Yeah or nay to the 264 win mag

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by fireroad, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. fireroad

    fireroad Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    So I've started researching my next rifle in hopes that I might afford one sometime in the near future :D. I'm looking for a caliber that fits nicely between my 243 win and 280 remington. Primary use for the rifle would be hunting hogs (and possibley deer and antelope) and 600 yd tactical shooting. As far as the rifle I'm going with a model 700 because of familiarity and good luck in the past with them. I'm pretty set on a 6.5 caliber and will load a 130 gr Accubond (if the gun likes them) as my primary load. As far as caliber all my research points to the 260 Rem. I was pretty much good to go until I started noticing the increasing number of new 264 win mags on the market.

    The 264 is intriguing to me because it will drive the 130 AB just over 3000 fps, almost 300 fps faster tahn the 260 rem. Speed aside, I don't know much about the cartridge. Most people dismiss it because it use to be a barrel burner, but with newer powders and bbl material that's a mute point. It does recoil a bit more than the 260, but I've never shot one to know whether that would be an issue. I also have no experience reloading belted cases and heard they can be a pain.

    So basically I want to know...what am I missing? What are the true minuses of the 264 and the true pluses of the 260? Why is the 260 so much more popular among benchrest shooters? Why is the 264 making a comeback?
  2. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2007
    If it's the speed you want then get the .264. Everything else , to me, points towards the .260.
    The barrel life isn't a mute point. No matter how much better the powders and metals get, the .264 is still gonna burn a barrel out A LOT faster then the .260. You just need to determine if that extra 10% velocity is worth it to you.

    I think the .264 is making a bit of a comeback because the 6.5's are just now getting the recognition they deserve, and that I believe is due to the better bullets of now a days.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009

  3. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    In short, its a magnum. People like the greater speed that can be produced. As with any magnum the minus is the expense in powder. Your loads with the mag will be double what you will put into the 260. As far as the belt is concerned, don't waste your time on concerning yourself with the belt.:rolleyes: Rifles are head spaced off of the shoulder now, so your accuracy will be fine with either cartridge. You will burn a barrel quicker with the magnum just for the fact you are burning more powder and throat life will be shortened. Recoil is going to be heavier and the use of break will be necessary for barrel control for your tactical shoots.

    The 260 will offer better barrel life. Like you I have done some extended research on this caliber and find it very plausible to use for long range capabilities. Some would argue the 6.5X47 Lapua would be the better option, but it can not handle the bigger bullets. The 130 grain will work well with either caliber. There are a lot of guys moving over to the 260 for tactical competition due to the lower recoil and greater accuracy. Fatigue generally caused by the 30 cal. used in competition are being trumped by this little caliber. Barrel life will be greater, but you will not get the speeds.

    I suppose it comes down to what will best suit your needs? If you use the heavier bullets the BC will compensate somewhat for the lack of speed, but your trajectory will not be as flat. You will retain better energy however. If I were to use the 260. I would look at the Ackley improved version and use the 139 to 142 grain class bullet. Even with the standard version you will still be pushing them right around 2800fps.

    Just my .02

  4. pressman

    pressman Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2008
    i just got a custom built to 260 and i was kind of in your shoes. did not know really what i wanted. so i also did some research. what i found is both are usually tack drivers well under .5 moa. the 260 will be cheaper to operate all the way around. and with a quality scope and some practice that 300 fps well you will be dialing up for a 600-800 yard shot anyway no matter what so what is 1 or 2 more clicks.
    So really no matter how you slice the pie you will still have to make the choice.
    you will be better off just making the choice yourself because you are the one shooting it and also paying for it. as long as you love it that is all that matters. as far as performance the GUNS will perform.

  5. Wookie316

    Wookie316 Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2009
    A big Yeah on the 264. Mine will drive a 142gr HPBT @ 3070 FPS with great accuracy. With todays barrels & powders, it is a very over looked caliber IMO.
  6. guns_and_labs

    guns_and_labs Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Well, the obvious answer is... one of each.

    The .260 is a superb tactical/competitive cartridge out to 1000 yards, easy to reload, easy on the shoulder and ears... what's not to like? I just switched to it from .308, and can figure out why I waited. It's a great hunting round, too; I built one for my son's first deer/pig rifle, and I use it on our shorter range coastal pigs regularly.

    On the other hand, the .264 WinMag close to an ideal long range antelope rig, good velocity, great bullets available, and with enough energy to get the job done further out than the .260. My .264 WinMag is definitely my go-to rifle for antelope season, though quite a few deer have heard its roar too. It's a bit much for 90 rounds of competition, though.

    Yep, you need two more rifles, not just one.
  7. TMR

    TMR Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2006
    Driving the 130's to 3000 doesn't require the .264WM case. All of the 6.5x47 Lapua's I have built with 26" barrels will run 130 bergers between 2950-3050fps and get a dozen loading on a case. I am sure the 260 would be right there also, but the Lapua does it with slightly less powder and a smaller case.

    I to am considering building a .264WM as my intermediate long range rifle....muley's and antelope out to 800...maybe the occasional elk. I am my 338 Edge for everything past that. It looks like alot of folks run the 140's in the .264 at right around 3200 with a 26" barrel using retumbo.

