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VarmLR

Field-to-range 6.5 Creedmoor or Lapua Options?

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Has anyone tried out the new Bergara HMR in 6.5mm yet? Looks like a cracking rifle for the money. The Sabatti 6x47 Rover Tactical was on my shopping list but apparently they are no longer importing them in 6.5 x 47 which is a shame. Interested in some feedback as the Bergara seems an obvious contender to the 6.5 CM T3 CTR guise. Looking for a rifle which wont break the back for LR vermin control but also serve as a decent range rifle. It will be specifically in 6.5 CM or 6.5 x 47. Had a few quotes for custom builds but all are above budget once a scope is thrown into the mix.

 

I've read a few negative reports on Bergara barrels (mainly from the USA), but not heard much feedback on them here in Blighty. I have handled the B14 sporter and was impressed with the bolt action and trigger fitted to that. Overall finish was pretty good too.

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Looks great David. What did Mike do to it out of interest...barrel lapping...inlet fettling?

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Paul. Mike did indeedwork his magic, but to be honest, with the Bergara there was no need to amend / remachine anything as the tolerances were bang on. He did lap the barrel until it shone, then I toddled off to Minsterley Ranges, shot ten rounds, the first four you see in the pic.

 

He also sorted the rail and affixed my scope over a cup of tea.

 

I bought the rifle from Mike - not Livens - and he did all the prep work for the price Livens charge for the rifle, and he loaded 50 rounds of Lapua / 142gn Sierra Matchkings from his datum notes - not a special load development.

 

Cannot speak highly enough, but there again, he always does superlative work for me.

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Thanks David. That's top of my shopping list to have a look at.

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David,That's about as good as best barrels will do three shots..even if the standard load turns out to be it's favourite (why change?) It would be interesting to see further groups.

The barrel lapping has probably helped-it's not often done,though the barrel is 80% of the rigs potential precision; helps with cleaning too. Good to see in any rifle,and esp in a non premium custom.

Perhaps Carlsberg made it! :-)

 

gbal

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Having just spoken to my local gunsmith, it's precisely the rifle he's recommended to me. He confirms that they shoot bug holes, lapped or not. :)

 

Looks like I'll be joining the Bergara club pretty soon.

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Dumb question time?

 

Barrel lapping? ...I'm guessing It's just quite a severe "polishing" to smooth out any microscopic anomaly ?

 

Paul

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Basically, yes. It's a process whereby the new barrel (despite having had several proof shots through it) has any burrs or microscopic machining irregularities removed by honing the bore with a slightly abrasive compound, sometimes applied via a lead slug passed back and forth followed by cleaning and conditioning. However, the value of such prep work on modern cold hammer forged rifling or button formed rifling, may be questionable, when a few shots down the barrels all that some gunsmiths seem to recommend! The smoother the barrel surface, the less it fouls in theory. I've had some barrels which are blighters to clean, whilst others (like my T3) seem to hardly ever suffer from much copper fouling. I guess a lot depends on how well the barrel was made in the first place. Lapping done badly though can make a barrel worse and generally it's something that only a good gunsmith should do rather than a keen amateur!

 

I've not seen any borescope shots taken of a brand new barrel, but lapping is one of those things that you could argue won't hurt, and presumably can only benefit a barrel, so some still practice it.

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There is a hell of a lot more to lapping than described.

 

A lead "slug" has to be poured into the muzzle , where it attaches itself to a rod with a patch below the jag.

 

This is then withdrawn when cold and cleaned up.

 

The rod is then fitted with a stop, to not allow the slug to exit the barrel.

 

Said slug is then run up and down the bore [it follows the lands ] with a carborundum paste.

 

If the barrel hasn't been lapped during production, no amount of shooting will do what a good lapping will. Approx 200 strokes are common to fully lap.

 

I would not use a barrel that hadn't been lapped on a rebuild, because they are rarely good.

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NECO in the USA sell kits for fire lapping most calibres with soft lead slugs and abrasives of graduated fineness:

 

http://www.neconos.com/category/PRESSUREFIRELAPPING-20

 

Note: I have never used them, and I don't know if they are available in/importable to the UK.

 

maximus otter

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Used the NECO system once on a Rem PSS in 308 a good few years ago.

 

The barrel shot OK accuracy wise but went South after about 70 rounds so no good for comps I was trying at the time.

 

The process destroyed the throat/leads but as I was re-cutting the chamber and setting the barrel back to reduce the free bore I was not worried.

 

I did not see any improvement in accuracy but went longer before requiring cleaning, which was the aim.

 

It is a stop gap and possible fix for a factory barrel, specifically the Rem type of factory :) , you can only polish a turd so much.

