New PRS rifle for old benchrest shooter

El Viejo

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Is Hornady's 6mm ARC in a bolt gun a viable choice as a beginner rifle for PRS/PRL? Would 6BR, 6GT, or even 6 Creedmoor be a much better choice for a newbie? Since I plan to run suppressed, I would like to keep the barrel length to 22" or even 20".

Many years ago I competed in benchrest using a custom 6 PPC with Berger bullets way before ballistics engineers were thinking of ELD / VLD bullets in the 95 to 110 gr class. Last year I put together an 18" gas gun in 6 mm ARC which is for all practical purposes a SAAMI approved version of a 6 PPC with chamber dimensions changed to allow for today's super high BC bullet offerings.

Using Berger 95 gr VLD and Hornady 103 gr ELD bullets, my group sizes are 1" to 1.5" at 100 yds with an occasional flyer which is most likely operator error.

My 6ARC handloads are assembled on an old Co-Ax press, and I use a LabRadar chrono. My results typically show SDs of 10 to 15 (sometimes much lower) and an ES in the 20-30 range. The muzzle velocity is around 2400 fps from my 18" AR-15. Pretty good reasons not to try a gas gun at 800-1000 yds but more than adequate for deer out to 300 yds.

Based on my research it looks like the PRS/PRL world is currently dominated by 6BR, 6BRA, 6 Dasher, and of course 6 Creedmoor. Looking at various sources on the internet and the Berger manual, it looks like a 6BR (Norma) should be able to launch a 108 gr Match using 29.2 gr of Varget (max load) at 2675 fps from a 24" barrel. Based on Hornady's manual for a 6mm ARC bolt gun and using their 108 gr ELD Match and a 24" barrel, the max load of 28.1 gr of Varget gets a published 2650 fps.

Since a plain vanilla 6ARC in a bolt gun is that close to the published figures for 6BR, is the 6ARC a viable rifle for PRS/PRL?

Looking at the number of shooters using 6BRA or 6 Dasher, I would guess that the small incremental differences in MV are really important once you reach the top ranks of competition but maybe not for a newbie looking for a round that is very tolerant of different powders and primers in today's world.

Stay with 6ARC or go conventional with 6BR or be brave and go 6GT?

The only real liability I see is the bolt face, but I assume that's an easy fix depending on the selected action.
 

DeathBeforeDismount

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GT is easy mode but the truth is it wont matter for the first few years what you shoot. You can figure it out once you learn some positional shooting. I would not mess with ARC, stick with GT, BR, BRA, Dasher, Creed, lapua ,xc,ect. Any of them loaded around 2850-2950 will work the same. Creed and GT will feed the best, BR/BRA/Dasher will be easiest to load for. GT does everything well and would be my choice if starting fresh.

Ignore the reloading manuals, They are written by lawyers. You can get real data here.

Guys are not shooting BR for high velocitys. Some of the best shooters are only shooting around 2800. They shoot them because they are stupid easy to load for and crazy accurate compared to time invested in reloading.
 

El Viejo

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GT is easy mode but the truth is it wont matter for the first few years what you shoot. You can figure it out once you learn some positional shooting. I would not mess with ARC, stick with GT, BR, BRA, Dasher, Creed, lapua ,xc,ect. Any of them loaded around 2850-2950 will work the same. Creed and GT will feed the best, BR/BRA/Dasher will be easiest to load for. GT does everything well and would be my choice if starting fresh.

Ignore the reloading manuals, They are written by lawyers. You can get real data here.

Guys are not shooting BR for high velocitys. Some of the best shooters are only shooting around 2800. They shoot them because they are stupid easy to load for and crazy accurate compared to time invested in reloading.
From what I have read, 6GT should be the easiest to load without much fuss. Just tuning.

Can a 20" barrel with a 7" TBAC suppressor provide what appears to be the magical 2800 fps without a special powder?

Would a T3X TAC be an appropriate starting point?
 

DeathBeforeDismount

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I started shooting PRS with a T3 Tac A1 in 6.5. Would not recommend it. Its a bad platform for a bunch of reasons i have explained in other posts.

Get one of the production gamer guns for $2-2500 or a full build for about $4-4.5K.

You can run a can, but a brake is going to be better for recoil management and spotting your shots. Most people are shooting brakes so its not like there is any real benefit to shooting a can in competition.

BR or dasher are probally the most forgivng to load with varget. The GT is nice becuase you can run varget or H4350, so you get a bit more flexibility.
 
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El Viejo

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I started shooting PRS with a T3 Tac A1 in 6.5. Would not recommend it. Its a bad platform for a bunch of reasons i have explained in other posts.

Get one of the production gamer guns for $2-2500 or a full build for about $4-4.5K.

You can run a can, but a brake is going to be better for recoil management and spotting your shots. Most people are shooting brakes so its not like there is any real benefit to shooting a can in competition.

BR or dasher are probally the most forgivng to load with varget. The GT is nice becuase you can run varget or H4350, so you get a bit more flexibility.
Thoughtful. Appreciate your personal experience with the Tikka. Because of where I shoot for testing / tuning, I will stick with a suppressor for all but competition. How short can I go on the barrel?

As a newbie I didn't understand "production gamer guns". Is that like a Tikka but other manufacturers? Will I be able to find a 6GT or 6BR in a production gun?
 

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Thoughtful. Appreciate your personal experience with the Tikka. Because of where I shoot for testing / tuning, I will stick with a suppressor for all but competition. How short can I go on the barrel?

As a newbie I didn't understand "production gamer guns". Is that like a Tikka but other manufacturers? Will I be able to find a 6GT or 6BR in a production gun?


Basically to shoot production class, there are a few rules.
1: It must be a factory gun. No customs
2: Price. The factory gun can’t be more than $2500 I believe?
3: Must be stock. No changing parts like triggers and chassis/stocks. Things like muzzle brakes can be changed. Replacement barrels must be factory barrels

To kind of “game the system” a few manufacturers have put out essentially custom guns that are non-customizable at time of order by the end user, at a cost just under the price cap. One of the first being a John Hancock by PVA(ARC Nucleus action, Rock creek barrel, in a KRG chassis). Another is MPA (Curtis Axiom? In an MPA Chassis).

