What 6.5 cartridge?

Discussion in 'Big Stuff -- 6.5mm, 7mm, 30 Cal' started by zr600, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. zr600

    zr600

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    What 6.5 cartridge should I build? Will be used for targets/long range steel, prairie dogs, deer, an elk or moose some day. Will be shot quit a bit. I was thinking 260 rem or 260ai. Would the ai be to much of a barrel burner for what I want?
     
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  2. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

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    When you include "Elk and Moose" you have left the realm of one cartridge. Even Deer, especially at long range, will interrupt the one rifle / cartridge concept. If you are going to keep the Prairie Dogs in there, now you also limit what cartridge you are using. I hunted Prairie Dogs for several years. If you get into a good "Dog Town", you will burn up A LOT of ammo in just one weekend! Personally, I think if you MUST include all of those "arenas" you need at least 3 rifles! Steel Plate shooting and Deer can be easily handled by the .260A.I. But T-Rust me, you won't like shooting Prairie Dogs with it. One of the FUN things of Prairie Dog hunting is to watch them explode and have multiple hits with 1 shot! The recoil will rob you of literally 2/3rds of the fun! Elk and Moose are BIG animals and a cartridge good for Prairie Dogs is not even in the same Zip Code as ones for those creatures!

    I would re-think your position(s) on using 1 cartridge.. Just my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
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  3. zr600

    zr600

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    Ok just take the elk/moose out of the picture and no factory ammo I’m reloading for everything. Is the 260ai going to have quit a bit more recoil then a 6.5 creedmoore?
     
  4. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

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    You would never notice the difference.. The .260A.I. is my fav cartridge>>>but every cartridge has it's limitations and what it is BEST suited for..
     
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  5. mongo chicago

    mongo chicago

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    I agree with shootdots. You need more than one rifle. They will need to have different twists for the different bullet weights.
     
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  6. sbhooper

    sbhooper

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    Any of the 6.5 cartridges will do what you want, but I would do some hunting and not long-range shooting, when after the big stuff. In other words, get to a reasonable range instead of jumping mountains. The 6.5 will kill anything you want. If you are worried about recoil from a 6.5 you have issues WAY past what caliber to use.
     
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  7. Kurz

    Kurz

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    With respect,

    I realize that the mention of more than one rifle has been voiced and I agree. But even at that I would suggest this combination:

    Targets/Long range steel and deer can fit into a decent enough category for one cartridge and one rifle.

    Prairie dogs are another story unless you shoot them different from others of us. I usually shoot fields with dozens of mounds and a couple of hundred target, easy. Some fields are just plain huge, where you can volley shoot hundreds of rounds a day. This style or opportunity of shooting will require at least two rifles and in my opinion 3 or more just to keep from overheating and ruining a barrel. I've been on those shoots where one of the guys will bring one rifle chambered for something like .243 Win., shoot it all day continuously and by the end of that day, wonder why he's not hitting anything. We get that rifle back to the shop and it is toast.

    I understand that you're trying to be frugal but your choices of events makes it difficult to cover the breadth of uses.

    Good Luck with your search.
     
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  8. CharlieNC

    CharlieNC Silver $$ Contributor

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    You have entered the world of endless debate regarding a 6.5 for elk and moose, although many are routinely taken with both 6 and 6.5mm. Many will say it is either too marginal, or not ethical for large game. Many will say within suitable range it is fine, and it's all about shot placement with a proper bullet. You will not find a consensus opinion, so you must decide that on your own with additional research. I do like my 6.5x47 for long range steel, and hunt with it too. Accurate, no issues with mag length at maximum load, and long barrel life. I have taken it elk hunting and would shoot out to 400yd with a good broadside or quartering shot, as my confidence in the accuracy is very high. That said, I usually carry my 300WM to support longer shots which some will not condone as ethical. Again, you must research and make your own decision since it is you who will take the shot and you do not want to second guess the results.
     
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  9. Evlshnngns

    Evlshnngns Silver $$ Contributor

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    I was about to start a similar thread. Given his objective, how much powder capacity does he need? Many a record set with the little 6.5x47 Lapua. I'm debating the Creedmoor and the 6.5x55 Swede.
     
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  10. 65BR

    65BR

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    FYI, a buddy killed his elk at just under 1,000 yds with a 47 Lapua and 127 LRX......

    Personally I would stay at distances to 400-500, but it goes to show you what shot placement is worth ;)

    For that "Someday" hunt, if you feel your modest 6.5 is marginal, borrow or buy a larger gun, if/when a hunt is in the works, is my .02

    Good luck.
     
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  11. Clark

    Clark

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    I have a 260 Rem reamer and have built 3 rifles for myself
    I have a 6.5-06 reamer [A Square for 30-06 brass, not 270 brass] and have built 2 rifles for myself.

    I get great groups in the 10" twist rifle with 100 gr Nos Bal Tips
    I get great groups in the 8" twist rifles with 120 gr Nos Bal Tips and 129 Nos Accubond Long Range.
    9" twist is a lost soul.

    I really like the 6.5-06 for killing animals at 625 yards. With 52 gr of powder, the barrel will not last forever, but it will last longer than me.
     
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  12. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    I shot a 260ai for years. Before I went to the dasher. I like it a lot. But I found best accuracy was 2850 fps. I could run it to 3000 but it would not agg as well. Those were 30" barrels. Now with the excellent lapua 6.5 creedmoore cases I would go that route. I think you would probably end up at the same accuracy node with no fire forming, plus you will have small rifle primers. To me its a clear choice.
     
  13. GSPV

    GSPV A failure to plan is a plan for failure. Gold $$ Contributor

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    When you said "Elk", it changed the game.