 

T

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There is a hell of a lot more to lapping than described.

 

A lead "slug" has to be poured into the muzzle , where it attaches itself to a rod with a patch below the jag.

 

This is then withdrawn when cold and cleaned up.

 

The rod is then fitted with a stop, to not allow the slug to exit the barrel.

 

Said slug is then run up and down the bore [it follows the lands ] with a carborundum paste.

 

If the barrel hasn't been lapped during production, no amount of shooting will do what a good lapping will. Approx 200 strokes are common to fully lap.

 

I would not use a barrel that hadn't been lapped on a rebuild, because they are rarely good.

 

Does that imply Baldie that most of the commonly fitted custom barrels, and many factory barrels aren't lapped as part of manufacture, and as such, won't be as good as one that is? Does this also bring us round to the way in which rifling is formed has a bearing on whether lapping is required or not? Genuinely interested in this as I've never had a barrel lapped, including some custom builds (and whilst no competition rifles, they shoot ok for my needs).

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Most custom blanks are lapped. Its a quite vital part of barrel making.

 

Simple to tell which ones aren't ...you can see the brown oxidisation left in the bore after stress relieving in the oven. Lapping removes this.

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Good tip, thanks Baldie, I'll remember to check next time! I'm pretty certain that my L-W barrel was pretty clean (bar a tiny bit of fouling from the proof testing house) and definitely free of any obvious brown oxidation when I had that fitted to one of my actions.

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Dave,(Varm) useful tip- I wonder if this is a 'symptom' test only-ie:

 

The presence of brown discolouration is a fairly reliable symptom that the barrel has NOT been lapped (as lapping removes the discolouration) BUT

 

The absence of discolouration is not definitve evidence of lapping-the discolouration was never there/has been quick wiped off,without a full lapping?

 

I just don't know,but in many realities,the absence of 'symptom', does not mean absence of 'problem',though presence of symptom is usually fairly reliable indicator of (some) problem. Eg cratered primer indicate pressure,non cratered are less So;how stiff is 'stiff bolt" etc

 

Then we are into signal detection (hits,misses,false alarms-to which the human operator is rather prone -"no-one is perfect") buts that a more complex analysis....but concepts are for serious shooters.

 

Still,barrel lapped/not is hardly a life or death issue -for the shooter,varmint maybe!

 

gbal

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Little pieces of knowledge like this are important though George as for many of us who regularly shoot longer ranges (mainly vermin control) need plenty of practice and paper punching time at the range and on our land on steel etc to hone abilities, but it counts for little of we buy a rifle or barrel that isn't capable of at least 0.5moa or better.

 

Factory barrels certainly seem to have improved in recent years (even the humble Ruger American can shoot the whiskers off a knat!). Bullets also seem to have come a long way. I'm always amazed how just changing a bullet can make the difference in one or two of my rifles, between achieving 3/4 moa and almost a third of that at 100 yards. It's convinced me that providing you have a reasonable barrel that isn't as rough as a dogs hind leg, and is made to pretty decent tolerances, then choice of bullet and load development becomes more critical to longer range acuracy. I believe all that Bergara barrels are made to be within 0.1mm straightness for example. Talking of which, I've just found this little snippet on their website:

 

"The honing system designed specifically for Bergara Barrels increases the diameter of the drilled hole to the required size through the use of diamond-tipped honing heads in a computer-monitored machine. This machine provides an ultra-smooth bore with no tool marks and results in tolerances much tighter than a process using reamers. Thus, even before the rifling button is pulled through the barrel you have a bore surface that is equal to the finest hand-lapped custom barrels"

 

I guess that answers my question as far as something like the B14 HMR goes.

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Varm,agreed absolutely (.5 a max!)-my point is that discolouration is likely to mean no lapping,and less accurate ,but no discoloration may not guarantee lapping (or done properly)....symptoms indicate 'health' issues,but no symptoms do not so reliably indicate no such problems. Symptoms/no symptoms do not equally reliably indicate a conclusion. Making the wrong assumption comes up on here (shooting) repeatedly (Stiff bolt,pressure;"therefore" if no stiff bolt ,no pressure...err... no. Even "three shots touching,great barrel..". ..well.....not as good as 5 shots touching (ie no adverse symptom-'flier' -with more testing'..etc

Many woes on here are the mischief that comes from assuming equal validity for symptom/no symptom.

 

Of course I'd prefer no discolouration,on Dave's analysis....then the barrel might be lapped/better -the discoloured is def not.

But Bergarra barrels rather ...err... add brown discolouration (muddy) to that clear water!

 

:-)

gbal

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O.K.