If you don’t plan on shooting production, you can get one of those and customize to your heart’s content. But they offer good value for the money for a person who isn’t sure what they want. For what it’s forth, my buddy just bought a used MPA production gun from another buddy of mine as his first gun to start PRS. My other friend, me and him built it off an Origin, Proof carbon prefit, and a KRG chassis

I don’t have suppressor experience due to living in CA. But on first instinct I wouldn’t tune without a suppressor and shoot without one of comp. I’m guessing it will affect how it shoots - it is a barrel weight at the end of your barrel. And look how a little weight shifted at the end by a tiny amount changes group size dramatically (barrel tuner). Keep in mind that’s just me thinking out loud
 
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DeathBeforeDismount

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The GAP PPR for example. Its 99% the gun of a full $5K custom that the team GAP guys shoot. Except its $2500 becuase they order 100 of everything and can get the costs down by vollume. You end up with a gun that would cost you $3500 to build except its a factory GAP rifle with same quality and accuracy as the one that costs twice as much. My buddy picked a used one up and its one of the slickest actions I have ever felt. One hell of a gun for the money.
 
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spife7980

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But on first instinct I wouldn’t tune without a suppressor and shoot without one of comp. I’m guessing it will affect how it shoots - it is a barrel weight at the end of your barrel.
It totally does. And after tuning a hummer load with it and then forgetting the silencer at the house will surely ruin your match day, I can attest to that personally.
 

b6graham

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    nothing wrong with 6ARC if you already reload for it and don't want to get another setup. it'll shoot speeds that are perfectly fine for a small 6mm

    GT doesn't do anything special. it's not really anything new. see 6x47 and 6XC dating back a long time

    but a 6BR/A or 6Dasher with current brass options and MDT BR mags is really a no brainer. pick a speed you want and load them up

    that being said
    GAP PPR is a great factory turn key option (if you dont mind waiting for the once a year release)
    Origin action. Proof prefit (tons of options including ARC, dasher, 6CM) with trigger/chassis/brake of choice is another really simple option and has a lot of flexibility down the road too

    nothing wrong with a tikka. theyre great actions. but it's more of a 6.5CM/308 starter with the CTR. and throw it in a different chassis.
    tikka isn't as good of a starting place as it was a few years ago when you could get cheap donor actions/rifles for really cheap

    regarding speed. most people run 6BR and Dasher slower. they're very easy to load for with most primer/powder combinations
     
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    kthomas

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    I would skip the 6 ARC.

    Personally, I would go 6BR/BRA. Really easy to load for, not very difficult at all to get feeding 100% with todays equipment.

    For learning, if you aren't approaching this season from a super competitive standpoint, but rather from a standpoint of just learning, having fun and coming out of it a better shooter, there's no reason why you can't do a shorter barrel (~20-22") with a suppressor and have fun. As you evolve by shooting more PRS matches, so will your gear and rifle, so changes are inevitably going to happen over time as you come to determine your preferences.

    The majority of matches I've shot were unsuppressed, with a muzzle brake. A suppressor is way more pleasant to shoot, even if others around you are shooting muzzle brakes (though that does take away from it). I haven't shot a match in a while, but last match I shot was 100% suppressed, and honestly I didn't feel penalized at all by using a suppressor over a muzzle brake. And it was MUCH more pleasant to shoot.

    From here on out, I'm 100% suppressed. Muzzle brakes are obnoxious.
     

    Ledzep

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    As for the OP, the ARC can work for PRS/NRL. I've been doing it for a couple of years, but I won't suggest it in 20-22" barrels. You're going to want 24-28" barrels and a minimum velocity with 105-110gr bullets in the 2700fps ballpark. Give or take. You can get that velocity with a 20-22" barrel with LeverEvolution or CF223, but I won't guarantee temp stability, nor accuracy performance over a wide temp range. Not saying it won't happen, just you're going to want to test it for yourself.

    That all said, with factory GT ammo coming to market, it's definitely an easy button. Standard bolt face, standard magazines, not necessarily a hot-rod, you'll have decent barrel life (better than 6 creed), and can down-load it into the BR/Dasher/ARC realm if you want to. I don't think there's a wrong answer, necessarily with any of these 6mm's, especially so if you reload.
     
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    DeathBeforeDismount

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    Wrong. Probably one of the worst suggestions I've ever seen here. "Ignore data generated by pressure and velocity test barrels and use the internet instead".

    o_O
    You should stop talking now. The Kids table is that way.

    If you look at reloading manuals from 20-30-40-50 years ago using the same cartridge, same powders, primers, ect, the max loads are massively under powered today. They do not even approach max safe operating pressure levels. Now if you actually shot and reloaded, you would know this, its an undeniable fact. Go take a look in almost every reloading thread and you we see people are routinely running loads over "book max" safely, some WAY past what the book says. On top of this today's modern components are made better than ever and should be able to handle MORE pressure than the components from 50 years ago.

    We live in a litigious environment and the product is an explosive with the danger to kill people who screw up or make a mistake. Everything is decided based on risk and exposure, usually signed off by attorneys and insurance companies. This is why published load data is anemic and is not very useful.
     

