6.5 x 284 Load Data Help

RNWRKNP

Sophisticated Redneck
Dec 13, 2017
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#1
I don’t think this cartridge is really that popular anymore but had occasion to fix a 25-06 problem child with a bad barrel that has a rockstar action/trigger. Wanted to step up to a 6.5 variant to make more bullets available with perhaps a little more horse power than a 6.5 Creed. Dimensionally close to the 25, I elected to go 6.5-284 with a Krieger 7.5 twist barrel to better stabilize the 140+ grain bullets. Finish length will be 26”. The action is a butter smooth Sako A7 with a sub 2# trigger that I just couldn’t part with but grew tired of watching it collect dust and I don’t currently own a 6.5 bolt gun. Already have about 130pc Lapua brass waiting for attention while the Smith works his magic with a standard Palma barrel.

Purpose of the rifle is hunting with the ability to cross over for steel at distance.

Soooo on to the question, is anybody still shooting this round and what has been successful for you for powder charge and bullet weight? As always, I appreciate your help fellas.
 

FatBoy

Chris Hayes, Nashville TN
Jul 29, 2001
930
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#2
Assuming Norma Match chamber with proper freebore...

H4350 46-49gr range with 140/142

H4831SC 50-52gr range with 140/142

Lot of guys using H1000 or RL26 for massive MV but I couldn't get consistency.

My go to load for the last 12 barrels has been H4350, 48.7gr with a 142SMK in a 30" 8.5 or 8 twist. 2975fps. It'll clean a 1k prone target pretty easy from a rest. Sub 15" 20 shots. This is a half MOA load at 100 and 600. Probably at 3/4 MOA at 1k, maybe less but long strings make it tough to know for sure.
 

RNWRKNP

Sophisticated Redneck
Dec 13, 2017
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#3
Thanks for the info Chris. Still learning the long game and appreciate the help. I am curious about the H1000 and 26 myself....
 

FatBoy

Chris Hayes, Nashville TN
Jul 29, 2001
930
358
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45
Nashville, Tennessee
#5
A word of caution, don't fuck around chasing a 1/4moa load. These shoot like magnums inside 300 yards. I damn near killed my first barrel load testing. Expect 800-1200 rounds of highpower type shooting, with 1100 around normal before you start seeing flyers at 1000. It will still shoots great at 600. Maybe 1500 rounds of 1k accuracy with H1000 or N160. You could put a few more on it keeping it cool.

Stay ahead of the carbon. These are brutal on throats and known for carbon rings. JB every 200 or so rounds.

I have barrel 12 on now and barrel 13 is sitting in the safe with 250 rounds on it (have a 284Lapua match on for this season). I love the FagMags. When you color inside the lines they are hard to beat. Push the limits and it could get frustrating.
 

RNWRKNP

Sophisticated Redneck
Dec 13, 2017
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#6
A word of caution, don't fuck around chasing a 1/4moa load. These shoot like magnums inside 300 yards. I damn near killed my first barrel load testing. Expect 800-1200 rounds of highpower type shooting, with 1100 around normal before you start seeing flyers at 1000. It will still shoots great at 600. Maybe 1500 rounds of 1k accuracy with H1000 or N160. You could put a few more on it keeping it cool.

Stay ahead of the carbon. These are brutal on throats and known for carbon rings. JB every 200 or so rounds.

I have barrel 12 on now and barrel 13 is sitting in the safe with 250 rounds on it (have a 284Lapua match on for this season). I love the FagMags. When you color inside the lines they are hard to beat. Push the limits and it could get frustrating.
1/2” and I’m done. Been down that rabbit hole and would rather go call a coyote in for some Hornady medication. What’s the best way to go about the JB?
 

FatBoy

Chris Hayes, Nashville TN
Jul 29, 2001
930
358
63
45
Nashville, Tennessee
#8
1/2” and I’m done. Been down that rabbit hole and would rather go call a coyote in for some Hornady medication. What’s the best way to go about the JB?

Clean the rifle as normal. Then, wrap a patch on a nylon brush and coat it with JB fine (or Flitz, etc). Pass it up and back chamber to muzzle the. Change the patch, re-apply and short stroke the throat about 30 times up and back, then work up the barrel short stroking. If the patch is tight you'll feel the rough spots and the smooth spots. For most chamberings I would say a good soaking and minimal brushing would work but not with these, at least not doing 3x 26 shot strings. It cooks the throat and the carbon lays down and glazes.

