Choosing a 6.5

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by mleeber, Jul 20, 2019.


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  1. mleeber

    mleeber Member

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    Morning All! I am looking at building a 6.5 on a remington 700 long action. I have narrowed it down to .260AI, 6.5PRC or 6.5x55 Improved and I am leaning towards the 6.5x55. My problem is that I am am seeing 6.5x55 Ackley Improved, 6.5x55 BJ AI (Bob Jourdan Ackley Improved) and regular 6.5x55 Improved. AmmoGuide is where I get my initial info and they only list the 6.5x55 Improved. It has a 54 degree shoulder which I like more than the 30 or 40 degree shoulder of the other two but I cannot find any other sources that list a 6.5x55 Improved with a 54 degree shoulder.

    Anyone have any insight into the 6.5x55 confusion? I am thinking that 54 degree shoulder may give me a little more barrel life over the 30 or 40.

    Thanks!
    Mark
     
  2. wwbrown

    wwbrown Well-Known Member

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    Feb 17, 2011
    I did a 6.5 x 55 AI with a 40° shoulder and it could easily get 139 grain Scenars moving along at 3,100 fps. The improved Swede was built on a Stiller short action Rem 700 clone with a Brux 4-groove 1 in 8 inch twist barrel. It was an extremely accurate rifle that I built to shoot long range F-class matches and it shot much better than I could.
    The 6.5 x 55 AI was a very easy round to develop accurate loads for and it like H4831 better than other powders that I tried.
    One drawback to the Swede is the rim diameter is slightly larger than .473 inches and that may require you to slightly open up the bolt face although most bolts seem to work fine.

    I hope this helps,
    wade
     
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  3. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

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  4. lancetkenyon

    lancetkenyon Well-Known Member

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    If you are going LA, have you considered a few other options like: 6.5x284 Norma, 6.5-06AI, 6.5-280AI, 6.5 Sherman, 6.5 Sherman Max, .264WM, 26 Nosler, 6.5-.300, 6.5STW?
     
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  5. mleeber

    mleeber Member

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    Yes, I have considered others including necking up 257 Wby Mag to 6.5 (I have a ton of brand new Norma brass in this caliber). I already have a 7mm Rem Mag and a 300 Win Mag that shoot very well and am looking for something in 6.5 that is mild mannered but will gave me 1000-1300yd capability. It will be a target gun with the New Hornady A-Tips and a hunting gun with Siroccos. 6.5-284 and 26 Nosler were in the mix but I cannot fit my own barrel so I need something that gets me 500 rounds for load development and another 1500-2000 for playing.
     
  6. Quintus

    Quintus Active Member

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    Apr 15, 2013
    I too would look at the other options or stick with the Swede as Olaf intended. Brass life is very good even in the parent case. The 6.5x284 and 6.5-06 are still my favorite of all 6.5s and 284 has the slight edge with better and factory brass. I think they provide the optimal combustion chamber for the 6.5 bore. The balance of velocity Vs. barrel life. Also 3x the powder options that will work very well.
     
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  7. lancetkenyon

    lancetkenyon Well-Known Member

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    If you are looking at 2000-2500+ rounds of barrel life, you better keep speeds in the 2700-2900 max range. I just rebarreled my 6.5SLR after 2800+ rounds of 140 HVLDs @ 2820fps. Had a couple hundred hunting rounds @ 2950fps thrown in the tally.

    You won't get 2000-2500+ accurate rounds from any of the ones I previously mentioned. Speed, pressure and heat kill a barrel.

    I guess you could have two loads. A full power hunting load, and a light target load for shooting higher volumes.

    I would stick to a SA cartridge in that case.
    6.5x47L
    6.5Creed
    6.5SLR
    .260 Rem
    6.5x55Swede (not AI)
     
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  8. sable tireur

    sable tireur Well-Known Member

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    Using a long action, even if it is a Remington M700, I think you have it figured out correctly. Of most of the 6.5 cartridges currently available, the 6.5x55 in any of the versions mentioned will be a superb choice. There is great brass available along with many, many fine bullets for both target and hunting. I think your idea of getting more barrel life with a very acute shoulder angle is misplaced. The 30, 35, or 40 degree will work just fine without going to the extreme of something like a 54 degree shoulder.

