6.5 long action hunting rifle opinions

Riflehunter1776

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
1,090
I am about to build a medium weight 6.5 hunting rifle on a remington action with a krieger barrel. I had in mind a 6.5-06 AI, but when I sat down with the gunsmith, he convinced me to go with a 6.5x284. This guy is very well known and has a great reputation, so I let him talk me into it even though I will be giving up about 200 fps of velocity.

I'm just curious about other shooter's opinions if I made the right choice or not, or if there is something even better that we overlooked. The selling point for me was that he claimed accuracy in the 6.5x284 will be perceptibly better, and the velocity difference will not be a huge factor at the 600 yards which is the limit of my field of view from my hunting spot.
 

HARPERC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
6,476
Location
Spokane, WA
For me the 6.5x284 is the current measuring stick for 6.5's. It's right at the crossroads of being enough-without being to much.

He certainly has valid points, and I'm sure it will make a fine rifle.

For me it would depend a lot on what style of rifle I was building. In medium weight classic style hunting rifle the 6.5-284 is a solid choice, but there are a number of solid choices, with the Sherman's and AI's in the mix

In a good rifle excellent hunting accuracy can be obtained by more intense cartridges. I would prefer more case capacity, as they pay off with the heavier 6.5 bullets available now, and on the horizon. Higher retained velocity yields better terminal performance.

Whichever way you choose I'd make sure I got a barrel with enough twist to use the full line of 6.5's out there.

Good Luck!
 

RockyMtnMT

Official LRH Sponsor
Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Messages
5,845
Location
Montana
I personally think accuracy is more dependent on how well built the rifle Is, not the cartridge.

Maybe he'd doesn't have a reamer for the 6.5-06ai?

If you want the extra vel then you should get it. 200fps is not a small difference. This is enough vel to put these cartridges in two entirely different categories. The only thing alike about them is the bullet they shoot.

Steve
 

105amatt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
213
Location
KS
For a 6.5, 6.5x284 gets my vote. Excellent cartridge. Excellent brass available right off the shelf. Proven accuracy by shooters all over. Great velocity without burning magnum quantities of powder. People talk about what a barrel burner it is. Maybe if your shooting f-class hammering your barrel ten shots at a time, but in a hunting rifle, no. When i had mine years ago, it was a honest 3/8 moa rifle with Hornady 140s. Sure, there may be a newer cartridge that is suppose to be accurate and pushes bullets faster. But, your going to spend double on dies and brass (that's not even lapua).
 

lancetkenyon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
3,199
Location
Arizona
I have shot two different 6.5-06AI (one was actually a 6.5-.270AI). Amazing round. I was getting 3140 from a 142 SMK in one, and 3150 from a 140 HVLD in the other. Both amazing accuracy. Both using H1000, so by going to RL23 or RL26, I am betting I could have gotten 3200+ from either.

I loaded up a buddy's .264WM last year. 130 HVLD @ 3210 w. H1000 again. Shoots in the .2s from a factory Sendero with just a new Timney CE trigger swap. If it would have had a 1:8", I would have opted for a 140.

I own a 6 5SS and a 6.5 SLR. Both are amazing short action rounds. I don't think a long action would help either of these. But the 6.5SS is probably faster than a 6.5-.284 could hope for w. 140 @ 3200+, and a 150 SMK @ 3156. I think my 6.5SLR has to be close too. 2960 w. 140 HVLD run hot.

I have also loaded for a couple 6.5 SAUM. 140s @ 3135/3150 w. H1000...again.

I am about to start load development on a 6.5-.284 Norma in a week or two. I am anxious to try it out and see where it falls in the grand scheme of 6.5 things.
 

Timnterra

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2012
Messages
1,395
Location
Rapid City SD
I really wanted a 6.5-06 or the ackley version of the same, until my hunting partner built one. His was plain 6.5-06, which He promptly sent out and paid several hundred dollars to have a custom load worked up for it. They sent it back with 100rds of ammo and said the rifle’s best accuracy was at 2750ish fps with 140class bullets. I wasn’t impressed with creedmoor velocity out of a long action wildcat. It has taken me several years to come back around to the idea of a hotrod 6.5. I am currently building a 6.5-284 and purchased a barrel for a 6.5 saum. I think these two calibers offer a really great balance between velocity and practicality.
 

