6.5x.284 versus 7mm Rem Mag for multi-gun matches


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stiletto raggio
July 11, 2010, 04:51 PM
I read an interesting thread on long-range practical rifle matches in which Zak Smith recommended the 7mm Rem Mag over the .338 Lapua for virtually all civilian shooters. Lighter gun less reocil, cheaper ammo, etc.

I have a friend building me a 6.5x284 on a 1903 Springfield action. It will have a beautiful stock and finish, so it is not really something I'd want to drop on rocks at a match. The question is, if I will already be reloading for that rifle, does it make more sense to go with a 6.5x284 than a 7mm Rem Mag for a purpose-built practical gun? Brass costs more but with 140 grain bullets, the 6.5 matches the Rem Mag for velocity and does so with a better BC. Brass costs about 50% more for the 6.5, but it does require less variation in reloading supplies and bullet stock.

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eastbank
July 11, 2010, 05:27 PM
the 6.5x284 does not match the 7 rem mag. the 6.5 can kick a 140gr A-max BC-550 at 2800fps, a 7mm mag will kick a 162gr A-max BC-625 at 3000fps. and i think the cost of more powder in the 7mm mag would be off set by being able to by 7nn mag brass cheaper. and if you would buy once fired brass for the 7mm mag it would realy bring the cost down ,try to find once fired brass for the 6.5x284. they are both good cartiiges,but loaded to the full potential the 7mm mag shines. eastbank.

Zak Smith
July 12, 2010, 03:38 AM
Reality check, for 26" barrels and typical long-range guns, contemporary long-range loads are:

.260 Rem: 139-142gr @ 2900-2950 fps (best), 2800-2850 fps (common with H4350) - I list the .260 because 6.5-284 has more capacity and more capability. The 139gr Scenar and the Berger 140gr VLD have about the best BC's in th 140-gr-class range at right around 0.60 - 0.61 depending on whose numbers you believe.

7mm RM: 162-168's at 3000-3100 fps or 180's at 2900-2975 fps. The 162-168's have BC values in the 0.61 - 0.625 range, and the 180's are about 0.65-0.66.

Barrel life of 6.5-284 and the 7mm RM should be similar. Within 1000 yards these two cartridges will perform very close together, virtually indistinguishable. The 6.5 will have less recoil.


_Bullet_ _BC_ _MV_ 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 | YARDS
7RM/WSM 180 0.654 2950 > 0.00 1.82 7.62 18.05 33.83 55.88 85.27 | wind (inches)
7RM/WSM 162 0.625 3050 > 0.00 1.81 7.63 18.10 34.01 56.31 86.17 | wind (inches)
.260+ 139 0.615 2950 > 0.00 1.94 8.16 19.38 36.47 60.52 92.70 | wind (inches)
65284 139 0.615 3050 > 0.00 1.85 7.77 18.45 34.69 57.51 88.09 | wind (inches)

7RM/WSM 180 0.654 2950 > -0.00 0.34 1.55 3.07 4.87 6.98 9.49 | drop (mil)
7RM/WSM 162 0.625 3050 > -0.00 0.30 1.44 2.87 4.58 6.61 9.02 | drop (mil)
.260+ 139 0.615 2950 > -0.00 0.34 1.58 3.13 4.99 7.21 9.86 | drop (mil)
65284 139 0.615 3050 > -0.00 0.30 1.44 2.89 4.61 6.66 9.11 | drop (mil)

7RM/WSM 180 0.654 2950 > 2950 2672 2411 2166 1936 1722 1527 | velocity (fps)
7RM/WSM 162 0.625 3050 > 3050 2754 2476 2215 1972 1746 1540 | velocity (fps)
.260+ 139 0.615 2950 > 2950 2655 2379 2121 1880 1657 1459 | velocity (fps)
65284 139 0.615 3050 > 3050 2749 2467 2203 1957 1728 1521 | velocity (fps)

627PCFan
July 12, 2010, 10:52 AM
If you go 7mm your going to bump into the lack of quaility COTS match grade brass I did. Nosler is out there with the Custom brass (which I believe is Federal) but thats about it. Ive heard about people using 300 Win mag stepping it down but I question the consistency of that.

nastynatesfish
July 12, 2010, 12:38 PM
You can go to biggameinfo.com and put all the info in to see a range of drop and drift between the two. I love my 7mm

Zak Smith
July 12, 2010, 01:10 PM
Going back to the opening question, for "multi-gun" matches, which are more run-n-gun and faster shooting strings, I would recommend the .260 Remington over either, with one of the AICS magazine systems. For matches where time is a little less of an issue (ie those can could be won by a person who single-loads into the action port - just to calibrate one's timescale) the 6.5-284 and 7mm RM are worth looking into. But if you already have the action and just want to do it, I won't dissuade you.

