Originally posted on our sister site Ultimate Reloader.
After competing in a few PRS matches, I decided it was time to take my “rifle game” to the next level. I wanted something that would perform great at up to 1000 yards, have minimal recoil, and sport top quality components and parts. This article tells the story of building just such a rifle: my “Dream PRS rig”. If you haven’t already read it, my overview of the Bat Machine TR Action is more or less a backgrounder that sets the stage for what I’ll talk about here.
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Why 6 Dasher?
Like a lot of people, I’m attracted to the 6mm caliber for PRS type shooting. 6.5 Creedmoor and similar are great, but the recoil can prevent you from seeing your trace (and misses), and it can be difficult to get back on target between shots. Cartridges like 6mm Creedmoor and 6×47 Lapua offer much of the ballistic performance compared with 6.5mm cartridges, but with much less recoil. 6mm Creedmoor in particular is very popular, but barrel life is not so good (can be as little as 800 rounds) and recoil could be improved. That’s where 6 Dasher comes in. 6 Dasher is in the same category of ballistic performance compared to 6mm Creedmoor, but with less recoil and much better barrel life. 6mm Creedmoor can certainly attain higher velocities, but for some situations recoil is a much more important consideration (like shooting off a barricade).
The Game Got Better: Alpha Munitions 6 Dasher Brass
With few exceptions, 6 Dasher has been a “form it yourself” brass proposition, with some outfits offering hydroformed brass. Norma had offered 6 Dasher brass for a period, but they no longer offer that SKU. Then Alpha Munitions stepped up to the plate and started offering 6 Dasher Brass, and by all accounts I’ve heard- it’s AWESOME. And that’s all the more reason for me to try 6 Dasher!
You can check out Alpha 6 Dasher brass here:
Bat TR Action
Bat Machine is well known in Benchrest circles and for good reason: they make top-quality gear. So for this build, I thought their TR action (Tactical Repeater) would be perfect! Here’s my overview video for the TR action:
Here’s the quick facts for the BAT TR:
- Remington 700 footprint semi-clone
- 2-lug 90° throw
- Short action only
- 1 1/16” x 18 TPI tenon/receiver threading
- Compatible with most Remington 700 stocks and accessories
- 8.08” long and 1.35 inches in diameter, 33.4 oz in weight
- Optimal for use with 1.200” and larger barrel shanks
More info HERE.
Parts and Pieces for This Build
Bat TR Action, Benchmark Cut Rifled Barrel Blank
- 27″ finished length blank (29″ long blank, I finished at 26″ for suppressor friendliness)
- M24 profile
- 4 groove
- Cut rifled
- 416R Stainless
I also used a Benchmark Tactical brake for this build!
Manners Stock, Area 419 Rail
I chose Manners for this stock because of the great things I’ve heard about them from a number of people in the industry. Here’s the specs on the stock:
- Model: Manners MCS T2A-GAP (See “Tactical Stocks” at Manners website for full list of related stocks)
- Carbon fiber construction with aluminum mini-chassis
- Adjustable height cheek piece
- Precision inletting (this one specific for BAT TR)
- Dual removable swivel studs on forend
- AICS pattern bottom metal with finger actuated magazine catch
Area 419 has a mounting technology called “ARCALOCK”. The idea is to have the flexibility of the ARCA rail system, but without the slippage you’ll sometimes encounter with traditional ARCA rails and accessories. When used with Area 419 ARCALOCK accessories, you can quickly adjust position without any possibility of slippage/movement.
I decided on the Area 419 weight tunable ARCALOCK rail setup for this rifle so that I can experiment with different weight configurations for best stability and balance. As you can see from this Area 419 picture, there are removable weights that are easily added/removed from the bottom side of the rail:
Once I get the rifle setup and get a feel for it, I’ll experiment with weight settings as needed.
TriggerTech Diamond Trigger
With the Diamond, I feel confident running very low pull weights without the fear of slam fires or other issues. It also “just works” for me when I’m shooting. And that’s why a lot of competitors use the TriggerTech Diamond! I also love how easy these triggers are to install, especially with a trigger hanger like the Kelbly’s Atlas Tactical (my 300 PRC) and the Bat TR have.
MDT 6 BR/Dasher Magazines
I’ve gone the “DIY” route with magazines with some good success, but this time I wanted to try a specialty factory magazine: and MDT has just that for 6 BR and 6 Dasher (see product page HERE).
