I having been comparing calibers for awile now to have my custom built gun made of a 700 action. I started with the 6.5-284 vs the 6.5-06, then the 260, then the 280 and I still think the 6.5-06 AI is the better gun. Just looking for others views, maybe something I haven't thought of before I get the gun built. The final decision is between the 6.5-06 AI and the 280 AI. I have comapred the two using 140 gr bullets and the 6.5 wins using the hornady, sierra, and burger bullets, better energy, bullet drop, wind deflection. But if you compare the 140 6.5 to the 7mm in 162, the 7mm wins. I did the comparision using the hornady, barnes, nosler, and sierra reloading books and compared same powders, barrel length and put it all into ballistic programs. Also the 6.5-06 uses less powder (3-9 gr less when comparing same powder) to achive equal velecities as the 280. I have a tikka t3 in 300wsm so the advatage of being able to use the heavier bullets and therefore having a more rounded gun in the 280 makes this less important. I'm pretty confident that the 6.5-06 is capable of taking bear and elk, and the 300 wsm could be for maybe an elk specific hunt or moose. I like the tikka but it's a mule, maybe some people will think I'm a sissy but whatever, I shoot it fine but it's not that fun. Looking for a lighter shooter. I think the 280 AI is a better rounded gun but with the 300 wsm already in the safe and looking for the lightest recoil that the 6.5-06 AI is better for me. Oh will be hunting open country mule deer/sheep, black bear, varmints (coyote), and some elk. Just thinking out loud I guess. Thanks for the thoughts.