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Nick Weidhaas

Custom Surgeon 6XC w/NF ATACR / PRS Rig Experience

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Hi Everyone,   We don’t get a lot of postings in this sub-forum.   I thought I would give a quick review of my precision rifle rig and how I got here.   I got the long range bug bad two years ago and have basically only been shooting percision rifle with a little USPSA.    I’m running a Surgeon action, HawkHill barrel, MPA comp chassis and a Nightforce ATACR 5-25x56, Mrad, Mil-C reticle.   Caliber is 6XC pushing the 110gr SMK w/H4350.  My Smith is Hunter Phillips of HP Precision in TX.   Hunter is a newer and up-and-coming rifle Smith, who is a Robert Gradous protégé.     I can’t say enough about Hunter’s and Robert’s work.   I highly recommend them if you’re going to have a custom rifle built.   My rifle is an absolute hammer. 

 

My original rifle, a GA Precision built 6mm Creedmore was toast in 850 rounds.   I smoked the barrel in 850 rounds running the 105 Beger Hybrids at 3050 ft./s.   I decided to go to 6.5 caliber for bbl life, but didn’t like the recoil off of barricades and other shooting platforms.  You have to be able to see your impacts in this game, if you don’t, you’ll have no idea how to make corrections. That said, a 6 mm is preferred  in my opinion.   Many are successful with 6.5, but I find the 6 mm much easier to shoot.    My 6.5 experiment was short-lived and I talk to Robert Gradous about other 6mm’s that would give me better barrel life and he suggested the 6XC.   He suggested running a 110-115 grain bullet (which both have great BC) at a slightly slower velocity. My current load with the Sierra is only going 2930  ft./s.   I’m 7.4 mils at 1000.    I’ve taken her out to 1200 yards and I feel I lose nothing with this caliber.    I’m hoping for 1500 to 2000 rounds of barrel life with this combo, which should be realistic given the research.  

 

The MPA chassis is awesome. I really like the features of this chassis, especially the barricade stop which is very nice for shooting barricade stages, which you will see in almost every match.    I also like the ability to move my bipod forward back on the bottom of the chassis. This is important if the bipod of the loud but the prop your shooting off of is small.   There are many great chassis and stocks out there, so just pick one that is comfortable for you. I really love the J Allen chassis, but just can’t justify $1800 for a stock. 

 

I was running for Vortex optics, but after three of us all had problems with our AMG’s (All had to go back to vortex for  repair), I decided to give NF a whirl.  I loved the AMG and their reticle, especially the .2 wind holds.  I decided to give the new NF Mil-C reticle a try.  I shot one major match with this optic.  Loved the reticle and optic.   I feel the only downside to this reticle is the lack of wind holds off the lower vertical stadia.   This is really helpful when doing holdover stages where you also have to hold for wind. Other than that I love the optic.  

 

 For those considering getting into precision rifle, I suggest that you go into it with an open mind and check your ego at the door. Even if you’re a great pistol or three gun shooter, precision rifle is a whole other world. I got my ass handed to me in my first two major matches. I took what I learned in our local monthly PRS matches and in my first two majors and applied that to my third major.  This helped me improve by over 30 places.    I still have a long way to go, but if you’re willing to learn from your mistakes you can be successful in this game. I find it very challenging and I’m absolutely hooked on the sport. 

 

 I will also say that you do not have to go out and buy all top tier gear to get into the sport.   I’ve always wanted the best equipment, so I like buying great gear. That said s Ruger Precision rifle, a Savage, or a Bergara with a Vortex PST Gen 2 or a Bushnell optic is a great place to start and you can be very competitive. One of my good shooting friends kicks our asses with a Ruger Percision rifle (although highly modified) on a regular basis.  To a large degree it’s the Indian not the arrow, but you do need a certain level of precision from your rifle/optic combination. 

