6.5 or 7mm Discussion

nick338

Private
Belligerents
Feb 21, 2013
411
164
49
Looking to have a meaningful discussion on caliber choices on a Lone Peak medium action build for long range target paper and steel. 90% of the distance will be from 600-1000 yards with an occasional day out to a mile.

Cartridges I'm interested in discussing are 6.5x284, 6.5 PRC, 6.5 GAP to shoot Berger 156 EOL or 144 long range hybrid and 7 WSM to shoot 195 Berger EOL.

Trying to gather as much experience and information relevant to potential for accuracy, velocity, energy on target and spotting impacts, ease of reloading and tuning, recoil and just being fun to shoot. I want to keep is fairly simple in a sense that I don't care much for, nor do I have time for extensive brass prep so a wildcat cartridge is out of the question.

I have a Manners stock being prepped for the action and most likely will be a 26" barrel.

Lastly what smith would you recommend for the build.
 

nick338

Private
Belligerents
Feb 21, 2013
411
164
49
A 7 WSM with a 195 Berger won't work inside 3.250"? First I'm hearing this.
 

223762

Private
Belligerents
Mar 23, 2013
71
24
12
6.5 prc with Sierra 150 MK is hard to beat. I’m sure the Hornady 153 Atips would work great also. Put a good brake on the barrel Area419 or APA. If your rifle well be in the 14-16 pound range. Recoil won’t be an issue. Especially that it sounds like this is going to be a prone gun. Its very flat shooting and with the bullets named above, you won’t get blown around easy. I’d give Ryan Pierce a call for a smith. He does damn good work and is fast.
 

Winny94

Major Hide Member
Belligerents
Nov 19, 2013
1,337
474
189
End thread by a long shot

If you said short action I'd say something else. But a medium action nothing comes close to the Sherman Max cartridges
It really is not even close, Richard is really knocking that line out of the park. Even in a short action, hard to beat the SS line (I run the 7SS and it is wonderful). Just heard Seekins is offering factory chambered rifles in some of them now.
 

Hawk in WY

Private
Belligerents
Sep 20, 2013
359
87
34
This is a really good topic.

Problem is 7 mm wins hands down on external ballistics and terminal performance, but loses big time on brass availability, commercially available ammunition, and rifles chambered in a suitable cartridge.

If we had a 7 mm Creedmoor with Lapua brass, the discussion is over.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tazman and mahlv

Steel head

Stylish Ninja
Belligerents
Aug 3, 2014
3,831
3,124
219
Washington
For 90% 1000 and under I’d shoot my 260.
For that 10% that’s further a 260/6.5 CM with do a mile confidently if conditions aren’t bad.

I just ran my 260 for years and I have a hard time not shooting it.
Medium case 6.5 are amazing.

That said my 7 saum makes 500-1000 stupid easy and I was pretty effective today at 1250 and 1950 yards.
 

Simia Dei

Boendr
Belligerents
Feb 11, 2017
629
749
99
This is a really good topic.

Problem is 7 mm wins hands down on external ballistics and terminal performance, but loses big time on brass availability, commercially available ammunition, and rifles chambered in a suitable cartridge.

If we had a 7 mm Creedmoor with Lapua brass, the discussion is over.
Just run a 7mm SAW with lapua brass.

Here’s a mocked up 7mm Creedmoor vs a 7mm SAW.

1576466732353.jpeg
 

Winny94

Major Hide Member
Belligerents
Nov 19, 2013
1,337
474
189
This is a really good topic.

Problem is 7 mm wins hands down on external ballistics and terminal performance, but loses big time on brass availability, commercially available ammunition, and rifles chambered in a suitable cartridge.

If we had a 7 mm Creedmoor with Lapua brass, the discussion is over.
7 SAW
 

Hawk in WY

Private
Belligerents
Sep 20, 2013
359
87
34
I actually had a modernized 7 RM in mind.

The 7 SAW seems a good option at the low end, but what about something with more the performance of the 300 WM.?
 

nick338

Private
Belligerents
Feb 21, 2013
411
164
49
I feel like with Berger releasing the 156 that any 7mm that isn't hitting 3000 or better with a 180 class bullet or at least 2900 with a 195, there isn't much to gain ballistically over a 6.5 PRC or SAUM other than recoil. Nothing I know of that's based on a .308 case in 7mm will come close.

