Originally Posted by 112Savage
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.
Well, have not died or given up just yet. For a while I was thinking in a whole different direction -- 338 Lapua. Please no comments!
Now, I am back to a 6.5x55 un-improved...
Here's the logic:
6.5 bullets remain and are likely to remain a great starting point for LR shooting for a very long time, and anything that does LR, can do the rest.
Swede ammo will be with us forever. If you cannot get 6.5x55, then what's left? Perhaps 30--06 and 30-30....
6.5x55 is better in a LA than 260 Rem, for the handloader at least.
As much as the AI or some other improved version is interesting, I cannot believe that the initial firing of a standard cartridge in the improved chamber is as accurate as a firing in a standard chamber. So an improved version would be less valuable for an owner that does not handload.
As for why not 6.5x284 -- barrel life in a nutshell. And it seems that many cartridges seem most accurate at decent to relatively robust loadings. Loading reduced loads gets no press. Perhaps its possible, but it would be trial and error. G'Bye barrel life.
The argument that you need velocity for long range shooting just does not hold any more. Perhaps for the 1000 plus crowd, who have to make sure that their bullet does not go subsonic. But out to 500 or even further, a modest bullet speed with excellent accuracy and BC is what matters.
Back in the day, before rangefinders were everyday possessions, point blank accuracy was important. Bullet drop mattered. Now, less so.
I think with a good rangefinder (I have a Leica 1600), a drop table, and an accurate gun, the speed of the projectile is meaningless for the first 800 yards or so.
Wind drift remains a variable that velocity can help reduce. But accuracy is still what matters at the base....
Anyhow. Leaning very much to another swede.....