Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

6.5X55 vs the 260 Rem

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ol` Joe, Mar 11, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,087
    Location:
    michigan
    I notice a lot of people questioning the difference between the 260 Rem and the 6.5X55 here and on other forums. The general thought seems to be the Swede case appears larger so the velocities it can achive must be higher. In real life though the Swede isn`t large enough to gain any notable amount of speed over the 260, even at similar pressure. I meausured both cartridges today, both were fired unsized primed Remington brass on my Pact digital. The readings I recorded are as follows;

    6.5X55
    178.1 gr empty and 236.5 gr full to mouth lip; = 58.4gr water

    260 Rem
    167.9 gr empty and 222.9 gr full to mouth ip; = 55 gr water

    3.4gr total variation

    I also looked at my own findings on both cartridges in my records as to velocity with similar loads. The rifles were a M700 DBL in 260 Rem and a Mark X with a Hart bbl chambered for the 6.5X55, both barrels are 24". The results might suprise some.

    6.5X55 140 gr Nosler Competition HP
    46.0 gr H4831sc
    WLR
    2595 fps @ 44,612 PT

    260 Rem 140 Nosler Competition HP
    46.0 gr H4831sc
    WLR
    2599 fps @ 43,609 PT

    another load with the 129gr Hornady SP

    6.5X55
    46.0gr R19
    WLR
    2755 fps @ 44,408 PT

    260 Rem
    46.0 gr R19
    Rem 9 1/2
    2706 fps @ 43,609 PT

    The underlined "PT" figures are readings from a Pressure Trace unit. They ARE NOT PSI. The numbers are raw figures from the unit and not representative of any specific unit of measure. They are however a fair comparison of the pressures produced in each cartridge. All velocity/pressure numbers are the average of 5 shots.

    You can see the velocities are very close and the pressure appears to be very similar in each case. I have never ran each to max pressure with similar loads to say the Swede will or won`t excede the 260 or by how much but I doubt there will be much difference if any. Certainly not enough to say one is flatter shooting, more deadly, or in anyway a better cartridge IMHO.

    Another way to view this is to look at a reloading manual such as Speer or Nosler. Speer states in theirs the pressures are held to a max of 50K CUP not the 46K CUP SAAMI recommends, and not to use in old rifles without reducing charges. Nosler simply says to use only in modern firearms in good condition, hmmm.
    CIP gives the Swede a max PSI piezo of 55,100 psi instead of 48K psi for SAAMI. I`m not sure but I would suspect Speer and Nosler both are holding pretty darn close to CIP figures. SAAMI lists the 260 at 60,000 PSI piezo or about 4,900 psi more then the 6.5X55s CIP.
    Studying the Speer #13 data shows the Swede useing 1-2 gr more of the same powder in most max loads for up to 100 fps less velocity. Nosler shows a similar trend. IMHO the best argument in favor of one over the other, is if the shooter was set on a long or short action and wanted the cartridge to fit it properly.
    Your findings may vary, and you`re free to disagree. This is only a sample of one...:)
     
  2. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    5,988
    Bottom line?

    The 6.5x55 Swede is underloaded by U.S. commercial ammunition manufacturers in deference to all the small-ring M96 Mauser actions imported over the years. (Sound familiar, aka, 8mm Mauser and .45-70?) Its working pressures are considerably less than the .260 Remington, thanks to that liability concern.

    THR member USSR has a 6.5x55 Winchester Model 70 F-Class gun, and I'm sure he loads it to proper potential when punching holes in targets at 1000 yards.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5306154&postcount=6

    All indications I've seen in the F-Class world support the notion that the 6.5x55 has more steam than the .260 Remington, when allowed to do its thing in a stronger action. With the heavier 6.5mm bullets, say between 139gr-160gr, the 6.5x55 gains about 100fps over the shorter .260 Remington. I suppose you could seat those bullets out further in the .260 Remington, giving you back boiler room capacity at the expense of making it a single shot boltgun.

    I'm a tad biased, though, because I own a pair of M96 Swedes and an AG-42B Ljungmann. My F-Class rifle? It's a 6.5-06, running a moly-coated 123gr Lapua Scenar at just over 3200fps.
     
