Tag Archives: Hornady

The 6mm GT in the Desert Tech SRS M2

A new cartridge every day

New cartridges are not so novel these days, it seems as though a new one comes out every few months. But how can devoted marksmen discern between a keeper, and something that is all hype? First thing, let’s be honest with ourselves, most everything is hyped up to some degree or another. As consumers we’ve learned to wade through the hype, and find where metal meets the meat. Much of new cartridge marketing these days is just rebranding an older idea with a new twist, see what I did there Westerner?
In this article I’d like to discuss a relatively new cartridge, and separate the sales pitch from the hard facts.

Enter the Tiger

It would be a disservice to discuss the GT without mentioning one of if not the most entrenched parodies of the shooting world today. When the GT was initially released, many were inquisitive as to its ancestry. The GT being its own genesis led many to question what the G and the T stood for, and the internet took over from there. In typical fashion with our community, several actors on social media dug deep into the shadows of their closet for a comical answer to the question. The Gay Tiger was born of an internet meme, and its same-sex partner. The novelty only increased when embraced by the entire community, and even head-stamped brass reading 6mm Gay Tiger was produced by Alpha Munitions. There is no doubt that the satirical gag helped drive notoriety of the GT, and it spread like fire.

The 6mm GT, or 6 GT as it is often called, was a collaborative effort between two gentlemen with legendary experience in the realm of precision rifle shooting. George Gardner of GA Precision and Tom Jacobs of Vapor Trail Bullets combined their collective knowledge to dream up the perfect cartridge for competitive rifle shooting.

The new round offers shooters some of the best attributes possible for precision shooting. Velocity is not always everything, but the 6mm GT provides ample speed for its size. Bullets of the typical 105- to 115-grain match weight easily attain 3,000 fps and more. These speeds are achieved with modest charges of Varget powder. Between 34 and 35 grains is all it takes due to the very efficient case design.

The 35-degree shoulder of the 6mm GT helps it feed flawlessly and without modification from most common magazine options like the AICS-pattern mags. The GT also uses a small primer pocket, which many believe creates a stronger, more rigid case head. This translates into durability and strength, allowing you to reload the cases with additional life expectancy. Loaded ammunition is available from Hornady and a few custom shops.


There are already so many great cartridges, including many 6mm/.243-caliber rounds, so why the GT? The 6mm Creedmoor and it’s smaller siblings like the 6mm Dasher, BR, and BRX offer all kinds of options to shooters. That’s not to mention the older ones like the 6mm Remington or the hugely popular .243 Winchester. But the GT offers more powder capacity than the smaller cases and more velocity.

It does this very efficiently without increasing recoil like you would see shooting similar loads in the Creedmoor and larger cases. This brings added value by increasing barrel life and shooting performance. With top-quality components available for the GT, extremely consistent velocities make the cartridge a shoo-in for precision rifle competition.


I decided that I needed to dig into the GT. So after doing some research, I started ordering the parts. First, I got a reamer from Alpha Munitions that was designed for the additional freebore needed for those slender and long match bullets that are 107 or more grains. I planned on shooting the GT from my Desert Tech SRS M2, so I ordered a K&P blank barrel from my gunsmith. It was a 1:7 twist barrel that would end up being 24 inches long, helically fluted, and threaded. Yes, I was absolutely going to run muzzle attachments.

The GT uses a standard .473 bolt face. So I already had a bolt to use ,and a few dummy rounds cycled flawlessly through the SRS’s short-action magazines. Once finished, I installed the barrel extension on the breach of the barrel and fitted a Patriot Valley Arms Jet Blast muzzle brake to the front. One of the main reasons competitors shoot 6mm cartridges is the low recoil. When you add a big brake like I did, the recoil all but disappears.


I was so excited to start shooting the GT rifle. I had a pile of test ammo already loaded and ready to hit the range when I brought it home. I’d heard the GT likes a few hundred rounds for break-in, so I went with something cheap and easy.

Some Hornady 75-grain V-Max bullets loaded to a mild 3,050 fps would be my first test batch to get the rifle zeroed and see the initial results. I quickly stumbled into a sub-half-MOA group with that first load. I wasted no time taking the rifle into my mountain haunts to search out one of my favorite opponents, the high-country marmots. The 6mm GT did an incredible number on dozens of chucks, and the accuracy and predictable recoil impulse made shooting them seem almost too easy. I was completely hooked, but I was just getting started.



