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September 1st, 2019

Sunday GunDay: New 6GT Cartridge Tested in 3 Tactical Rifles

6GT Cartridge Alpha Munitions GA Precision PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

The New 6GT Cartridge for Precision Rifle Competition

Report by Vu Pham
Earlier this year I was ready to build a 6 Dasher when I saw a lot of buzz on the interwebs about a new caliber George Gardner (Owner of GA Precision) and Tom Jacobs (Owner of Vapor Trail Bullets) designed, the 6GT. After some research and talking to George, I ditched the 6mm Dasher build and had GA Precision build me a 6GT on a GAP Templar action I already had in the safe. The reasons to try the 6GT in a new PRS-style rig were as follows:

1. Push a 110-115 grain class bullet at 2880-2930 FPS safely in the Sacramento heat.

2. Achieve a load that is reliable and predictable. The caliber must be easy-to-tune and predictable from barrel to barrel. I don’t want to spend weeks developing a new load each time I spin on a fresh barrel.

3. Be able to run the same mag in all my guns without having to tweak or use mag kits. The round must feed from AICS and AW magazines without major tweaking or hiccups.

4. Get good barrel life. The barrel needs to go 2200-2500 rounds with match-grade reliability and accuracy.

5. Have a competitive cartridge with the least possible recoil without sacrificing too much performance down range, compared to bigger options like the 6mm Creedmoor.

6GT Cartridge Alpha Munitions GA Precision PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project
6GT feeding from un-modified magazines has been flawless in all the rifles we tested. The 6GT feeds so well, I sometimes have to do a press check to ensure there is a round in the chamber.

On paper the 6GT seemed like the perfect cartridge for PRS- and NRL-style competition. It has the low recoil of a 6 Dasher, with good feeding and mag compatibility. With the 6GT, a competitor can push 105gr bullets at 3000+ FPS or run heavier bullets at 2800-2900+ FPS.

6GT Cartridge PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua 6GT 6mm Dasher cartridge fire-formed neck-turn project

Knowing that I would initially have to make my own 6GT brass and do quite a bit of load development, I enlisted the help of Dan Bertocchini with CS Tactical. Dan has a lot more experience with wildcats and is the man when it comes to this type of data gathering. He has been running a 6 Dasher for a few years so I was curious how he would compare the 6GT to his 6 Dasher.

Quick Summary: “I am really digging the 6GT and the capabilities it offers. It can launch 103gr Vapor Trails at 3000+ FPS or lob heavy 115gr DTACs in the low-to-mid 2900s comfortably. I think we will see this cartridge go mainstream in PRS/NRL-style competition in 2020.” — Vu Pham

The new 6GT Cartridge Was Tested in Three (3) Tactical Rifles:

Rifle 1: Vu’s 6GT 1.0
Builder: GA Precision
Action: Left Hand GAP Templar (large firing pin)
Barrel: Bartlein 7.7 Twist finished at 26″ with a 419 Hellfire Brake
Stock: KMW Sentinel
Optic: Vortex Razor Gen II 4.5-27x56mm EBR-7C MRAD
Bi-Pod: Harris
Trigger: Timney Calvin Elite
Magazines: AICS and AW
Support Bag: Wiebad Fortune Cookie

Rifle 2: Vu’s 6GT 2.0
Builder: Rubicon Precision
Action: Impact Precision 737
Barrel: Bartlein 7.0 Twist finished at 27″ with a 419 Hellfire Brake
Stock: XLR Industries Envy Chassis
Optic: Vortex Razor Gen II 4.5-27x56mm EBR-7C MRAD
Bi-Pod: Harris with Henderson Arca adapter
Trigger: Trigger Tech Diamond
Magazines: AICS and AW
Support Bag: Wiebad Fortune Cookie

Rifle 3: Dan’s 6GT
Builder: CS Tactical
Chambered by: Rubicon Precision
Action: Lone Peak Arms Fusion
Barrel: Proof 7.0 Twist finished at 28″ with a Muzzle Brake and More Brake
Stock: XLR Industries Envy Chassis
Optic: Minox ZP5 5-25x56mm MR4
Bi-Pod: Arca Cyke Pod (PRS)
Trigger: Trigger Tech Diamond
Magazines: MDT
Support Bag: Armageddon Gear OG Game Changer, Waxed Canvas

6GT Cartridge Alpha Munitions GA Precision LabRadar PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

Alpha Munitions Pre-Production 6GT Brass
6gt brass cartridge Alpha Munitions PRS 6mm DasherGeorge Gardner was kind enough to send us 50 pieces of Pre-Production Alpha 6GT brass for preliminary testing. Like the cases I formed from 6.5×47 Lapua brass, the Alpha 6GT brass will use a small rifle primer. Price from Alpha Munitions should be $1.15 per case, which is on par with Alphan’s other product line.

