Help! 6.5x284 vs 28 Nosler

afp1

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The recent move to smaller calibers for LRH which I feel is driven by PRS and steel shooting in general is a mistake in my eyes. Miss by 12" with a 338 and it can be a real hassle. Miss by 12" with a 6.5 and it can be a real DISASTER.

gun) Spot on!!

It is REALLY hard to go wrong with a 300 Win mag for one's first long range hunting rifle. While I too like the idea of 338s for true long range (past 600 yds), A 300 Winny is an excellent place to start.
 

toddc

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gun) Spot on!!

It is REALLY hard to go wrong with a 300 Win mag for one's first long range hunting rifle. While I too like the idea of 338s for true long range (past 600 yds), A 300 Winny is an excellent place to start.

I had 2 does take a step between the shot and impact this year with my 6.5 Creed, I love this little 14 lb AR-10. Luckily the fast follow up capability turned a potential disaster into a satisfactory outcome. Both were hit about 15" too far back. Both were standing calmly at the shot and BOTH just decided to take a step. That's all it takes.
An Edge would have flattened them both, without the AR I fear I would have had an issue on my hands, which is a large part of the reason I run the AR in smaller calibers.
This outcome has still made me wonder if these smaller calibers are really adequate at ranges where TOF can exceed much over .2 seconds. I have killed a ton of stuff with smaller rigs but even the 30 cals are nowhere near the capabilities of a 338. I may be selling the Creed and go back to my Edge.
As you said the 300WM is a good middle ground that's cheaper to shoot and great to learn on.
THERE IS NO REPLACEMENT FOR DISPLACEMENT.
 

Greyfox

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I don't think you can go wrong with any of calibers mentioned. Being an avid 6.5x284 shooter, I'll put a plug in for the 6.5x284. There are some pretty good reasons that it's one of the most accomplished long range hunting calibers in use. It's exceptionally accurate, has great ballistics, low recoil, and superb killing power on deer to 1000, elk to 700 yards. It's reputation derived from its benchrest competition days of short barrel life are usually overstated, and not much different then many of long range hunting calibers.
It's a blast having a big game rifle that's capable of first shot hits on prairie dogs at 1000 yards.
 

afp1

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THERE IS NO REPLACEMENT FOR DISPLACEMENT.

Spoken like a drag racer--I used drag race as well. In hunting I like to upsize. I use:

Deer at normal ranges: 300 WSM
Elk at normal ranges: 340 Wby
Deer/elk at medium long ranges: 300 RUM
Deer/Elk at long ranges: 338 Edge
My two lever guns are a 348 and a 45-70
Alaskan rifle: 416 Rem
Africa rifle: 450 Nitro Express

The only place I am downsizing is target shooting. When I shot 1K BR in the past I used a 300 WSM. If and when I build another BR rifle it will be a 6mm Dasher or similar.
 
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WildRose

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I had 2 does take a step between the shot and impact this year with my 6.5 Creed, I love this little 14 lb AR-10. Luckily the fast follow up capability turned a potential disaster into a satisfactory outcome. Both were hit about 15" too far back. Both were standing calmly at the shot and BOTH just decided to take a step. That's all it takes.
An Edge would have flattened them both, without the AR I fear I would have had an issue on my hands, which is a large part of the reason I run the AR in smaller calibers.
This outcome has still made me wonder if these smaller calibers are really adequate at ranges where TOF can exceed much over .2 seconds. I have killed a ton of stuff with smaller rigs but even the 30 cals are nowhere near the capabilities of a 338. I may be selling the Creed and go back to my Edge.
As you said the 300WM is a good middle ground that's cheaper to shoot and great to learn on.
THERE IS NO REPLACEMENT FOR DISPLACEMENT.
That's a handy little rhyme but shot placement is more important than the size of the round going downrange.

Put a quality bullet through the heart, lungs, and/or spine and it dies. Do so while producing an exit wound as well and it's a short track at most to where your target expires.
 

afp1

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That's a handy little rhyme but shot placement is more important than the size of the round going downrange.

Put a quality bullet through the heart, lungs, and/or spine and it dies. Do so while producing an exit wound as well and it's a short track at most to where your target expires.

And do the above while making a bigger hole and it works even better. Shooting a bigger does not equal less accuracy, but it is a bit more on a shot that isn't perfectly placed.
 

toddc

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That's a handy little rhyme but shot placement is more important than the size of the round going downrange.

