FIRST LOOK: The 6.5x47mm Lapua

By Chuck Hawks

6.5x47 Lapua
Illustration courtesy of Lapua.

Lapua of Finland in conjunction with rifle manufacturer Swiss Grünig & Elmiger AG developed this new bench rest cartridge in 2006 for serious long-range target shooting. Here are some salient facts about the cartridge courtesy of Lapua:

  • The cartridge chamber dimensions are optimized for target bullets
  • High pressure level (4,350 bar / 63,090 psi) and optimized powder capacity enables high velocity and flat trajectory
  • Low wind drift makes the shot especially accurate
  • Reduced barrel wear compared to eg. 6 mm BR Norma
  • The 6.5x47 Lapua has base diameter and overall length similar to the .308 Win., allowing it to accept the same bolt heads and fit into similar actions and magazines
  • CIP approval process ongoing

The 6.5x47 case is 1.845" long with a .470" rim diameter, a .451" shoulder diameter, a .295" neck length, and a 30 degree shoulder. (These are preliminary dimensions, as at the time of this writing the cartridge has not completed CIP standardization.) It uses small rifle primers and .264" diameter (standard 6.5mm) bullets.

Lapua quotes a muzzle velocity (MV) of 3084 fps with a 108 grain Lapua Scenar bullet, 2887 fps MV with a 123 grain Scenar, and 2690 fps with a 139 grain Scenar. These are, of course, target loads using target bullets. The primary advantage of the 6.5x47 for long range target shooters would be that it offers less wind drift than the 6mm BR and .308 Winchester for 600 and 1000 yard matches.

Note: There is an article about the 6.5x47 Lapua on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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Copyright 2007, 2013 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.