6.5 mm cartridge family is growing

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Litehiker, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    Nosler has recently released the "26 Nosler" based on a Rem. 7 mm mag. case. (Yep, yet another 6.5 mm "magnum.)

    IMHO I feel it's OK for hunting but I would not want to compete with that bruiser all day. The 6.5-284 Norma mag is pretty much at the limit of my PLT ("Punishment Tolerance Level") and that may be why we see many long range competitors using it instead of anything faster.

    But with all these nice 6.5 mm's, from the 6.5 Grendel up to the 26 Nosler we have a wide range of choices in that caliber. Maybe this signals a new acceptance by American shooters of the 6.5 mm family. My choice? 6.5 Creedmoor. Sort of a mid-level cartridge but plenty flat shooting, not a barrel burner and not a punisher.

    Comments? Preferences? Gripes? Fantasy 6.5 mm cartridges?
     
  2. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    We've known about the .26 Nosler for quite some time now. Several members on here even have one. Also, it's not based on the 7mm RM case, it's based on a shortened .404 Jefferey case, which is a non-belted case.

    The 6.5 that uses the same case as the 7mm RM is the .264 Win Mag. And actually, the .264 WinMag came about before the 7mm RM, and the 7mm RM was designed off of it.

    Also, barrel life on the .26 Nosler is not expected to be very good...
     

  3. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    Mud Runner,

    I meant to Nosler was made from a 7 mm Rem ULTRA mag., which it is. Early testing rounds were even head stamped that way.
     
  4. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I'm well aware of this. The .26 Nosler is based on the Remington Ultra Mag cases. Which are based off the .404 Jefferey. Hence, the .26 Nosler is based off the .404 Jefferey. :D
     
  5. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    It (the 26nos) should be a heck of a round if you watch how many rounds you run through the rifle. I want one but at present I'd likely have to sell a kidney to afford one. I'm not broke but not in the big ticket rifle game either at present; if rem, tikka, or win chambered it in lh ss I'd be on it like a cat on catnip.

    You don't need more than the 120-140 grain bullet range to cleanly kill most of what I hunt so the bigger than 30 cal rifles are more than is really needed. A bigger hole will sure drop critters faster, but why do you need 300 grains of bullet to knock down a 200# critter?
     
  6. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    When I look at the 6.5 mm "family" I see that the ancient (1890) 6.5X55 Swedish cartridge is also a "medium" size cartridge of that group. It is still used in Europe, mainly in Scandanavian nations, for competition.

    What I'm wondering is why it is not used more here in the US for hunting. My very first rifle back in 1962 was a $30. surplus military Swedish Mauser Mountain Carbine. A heavy little sucker but fairly accurate with an American Marble peep sight. Stupidly I sold it for $40. cash when I needed money as I went off to the Philippines with the Peace Corps. (They only paid us $60./month in-country.)
     
  7. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    All of the old mauser cartridges have suffered in the U.S. for three reasons:

    1) SAAMI specs dictate that they are loaded to such low pressures that their performance is emasculated.

    2) They are intermediate in length, which means they are too long to use in a short action, while giving up case capacity to the more common 30-06 length cartridges normally housed in a long action.

    3) Factory ammo is less available, with fewer options, and underperforms compared to comparable domestic chamberings.

    The 6.5x55 is the only non-wildcat 6.5 chambering, with a smaller case than 6.5-284, that is not a short action cartridge. So, it tends to be overlooked in favor of 6.5-284 and larger cases in a long action and .260 Remington and smaller cases in a short action.

    The 98 Mauser, Winchester Model 70, and Ruger 77 actions are all about the perfect length for the Swede, but are not chambered for it from the factory. In any of those actions, the Swede can be loaded to modern pressures. Loaded to its potential, the Swede will easily outperform the short action 6.5's and isn't far behind the 6.5-284.

    The 6.5x55 is my favorite non-magnum, non-wildcat 6.5 chambering. But, it requires handloading to reach its potential and is available in only a very few factory rifles, which turns a lot of people off. If I am going to reach for a 6.5, I either go for the mild mannered Swede or step all the way up to the .264 WM.
     