Tidus56

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2018
Messages
1,104
I really wanted a 6.5-06 or the ackley version of the same, until my hunting partner builtone. His was plain 6.5-06, which He promptly sent out and paid several hundred dollars to have a custom load worked up for it. They sent it back with 100rds of ammo and said the rifle’s best accuracy was at 2750ish fps with 140class bullets. I wasn’t impressed with creedmoor velocity out of a long action wildcat. It has taken me several years to come back around to the idea of a hotrod 6.5. I am currently building a 6.5-284 and purchased a barrel for a 6.5 saum. I think these two calibers offer a really great balance between velocity and practicality.
I helped a buddy do load work for a 6.5x284. We found his best accuracy at 2850. We found another accuracy node around 3000 but it was 1 MOA, this was a factory Remington 26 inch barrel. I haven't been real keen on 6.5x284 after doing that load work. I would be curious to see what velocity you find your accuracy once you get that 6.5x284 up and running.
 

FEENIX

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
15,178
Location
Great Falls, MT
I am about to build a medium weight 6.5 hunting rifle on a remington action with a krieger barrel. I had in mind a 6.5-06 AI, but when I sat down with the gunsmith, he convinced me to go with a 6.5x284. This guy is very well known and has a great reputation, so I let him talk me into it even though I will be giving up about 200 fps of velocity.

I'm just curious about other shooter's opinions if I made the right choice or not, or if there is something even better that we overlooked. The selling point for me was that he claimed accuracy in the 6.5x284 will be perceptibly better, and the velocity difference will not be a huge factor at the 600 yards which is the limit of my field of view from my hunting spot.

Either one should serve you well for your intended purpose. However, I think you'll be much happier if you stay on course with your original plan or what you really wanted, but that's just me. Good luck!
 
Last edited:

Riflehunter1776

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
1,090
I personally think accuracy is more dependent on how well built the rifle Is, not the cartridge.

Maybe he'd doesn't have a reamer for the 6.5-06ai?

If you want the extra vel then you should get it. 200fps is not a small difference. This is enough vel to put these cartridges in two entirely different categories. The only thing alike about them is the bullet they shoot.

Steve
thanks; I have no doubt from his reputation that he will build a nice rifle; some other people I have dealt with over the years have been hit or miss, so this time I decided to ante up for a known name.

In fact, he does not have the 6.5-06 reamer, but I have had two others built in the past and know where I can rent that reamer for him to work with, so it isn't a big roadblock.

In terms of the velocity, I'm comparing the book data of a 6.5-284 which I have never loaded for, with internet data for a 6.5-06 AI which I have never loaded for, so that involves x's and y's which are not certain. For example, a standard 6.5-06 which I do load for lists book data of 100 fps faster than what I actually get out of the same load. And the 1" difference in barrel length does not - or should not - cause that much of a loss. So, point being, the 200 fps guess is mostly theoretical.
 

Tidus56

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2018
Messages
1,104
thanks; I have no doubt from his reputation that he will build a nice rifle; some other people I have dealt with over the years have been hit or miss, so this time I decided to ante up for a known name.

In fact, he does not have the 6.5-06 reamer, but I have had two others built in the past and know where I can rent that reamer for him to work with, so it isn't a big roadblock.

In terms of the velocity, I'm comparing the book data of a 6.5-284 which I have never loaded for, with internet data for a 6.5-06 AI which I have never loaded for, so that involves x's and y's which are not certain. For example, a standard 6.5-06 which I do load for lists book data of 100 fps faster than what I actually get out of the same load. And the 1" difference in barrel length does not - or should not - cause that much of a loss. So, point being, the 200 fps guess is mostly theoretical.

Just one additional thought, the cost to rent a reamer from 4D reamers is only $35. So him not having the reamer shouldn't be an issue.
 

Riflehunter1776

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
1,090
I've owned both the 6.5-06 Ackley & 6.5-284. With 24" barrel, the 6.5-284 would push the 142gr Nosler ABLR to 3030 fps. From 25" barrel, the Ackley would do 3095, burning 3 more grains of powder too

I lean towards the 6.5-284

that's good info. Your 6.5-284 velocity is nearly 100 fps higher than my nosler book shows for the hottest load at that bullet weight, and with a shorter barrel. So that's why I ask. lots of variables between rifles, and you don't know exactly what you'll get until you take it to the range the first time.
 

Primary

LRH Assistant
Here are some related products that LRH members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to LRH’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to LRH discussions about these products.

 
 
Top