6.5/06AI Barrel Length


Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2012
I currently have a 6.5/06 chambered Savage. It is approaching 800 down the pipe. I'm looking ahead and planning to get a new barrel ordered for it soon so I can have it in hand ready to go to my gunsmith for finish chambering, installation and headspacing when the current barrel gets tired. I am going to have the new barrel chambered 6.5/06AI in hope of finding a touch more velocity for the "top" accuracy node. I'm hoping for a few opinions as to the barrel length I should use to reasonably expect getting the full velocity potential from this setup. I have not yet made a final decision as to the barrel maker, but I have been pleased with the Shillen Barrel I have on the rifle now. Weight is a secondary consideration for this rig as I'm not planning to carry it around anymore than to my stand and back.
I've had several 6.5-06AI and here is barrel Length and Velocity:
25.5" Pac-nor 3 groove-3080 with 140 VLD (pretty fast barrel)
26.5" Pac-nor 5 groove-3070 with 140 VLD (I had this barrel shooting up at 3160 but it was pretty hard on brass but shot very well)
26" Broughton-3070 with 140 VLD
27" Pac-nor 3 groove 3105 with 140 VLD

All the rifles I have had shot .5 moa or less out to 800 yards. All were loaded with Lapua brass Fed 215M primers, 59 grains of Retumbo behind a 140 JLK. Brass life was very good, I wasn't leaning on it very much.

Don't be afraid to look at the Brux barrels. I have two of them on 6.5x47 Lapua's and probably now will go with Brux on all my future builds.
Thank you! Exactly what I'm Looking for. I'll take a serious look at the Brux barrels. My current 6.5/06 loves 56.6g R-25 at 2860 with the 140g Berger. There's another node at 58.2g and 3010 but I get a sticky bolt. Pressure sign comes on fast and the node is narrow. 58.0g R25 just barely shoots MOA in the rifle. In the interest of safety I backed off to the next safe node. I'd "like" to get to 3000 SAFELY with accuracy when I rebarrel. What taper are you using on your rigs?
All mine have been in the 3 to 4 weight. Finish with a scope at around 8.5-9.25lbs. All my experience with R25 is that it is terribly unstable and very inconsistant. I used to shoot R22 in my 6.5-06AI's but switched to Retumbo and haven't looked back. Ramshot Magnum has also proved to be very accurate with that cartridge as well. Do you have a smith picked out for your build yet?
You can also get really good results using Nosler 280AI brass and bumping the shoulders back and triming the necks. They shoot the 59 of Retumbo load really well. If a guy doesnt want to turn necks and fireform, that's the way to go. My Lapua brass is fairly easy now as I had my buddy build a hydro-form die for it. No more fire-forming!
Good call with the Nosler 280AI brass! I have 200 weight sorted 6.5/06 twice fired that I plan to fire form using the COW method when the time comes. I've never played around with Retumbo. I have played with H-1000 and the Ramshot Magnum powder. I actually utilize Ramshot Magnum in my .30/338 win, just never thought to try it in my 6.5... I learned two things today. I can call today a success and go to bed!!
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