Why the 6.5 caliber?

rharfo

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6.5 bullets vs 270,284,308. Why has the 6.5 taken off and if you believe the hype - taken over? I have been sucked into the hype with one 6.5 PRC with a second to follow. Is it just bullet type and availability? The 270 bullets just can’t keep up because they don’t exist yet? The 284 must be heavy for caliber like the 308 to compete with the 6.5? Why why why is the 6.5 the new “King”?
Just wondering....
 

Creedmoor shooter

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I think it's a combination of bullet availability and balance. It has a wide range of useable hunting, target, and long range capable bullets.The 6.5 cal is well balanced. It has a good weight range with great high BC bullets. The weight range is good from varmints to elk without being overkill. I used to think marketing played a role but honestly if marketing was the only thing it had going for it then it would've died off by now. 6.5s just work.
 

FEENIX

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IMHO, .264/6.5MM is not the new king, as they have been around for a while. I have Carl Gustaf in 6.5x55 Swede and it has been around (designed in 1891) longer than our venerable .30-06 (designed 1906). The resurgence (renewed interest, esp. to new hunter/shooter) of .264/6.5MM, can be accredited to Hornaday's success with the 6.5 CM. Their success was not an overnight sensation as it took them ~ a decade before they got to where they are today. Their successful marketing strategy and execution, and collaborative efforts/partnership and support with other rifle/shooting industries is exemplary and envy to their competitors.

In the end, it's all about personal choice and preference.

I also have a 6.5 CM and .264 WM with 26" 1:7" primarily to propel the 156 Bergers (awaiting headspacing).
 
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Pmacc60

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In truth I feel the 6.5 caliber is the most under explored caliber in the past 60
years and that was the place for companies to develop. Remington blew it with their 6.5 Rem mag with the rifle choice Winchester did the same because of poor ammunition availability when the 264 win was released. 6.5x55 was and is a fine little round but nothing to get overly excited about. The 6.5 Jap and Carcano didn’t make our hearts jump with joy either. Weatherby had no loading in their Mark V line so the 40’s thru 70’s didn’t bring us much in the 264 arena . Better bullets , rates of twist and long range shooters showed the way here. Many jumped on the band wagon and now we have the trend we see! I’m right there with you all adding to my 260 rem the 26 Nosler ( two rifles ) the 6.5 CM , 264 win mag and the 6.5 rem mag in 700 Remington . BTW I’m having a great time with them all!
 

PredatorSlayer

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6.5 bullets vs 270,284,308. Why has the 6.5 taken off and if you believe the hype - taken over? I have been sucked into the hype with one 6.5 PRC with a second to follow. Is it just bullet type and availability? The 270 bullets just can’t keep up because they don’t exist yet? The 284 must be heavy for caliber like the 308 to compete with the 6.5? Why why why is the 6.5 the new “King”?
Just wondering....
Generally lower recoil than its 7mm and 30 cal counter parts, heavy for caliber high BC, high SD bullets. In my experience the 6.5 cartridges over perform. They kill animals better than they should. Its been king outside the US for years, we are finally catching up.
 

Andrew Massi

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The belief that a couple fewer clicks in elevation or wind hold is superior. There's nothing magical about the 6.5 but as was mentioned above most of the 6.5 offerings coincided with lighter recoiling rounds and the growth of shooting braked or suppressed magnums. So shot placement was better and the mythical status of the caliber grew. Also the ability of average shooters to hit stuff a long ways has grown leaps and bounds in the last 15-20 years.
If you go from shooting elk in the timber with a 30 or 33mag and bonded bullets to picking them off at 650 with a creedmoor you falsely equate the creedmoor to being somehow more lethal when in reality all that's changed is the delivery of the projectile; shooters are staying off the shoulder and instead dropping very rapidly expanding projectiles into the lungs and heart. Sometimes that makes for a very impressive drt splat (likely cns hit) either way mammals dont live long with holes in their heart and lungs.

Berger, sierra, nosler, barnes and hornady have some great offerings that overlap close enough for govt work
Compare the eld-x
143-.264 --g7 315
145-.277-- g7 270
150-.284 --g7 289
Launch all 3 of those out of like cartridges
Ie. 6.5-06ai, 270, 280ai

And what you'll find is one beats the other in terms of dozens of yards of theoretical lethality(velocity of ft lbs) and a couple of clicks on your turrets and wind hold.

At 1k the 6.5 is superior by 4 clicks of elevation.
Put any of the 3 bullets into an ungulates vitals and enjoy backstraps for dinner.
Run it with bergers and the difference is less dramatic
 

jebel

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I don’t think there is anything special about the 6.5mm/.264 caliber. What is special is the advancement in bullet technology.

When all we had were soft-point, non-bonded bullets, the .308 caliber made sense, because with the right weight you could overcome deficiencies (of the bullets) and get necessary penetration for effective kills.

Then we got partitions. Then bonded. Then monolithics. Manufacturers mastered controlled expansion across a broader range of velocities.

The result is that now we can do the same things we used to do with .308 bullets with smaller and smaller calibers. It’s similar to the FBI moving from the .40 caliber to the 9mm. The .40 caliber can still do the job, but now the the smaller caliber can tick all the boxes. That’s because of bullet technology, not because there’s anything special about the 9mm handgun caliber.

6.5mm bullets can do more today than ever before, as can bullets of every other caliber for the same reasons. But when several calibers will work, why not go with the smallest, softest-shooting choice? Companies like Hornady have capitalized on this trend wisely. But they didn’t create it.
 

HARPERC

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..........I don’t think there is anything special about the 6.5mm/.264 caliber. What is special is the advancement in bullet technology.
.........When all we had were soft-point, non-bonded bullets, the .308 caliber made sense, because with the right weight you could overcome deficiencies (of the bullets) and get necessary penetration for effective kills.
.......Then we got partitions. Then bonded. Then monolithics. Manufacturers mastered controlled expansion across a broader range of velocities.
.......The result is that now we can do the same things we used to do with .308 bullets with smaller and smaller calibers. It’s similar to the FBI moving from the .40 caliber to the 9mm. The .40 caliber can still do the job, but now the the smaller caliber can tick all the boxes. That’s because of bullet technology, not because there’s anything special about the 9mm handgun caliber.
........6.5mm bullets can do more today than ever before, as can bullets of every other caliber for the same reasons. But when several calibers will work, why not go with the smallest, softest-shooting choice? Companies like Hornady have capitalized on this trend wisely. But they didn’t create it..........
Nailed it.
 

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