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BLOG: August 21, 2006

COMPETITION--New 3.835", 10-shot, 1000-yard Light Gun Record: On August 12, Cody Finch, of Kalispell, Montana, set a new Williamsport 1000-yard World Record with his 6 Dasher. Competing in the Montana Northwest 1000 Yard Club's Championship Match at the Deep Creek (MT) range, Cody posted a remarkable 3.835" 10-shot group. (Click the photo below to download a high-rez .pdf version of the target.)

Cody was shooting a 16.5-lb rifle smithed by John King and bedded by Leo Anderson. Cody's record-setting load was 32+ grains of Hodgdon H4895 behind Berger 105gr VLDs, with standard CCI small rifle primers (not the 450s or BR4s). Velocity was right around 3000 fps. Cody's rifle features a Shehane ST-1000 fiberglass Tracker stock, a stainless Lawton 7500 RBLP right eject action, 29" Krieger barrel (.237" bore), and a NightForce 12-42x BR scope. Cody beat the previous 4.2" record set by Kyle Brown with a 6BR at the Whitefish, Montana range. Notably, Kyle's rifle was also smithed by John King, who now has eight world-record BR rifles to his credit. Bill Shehane, past 1000-yard Shooter of the Year, believes that Cody's 3.385" group is truly noteworthy: "As far as I am concerned this is one of the hardest records to break in the 1000-yard game. Ten shots in under four inches with a 16.5-lb rifle. It is an amazing feat to say the least."

Cody told us: "This was only the third relay the gun had ever shot. We had decent conditions--the usual headwinds with some switching crosswinds. It wasn't dead calm, but there was nothing really nasty. I didn't hold off on any of the shots. I just aimed dead center and sent all ten down-range quickly. I think that's one advantage of the lighter-recoiling sixes. You have an advantage (over the big 30s) with bag handling and speed. Some of the Dasher guys here can launch 10 shots in 40 seconds." Cody, who regularly visits AccurateShooter.com ("I check it out nearly every day"), employs no arcane reloading methods. However he does sort his Berger bullets by bearing surface, and he turns his necks minimally: "I fire-form in a dedicated barrel. My match barrel has a no-turn .271" chamber, but I do turn a bit off the necks for a .268" loaded round. I ream the primer pockets, but only so I can use a standard 0.0625" decapping pin." Unlike many VLD shooters, however, Cody jumps his bullets about .005-.007": "I know most guys jam 'em, but I started load testing with them away from the lands and when I got to around .005" from the lands the groups really tightened up, and most importantly, the results were consistent time after time." Cody told us, "I do brush this gun frequently. I learned early that this barrel likes to be brushed. I'll do one match (with sighters) then clean with brushes, using Butches and GM TEC. But I will run a few rounds through the barrel after cleaning and before a match." Asked if he had any special secrets, Cody replied: "Not really, but I advise people to buy the best components they can afford. Don't handicap yourself with poor equipment." Cody also told us: "My faith is important. I pray before each match to do my best. I do believe, for some reason, He blessed me that day."

PRODUCT WATCH--Forster 6mm-6.5X47 Lapua Dies and Russian Primers Available from Grafs: Graf & Sons reports Forster Products has shipped its new 6mm-6.5x47 Lapua dies. Grafs should receive Full-length (non-bushing) Sizers (#005265), standard BR Seaters (#005945), and Ultra Micrometer Seaters (#U00036) by August 24. Interestingly, Forster is offering dies for the 6mm wildcat version of the 6.5x47, before it releases dies for the parent case. (Forster will also deliver 6.5x47 Lapua versions of these dies in a couple more weeks.) Robert Ruch of Forster explained: "We'll have our 6.5x47 dies out very soon, but initial demand was running ten to one in favor of the 6mm version of that case, so that's what we built first. Our dies are spec'd directly off Lapua's prints". Forster part numbers for the 6.5mm version are: 005346 (6mm sizer), 006015 (BR Seater), U00057 (Ultra Seater).

Graf's spokesman added that Grafs has Russian primers back in stock: "We just received another batch of the Russian small rifle mag primers, as well as some more of the large rifle mag primers." For more information, call Graf & Sons at 800-531-2666.

