You may have seen my post regarding a new rifle build in a 6mmBR. Having never owned a CF rifle I have a learn and purchase and then do load development before I can think about comming to a match.
Been bored with this lockdown so purchased a Berger reloading manual and been reading lots of posts on the internet, unfortunately its not always specific to Benchrest or 500m Fly shooting so can be confusing to a newbie like me.
What I have learnt is the Lapua 6mm brass is too good to go pass and the ADI AR2208 is used by many top shooters. But what about the best primers and bullets?
Primers - Some say CCI BR4 others like CCI 450 or Federal etc. Is there a best?
Bullets - Seems 103 to 108 is the recommendation by most for 6mmBR, but there are just so many choices, BT, Hybrids and VLD's . Again is there a best?
I understand not every bullet will shoot in every rifle, but I believe if you get the very best of components then you a have the best chance of it working. I have a ammo safe full of crap .22 ammo that really is only good in my rimfires for plinking.
Its all to expensive to be just left in the safe, so any advise on what has worked for could save me a lot of time, money and effort.
Looking forward to your responses,
I know what you mean about this lock down, my brass has never been so shiny. (and now reading over my reply seems I have too much time to type also )
Firstly let me say I have only been doing this since 2016 (Well! I have been reloading for 40 years, however reloading to shoot a pig and reloading to shoot a fly seems to be two different kettle of fish) and one thing I have found, you can talk to 10 different people and get Ten different takes on the same process. This is purely what I have found personally since starting my "precision" reloading journey.
You seem to have chosen 2208 and you will certainly achieve great results with it. Around the 30.00 grain mark appears to be the point where most BR's find that special "node" and start to shoot exceptionally well. Depending on how much you enjoy reloading, testing and your desire to achieve the absolute best your rifle can achieve, I would certainly take a look at 2209. You may find (and this will be a recurring theme) your barrel will perform "marginally" better with it. A lot of friends have started to use it with great result. I have done some testing and have been pleased with what I have seen. When our new rifle is done I intend to start load development with 2209 from the outset. Not only because of the results I have seen but more importantly I want to standardise powders and 2209 is what we use in the .284 also.
As for bullets, over the years I have tried several (hundred) of the "top" brands. 107 Sierra Match Kings, 103 Copperheads, 105 Lapua Scenars, 105 Hybrids, Berger BT's (never tried the VLD's in the 6mm) and a few more. First let me preface this with, any of those projectiles in any one of my three 6mm barrels were more then capable of winning a match, if I could have done my part. Did any in particular shoot better in a certain barrel ? The answer to that question is certainly. I have a Maddco barrel that was chambered in 6BR. My "match" load for it was 107 SMK's 30.01 of 2208 jumped 25 thou. I had that barrel rechambered to 6BRX. At the time I was shooting a 6BRX Hardie barrel with a load of 33gr and the 105 Hybrids. Once again to standardise I started to shoot the 105 hybrids in the "new" Maddco. While that load shot well enough to win many club matches I never thought it was quiet as good as when it was chambered in 6BR. I had some SMK's still in the cupboard so tried them. From the outset it was very clear, that barrel for some reason "liked" the SMK's better as the groups tightened up. To cut a long story a little bit shorter, all barrels are different. You occasionally will find a bullet, barrel combinations that doesn't quiet meet your expectations. You could possibly get it to shoot by playing with primers, seating depth, powders etc etc etc, depending on how much time and money you want to spend. My advice is to buy several hundred of two of the "top" brands, do some load development with both. You will probably come across one load that is a little better then the other, use that as your "Match " load. If one of those two for some reason doesn't work, try a third and do some development with that. You will always have the other to fallback on if the projectiles you have chosen become unavailable, and this can happen all too frequently.
I have spoken to some of the best and I know they do try different primers. I have never played with them, Br4's are the only ones I have ever used. Do I think that my groups would tighten up? Perhaps but I know my gun shoots well enough to place me up the top now, I feel that the time spent mucking around in the reloading room would be much better used out on the range learning to read the conditions and practicing my technique. If I ever get to the stage I think I can now out shoot my rifle I might look at playing with primers, so that isn't ever going to happen anytime soon.
Oh! Hybrids, BT's, or VLD's. I expect Stuart to jump in here as I know he also shoots SMK's and Hybrids and his results are a lot different to mine with the SMK's, The hybrids I think are similar. From my research and experience, The "standard" Tangent ogive on say the SMK's are suppose to be more forgiving when it comes to seating depth, My experience is these like to be jumped a considerable amount 25 thou. The VLD's are suppose to be hard to tune, (I use the 180 VLD's in the .284) if you haven't already done so, look for the Berger paper on how to tune them, its a good read, I jam mine 10 thou. The Hybrids are suppose to give you the best of both world, more forgiving to seating depth and good BC. I jump them 8 thou. But the most important thing I have learnt, Well actually 2 important things I have learnt:
1: Did I say this already. All barrels are different, what works in one most certainly may not work in another, even if they are chambered with the same reamer and are the same brand.
2: And I know you and Kathy are aware of this but many aren't, (well all the people who frequent this forum would) but Ill say it anyway as it was one of the first things I was told. There is no point having a gun that is capable of shooting .2 moa all day if you are only a 2.o moa shooter. I see so many people at the range shooting hundreds (probably thousands of rounds) doing load testing with no flags, on an almost perfect day and then turn up to shoot matches when there is a bit of wind and wonder why all of a sudden their perfect load isn't shooting any good anymore.
