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February 2006 BLOG
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February 23, 2006 BLOG

PROJECT REPORT--6BR Rail-Gun Testing, Part II: At this website's invitation, respected Benchrester Jackie Schmidt has been conducting tests with a 28" Krieger 6BR barrel fitted up to his Rail Gun. For the past month, Jackie has been testing loads and bullets. Jackie recently rechambered our Krieger test barrel with a no-turn .272" 6BR neck and we were all set to test the most promising loads at 600 yards, using no-turn Lapua brass. Unfortunately it rained all weekend in Texas and the test had to be called off. Jackie is now involved in his 6PPC benchrest match schedule, so the 6BR barrel will be removed for a month and a half or so. Jackie hopes to resume testing later this spring in late April or May. In the meantime, Jason Baney will be doing some tests of Lapua brass, checking the performance of reamed/uniformed flash-holes vs. untouched flash-holes. We hope to have Jason's initial results by mid-March, weather permitting.

RELOADING--Die Choices for the 30BR: We receive many inquiries about 30BR die sets. We're pleased to note that Redding recently added a 30BR Type 'S' FL-Sizing Die to its regular inventory. So you no longer have to convert a 6BR or 7BR die. However, as Al Nyhus explained in the AccurateShooter.com Forum, a conversion is not a bad way to go. Al writes: "Dies for the 30BR are already easy: Harrell's FL bushing die, or Jim Carstenson body/neck/decapping die $75-80 (including donor 6BR body die), and Wilson 30BR seating die: $38. These are all you need. For $125 you're in business. The big thing to consider on the new Redding die is: what internal dimensions are they? The Wilson seater is spec'd off the 'Robinett' 30BR reamer and the Harrell's and JLC dies are a perfect fit right out of the box. Hopefully, Redding has chosen the right dimensions for the new 30BR Type 'S' die."

HUNTER BENCHREST--Great Deal on Sightron 6x42 S2 Scope: Starting February 25, 2006, MidwayUSA will offer Sightron's fixed-power 6X scope for a very low price. Regularly priced at $328.99, the sale price, good through March 31st, is just $128.99! That's a huge savings. With 1/8-MOA adjustments and a fine cross-hair reticle, this is an ideal optic for Hunter Benchrest competition. The Sightron 6X, popular with top Hunter BR competitors, is waterproof, fog-proof, warranteed for life, and can focus as close as 50 feet. Ask for item # 518-938.

INSIDE SCOOP--Shehane to Introduce Two New Stocks: During the course of an interview earlier this week, Bill Shehane of D&B Supply revealed that he is testing two new prototype stocks. The first, a "precision varminter" stock, features an innovative new forearm design for increased barrel cooling. The second stock, designed expressly for F-Class competition, offers an extremely low profile for enhanced tracking along with improved weight distribution for better balance and less hop on the bags. Bill promised photos in 3-4 weeks once final testing is complete.

COMING SOON--Hornady Offers Threaded Decapping Rod: We've always felt that the Hornady "Custom Grade" Dies offered excellent value, with some outstanding features such as the side-clamp locking ring and elliptical button. We did have some issues with the collet-secured decapping pin. We found that it was difficult to set the tension just right so that the pin wouldn't move in use, but you could still remove the pin without serious leverage on a wrench. Hornady has solved that problem with its new Zip Spindle™ design that features light threads cut into the spindle and spindle collet. This design eliminates spindle slippage and takes the knuckle-busting out of tightening the spindle lock while making spindle adjustments a snap.

GUNSMITHING--Elk Ridge Offers Reamer Rentals: If you're planning on building a new 22PPC, 6PPC, 6mm BR, 6mm Dasher, or 6mm/22-250 rifle,
Elk Ridge Reamer Rentals has what you need. Elk Ridge offers quality PT&G finish reamers in all these calibers, plus go gauges and roughing reamers. Floating pilot reamers rent for $36 for 3 days, or $43 for two weeks. Roughing reamers rent for $20, while insurance (highly recommended) is $5 extra. In addition to the calibers mentioned, Elk Ridge offers reamers for more than 400 other factory calibers and wildcat cartridges. Elk Ridge has recently added 17 Mach 2, .204 Ruger, 25 WSSM, 8mm WSM, and the 6.8 x 43 SPC Rem.

GEAR GUIDE--J & J Ammo Boxes are "Just Right" for BR-sized Cases: We like the MTM 100-round ammo boxes for transporting loaded 6BR and 6PPC ammo. They work great for loaded rounds. However, with fired brass, if you tip the MTM box on its side, the empties can spill out. That's frustrating if you've meticulously sorted your cases. The answer to this problem is J & J's 100-round BR-100 ammo case. It has tighter vertical clearance, so your empties won't come out of their slots if the case tips over or is stacked upside down. BR-100 cases are bargain-priced at just $3.95, and they are available in Red, Blue, Smoke, or White colors. In addition to the BR-100 case, varminters who need to carry large numbers of loaded rounds should check out J & J's 175-round Rifle Ammo Case. This foam-lined ammo transporter, item LR-175, costs $16.54 and is the largest-capacity ammo case we've found. For more info go to JandJProducts.Com.

