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6X45 Sneaks Back Out To Play

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Well I made it to the desert last week and shot the bolt gun again and my 6X45 AR. As the previous out showed results were decent but not stellar. I did find that the Varmageddons just weren’t the ticket previously but I just had to try some more along the way on this outing.

 

The rifle was as previously tested. Savage long action, 25-06 originally, with a 26” 6X45 Black Hole barrel 1:8. The rifle does have a Timney trigger other than that nothing has been done in bedding or anything else. A Vortex 6.5X20 scope was in place as previously used. Conditions were good for the day. I had shot the AR earlier in the day so it was right on 90 when I started this session.

 

I had decided to go with just two basic powders on this trip with three main bullets in the test cycle. I went with IMR 8208 because of the density and previously noted speeds and the AR-Comp because it is a powder that had attracted my attention with the last range trip. As noted I did shoot the 70 Varmag’s and the Sierra 95 SMK bullets previously shot for verification but they were not my main emphasis. No attempt was made to adjust to the distance to the lands and I had selected 2.310 as the loaded overall length as these would fit in to my AR magazines. The 95’s were loaded long on this test also though I can load them in a windowed AR magazine and my specialized lower.

 

I decided on the Nosler 55 BT bullet as it is an excellent performer on warm targets for me and I happened to have more than a few of them. I went with the AR-Comp first up on this one. It was so so in accuracy with a worst of 1.185 and a best of 0.899. Nothing to jump up and down over though forty years ago this one would have been a good Spit & Whittle club bragger. Speed topped out at 3255. A bit slow for what I like but certainly not too slow for 300 yards or so. Groups were initially vertical but the good 0.899 was horizontal. Depth adjustment might tighten it up though I had some more room on the pressure signs to play with. Another 0.5 grains might make this one perk right up.

 

6X45%20SAVAGE%2055%20NOSLER%20BT%20AR-CO

 

I swapped out into the IMR 8208 world on the next go at the 55’s. This powder just keeps turning up in the winner’s circle for me and rumor has it that it is a god one for the 17’s so I’ll be looking at that golden jug again down the road. Speeds came up nicely to what I like to see but the groups were a bit more of note this time. All showed nice round shapes indicating to me that a balance of jump and speed were working together. The best load was not over pressured and I would not be afraid to bump up a tad. If I were unable to go further I could just write this one and load again and again.

 

 

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55’s are nice and quick but they do give up a bit in the BC and energy does come into play at times. I’ve always found the Speer 70 grain TNT’s to be outstanding on paper and on PD’s, especially in a 243 Winchester BTW, so they got a call to duty again. Not to disappoint me Vernon came through again. AR-Comp produced some nice numbers and as the speed came up the size went down. The worst group being a 0.900 and then moving down to 0.529 showed some promise. Bullets formed up nicely and just like the book says the faster you go the higher you hit and these read the manual. A fellow could live with this one but like most things in life there is always some green grass over yonder. The first group was nice and round. The second showed vertical saying, “Push me harder big boy” so I did..LOL The last one is what I want as a baseline for my field work.

 

6X45%20SAVAGE%2070%20TNT%20AR-COMP%2010-

 

Moving on to the next pasture was rewarding with the TNTs. IMR 8208 XBR announced it was in the house and had come to play. The speeds were nice being only a tad off the 55’s and I liked that. The initial group was a 0.907 and I just had the feeling there was more there. It was tall and once again the powder tipping showed its’ worth. POI moved up steadily and things got up tight quickly. I could have stuck a cork in it after this one but where’s the fun in that? My wallet groups for the day.

 

6X45%20SAVAGE%2070%20TNT%208208%20II%201

 

I did shoot some 70 Varmageddons at this point to verify my results from the previous outing. The rifle just keeps saying to leave these in the box. I squeezed out one sub-1.00 group using AA200 at 0.989 with four in 0.377. Maybe it was me or maybe not but I think I only have 30 of these left and after that the next guy can buy them up. They are definitely a non-starter for me though others have reported stellar results. Such is life in the gun world. I may try a different powder or two just to finish off the box.

