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Thread: Which 6.5 would you build, and why?

  1. #1
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    Default Which 6.5 would you build, and why?

    Reading iofthetaiga's "Am thinking of building a custom" thread, got me to wondering. If you were building a 6.5 mm rifle from scratch, which cartridge would you select and why?

    The 260, 6.5X55 SM, 6.5 creedmoor, or the 6.5X284?

    Would you want a short action or a long action? What bullet weight would you build the rifle for, and which barrel length and twist would you chose?

    Thanks,
    Ralph

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    I would go with the 6.5-284 on a std length action... Well I already have a 6.5-284 so I guess I'm biased LOL.. I went with a 26 inch Pac-Nor barrel and a 98 Mauser action. But I do also have a custom 6.5 swede as well, it sports a 22 inc Pac-Nor barrel. They have 1-9 twist something like that... They both shoot 120 Nosler Ballistice tips very well... Shoto 129 even better. Load 140gr Hornady's in the 6.5-284 and I would not heistate to chase Elk or mosse with it.

  3. #3

    Default 6.5

    To gain the maximum potential out of the 6.5x284 you really need to use a standard length action, this is true for thr 6.5x55 as well. The other 2 rounds work in short actions if that is a consideration.
    The 260 is nice in that it has factory ammo based on a 308 case. I've not used the 6.5 Creedmore so nothing there.
    The other option might be a 6.5 Remington Mag. If speed and power is a major player in your decision.
    The 6.5x 55 is an underloaded round in modern firearms and when loaded to modern pressures is more than equal to the 260 Rem. in power.
    Not sure what you have planned for this rifle but any of these rounds are adequate for any hoofed animal that trods the NA continent.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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  4. #4

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    I'm torn between small and light versus full sized in my own deliberations about a 6.5. If I was going short action and 20" barrel (along the lines of the Rem Model 7) I'd pick the 260 hands down. If I was going full length action and a barrel over 22", it's a tossup for me between a 6.5-06 AI and the 264 Win Mag. No real reason for either over a 6.5-284 other than ease of finding or making cases. I'd want the longer action even with the 6.5-284 (had one once built on a shorter action that required deep seating bullets, and didn't like it at all), so it becomes a question of why use the 284 case, which is getting harder to find. I really admired the performance of a Ruger #1 6.5-284 I owned, and I'm not down on the caliber. I just don't think I'd make one in a full length action when the 06 cases are so much easier to come by. And I had great luck with a couple of 264 Win Mags in the past, so that round is more a sentimental choice than any belief it does more than either the 6.5-284 or 6.5-06 AI. If you're interested in more velocity than those three and really trying to stretch the range, a friend used to shoot 1000 yard bench with a 300 Wby necked down to .264. Barrel life wasn't long, but man, did that thing smoke for long shooting.

  5. #5
    Member bigswede358's Avatar
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    Default That would be a tough decision

    Don't forget the 6.5-06 or if you are a speed freak, the big 6.5 STW. The 6.5 seems to be making somewhat of a comeback, sure seems like I here about them more often lately. And they make one heck of a hunting caliber.
    LIVE TO HUNT....HUNT TO LIVE!!!!

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    It depends on what you want to do with the rifle. BR/LR would have one set of criteria and hunting another IMO. I've a lot of experience with the 6.5x55, a good bit of experience with the 6.5x284 & the 260, and none with the 6.5 Creedmoor. IMO there is very little to choose between them. Among the cartridges you mention (except the Creedmoor) if you must have the fastest then use the 6.5x284, the shortest and lightest then choose the 260 or the oldest/most popular then the 6.5x55. The 6.5X55 has a COL of 3.15, so if I were limited to a short action 700 then I would use the 260, but if the magazine box will allow a 3.00 COL the 6.5x284 will fit nicely. I will say that the "nicest" thing about the Swede & 260 is the external ballistics they offer with very soft recoil. You can make 260 brass by simply necking up 243 cases, necking 7mm-08 or 308 brass down can be done, but that is often more work (i.e. neck reaming). The 6.5x55 has a small, but IMO significant, difference in head size from other readily available cases and cannot be safely made from an existing case. Of course the 6.5x284 is simply a necked down 284 Win. IMO the abundance of quality brass available for the 260, 6.5x55 & 6.5x284 makes this difference a moot point. All three have proven themselves as exceedingly accurate cartridges with many wins and records in various types of competitions. I guess I am trying to say that there is very little difference among them and choosing one over another is only going to make sense on a case by case basis.

