6.5 PRC VS. 7 SAUM

Dec 24, 2017
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Sedro Woolley, WA
#1
Trying to decide between these two cases. I have an action waiting for a barrel. I am swear of several issues with Norma brass, so I'm a bit weary. Anyone have some input. This rifle will be for ELR PRS and playing around in the woods.
 

Clearlight

Full Member
Jul 23, 2014
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Brisbane Australia
#2
Folks have got great results with both cals here , but for ELR spotting misses in the dirt is always easier
with a heavier bullet . You are going to see more splash in the dirt with say a 180 Berger vs a 140 Berger
6.5 bullet .

Scaling up a little , I regularly shoot 300 NM and 338 LM at ELR distance . Spotting the misses in grass
with the 230 Berger is very difficult , we can almost always see the misses from the 300 Berger : bigger
bullet = more energy more signature . Barrel life and running costs will most likely be longer and cheaper
with 6.5 depending on how hot you load . Guys running 7 SAUMs around here are pulling match barrels
at 1500 ish rounds . Haven’t run a 6.5 SAUM , but a friend is and has over 3000 on his latest barrel .
 
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Dec 24, 2017
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Sedro Woolley, WA
#3
Folks have got great results with both cals here , but for ELR spotting misses in the dirt is always easier
with a heavier bullet . You are going to see more splash in the dirt with say a 180 Berger vs a 140 Berger
6.5 bullet .

Scaling up a little , I regularly shoot 300 NM and 338 LM at ELR distance . Spotting the misses in grass
with the 230 Berger is very difficult , we can almost always see the misses from the 300 Berger : bigger
bullet = more energy more signature . Barrel life and running costs will most likely be lower with the 6.5
depending on how hot you load . Guys running 7 SAUMs around here are pulling match barrels at
1500 ish rounds . Haven’t run a 6.5 SAUM , but a friend is and has over 3000 on his latest barrel .
That's pretty dang good on the 6.5 3k rounds is nuts. Any issues with the 7 saum brass?
 

jetmd

Sergeant
Jan 17, 2010
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Smithville, MO
#4
What is the current availability of good quality 7 saum brass?
If you went to 4 or 5 of the big suppliers websites could you places an order for 1K
pieces of in stock brass?
 

jbailey

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 27, 2010
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Arlington VA
#7
Loved my 7SAUM and was using Nosler brass. It was excellent but expensive. The advantage I always enjoyed was the consistent MV. Consistent MV is key to the ELR world, as you want to be on the same vertical plane every pull of the trigger. If you are, you are only fighting the wind.

Second nice thing on the 7SAUM was the 180gr Bergers. Excellent projectile and the splash was always easy to see. Clearlight is correct on seeing splash - its critical. See it, you can correct; don't see it, you're blind. There are several other outstanding 7mm bullet options now, including some great stuff from Sierra and a new Berger offering.

If you can get the good brass w/o donating kidney, I would go for the 7SAUM.
 
Dec 30, 2017
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Pacific Northwet
#8
Also ADG will be coming out with 7mm SAUM brass later this year.

I'm thinking of going with the 7 SAUM instead of 6.5 SAUM for a new build. The selection of high BC bullets is much better for 7mm. IMO- If your shooting past 1000 yards the 7mm is a better choice. Only problem I see going to a 7mm is the compromises that are made to fit in a short action DBM. The 6.5's also can have length issues but they have a little more elbow room (COAL) so less compromises have to made.
 
Jul 29, 2014
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#9
Also ADG will be coming out with 7mm SAUM brass later this year.

I'm thinking of going with the 7 SAUM instead of 6.5 SAUM for a new build. The selection of high BC bullets is much better for 7mm. IMO- If your shooting past 1000 yards the 7mm is a better choice. Only problem I see going to a 7mm is the compromises that are made to fit in a short action DBM. The 6.5's also can have length issues but they have a little more elbow room (COAL) so less compromises have to made.
check out shermans 7SS
 
Likes: bjay
Jul 29, 2014
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#11
This ^^^
And sherman uses ALPHA brass which I think much better than ADG..norma brand brass dies really fast
did he switch from ADG? last i heard it was ADG

but either way, it's available.

similar OAL and fit in a short action WSM mag, but...the bullet is placed way better and you're gonna be a little faster velocity with less brass growth
 
Likes: bjay
Jun 18, 2004
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Indiana
#16
I have both but for most long range stuff I shoot the 7mm SAUM just because it seems to be more forgiving in the wind with the 180 Berger and the recoil seems to be about the same. The 7mm SAUM is a all around cartridge in my humble opinion since you can go from the 162 ELD to a 180 Berger. Just my opinion though.
 
