6x47 Lapua Featured

6×47 Lapua – High Performance Caliber

In Blog by Rich55 Comments

I thought it was time to do an article on the 6×47 Lapua rifle cartridge! When I put a new build together for a match gun last year this was the caliber I’d elected to go with after having researched a couple possibilities. Now, many months, several matches, and several hundred rounds fired later…I thought I would share with you all some thoughts and observations on this caliber. If you aren’t familiar with it, 6×47 Lapua is a wildcat chambering derived from the 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge. 6.5×47 Lapua is very similar, and nearly identical ballistics-wise, to the 260 Remington and 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges. They all share excellent ballistics and improved barrel life over the 243 Winchester. The 6×47 Lapua is essentially a 6.5×47 Lapua, made to fire 6mm, or .243 diameter, bullets at higher velocities! The extra speed, paired with high BC (ballistic coefficient) projectiles, makes for a performance powerhouse!

6×47 Lapua Cartridge

The 6×47 Lapua is currently still a wildcat caliber. The term wildcat refers to a chambering that does not have official support from institutions like SAAMI which specify chamber dimensions and pressures to be used when loading a particular cartridge. Don’t let this fool you, for a hand loader, official cartridge designations and support are not a big deal. This really affects factory loaded offerings more than hand loaders. The only difference between the 6×47 Lapua and the 6.5×47 Lapua is the neck and bore diameter of chamberings. While the 6.5×47 Lapua is an officially supported cartridge and is available as factory loaded ammunition from Lapua, the 6×47 Lapua is not.

The good news is, the only difference is the neck diameter, so producing ammunition for this chambering is easy. Likewise, it didn’t take long for folks to start chambering 6mm barrels with a reamer designed to copy the case dimensions, minus the neck. Since there isn’t a manufacturer producing brass for this cartridge, you have to do a little extra work. What I love about the 6×47 Lapua is that it only adds a single extra step to loading ammunition, and you only have to do it once!

Some other advantages? For one, the brass you use for this cartridge is made by Lapua! Lapua has a reputation for producing excellent quality brass that survives multiple firings even on higher pressure cartridges. It does tend to be pricey, at around $1 per case, but thus far I’d say the cost is well worth it. I’ve talked to fellow 6×47 Lapua shooters with over 20 firings on their Lapua cases, which is outstanding! The 6.5×47 Lapua cases used to form the cases for the 6×47 Lapua caliber also use small rifle primers. The thought here is that the smaller primer allows for a thicker brass wall around the primer which can better handle some of the pressure associated with high performance hand loads.

6x47 Lapua Primers

See the difference between the small 6×47 Lapua rifle primer, and the large rifle primer on the right in the 6.5 Creedmoor case? The thicker brass in the case head is believed to help with higher pressure loads commonly found in competition rifles.

Necking Down 6.5×47 Lapua

The process is called necking down. Essentially you run the 6.5×47 Lapua brass, which is made for a 6.5mm, or .264 diameter, bullet through a smaller reloading die meant for the 6×47 Lapua. The die supports the entire case, but as the brass is pushed by the reloading press into the smaller die, it squeezes the neck down from 6.5mm projectile diameter to the smaller 6mm projectile diameter. It’s really as simple as running the brass through a die one time and you’ve just formed a 6×47 Lapua case out of a 6.5×47 Lapua case.

If you decide to partake in this caliber, I recommend you purchase a full length sizing die for the 6×47 Lapua chambering. You can neck the brass down using bushing dies, and this was how I initially started processing the brass for my new caliber. However, I believe this leads to somewhat inconsistent neck tension. A bushing die does not size the entire neck of the case, only a portion of it, and that can lead to consistency problems until after the first firing.

The reasons I say this causes neck tension issues are as follows: First off, I had to do a lot of resetting of my micrometer seating die when seating bullets in freshly sized cases. I believe the neck tension was varied and therefore the seating depth was not uniform and consistent. This added a lot of time to the process in the form of readjusting the seating die and measuring the rounds after seating the bullet. The second reason I say bushing dies lead to neck tension issues when used to neck down the larger brass is shown in my chronograph results. The SD and ES of bullets fired through brass that was just necked down tend to be higher and looser than the numbers I see on brass that’s already been fired and resized.

