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June 1st, 2011

New Lapua 220 Russian Brass — Thicker Necks?

220 Russian brass lapuaJackie Schmidt, posting on Benchrest Central, observed that there may have been some production changes with Lapua 220 Russian brass. This brass is commonly used as the parent case for fire-forming 6 PPC cases. The newer 220 Russian brass has slightly thicker neckwalls, and, according to Jackie, the new brass is more consistent in overall neckwall thickness.

Jackie writes: “I have not made any new PPC cases in a while. But I finally used up all of my older 220 Russian brass, and just bought 500 new cases, in the blue plastic boxes. The necks are thicker. By at least .0008 (eight ten-thousandths). That is right at .0015 on diameter. I am getting neck-wall thickness of .0142″ on the old cases, .0150″ on the new cases. I [fire-formed] two cases, and seated a Flat Base Ultra bullet in each. The old case, with a seated bullet and non-neck-turned case, measures .2708″ average. By contrast, the new case, with a seated bullet in an unturned neck, measures .2722″ average. That is, on average, about .0015 difference in the diameter of a seated round.”

“Anybody else notice this? I guess the main reason I did the measuring is that I am thinking of having a ‘no-neck turn’ reamer ground. With this new brass, .0274″ would be the minimum. The new brass is a tad better in overall [neck]-wall thickness variation.” — Jackie

What does Lapua say? We’ve sent inquiries to Lapua’s USA tech representatives. We hope to have a response soon.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
July 4th, 2010

Triumph in Texas: Jackie Schmidt Shoots 0.1118 5-Target Agg at 100 yards with 30 BR — Best in History

Jackie SchmidtTexan Jackie Schmidt, using a 13.5-lb 30BR Heavy Varmint rifle, has shot a pending NBRSA world record 5-target, 5-shot-per-target Aggregate at 100 yards. Jackie’s 5x5x100 Agg measured 0.1118! How small is that? To help our readers visualize this, the illustration at right shows what a SINGLE 0.111″ 5-shot group (with .30-cal holes) would look like. Jackie’s actual measured group sizes for his five-target Aggregate were: .153, .093, .120, .100, and .093.

If this record is certified, it will be the best 5×5 100-yard Agg ever shot in history by a bag gun in competition. Jackie’s Agg may also beat the “Unlimited” (Rail Gun) 5x5x100 records, but we’re still researching that. Remarkably, Jackie shot his 0.1118″ Agg with a stout-recoiling 30 BR (not a PPC), he did it in howling winds, and he did it with brass that had been fired 30 times! He also shot the entire Agg without cleaning his barrel.

We know it may be difficult for some readers to understand how hard it is to average 0.1118 for 25 shots on FIVE targets. To help demonstrate this, we’ve created an illustration that shows a SINGLE 0.111″ five-shot group. Jackie shot five groups that averaged this size. And he wasn’t “machine-gunning”. He took 6-7 minutes to shoot each target, firing on a “angle transition” in the conditions. Jackie explained: “The wind was switching, but I wasn’t shooting the dominant condition. I would wait for the transition and then shoot when the flags came around to about 15 degrees.”

Jackie gave credit to his rifle: “Though I usually use this rifle for score shoots, this 30BR is the most accurate rifle I have in terms of shooting small groups. I was lucky and hit the perfect tune. There was absolutely no vertical. You can’t shoot [an Agg] like this unless you have a rifle tuned to the hilt.” Jackie recognizes that this performance was a “once in a lifetime type experience.” He told us: “Today everything was right. The rifle was shooting impeccably, I had a good handle on the conditions, and just didn’t make a mistake.” Jackie added: “These days are few and far between — you just have to cherish the moment.”

Jackie’s 5-target Agg was so good that many experts predict it will stand as a record for a long time. On Benchrest Central, respected BR gunsmith Mike Bryant wrote: “The current record … was still Rex Reneau’s .1399 Agg from 1982. With Jackie’s Agg, I’m sure that it will easily beat Rex’s record when measured by the records committee. It’s just too far under the current record for it not to hold up… [and] to do it with a .30 BR is even more amazing. That should put to rest the notion that the .30 BR is a score cartridge only.”

Many people are surprised this pending Agg record was shot with a 30BR rather than a 6 PPC. When asked if he thinks the 30 BR can rival the 6PPC in group competition, Jackie told us: “In the 13.5-lb Heavy Varmint class, a good 30 BR is every bit as accurate as a good PPC, and possesses an equal Agging capability.” It’s different in the 10.5 classes, Jackie acknowledged: “in the LV/Sporter 10.5-lb classes, the 30 BR can get a little aggravating over the course of a match due to its greater recoil.”

Jackie’s Aggregate May Be Best in Benchrest History
Shooting in a Midland, Texas BR for group match, Jackie battled shifty, 15-20 mph winds in what may well be the greatest single-day display of “pure accuracy” in the history of the shooting sports. To put this accomplishment in perspective, Jackie’s 5-target Agg was better than any other 5×5 100-yard Aggregate ever shot in a registered benchrest match by a bag-gun. And according to the published records we could find on file with the NBRSA and IBS, Jackie’s 0.1118″ also beats even the existing rail-gun 5x5x100 Aggs. So, this could potentially be the smallest 5-target Agg ever shot in history, by any gun, in any registered match, at any time. Below are the current IBS and NBRSA World records listed on the Internet:

Current Benchrest 100-yard World Records (5 Targets, 5 shots per target)
5-5-100 Aggregate (NBRSA)

Unlimited: .1283″ Steve Kostanich 8/10/2003

Heavy Varmint: .1399″ Rex Reneau 9/6/1982

Light Varmint: .1500″ Jeff Fowler 6/11/1994

Sporter: .1573 (na) Dick Katchmar 4/14/1985

5-5-100 Aggregate Records (IBS)

Unlimited HB: .1386 (na) R. Howell 12/3/04

Heavy Varmint: .1407″ Tony Boyer 8/3/07

Light Varmint: .1599″ B. Goad 8/13/08

Sporter: .1592″ R. Boop 8/13/08

Jackie SchmidtGun Specs: Jackie was shooting a 13.5-lb 30 BR that he chambered and assembled himself. The barrel is a 4-groove, 1:18″ twist, HV-taper Krieger, fitted with a 5.5-oz. “snubber” barrel tuner made by Jackie. The action is a cast Farley, “glued and screwed” into the stock and fitted with a Jewell trigger. The stock is a Robertson Composites BRX, built with extra weight to make the gun a dedicated 13.5-pounder. The scope is a 50-power March.

Record Load: Jackie was running a stout load of Hodgdon H4198 powder, Federal 205M primers, and BIB (Robinette) 112gr flat-base bullets seated about .003″ into the lands. Load is “tuned for 3020 fps”. Cases are formed from Lapua 6mmBR brass using a dedicated forming barrel that blows the necks out to 0.330″ in one step. Trim length is 1.540″, longer than most 30 BRs. Jackie turns the necks for a total of .002″ clearance.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 12 Comments »