6.5 '06 As a long range cartridge


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Fred in Boise
November 15, 2010, 12:37 AM
Have an enormous amount of new and once fired '06 brass. Am thinking of rifle for informal target, deer and elk harassment.

Like the idea of light recoil, good velocity, high sectional density bullets and great accuracy.

Idea of success is shooting 140 grain bullet at 2900fps out to 4-600 yards.

Thoughts?

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R.W.Dale
November 15, 2010, 12:51 AM
IMO you'll be better served with either the 6.5/284, 270 the 264win mag, 280 AI or even the good ol 6.5x55 purely on the basis of having much more actual pressure tested data

Besides your life will be much easier taking 25-o6 brass up to .264 or 270 brass down than necking 30-06 brass that far


BTDT having a wildcat with no load data and no standardized chamber isn't nearly as much fun as it sounds. Especally in light of the fact today that no matter the wildcat there's never less than a dozen other cartridges within .015" of bullet diameter that don't do the exact same thing.

50below
November 15, 2010, 01:42 AM
6.5-06 is a well known cartridge with plenty of data/experience available. Using 270 brass is generally better as it starts off 0.050" longer and will allow you to make sure your finished cartridges are correct length to get to the end of the chamber neck. This is an issue with the ever popular 6.5mm Gibbs.

Nothing wrong with a Sierra 142 MK at 2900 to 3000 fps. Then again a 190 Sierra MK (30 cal type) at 2700 ain't so bad either.

Maverick223
November 15, 2010, 02:12 AM
Besides your life will be much easier taking 25-o6 brass up to .264 or 270 brass down than necking 30-06 brass that farAmen to that!

BTDT having a wildcat with no load data and no standardized chamber isn't nearly as much fun as it sounds. Especally in light of the fact today that no matter the wildcat there's never less than a dozen other cartridges within .015" of bullet diameter that don't do the exact same thing.
The 6.5-06 was legitimized by A-Square, so there is some data for it, but there are also a few problems inherent to the cartridge. First it is a relatively new cartridge (as far as SAAMI is concerned) so there are few available components, though it can be formed from '06 with a little work (so you can make use of that brass). Secondly it is pretty severely overbore, so it eats barrels if loaded to its full potential (I assume you plan to shoot it frequently considering you mention informal target use). I would probably just go with a .280Rem. or drop all the way down to .260Rem. (though i'd not use the .260Rem. for elk), especially for a moderate range like 600yds.

:)

coug
November 15, 2010, 05:00 PM
I just had one built in the AI version. im using 25-06 brass to fire form. as far as load data there is all kinds. So I would say if you want one do it but 2000 to 3000 rounds seems to be the numbers people are getting out of them. you don't have to fire form or have custom dies made for the standard 6.5-06 it isn't a wildcat. you can buy all that stuff from midway. I just had to have the extra speed from the AI. hope you have fun with your new build. if you have any questions post it.. remember there is going to be haters no matter what you build. do what you want to..

JDMorris
November 15, 2010, 05:01 PM
I use a .308 for everything. of course, it is the only rifle in a big round i own right now.

Uncle Mike
November 15, 2010, 05:31 PM
A totally awesome cartridge! If it was not so darn close to the 270 and 6.5/284 it would be a real winner.

If your the tinkering type, go ahead and pursue it, you never know, something may come of it anyway!

At least your efforts will be fun and informative!

Maverick223
November 15, 2010, 08:26 PM
Need to revise my previous statement...the problem isn't "few" components (really just the brass), it is just scarce so you'll likely have to order it and possibly have to wait for a seasonal run (unless you fireform/neck down).

:)

dougw47
November 15, 2010, 10:04 PM
6.5 '06 As a long range cartridge
Have an enormous amount of new and once fired '06 brass. Am thinking of rifle for informal target, deer and elk harassment.

Like the idea of light recoil, good velocity, high sectional density bullets and great accuracy.

Idea of success is shooting 140 grain bullet at 2900fps out to 4-600 yards.

Thoughts?
*************************************************

If it makes you happy, go for it in my opinion. It is not a big seller among dies if I remember correctly...but it is only 0.3mm smaller than a great cartridge the 270 Win. and should be a performer.