The Winchester 7mm RM brass is not that bad. It's not Lapua quality, but with a little bit of brass culling during inspection, several local shooters including myself have had no problems working up accurate loads.

stiletto raggio
July 12, 2010, 01:43 PM
Zak,

If I go with a .260, is there any reason for me not to go with an AR platform? Or do most matches require a bolt gun?

Zak Smith
July 12, 2010, 01:46 PM
Most do not specify the rifle configuration other than min/max calibers and safety.

It would have to be a "long action" AR (eg AR-10) and you would give up some accuracy and ballistic performance.

-z

stiletto raggio
July 12, 2010, 04:08 PM
I know I would have to go to an AR-10 action, but in looking at rifles, the DPMS looks serviceable. Otherwise, the JP LRP-07 ( http://http://www.jprifles.com/instructions/Website%20PDFs/LRP%20Specs,%20Pricing%20&%20Options.pdf) looks really impressive, though at $3500 it is quite expensive.

How much would I need to spend on an AI chassis with a good action and a match barrel?

Zak Smith
July 12, 2010, 04:19 PM
It really depends on what you want to end up with. If you just want to hotrod/rebuild your 1903, there's nothing wrong with the 6.5-284 idea.

If you want to build/buy a high-end bolt rifle for matches like the NRAWC Sporting Rifle, the Pueblo Prairie Dog match, and the Steel Safari, those rifles usually start around $2000 for the rifle/barrel/stock (ie no optics) and go up to about $6k (not incl. optics) for the most expensive ones. If you take a stock Rem 700 add an AICS and get a new barrel, you're probably in the $1500-2000 range already.

stiletto raggio
July 12, 2010, 04:31 PM
The 6.5x.284 rifle has already been stripped, re-barreled, re-triggered and had the stock inletted and 90% formed, so that project is well past the point of no return. Basically, I had a sporterized 03 that kicked like a mule and wouldn't shoot. I didn't want to just dump the rifle so I asked a friend if he could do somehting good with the action. He said he would give it a shot. He builds some top-notch long-range rifles, so I expect the new rifle to be a great range and maybe antelope gun. It is not, however, well suited for the types of matches I am interested in shooting.

I am leaning more and more toward the 260. I already have a NM M1A and a Steyr SBS tactical with a McMillan stock, both in .308, and they are my only "precision" rifles. I sold my Remington 700 to my dad to fund the Steyr.

I am not at all opposed to another bolt gun, but the "large frame" ARs have gotten pretty good reviews for accuracy, and if I go to a short-action round, I figure I should at least consider them.

Do you have any recommendations on places--local or out-of-state--that I should check out for bolt-gun options?

Zak Smith
July 12, 2010, 04:36 PM
It kind of depends what you want.

Jensen Arms in Loveland CO usually stocks GAP and Surgeon rifles. At least, they used to. I am not sure if they still bring in new stock (change in ordering personnel).

For high-end factory rifles - that would require rebarreling - they usually have a TRG-22 or two in stock. Mile High Shooting based in Denver is the largest Accuracy International dealer. He might be able to sell you a .260 barrel off the bat.

You might also look into a complete rifle from Big Horn Arms. Two of my friends have been shooting .260's on this action since early 2009 and it's working out very well. He's based in north Denver. taliv, here on THR, just got his BHA rifle and he likes it.

stiletto raggio
July 12, 2010, 07:17 PM
I've always loved the TRG-22 so I may look into going that route. What does a new barrel run? I'm inclined to keep my eyes peeled for a used one while I am deployed and have it rebarreled from the get-go.

