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.
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?