need advise on 6mm BR


January 3, 2012, 11:52 AM
I am going to have a 6mm BR made. It will be for shooting paper and varmints for now, but I would like to have the option for shooting some mild competition at some point. It would not be serious, but more or less just to see what it and I might be able to do.

I could use some advise from anyone knowable about this caliber,such as a benchrest shooter, gunsmith, or manufacturer. I would like the option of shooting 70-105 grain bullets and not sure what twist rate I should get. Does anyone believe that a bullet can be overstabilized? Should I get a 10" twist? Will I loose a bit of accuracy with a 70 gr head or lighter if I select that option? I am assuming that a bullet in the 70-80 grain range could shoot in a 600 yard competition, but you might need a 105 or so to go 1000 yards. I probably would never do that anyway, but I suppose there is always that possibility.

Shilen posts that a 12" twist is good up to 85 grains. I am sure that they build a safety factor in their recommendations. I suppose with that, I could go down to a 60 gr bullet if I wanted to do so.

I'm babbling on not knowing really what I'm talking about. I guess if I did, I wouldn't have started this thread. Maybe I am asking for too much with that spread in bullet weights and lengths.

I would greatly appreciate some advice based on experience and all will be weighed very seriously. It will be a sizable investment and I would like to get it right with no regrets later on.

Thanks in advance

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Derek Zeanah
January 3, 2012, 11:54 AM
I'm going to move this from the buy/sell/trade forum to the rifles forum. I think you'll get better responses there. :)

January 3, 2012, 11:58 AM
Just really curious about that cartridge choice. How did you make that specific decision out of all the oddball bench-rest cartridges out there?

January 3, 2012, 12:15 PM
I am an avid shooter and reloader. I have a few friends that bench rest shoot in competition. I didn't think it was such an oddball caliber. I am under the impression that it is common in that group of shooters and that it is one of the most inherently accurate cartridges around, as well as being very versatile. The brass is readily available as are the dies.

I have a ton of hunting rifles that I try to get to shoot very accurately by reloading. Some, I can and some I can't, but I do work at it, and get a lot of satisfaction when consistant tight groups are attained. Maybe I thought it was time to reward myself with a caliber that I know will shoot.

I am getting different opinions about the twists from people whom I have a lot of faith in reguarding this issue. I am hoping that some good advise will come out of these posts. Yours are welcome as well.

January 3, 2012, 12:28 PM
I didn't mean to imply that 6mmBR is anymore oddball than any of the others -- all those .17, .20, .22, 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm etc. PPCs, BRs, XCs, etc.

So I was (am) just curious what struck you about that specific one.

January 3, 2012, 06:23 PM
I did a lot of research on the exterior ballistics and the accuracy factor. I feel like I made the right choice. I have spent the last month trying to decide on what caliber to have the rifle made in. I went from .223 to 300WSM and everywhere between. I felt like getting something that wouldn't beat me up at all and wanted to assure accuracy. I own the 223s and 22-250s etc,. I guess in a nutshell I wanted something a little different also.

I thought about a .243 AI and a 6.5-284 seriously also, but this seemed like more of a sure thing. Lapua brass is readily available with no fireforming involved.

It boils down to at some point, you have to stop thinking about it and just make up your mind and do it. I am putting down the deposit tomorrow, so I still have time to change my mind. I think I'll be happy with my decision.

David Clark
January 3, 2012, 09:25 PM
You will love the 6mm-br No kick and easy to load for. I went with a 1 in 14 because I can't shoot over 200 yds. and use bullets up to 70gr. If you think you are going to shoot out to 600 or more and will use the heavyer bullets I think I would go with 1 in 8 It will also do a great job with the lighter bullets. I would think a 1 in 9 might do everything well. I know you will realy love the 6br good luck.

January 4, 2012, 06:45 AM
Dave, I'm leaning towards a 12" twist as per advise from my smith and a friend that shoots one in competition. I guess I was asking too much to shoot 70s thru 105s. I really don't think I want an 8" in case I shoot 65 gr. Do you think I can shoot 70-80 grainers to 600 yards? Maybe the wind will have too much effect. I probably won't shoot any matches anyway, but I may if, it they are very informal. My eyes aren't as good as they used to be.

I agree that that there will be very little recoil and excellant accuracy. That's why I made this selection. I'm looking forward to having a gun that will punch 1 hole groups. I think it will be a good varmint gun as well. I am told that barrel life is excellant also.

Any ideas on powder selection and seating depths? Any other thoughts would be appreciated also.

Thanks for your input

January 4, 2012, 07:24 AM
This should be the best place for info on the 6br. Ask on there forum too.

January 4, 2012, 07:52 AM
I have spent a lot of time on that site. It is a very informative site indeed. The more info, the better

January 5, 2012, 03:58 AM
I had a friend that didn't reload seriously to begin with. I agreed to do some loading for him. He had Sako 75's in .17Rem, 22-PPC and 6mm-PPC.

The 6mmPPC had a 1/14" twist. With 70gr Euber bullets, it would shoot 1-hole 5-shot groups all day long. Typically .4", occasionally in the high .2's if we did our part. This was with Lee dies and "as is" Norma factory brass, no less.

As time went on, he started shooting with a BR club and got serious about reloading. He started neck turning the cases, and using Lapua brass instead of Norma and started using Redding competiton and Sinclair dies. He occasionally shot in the 0.1's then.