  3. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,892
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    ^ So that's a 6.5x63mm then! :D
     
  4. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    5,988
    Yeah, you could call it that.

    Although I use 7x64 Brenneke brass for my 6.5-06 rounds. :D
     
  5. USSR

    USSR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    8,452
    Location:
    Finger Lakes Region of NY
    +1. And, there are still single-lug 6.5x55 Norwegian Krags out there.:eek: When you take a cartridge deliberately downloaded pressure-wise due to old, structurally weak receiver designs still out there in shooter's hands, and chamber it in a modern, strong receiver, there is simply no reason not to run it at modern pressure if you so desire. Once you load the 6.5x55 to the same pressure as the .260, the increased case capacity allows you to run about 100fps faster than the .260 with the ~140 grain bullets. This is empirical data obtained at the firing line.

    Don
     
  6. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    6,986
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    The real problem I see with the .260 is not that its a lacking cartridge, but its poor implementation. Its chambered in short action rifles which really do it a disservice. To take advantage of the case capacity, you need to seat those long 6.5mm bullets way out which turns a short action into a single shot- this is not a problem with a rifle built around the 6.5x55 swede round.
     
  7. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    9,037
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO, USA.
    I am not sure the comparison is valid considering you're getting about 200 fps less with 140-gr-class bullets than everyone I know shooting .260, including me and the Black Hills and Cor-Bon "factory" ammo.

    -z
     
  8. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    9,037
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO, USA.
    This is not really true. By increasing the OAL with a 139gr Scenar from 2.800" to 3.000", you gain a whopping 2.8 h2o grains if case capacity, which according to QuickLoad will get you 33 fps with H4350 or 32.5 fps averaging the "best" top 4 powders for each case capacity.

    There are a bunch of great long-action 6.5mm cartridges. The .260 is popular (and gaining popularity in the LR crowd) because it works in a short action and feeds from AICS mags.
     
  9. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,087
    Location:
    michigan
    ZaK the point I was trying to make is equal powder charges were produceing very similar pressures. If you go back and reread, I stated I haven`t ran either of these cartridges to max pressure with the same powders and bullets. Both cartridges will produce 150 or more fps, I just listed the loads I did trying to keep all things as equal as possible.

    Very good! That is the point I was trying to convey, 3.5 grs of added powder won`t give you enought extra velocity to matter. If you only can expect 2.8 gr to add 33 fps how much do you thoink 3.4grs will add? They just are not different enough to claim one is better other then due to action preference or which looks sexier to you.
     
  10. Greebe

    Greebe Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    WV formerly Alaska
    Interesting post. I have been looking to get a 6.5 cal barrel on one of my actions for some time now. Pretty much it has come done to the .260 Rem of the 6.5x55.

    The only thing that I have heard against the .260 Rem is that it can be harder to find an accurate load/rifle combination. Is there any merit to this? I don't mind working to tailor a load to a rifle but this can lead to a less choice of powder/bullet combination's.

    I was planning on putting together a 6.5 cal rifle for testing and hunting. I am moving out of Alaska this summer and would like to get back into competitive shooting again. Thinking of switching to a 6.5.

    This would give me some time to play around with a 6.5 for a while before deciding if I want to stop using a .308 for long range shoots and switch to a 6.5.

    If these two cartridges are so similar, why is the 6.5x55 not used more for competition? Is it just because the .260 barrel can be easily swapped on a short action receiver in place of a .308?

    I read Zak's article on the .260, and he gives a conniving argument for it as well as the 6.5 cal bullet.

    What is your opinion on the 6.5x55 Zak?

    Thanks for indulging me,
    Greebe
     
  11. USSR

    USSR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    8,452
    Location:
    Finger Lakes Region of NY
    Two reasons: First, as you mentioned, the short action can be used with a .260; and second, while the .260 is relatively new, the 6.5x55 is more than 115 years old. Guys like new cars and new cartridges. IMHO, the lack of quality brass is the only downpoint of the .260.

    Don
     
  12. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    13,146
    Ol' Joe, very very interesting test with identical charges and barrel lengths; thank you! Not much difference; Either neck-in-neck, or the Swede having only a measly 40-50 fps advantage.

