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Its now official. I HAVE joined the dark side.

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Old 12-31-2011, 11:11 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Posts: 3,514
Its now official. I HAVE joined the dark side.

Well beings how my new barrel arrived today and all my reloading supplies yesterday, its now official,,,,,I have joined the dark side. You see, my new barrel is not 30 caliber. Nor is it 338 caliber. No not a 7mm either. A 26 caliber to be exact. Yes, a new 6.5mm barrel arrived today. The only thing I am waiting on now is my new reamer from PTG. It should be here this up coming week. This will be a 6.5x284. I know how you all know how much I hate barrel burners but I contend that alot of the reason the 6.5x284 has such a bad reputation is due to the long shot strings from shooting in matches. Since it a favorate round among the match crowd for its amazing ballistic performance to recoil ratio. The match crowd also 'hot rods' them milking as much pressure as possible. Between running high pressure loads and 20 round (+sighters) shot strings, I can see why these have such a bad rep as a barrel burner. I have no intentions of running high pressure loads or long shot strings. In fact, I am going to treat this like my 338 Edge. Shoot one and wait a minute before the next one.

This will finish to 27-1/4" in Sendero contour with 6 flutes, stainless steel and 8 twist. I have already loaded some 'break in' loads for it and a couple more to test case volume and load density. I think I will try H4831SC, H4350 and H1000. Not neccesarily in that order, BR2 and 215 Gold Medal Match primers, housed by Lapua brass and topped off with 140 AMAX's and 140 Berger VLD's.

This will be my coues deer, dall sheep and hopefully one day, antelope rig.

Will keep you posted after I get her chambered, threaded, fitted, crowned and finished.


Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (where the shot goes, how big the group is, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:31 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Halfway between Lubbock and Dallas
Posts: 4,566
Re: Its now official. I HAVE joined the dark side.

Well I sincerely hope it proves to be a fun ride for you.

As for why the 6.5x284 is a barrel burner I suspect you are dead on.

I've gotten far more life out of my 7mm STW than most people think is possible and I attribute that to avoiding long shot strings.

It's only been hot one time when I fired if I remember right 13 shots pretty much as quickly as I could once on a hog eradication job.

It has close to 2000 rds down the tube and is just now getting to the point of starting to lose accuracy.

I also never loaded heavy bullets and max loads for it; in fact the last 800rds has all come from the same case (full case) of factory ammo.
Without the First and Second Amendments the rest of The Constitution is Meaningless.
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:09 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 2,279
Re: Its now official. I HAVE joined the dark side.

I had the same conversation with myself! Here's hoping it work that way for us.LOL
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:18 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Nevada
Posts: 2,782
Re: Its now official. I HAVE joined the dark side.

That'll be pretty nice to see how it comes out. It definitely penetrates (w/140 gr.) deeper
than most folks realize and is a dandy long range shooter! Good luck!

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also as it was in the days of Lot so it shall be in the days...
It's happening again!!! God sent to us His prophet, and His Word
to this generation and we once more are rejecting it as was prophesied!!!

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Old 01-01-2012, 11:05 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 391
Re: Its now official. I HAVE joined the dark side.

Good luck with the new build!
Laus Deo
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:10 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Jackson, Wyoming
Posts: 281
Re: Its now official. I HAVE joined the dark side.


I'm excited for you and to follow your 6.5 adventure; precisely because of all the time you've spent burning powder shooting the heavier calibers. I'm looking forward to hearing any of the highs and lows you're willing to share. I don't own a 6.5 at present but with my very limited crystal ball skills it's not a stretch to see one in my future.

Have fun and Happy New Year!
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

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Old 01-01-2012, 12:11 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: OHIO
Posts: 2,419
Re: Its now official. I HAVE joined the dark side.

I drank the 6.5x284 Kool Aid and had one built with a Bartlien gain twist barrel. Starts at 8.5 and ends at 8. BBl is 24". I wanted a easy carry rifle.

I bought a bunch of 140 Bergers to try but have been really considering the Amax as well since I keep reading that a lot of people have great luck with them. Personally of all the brand bullets I've ever loaded, the Hornady bullets were on the bottom of the list for accuracy. BUT never tried the Amax.

I'm also interested to see what Matrix bullets offers.

Here's my thoughts on barrel burners: if I get at least 2000 rounds, then fine, I'll just get a new barrel put on and do it all again. It's only money.

Which barrel maker did you go with?
Derek M.
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