Getting a reamer and using the proper brass seem to be the big hassles, but anything can be over come with enough time and money. And you will have something very few people have!

Good luck

Fred in Boise
November 16, 2010, 12:34 AM
Well, sheeeeooot guys. Now I'm not sure it will be worth effort. Am an '06 guy for most stuff. Cannot suffer loss of a family member like a good bbl every 3k rounds though.

Had heard that 6.5 was indeed "inherantly" accurate.
What do you all think about a 7mm 08 improved? Save on powder, recoil. Forget elk.
jor what about the 280 improved? Had one in past, but no one chambers it anymore.

Maverick223
November 16, 2010, 12:53 AM
Had heard that 6.5 was indeed "inherantly" accurate.No such thing...but it has a ton of great bullets available, and that is an important feature that works in your favor.

or what about the 280 improved? Had one in past, but no one chambers it anymore.That'd be my choice (minus the AI as it can cause feeding problems)...plenty for elk, decent bbl life, good ballistics, great bullet selection...what's not to love? That said, perhaps two rifles are your best option...something like a .260Rem. for target use (nice and heavy, topped with a good high magnification scope) and something a bit bigger (but lighter with a lesser magnified hunting scope) like a .30-06Spd, .280Rem., .270Win., or 6.5-06A-Square for deer and elk (I'd probably lean towards the .270cal.+ for elk, but 6.5mm can do it).

:)

kludge
November 16, 2010, 10:20 AM
If you want a 140gr bullet at 2900 fps, go with a 7mm-08, .280 or .270. It's not worth it to mess with brass when to get what you want there are much easier paths to follow

But hey it's just time and money.

Kachok
November 16, 2010, 10:35 AM
OK as a 6.5mm guy let me chime in here. No caliber is automaticly accurate, that has more to do with the rifle itself and secondly the case design. However the 6.5mms are prone to exceptional BCs for their sectional density, which does help with things like bullet drop and wind drift. a 140 gr 6.5 usualy has a much higher BC then a 140 gr in similar sized calibers. Now a word of advice on which 6.5mm. The 6.5-06 is a fine round as is the 6.5-284, and both of them are eclipsed by the nearly imposable to find 6.5 rem mag with similar powder charges. this is the curse of being in love with 6.5mm. You either have to make your own brass or build your own rifle if you want speeds higher then the 6.5x55 can give. With that said I LOVE my T3 in 6.5x55 and would not trade it even for any rifle in the world. If you handload, you have all the power you will ever need (2700-2800 fps w 140gr) and very mild manners. If I need somthing that shoots flatter then my 6.5 I reach for my 270 WSM which is so fast it cannot be mesured in fps. I am pushing warp 7.3 with 130gr ballistic tips LOL

GooseGestapo
November 16, 2010, 11:24 AM
There is a lot of excessively pessimistic information going on here.

I'm in the midst of building such a rifle myself. I just last night re-read an article by John Barsness in the October '08 issue of "Handloader" (#255).

He used NUF .25/06 brass to start with. He stated that it takes considerable effort/time to trim down the .270 or .280 brass. Secondly, he found that by removing the expander ball from his .270 dies that you could get by using .270dies to reload your ammo. You could simply order a 6.5 expander ball and be good with the .270 dies. I do something similar by loading by .45Colt with a .45acp die set.

I've formed many .257Roberts cases from 8x57 Mauser cases. You may lose a few due to collapsed necks, but, like me you have a large # of cases, so what the heck? I've also made most of my 7mm08 cases from .308's, and .257wby from 7mmRemMag cases. It takes a little figuring out how much lube to use, but too much is better than too little resulting in a stuck case in a die.......

Remember the guys that are talking about a rifle being "shot out" in 2-3,000 shots are talking "match" accuracy as in sub-1/2moa. Not sub 1.5moa for hunting.

If the 6.5/06 is SOO OVER-BORE, what does that say for the .25/06 or .270? Remember, you're talking .007" larger than the .257, and .013" smaller than the .277. Not a lot of difference. The real deal with the .264's is that the twist rates were originally set at ~1/8" so that most 6.5 bullets are longer for weight than the others. Secondly, because of the market for the bullets demand the highest quality (match shooters and "in the know" hunters), there are few sub-standard bullets for the 6.5's. Kinda like there are no "promotional" grade 28ga shotgun ammo available. It's all "competiton" or premium hunting grade ammo.....

