6.5 PRC vs 270 WSM

BurnOut

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I am in the planning stages of a future build, and I've been planning on going with 6.5 PRC but recently had a brain fart and started considering 270 WSM. The intent for this rifle is to be a general-purpose hunter/target gun, and in that, one of my criteria is the availability of factory ammo (if not at Wal*Mart, then at least at Cabela's, etc...). What I have so far for the build is a T3 action that was originally chambered in 30-06; so for either option here, I'd be looking at opening the bolt face. Because the T3 action is limited in terms of OAL for true LA rounds, I'm really wanting to stay with a short/medium length cartridge.

In any event, the idea is to go with a 26" fast twist carbon fiber barrel, and this is where I start running into issues; Proof offers 6.5 barrels in appropriate twist rates, but the only twist rate they offer in the .277 bore is a 10-twist, which is too slow for the projectiles that I want to hand load (the Berger 170 EOL). The good news is that Carbonsix offers 277 barrels in anywhere from a 7- to a 10-twist (at least according to their website); unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a lot of info out there regarding how well the Carbonsix barrels perform, so this is kind of an unknown for me. The other question that I have regarding the 270 WSM is that there seems to be all of one slippery hunting projectile available in the Berger EOL... and if I either can't find a load that will shoot or run into availability problems, I'm stuck with lower-performing projectiles.

The main thing that got me thinking about the 270 WSM is the question of factory ammo availability... which is more likely to be on the shelves at Cabela's, a WSM load of some flavor (obviously not utilizing the EOL projectile; I'm thinking worst case, like, I left town for a hunting trip and forgot my ammo, so I need to find *something* to be able to shoot), or 6.5 PRC?
 

whiskeysierra762

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If you are really wanting a factory ammo option I don't know that you will have that with the 270wsm and Berger EOL. However, the 6.5prc with the 147eld is a factory option. Also the 147eld has a higher BC than the 170eol and both cartridges should be close in muzzle velocity.
 

bspooley

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I'm coming onto this thread late I just signed up for this forum. I'm struggling with the same issue. I actually had 270 WSM built with a long match throat. It's still at the gunsmith with some final mods to the ejection port.

Looking at this Nosler reloading page for the 270 WSM, it shows you can push 150 grain accubond long range bullets with a BC if 625 at 3150 fps. The Hornady ELD-Xs in 145 gr should exceed that however the bc is only 485. The Hornady interbond with a bc of 525 we'll also reach these speeds.

On the other hand the 6.5 PRC will push the 147 Hornady ELD - M (Which really is a target bullet) with a b c of 697 to a speed of 3050. However, this is 100 ft /s slower then the 150 grain Nosler accubond long range. Velocity does makeup for some differences in BC. I should say though I'm not a big fan of the a accubond. I bought in to the concept hard will the 28 Nosler but could never get consistent accuracy no matter what powder and seating depth I used. I would get amazing 3/8 in 3 shot groups then I get a flyer on the fourth and fifth round or the next grouping would be an inch sized group. The ELD-Xs solve that for me.

In Practical terms you look at the numbers I think the 6.5 PRC has a slight Edge over but 270 WSM because of the bullet selection, BC, and velocities of like usable hunting bullets in the 1 43 145 grain range. That difference will be minimal.

Because I hand load, my struggle is the availability of 6.5 PRC brass. However the 270 WSM has the same issue.

So pick your poison as I think the benefits and issues for each will be close. What would I do if I was to do it again? I would probably build 6.5 PRC. My reasoning is the high BC of the 6.5 bullets and I'm thinking about building a second rifle for long-range competition and the 6.5 PRC seems to be a good candidate.
 

BurnOut

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Well, since I started this thread, I've found that Proof does offer an 8-twist 26" barrel in a .277 bore. I haven't pulled the trigger on one yet (if you'll pardon the pun), but that is the plan. Regarding the 6.5 PRC, I've still yet to see a single box of it at my local Cabela's, whereas there's somewhat of a selection of 270 WSM. Again, the plan would be to load the 270 WSM with the Berger 170 EOLs (I found some load info indicating a MV around 3050 or so), and off-the-shelf ammo would only be a backup plan.

