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GLSHOOTER: Dec 30, 2011 at 3:35pm

I have probably mentioned on the board that I was awaiting a new 6X45 barrel to mate up to my BHW left handed railed upper. While the wait seemed forever, which it was not, I can now say that thanks to the efforts of Carl, Andy and Kiz along with Ritch Johnson I now have a true Black Hole No Escape rifle.

The machine work on all the parts is superb on both the railed upper and the barrel. I requested a 24" SSS 3R bull with the front turned to 0.750 for a little less muzzle weight. I'm pretty small and know I'll be doing some off hand stuff with it so this was a consideration. The heavy contour under the hand guard really makes it balance well. I also had the full under the guard and front fluting done with the B Square version. It came out clean and sanitary and with the blackening of the barrel it is a very subtle but usable feature. I had Ritch mount up a JB adjustable block as this one will be shooting everything from hot 55's up to the 100 grainers.

I built the lower a few weeks ago and treated myself to one of those fabled Giselle High Speed Match Triggers. Pull weight total is around 1 1/2 pounds or so with the second stage right on about five ounces. It shot be perfect for the F-class matches and those pesky peeking out of the hole PD's at 300 plus yards.

Just a peak at the brass I have prepared for it while waiting for the RW&B truck. All Winchester commercial done up with all the case prep trick I know.


This is the KD lower that I had fun with.


The light stealer incarnate.


Kiz's work that says it all about this one.


JP adjustable block to make life simpler at the bench.


The subtle B Square fluting that really makes it different.


I'll be posting as I go along and evaluate this one. The target scope comes out and it will be used for the initial work ups and matches and then I will pick a good variable for the game fields.


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GLSHOOTER: Jan 3, 2012 at 11:34am

Took the new BHW 6X45 out yesterday late in the day for a break in period. Jumping up and down cleaning was not conducive to the process of group shooting nor was fighting the horrendous weather of 78 degrees, no clouds and a swirling 5 MPH gale force wind.

I used some old ammo that I had loaded for one of my other 6X45's that I have been shooting in IPSC matches. I shot three different bullets. The 70 grain Nosler BT, the 80 grain Remington PSP and the Hornady 87 grain HPBTM. Velocities were a consistent 125-150 FPS higher out of the 24" tube over my original 20" gun.

I shot some 80 grainers over a decent charge of RL15 and managed a 4 shot group of right on 0.495. I only had seven of those and the first three were used to get me on paper at 100 yards. Velocity was around 2950

The 70 grainers were running right at 3200 and they manged a pair of sub-MOA groups.

The 87's wre a bit of an issue vertically but I was hurrying them as I was loosing my light and was fighting the bench being too tall for my chair. A taller stool is in order!! They did about 1 1/4" but I will reshoot them as they are sub-MOA in my other two rifles. Velocity was 2825 and I was very happy with those.

All my loads came out of the old Hodgdon book. Pressures were a non-problem. Function was 100% once I opened up the JP block quite a bit. I did find the adjustment screw on the gas block is not very tight and once I settle on a setting I will use some RTV to make sure i don't have issues there. Once I got the block tuned it was ejecting at about 7-8 O'clock about five feet to y left. I actually draped a blanket over a chair to catch the brass and it was dropping them in to an area the size of a coffee can.

The Giselle trigger ran like the proverbial greased owl dodo. Easy adjustment in shooting the two stage and with that light second stage keeping the cross hairs steady was simple.

I did find the railed receiver a strange thing to shoot. Recoil seems to be smoothed out compared with a regular upper. The gun felt 'soft" in my shoulder and I swore it was short stroking I don't know how the rails work but it really is a noticeable change in the sensation on firing.

I'll be getting some GOOD bullets loaded up now that we got the bore ready for serious stuff, IMHO, and am excited to see what it will do with some of my good varmint bullets out of the magazine and some long boys shot off a sled.

My overall impression of this one is that BHW can hold it's own over outfits selling at three times the price.


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GLSHOOTER: Feb 6, 2012 at 3:52pm

I finally got a day with very light winds after waiting almost a month of Sundays..it really was Sunday!!..and got the BHW build heated up.

This rifle was built to compete in mid-range, 600 yard, F-class matches and to shoot PD's in the summer. That being the purpose I decided to try some high BC bullets for my initial load work ups. I chose the 90 grain Sierra FMJ Gameking that, while a hunting bullet, has a good BC. I also, after consulting with a local F-class shooter, chose a box of the 105 grain Berger BT Match bullets with a stellar BC. Powders selected were H4895, AA 2015 and AA 2230.

