Long range class and hand loads

Going to be taking a class with shots from 300-1100 yds. Will be using Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5 creedmoor. Is it even worth measuring to lands since that will most likely be longer than mag length?
I know if I do a LR competition I can drop one in at a time but in this case will need follow up shots.
Also, been reading lots about neck vs full length sizing. About 50/50 in what I'm reading. Anyone care to help in that decision?


  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Different bullets have different ogives so the same OAL doesn't mean the bullet is the same amount out of the rifling. I shoot for about .003 out. I set this with heavy candle soot on the bullet.

    Having the bullet concentric in the case as possible is important - if it goes in the bore crooked it flies out crooked and shows up worse the farther out you go.

    The chamber on your rifle will tell you if you can neck size only. If your fired case has lumps/bulges then full length is often required. You can measure the case or drop a fired case in the chamber and see if it will spin easily. I don't keep bolt guns that require FL sizing.

    Buy 200 rounds of new brass, same lot. Inside lightly champher, flash hole uniform de-burr. Load with a nice cast bullet, I have the Lyman 266455 130 gr gas checked for my 6.5 * and the 256 Newton. Fire form. Now trim to length inside/outside champher. Neck reaming/turning is an option.

    For shooting I would be looking at the Sierra HPBT 142 gr on top of a full case of powder or even a lightly compressed charge.

    A good crisp trigger is important to me. My offhand rifle is a Newton rifle with the nicest double set trigger I have ever used. The 256 barrel was shot out so I re-barreled in 30-06. What I really want to do is re-bore the shot out original barrel and make it a 280 Ackley Improved.

    I would bed the action and free float the barrel except right at the end of the stock I like about 5# of up pressure. If its a wood stock, seal the magazine well, under the recoil pad/butt plate, sling studs and any other place for moisture to get in or out of the wood. Locktite the bases.

    added Yep there could very well be much better bullet to choose from. I think the last 6.5 stuff I shot was in the 80's. Perhaps dad's 256 Newton made by Atchison & Marquart will return in 2017, that will make my day.
  • nononsensenononsense Member, Moderator Posts: 10,652 ******
    edited November -1

    It's important to know how to separate types of information from the types of competitions or styles of shooting which you want to pursue. There is always some general information which can be beneficial. Then there can be some specific or specialized information which can be useless given what you want to participate in. Learning to sort and separate especially on the internet is very important.

    The Ruger Precision Rifle is a fine starter rifle for long range competitions as long as you aren't trying to classify it as a benchrest rifle. But for PRS, F-Class, run and gun types of competitions it should work fine. You will realize after shooting any of these for a while, when you need to upgrade equipment or switch styles.

    The 6.5 Creedmoor is a great starter cartridge and can work throughout your competition life if it meets your demands for accuracy and distance. We often shoot it past 1,000 yards in competition because of the velocity generated in conjunction with the high BC bullets which are currently available. Brass will even be available from Lapua after the first of 2017 according to their latest news release. But until then there is a still a good supply of Hornady brass which works great and costs less if you happen to lose a few cases during competitions. Hornady factory ammunition can also get you started if you need some time to get your reloading skills up to snuff.

    I have skipped Sierra bullets for competition for the last 15 years due to their absolute lack of attention to creating better bullets. They fell by the wayside when it came to high BC, high performance bullets, choosing to rest on their laurels instead and ignore the need to improve. In the mean time Berger Bullets and some of the newer lathe turned bullets have literally blown Sierra out of the water leaving them struggling to try to regain ground with some attempts at improving.

    For your cartridge choice, I suggest using either the 130 grain or 140 Hybrid VLD from Berger. This will keep you at least even with some of your classmates. These bullets are less sensitive to OAL changes yet have highly revised flight characteristics for long range shooting. Most shooters find that touching the lands or jamming the lands is now passe when it comes to this sport of long range shooting. Many times you'll see data stating that a shooter loads to 0.030" - 0.050" off the lands. But bear in mind this requires a chamber, barrel and action which are concentric to each other. Straight ammunition fired in a straight chamber performs better and more consistently.

    In general, depending on the choice of competition, neck turning and neck sizing will work if your chamber is designed to accommodate this type of loading. But if you are feeding from a magazine and being subjected to time constraints in the course of fire, you will want to full length resize. I cannot stress this enough. Unless you're shooting benchrest or F-Class, you will need to FL resize. This is not the ultra precision preparation required to shoot record groups at long range like those two examples. Single feed is one thing but feeding from a magazine is a whole different world.

    The last suggestion is to spend your money on a great scope for long range shooting. The run-of-the-mill garbage that is sold by most manufacturers will not cut it. You might get away with a Sightron or even a Leupold but you'll see a ton of Nightforce, March and S&B if you hang out long enough.

    Remember that practice will always out produce randomly throwing money at a project. Get out and try to mix it up with other shooters preparing for competitions. They can be your best and fastest source of information.

  • nononsensenononsense Member, Moderator Posts: 10,652 ******
    edited November -1

    quote: Perhaps dad's 256 Newton made by Atchison & Marquart will return in 2017, that will make my day.

    Actually, it's Atkinson & Marquart.

    Bill Atkinson and Paul Marquart teamed up to create the A&M Rifle Co. which was located right next door to where I apprenticed. I spent a little bit of time with each after the dissolution of their business. I even got to do a little work on a project for Bill when he transitioned to Ruger.

  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for correction. I am trying to get use to a new to me computer with a different keyboard and software. Plus the eyes are having issues from the last trip to the eye doc.

    My youngest older sister has the rifle. I ask dad on his death bed to give it to her. She and I were the only ones that continued to go shooting dad as kids. She liked the rifle better because it had way less recoil with 87 grain bullets and you could dot the O's in Coors cans at 100 yards with it. It was easily the most accurate rifle out of the +50 in dad's stable.
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