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Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics Applied Ballistics

View Poll Results: Favorite 6.5 Cartridge
264 Win Mag 70 11.74%
264 Rem Mag 4 0.67%
65. STW 4 0.67%
6.5-284 131 21.98%
6.5 WSM 25 4.19%
6.5 SAUM 20 3.36%
6.5 Rem 59 9.90%
6.5-47 Lapaua 50 8.39%
6.5-06 45 7.55%
Other 188 31.54%
Voters: 596. You may not vote on this poll


Favorite 6.5 Cartridge

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Unread 12-30-2012, 01:29 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: British Columbia Canada
Posts: 220
Re: Favorite 6.5 Cartridge

6.5-06 24 inch barrel. 8.5 twist. 57.7 H1000 2988 fps 140 Berger.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 09:52 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Northeast
Posts: 3,622
Re: Favorite 6.5 Cartridge

I have worked with several 6.5 cartridges and have settled on the 6.5x284 using 57-59 gr of Retumbo, 140 Berger VLD's or JLK's . I get 2975-3025 FPS out of my 24-26" barrels and consistent .25-.5 MOA out to 1000 yards. I hunt medium game, deer, antelope, and coyotes. This velocity seems to be the sweet spot for the 140 VLD's giving superb terminal performance on game from 50 yards to 1000 yards. For coyotes, as far out as I can hit them. Lapua and Nosler brass give identical performance and 10+ reloads/case. As to being a barrel burner, I have 500-600 rounds each through both my rifles with no measurable erosion of the throats yet. As a point of reference, my 270 WSM and 300WBY had 1/8 inch of erosion at about 500 rounds.

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready"-T. Roosevelt
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Unread 12-30-2012, 12:02 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,332
Re: Favorite 6.5 Cartridge

I voted "OTHER" for the 6.5x55. I own rifles in 6.5x55, 6.5-284, and 264WM. I love them all, but the Swede is my favorite. Lapua brass for the Swede is about half the cost of Lapua for the 6.5-284. The round itself is mild mannered, yet gives a lot of performance relative to its capacity.

All in all, I have to vote for the Swede because I think it gives the best bang for the buck among the 6.5's.

My best 6.5x55 load so far is 140g Berger VLD, Lapua brass, Federal LR primer, 48.2g H4831. I have never chronoed this load, but drops to 600 yards suggest 2750ish. From a 1/9 26" Shilen barrel, this load was shooting 3/8" three shot groups @ 100 yards. My first 5 shot group @ 600 yards in very windy conditions came in under 4".

My bigger cased 6.5's will outperform the Swede, but each of them is another step into the land of diminishing returns.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 12:43 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 5,770
Re: Favorite 6.5 Cartridge

You kinda have mild to wild to pick from, so many good points on several of them to choose one! I would seriously look at the 6.5 Sherman, it's right at the top before you go to wild IMO so it seems to be very easy going from what I've seen but you still get some performance, 140's in the 3150ish range are just awesome and my dad played with some 123's the other day and 3400+ was easy with stupid accuracy!!! Easy to just call up Hornady and get a custom die set coming since they have it on profile.
I'm getting a barrel for my Savage to play with and my Bro is gathering parts for a Howa 6.5 Sherman. It seems to be one of those that you just grab when you go to the gun case!!
"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
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Unread 12-30-2012, 02:15 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 128
Re: Favorite 6.5 Cartridge

The 6.5X55 has been doing what the others have been doing for a hundred years.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 02:22 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,474
Re: Favorite 6.5 Cartridge

260 gets my vote. Here's the rifle and load data:

My 260 by MCR

Also, you forgot to include 6.5creedmoor on the list.
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
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Unread 12-30-2012, 04:12 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 383
Re: Favorite 6.5 Cartridge

A 6.5-06 imp would be my pick
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