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6.5 WSM Savage?

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Unread 07-21-2012, 12:12 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 64
6.5 WSM Savage?

I just picked up a savage model 11 in 270 WSM. I am planning to turn this rifle into a do it yourself semi custom long range rig. My first question is does anyone have any experience swaping barrels on a savage? I would like to do the work myself so if anyone has any insight on necessary tools or procedure that would be great. Secondly I am thinking of going with a Shilen drop in barrel in 6.5WSM, I would be interested in any info about these barrels and also if anyone has had good or bad experience with this round. Thanks for takin a look.
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Unread 07-21-2012, 05:17 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,155
Re: 6.5 WSM Savage?

You'll want an action wrench, barrel nut wrench, and a go-gauge in the 6.5 wsm caliber. Barrel swaps are supper easy. If it has the smooth nut, take it off with a pipe wrench and and order a slotted barrel nut. Get a bolt lift kit from stockade gun stocks. I would also suggest one of his stocks. He specializes in savage's. As for shilen barrels, I haven't heard anything negative about them. I like Lothar Walther barrels. Make sure you get an 1:8 twist so your rifle can handle the 140grn bullets.

As for procedure, losen nut, twist barrel out, put go gauge in chamber, close bolt, twist new barrel on until it stops, tighten barrel nut. You'll have to put the barrel nut on before twisting it on the action. It's not hard at all. Welcome to the barrel nut brother hood. If your's does not have the accu-trigger, you'll want to look into the Rifle Basix, Custom Bolt-Action Triggers.
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Unread 07-22-2012, 11:40 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Re: 6.5 WSM Savage?

You may want to steer clear of Shilen, personally CBI, McGowen, Brux, Kreiger, Benchmark, and Lothar have been much better than Shilen, the last Shilen I had in 7mm rm was the last one I'll ever buy. If you go with the 6.5wsm you might want to order 2 barrels, as it is a good bit harder on them than a 6.5x284, the 6.5 rem mag may be a better choice if barrel life concerns you, or you can swap bolt heads for about 50 bucks and 10 minutes and use a cartridge the takes a standard bolt face. Also remember to order the right size barrel, the wsm should be a large shank but there was a handful made that were not, other than that Liltank pretty well covered it for you.
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Unread 07-23-2012, 09:48 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Gillette, WY
Posts: 2,995
Re: 6.5 WSM Savage?

The WSM is going to be harder on barrels than most other 6.5's... that is the price one pays for performance. Allen Magnums aren't renowned for long bbl life either, but as Kirby has shown us, proper care & use can lead to a throat life most thought impossible.

My 6.5WSM is wearing a 1-8.4" Obermeyer, the WSM probably won't need a 1-8" to stabilize a 140, I think the 1-8.5-ish should be considered the absolute basement of twist rate. My intuition tells me the 1-8.5 will still Toast 140 VLD's at the velocity potential of the WSM. I would be pretty surprised if a 1-9" wouldn't stabilize a 140 even at or near sea level with a long barrel, however you stated 26" IIRC.

I have 3 or 4 older Shilens, they shoot very well. But, I have also heard that the new ones don't shoot nearly as well as stated above. There are plenty of barrel manufacturers who make good pre-fits, it may be worth your time to contact a few.

All in all, there is nothing wrong with the 6.5WSM, if it fits the scenario. If you are looking for high volume target shooter, you might look elsewhere If you are looking for top performance for a short action 6.5 Hunting Rifle, you will be hard pressed to find better. If all else fails, spend the extra $150, have the barrel melonited & add the extra life associated with that process.
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