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Case Study: the 6,5×47 Lapua

We begin a new blog post series: The Case Studies! These posts will feature our well-known cartridge cases and the background behind them. The first case to be featured is the 6,5×47 Lapua.

The 6,5×47 Lapua is still a relatively new caliber on the market. Lapua introduced its second title caliber in early 2006 and reached its C.I.P. approval in May of the same year. The idea for the caliber was to make a design that can meet the 6 mm BR dominance in 300 m shooting, but also gain a foothold in other sport shooting and precision-demanding hunting.

The 6.5 mm bullet diameter was chosen for many different reasons, which at the time generally gained popularity all over the world. The diameter of the base as well as the loading length were copied from the .308 Winchester caliber, as it was thought that the existing armament would serve the newcomer practically by simply changing the barrel.

Lapua ran an extensive test program between Large Rifle and Small Rifle primer pockets and eventually ended up choosing the SR primer pocket for the new title caliber. This solution was the first of its kind in history when it comes to this cartridge class and performance level.

Even though the size of the brass is modest, the cartridge was intended to become a top performer, both in terms of muzzle velocity and hit. A 4,350 bar maximum pressure was recorded in the CIP, which is 550 bar more than for a 6,5×55 SE cartridge. The great hit potential of the caliber was achieved through smart and modern cartridge design, utilizing ideas from existing high-performance cartridges.

6,5x47 Lapua brass case

Despite its small case size and limited powder volume, the 6.5×47 Lapua case also serves as an excellent platform for today’s long and heavy high BC bullets.

The 6,5×47 Lapua represents an average cartridge size and is very proportional to the .260 Rem and 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges. In terms of its muzzle velocities, the caliber ranks between the two calibers, but it has a better accuracy potential than the other two. Even with relatively moderate charges, a 8.0 g / 123 gr bullet can reach a muzzle velocity of up to 900 m/s / 2,953 fps.

At the starting point of the design, i.e. in 300 m shooting, this round has achieved a full 600 points several times, so the caliber accuracy can also be compared to a 6 mm BR cartridge.

In competitive shooting, the 6,5×47 Lapua has achieved success in 600 m competitions, PRS and silhouette shooting, as well as in long-range sniping competitions. The caliber has indeed achieved a reputation as a very universal match round. It can be utilized at short distances, beat records at medium distances, and be a thorn in the side of larger traditional sniper calibers at long distances and ELR.

The 6.5mm bullet range is huge, to say the least. There is definitely something suitable for everyone and everything in this caliber. Very comprehensive and extensive reloading data is available by Vihtavuori and Hodgdon, among others.

Based on all the above mentioned advantages and being easy and comfortable to shoot, we recommend the caliber for those who are serious about sport shooting, regardless the discipline. We also don’t want to forget hunters who have the skill to shoot a hunting projectile where they want it, take down the game effectively, and save themselves valuable game meat. Whether you’re hunting hoofed game or tree-top birds requiring utmost precision, this is the cartridge for you.

In addition to the world’s highest quality cartridge case, Lapua offers 5 different factory-loaded cartridges for different uses:

We also offer a dozen 6.5 mm bullet options for home reloaders to choose from to make your perfect 6.5×47 Lapua.