Jan 26, 2014
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Colorado
#17
Barrel life and running costs will most likely be longer and cheaper
with 6.5 depending on how hot you load . Guys running 7 SAUMs around here are pulling match barrels
at 1500 ish rounds . Haven’t run a 6.5 SAUM , but a friend is and has over 3000 on his latest barrel .
I don't shoot either of these cartridges, but this doesn't make sense. Why would the smaller bore yield better barrel life? 7 SAUM/6.5 PRC have basically the same capacity. If you load both cartridges to the same pressure, I would expect the 7mm to have longer barrel life.
 
Likes: locotrician
Nov 6, 2013
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Southern, IN
#19
IMG_1376.JPG
Back rifle is my .284 built on a Long Action, and the front rifle is my .7 SAUM built on a Short Action. Having shot both for a couple of years:

You can run a 7 SAUM out of a Short Action, but if you really want to take FULL advantage of the newer Heavy, Long, High BC 7mm bullets, and run them out of a repeater/magazine, you will really do better with a Long Action. Going from that Short Action 7 SAUM, to that Long Action .284, I learned the real benefits of a Long Action first hand.

You can seat the bullets deep enough to run them out of a Short Action Repeater, but you are giving up case capacity, which will cost you velocity. I am also NOT a fan of having a load where the bullet bearing surface sits below the Neck/Shoulder junction. You can run into muzzle velocity consistency issues if you are not very meticulous about managing the consistency of your brass. If you get the slightest formation of a Donut (brass buildup thickening) at the Neck/Shoulder junction, it will become a major PITA if your bullet bearing surface is seated in that area. I am not saying they will all do it, but I have seen plenty of shooters who have run into that issue.

Given you already have an Action, I would assume that it is a Short Action. I would not say that it is a deal breaker, but just make sure you take a realistic look at where the COAL will have to be (and how that could impact things) if you are running them out of a repeater/magazine.

I ran Norma Brass in my 7 SAUM, never had any issues with it. I also took care of it (annealed it), and I was not hammering the piss out of it.

Per many of the comments above, there are a number of PROs with the 7 SAUM over a 6.5 PRC:
- 7mm Bullet choices are outstanding
- Barrel life will be better
- Bigger Bullets = More Energy, and that helps with everything from spotting impacts to hitting your target harder
- Brass, time will tell more on this one as more brands become available

I also had a 6.5 SAUM (or 4s) prior to the 7 SAUM. I shot that barrel out of it fairly quickly (just under 2k), and for that reason (and the others above), I went with the 7 SAUM when I had it re-barreled.

They are both great options, it really comes down to what really matters the most to you?
 
Dec 30, 2017
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Pacific Northwet
#20
I don't shoot either of these cartridges, but this doesn't make sense. Why would the smaller bore yield better barrel life? 7 SAUM/6.5 PRC have basically the same capacity. If you load both cartridges to the same pressure, I would expect the 7mm to have longer barrel life.
Good point! .... Maybe it has something to do with the weight of the bullets and the burn rate of the powders behind them. The neck length / shoulder angle also comes into play but these are relatively close to each other. So....?

Either way, I suspect that the the 7 SAUM would have around 20% more barrel life over the 6.5 PRC.
 

steve123

Lt. Colonel
Mar 16, 2008
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Flagstaff, AZ
#22
Good point! .... Maybe it has something to do with the weight of the bullets and the burn rate of the powders behind them. The neck length / shoulder angle also comes into play but these are relatively close to each other. So....?

Either way, I suspect that the the 7 SAUM would have around 20% more barrel life over the 6.5 PRC.
It's how either cartridge is loaded.

Cooler burning powders, like H1000, and sub 55,000 pressures, is what gave the 6.5 4s the reputation for exceptional barrel life. Though when George won the Bushnell Brawl with just over 4000 rounds through that barrel, it had been set back at the approx 2000 mark. With 130's at 3250 fps which is supposed to be around 55,000 psi, the recoil is mild, and that is a neat combo of attributes.

Nowadays you have the 150 SMK in 6.5. A .72 BC at 3100 fps is also neat, though to get that fps barrel life will suffer. In my 6.5 Saum version, built in a long action with long throat I could get 3200 fps without much fuss.

I'm a sucker for the lowest recoil so that's why I didn't go 7 Saum.

My current load for 6.5Saum is 140 hybrids at 3175 fps. In a 23# rifle it's recoil is just like my 18# 6x47L with 105's.
 

BCX

Sergeant of the Hide
Mar 18, 2018
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#24
My 7mm barrel sits. Was going to build a 7 SAUM but i wanted to stay on a WSM action. I think you need a LA to take advantage of the 7 SAUM w high BC bullets.
 

