

Barrel Tuner by Erik Cortina — Fits Behind Muzzle Brake
This rifle features a barrel tuner designed and crafted by Erik Cortina. You can the ECTuner alone, or, as you can see, the ECTuner can be fitted BEHIND a muzzle brake. Erik tells us: “The ECTuner allowed me to tune the barrel to my ammo rather than tuning the ammo for barrel as is done when reloading. With the tuner, there is no need to try different brands of ammo as they can all be tuned to shoot as good as possible in my rifle.”

MPA Chassis Configuration Guide
Erik’s “budget” PRS rifle employs a MasterPiece Arms (MPA) BA Competition Chassis with Rapid Adjustment Technology (RAT). This MPA Arms Video shows how to set up an MPA Chassis to suit the owner:

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June 20th, 2020

IMR Enduron Powders — Accurate, Temp Stable, and Versatile

IMR Enduron Powder 4166 4451 7977

Have you tried IMR Enduron powders yet (IMR 4166, 4451, 4955, and 7977)? We’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen. IMR’s line of Enduron extruded powders offer excellent temp stability, reduced copper fouling, and good load density for many popular cartridges (such as .223 Rem, 6mmBR, .308 Win, .30-06, 300 WSM to name a few). Some of our Forum members have reported excellent results with IMR 4166 in the 6mmBR, Dasher, 6.5×47 Lapua and .308 Win. One member wrote: “in my 6.5×47… 4166 gives speeds and accuracy pretty much exactly the same as Varget.” And other shooters have observed reduced copper fouling with Enduron series powders, so IMR’s Enduron anti-fouling chemistry does seem to work.

IMR Legendary Powders provided this summary of Enduron Properties:

Varmint hunters, big game hunters, match shooters and military snipers all seek powders that are insensitive to temperature changes. These powders all have it. This translates to point of impact and group size remaining the same, no matter what temperature conditions prevail. Another huge benefit is an additive that prevents copper fouling from building during dozens of rounds being fired. Here the advantage is top accuracy for longer periods of time, and less cleaning time.

IMR Enduron Powder 4166 4451 7977

A third major accomplishment with this technology is ideal load density. Experienced reloaders know that a case-filling load often delivers the most uniform velocities and best accuracy. We see this in popular match cartridges such as the 6PPC, 6mmBR, 6BRA, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win. These new Enduron powders offer excellent “full case” load density for the most commonly used cartridges with popular bullets.

CLICK HERE to Learn More about IMR Enduron Powders»

These three powders, IMR 4166, IMR 4451 and IMR 7977, are environmentally friendly by not having any ingredients harmful to the environment. Add to that, the three of them cover the most popular cartridges from .204 Ruger up to the mighty 500 Nitro Express, and the handloader “has it all”.

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June 20th, 2020

Huge Father’s Day Sale at Brownells Through June 21, 2020

Brownells Father's day sale

Brownells is running a big Father’s Day Sale now through June 21, 2020 (at 11:59 pm ET). Scores of popular products are deeplyl discounted — up to 40% Off. Save on AR Lowers/Uppers, Triggers, Optics, Chassis Systems, Magazines, Tools, Ammo and more. But you don’t want to delay too long — Brownells Memorial Weekend Sale runs through 11:59 pm on Monday, May 25, 2020. There nearly 1200 products on sale including: Barreled Actions, Chassis Systems, Magazines, Tools, Dies, Reloading Presses, Berger Bullets, Leupold Scopes, Leica Rangefinders, Lapua Brass, and much more.