The first 7000 pieces of Alpha 6GT brass sold before I could even get my hands on any! The bigger batch of production brass is due later this year. To pre-order the brass, CLICK HERE.

The major difference between 6.5×47 Lapua-formed brass and Alpha 6GT brass is the case capacity. Alpha 6GT brass has 1.5 to 1.7 grains more case capacity. When a piece of 6.5×47 Lapua brass is formed into a 6GT, the walls of the case now become the shoulder and part of the neck. In a normal piece of brass, the shoulder and neck are typically thinner because of the thickness of the brass tapering from the body to neck.

While the cartridge design was optimized for Hodgdon Varget, the extra case capacity of the Alpha 6GT brass opens the door to Hodgdon H4350 (my favorite powder) and Alliant Reloder 16.

Test Results with Alpha Munitions 6GT Brass
Initial test results were as expected from a premium brass-maker. Dan and I both got excellent Standard Deviations and Extreme Spreads over my MagnetoSpeed V3 and his LabRadar. This string below was with 112gr Barnes Match Burners and 33.8 grains of Varget. Can’t complain about a 3 FPS Extreme Spread!

6GT Cartridge 600 yard target PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

Yes, H4350 Works with the Alpha Munitions Brass
Personally, I prefer running Alpha 6GT brass with H4350 rather than Varget pushing a heavier bullet. H4350 burns slower and cleaner which should equate to better barrel life. The Lapua-formed 6GT cases just do not have the capacity to reach the cartridge’s full capability with the slower burning powders.

Is the 6GT cartridge accurate? Definitely. Here is a 5-shot group at 600 yards shot by Dan. This was Alpha 6GT brass, with Hodgdon H4350 pushing Barnes 112gr Match Burner bullets.

6GT Cartridge 600 yard target PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

And here is a 4-shot, 600-yard group with reformed 6.5×47 Lapua brass, using Varget powder under a Barnes 112gr Match Burner.

6GT Cartridge 600 yard target PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

6GT Stress Test — Don’t Try this at Home!
Dan and I also did a “destruction test” to see how the Alpha 6GT brass would hold up when competitors push the cartridge to its limits. Please note that this is PRE-PRODUCTION brass and Dan and I probably exceeded max load for the majority of the duration of this test. Using Varget powder, we pushed 115gr DTACs at 2950+ FPS on a pretty hot day. We ran the charge weight up until the bolt was hard to lift.

6GT Cartridge PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

Using this very hot charge, we were able to get 14 firings before the primer pocket failed. That is pretty solid considering that this brass was a pre-production sample that Alpha said did not meet its primer pocket design requirements. With these results, I think a shooter pushing 110-115 grain class bullets in the low 2900s will get 16 to 20 firings from a piece of brass.

6GT Cartridge PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

Is the GT here to stay?
All signs are pointing to “Yes”. Dies are readily available from Hornady, RCBS, and Redding. Chamber reamers are being produced by PT&G and JGS that can be purchased through GA Precision.

Alpha Munitions is hard at work getting quality brass to the shooters. Quite a few people have already chambered up 6GT barrels before they even have brass in hand. I think we will see this cartridge go mainstream in PRS/NRL-style competition in 2020. With Alpha Munitions production brass almost ready to hit the shelves, I think we will see a lot more data come in from the field by the end of this year.

The Verdict — The 6GT Is Looking Great So Far
I am really digging the 6GT and the capabilities it offers. It can launch 103gr Vapor Trails at 3000+ FPS or lob heavy 115gr DTACs in the low to mid 2900s comfortably. George Gardner has texted me some pictures of very impressive groups pushing an 115gr DTAC at 3000 FPS with Alliant Reloder 16 (a very temp-stable powder with a burn rate close to H4350). That being said, if a guy wanted to push that type of speed and bullet weight, the 6mm Creedmoor is a better solution in my opinion. So far my “go to” 6GT load is a 112gr Barnes Match Burner at 2900 FPS. My other favorite load is a Hornady 108gr ELDM at 2970 FPS.

