6BR family: Other than Varget?

Joel Danielson

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Thanks for the info.

The vibe I'm getting is that 6BR / 6BRA are not fussy to load for and a wide range of powders will work.
There are several powders that work well, but some are better than others. I started with a 6BR quite a few years ago, and was told " 30 grains of Varget with a 105 hybrid and BR4 primers seated 10-15 off". Varget is not the barrel burner some think it is. I just retired a 6BRA barrel that had 3100+ rounds on it, and would still shoot cleans at 600 with less than 2" vertical. That only had Varget used. R15 works great as long as you watch temps and humidity when it gets up into the 90+ range. In most cases you need to back off a half grain to stay in a node for velocity anyhow.
VV 140 and 540 are great as well.
Are you watching any of the World Jrs.? We may have to start talking some shit here in a day or two... :ROFLMAO: (y)
Cheers
 

Cardboard Assassin

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There are several powders that work well, but some are better than others. I started with a 6BR quite a few years ago, and was told " 30 grains of Varget with a 105 hybrid and BR4 primers seated 10-15 off". Varget is not the barrel burner some think it is. I just retired a 6BRA barrel that had 3100+ rounds on it, and would still shoot cleans at 600 with less than 2" vertical. That only had Varget used. R15 works great as long as you watch temps and humidity when it gets up into the 90+ range. In most cases you need to back off a half grain to stay in a node for velocity anyhow.
VV 140 and 540 are great as well.
Are you watching any of the World Jrs.? We may have to start talking some shit here in a day or two... :ROFLMAO: (y)
Cheers

Ive competed in / followed a lot of sports over the years but hockey ain't one, Ive probably watched 2 games in my entire life so an authority I am not......
 

orkan

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Varget is not the barrel burner some think it is.

I think with a cartridge that is efficient as 6BR, it isn't about what burns barrels faster... because it's not hard on barrels anyway. Though its more about what stays in a node longer. Powders with slower burn characteristics, when combined with heavy per cal bullets, typically will provide a more gentle pressure curve and will subsequently produce a wider node.

Remainder of post not directed at @Joel Danielson, but rather for general informational purposes.

A byproduct of this more elongated and more gentle pressure spike, is its typically easier on the barrel. More barrel life is never a bad thing, after all. As a result, I typically will run the slowest powder I can get away with. This typically provides the best case fill and the most consistent performance across the widest range of conditions and round count. I'd rather lightly crunch kernels than have free space in that case. If you can combine that with a 40 degree shoulder angle and a long barrel, you can really see some extremely wide nodes. In an attempt to quantify this by some measure, you can go from having a node that's 1 grain wide, to having a node thats 1.5-2.5 grains wide.

As with all things ballistics, there's a piece to this equation that hasn't been talked about much: The barrel. The right answer from a component selection standpoint is always going to be driven by first hand experience with the specific barrel/rifle system you are working with. Threads like these serve as a guide only. Someone else's ability to tune their rifle will not make your rifle shoot better. The bulk of my work is done on Benchmark barrels which are produced by TS Customs. Despite the fact that I've received positive feedback from many customers that have tested my component recommendations on their various brands of barrels/rifles... there is still the ever present variable of what your individual barrel will like. Your brand might not play well with common component choices. In order for you to know, you must do. There is no shortcut. There is no trick. There is no advice that can be substituted. Some barrels will simply not respond well to commonly held recipes. Subsequently, if you really want to get your rifle shooting, you can not assume the .38 MOA performance offered by the "internet golden load" to be the best it can shoot unless you've done adequate testing to ensure no further advances can be made. You may have your preferences regarding bullet selection or powder choice, but the rifle/barrel needs to be listened to.

You may also be short on time and the common internet golden load might shoot well enough for your liking and you'll just run with it.

There are no wrong answers which meet your requirements. If you're happy with how something is performing, then you're happy. However, unless you've done the work you won't know... Unless you've done it on dozens of rifles in that same chambering, you won't have a wider understanding of the cartridge.
 
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Joel Danielson

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I think with a cartridge that is efficient as 6BR, it isn't about what burns barrels faster... because it's not hard on barrels anyway. Though its more about what stays in a node longer. Powders with slower burn characteristics, when combined with heavy per cal bullets, typically will provide a more gentle pressure curve and will subsequently produce a wider node.

Remainder of post not directed at @Joel Danielson, but rather for general informational purposes.

A byproduct of this more elongated and more gentle pressure spike, is its typically easier on the barrel. More barrel life is never a bad thing, after all. As a result, I typically will run the slowest powder I can get away with. This typically provides the best case fill and the most consistent performance across the widest range of conditions and round count. I'd rather lightly crunch kernels than have free space in that case. If you can combine that with a 40 degree shoulder angle and a long barrel, you can really see some extremely wide nodes. In an attempt to quantify this by some measure, you can go from having a node that's 1 grain wide, to having a node thats 1.5-2.5 grains wide.

