6.5 Creed, 06 AI, or 284 Norma?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by BagABuck, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. BagABuck

    BagABuck Member

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    Well, the stars are aligning. I decided that i'm going with a 6.5 today. Since they are great for target shooting, because they have fairly high BC bullets and almost no recoil, and they are great for hunting, because of their insanely high SDs you really can't go wrong with any of them. I pretty much set out for a 6.5x 284 or a 6.5 Creedmoor, since the Creedmoor wasn't too far behind on the ballistics department and it kicked less as well as offered substantially better barrel life, I chose it. In all honesty I like the 6.5-06 AI the best, but i'm 14 years old, alot of people running wildcats have spent more time reloading than I have lived. But nevertheless the 6.5-06 AI is the best looking 6.5 to me. Also, by the way this is where the stars align, Cooper has all three of these rounds in either M52 or M54, which I wasn't expecting at all. So now, I'm going to lose sleep if I don't choose soon, so what should i go with; The low recoil 6.5 Creedmoor that also has available brass, the 6.5x 284 Norma which had good performance, good brass, but bad barrel life, or learn how to make 6.5-06AI rounds?
     
  2. Trnelson

    Trnelson Well-Known Member

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    All of those are great choices. Strong arguments can be made for each one. I have a 6.5-06 that I dearly love. I am rebarreling it into a 6.5-06AI with a 28" pipe and a 8 twist. 6.5-06AI can be made from either 270 Winchester or 25-06 Remington. Simple process to load for 6.5-06. I prefer 270 and trimming to length as 25-06 brass ends up being a little short when necking it up. i have found that 25-06 brass doesn't last as well because it usually starts out about 2.77" to 2.82" and stretches every firing until I pitch it when it gets thin above the web. To go from "standard" to AI just then a trip to the range to fire form into AI. I fire form brass for my 30-338 Winchester using the COW method so I don't even waste a bullet. Or just load a mid-range load and punch some paper. My second choice would be the creedmoor then 6.5-284 Norma. Choose the one you like and enjoy shooting it.
     

  3. adam32

    adam32 Banned

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    At 14...I would choose the 6.5-284. Factory ammo available, its a commercial cartridge not a wildcat, it will fit in a long action with VLD's and feed fine, I don't believe it's the "barrel burner" that it's made out to be either...
     
  4. nightowl

    nightowl Member

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    By the way, I think it's totally cool that you're only 14 yrs old and already becoming a rifle nut. Puts a smile on my face.

    I think the first and most important question to answer honestly to yourself is "what am I going to use the rifle for ?". Sounds easy enough, but sometimes it's not that easy to do. This is really the basis for all of the decisions about your gun.

    Answer that accurately and now you're in business. From that you can figure out where to go in terms of power vs. barrel life. How much versatility do you need. Acceptable level of accuracy. How much and what kind of brass do you need. Bullet style and required twist for the bbl. Action style and overall rig setup. Stock. On and on.

    I totally understand the dilemma - lots of good choices nowadays.
    Built a 6.5-'06 AI a number of years back b/c my buddy had the reamer, and you couldn't get 6.5-.284 brass from Lapua at the time. I had an eye towards getting strong, high quality brass with a lot of power/performance for hunting. The Creedmoor didn't even exist and isn't at the performance level I wanted. The .260 Rem AI was an option using Lapua .243 brass, but it didn't quite have the performance I was looking for either. The improved '06 was great b/c I could form Lapua brass and get almost .264 WinMag performance. My buddy was consistently winning 1,000 yd relays with his, so I knew the accuracy potential. As a hunting gun, it would have acceptable bbl life for me - most say around 900 to 1,200 rds depending on how you use it. Only downside is the case forming tends to be a serious pain, especially since the reamer was a tight neck, so I have to turn necks on top of all the other case forming operations. Added expense of extra tools. Don't be afraid of wildcats - there's plenty of guys to guide you here, but you need to decide if all the extra work is really worth the potential gain.