Depending on powders, I'm seeing PRC guys over 3000 fps with the 156 from 24-26" barrels. I really wish that was possible with a 6.5x284 because of Lapua brass but I think that's asking a little too much.
 

TRG65

Private
Belligerents
Apr 10, 2005
136
21
22
You should be able to get the 6.5x284 over 3k with the 156. I can push the 147s over 3k with my 6.5 addiction. It has about 10% less powder capacity and the 147 has more bearing surface. You just need that magic fairy dust called RL26 and temps below 80 deg. There might be other combinations.

I agree with the comments about brass availability. I got a 7wsm when it was the big thing. Great round hands down. It was supper accurate and gave great ballistics. I pushed the 180vlds to 3050 And then backed off a bit to a sedate 2950 for the last bit of barrel life. But there is no decent brass that is affordable and win brass I couldn’t get. The only option was to go through the gyrations of making brass from 300 or 270wsm.

Barrel life might be a bit better for the 7s and there is no question they hit steel harder. For a 1/2 mile to mile, I’d rather have a 7 than a 6.5.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nick338

nick338

Private
Belligerents
Feb 21, 2013
411
164
49
You should be able to get the 6.5x284 over 3k with the 156. I can push the 147s over 3k with my 6.5 addiction. It has about 10% less powder capacity and the 147 has more bearing surface. You just need that magic fairy dust called RL26 and temps below 80 deg. There might be other combinations.

I agree with the comments about brass availability. I got a 7wsm when it was the big thing. Great round hands down. It was supper accurate and gave great ballistics. I pushed the 180vlds to 3050 And then backed off a bit to a sedate 2950 for the last bit of barrel life. But there is no decent brass that is affordable and win brass I couldn’t get. The only option was to go through the gyrations of making brass from 300 or 270wsm.

Barrel life might be a bit better for the 7s and there is no question they hit steel harder. For a 1/2 mile to mile, I’d rather have a 7 than a 6.5.

I think RL26 and N565 were working well with the 6.5x284 and PRC but the N565 is more temp stable. I did get load data from Berger on the PRC and they got top velocity with N570.

I believe the 6.5x284 may be a little harder on throats and 3000 fps may be slightly easier to achieve with the PRC but this is based on what I have heard not what I have done. Which is why I started this thread.
 

steve123

Lt. Colonel
Belligerents
Mar 16, 2008
8,424
1,018
219
Flagstaff, AZ
The first thing that comes to my mind is the difference in recoil between a 7 saum and a 6.5 saum, both using heavy bullets, is significant.

I haven't owned a 7 saum but have owned three 7 mags, one being a heavy barrel, and although recoil on a braked 7 isn't bad, it isn't exactly on the soft side either. A negative, more so for me, is rifle upset....

The 6.5-284 I had lasted 1200 rounds, it can be loaded down for better barrel life but then it becomes more like a 260.
So that's why I went with 6.5 Saum loaded down to around 50-55 thousand psi, it's soft recoiling and gets decent barrel life, especially with H-1000. I get 3175 fps in a 29" with 140 hybrids which is a soft-ish recoiling and great load. Not hard to get 3250 fps with 130's which is fun to do as well.
The high node in my rifle with 140 hybrid was 3275 fps but bullets would blow up occasionally so I scratched that idea, and well, there's the brass life and barrel life downsides.
I do have a longer freebore, and long barrel with 8.5 twist, so I get a lot of velocity.

Hunting and ELR, yeah a magnum in 7mm would change my thought process a little and I'd probably choose 7.

284 Win was mentioned and it has a lot of merit because it was/is a winning F-class cartridge but 300 saum is making headway because it is also a very consistent cartridge. Both get about 2000 rounds barrel life too. But again, anytime you send heavy bullets the downside is extra recoil.
 

nick338

Private
Belligerents
Feb 21, 2013
411
164
49
Lots of great points here. Rifle upset and staying on target is one of the more important aspects of the decision for me. On paper, ballistically the 6.5's with the right bullet are better than the 7's with less recoil. Straight 284 Win is a no doubt a great cartridge but it doesn't have the case capacity to move the 180's past the 6.5 with a 156 given comparable bc. This was the reason why I only mentioned the 7 WSM as one of the choices.

