6.5 mm


Well-Known Member
Feb 26, 2003
Where did the 6.5mm come from and how did it get so popular?

I am still trying to figure out how it got to be more popular with the long range guys than the 270 ...

The Swedes have been using it for their military and competition for many years. Bullets are far more advanced for mid to long range because of this.
When 1000 yard benchrest was born here in Pennsylvania the 6.5/300 Wby was the caliber (along with the 30/378 Wby to a certain extent)that was the most popular with the 139 grain Norma Expert bullet with it's very flat tracjectory (only about 12' drop from a 200 yd zero or there abouts), good powders were also available then like H570 (extruded not ball), X283 and a few others. Then the good bullets were no longer available, the 30 caliber took over and still holds the reins, but recently good bullets became available and the 6.5 is back and very competitive even in much smaller cases than the 6.5/300 Wby (less barrel erosion, etc), plus a lot of new good powders.


The 6.5 bullet is not new. It was VERY popular in Europe 60 or 70 years ago.

The problem with the 270 is---There are not a large selection of "Good" benchrest style bullets for it.

Most all commercial and custom bullet makers have real good 6.5 bullets listed.

The 6.5/300 was one of the best LR cartridges used and delevoped right after WW2. With the 8 twist and long barrels it was an outstanding LR hunting rifle and also held the World Record at Williamsport 2 or 3 times. There has NEVER been a 270 to break any 1000 yard records that I am aware of.

With the wildcating ability of the 284 case, the 6.5 really came into it's own for 1000 yard match shooting.
The people who stuck with the 6.5/284 found that it was an outstanding combination and has and does hold several 1000 yard match records.

The 270 is a fine medium LR cartridge but, the 6.5 is more desirable because of the bullets available for it.


Do you happen to no when Norma quit making those 139's? Between my family and I we still have a few thousand of those bullets left..


On the question you asked me about my dad hunting in Cameron County.. I was just talkin to him the other day and he belives he did run into you up there once.. But that had to be at least 20 years ago.. But he said he is sure that he does know who you are.. Are you familure with the Devito's or the Stephano's (sp?)

I would have to agree with DC that there is not a large selection for the 270.. But for short to mid range it is a dandy

6.5 Bandit

[ 03-14-2003: Message edited by: 6.5 Bandit ]

It was the late 70s or early 80s I think, but can't remember for sure. One shooter had Norma make more with the copper gliding metal jackets (because they wouldn't make them with the silver jackets), and he had to order 100,000 bullets which he did, then sold some to other shooters. I believe a few shooters here in Pa have some of these.

What I get a kick out of is watching the Norma 139s (and even the Sierra 142 MK) going down range at a 1000 yard match out of a 6.5/300 at 3350+ fps (almost a straight line) and comparing the arc to the 30s while looking thru a good set of glasses. Unbelievable.


Mary Louise Devito and her husband Guido shot there for many years, and so did George Stephanis. He still comes up now and then. The shooter that had those bullets made up was Joe Reitz.
Darryl can probably tell you more.


Early 80'3 does sound about right.. The ones we have are the silver coated ones.. Right before they stoped makin them a few guys in my family bought 500,000 of them.. I belive that they could only buy them in lots of 100,000... Those 6.5/300 are impressive but now adays there are some that are better.. I currently still use one and it still shooting like a dream with right around 1500 rounds through it..

Dan since you no the Devito's and George Stephanis you may no my Dad.. His name is Gerald (Spike) Kreiser or my uncle Lester Cooper..

6.5 Bandit

Yep, I know them both.

The late 80s were the last I can remember the 139s being available.

I bought the last 2000 that were available back then. There have been some that were for sale by private parties though, since then.

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