Wife and I having hard time deciding between 7mm-08 and 6.5x55


December 1, 2008, 08:12 PM
Having a VERY hard time deciding between the two. Going to be a Tikka Lite rifle, mostly for wife. Need light recoil, long-range accuracy, easy to reload, ability to use against varmints and larger game (deer/elk). It appears that they are both pretty damn equal in many ways, though it seems that reloading for the 7mm-08 will be less costly, and that finding good QUALITY 6.5x55 brass means having to buy the foreign stuff (.60-$1.00 a piece).

Also, the 7mm-08 is a short action vs. the long action for the 6.5x55. Don't know if that is a plus or not?

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December 1, 2008, 08:14 PM
Unless you NEED the bullet selection of the 6.5, the 7mm has good brass, light recoil, and grreat accuracy. Plus short action is nice.

December 1, 2008, 08:23 PM
Need light recoil, long-range accuracy, easy to reload, ability to use against varmints and larger game (deer/elk).

7-08 fills all those roles easily. the short action is just icing on the cake.

as i am not a tikka fan i could very well be off base here, but i am under the impression tikka only makes long actions...? even if that is the case, the 7-08 is your front-runner and the 25-06 becomes your second, and 6.5x55 goes to third.

good luck!

December 1, 2008, 08:29 PM
Producing ammo will be somewhat more convenient and less costly for the 7mm/08.

The short action often provides a greater choice of scopes that can be mounted on the rifle with sufficient eye relief.

The 7mm/08 is available in the fantastic Remington Model Seven (though so is the .260 Remington which is quite close to the 6.5x55).

The 7mm/08 can be devastating beyond it's non-magnum appearance. On the "Hunting" forum I started a thread titled "320yd. neck shot" and posted a pic of one of my sons with a Texas buck he shot a couple days ago with his 7mm/08. Check it out.

Good Luck !

December 1, 2008, 09:22 PM
Seems the choice would be between the 6.5x55 and the .260 Rem, they are nearly identical ballistically. The .260 is a 6.5mm-08 you know. 7mm-08 is fine too though.

December 1, 2008, 09:28 PM
The Tikka T3's are all long action, but for short cartridges the bolt has a pin that keeps the bolt from going all the way back, so the bolt throw is still a short throw.

I don't know much about 7mm-08. Why would you pick it over 308? I thought 7mm-08 was originally designed to be a civilian version of 308 for use in areas where "military" cartridges were forbidden?

December 1, 2008, 09:36 PM
I don't own a 7mm-08, but I witnessed the largest 2008 Pennsylvania Bull Elk, just under 800lbs live, taken with a 7mm-08.

December 1, 2008, 09:37 PM
I don't own a 7mm-08, but I witnessed the largest 2008 Pennsylvania Bull Elk, just under 800lbs live, taken with a 7mm-08.

December 1, 2008, 09:40 PM
Either will do just fine - it comes down to preference.

I prefer the 7mm08 because I could get it in the platforms that I favor. If you can get both chamberings in an equal platform, you have a very difficult decision indeed.

I was not aware that the T3 Lite could be had in 6.5x55...

December 1, 2008, 09:40 PM
6.5 Swede CZ = Beautiful, classy, accurate!!!!

December 1, 2008, 09:58 PM

I own a Remington "Guide Gun" (limited run Cabelas) in 7mm08. It is accurate & easy on my shoulder. I don't own a 6.5x55 but I have read good things about it. The 7mm-08 will be easier to find ammo for. If you are using it for deer stick with the 139 grain Hornady loading. For elk I would go with Federal 140 grain Trophy Bonded or some other premium bullet

December 1, 2008, 10:05 PM
As Shawnee said, "Devastating round"


December 1, 2008, 10:12 PM
Well, according to the handy dandy Remington ballistics (http://www.remington.com/products/ammunition/ballistics/comparative_ballistics_results.aspx?data=R65SWE1*R7M081) pages... The 7mm-08 seems to have a distinct edge over the 6.5 Swede (not dissing the 6.5 in any way). Flies faster, hits harder, drops less and is definitely more available in both factory loads and for reloading...

I like the Nosler Ballistic Tip and Partitions personally. 120, 140 and 150 grainers in my Stevens model 200... cheers!!!


December 1, 2008, 10:25 PM
i got a soft spot for the 6.5x55

December 1, 2008, 10:30 PM

Mercedes or BMW ?

6.5x55 or 7mm-08 ?

They are both outstanding performers and both
will do the jobs you have outlined. You could flip
a coin and be happy with either.

The 6.5 will have higher sectional density for a given
bullet weight. So a little less recoil for equally performing

The 6.5x55 with a 125 grain Partition or 130 grain Accubond
would be my choice. Because it is my choice. That's what
I use in my 6.5x55's and my 260 Remington's. Many dead
game animals later, I see no need to "upgrade".

The 6.5x55 kills just as good as the .270 Winchester I used to
hunt with. I'm sure the 7mm-08 would do the same.