Put a quality bullet through the heart, lungs, and/or spine and it dies. Do so while producing an exit wound as well and it's a short track at most to where your target expires.

Shot placement is pretty well impossible to predict to 100% certainty unless an animal is bedded and even then if animals are rutting you never know when one will stand up. With a .8 second TOF a deer or similar critter could move about 1/3 of a football field if it wished or had a reason to do so. Both shots I mentioned were on feeding deer that took a step right in the shot. Both shots impacted exactly in space where I was holding. The deers vitals just weren't there anymore.
This is the kind of stuff that CAN happen at LR.
Both deer were calm and feeding on a wheat field and didn't give any reason to think they would move. One step=15-18". With an Edge both would have dropped like rocks With a Creed......not so much.
Deer jump string on a bow with MUCH LESS TOF.
Just something to think about when you are figuring what cartridge to use.
Stuff like this + wind + shooter error is why I have always run big stuff.
I have gotten enamored with the smaller lighter stuff lately and I'm pretty sure this year showed me that even if you make the PERFECT shot......STUFF HAPPENS.
Personally I'm going back to my humungous nasty cannons and calling it a cheap reinforcement of one of the often forgotten lessons in the vagaries of long range hunting.
TOF and what can happen during it, is the one thing that we CANNOT CONTROL. If a bullet is in the air for very long we are playing with fire no matter the care we take to ensure the target is stationary. Until I can read a deers mind AND ensure a coyote or other critter won't move my target, I am going to shoot a really big bullet really fast.
 

WildRose

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And do the above while making a bigger hole and it works even better. Shooting a bigger does not equal less accuracy, but it is a bit more on a shot that isn't perfectly placed.
Only if you are using identical bullets.

You can't change the energy equations But a 6.5 that has expanded to 2x it's original diameter makes just as big of a hole as larger round which doesn't follow suit.

No doubt in my mind that the added energy of the 2.5 time larger round provides substantial "help" in the case of a not so well plced shot but with identical hits , the same organs are destroyed and the animal will bleed out the same way with both.

We've got a roughly 1' tall 2' wide kill zone on deer sized game and considerably larger KZ on elk, moose etc.

Yes, having that large magnum as an insurance policy certainly helps with the confidence level for sure but "dead is dead" and he/she doesn't know what killed her.
 

Greyfox

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Only if you are using identical bullets.

You can't change the energy equations But a 6.5 that has expanded to 2x it's original diameter makes just as big of a hole as larger round which doesn't follow suit.

No doubt in my mind that the added energy of the 2.5 time larger round provides substantial "help" in the case of a not so well plced shot but with identical hits , the same organs are destroyed and the animal will bleed out the same way with both.

We've got a roughly 1' tall 2' wide kill zone on deer sized game and considerably larger KZ on elk, moose etc.

Yes, having that large magnum as an insurance policy certainly helps with the confidence level for sure but "dead is dead" and he/she doesn't know what killed her.

I agree fully with this. As I tally and observe long range kills over the years with both a 6.5x284 and a 300WM, I am more and more convinced that the terminal performance of the bullet in terms of penetration and expansion characteristics plays a much greater role over a .04" of difference in diameter. Biggest is not always best when balancing all the considerations in ones LRH rifle. Usually, a bad hit will be probematic regardless of caliber with little difference in outcome. My choice of caliber and bullet type is based on the premise that I will hit the intended kill zone... and will kill the animal.....no more, no less.
 

afp1

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I didn't know the assumption was using a really great 6.5 cal bullet and really bad 338 cal bullet?

The only valid comparison is with the same type bullets that impact within their expansion range.

Why would you guys assume otherwise? Is that a common theme on this forum?
 

toddc

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I agree fully with this. As I tally and observe long range kills over the years with both a 6.5x284 and a 300WM, I am more and more convinced that the terminal performance of the bullet in terms of penetration and expansion characteristics plays a much greater role over a .04" of difference in diameter. Biggest is not always best when balancing all the considerations in ones LRH rifle. Usually, a bad hit will be probematic regardless of caliber with little difference in outcome. My choice of caliber and bullet type is based on the premise that I will hit the intended kill zone... and will kill the animal.....no more, no less.