    DeathBeforeDismount

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    nothing wrong with 6ARC if you already reload for it and don't want to get another setup. it'll shoot speeds that are perfectly fine for a small 6mm

    GT doesn't do anything special. it's not really anything new. see 6x47 and 6XC dating back a long time

    but a 6BR/A or 6Dasher with current brass options and MDT BR mags is really a no brainer. pick a speed you want and load them up

    that being said
    GAP PPR is a great factory turn key option (if you dont mind waiting for the once a year release)
    Origin action. Proof prefit (tons of options including ARC, dasher, 6CM) with trigger/chassis/brake of choice is another really simple option and has a lot of flexibility down the road too

    nothing wrong with a tikka. theyre great actions. but it's more of a 6.5CM/308 starter with the CTR. and throw it in a different chassis.
    tikka isn't as good of a starting place as it was a few years ago when you could get cheap donor actions/rifles for really cheap

    regarding speed. most people run 6BR and Dasher slower. they're very easy to load for with most primer/powder combinations
    6GT offers some things over the x47, creed and XC. Trying to run them slow will drive you nuts. Running them as they are designed will burn up barrels and make spotting hits/misses harder. Its MUCH easier to load for for GT. You get higher case fill percentage which helps with ignition. There is very little load development with the BR classes and GT. Just pick a velocity, tune the seating depth and go. Even with mag kits and tuned mags guys still have issues feeding with the BR class and you are kind of stuck with Varget without H4350 as an option..

    This is why if someone is starting new, the GT is an easy answer. Great all around cartridge that does everything well without the cons of ones on either side of it.
     

    b6graham

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    6GT offers some things over the x47, creed and XC. Trying to run them slow will drive you nuts. Running them as they are designed will burn up barrels and make spotting hits/misses harder. Its MUCH easier to load for for GT. You get higher case fill percentage which helps with ignition. There is very little load development with the BR classes and GT. Just pick a velocity, tune the seating depth and go. Even with mag kits and tuned mags guys still have issues feeding with the BR class and you are kind of stuck with Varget without H4350 as an option..

    This is why if someone is starting new, the GT is an easy answer. Great all around cartridge that does everything well without the cons of ones on either side of it.
    you must work for GAP/Hornady :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
     
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    spife7980

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    @El Viejo
    One thing to keep in mind is that the internet loaders can say to ignore all the manuals and to push shit to the limit but that doesnt mean its a wise thing to do for you or your equipment... even if your equipment doesnt have a catastrophic incident as a result.
    The manuals exist for a reason and every time Ive tried to go past their recommendations the reliability and consistency suffers and the juice isnt worth the squeeze even though I lived to tell the tale.

    Load sensibly and youll have a good time, push it too hard and youll have nit picky shit popping up constantly even if its not sending you to the hospital.
    It doesnt matter what chambering you chose -everything has its plus and minuses- just use whatever you do chose as its designed to be and not what you can "get away with".
     

    DeathBeforeDismount

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    @El Viejo
    One thing to keep in mind is that the internet loaders can say to ignore all the manuals and to push shit to the limit but that doesnt mean its a wise thing to do for you or your equipment... even if your equipment doesnt have a catastrophic incident as a result.
    The manuals exist for a reason and every time Ive tried to go past their recommendations the reliability and consistency suffers and the juice isnt worth the squeeze even though I lived to tell the tale.

    Load sensibly and youll have a good time, push it too hard and youll have nit picky shit popping up constantly even if its no sending you to the hospital.
    It doesnt matter what chambering you chose -everything has its plus and minuses- just use whatever you do chose as its designed to be and not what you can "get away with".
    No one said to go HAM. You have to use some common sense but that seems to be lacking around here.
     

    Ledzep

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    You should stop talking now. The Kids table is that way.

    If you look at reloading manuals from 20-30-40-50 years ago using the same cartridge, same powders, primers, ect, the max loads are massively under powered today. They do not even approach max safe operating pressure levels. Now if you actually shot and reloaded, you would know this, its an undeniable fact. Go take a look in almost every reloading thread and you we see people are routinely running loads over "book max" safely, some WAY past what the book says. On top of this today's modern components are made better than ever and should be able to handle MORE pressure than the components from 50 years ago.

    We live in a litigious environment and the product is an explosive with the danger to kill people who screw up or make a mistake. Everything is decided based on risk and exposure, usually signed off by attorneys and insurance companies. This is why published load data is anemic and is not very useful.

    Doubling down on ignorance, nice. What are "safe operating pressure levels"? How do you determine/verify what those are?

    Loading manuals from way back in the day were using copper crush pressure measurements, which are a pain in the ass and less accurate than the current piezo transducers. Never mind lot-to-lot variation-- hell even using the same components but swapping two different bullets of the same weight can change pressure by 5000psi or more.

    The lawyers' portion of the book is in the front where they say something to the effect of "This is data that we generated with our test equipment and it may or may not exactly match what your rifle/components/lots produce, proceed at your own risk, start low and work up. We're not responsible for your failed experiments".

    Then a lab technician proceeds to incrementally step up powder charge until they reach SAAMI MAP, and accurately record pressure, charge weight, and velocity with a fixed chronograph, piezo pressure and velocity gun in a universal receiver with case calibration and pressure/velocity offsets for that barrel based on reference ammo. That is the data that makes it into the handbooks.

    You do whatever makes you happy, but at the end of the day you have no skin in the game and it's irresponsible to suggest that people can exceed published data at will with no repercussions-- especially when you're displaying a complete ignorance of the manner in which the published data is collected and reported. If/when someone follows your advice and breaks something, your only offer for rectification will be a lame statement like, "Well, that shouldn't have happened."

    My first-hand testing with calibrated pressure and velocity test barrels showed that "flat" primers (subjective) show up anywhere from 65-72ksi. Light ejector swipes show up anywhere from 60 to 74ksi. Stiff bolt lift is anywhere from 65-80ksi. The signs of excessive pressure on the gun, case, and primer almost guarantee you're over SAAMI pressure, but you can in some circumstances run at 70,000psi +/- without seeing shit. Which may or MAY NOT be okay. The actions are designed for SAAMI with a safety margin. You don't know the limit of the safety margin, and you don't know the operating pressure without testing it... Not a great place to be.
     

    Midwestside

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    You should stop talking now. The Kids table is that way.

    If you look at reloading manuals from 20-30-40-50 years ago using the same cartridge, same powders, primers, ect, the max loads are massively under powered today. They do not even approach max safe operating pressure levels. Now if you actually shot and reloaded, you would know this, its an undeniable fact...
    Of the first 4 cartridges the OP listed, I'm running all my 6mm ARC, 6 GT and 6 creedmoor loads based off of my 1972 published load data ranges.
    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
     

    El Viejo

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    You should stop talking now. The Kids table is that way.

