6.5 caliber options and opinions

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6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by bigrich » 26 Aug 2023, 9:41 am

hey guys , i've got another caliber discussion for ya's . i've been loading for 6.5x55 for years and am looking into other 6.5 options . the swede is a great old school caliber , but the unique brass which i don't want to lose in the bush , and the moderate loads i'm getting before case preasure signs set in have got me looking at other options . i'm only looking at using 120-130gn projectiles mainly . the 6.5 man bun with 129sst's and 2209 seems like a good thing . anyone getting good velocity with this loading ?
ultimately i'd like to go 260rem , using sized up 243 brass as it's cheap and commonly available , and the 260 seems to have a edge with FPS on the swede and man bun especially if you can seat out over standard COL . i'd rebarrel my tikka swede to 260 but the .480 bolt face of the swede veto's that idea .

any experiences or opinions fellas ? cheers
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by No1Mk3 » 26 Aug 2023, 11:56 am

The Swedish bolt will handle 308, a number of Swedish CG63's were chambered in 7.62x51 NATO for the UK, as well as the Swedish Army fm/64 Trials. Also look at the 6.5-284 Norma, Hornady make cases for this.
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by bigrich » 26 Aug 2023, 12:09 pm

No1Mk3 wrote:The Swedish bolt will handle 308, a number of Swedish CG63's were chambered in 7.62x51 NATO for the UK, as well as the Swedish Army fm/64 Trials. Also look at the 6.5-284 Norma, Hornady make cases for this.


thanks for your reply mate . the rifle platform i prefer is the tikka t3 , not the 96 mauser . 6.5x284 has it's good points , but i'm wanting to steer way from unique brass . hence 260rem is my preference as it can be made from 243 brass . 6.5cm is not hard to get at present either :thumbsup:
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by bladeracer » 26 Aug 2023, 12:30 pm

bigrich wrote:hey guys , i've got another caliber discussion for ya's . i've been loading for 6.5x55 for years and am looking into other 6.5 options . the swede is a great old school caliber , but the unique brass which i don't want to lose in the bush , and the moderate loads i'm getting before case pressure signs set in have got me looking at other options . i'm only looking at using 120-130gn projectiles mainly . the 6.5 man bun with 129sst's and 2209 seems like a good thing . anyone getting good velocity with this loading ?
ultimately i'd like to go 260rem , using sized up 243 brass as it's cheap and commonly available , and the 260 seems to have a edge with FPS on the swede and man bun especially if you can seat out over standard COL . i'd rebarrel my tikka swede to 260 but the .480 bolt face of the swede veto's that idea .

any experiences or opinions fellas ? cheers


If I were looking for a 6.5mm cartridge that I was happy to litter the bush with it would be the Creedmoor. I would think by now there should be plenty of once-fired brass available, and if not you can make it from cheap .308 or .243.

But you can also make cheap 6.5x55mm brass from cheap once-fired .30-06, .270, .25-06 if you are losing a lot of it. You could even go AI, though I think that generally requires pulling the barrel which can get expensive.

Why does the Swede bolt matter? The 6.5x55mm rim diameter is larger than the rim diameter of the .260 so I see no issue with rebarrelling to .260Rem or any other .308 case-head cartridge. If it were smaller (like rechambering a .308 to 6.5x55mm) you'd have to either make your brass from the smaller-diameter parent case or mill out the bolt face very slightly.
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by northdude » 26 Aug 2023, 1:46 pm

What distances are you shooting at I have 3x different 6.5s, grendel, 6.5x55 and 6.5 06
22 hornets and most things 6.5
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by bigrich » 26 Aug 2023, 4:33 pm

bladeracer wrote:
bigrich wrote:hey guys , i've got another caliber discussion for ya's . i've been loading for 6.5x55 for years and am looking into other 6.5 options . the swede is a great old school caliber , but the unique brass which i don't want to lose in the bush , and the moderate loads i'm getting before case pressure signs set in have got me looking at other options . i'm only looking at using 120-130gn projectiles mainly . the 6.5 man bun with 129sst's and 2209 seems like a good thing . anyone getting good velocity with this loading ?
ultimately i'd like to go 260rem , using sized up 243 brass as it's cheap and commonly available , and the 260 seems to have a edge with FPS on the swede and man bun especially if you can seat out over standard COL . i'd rebarrel my tikka swede to 260 but the .480 bolt face of the swede veto's that idea .

any experiences or opinions fellas ? cheers


If I were looking for a 6.5mm cartridge that I was happy to litter the bush with it would be the Creedmoor. I would think by now there should be plenty of once-fired brass available, and if not you can make it from cheap .308 or .243.