6x47 Lapua Micro Die

I was resetting and measuring almost every round, they weren’t seating to uniform depth, even with the micrometer die set at the same spot…I believe it results from the inconsistent neck tension from the necking down process

The moral of this story is simple, use a full length die to neck your brass down so you achieve higher consistency in your neck tension for the first firing. After you fire the brass and it’s molded itself to the inner dimensions of your chamber, and you’ve resized it prior to reloading the brass for a second firing, the consistency seems to go way up and offer better results on the chronograph. I will say this, another downfall of bushing dies for necking down brass can be collapsed shoulders. This results from an unsupported part of the shoulder as the press forces the brass into the smaller die giving out. I only had this happen maybe a half dozen times in about 600 cases being sized, but at $1 per case it’s still an expensive error when it occurs.

6x47 Lapua Collapsed Shoulder

You can have the shoulders collapse if they aren’t fully supported, just use a full length sizing die to neck down, you can use bushing dies from that point onward!

6×47 Lapua Performance

The performance of the 6×47 Lapua cartridge is just phenomenal! I was able to easily push 105gr Berger Hybrids, with a 0.547 G1 BC, to over 3100fps out of my 26 Inch 6×47 Lapua barrel produced by Criterion Barrels. The accuracy of this barrel has been just ridiculous! I can honestly, and with confidence, say that my match rifle is a quarter minute rifle. I’ve got multiple targets with groups measuring under a quarter of an inch saved and the rifle produces them very consistently. I’m not cherry picking the best group and saying, “Hey look at this,” I’m going off of the size of the groupings it produces on a regular basis. In all my testing and load development I think the worst groups I saw were around a half MOA, which is still excellent!

6x47 Lapua group 1

6x47 Lapua group 2

6x47 Lapua group 3

In terms of the rifle’s performance in matches, I’ve managed some of my best performances yet with this rifle. The 6×47 Lapua is a real performance powerhouse in a match setting. While it won’t make you a winner by itself, it does remove your ability to blame your equipment for your performance on game day. I think this has helped me strive to be a better shooter. It’s easy to make excuses for how you’re shooting when you think to yourself that your equipment is holding you back. It would be like driving a bone stock Mustang in a NASCAR race…if you don’t win, it’s easy to point your finger at the car. On the other hand, if you show up on race day with a fully tricked out and tuned vehicle, the only performance gap there could possibly be…is the driver!

6×47 Lapua Ballistics

I wanted to just throw up some ballistics results from the fantastic, and totally free, JBM Ballistics calculator to illustrate some of the performance numbers that are achievable. These are all real world numbers I’ve met, and exceeded, with my own handloads. So nothing about the muzzle velocities are hypothetical or “best case scenario”…this is all real world performance. I think the numbers will likely speak for themselves. Pay particular attention to the drop, and windage, at ranges around 700 yards, which is fairly common in matches. You can also look at the 1000 yard results. Even though most people don’t shoot to that distance very often, it can be useful when comparing performance of different calibers. I ran this with numbers for a fairly common 308 load, my 6.5 Creedmoor handload, and what I’m using in my 6×47 Lapua. Behold!

Calculated Table – 308 Winchester – 175gr Sierra HPBT @ 2650fps
Range Drop Drop Windage Windage Velocity Mach Energy Time Lead Lead
(yd) (in) (mil) (in) (mil) (ft/s) (none) (ft•lbs) (s) (in) (mil)
0 -1.5 *** 0.0 *** 2656.3 2.379 2741.3 0.000 0.0 ***
100 -0.0 -0.0 0.8 0.2 2470.9 2.213 2372.1 0.117 20.6 5.7
200 -4.2 -0.6 3.4 0.5 2293.0 2.054 2042.8 0.243 42.8 5.9
300 -15.0 -1.4 7.9 0.7 2122.9 1.901 1750.9 0.379 66.7 6.2
400 -33.6 -2.3 14.5 1.0 1960.3 1.756 1492.9 0.526 92.6 6.4
500 -61.2 -3.4 23.6 1.3 1804.1 1.616 1264.6 0.686 120.7 6.7
600 -99.5 -4.6 35.4 1.6 1653.8 1.481 1062.7 0.859 151.3 7.0
700 -150.6 -6.0 50.5 2.0 1509.1 1.352 884.8 1.049 184.7 7.3
800 -217.0 -7.5 69.3 2.4 1370.4 1.227 729.6 1.258 221.4 7.7
900 -302.0 -9.3 92.4 2.9 1238.7 1.109 596.1 1.488 261.9 8.1
1000 -409.8 -11.4 120.6 3.3 1117.6 1.001 485.3 1.744 306.9 8.5

Nothing wrong with the good old 308 Winchester, it’s been getting the job done for a long time! However, better options exist today…