    If you look at reloading manuals from 20-30-40-50 years ago using the same cartridge, same powders, primers, ect, the max loads are massively under powered today. They do not even approach max safe operating pressure levels. Now if you actually shot and reloaded, you would know this, its an undeniable fact. Go take a look in almost every reloading thread and you we see people are routinely running loads over "book max" safely, some WAY past what the book says. On top of this today's modern components are made better than ever and should be able to handle MORE pressure than the components from 50 years ago.

    We live in a litigious environment and the product is an explosive with the danger to kill people who screw up or make a mistake. Everything is decided based on risk and exposure, usually signed off by attorneys and insurance companies. This is why published load data is anemic and is not very useful.
    Well put. I don't have manuals going back beyond 1996 (too many moves), and I do look at them for powders and cartridges I know. Now that I am more interested in the cool new kids like 6BR, 6ARC, and 6GT with newer powders, I find the manuals a useful starting point but not gospel including SAAMI max pressures. I pay very close attention to flattened primers, primer pocket expansion, and "unusual" muzzle velocities on my chronograph. I pretty much ignore the self-appointed keyboard commandos writing for the gun rags. Amazing how few of them ever show up and complete.
     

    DeathBeforeDismount

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    You can use QL or GRT as well to get approximate pressures so even if you aren't seeing pressure signs, you can stay under SAMMI max and help keep your brass live a lot longer. If we stuck to reloading manual book maxes everything would be running at 50k psi and low velocities.
     

    fdkay

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    Is the 6mm ARC a decent beginners cartridge?
    Yes, depending on the venue where you compete, if the really long shots are few.
    However, unless you build it on an action with interchangeable bolt heads, you are now stuck with a PPC type cartridge.
    Then you have the cost of retooling etc... when you decide you want more speed or energy on target.
    You could also do it with a .224 valkyrie.
    In all reality, the 6.5 CM is hard to beat, it will give you longer barrel life and a large bullet selection.
    The 6mm's have their place, something like a BR or GT is pretty easy on barrels, but many find them wanting on energy on target.
     

    El Viejo

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    You can use QL or GRT as well to get approximate pressures so even if you aren't seeing pressure signs, you can stay under SAMMI max and help keep your brass live a lot longer. If we stuck to reloading manual book maxes everything would be running at 50k psi and low velocities.
    I have used QuickLoad through many updates. Great software - when it has your cartridge and the correct BCs in its bullet library. I assume GRT is Gordon, but I have never used it. Is there a thread on Sniper that I should follow?
     

    DeathBeforeDismount

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    Not that I know of. Gordon died last year so they are kind of up in the air about updates. I think they are looking for some software devs to help them get it updated.
     

    Rob01

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    Is Hornady's 6mm ARC in a bolt gun a viable choice as a beginner rifle for PRS/PRL? Would 6BR, 6GT, or even 6 Creedmoor be a much better choice for a newbie? Since I plan to run suppressed, I would like to keep the barrel length to 22" or even 20".

    Many years ago I competed in benchrest using a custom 6 PPC with Berger bullets way before ballistics engineers were thinking of ELD / VLD bullets in the 95 to 110 gr class. Last year I put together an 18" gas gun in 6 mm ARC which is for all practical purposes a SAAMI approved version of a 6 PPC with chamber dimensions changed to allow for today's super high BC bullet offerings.

    Using Berger 95 gr VLD and Hornady 103 gr ELD bullets, my group sizes are 1" to 1.5" at 100 yds with an occasional flyer which is most likely operator error.

    My 6ARC handloads are assembled on an old Co-Ax press, and I use a LabRadar chrono. My results typically show SDs of 10 to 15 (sometimes much lower) and an ES in the 20-30 range. The muzzle velocity is around 2400 fps from my 18" AR-15. Pretty good reasons not to try a gas gun at 800-1000 yds but more than adequate for deer out to 300 yds.

    Based on my research it looks like the PRS/PRL world is currently dominated by 6BR, 6BRA, 6 Dasher, and of course 6 Creedmoor. Looking at various sources on the internet and the Berger manual, it looks like a 6BR (Norma) should be able to launch a 108 gr Match using 29.2 gr of Varget (max load) at 2675 fps from a 24" barrel. Based on Hornady's manual for a 6mm ARC bolt gun and using their 108 gr ELD Match and a 24" barrel, the max load of 28.1 gr of Varget gets a published 2650 fps.

    Since a plain vanilla 6ARC in a bolt gun is that close to the published figures for 6BR, is the 6ARC a viable rifle for PRS/PRL?

    Looking at the number of shooters using 6BRA or 6 Dasher, I would guess that the small incremental differences in MV are really important once you reach the top ranks of competition but maybe not for a newbie looking for a round that is very tolerant of different powders and primers in today's world.

    Stay with 6ARC or go conventional with 6BR or be brave and go 6GT?

    The only real liability I see is the bolt face, but I assume that's an easy fix depending on the selected action.

    Run whatever you want. Your first year you will suck and be learning a lot so I would just use something you have on hand or if building use an action you can change calibers easily. Also don't worry about Production division as it's a joke. Use something that makes you happy and weather it be in Open or Tac just shoot it and learn. Want to shoot an ARC? Go for it but I wouldn't go under 24" with the barrel and if you can't handle that with a can at first then practice more.
     

    El Viejo

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    Run whatever you want. Your first year you will suck and be learning a lot so I would just use something you have on hand or if building use an action you can change calibers easily. Also don't worry about Production division as it's a joke. Use something that makes you happy and weather it be in Open or Tac just shoot it and learn. Want to shoot an ARC? Go for it but I wouldn't go under 24" with the barrel and if you can't handle that with a can at first then practice more.
    Overall, I really appreciate the fire hose of useful knowledge. That's what makes this site so great. Given my location and the local matches (with 200 miles) not offering a Production class, I get that Production is a joke - sort of. When places like GA Precision and Masterpiece Arms put together really great starter rifles for under $2500, you have to take notice. That's the direction I am going to take. For reasons like common bolt face and multiple powder choices and decent velocities, I am leaning to 6GT. Time and practice will tell whether I made the right choice. Thanks!
     

