6.5 "Shorty" Rifle build

BoilerUP

Gunny Sergeant
Jan 16, 2011
2,786
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Clark Co., IN
I had a 26" 1:8 Criterion Rem-Age 6.5 Creedmoor; I got 2820 with a 140gr HPBT over 42.5gr H4350 and 2857fps with 140gr Amax Match factory ammo (barrel had about 950rds through it).

Same barrel cut back to 18" got 2640fps with the 140gr HPBT load and 2662fps with the 140gr Amax Match factory load.
 
Sep 16, 2017
392
157
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El Campo, TX
If these are range guns, what is the purpose of neutering your rifle? Aesthetics? I would bet that getting the rifle out of the vehicle and onto the shooting bench wouldn't be any more difficult if the rifle had a 30" barrel and can. The reduced velocity that comes along with a 18" bolt gun doesn't seem worth the sacrifice. A truck gun is a different story. If you are riding around the ranch or deer lease, a 20" beside you, with no can of course, would be easier to get out the window. That was the practical side of me speaking. The other side of me thinks the short barrel bolt action is kinda cool and I guess that would be enough reason in itself to do the chop at least for the man that has more than one rifle.
 
Sep 16, 2017
392
157
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El Campo, TX
I had a 26" 1:8 Criterion Rem-Age 6.5 Creedmoor; I got 2820 with a 140gr HPBT over 42.5gr H4350 and 2857fps with 140gr Amax Match factory ammo (barrel had about 950rds through it).

Same barrel cut back to 18" got 2640fps with the 140gr HPBT load and 2662fps with the 140gr Amax Match factory load.
I see a 25fps avg loss per inch from a 26" to 24" in 6.5 creedmoor and the same 25fps loss per inch from a 24" to 20" .308 so that seems about par for what you are seeing. The only thing different is the velocities people post with factory ammo. I get 2700fps out of hornady 6.5 creedmoor ammunition both American gunner and eld-m out of my 26" bartlein. My buddy gets the same. I get 2650 fps out of my 24" tikka. This is sea level 90 degrees. Much less velocity in cooler temps. All over different lots as well. It just seems strange that people post velocities out of 18 and 20" rifles that damn near match what all my much longer barrel rifles achieve. I don't chronograph ammo either. I go out and shoot to gather my data. Does elevation increase velocity?
 

BoilerUP

Gunny Sergeant
Jan 16, 2011
2,786
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Clark Co., IN
Hornady 140gr American Gunner is fairly mild so it can run in gas guns (its the exact same ammo as Hornady Black 140gr from Academy); it was fairly accurate but only ran 2600fps from a 22" Bergara HMR.

140gr Amax Match ammo, in my personal experience, was always faster than 140gr AG...as shot over a Magnetospeed V2 and drops at distance. 140gr ELD-M ammo that I shot wasn't quite as high velocity (or as accurate) as the Amax Match but was still faster than AG.

As for "neutering your rifle"...I cut my barrels so that, with a can, they are basically the same length as a 26" which makes them better suited for hunting. Chopped my 26" 6.5 Creedmoor down to 18", sold it when I had a 6 Dasher built at 20". I don't compete, I bang steel for fun and hunt, so I'm willing to sacrifice velocity for handling. YMMV...
 

PFG

Private
Dec 13, 2017
174
48
28
Texas
I don't compete, I bang steel for fun and hunt, so I'm willing to sacrifice velocity for handling. YMMV...

^This

A nice combo is having a shorting hunting gun, and a full length bench/plinking rifle. For me, thats a shorty Tikka CTR, and a full length Ruger Precision.
 

Jackalope

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 8, 2017
218
134
43
Flagstaff AZ
If these are range guns, what is the purpose of neutering your rifle? Aesthetics? I would bet that getting the rifle out of the vehicle and onto the shooting bench wouldn't be any more difficult if the rifle had a 30" barrel and can. The reduced velocity that comes along with a 18" bolt gun doesn't seem worth the sacrifice. A truck gun is a different story. If you are riding around the ranch or deer lease, a 20" beside you, with no can of course, would be easier to get out the window. That was the practical side of me speaking. The other side of me thinks the short barrel bolt action is kinda cool and I guess that would be enough reason in itself to do the chop at least for the man that has more than one rifle.
I notice the handling advantage a lot more than the animals notice the velocity disadvantage.
 
