Really...how good IS the 6.5mm?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by ATH, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

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    I had decided on a 300 win mag for a long-range gun, but lately I keep hearing that the 6.5mm is the latest-greatest thing. Fads come and go, but what are the pros and cons of the various 6.5mm cases over compared to each other and the 300 win mag?
    I know the bullets tend to have higher BC and sectional density than the .30s used in the win mag. What kind of velocities do the various 6.5s get, and how are they on game down-range? What's the largest game they're good for, say at 500 and 800 yards? Are they barrel-burners?
    The only one I've heard much about is teh 6.5-284...is this the most popular of the group, and why?
    Thanks...
     
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver Official LRH Sponsor

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    ATH,

    Your asking questions that deal more with cartridges then bore diameter. The 6.5mm is a great calibe rfor long range shooting but it will not run with the large 300 magnums ballistically when 220 to 250 gr bullets are shot.

    One exception may be a new bullet in the works from Wildcat Bullets which will be a ULD design in the 160 to 170 gr class. Still figuring this one out. This bullet will be disigned for use with my 6.5mm Allen Mag.

    While the big 300s will ballistically top the 6.5mm rounds, they are much more difficult to shoot because of increased recoil, and muzzle blast.

    This is what makes the smaller 6.5mm rounds shine, they are very good ballistically, they are accurate, and they are easy to shoot, especially volume shooting.

    They generally burn less powder then the 300 mags so barrel heat is less of a concern. I would not say they are any easier on the throat. The 300 Win Mag is not overly hard on a throat and some of the medium to larger 6.5mm round are far harder on the throat.

    Personally I would say the 6.5mm rounds are plenty powerful for taking deer out to 800 yards. Farther in some cases. Larger game liek elk, I knwo it is done and effectively at that but I like a little more frontal area on elk, especially past 500 yards or so. A properly loaded 6.5mm round getting 3000 fps with a 140 gr class bullet or heavier will certainly harvest elk though.

    Again this depends on the cartiridge used more then the caliber. Let me explain. You can take a 260 Rem chambered in a quality rifle and shoot the 140 gr class VLD and ULD bullets with extreme accuracy even at very long ranges. This round will last several thousand rounds before needing to be retubed.

    6.5mm rounds in this class include the 6.5-284, 6.5x55 and others in this size.

    On the other end of the spectrum, you have the large high performance 6.5mm rounds. They start with the 264 Win Mag and include rounds like the 6.5-300 Wby, 6.5 STW and my 6.5mm Allen Mag.

    These rounds offer very high levels of performance but at a cost of higher recoil and shorter barrel life. My 6.5mm Allen Mag will burn 95 to 105 gr of powder to drive 100 to 160 gr bullets to 4150 to 3350 fps respectively.

    Now barrel life is certainly abreviated compared to the smaller 6.5mm rounds but for a big game rifle, they re simply awsome and offer plenty of barrel life for a coupel of lifetimes for the average big game hunter.

    Ballistically, with the correct bullets, these big 6.5mms will handlily out perform the 300 mag rounds.

    Remember though that extreme performance, ballisticially or terminally mean very little if you can't put that bullet on the mark. This is why the 6.5mm rounds are so popular for long range shooting. They are easier to hit with then a heavy recoiling 300 magnum round.

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen (50)
     
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  3. 3sixbits

    3sixbits Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I had decided on a 300 win mag for a long-range gun, but lately I keep hearing that the 6.5mm is the latest-greatest thing. Fads come and go, but what are the pros and cons of the various 6.5mm cases over compared to each other and the 300 win mag?
    I know the bullets tend to have higher BC and sectional density than the .30s used in the win mag. What kind of velocities do the various 6.5s get, and how are they on game down-range? What's the largest game they're good for, say at 500 and 800 yards? Are they barrel-burners?
    The only one I've heard much about is teh 6.5-284...is this the most popular of the group, and why?
    Thanks...

    [/ QUOTE ] False, the 6.5 has been a round for a vary long time and is no fad. In the words of P.J. Hart when asked how soon does a barrel start looseing it's accuracy, his reply was "from the vary first shot". I take it you are refering to all the current iterations that are used in 1000 yards comp. they are all about the same. Everbody is trying to stay just under 3000fps. The reason is the base of the bullets seem to implode and become deformed @ 3000fps and they give the shooter vertical. This is proven with highspeed photos, that it happens, is a fact know for the last four or five years. This was about the time folks were on the hunt to loose the vertical and started messing with the 6mm. for the .284 WIN case. Most shooters are looking for the golden spot of 2950fps. Which is about max before old vertical rears it's ugly head. Now the problem with the 6.5x.284 is , you ain't gonna get there with a barrel length you would want to carry in the field. Your not going to reach 2950 with a 26" barrel. Competive shooters do worry about barrel life as they are putting a lot of rounds down range each season. Thats why most of the match equipment list show barrel lengths @ 30 inches and longer. They get a good burn with fairly slow powders in these lenghts, and get to 2950fps. the barrels live alot longer than tring to get there with a shorter tube. I have shoot moose with the 6.5x06 using the old screw machine jackets (pre 1975 Nosler) and they worked just fine. But they are long gone. Now days, thanks to WOODLIEGH good bullets live again for hunting with the 6.5 bore. Unless you want to mess around with annealing cases I would stay away from the 6.5x06 ect. and only go with a case like the 6.5x55,6.5x55AI,6.5x.284 not sexey but they will get you there for any hunting you would want to do on all the members of the deer family. If you wanted to build a light weight sheep rifle this would be the way to go also. Now with that out of the way the 6.5mm has been used in comp for a lot of years in europe where they are highly reguarded. It's really in the U.S. that we feel it nessary to re-invent the wheel ever year., thats why you see so many different changes come along in ctg design. I leave it to you to answer the why! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  4. Pem Tech

    Pem Tech Member

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    /Quote/ False, the 6.5 has been a round for a vary long time and is no fad. /Quote/

    I agree, but what concerns me is which 6.5mm will stand the test of time? Back in the '80s when the 7mm BR was all the rage I bought an XP-100, but the caliber has since gone extinct, much to my disappointment. Love that little tubby guy. I was tempted to go back to the 7mm Mag but the 6.5 shows much promise. But which 6.5? The Creedmore is very popular, but will ammo be available in 10 years?
    Advice is appreciated.
     
  5. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    The 6.5 will NEVER be obsolete and I doubt the Creed will be either!
    As another option, check out shermanwildcatcartridges.com
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
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  6. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    How much time? The thread is from 2005.
    No issues with reviving old threads, in this case it illustrates a bit of discussion that never really go away.
    I break it down 2 ways: 1) When comparing objective criteria, the 6.5x55 remains a solid performer in it’s class. 2) Marketing and commercial success mandate something “new and improved” every year or so. Doesn’t matter if it’s laundry soap, or firearms.
    Shoot whatever you got until it’s worn out, then reassess your needs and desires. Have Fun!
     
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  7. Hand Skills

    Hand Skills Well-Known Member

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    A timeless topic, evidently. 6.5x55 swede' - 127yrs and going strong!
     
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  8. Swamplord

    Swamplord Well-Known Member

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    almost every thread is polluted with the cancer of our time, even the purity and innocence of 2005 hasn't been spared, sickened
     
  9. KyCarl

    KyCarl Well-Known Member

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