6.5x284 questions


Nov 19, 2012
victoria, bc
I'm new to shooting, (targets only,) and I needs some myths addressed and some other info.

-I constantly read that the 6.5x284 burns barrels/throats quickly. Don't the other large capacity cartridges like 300 win mags or other large 7mm's do the same?

-As near as I can tell the 284 seems to be the exact same case size as a 270 rem, is this so, and if not what case is the 284 derived from and what specs are changed for the finished product other than the neck diameter?

-Just curious, but has anyone had success with making a 7mm rem mag shoot 6.5mm or is that just stupid overkill gambling with barrel pressures? Dumb question I'm sure, buy hey, go big or go home right? hahaha
The 284 Win case was it's own design. It is larger in diameter than the 30-06 family of cases, but shorter in length to allow use in a short action. The case capacity is pretty close to that of the 06 family. The rim is rebated (smaller in diameter than the body of the case) to allow the use of the standard 06 bolt face.

I don't really care for terms like "barrel burner" or "overbore". Many factors play into how long a barrel will be able to meet the requirements placed on it. Personally I think much of the "barrel burner" rep, that the 6.5-284 has, comes from the type of competitions it was used in. Long strings of fire, combined with the demand for absolute best accuracy, showed the 6.5-284 to have a shorter competitive life span than some other cartridges. It is just the nature of the game it was being used in.

The 7mm Rem Mag necked down to fire 6.5mm bullets is nothing more than a 264 Win Mag. The 264 WM also has a rep as a barrel burner. Most of that comes from the early days and people using them as combo big game/varmint rifles. Overheating a barrel by shooting many rounds in a short time is a great way to shorten the useable life of that barrel.

When it comes time to decide what cartridge your rifle will be chambered for, you need to balance several factors. The better you match these factors to your wants and needs the happier you will be.
I looked into that stuff and you are dead right.

As yet I don't really know what would be the right avenue to take but I think I am going to at least stay with the 6.5 family as an entry point in whatever case style.

Even if I pick up a swedish mauser for cheap and skope it I can have a lot of fun learning to reload with that and there are **** fine rifles in their own right.

Question, what is the cut off between short and long actions with cartridge length (I would likely go with savage actions) and with those actions can I simply swap out the bolt if for example I started with the 6.5x55 and then changed to the creedmoor or the 284 for example?
Good luck finding a cheap Swedish mauser. For what most of the Swedes go for these days, you would be within spitting distance of a new Savage or Weatherby Vanguard. A couple hundred dollars on top of that would probably get you a Tikka in 6.5x55.

The newer actions are stronger and will allow you to load the 6.5x55 to its potential whereas the Swede milsurp will not.

Short actions generally involve cartridges with an OAL of 2.8" or less. It is possible to load longer in some short actions. There are also modifications that can be made to allow longer COAL's in a short action.

Personally, I prefer the long actions primarily because most of my favorite cartridges are long action cartridges.

The 6.5x55 is just long enough to require a long action. The .284 Winchester was originally designed for a short action. However, both the .284 and the 6.5-284 Norma benefit ballistically from being chambered in a long action. The 6.5 Creedmoor is a short action cartridge (so is the .260 Remington) and was designed specifically to provide maximum powder capacity with 140 class bullets in a short action.

To switch between any of these chamberings does not involve a bolt swap. The case head diameters of the respective cartridges you listed will all use the same boltface. To switch between these, you will need to replace the barrel. If you go with a Savage, the barrel can be changed with a barrel wrench and the correct headspace gauges.

However, swapping between any of these cartridges begs the question "Why would you want to?" The Creedmore is a step down from the 6.5x55. Both the 6.5x55 and the Creedmore are a step down from the .284, but are in the same general class of cartridges. You are essentially proposing something akin to swapping back and forth between a .308 and a 30-06. A waste of money and effort, IMO.

The best advice I can give you regarding the 6.5's (or any cartridge for that matter) is to decide on the level of performance you are after and work backward from there to select the cartridge you want and the rifle you want to put it in. You are, in practical terms, in the research phase of a project. Thoroughly done homework will save you a lot of money and aggravation and go a long way toward preventing buyer's remorse when you do make your decision.
On the 6,5x284 being a barrel burner, I agree with the prior posts. I have found that it wil last the same or longer than most of the cartridges used for 1000 yard big game hunting. I have seen the Weatherby cartridges burn out barrels in 500 rounds which is less than half the life of the 6.5x284, 7, and 300 Mag used in similiar fashion. Barrel life is largely a function of powder weight in relation to bore diameter, and influenced heavily by how much barrel heat is generated when shooting. This is where the 6.5x284 earned it's reputation with the target crowd. Compared to the cartridges they typically used they burned up barrels at a faster rate. Particularly since the often shoot hot. It did however give superior ballistics with low recoil, which to many was well worth the trade off.

the reason I mentioned the swede is because I was under the impression that it was a smaller cartridge than the creedmoor. I assumed that because when I look at velocity tables for both with the same weight bullet the swede is a lot less.