 

 As far as how to shoot stages, ask questions and just jump in with both feet. Shooters are very helpful and you’ll learn a lot after even one match. One piece of advice is to put all the points in the bank on the closer target.  Learn and practice shooting off of barricades and various props. Efficiently settting up on these props and learning how to build a stable position quickly is the key.   The pros look at the total points for a match and intend I shooting/hitting every target.  Match winners are generally only down 10 or less points over a 15 or 20 stage match. The last thing I’ll suggest is shooting in the wind. Elevation corrections are easy and not hard to determine once you spend some time behind the rifle and confirm all your dope.  Learning to shoot in the wind and making a good first wind call is a hard skill to learn.   This is why it’s so important to be able to see your first round impact should you make a bad wind call.   

 

 Hope this helps and I hope everybody had a nice Thanksgiving. 

Nick-

PS- I’ve gotten out of 3gun and have a TSS shotgun and a JP upper available if anybody’s interested. They are posted in classifide section.

 

50EBA886-D4EA-40BC-A4AE-1D4395439ECD.jpeg

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Great post, I've had the long range bug chewing on me for a while but I've managed to keep it at the hobbyist level so I can continue devoting my practice/funds to 3 gun. I'm pretty sure if I started shooting long range matches I'd get sucked in and forget about 3 gun.

 

A couple guys I know are running the 6XC with the 110 smk's in PRS and absolutely love it. I think they were getting somewhere around 2000 rounds at about 3000 fps out of Rock Creek barrels iirc. Apparently they run left twist rifling so that when shooting in crappy unsupported positions using the free recoil method the rifle actually torques into the shoulder pocket rather than away from them.  Pretty fascinating stuff. How do you like the Area 419 brake?

Edited by TonytheTiger

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i really like running around more (uspsa and 3 gun) but PRS is also fun and certainly challenging.  

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13 hours ago, TonytheTiger said:

Great post, I've had the long range bug chewing on me for a while but I've managed to keep it at the hobbyist level so I can continue devoting my practice/funds to 3 gun. I'm pretty sure if I started shooting long range matches I'd get sucked in and forget about 3 gun.

 

A couple guys I know are running the 6XC with the 110 smk's in PRS and absolutely love it. I think they were getting somewhere around 2000 rounds at about 3000 fps out of Rock Creek barrels iirc. Apparently they run left twist rifling so that when shooting in crappy unsupported positions using the free recoil method the rifle actually torques into the shoulder pocket rather than away from them.  Pretty fascinating stuff. How do you like the Area 419 brake?

 

Love the Area 419 Brake.   It’s sweet. Very effective. 

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I’m opposite I guess haha coming from the long range side of things for 3 gun. Really looking to expand my shooting as reloading and shooting every weekend are hard to keep up with. f56e629705a05a658a3fbccd049227d1.jpg
It’s for sale ^^


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The 6XC is this years PRS cartridge for sure.  Everyone at the 2016 Finale was talking about how they were going over to it.  I actually ran a Ruger Precision Rifle in a .243win with a Vortex PST FFP 6-24x on it.  

 

Hey have you tried Hybrid 100V over the H4350?   I was able to get another 100fps pushing my 105gr Hybrids, better groups too.

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Thanks for sharing!  PRS has me intrigued.  Looking casually for an entry level setup as an excuse to get into another activity and grow my circle of shooting buddies.  

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Thanks for the info. That's one sweet rifle by the way. I got the PRS bug last year and went the cheap route to see if I liked it before spending huge dollars. Built up a long range type upper for one of my AR platforms and developed some loads with the Hornady 75gr. bullets. Used a few things off my NRA High Power AR I had sitting in the safe for years and went with one of the Bushnell AR optics. I learned a couple things. 1) As you stated, you can be fairly competitive with lower cost equipment. 2) It isn't easy and can be very humbling, I did pretty well one match and got my ass handed to me at a couple more. 3) It's addicting!! 4) For me it was hard to invest serious time and effort into it without giving up something else as I still like shooting 3-gun, USPSA and Steel matches. If I start loosing interest in one of the other events then I'll probably start building a bolt gun.

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