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6.5 '06 As a long range cartridge

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Fred in Boise, Nov 15, 2010.

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  1. Fred in Boise

    Fred in Boise Member

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    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?
     
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    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.
     
  3. 50below

    50below Member

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    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.
     
  4. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Amen to that!

    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.

    :)
     
  5. coug

    coug Member

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    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..
     
  6. JDMorris

    JDMorris Member

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    I use a .308 for everything. of course, it is the only rifle in a big round i own right now.
     
  7. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    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!
     
  8. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    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).

    :)
     
  9. dougw47

    dougw47 Member

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    6.5 06

    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
     
  10. Fred in Boise

    Fred in Boise Member

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    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.
     
  11. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    No such thing...but it has a ton of great bullets available, and that is an important feature that works in your favor.

    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).

    :)
     
  12. kludge

    kludge Member

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    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.
     
  13. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  14. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    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....
     
  15. coug

    coug Member

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    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.
     
  16. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    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.
     
  17. USSR

    USSR Member

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    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
     
  18. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Well said, Don; that is my thoughts as well.

    :)
     
  19. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    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.
     
  20. USSR

    USSR Member

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    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
     
  21. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Additionally perfect scores in F-Class are not at all commonplace from what I understand.

    :)
     
  22. dubbleA

    dubbleA Member

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    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.

    CartridgeComparison.jpg
     
  23. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  24. coug

    coug Member

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    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.
     
  25. WYcoyote

    WYcoyote Member

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    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!
     
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