Sep 16, 2017
392
157
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El Campo, TX
I notice the handling advantage a lot more than the animals notice the velocity disadvantage.
For hunting yeah. I get that. I was mainly questioning the guys who shorten them up and only shoot at the range. Easy handling in and out of the car doesnt seem like much of a benefit to me. But like i said in my earlier posts, i understand the cool factor and for some that is enough of a reason and I get that as well. My buddy is a short barrel fanatic. SBR carbines are his thing. He wanted a shorty bolt gun but found a good deal on a rifle with a 26” tube. He wasnt sure of the long barrel but after spending some time with it, he is sure glad he didnt go short on this rifle.

Dont let me derail this thread. Lets see some more shorty builds.
 
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jram

Sergeant of the Hide
Mar 27, 2018
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Saginaw, TX
I have a barrel at a gunsmith waiting in line to get cut down. I gave instructions to go 22” but after seeing this thread I called and requested 20”.
 

Crews

Sergeant
May 11, 2017
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Finally got my stick chopped down to 16.5”. Took a quick trip to the range today between baby feeding times to zero and get some ideas on velocity. All #’s are with factory Hornady and Federal ammo.

23A5EF1D-5B68-4058-9DD0-7FDCD66C884E.jpeg B9AD98AA-63C7-4BD4-849B-3F8D9F741359.jpeg X
 
Feb 20, 2017
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Is that a carbon barrel? also what can is that? Would you mind posing the set up’s total weight? Congrats on the baby by the way. I have 4 and I love them (though they make the shooting budget slimmer haha)
 

Crews

Sergeant
May 11, 2017
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It’s a Kreiger Light Palma, originally cut to 21” by Beanland. XLR Evo, with a TBAC Ultra 5. NF ATACR 4-16 F1, RRS unimount.

This was already my favorite rifle combo of all time, and it’s even more so with this barrel chop. It’s mostly for hunting out to 600 or so, and the local range only goes that far anyhow.
 

Crews

Sergeant
May 11, 2017
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28
Just wanted to post a quick follow-up with some more detailed analysis from my post above. I didn't have much time and the sample size is pretty small, so the results might change as I gather more MV data in the future.

I have been using the 140 ELD-M factory ammo, and really don't think 2534 fps is going to be much of a deal breaker. However, in the future I may try to get a little more time in with the 120's. So far, they seem to give up less in a shorter barrel.

6.5 Creedmoor, MV data with factory Hornady ammo:
65 MV Delta.PNG
 

Crews

Sergeant
May 11, 2017
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28
Shot some thin steel plates this weekend at 600 and 800 yards with Hornady 140 ELD-M ammo. Didn't have any problems making the hits at either range. At 600 yards, the rounds poked holes in the plate and kept moving with authority. Calculator shows 1844FPS, 1057ft/lb of energy. Wouldn't have any problems shooting at a deer or hog at that range, anecdotal observations of energy on target confirms that.

At 800 yards, one bullet passed through with less authority. The other 2 made sizable dents, but did not pass through. Calculator shows 1,641 FPS, with 837 ft/lb of energy. This certainly comes close to coinciding with the traditional 800 ft/lb minimum rule of thumb for hunting. I believe I'll set my ethical hunting range threshold at ~600ish yards and call it a day.

Looking at the 120's indicates that even with the extra MV, they're running out of energy at 600 as compared to the 140's at 800. Might still be okay for target shooting, but I don't believe I'll invest much time in becoming proficient with them, as hunting is the primary use for this rifle.
 
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260Girl

New Hide Member
May 16, 2018
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IMG_3150.JPG

This was my .260R, Rem 700 trued action with a 18-inch, 1:8 twist, Bartlein Heavy Target contour barrel.

It was in a Mc Millan T3-5A stock at the time this was taken, but it was usually in a Manners T5A stock.

I ran 6.5 ELD-M 140 gr. bullets loaded with IMR4350. It was a slow load - 2560 fps, but at more than one match, it easily hit 12 and 8-inch plates at a 1000 yards. Even in a stout wind. It hit plenty of other plates, of various sizes, at ranges of 200-800 yards, too.