Accurate has data for mag length 90 grain Sierras so I thought I would try them first along with some seated about 0.003 of the lands. I used H4895 and AA2230 for these.

I shot the long 90's first with H4895 and AA2230 as I figured they would be the lowest pressure of the test loads. I found after shooting the light H4895 I had groups in the 1.25 area initially but when I bumped the charge got 0.700 for my efforts.

The long AA2230 loads were large at the light load but when stepped up to book MAX dropped to 1.3.

Velocities on the H4895 was 2817 and the AA2230 clocked at 2782. These speeds were not listed in the book so they wee educational to say the least.

Mag length 90 grain Sierras over H4895 resulted in a nice batch of holes as small as 0.697 to 3/4 MOA. I was learning how to use the new sled I got for XMAS so as I shot things got better and better as evidenced by this test.

The AA2230 turned in groups that were slightly large again yet I was getting four out of five down below a MOA. It would appear that AA2230 is not the one for this rifle so far.

Velocities with MAG LENGTH 90's ran 2796 for the H4895 and 2836 for the AA2230. All velocities were slightly over the book. I believe the poly rifling is the helper here.

Primers were nicely rounded and I think I could bump it up a bit more and see what happens to the groupings. The 90 grain GK's will suffice for 600 yards at those speeds though there are three other bullets I want to test first.

After this I loaded in some 105 Bergers with H4895 and some AA2015 with the hope they would stabilize. These suckers are LONG!!! and I figured maybe........ ::) Of course all the long rounds were single loaded with a SLD so it was easy to deal with the big boys.

Luckily I did not but a lottery ticket as I found after a stroll down the range to look at my newest rendered shotgun patterns that the 105's just won't cut it in this one. Those oval holes look kind of cool but not real useful in what I want to do. The next step down will be Berger 95's and 90's for a run at the little group prize.

Overall I can say that the round is a piece of cake to load for. Performance for the powder/bullet weight is excellent and this one will be a great piece to bring to the line when I lay these old bones down. The accuracy is obviously there and with the good trigger it is easy to get.

The railed upper has a tangibly different feel. The bolt runs so smoothly that you swear it has not run it's full stroke yet there is a piece of hot brass on the ground and one in the chamber at each trigger pull. The slick side is an oddity to me as all my others have a brass deflector. Of course all my others are right handed so maybe that has something to do with it.

I'll be posting as I go with this and am excited to put it to the test. Please jump in with questions as they occur to you.


Here are a couple efforts:



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GLSHOOTER: Feb 21, 2012 at 9:20pm

I made my second real serious trip to the range on Sunday and managed to get the numbers crunched. This may be a little disjointed as I need to work up the data from previous trips to post but thought I'd like to get the ball rolling on this.

Before I start here are some disclaimers.

First off I don't claim to be a Benchrest shooter with an AR. Anyone that has shot an AR off a rest knows they are not the easiest animal to shoot well. Those round hand guards don't bode well for consistency off a rest. I can shoot pretty well at times and I try to realize the platform makes a huge difference. Shooting 20 sub-MOA groups with one of my 204's is pretty easy. For me to get that many with an AR takes me forever and I ain't getting any younger!!

Second thing is that I post all the pertinent load data for my records when I shoot targets. Thanks to the quality and intent of my usage of BHW barrels I have started chasing the lands and loading longer than mag length for matches. These are shot single shot so the ability to load long is an option that is to be enjoyed. Oddly enough I had shot some of the same loads at mag length previously and found the velocities slightly lower and the accuracy not statistically different with this bullet. Remember this is MY data, not YOURS. Duplicate it all you want but when you get behind that trigger it is all on you no matter what the outcome.

The charge weights on the powder are not necessarily found in every book we have as we all know different makers have different MAX loads. Also with different chamber and throat dimensions some rifles don't mind it hot. The polygonal rifling comes into play with BHW barrels. Everything I have shot has shown a consistent increase in velocity over book values. The cases are not showing pressures like I see in my standard alternative rifles in this chambering.

The third area I might point out is that the TEMPERATURE of the testing. These are mild temps for this load work ups. When I lay down and shoot a match this summer at 110 it may be totally different. That is one reason I chose H4895 for these tests as it is one of Hodgdons’s Extreme powders and HP guys all over the US value it for its' temperature tolerance.

Enough disclaimers.

I selected the 87 grain Hornady HPBT bullet for several reasons. First of all it is a common one to obtain. I have used it in three 6X45's I have shot in matches since the 80's and have taken a bit of metal home for my efforts. The BC is not real low at 0.376 and I can get the velocity up enough to make do with the short 600 yard maximum I intend to shoot with this rifle. Also the price is quite reasonable though I will be trying out some of the higher end Berger match bullets in the next month.