Here are our TOP DOZEN hot Father’s Day Deals at Brownells today. CLICK HERE view all items on sale (1187 total as this is released):


Click on Photos to Access Sale items at Brownells.com

Brownell's Fathers Day sale 2020 Brownell's Fathers Day sale 2020 Brownell's Fathers Day sale 2020
Brownell's Fathers Day sale 2020 Brownell's Fathers Day sale 2020 Brownell's Fathers Day sale 2020
Brownell's Fathers Day sale 2020 Brownell's Fathers Day sale 2020 Brownell's Fathers Day sale 2020
Brownell's Fathers Day sale 2020 Brownell's Fathers Day sale 2020 Brownell's Fathers Day sale 2020
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June 9th, 2020

Load Data for 6.5 Creedmoor with 90gr to 142gr Bullets

Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895

We’re told the 6.5 Creedmoor is now the best-selling chambering in new bolt-action rifles sold in the USA. Accurate, versatile, with moderate recoil, the 6.5 Creedmoor serves hunters, paper punchers, and PRS shooters equally well.

GET ALL NOSLER 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data HERE »

As part of its online Load Data Center, Nosler offers very complete LOAD DATA for the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. This medium-sized cartridge has become one of the most popular chamberings for tactical and PRS shooters. The 6.5 Creedmoor combines excellent accuracy, good mag-feeding, good barrel life, moderate recoil, and reasonable component cost. That’s why this cartridge has caught on quickly.

6.5 Creedmoor Velocity Test Rifleshooter.com barrel cut test Nosler Load Data
How does barrel length affect 6.5 Creedmoor Muzzle Velocity?
CLICK HERE for RifleShooter.com barrel cut-down velocity test.

Origins of the 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge
According to the Sierra Load Manual: “Developed in 2007 by Dennis DeMille and Dave Emary, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a shortened and improved 30 TC cartridge case that was inspired by the .308 Winchester design. This short action design was created to maximize case capacity and a wide range of loading lengths, while still fitting in standard short action magazines. With the correct twist barrel, the versatile 6.5 Creedmoor can take advantage of the wide range of bullet weights available in 6.5 mm (i.e. .264 caliber).” Reloaders should keep in mind that the 6.5 Creedmoor works best with medium to medium-slow powders such as H4350, Reloder 16, IMR 4451, Varget, and Vihtavuori N150.

Click Each Image to Load PDF File for Listed Bullet Weights

Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895 Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895
Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895

In addition to the data sheets shown above, Nosler offers 6.5 Creedmoor data for 90 grain FB tipped bullets and 100 grain Ballistic Tip and Partition bullets.

Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895
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April 27th, 2020

New 6.5mm Ultra-High BC Bullet — Berger 153.5 Grain LRHT

Berger 153.5 grain long range hybrid target bullet new PRS ELR

There’s a new “top dog” in 6.5mm match bullets. Berger just released a new 153.5 grain 6.5mm bullet that offers impressive 0.694 G1 and 0.356 G7 BC numbers. The new bullet, which should be popular with PRS and F-Open shooters, features the latest Meplat Reduction Technology for ultra-consistent shot-to-shot BCs.

Berger’s new 6.5mm 153.5 grain Long Range Hybrid Target™ is the latest projectile offering in the Long Range Hybrid Target (LRHT) product line. The 6.5mm 153.5 Grain LRHT boasts a high-BC, jump-tolerant hybrid ogive profile that is Doppler Radar verified with less than 1% BC variation. Shot-to-shot BC consistency is vital when engaging long-range targets.

The 6.5mm 153.5 Grain LRHTs are ideal for long range disciplines that reach to 1,000 yards and beyond. The new 153.5s are tailored for cartridges such as the 6.5 Creedmoor, 26 Nosler, 6.5 PRC, 6.5 x 284, 6.5 SAUM, and 6.5 Weatherby RPM among others. With a complementary profile to Berger’s successful 6.5mm 156 Grain Elite Hunter projectile, the 153.5s require 1:8″ twist or faster.

Meplat Reduction Technology
Using proprietary processes, Berger’s Meplat Reduction Technology™ (MRT™) applies controlled pressure along the nose of each LRHT bullet, producing a homogeneous and repeatable profile for the industry’s most consistent Ballistic Coefficients (BC). Visit NoBSBC.com and learn “why BC consistency wins” vs. the “highest BC is best” myth.