I think the down-range performance of the 6GT over a 6mmBR and the 6BR variants will be valuable on those days where shooting conditions are not as perfect. Recoil is about the same as the 6BR variants (6BRA, 6 Dasher etc.), but noticeably less than a 6mm Creedmoor. The extra energy down range will make a spotter’s job a bit easier when targets extend beyond 800 yards.

Forming GT Brass from Lapua 6.5×47
Before the new Alpha Munitions brass was available, I tested the cartridge using 6GT made from parent Lapua 6.5×47 Lapua brass necked-down and reformed. George Gardner walked me through the process of forming 6GT brass out of Lapua 6.5x47L. The process is time-consuming and is a huge PITA even with the correct tools. More detailed instructions can be found on my 6GT thread on the AccurateShooter Forum. READ Forum Thread HERE.

Here is a photo of what the brass looks like going through the forming/trimming process.
Left to right: 6.5×47 Lapua brass, sized with the 6GT bushing die with a .266 bushing, chopped/trimmed and turned, and fired-formed.

6GT Cartridge PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

The formed-from-Lapua 6GT brass performed well and is a good option if one has the time and desire, but I’ll be moving over to factory Alpha Munitions brass once it is readily available.

6GT Tested at 1000 Yards
After seeing what Tom Jacobs is doing with his benchrest gun running Alpha Munitions brass, there is no doubt the 6GT is plenty capable out to 1000 yards and beyond. I have a feeling the Benchrest and F-Open guys are going to dig this new 6mm cartridge as well, at least for 600 yards. Note, in this photo it appears Shot #5 is under a paster, but that might just be a Ballistic-X software input error, meaning that this is actually a 4-shot group. Either way it is still impressive.

6GT Cartridge PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical 18 Comments »
April 3rd, 2019

After Action Report — Gem State Stand Off Practical Rifle Match

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
Vu Pham takes a shot at the Snake River Sportsman Range in Oregon. Click image for full-screen version.

Vu Pham recently attended a great practical/tactical match, the Gem State Stand Off. This NRL-sanctioned match drew 113 shooters, including many of the best PRS/NRL competitors in the country. Vu says this was a great event: “The 220-round, 22-stage course of fire was fun, yet challenging. Every stage had a two-minute par time requiring 10 rounds fired at multiple targets. 113 competitors fired about 24,000 rounds without a single target failure.”

2019 Idaho Gem State Stand Off AAR
Target Distances: 300 to 1200 yards
22 stages/220 round Course of Fire
113 Competitors

Match Directors: Nate Lauerman & Seth Howard
Range Officers: 21 Precision Rifle Shooters of Idaho
Event Date: March 23rd & 24th, 2019
Location: Snake River Sportsman Range in Vale, Oregon

“With technological advances in equipment, training, and ballistics, plus increased opportunities for competitors to fine-tune their skills, Practical Precision Rifle competition has become a perfectionist sport. The constant evolution of this discipline never ceases to amaze me. With competitors and manufacturers constantly pushing to gain an edge… there is no shortage of innovation.” — Vu Pham

Gem State Stand Off — After Action Report

Report by Vu Pham, NorCal Practical Precision Rifle Club
I was fortunate enough to snag a last-minute slot for the 2019 Gem State Stand Off hosted by the Precision Rifle Shooters of Idaho Club (PRSID). This is one of 17 National Rifle League events where competitors will battle for points hoping to secure a slot for the 2019 NRL Championship. The Snake River Sportsman Range is a beautiful venue in Vale, Oregon, near the Idaho border.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
The digital display carries ballistics info and elevation/windage tables from Vu Pham’s Kestrel. He says the unit really helps his performance.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
From the hills looking down-range. Click image for full-screen version.

