Which 6.5 caliber ??? need your experiences.

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by dewiseman, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. dewiseman

    dewiseman Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2007
    OK folks, this may be a big question, hope you all can help. I am having my first custom rifle made. I have chosen the 6.5 caliber, and ordered a Krieger #3 contour 26" 1:8 twist barrel. Now I have to decide on which case. My gunsmith is recommending the 6.5-270. I would like to use this for deer and elk hunting so I am looking at shooting 130gr or heavier bullets. Please give me input on your experiences with the different 6.5 cases, ie... comparing 6.5-06, 6.5-270, (maybe improved versions of these), 6.5 Gibbs, 6.5-280? any other suggestions? I have been going through "cartridges of the world" and the data is confusing if correct, showing less case capacity and lower velocities in the improved versions in some cases. This rifle will have a standard action, and will be used predominately in Washington state and hopefully, Montana. Thanks.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2007
  2. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2005
    A 6.5-284 would be nice.

    I pondered a 6.5 -280AI ?

    I'm a greenhorn w/ wildcats and reamer specs etc. but i wondered if you could take the nosler 280 AI brass and neck it down to 6.5.
    The 40* shoulder would already be in place so maybe if you could just neck it to .264 it would be a nice and easy process .

    6.5 gibbs would be a nice/neat round also.

    Oh sorry i see i'm not helping here ....Mike

  3. blacktailslayer

    blacktailslayer Member

    May 12, 2006
    6.5 Stw

    My choice would be a 6.5 STW. As they say " Go big or go home!".
  4. lazylabs

    lazylabs Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2006
    The ones you mentioned are all really based off the same case and will be more or less the same. The 284 case will also be close with a shorter case and possibly more room to seat bullets depending on what action/stock you are using. It really depends on what you want to shoot and how far. There are lots of other choices also, the 6.5X47, 260, 260 improved, 6.5 WSM or WSSM, 6.5 x 55, 6.5BR are all fairly popular. It really depends on your plans and how much case work you want and if your willing to change bolt face sizes. If your looking in the 06 case capacity range the 284 is hard to beat with brass available and a very good track record. Pick a bullet you want to shoot, speed you want and that will help you pick a case size. It might also be a cost consideration with what reamer your smith has on hand. If you decide(or pass on) what your shooting, how far and how many rounds you want your barrel to last you can get more specific info. just my .00002 cents
  5. Supermag

    Supermag Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2006
    You might consider actually going with a non-wildcat cartridge, the 264 Win Mag. I'm not totally sure the 26" barrel can get the full potential out of this cartridge but it should be comparable to the 6.5-284 and a little slower than the STW (but the STW would benefit even more from a longer barrel).
  6. long450

    long450 Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2007
    I have a hunting rifle in 6.5x284 and absolutely love it. I shoot mostly 140 AMAX bullets out of and it is very accurate. Recoil is mild and just fun to shoot. I use Lapua brass. The Lapua brass is very consistant, a little expensive, but will last for many firings. Good dies are readily available and would have more appeal IMO than some of the other wildcats. I also have a nice 6.5 06 AI in a Mauser action. It would be more difficult to trade or sell.
  7. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Jun 12, 2004
    Going with the comment "Go Big or Go Home", I would have to recommend my 6.5mm Allen Magnum based on the 338 RUM case .

    My wifes 1K rifle will throw the 142 gr SMKs out at 3550 fps with relatively comfortable loads and do so with 1/2 moa accuracy.

    Just need to keep the barrel cool.

    Probably not what your looking for. She can be a bit finicky and very limited in powder selection. Still if your looking for shear HP, hard to beat!!! A 142 gr SMK loaded to +3500 fps is a pretty flat shooting round.

    If you want a high volume shooter, I would not recommend it!!!:D

    Kirby Allen(50)

    JPRITT Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    IMO, it would be extremely hard to beat the 6.5/284. excellent brass is availible. you wouldnt have to put unneed rounds down the barrel to fireform brass. many 1k competitions have been won with this round. it would be much easier to sell (if you decided to commit such sin).

    just my 2 cents from a fellow apple head
  9. eshell

    eshell Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2006

    I have two .260s, a 6.5-284 and a 6.5-300 Weatherby. Might be obvious that I like the caliber. . .