ACCESSORIES--MidSouth Offers Great Deal on Electronic Muffs: While tapered foam earplugs provide the maximum noise reduction currently available, there are many instances when it makes sense to use sound-activated shooting muffs instead. These products allow you to hear normal conversations, but they block high-decibel gunshot noises. Electronic muffs are ideal when you are spotting for another shooter and need to hear his instructions. Also, when shooting rimfire, a pair of sound-cancelling muffs can be sufficient. This week, Midsouth Shooters Supply has the Caldwell 'Sound Right' ES-85 electronic stereo ear muffs on sale for just $24.99. That's a bargain for a pair of muffs that lets you hear normal voices while still affording serious protection against harmful gunshot noise. Ask for product 094-162697.

BULLSEYE SHOOTING--Creedmoor's Rugged Case for Pistoleros: From our recent Readers' Survey, we've learned that many of you compete in handgun sports. Most of the handgun "range bags" don't really offer much protection for expensive target pistols and they don't satisfy airline shipping regulations. The Kalispel Bullseye Travel Case, sold by Creedmoor Sports, handles up to five handguns, spotting scope, and extras, plus it exceeds all airline requirements for fire-arm transport. The interior is lined with a soft, easy to clean, carpet-like material. Constructed from solid .080" aluminum, the case features welded corners, full length piano hinges and a spring stay to support the weight of the spotting scope. A Gil Hebard mount is included and may be installed by the shooter for left or right hand preference. This case carries a lifetime factory warranty. Priced at $199.98, the case is not inexpensive, but we think the price is well worth it, when you consider that a competition-grade 1911 can cost $2,500.00 or more. (Not included but shown in picture are Kowa TS-501Z scope and Freeland Swivel Head Adapter).

COMPETITION--2006 NRA Event Calendar is available: In addition to the events listed in AccurateShooter.com's Event Calendar, the NRA maintains an online calendar of important matches and tournaments around the county. Click here to access the NRA Calendar and download registration forms for major events.

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.

February 7, 2006 BLOG

PROJECT REPORT--6BR Rail-Gun Testing, Part II: At this website's invitation, respected Benchrester Jackie Schmidt has been conducting tests with a 28" Krieger 6BR barrel fitted up to his Rail Gun. For the past month, Jackie has been testing loads and bullets. So far, he's been able to produce impressive aggs at 200 yards with the Berger 105gr VLD, Berger 105gr Match, Sierra 107gr MK, and BIB 108gr FB. Jackie found a nice load with H4895 and the 105 Berger Match (non-VLD) bullets at around 2880 fps. This produced nice clusters and a .230 Agg. He got a good load with the 107gr SMKs using Varget at around 2850, for a .288 MOA agg. Both these loads achieved excellent accuracy with no pressure signs in Jackie's rifles. Jackie was really impressed with the 2880 fps H4895 load. He tells us "H4895 may be the big surprise of the test--accuracy was great, it didn't pop shots against the condition, and I think this load will work for most folks--even those with factory-based actions."

At the high end of the spectrum, Jackie has achieved his best accuracy and lowest ES with RL15 and the Berger 105g VLDs, running a max charge at about 2990 fps. With this recipe he produced a 0.185 MOA, five by 5-shot aggregate at 200 yards (See photo). Jackie observed: "At 200, that is competitive benchrest accuracy". WARNING: This is a high-pressure load suitable only for a BR-quality rifle with a strong custom action and tight-fitting chamber. Just this past weekend, Jackie worked with the BIB 95gr and 108gr flat-base match bullets. Our 28" Krieger barrel preferred the 108s. Again, Jackie got the best results with Reloader 15, with a 2940 fps load that agg'd .212 MOA for five groups (he did shoot 7 groups but two had "four and ones" where he missed a condition). Overall, Jackie's work so far has demonstrated that the 6BR, with heavy bullets, can indeed produce impressive, repeatable accuracy with a variety of powders and loads. And we've found that there are more ways to skin a cat--that Varget, while still impressive, may not be king of the hill if one is looking for the most speed from a standard 6BR case.

All testing so far has been done with a .269" neck for turned brass. Jackie is going to put a .272" no-turn neck in the rifle and we will test again at 200 yards to try to determine how much accuracy (if any) is lost with a no-turn .272" chamber. Once that is complete, time permitting, Jackie will go out to 600 yards to see how his best loads perform at long range. Our final phase of testing will be to run a second comparison test of primers with Reloader 15. The first primer test used Varget. Interestingly, that test, using 10-shot strings over an Oehler 35P chronograph, showed little difference in ES or SD among all the five primers tested. And, notably, the CCI 450 small rifle magnum yielded essentially the same velocity as the CCI BR4.