Hardware Report — Top PRS/NRL Gear for 2019

Modern Precision Rifle Comp Gear — Stocks and Chassis Systems
The traditional rifle stock we know has now moved to more modular and customizable designs. One product that caught my eye is the new XLR Industries Envy JV Heavy Fill Chassis system. After seeing a lot of competitors use them with good results, I think I will be giving one a try soon. Not being able to borrow a piece of gear because the entire squad is running ARCA can be a drag. Picatinny forearm rails have gone the way of the dinosaur with ARCA Swiss becoming the standard for attaching accessories.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher

Those like myself who may not want to give up their traditional-style stocks do have the option of modifying their existing stock with a universal ARCA rail from Henderson Precision. That company makes a variety of rails that fit a number of stock platforms.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher

Rifle Support Options — Bags and Tripods
Tripods are also used a lot as front and rear support by the majority of the field as well. Support bags now come in every shape, size, weight, and material imaginable. Even the fundamentals of driving your rifle is being challenged by the evolution of “free recoil”. Instead of counting the number of hits for the day, the top echelon shooters count the number of shots they dropped.

Calibers of Choice — Small is Big — the 6mms Dominate
6mmBR Improved cartridges (6mm Dasher, 6BR Ackley) and mid-sized 6mms (such as 6mm Creedmoor) dominate the field. In addition we are seeing some guys running the 22 BR and 22 BRA, which work surprisingly well. [Editor: Run the ballistics with a .22 Cal 80-grainer and you’ll see why.]

Wind Monitoring and Ballistics
Kestrel Environmental Meters with Applied Ballistics are “must haves”. I have found my Really Right Stuff tripod and Vortex 12×50 Razor binoculars extremely useful for locating targets and going through the target shooting order before it was my turn to shoot. Watching what the wind and competitor’s rounds are doing before you are on the gun is a huge benefit.

Great Match with Great Shooters

Tough Competition with a Field of Ace Practical Marksmen
The field of competitors at this match was stacked. I heard there were 20 competitors in attendance who have won national-level PRS or NRL events. 20 top-echelon competitors mixed in with a solid field of shooters made it a tough for anyone looking to finish at the top.


Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical 1 Comment »
June 30th, 2014

Norcal 2014 Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge

Story based on After Action Report (AAR) by Jonathan Berry
The 2014 NorCal TBRC is in the books and what another fabulous match put on by Vu Pham and the crew at the NorCal Practical Precision Rifle Club (NCPPRC). When you attend this match you truly appreciate the effort, planning, and execution carried out by the nation’s largest practical precision rifle club. The Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge runs smoothly from beginning to end, even though the match offers plenty of challenge and variety. Vu Pham, match director, reports: “This year’s TBRC had four major evolutions, that encompassed 22 various stages of fire. Our competitors ended up firing more than 13,000 rounds over the match weekend.”

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

AUDIO FILE: Vu Pham Talks about the NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge.

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

CLICK HERE for 2014 NCPPRC Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge Photo Gallery.

CLICK HERE for Full Match Report with Video Clips.

The match is broken up into three different segments: short range (25-200 yards); steel range (150-550 yards); and long range (800-1000 yards). The short range consisted of shots from 25-200 yards. It involved hostage targets, movers, little bitty dots, and my favorite stage, “The MGM Spinner”. This course of fire pitted competitor vs. competitor in a race to see who could spin the target, for 50 points, with a bonus of 20 points if you spun it first. On the 100-yard mover stage, Rockstar Regina Milkovich impressed the crowd by landing all six (6) shots on her moving target. Nice work, Regina!

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

The steel range runs from 150-550 yards with targets at 220, 330, 440, and 550 yards. Unusual shooting stations, time challenges, and other factors made these stages a real test of skill (and the ability to “adapt and overcome”). There was another head-to-head course of fire where you had to put six shots on a dueling tree with 6” flappers at 440 yards.

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

Yes, eye protection is mandatory at the TBRC. That’s a good safety rule.
NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham SacramentoLong-Range Challenge
The TBRC’s long range segment involved targets at 800, 900, and 1,000 yards. Five, 3-shot groups were fired at each yardage with one minute to fire the three shots. You really had to pay attention to the mirage, wind, and your gut instinct. Many times those three indicators lead you to three different conclusions!

Several amazing 3-shot groups were shot from the 1,000-yard line by TBRC competitors. These small groups demonstrate the accuracy of today’s bolt-action tactical rifles. Jeremy Bentham (photo right), who placed second in the match, had a sub-one-inch group from the 1,000-yard line, all in the 9-Ring no less. Nice shootin’ Jeremy!

Amazing $70,000 Prize Table at 2014 NorCal TBRC
The $70K prize table that Vu and team put together for this match was incredible. Each and every sponsor deserves recognition for contributing to the match. It never ceases to amaze me to see so many great prizes on the tables at a match like this. Thank you all for supporting the sport. We, as shooters, appreciate it and try hard to support those who support us.