BCX

Sergeant of the Hide
Mar 18, 2018
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#29
I wish i could stop at 100 rounds LMFAO. Will we see a come back in 2019 of the 7mm in Extended Long Range Comps?
 

djskit

Sergeant
Jun 3, 2008
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Roseville, CA
#32
I’m looking build a long action 7SAUM. Does anyone have the lowdown on a reamer that can handle the 180 ELD? I’ve mocked up a cartridge to keep the boat tail junction ahead of the base of the neck and it’s looong.
 

Unknown

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 17, 2009
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Pacific Northwest,USA
#33
The greater selection of high BC bullets for the 7mm makes a big difference in it's favor.

With the current interest in long range shooting, and development of new cartridges requiring new brass to be made, I don't understand why a bullet maker wouldn't make a match 6.5mm bullet in the 150-160 grain weight. If all these new rounds are making money, I would expect a heavy 6.5mm bullet to be a money maker.
 
Dec 30, 2017
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Pacific Northwet
#34
The greater selection of high BC bullets for the 7mm makes a big difference in it's favor.

With the current interest in long range shooting, and development of new cartridges requiring new brass to be made, I don't understand why a bullet maker wouldn't make a match 6.5mm bullet in the 150-160 grain weight. If all these new rounds are making money, I would expect a heavy 6.5mm bullet to be a money maker.
We do have the 150 SMK and Berger is supposed to come out with a 154-156 gr.

The problem is getting longer barrels with faster twists and the lack of medium action rifles sold in the USA that have longer magazines.

Benchrest shooters don't care as they generally use a single feed action anyway.

IMO-Once you move up to a long action you might as well take advantage of the extra 7/8" magazine length and run with the longer magnum calibers.

That is what makes the 6.5mm and 7mm Sherman Short magnums so popular.... They can run the longer bullets in an Accurate AICS style mags without too many compromises.
 
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Bradu

Full Member
Aug 24, 2011
2,071
306
83
IL
#35
We do have the 150 SMK and Berger is supposed to come out with a 154-156 gr.

The problem is getting longer barrels with faster twists and the lack of medium action rifles sold in the USA that have longer magazines.

Benchrest shooters don't care as they generally use a single feed action anyway.

IMO-Once you move up to a long action you might as well take advantage of the extra 7/8" magazine length and run with the longer magnum calibers.

That is what makes the 6.5mm and 7mm Sherman Short magnums so popular.... They can run the longer bullets in an Accurate AICS style mags without too many compromises.
I would like to try a 6.5 wsm with the 150's on a long action.
 

Clearlight

Full Member
Jul 23, 2014
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Brisbane Australia
#36
It's how either cartridge is loaded.

Cooler burning powders, like H1000, and sub 55,000 pressures, is what gave the 6.5 4s the reputation for exceptional barrel life. Though when George won the Bushnell Brawl with just over 4000 rounds through that barrel, it had been set back at the approx 2000 mark. With 130's at 3250 fps which is supposed to be around 55,000 psi, the recoil is mild, and that is a neat combo of attributes.

Nowadays you have the 150 SMK in 6.5. A .72 BC at 3100 fps is also neat, though to get that fps barrel life will suffer. In my 6.5 Saum version, built in a long action with long throat I could get 3200 fps without much fuss.

I'm a sucker for the lowest recoil so that's why I didn't go 7 Saum.

My current load for 6.5Saum is 140 hybrids at 3175 fps. In a 23# rifle it's recoil is just like my 18# 6x47L with 105's.
Yeah apples to apples the 7 might run longer . My recent experience was H4350 max load in the 7 SAUM ,
H1000 in the 6.5 SAUM . Same powder would tip barrel life in favour of the 7 maybe .
 
Likes: steve123
Jul 29, 2014
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#38
From experience I personally would not recommend the PRC on a short action, unless the reamer was optimized for it. The Std .188 freebore reamer is not a good fit for a short action. I tore my short action PRC down to re-barrel 6.5 CM.
I wouldnt recommend any cartridge without picking the correct freebore for the bullet weight/style and action length you plan on using
 
Dec 30, 2017
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Pacific Northwet
#39
From experience I personally would not recommend the PRC on a short action, unless the reamer was optimized for it. The Std .188 freebore reamer is not a good fit for a short action. I tore my short action PRC down to re-barrel 6.5 CM.
I assume you have a switch barrel with an extra standard bolt available?

Couldn't you have just had the barrel "set back" and then just have the gunsmith use a reamer with the correct freebore or just move up to the 6.5 SAUM with the correct freebore for you application?
 