As with all things ballistics, there's a piece to this equation that hasn't been talked about much: The barrel. The right answer from a component selection standpoint is always going to be driven by first hand experience with the specific barrel/rifle system you are working with. Threads like these serve as a guide only. Someone else's ability to tune their rifle will not make your rifle shoot better. The bulk of my work is done on Benchmark barrels which are produced by TS Customs. Despite the fact that I've received positive feedback from many customers that have tested my component recommendations on their various brands of barrels/rifles... there is still the ever present variable of what your individual barrel will like. Your brand might not play well with common component choices. In order for you to know, you must do. There is no shortcut. There is no trick. There is no advice that can be substituted. Some barrels will simply not respond well to commonly held recipes. Subsequently, if you really want to get your rifle shooting, you can not assume the .38 MOA performance offered by the "internet golden load" to be the best it can shoot unless you've done adequate testing to ensure no further advances can be made. You may have your preferences regarding bullet selection or powder choice, but the rifle/barrel needs to be listened to.

You may also be short on time and the common internet golden load might shoot well enough for your liking and you'll just run with it.

There are no wrong answers which meet your requirements. If you're happy with how something is performing, then you're happy. However, unless you've done the work you won't know... Unless you've done it on dozens of rifles in that same chambering, you won't have a wider understanding of the cartridge.
My concern with compressed loads will not be with a powder like H4350, but with a powder like R17 that has a quick spike when it reaches the top of the curve. I also look at the length of barrels that are being shot, and wonder if the pressure curve has had the necessary time to work properly on a heavy for caliber bullet (20" or less). The powder is usually burned within the first 6-8 inches of the barrel, but that doesn't account for the pressure curve.
As you said, every barrel is different. I have two 6mm barrels I am testing right now in 6BRA (Brux and Bartlein). The Bartlein is showing a preference for Varget over H4895 already, and it has less than 200 rounds on it. Brux is a 4 groove(.236) and the Bartlein is a 5R(.237). Every barrel is different and you need to do your own testing to figure out what works best.
 

orkan

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I also look at the length of barrels that are being shot, and wonder if the pressure curve has had the necessary time to work properly on a heavy for caliber bullet (20" or less).
Very good point here... barrel length can work against an otherwise worthwhile combination. It's noteworthy that this too is a barrel specific behavior. I've run H4350 with 105's with excellent results in a 16" 6BR. It isn't as if varget or H4895 would be rated at 100% burn in that situation, but despite that fact, even the slower powders will have a tendency to provide a wider node than the faster powders.

Don't mistake my post as advocacy for a textbook "compressed load." It certainly underlines the importance of being very specific when making considerations for the different workable powders. Each have their own very specific characteristics that can create issues if not properly anticipated. I've witnessed varget go from running just fine, to pressuring up and raising POI by 3 tenths over the course of 20 rounds. To date, I've not had 4895 or 4350 exhibit that behavior. What that tells me is that varget rides the line too hard and can slip off the node for various reasons as the round count expands. H4895 will invariably be more stable because it swings hard to the fast characteristic, and thusly H4350 will also be a better choice because it's pressure curve runs the other way, to the smoother side of things. I'm still left in amazement that Varget ever became the "golden child" for 6BR based cartridges. It can certainly work, and I'm glad its an option, but it can be very disappointing too.

Another intrinsic benefit of running slower powders is, most of the time you could dunk the case in a jar of powder, fill it to the top of the mouth, crush a bullet in there... and it would still be safe enough to shoot. When running the faster powders, you're likely to experience some damage if that were done. An extreme example... but noteworthy none the less, as it illustrates the forgiveness.
 

Joel Danielson

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Very good point here... barrel length can work against an otherwise worthwhile combination. It's noteworthy that this too is a barrel specific behavior. I've run H4350 with 105's with excellent results in a 16" 6BR.

Don't mistake my post as advocacy for a textbook "compressed load." It certainly underlines the importance of being very specific when making considerations for the different workable powders. Each have their own very specific characteristics that can create issues if not properly anticipated. I've witnessed varget go from running just fine, to pressuring up and raising POI by 3 tenths over the course of 20 rounds.

What was the barrel life using H4350? Barrels are a tool that have to be replaced regularly as part of our sport, but I would want to be able to see 2K plus on a barrel without the throat being toast. I go through that many rounds on a p-dog shoot in SD every year.

Another concern will be OAL on seated rounds. I have used compressed loads for a .284 with 4831 that moved .005+ over the course of a week. Used an arbor press at the match to seat bullets right before each relay I shot. That was back when it was hard to find H4350, and I had found a high node with 4831 that worked really well during testing. Lessons learned...
 

orkan

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What was the barrel life using H4350?
A bit over 2500rnds right now, and it will still shoot in the .3's and .4's real easy. However, I don't think this barrel will be very scientific as it pertains to barrel life... I spent quite a bit of time zinging 55 noslers at 3225fps in the pdog towns. ;)

I'm going to do a BRA here at some point... and I'll feed it a steady diet of H4350 if it likes it... then I'll have something worth reporting.
 
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orkan

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I have used compressed loads for a .284 with 4831 that moved .005+ over the course of a week.

After you seated them, they crawled out later? Wow... must have been some crunch on those when seating! I've had to run my seating die adjustment as much as 10 thousandths deeper to overcome the additional resistance during seating... but can't say I ever had them try to sneak out over time after they were seated. That's wild.
 

AlpineSniper

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I think the one upside to this whole situation (if you can call it an upside?) is that people are coming up with loads for something other than varget