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

Look inviting? Then maybe you should plan to join the NorCal clan at one of their regular matches. Vu Pham notes that unaffiliated new shooters are welcome at NCPPRC event: “You do not have to be a member of NCPPRC or FSC to shoot with us. For those of you that would like to shoot with us, please visit our website at Info about when, where, and how our matches are run are posted in the various forums for matches and practice sessions.”

The NCPPRC Crew Delivered Some Serious Bar-B-Q for Challenge Competitors.
NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

About NorCal Practical Precision Rifle Club (NCPPRC)
NCPPRC was founded in 2006 by Vu Pham and Shawn Shaw in response to the growing demands of precision rifle shooters in Northern California. As of 2011, NCPPRC has a membership roster of 100 precision rifle shooters from all walks of life.

Our mission is to provide events where serious practical/tactical precision rifle shooters can test their skills in a safe and controlled environment. We provide competent mentoring for new shooters. NCPPRC offers clinics, monthly practice sessions, and an Internet forum. Our organization offers monthly competitions, monthly practice sessions, and an annual two-day event that attracts civilians, law enforcement, and military shooters from across the nation.

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento
Permalink Competition, Tactical 1 Comment »
March 30th, 2014

Got Steel? NorCal PPRC does…

Today was “Work Day” for our buddy Vu Pham and the members of the Norcal Practical Precision Rifle Club (NCPPRC). That means the boys were hauling out newly-constructed barricades and uncrating a whole lot of new steel, courtesy MGM Targets. Here’s the new steel on display at NorCal’s home range, the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center. Poppers, silhouettes, giant spinners — it’s quite an impressive line-up of steel.

Click for Large Photo
NorCal MGM Targets

How’d you like to have this pallet of armored steel goodies materialize at your house? That’s a serious dose of “Heavy Metal”. Vu Pham (one of NCPPRC’s founders) says: “Thanks Mike Gibson, Travis Gibson, and the folks at MGM for [your] continued support.”

NorCal MGM Targets

New Playground Equipment for the Tactically Inclined
Vu Pham and his NCPPRC co-horts have been busy fabricating new ramps, barriers, and other three-dimensional challenges used in the popular NCPPRC tactical matches. Check out the angled prone platform (bottom photo). We get a little dizzy just looking at it. Notice how the bipod legs have to be set to different lengths to level out the rifle.

NorCal MGM Targets

NorCal MGM Targets

Permalink Tactical 3 Comments »
May 23rd, 2013

Bartlein Delivers Precious Metals to NorCal Rifle Club

Norcal NPPRC Bartlein BarrelsNeed a premium cut-rifled barrel? Be prepared to wait six months or more. However, if you were a member of the NorCal Practical Precision Rifle Club (NCPPRC) you’d be sitting pretty right now. After receiving a boatload of new Bartleins (31 by our count), NPPRC’s Vu Pham announced on Facebook: “Our first batch of Bartlein Barrels has arrived!! This is less than 1/3 of our 2013 Club order!”

That’s an impressive supply of precious metal to be sure. Are those Bartleins worth their weight in gold? Not quite, but Vu and crew definitely have reason to celebrate. We hope all the folks at NCPPRC shoot lots of good scores with all those pretty new tubes. Yes, you could say we have “barrel envy” now.

Norcal NPPRC Bartlein Barrels

Permalink Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
April 9th, 2013

Vu Pham Wins Match with New Bushnell 4.5-30x50mm Scope

Some times nice guys do finish first. Our buddy Vu Pham, co-founder of the NorCal Practical Precision Rifle Club (NCPPRC) took top honors in the NCPPRC monthly tactical long range match on the 1000 yard range at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center. Shooting his .260 Remington in a McMillan A5 stock, built by Spartan Rifles, topped with a Bushnell 4-30x50mm from CS Tactical, Vu beat a competitive field on a breezy day that saw the top 6 shooters separated by only 15 points. The Course of Fire had 27 of the 50 rounds shot from 800 to 1000 yards, where the fast-switching winds at 1000 yards were the deciding factor in the outcome. Vu tells us: “This LR Match win has eluded me for seven years now with these guys. I’ve been in the top five quite a few times, but never took home the win. Our matches are so close these days that it usually comes down to one or two bad trigger presses or ‘blown’ wind calls to separate the Top 10 shooters.”

