Opinions wanted, or facts...About 6.5x284 or 260 barrel life

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Michael Eichele, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Looking for some insight on the difference between these two.

    It seems like most guys run the 140s in the 6.5x284 at 3000 FPS+. Guys complain about the short barrel life. If a shooter was going to drop the velocity to 2800 FPS, would he see a significant increase in barrel life?

    On the flip side, it seems that the same speed out of the 260 is easily attainable but it seems that running 140s in a 260 at 2800 is a high pressure load? Am I wrong here?

    All that said, if you drop pressure on the 6.5x284 and increase the pressure in a 260 to reach the same velocity, which do you think will offer better barrel life and why/why not?

    Will a 3 groove barrel increase life a bit or am I going to run into other problems suing the 3 groove such as bullet disitegration?

    I would be more than happy running 140s at 2800 but would like to do it optmizing barrel life. I'm stuck on either the 260 or the 6.5x284.

    As always, thanks.

  2. chas3stix

    chas3stix Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    I'm no metallurgist but from what I've read here on the forum, the 6.5X284 is a barrel burner. The fastest load in the Hogdon manual for 140gr. bullet in the 260 is 2730 fps.
    I'm not saying that you can't get 2800 fps out of the 260 but you'll probably be above the SAMMI specs. If you really have to get to 2800 fps, the 6.5X284 is your best bet.
    The 6.5-06 with a 140gr. bullet will get you to 2800 fps also.
  3. canderson

    canderson Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2008
    I think the amount of powder and bore size have the biggest effect on throat erosion. I have heard about people shooting out a 6.5x284 barrel in f class competition in 8-900 rounds. I shoot with a gentleman that was shooting a 260AI. His barrel went about 1000-1100 rounds before it went crazy. I personally would be more concerned about with action I had to use as opposed to which one will last longer. Back to your original question, it would probably depend on the shooter and the barrel. Theoretically, the lower pressure round might last longer. BTW, most loads that I have found to be very accurate are usally on the upper end of the cartridge capacity.
  4. shortpants

    shortpants Well-Known Member

    Jan 26, 2011
    I have been waiting to hear more real life results from the guys who are doing nitride treatments on their barrels. I have heard several say they are having it done but can't find squat on how well it works? Would you consider doing this? Sorry I can't help answer your question but like you I was considering building a 6.5-284 but don't like burning up barrels. After hearing about nitride treating the barrel I thought it just might be worth considering.
  5. Lost creek

    Lost creek Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2007
    My 260 that i shoot in long range matches has 1350 rounds fired and after my last match i measured the throat and it has only grew .015". I did not look at it with a borescope but the barrel does not copper foul at all and accuracy is still the same as when it was new. I believe it will last another season or more. The load i use is 308 lapua brass necked down,wolf large rifle primer,47grs. imr7828ssc and a 140gr. a-max at 2780 fps with no high pressure signs. I may be wrong but i believe the slower burning powders increase barrel life.
  6. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    The rate that a barrel burns out is largely a function of the amount of powder burned in relation to the bore size. Given the same bore, and the same shooting conditions, a 260 will give you 50-100% longer life. If you go to the "Accurate Shooter Forum" there is formula that takes about five factors you plug in and calculates barrel life. I'd be cautious about making choices about big game hunting cartridges based on general comments, particularly that the 6.5x284 is a barrel burner. It is no more of a barrel burner than most of the magnums used for effective long range hunting on this forum. It is actually better than some. The 6,5x284 earned the reputation as a barrel burner with the Benchrest and Target shooters. Life is 800-1100 rounds for the kind of shooting they do. They run very hot. It is generally compared to rounds that use substantially less powder, but also produce more wind drift, a key factor. The reason the target shooters use it is that it gives the lowest recoil, for the superior ballistic performance. The big trade off is that you usually don't want to change a barrel in the middle of the shooting season. Also keep in mind that they measure barrel wear in tenths of an inch group size at 100 yards. I use a 260 for my target shooting and a 6.5x284 for hunting. I can assure you that the barrel will be changed in my 260 long before the barrel gets changed in my 6.5x284. I shoot 1000+ rounds/ year in the 260, less than 100 with my 6.5x284 hunting rifle, and it never gets hot. The big difference is that whatever my 260 can do on game at 700 yards, my 6,5x284 can do at 1000.
  7. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Grayfox, your explaination makes waayy too much sense to post on an internet forum!
  8. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2007
    Something to consider is that for under $100 you can have either barrel melonite coated. If it works half as well as they claim you have doubled barrel life saving $400-500

    I have two melonited and there is NO decrease in accuracy. One is a 338 lapuo AI and the other is a 300 WSM

    I plan ln a couple more this winter
  9. Rimfire

    Rimfire Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    Barrel length will also play a part. Often times there is a high node and a low node. Two of mine whould run 2850 or 3025fps with great acuracy. In my 26" 6.5-284 I could not run the high node, at 3000 it shot great but kicked the crap out of the brass, 2850 was all she wrote.