1000-Yard BENCHREST--Sixes Continue to Shine: Jason Baney, our 1000-yard Editor, reports: "The 'peashooters' made a decent showing Saturday, August 19th in Williamsport's Light Gun Match. The Group Shoot-off saw four 6mm cartridges being fired out of 10 relay winners. John Buhay and Mark King employed 6mm Dashers, while John Hoover ran a 6XC, and I was still making the most of my little 6BR Lowrider/Diamondback. This was the hardest-fought Light Gun Group Shoot-off I have seen in my six years of Williamsport competition. The top three shooters (Buhay, myself, and Diane Hoover) all shot between 6.2" and 6.9" with four 7" groups following them! It is a rare day when 7.8" lands you in 7th place. This little BR continues to amaze me with what it will do, even in the somewhat tricky winds we had in the Shoot-Off.

Also, Matt Deines debuted his 6-6.5x47 Lapua with notable results. Matt posted High Score of the Day with a 6.4", 99 score! He used 106gr Clinch Rivers, but during Matt's testing, Berger 105 VLDs also gave great results at 1K. Velocities are impressive--running Reloader 15, Matt is getting over 3100 fps with outstanding accuracy. It looks like the 6.5x47 necked to 6mm will live up to expectations. Matt plans to test a few more powders (N550, N150, H4350) and get us some comparison data in the weeks ahead."

WILDCATS--6mm Version of 6.5x47 Lapua Performs Well: At Williamsport, Matt Dienes introduced a 6mm version of the 6.5x47 Lapua with success (see above). In addition, we've heard early reports that the necked-down version of this new case is showing excellent accuracy. Gunsmith Rick Beginski has built three 6-6.5x47 rifles and they are all shooting well. Rick's 9-twist 6-6.5x47, running BIB 108s, shot 1/4 MOA at 200 yards with H4831sc.

Forum member Wild Bill from Australia reports: "We have chambered three 6x47 Lapua rifles and they are just awesome. 41.5gr Hodgdon H4831sc behind a 107gr Sierra delivered one-hole groups at 200 yards. We are also using 39.1gr H4831sc with a 115gr Berger and results are nearly as good. A Remington 7 1/2 primer was the best. We tried CCI 450s and PMC magnum primers as well with no troubles at all with ignition...use the correct primer and these things really shoot." Robert Whitley has his own version of a 6mm-6.5x47 he calls the "6mmHOT". For more info on that wildcat, including reamer print, go to 6mmHOT.com. Currently, Robert favors VV N160 and Rem 7 1/2 primers for the case.

GEAR REPORT--New Hornady 6BR "Match Dies": Forum member Glenn reports he is very impressed with the new Hornady 6BR Match Dies: "The best dies I have found for the 6mm BR are the new Hornady Match full-length dies. They are tight base, minimum dimension match, neck bushing, shoulder-bump dies. They were recommended by Clay Spencer so I gave them a shot. I can size a batch of brass, check them on the Sinclair Concentricity Gauge and run-out will be near zero. But they have to be the 'Match-grade' dies. The Hornady Match Dies can also use Wilson or Redding bushings."

RELOADING--Redding T-7 Turret on Sale at Natchez: The Redding T-7 is our favorite mass-production Turret Press. With beefy cast-iron construction, powerful compound linkage, and versatile 7-station head, the T-7 is the standard by which other turret presses are judged. Right now, the T-7 is on sale at Natchez Shooters' Supply for $189.95, product number RB67000. In our testing, the 32-lb T-7 showed less head flex that some other designs, and it has plenty of power for most case-forming chores. Machining tolerances are admirably tight, so with a die in place, when full-length sizing, you'll find less "slop" than with lesser designs. We also like having seven stations. That allows you to have sizers and seaters for three separate cartridges, plus a universal decapping die. You can purchase additional head assemblies. The head diameter is sufficient to place fat, micrometer-top "competition dies" side-by-side in adjacent stations.

RELOADING--Keep Those Tools Clean: Forum Member SakoNut offers this useful reloading tip: "Cleanliness is critical to good reloads. If you reload frequently, as I do, crud on tools and case-holders can seriously affect your ammo's accuracy. If not removed frequently, problems will arise. For instance, shell holders are notorious for accumulating burned primer residue. When this occurs, your case rim will not fit tightly in the shell holder, and the neck and/or loaded round will not be concentric. How often do you disassemble sizer and seater dies, and clean them with a good spray solvent? If you do not, once again, concentricity will suffer. I find Q-Tips wet with solvent are handy for getting into those very small spaces. Pay attention to crud in sizer die breather holes and to the 7/8-14 threads. The threads in your press need to be cleaned occasionally as well. Collets are likewise important. Spray them with solvent frequently, and do not allow a build up of grit in the vents. And don't forget, trimmers and neck turners create brass shavings. Those tiny bits can play havoc with these reloading instruments, especially if they accumulate on the mandrels. Find a fine-tipped painters brush, clean them out, followed by the same spray solvent. We all want accurate reloads, and thorough cleaning of our tools will help.--Good shooting, Gene".