I understand in a hunting application the bigger, heavier bullet may have an advantage but even then the 156 Berger outclasses the smaller capacity 7 cases in retained velocity which at distance may be beneficial to the bullet expanding.

I'm liking the 6.5 PRC more and more and may skip the rebated rim cartridges all together.

I did run a 7 SAUM for a year with 183 Sierra's and 184 Berger's at 2900 and had a few instances where the bolt did not pick up the next rd in the mag. Was not impressed with the 183 Sierra at 1 mile but the 184 Berger did ok at that distance.

As much as I love the 195 Berger and would love to give the 7 WSM a run, the lack of brass, extra recoil and rebated rim are causing me to steer in another direction.
 

nick338

Private
Belligerents
Feb 21, 2013
411
164
49
Just to continue gathering information without starting a new thread, I think I've decided on a 300 WSM and 215 Berger bullets. Seems the 215 Berger is quite popular out of all the .30 caliber cartridges and I keep hearing it performs slightly better than the 230gr at longer distances as its slowing down. I believe there was some testing done in the military with the 300 Norma and the 215 Berger had better results. I would like to hear more details on this if anyone knows more.

Also, being close to sea level am I playing with fire going with a 10 twist?
 

Chickentoast

Private
Minuteman
Oct 17, 2019
33
7
12
In for answers to above as well. Based solely on what I've read, I believe the 10 twist to be adequate for the 215's, but a 9-9.5 would be better. Would love to quantify that, but it seems the data is anecdotal at best. Nice thing about 10 twist is it makes factory 300WSM's an option, but with COAL @ 3.1" or so with the 215, it still leaves us single loading or figuring out a feeding solution. Wish manufacturers would offer longer mag's and throats in addition to faster twist rates, rather than new cartridges (ex. PRC).
 

steve123

Lt. Colonel
Belligerents
Mar 16, 2008
8,424
1,018
219
Flagstaff, AZ
I tried the 215's in my 30-375R, they worked fantastic in it's 9 twist. Though once the H225's came out I liked that higher BC.

A pain because of fire forming but I bet a 300 Saum AI in a long action would be as good as 300WSM and easier to feed out of modded AI 5 and 10 round mags. I machined the groove out of those mags and my 6.5 Saum in a long action Surgeon XL feeds perfectly.

Alex Wheeler is hinting that his version of 300 Saum AI is shooting as good as his 6mmBRA.

A long freebore allowing the bottom of the bearing surface to be above the neck shoulder junction used in either a single shot, or like I've done with my long action, is the way to go if you want speed with heavy bullets.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nick338

b6graham

MMPRL
Belligerents
Jul 29, 2014
3,387
2,576
219
I tried the 215's in my 30-375R, they worked fantastic in it's 9 twist. Though once the H225's came out I liked that higher BC.

A pain because of fire forming but I bet a 300 Saum AI in a long action would be as good as 300WSM and easier to feed out of modded AI 5 and 10 round mags. I machined the groove out of those mags and my 6.5 Saum in a long action Surgeon XL feeds perfectly.

Alex Wheeler is hinting that his version of 300 Saum AI is shooting as good as his 6mmBRA.

A long freebore allowing the bottom of the bearing surface to be above the neck shoulder junction used in either a single shot, or like I've done with my long action, is the way to go if you want speed with heavy bullets.
sounds like a 300 MAX
 

nick338

Private
Belligerents
Feb 21, 2013
411
164
49
I tried the 215's in my 30-375R, they worked fantastic in it's 9 twist. Though once the H225's came out I liked that higher BC.

A pain because of fire forming but I bet a 300 Saum AI in a long action would be as good as 300WSM and easier to feed out of modded AI 5 and 10 round mags. I machined the groove out of those mags and my 6.5 Saum in a long action Surgeon XL feeds perfectly.

Alex Wheeler is hinting that his version of 300 Saum AI is shooting as good as his 6mmBRA.

A long freebore allowing the bottom of the bearing surface to be above the neck shoulder junction used in either a single shot, or like I've done with my long action, is the way to go if you want speed with heavy bullets.
Lone Peak makes magazines specifically for their medium action and WSM cartridges, at least that's what I was led to believe.
 
