Gun Review: Kiote Rifles LRP in 6mm SLR

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

Last year, John Stewart of Kiote Rifles made my dream come true by building my “last rifle”. That Ruger No 1 in .375 H&H Magnum really is the last rifle I’ll ever need. Oh…but want is a different thing entirely.

This year I found myself shooting varmints a little farther out, and decided to get back into competing regularly. I wanted a new bolt action rifle to meet those new demands. So I reached back out to the company that made my Last Rifle to build my next one.

Kiote Rifles did not disappoint.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

For my next rifle I decided on the Kiote Rifles LRP, in 6mm SLR.

That’s not the rifle I expected to go with, and it’s not the one I started talking with Kiote about. Stewart actually talked me out of his more expensive Overwatch model. I wanted a rifle I could compete with, but also one I could tote around hunting.

I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be switching the action into a different stock and was just willing to settle down with this little girl for a while. But I wanted precision. Stewart explained that, although some of the features may be different, he only builds one level of precision, the best level of precision he could, on every rifle he made, no matter the model.

Since this was going to be a hunting/varmint gun first and a competition gun second, the LRP made more sense. That model gave me everything I wanted and did so at a reasonable price. No need to add complexity, weight, and cost.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

Then I talked to Stewart about caliber choice. Essentially, I wanted a chambering I could use for varmint hunts and deer hunts, but that I could also compete with and be, well, competitive. I reload everything center fire, no matter how cheap it is to buy at the store, so manufacturer availability wasn’t a concern for me.

What I wanted was a light-recoiling short-action round that bucked the wind in a rifle around 12 lbs total. I decided to go with the 6mm SLR/243 SLR.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

The 6mm SLR, or .243 SLR is a fairly new cartridge and as far as I can tell, there’s no commercial ammunition available for it. I don’t expect there ever will be. That’s because it’s really just .243 Winchester with a longer neck and a 30 degree shoulder angle.

I’m using the exact same bullet and powder load data as with a .243 Winchester. The only real advantage with the 6mm SLR over the .243 Winchester is that the SLR allows me to use longer bullets that seat well in its longer neck. That’s about it, there’s no real magic there. For those of you more familiar with the 6mm Creedmoor, I see no significant ballistic difference between the two.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

The shoulder angle and longer neck might help with throat erosion, but really, this is a 2,500-round barrel, at least how I intent to shoot it. Although it can be loaded faster, I like bullets in the 108 to 115 grain variety launching a just under 3,000ps, which should keep the round supersonic out past 1,300 yards.

If I calculate a 10 mph full value wind at 1,000 yards, I dial two mils for my preferred bullet in 6 SLR. Under the same conditions, I dial 2.7 mils with my .308 Winchester and the 175 gr SMK, and I put up with more recoil for it.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

It’s completely reasonable that some people want their action to say “Remington” on the receiver of their rifle. Some guns are heirlooms, or are otherwise sentimental. For those reasons, there is some justification in spending the amount of money it takes to get a stock Remington 700 short action to perform near the same as a real quality receiver.

For the rest of us, there are great companies making incredible products right off the line. One of those companies is Kelbly’s with their Stolle Atlas and Atlas Tactical receivers. Kiote uses those on all of their LRP models. This is not my first Stolle Atlas action and I’ve been very pleased with every one I’ve had so far. I’ve heard nothing but the same from everyone who’s owned them.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

I chose to go with the fluted bolt as it might help move debris out of the action, but mostly because it looks cool. A pinned 1913 Picatinny rail sits atop the action.

The action itself is 416RS and the bolt is 4140. The Stolle Atlas includes their TG Ejector. It’s an ultra reliable “spring-less” system that’s simple and smart. As I found, the harder you pull on the bolt handle, the farther it sends those shells flying.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

Stewart put a Lightweight Target/Sendero-style contour onto an X-Caliber barrel blank. I wanted to buck the wind, so I was only really interested in shooting the longer, heavier bullets. For that Stewart chose a 1:7 twist and 26″ of length.

I also let Stewart know that I would be running the gun suppressed all the time, so he threaded the muzzle. The chamber was cut with a Manson reamer, and the barrel cryo-treated. Kiote then put a dimple style fluting down the barrel. Maybe there’s some measurable advantage to this type of fluting, but really it just looks cool.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

I asked Kiote to Cerakote the whole thing a semi-gloss black, not because I love black guns so much but because I’m a horrible person. I know that I’ll be rattle-canning the rifle within a few months of owning it and probably several other times during its life.

I can’t help it. I don’t have a Krylon problem. I can quit anytime I want.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

The stock is Grayboe’s Terrain model, but with a custom cheek riser built in. I’ve seen the Grayboe stocks on several review guns now, and I have been very impressed all the way around.