Lots to take in but will read it over again in my down time.
I did hear on the back channels you also purchased a Borden Action for your new rifle, they are nice and smooth!
I will look more into the AR 2209 as the 2208 recommendation was from sometime ago and maybe people are finding something better. From memory its a little slower burning but just learning all this.
Same with the BR4 primers, come highly recommended and used by many. The CCI 450 primer is actually a small Magnun primer which is used by many in the USA for the 600y competitions, some say they got better groups with these - maybe a more uniform burn?
I have no idea so hence the questions?
Indeed Dave, there is a lot to digest and the more you start to look into this stuff the more confusing it can get too. With your 6BR you are probably best off just going with 2208, it just works. I have tried 2206H, 8208 and the 2209, like the BRX and Dasher you'll need a drop tube for the 2209 and its probably not worth the trouble. Like I mentioned earlier around the 30 grs (As always start lower and carefully work up) of 2208 and you'll be nailing those flies in no time.
Yeah I think we shop at the same store ;) The Borden seems a little smoother then the Savage. Can't wait until its all finished and the range is back open to get out there and give it a go.
One day I must just try changing primers and see what happens, just for curiosities sake if for no other reason. Mind you I have been saying that for 3 years about neck tension too but I have never changed that either.
No matter what components you choose I have no doubt you and Kathy will make them work. I look forward to seeing your results.
I think its a bit like baking a cake, you get all components and put them all together and hopefully if comes out ok in the end. I am not much of a cake baker and never reloaded from start to finish but I want to start with the right components, else I will have very frustrating and expensive time.
As Les and Anthony have pointed out many times that there are extremes you can go to in reloading, for starters we will just stick to the basics.
Maybe just sponge cake for now, but it can still be enjoyable.
Like you we will be very keen to get to the range once this is all over.
FWIW in my no neck turn BR I'm running lapua brass, CCI BR4 primers, berger 105 target vld's 15 thou off the lands pushed along by 30.7gr of 2208 for a velocity of 2963fps, sd of 1.4 and .15MOA was unfortunaly testing in over 40km winds(little river)
When i had my new barrel fitted i used 29gr and some old hunting projectiles for inital sighting and running in with favourable results accuracy wise .22MOA in 30km winds, but i wanted a little more speed than i was getting(2763) so it was then onto testing with the bergers for the above results.
As i said in another post i cant read the wind to well so it would be interesting to see just what this gun could do in a true no wind situation or even better someone else shooting it that can read the wind.
That is some great results in windy conditions. Sounds like you have a good combination there. What is the SD figure? Were you shooting over a chrony? Very low numbers if that is the case.
What action\barrel combination are you running?
I have had the displeasure of shooting at Little River when the wind was blowing - not pleasant.
Fortunately, the pub is one of the best there is so have always enjoyed my trips down south.
like Peter has said every barrel is different and it will tell you what it likes
the few 6BR barrels i had i tired 105gr hunting vlds, 105gr hybrids, 108gr berger BT and 107gr SMK and 103gr CH
in 6BR 2208 will be ya best bet and between 29.5gr to 30.5gr will be a load in there on about 95% cases
my 1st barrel in 6BR was a krieger and i shot 105gr hunting vlds in it with 30.6gr of 2208 at 2930fps (it was an awesome barrel and was quick), the 105gr vlds you need to keep them in the sweet spot alot more for seating depth
my next barrel was a hart barrel which i was using 29.8gr or 2208 and it was doing 2840fps with 105gr hybrids ,, i tried 108gr bergers and 105gr vlds and hybrids won but over all i didn't like the hart barrel it just didn't shoot as good
all my new barrels now i like to try a few different bullets before settling on one as some just shoot better with one type
eg my 1st 6BRX liked 105gr hybrids and 2208, honestly i used BR4 and CCI 450s and once each was tuned for it i didn't see much difference but now use 450s
next barrel liked 107gr SMK and 2208
next barrel i wanted to try using 2209 in the 6BRX as i heard good things about in in them and dasher (wouldn't use it in 6BR), i tried 105gr hybrids and 107gr SMK with both 2208 and 2209 and there wasnt much in them but 105gr hybrids and 2209 won but only by slightest margin...
i just picked up my new 6BRX barrel from Dave Kerr and i'm trying a krieger 5R barrel for the 1st time in my brand new 6BRX reamer with 150FB, i have 100 cases which i have hydroformed (make that 98 as i lost 2 which is normal)
now same as in 6BR when i fireform my cases to my barrel i use this time to do some quick load testing with different powder and projectiles to see what the gun likes, once cases have been once fires in chamber from your quick testing results i pick what works and then start serious tuning
BTW people cleavers have a special on atm for 107gr SMK $225/500 box, cheap as chips
im waiting for berger 109gr hybrids to come into Australia as i want to try them as ive heard good things about them
Some good info there and its much appreciated. Your 6mmBR loads are consistent with what others have been telling me so sounds like I will be in that range as well. I think I will try the 105vlds with 2208 powder and I can always try other things as I get more confidence with reloading and working up a load etc.
Good luck with your 109's as I have been reading good reports in the USA for the Dashers and others wildcats, having enough freebore is a must I believe.
I like the look of that rifle case you posted as well and will weigh up the options when the time comes to pickup the new rifle.