I'm sure there is new stuff out there that will dissolve copper and carbon but I haven't found anything that removes the carbon ring without elbow grease.
 
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May 8, 2013
205
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Portland
#10
Love the 6.5-284 Norma.
Some really good information here from Chris.
Mine is about shot out and carbon is the killer.
I started with Nosler brass and chased the speed. 58 grs. Retumbo and cci 250's gave me right at 3000fps with Berger 140's. Then went to Lapua brass and had to cut back to 57 grs. for same speed.
I helped a buddy work up a load for his.
26" Krieger really nice rifle.
Started right at 57 grs. Retumbo and went up to 58.5 at 3150. Settled on 58 at 3100. We we're done in less than 20 rounds.
Only has about 40 rounds down the tube to this day. He's had it now for about four years! It is to say the least a fast barrel.
He shot it out to 500 yds. Less than a 2" group for 4 shots. That was the last time he shot it.
 
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308220

Karma Enforcer
Jul 19, 2014
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#11
I love my 6.5-284. Its def still a popular cartridge. Its not going anywhere. I use 54.5gr of RL26 with a 140gr Hornady BTHP. 3040fps out of a 26", 8 twist barrel, with 1/2 MOA accuracy. Good enough for me.

Dont shoot them with the barrel hot. Let the barrel cool in between rounds. Youll get 2k+ rounds of accuracy and very little carbon. Since yours is just for hunting and steel, expect it to last you a long time.


Just clean it like any other barrel. I clean mine about every 25-30 rounds. Its just a hunting/target gun.

Enjoy your 6.5-284! Awesome cartridge.
 

RNWRKNP

Sophisticated Redneck
Dec 13, 2017
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#12
I love my 6.5-284. Its def still a popular cartridge. Its not going anywhere. I use 54.5gr of RL26 with a 140gr Hornady BTHP. 3040fps out of a 26", 8 twist barrel, with 1/2 MOA accuracy. Good enough for me.

Dont shoot them with the barrel hot. Let the barrel cool in between rounds. Youll get 2k+ rounds of accuracy and very little carbon. Since yours is just for hunting and steel, expect it to last you a long time.


Just clean it like any other barrel. I clean mine about every 25-30 rounds. Its just a hunting/target gun.

Enjoy your 6.5-284! Awesome cartridge.
Appreciate the info on the RL26 and the use is just as you describe. When I do shoot targets/steel, I generally rotate between 3 rifles to avoid hot barrels. Don’t mind spending money on a good rifle, just not the same one every year🤣
 
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j-huskey

Jafo / Instigator !
Jul 27, 2001
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#13
I told RNWRNKP me and 6.5-284 go back a ways. Had to dig out reloading data.
The caveat:
What neck size will you build on ?

My first reamer was 6.5 saami std .301 on the 6.5-284 reamer, and the 260 Rem and 6.5-06 reamers.
Jeff Hoffman at black hills loaded a run of 6.5-284 ammo that we tested and it ran fine. He put it out on the market and somebody welded a case to a bolt face with a .291 reamer... end of BH 6.5-284 ammo sales. I think we ended up with the whole lot b4 it was over.

140-142 grain bullets. I have used the following loads with Winchester 284 brass necked down and clean turn only.
57.0 h-1000 - 301 neck.
48.0 imr4350 - 301 neck.
48.0 h-4350 - 301 neck.
51.5 h-4831sc - 301 neck.
Zero issues, super accurate, in the several 8 twist barrels I burned out. All ran 3000-3050 range.

In a .297 or .2975 reamer, loaded round .295, in lapua brass, depending on the throat, the above loads -.5 to -1.0 grains.

In a .295 reamer, Lapua brass turned, .002 clearance, 53.5 RL26
Or 51.5 n-160 with a 142 moly.

Barrels went south from 1000 rounds to 1500 rounds depending on how hot we got them with h-1000....

The other loadings ran 1500-2500 rounds.

All what "I" did with 6.5-284 was dependent on the neck size and throat length related to pressures and speed. A lot of people would not do what I did, nor, should they... 😎

The 6.5-284 is the bench rest magnum of 6.5's based on body diameter and shoulder angle. I've never shot a more accurate fast 6.5 than those built on the 284 case.
2nd best was a 260 Ackley.