BR OPTICS-- New External Scope Adjusting System:
Ace Benchrest Shooter Gene Bukys has invented a promising new scope mounting system that provides positive lock-up for competition scopes. Many Hall of Fame shooters have observed that scopes remain the single most problematic item of gear in the 100/200 BR game. When you're trying to shoot match-winning, one-hole groups, the slightest unwanted movement of your reticle can cause a disasterous shift in point of impact. Various means have been devised to lock or clamp internal scope adjustments to eliminate the problem of reticle bounce or drift. Gene Bukys has come up with a completely different solution. His T.S.I. Scope Adjustment System relies on external controls to set windage and elevation (the scope's internal adjustments are de-activated first). These work by applying sideways or vertical pressure to a metal bar on which the scope is mounted. Basically, you adjust the scope's zero by bending the bar slightly up/down and/or left/right. Nothing inside the scope moves. The bar comes preloaded so there is "zero slop" in the system at all adjustment points. The system is available either with a spring plunger stop (to allow easy adjustment) or a lock-screw for shooters who prefer to eliminate all possibility of movement. Bukys' invention was used by three of the top 20 competitors in the recent Super Shoot, and Gene has employed it with great success, earning Second Place in the 2006 Cactus Classic. The system costs $350.00 including either 1" or 30mm rings. For $150.00, Gene will also de-activate the internal adjustments of Leupold Competition Series side-focus scopes. CLICK HERE for SuperSize photo showing full mount and spring plunger. For more information, contact Gene Bukys at (713) 299-9420.

INDUSTRY NEWS--Browning to Build Winchester Long-Guns under License: Browning has entered into a long-term license agreement for the manufacture and distribution of Winchester-brand rifles and shotguns. "Winchester is confident that Browning will produce innovative firearms worthy of the Winchester name, continuing a tradition that people around the world associate with the Winchester brand," stated Richard Hammett, president of Winchester Ammunition, a division of Olin Corp., which owns the rights to the Winchester name. "We are proud of our heritage as The Gun That Won the West and consider this arrangement as entering a new era for the legendary Winchester firearms brand." The New Haven Register reported the deal signals the end of production in the city, where Winchester firearms had been manufactured for more than 140 years. Note: the Browning deal will not affect Winchester-brand ammunition or brass, which will still be produced by Olin's Winchester plants.

HIGHPOWER--New Adjustable AR15 Stock: Creedmoor Sports recently introduced a sophisticated new adjustable stock for ARs and AR-based spaceguns. Developed with input from Camp Perry winner Dennis DeMille, the new $299.00 "Revolution" butt stock features a unique 12-position rotary cam cheekpiece. The stock is ideal for Highpower and position shooting, as it adjusts for length, drop, cant, and cast-off angle. This new stock allows for use with your original charging handle, rear take-down pin, and buffer tube. No modifications are required to an AR15 upper receiver or bolt (so long as an Accuwedge is fitted to secure the rear take-down detent). Call 1-800-CREEDMOOR and ask for item REVBS.

TOOL TIP--The Versatile Folding Magnifier: What is the most used piece of equipment on my reloading bench? No it's not my Rock-Chucker press, or even my calipers. The one item in near-constant use is a small, folding magnifying glass. Mine folds into a square case and offers 4X viewing with an 8X bifocal insert. With this handy tool I can inspect case mouths for burrs, check primer pockets, and look for flaws on bullet jackets. I also use the magnifier to see the rifling marks on test rounds seated into the rifling, or check my bolt for galling. The number of uses is nearly endless. Folding magnifiers are so handy yet inexpensive that you should own a couple spares (including one in the range box). I bought my magnifier in a book-store, but you can also find them on the web at Edmund Scientifics and WidgetSupply.com starting at just $1.97.

SHOOTER NEWS--David Tubb Doing Well: Brenda, of Superior Shooting Systems, reports: "David is presently in a Dallas Hospital. He had knee replacement surgery [last] Monday that went very well. The original hospital left him with a very serious staph infection (after arthroscopic surgery), but his new doctor got it under control before he operated this time. David will have to stay there a week before coming home and will have to go through physical therapy for the new knee. But he is NOT going to lose his leg. We all appreciate the prayers that everyone has so graciously given for David."

AccurateShooter.com Member MapBLOG Items Wanted: Can you share a smart reloading tip, or news of a great bargain on gear? Can you give us a report from a major match? Then contribute to our 6mmBR Blog. Just email your comment or news item to Mailbox@6mmBR.com. Please keep photos under 200kb in size.

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