“The new 6.5mm-153.5 grain LRHT’s push the limits of today’s performance standards. The drag reduction achieved with Meplat Reduction Technology contributes to their superior form factor and ballistic coefficient, offering minimal atmospheric influence during flight. The 153.5 is simply our highest performance 6.5mm projectile to date”, said Garett Stoddard, Berger’s Production Engineer.

Berger 153.5 grain long range hybrid target bullet new PRS ELR

Berger 6.5mm 153.5 Grain Long Range Hybrid Target™ Bullets are shipping now to Berger authorized retailers. Visit Bergerbullets.com/dealer-map to find nearby retailers.

Coming Soon – New Long Range Hybrid Target ammunition. Details will be provided on Berger’s Facebook Page and other social media.

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April 16th, 2020

.22 Creedmoor Load Information from Peterson Cartridge

Peterson Cartridge Company 22 .22 Creedmoor wildcat cartridge load data recipe powder

Peterson Cartridge Company (“Peterson”) has released a lengthy, authoritative guide to the 22 Creedmoor cartridge, a popular wildcat based on the 6.5 Creedmoor or 6mm Creedmoor necked down to .224 caliber. We think the 22 Creedmoor would be a great long-range varmint cartridge, similar to the .22-250 Rem, but with a more moder, efficient cartridge design. In addition, some PRS/NRL competitors may turn to the 22 Creedmoor because it has less recoil and is flatter-shooting than the 6mm Creedmoor. In addition, .224-caliber match bullets are typically less expensive than heavier 6mm and 6.5mm projectiles. Less recoil, and less cost — what’s not to like?*

DOWNLOAD Peterson .22 Creedmoor Load Data Article PDF »

Along with load data, this article has specific sections dedicated to: Primers, Rifling Twist Rates, and Reloading Supplies. If you are considering building a .22 Creedmoor, we recommend you download the full Peterson .22 Creedmoor article, which is available in PDF format.

Peterson Cartridge Company 22 .22 Creedmoor wildcat cartridge load data recipe powder

Peterson states, “Since its inception in 2007… the 6.5 Creedmoor has seen some pretty meteoric growth in popularity. That growth continues as of this writing, as the cartridge has now gone mainstream with hunters and shooters alike. As the popularity of the 6.5 Creedmoor has increased, so has the number of wildcat cartridges based off of it. Some of those popular wildcat cartridges are the 6mm Creedmoor, the .25 Creedmoor, and now the .22 Creedmoor. This data sheet will cover the .22 Creedmoor.

To help our customers, and anyone else who shoots .22 Creedmoor, we decided to create this Data Sheet and distribute it. [In this LOAD DATA Document] you will find four (4) common bullets, and four (4) common rifle powders used when handloading the .22 Creedmoor cartridge. We then took the different bullet and powder combinations and loaded them up to the SAAMI Maximum Average Pressure (MAP) for the 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor cartridges, which is 62,000 PSI. [O]ur goal was to provide a wide spectrum of bullet weights and the powders used with them.

All of the following data was gathered by our ballistician in our indoor ballistics lab located in our factory in Pennsylvania. Although we were able to gather pressure and velocity data in our lab, we have NOT tested these loads for accuracy. Again, these loads are just designed to give shooters information regarding what velocity, a given bullet and powder charge combination, will produce the SAAMI Maximum Average Pressure (MAP) of 62,000 psi.”

Sample 22 Creedmoor LOAD DATA

Peterson Cartridge Company 22 .22 Creedmoor wildcat cartridge load data recipe powder

IMPORTANT — Pressures can vary significantly with different Cartridge Overall Lengths (COAL). In addition, ANY change to ANY load components — primers, bullets, brass, powder — can affect pressure. Always load conservatively. In addition, because of variances in bore dimensions, some barrels may show higher pressures than others. Again, always start with conservative loads, well below MAX pressures.


*Actually there IS a potential downside — reduced barrel life. We expect that a 22 Creedmoor running hot varmint loads would experience shorter useful barrel life compared to a 6.5 Creedmoor. This is based on what we’ve observed with .22-250 and .22-250 Ackley barrels compared to our 6.5 CM barrels.

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