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Which 6mm/243 for new build?

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Unread 11-01-2008, 05:27 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 167
Which 6mm/243 for new build?

The search function does not appear to be working so I appologize if this has been dealt with before.

I have a Savage 30-06 that I picked up, and want to make a small bore project out of it. My goals are to build an accurate gun that I can use for plinking, varmint/small game hunting, with an occaisional wt doe thrown in the mix.

I have a custom 7mm STW that I do the majority of my hunting with, so I would like something a little smaller and cheaper to shoot for fun. I want to use the 105-115 grain VLD bullets. I want to try and match the drop and wind drift of my STW as close as possible (180 Ber VLD at 2960fps) so I will always be prepared for hunting season. I was originally thinking about a 6mmBR, but it really lacks the velocity to be very good practice or to hunt with at extended ranges. Here are the cartridge options I know of:
243 win
243 win AI
243 wssm
6mm Rem
6mm Rem AI
6mm BR

I am not sure I want to deal with fireforming if there is another case that is commercially available, or easily formed. I do not have the tools to trim necks, and don't know if I will need to do that with the 6-284 or the 6-06. I would like to be able to get decent reloading dies. I would like to get in the neighborhood of 1600-2000 rounds of barrel life. I would like it to be fairly easy/forgiving with load development. In addition I would really like to be able to order a saveage pre-fit barrel in what ever calibre I decide.

I am currently leaning towards the standard 243, or the 243 wssm, but the 6-06 would fit well as the gun is already an 06. I hope you guys can offer some advise and I do appreciate any help or ideas provided.

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Unread 11-02-2008, 11:04 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Back in the south -NW FL..
Posts: 1,160
Re: Which 6mm/243 for new build?

Hi Joel ,

I think you have pretty much listed the major players in 6mm.

I'd say it comes down to choosing a cartridge that will go the 1600-2000 rds. you mention.The plain old .243 is hard to beat -buy 100pc of lapua brass -dies -and pre-threaded barrel and start load developement.There's plenty of load data out there for sure.

Myself i'd opt for the 243ackley -basically no trimming -good dies are available -and it's got the cool factor.By the time you get the brass fire-formed and the barrel broke in you'll have a good idea of which bullet the barrel likes.Shooting vld's into the rifling/lands is the ticket for fireforming brass too.

I love the 6mm's although i don't have one -they have great bullet selection -low recoil -great killing power on thin-skinned animals -good luck w/your choice !-Mike
AIPAC for president !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Unread 11-02-2008, 11:33 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bandon Oregon
Posts: 185
Re: Which 6mm/243 for new build?

Well since you have a long action I think I would go with the 6mm AI. I have the 6mm AI and the 243 the 6mm AI is the better of the two IMO.
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Unread 11-02-2008, 11:37 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: MS
Posts: 1,652
Re: Which 6mm/243 for new build?

243AI is a great round. Another option that doesnt require fireforming would be the 6-6.5x47 Lapua. It is kinda like a 6BR on steroids. 115s at 3100, barrel life in the 2500 range, very forgiving to load IMO
I admit that I know just enough to be dangerous.....but dangerous at ever extending distances.
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Unread 11-02-2008, 11:36 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 62
Re: Which 6mm/243 for new build?

I for one use a 240 weatherby which everyone seems to ignore these days. It is fast, the ammo is reasonable and reloading data are readily available. Barrel life is fine and it is an ideal deer/varmint rifle.

bob chronister
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Unread 11-03-2008, 12:47 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 167
Re: Which 6mm/243 for new build?

I thought about the 240 Weatherby, but I think it is one of the biggest cases out of all the ones I have looked at, and worried that it was over-bore enough to really reduce barrel life. The brass seems really expensive as well, but I would not have to fireform.

It looks like the 6mmai takes a little more powder, but most guys say the barrel live exceeds the 243ai. The brass choices are better for the 243 however. Is the longer neck of the 6mm better for these 105-115 grain bullets?

The components/dies seem a little cheaper for the non AI cases, but it seems like the "experts" and people with experiance strongly suggest the ai's. Is there really that much difference with the slightly increased case capacity? Also do the AI versions have the same trim length and approx. OAL?

Thanks for the help guys... I'm getting closer!

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Unread 11-03-2008, 01:06 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 421
Re: Which 6mm/243 for new build?

I'd go with the standard 243. I love mine! Excellent ballistics, excellent accuracy, easy to develop accurate loads. If you want the cool factor, go for the 6x6.5x47 Lapua. The brass is more expensive, but it's the hot new 6mm cartridge.

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