If you want a .270 that shoots flatter, penetrates better, and is generally more accurate than "factory standard", then go ahead and build the 6.5.

If "any old" .270 or 7mm08 is good enough; get one of those. I've got a "any old" 7mm08 that will on a good day approach 1.5moa. However, it's a "killing machine", and is my favorite hunting rifle though I've others that are either much more accurate, or powerful.
It's your money and time. Do what you want....

coug
November 16, 2010, 11:35 AM
If you want the 6.5 at 2900 fps go with the standard version contrary to what has been said, brass and dies are easy to get and it will push the 140grn bullets at 3000fps or realy close. if your afraid of burning it out in 3000 rounds get a 28 inch barrel so you can cut it off later for a rechamber or go with something mainstream for longevity. run the ballistics on a ballistics calculator of the 6.5 and then run any other calibers you can think of. I found that my 6.5-06AI leaves my 7 mag behind at 400 yds with the 140grn in the 6.5 and the 145grn in the 7 mag shooting 100fps faster. with 13grns less powder that all adds up the AI version out shoots the 7 mag with comparatively the same bullets and a lot less powder.

Kachok
November 16, 2010, 12:13 PM
6.5 rem mag pushes a 140gr 3042 fps with a charge of only 57.5gr of RL22 according to my nosler manual. I am not sure how that stacks up to the 6.5-06 AI but it beats the standard 6.5-06 by about 100 fps. I would take either one over the 264 win mag anyday.

USSR
November 16, 2010, 01:51 PM
If the 6.5/06 is SOO OVER-BORE, what does that say for the .25/06 or .270?

It says they're overbore as well. Regarding the 6.5-06: when you have a case that has a case capacity that is larger than the 6.5-.284's, which is noted as a barrel burner DESPITE being downloaded for use in F Class Competition, you have an overbore cartridge. That being said, there is nothing wrong with an overbore cartridge for hunting and casual target shooting purposes. I just would not select such a cartridge for a competition purpose where numerous rounds are fired in a relatively short period of time, as shooting out a barrel every other year simply does not appeal to me. Just MHO.

Don

Maverick223
November 16, 2010, 02:42 PM
Well said, Don; that is my thoughts as well.

:)

Kachok
November 16, 2010, 03:10 PM
OK lets get the barrel burner argument out of the way. 1st off the 6.5-284 is reguarded as a barrel burner by those who use them, the barrels are replaced every 1500 rounds roughly, but think for just a second who is doing that? Yeah those are guys that are shooing 1000 yd contests where a 1/100th MOA can make the difference between 1st place and getting laughed off the range. For the purposes of hunting accuracy the 6.5-284 or the 6.5-06 should have a realistic life span three times that. While that is still much less then a 30-06 is supposed to last, I call that pretty darn good. So they are nothing like a 264 win mag or 257 Wby That is just grossly overbore and kinna crazy by my thinking. A 25-06 barrel will last many happy seasons of hunting and shooting so I see no reson why a 6.5-06 would not either.

USSR
November 16, 2010, 06:15 PM
...those are guys that are shooing 1000 yd contests where a 1/100th MOA can make the difference between 1st place and getting laughed off the range.

Kachok,

That makes a pretty good story, but has no basis in reality. Several years ago, the 1,000 yard F Class target was revamped to reduce the "X" ring from 1MOA (10") to 0.5MOA (5"). This has reduced the chance of identical scores dramatically. Oh, and most important, nobody, including the greenest newbie, gets "laughed" at. Competitive shooters, by and large, are a great bunch of guys who are almost always respectful of fellow shooters.

Don

Maverick223
November 16, 2010, 06:18 PM
Additionally perfect scores in F-Class are not at all commonplace from what I understand.

:)

dubbleA
November 16, 2010, 10:17 PM
Have an enormous amount of new and once fired '06 brass. Am thinking of rifle for informal target, deer and elk harassment.

Like the idea of light recoil, good velocity, high sectional density bullets and great accuracy.

Idea of success is shooting 140 grain bullet at 2900fps out to 4-600 yards.

