The next step was to research brand names that offered the cartridge in a factory rifle, this was only offered by Savage Arms. Funnily enough, I really like the look and feel of Savages and they have come a long way recently. Everyone I know who owns one said that they shoot exceptionally, so I settled on buying one.
After a few quick phone calls I found out that they did not offer the cartridge in a bolt action repeater anymore so I would have to either buy a single shot LRPV or the LRP in .243 and re chamber. I wanted a repeater, so the LRP was the one. If you look on the Savage website you will see this rifle under the target series, to me it looks awesome with its matt black dare I say “tactical” appearance and heavy fluted barrel. However it wasn’t to be as there where none in the country and none expected to arrive until April 2012. As I said in part one, delayed gratification is not my best attribute!
A custom build it was going to be! As with any custom built item, this opens up a whole lot more questions. Stock, action, trigger, barrel, bottom metal, availability of custom upgrades to suit and of course the cost.
With my ear to the ground, I was on the prowl for the best deals to complete project 6BR. I picked up a second hand HS Precision Stock to suit a Remington SA that had already been channeled out to suit a heavy barrel.
A look on used guns provided me with the donor rifle, which happened to be a Stainless Steel Remington 700 SPS in .243, including Leupold 30mm rings and a Nikko Platinum Night eater Scope.
I’m lucky enough to live in Toowoomba and Maddco is around the corner from where I work, so I chatted to them and decided to order a #7 Profile barrel with 1:12 twist as I would be shooting projectiles under 80 grains. I also bought a converted Maddco Remington trigger with bolt release, which is set to break at 6 ounces.
With all components on order I sat and waited for my smith to finish the work, which surprisingly took only 2 weeks (this included waiting for the barrel to be made).
My gun smith epoxy bedded the action and fitted all components for me along with the required magazine modifications to make it feed.
All I can say is when I went to pick it up, it was a shock to see how big the 26” #7 profile barrel is! Friends have commented that it looks like a cannon. Also the absolute weight of the rifle was rather on the heavy side making it impractical to carry around in the field (unless you’re into physical training and want to build big biceps). However as I said earlier, I built the rifle to shoot off a rest which it is perfect for.
I Mounted the Leupold bases and 8-20 x 50 Nikko Scope for the time being, although I have a Sightron S3 6-24×50 TD to go on at a later date.
First trip to the farm to break the barrel in showed great potential with the last five shot group under 0.5moa at 100m, using Lapua Brass, CCI 450 Magnum small rifle primers, Berger 68 grain FBHP projectiles and 33 grains of AR2208.
When compared to the standard .243 rifle using the latest ADI hand loaders guide with maximum loads, the 6BR uses 6.5 grains less powder but losses only 230 fps in velocity (3345 Vs. 3575) when using a 70 grain projectile. This makes it very efficient and cost effective for me when reloading. My current load, without buying components in bulk, costs me around the 62 cent mark (not including the initial outlay of the Lapua brass), which is not too much more that my current .223 Remington load.
To conclude, I would like to say that this short, stumpy, fat cartridge has proven to perform for me and has precisely fit the bill in regards to what I was after. It’s answered all of the questions I asked to myself before starting the build which is all I could ask for.