Originally Posted by BoilerUP
There are plenty of folks over on Sniper's Hide running 20" 260s reporting 2700fps +/- with 140s. There's one guy with a 18.5" 6.5 Creedmoor that gets 2640fps from Hornady 140gr factory ammo, and two others that have 16.5" 6.5 Creedmoors that get 2550fps with 139s and 2750fps with 123s.
Here's a 19" 260 that really set my mind:
My New 19" 260... Shorty
His 28" 260 ran 2850fps with 142s and 43.0gr H4350, and the same load in his 19" 260 went 2650fps. He bumped up to 43.5gr H4350 and hits 2700fps with the 142 or 140gr Hornady BTHP, and 2725fps with the 140 A-Max.
The Creedmore factory ammo numbers don't surprise me. A lot of what Hornady has been doing lately has been focused on using special powder blends to get max velocity from 20" barrels. We handloaders don't have access to the same technology that they do. Yet.
I am, however, VERY surprised by the .260 numbers. The fella in the last example you cited is 1.0 to 1.5 grains under max book loads, according to Hodgdon. What really surprised me is that he is loading to mag length and getting that kind of performance. It sounds to me like he has a chamber cut with a custom reamer, since he is getting a .010" jam with rounds loaded to mag length.
As an aside, I have a scout rifle that I built a few years ago in 7x57 with a 19.5" barrel. It is a fun little rifle. Easy to carry and fast handling. I still prefer my long barreled rifles, though. They feel more balanced to me and sit steadier in my hands. That's just personal preference. It seems that I am often squarely in the minority when it comes to things like this.