The Terrain is a bit of a hybrid model with a more traditional narrowed fore-end, but a straighter horizontal grip and a flat-bottom buttstock.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

It’s not ideal to shoot off-hand, but works very well from a rest, tripod or bipod, or in hasty positions. I find myself shooting off-hand less and less, mostly because I don’t prefer to take shots I can’t hit. (Kiote has discontinued the service of adding an adjustable cheek riser to the Terrain, instead using the JCS Adjustable Sporter Stock.)

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

Although my opinion on budget glass has been slowly changing, I’m not yet willing to wiggle in the slightest on triggers. My name is Jon Wayne Taylor and I’m a trigger snob.

Why, you ask? Because despite decades of practice, I’m not a very good shot and I need all the help I can get. For my LRP, that help comes in the form of Timney’s Elite Hunter trigger set at 1 lb.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

Unlike some earlier 700s, it won’t fire until you pull the trigger. The Timney trigger has zero creep, and saying that it “breaks like glass” would be an insult. Let me put it this way, it’s crispier than my buddy Omar.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

For a rifle for this purpose and in this price range, precision is key. We always talk about “Sub MOA”, and if this was even 30 years ago, that would have been good enough.

My benchmark for a precision rifle over $2,500 is that it needs to put five rounds of whatever ammunition I prefer into a 1/2″ circle at 100 yards off a rest. The reason that 1/2 MOA is my standard is that at that level of precision, I don’t have to think about it and I only have myself to blame.

Whether it’s hunting or competition, targets are rarely, if ever, smaller than 1 MOA. At that level, I know that if I can see it, the rifle is capable of sending a round into it. Whether I’m up to the task is a different matter entirely.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

The LRP leaves me with zero excuses. Judging group size with a rifle where all of the ammo is hand-loaded is a bit unfair to other guns shooting store-bought ammo. After all, half the precision is in your round. I’m not quite F-Class neurotic with my reloading, but I’m not far from it, and I’m slowly moving in that direction.

With the Berger 105gr VLD Hunting bullet, or the Hornady 108gr ELD Match, or (select) Sierra’s 107gr SMK, and any load pushing faster than 2,800 fps, no five-round group printed larger than 1/2″ at 100 yards, center to center. That’s from either a Caldwell Stinger shooting rest or off the bipod on a bench with a rear bag.

My better groups, which score between .25″ and .30″ are with the Hornady bullet and Hybrid 100V pushing the round at 2,900fps. I’ll keep playing around with recipes as it’s a simple compulsion, but realistically I’m not going to beat that, nor would I ever need to.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

My range goes out to 800 meters, so I’ve spent some time shooting there with the LRP. This range is particularly challenging because in that distance the wind will go from a full value to zero value and back to full again. Even so, hitting the 10″ steel plate at that range wasn’t particularly challenging, at least not off the bench or prone (10″ is the smallest plate there right now). Once I got to the kneel or standing on the tripod, things got harder, but that’s the Indian, not the arrow.

It was at this range that the rifle performs exceptionally well. Although the rifle isn’t particularly heavy, there is minimal recoil with the round. I had no trouble from any position watching the mirage of the round as it flew through the air.

Even at that speed and that range, it seemed like I was calling “hit” or “miss” an eternity before I actually saw the plate move (or sadly, remain unmoved).

That’s something I’m not able to do with my Remington 700 5R in .308 Win. It’s a great-shooting gun, and the best Big Green factory gun I’ve ever shot. But keeping my eye on the round through the scope as it moved through the air when the gun was mounted on the tripod or off a hasty position often proved impossible.

Not so with the LRP in 6mm SLR. There’s so little recoil that keeping focused through the scope for the bullet trace was easy and natural.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

With a bolt action rifle, significant reliability issues are rare. With long bullets seated to or past 2.800″ OAL on a short action, I occasionally see feeding issues. Sometimes I see issues with the follower tilting downward in a blind box magazine.

Neither of these issues are present in the LRP. It’s all the same Winchester .243 Win brass, but I’ve played around with several different bullet types so far, and as long as I’m working the bolt, the bolt works just fine.

If your arm works, or even your foot if you are particularly flexible, the LRP has no trouble loading or unloading. I’ve only got a couple hundred rounds (10%-ish of its barrel life) through the gun, but I’ve had no issues so far.

Sadly, I have given the gun a good excuse to fail. My very first trip out hunting with the rifle ended with it falling about six feet directly onto rocks. I was handing it up to someone (unloaded, bolt open and on safe) in the back of a truck. When I handed it to him, I said “got it?”. He replied “Got it!”. And he did. Right until he slipped and dropped my brand new rifle all the way down to the gravel road.