As soon as I returned home from my varmint hunting, I found out I was offered a spot in an advanced law enforcement precision rifle course from Bruiser Industries. I leapt at the chance and hastily loaded 300 rounds of a new pet load of Hornady 105-grain BTHPs. Again, with little to no load development, the 105s shot half MOA or better groups. For four days in the southern California heat, we trained on advanced shooting techniques, position building, and everything else that LE snipers would want to know.

Shooting at ranges from 100 yards all the way out to 1,400 yards was part of the curriculum, and the 6mm GT went the distance for all of it. The accuracy was everything I needed to make good hits when I did my part. Plus, when compared to the .308 rifles most of the other attendees were shooting, my gun barely moved when firing. With sweat-stained clothes and a dust-covered rifle, I had built complete confidence in both the cartridge and the rifle.

My SRS M2 with the US Optics FDN25X


Not long after I got home, I was also offered a position in the Hornady Precision Rifle Challenge, one of the greatest precision rifle shooting matches in the country. Despite my confidence, I knew it would be humbling to shoot alongside some of the best shooters in the country. Nevertheless, I stayed up until midnight loading another 300 rounds of ammo. At 4 a.m. the next morning, I headed up the road towards the match.

There I was, meeting both George and Tom, not to mention hundreds of other great people. I’ll spare you the shame of my performance, but I will tell you how the rifle performed. Other than a few dust-induced magazine issues, the SRS M2 and 6mm GT worked like a perfectly tuned machine. I can say with every confidence that when I missed, it was because I miscalled the wind or wasn’t solid enough. But when I was on target, boy did we sing a beautiful melody together.

The GT did excellent in the strong winds, blowing across the range and smacking the targets with great authority. The recoil was easily managed, allowing me to spot my own hits and misses and making corrections easy. The match was a great experience, and I relearned a bunch of things I’d forgotten long ago.


If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am absolutely enamored with this setup. I don’t think I’m able to come up with a downside to the 6mm GT. It is easy to load. It’s very accurate, soft shooting, and an excellent performer. Plus, it has nothing but the best support and components available for it.


It’s no wonder this cartridge enjoys such a cult following in the precision rifle community. I love a good shooting match, but I am a hunter at heart. So you can bet I will be taking this rifle hunting this fall. All the same things that make this an excellent match gun also make it great for other shooting practices. In my part of the country, the deer have to worry about coyotes, cougars, and me. But come this fall, they’ll also have to hide from the 6mm GT.


Since initial publication of this story, we’ve used the 6GT to hammer quite a few big game animals from 500 to 1000 yards:

The Hornady 6mm ARC for the Desert Tech MDRX

It seems all too frequent nowadays for a new cartridge to jump to the front of every blog, magazine, and ad campaign.
Ammunition manufacturers are always looking for the next best thing to sell. I cant blame them, and I’d much prefer they spend all the money on R&D so the rest of us don’t have to.
At the top of the ammunition game is the big red H that we have all come to know quite well. Hornady has brought some extremely popular cartridges to market in the recent past, the PRC family comes to mind, as does the revered 6.5 Creedmoor.

Watch the video to see the 6 ARC MDRX in action

You can also read the full article on Guns.com

Hornady brought another impressive project to the shooting public in 2020 with the introduction of the 6mm Advanced Rifle Cartridge. Introduced in June, the 6mm ARC stands to become a popular red-tipped option. Having seen many of these new cartridges come and go, I was cautiously optimistic for several reasons. Let’s take a look at this round and see what makes it special.


Based on the 6.5 Grendel, the 6mm ARC shares basic dimensions with the Grendel but is necked down to .243/6mm. It shoots heavy for caliber bullets in the 90- to 110-grain range from a 1-to-7.5 twist barrel.

Hornady currently offers three loads of ARC — a 103-grain ELD-X in the Precision Hunter line, a 105-boat tail hollow point in the Black ammunition line, and a 108-grain ELD Match in their match ammunition line. Additionally, Hornady also released loading dies and components for reloading the ARC.