I agree to some extent However the 338 with frangible style target bullets is such an order of magnitude more efficient at killing that something more is at work. The jump from 264 to 308 is not the same as the jump from 308 to 338 in my experience. A lot of this also relates to FPE also. Its really hard to stick 3k of energy on a critter at 700 yds with ANY 6.5 with currently available powder and barrel steel tech.
On elk a bad hit may be a bad hit. On lighter game a bad hit can get good real quick with a 300 SMK rolling at 2200 FPS.
A comparison might be a coyote hit back of diaphragm with a 223 vs a 100 gr 6.5 running triple the energy. In one case the dog dies in a hole, in the other its dead right now.
Animals CAN BE overpowered by a round. It's not fashionable to say so and in the event of elk or larger it isn't practically feasible short of a 30MM Vulcan. However on mid sized deer the 338 CAN overpower them.
I have seen probably 500 killed with a 338 and target bullets. This combo has guaranteed easy recovery even on marginal or even what most would consider TERRIBLE shot placement.
Yes we strive to hit the pump but it's nice to be packing extreme power when we hit the pooper.
 

stoti

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If you are new to this I would go even further and have you build a straight 284. Both the Nosler and the 6.5 will smoke a barrel within 1200 rds MAX in most cases. It takes OVER 1200 rds to learn to shoot LR. A straight 284 would get you REAL close to the wind resistance of either of the other 2 AND would last long enough for you to learn to shoot LR.
I have always been a barrel burner to get that last 100 FPS but its really not smart ESPECIALLY for a learner gun.
For your stated purpose I think a 7mm of some sort would be better for LRH than a 6.5. A 6.5 doesn't have a lot of INSURANCE for elk. At 600yds with a TOF of .6 seconds an elk COULD move 15 ft or 15" while the bullet is in the air.
The recent move to smaller calibers for LRH which I feel is driven by PRS and steel shooting in general is a mistake in my eyes. Miss by 12" with a 338 and it can be a real hassle. Miss by 12" with a 6.5 and it can be a real DISASTER.

Good information indeed but I will have to respectfully disagree with the statement, "both will smoke a barrel within 1200 rounds". I am just now having a 6.5x284 barrel made and installed, before I made the decision on caliber, I did about a years worth of exhaustive research. I have seen detailed studies that show the barrel life of the 6.5x284 with different loads and also statements from owners of this caliber who tell of the barrel life they have gotten out of their barrels. Depending on the load, the type of shooting and speed which those bullets are sent down range, barrel life can differ greatly. Some of the people I have spoken with and articles I have read talk of barrels that last past 1600-1800 rounds. There is a quote on the American Rifleman website, taken from the Nosler website that shows a user has a barrel with excess of 1600 rounds that has shown no change in accuracy or velocity at all. Also from the Nosler web site a quote that shows the expected barrel life of the 28 Nosler is 1500-1700 rounds.Of course, each barrel, load and shooter is different so these numbers vary quite a bit... which is my whole point. With that being said, with the exception of PRS and active target shooters, most of the general population won't shoot 1600-1800 rounds in many, many years. Some, probably most hunters won't shoot that many rounds out of one gun in their whole life. Of course, everyone says they will or think they will but for the average guy, which most of us are, 1200 rounds out of a bolt gun is a lot!

Another thing to consider is recoil... the recoil of the 6.5x284 is practically non existent, with a brake on it, recoil is non-existent! The 28 Nosler on the other hand is a hard kicking round!

Last, the 6.5x284 is not expensive to reload, there is a ton of information and load data out there and it's also easy to reload. The 28 Nosler is far more expensive and has far less information and load data out there.

The popularity of the 6.5x284 has exploded over the past several years and for good reason. Just my 2 cents. I hope this helps you make your decision a little easier. Stoti
 

FEENIX

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I didn't know the assumption was using a really great 6.5 cal bullet and really bad 338 cal bullet?

The only valid comparison is with the same type bullets that impact within their expansion range.

Why would you guys assume otherwise? Is that a common theme on this forum?

L:DL! As long as human factors are involved, it has a very high probability to complicate things, and sometimes unnecessarily. :rolleyes:

I agree with you in keeping the comparison with same bullet at their respective effective expansion range.