NCPPRC Norcal Tactical Vu Pham

NCPPRC long range tactical matches are held the first Sunday of each month, and are open to anyone 18 or older. No membership in any organization is required. Registration is at Range 12 of the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center from 07:30 to 08:30 in the morning. Cost is $25. To learn more about the match visit the NCPPRC Long Range Match webpage.

New Bushnell 4.5-30x50mm Tactical Scope
Vu Pham was running an all-new Bushnell front focal plane 4.5-30x50mm XRS scope with an amazing 6.7 times zoom range. This 34mm-tube scope features Bushnell’s G2 DMR Reticle. For a scope offering 30X magnification, is it compact at 14″ OAL (only 3/4″ longer than the HDMR). The elevation turret provides 10 mils per revolution with a zero stop. The scope sells for $2149.00 at CS Tactical.

NCPPRC Norcal Tactical Vu Pham

Vu liked the new Bushnell scope and, obviously, it performed well for him. Vu tells us: “I believe this optic just hit the market… and is still pretty new. After having a few days behind the Bushnell XRS 4.5-30, I believe this optic will be a very viable option for the tactical precision rifle game. One of my favorite features of this scope is the mil-based G2DMR reticle. It makes holding over (and holding for windage) fast and easy. I will be doing a full test and evaluation in the next week or two after I get more time behind the optic.” Mike Cecil with CS Tactical provided the scope for this T&E.” Mike notes: “This is not the 4-30 tactical that’s listed as an XRS in the Bushnell online catalog — that’s a 30mm in the 6500 series line. This 34mm-tube XRS is a whole new animal!”

Permalink Competition, New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
October 12th, 2012

Francis Kuehl Wins NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge

Francis Kuehl TRBC FolsomTeam Lapua’s Francis “The Animal” Kuehl won the 6th NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge (TBRC) held September 29-30 at the Folsom Shooting Center in California. Along with winning the Match Overall title, Kuehl was TBRC Top Steel Evolution Shooter this year. Kuehl, a mild-mannered CPA in real life, has been the man to beat at the TBRC in recent seasons. His 2012 win marked Kuehl’s third overall victory in the TBRC, having finished first in both 2011 and 2009. This year, Kuehl was shooting a .260 Remington. For ammo, Kuehl used 6.5mm Lapua 139gr Scenars pushed by VihtaVuori N160 powder in Lapua .260 Rem cases.

The match featured five separate ranges, and four different evolutions (Long Range, Short Range, Steel, and Run & Gun) over two busy days of shooting. 77 competitors shot the course of fire that called for 215 rounds fired if a competitor was able to fire every required round. Shortest shot was at 25 yards, with the longest at 1000 yards. The long-range segment called for 36 rounds fired from 800 to 1000 yards. Most of the match was shot from 200 to 600 yards, with a small percentage of targets set inside 200 yards for the short range evolution.

Francis Kuehl TRBC Folsom

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 2 Comments »
October 11th, 2011

New Nationwide Competition Series for Precision Tactical Rifles

Precision Rifle Series

Tactical Precision Rifle Matches are hugely popular, with many matches “sold out” months in advance. Now it looks like the precision tactical discipline is headed for the big-time. Stealing a page from the 3-Gun Nation playbook, a group of tactical competitors is launching a new nationwide series of matches for tactical shooters, the Precision Rifle Series 2012 (PRS). These matches will involve shooting at distances from 100 to 1000 yards, with a wide variety of stages, many involving barriers, or run-and-shoot challenges. This is not 3-Gun, mind you — at this time the PRS directors want to keep the focus on rifles. However, at some events, Match Directors may offer a couple stages that involve pistol shooting — but this is optional. The vast majority of PRS stages will be rifle-only.

Currently, most PRS shooters are fielding bolt-action rifles with detachable box magazines. However, the event is NOT restricted to bolt guns. Rich Emmons, one of the founders of the Precision Rifle Series told us: “About 90% of the shooters are using bolt-action rifles, but we are seeing more interest in ARs and other semi-automatics. Currently the rules are open, so you can shoot your AR if you wish. In fact, on some stages there may be a benefit to using a semi-automatic. But we still expect that most competitors will prefer bolt guns for their accuracy, simplicity, and reliability.”