    There is no magic formula for barrel life, I mostly ran therm 2850fps and one barrel was toast at 1K even a little before. That barrel was run hot dirty and hard:) I had another go 1500 with no problems. Not a BR gun but could still kill G-Hogs and Deer at long range. I did find as the throat went it wouldnt shoot Bergers anymore, I switched back to SMK's and it tightend up and lasted another 200 rounds. Might have been a tougher jacket.
  10. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

    Dec 24, 2001
    I had one 6.5x284 had it for antelope/LR varmint rifle with the 140/142gr VLD accuracy load was around 2950fps and I replaced that rifle few years ago with something else.

    I've never had anything build that how many rds fired was a concern some are little harder on barrels than others.

    I think lot that were shooting the 6.5x284 in matches have moved on to other calibers like the 7mm and some have moved back to 6mm and some are still shooting the 6.5x284.

    When the 6.5x47L hit the market that opened a need for short action 6.5 vs the 6.5x284 Norma.
    Some of the site I get on it's more about the 260 vs the 6.5 CM which is good.
  11. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver Official LRH Sponsor

    Jun 12, 2004
    In my opinion, +3000 fps is a bit on the hot side for a 6.5-284. More realistic numbers would be in the 2900-2950 fps range.

    The problem with barrel life and the 6.5-284 is not the size of the chambering, its how its used by the shooter. Many times, its used in HP matches or similiar events where the volume of shooting is pretty high. Barrels get warm and they keep shooting, then they get hot and often times they keep shooting. In this type of shooting, the 6.5-284 will be slightly harder on barrels then the 260 of course.

    Just depends on what you want to do with the rifle, if it will be used for big game hunting, you will see very little if any difference in barrel life between the two, if you will be competing or shooting higher volume, the 260 would be a better choice if you do not have to shoot the barrel hot.
  12. Zep

    Zep Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2011
    Another great thread, why I read these forums.

    Greyfox hit the nail on the head as I understand it. I shoot woodchucks with a friend who use a .243 for the long shots and he does not shoot it much, only two shots at the range a few times a year to make sure it is still spot on and only a few woodchucks a week for a few months a year. Barrel is original and over ten years old.

    I used to worry about wearing out my guns, now I am happy to do so. Life is short, make the most of it.
  13. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    the 6.5/284 and the .260 are both poorly designed cases in the end. The .260 improved would be better. A better round would be the 6.5x57AI, or better yet the 6.5x55AI using 6mm Remington brass as a parent case. (2900fps with a 140 grain bullet). A little long in a Remington 700 action, but will fit. A perfect fit in a Savage or Winchester.
  14. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    I had the opportunity to meet John Hoover the other day at his shop. He is a very knowledge on the 6.5x284. From my understanding, one of the best. After reading this thread, it made me remember the interview he did. If you haven't read this article it is a pretty good read on the 6.5x284.

    6.5-284s of the Hoover Clan

    If you don't want to read the entire article, this question was related to barrel life.

    Q: Barrel wear is an issue with the 6.5-284. What can be done to extend useful barrel life?

    "If you slack off one place you're going to pay elsewhere. If you reduce your velocity you will suffer downrange. Most top competitors are willing to replace barrels after 800 rounds or so--that's just part of the game. I will say, however, that I've had good results with setting back barrels. We used to do that part-way through a season. Recently we've gone a full season before setting back the barrel about 1". I've seen no significant loss in velocity or accuracy from setting back the barrel from 30" to 29" or so. In fact, I'd say pretty much every time we've set back a barrel it shot as well or better than before. And it continues to shoot accurately for many hundreds of rounds. Depending on how much shooting you do between matches, you may be able to extend your barrel's life from one season to nearly two."

    After speaking with Mr. Hoover about the 6.5x284 and discussing velocity, he indicated the magic number they strive for when shooting is 2950 FPS.