BLOG: May 30, 2007
NEWS, FEATURES, PRODUCTS, and RELOADING TIPS. BLOG ARCHIVE.
COMPETITION--Robbins Tops Field at Super Shoot: The overall winner of the Super Shoot was Steve Robbins, topping a field of 346 competitors. Steve won the Two-Gun with a “Low Two” Agg, and was runner-up in the HV Grand Agg and HV 200. When asked for any special "secrets" to his win, Steve said, "I did weigh my loads, and I had carefully mapped out loads in advance for different weather conditions, including temp, humidity, and dew point. When conditions got wet, I knew which way to tune my loads. I also had a new Protektor rear bag, which turned out to work great with my Farley Front rest." Steve shot a 10.5-lb Light Varmint (LV) class rifle in both classes. His winning rig (built by Dwight Scott) featured a BAT action, Scoville stock, Krieger barrel, and March scope. He was shooting Bart’s Ultra bullets pushed by Vihtavuori N133 powder. Lowell Hottenstein was second in the Two-Gun. Lowell also won the LV Grand Agg. Kent Harshman won the HV Grand Agg. Congrats to Kent Harshman for an impressive showing in challenging conditions. New Zealander Ian Owen won the First Time Super Shooter award, finishing 11th in the Two-Gun. That's a great rookie performance--we expect to see more from this Kiwi in the future.
Steve Robbins, who also is a top Benchrest for Score shooter, will be competing this weekend in Harrison, Michigan at a score match. Steve told us that "this may be his last score match for awhile," as group shooting is going to be his primary focus this summer. According to Dick Wright, "He's bringing the brand new BAT rifle that Bob Scarbrough Jr. and Dwight Scott just finished for him. The Super Shoot winning rifle is going in a safe for a while. Any Michigan shooter that wants to take a crack at beating the Super Shoot winner... be there Saturday!" Among the prizes Steve took home from Super Shoot was the handsome SEB co-axial rest shown in the photo.
CARTRIDGES--6BRX Long-Term Report:
For the past year, Forum member John Skowron (John708) has been campaigning a 6BRX, built by Nat Lambeth (RustyStud). You'll find the full history of John's 6BRX project in this Forum Thread. With this rifle, John was the overall 1000-yard winner at Butner in February 2007. The 6mm BRX is based on the 6mm BR cartridge. The shoulder is moved forward, but the shoulder angle and case taper is the same as the parent cartridge. This way you can use standard dies for most purposes (although it is a good idea to have a true full-length die). Many of our readers have wondered about case durability and barrel life. John has answers for those questions:
|6BRX Case Life:
Case life running the Berger 105s at 3000+ fps is 14-15 reloads. Brass was discarded when the primer pockets became too loose. The 6BRX brass OAL after fireforming is 1.56". Max OAL for the 6BRX is 1.58". The brass never stretched enough to require trimming before discard. Anouther plus for the 6BRX and Lapua brass. By the way don't even bother with Remington-brand 6BR brass. The primer pockets were so loose after my standard fire-forming load I had to trash all the cases. Stick with the good stuff, Lapua.
6BRX Barrel Life:
I now have 2570 rds through my 6mm BRX. I was just at the range today doing an accuracy test. I shot two 10-shot groups at 100 yards, one with 105gr Bergers, and the other with 107gr Sierras. Both were identical 0.44" groups. Not bad for a rifle with 2500+ rounds through it. Achieving this barrel life goal pretty much completes my 6mm BRX project. I'm now shooting a cartridge that has the same or better barrel life than the 260 Rem, it's more accurate, with essentially equal wind drift. I'll continue to post updates on barrel life. I think this barrel will last for another several hundred rounds.
As far as shooting the DTAC 115s goes, I've temporarily abandoned that effort. The 105 Bergers, running 3050-3100 fps, give up very little wind drift to the 115s running at 2900-2950 fps. You might potentially get 3000 fps with the 115s using H4350 and throating the chamber to seat the bullets out. But since I very happy with the 105s and the way they're performing at long range, I'm not going to change for now. [Editor's Note: The Berger 105s in John's latest reports were lot #559, from Berger's new die.]"
PRODUCT PREVIEW--New M2 Model CED Chronograph:
Competitive Edge Dynamics, Ltd. (CED) has recently released a new Chronographs, the CED 2 ("M2"). This is an all-new design with many upgrades over the previous CED Millenium model. Clock speed was boosted to 48 mHz, expanding the measurable velocity range to 7,000 fps. Memory storage has been expanded 500%. You can now have up to 500 speed readings per string (and as many as 500 strings). CED claims: "Expanded digital chip design now gives the CED M2 the ability of reading velocities at much lower light levels. On clear days, this means the ability to chronograph from early morning till almost sunset." If this claim is true, the CED M2 would definitely out-perform rival PACT and Shooting Chrony designs in marginal light conditions.