RELOADING--Norma Slated to Produce 6XC Brass:
Big News for 6XC Shooters! David Tubb contacted us this week to tell us that the rumors are true--Norma has signed on to produce factory, CIP-regulated 6XC brass. This means high-quality 6XC brass out of the box, and no more case-forming chores for the guys who have been making 6XC cases from 22-250 brass.. We don't have a planned release date yet, but we'll meet with David at Shot Show and provide more details as soon as possible.

INDUSTRY NEWS--Las Vegas Hosts 2006 Shot Show This Week:
The annual "SuperBowl" of the firearms industry opens February 9, 2006 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Your editor will be there, hopefully to get some hot news. I'll be meeting with Lapua and Norma reps, and talking to Cooper Arms, and Dakota Arms. Hopefully Dakota Arms will have some of their new Lapua-made varmint brass to show off (20 PPC, 20 Tactical, 20 Vartarg, 6PPC). We'll see if Norma has finally worked out a distribution plan for their powders. It would be great if we can get Norma 203B and MRP in the USA again. It will be interesting to see what's new from the major optics makers. I hope to get a look at the new line of Leupold rangefinders, which have built-in angle correction. Time permitting, I'll post daily hightlights from the Show.

VARMINTING--Hot Deal on 22-Cal V-Max Bullets: Midsouth Shooters Supply is offering a great deal on 250-count boxes of 40, 50, and 55 grain 22-caliber Hornady V-Max bullets. These accurate, polymer-tipped projectiles are very explosive on critters and are ideal for a variety of varmint rounds, including the 22 BR, .223 Rem, and 22-250. A 22 BR can push the 40-grainers well past 4000 fps using H322, Benchmark, or AA 2230 powders. Consult our 22 BR Cartridge Guide for reloading recipes.

SITE NEWS--More Ranges Added to Map with Photos:
In the last edition of our BLOG we previewed the new AccurateShooter.com Member Map. Slowly but surely, we are collecting data on shooting ranges throughout the USA and Canada. When possible we'll include a link to the range website, a photo looking down-range, plus a description of range facilities. When you click on the Member Map you'll see blue icons for ranges. The photo at right shows how a range "profile" appears when you click on a blue marker. The map defaults to 50 markers, but if you click on the enhanced, full-page version you can specify that ALL markers display. You can also search for a range (such as Camp Perry) using the 'member list'. Once you've located a range you can zoom in to see the roads to the range. (This zoom feature works much better on the full-screen version.) Plus, using Google Earth technology, you can also switch to a "Hybrid View" that combines road mapping with aerial views of the terrain. Want a birds-eye view of your next competition venue? Just click on the Member Map and zoom in.

NEW FEATURE--the "Daily Double-Tap": If you're a newcomer to our site, you may have missed some of the best articles we've run over the past 18 months. But don't fret. Every day, our new "Daily Double-Tap" showcases one of the most popular stories in our archives. This might be a technical article, such as the Guide to Cartridge Annealing, a cool Gun of the Week Story, or Advice from a top shooter, such as Speedy Gonzalez's Tips on How to Control Vertical Stringing. Look for the Daily Double-Tap on the home page, just to the right of the Gun of the Week Icon.

GEAR SPOTLIGHT--De-Resonator Barrel Damper/Tuner: Have you wanted to try a barrel tuner, but didn't want to spend $150.00 or more, plus the costs for fitting the tuner to your barrel? MidwayUSA offers an inexpensive alternative that shows promise. The Sims De-Resonator is a rubber ring that sits on your barrel. It serves two functions--reducing the "shock" of a recoil pulse, and dampening barrel vibrations. It is easy to experiment with different positions on your barrel. Just slide the unit back and forth. It stays in place with the natural friction grip. This device may lack the fine machining and sophistication of an indexed, micro-adjustable barrel-end tuner, but it does have value in some applications, particularly with light-contour sporter-weight barrels. The De-Resonator, product #593560, is on sale this week for just $12.99--a minimal investment for enhanced accuracy.

FROM EUROPE--HPS Ltd. Offers High-Tech Components: We welcome our latest sponsor, HPS Target Rifles Ltd. from the UK. HPS Target Rifles our first European sponsor, specializes in precision shooting gear and accessories for smallbore, benchrest, and long-range shooters. HPS is an authorized dealer for RPA actions and sights, Musgrave Actions, and Lothar Walther barrels. HPS offers a wide range of accessories for Highpower and Free Rifle shooters including adjustable hand-stops and butt-plates. HPS also produces some unique high-end equipment such as the System Gemini Test Rig. Available in both rimfire and centerfire (fullbore) versions, the System Gemini rig takes human error out of the aiming process. This delivers reliable results during load and equipment testing.

BLOG 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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