I started shooting practical rifle matches last year. I first borrowed my gunsmith’s 308 and then he built me one of my own. Ken Hagan of H&H Precision has a custom Rem 700 clone action designed with the H&H name on it. I wanted to start competing with 308 since that is obviously my cartridge of choice. Although there usually is a 308 class at these matches the high 308 person is still about 60th down the list of 200 shooters. We are competing against flatter shooting calibers such as anything 6mm, 6.5mm or even 7mm. Now that I am an official team member of H&H Precision, Ken built me and the rest of the team members 6mil SLR
(Super Long Range) rifles. We can work together as a team easier if we all have the same rifle set ups. To load this cartridge is really easy using 243 brass. Just pop the 243 brass in a 6mm SLR die and it will form the brass. You should always size new brass anyway so this isn’t an extra step. Don’t be tempted to use any of the foreign made brass (Lapua etc) or your going to be turning necks and dealing with donuts. So, stick to Remington or Win brass and you’re good. Technically you could get there using 308 brass but I don’t want to have to work that hard. That is just me. We are using Berger 105 hybrid bullets, (as soon as Nosler gets their stock made of 105 we will be testing and using that) H4831SC powder. We did a ladder test and there were a couple of good nodes around 45.6 grains of H4831sc powder. It gave us roughly 3050 fps with no signs of pressure at all. But remember we’re part of a team and we’re trying to all shoot not only the same caliber but also the same velocity. That way we can share the same dope in a competition. So, we really want to try and get to 3120.
Why this caliber? Why not? Yes 243 is a great choice in this game but the barrel life is too short when you consider the rounds used for development, practice and actual competition. The 6mm SLR with its longer neck and shaped shoulder promise a longer life. If I have to turn my wind knob less then the guy next to me then I am all over it. Who knows, we could start the next trend. The components are starting to show up on the market again as well.
I am also a guinea pig by using a polygonal barrel made by Black Hole Weaponry out of St. Helens, OR. Their barrels are used on many popular and quality AR brands. In fact I use them on my Devil Dog Arm’s ARs in 223 and 308. Truly accurate shooting! This is a first for them making a long range barrel to be chambered in the 6SLR. This combination of barrel, action, caliber and loads is giving us some crazy tight groups. We’re seeing consistent 1/4 moa at 200yds. But I am not a big believer of group sizes until I shoot at least 600 yards. Our next test, once our load development is settled, will be at 600 yards. I have every bit of confidence this barrel and rifle set up will be amazing. I am using my Leupold Mk6 optic, the two stage trigger from Huber Concepts and my favorite rifle accessory the Accu-Grip adjustable grip.
I am still using the McCree Precision stock that is in its raw aluminum form. I am trying to decide how to finish it. I bought the Cerakote color in Satin Aluminum already but I was also thinking of going wild and hydro-dipping it in a leopard print. Yes, seriously. I met the guys from Spartan Arms of Bellingham last weekend at a match and they said they could dip it in any pattern I could think of. Even a metallic version of leopard print. I am a girl. I can do this so quit rolling your eyes. But if I can shoot well then who cares what it looks like? My mom used to show up to golf tournaments occasionally with her pink golf balls and whip everyone playing with her. They never rolled their eyes again. In the sea of black and camo at the matches will be one stealth leopard hiding in the brush ready to pounce.