Calculated Table – 6.5 Creedmoor – 123gr Lapua Scenar @ 29295fps
Range Drop Drop Windage Windage Velocity Mach Energy Time Lead Lead
(yd) (in) (mil) (in) (mil) (ft/s) (none) (ft•lbs) (s) (in) (mil)
0 -1.5 *** 0.0 *** 2931.1 2.625 2346.0 0.000 0.0 ***
100 -0.0 -0.0 0.6 0.2 2750.5 2.464 2065.9 0.106 18.6 5.2
200 -3.1 -0.4 2.6 0.4 2575.7 2.307 1811.6 0.218 38.4 5.3
300 -11.4 -1.1 6.0 0.6 2407.1 2.156 1582.2 0.339 59.6 5.5
400 -25.8 -1.8 11.0 0.8 2245.0 2.011 1376.3 0.468 82.4 5.7
500 -47.1 -2.6 17.8 1.0 2089.5 1.872 1192.3 0.606 106.7 5.9
600 -76.3 -3.5 26.6 1.2 1940.3 1.738 1028.1 0.755 133.0 6.2
700 -114.8 -4.6 37.6 1.5 1796.6 1.609 881.4 0.916 161.2 6.4
800 -164.1 -5.7 51.2 1.8 1657.8 1.485 750.5 1.090 191.8 6.7
900 -226.1 -7.0 67.5 2.1 1523.8 1.365 634.0 1.279 225.1 6.9
1000 -303.1 -8.4 87.2 2.4 1394.7 1.249 531.2 1.485 261.3 7.3

The 6.5 Creedmoor is obviously a higher performing cartridge. At 1000yds, it’s over 100 inches flatter and 30+ less wind drift!

Calculated Table – 6×47 Lapua – Berger 105gr Hybrid @ 3100fps
Range Drop Drop Windage Windage Velocity Mach Energy Time Lead Lead
(yd) (in) (mil) (in) (mil) (ft/s) (none) (ft•lbs) (s) (in) (mil)
0 -1.5 *** 0.0 *** 3105.9 2.782 2248.7 0.000 0.0 ***
100 -0.0 -0.0 0.5 0.1 2930.3 2.625 2001.6 0.099 17.5 4.9
200 -2.6 -0.4 2.2 0.3 2759.3 2.472 1774.9 0.205 36.1 5.0
300 -9.7 -0.9 5.1 0.5 2593.5 2.323 1568.0 0.317 55.8 5.2
400 -22.0 -1.5 9.4 0.7 2433.3 2.179 1380.2 0.437 76.8 5.3
500 -40.2 -2.2 15.2 0.8 2278.7 2.041 1210.4 0.564 99.2 5.5
600 -65.0 -3.0 22.6 1.0 2130.2 1.908 1057.8 0.700 123.2 5.7
700 -97.6 -3.9 31.8 1.3 1987.4 1.780 920.7 0.846 148.9 5.9
800 -139.0 -4.8 43.0 1.5 1849.7 1.657 797.5 1.002 176.4 6.1
900 -190.5 -5.9 56.5 1.7 1716.6 1.538 686.9 1.171 206.1 6.4
1000 -253.9 -7.1 72.6 2.0 1587.7 1.422 587.6 1.353 238.0 6.6

The 6×47 Lapua is higher horsepower still, shaving around 50 more inches off the drop, and another 15+ off drift at 1000 yards. Keep in mind, that’s at the outer edge of the performance envelope. I think the 700 yard performance is more relevant. While the differences are smaller, they’re still significant!

Wrapping Up

The 6×47 Lapua is an awesome caliber! The Berger Hybrid bullets are not seating depth sensitive and have a high ballistic coefficient in comparison to offerings from other bullet manufacturers. Velocities in excess of 3000fps or even 3100fps are common with this caliber and that makes for a very flat shooting cartridge. A flatter trajectory increases your odds of a hit, on an unknown distance target, due to the shallow trajectory that doesn’t dive in at the target at a high angle. The smaller .243 caliber bullets produce less recoil making it easier to spot the effects of your shots, even when in compromised shooting positions and under stress!

Hog Saddle2

My 6×47 Lapua match gun, this thing is an absolute hammer!