That particular PST Gen I scope was problematic, but with a decent scope, was a nice rifle! Unfortunately, I didn’t figure out that it was the scope that was causing some accuracy issues until the barrel was almost at the end of it’s life. I’m wiser now.
 
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5RWill

Optics Fiend
Oct 15, 2009
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Mississippi
Definitely want to do a 20 in 6.5x47L have also thought about going 22 but i will be using my suppressor alot.
What velocities are you trying to hit? I'd stick with 18/20 maybe even 16.5/17. I'm getting 2730fps with 130gr ELD-M and got 2850fps with 123gr ELD-M. Pushed to 2890fps also.
 

5RWill

Optics Fiend
Oct 15, 2009
4,407
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Mississippi
Trying to get 130 gr hybrids over 2700 at 20 inches. What do you think of 20 inch 6.5x47L for comp?
2700+ with varget especially with the hybrids small bearing surface will be easy out of a 20" I prefer my 23" for competition and will be going 26" when i rebarrel. Like to have the 130s around 2850-2900 to stay with the 6mms. That said 2700 is plenty viable. Shot a 1000yd F-Class match with 130gr Hybrids at 2715fps. If you're looking to do sort of mid weight comp/hunter hybrid 18-20 is perfect.
 
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tnc

Deputy
Jan 23, 2007
433
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Vinita, OK
I run an 18” proof stainless with 130 ar hybrids at 2790fps. using 39.5gr of Varget in Prime brass. You shouldn’t have a problem with 2700.
ETA this is with 6.5CM. Maybe that’s not much help
 
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jb41291

Josh Boucher
Jul 24, 2017
131
16
18
27
colorado springs, colorado
Thanks ill be using a bartlein m24/40 contour. I was thinking of having a another barrel spun up for comp and switch them out on my curtis vector for the appropriate application.

2700+ with varget especially with the hybrids small bearing surface will be easy out of a 20" I prefer my 23" for competition and will be going 26" when i rebarrel. Like to have the 130s around 2850-2900 to stay with the 6mms. That said 2700 is plenty viable. Shot a 1000yd F-Class match with 130gr Hybrids at 2715fps. If you're looking to do sort of mid weight comp/hunter hybrid 18-20 is perfect.
 
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Nittynate

Sergeant of the Hide
Mar 16, 2018
166
55
28
California
Yeah no problem

Bighorn TL3 6.5X47 finished at 18"
Bartlein sendero/RV contour
Triggertech special (soon to be diamond)
Manners EH1 CORE custom elite Highlander
Kahles k318i
My build will be very similar when done.

Impact action
PVA Remington Varmint/Sendero 18”
TT Diamond
Manners Ta Core Highlander

Looking at glass now. What are your thoughts on Mark 5HD 3-18? This is going to be mostly used for hunting so I’m disappointed that the only Illum reticle is TMR. I’ve been used to shooting tree style reticle so I’m kinda up in the air(especially the premium charged for Illum.) Thanks
 

5RWill

Optics Fiend
Oct 15, 2009
4,407
564
113
27
Mississippi
My build will be very similar when done.

Impact action
PVA Remington Varmint/Sendero 18”
TT Diamond
Manners Ta Core Highlander

Looking at glass now. What are your thoughts on Mark 5HD 3-18? This is going to be mostly used for hunting so I’m disappointed that the only Illum reticle is TMR. I’ve been used to shooting tree style reticle so I’m kinda up in the air(especially the premium charged for Illum.) Thanks
Sounds like a awesome build. I really want an Impact now for some reason, guess the buzz is getting to me i need to get my hands on one.

I've not used the small mark 5. The 5-25 is wonderful for the money and you'll not fine many complaints on it at all. Truthfully for the price they can be had at, it hardly warrants any. I've wanted the smaller mark 5 for some time but have put money elsewhere so i just haven't picked one up. I'd say if you can get it around 1500 or so with the reticle of choice, that it would be incredibly hard to pass up. I've seen some complaints of lack of resolution and some CA. Both of which where great attributes in the 5-25, it had very little CA, great resolution, and edge to edge clarity. The contrast was not quite up to snuff compared to pricier competition but that doesn't detract from it IMHO. Though it seems that most of the Mark 6's short comings have been ironed out and given how small it is the sacrifices made for the size and weight are probably worth it. I know ILya seems to be very impressed with his. Redneckbmxer is stoked with his so much he's already gotten two more or something like that. I went Kahles across the board despite it costing me extra. Mainly because after using the SKMR3 i fell in love with how clean it is for hold overs and i honestly wasn't sure i'd ever feel a better elevation turret.

