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Which 6.5 in Rem 700 LA, help me decide...

 
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Old 09-28-2013, 02:12 PM
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Which 6.5 in Rem 700 LA, help me decide...

I know this topic gets beaten on every so often, but I'd like to see a new beating to see if there are any insights to sway me.

My circumstances are that I have a decent looking 700 BDL that my Dad bought for me in the 1970's. I cared pretty well for the gun. But its a 25-06, and NEVER shot very well, even with my best hand loads (and I can get sub MOA accuracy with most guns I have set my mind to), and after having it bedded. Trigger is pretty good out of the box. Still shoots 1.5" with heavy bullets. Lighter bullets are better, but I hunt deer, and big ones at that...

I want to keep it blued steel, and keep the walnut stock. If the 25-06 was a cartridge I like, I'd have the muzzle recrowned, the action trued, and set the barrel back a little bit to recut the chamber, and preserve the originality of the gun. But I really don't like 25-06 anymore.

I live in KC and have chatted with the guys at GA Precision -- I drive by their place each day -- so I have access to the best.

The plan is a Bartlein barrel, which they like, minor work on the trigger (they say the old 700 trigger is fine, which seems to mirror my experience), true the action, and re-bed into the stock....

But what cartridge -- 4 years ago, when I started thinking about this project, I had decided on 6.5-x284 which the guys at GA Precision also liked.

But I am not sure I want a 26" barrel, as I already have a nice 7mmSAUM with a heavy Shilen barrel for real sittin' and watchin' work. And, since this 6.5 is a gun for some amount of carrying, and lightweight taper barrel in 26" length is impaired for accuracy work.

If I go with a 24" barrel, much of superiority of the 6.5x284 is lost, compared to say a 260 REM or 6.5x55.

I'd also like to stay with a chambering that would allow my grandson someday to shoot the gun without handloading. So 6.5x06 is out.

I already have one 6.5x55 swede -- I have a thing about having only one gun in a given chambering -- makes keeping track of handloads, headspaces and barrel jumps easier.

I'd like to get this gun accurate to 500 yards or more -- in my opinion full blown speed is not as important as accuracy, in todays era of quality rangefinders and turreted scopes.

So I am thinking a 260 Rem with a 24 or even 23" barrel might be the ticket. The LA would allow to load heavy long bullets and still use the magazine. I would possibly use a long throat -- or throat it standard initially, and see how accuracy is -- if the gun shoots well, fine, otherwise back in there with a reamer and move the rifling out a touch....

A relative short barrel should help a little with accuracy, theoretically, especially since I do not want to go heavy barrel.

Is my thinking OK? Other suggestions?
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:09 PM
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Re: Which 6.5 in Rem 700 LA, help me decide...

I have killed deer with about everything from a 22lr through a 45-70 doing crop damage control for 15 years. If you get you a good new barrel in 25-06 you will not be sorry. As for the youngster using it the 25-06 is right up his ally. Very little recoil , shoots really flat and drops deer in their tracks 99% of the time with vital hits. I like the heaver bullets. My favorite is the 117 Sierra.
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:25 PM
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Re: Which 6.5 in Rem 700 LA, help me decide...

260 Ackley. Have the added horse power when you need it and the ability to soot standard 260 ammo if you have to.
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:44 PM
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Re: Which 6.5 in Rem 700 LA, help me decide...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RT2506 View Post
I have killed deer with about everything from a 22lr through a 45-70 doing crop damage control for 15 years. If you get you a good new barrel in 25-06 you will not be sorry. As for the youngster using it the 25-06 is right up his ally. Very little recoil , shoots really flat and drops deer in their tracks 99% of the time with vital hits. I like the heaver bullets. My favorite is the 117 Sierra.
My 25-06 has a subjective recoil that I and any number of my shooting buddies feel rivals many larger guns -- there is something about the rapidity that it pops. I know, by the numbers its supposed to be milder, but I cannot at all agree that its has "very little recoil". But the real problem is bullet availability for long range work -- in .257 they are just not out there -- and are not likely to happen in large scale, since typical 25-06s are twisted slow, such that any bullet over 120 will tumble. And no one out side of the very boutique bullet makers is going to make a bullet that cannot be used in any gun except a custom. No -- 25-06 is not for me.... If someone loves 25-06, I will shortly have about 400 rounds of brass for sale!