    6.5 SAUM, perhaps. Not going to be fun for the other stuff, but got to be ethical on the elk.
     
  14. ImBIllT

    ImBIllT Silver $$ Contributor

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    You don't have a hunt scheduled for the elk. I'd probably go Creedmore, but the .260AI should not really reduce barrel life much if any. The case capacity of the .260 is almost identical to the Creedmore, and the body taper is not tremendous in the first place, so going to the AI doesn't increase the capacity much. Now, Tubb claims the 6XC has substantially more barrel life than a .243 due to the longer neck and sharper shoulder angle. The difference between a 6.5 Creed and a .260 are almost the same as the 6XC vs the .243. The .260 might lose a little barrel life to the Creedmore due to neck length and shoulder angle, but if so, the .260AI may gain it back due to the shoulder angle that is sharper than either of the others. Whatever the case, the .260AI is not particularly overbore. Personally I'd rather shoot something faster on prairie dogs which brings a second gun into the mix, and I'd rather shoot a 7mm or .30cal on Elk.

    It's hard to beat a 6.5 Creedmore.

    I know this might sound crazy, but to actually try to fulfill all three roles with one gun, you might consider a .308 or 30-06. You could run 3300-3500fps with 110gr bullets for a flat shooting PD load, 3000fps with 155's for steel and deer, and shoot 215's-230's on elk. Barrel life would be a non-issue. The biggest problem would be throating it for all three bullets, and the answer would be to throats it short for the 110's and seat everything else deep. Loosing that case capacity would suck for a .308, so the 30-06 becomes a better candidate. For each of those roles there is a cartridge that would be quite a bit better, but to span the whole range, the cartridge would actually be adequate.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
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  15. sbhooper

    sbhooper

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    Generally sound advice, but you can get either a .308, or '06 and load them with 150s, or 165s and kill every elk that walks. Elk are not bullet proof. A .308 loaded with inexpensive 150, or 165 Interlocks shoots very accurately and is inexpensive to load for.

    I would still vote for the 6.5 Creed, based on the op's current needs. 6.5s kill way better than the ballistics say they should for some reason.
     
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  16. DLH_

    DLH_

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    To me it appears that you're trying to have a rifle that does everything, this just isn't an achievable goal. You'll end up with a gun that's Jack of all trades and a master of non. The simple solution is to have two to fit your bill. A 6.5x47 Lapua would be a great choice for long range steel and p-dogs along with every other form of varmints. Long barrel life, easy to reload for and proven accuracy. However, for larger game I wouldn't recommend it; although still very capable as mentioned by others. The second rifle to be chambered in 06', 300 win mag etc, a tried and tested long range elk cartridge. With those two rifles, your goals can well and truley be achieved. A good comprise in my eyes would be a 6.5x47 Lapua if two rifles isn't a viable option.
    Thanks
    Josh
     
  17. 65BR

    65BR

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    I agree, for me, when the majority of use is paper/steel, varmints and deer/hog sized game, I prefer a short modest 6.5mm. Owned Swedes, a 6.5-308 built the year before Rem did a SAAMI 260, had a few of those as well, a Creedmoor, and now enjoy a 47. All work well, but the 47 and CM likely edge out others in Accuracy. Only the 6BR for ME, and I had several of those as well, was more accurate.

    As much as the 30s DO offer versatility, with light bullets, they will kick more than a 6 or 6.5 with similar BC bullets, and likely blow more in the wind on longer shots, making them less than ideal on small varmints and longer shots on paper and steel. I am thinking RECOIL, usually more with heavier bullets and more powder.

    It's hard for many to have only just one tool for all jobs, but push come to shove, a 243, 260, the 6 and 6.5 CMs, and a 47L to me make more sense than most other choices. Had many 243s as well, they do a very good job and are under rated on deer often due to bullet selection and shot placement.
     
  18. jdh47

    jdh47 Silver $$ Contributor

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    All of the 6.5 cartridges have a lot going for them. It's more a matter of preference. Personally, I opted for the Creedmoor but truth tell any of them are just as good. I made my choice because it is supported well and I had access to a good reamer to use. Now Lapua is furnishing brass so it's a plus.

    For anyone claiming the 6.5's aren't suited for Elk I wouldn't mention it to the Swedes. They have been using the excellent 6.5x55 for many years now to kill loads of game and In competition. With good bullets it should be fine if you use good judgement in the shots you take at big game.

    A good case can be made for just about any of the clan of 6.5's so it's up to you to consider the variables and make your choice according to your situation. You are just about assured success whichever you choose. You will have more problems configuring an ensemble that will perform well in all the different roles you mention than caliber choice.
     
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  19. mikegaiz

    mikegaiz Stay frosty, my friend. Silver $$ Contributor

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    Ok this is a rant......
    What happened to good sportsmen ship practices? I guess it went away with the use of good common sense. You can kill an elk with a 22 Long Rifle with "good shot placement", but should you? What happened to humane kill? When hunting half the shots you take are 50 /50 weather you will hit exactly where you are aiming. A guy walked up to me at the range and wanted a gun to shoot elk at up to 700 yds. He asked, Would the magical and wonder of man kind 6.5 Creedmore do the trick? I said yes it will go 700 yds. What is wrong with hunters these days???? Like they said in Caddy Shack "Be the Elk".....I guess Half dead is better than not shooting... I know proper shot placement. Wake up people.....
     
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  20. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Gold $$ Contributor

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    Agree with the two rifle protocol. My .02, 6.5x47 for medium range game and long range steel and targets. 26 Nosler, 260AI or 6.5 SAUM for the elk and moose at reasonable ranges.
     
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