But you can also make cheap 6.5x55mm brass from cheap once-fired .30-06, .270, .25-06 if you are losing a lot of it. You could even go AI, though I think that generally requires pulling the barrel which can get expensive.

Why does the Swede bolt matter? The 6.5x55mm rim diameter is larger than the rim diameter of the .260 so I see no issue with rebarrelling to .260Rem or any other .308 case-head cartridge. If it were smaller (like rechambering a .308 to 6.5x55mm) you'd have to either make your brass from the smaller-diameter parent case or mill out the bolt face very slightly.


i just want to keep things simple blade . sizing up 243 to 260 rem is a no brainer . making creedmore or swede brass from other cases is more mucking around than i can be bothered with . i agree creedmore is pretty common now , and not overly expensive to buy a bag of it in remington flavour . i'm just musing on a quiet saturday i guess . having said i want to keep things simple i think getting my swede ackleyed has appeal . would probably help with case preasure with regards to bolt thrust and brass flow . not to mention the extra FPS i'd get ....... :) t-bone shipwright has a 40 degree ackley reamer , but the costs add up :roll:
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by bigrich » 26 Aug 2023, 4:41 pm

northdude wrote:What distances are you shooting at I have 3x different 6.5s, grendel, 6.5x55 and 6.5 06


three 6.5's :o your either greedy or a 6.5 junkie :lol: :drinks: :thumbsup:

my t3 has to cover scrub to open country work . roos, goat and the various sized pigs i come across . one day i'll get lucky and get close enough to a deer to take a shot . they sit up on ridgelines 600 yards away and tease me :) next trip i'm trialing 129sst's .

6.5-06 is interesting , and easy to make brass from 25-06 ? that has some appeal but i doubt barrel life is long if you pump the rounds through hey ? how's it working for you ?
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by deye243 » 26 Aug 2023, 5:14 pm

If it's a hunting rifle even a 264winmag will last 10 or so years .
And be warned that necking up will more than likely give you doughnuts it has every time I have done it but it was not much of a problem as I had a lot of free bore for 140 and 144 grain pills .
So necking down 708 or 270 even if you have a lot of trimming to do with 270 brass it's worth it .
Deer at 600 with a 6.5 unless a fallow is high bc 140ish gr pill Territory for me two reasons is less wind drift and higher impact speeds .
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by SCJ429 » 26 Aug 2023, 7:17 pm

As above, Deye said to use 308 or 7mm08 brass for a 260, this is what I do. I also rebarrelled a Tikka T3 from the Swede to Creedmoor and didn’t open up the bolt face.

I find 308 brass is the most available, I can even find once fired Lapua brass relatively cheaply.
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by Billo » 26 Aug 2023, 10:40 pm

Hey bigrich no harm in playing with the 6.5 Manbun, esp if accuracy is what you crave....

Actually I was going to building a 264 WM but its been bumped down the project list and I've just committed to a 6.5 CM, Ive bought it as a project rifle to rebarrel to a mid bore unless I like it it. Ive got a stash of 130gr OTM's and 100gr Maker CNC'd projectiles to burn thru first
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by bigrich » 27 Aug 2023, 4:53 am

SCJ429 wrote:As above, Deye said to use 308 or 7mm08 brass for a 260, this is what I do. I also rebarrelled a Tikka T3 from the Swede to Creedmoor and didn’t open up the bolt face.

I find 308 brass is the most available, I can even find once fired Lapua brass relatively cheaply.


Thanks for the advice on resizing for the 260 scj and deye. With regards to bolt face, the Swede is .480 , 308 and most other cases are.473 . It doesn’t seem stuff all , but after having rifles that don’t feed and eject as they should due to small discrepancies, I like things to be technically correct. :thumbsup:
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by bigrich » 27 Aug 2023, 5:03 am

Billo wrote:Hey bigrich no harm in playing with the 6.5 Manbun, esp if accuracy is what you crave....