Small frame autoloading rifles already have untold options when it comes to caliber, so what makes the ARC different? According to Hornady the ARC produces a similar if not superior ballistic curve than .308 Winchester. It maintains velocity and drop further than the .308 Win. It does this while also being efficient. The ARC uses smaller, lighter cartridges with lighter powder charges while maintaining a higher level of energy on target than its small-frame competitors. This reduction in weight and powder charge also reduces felt recoil, allowing for rapid hit/miss confirmation and quick follow-up shots.


Of course, specs only matter if the ARC can shoot accurately. The very first time I shot the 6mm ARC at an actual range, I put three shots onto an IPSC target at 200-yards. I was impressed with the results and I knew I wanted one of my own. I grabbed my Desert Tech MDRX to use as a 6mm ARC platform as it offers a multi-caliber design that is easily adapted to large or small-frame cartridges. My good friend and talented gunsmith Eric at ES-Tactical got a quality 6mm barrel blank and we set to work.

The Desert Tech MDRX is a multi-caliber platform that allowed me to test
out the 6mm ARC

The 20-inch 7.5 twist barrel came from K&P, and was drilled, chambered, fluted, and threaded. With the appropriate barrel extension and gas block installed, all I needed was a bolt. The ARC uses a slightly larger bolt face than the .223 Rem, which took steady machining but worked perfectly. The ARC runs at similar pressures to its peers, so I used the same gas settings as a .308 Win. In a matter of a few minutes, the 6mm ARC roared to life.

The MDRX had been zeroed for my .223 barrel, but despite that, the point of impact from the 6mm ARC was very close. So close, in fact, I shot out to 200-, 450-, and 550-yards without zeroing the scope. Shooting standard-size IPSC steel targets isn’t an indicator of record-breaking accuracy or anything, but it felt good right out of the gate. Both factory Hornady match ammunition, as well as handloads, performed well, producing groups that averaged around 0.5 to 0.75 MOA.

Using a US Optics TS8X riflescope calibrated for 5.56 NATO, I reached out to 300-yards across a canyon on a rock that was about 10-inches wide. After hitting it over and over, I figured it was worth trying something further, but the only other target-sized rock I could find was at 960-yards. Without a drop chart, I did a little guesstimating on holdover. I was close but shot over it with an 8 MRAD hold, so I dropped to 7 MRAD, made a better wind call, and sent a second shot. This one found my point of aim with nearly perfect precision. I was more than dazzled, as I continued to place shots on targets all over the mountain. The accuracy of the ARC is superb.

Five-shot group of hand-loaded 105 BTHP Hornady bullets 

It’s fairly well known that the Grendel has trouble feeding on occasion and won’t feed from 5.56 NATO magazines. The ARC, unfortunately, shares that family trait. I temporarily tried some P-Mags until I got proper magazines for the ARC. I found that .300 Blackout mags worked better than 5.56 NATO, but only I loaded a few rounds at a time. Ultimately, I used a few different magazines from Dura-Mag to avoid feeding issues and load to capacity.

It’s worth mentioning that recoil on the ARC is, as Hornady suggested, minimal. Seeing your own hits on steel targets is easy at medium range, and even easier at long range.



I’ve been handloading for many years, so loading the 6mm ARC was as simple as switching out some dies. The powder charges were pleasantly light, I used both CFE556 and BLC-2 for the ARC. Both loads performed well and provided good accuracy and consistency over CCI BR4 primers.

buy 6mm ARC ammo

I used Hornady brass, as well as some resized Grendel cases from Starline. I followed the load data Hornady offers on its website — around 28-grains of powder was where I settled. The Hornady 105-grain BTHP was the bulk of my loading fodder. It’s not too expensive and performs well. No doubt that the ARC will have a deadly encounter in a few months with some Wyoming antelope.


I’m usually slow to jump on new trends — it took me some time to even pick up the 6.5 Creedmoor  but this little cartridge definitely piqued my interest. So much so, in fact, I haven’t used any other barrels in my MDRX since I got this one. Its accurate, smooth shooting makes it easy to spot hits and misses. It also pings targets pretty hard even at significant distances. Aside from the mag issue, the only other drawback is brass as it is a little harder to come by than the average case.

This awesome little cartridge is staying close to me and I’ll be taking it hunting this fall for sure. New loads aren’t always better, but in the case of the 6mm ARC, I think Hornady has a hit.