Cases were formed with Winchester once fired commercial brass. All were expanded with a Sinclair mandrel after being run through a Dillon sizer/trimmer. Expansion of the .223 neck to .243 resulted in a shortening of the neck by approximately 0.008 and this was taken into account on the trimming process. All were chamfered inside and out. Primer pockets were uniformed and flash holes were deburred. One thing of not was that these cases fired today were expanded with a mandrel of 0.241. Previously I had sized some necks with a 0.259 bushing. Nominal neck size on these unturned cases is 02.61 to 0.262. The bushed neck cases showed an increase across the board of approximately 50 FPS.

All charges were dispensed and weighed with a PACT electronic system.

This trip was a reshoot of some previously shot loads that showed promise with a bit extra powder charge to see how the rifle would respond to the challenge. Across the board I found the velocities today wee about 50 FPS less than previously tested. As mentioned above I suspect it was due to a lower neck tension on the bullet in this test set. Conditions were clear and sunny. Light winds from one to five MPH at 3 o'clock.

The best load with H4895 today was 27 grains. This is getting pretty full considering how long these bullets are. Velocity was 2934 with no signs of pressure with the primers not being flattened, no primer flow, and no bright ejector marks on the case head. One round got away on the two groups fired at this level.


This is a very usable load. Oddly enough the velocity of this one was almost identical to a previously shot load that showed excellent grouping with a lower powder charge. I believe that off a bipod and a rear bag that I can pull some good stuff out in the next zip code. I suspect that the harmonics of this load velocity agree with the barrel and I may see similar performance as I dance around that number.

On a whim I grabbed a bottle of H335 the day I was loading up these test loads. No attempt was made at a load work up and I selected a charge that from what I could see on published loading data with bullets seated shorter this one would be safe. Nothing like striking out on your own and not wanting to strike out!! Seating depth was the same as the other 87 grain loadings as changing more than one parameter of a test series midstream would invalidate the data gathered.

You may note the velocity is somewhat lower but I expected this before hitting the range. The good thing is that once again the pressure signs were not there and there was a relatively good amount of case capacity left for future testing. I have shot this powder before in the 6X45 and found it forgiving but I have never challenged it at more than 100 degrees ambient. Phoenix will be the test by fire in this sumer on this propellant. I did get a bit rambunctious on one trigger pull but I'll let the holes do the talking on this one.


It would seem that H335 is another avenue for experiment. I'll be wringing this one out. I have looked into the long range HP loading preferences and RL15 has tuned up as another heavy bullet choice. I will more than likely run these two parallel and see what happens. Of course introducing the big Bergers will also be a step in the evaluation progression.

Luckily for me there are two groups shooting F-Class here in Phoenix and I have got hooked in with both of them. I'll do a recon on the next local match and then jump in with both feet. I'll post some of my previous results later on in this thread with some observations and my opinions on what makes this one tick.


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GLSHOOTER: Mar 6, 2012 at 12:50pm

I made it to the range on Sunday afternoon after a bit of a push in the AM. Got up and hit the reloading room at 0630 and loaded up sixty rounds of test ammo.

I decided to stick with the 87 grain Hornady BTHP's for this weekends shooting with an expansion on the H335 loads and adding some RL 15 in the mix. I've decided to try this bullet on 600 yard F-Class matches and it has gotten most of my focus at this time.

The former is a ball powder and does some show some heat issues when you crank up the temps. It is pretty dense and doesn't use all the case capacity that is available but it is a good powder in the varmint world. I want to see what it does with some of these loads later at 110 as it was only a mild 79 on this winters day.

The latter, RL 15, is historically used for the heavy 223 bullets in HP matches and, by history, is not a temperature sensitive as the H 335. This one starts filling the case up as it is not near as dense as the other.

It should be noted that these bullets are quite long and if you seat them to mag length they go way down in the case. I seated them out to approximately 0.004 off the lands and when I did this the base of the bullet was barley protruding past the shoulder/case neck junction. A very slight squeeze on the powder charge.

One other thing of note is that the charge weights on my loads are listed with the targets. They appeared safe in my rifle and I take responsibility for my fingers/toes not yours. Trust nothing on the net until you make your own evaluations and decisions. Remember even tried and true recipes from actual experience and book publishing can cause pressure problems for many rifles out there due to a variety of factors beyond the shooters control.

That being said here we go. 79 degrees, sunny, light winds at 6 to 8 o'clock from 0 to 8 MPH. Range 100 yards.