While I still haven't made any major commitments (like buying a barrel), I'm still thinking that the WSM is the right choice for me... with a G7 of .339 and the extra weight (compared to the 6.5 projectiles), the energy on target would seem to favor going that route.
 

Jmcmath

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How lately have you looked? My bass pro anc Cabelas have been stocking it for a few months.

I think the 270 is a little bit better do all for hunting, my 6.5 barrel will likely have a .30 for when I go out for large game (moose/elk) but I might forego that were I to have a 270wsm.

If you are going to handload primarily anyway, and are ok with restricting yourself to that 170 eol and bergers production/availability it’s a great option.
 

bspooley

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Jan 3, 2019
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Well, since I started this thread, I've found that Proof does offer an 8-twist 26" barrel in a .277 bore. I haven't pulled the trigger on one yet (if you'll pardon the pun), but that is the plan. Regarding the 6.5 PRC, I've still yet to see a single box of it at my local Cabela's, whereas there's somewhat of a selection of 270 WSM. Again, the plan would be to load the 270 WSM with the Berger 170 EOLs (I found some load info indicating a MV around 3050 or so), and off-the-shelf ammo would only be a backup plan.

While I still haven't made any major commitments (like buying a barrel), I'm still thinking that the WSM is the right choice for me... with a G7 of .339 and the extra weight (compared to the 6.5 projectiles), the energy on target would seem to favor going that route.
I love my Proof Carbon Fiber barrels and want one for the 270 WSM. I haven't found it on their site. Do we have to special order?
 

bspooley

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I love my Proof Carbon Fiber barrels and want one for the 270 WSM. I haven't found it on their site. Do we have to special order?
Correction, I haven't found a 26-inch 1 in 8 twist. All I see is the one in ten.
 

atreeman

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I asked proof the same question. I wanted a shorter 22 or 24” one in 8/8.5 and was told they didn’t/wouldn’t do it. Tbh the t3 offers a great length for the wsm. I have some samples on the bench of the 165gr matrix .270 bullets. They have a good reputation on Elk I hear.
If a carbon barrel was available then it would be a great combination.
 

bspooley

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I asked proof the same question. I wanted a shorter 22 or 24” one in 8/8.5 and was told they didn’t/wouldn’t do it. Tbh the t3 offers a great length for the wsm. I have some samples on the bench of the 165gr matrix .270 bullets. They have a good reputation on Elk I hear.
If a carbon barrel was available then it would be a great combination.
That's interesting on the T3. I've been partial to Remington 700 and so purchased a couple of short action WSM rifles as donors for my projects. I had to buy Wyatt extended well magazines and have the gunsmith open up the ejection port and machine for the larger magazine to be able to have a 270 WSM with a longer coal. If going to the 6.5 PRC with a Remington 700 short action, the same thing has to be done.
 

bspooley

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Where do I find out about the Tikka action? I looked online and saw a bunch of rifles but none of the features of the action itself. I did see that it was noted for having a smooth bolt throw and that it was already trued. I know that this a European action and many of us are just learning about it even though it's been out there for a while. It's kind of like years ago people shunning rifles that had millimeter caliber designations. Now they're accepted some of the best. My initial read is that Tikka actions provide some significant value particularly when others have to be trued prior to use in a custom build. The extra space for a long range short action cartridge is also significant. I think I need to look closer at it.
 
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CR83

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Thinking long term I think the 6.5 PRC will only grow in popularity and with that factory ammo availability will increase. As for now I like the bullet selection for the 6.5 better. I dont think there is enough upside ballistics wise for the 270 WSM to choose it over the 6.5. Then you have the problem for finding a barrel that you like. Just my 2 cents worth. Good Luck with your choice.
 
