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Old March 11, 2015, 06:57 PM   #1
sirgilligan
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6.5mm - Is there a "consumer" cartridge?

Is there a 6.5mm that has become common?
I am not sure how to word my question honestly.

Being new to reloading it opens up a world of possibilities. Soon you are reading about ballistic coefficients and start to wonder what are the long range shooters using. Then you learn of Grendels and Dashers, and Creedmoors and 26 Noslers. Then there seems to be some that distinguish themselves with the magnum designation.

Then you read that some of these exotic creatures require you to form your own brass, and to a novice that just overwhelms us a bit too much.

So, I look at all of this and wonder, is there an entry point into the 6.5 world that is more "reasonable" than others? Maybe the 6.5x55mm Mauser?

So, "what is reasonable" is the anticipated question.

I do not see the need for a barrel burner and I have read that some are like the 26 Nosler.

I think it should be easy to get reloading components for it, including dies.

I think there should be some good factory ammo choices too.

And I think there should be a rifle for the cartridge made by the common manufacturers such as Browning, Ruger, Winchester, Remington, CZ, etc.

If my exploratory question makes sense to you, what do you think?
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Old March 11, 2015, 07:01 PM   #2
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The more I researched the Grendel the more I liked for its efficiency and wide spectrum of powders it can handle. Feed it 123 AMAX or SST and you'll be happy. Factory ammo can commonly be found for $19.99 which is a major plus.
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Old March 11, 2015, 07:03 PM   #3
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I'd say you are describing the 260. It is just a modern 6.5X55 built on the 308.
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Old March 11, 2015, 07:06 PM   #4
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There is enough chatter to suggest the 6.5s are gaining some popularity due to their long range applications. They'll never be as common as the .308 or .30-06, but you should be able to find .260 Rem. and 6.5x55mm fairly easily at non-big box retailers.

The 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5x284 Norma will be a little harder to find as they're relatively new to the commercial market.
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Old March 11, 2015, 07:13 PM   #5
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I agree, 260Rem. Then follows 6.5 Swede, Creedmoor, then Grendel IMO.
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Old March 11, 2015, 07:18 PM   #6
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260 Remington. Forming brass is super easy and it's got great long range capability and great barrel life
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Old March 11, 2015, 07:26 PM   #7
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The 6.5x55 Swede is a great cartridge, especially for the handloader in a modern rifle. It is too long for most short actions though. Most factory ammo is pretty anemic. The .260 will duplicate it in a short action, with the option to make cases out of cheap .308 or .243 brass. Factory loads are hard to find in anything but the Remington Corelokt hunting ammo. The 6.5 Creedmoor has the advantage of factory high quality match ammo that is reasonably priced. Any of the three will do the job out to 1,000 yards with the right load.
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Old March 11, 2015, 07:38 PM   #8
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I picked up a Ruger No. 1 in 6.5x55 SE three years ago (IIRC). I bought three boxes of Rem 140r CoreLokt in 6.5x55 for the brass, and the rifle, out of the box, shot 0.75" 100-yard groups. With my hand loads, using 140 gr SMKs and 142r Lapua Scenars with Lapua cases and VitaVuori N550, this rifle will produce consistent 0.6' 100 yard groups.

Now, as to availability, Ruger offers the No. 1 International (full stock) in 2015 in 6.5x55. Since I have a shot out-barreled Rem 700 long action that I'll have re-barreled in 6.5x55 SE but you might want to go for the Ruger...if I don't change my mind and get there first.

BTW, the Ruger No. 1 is a nice repro of the Farquaharson action and, in 6.5x55, feels very European when I hunt with it. BTW, the Scandinavians use this cartridge for game up to Moose. Great sectional density, great hunting bullets (I have some Nosler AccuBonds in 6.5mm), great accuracy.

Good luck,

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Old March 11, 2015, 08:36 PM   #9
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264 Win mag.
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Old March 11, 2015, 08:56 PM   #10
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What rifle? In an AR15, the Grendle is the only commercially available round supported. There are some wildcats using 6.8 SPC or .223 brass though, and some rifles in 6.5 BR.

In a bolt or AR10 type, the others fit the bill. I am familiarizing myself with a 6.5 Creedmoor and working my way through some factory ammo that will be loaded later. Fun stuff.
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Old March 11, 2015, 09:09 PM   #11
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If you balance components, cost, barrel life, recoil, ballistics (external and terminal), I'd say 6.5 Swede, 260 Remington or 6.5 Creedmoor.

