6X47 Lapua (6-6.5×47 Lapua) Review

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.

Left to right, 6mm BR, 6x47 Lapua, 6.5x47 Lapua and 243 Winchester.

Left to right, 6mm BR, 6×47 Lapua, 6.5×47 Lapua and 243 Winchester.

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.

6.5x47 Lapua (left) and 6x47 Lapua (right).

6.5×47 Lapua (left) and 6×47 Lapua (right).

The 6x47 Lapua feeds well from AICS style magazines.

The 6×47 Lapua feeds well from AICS magazines.

The magazine has ample space for specially throated chambers and longer bullets.

The magazine has ample space for specially throated chambers and longer bullets.

 

My 6×47 Lapua is built on a factory Remington 700 action with the following parts from Brownells:

The finished barrel is 22.5″ long.  I fluted it myself.

 

Side view.  6x47 Lapua equipped with an AICS AX 2.0 Chassis, Nightforce F1 3.5-15x50mm scope.

Side view. 6×47 Lapua equipped with an AICS AX 2.0 Chassis, Nightforce F1 3.5-15x50mm scope and Spuhr ISMS.

I worked up 8 loads with a Berger 108 BTHP, H4350, Lapua brass and a CCI 450 primer.

I worked up loads with a Berger 108 BT, H4350, Lapua brass and a CCI 450 primer.

I worked up seven different loads (three rounds of each) for load development using the Berger 108 grain BTHPLapua brass (6.5×47 Lapua necked down),CCI 450 primer and H4350 powder.  The bullet was seated .020″ from the lands.

108-grain Berger BTHP (left) and loaded 6x47 Lapua cartridge (right).

108-grain Berger BT (left) and loaded 6×47 Lapua cartridge (right).

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.

Bullet Grains Powder Grains Primer Velocity(FPS) SD Distance Group
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.

Group Shots Distance Size MOA
1 5 100 yds .734” .701
2 5 100 yds .454” .434
3 5 100 yds .643” .614
4 5 100 yds .546” .521
5 5 100 yds .315” .301
6 5 100 yds .352” .336
AVG .485

 

6x47 lapua 108 berger .3156x47 lapua 108 berger .424

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.

6x47 Lapua with a 108-grain Berger BT. 5-shot groups sizes are (left to right) .369", .289" and .405". Average size of .354" or .338 MOA. Target distance was 100 yards.

6×47 Lapua with a 108-grain Berger BT. 5-shot groups sizes are (left to right) .369″, .289″ and .405″. Average size of .354″ or .338 MOA. Target distance was 100 yards.

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).

6x47 lapua 300 win 308 win

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.

BAT VR 6x47 Lapua.

BAT VR 6×47 Lapua.

BAT VR 6x47 Lapua with 108 Berger BTs.  5-shots .451".

BAT VR 6×47 Lapua with 108 Berger BTs. 5-shots .451″.

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.