    Rob01

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    Overall, I really appreciate the fire hose of useful knowledge. That's what makes this site so great. Given my location and the local matches (with 200 miles) not offering a Production class, I get that Production is a joke - sort of. When places like GA Precision and Masterpiece Arms put together really great starter rifles for under $2500, you have to take notice. That's the direction I am going to take. For reasons like common bolt face and multiple powder choices and decent velocities, I am leaning to 6GT. Time and practice will tell whether I made the right choice. Thanks!

    Take notice? LOL You mean your couple months of looking at different PRS related sites rolling over from the BR crowd? I have been shooting this sport for 19 years before there was a "PRS" so know a little about it. Are the basically custom rifles for $2499 a good thing? Yup it's great for shooters as those rifles would cost double that years ago but it's not the rifles but you need to take notice of why the limit is at $2500 now when it was lower years back, and no not inflation, the experienced shooters going to Production to get better finishes, etc. The original intent of the actual Production division was good to get new shooters in with the rifles and scopes they have around the house but that is gone and why it is a joke now. You should not limit your choices by trying to stay in Production. That was my point.

    You are new to the sport and read some stuff and think you know. You don't but will learn if you stay in the sport long enough. Keep reading and learning though and more importantly shooting as it is a fun sport and you will have fun. The 6GT is a good cartridge and will serve you well. Biggest thing to do though is practice. Especially if older and need to start getting some muscle memory and learning positions you can get into to shoot some stages/props.
     

    b6graham

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    if you're going GT it would be wise to go order some of the new ammo from GAP. even if you don't have the rifle for a bit. 200-400 rounds will get you through barrel break in and leave you with a nice pile of brass to reload a barrel or two
     
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    Cascade Hemi

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    You should stop talking now. The Kids table is that way.

    If you look at reloading manuals from 20-30-40-50 years ago using the same cartridge, same powders, primers, ect, the max loads are massively under powered today. They do not even approach max safe operating pressure levels. Now if you actually shot and reloaded, you would know this, its an undeniable fact. Go take a look in almost every reloading thread and you we see people are routinely running loads over "book max" safely, some WAY past what the book says. On top of this today's modern components are made better than ever and should be able to handle MORE pressure than the components from 50 years ago.

    We live in a litigious environment and the product is an explosive with the danger to kill people who screw up or make a mistake. Everything is decided based on risk and exposure, usually signed off by attorneys and insurance companies. This is why published load data is anemic and is not very useful.

    It wasn't that long ago someone posted their load data here that was conservatively 75K PSI claiming it was safe because he had no pressure signs. He went on to legitimize his position by claiming that he had a max effort tune in his Ford Raptor so it only made sense to have a max effort load in his rifle. The longer I am alive the less intelligent I believe people to be. Further, the internet seems to be where less intelligent people go to spread their their stupidity. Your post is both stupid and naïve...a crowning achievement.

    Contrary to your opinion, there have been no major advancements in powder, primer, or bullet quality in the last 20 years. I have read, and own, just about every hand loading manual since the 90's and I can tell you from first hand experience much of the published max load data is not conservative. There is a reason published data starts low and it has nothing to do with litigation. I don't want to ruin the surprise for you but pretty much every single handloading manual spells out why in the very first chapter (there are exceptions).

    Frankly, you should feel bad for your post. Seriously.
     

    El Viejo

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    if you're going GT it would be wise to go order some of the new ammo from GAP. even if you don't have the rifle for a bit. 200-400 rounds will get you through barrel break in and leave you with a nice pile of brass to reload a barrel or two
    Good advice. I ordered 400 rounds of brass from GAP at $0.75. I also ordered a set of FL bushing dies from Whidden and their screw top case gauge. I am hoping that Sheridan comes out with a slotted case gauge in the next couple of months.
     

    Rob01

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    Good advice. I ordered 400 rounds of brass from GAP at $0.75. I also ordered a set of FL bushing dies from Whidden and their screw top case gauge. I am hoping that Sheridan comes out with a slotted case gauge in the next couple of months.

    Don't stress a lot of BR loading techniques for PRS style matches. Very basic stuff to get a load around 1/2 MOA and then practice a lot. More time at the range versus the loading bench will make your scores go up.
     

    El Viejo

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    Take notice? LOL You mean your couple months of looking at different PRS related sites rolling over from the BR crowd? I have been shooting this sport for 19 years before there was a "PRS" so know a little about it. Are the basically custom rifles for $2499 a good thing? Yup it's great for shooters as those rifles would cost double that years ago but it's not the rifles but you need to take notice of why the limit is at $2500 now when it was lower years back, and no not inflation, the experienced shooters going to Production to get better finishes, etc. The original intent of the actual Production division was good to get new shooters in with the rifles and scopes they have around the house but that is gone and why it is a joke now. You should not limit your choices by trying to stay in Production. That was my point.

    You are new to the sport and read some stuff and think you know. You don't but will learn if you stay in the sport long enough. Keep reading and learning though and more importantly shooting as it is a fun sport and you will have fun. The 6GT is a good cartridge and will serve you well. Biggest thing to do though is practice. Especially if older and need to start getting some muscle memory and learning positions you can get into to shoot some stages/props.
    All good advice.

    Given your time in the sport, where is the best place to find good load data for 6GT?

    I have a small stock of Varget but quite a lot of H4350. Are shooters getting smaller SDs with BR4 or 450M? For barrel break-in, should I use up some left over prairie dog bullets in 6mm or focus on what other shooters are using in Matches?
     

    Feniks Technologies

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    You should stop talking now. The Kids table is that way.

