Is Lapua small primer brass really worth it?

Discussion in '6PPC, 6-6.5x47, 6XC, 6 Rem, 243' started by bullfrog, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. bullfrog

    bullfrog

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    I have all the parts for a new rifle build and will be getting it done asap. I was going to have it chambered in 6XC, but am wondering if I should go with the 6mm creedmoor so I can use Lapua 6.5 creedmoor brass. What are the real advantages to the small rifle primer and is it worth buying another set of dies? I haven't had any problem with 6XC norma brass. Just wondering if the small primer is better and why.
     
  2. Patton243

    Patton243

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    I'll answer your question in in an economic standpoint: No. Why go out and buy new dies just because it has a small rifle primer pocket? Not to mention the Lapua Creedmoor brass isn't cheap since it's so new. Everybody for the most part is backordered on it. Furthermore, David Tubb stated in his testing that the large primer pocket for his 6mm XC worked better than the small rifle primer pockets. Finally, there's not enough testing that has been done with this new Lapua Creedmoor brass since it's so new. Could it help? Maybe, but at this point we don't know.
     
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  3. 280man

    280man Silver $$ Contributor

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    The Lapua brass will be the best Creedmoor brass that's ever been built. Is it worth the price? Well that depends on you and your budget and the intended use of this rifle.

    As to the small primer vs large primer consider this. David Tubb did a lot of testing with both while developing the 6XC and he went with large rifle.
     
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  4. swd

    swd Gold $$ Contributor

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    I don't personally know how the Lapua Creedmoor brass is but if it's anything like their 6.5x47 it'll be great. I shoot a 6x47L Imp and it takes some real abuse and keeps on going! By far the strongest and most impressive brass I've ever used.
     
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  5. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

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    While adding one qualification to that statement, I agree with everything else you posted.

    I want to add: David's findings re: small vs. large must take into account the time frame (~ 2000) when there was little to no suitable small-primer brass available.

    I don't know what he tested (I didn't get into this sport until about the time he announced his 6XC as a finished cartridge design) but from that time period it may very well have been Remington's BR REM, produced and intended for folks wishing to form up 22/6/6.5/7BR cases.

    I've used (just about) every kind of 22-250 brass there is for making 6XC, and what 'factory' brass offerings there've been first from D. Tubb (G1 stuff was a disaster!) then Norma's.

    Tried some of that BR REM brass too. Didn't work out very well.

    With (moderate) loads I used for various 105-107 grain bullets (600-1,000 yards, 3,000-3,025 fps) I found LR brass life - determined by whether a fired case could ever again hold a primer - to be as long as five firings or as short as just one. Average was 3 over ~ ten years' time & hundreds of cases.

    When Lapua came out with 6.5x47 brass with its small primer pocket I was motivated to look into it but it proved to be too short... unless you choose to stick with it or risk pressure issues later from powder residue build-up in chamber necks when you decide to return to using 6XC spec-length brass.

    Then came (2010?) Lapua's Palma brass.

    I bought some as soon as it became easily available, labored mightily figuring out the steps needed with the dies I had on hand to get it formed up for 6XC.

    Initial testing against Norma's LR factory brass proved the Lapua to be up to the challenge down-range, so I finished off the box of 100 cases I started with, yielding 96 finished cases. I'm still using some of those original 96 cases after six seasons, did another batch of 98 early last year.

    It's a lot of work 'cause the case walls on that 308 are thick. It can be done (several others have been doing it too) but when Lapua announced their intention to make 6.5 Creedmoor cases available with a small primer pocket, my ears perked up.

    I ordered 200 cases which arrived early in Feb., got a break in the weather where I am to get to the range for some initial testing... which revealed an issue I'd not encountered with the Palma>6XC cases: sticky bolt-lift. This with the identical load I've used for five years in the Palma-based stuff.

    Had it bad with the original Tubb-stamped brass, using his suggested loads, in the T2k's Schneider barrel I started with. Turns out that first batch was ~ 20 grains heavier than anything made from 22-250 or the later Tubb-stamped or Norma-made batches.

    I attribute what I'm seeing to the difference in taper between a 22-250 case in Tubb's original chamber profile (according to Hugh Henriksen's 7/03 reamer design which is what my chambers are cut to) and that of the 6.5 Creedmoor brass which is wider at the shoulder.

    Robert Whitley III has a 6XC II reamer design that might also avoid this as it's more generous in the case base diameter, better for 308-derived 6XC brass.

    I hope to return to the range tomorrow to gain some insight into this, and whether I can proceed with load development after determining whether a possible fix I have in mind proves effective... or not.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  6. damoncali

    damoncali Gold $$ Contributor

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    The benefit to the small primer is that the cases last forever because there is more metal in the case head. There isn't really a downside since a small primer is plenty for an XC sized case. But I've gone to all small primers for everything up to .308 (I don't shoot anything bigger), and it's nice to not have to keep multiple kinds of primers around. Worth changing calibers? No, probably not. Not in the short run anyhow. (I've also found the Norma 6XC brass to be very good). But starting fresh, there's no way I'd go with large primer brass.
     
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  7. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

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    That's what I'd settled on also but it was in such short supply I decided finding an alternative was worth the effort.
     
