If you do decide to go 6.5 I would suggest the 6.5x284....your going to get the lapua.... brass second to none and no fire forming or possible donut issues or barrellife used up fire forming/ sizing brass
way easier to go 6.5-284 better resale value than a 6.5-06 and almost the exact same with less trouble ....your long action can feed with 142 smk's or the new accubonds if your reamer is throated for um
How did the 130 VLD's group? I was thinking of doing the 6.5-06 (NOT AI) and was looking into these for both deer but also using it for varmints (PD's, fox, etc.).
If not the 130 VLD's, what would be a good round that could be used for both? I really don't want to go through the hassle of having 2 loads for 2 different bullets for the same gun, nothing against it for those of you who do this, I just don't have the time. Definately want something that will kill deer which is what the primary purpose would be. I hardly ever get to go after varmints here in NC, but would like the gun to be a backup varmint gun for my AR as well.
My 6.5-06 AI is in the shop being built right now. We'll see what it it'll be able to do this summer. I'm using .270 brass, so I can turn the necks (a chore I don't mind doing) and control the whole process. It has a 26" Shilen select match bbl on a Remington 700 Action.
I didn't build it necessarily to be faster than the standard 6.5-06, I built it because it's diffrent. I betting that with proper bullet choice and a slower powder like RL-22 or RL-25 even or Retumbo or IMR7828 you could get more velocity than the standard version. We'll have to wait till this summer to find out.
I'm really excited as it should be done in the next few weeks.
Dano RL17 may also be one to consider. The 6.5-284 was getting almost 3200 FPS with 140s according to the author from 6mmBR. Quite impressive even from a 31" barrel
Rifle #2: 6.5-284 with 140gr Berger BTs
6.5 x 284 Prone Rifle built up by Warner Tool Co with Masterclass Laminate Stock by Carl Bernosky, Barnard Action, Bartlein 1:8.5" twist 5R rifled barrel (31" long).
All loads used neck-turned Lapua 6.5 x 284 brass, Fed 210M primers, and naked (no moly) Berger 140gr BT Thick Jacket bullets jumped .010":
48 gr RL 17 - Mean Velocity 3035 fps, ES 17, SD 7 - No pressure issues at all
49 gr RL 17 - Mean Velocity 3078 fps, ES 25, SD 11 - No pressure issues at all
50 gr RL 17 - Mean Velocity 3130 fps, ES 35, SD 12 - No pressure issues at all
51 gr RL 17 - Mean Velocity 3185 fps, ES 17, SD 6 (Sticky bolt lift on 4 rounds - this is about top end for my liking but I would not hesitate to shoot it however if it turns out to deliver good accuracy).
Bear in mind my typical loading with this rifle is 48 grains of H4350 with a Fed 210M primer and the Berger 140gr BT Thick Jacket bullets (no moly) jumping .010". This H4350 load runs 2987 fps and has sticky bolt lift on just about every round. Nearly 200 fps More Velocity Using RL17 with 140s in 6.5-284
In this rifle, Reloder 17 clearly enables me to run the Berger 140s almost 200 fps faster than I normally was able to shoot them with H4350 in this rifle. My previous H4350 load ran around 2987 fps with the Berger 140s and that was about all I could get out of it. Caution -- The 6.5-284 already has a reputation as a barrel burner. We can't predict the long-term effects of using RL17 and shooting 150-200 fps faster, but the higher velocities might cause barrels to wear even more quickly
I would figure a 6.5-06AI to at least match these numbers all else equal.