The AI offerings (there is a 6.5x55 AI or BJ or something like that) are interesting, and I realize that you can use standard brass. But I just hate going that esoteric when both the 260 and 6.5x55 in standard form are really good cartridges for a light or standard weight gun. If the AI makes sense for either of them, its actually the 6.5x55 where it makes the most sense.... But dies and reamers would be custom....
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:09 PM
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Re: Which 6.5 in Rem 700 LA, help me decide...

I'll assume your predominantly going to hunt deer. Here's my take:

* I like 6.5's but knowing you have a long action rifle, why not take advantage of it? The 260 is OK, and somebody said improve it. Tell me how you improve an improved cartridge? The Ackley case will start out the same at the base, and be fourth thousandths bigger at the shoulder. You'd be lucky to see one grain of powder increase over the standard. But the 260's not a bad round. I'd go for the 6.5x55 improved, but you don't want that. Then there's the 6.5x257 Ackley improved. This is a fantastic over achiever. Cases are simply necked up .257 Roberts brass (Dave Kiff has reamer prints). This case will push a 140 grain bullet to about 2950fps. Seems to be a tight grouping round as well.

Yet is it were me, I'd just build either a basic .257 Roberts or a .257 improved. It'll push the 115 grain bullets to just about 3100 fps, and still shoot factory loads quite well. Dies are easy to come by, and Forster even has the Ackley lumped in there with the standard dies. Recoil is mild, and the barrels last a very long time unlike a lot of really hot 6.5's.

You might also want to consider the .280 Remington. Just a tick behind the 7mm mags. Another serious over achiever built odd the 30-06 case in the .338-06. 65% of the recoil that a .338 mag has with 85% of the power!!
gary
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:25 PM
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Re: Which 6.5 in Rem 700 LA, help me decide...

so, given that you already have 7mmSAUM and have a LONG action model 700; then I would go 6.5x55.

Here's my reasoning: you already have a chambering for big stuff. If you want a short barrel (<26"), then the '06 capacity cartridges in 6.5mm are going to suffer. 6.5x55 will make "more efficient use" of the long action space than the 260 Rem will.

6.5mm cartridges have heavy long bullets available for long range work. On the other hand, light bullets like 100gr ttsx's can be handloaded for youngsters; and off the shelf ammo is loaded so lightly that any youngster could handle the recoil well.

I think that a model 700 in 6.5x55 with a 22"-24" #2 contour barrel is just about perfect for a close to moderate range deer rifle which a youngster could handle well.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:06 PM
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Re: Which 6.5 in Rem 700 LA, help me decide...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trickymissfit View Post
Here's my take:

* I like 6.5's but knowing you have a long action rifle, why not take advantage of it? I'd go for the 6.5x55 improved, but you don't want that. gary
Quote:
Originally Posted by 112Savage View Post
so, given that you already have 7mmSAUM and have a LONG action model 700; then I would go 6.5x55.

Here's my reasoning: you already have a chambering for big stuff. If you want a short barrel (<26"), then the '06 capacity cartridges in 6.5mm are going to suffer. 6.5x55 will make "more efficient use" of the long action space than the 260 Rem will.

6.5mm cartridges have heavy long bullets available for long range work. On the other hand, light bullets like 100gr ttsx's can be handloaded for youngsters; and off the shelf ammo is loaded so lightly that any youngster could handle the recoil well.

I think that a model 700 in 6.5x55 with a 22"-24" #2 contour barrel is just about perfect for a close to moderate range deer rifle which a youngster could handle well.
Yeah ... I am liking this train of thought -- might be time to violate my "one rifle per cartridge rule" -- stupid rule really. I have spent the past couple hours exploring 260 and 6.5x55 loadings. The old 6.5x55 has a leg up, in a modern action.

I need to talk to the gunsmith and find out how they react to the idea of 6.5x55 AI Its never a good idea to try and talk your gunsmith into something they don't want to do.

I have also been trying to explore the idea of light loads for the 6.5x284 as a way to preserve barrel life. Seems less easily done, at least first pass...
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