6.5x06 Standard vs 6.5x06 AC IMP

Discussion in 'Big Stuff -- 6.5mm, 7mm, 30 Cal' started by Lee S. Forsberg, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Lee S. Forsberg

    Lee S. Forsberg

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    Thinking of building one or the other. Any comments, recommendations, advice, or experience with these cartridges? Any comment welcome.
    Thanks
     
  2. seymour fish

    seymour fish

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    Lee, I like the Ackley. 3-shot groups at 550 run an inch. 140 jlk at 3070 is a sweet spot, yet 3200 is there if you need it, with good brass life. Easy "minute of motel TV" to 1600 off a bipod. Fireforming loads at approx 2600 are very accurate typically. Recoil in a 12 lb rifle is pleasant. Case stretch essentially non-existant
     
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  3. jmackey

    jmackey Silver $$ Contributor

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    Just curious, what kind of barrel life are you getting with this combination? What kind of powder do you prefer? Love my 280AI, just wondering about the 6.5's.
     
  4. Patton243

    Patton243

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    Ones a barrel burner. The AI version burns barrels even quicker. If you like barrel burners get a 6.5-284 and don't look back.
     
  5. R.Morehouse

    R.Morehouse Gold $$ Contributor

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    I run a 6.5-06imp. 35* using Lapua brass shooting 141's at 3075ish i am on reload #5. I have been culling out a few with loose pockets but i WAS doing some hot load development with RL26 up around 3200+ so i credit those pockets to that. I have about 300 brass that i work through so it takes a bit to run through it all before a reload. I use a dedicated FF barrel that is competitive with FF rounds. If i wasn't so heavily invested in barrels, 141 Cauterucio's and virgin gold box Lapua brass i might take a serious look at the 6BRA......I shoot 1000BR with this gun.
     
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  6. jr600yd

    jr600yd

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    I've shot both versions and this is what I've found. The Ackley version in my opinion is not worth it, here's why. When loaded to the same pressure the Ackley version gives an increase of around 3%. That's not much over the straight 6.5/06. A lot of the Ackleys typically give 5% or more.

    Barrel life isn't great, somewhere between 1200-2000 rds (about what you'd get from a 6.5/284). Each barrel is different. This is for competition use. Minute of Bambi accuracy will increase the barrels useful life.

    My barrels have all liked slower powders, 4831 has been the standard I judge others by. Some competitors have reported excellent results using 4350. I didn't get the results I wanted with this powder.

    I shoot Remington 25/06 brass necked up to 6.5. I know, I know but my lot is very consistent and produced match winning scores.

    To fireform I load 52 grs of H-4831sc and a 142 SMK. Go shoot in a 600yd match. Once brass is fireformed additional load development can be done.

    This is a great long range cartridge. For anything under 600 yds I prefer the 260. Just my opinion.
     
  7. nakneker

    nakneker Gold $$ Contributor

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    The Ackley just looks better:D
     
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  8. Kurz

    Kurz

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    Lee,

    I think it depends upon the use; hunting or target shooting or both. It's hard to decide on both since there will be compromises. However, if for the most part it's hunting in AZ. and you have a ton of .30-06 brass, and a spare long action, I would head for the Ackley Improved.

    Most folks think that the only reason for using the Ackley shoulder and straighter body is to achieve more case capacity and therefore more velocity. The better explanation is that the steeper shoulder actually yields more efficiency during the powder burn. It also allows for a different selection of powder burn rates and less case growth. The one drawback is the lack of warning as you approach high pressure.

    Prepping and maintaining converted .30-06 brass is a nuisance, in my opinion. But if you have an appreciation for that kind of thing, it's your oyster. I much prefer the 6.5 x 284, 6.5 x 65 RWS, 6.5 GAP 4-S (on a SA) or even the 6.5 Creedmoor (on a SA).

    Given the improvements in modern powders over the old guard flavors, this cartridge, in the improved form, does not have to be a barrel burner ever. Proper selection of powder/bullet combinations can yield surprisingly longer barrel life when you can consider the cooler burning powders on the market today. If in doubt, try running H-1000, Re-23, VVN-165, IMR-7977 or Ramshot Magnum when pushing the Berger 130 Hunter VLD.
     
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  9. seymour fish

    seymour fish

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    James, haven't shot the first bbl out yet. Throat has moved .004 in 800 rounds. Never have let it get hot. Rl-22 and vv-560 give great hunting accuracy and 3180 fps with good brass life, but vv-165 at 3070 is better on both counts, and allows about double the number of shots in a string re: barrel heat, and eliminates torque when firing off a rest. Expect in apples-to-apples test, your 280AI would get significantly better bbl life.
     
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  10. B23

    B23

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    IMO, this is pretty spot on. As a comparison, I have a 6.5-06AI built on a Howa and a 6.5-284 built on a LA Rem 700, they both shoot equally well. The 6.5-06AI shoots the 130's and 140's between 50-75fps faster. I use Lapua brass in both. My 6.5-06AI has a 27.5 inch barrel and my 6.5-284 is 26in. My accuracy load in the 6.5-06AI with 140 Bergers runs 3170fps, accuracy load in the 6.5-284 with same bullet is 3095fps. Both will run faster but the groups start to open up so there is no point in pushing them harder.

    For me, the biggest difference in the two is certainly not the velocity but rather how much easier the 6.5-284 is to load for from scratch, compared to the 6.5-06AI or even straight 6.5-06. The 6.5-284 has excellent brass available for it and it's just sooooooo darn easy to load for right from the beginning that, after having both, I would never do a 6.5-06, AI or not, again. The 6.5-284 shoots nearly as fast and you'll spend a lot more time shooting and less time in the loading room.

