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optimal barrel length for 6.5mm-08 (260 rem)?

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Unread 11-10-2004, 02:22 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia
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optimal barrel length for 6.5mm-08 (260 rem)?

Was wondering if anyone can shed some light on the optimum barrel length for a 6.5mm-08 (260 Rem) - for hunting (85gn-140gn loads) - not benchrest or benchrest hunting. I was thinking somewhere between 22 and 26 inches, but this will be pack rifle, so dont want a 40" brl [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] or anything. lol. would greatly appreciate any feedback - cheers - Steve_77
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    Unread 11-10-2004, 06:37 AM
    Platinum Member
    Join Date: Dec 2001
    Location: Long Island, New York
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    Re: optimal barrel length for 6.5mm-08 (260 rem)?

    Personally, for a carry/field rifle I would not go any longer than 22".

    For taking game at average distances another 2" or 3" isn't going to make any (real) difference.

    My primary whitetail rifle is a 7mm-08. It has a 21.5" barrel. Shots out to 300 yards are no problem.

    Just my 2 cents - VH
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    Unread 11-10-2004, 03:45 PM
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    Join Date: Jan 2002
    Location: Wenatchee, WA
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    Re: optimal barrel length for 6.5mm-08 (260 rem)?

    I've got a 30" barreled 6.5-08... and currently I'm looking down the road about 500-1000 rds to when I'm gonna have to get a new barrel screwed on (around 2500-3000 total rds thru the tube). At the moment, I'm leaning towards either a 26 or 28" tube, probably the 26" w/ a heavier profile. And that's on a gun that gets used out to 600yds regularly, and once in a while further. The previous .260 I had was a Rem Model 7, and I didn't have a chrono back then, so I don't have a good comparison w/ *that* short of a barrel (20" or so). I do however have a pile of data scraped off the internet and most people seem to be getting velocities very similar to what I'm getting w/ a 30" tube... w/ a 26-28" tube. If my gun was Prone-only, or perhaps Benchrest, I might consider running hotter loads w/ slower powder, but as it is, I'm topping out (as far as safety and reasonable case life) at around 2700-2800fps. I can and have pushed it harder, but when I suddenly start getting speeds way above and beyond what most people w/ 30" tubes get... I tend to become a little cautious. Try as I might, I couldn't break 3200fps w/ the 123gr Scenars. 3050-3100 was more the norm w/ sane loades, about what people w/ 26" barrels have been getting. So in retrospect, it *appears* that 26" is probably where the point of diminishing returns begins for this caliber. Not that a person can't run hot loads of slow powders in a longer barrel and get some more speed, but I think the 'improvement' might start becoming minimal... as in 1 or 2 clicks of a 1/4" sight or scope at best, even at 500-600yds. For a hunting 'carry' gun, I'm guessing 22-24" for something most likely to be used out to 300-400yds probably would be a pretty good setup.


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    Unread 11-10-2004, 05:38 PM
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    Join Date: Mar 2002
    Location: The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia
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    Re: optimal barrel length for 6.5mm-08 (260 rem)?

    Excellent - exactly what I was looking - thank you very much.

    Ill post this second question under a "new topic" but should the 6.5mm-08 (260 rem) be 1 in 8" twist or 1 in 9 twist? If 1 in 9 is the defacto standard I take it that the 1 in 8 would tend to shoot the heavier bullets a bit better is this true? If so - what would be the lightest bullet weight one should use in the 1 in 8" twist barrel assuming a barrel length of lets say 24"?
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