  8. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    I started both my boys (now 25 and 23) hunting at age 10 with a Carl Gustaf M94 Swedish Mauser 6.5x55 18" carbine surplus rifle with 140 grainers with very good results. This rifle has taken a few deer and antelope in AZ, NM, and MT. :cool:

    [​IMG]

    ... not pretty but very accurate ...

    [​IMG]

    (http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f28/i-got-lucky-112100/)
     
  9. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    BenchRacer,

    I guess I was wondering why the 6.5 Creedmoor would be any better than the larger cased Swede. But the Creedmoor does have a shorter case and more sharply angled shoulder which has proven, in benchrest cartridges, to be a better powder burning chamber for creating more consistent pressures and consistency is the goal in handloading.

    As you said, handloading (to higher pressures and thus higher velocities) will allow the Swede to be quite competitive. I find it interesting that this old cartridge still has a lot of life when brought up to modern standards of pressure that current metallurgy can easily handle - sorta like the 30-06.:)

    Being very new to this 6.5 realm I was "just sayin'" when I asked this question. And it makes me wonder if an "Ackley Improved" version of the Swede might work very well. Probably already been tried.

    Feenix,

    That's exactly the rifle I once had but I see you wisely removed the heavy bayonet lug plate from beneath the forearm.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  10. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    The short answer is: It's not. Neither is the .260 Remington nor the 6.5x47 Lapua. Unless you are trying to make them fit a short action or unless you participate in a discipline where the winner is determined with a micrometer.

    The truth of the matter is, virtually without exception, every "modern" cartridge is based on something originally designed in the late 19th or early 20th century. It may be shortened, have less taper, a modified shoulder, or whatever magic pixie dust is currently in fashion.

    The cartridges themselves, and the rifles that fire them, have comparatively been changed or improved very little in more than a hundred years. The real improvements have come from advances in materials, propellants, bullets, better instrumentation, and the ability to manufacture things to closer tolerances (though this ability seems to be chiefly exploited in the aftermarket and custom realm). The "old" cartridges have benefitted from the same advances as the "new" cartridges. It's just that no one buys media space to promote them.

    Where the Swede is concerned, I only have experience with the standard version, but an AI version exists that is, supposedly, a virtual ballistic twin to the 6.5-284, but burns less powder and is kinder to chamber throats. Incidentally, just about everything I stated about the Swede applies equally to the 7x57 and the 7x57 AI.
     
  11. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    benchracer,

    Thanks for your very informative replies. Good to know that the AI 6.5 Swede is so potent yet easy to live with for barrel life. It seems to have a long enough neck to accommodate longer bullets.

    For the next few years I'll get to know the 6.5 Creedmoor a lot better. I'm getting a Hornady Lock-'N-Load progressive press to replace my old C press. And I think I'll get my 6.5 dies from Neil Jones because I have use his excellent dies for my .300 Win. mag.

    Then maybe I'll decide it I can tolerate something like a 6.5-284 Norma.
     
  12. Caleb85

    Caleb85 Well-Known Member

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    I'm kinda interested in the 6.5 family as of last weekend ..we all got together for a steel shoot and my smith brought his 260 Ackley built on a pierce action 26" heavy krieger topped with a 12-42 BR nightforce. This thing is a machine !!! 600 yard steel was shooting 3" groups with 120gr. A - max ..I have added it to my bucket list for sure! !!
     
  13. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    The .260 Ackley is a heck of a cartridge. I want one, as well.
     
  14. tacpgus

    tacpgus New Member

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    I bought a Model 70, 6.5X55 in 2005. It has a long action. Except for man-eating bears, which I reserve my 375H&H for, I have used it for Alaska moose and caribou.

    All factory ammo has performed well out to 200yds, beyond that Norma. I reload using IMR4064 and Berger VLDs, which gives me good consistency out to 600yds. I need a bigger range to go further.

    One nice thing about the Swede is that I have usually found factory ammo when the the shelves are mostly bare. -- Magic Pixie dust indeed! the Swede and odd 6 were done right 100+ years ago.

    The infamous Carcano comes in a 6.5 also... I suspect anyone who has ever shot one would find it hard to believe that Oswald acted alone, lol.