Is it possible to make full use of the Berger 156gr 6.5 Elite Hunters in a short action? I’m considering building a new short action rifle using a BigHorn SL3 I have with a SwitchLug on it. I’m going to have a 6 Creedmoor and a 300wsm barrel spun for it but I’d like to get a 6.5 variant for it as well - I’m a 6.5 fanboy. I have some other 6.5s that I shoot up to 143gr out of and I thought about the newer 156gr Berger EH since I do prefer shooting heavier bullets. The problem is, with 143’s out of my custom 6.5cm (that’s throated for Berger 140gr HVLDs) the bullets are seated to where I don’t have ANY extra room in my AI magazines. So, I’m guessing the 156gr pills either won’t work in my magazine or would have to be seated so deeply that my case capacity would be significantly impacted.
So, my question is 2-fold:
A. Is there a 6.5 caliber that would work best with a 156gr Berger EH in a short action - maybe a 6.5prc, 6.5 SAUM, 6.5x47L, 6.5 Sherman, etc? I prefer calibers that have factory ammo because I travel to hunt and always worry about not being able to buy ammo in a pinch. However, I DO handload and I WILL consider a wildcat if it’ll let me utilize the 156gr.
B. Is there a magazine/bottom metal that will make it easier/possible to feed a longer COAL that’s likely to result with these longer/heavier bullets? This will be built on a fully adjustable McMillan A-10 stock and will be used for both hunting and local LR match shooting. Since the action has the SwitchLug and the bolt has a easily changeable bolt head, this is going to be a multi-caliber rifle used by my whole family. So. I’d really like to be able to use magazines - for matches. I’m hoping there’s an option available that’ll work with a longer COAL
I haven’t been on the forum in a couple of years and just shooting what I have. So, I’m not up on new products and I’m just hoping someone has come up with something, over the past 2 years, that’ll help me out. I kinda wish I’d have bought a LA but this SA is what I have is what I’ve got to work with. Worst case scenario, I’ll build a 6.5x284 down the road <—a bummer but not the end of the world.
Thanks to everyone that replies!
I have been shooting some great loads with the 140 burger Vld hunting my reamer is exactly that .188 free bore after what you said I am considering trying the 156s in my 65 284 it is on a long action so magazine length and action length is not a problemThe simple answer is NO. The 156 seated to touch the lands in a .188 freebore(almost perfect for the 156) will be over 3" in most if not all popular 6.5s. I would say the best of the bunch would be a SAUM or improved. The extra capacity of the saum will help overcome the bullet being slightly deeper in the case that it should be. The SR3 should except a Wyatt's box and that will get you close to 3".
I am confident you will be able to get the 156 to shoot off the lands so it may not really matter much. If I were building a short mag regardless of caliber I would at least go medium action if not long. The 6.5x284 will be even worse in a true short action because the cartridge is longer.
Lance,Since the last post, I built a third 6.5SS. A 20" 1:7.5 suppressed pushing the 156 @ 2966fps w. N565.
I have also loaded the 156 in three 6.5SAUMs. One at 2980 w. H1000 and one at 3038 w. RL23. Both to fit in Accurate mags at 2.210" CBTO.
I think N565 is just a touch faster burning than H1000. Right in between N560 and N570. H1000 is closer to N570 than N560, so very close to N565.Lance,
I’m setting up a 21” 6.5 PRC w/156
Will be suppressed. I was concerned on powder choice to get full burn as to not
Have issues with suppressor. trying H1000.
Question for You:
With the N565, do you get full burn in the short barrel?
Did you end up loading the 156s in your 6.5-284 and what did you end up with for COAL?I have been shooting some great loads with the 140 burger Vld hunting my reamer is exactly that .188 free bore after what you said I am considering trying the 156s in my 65 284 it is on a long action so magazine length and action length is not a problem