You seem to prefer the AI system. Do you like the long take-up trigger for safety or am I missing something? I've shot an AI in .308 and thought the trigger was strange, but it has obviously been design that way for a reason.

The Big Horn guns look fantastic. If I decide to go full custom, there is a good chance BHA will get the action. Get it? Action! Ha.

Zak Smith
July 12, 2010, 07:39 PM
No idea on installed barrel cost but I'd guess $600-800. I'd go to GA Precision for that work.

It's not really a long-take-up trigger, but it is a two-stage trigger. The trigger pack has two adjustment screws. It is kind of like a 1911 trigger. Now, I actually prefer it to a no-take-up trigger.

-z

stiletto raggio
July 13, 2010, 12:16 PM
Zak,

Thanks for the guidance. I checked out the .260 in "Cartridges of the World" and read the article you wrote on it, the 6.5x47 Lapua and the 6.5 Creedmoor. I'm sold. Now I just need to get some trigger time on a TRG 22, a bit more on an AI and look into costs of rebarreling my Steyr.

USSR
July 13, 2010, 01:34 PM
Personally, I would not build based on a belted case. If I was dead set on a 7mm, I would go with a .280Rem/7mm Express ('06 case necked down to .284"). Just MHO.

Don

Zak Smith
July 13, 2010, 01:44 PM
I used the belted case in my AI-AWSM because everything designed for that gun in .300WM would work without modification. There are about a half-dozen 7mm RM shooters in the local LR shooting group that have gotten great results with a variety of guns (mostly Remingtons, two AIs) with the belted case. Two of my friends have used the 7mm WSM in a short-action Surgeon with good success. If I already had an action with a .30-06 bolt head, .280 Remington would be the obvious choice.

-z

NoAlibi
July 13, 2010, 02:34 PM
USSR:

Personally, I would not build based on a belted case. If I was dead set on a 7mm, I would go with a .280Rem/7mm Express ('06 case necked down to .284"). Just MHO.

.280Rem/7mm Express - A great cartridge. I use it in my silhouette gun and it performs better than my abilities. For the long shots I load it up near the pressure ranges of a .270Win. Remingington downloaded this cartridge for use in it's semi-auto (Reminington 740 or 742?). I don't understand the reason why because the gun was already chambered for much higher pressure rounds. I am an experienced reloader (36+ years) and I know what to look for in pressure signs. IMO and others more experienced than I this increased loading is not a problem in most current production bolt guns.

Belted Cases - There are inherent accuracy problems in this type of case and the problem is easily solved. Take once fired cases used in the rifle you will be loading for and only neck size the case, thereby causing the case to headspace on the shoulder instead of the belt*. Before using any cartridge resized this way, be sure to cycle each one through the gun to be sure you won't have any hangups when time or situation counts.

*Note: Some folks after neck sizing a case will slightly "bump" the shoulder back with a full length resizing die for added reliability. YMMV

Jim Watson
July 13, 2010, 03:08 PM
A friend reported seeing some .284 Winchester and .284 Shehane (.284 Win improved) rifles at Lodi last month.

USSR
July 13, 2010, 05:53 PM
A friend reported seeing some .284 Winchester and .284 Shehane (.284 Win improved) rifles at Lodi last month.

A young friend of mine also used a straight .284 Winchester to good effect prior to his death at a very young age.

Don

Comloz
August 10, 2010, 11:08 AM
How do the .284 winch and the 280 rem compare with the 6.5x.284 and 7mm Rem mag?

USSR
August 10, 2010, 12:25 PM
The .284 Winchester's case capacity is similar to the .280 Remington, so the two cartridges will produce similar results. The 6.5-.284 is similar to the 6.5-06 in regards to velocity. The 7mm Rem Mag has a larger case capacity, so it has more velocity potential. Personally, I don't care for belted magnum cases, so I would go with the .280 Remington, since you can easily make brass for it by necking down the commonly found .30-06 brass if need be.

Don

Comloz
August 10, 2010, 12:32 PM
Can we say they are better than the 6.5x.284 with their better bc's?
Do they have a better barrel life?

Zak Smith
August 10, 2010, 12:50 PM
When you step up in caliber, you get the potential for incrementally higher BC values due to the overall length of the bullet; however, because the mass increases you need to burn disproportionately more powder to meet or exceed the smaller caliber's velocity.