    We all love velocity and I'm not different but as I've gotten older I've come to the realization, if you want more case capacity, get something with a bigger case to start with instead of improving things. I think if a person wants a speedy 6.5 something or other, there are better choices out there. The necked down WSM cases for a 6.5WSM seems to be a rather popular choice and with some of the heavier 6.5 bullets, like the 160's or 155 Berger, something with more case capacity could make for a sweet long range hammer.

    BUT, if a 6.5-06 or its AI version is just what you have your heart set on, then that is what you should go with because after all, it's your money, spend it how you want.
     
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  11. seymour fish

    seymour fish

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    B, My results with the 6.5-284 vs AI differ from yours. The 284 accuracy load to equal the AI accuracy required h4350, at 2975/142 SMS, generating bbl heat and borescope documented fire cracking. 1000 yd competitors over the years settled on h4350 and h4831 despite leaving significant case capacity unused, and dropped it because of poor bbl life. my 6.5AI brass lasts 12 reloads, so negating the "spend more time shooting" argument. The gap 4S/6.5 Saum would be an excellent duplicate of the 6.5-06 AI without the fireforming hassle, and would give it a go if not already fully invested. dont doubt your experiences/results, and as to opinion, I'll take a brunette over a blond or redhead as a general rule. Seymour
     
  12. B23

    B23

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    I use H4350 in my 6-284 with 75's but that's all. Only use slower powders, with the heavies, in either of my 6.5's. In fact I've been meaning to try N570 in both of them but haven't gotten around to it yet. N570 seems to be one of those special powders that produces pretty healthy increases in velocity without going crazy on pressure.
     
  13. jr600yd

    jr600yd

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    Interesting....... I found I could get increased velocity using H-4350 by about 25-30 fps over H-4831 when equal amounts of powder were used. However, best groups were attained with H-4831sc. I tested both at 500 Yds with both 142SMK's and 140 Berger VLD's.
     
  14. Lee S. Forsberg

    Lee S. Forsberg

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    I've read all the posts and find them very interesting. Lots of good information. I haven't decided yet.
    The action I have is an 09 Arg. I'll use a stainless steel barrel 1-8 or maybe 1-7 on the long side maybe up to 30".
    Very good comments. Thank you very much.
     
  15. agr516

    agr516

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    I have been thinking about a new build for quite a while. My latest idea is to go with a 6.5 Sherman. Something like 5-6% gain over the 6.5-06 AI. It achieves this by using the longer .270 case with less body taper and a shoulder that is further forward than the ackley version.
     
  16. benchracer

    benchracer

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    I have had a 6.5-284 and consider it to be the most overrated of the 6.5's. The rebated rim and short neck are elements of a poor case design that never seems to be mentioned. Among the 6.5's that are below the .264 Win Mag/6.5 WSM/6.5 SAUM in cacacity, I tend to think of those based on the -06/.270/.280 case to be the best of the lot.

    Having said that, your choice of action will limit your OAL with the -06 based cartridges to the point that any performance advantage would be more than erased.

    Although I am not a fan of the 6.5-284, it is a VERY good fit for your 09 Argentine mauser action. The 6.5-284 Norma OAL is spec'd at 3.228, which is identical to the x57 based mauser cartridges originally housed in the 98 pattern mausers. If you go the 6.5-284 route, pay close attention to the throat dimensions on the chamber reamer that will be used to set up your barrel. I believe my 6.5-284 chamber was cut with a 6.5-284 Winchester reamer, because the distance to the lands with a 140 AMAX was only 3.092. Since the AMAX's liked to be shot at an OAL of 3.050, that represented a significant loss of performance vs the Norma OAL spec.

    Side-by-side, in modern actions, my 6.5x55 was capable of running step-for-step with my 6.5-284 out to 600 yards. The 6.5x55 tends to be overlooked as an obsolete cartridge, in no small part because of the anemic factory ammo and load data for it. If run at .308 Win level pressures, the gap between it and the 6.5-284 is very small. As much as I like the 6.5x55, I think one of the Improved variants of the cartridge would be even better, offering a better case design and coming very near the same case capacity as the 6.5-284. The availability of Lapua brass that is MUCH less expensive than 6.5-284 or .260 Lapua brass is icing on the cake.

    Another cartridge that would fit well in your action is the 6.5x57. Again, this cartridge would benefit from the Ackley Improved treatment and be capable of 6.5-284 Norma level performance. Some shy away from this cartridge because Lapua brass isn't available for it. You would have to weigh for yourself how important that is to you.

    Any of the cartridges mentioned above would likely see a worthwhile performance boost from RL-26, and that is where I would be inclined to start.

    Also, you can address potential feed issues by swapping in a Ruger Model 77 follower made for the 6.5x55. It is readily available from Brownells.
     
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  17. fredo

    fredo Silver $$ Contributor

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    I agree that a 6.5 Swede would pair nicely to your action.

    Course you could 'wildcat' excellent 6.5x55 Lapua brass to either the 6.5 Addiction, or full AI version. Do you research and have either one throated to your bullet preference.

    6.5-06AI or 6.5SAUM are both badazzes, but doing something off the Swede is just a better fit for you. An 1:8.5 twist barrel should be ideal for up to, and including 140gr bullets, but step up to a 1:8 if you have any inclination of shooting 147s...

    Have fun!
     
  18. mikegaiz

    mikegaiz Stay frosty, my friend. Silver $$ Contributor

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    I have shot the 6.5/06 IMP and 6.5/284 in 1000 yd comp. and hunting I like the 6.5/06 IMP. But you have to fire form. I have found it shoots best with H4831 Sc, 140 range bullets around 2950. 1200 rounds for comp. shooting hunting to 800 yds, 1800 rounds.
     

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