But, from my readings on the 6mmPPC and it's near identical twin, the 6br, 1-12" or 1/14" twists are favored by the BR shooters as the jackets are very thin on the BR bullets (for concentricity and "balance") and they want to "just barely" stabilize the bullets for competition to 200yds.
For your purpose, (which I once entertained) a 1/9" which is typical of the .243Win would be your best option. It wouldn't "over stabilize" the light weight 55-65gr bullets to the point they wouldn't shoot well, but would allow bullets as heavy as the 105gr bullets to be used. The only reason I'd use these would be to hunt with, so 1/9" is adequate. Consider that decent "premium" barreled .243's will typically shoot in to the 1/2" realm considered desireable by the varmint hunting crowd. Hence, if this is adequate for your purposes, just get a .243 and don't look back.

If you are going to use a 6mmBR in serious long-range competion (ie:600-1,000yds), then you'll definitely need the 105gr or heavier bullets and the faster 1/8" twist to keep them stabilized to the limit of the range capability. But then the really serious competitors in this are using the 6.5-284, and consider a barrel's "seriously competitive" life to be 800-1,200rds. After which they cut the barrel back and re-throat/chamber.

However, if you are going to do that, the you need to abandon the 6mm, as I don't know of any serious competition going on except the 300m International matches. I believe that all the ultra serious NRA "Highpower" shooters are now using 6.5's, such as the 6.5Creedmoor.
As such, the least expensive way to go would be to just by a Ruger Hawkeye in 6.5Creed and call it good and spend the rest of the money on decent glass and reloading epuipment and supplies.
If fully intent on a 6mmBR, I'd get the Savage factory rifle, and if at a later date you want to get more serious about the heavier bullets (80-105) it would be an easier and simpler matter to rebarrel the Savage.
If you are going to start "gaming" (serious competition) then you'll also need to learn and aquire the tools/tooling to do the "smithing" yourself, or plan on spending a fortune on gunsmithing. JMHO....

January 5, 2012, 09:26 AM
Goose, Thankyou for your input. You have responded a few times to me and I really do appreciate you sharing your experiences. Your posts always are informative with no BS. That's very refreshing.

I have a .243 which shoots very well and I think I have pretty much convinced myself to get the 6br. I feel that with carefull handloading with the right components, it will be a tackdriver. I'm pretty sure that I won't be shooting 1000 yards, unless I just do it for fun sometime and as far as that goes, I probably won't shoot in any serious matches at all as it won't be set up for that reason I'm figuring on putting a good varmint stock and a 2-3 lb trigger so the gun won't be very condusive for benchrest shooting. Basically I will be using it for paper punching and varmints. I have a good setup at my home where I have a range that I can shoot off my deck with a chrony. It makes for ample opportunity to shoot whenever I want with the convenience of walking 30 steps to go down to my reloading room to try different load options. Also, I have no close neighbors to complain about the noise. Those that are in earshot are used to my 20 year habit.

I considered a 6.5-.284 but wanted something with hardly any recoil and as you mentioned I have heard the barrel life is not too good.

I am a building contractor by trade but have a small gun shop which I make just enough money each year to buy a gun or 2 and optics without interfering with the family income. I have gotten to the point where I have a lot of rifles and many in duplicate calibers. I have pretty much made up my mind to take those duplicates that don't shoot as well as I would like and use the actions to make a custom gun. I watched the video on the 6mmbr web site under the barrel tab which compared factory vs custom barrels and I became a believer. I have many loads for my factory rifles worked up to shoot very accurately. Lord knows that I spend a great deal of time and effort working on them. It is a labor of love. It does seem to me that all these rifles have to have the right amount of fouling in the barrel to acheive this accuracy and many of them take different amounts of fouling to get to that point. Some, have to have perfectly clean barrels and some may take 10 shots to get there. When I say clean for some I mean clean, spending a lot of time to get all the copper out. I truly believe that the hand lapped barrels will be much easier to keep a clean barrel and allow for much more consistancy. Hence, I think I'm done buying factory rifles, even though I do realize that some are very good as you mentioned about the Savages.

My friend that shoots bench rest matches tells me that the Savages have done very well in matches he has participated in. My feeling is that it is pot shot luck whether or not you get a good rifle or not when buying a factory rifle. I feel more secure by getting a custom rifle with a trued acion, bolt and lapped barrel.

It is good to know that your friends rifle shot the 70s so accurately with a 14" twist. My plan for now is to go for a 12" and shoot 70-80s. I will try some heavier ones and see how much I can push the envelope, but if 80 turns out to be the heaviest it will shoot, I will be fine with that. I have lots of other rifles to hunt with which are more suited for that purpose.

Sorry to be so long winded. Thanks to all for your input. There are a lot of experienced and informed people on this forum that share many great thoughts. I've been reloading a long time and yet always seem to pick up tidbits of information here and there, that I hadn't thought of and find very useful. Keep them coming

January 5, 2012, 12:00 PM
Removed. Further read your post and missed some info

January 5, 2012, 12:16 PM
Edited and removed - pretty much duplicate answers

January 16, 2012, 10:45 PM
let's close this thread

January 16, 2012, 11:21 PM
Perhaps you have already seen this site, but if not, it contains some good information and ideas using the BR cartridges.


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