If you factor in the number and variety of factory (particularly hunting) rifles chambered for it and the availability of factory ammo, I'd say 6.5 Swede.

If you then factor in usage, and that usage also includes target work, I'd say 260 Remington or 6.5 Creedmoor.

I'd forget the hotter stuff (26 Nosler, 6.5-284, 264 Win Mag) unless you know you have a clear and specific need for it (in which case, you wouldn't be asking ).
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Old March 11, 2015, 09:42 PM   #12
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i like the creedmoor, my only issue with 6.5 swede is that there arent many rifles that fire it, and a 6.5 creedmoor has all the same ballistics in a common short-action rifle.. but i think i like the grendel more because it offers a SIGNIFICANT ballistics increase over both 7.62x39 and 5.56 while still using the common 11.2mm bolt face used with the 7.62x39, requiring only a barrel and a magwell adapter to convert an AK over and a new upper for the ARs.. which makes it the most adaptable to a very broad spectrum of rifles

outside of that it just seems like the 6.5s fall into an area where its an answer for a pretty small question.. in the short action rifles typically chambered for 308, you will NEVER find something more common than .308, and probably the 243 behind that and in the shorter stuff the 6.5 grendel is still fairly uncommon because its developers sort of screwed up by hanging on to the copyrights too long
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Old March 11, 2015, 09:54 PM   #13
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Short answer "No".

Personally, I think 6.5's are great. I really wanted a 6.5 Grendel and the 6.5 Creedmoor has a lot of appeal.

Quote:
because its developers sort of screwed up by hanging on to the copyrights too long
Evidently, so do the guys who develop them.
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Old March 11, 2015, 10:06 PM   #14
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.260 was my choice. I can use the powders I'm already set up with for .223 and .308 and brass is easily formed out of .243, 7mm-08, and .308. I've got a Ruger M77 Compact that shoots it alright. 1.5 inch groups at 100 yards with my starting loads. That's about all I hoped for from a 16" barrel.
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Old March 12, 2015, 12:45 AM   #15
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Thanks all. I am thinking about a bolt action rifle, so any constraints for an AR or AK type rifle need not be applied to this exploration.

I had done a lot of reading about the 6.5mm and had looked at several rounds, but some how I had missed or overlooked the 260 Rem. I don't know how I missed it. It is always worth asking questions!

Thank you all very much. I do not do things in a hurry, so this is just the start of the process for me. My goal this year is to become proficient at reloading .223 for my CZ 527 Varmint and work on my skills with reloading and shooting and then take that knowledge and apply it to something that reaches a bit further. I have a .30-06 BAR Safari II for hunting but it is not that fun to just go shoot all afternoon. I should be a recoil pad on it.
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Old March 12, 2015, 04:59 AM   #16
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The 6,5 swedish mauser cartridge has about 10% more case capacity than the 260, and since it is chambered in .30-06 length actions, the difference becomes even larger when you load it with longer bullets.


I guess this is irrelevant to the American consumer, but in the Nordic countries. The 6,5 swedish is the main consumer cartridge in the .264 caliber, and it is one of the top three chamberings overall.

Last edited by axxxel; March 12, 2015 at 05:28 AM.
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Old March 12, 2015, 08:32 AM   #17
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I have a .260 Rem built on a M38 Jap action and a 6.5X55 build on a M98 Mauser action. Of the two, the 260 is easier to get brass for as .243Win brass is left all over most public gun ranges. A simple full-length sizing and you are good to go. The 6.5X55 does handle 140-160 grain bullets a bit better with its larger case capacity, but I rarely hunt moose or mule deer. I buy new Lapua or Norma brass for this gun as the cases last 15+ reloadings. The .260 Rem cartridge is very efficient providing higher velocity with the same bullet/powder charges as the 6.5 Swede. Both are tack-drivers out to 300 yards which is all I have to to test them here. I hope to build an AR using the .260Rem cartridge with a 1 in 8 twist to take advantage of cheap brass and great accuracy.
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Old March 12, 2015, 12:19 PM   #18
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I also want to say that two of my friends are long range shooters. The weird thing is we sit around and talk about shooting and stuff but our schedules never mesh and I have never been out with them. One is building a 6.5 BR and the other a 6.5 Dasher. One of them also shoots a .50 caliber in one mile competitions, and his best unofficial group was better than what many report doing at 100 yards. But these guys are way ahead of me and also work with custom builds. I hope to go out with one of them and see if it is as fun as they tell me it is.

