Happy 6.5 Day

June 5, 2019. What a glorious time to be alive and it reminds us that while 2019 isn’t necessarily the year of the 6.5mm bore size it certainly appears to be the year where 6.5mm market penetration reached its maximum. I say that because you see new 6.5mm cartridge designs coming out and some are causing hearts to go all a-flutter in certain areas of the marketplace but by in large, people just aren’t cooing quite so loudly at the introduction of each new 6.5. That says that while the market isn’t tired of the .264 it’s seemingly reached about as far in as it’s going to get.

So what really started in a big way 128 years ago (there may have been other 6.5’s earlier but nothing which was to have as much or as durable of a commercial or military success) with the introduction of the 6.5x55mm Swedish and which kind of languished on the verge of popularity in America for decades has officially crossed the rubicon of market acceptance and placed the USA, finally, on an even keel with the rest of the world. 6.5mm bores are as common as chicken feathers on our ranges and in our game fields.

If you have a few minutes you might just check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6.5mm and see what people have known for 100 years which America has just recently woken up to.


Episode 4: A New Site

I got a little sick of the hackish grotesque version of my website that I put in place after I pulled back from trying to take BallisticXLR commercial. BallisticXLR/PRS/DLR are all free again and I didn’t need an expensive web presence just to give stuff away. At the same time I’ve brought out some exciting new products like our exclusive BallisticXLR Ultra Lite Shooting Bag Fill. We’ll be bringing a whole new line of ultra-light competition and hunting oriented shooting bags out soon too!

Meccastreisand’s best friends (circa 2005) singing him the songs of their peoples. Read from right to left it tells a story that should never have been told.

Tell us how you like the new site. Apart from having to scroll down on every page, do you dig on it?

Oh Beautiful For Mystery Gun, With Epic Waves of Engraving

My gunsmith is a serious expert with M1 Garand and M1 Carbine models. When someone gets a nifty or especially rare example they’ll often bring it to him for a little show and tell as well as to have him run up a build-sheet for the gun. His build-sheets tell you which generation of every part, manufacture years, and even some history on the individual rifles.

One day one of his customers came in with a really odd bird. The exact pedigree of the rifle was held back so my GS could do his research. We’ll let you peruse the pictures and make up your mind on what you think it is. At the end, we’ll spill the beans on exactly what kind of rifle it is. The answer might surprise you.

Have you figured out what it is yet? It has had actual experts confuzzled so don’t get down on yourself.
Now you think you’ve got it but you’re still doubting yourself.
Look closely and you’ll see this baby wasn’t a safe queen. Someone took it out and shot it judging by the patina on the pistol grip area.
A minimum amount of fine engraving that sends the message that, when pulled from its scabbard this rifle will elegantly and definitively settle disputes.
It’s the extremes that the gun maker did not go to that really make this example shine. You can take elegance too far and you can take it not far enough. Taking it just far enough so as to not sacrifice utility for beauty without holding back on the beauty is a tough balance to strike.

The Answer is (drum roll)….A U.S. Cal. .30 M1 Carbine.

A very little history: The owner of this fine rifle purchased it in Panama in the early 70’s. The seller was a field officer in the U.S. military and told the current owner that the custom work was done in Japan. It isn’t certain how the rifle got to Japan, but barrel numbers indicate it probably saw use/action in Viet Nam before being relocated to Japan and subsequently customized and engraved.

When you look it over you will see there was a tremendous amount of modifications and some wonderful engraving done on this rifle. Normally my gunsmith, being a specialist in M1’s, gets upset when at finding an M1 Carbine that has been changed from its original configuration but not in this case. Everyone agrees that this is a work of art and the sacrificing of a very nice example to create an absolute work of genuine ballistic art is forgivable.

Tell us below how you feel about someone chopping up an M1 Carbine to build this beauty. If you have a particularly special gun you’d like us to feature, send pics and some details to ballisticxlr@gmail.com. If we feature your rifle we’ll send you a free gift.

6XC IMR-4350 115gr DTAC Load Data

I had an issue with H4350 availability but had a ton of IMR-4350 on hand. I searched and searched fot 6XC load data with 105+gr bullets but found exactly nothing. So I looked at 6CM and 6x47L data and burn speed, bulk density and energy content and made an educated guess. My guess worked better than I’d hoped.

The load below was safe in my rifle. Your mileage may vary. Start at least 2 grains lower and work up.

Case: Norma LRP
Bullet: 115gr DTAC
Powder: IMR4350
COAL: 2.74
Primer: Federal 210
Charge: 39.5gr
MV: 3050 avg
Barrel: 25.5″ Columbia River Arms 3-land polygonal

I see the question asked constantly about IMR-4350 vs H4350. Nobody ever has the answer for IMR4350, they just say, “go get H4350.” but that’s both glib and unhelpful. With an identical load of H4350 I get 2980fps with similar SD’s and an identical POI. Group size with both powders was identical, 5 shots into half an inch, 10 shots into 3/4″ from a bench.

Yes, H4350 is more temp stable but sometimes you just have to run what you brung. I personally think IMR-4350 might be a better choice for those that shoot in relatively stable environmental conditions (so most of us). Velocity is higher without any more sign of pressure than H4350 (I’m sure there is a little more but not enough to say grace over).

If you can’t figure out how much of a particular powder to use, sometimes you just have to use your head and a little judgement about your head’s abilities to make good judgements and, when appropriate, give it a go. I know that will run afoul of the sensibilities of a lot of people but you have to understand that modern BOLT ACTION guns are so ridiculously strong that you’re unlikely to damage the gun itself with a small error in burn rate,  energy content or charge weight. Semi-automatic platforms are very different and you can damage them substantially with a lot less of an error. In modern bolt aaction rifles it’s when the errors in burn rate, energy density or charge weight get really big that things come unglued suddenly. The line between safe and actually dangerous for a bolt action rifle is a lot wider than most people think. The line between within the pressure limits of brass cases is much narrower but that’s mitigated by all the safety elements designed in to rifles like gas venting ports.

Now you have the information anyway. IMR-4350 is a great powder choice for 6XC and other fast 6mm’s like 6x47L and 6CM with bullets from mid-weight to heavy for caliber. Don’t let the me too’s on web forums cock block you from reaching your goal. If you like. IMR4350, it’ll work just fine. In a case with ~40gr powder capacity, you should come down 2 grains from your H4350 load and work up.

As always with my load data, this is information not advice. You are responsible for your actions and your safety. I provided data as an EXAMPLE of what can/will happen.  It’s not a prediction or your results and you should exercise reasonable amounts of caution.

Ok. I’m A Monster. I Admit It.

This is a delicious, crunchity, creamy, sweet, chocolate-y packet of amazeballs. You’ll just have to hate me for being right after you try it.

Take one of these:

Then pull it apart.

Then get some Tillamook medium cheddar cheese and commit a crime against humanity.

Be sure you have sufficient ratios of ingredients.

OMG this is so yummy. I originally did it in an attempt to ruin someone on Oreo cookies and/or cheddar cheese. Not only did it backfire in the most interesting way but said individual was more put off by a very tiny glitter bomb.

In the end I was left with a new confection and not much more.

Insert “cool starry bra” jpg’s and pictures of your horrendous feet in the comments below.

Version 10.5 Released!

Thanks to my good friend KVK and user TurboF for pointing out some embarrassing errors so I could fix them. That comes as a patched minor version update. Version 10.5 is a patch release with fixes for MV, Secondary Data and other very minor tweaks. This is not a significant update but you might as well upgrade anyway. It’s free, right! Click the link below to download.


BallisticXLR 10.5 Download