Thoughts?

If that's what you want then go for it. For a straight 6.5-06 you"ll have little trouble forming cases from the various 06 based cartridges.You wil certainly have a better choice of high BC bullets over the 25-06 and 270 Win. Be aware if you use 270 win brass as the case can be to long if the chamber was cut for a2.494" 06 case. If you choose to go with an Ackley Improved, you'll simply need to fireform which isnt a big deal.

You dont get into any work until you drastically change the shoulder such as with the 6.5 Gibbs which is essentially a 6.5-06 maximumly improved. It requires a little elbow grease and time before you get the final formed case. I went this route nearly 20 years ago with a purpose built LR rifle. My particular rifle easily pushes 140-142's at 3150fps with 56.5grs of IMR-7828.

Here is a 6.5x284, 6.5 Gibbs and 30-06 for a comparison. You can see shoulder has moved forward and angle increased with the Gibbs thus giving it more boiler room. Is it worth it? Only the person wanting one can answer that.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/CartridgeComparison.jpg

Kachok
November 16, 2010, 10:30 PM
OK USSR I admit I was stretching it just a bit, but the fact remains that pushing 50gr of powder out a 6.5mm bore @ 55,000 cup is far from a 264 win mag on the barrel burner scale. You will not wear out 3 barrels trying to develop a decent load LOL The kings of barrel burning are the 7mm STW, 264 win mag, 257 Wby, 7mm Wby and 7mm Ultra mag. I am sure there are a few other odd bird wildcats, but those are the big names, and all of those are hugely overbore I have heard horror stories of them losing accuracy after fewer then a thousand rounds.

coug
November 16, 2010, 10:35 PM
wow. gettin a little hot in here. I would just say for recoil and powder consumption that the 6.5 seems to be IMO the best caliber out there for a flat shooter. I hate recoil but I love speed. I have done hours of research and this was the most logical round I found for my wants.. there a a lot of people that hate them but just as many love em. I don't personaly like standard rounds they just don't seem like much fun. and they don't shoot flat like a hotrod round. But I also would never be caught driving a toyota camery. if you want a hot rod rifle you pay for new barrels if you drive a hot rod truck or care you buy a lot of gas. I don't like .308s and 30-06s but a lot of people do the 6.5-06 is superior to most other rounds in its class just read some fact based articles about it and take the extreme haters with a grain of salt. they talk about the .257 wby about being a waist and a barrel burner but I have one and have had it for 7 years and iit still shoots great. but its no BR rifle. sorry for the long post. I just feel that some things get beat a little to hard.

WYcoyote
November 16, 2010, 11:57 PM
My opinion is this. If you're not scorching the barrel a little, your just walking the dog. But not to the extent of .22-50BMG etc.
I like a little wow factor in some of my calibers. I just picked up a Savage 111for a donor action and am considering a 6.5 myself.
Trying to decide between 6.5-.284, 6.5-06, 6.5-06 AI, and 6.5 WSM.
Barrel burning is not an issue to me.
I do not have a stockpile of 30-06 brass, however.
Looking to use 140gr also, thinking 1-8" twist.
For deer (for elk, I use .300 WM) harrassment at similar ranges, 4-600yds.
Don't really want the .264 WM, have a 7mm RM.
I also want a scope with tactical style knobs to crank in the elevation as opposed to the ballistic plex type multiple crosswire reticles.
Love these 6.5 threads, more opinions please!

Uncle Mike
November 17, 2010, 01:11 AM
Barrels are cheap, life is short, over bore is...crap, build it and shoot it, enjoy yourself with it!

Kachok
November 17, 2010, 09:25 AM
6.5 WSM that is a BAD BOY. It might be a barrel burner, but even if it was it would be so totaly worth it LOL. 120gr BT @3400-3500fps and 140 running between 3100-3200. I have already seen a few people make them with superb results. The WSM case is designed for noticably higher pressures then the .264 win mag/ 284 win/30-06 cases. It maxes out the pressure scale at 65,000 CUP! Of couse it is not really that much more overbore then the 270 WSM (6.8mm vs 6.5mm) and I have not heard the first person complain about having to replace barrels on them. Sharp angled shoulders supposedly reduce barrel burn.

kaferhaus
November 17, 2010, 10:01 AM
Sharp angled shoulders supposedly reduce barrel burn.