  • Like
Reactions: steve123

nick338

Private
Belligerents
Feb 21, 2013
411
164
49
In for answers to above as well. Based solely on what I've read, I believe the 10 twist to be adequate for the 215's, but a 9-9.5 would be better. Would love to quantify that, but it seems the data is anecdotal at best. Nice thing about 10 twist is it makes factory 300WSM's an option, but with COAL @ 3.1" or so with the 215, it still leaves us single loading or figuring out a feeding solution. Wish manufacturers would offer longer mag's and throats in addition to faster twist rates, rather than new cartridges (ex. PRC).
Defiance or Lone Peak medium length actions allow for a COAL of 3.250"
 

mcfred

Sergeant
Belligerents
Feb 17, 2011
974
243
49
SW USA
For all the brass availability bellyachers, Winchester 7mm WSM brass is currently available and only 60¢ each with free shipping *right now* from Midway. Get while the getting's good. It's cheap so get more than you need and sort it for better uniformity.

I too have 7WSM barrels from before Obama era and it was accurate, and really bucked the wind with gobs of terminal energy. Smoked a couple 31" F-class barrels driving the 180 HYB at 3150 fps that would leave pock marks in mild steel targets at 1500 yards.
 

Tazman

Private
Belligerents
Jun 18, 2004
616
536
99
52
Indiana
I have a 7mm SAUM on a long action and a 7-300WSM. Also have the 6.5 and 6 Creedmoor. Depends on what you want to shoot and how much recoil YOU can handle. I use 180 Bergers in both 7SAUM at 2960 and 7-300WSM at 3030. Both with 24 inch barrels. You can get 2800 + from a 6.5 Creedmoor so you can use it for most things. Everyone will promote their favorite but go shoot a few and see what works for you. If you can afford it, get one of each! Many variants of the 7mm along with the 6.5mm. You can load down or up as you want with either. If you are looking for availablity of factory ammo then 6.5PRC, Creedmoor, or 7mm Rem mag may be a better choice.

If you dead set on the 195 EOL, I would really have to consider just building a 28 Nosler.
 

nick338

Private
Belligerents
Feb 21, 2013
411
164
49
I have a 7mm SAUM on a long action and a 7-300WSM. Also have the 6.5 and 6 Creedmoor. Depends on what you want to shoot and how much recoil YOU can handle. I use 180 Bergers in both 7SAUM at 2960 and 7-300WSM at 3030. Both with 24 inch barrels. You can get 2800 + from a 6.5 Creedmoor so you can use it for most things. Everyone will promote their favorite but go shoot a few and see what works for you. If you can afford it, get one of each! Many variants of the 7mm along with the 6.5mm. You can load down or up as you want with either. If you are looking for availablity of factory ammo then 6.5PRC, Creedmoor, or 7mm Rem mag may be a better choice.

If you dead set on the 195 EOL, I would really have to consider just building a 28 Nosler.
Pretty sure the 300 WSM with a 215 Berger on a medium action is the way this is going to end up. Manners stock is already inletted for the Lone Peak so going long isn't really an option.

But help me understand the logic on the 195. You stated that your 7-300 was shooting 180's at 3030, which would most likely put a 195 around 2900 out of a 26" barrel, as long as there is an accuracy node there, why is that not fast enough? This logic has been presented to me several times yet there are tons of cartridges shooting heavy for caliber bullets at 2700-2800 fps and quite a few hand loaders running combinations like a .308 with the 215 Berger.
 

Tazman

Private
Belligerents
Jun 18, 2004
616
536
99
52
Indiana
It may shoot the 195 at that speed or maybe not. If I want to go that long I usually get the 338 Lapua out. Easier to see my misses as I get older!!Lol I sold my 300SAUM 26 inch barrel short action. Ran the 210 Bergers but never tried the 215's. I do run the 215 in my 300wm sometimes. I don't really have a favorite but more a accuracy/speed OCD. My 7-300WSM may like the 195 EOL and shoot them at an acceptable speed but I have had such good luck with the current load using H1000 I just haven't went any further.

A medium action the 7-300wsm or the 300/7SAUM will do pretty much anything you want as will the WSM.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nick338

Chickentoast

Private
Minuteman
Oct 17, 2019
33
7
12
Since this is evolving and has been mentioned, the Sherman Max case seems a stout contender against the WSM. Would like more info/data and to see some results with heavies. If I find anything interesting, will edit this post.

edit - no data yet:
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Odysseus1911