Best long range 6.5mm/.264 caliber for hunting deer sized animals

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by IdahoHunter208, Jul 17, 2019.


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  1. 6.5mm Creedmoor

    13.1%
  2. 6.5-284 Norma

    28.3%
  3. 6.5 PRC

    27.4%
  4. 6.5 SAUM

    18.6%
  5. 6.5 WSM

    2.5%
  6. 6.5-300 WBY

    6.1%
  7. .264 Win Mag

    26.9%
  8. 26 Nosler

    9.3%
  9. .260 Remington

    11.5%
  10. 6.5x47 Lapua

    4.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. freddiej

    freddiej Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    143
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    Aug 10, 2010
    I recently helped build a 264 Win Mag with a 1:7" tight twist barrel (Shilen SS match) for the heavy slugs. I also helped develop the loads for long range Deer and Elk. what I have noticed is this. the newer 6.5's really do not work well for anything past 300 yards. they are constantly being put together with barrels for lighter slugs (1:9/1:10") and no one bothers to call out the MFR's on this. I went to gunsmithing college while the 6.5-06 was getting started as an alternative to the 30-06, 270 Win, 280 Rem/AI. I was severely unimpressed with the 6.5-06 until the the AI came out. I am still mildly impressed with it. I know it is just me. I like the 270 Win. It's a personal choice. the 264 Win Mag with a 1:8" or 1:7" barrel twist does a better job at long range than any other .264" cartridge in my book.. not too much recoil like the 6.5 Nosler, better weight carrying power than the 6.5-55 Belgium (the "swede" was developed and used by the Belgians long before being adopted by the swedes. Please stop using the wrong country of origin). I have already stated I am underwhelmed by the 6.5-06 so I will bypass my real feelings of this round. this 6.5-300 W/M is a new wildcat I had never heard about, but I am not too much into the wildcats so I am not surprised I know nothing about it. truth be known, I do not like any of the .264" diameter cartridges, I am just looking at the cartridges as a group and determining by my own values and stats what would be the best. the king of 6.5's in my own mind is the 264 Win/Mag. Agree with me, disagree with me.. I do not care. on each of the cartridges merits I have determined the Winchester to be the best. Later Tatters. I have to do battle with Braz-tech International.. common name.. Taurus of Miami Florida..
     
  2. John 264

    John 264 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2019
    I left out the 6.5 × 284 this is a great round at 3050feet very accurate
    Now what I didn't say about the 26 nosler and 6.5 ×300 weatherby is both nosler and weatherby both forgot about accuracy and went for speed most of the 26 nosler people are reporting 2" groups at 100 yards and the weatherby is about the same size that is not accurate
     
  3. LongProng

    LongProng Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2018
    Are you talking about the Mauser rifle? Because the 6.5x55 is indeed a Swedish designed cartridge.
     
  4. Send One

    Send One Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    The old 264 WM is a hammer. A lot of the others are too, but it still gets the job done REALLY well after all these years. With the new bullets and powders available today it is still a legit choice for an kicking 6.5
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2019
  5. Calvin45

    Calvin45 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    262
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    Apr 13, 2019
    The 6.5-06 ai has always struck me as among the most useful, practical wildcats one could use, if I ever get into wildcats it’s on the list.
     
    Frog4aday likes this.
  6. 436

    436 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    756
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009

    6.5 Wby Mag, and the simpler ones, I would agree they can burn barrels but I think it's not so much the round count as it is to how the round count came about, if they are benching the big 6.5's and shooting them like they are Sage Rat/Parier Dog guns, yes'..., that's going to burn them up pretty darn fast, however a shooter using his head, shot to shot as a hunting rifle can extend the life of a quailty barrel by quite a bit, in the 6.5 Wby Mag case perhaps even more than Weatherby's remark of 500-600 In fact, five to six hundard rounds in a true hunting rifle only'..., is about a lifetime for most hunters, figuring 25 rounds on the high side a year divided by 600 would be 24 years, after a good macanichal zero many guys (not all) won't fire more than five rounds before the hunt, if the zero is good then it's perhaps 5 for confermation then 1 or 2 more rounds on game, yeah I understand there are exceptions to everything perhaps that's why you have those 6.5's in the shop.