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Matt_3479

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I think for factory ammo as far as long range goes the 6.5 prc wins every day. But for loading, the 270. Wsm would be wicked and strongly contimplating it myself. With the 165gr matrix bullets doing so well on game and a bc of .650 with speeds around 3000-3050 it would be deadly! Then the 170 Berger’s at .662 and the new 175gr matrix should be able to be pushed around 2950-3000 FPS. Bc isn’t listed yet but it would be up around the .680-.70’s. I’d be going that route
 

Another Casual

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270 WSM probably has more factory options, but if you're looking to set this up to shoot heavies specifically then there are more factory PRC options that are heavy for caliber. I picked PRC over the 270 WSM based on bullet selection for handloading. I figured the bore was only 0.013 smaller but I'd have access to more options for reloading. I had a straight 270 before and was unimpressed with the options. Tons of solid short to mid range traditional hunting bullets, but not much else or much with high BC. That being said, there are some new heavy weight 270 projectiles that have come out in the past few years. The .270 has more gas, but you probably can't go wrong either way. Te differences in down range performance are probably minimal/within 50 yards or so of each other energy-wise.
 

atreeman

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More people shooting .277 equals more bullets and more options...

Over here (uk) brass is easy to come by. High bc bullets less so.

The wsm is a great multi purpose proposition though. If the round can be loaded so the base of the bullet is at neck/shoulder junction with long enough magazines then it should really shine.

I run a Sako 75 and although it’s a great action the mag is limited to about 2.92.

Ideally someone will produce a mid length action (three or four lug) with dedicated wsm mags at 3.25 or thereabouts. To my knowledge no one does at present. Until then the t3 looks a winner.
 

bspooley

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I bought a bunch of 270 WSM Winchester brass and found out I was getting about 10% that were bad. The bases were too large to fit into the case holder. I know it's available from several other sources. Some of which are two and three times the price of Winchester brass. The 6.5 PRC brass is available from of course Hornady as is 270 WSM brass for a reasonable price but more than Winchester. Hornady brass appears to be of higher quality with no waste. I've heard some say that Hornady brass is soft. Has that been your experience?
 

atreeman

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Used rem and Winchester. Binned it as too much work involved (with the stuff I had). Moved to Norma brass.

This is the procedure I follow with Norma:

Buy some. Load it. Go and shoot.

Just don’t try and buy Norma factory loaded ammo: spendy 😮
 

radonkun

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I owned a 6.5 PRC,Hornady factory ammo is okay, but if you can hand load that is better.
If you get a 7.5tw 7tw barrel. You can use H1000 or Ramshot Magnum (ball powder) with SMK 150.
You can get 3000+ FPS and shoot really far like a mile.
My barrel is 8tw use Berger 140 Hybrid. Ramshot Magnum 61.8gr. 3090FPS SD 5.x ES I forgot. Drop 6.53 Mrad @ 1000YD

But if you prefer to get factory ammo...

Both of these 2 calibers is not the best choice in my mind.
 

radonkun

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I bought a bunch of 270 WSM Winchester brass and found out I was getting about 10% that were bad. The bases were too large to fit into the case holder. I know it's available from several other sources. Some of which are two and three times the price of Winchester brass. The 6.5 PRC brass is available from of course Hornady as is 270 WSM brass for a reasonable price but more than Winchester. Hornady brass appears to be of higher quality with no waste. I've heard some say that Hornady brass is soft. Has that been your experience?
6.5 PRC Hornady Brass is soft for true. But quality is okay, not as good as Lapua Brass, but 6.5 PRC has no choice. The neck thick is between 0.0135-0.015. 0.0015 difference is not bad. If you anneal your brass. The lifetime of the brass can extend longer.
 

bspooley

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Someone up in the beginning of this thread had indicated that Proof Research was making 0.277 Carbon Fiber Barrels in 1-8 twist although their site does not show it. Well I validated that they must make them as Evolved Ballistics, one of their vendors, shows it on their site. I think I will pick one up.
 

bspooley

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Jan 3, 2019
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Someone up in the beginning of this thread had indicated that Proof Research was making 0.277 Carbon Fiber Barrels in 1-8 twist although their site does not show it. Well I validated that they must make them as Evolved Ballistics, one of their vendors, shows it on their site. I think I will pick one up.
I talked to Proof and found out Evolved Ballistics special orders 0.277 cal, 1-8 twist Carbon Fiber barrels from Proof.