Actually I was going to building a 264 WM but its been bumped down the project list and I've just committed to a 6.5 CM, Ive bought it as a project rifle to rebarrel to a mid bore unless I like it it. Ive got a stash of 130gr OTM's and 100gr Maker CNC'd projectiles to burn thru first


Yeah, I’m curious to give the man bun a go . The case design has all the attributes of a ackley or competition round in standard form. Looking at loads in manuals, ADI and uncle nick, the 260 has the edge in velocity with 130’s if you can load out. As a off the shelf round the cm does everything that hornady designed it to do. Store bought ammo that delivers outstanding accuracy and great light medium game performance. Having said that, plenty of kiwis take out reds with the cm . Including Ron spomer on a guided hunt. I’ll think some more on the cm . I’m looking to hearing about hunting experience and loads with this round :thumbsup:
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by JimTom » 27 Aug 2023, 6:36 am

I run 143 ELD X out of my Creedmoor. Flattens pigs and Chital deer no problems.
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by bigrich » 27 Aug 2023, 6:47 am

JimTom wrote:I run 143 ELD X out of my Creedmoor. Flattens pigs and Chital deer no problems.


what sort of load you running with that mate ? send me a PM if your not comfortable putting data on here publicly . cheers
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by northdude » 27 Aug 2023, 8:02 am

bigrich wrote:
northdude wrote:What distances are you shooting at I have 3x different 6.5s, grendel, 6.5x55 and 6.5 06


three 6.5's :o your either greedy or a 6.5 junkie :lol: :drinks: :thumbsup:

my t3 has to cover scrub to open country work . roos, goat and the various sized pigs i come across . one day i'll get lucky and get close enough to a deer to take a shot . they sit up on ridgelines 600 yards away and tease me :) next trip i'm trialing 129sst's .

6.5-06 is interesting , and easy to make brass from 25-06 ? that has some appeal but i doubt barrel life is long if you pump the rounds through hey ? how's it working for you ?

You can seat bt bullets straight into 25 05 brass, no mucking around resizing etc. On paper its a pretty flat shooter and I like 6.5 and odd stuff. 6.5 sherman is an interesting looking one as well
22 hornets and most things 6.5
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by JimTom » 27 Aug 2023, 8:04 am

Mate I load 41.5 of AR2209 which is under the max load in the ADI tables. I haven’t chronographed them but extrapolating from the tables I estimate circa 2700 fps or maybe a little under. I don't get to wound up over velocity, more interested in accuracy.
I use Lapua SRP brass and load small rifle magnum primers. Shoots like a champion.
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by bigrich » 29 Aug 2023, 5:33 am

JimTom wrote:Mate I load 41.5 of AR2209 which is under the max load in the ADI tables. I haven’t chronographed them but extrapolating from the tables I estimate circa 2700 fps or maybe a little under. I don't get to wound up over velocity, more interested in accuracy.
I use Lapua SRP brass and load small rifle magnum primers. Shoots like a champion.


thanks for all the info guys . i think due to cost , and how well my tikka shot on sunday , i'll leave my tikka alone . 45gn of 2209 with 129sst's gave .4" @ 100 and .6" with 125 partitions with 44.3gn 2209 . i also put more stock in accuacy/consistancy than FPS , but if can get both speed and accuracy why not :) headed off down to glen innes nsw in a few weeks , happy i got the rifle sorted :D

acklying my tikka's chamber would be good , but the cost kills that idea . as for the brass issue , i'll just have to try to be more careful not to lose any swede brass . i think a 6.5cm might be in my future though ;)
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Re: 6.5 caliber options and opinions

Post by phill55phill » 15 Sep 2023, 9:28 am

bigrich wrote:
SCJ429 wrote:As above, Deye said to use 308 or 7mm08 brass for a 260, this is what I do. I also rebarrelled a Tikka T3 from the Swede to Creedmoor and didn’t open up the bolt face.

I find 308 brass is the most available, I can even find once fired Lapua brass relatively cheaply.


Thanks for the advice on resizing for the 260 scj and deye. With regards to bolt face, the Swede is .480 , 308 and most other cases are.473 . It doesn’t seem stuff all , but after having rifles that don’t feed and eject as they should due to small discrepancies, I like things to be technically correct. :thumbsup:

I have a 6.5x55 on a 308 bolt face no problems in m98
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