 

Not dwelling too much on the letdown I tried some of my perennial favorite Hornady 87’s. These happen to be the VMAX variety although I prefer the straight match version. On this one the 8208 just didn’t turn it on with an average group size hovering at a hair over 1.5”. Nothing I could put my finger on though I suspect depth adjustment might help. Not all barrels hoot all bullets well and this was a classic demonstration of that.

 

Even though the 8208 fell on this one I still held hope for a salvageable load. I did get a teaser indication that the AR-Comp would be a good choice. Groups were not overly great but they showed there is something at work here. Velocities flirted with the mid-2900’s and this bullet likes that speed in about all the tubes I’ve shot it in with no head stamp preference be it a 6X45 or a 6X6.8. These are certainly minute of deer or coyote but I think I can do better. Notice the consistent group shape on this one.

 

6X45%20SAVAGE%2087%20VMAX%20AR-COMP%2010

 

I got all those out of the way and for my dessert that day I shot one last group using the 95 SMK and the load that worked so well the past trip. It was filed IMR 8208 in the boiler room and a bullet seated way out in the next county provided me with my sweat bullets for the day. You always wonder if the last success was a fluke or the real deal and just shooting one group of the previous medal winner out of the clear blue is a fast way to either make you feel like the King of the Hill or the Court Jester. So what is it today? King or dunce? You be the judge.

 

6X45%20SAVAGE%2095%20SMK%208208%2010-14-

 

And so ends the saga of another 110 rounds down range. That gives me 223 on this tube. I hear the wrenches rattling over in the corner by the barrel vise. Maybe it’s time to break out the screamer 22-243. I have three pieces of loaded ammunition hanging off the shelf above the bench for my baseline case data. We shall see.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed the trip as I work over this one. I do plan on shooting the same same in my F-Class AR over the next week or so as I have done the previous loadings in the Savage. Results were about the same with nothing earth shattering. Adequate but not where I want to leave it at.

 

Greg

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Thanks for the post Greg.

Did a few test with AR-Comp with my BHW 6x45mm 18" AR. Mostly 80-85 grain projectiles. The powder looks promising.

The lighter bullets do seem to favor IMR 8208XBR.

Again thanks for posting your research.

 

Glenn

 

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Thanks Greg.

 

I see the combo of the 55gr varmageddons and the 8208 works well in things other than standard .223. That's good to know.

 

I actually use the tipped FLAT BASE version and have great luck with them. Maybe I'll find some BT ones and shoot them side by side.

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Those 55's are Ballistic Tips. I couldn't get the Varmaggedon bullets to shoot well at all.

 

Greg

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Those 55's are Ballistic Tips. I couldn't get the Varmaggedon bullets to shoot well at all.

 

Greg

Were the varmageddons that you had not a ballistic tip??

 

The ones I have are a BT flat base.

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They are tipped but they are not Ballistic Tips. The original version works much better for me on this one. I won't be buying anymore of them.

 

Greg

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I look forward to a report on your F-class outing. I enjoy reading these type posts.

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I look forward to a report on your F-class outing. I enjoy reading these type posts.

I'm not unique in all the competing. I just write more about it...I'm just an average guy that has an addiction.

 

Greg

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I understand. I still enjoy reading about it, because I want to get in it one day.

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I understand. I still enjoy reading about it, because I want to get in it one day.

 

I think the hardest part of competing to satrt with is loading the car up on that first outing. I always recommend a visit to the new match before showing up. You can get a feel for the gear and just chat, in miost cases, with some of the players. The main thing is to not worry about score just worry about safety. If You can do the second you are half way there. The first comes with effort and investment. Some invest more than others but effort wlil carry the mail in getting you some skill sets.

 

Greg

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