    If you look at reloading manuals from 20-30-40-50 years ago using the same cartridge, same powders, primers, ect, the max loads are massively under powered today. They do not even approach max safe operating pressure levels. Now if you actually shot and reloaded, you would know this, its an undeniable fact. Go take a look in almost every reloading thread and you we see people are routinely running loads over "book max" safely, some WAY past what the book says. On top of this today's modern components are made better than ever and should be able to handle MORE pressure than the components from 50 years ago.

    We live in a litigious environment and the product is an explosive with the danger to kill people who screw up or make a mistake. Everything is decided based on risk and exposure, usually signed off by attorneys and insurance companies. This is why published load data is anemic and is not very useful.

    I can absolutely tell you that you’re in over your head arguing with this person.

    He has more knowledge and such in the industry than you can fathom.

    How many rounds have you shot out of pressure test barrels?
     

    Rob01

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    All good advice.

    Given your time in the sport, where is the best place to find good load data for 6GT?

    I have a small stock of Varget but quite a lot of H4350. Are shooters getting smaller SDs with BR4 or 450M? For barrel break-in, should I use up some left over prairie dog bullets in 6mm or focus on what other shooters are using in Matches?
    I don't shoot a 6GT but there is a sticky in the Reloading Section with 17 pages of data.


    For break in I shoot the rifle. Clean it when it comes in and then go to range and zero scope and then clean it after the first 3-4 range sessions, should be over 100 rounds by then, and you are done. Then you can start working up a good load. if you wanted to use the PD bullets you can use them.
     

    Ledzep

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    Well here's what I found out sitting at the kids' table...

    This is what happened in the barrel I tested with, with the components I used. I'm not suggesting and can't guarantee you'll get the same results with your stuff in your rifle.

    Latest Hornady manual publishes 40.3gr as the max charge for H4350 in the 6.5 Creedmoor with 147-153gr match bullets... So let's see how "Lawyer loaded" it is... "PeakA" is the peak pressure of the shot. SAAMI MAP is 62,000psi for the 6.5 Creedmoor. 55-65ksi is typical across the board for modern brass cased rifle stuff. These are all at 2.800" COAL.
    40.3.jpg


    Oh... Turns out it's not pooched for the "litigious environment"... In fact, almost every time I've tested various book max loads in several different cartridges, they've been right at, if not slightly over SAAMI MAP.


    Now let's go to the Sniper's Hide to find our good data... In fairness, I'm using a different bullet and case so results may vary a little, but it does raise an eyebrow.
    I was playing with 153 bergers this weekend.

    Lands were around 2.966
    OAL: 2.935
    Lapua Brass
    BR4
    H4350.

    Ladder test from 39.8 to 41.6 No real preasure signs or heavy bolt even at the upper end where I know its around 66K PSI. Was shooting in 35* weather so that helps.

    Going to settle on a 40.8 and start playing with seating depth. Got 2650 out of a 23" barrel.

    I am curious how you know it's around 66ksi, though. I saw another mention in that thread from you stating that published load data is watered down. I really want to know what source you're getting that information from.
    41.6.jpg


    And for shits and gigs I found another post in there with someone else (actually a couple people IIRC) loading up to 43.0gr of H4350 with a Hornady 147 and I only shot 1 because at this point I was a little afraid of damaging a transducer. Obviously the guy posting this also has "no pressure signs or hard bolt lift"... :rolleyes:
    43.0.jpg



    And now some rambling...
    Hodgdon currently lists the 147 ELD-M + H4350 combination at 60,800 PSI at 41.8gr.
    They list the 143 ELD-X + H4350 combo at 61,200 PSI at 41.8gr.

    But the 143 is extremely similar in its external shape/dimensions to the 147, yet 4 grains lighter... They also list the 140gr class bullets at a max of 40.0-40.4gr...

    Are they wrong? No. Probably not.

    When they tested it, with the lot of powder, at the humidity level they tested it, that's probably exactly what their test barrel/system spit out.

    Anyway, it goes to show that there is some lot-to-lot variation. That should go without saying-- any reactive chemical production is going to have variation-- not all 91 octane gas is the same, not all H4350 is the same. There is variation in chambers, bullets, cases, etc... You can certainly see a rise in pressure based on fouling levels. There are a multitude of reasons why the same ammo will produce higher or lower pressures, and those numbers move around a little with manufacturing of all of the components. That's why every reloading manual ever states to back down and work back up after changing any component........

    The point I'm getting at is that the published data is (with rare exception) correctly acquired and truthful. This myth that it's "Lawyer loads" needs to die, right along with the phrase "No pressure signs", because it obviously extremely subjective. If you want to reference multiple manuals and game the game using the largest published charge weight you can find, whatever... But going multiple grains over published max loads is asking for trouble in pretty much every case. Using unverified, untested load data off of the internet is also a sketchy endeavor as far as I'm concerned. You'll have some guy telling you 44gr of Varget with 62g solids is hammering in his 22 Creed-- "No pressure signs at all"... lol

    YMMV, your gun your face, etc... Hopefully this was informative.
     

    Mike Casselton

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  • Nov 25, 2007
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    I shot these a few years ago. No hard bolt lift, no ejector marks and the primer cratered just a little.
    Normal load but accidentally grabbed bullets that were only 5 grains heavier.

    20210721_200900.jpg


    5 grains heavier, that's it.


    Now, for the rest of the story.
    Cartridge: 17 Hornet
    Brass: Hornady
    Primer: WSR
    Powder: AA-1680
    Bullet: 25 gr V-Max


    5 Grains did that?
    It sure as hell did.

    5 Grains doesn't seem like much, but in the 17s that's a 25% increase in bullet weight.
    That's enough to go from a normal load to excessive pressure. Enough to blast out the primer pockets.
    Thankfully the CZ 527 vents gases very well. So well in fact that I was unaware of the issue until I picked the cases up.

    How did I make this mistake?
    Simple. I had 25 grain bullets in the space that is allocated for 20 grain projectiles. The boxes are identical too. Well, except for the fact that they say 25 Grain... The 25 is also a flat based bullet, so the pressure it produces is much higher because of its bearing surface is longer.