    But then again, I guess you might suspect that with identical CHARGES they'd have the same ballistics, whereas if the swede was loaded with more powder (more than the .260 could accept, but within safe ranges), it would have the edge, and yet have nearly identical pressures to the .260 with a lesser charge.
     
  13. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    9,037
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO, USA.
    I know quite a few people shooting the .260 for long-range matches around here. They use a variety of brass, bullets, primers, and powder. The most common powder is H4350 followed by H4831SC; generally BR2's or 210M's; a mix of Remington brass and converted Win or Lapua 243; and usually either the 139 Scenar or the 142 SMK. If you have an accurate barrel, you should be able to start with your choice from those (or other substantially similar) components, and just develop the load until you get the velocity you want at acceptable pressure. My recipe uses converted Lapua brass, BR2's, H4350, and the 139. I have two associated about to develop this load in their two new .260 rifles.

    My impression is that most people who want one of these 6.5's and use a longer action do it in 6.5-284 or 6.5-06. 6.5x55 would be a natural alternate to those two, with a little less ballistic potential. For a short action, you're stuck with 6.5x47, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .260 Remington.
     
  14. woof

    woof Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,571
    Location:
    central Ohio
    The greatest competition to the .260 has been the 7-08 not the 6.5x55. I think in due time the .260 will do to the 6.5x55 what the 7-08 has done to the 7x57.
     
  15. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,892
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    How could the lack of qauality brass be a downside to .260? It's a 308 case necked down. 308 has more quality brass available than most other calibers.
     
  16. USSR

    USSR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    8,452
    Location:
    Finger Lakes Region of NY
    Yes, Lapua has .308 brass available in that chambering, but you cannot buy Lapua brass in .260, and Lapua is the "gold standard" of quality brass. So, many guys who want quality brass are necking up Lapua .243 brass or necking down Lapua 7mm-08 or .308 brass. That's a pain in the arse. Lapua 6.5x55 brass is readily available.

    Don
     
  17. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,892
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Don, I'm pretty sure we'll see Lapua producing 260 Rem Brass as demand rises - you've got a point regarding necking up or down being a PITA.
     
  18. gvnwst

    gvnwst Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,614
    Location:
    Somewhere.........
    I doubt it. Lapua is allready making and marketing THEIR version of the .260, the 6.5x47, they are ballistic twins. Don't wait for them to come out with it. If they do, they will only lose sales, so you think they will......?
    :)
     
  19. skidooman603

    skidooman603 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    999
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    .260 will never replace the 6.5x55. I want a Ruger #1 in 6.5 so bad right now I would "almost" sell one of my "swedes" to get it. Or wait til I get "my" stimulous. :banghead:
     
  20. USSR

    USSR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    8,452
    Location:
    Finger Lakes Region of NY
    Quote:
    I'm pretty sure we'll see Lapua producing 260 Rem Brass as demand rises

    Gotta agree with gvnwst.

    Don
     
  21. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    9,037
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO, USA.
    The Hornady brass is apparently really nice.
     
  22. gvnwst

    gvnwst Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,614
    Location:
    Somewhere.........
    Are you meaning for the 6.5 creedmoor? They don't make .260 brass unless it is a secret or something.
     
  23. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    9,037
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO, USA.
    Sorry, I was thinking Nosler but typed Hornady. Nosler.
     
  24. 72IH

    72IH Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Oregon
    I have had excellent results in my .264 Win mag with 4831sc and a 142 sierra match king. The 107s work good to on rock chucks.

    I have a 260 in a 700 mountain rifle and have only shot it 3 times. I haven't had time to work up a load for it yet. I know, that it is just wrong to own that for 2 years now and not shoot it. The barrel is too skinny to do much shooting. Some day it will get a new heavier barrel. My hope is to do half round and half octagonal.

    Anything in a 6.5 won't disappoint in my book.
     
  25. gvnwst

    gvnwst Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,614
    Location:
    Somewhere.........
    Nice, yes, but very $$$ and hard to find IME...:( Wish it was more available, make getting one more acceptable.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page