To learn more about the Precision Rifle Series, visit or email Rich Emmons at PrecisionRifleSeries [at]

Precision Rifle Series

Precision Rifle SeriesMatches Will Be Hosted at Multiple Venues
Currently nine (9) PRS events are scheduled, culminating in a “Series Finale” in December, 2012 at the Rifles Only facility in Texas. Shooters who register for the Series (and pay the $75.00 PRS annual dues) may count up to three (3) Series events for season points to earn a spot to shoot the 2012 Series Finale. Season Finale contestants will be competing for cash, match prizes and total points. All Finale-qualified shooters who earn a spot to the Finale will receive a reserved slot for the 2013 PRS season.

PRS Rules and Scoring Procedures have been set by an “Oversight Committee” of well-known tactical shooters and match directors: Rich Emmons, Kevin Elpers, Scott Milkovich, Dustin Morris, Vu Pham, and Wade Stuteville.

Precision Rifle SeriesA Series Event win will earn the first-place competitor 100 Series Points. The remaining field of competitors “will receive points normalized from the percentage earned in relationship to the top score”. (We’re not quite sure what that means, except that the points a shooter earns will be based on his match performance.) Points are important as shooters qualify for the Series Finale one of three ways: 1) by winning any qualifying match; 2) by earning enough season Series points to be in the Top 50 shooters nationwide; or 3) by being a Top 15% finisher (or better) at two events.

Upcoming Events
Total Season Series points will be calculated from the highest scoring 3 events listed below. The PRS Committee may add up to three more events to the 2012 Series Schedule.

Lone Star Challenge
December 3-4, 2011
Frost, Texas

Phoenix TPRC
February 18-19, 2012
Phoenix, Arizona

Rifles Only Cup
April 2012 (TBA)
Kingsville, Texas

Score High Tactical Match
May 12-13, 2012
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Oklahoma Tactical Shooters (OTS) Match
September 15-16, 2012
Western, Oklahoma

NCPPRC Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge (TBRC)
September 29-30, 2012
Sacramento, California

North Texas Rifle Precision (NTRP) Match
October 13-14th 2012
Gun Barrel City, Texas

LV STEEL Major Match
To Be Announced (TBA)
Las Vegas, Nevada

Series Finale @ Rifles Only Bash
December 1-2, 2012
Kingsville, Texas
Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
June 13th, 2011

2011 Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge Match Video

TBRC 2011This video has highlights and interviews from the 2011 Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge (TBRC) in Northern California. Some 66 shooters competed in a multi-stage event held May 27-29, 2011 by the Nor Cal Practical Precision Rifle Club (NCPPRC). You’ll see the latest tactical hardware and shooting techniques in this lengthy (35 minute) video.

The video shows bolt guns being shot from a variety of positions: prone, kneeling, sitting, standing, and off barricades. Match Director Vu Pham explains some of the more interesting courses of fire in the match. There are also interviews with many of the competitors. If you The last 10 minutes or so of the video covers the awards ceremony at the end of the match. If your time is limited, you may want to skip that section.

CLICK HERE for more TBRC 2011 photos. | Complete Match Results and Match Summary by Vu Pham.

2011 TBRC Match Results

Top 10 Overall
1. Kuehl, Francis 1,450.12 5X 100.0% 260 Rem
2. Emmons, Richard 1,228.78 3X 84.7% 6XC
3. Milkovich, Tim 1,199.00 2X 82.7% 6XC
4. Powers, Todd 1,188.35 4X 81.9% 260 Rem
5. McGinnis, Matt 1,187.00 1X 81.9% 243 Win
6. Jefferies, James 1,181.91 4X 81.5% 243 Win
7. Keim, Jason 1,181.35 3X 81.5% 243 Win
8. Denny, Jacob 1,169.15 2X 80.6% 260 Rem
9. Kerr, Ryan 1,163.42 1X 80.2% 243 Win
10. Gardner, George 1,162.85 2X 80.2% 243 Win

Special Categories
Top 308 Win Shooter: Tim Canupp, 943 0X

Top Long Range Shooter: David Skit 647 4X

Top Steel Shooter: Francis Kuehl 886.12

Fastest Shooter: Francis Kuehl 42.88 seconds

Top LE/Mil Shooter: Tim Milkovich

2011 TBRC prone with barricades

Story Tip from Edlongrange. Photo courtesy We welcome submissions by readers.
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