Though if weight is your main concern you'll be best combining a light scope like that with a smaller barrel profile. Mine is still nearing 13lbs or more depending on the config. Didn't nearly reach the 9lb mark i wanted, though given it's purpose i'm okay with it. Dad's 6.5 SAUM is right at 9lbs without the bipod and suppressor. That was with a 3B fluted and a MCS T bedded.
 

Nittynate

Sergeant of the Hide
Mar 16, 2018
166
55
28
California
Sounds like a awesome build. I really want an Impact now for some reason, guess the buzz is getting to me i need to get my hands on one.

I've not used the small mark 5. The 5-25 is wonderful for the money and you'll not fine many complaints on it at all. Truthfully for the price they can be had at, it hardly warrants any. I've wanted the smaller mark 5 for some time but have put money elsewhere so i just haven't picked one up. I'd say if you can get it around 1500 or so with the reticle of choice, that it would be incredibly hard to pass up. I've seen some complaints of lack of resolution and some CA. Both of which where great attributes in the 5-25, it had very little CA, great resolution, and edge to edge clarity. The contrast was not quite up to snuff compared to pricier competition but that doesn't detract from it IMHO. Though it seems that most of the Mark 6's short comings have been ironed out and given how small it is the sacrifices made for the size and weight are probably worth it. I know ILya seems to be very impressed with his. Redneckbmxer is stoked with his so much he's already gotten two more or something like that. I went Kahles across the board despite it costing me extra. Mainly because after using the SKMR3 i fell in love with how clean it is for hold overs and i honestly wasn't sure i'd ever feel a better elevation turret.

Though if weight is your main concern you'll be best combining a light scope like that with a smaller barrel profile. Mine is still nearing 13lbs or more depending on the config. Didn't nearly reach the 9lb mark i wanted, though given it's purpose i'm okay with it. Dad's 6.5 SAUM is right at 9lbs without the bipod and suppressor. That was with a 3B fluted and a MCS T bedded.
Thanks for the response. I really appreciate the time you took to answer my questions.
 

Hundo

Sergeant of the Hide
Jul 12, 2018
126
16
18
A 18 inch barrel will get you a lot further than 600 yards. Nothing wrong with a trued Remington, Chad over at LRI https://www.longriflesinc.com/collections/products does a nice job with good prices and a quick turnaround. Even with good prices you will end up within spitting distance of the same rifle in a custom action.
Yes, but there is just something cool about knowing Chad has dialed in that action to the nth degree. You buy a good custom action and have you blueprinted it? (Blueprinting actually means to measure it against design). Who knows, could be off a few thou...
 

JFComfort

Las Vegas Long Range OG
Mar 19, 2009
1,968
267
83
Las Vegas, Nevada
@JFComfort

What twist are you running on your 16.5" Creedmoor guns?
I was running 1-8” twist. My current 18” is 1-8” and I’m really happy with it. I do have some 1-7” twist 5R Bartlein barrels on the way to see how they do with shorties and short mags.

E33DFFC2-A328-4701-B639-16725A5F08B7.jpeg
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BBE1D31D-BEAE-44E8-A662-D7B6141E36C8.jpeg
SD isn’t anything to brag about but it shoots tight and moving 140’s pretty well.
 
Likes: DXT_Shooter
Nov 19, 2011
1,100
78
48
central IN
Exactly what we’re putting together next! Dane is going all Carbon Fiber with a Tikka T3 action and I’m swapping my 21” Bartlein 5R in 6.5 SAUM and going either 20” or 22” with a Proof CF in 6.5 PRC.

Fingers crossed for elk this year!
Hey JFComfort,
If that 21” Bartlein 6.5 SAUM barrel is for a Rem 700 and has some life left, I’d be interested in it! Perhaps sending and action and stock to you guys to have it spun on mine?