Which 6.5 in Rem 700 LA, help me decide...

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by cdherman, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. cdherman

    cdherman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    I know this topic gets beaten on every so often, but I'd like to see a new beating to see if there are any insights to sway me.

    My circumstances are that I have a decent looking 700 BDL that my Dad bought for me in the 1970's. I cared pretty well for the gun. But its a 25-06, and NEVER shot very well, even with my best hand loads (and I can get sub MOA accuracy with most guns I have set my mind to), and after having it bedded. Trigger is pretty good out of the box. Still shoots 1.5" with heavy bullets. Lighter bullets are better, but I hunt deer, and big ones at that...

    I want to keep it blued steel, and keep the walnut stock. If the 25-06 was a cartridge I like, I'd have the muzzle recrowned, the action trued, and set the barrel back a little bit to recut the chamber, and preserve the originality of the gun. But I really don't like 25-06 anymore.

    I live in KC and have chatted with the guys at GA Precision -- I drive by their place each day -- so I have access to the best.

    The plan is a Bartlein barrel, which they like, minor work on the trigger (they say the old 700 trigger is fine, which seems to mirror my experience), true the action, and re-bed into the stock....

    But what cartridge -- 4 years ago, when I started thinking about this project, I had decided on 6.5-x284 which the guys at GA Precision also liked.

    But I am not sure I want a 26" barrel, as I already have a nice 7mmSAUM with a heavy Shilen barrel for real sittin' and watchin' work. And, since this 6.5 is a gun for some amount of carrying, and lightweight taper barrel in 26" length is impaired for accuracy work.

    If I go with a 24" barrel, much of superiority of the 6.5x284 is lost, compared to say a 260 REM or 6.5x55.

    I'd also like to stay with a chambering that would allow my grandson someday to shoot the gun without handloading. So 6.5x06 is out.

    I already have one 6.5x55 swede -- I have a thing about having only one gun in a given chambering -- makes keeping track of handloads, headspaces and barrel jumps easier.

    I'd like to get this gun accurate to 500 yards or more -- in my opinion full blown speed is not as important as accuracy, in todays era of quality rangefinders and turreted scopes.

    So I am thinking a 260 Rem with a 24 or even 23" barrel might be the ticket. The LA would allow to load heavy long bullets and still use the magazine. I would possibly use a long throat -- or throat it standard initially, and see how accuracy is -- if the gun shoots well, fine, otherwise back in there with a reamer and move the rifling out a touch....

    A relative short barrel should help a little with accuracy, theoretically, especially since I do not want to go heavy barrel.

    Is my thinking OK? Other suggestions?
     
  2. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,498
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    I have killed deer with about everything from a 22lr through a 45-70 doing crop damage control for 15 years. If you get you a good new barrel in 25-06 you will not be sorry. As for the youngster using it the 25-06 is right up his ally. Very little recoil , shoots really flat and drops deer in their tracks 99% of the time with vital hits. I like the heaver bullets. My favorite is the 117 Sierra.
     

  3. stomp442

    stomp442 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    287
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    260 Ackley. Have the added horse power when you need it and the ability to soot standard 260 ammo if you have to.
     
  4. cdherman

    cdherman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    My 25-06 has a subjective recoil that I and any number of my shooting buddies feel rivals many larger guns -- there is something about the rapidity that it pops. I know, by the numbers its supposed to be milder, but I cannot at all agree that its has "very little recoil". But the real problem is bullet availability for long range work -- in .257 they are just not out there -- and are not likely to happen in large scale, since typical 25-06s are twisted slow, such that any bullet over 120 will tumble. And no one out side of the very boutique bullet makers is going to make a bullet that cannot be used in any gun except a custom. No -- 25-06 is not for me.... If someone loves 25-06, I will shortly have about 400 rounds of brass for sale!

    The AI offerings (there is a 6.5x55 AI or BJ or something like that) are interesting, and I realize that you can use standard brass. But I just hate going that esoteric when both the 260 and 6.5x55 in standard form are really good cartridges for a light or standard weight gun. If the AI makes sense for either of them, its actually the 6.5x55 where it makes the most sense.... But dies and reamers would be custom....
     
  5. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    I'll assume your predominantly going to hunt deer. Here's my take:

    * I like 6.5's but knowing you have a long action rifle, why not take advantage of it? The 260 is OK, and somebody said improve it. Tell me how you improve an improved cartridge? The Ackley case will start out the same at the base, and be fourth thousandths bigger at the shoulder. You'd be lucky to see one grain of powder increase over the standard. But the 260's not a bad round. I'd go for the 6.5x55 improved, but you don't want that. Then there's the 6.5x257 Ackley improved. This is a fantastic over achiever. Cases are simply necked up .257 Roberts brass (Dave Kiff has reamer prints). This case will push a 140 grain bullet to about 2950fps. Seems to be a tight grouping round as well.

    Yet is it were me, I'd just build either a basic .257 Roberts or a .257 improved. It'll push the 115 grain bullets to just about 3100 fps, and still shoot factory loads quite well. Dies are easy to come by, and Forster even has the Ackley lumped in there with the standard dies. Recoil is mild, and the barrels last a very long time unlike a lot of really hot 6.5's.