Additionally, the 6×47 Lapua tends to have a longer usable barrel life than a 243 Winchester. I’ve seen many people reporting between 1800-2000+ rounds before the barrel performance starts to taper off! I can’t speak to that yet as I’ve not put a full 2000 rounds through my barrel, however, I expect to be nearing or exceeding that number before the end of next season! At which point I’ll have a better feel for the life of the barrel under a high performance set of demands. I have seen only about 0.002″ of throat erosion in over 600 rounds. I may seat the bullets slightly longer (chasing the lands!) when that number gets to be around 0.005″ to keep the bullets jumping the same distance and to retain the awesome accuracy of this hand load! If you have questions or comments, I’d love to hear them below!

Owner and Proprietor of AccuracyTech, LLC. Rich is a Firearms Enthusiast, Precision Rifle Competitor, and Writer. He is committed to bringing readers quality reviews and articles related to the Precision Shooting Sports. If you have any questions for him, please use the contact form on the site.

Comments

    1. Author

      That’s a great point, no matter how thorough I think I’ve been with an article I seem to forget to mention something every time!

      The shorter length of the 6×47 Lapua cartridge definitely makes for smoother feeding! I wish Magpul would release those ten rounders!

  1. I have the 6.5 x 47 Lapua custom with a brake and its fast becoming my favorite and with this article maybe ??? I do have a lot of Varmint grade guns 243’s, 6MM-06 AI, 6MMPPC,244Rem, . Give me something to think about this winter !!

    1. Author

      Hand loading and all that is achievable through it make for excellent Winter downtime activities!

      I thought about building up a 6.5×47 Lapua for my Wife. I may still…

      Thinking about the Ruger Precision Rifle as a platform for her. We will see what the New Year brings!

  2. I am reloading for the 6 x 47 Lapua using Berger 105 gn hybrids. I weighed each bullet and they range from 104.94 to 105.15 with the majority between 105.00 to 105.09 will this variance cause an accuracy problem?

    1. Author

      I’m going to go ahead and say no, if you’re after Benchrest level accuracy, you might consider sorting by weight. For tactical rifle, I can’t see it mattering. Never weighed my Bergers and that rifle is stupid accurate anyway.

  3. How many rounds down the tube do you have now? And how is accuracy? Just changed to 6.5 creedmoor from this caliber for my match gun and had about 1650 rounds through it before I changed, was still getting just under or at 1/2 moa consistently but I was running mine kinda hot too.

    1. Author

      I believe there’s between 600-700 through the barrel so far, it’s still a hammer. 1650 isn’t bad, especially if you’re running it hard. I’d be ok with 1600+ if it makes it that long.

      I’ve got around a hundred rounds loaded for some practice next time I can get out to the range. The weather isn’t super consistent this time of year and I’ve been dealing with a medical issue for a couple weeks.

      Was your velocity pretty stable all the way to 1650 or were you chasing the lands prior?

      1. Didn’t chase the lands at all, it would only shoot berger 105 VLD’S with .020 jam and was shooting great without changing the seating depth up until I pulled it off. I could have fooled around with it a bit probably but when your at a match and have to pull an un shot cartridge out and the bullet pulls out of the case and powder goes everywhere….. that’s not cool lol. velocity was great the whole time, I was getting 5 fps deviation between shots even when it got pulled off so not bad. Honestly probably could have got around 2100 or so rounds out of it if I wanted but could have the whole bullet pulling going on lol.

        1. Author

          Gotcha. I’m still waiting to see how long this barrel lasts. It’s shooting 1/4 MOA groups with Berger 105 Hybrids, and they’re moving around 3125. That’s bad ass performance, if it held out till 1600-1800 rounds I’d be happy and I’d do it all over again. 2000+ rounds would be almost too good to be true!

  4. Do you guys anneal and then bump back the shoulders with a body die? Seems to go long way to sorting out neck tension

    1. Author

      I don’t have my own annealer but have sent brass off for annealing before. I’m still watching to see how this turns out as the round count climbs over time.

  5. I always kept my dies the same, even after I anealed my brass I didn’t change my dies and never had any issues with neck tention or accuracy.

    1. Author

      I think he’s talking about something I noticed after necking the brass down initially, Ray.

    1. Author

      I have heard good things about the Forster, I’m using the Redding, either should work fine!

      1. What press do you suggest? I want a single stage just for necking down! Thank you any info is much appreciated!

  6. My Lee challenger press has served me well for 5 years now and still going strong. Don’t be fooled by its low cost! Great bang for your buck.

  7. Rich, I’ve never had a problem turning 6.5×47 brass into 6x47with my redding bushing die.brand new brass is the best to use for the process, but as long as used brass is properly annealed your good to go

    1. Author

      I thought the same till I had four from the same 100 collapse on me, used to use a bushing die myself. At a buck each, I switched to a FL body die

      1. Thank you so much, I have one last question, what primer, powder, brass and bullet do you recommend for 1/4 minute! I recently bought my rifle and just learning to reload for it! Any info is truly appreciated!