    I should have noticed the difference in the projectile. I didn't.
    I should have looked at the stupid box.
    I didn't.

    The Hornet cases operate at a much lower maximum PSI than most other rifle cartridges. 50-55ksi will destroy the little pieces of brass.

    That created a pretty good safety margin for myself, the rifle and everyone that was near me.
    The brass didn't fare too well as you can see by the image above.


    Now for those that still think internet posted loads are fine to use and that lawyers decide what is published, go back up and re-read what @Ledzep posted.

    Look carefully at the data provided and if you can see it, look at how quickly the data goes from zero to 62ksi.
    Do you really want to play around with 75-78ksi next to your face?

    I used to play around with our test barrels and you'd be surprised at how quickly a load can go from safe to oh, shit levels.

    Hell, just set your loads in the bright sunlight for ten minutes and shoot a couple of them.
    Did you have a little sticky bolt? Yeah, but you blow it off.
    Now take that same 43gr/147 load and bake it too.
    You put yourself straight into possible catastrophic pressures and you risk damaging your rifle not to mention your face and hands.
    You're getting into proof load territory. The rifles are not designed to withstand a diet of that.


    We try to be smart and develop loads that are safe in all weather. With that development comes a bit of margin for error like bright sun, and maybe letting a round or two sit in a hot chamber for a minute before firing.

    When you are playing around with loads that are clearly above normal safety margins, you leave yourself no room for error.

    You're asking for trouble and it'll eventually find you.
     
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    Feniks Technologies

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    I try to explain this all the time, especially to BR variant shooters…..

    You’re likely over saami (or what saami would be if a cartridge was included) on most of your loads.
     
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    El Viejo

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    Well here's what I found out sitting at the kids' table...

    This is what happened in the barrel I tested with, with the components I used. I'm not suggesting and can't guarantee you'll get the same results with your stuff in your rifle.

    Latest Hornady manual publishes 40.3gr as the max charge for H4350 in the 6.5 Creedmoor with 147-153gr match bullets... So let's see how "Lawyer loaded" it is... "PeakA" is the peak pressure of the shot. SAAMI MAP is 62,000psi for the 6.5 Creedmoor. 55-65ksi is typical across the board for modern brass cased rifle stuff. These are all at 2.800" COAL.
    View attachment 7852363

    Oh... Turns out it's not pooched for the "litigious environment"... In fact, almost every time I've tested various book max loads in several different cartridges, they've been right at, if not slightly over SAAMI MAP.


    Now let's go to the Sniper's Hide to find our good data... In fairness, I'm using a different bullet and case so results may vary a little, but it does raise an eyebrow.


    I am curious how you know it's around 66ksi, though. I saw another mention in that thread from you stating that published load data is watered down. I really want to know what source you're getting that information from.
    View attachment 7852364

    And for shits and gigs I found another post in there with someone else (actually a couple people IIRC) loading up to 43.0gr of H4350 with a Hornady 147 and I only shot 1 because at this point I was a little afraid of damaging a transducer. Obviously the guy posting this also has "no pressure signs or hard bolt lift"... :rolleyes:
    View attachment 7852370


    And now some rambling...
    Hodgdon currently lists the 147 ELD-M + H4350 combination at 60,800 PSI at 41.8gr.
    They list the 143 ELD-X + H4350 combo at 61,200 PSI at 41.8gr.

    But the 143 is extremely similar in its external shape/dimensions to the 147, yet 4 grains lighter... They also list the 140gr class bullets at a max of 40.0-40.4gr...

    Are they wrong? No. Probably not.

    When they tested it, with the lot of powder, at the humidity level they tested it, that's probably exactly what their test barrel/system spit out.

    Anyway, it goes to show that there is some lot-to-lot variation. That should go without saying-- any reactive chemical production is going to have variation-- not all 91 octane gas is the same, not all H4350 is the same. There is variation in chambers, bullets, cases, etc... You can certainly see a rise in pressure based on fouling levels. There are a multitude of reasons why the same ammo will produce higher or lower pressures, and those numbers move around a little with manufacturing of all of the components. That's why every reloading manual ever states to back down and work back up after changing any component........

    The point I'm getting at is that the published data is (with rare exception) correctly acquired and truthful. This myth that it's "Lawyer loads" needs to die, right along with the phrase "No pressure signs", because it obviously extremely subjective. If you want to reference multiple manuals and game the game using the largest published charge weight you can find, whatever... But going multiple grains over published max loads is asking for trouble in pretty much every case. Using unverified, untested load data off of the internet is also a sketchy endeavor as far as I'm concerned. You'll have some guy telling you 44gr of Varget with 62g solids is hammering in his 22 Creed-- "No pressure signs at all"... lol

    YMMV, your gun your face, etc... Hopefully this was informative.
    Very informative! I hope they have big guy chairs at the kids table.

    What pressure test system puts out that kind of data? (I see system 85 on the printouts).

    Do you have similar data for 6GT using H4350 with Berger 105 and 109 and Hornady 108? Esp with COAL or CBTO?
     

    308pirate

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  • Apr 25, 2017
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    All good advice.

    Given your time in the sport, where is the best place to find good load data for 6GT?

    I have a small stock of Varget but quite a lot of H4350. Are shooters getting smaller SDs with BR4 or 450M? For barrel break-in, should I use up some left over prairie dog bullets in 6mm or focus on what other shooters are using in Matches?

    I think you're putting a little too much focus on your load and maybe overlooking several things you will need to learn to unsuck at starting out.

    Not surprising, with your shooting background. Nonetheless, your first few matches will show you without question that spending time on the perfect load was time wasted.

    Learn it now the easy way or later the hard way.
     

    fdkay

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  • Nov 27, 2009
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    I think you're putting a little too much focus on your load and maybe overlooking several things you will need to learn to unsuck at starting out.

    Not surprising, with your shooting background. Nonetheless, your first few matches will show you without question that spending time on the perfect load was time wasted.