    You can seat your heavy or long for caliber bullets out to your heart's content without running out of space in the magazine box. Your desire for a dual use rifle can create some problems for barrel life but you'll figure that out as time goes on. You should also be able to establish a fine load in less than 100 rounds.

    I've run just about every 6.5mm cartridge there is including some very obscure wildcats and the Swede will serve you well. I continue to work with the 6.5 PRC though but in a short action where it belongs. There is no need for making it run in a long action since it loads and functions excellently in a short action. I'm also very excited with the 6.5x257 Weatherby cartridge as a hunting staple. This cartridge in a long action is custom made for longer range hunting scenarios.
     
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  9. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    My 6.5-284’s have gotten 2000 rounds without a set back. My latest build in a proof has 1000 rounds, 28”, running 147’s at 3015, and .001 throat erosion. This barrel should easily go 2000 and thinking 2500-3000 is possible. Personally for a long action and non-magnum this is a nice cartridge. Run slow powders and it’ll live a long time.

    I just shot my 6.5PRC Yesterday with 147’s and adg brass. 22” proof barrel. This cartridge can long or short action but it’s a magnum head. Right now I am seeing 2900-2950 as safe loads with a 147. I have 30 rounds down the barrel and it was virgin brass so I’ll have to play with loads again but I thinking this will be my new go to 6.5 for hunting. I have a sweet creed that runs 140’s at 2800 in a 20” so I have medium range covered with it
     
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  10. MerlinMc

    MerlinMc Member

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    My thought exactly. I have two rifles in 26 Nosler and love the round. Very accurate and great for hunting. I have shot everything from small warthogs (best for eating) up to very large game. Use slow powders (which you should for a round like this anyway) and don't shoot too many shots in rapid succession at the bench. The 6.5-284 mentioned above is another nice alternative.
     
  11. arch408

    arch408 Well-Known Member

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    Dec 6, 2012
    My vote is the 6.5-06AI if you are using the 700 long action. You would have to get a new bolt or open up the bolt face for the 6.5PRC and alter the rails. If you want a short action, Wyatt now makes a magazine box so you use ammo up to 3.2" COAL. I have a .308 action and I just ordered a 700 short magnum action. I am going to make Remage switch barrels with them. I intended to make a 260AI, but since I got the magnum action, I'm going to make a 22-250AI instead. On the magnum action, I'm going to start with the 6.5 Sherman Max. They will both have Wyatt boxes so I can seat bullets further and optimize case capacity.
     
  12. archeratlrg

    archeratlrg Active Member

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    Good morning all, I went a bit different route in that I designed a line if cartridges based on a 8x75 Mauser case and labeled them the HSI line ofr Hileman Super Improved. They have the Ackley 40* shoulder but shoulder is blown out to .462. With the 140 gr Nosler I'm running 3215 in my 6.5 with a 23" barrel. About the same performance with H4831sc and Re23. No idea how my barrel life will be but I'm thinking at least 3000 rnds. Still shooting my old 7mm Rem mag from 1963 with original stainless barrel. Over 6000 rounds and still shoots under 3/8"@100 all day long. Trick is not to let barrel get too hot.
     
  13. glazer1972

    glazer1972 Well-Known Member

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    I’d stick with the 6.5x55 or go 6.5-06.
     
  14. sable tireur

    sable tireur Well-Known Member

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    8x75 Behr / .315 Miller & Greiss Magnum / 8 mm Behr / 8x75 Behr hunting rifle / 8x75 Mauser / SAA4705 / DWM 514 A / ECRA-ECDV 08 075 BGC 020

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    I think I've had enough here. Someone please post when the kids have started classes again and we can have some serious discussions. :mad:
     

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