So, I am looking at off the shelf ammo:

260 Rem
Fed Gold Medal Match 142 grain @ 2750
HSM 130 Grain @ 2784
Black Hills 120 Grain @ 2850
Corbon Performance Match 123 Grain @ 2800
Corbon Performance Match 139 Grain @ 2750


6.5x55 Swedish
Fed Gold Medal Match 93 Grain @ 2625 or 123 Grain @ 2750
Hornady GMX Superformance 140 Grain @ 2735
HSM 140 Grain @ 2630

6.5 Grendel
Hornady A-Max 123 Grain @ 2580

6.5 Creedmoor
Hornady A-Max 140 Grain @ 2710
Hornady SST Superformance 129 Grain @ 2950
Nosler Match Grade 140 @ ???

6.5-284 Norma
Nosler Match Grade 140 @ ????
HSM 140 Grain @ 3016

An article I found:
http://www.snipercentral.com/260-mat...mparison-test/
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Old March 12, 2015, 12:30 PM   #19
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From Wikipedia:

6.5-284 Norma
Parent Case .284 Win


6.5 Creedmoor by Hornady
Parent Case .308 Win


.260 Rem left, 6.5 Creedmoor right

260 Rem
Parent Case .308 Win

.223 Rem, .243 Win, .260 Rem, 7mm-08, .308 Win


6.5x55 Swedish
Parent Case (none)


6.5 Grendel
Parent case .220 Russian





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Old March 12, 2015, 12:51 PM   #20
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I had a 6.5 Swede, and was never able to get the velocities out of it that I wanted. Also, a lot of the reloading data I was able to find was lower pressure for older actions, and it was tricky to find reliable data for higher performance loads for use in modern rifles. Also, as has been mentioned, the case head for the 6.5x55 is close to, but not the same size as the .308. Sometimes my European spec cases did not fit well in my american case holder. I guess what I'm trying to say is that if I got another 6.5 it would either be a Creedmoor or a .260. I would probably lean towards the Creedmoor because Hornady makes some good loads for that caliber and prints the load data on the box. If your rifle likes the Hornady load you can copy it and save some load development time and expense.
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Old March 12, 2015, 01:31 PM   #21
sirgilligan
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And just when I thought I had researched all of them:

6.5x47 Lapua

From Wikipedia:
The 6.5x47mm was designed from the beginning by Lapua to optimize accuracy, barrel life, and case capacity in a 6.5mm cartridge for target shooting. The 6.5x47mm travels at slower speeds than comparable 6.5mm/.260 cartridges such as the 6.5mm Creedmoor, or the .260 Remington, because of its shorter case length.



120 Grain @ 2772
136 Grain @ 2625
139 Grain @ 2690
123 Grain @ 2790

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Old March 12, 2015, 01:45 PM   #22
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Which is the preferred rifling twist rate for 6.5mm rifles?

I know it makes a big difference in the .223, I have one rifle with 1:7 and two with 1:9.

I am finding more commercial rifles available in 6.5 Creedmoor than the others.

http://www.weatherby.com/press-room/...d-65creedmoor/

http://ruger.com/products/americanRi...eets/6973.html

http://www.browning.com/products/cat...id=035&tid=714
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Old March 12, 2015, 02:23 PM   #23
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I think your only real option is 6.5 Creedmoor. If you are looking for something with factory ammo availability that's it. You can find 6.5CM at all the major sporting good retail stores at a decent price. All the other cartridges you have considered are not as easy to find and you will pay premium prices for loaded ammo. I really like the 6.5x57 Lapua and .260 but you'll have to reload for them as the Factory ammo is very expensive and or impossible to find. I've still yet to see any of that Federal GMM .260 ammo anywhere and prices were darn near $2 per round when it was available.

The proper twist is 1 in 8 for these 6.5 cartridges.
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Old March 12, 2015, 05:04 PM   #24
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Interesting article, especially at the bottom...

http://www.accurateshooter.com/tacti...l-competition/
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Old March 12, 2015, 05:17 PM   #25
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I think that when Lapua started making .260 Rem brass, that was a strong vote.
Seems the main application of the 6.5 Lap is to be necked down to 6mm Lap.
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