6×47 (6-6.5×47) Lapua Review
6mm (.243″) cartridges are popular among target shooters in various disciplines. Low recoil and excellent external ballistics offer shooters the ability to use a flat shooting cartridge without getting beat up on long strings of fire.
The 6×47 Lapua (6-6.5×47 Lapua) is a wildcat created by necking down the 6.5X47 Lapua to 6mm (not to be confused with the 6X47 which is a 222 Remington Magnum necked up to 6mm). Because of this, high quality factory 6.5×47 Lapua brass is ready to load after a single pass through a full-length sizing die. The cartridge retains the benefits of the 6.5X47 Lapua parent case; reliable feeding in a detachable magazine system, use of small rifle primers (lower standard deviation in muzzle velocity), and a presumed longer barrel life than faster 6mm cartridges like the 243 Winchester.
The 6X47 Lapua has a water capacity of 45 grains, which is less than the 6mm Creedmoor (50 grains), 6 XC (48 grains), 6.5×47 Lapua (47 grains), and 243 Winchester (54 grain) (Note: of these cartridges, only the 6×47 and 6.5×47 Lapua use small rifle primers, the rest use large rifle primers). It uses a standard .308 Winchester bolt face.
Prior to converting my rifle from 243 Winchester to 6×47 Lapua, I did quite a bit of research on the cartridge. It seems to have a strong following of shooters who love it, as well as those who exhibit a love hate relationship with it. A common criticism is that the cartridge is temperamental in load development. For most, this is negated by what may its biggest advantage over the 6BR and 6 Dasher- the ability to feed out of an AICS detachable magazine system- a mandatory feature for some shooters. The 6BR and 6 Dasher can work, but with significant modifications to factory magazines.
The ability to simply convert 6.5×47 Lapua brass (which I already had) with a single step was what made me choose the 6×47 Lapua (I already shoot a 6.5×47 Lapua so l have the brass), over the 6mm Creedmoor and 6XC (both excellent cartridges in their own right). I form my 6×47 Lapua brass by running 6.5×47 Lapua brass through a full-length Forster sizing die. One pass and done.
- Remington 700 short-action receiver (767-000-818)
- Bartlein 1-8 twist, 6mm HV barrel blank (749-008-389)
- Jewel HVR trigger (100-002-559)
- Nightforce F1 3.5-15×50 mm scope (100-012-582)
- Spuhr ISMS (100-011-207)
The finished barrel is 22.5″ long. I fluted it myself.
I worked up seven different loads (three rounds of each) for load development using the Berger 108 grain BTHP, Lapua brass (6.5×47 Lapua necked down),CCI 450 primer and H4350 powder. The bullet was seated .020″ from the lands.
WARNING: The loads shown are for informational purposes only. They are only safe in the rifle shown and may not be safe in yours. Consult appropriate load manuals prior to developing your own handloads. Rifleshooter.com and its authors, do not assume any responsibility, directly or indirectly for the safety of the readers attempting to follow any instructions or perform any of the tasks shown, or the use or misuse of any information contained herein, on this website.
|Berger BT||108||H4350||36.0||CCI 450||2705||27.7||100 yds||.512”|
|Berger BT||108||H4350||36.5||CCI 450||2710||20.2||100 yds||.548”|
|Berger BT||108||H4350||37.0||CCI 450||2751||17.6||100 yds||.563”|
|Berger BT||108||H4350||37.5||CCI 450||2803||35.1||100 yds||.701”|
|Berger BT||108||H4350||38.0||CCI 450||2873||6.5||100 yds||.408”|
|Berger BT||108||H4350||38.5||CCI 450||2897||37.9||100 yds||.865”|
|Berger BT||108||H4350||39.0||CCI 450||2974||36.0||100 yds||.488”|
The 38.0-grain, 2873 feet-per-second load showed the best initial accuracy (.408) with a low standard deviation (my buddy actually arrived at the same powder charge for his 105VLD and 108 BT loads as well). I resized my brass with a neck die and loaded up some more rounds with it.
I shot five, five-shot groups at 100 yards. All shooting was done prone, from a bipod, with a rear bag. The rifle was equipped with a Nightforce F1 3.5-15x50mm mil/mil scope.
I would have liked to see a bunch of .100-.200″ 5-shot groups on my second trip but that wasn’t in the cards yet. Range conditions weren’t great with the mirage was the worst I could remember at the facility for some time.
The third trip to the range was a charm. After noticing slight variation in case length, I trimmed my brass and results improved. I fired these three five-shot groups at 100 yards, averaging .338 MOA.
The external ballistics the 6×47 Lapua are impressive. I created this chart comparing the 6×47 Lapua 108 BT (2897 FPS), 300 Winchester Magnum 190 SMK (2892 FPS) and 308 Winchester 175 SMK (2670 FPS).
Note the 6X47 Lapua’s flight path (yellow) is almost completely covered by the 300 Winchester Magnum (red). The two cartridges have similar external ballistics, except the 6×47 Lapua gets there with about half the powder and very little recoil. This combination of flat trajectory and low recoil are the major selling points of the cartridge.
As far as real world performance, I ended up shooting this 6×47 Lapua rifle at a regional match run by the Marine Corps League ranking both high Marine and 2nd overall in a field of 80 shooters.
Below are some pictures of another 6×47 Lapua I built with my friend on a BAT VR action. He had similar results with the Berger 108 BT and 105 VLD.
If you are looking for a flat shooting, low recoil cartridge that forms easily from factory brass and use standard AICS magazines, the 6×47 Lapua may be for you.