  8. TAJ45

    TAJ45 Silver $$ Contributor

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    Working on a longer XC, using Palma brass. First cases were guinea pig cheap brass, large primers. They didn't last past 4 reloads. We are looking for a node above 3100 with the 6mm heavies and 28" + bbl. Brass is holding up like a champ and velocity is there.
    Go Palma 1x, keep'em annealed when needed, shoot accurate, consistent brass and save $$ in long run.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  9. damoncali

    damoncali Gold $$ Contributor

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    That's what made me ditch the XC. There are other good 6mm's with more available high quality brass. 6x47, 6 Creedmoor, 6 BR all do the same tricks more or less, and have the market's attention.
     
  10. r bose

    r bose

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    I'm not much into making/fire forming brass. The 6xc is the way to go for someone like me. All of the work and research has been done buy David Tubb. Chamber a barrel, buy some Norma brass, and load. Without pushing the load to extremes, I have Norma brass on it's 14th load. It's just too easy and the accuracy in unbelievable out to 1000 yds.
     
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  11. boltfluter

    boltfluter Gold $$ Contributor

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    R bose,

    Would you care to share your favorite loads with me. I am having a 6XC chambered as we speak. PM me if you prefer.:D:D

    Thanks, Paul

    www.boltfluting.com
     
  12. r bose

    r bose

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    When I had my 6xc built, the "popular" powders were impossible to find. I read a very good article on RL-17. Bought some and never tried anything else. With very little load development, I shoot 38g with a 105-107 class bullet at about 3000 FPS, fairly mild load. Plenty good enough for a 600 yd prone match. Bumped it up to 39.5g with a 105 Hybrid for 1000 yds going 3175 FPS. Shot 40g on cooler days at 3200 FPS but didn't want to push my luck in 95 degree heat. With 115 DTACs I load 38-38.3g just at 3000 FPS for 1000 yd shooting depending on ambient temp. The only scope testing I did was at 200 yards and none of these loads shot over .8 inches..... .4MOA, at 200 yds. Have one target showing 5 DTACS all touching at 200 yds. Plenty good enough for shooting at a prone target with a 2 minute 10 ring.

    Barrel is a 30" Krieger med palma 7.5 TW. Now has 2076 rounds on it and still shooting well. Can just barely touch the lands with a 115 DTAC so it's going but not nearly as premature as I expected. Wouldn't change a thing on the next barrel. Below is the article I used for load data.

    http://www.accurateshooter.com/technical-articles/reloading/alliant-reloder-17/
     
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  13. r bose

    r bose

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    Forgot.....article list loads for MOLY BULLETS. Please use with caution.
     
  14. damoncali

    damoncali Gold $$ Contributor

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    I had very good luck with Sierra 107's over 39.0 of H4350. That's where I stopped, but a little hotter was even better. 4831SC was a bust for me. Couldn't get it to shoot as well. All out of a 30" medium palma.
     
  15. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

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    Pretty much a baseline 6XC (default) load with the SMK 107 bullet, just as 30.0 grains of Varget works for 6BR.

    Problem becomes one when you can't buy H4350... anywhere.

    RL17 works well though can be dirty & may affect accuracy after 15+ rounds.

    I found IMR 8208XBR very worthwhile, currently testing Benchmark & RL16.
     
  16. swd

    swd Gold $$ Contributor

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    Accuracy problems after just 15+ rounds? I've burned a lot of RL17 when I couldn't get H4350. Never had a problem shooting 65-70 shot strings with it in F Class. Rough barrel maybe?
     
  17. atombomb

    atombomb Gold $$ Contributor

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    I bought my Lapua brass from Clownbuster here... it shows up very high quality, necks turned and even my first firing loads shot great out to 600 with only 38.6gr H4350 and Hybrids... I've tested a few of those cases right up to where i was seeing pressure signs for 10 firings and the primer pockets are still tight, I've had to size and trim them very little, and annealed them on my AMP every 3rd firing...I'm hoping 20 firings will be easy.
     
  18. mr.big

    mr.big

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    I am about to try that 308 Palma brass in a new straight 243 bbl,,the load I really like is kinda hard on WW 243 primer pockets,,,,I am hoping the Palma small primer pocket brass will shoot the same load and not have to get new brass once a month,,

    a guy at work gave me a couple boxes of Hornady Superformance factory ammo and I figured I would shoot it for the brass but the Hornady brass would not hold a primer after once fired,,it was 95 gr SST and shot well at 3060 fps but the primer pockets was toast the first shot from a SAAMI min spec reamer and a .236 8 twist Krieger bbl,,

    if the Palma brass is as good as the 6.5x47L I have used I will be tickled pink,,
     
  19. 6fatrat

    6fatrat Silver $$ Contributor

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    I switched from large primer Lapua 308 to the small primer 2 years ago because of the primers pocket life, have never looked back.
    This winter I necked the Lapua palma brass down for my 243 1000yd gun, turned the necks and fired formed in my fire forming barrel on a cold day. Had lots of hang fires.
    Steve Bair
     
  20. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

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    What kind of primer/powder Steve?

    I was afraid the cold would affect my Palma loads a year ago for the season-opener Fundraiser weekend matches (2nd weekend after this one) at Winnequah (Lodi).

    It was 19*F when we started Saturday AM, 27 when we were done. Didn't have a single round FTF or other anomaly, using KVB223REM I think. Shot pretty good scores too for the start of the season.
     

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