Looking into your post comments I double checked and found two things. One the swede is a bigger cartridge if only a smidge more (.225cm3), but two, it does as far as my info says has a lot less velocity (2651fps vs 2820fps) and less energy of course. This I find very puzzling. Obviously I am missing something. I don't think it is barrel length or powder type though. Now that I think about it a bit, all those swede cartridges might be loaded for the old rifles only knowing that the metallurgy might have more flaws back in that era as opposed to modern technology.

Were the old cartridges or the cartridges for old rifles that much under grain capacity than current ammo?

swede rifles are cheap here. I can pick one up for a little over 200 bucks any day of the week for a ww2 issue in fair to well worn condition but still a good shooter. For me it's not a bad idea insofar as it gets me out shooting and reloading on a budget. You do make a good point about getting a new savage for just a little bit more.

That is what I figured about the magnum stuff, but the odd time there is a legitimate reason why two seemingly same things have different performances.

I was heavily involved in motorcycle repliracers for years and like shooting it seems, the old guard, not all mind you, seem to get married to myth and anecdotall rationalizing. In this case that the 30 cal or the 30-06 is the only thing worth shooting and that all others are inferior and are just plain not worth using.

Personally, I prefer to innovate and go with the science than stick with tradition just because it's safe.
another question, why are all these 6.5 bullets in this thread actually measuring 6.7mm in every bit of data I find?

Are there any true 6.5's?

I think the caliber nomenclature may have to do with the rifle bore dimension land ro land as opposed to the bullet size. The .308 is a 7.82 vs 7.62 as well. Referring to your prior post using your motorcycle analogy, I've also been addicted to them for years. I replaced my Thruxton a while back with a Street Triple(Triumphs) and never looked back. While the older designs have charisma, technology sure does make a difference!
The 6.5x55 is showing lower velocity than some of the smaller cased short action 6.5's because SAAMI holds it to a much lower pressure limit. You will find that to be true of all of the old mauser cartridges. The old mausers used the lower pressures and 29" barrels to acheive the performance that made the 6.5x55's legend.

If loaded to the same pressures in a modern action, the Swede will outperform the smaller cased 6.5's because it has more powder capacity.

Here is an example of loading data for the 6.5x55 in a modern action, 26" barrel:


Compare the 139g Scenar data to the 6.5 Creedmore Hornady factory 140 AMAX load @ 2710 and you will see what I mean.

When you compare modern data for the 6.5x55 to the lower spec data common in the U.S. (because it is written for the weaker small ring mausers), you will see larger charges of slower powder and longer cartridge OAL's in the modern data.

The AI version of the Swede reportedly narrows the gap between the 6.5x55 and the 6.5-284 considerably.

Where the old Swede mausers are concerned, they are sweet little rifles. Their performance is limited, though, both because of their metallurgy and because they use weaker small ring actions. In reality, the milsurp Swedes won't save you any money because they will require a lot of work to make them into useful sporter rifles. Still, if you have a soft spot for the old mausers, as I do, you will no doubt enjoy owning and shooting them.

If, however, you are looking for a max effort 6.5x55, you need to at least look to the '98 pattern mauser as a basis for your build. A newer manufacture commercial mauser action is a better option still because you get better steel and the action is already in sporter configuration. Of course, using more modern action designs like a Savage or a Remington would probably be considered by most folks to be the best way to go.

FWIW, I have two 6.5x55's, one on a 98/22 mauser action and one on a newer Zastava commercial mauser action. I also have a 6.5-284 Norma built on a Ruger 77 Mk II action and a new production Winchester Model 70 in .264 Winchester Magnum.

They are great rifles. I love my 6.5's!
Last edited:

Those triple motors are just the best for real world riding aren't they.

I measured a 6.5 swede today and it didn't jive with any numbers I've seen online.

It really is annoying how much variance there is in this field. I can see that it takes a while to accumulate a correct mental picture of what each cartridge is in context to others. If the automotive industry worked the same way **** near every model would be like a custom home built.

It would be nice if the industry started with a clean slate and had say 10 cartridges each X grains more than the last in with the same diameter and then mated each to bullets in .5 mm increments. Likely there would have to be a small cartridge series as well with less variation. All in all it could work but as long as all there are all the present rifles around it wouldn't happen.

I like the streamlining idea. The big companies could do it easily enough if they got together on it. The japanese did with their cars.
I can't access that page but obviously if the swede is bigger it could be loaded up a bit more.

I have yet to find a new rifle in the gun shop that is as smooth as an old swede. The new technology and QC on hole has so much more potential today but labour costs really kybosh so much potential. Don't get me wrong the workers deserve the cash but so much fine machining just doesn't get done as much.

The best action I felt from a new rifle has been a mauser action ruger, m77 I think. I was impressed enough to keep in on my list of possibles. The remington's seemed shockingly poor. I read so many accolades about them but when i cycled one I thought... what a ***.

The mauser style actions are great but due to cost vs function I think the savage is the winning formula to start with.

If I wanted to make a 20" tacticool rifle, how would I or could I keep the velocity up like longer barrels? Can faster burning powders be used or does that just make the accuracy go funny?
Warning! This thread is more than 12 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.