Thankfully, no damage was done (to the rifle, F that dude) and the only way I would know that it had fallen was a very shallow chip in the cheek riser. The scope I had mounted even held zero.

I wasn’t drinking before I handed up my rifle, but after watching what was essentially $6000 of gun and glass smash against the rocks, I sat down and had a beer before I inspected it. No need to fret, all was well. All of the photos, including the photos of the groups in this review were taken after the fall.

Kiote Rifles LRP

JWT for TTAG

This Kiote LRP rifle puts me right where I want to be, which is, oddly enough, not thinking about the rifle at all. I can put it in any number of positions quickly.

It’s not too heavy to carry and move. It balances well on the tripod. It’s a snap to get behind it with a solid cheek-stock weld. The bolt slides easy and locks down tight. The trigger lets off by desire alone.

It’s already taken a few pigs and coyotes, and I’m looking to get behind it for some plates, some paper, and maybe even some pronghorn later this year.

Specifications: Kiote Rifles LRP

Caliber: 6mm SLR/243 SLR (many others available)
Barrel: 26″ 1:7 twist X-Caliber, Cryo Treated (others available)
Stock: Grayboe Terrain with adjustable cheek riser (others available)
Action: Kelbly’s Stolle Atlas
Capacity: 4 +1, blind box magazine (others available)
Weight: 8 lbs 6oz rifle only
Weight: 12 lbs 6oz fully loaded with mounted scope, bipod, silencer and ammunition
Trigger: Timney Elite Hunter (others available, Calvin Elite is standard)
Total Length: 47″
MSRP: $3,450

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style and Appearance * * * *
The dimpled barrel looks great and the Cerakote finish is done very well. If you look closely, you can see the Kiote Logo (available at customers’ request) etched into the right side of the stock. I dig it. I chose basic black because I know I’ll rattle-can it up on my own. I’ll try a blacked out Woodland Camo first, cuz I’m #classyaf.

Customization * * * * *
It’s a custom rifle. But you’re not buying a rifle, you’re buying a gunsmith’s time and work. That’s worth a lot more than a rifle.

Reliability * * * * *
Apparently a hell of a lot more reliable than a redneck’s grip.

Accuracy * * * * *
Nothing shot worse than half a minute of angle. Some groups shot to a quarter minute, and I’m not done with load development yet.

Overall * * * * *

I got exactly what I wanted out of this rifle. Kiote delivered beyond my expectations, again. The LRP performs well enough to take game out to any reasonable expectation of the cartridge’s performance. More importantly, it lets me take targets, and game, without fighting the gun itself. It helps me get back to the zen of shooting, the very reason I shoot in the first place. This rifle just shoots good.

comments

  1. avatar Jon says:

    “Crispier than Omar”
    That’s the funniest thing ive heard all week!
    Happy July 4th JWT.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      He laughed too.

  2. avatar David J B says:

    Wow! It nice for you because you have the money! But what about us poor guys who have only about $1000.00 or under to spend with a good scope?
    How about either buying my next rifle for me or finding us poor guys (We are the folks that read this) A good Rifle and Scope for under $1000.00

    1. avatar KIOTE RIFLES says:

      Buy a Tikka. No shit.

      1. avatar TommyJay says:

        Thanks for that!

      2. avatar StratSG says:

        Gonna.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Check the massive amount of rifle reviews listed on this site, many of which include budget rifles and scopes.

      But if you are looking for a sturdy rifle shooting 1/2MOA with glass for under $1,000 new, good luck. I haven’t seen it yet.

      1. avatar Bcb says:

        My recommend is too buy one of these new cnc made cheap barrel nut type hunting rifles used, toss the barrel / stock, re-barrel and bed a Boyd’s stock yourself at home then get into handloading. I’ve got one that I’ve no more then $1000 in and I’ve got a target and hunting load that are both 1/2 MOA. It’s a standard 243 shooting the 105s set out long. Mines an xcaliber barrel I got on sell too. It’s not real 1/4 MOA like Jon’s but it’ll do 1/2MOA reliably.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          If he had asked for just the rifle under $1k, I’d have a lot of good options. But not rifle and glass both.

      2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        I got luck with two that fit that bill. (Went through dozens to get there though!)

        Where ya going pronghorn hunting? It’s near the top of my bucket list.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Wyoming, not too far from Medicine Bow. I’m looking for a buck tag somewhere else though, if you have any suggestions.

    3. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      Thats a hard nut to crack for under $1000

      But for the glass I put on my .308 bench rifle I bought one of these.

      https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/optics-review-acme-machine-6-24x50mm-ffp-tr-scope/

      Yes, people at the range look funny at the logo.