    Presently, my only 6.5 is a Swede. It is a wonderful rifle that weighs a touch under 7 pounds ready to hunt [Model 70, 22" barrel (1-8 twist), 3x9 & 5 rounds]. It's recoil is very mild and 140s leave the barrel a bit over 2800 fps. It shoots extremely well for a lightweight sporter and I'll never part with it; that is my wife would never let me part with it and really she claims it as her own now. If I were of a mind to buy/build another 6.5 in this class it would look very similar (perhaps a 23-24 inch barrel) to this one and I doubt that I could make it any better for its purpose.

    Worrying about using a short action is so much about nothing IMO. I realize the longer action weighs more, but the difference is not much--normally around 4 ounces more in any given model. Personally I prefer the longer action because the heavier spitzer bullets get pretty long at .264 and the extra magazine length is usually an advantage regardless of the cartridge.

    My preference for barrels runs towards longer is a bit better, for optimum velocity & consistency. For the 260 & 6.5x55 the 20 is a little short for the slower powders that these cases tend to prefer. I think 22 is fine, but 23-24 is probably a bit more efficient even in the small cases and I would not build a 6.5x284 with less than a 24 and it would be better with a 26 or longer IMO.

    As for twist rates the 6.5 is pretty straight forward, use the 1 in 8 twist and forget about it. Maybe there is a bit better BR accuracy with a 1-9 and bullets 129 and under, but the 140s typically like the 1-8 much better and a 6.5 in the field is about using the 140s.

    The smaller 6.5s perform marvelously with the various 140 grain bullets. The lighter and heavier bullets have a place, but the 139-42 is the best compromise IME.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    I don't have any hands on experience with the 6.5's yet, but I'm all about the exterior balistics, mild recoil, light weight and easy handling of the Swede. My 338-06 is built on a stainless Mod 70 action, and that's what I'm doing for the Swede as well, so now I'll have a matched set. Who knows, if I follow my woman Outside after our retirement, maybe the 6.5 will convince me I don't even need the 338-06 any more.

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    What's it for? For a hunting 6.5 I selected the 6.5x55 in a Model 70 FWT. Very accurate, light recoil, bullets with great SD.

    For a 1000 yard rifle, and 1000 yards is the only distance where you might feel you NEED a 6.5, then the 6.5x284 is pretty much it. The cartridge has a proven track record at the long line. I am only speaking of high power here, not BR.

    You could make a case for the 6XC at 1000 and certainly a 6XC or 6BR at anything less.

  9. #9

    Default FYI

    Savage introduced a 6.5x284 F-class rifle this year as a production run gun. Might be worth a look depending on your needs. It would be cheaper than building a custom rifle, if you're looking at an F-class gun.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    Savage introduced a 6.5x284 F-class rifle this year as a production run gun. Might be worth a look depending on your needs. It would be cheaper than building a custom rifle, if you're looking at an F-class gun.
    Yep, and Savage generally builds a pretty accurate rifle.

  11. #11

    Default Two more challengers.

    Dedicated Sheep gun would be a long barreled 26 in + 264 Win mag probably off of a winchester classic action and Hart Barrel.

    6.5 Weatherby Mag as developed by Tim McWhorter is pretty expensive but if it is a 6.5 that you want. That baby can dance.

    Sincerely,
    Thomas

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    Thanks everybody,

    All of you have posted some very helpful response's. Plenty of good advice with many options to consider.

    I have fired the 6's and the 7's, but other than at the range with a friends 6.5X55 Swede and years with my all time favorite 270, I have never used anything between the 6mm and 7mm's. That more than anything else is the reason for my interest in the caliber.