    Were recoil no issue, as in an occasional use hunting rifle, I would likely move to big 7mm or even .30mag for the longest range stuff since both wind and energy are better, but I shoot a lot. By the time you drive a 7mm/175 or a .30/210 at the near 3,000 fps needed to match the 6.5's trajectory, recoil is getting "noticeable".

    IMHO, the 6.5-300 Wby I have is much like Fiftydriver's big-cased 6.5 version: a finicky barrel burner that needs cleaning VERY often. IMO, not very practical if you want to do anything but hunt with it. Mine had a 30" barrel, which had to be set back at 750 rounds, and now it's 27". It needs very slow powders (Retumbo at the fast end, H-870 for best velocities with 140s) and cleaning every 20 rounds or so to keep from running high pressures due to carbon fouling in the ball seat area of the throat. The good news: It delivers over 1,000 FPE at 1k yards and kills deer like lightning . . .

    The .260 isn't a bad cartridge, but IMO, is not quite enough capacity for the 140 grain bullets that make the 6.5 so ballistically efficient. The top velocities with normal barrel lengths and 140s will be about 2,850. Black Hills is custom loading match ammo for GA Precision Rifles with a 139 Lapua Scenar at 2,850 that is shooting at less than 1/2 moa in my Broughton barrel. I will use Lapua 123 Scenars in mine for UKD match shooting, and should get 3,000 fps with them pretty easily.

    The .260 AI would be just about enough to run the 140s well, but at that point, I might as well go for another 100 fps and to the 6.5-284, which I did.

    The 6.5-284 has been a good balance of velocity and maintenence for me. I am shooting one in a Remington long action, and can seat the longest bullets out where they need to be w/o feeding or mag length problems. I can shoot 100 rounds or more in a day w/o cleaning and with no pressure problems. I get about 2,975 FPS with 140/142 grain bullets and moderate loads and my first barrel began to lose accuracy at 1,700 rounds. I went on shooting it, and it was tossing 2 fliers out of 5 shots toward the "end" (2k+). I have since rebarreled the rifle to the same specs w/o giving it a second thought. The fact that factory loaded match ammo is available for it might be a plus for some folks too. I got 1/2 moa accuracy with Black Hills 142 moly and placed 7th, 5th and 9th (of 30-34 shooters) in several of the Allegany Sniper Challenge matches with the BH factory ammo.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2007
  10. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    I must admit that I am one of the least experienced on the board, and have no practical experience w/ the 6.5. But I will agree with several of the members that you have to look at what you want. THe biggest cases like the Allen or the wetherby will burn barrels up and have to be on a heavier rifle to reduce recoil. The Bech rest and other low capacity cases will give you the best recoil and barrel life. I have seen the 6.5-284 perform at the range from a friend and it does the job. That is all I can say because I prefer the 30 cal for longer shots on big game.

    Newton's law: "Every action has an opposite and equal reaction" IE: every time you gain in one area, you will be sacraficing in another.

    good luck, Mark
  11. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2004
    6.5-284. It is the most accurate 6.5 going. It also has many other good things going for it like what has already been mentioned in other posts.

    Another one coming on strong is the 6.5x47 lapua with 130 grain bergers. Deadly accurate and surprising kill power when you run it's numbers next to the venerable 270 winchester.

    If you need more power than either of these cartridges, you might think of a 6.5 WSM. Good brass (270 WSM norma) and plenty of speed without burning huge amounts of powder.

    Forget about the 6.5-270. There are better and easier cartridges to make than that with superior ballistics (internal and external).
  12. blygy

    blygy Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    I had a 6.5 X 300 Win Mag built.. not short mag.. But I'm waiting on dies from Redding still.. I'll hope fully have them @ the end of August/start of sept.. Then I just need time to get some results.

    Once I do I'll post them here..
  13. Craig Dodd

    Craig Dodd Active Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    6.5 STW - go big or go home... I have a 6.5 Baer and without a set of chamber prints and a good mic you can't tell it from an STW. However, my 1:8 Krieger barrel is heat checked for about 3.5 to 5 inches with only 350 rounds down the pipe. Owning your own Hawkeye has some drawbacks...

    I would, as Goodgrouper recommended go with a 6.5x284 or the new 6.4x47 - Lapua brass is available for both and your barrel will last, and last, and last...
  14. dewiseman

    dewiseman Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2007
    Thanks for the info guy's, I looked up the 6.5-284 and found a norma or a winchester version... are they the same? I want to be able to get velocities of 3000fps+ with 140gr bullets, will this do it?