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6.5x284 or 338 win mag?

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Unread 05-13-2012, 09:55 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 45
Re: 6.5x284 or 338 win mag?

Just received my Gunwerks 6.5x284. Taking it out today to test it out...local range is only 100 yds though:(. Still excited about it. Bringing the 338 also. Got some CorBon 225 ttsx to try out....never had time to learn how to reload my own:(. I'm hoping it groups well. The gun usually shoots 1.5" or slightly worse, which I'm not thrilled about. The weird part is that when I compare past test targets, it quite often shoots two bullets touching each other. This is usually "out of sequence though". I usually take 4 to 5 shots during a 10 minute session. Hopefully, good things happen with the new ammo. At the moment, I don't have the confidence in this rifle to push it past 500 yds on elk size game....forget about something smaller!

I actually have two elk hunts this year...no deer or anything else. The 338 is coming with me to the Pahvant in Utah. This is where I believe I might run into the bull of a lifetime and want the extra punch. My New Mexico guide said it would greatly increase the chances of taking a big bull by being able to reach out to 600-700 yards. That's why I was hoping to use my 6.5. I'll find out today, but am confident/hoping that it will shoot lights out. The thing about this rifle is that it is set up for 140 grain Bergers...great for broadside but limited on quartering shots from what I read. I've got my fingers crossed the 338 will like the new ammo so I can have more confidence in it. Even if it does though, I have a shiny new toy....and daddy wants to play!

Thanks for all of your responses by the way. I was 50/50 in my mind for all of the reasons, pros and cons, that everyone has brought up. The funny thing is that the responses seem to be about a 50/50 split also!. I guess this is one of those truly grey area subjects with no "silver bullet" answers.
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Unread 05-14-2012, 03:36 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Belton Texas
Posts: 72
Re: 6.5x284 or 338 win mag?

You drew a unit 12 tag...my hats off to you. Now unit 12 is an area I hunt and I will tell you, there are some places where shots won't be a 100 yds and then there are spots that are further then you can shoot. I am not a big fan of 140 grain bullet on elk...these animals are tough as nails in 12...seen some guys lose some really nice bulls due to poor shot placement and too little gun/bullet.

My gun of choice is 300 wm , not that you asked....but anyway, I am a fan of the 30' club, so for you I would have the 338 ready to go and if the animal was out of range...get closer! That first week you should still have no problem calling them in closer.

The public land holds good bulls...sometimes the public land is better then the private cause you get these yahoos that run everything off the private onto state land ...also you may get those bulls bedding up on public and come in to feed/breed on the private so you can snipe them out, on the way in or out.

That's a very nice tag you have...good luck with it.

Btw...best green chili cheeseburgers and pies in New Mexico are in Quemado...
Largo Cafe!

Last edited by Hntelk; 05-14-2012 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Sp
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Unread 05-14-2012, 03:58 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,132
Re: 6.5x284 or 338 win mag?

turn your .338 Win into a RUM, sin or edge and then you'll have the best of both worlds, with WAY more energy. Two elk, to me that says passion. have the right tools for the job your passionate about.

A .338 RUM SPS is around $600 new and can be made to shoot very well.
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Unread 05-14-2012, 11:31 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 45
Re: 6.5x284 or 338 win mag?


To tell the truth, I didn't realize what I had at first. I thought I had a 30-40% chance for the tag through the guide pool. My guide was sooo happy that I drew. He then explained that it was a 30-40% chance to get 12 OR 13, with 13 being the most often drawn tag by far. He agrees with you about the public land holding some great bulls. He has private also, but seems to more excited about being able to hunt the public.

I stated that I was taking the 338 to the Pahvant because I didn't want a huge bull getting away on me. Well, now I figure Unit 12 may be just as good as the Pahvant! I'm a lucky guy!. It doesn't look real good for the 6.5 right now. I've never shot anything less than a 300 win mag since I was 12. I'm sure it is capable, but don't want to find out different on a 400" bull! Still irks me as I have a cool new toy and really want to use it. Just not sure if this is the right situation.

Thanks for the well wishes. I'll stop by that restaurant and check it out
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Unread 05-15-2012, 07:58 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Western Colorado
Posts: 936
Re: 6.5x284 or 338 win mag?