    Plus, after reading numerous articles on the 6.5, I find my interest in the caliber growing even more. Particularly as a light weight hunting rifle for medium game and smaller.

    Your continued input is certainly welcome,
    Ralph

  13. #13

    Smile for me...

    I will go with the Rem. Mod. 7 in .260 Rem. I think brass may be easier to find, but maybe not. It is a going to have a 20 to 22 inch barrel and the grandkids can use it. My next AR may be a .260 Rem. Also, if the urge or need to drive a 6.5 bullet fast hits me I will get my Dad's old pre-64 Mod. 70 Win. in caliber .264 Win. Mag. out. It's 26" barrel likes 140 grain Nosler Partitions. Driving a bullet at 2.600 to 2,800 fps mv has met my needs for most of my shooting and hunting career.

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Not many of the 6.5/.264 chamberings I haven't chambered and spent a lot of powder on. The most interesting of late is the Grindell chambering I'm running in and AR platform. If I was wanting something along just general all around, my first choice is the 6.5X55 it gives some great barrel life and is a accurate chambering. With the 6.5/.284 barrel life is short just like with the 6.5/06.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    With the 6.5/.284 barrel life is short just like with the 6.5/06.
    No more than 1500 rounds out of a long range target rifle.

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    What is the first thing I think when I discover a great shooting rifle barrel that I just spent hundreds of dollars on? I sure am going to hate to see this one go! They all have a life expectancy, with the 6.5X55 that life has a lot more distance than with these bigger bore capacity cases. For the hunter, no animal you ever shoot will be able to tell the difference anyway.


    Always stay with a standard length action, why shorten the potential accuracy life of these ctg by running out of the ability to seat the bullets into the jam point if that's what the barrel wants to give it best for you?
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    I have a 260 Rem target gun and a M96 Swede. Brass for the Swede is much easier to come by. The Swede (6.5x55) can be hand loaded to equal or better velocities to the 260 Rem, but factory loads won't be as good because they are downloaded for small ring Mauser pressures.

    If you want a gun that can do it all and find factory ammo easily, go with the Swede. 260 Rem is much less available in comparison. For fun, I'm actually thinking about building a 6.5-06AI on a full size Mauser action. The 6.5x284 is a great round also, but again, handloading is the only game in town.

    The 6.5 Creedmore is a good round, but really made for high power competition, not hunting.

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    Well if I really wanted a wildcat ctg and did not mind the pain of dealing with a wildcat (which I don't mind at all) There are some much better wildcats out there where the parent brass will do a much better job for you in that bore capacity. Even the .263 RCBS is a better choice, and that's still would not be my own choice. Remember you start down this road, figure on spending lots of bucks on reamers and you sure want a gunsmith that knows all the ends and out of wildcatting, barrel fitting. What length of barrel will you need to get the most out of this wildcat?

    All of the things that you need to answer for yourself before you take the plunge.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Speaking of wildcat 6.5's, I have read the 6.5 Gibbs is based on a necked down 30-06 as well, so compared to a 6.5-06AI, what is the difference and or benefit of one of these two over the other? I'm assuming shoulder angle and a minute amount of case capacity variance based on that, but what else?

    Given the same bullet diameter, overall cartridge case diameter and length, I would expect very similar performance out of the two. They will both require standard length actions.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph View Post
    Speaking of wildcat 6.5's, I have read the 6.5 Gibbs is based on a necked down 30-06 as well, so compared to a 6.5-06AI, what is the difference and or benefit of one of these two over the other? I'm assuming shoulder angle and a minute amount of case capacity variance based on that, but what else?

    Given the same bullet diameter, overall cartridge case diameter and length, I would expect very similar performance out of the two. They will both require standard length actions.

    And you would win a prize for your answer. All of the cases with a near capacity of the .30-06 have about the same over bore capacity and the bores of these chambering have about the same round count life.

    I still hold the .264 WINCHESTER as the low count all time winner and should be considered as the crown winner in that category.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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