Cheers!
 

toddc

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Good information indeed but I will have to respectfully disagree with the statement, "both will smoke a barrel within 1200 rounds". I am just now having a 6.5x284 barrel made and installed, before I made the decision on caliber, I did about a years worth of exhaustive research. I have seen detailed studies that show the barrel life of the 6.5x284 with different loads and also statements from owners of this caliber who tell of the barrel life they have gotten out of their barrels. Depending on the load, the type of shooting and speed which those bullets are sent down range, barrel life can differ greatly. Some of the people I have spoken with and articles I have read talk of barrels that last past 1600-1800 rounds. There is a quote on the American Rifleman website, taken from the Nosler website that shows a user has a barrel with excess of 1600 rounds that has shown no change in accuracy or velocity at all. Also from the Nosler web site a quote that shows the expected barrel life of the 28 Nosler is 1500-1700 rounds.Of course, each barrel, load and shooter is different so these numbers vary quite a bit... which is my whole point. With that being said, with the exception of PRS and active target shooters, most of the general population won't shoot 1600-1800 rounds in many, many years. Some, probably most hunters won't shoot that many rounds out of one gun in their whole life. Of course, everyone says they will or think they will but for the average guy, which most of us are, 1200 rounds out of a bolt gun is a lot!

Another thing to consider is recoil... the recoil of the 6.5x284 is practically non existent, with a brake on it, recoil is non-existent! The 28 Nosler on the other hand is a hard kicking round!

Last, the 6.5x284 is not expensive to reload, there is a ton of information and load data out there and it's also easy to reload. The 28 Nosler is far more expensive and has far less information and load data out there.

The popularity of the 6.5x284 has exploded over the past several years and for good reason. Just my 2 cents. I hope this helps you make your decision a little easier. Stoti
All barrel life depends on LOTS of factors.
Load. Barrel. Speed of strings. Cleaning regimen. Luck of the draw. Bullet used. Powder used. Time of year its shot. And probably 100 other factors we don't even comprehend.

I haven't "EXHAUSTIVELY RESEARCHED" the 6.5-284. I have burned probably 15-20 barrels off of various actions using many different powders and barrel makers over the years in the 6.5-284.

1200 is a GENERAL AVERAGE of accuracy loss with it. Some can run further. Some go south at 800. Once again, depends on a MYRIAD of factors that no one can fully explain as there are just too many variables.

Also there is some difference in what people call ACCEPTABLE ACCURACY LOSS. Mine is pretty tight. If a barrel is a hummer and starts cracking I might set it back and get a few more out of it. If it's not.....well I grow tomatoes.

Noslers claim of 1500-1700 for the 28 Nosler should be about as reliable as the BCs on their bullets and the velocity comparison of their cartridges versus cartridges running 20% more powder and yet SUPPOSEDLY running slower than the Nosler round. In other words, absolute complete #*&*(&(*.

The OP asked about getting into LRH. That takes more than 1200 rds to get a working feel for this sport. LRH people are not AVERAGE and anyone who hunts LR and doesn't shoot 1600 rds in a lifetime has absolutely NO BUSINESS doing it. LRH is an unforgiving sport and after 30+ yrs of it and going thru hundreds of barrels, I still learn something new all the time. Kinda like I just learned a 28 Nosler will last 1600 rds LOL.

The 6.5-284 hasn't come on strong at all in the last few yrs. The 6.5-284 came on strong about 1980 LOL. It has been a long range rig since I started LRH 30+ yrs ago. Great round but it isn't MAGIC or SUPERNATURAL.
It is very well researched and has great component availability, many cartridges will do exactly what it does and do it well.

Anyone getting into LRH should PLAN on shooting A LOT. This isn't picking up 1 box of ammo the night before deer season and sighting in with your trucks headlights. If you don't shoot 500 rds a yr AFTER becoming COMPETENT you PROBABLY shouldn't be shooting at anything that bleeds at LR.

It takes 300 rds ON AVERAGE just to find the right load, chrono it sufficiently, play with seating, verify drops and wind, tweak ballistic app and that's not counting any ISSUES that MAY crop up or just getting COMFORTABLE with the rig. Some rigs you MAY find an ACCEPTABLE load quicker but I would guess 300 is a decent AVERAGE for LRH readiness. Maybe I expect more precision than some or maybe I am just an IDJIT and take forever to figure stuff out that the guys who don't shoot 1200 rds in a lifetime can figure out with one box of AMERICAN EAGLE super duper ammo.
 
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