Shoulda bought that rifle chambered in a 7 mag, then youd'a had it all... buts that another argument, I mean subject.
Sounds like a great year for elk hunting and the best of luck to you. Need a gun bearer? Then you could bring both!
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Unread 05-15-2012, 10:57 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 240
Re: 6.5x284 or 338 win mag?

Originally Posted by COBrad View Post
300-400 quartering away? Shoot! With the 6.5! Use a decent hunting bullet, I like Accubonds or something along those lines. The 140 AB has an identical sectional density to the 225 gr. 338 AB. Not the weight or momentum, but it will still penetrate and do the job.

Rhetorical question; at what point is enough gun enough gun?

I've been wildly fortunate to live right in the middle of the best elk country in the best elk state, Colorado, for 48 of my 53 years. Shot a lot of elk, and guided a few hundred clients over the past 34 years to a good pile of elk. My experience has been that virtually every shot a client took with a magnum could have been taken just as well with an old '06 or 270.
Most of the time those highly questionable quartering away can you shoot through him end to end shots presented themselves they were gone before a decision could be made, and those that were hastily taken usually resulted in a miss or a wounded animal because the killer magnum was not shot accurately enough in those circumstances to be effective anyway.

A few more observations; most of the hunters I've been out with, including most of the locals, have not mastered the recoil and blast of a magnum and do not shoot as well as they would with an old standard.
Most of the old boys I grew up around, now dead and gone, shot things like the 30-30 and .300 Savage up to the '06 and 270. They were plenty adequate to kill elk and didn't kick too bad.
I've seen way to many elk shot to $H!t with magnums. I want to eat the elk, not shoot the entire front half to blood-shot hamburger!
That said I've used more magnums that standards myself, but after enough years and observations, my guns have gotten smaller and more pleasant to shoot. The .300's and larger have been replaced by 7mm and 270 magnums. Not for short to medium range killing power, but because I can still reach out to 1k with less recoil and enough power to do the job.
Okay, this was fun, but I gotta work tomorrow.
Shoot well, shoot often, shoot what you like.

I'll agree with you on this one, I have been lucky enough to live in NM for 41 of my 41 years and outfitting / guiding since 1991, I know unit 12 quite well and propbably know his outfitter.....I'll bet that 300-400 yds will be on the longer range of a realistic shot.....last fall we took 18 bulls with everything from a 308 to 33-378 wby's, including one hunter with the new 230gr Berger OTM out of a 300 win mag.

His question was not about the best hunting rifle or field conditions it was about a 2.6-284 with 140gr berger VLD's versus any bullet out of a .338, given those 2 choices which would you use on a 1/4 away shot at a 350"+ Bull ( do they get that big on public land in Colorado nowdays?) at 300-400yds?

BTW, I have my grandfathers Savage 99 in my gunsafe chambered in the classic 300 and rest assured it has taken plenty of deer & elk, but the technology nowdays allows us to make shots that our grandfathers thought were impossible! I remember back in the mid 1980's I just got my first 30-06 and was thinking I could shoot across one of our section traps and hit a coyote, I knew nothing of ballistics or drop charts at the time and remember my grandpa telling me it was impossible, I wish he was here last weekend to see my 30-378 put 3 of 5 shots on a 24"x36" steel plate at 1760 yds
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Unread 05-16-2012, 10:10 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Spokane
Posts: 17
Re: 6.5x284 or 338 win mag?

Take a look at the 225 Cutting edge solid copper bullet (BC .640) for the 338 winchester. I've had excellent accuracy @ 2950 fps in the little 338 win using H-4350. This combination still has 2200 ft-lbs @ 600 yards ! Longtime lone ranger also uses these solids in his 338's past 1000 yards on big game. Currently own a 6.5-284 norma in a Blaser R8 and absolutely love the round. Very mild recoil, awesome ballistics, ect...I'm sure the 6.5/284 will get the job done at longer ranges if that is the only option available. However, if you compare a 225 bullet like the CEB (BC.640) it's in another league when comparing the 6.5/284, IMO. Again, both will get the job done in the end. If the bull of a lifetime is in your sights I would choose the 338 win mag hands down given the choice. IMO, the 338 win is a very capable and underated long range cartridge. Good luck on your hunt !

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