Its now official. I HAVE joined the dark side.

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Michael Eichele, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Well beings how my new barrel arrived today and all my reloading supplies yesterday, its now official,,,,,I have joined the dark side. You see, my new barrel is not 30 caliber. Nor is it 338 caliber. No not a 7mm either. A 26 caliber to be exact. Yes, a new 6.5mm barrel arrived today. The only thing I am waiting on now is my new reamer from PTG. It should be here this up coming week. This will be a 6.5x284. I know how you all know how much I hate barrel burners but I contend that alot of the reason the 6.5x284 has such a bad reputation is due to the long shot strings from shooting in matches. Since it a favorate round among the match crowd for its amazing ballistic performance to recoil ratio. The match crowd also 'hot rods' them milking as much pressure as possible. Between running high pressure loads and 20 round (+sighters) shot strings, I can see why these have such a bad rep as a barrel burner. I have no intentions of running high pressure loads or long shot strings. In fact, I am going to treat this like my 338 Edge. Shoot one and wait a minute before the next one.

    This will finish to 27-1/4" in Sendero contour with 6 flutes, stainless steel and 8 twist. I have already loaded some 'break in' loads for it and a couple more to test case volume and load density. I think I will try H4831SC, H4350 and H1000. Not neccesarily in that order, BR2 and 215 Gold Medal Match primers, housed by Lapua brass and topped off with 140 AMAX's and 140 Berger VLD's.

    This will be my coues deer, dall sheep and hopefully one day, antelope rig.

    Will keep you posted after I get her chambered, threaded, fitted, crowned and finished.


  2. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    Well I sincerely hope it proves to be a fun ride for you.

    As for why the 6.5x284 is a barrel burner I suspect you are dead on.

    I've gotten far more life out of my 7mm STW than most people think is possible and I attribute that to avoiding long shot strings.

    It's only been hot one time when I fired if I remember right 13 shots pretty much as quickly as I could once on a hog eradication job.

    It has close to 2000 rds down the tube and is just now getting to the point of starting to lose accuracy.

    I also never loaded heavy bullets and max loads for it; in fact the last 800rds has all come from the same case (full case) of factory ammo.


    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    I had the same conversation with myself! Here's hoping it work that way for us.LOL
  4. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    That'll be pretty nice to see how it comes out. It definitely penetrates (w/140 gr.) deeper
    than most folks realize and is a dandy long range shooter! Good luck!
  5. Good

    Good Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2009
    Good luck with the new build!
  6. hnts4fun

    hnts4fun Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2007

    I'm excited for you and to follow your 6.5 adventure; precisely because of all the time you've spent burning powder shooting the heavier calibers. I'm looking forward to hearing any of the highs and lows you're willing to share. I don't own a 6.5 at present but with my very limited crystal ball skills it's not a stretch to see one in my future.

    Have fun and Happy New Year!
  7. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    I drank the 6.5x284 Kool Aid and had one built with a Bartlien gain twist barrel. Starts at 8.5 and ends at 8. BBl is 24". I wanted a easy carry rifle.

    I bought a bunch of 140 Bergers to try but have been really considering the Amax as well since I keep reading that a lot of people have great luck with them. Personally of all the brand bullets I've ever loaded, the Hornady bullets were on the bottom of the list for accuracy. BUT never tried the Amax.

    I'm also interested to see what Matrix bullets offers.

    Here's my thoughts on barrel burners: if I get at least 2000 rounds, then fine, I'll just get a new barrel put on and do it all again. It's only money.

    Which barrel maker did you go with?
  8. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Lilja Sendero contour in stainless. 8 twist.
  9. Akiona

    Akiona Well-Known Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Welcome!! Be warned, it gets darker and darker and darker. :)

    And you can't ever leave!!!:D

    6.5-284 Inp.
    6.5-284 Norma
    6.5-300 Wby.
    6.5 Rum
    6.5 Gibb
  10. No Fear in Accuracy

    No Fear in Accuracy Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2001
    It is gonna be FUN!. You will enjoy every minute of it.

    I'll do the same when I will order 6.5x284 custom rifle someday.
  11. cfvickers

    cfvickers Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    One powder you did not mention that I would highly recommend trying is Reloader 17. 3000 fps is very easily achievable with low pressures. If you want to soup it up a bit you can get 3100 from a 140 VLD and 3200+/- a few with a 130 (depending on your own variables). the 130 grain VLD will hit 3000 with a starting load of RL17, and the powder excels in longer barrels (over 25") in my experience. With an extra 1.5" of barrel I would bet you would get even greater velocity than I am. I have had 6.5-284s for the past few years and took out my LRH for my first ever group over 400 yards last week. I am hooked. I shot a 2.3 inch group at 445 yards on my third try (after stabilizing my platform a bit). Be sure and let us know how it works out. I kinda think like you do about the barrel burning. I cannot imagine a 3 shot string and complete cool down in between will burn it out as quickly as one would in match shooting conditions. If you try the RL-17 reduce your loads if over 94 degrees F outside temp. Otherwise it is extremely stable across the temperature range from 15 to about 90-91 degrees and velocity will remain consistent. I have one load that gives me an ES under 5 no matter what the temp if below 94.
  12. woolecox

    woolecox Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2009
    Shoot it. Shoot it a lot. Re-barrel. Repeat.

    Have fun!
  13. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    I crossed over a while ago and never looked back. You are right, the barrel burner reputation was earned in a context of target shooting. Barrel life, all things being equal, will likely be no worse than most the the rifles that are effective on game a LR. I have had excellent results using Retumbo with Fed 215's, and 140 Hunting Bergers..