Comloz
August 10, 2010, 12:54 PM
So, in a long action, do you think the 284 winch or the 280 rem is a better choice than the 6.5x.284? I have a 260 rem and wonder if they are a real step above the 260 rem. If not, maybe i should go for the 7RM. But, what bothers me we is the shoort barrel life of this caliber.

Zak Smith
August 10, 2010, 01:04 PM
I haven't loaded for .280 or .284 (or 6.5-284 for that matter).

.280 has a case capacity of 67.5gr, 284 66gr, 6.5-284, 66gr.

Using QuickLoad data for the same max pressure:

In the 6.5-284 you can shoot a 140gr at 3050 fps.

In .280, a 168 at 2900, 284 a 168 at 2850.

The 162 or 168 enjoys a very small edge in BC over the 140-grain-class 6.5mm bullets.

Comloz
August 12, 2010, 02:36 PM
Thanks Zak
Would you mind including the .280 and .284 in tour chart in post #3?

Zak Smith
August 16, 2010, 12:54 PM
Here you go

_Bullet_ _BC_ _MV_ 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 | YARDS
7RM/WSM 180 0.654 2950 > 0.00 1.82 7.62 18.05 33.83 55.88 85.27 | wind (inches)
7RM/WSM 162 0.625 3050 > 0.00 1.81 7.63 18.10 34.01 56.31 86.17 | wind (inches)
.260+ 139 0.615 2950 > 0.00 1.94 8.16 19.38 36.47 60.52 92.70 | wind (inches)
65284 139 0.615 3050 > 0.00 1.85 7.77 18.45 34.69 57.51 88.09 | wind (inches)
.280 162 0.625 2900 > 0.00 1.95 8.22 19.50 36.68 60.82 93.05 | wind (inches)
.284 162 0.625 2850 > 0.00 2.00 8.42 20.01 37.64 62.45 95.51 | wind (inches)

7RM/WSM 180 0.654 2950 > -0.00 0.34 1.55 3.07 4.87 6.98 9.49 | drop (mil)
7RM/WSM 162 0.625 3050 > -0.00 0.30 1.44 2.87 4.58 6.61 9.02 | drop (mil)
.260+ 139 0.615 2950 > -0.00 0.34 1.58 3.13 4.99 7.21 9.86 | drop (mil)
65284 139 0.615 3050 > -0.00 0.30 1.44 2.89 4.61 6.66 9.11 | drop (mil)
.280 162 0.625 2900 > -0.00 0.36 1.64 3.25 5.16 7.44 10.16 | drop (mil)
.284 162 0.625 2850 > -0.00 0.38 1.72 3.39 5.38 7.75 10.59 | drop (mil)

7RM/WSM 180 0.654 2950 > 2950 2672 2411 2166 1936 1722 1527 | velocity (fps)
7RM/WSM 162 0.625 3050 > 3050 2754 2476 2215 1972 1746 1540 | velocity (fps)
.260+ 139 0.615 2950 > 2950 2655 2379 2121 1880 1657 1459 | velocity (fps)
65284 139 0.615 3050 > 3050 2749 2467 2203 1957 1728 1521 | velocity (fps)
.280 162 0.625 2900 > 2900 2613 2344 2092 1857 1639 1447 | velocity (fps)
.284 162 0.625 2850 > 2850 2566 2300 2051 1819 1605 1416 | velocity (fps)

xphunter
August 16, 2010, 04:02 PM
I find that I would prefer the the 6.5-284 for this type of shooting over the 7mm Rem Mag.
It is an easy cartridge to load for, low recoil, and in a long action you can have it throated to use as much case as you want.
Another 6.5 cartridge one can consider if you don't go the way of the 6.5-284 or the 260 Rem is the 6.5x47 Lapua. It and the case necked down to 6mm seem to do quite well.
I have a tactical match this week-I am shooting a 7mm SAUM.
Go figure:D

Flatbush Harry
August 17, 2010, 07:37 PM
Zak,

I've just re-read the first two of your articles and wanted to thank you for sharing your experience and judgement. The articles on rifles and optics were terrific.

Best regards,

Howard

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