Blaser Chambers R8 Rifle in 6mm XC

Blaser just announced that they are chambering their fantastic R8 hunting rifle in the equally fantastic 6mm XC cartridge. Wonder Twin powers, activate!

If you haven’t heard of 6mm XC, don’t feel bad, you probably aren’t an NRA High Power competitor. 6mm XC uses a variety of very long, very high ballistic coefficient 6mm HPBT pills all weighing from 95 to 120 grains. Velocity is just over or just under 3,000 feet per second, depending on bullet weight. The combination stays supersonic well past 1,000 yards, features incredible accuracy, and has currently won several 1,000 yard NRA National Championships. The biggest downside to the 6mm XC is that it is hard on barrels; after only a couple thousand rounds, throat erosion will rear its ugly head.


The R8 is one of the premier hunting rifles in the world. It is a straight-pull type bolt action that can safely handle stupid-big dangerous game cartridges like .458 Lott and .500 Jeffery, so the 6mm XC is no big deal to its beefy action. The locking system is an ingenious, super strong 13-segment collet design, and the gun may be chambered without cocking it, if you chamber it with the safety on. Pushing the safety to the “off” position then cocks the R8. The cold hammer forged barrel is a big part of the rifle’s excellent inherent accuracy, and the detachable box magazine has two catches holding it in place (fairly or not, many hunters fear a DBM falling out of the gun at the worst possible time). The R8 starts at around $3,000 with a synthetic stock, but most Blaser customers are high rollers who will spring extra cash for top shelf walnut furniture and beautiful engraving that can easily double that base price.

R8 Luxus

So now one of the best hunting rifles in the world is chambered in one of the best long range cartridges in the world. What could be a better match?


  • noob

    the energy is lower than .338 lapua at the muzzle, but what is it like at range?

    what kind of game is this suitable for? and could a tactical rifle for this round be in the works?

    also the relative shortness of the case could raise interesting possibilities for a fully automatic carbine in this caliber that could double as a DMR but with a swappable upper or barrel. When the old one gets hot or eroded, simply quick change it out for a fraction of the time for bedding a new barrel.

    • G

      “but what is it like at range?”
      Much lower energy. It uses .243″ bullets which are lighter and have lower BC than 250+ gr .338″ bullets.

      “what kind of game is this suitable for?”
      I just bought a 6XC barrel for my Blaser R8. It plan to use the barrel for European roe deer, foxes and wood grouse.

      “could a tactical rifle for this round be in the works?”
      It is used in tactical competitions. 4 out of the 7 best competitors in the Precision Rifle Series Finale used rifles chambered in 6XC:

      “fully automatic carbine in this caliber”
      It is probably not suitable for automatic weapons because of the shoulder angle and body taper of the case.

      • Esh325

        Yeah, definetely not a suitable auto loader cartridge.

      • Raven

        Wouldn’t a 6.5mm at 3000fps turn grouse and foxes inside out?

        • G

          Well, yes.
          But I don’t plan to eat foxes. If I shoot grouses at longer distances, with FMJ or hard OTM bullets, the meat damage will be acceptable.

        • t-dahlgren

          Hitting a grouse with any big game round is all about shot placement – neck up or walk away. There are steel chamber inserts available for many .30 caliber actions that will allow you to single shot a .32 acp round. That’s what I’ve always used.

  • Frosty_The_White_Man

    My heart says yet but my wallet says no.

  • mikee

    Barrel and case life of the 6XC is better than the .243 Winchester. Having fired thousands of rounds of 6XC and .243 in competition over the past ten years has supported this observation. The downside of the 6XC at the moment is that only Norma makes cases and ammunition for the 6XC which is primarily intended as a competiton cartridge. It can be made from .22-250 cases by mechanical case and then fire forming which can be a bit involved and may not be everyone’s idea of fun. However, it is superbly accurate and will handle all 6 mm projectiles adequately and when compared to the .243 Winchester it will for all practical purposes perform the same.