From the MDT product page:
MDT AICS-pattern metal magazines are manufactured from high strength steel, nitrided, and finished inside and outside with Cerakote Elite for ultimate durability, corrosion resistance, and friction reduction.
12-Round Magazines for 6mm:
- 3.055” Outside Length
- 2.505” max cartridge overall length (COAL) with binder plate and spacer
- 4.61” Rear Height
Planning the Build
Prior to talking on the build, I consulted the following resources:
- Bat TR tenon specification print
- Gordy Gritters and Fred Zeglin “Chambering Rifles for Accuracy” book (highly recommend) – great info on chambering a rifle
- 6 Dasher cartridge diagram from AccurateShooter.com / 6mmbr.com
- 6 Dasher standard geometry reamer print from Dave Manson Precision Reamers
- Remington 700 “Build sheet” from Gordy Gritters’ Precision Rifle Building class
Since 6 Dasher is not a SAAMI certified cartridge, you have to do a bit more homework and research to make sure everything will come together as you want it to!
Here’s the reamer print for the reamer used during this rifle build: (click/tap to enlarge)
6 Dasher Reamer and Gauges
For this build, I used the following tools from Dave Manson Precision Reamers:
- Piloted 6 Dasher reamer (bushing type, standard Manson geometry)
- 6 Dasher Go Gauge
- 6 Dasher No Go Gauge
These tools worked GREAT.
For this build, I’m using a Precision Matthews PM-1440GT. I believe this is the best gunsmithing lathe you can by new in the USA (Taiwanese made, not chinese, 2″ through-spindle capacity, Japanese high-precision spindle bearings, etc):
Also, I’ll be using the custom outboard spider that I built- you’ll want to check out that story!
Barrel Work: Tenon, Chamber, Muzzle
For the breech end of the barrel, I performed the following: (see video for full details)
- Cut 1″ off barrel blank (breech end)
- Mount in lathe, rough align, face, pre-drill chamber
- Align barrel to +/- 0.0001″ in and around throat area
- Turn down tenon, machine step and thread relief
- Thread tenon 1 1/16 X 18 TPI
- Cut counterbore
- Chamber barrel
Here’s how things turned out:
Gavin’s Standard Muzzle Threading
I decided on a 26″ length for the barrel, and parted off the muzzle end of the blank accordingly. Following that, I performed my “standard” 5/8×24 muzzle threading job.
Threading the Muzzle
From my Remington 700 224 Valkyrie Build (same exact process)
The muzzle threading operation was also nearly identical to the process of cutting and threading the breech-end tenon.
The steps were:
- Measure the Ruger Precision Rifle threaded muzzle key dimensions (this is a copy of what Ruger does for the RPR)
- Turn the tenon down, 0.020″ longer than needed
- Cut the thread relief
- Clean up the shoulder
- Cut the “step” on the muzzle end
- Thread the muzzle
- Face the muzzle end to length
- Cut the recessed crown
- Polish the end of the muzzle and crown with fine sandpaper
Here’s the muzzle end after profiling, but before cutting the step, and threading:
And checking the thread pitch (24 TPI) before threading:
Here’s the finished 6 Dasher threaded muzzle:
Putting Things Together
Using the special internal action wrench, I torqued the Bat TR Action to the barrel to a torque value of 95 foot pounds. I used my Brownells Barrel Vice with 1.200″ bushings to get things done. The barreled action headspaced just how I wanted it: just a touch (0.005″ or so) on the tight side, with plenty of headspace tolerance for the factory Alpha Munitions 6 Dasher brass (approx 0.002″ headspace tolerance). Since I won’t be running any ammo I don’t load myself, this is the ideal scenario.
The barreled action, stock, trigger, and rail all went together smoothly. I did fashion a couple custom-length action screws (cut down on lathe) for this particular combination of parts, and that’s something I’ve grown accustomed to when I build custom rifles (I have a large assortment of 1/4″ 28 TPI screws for that purpose).
The Finished Product
I stole a couple things from other rifles: my Leupold Mark 5 HD scope, and my Warne Skyline bipod (have used on my 300 PRC full custom). The completed rifle is AWESOME. I can’t wait to shoot this rifle (more on that in future stories).