        1. Author

          I think 1/4 minute has more to do with the barrel than the components. I recommend Berger hybrid bullets and Hodgdon Extreme powders. Brass and primer, not sure how critical that is.

          Ray’s suggestions are very good!

      2. Use a 6x47L body die first (which roughly sizes the 6.5L brass neck down to about 1/2 way to 6mm) then you can easily use a bushing die with no fear of collapsing the shoulder.

    1. The whole barrel is a 26″ bartlien remington varmint contour with 5 r rifling and 1-8 twist

  8. 105 berger hybrids, or 115 DTAC’S would work very well. I shoot the 105 berger hunting vld’s out of mine and get 1/4″ moa or better as long as I do my part lol. Hodgdon H4350 works very well for powder, and federal gold medal match primers.

  9. What is the max case length and Case trim length do you use? Also what is the C.O.L I should go by?

    1. Author

      It’s a wildcat so everybody has their own approach. Since the only difference between the 6x47L and 6.5x47L is neck diameter, I use the specs from 6.5x47L. Trim at 1.840 and max COAL is 2.800.

      Some newer reloading manuals have specs for 6x47L, I know the Berger manual does.

  10. You mentioned the criterion barrel in your article. What’s your opinion on these barrels? I’m planning a barrel swap and wS considering one for my 700.

  11. Hello. Who made your 6x47L reamer? Neck diameter and freebore for the 105gr bullets? Thank you, Larry

  12. I am considering a 6×47, but really want to shoot the SMK110 due to their BC of .615. I know Sierra recommends a 1:7 twist. I was wondering if you have loaded any of these new bullets and what your thoughts/velocities you have gotten. My second question is are you happy with the 26inch barrel our would you change it now? I just found your website and love it. Thanks Nick

    1. Author

      I’ve been using 115gr DTACs lately, Nick, they work great so I think 110s would be no issue. Getting 3000fps no problem. I’ll definitely be sticking with the 26″ barrel moving forward!

  13. Been researching the 6×47 Lapua for quite awhile now and was pleased to find this site! Excellent information on here. Up to this point, I was thinking 24″ barrel, but now I’m unsure. I’m assuming the case efficiency is top notch so I’m wondering g if I’d even lose 20fps/inch… I am planning to run the Berger 105gr Hybrids in my build. Thanks again, for the great information!

    1. Author

      You’re welcome, Wil! Plenty of guys running short barreled 6×47 Lapua rifles, just have to consider how much velocity you want and how important it is to you!

  14. Would there be any benefit’s to using this Brass over 7mm-08 in a 7mm application? I’m really wanting to use this brass in a AR15 Seating the Bullets far down the Case mouth, how far can you go?

    1. Author

      It’s not going to feed from an AR15 magazine. As far as necking up and making a 7×47 Lapua I believe somebody has done that already. Try Googling 7×47 Lapua.

      1. I have 7 x 47lapua and its incredible will out shoot the 6mm and the 6.5 lapua iam still working on the 30 x 47 lapua but looking good so far.

        David

          1. Hi Rich,

            I am using 130 , 140 , 150 168 sierra BT no idea on muzzle velocity as I shoot for accuracy on a specific powder type.

          2. Author

            I’ll have to look at what some typical velocities are that people are achieving with the 7mm08 and run some ballistics. Might make a good article, though. I’ll add it to the list!

          3. If can borrow a chrony from the range I can check and let you know the only thing you might want to know that its a 1:10 Twist maddco barrel and 26 in long using the original heavy barrel Howa profile bedded and floated in a Boyds thumbhole stock. I would post some photos of groups and other info if I could , I cant see an option for that here :(.

  15. Do you need to use a small firing pin bolt for it / can you use a large firing pin bolt?

    1. Author

      I sent my bolt to Gre-Tan and had it bushed and a small firing pin installed. I’ve seen many people say they use a large pin without issues but seeing as how I was already having a bunch of work done this was relatively inexpensive and quick to have done.

    2. never worried about firing pin in all my 47 lapua calibres, They were built on a Howa 1500 308 bolt and action , never had and issue wither I be lapua 6.5 cases ( small primmer ) or standard resized down 243 cases ( large primmer ) variation on accuracy is negligible .

  16. hey guys. any recommendations on running IMR 4895 ??

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