This month we'll have a few questions from readers, the first, from Michael is about loading for the 6XC. - GAS -
Reloading: 6XC Load Discussion
I enjoy reading the Rifleman's Journal very much. I have learned a lot about brass prep, reloading, and shooting. I have shot mostly service rifle in the past. When I decided to get a Match rifle I was going to get an Eliseo R5 for prone, and XC but right before I was about to order it a chance came along to buy a T2K in 6XC. I’m shooting the D-TAC 115gr 6mm Boron Nitride coated bullets, 39.5gr. of H4350; Tubb’s posted load. It hasn’t shot that consistent for me. Not even off the bench. I have been meaning to test out the Berger 105s, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. A while back you did a little testing of the then new powder Alliant Reloder 17. What do you think of shooting the D-TAC 115s with 37.5 to 39.5 gr. of R-17? Or maybe the Berger 105s. Too light of a bullet for that powder you think?
When I can afford it, I’d like to put together an Eliseo R1 with the Borden Tube Action, CG trigger and maybe a Broughton or Krieger barrel in .308 for a Palma rifle. I learned about the Borden Tube actions from one of your articles. Gary told me about how good the CG triggers are back when I was ordering the AN1 from him. Then you confirmed it in one of your articles. I do have an Eliseo AN1 with an Anschütz 1913 barreled action for my winter indoor smallbore league shooting up here in Seattle, Washington.
I’m looking forward to your next articles. I like your writing style. If you ever are coming up this way let me know. The Cascade Shooting Facilities (formerly Cascade Rifle and Pistol Club) has a pretty decent 600 yd. range that is covered at 200 yd and 600 yds. http://www.cascaderifleandpistol.org/
Thanks for writing! I'm glad you're enjoying the website, I try to keep it up and there will be a couple of new articles today. My writing time has been cut down a bit lately due to a very time consuming project at work, but I am not abandoning it!
I've never been in your area of the country, but I'd like to go one day, it's a beautiful place from what I see in pictures. My daughter goes to college near San Francisco, that's as far north as I've made it so far.
I normally shoot H4831 in the 6XC, although I've used a lot of H4350 also and it is a very good powder for the 6XC. However, your load seems hotter than mine by quite a bit. I was shooting 38.5 H4350 with moly 105 Bergers; now I usually shoot 41.0 H4831sc with the same bullet. I've shot the 115 Berger quite a bit, usually with one grain less than the load for the 105. I tried the 115 DTAC once and it required an even lower powder charge due to its longer bearing surface. The specific load can certainly vary by rifle, of course, but 39.5 H4350 with a DTAC 115 seems pretty hot and that won't do consistency any good. The other question is, how old is the barrel, since that, of course will affect accuracy. Another question is what brass are you using? Other than the earliest Tubb branded brass, most of the available 22-250 cases and the Norma 6XC cases are fairly similar in capacity, so only the early Tubb brass would cause concern as it is quite thick.
The other element of your question is the Boron Nitride coating. When I tested the DTAC 115, they were Boron Nitride coated. From a clean barrel, they shot well at 1000 yards, about the same as my moly coated bullets. However, another friend had a lot of problems last year at Camp Perry after switching from moly to Boron Nitride coating in his 6XC. I'm not sure what to make of all that, there may be other elements at work (e.g. barrel wear, load, temperature), but perhaps changing bullets and coatings (even try bare) might be worthwhile.
I think the Berger 105 is worth your time to try, even a Sierra 107. They define the "standard" for this cartridge and will give you a good baseline from which to compare your results with the 115 DTAC or any other bullet.
As you mentioned, I tested RL17 when it came out, but I haven't done much with it since. It seemed to be adequately accurate at 500 yards, but spotty at 1000. The main attraction is the ability to generate higher MV at normal pressure levels. However, in the 6XC, I believe we're already very near the bullet's limit of structural integrity so I don't think pushing it harder is a good idea. To me, the 6XC is a cartridge that has all the good ballistics "built-in" by virtue of good MV (2950 to 3000) and bullets with a good BC; so there isn't a lot ot be gained from pushing it much harder and the risk of blow-ups is always present with a fast twist barrel, small diameter bullets and high MV.
Your plan for the new Palma rifle is exactly what I just finished! It's a Borden long action in the Eliseo long R1 kit, Krieger 1:11" twist barrel, CG trigger, Riles front sight and a Warner rear. I've shot a couple of 500 yard matches with it so far and it really shoots great! I'm working on my loads a bit now and will use it in all of the Palma matches here this winter when we get going on long-range shooting again.
Stay in touch!
Related Article: The 6XC for Long Range Prone