    Learn it now the easy way or later the hard way.
    this.
    a 1/2 moa load is more than accurate enough.
    You're going to find the challenge is getting in a stable position and shooting through the wobble.
     
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    DownhillFromHere

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    OP, you say you are an "old" BR shooter. Does that mean you're "old" chronologically, or "old" as in having played BR games for a couple of decades?

    If it's the former, let me (as a near- septuagenarian) tell you straightaway: build your 6GT or buy a Tikka or whatever, assemble a 1/2MOA load, and practice positional shooting as much as your time, budget, and body will allow. Shoot through ladder rungs. Shoot off tops of 5-gallon pails. Start a 90-second timer, drop prone, shoot two, get up and move to a bench top, shoot two, repeat, at single targets or different-range targets using holdover. Transitioning from one prop to another eats up time. Simply working out how to hold my rear support bag and rifle when moving to or changing props was a big deal... How long does it take you to walk up to a bench or drop prone and get that first shot off?

    I'm ate up with arthritis and have a damaged right leg with limited range of motion. The stages which require going prone and back up on the clock are very difficult... as are stages which force a lot of back-tilt of my head (again, arthritis). There is no way I'll ever come near the leaderboard in even one-day PRS matches, let alone regional or national matches. Last I heard, "senior" class starts at age 55, and my oft-repeated response to that is "calling a 55-year-old a senior is like calling an 18-year-old an adult." But I enjoy the competition environment, engaging different target sets, and doing the best I can. I work out ways of mitigating my physical limitations as best I can.

    I think it's natural to gravitate toward shooting little tiny groups from comfortable positions (kinda like benchrest?). But PRS isn't that. I met a young, strong newbie recently who shot his first match earlier this month. He is capable of shooting consistent tiny groups from the bench... but he scored a bit less than 20% of the top gun's score and said to me afterward, "I gotta do that positional practice!"
     

    El Viejo

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    OP, you say you are an "old" BR shooter. Does that mean you're "old" chronologically, or "old" as in having played BR games for a couple of decades?

    If it's the former, let me (as a near- septuagenarian) tell you straightaway: build your 6GT or buy a Tikka or whatever, assemble a 1/2MOA load, and practice positional shooting as much as your time, budget, and body will allow. Shoot through ladder rungs. Shoot off tops of 5-gallon pails. Start a 90-second timer, drop prone, shoot two, get up and move to a bench top, shoot two, repeat, at single targets or different-range targets using holdover. Transitioning from one prop to another eats up time. Simply working out how to hold my rear support bag and rifle when moving to or changing props was a big deal... How long does it take you to walk up to a bench or drop prone and get that first shot off?

    I'm ate up with arthritis and have a damaged right leg with limited range of motion. The stages which require going prone and back up on the clock are very difficult... as are stages which force a lot of back-tilt of my head (again, arthritis). There is no way I'll ever come near the leaderboard in even one-day PRS matches, let alone regional or national matches. Last I heard, "senior" class starts at age 55, and my oft-repeated response to that is "calling a 55-year-old a senior is like calling an 18-year-old an adult." But I enjoy the competition environment, engaging different target sets, and doing the best I can. I work out ways of mitigating my physical limitations as best I can.

    I think it's natural to gravitate toward shooting little tiny groups from comfortable positions (kinda like benchrest?). But PRS isn't that. I met a young, strong newbie recently who shot his first match earlier this month. He is capable of shooting consistent tiny groups from the bench... but he scored a bit less than 20% of the top gun's score and said to me afterward, "I gotta do that positional practice!"
    Downhill:
    Part of my reason for taking up PRS/PRL is to get away from the money obsession with tiny groups using rifle-like contraptions that are designed to take the shooter out of the equation. That being said, I do understand the importance of practice, and I expect that a huge amount of practice will be dry fire using barricades and found objects. One advantage of being a rancher and a welder is that I have an endless supply of bales, pallets, broken equipment, tubes, barrels, culverts, steel, and junk from which I can make almost anything to shoot over, under, or as a barricade. BUT, some of my practice time will have to be indoors or after dark. There just aren't enough hours in the day.

    That leads to the next question:

    What are the best options for dry fire practice for a rifle? I have the g-sight.com app for my phone that I use for pistol. I like it a lot, and it keeps me from annoying my wife aiming at the talking heads on TV.
     

    b6graham

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    Downhill:
    Part of my reason for taking up PRS/PRL is to get away from the money obsession with tiny groups using rifle-like contraptions that are designed to take the shooter out of the equation. That being said, I do understand the importance of practice, and I expect that a huge amount of practice will be dry fire using barricades and found objects. One advantage of being a rancher and a welder is that I have an endless supply of bales, pallets, broken equipment, tubes, barrels, culverts, steel, and junk from which I can make almost anything to shoot over, under, or as a barricade. BUT, some of my practice time will have to be indoors or after dark. There just aren't enough hours in the day.

    That leads to the next question:

    What are the best options for dry fire practice for a rifle? I have the g-sight.com app for my phone that I use for pistol. I like it a lot, and it keeps me from annoying my wife aiming at the talking heads on TV.
    DFAT and IDTS


    two different systems. same concept

    ~12' focus length for indoor use
     

    dimar1492

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    Downhill:
    Part of my reason for taking up PRS/PRL is to get away from the money obsession with tiny groups using rifle-like contraptions that are designed to take the shooter out of the equation. That being said, I do understand the importance of practice, and I expect that a huge amount of practice will be dry fire using barricades and found objects. One advantage of being a rancher and a welder is that I have an endless supply of bales, pallets, broken equipment, tubes, barrels, culverts, steel, and junk from which I can make almost anything to shoot over, under, or as a barricade. BUT, some of my practice time will have to be indoors or after dark. There just aren't enough hours in the day.

    That leads to the next question:

    What are the best options for dry fire practice for a rifle? I have the g-sight.com app for my phone that I use for pistol. I like it a lot, and it keeps me from annoying my wife aiming at the talking heads on TV.


    Something like this is a nice tool for some indoor practice.