    For tactical comps, the .264 not be the best. You go through alot of rounds in a hurry and the barrel would be way to hot. We shoot comps across the west and use out 6.5x47's. A guy can usually run a 5-10 round string very fast and the barrel just starts to get warm...unless it's 105 degrees outside. We have run 3 shot strings in under 5 seconds and the barrels are not even warm. I am afraid if you tried that with a magnum, you wouldn't be able to touch it for awhile. If I proceed with the .264 WM project, I will post up some info.
  8. fireroad

    fireroad Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    TMR- I didn't consider how fast the barrel would heat up on a 264. That is definatley a reason to go with the 260.

    Gunsandlabs - You are correct, I do need two rifles! I am leaning towards building the 264 win from a donor shoot-out 7 mag some time down the road.

    So far I have heard some good pluses and minuses for both calibers. I'm suprised to see the 264 is still considered a bbl burner. I agree that it would make a great LR antelope gun, but I've got that covered with the 280 rem. As nice as the extra speed would be it's not a deal maker, I prefer accuracy over speed. One OP hit it on the money, the dif in speed is really only a few extra clicks at LR. Don't get me wrong, the 264 still seems pretty cool to me...but it sounds like I would not be missing much if I went with the 260. I wanted to make sure the 264 wasn't one of the great overlooked calibers, like the 280 rem.

    So if I understand correctly, both calibers are equally accurate...if you plan on doing more hunting go 264, if you are doing more target go 260?
  9. dewiseman

    dewiseman Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2007
    I just had my first custom rifle built..WHAOO!! I was going to do 264win mag but my gunsmith talked me into a 6.5/270. He builds alot of these for benchrest shooters here in WA state. Performs very close to if not equal to the 264. I am brand new to reloading and found it to be a very easy cartridge to load and was very surprised when my first loads printed 1/4 inch groups at one hundred yards with 49.5 grains of vhituvari 165. Now that I know where to seat these Barnes 130gr TSX's , I can start working up from there to find my hunting loads. I was told that 51grs of RL22 should give you about 3050fps with 140gr hornady's. Might be another option if you load your own.
  10. su37

    su37 Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2006
    Having owned three 264's.

    If you are looking for a round that will not only hit out past a 1000 and then shoot flat to 500 the 264 is a very good choice. With a 300 yard zero, you can set the horizontal cross hair on a deer's back at 500 and he's going down.

    Using RL25, Magnum and 7828 SSC I loaded 130 Swift S2's to 3,350 They have a .571 BC.
    140's to 3,250
    120's to 3,450

    The 264 is a race horse. Don't fast fire it, keep the throat clean and you'll get a couple of thousand rounds down the bore with accuracy.

    120 BT's out of a 264 will shoot flatter than 140 BT's out of a 7mm STW.

    I also own a 260, each has it's role.
  11. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    by all means go withthe 264. You wont be sorry. I sold mine 15 yrs ago and miss it every day. I carried it for 20 yrs. Good luck on your choice.
  12. fireroad

    fireroad Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    You guys are killing me! By my count it's four for the 260 to three for the 264. I figued it would be a runaway contest. Here's what I've learned so far...

    Less kick, less powder, heats up slower, better choice for tactical comp but doesn't have the hunting range.

    Great choice for LR hunting, flatter trajectory than 7stw out to 5 hundred yards, heats up fast, loud and greater recoil, still a bbl burner.

    Sounds like Ineed to ddetermine if this is more a hunting rig or a LR tactical rig. I will hunt with it, and Iwillshoot non-competetive tactical with it so that doesn't help.

    2 more questions: Which one has a greater "fun" factor? With the same bullet and similiar powders, how much shorter is the effective hunting distance of the 260 vs the 264?

    Assuming the 130g Accubond and H4831sc, and a minimum kill velocity of 1600 fps and energy of 100o, both calibers should be effective out to 600yrds (260 1896 fps/1038lbs and 264 2097fps/1269lbs). At 600yds tyhe 364 has an impressive 210 more fps and 131 more lbs energy. I picked 600 yds because that is the max distance I paln to shoot at.

    What's really impressive is that the 264 will go out to almost 800 yds before it no loner meets the minimum!
  13. PFCSkoug

    PFCSkoug Active Member

    Feb 12, 2008
    From what Im seeing on Quick load is that if you can push a 140 berger at 3200 (65000 psi with H1000, VV N570 can do 3250fps within saami spec) that with the velocity and energy numbers you posted the 264win is good out to 1000 with 1800fps and 1020ft-lbs out of a 26" tube.

    The 260 on the other hand with the same bullet and barrel and N560 should be able to get about 2950 will get you to 800 with about 1850fps and 1050ft-lbs.

    So if you are only planning on shooting to 600yrds dont waste the extra powder and barrel life. (46.8 grns of powder in the 260 compared to 73.1 grns in the .264win) Dont get me wrong the 264 win is a great round and has its places but for what your talking about doing for me personally i dont think it would be worth it.
  14. fireroad

    fireroad Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    Thanks PFC! I only plan on shooting to 600yrds, but it's nice to know Ican go out to 800 with the 142. For the 600 to 1000 I've got a 300 wsm that will handle that task nicely. BTW, how do you like quickload, and what did it set you back?

    Thanks all for the input. If we missed anything feel free to share.