Jul 25, 2011
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#40
From my understanding there is only one reamer available. With out getting a custom reamer ground. I was not impressed enough to go through the hassle. Maybe I was misled or I misunderstood, but my point was purely informational to prevent the OP from making the same mistake I did. Then again There are guys out there that have made it work.

And no I am not doing a switch barrel. I ordered a new bolt. I will keep the old barrel and bolt. Maybe do something with it later.
 

Unknown

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 17, 2009
3,199
298
83
Pacific Northwest,USA
#41
We do have the 150 SMK and Berger is supposed to come out with a 154-156 gr.

The problem is getting longer barrels with faster twists and the lack of medium action rifles sold in the USA that have longer magazines.

Benchrest shooters don't care as they generally use a single feed action anyway.

IMO-Once you move up to a long action you might as well take advantage of the extra 7/8" magazine length and run with the longer magnum calibers.

That is what makes the 6.5mm and 7mm Sherman Short magnums so popular.... They can run the longer bullets in an Accurate AICS style mags without too many compromises.
I completely agree with the comments about action length. At some point a shooter may as well move up to a 225 grain/30 cal or heavier, or the 338 bullets, or even 375.

I didn't 't know Berger was coming out with a 154-15 grain bullet, but with their quality and reputation, that should be fabulous once it comes out.

About a year and a half ago I was talking with a PRS shooter who was building a rifle based on the 6.5x55 Swede, because that had some of the cheaper brass Lapua made, and he was blowing it out to be a 6.5X55 improved round. A round like that, or even the 6.5x284 would be a great platform for the heavier 6.5 bullet, but as Milepost said, we are getting into longer actions with those cartridges, so why not move up?

I think it is really great that shooters are getting more, and more options, and that manufacturers are paying attention to the long range shooting community. I guess they discovered that there is enough money in the long distance shooting to make their investment and attention to the desires of the long range shooters worthwhile.
 
Mar 26, 2005
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Honolulu,HI
#44
This ^^^
And sherman uses ALPHA brass which I think much better than ADG..norma brand brass dies really fast
....And also very high $$ at $130 for 50pcs..i guess that is all relative. i don't see the point,when there are so many other proven options .
 
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Mar 26, 2005
650
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Honolulu,HI
#45
Good point! .... Maybe it has something to do with the weight of the bullets and the burn rate of the powders behind them. The neck length / shoulder angle also comes into play but these are relatively close to each other. So....?

Either way, I suspect that the the 7 SAUM would have around 20% more barrel life over the 6.5 PRC.
I agree,
The larger bore size and heavier bullet going slower = longer barrel life
 

FF05

Private
Feb 14, 2017
41
12
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Australia
#46
I agree,
The larger bore size and heavier bullet going slower = longer barrel life
I don't think it works that way, the 180grn 7mm projectile has a very long bearing surface, more surface = more wear. To get optimal performance from the 7SAUM your still going to need to push it around 2900-3000fps, not slower.

The top F Open shooter here in Oz only got 700-800 rounds out of his 7SAUM barrel before it started to loose accuracy. And I've heard of alot of other similar claims of barrel life under 1500 rounds.
 
Jun 18, 2004
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Indiana
#47
My 7SAUM is built on a long action with a proof barrel. SAC throated it for the 180 berger but it shoots the 162 ELDM really well also. I have a 6.5 SAUM and a 6mm creedmore with proof barrels. I shoot the 6mm creedmore the most but the 7 SAUM is a all around cartridge for about everything. Shot a black bear at 867 yards with it and watched the bullet impact. There are a lot of great cartridges out there but you still have to tune it and practice shooting it. My 338 Lapua sits in the safe 99% of the time.
 

Ledzep

Chancellor
Jun 9, 2009
1,596
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Black Hills
#48
Run the numbers and pick your poison. SAUM brass can be hard to find. I've been shooting 6.5 GAP for a while and I enjoy it, I think a 7 SAUM might have enough recoil to make things less fun/manageable? Maybe not. I've been able to run the 6.5 in PRS comps with success, and have shot to 1800yd. Spotting misses in wet ground is rough, but I don't know if a 7mm would have been any better in the conditions I've been in. We also had trouble seeing 300 WSM 208gr impacts.

At this point in time, I'd lean towards the PRC because of high BC 147-150gr 6.5 pills, and brass (and ammo) availability. Get a 28-32" barrel and you can probably rocket-ship them. I'd go 147 ELD-M's and RL26 and see what kind of magic happens.
 
Likes: BCX

Tapp111

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 25, 2017
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Lakeland TN
#50
I have a 7saum and it’s very easy to shoot. Not bad on recoil with the 180 ELD-M with 62gr of H1000. Coal is around 3.10 in a long action. Right around 2815 fps. It’s my elk round. Shot it out to 1000yrds at K&M yesterday.