I use Winchester brass.



rust collector
December 1, 2008, 10:32 PM
If you will compare Scandinavian 6.5 loads with US 7/08 loads, the differences will evaporate. US mfrs load military cartridges lighter due to the questionable condition of some of the old war relics.

While I don't necessarily subscribe to all Chuck Hawks' observations, he makes a lot of sense in this passage: http://www.familyfriendsfirearms.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-46428.html

I'm not sure a short action makes a lot of difference, and may be frustrating if you like to seat bullets out a ways. You really can't make a bad choice here. My T3 is a 308 for the sake of utility, but I enjoy my M-96 6.5 and my Rem 788 in 7/08 a whole lot.

December 1, 2008, 10:49 PM
Well, I have a HUGE soft spot for the Tikka rifles. I have a T3 in .223 and a M695 in .30-06 - it is what I took with me to Namibia this year and it was BRUTALLY devastating on everything I hunted, and insane accurate to boot.

But the wife needs a light rifle (T3 Lite, which run around 6.1 to 6.3 pounds) and wants it to be light recoil. Hence the choice between the two cartridges. I don't own any 6.5 or 7mm rifles, but am considering getting a 6.5 Grendel upper for my AR - which I suppose would mean that if I got the 6.5 Swede I'd be able to use the same bullets for both.

Of course, if I found a great deal, I could get both - LOL!

December 1, 2008, 11:09 PM
Don't laugh; I jumped on the 6.8SPC bandwagon for my hunting ARs in part because I could share bullets between it and my 270s. :)

December 1, 2008, 11:56 PM
I'd also throw my vote in for the 6.8 SPC. Good cartridge and versatility. It is my new hunting rifle / all purpose rifle.

You can't go wrong with the 7mm either. My brother has a Remington 7mm, I have a Browning 7mm magnum. Mine kicks less then the 7mm but only because the Browning comes with a massive muzzle break. My bro has made some amazing shots, including a 387 yard shot on a jumping antelope, mid air in full sprint from the back of a truck. There is a special place in my heart for the 7mm.

December 2, 2008, 12:00 AM
i vote the most cost efficient.
plus short action

bigger round?

I'd go with the one you can keep shooting.

December 2, 2008, 12:27 AM
6.55x55 is THE BEST caliber/cartridge combination I have ever found for North Amercan hunting, bar none (excepting dangerouse game, of course). I've pretty well tried 'em all, like most of 'em, but the 6.5x55 is the cats meowe! I spend huge $$ hunting sheep, and the 6.5x55 is what I take on $20,000 hunts--always.

December 2, 2008, 01:53 AM
The .260 is available in the 6.5 lb. Remington Model Seven...



December 2, 2008, 01:59 AM
And of course the .260 Rem is almost exactly the 6.5x55--just a skosh shorter case. An excellent choice!

Will Fennell
December 2, 2008, 08:51 AM
I recently got a 6.5 Swede Tikka T3 for my wife......its easy to reload, plenty powerful, easy on the shoulder. I've used Lapua and Winchester brass, both are fine, Lapua took less preparation. I'm loading her the 130 Nosler Accubond down around 2550 FPS. I have loaded it up to just under 2800 fps, but settled on the slower load for her. Its posted several 3 shot groups in the .5" range. I now want one for myself, and I've got a safe full of rifles[ Including a SAKO GREYWOLF in .260 ;) ]

Yup, All T3's are Long action, so no advantage to the 7mm/08 in this case.

The 7mm/08 is a great cartridge, and if you didn't reload, I would suggest it over the 6.5, because there are more factory loads availible. But since you reload, you can take advantage of the subtle differences and advantages[ for your applications] of the 6.5 Swede.

BTW, if you think that you will need to shorten the stock for your wife, get the wood stocked version of the T3. Its still plenty light enough, and much easier to deal with when you cut it and try to install another recoil pad. If the lenght is OK, and you go with the synthetic stock[ it is a tad lighter], change out the recoil pad [ Limbsaver makes a prefit- good pad]. The factory pad has a very sharp pointed Toe, which can really poke a shooter[especially a lady shooter] in the chest if the shooter is in an slightly reclined position. My wife knows about this:rolleyes:

December 2, 2008, 09:59 AM
close your eyes and pick one. They do the same thing, in the same manner.

December 2, 2008, 10:47 AM
They are both great choices. Personally I like the 6.5x55 Swede, and so does my wife, who after shooting it said "this is now my rifle".

December 2, 2008, 11:11 AM
The Swede is my favorite and holds a couple grains more powder than the 7mm-08 and is a crown jewel in cartridge design. It's longer neck gives proper support to the bullet, without infringing on powder space. Ballistically, it's a toss up and most know that the 6.5 & 7mm bullets are superior with high BC's and SD. It comes down to what "feels right", in making the choice and if you handload or not.


December 2, 2008, 12:09 PM
We have too many choices. Just in the .308 family you can choose from 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm, 7.62mm plus .338 and .358. If I were picking two I'd take the .260 Rem and the .338 Federal.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 2, 2008, 01:02 PM
It's all be said. But I'm partial to the swedish round.

If you want to split the baby, the .260 Rem is a 6.5 in a short action.

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