Nope, it's going to be a barrel burner. Some studies were done, you'd have to look for them, but I'm sure they're easy to fine... seems the main factor in burning out a barrel is a function of the bore dia vs the lbs of powder put through it...

I have a 6.5x284 that I shoot LRBR with and it's good for about 900rds of "competitive" accuracy... probably make it another 300 or so for a hunter. I put a new barrel on it at least once a year BUT I cut 4" off the breech end and re-chamber it for 6.5x47 Lapua or 260 and toss it on another rifle. That gives me a pretty much new 24" tube.

The throat is what gets burned out of them the rest of the barrel is fine.

kludge
November 17, 2010, 10:46 AM
Ok dumb question, how do you cut so much off the breech and still have something to thread? I suppose the bench gun isn't tapered or even thicker than the threaded part?

kaferhaus
November 17, 2010, 10:53 AM
Ok dumb question, how do you cut so much off the breech and still have something to thread? I suppose the bench gun isn't tapered or even thicker than the threaded part?

Six inches of 1.25 dia before it starts to taper. The only reason there's any taper at all is because we have weight limits..... Short range BR rifles are straight tube breech to muzzle but they're much shorter

SpeedAKL
November 17, 2010, 10:57 AM
I love fast catridges, and these hot 6.5s are impressive! I've always wondered why someone doesn't make a 6.5 mega-magnum, basically a .257 Weatherby case or larger with a 6.5mm bullet. Pushing a 6.5mm bullet to 3500 fps should be achievable.

Kachok
November 17, 2010, 11:39 AM
That is called the .264 win mag. i think they share the exact same parent case. (7mm rem mag)

USSR
November 17, 2010, 11:39 AM
I've always wondered why someone doesn't make a 6.5 mega-magnum, basically a .257 Weatherby case or larger with a 6.5mm bullet. Pushing a 6.5mm bullet to 3500 fps should be achievable.

Because they burn out the d@mn throat in about 800 rounds!!! And, barrels are NOT cheap, at least not quality ones such as Krieger. Figure about $350 for a decent barrel and then paying a smith to chamber and install it. Sorry, but I've got better things to spend $500 - $600 on.

Don

Maverick223
November 17, 2010, 12:05 PM
The WSM case is designed for noticably higher pressures then the .264 win mag/ 284 win/30-06 cases. It maxes out the pressure scale at 65,000 CUP!Not CUP, but PSI, and FWIW the .264WM is a mere 1kPSI less (64kPSI).

Sharp angled shoulders supposedly reduce barrel burn.Not really, barrel life is a function of the cross sectional area of the bore (not to be confused with the diameter) and the amount of propellant used. The throat is almost always the area that wears first.

Pushing a 6.5mm bullet to 3500 fps should be achievable.4k fps is achievable, but stock up on barrels first. As great as the 6.5mm is (same goes for the 7mm), sometimes, IMO, it is just better to go with a larger bullet.

:)

Kachok
November 17, 2010, 12:55 PM
Throat erosion happens when unburnt powder and high speed/heat gasses rub aginst the metal of the bore. I think everyone had that part figured out, well the modern theory is that the shoulder of a case acts as a funnel, at the focus point of which you will have a small area of high turbulence. If you can keep more of this turbulence inside the neck of the brass you will cause less erosion to the throat of the barrel, sharper angle shoulders bring the focus point and hence the turbulence further back into the neck of the brass. Sounds logical to me from an aerodynamics standpoint, turbulent ariflow would cause focused higher speed flows, I would need an MIT grade aero calculator to tell you for sure if it is true or not, or how much effect it has on erosion. Lets look at an example. 243 vs 6mm rem, both the same caliber both are used as dual purpose varmint/deer rifles. The 6mm rem uses noticably more powder then the 243 but has a longer neck and a sharper shoulder, so dispite it's very overbore nature and 4,000fps+ varmint loads, it does not have a reputation as a barrel burner in any circle I have ever spoken to. The 243 on the other hand has had more then a few complaints about their barrel life. I know this is not exactly scientific, these things are rather subjective, but food for thought anyway.

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