    You might also want to consider the .280 Remington. Just a tick behind the 7mm mags. Another serious over achiever built odd the 30-06 case in the .338-06. 65% of the recoil that a .338 mag has with 85% of the power!!
    gary
     
  6. 112Savage

    112Savage Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    135
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    so, given that you already have 7mmSAUM and have a LONG action model 700; then I would go 6.5x55.

    Here's my reasoning: you already have a chambering for big stuff. If you want a short barrel (<26"), then the '06 capacity cartridges in 6.5mm are going to suffer. 6.5x55 will make "more efficient use" of the long action space than the 260 Rem will.

    6.5mm cartridges have heavy long bullets available for long range work. On the other hand, light bullets like 100gr ttsx's can be handloaded for youngsters; and off the shelf ammo is loaded so lightly that any youngster could handle the recoil well.

    I think that a model 700 in 6.5x55 with a 22"-24" #2 contour barrel is just about perfect for a close to moderate range deer rifle which a youngster could handle well.
     
  7. cdherman

    cdherman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Yeah ... I am liking this train of thought -- might be time to violate my "one rifle per cartridge rule" -- stupid rule really. I have spent the past couple hours exploring 260 and 6.5x55 loadings. The old 6.5x55 has a leg up, in a modern action.

    I need to talk to the gunsmith and find out how they react to the idea of 6.5x55 AI Its never a good idea to try and talk your gunsmith into something they don't want to do.

    I have also been trying to explore the idea of light loads for the 6.5x284 as a way to preserve barrel life. Seems less easily done, at least first pass...
     
  8. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,417
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    When I pondered the 6.5s, I went with a Bartlein 24" #3.5 contour. The muzzle is 0.650. I wanted a light carry rifle and didn't know what kind of velocity I was going to get. I have worked very little with the rifle but plan on hitting the range often this October as it will be my primary rifle when I hunt in SC with my brother.

    I personally would not consider using a long action for a short action caliber like the 260. However, I do see a benefit and that is if for whatever reason you were unhappy with the 260, it can be easily converted to a 6.5-284.

    I recommend the 6.5-284 for many reasons. 1. it is deemed one of those "inherently accurate cartridges." 2. Both Lapua and Norma brass readily available. 3. Greater powder capacity by comparison.

    Let's face it, there is no shortage of custom handloaders out there who can supply good quality ammo for that rifle no matter who it is passed down to. Secondly, and though I have seen some on the shelves, the 260 Rem factory ammo supply is quite anorexic and pretty much unimpressive in my opinion.

    If I did this all over again, it would be another 6.5-284. None of my children seem to have much interest in hunting, let alone handloading, but when I'm gone they will inherit a nice pile of custom rifles and enough loading components to last a lifetime each. Maybe my son will change his mind some day. Don't know.
     
  9. BRIT

    BRIT Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    79
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Hi
    I have a 6.5x284 with a 24 inch Barrel and it is fine. In my opinion the extra 2 inches may give you 80fps or so. Big deal.
    The 6.5x284 has much the same capacity as any 06 based cartridge and they all use 24 inch Barrels as a standard.
    That and off the shelf top quality brass and dies along with factory ammo make it a superb choice.
    Thanks.

    Brit.
     
  10. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    there are three basic 6.5x55 improved rounds out there. The 6.5 Vias is probably the best, but the old 6.5 Arch is just as good. Both are better than the 6.5x55AI. It uses either a 30 or 35 degree shoulder angle, and that's going to help you fight the doughnut. Ackley said the performance of the two were near identical. Personally, I like the 6.5x57AI. Cases are simply necked up .257AI brass. Dies are easy to do, as all you need is a set of Forster .257AI dies. Hone the seater sleeve out to .302" or whatever you neck comes in at. The sizer just needs to be honed out, or buy a bushing die. We're only looking at ten or twelve thousandths at the max. Last I heard Norma does factory ammo in the 6.5x57 Mauser. There's a little new found interest in this round with the 1000 yard bunch, and seems to work well. Recoil wise the factory Norma stuff ought to be very mild. Most 6.5x57 rounds are loaded in the low 40K psi range, but the round is capable of going into the 60K psi area
    gary
     
  11. su37

    su37 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    386
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    "If I go with a 24" barrel, much of superiority of the 6.5x284 is lost, compared to say a 260 REM or 6.5x55."

    Not at all, go with the 284 hull and seat the bullets long. Also, you will easier find long range factory ammo for the 6.5x284 as compared to the 260R.
     
  12. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,030
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    What brand, and are they once-fired? I might be interested if the price is right.

    Also, a .25-06 AI is one nasty-fast caliber...I'm in the works of building a Sendero SF .25-06 AI right now. All that's left to be done is the smith work.
     
  13. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,030
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    6.5 in a LA, huh? If you have a standard bolt face (.308, .270, .30-06), and you handload, and don't mind fire-forming brass, I would go with a 6.5 Sherman with some Berger 140 VLD's.
     
  14. su37

    su37 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    386
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    I'd also like to stay with a chambering that would allow my grandson someday to shoot the gun without handloading.