 

Looked at the Bergara HMR. Handles nicely and was very nicely made. The stock really feels good and solid, and the bolt was silky smooth. Trigger was ok, and breaks cleanly. What put me off, and I hadn't read the specs properly before looking at one was the 22 inch barrel. That's too short imho for creedmoor, which is better in 24 but preferably 26 inch. There's little point if I want to shoot over 1200 or even 1400 yards in using a 22 inch barrelled version when longer ones are available.

 

Looks like it's down to three other contenders:

 

  • Tikka TAC A1 in 24 inch
  • Sabatti STR in 26 inch
  • Sako Roughtech A7 in 26 inch

 

All are reputedly very good rifles. For the range, the Sabatti would seem to be the best to go for, partly sue to the barrel length and partly due to the standard 20moa rail making it comparable value to the T3.

 

The one thing that is off-putting about the T3 is the height to the rail off the barrel.

 

I'll be looking at all 3 next week.

 

If using for LR vermin control with the Tactical ones, I'll be needing a bit more gym work first!

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O.K.

 

Looked at the Bergara HMR. Handles nicely and was very nicely made. The stock really feels good and solid, and the bolt was silky smooth. Trigger was ok, and breaks cleanly. What put me off, and I hadn't read the specs properly before looking at one was the 22 inch barrel. That's too short imho for creedmoor, which is better in 24 but preferably 26 inch. There's little point if I want to shoot over 1200 or even 1400 yards in using a 22 inch barrelled version when longer ones are available.

 

Looks like it's down to three other contenders:

 

  • Tikka TAC A1 in 24 inch
  • Sabatti STR in 26 inch
  • Sako Roughtech A7 in 26 inch

 

All are reputedly very good rifles. For the range, the Sabatti would seem to be the best to go for, partly sue to the barrel length and partly due to the standard 20moa rail making it comparable value to the T3.

 

The one thing that is off-putting about the T3 is the height to the rail off the barrel.

 

I'll be looking at all 3 next week.

 

If using for LR vermin control with the Tactical ones, I'll be needing a bit more gym work first!

Apologies if i'm going off in the wrong direction here Varm. But when i was having the shop mount my Vortex with its 50mm Objective lens fitted to my Tikka TAC1, the high Leupold mounts did not give enough clearance for the objective lens. I had to pay another £70 for a rail riser, then i believe medium mounts fitted. It's not so much the money, i just I didn't like the distance between the bore axis and the centre of the scope tube. However, what was i to do?? I just had to put up with it, or take the rail off...

I spoke to the armourer in the shop, who said he went for the Sabatti STR, due to the extra barrel length and feel of the rifle. Each to there own. I suppose i stuck with a name i knew. I just hope i can zero it down to 100 yards....

Chaz.

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I guess the issue Chaz is that the long Picatinny rail isn't the most practical of things when you want the objective bell close to the barrel. Fashion in rifles can sometimes throw up daft issues like this. It means that a scope with plenty of elevation adjustment helps matters. The STR I believe has a 20moa mount built in, so will suffer from the same issue....magnified! I'd be perfectly happy with any of the one's listed as no doubt they all shoot well. What it'll boil down to is the quality, fit, finish and what they handle like. It raises an interesting issue about which scopes will zero down to 100 yards without being maxed out and the elevation springs compressed in the turret towards the lower end of the adjustment which isn't a good thing. I like the Bushnell elite Tac scopes as they have masses of internal adjustment and should comfortably cope with this issue. Not all can though. I guess a minimum of around 70moa elevation or more is going to be needed.

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The height of the scope can greatly effect MPBR , and if you are hunting ( especially with NV) then a good max MPBR is an advantage, so the higher ( with in reason ) the scope the better, I aim for around 2.75" on my creed, but my .223 with NV is at 3" .

Obviously cheek weld and eye relief come into the mix, but a well adjusted cheek rest & practice of the position will soon sort that out

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The height of the scope can greatly effect MPBR , and if you are hunting ( especially with NV) then a good max MPBR is an advantage, so the higher ( with in reason ) the scope the better, I aim for around 2.75" on my creed, but my .223 with NV is at 3" .

Obviously cheek weld and eye relief come into the mix, but a well adjusted cheek rest & practice of the position will soon sort that out

 

 

MPBR isn't really an issue for me as I rarely use it as a means for shooting except to take advantage of my 100 yard zero, with its' much more limited MPBR. I much prefer dialling for LR (or holding over to 300 yards) for everything and all my rifles are zeroed to 100 yards. I know my drops to 300 yards and am happy to holdover, as I have to hold off for varying winds anyway. My rets will all be changed to FFP for much easier hold off aim at all mags (my main stalking rifle's scope is already in FFP as I use that for LR fun as well) but that's for another thread!

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