    When it comes to burning barrels aka throats out, well, I had a .17 Remington in a Remington Model 700 Classic, everyone said; "it would be burned out the barrel in 150 plus rounds," nope! I shot a metric ton of Yotes with that rifle, I used it around livestock in the winter, and I spent a lot of time and rounds off the bench developing a load to ballistically matching Remington loaded box ammo using their original Remington 25gr bullet, well... I finally sold that rifle to a friend and he still has the original barrel in it and it shoots great. Yes, I kept the maintenance up on the rifle and barrel as he as done as well. Round count, you ask; ok it's an estimate, but I'd say well over 800 rounds, and yes, a lot of those were misses. :)

    I spoke to Roy Weatherby many years ago in the late '70s about a 6.5mm based on the .257 Wby Mag case, the .257 Wby Mag which I've owned 5 MkV's models in over the years, as like Roy, I did love to shoot that cartridge. But I digress, he said he had no interest in the caliber due to the somewhat low/poor sales of the .264 Win and bad press it received, which he used as a standard in sales of the 6.5mm caliber. Believe me, I was surprised to see them come out with the 6.5 Wby Mag based on the .300 Wby Mag case, not because of the performance; I just didn't think they would, however, the 6.5mm market is hot and I'm sure they don't want to miss the sales today.

    If you look at Bill Crawfords IBS 10-shot world record group is 3.472", set by Bill Crawford in 1998 So, you can see the accuracy potential of the 6.5 Wby Mag and believe me, it has what it takes to deliver the round where it's needed at long range. One might read up on Crawford and see how many barrels he went through a year getting to that record.

    Just my 0.02
     
  7. BEEMAN

    BEEMAN Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    I really need to start shooting my 6.5 Sherman again. Built to many guns recently and haven’t been using it. It truly is impressive. My top end load does 3339 fps with a 140 Berger out of a 28” Brux. Brass lasted 4-5 firings with that load. Run it just over 3200 fps now.
     
  8. 436

    436 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    756
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009


    Read about Bill Crawfords IBS 10-shot world record group is 3.472", set by Bill Crawford in 1998
     
  9. Calvin45

    Calvin45 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    262
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    Apr 13, 2019
    Agree. To be honest if we’re seriously expecting to attempt 900 and even further, we need to consider that we’re hunting not just shooting. And no, I’m not talking *Rule 1 Violation*s or any other forum rule violating lecturing, I mean that the 6.5s are awesome for long long range shooting, but I’d opt for something with more projectile mass with a frangible bullet for long range hunting. No issues with exterior ballistics, and I know people do cleanly and humanely kill game with various 6.5/.264” caliber cartridges regularly, but for hunting at that distance I’d opt for something 7mm at minimum, and would prefer a big .30 or .338 cartridge of some kind. Insurance of sorts.
    Everyone believes something different about hydrostatic/hydraulic shock, the effects of temporary cavitation on killing power, how many foot pounds you need, how fast the bullet still needs to be moving to not behave like a field point arrow. One thing that seems to be consistently observed is that above certain impact velocities rifle bullets cause severe wounding far broader than the diameter of the projectile, damaging structures and tissues that do not come into immediate contact with the projectile or fragments of the projectile, and sometimes causing some kind of nervous system shut down even without hitting any CNS structures. As velocity drops the likelihood of these emphatic killing effects drops with it and even though the bullet expands or fragments, more and more the wounding is limited to whatever the projectile and it’s fragments directly come into contact with. More big fragments/more projectile mass can insure more wounding, and I believe this is more apparent at long range/lower impact velocities than at higher ones.
    For deer sized game only this might be irrelevant I suppose, but “overkill” certainly beats “underkill”
     
    Doc Bacon, John 264 and TwoMore like this.
  10. RetiredAZ

    RetiredAZ Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    I agree 100% on the 6.5X55 as a flat shooter with incredible knockdown power. I have been shooting one for over 35 years and have taken numerous North American game with it. I have my fathers 264 Winchester Mag he purchased in the early 60's and take it out once in a while to clean out the spiderwebs.
     
  11. rkcolt45

    rkcolt45 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    264 mag using 140gr Berger’s (barely under 3200fps) with a Krieger barrel 1:8.5 twist. Last 2-shot group at 500yds was 1”. Deer usually drop immediately.
     
  12. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,716
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    Jan 28, 2011
    Still looking for brass/ammo for the rimmed version.
     
  13. javman

    javman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 28, 2011
    My tikka 6.5x55 will shoot the 140ELDs and 140Amax almost at the same point of impact at .7" or better and the 140 NP right at 1 MOA.
     
  14. WYO300RUM

    WYO300RUM Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    582
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    I have one 6.5 PRC Encore barrel and one 6.5 Creed Encore barrel , a Tikka in 6.5 Creed and a TC Compass in 6.5 Creed I won.
    I both calibers are accurate and pleasent to shoot. I haven't owned any of the other
    6.5's. so I'm going to have to go with those two.