We've found that, with most chronographs, the biggest problems are confusing controls and keypad sequences that are hard to remember. CED has addressed that with the new machine. The $199.00 CED M2 Chronograph features single function string removal (something we wish the Shooting Chrony had), and the M2 offers “one touch” calculation of the average of the three highest velocities in a string. Another major (and much appreciated) improvement is the addition of a USB interface. That offers simple "plug and play" compatibility with laptops and home PCs. USB connectivity will make it much easier to download Chrono data into the updated CED Data Collector software. For product information, contact Competitive Edge Dynamics, CEDHK.com, (610) 366-9752. The Recreational Software (RSI) website also has a very complete guide to the new M2 Chrono. RSI currently has a promotion, bundling the M2 with RSI's excellent Shooting Lab Software. Right now the CED M2 is hard to find, but units should be available soon at RSI, Brownells, and MidwayUSA.com.
One of our readers, Richard H., recently tested a CED M2 head to head against a Shooting Chrony. Richard reports: "Initial results suggest that ES with the CED M2 is only half of what the Chrony measured. In the Chrony’s defense though, it is surprisely good for something that costs less than half as much (also more convenient and more portable).” If anyone in the Sacramento, CA area has an Oehler Chrono, Richard would like to do a 3-way comparision test with the CED, Oehler, and Shooting Chrony. We’d all be interested in the results. Contact Mailbox@6mmBR.com and we’ll put you in touch with Richard.
GUNSMITHING--Reference Articles for Home Smiths: The technical staff of MidwayUSA has created a serious of useful "how-to" articles that are featured on the NRA's Guns and Hunting website. These stories cover many basic operation that can be done in a home workshop without expensive tools. Among the articles online are:
Fitting a Recoil Pad
Scope Mounting Made Easy
Glass-Bedding a Rifle Stock (Part 1)
Glass-Bedding a Rifle Stock (Part 2)
Applying a Baked-On Gun Finish
How to Shorten and Crown a .22 LR Barrel
How to Install Sling Swivel Studs
Working with Polishing Stones
CLASSIC READING--Ultimate Accuracy Revealed Indoors: We often receive inquiries about a classic Precision Shooting article on rifle testing in the legendary Houston Warehouse. At this location, through trial and error, and creative tuning, some dedicated shooters obtained unheard-of accuracy. A reprint of this article, "Secrets of the Houston Warehouse", by Steve Scott, is found online on the "Gary in NH" website. This article originally appeared years ago in Precision Shooting's "Special Issue Number 1". Here's a short sample:
"Some of the best benchrest marksmen in the nation showed up with rifles they hoped would somehow perform much better in Virgil’s concrete sanctuary than out there where the flags flutter. Still others wanted merely to shrink the bullet dispersion of a superb rifle a few additional thousandths of an inch by careful tuning, a task that could not be accomplished at an outside range cursed with the vagaries of natural conditions. Some departed enlightened. Others stalked away disgruntled. The discoveries made there, some reported in Precision Shooting by T.J. Jackson, were sometimes controversial, but always fascinating. Circulating around at that time were mutterings that the warehouse conditions were flawed and the shooting there invalid. From what I knew about the warehouse, I wondered how anyone could fault it. After all, some of the shooters were firing numerous consecutive groups measuring 'in the zeros'. Flawed conditions, indeed!
For those of us who are strangers to groups 'in the zeros', we’re talking about 5 shots at 100 yards that are, at first glance, indistinguishable from a single shot. The bullets sizzling through the same hole merely worry away the tortured edge of the target paper in varying degrees until the hole is enlarged less than .100" over bullet diameter. Often much less." (To read more, click the link above, but be sure your pop-up blocker is activated.)
AR SHOOTERS--6.5 Grendel Resources: The 6.5mm Grendel is a popular chambering for AR-15 shooters looking for a caliber with better long-range performance and hitting power on deer and other game. We provide a Cartridge Guide for the 6.5 Grendel on this site, and you'll find detailed information, lots of photos, and an active forum on 65Grendel.com. There is a good article in the Guns and Hunting magazine archives, in which author J. Guthrie tests two Grendel-chambered AR15s—the Overwatch (OW) and the Grendel Designated Marksman Rifle (GDMR), for accuracy and reliability. The Guthrie article is worth a read, particularly if you're thinking of purchasing a factory-built rifle in this caliber.
While the performance of the 6.5 Grendel is impressive (particularly with the 123 Scenar and 123 Sierra MK), an even more efficient long-range round is the 6.5 Grendel necked down to 6mm. Robert Whitley has done extensive development with a 6mm Grendel wildcat he calls the "6mmAR". At 6mmAR.com, you'll find load data, plus all the specialized components (barrels, uppers, magazines) you need to build an AR chambered with a 6mm version of the Grendel.
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