First up is the H335 loads that worked well. The top charge weight load showed no pressure indicators in my rifle. The first load, 25.5, is one I shot a week or so ago that showed promise and it did it a again for me. This one would be a keeper in anyones book. You may note that prior groups posted were about 100 FPS slower in the same load of 25.5 grains. Temperature in the first ones was in the low 60's and these were in the upper 70's. Obviously a heat component comes into play here.


This one got a bit more powder and the velocity came up to almost that magic 3000 FPS number. Pressures were getting there but not to any level that concerns me. As I said, the 110 temperature test will be definitive for use in matches here.


I went with some RL 15 on my next batch of test ammo and it didn't disappoint. The pressures were excellent across the board. Top load on this one was obviously putting some pressure in play but no primer flow was noted nor were the tell tale signs of bright ejector marks present.

Te first target shot at 26.0 told me that my choice was possibly a good one. I liked the velocity reading and on reviewing other loads I have shot this node of 2930 + or - seems to bring out the best in my groups. Harmonics at work in a good way for sure.


The second RL 15 target was with a tip of the can higher charge weight. This one had me doing double takes from the bench. It seemed like I was in the groove and when the chronograph talked to me a smiled a lot!! (Yes, my chronograph does talk!! Thank you CED) 3000 + FPS out of an 87 grain bullet is going to work downrange in the drop tables.


Overall I was pleased with the days testing. The H335 wants to work at 25.5 every time I touch it off. The RL 15 performed so well in grouping and the speeds that I will reshoot that entire batch. Either would work well for winter matches here. The sumer will be the test of fire and I suspect that the RL 15 will get the nod for less spiky behavior.

Next week I am going to try some IMR 8208 XBR along side the RL 15. The XBR is a Hodgdon Extreme powder and should be less sensitive to environmental challenges. Once that test is done I think I will have a good grasp on the 87 grainers. I may try some Berger 95's as their BC is pretty stout but I think that I could live with what I have so far.


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GLSHOOTER: Mar 26, 2012 at 2:46pm

I made it out for some more testing on the 87 grain Hornady BTHP's I want to use in my matches coming up. Weather was the usual Arizona spring 79 with a bit of mild breezy winds up to eight MPH. Powders tested were IMR 8208, Varget and a reshoot on RL15 for verification. I also finished off my H335 testing that while it was not bad does have issues with heat so I ill pas on it for the summer. ;)

Data is with the targets but once again this is my rifle and my fingers. Don't take what I shoot for gospel and realize that these are all individual rifles. The BHW barrel and throating comes in to play to help the reloader to some extent so data is not always transferable 1:1.

That being said here we go.

Best group of IMR 8208 at the lowest charge but a grin more showed some promise. I need to revisit this one.


Next up was the Varget. Noted for its use in heavy bullet loads in the 223 and its lack of heat intolerance I found the velocities lower than the other powders I used but the groups were not too shabby considering, unlike like Ritch, I have no pennies to make them look good.


The last powder tested was the RL15 that I had shot previously that really got my attention. It is noted for use in high power matches and shows great heat flexibility. Here are three that looked good. The last one was a bit too large but I think I was a taken back a bit when bullet #1 managed to go completely through the diffuser screen support on my Millennium Chronograph. I couldn't see a bullet strike and then noticed the damage much closer to me!! The wind had kicked up and blew the support into the line of fire. I had to take a break and reset it out of danger so I think that got me out of my groove for a bit. ???




I now have over 400 rounds down range through this rifle. No malfunctions when I shot it from the magazine. The 87's are working well and I will use them in my first 600 yard F-Class match. I found that it would not handle the 105's with the 1:9 twist but at the price for those Bergers I'll not complain too much.

The railed upper is soft shooting and when I shot the Varget it was almost like the bolt didn't move at all. A very unusual sensation from what I am use to.

I'll be mounting up a new 6.5X20 Vortex Viper scope and putting lead in the butt stock for my matches trying to get up to as close to 21 pounds as I can. I won't quite make it but anything that is 18+ will make me happy. When I go for PD's I'll slim it down a tad though!! ;D


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Great info. I am preparing to start loading for my 6X45 24" BHW Barrel.

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I agree, Great Info. It has helped me to decide on how I want my barrel configured when I order it next week.



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I shot that one quite a but at 500 and it did well. I need to shoot a bunch more through ig. Ritch just shot some super groups with VIT powder. I imagine I'll take out a second mortgage and buy a can of it.


Ounce for ounce the 6X45 is the cats pajamas for beginning wildcat work. Be sure and look over the huge data compilation on the board here on this one.



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