      1. avatar Bcb says:

        How’d it do? I thought about trying one at some point?

    4. avatar Bob says:

      Or a Savage. Even the 300$ axis in 270win I got is sub MOA with most off-the-shelf hunting ammo. It ain’t pretty but can shoot like the best of them.

  3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Write up the Ruger Number 1 .375 H&H. Always wanted one with a Alexander Henry fore end. A medium caliber though. Something I can use locally. I have a Winchester Model 70 Classic in .375 a friend gave me I’ll probably never get to use in the field.

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Excellent articles. The 30-06 would be perfect for my needs and taste. Adding the Randall to the pic was a nice touch. Looked to be a Little Bear Bowie. I bought a standard 7″ #1 years ago and later a 4″ #5. You have to be careful with Randalls though. They will breed when you’re not watching. Must be a dozen or more in my safe now.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          I got my first Randall knife in 1986. I’ve been additing to that ever since. I have no idea how many I have now. They must reproduce by masturbation.

        2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Know what you mean. I have no idea how many have passed through my hands over the years. They were usually impulse buys. Like the Guardian and Astro, etc. that I just wanted to play with for a while. I once had a conversation with Gary Randall. I told him I was a Randall knife user. Not a Randall knife collector. That seemed to please him. I know gifted knives to 8-10 friends and family. They seemed pleased also.

  4. avatar strych9 says:

    You spent about double what I did, but half on the stock (I went with MacMillian). I should have saved that money for glass/the rifle itself, but I didnt think that all the way through when building off a Rem700 in .243 Win. Your build seems more consistent at range, which is unsurprising.

    What can are you using? That rifle’s the next suppressor on my list and I’d prefer to not go custom on that but also am unsure if a .30 cal is worth the investment on a 6mm rifle.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Underground Tactical 6.5mm Freedom Can. No longer made.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Thanks.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Take a look at Delta P Design.

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          Nice, thanks.

    2. avatar Case says:

      I believe TBAC makes a line of 6.5mm specific cans, but honestly, I’d just go with a .30 cal can for the versatility, as I don’t think the tiny bit of weight savings is really worth loss of being able to handle so many more calibers.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        They do. The 6.5 Ultra-7 and 6.5 Ultra-9 are on my list to look at.

        For quite awhile they didn’t make anything in that size for the thread pattern on this specific rifle and in the 6mm class. They now do offer that pattern in both QD/brake and direct thread.

        So for a while there most of what was available, especially locally, was .30cal in that thread pattern. I don’t much care about swapability other than in pistols. I’m looking for a dedicated can for that specific rifle the same way I’ve done with every other long gun I’ve put a muffler on.

        Just figured I’d ask JWT since he has a fuck-ton of cans and might know of one that I’ve never heard of/seen.

        1. avatar KIOTE Rifles says:

          The CRUX line-up is probably the hardest to beat. Lightest weight, objectively the quietest of anyone’s cans on the market right now, a true no bullshit lifetime warranty on a Ti can, and best of all, unlike EVERYONE else, they have a zero POI shift regardless of how many times you take it off and put it back on. Plus, their brake works as the blast baffle and is rated for God knows how many rounds before it needs to be replaced – more importantly, it doesn’t have the dreaded carbon lock issue that TBAC is known for. Until UGT gets off their ass and starts making their cans again, this is the only acceptable suppressor for serious shooters out there.

      2. avatar ShockDoc says:

        I have a TBAC 6.5 can on my custom Remington 260 (Macmillan stock). Went with the smaller 5 inch can to save length and it works great with no noticeable difference in sound. Quality company.

  5. avatar sparkyinWI says:

    Nice rifle and nice write up. Thanks and enjoy!

  6. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    The caliber is probably more interesting to me than the gun is. Seems ind of like a flavor of the week deal but to each his own. I’d be curious how barrel life winds up over a 243 win.

    Is this being run at 55K pressure or is it higher like a 6mm creed?

    1. avatar KIOTE Rifles says:

      It’s identical to the 243 Win in every way as far as ballistics and pressure goes. The advantage of the SLR is that by having the longer neck, the “turbulence point” is kept within the case neck rather than in the throat like a Creedmoor. This directly prevents the throat burn that you get in all other 6mm calibers – which in turn leads to longer barrel life before needing to recut the chamber.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      50-58k

  7. avatar Greg says:

    Loved the looked cool part lol. Nothing wrong with a drop test.😉 Now you have a “Battle worn” finish rifle.

  8. avatar StratSG says:

    That was a good read.

      1. avatar StratSG says:

        Thanks for passing that along. It is appreciated.

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