    Nowadays, if I did it again, for what I was looking for, I'd just get Lapua brass in a straight 6.5-.284, chambered for a no-turn neck and be done with it. And actually, I might even step up to 7mm and go with a .280 AI. Great bbl life from what I've heard. You can get Nosler brass already formed. The 7mm bullets are hard to beat in terms of lots of choices, excellent quality, high b.c. The 7's give a lot of power for the limited amount of recoil they tend to generate. Plus I think they are generally easier to tune for accuracy than the 6.5's in the upper level of the performance spectrum. No experience to say when it comes to the sensible 6.5's like the the .260 Rem, Creedmoor, 6.5x47 Lapua, 6.5x55 Swede which, by the way, is another great choice if you're dead-set on the 6.5 - relatively cheap high quality Lapua brass that's about 1/2 the price of the others already mentioned - guess since it's Europe's .308 win, they make a LOT of it, so quantity keeps it cheaper - only downside is that the Lapua brand case rim is made exactly to spec and is about .008" to .011" larger than the U.S. made stuff, so it might be tight in some bolt faces (some custom actions and a Kimber 84M I spec'd out one time).

    To muddy the water even a little more for you, if you are considering a 7mm, check out the 7WSM as well, but you'll need a magnum size bolt-face. All the others above go with the standard .473" size.

    Hope this was helpful, though I probably now took you back to square one - but like I said, that's where you need to answer that all-important first question.
     
  5. BagABuck

    BagABuck Member

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    Actually, I was considering a 7, but really, I wanted to get more experienced with reloading before I do that, because the rounds like the 7mm Dakota and Super Mashburn are the ideal 7mms in my eyes, but the Mashburn is a wildcat and the Dakota is $1.75 for a piece of brass, so I feel like I need to become an expert all around before stepping it up. To be honest, I wouldn't feel bad with a 7Mag, but then when i'de upgrade to a Mashburn or Dakota the 7Mag would be useless, where as if I had a 6.5 it would still have use.
     
  6. 8andbait

    8andbait Well-Known Member

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    If you are getting a Cooper I would stay with a model 52 for the long action.
    I have a Cooper 6.5 Creedmoor and it is a great shooter. Having said that...the throat is very long and my VLD's are .075 off the lands in order to fit the magazine. Also the model 54 Creedmoor is a lightweight platform, my barrel is only .60 at the muzzle and the longest barrel you can get is 24". For these reasons I would lean towards a model 52 so you can get a little more weight in the rifle and a longer barrel and a long action. I have a Cooper 6.5x284 on order that should be here in a few months that will be my new number one rifle.
    I love my creedmoor and it is a great carry gun but I would have been happier with a longer, thicker barrel with a shorter throat. I went with the Creedmoor over the 260 so I could shoot the VLD bullets and fit in the magazine and it kind of back fired on me since the throat is so long on my particular rifle.

    Anyway you have three great choices and if you get any Cooper you will be happy.

    For a 7mm I would look into the 280 AI if getting a Cooper because the Model 52 is about $1000 less than a Model 56 Magnum caliber.

    gary
     
  7. cwinner

    cwinner Well-Known Member

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    Congradulations, I too have chosen to switch to a 6.5 caliber and recently purchased a 6.5 Creedmoor on a stiller Tac-30 action......IM SITTING HERE WAITING for the sun to come up while i type this so I can put it through its paces this morning :)

    I'll let you know how it shoots but I have high expectations...........
     
  8. 8andbait

    8andbait Well-Known Member

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    you are going to love the creedmoor, fun to shoot and easy to load for. I have had mine for about 6 months and have over 500 rounds through it.

    Have fun out there.

    gary
     
  9. cwinner

    cwinner Well-Known Member

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    Boy were you right, I am in love...No wonder I have been getting my but kicked all year by the guys shooting the Creedmor!! Shot under 1/2 MOA all day and was able to get first round hits all the way from 300-800 yds...glad I finally got on the bandwagon!!
     
  10. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    I would go with the Creedmoor. Although I don't shoot one, I shoot a 260, which is very similair and love it. I have all the other big calibers as well, but the 260 is a fun to shoot and is accurate just like the Creedmoor. I have several friends that swear by the Creedmoor and it's become the caliber of choice by many competition shooters. This choice will allow you to work up to the bigger calibers as you age and still keep the 6.5 for smaller game or target shooting.

    Curtis, glad to hear you have your rifle and it's shooting extremely well! I can't wait to see it, send me an email photo.
    Ron
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012