I always ran a long action to long seat.
Problems were mag feeding the fatter case and each different action required a different type of tweak on feeding, some never fed right.

But, later, older and lazier, it was much easier to run new 30-06 brass into a 6.5-06 die, trim for square, and load 52-53 grains of h-4831sc and give up a hundred feet per second and that throat wear, and feeding problems.
6.5-06 Ackley brought back that 100-150 fps, and throat wear, more powder required... things not required on the 284.

It's real hard to beat a good 6.5-284.
 

RNWRKNP

Sophisticated Redneck
Dec 13, 2017
1,369
1,628
113
PHX, AZ
#14
I told RNWRNKP me and 6.5-284 go back a ways. Had to dig out reloading data.
The caveat:
What neck size will you build on ?

My first reamer was 6.5 saami std .301 on the 6.5-284 reamer, and the 260 Rem and 6.5-06 reamers.
Jeff Hoffman at black hills loaded a run of 6.5-284 ammo that we tested and it ran fine. He put it out on the market and somebody welded a case to a bolt face with a .291 reamer... end of BH 6.5-284 ammo sales. I think we ended up with the whole lot b4 it was over.

140-142 grain bullets. I have used the following loads with Winchester 284 brass necked down and clean turn only.
57.0 h-1000 - 301 neck.
48.0 imr4350 - 301 neck.
48.0 h-4350 - 301 neck.
51.5 h-4831sc - 301 neck.
Zero issues, super accurate, in the several 8 twist barrels I burned out. All ran 3000-3050 range.

In a .297 or .2975 reamer, loaded round .295, in lapua brass, depending on the throat, the above loads -.5 to -1.0 grains.

In a .295 reamer, Lapua brass turned, .002 clearance, 53.5 RL26
Or 51.5 n-160 with a 142 moly.

Barrels went south from 1000 rounds to 1500 rounds depending on how hot we got them with h-1000....

The other loadings ran 1500-2500 rounds.

All what "I" did with 6.5-284 was dependent on the neck size and throat length related to pressures and speed. A lot of people would not do what I did, nor, should they... 😎

The 6.5-284 is the bench rest magnum of 6.5's based on body diameter and shoulder angle. I've never shot a more accurate fast 6.5 than those built on the 284 case.
2nd best was a 260 Ackley.

I always ran a long action to long seat.
Problems were mag feeding the fatter case and each different action required a different type of tweak on feeding, some never fed right.

But, later, older and lazier, it was much easier to run new 30-06 brass into a 6.5-06 die, trim for square, and load 52-53 grains of h-4831sc and give up a hundred feet per second and that throat wear, and feeding problems.
6.5-06 Ackley brought back that 100-150 fps, and throat wear, more powder required... things not required on the 284.

It's real hard to beat a good 6.5-284.
Really appreciate this j-Husky and thanks to all you guys for your contributions!!!
 

RNWRKNP

Sophisticated Redneck
Dec 13, 2017
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#15
As to neck size, I’m so green I don’t know what I don’t know. I have inquired of the smith if his intent is to use a Norma match specification with adequate free bore (thanks Chris). I’m still in line so no harm no foul but obviously should have cut it up with you guys first. Slow and stupid is sometimes painful🙄🤣.

This Smith is new to me but has a good rep as far as I could find and undaunted by the metric thread of my Sako. This is a relatively inexpensive experiment for both the cartridge and the smith. If he can do well with this I have plans for the others. The rifle as it sat was unsatisfactory and this caliber has intrigued me.
 
May 18, 2009
779
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England, ar
#16
My 6.5-284 has a tight neck chamber cut with a PTG reamer. It has a .290 neck and I turn the case necks to .288. I shoot Sierra 142 MK's, Lapua brass and Federal 210M primers. (Good Luck finding some) I neck size with an arbor press and Wilson dies but I have a Redding die set with the body die also. 4350, 4831 and RL-22 have worked well but I settled on RL-22. I'll 2nd the suggestion to pick a load quickly and stay there. Depending on the barrel your accuracy life is probably between 800 and 1200 rounds. This caliber seems to build carbon up in the throat worse that most so I scrub the throat with any one of the milder polishes about every other range session. This is a neat cartridge and I can get less than MOA accuracy at 600 yards, often less than half MOA.
 
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RNWRKNP

Sophisticated Redneck
Dec 13, 2017
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#18
With this project and having read the negative comments related to recent Nosler quality, I’m switching to Lapua. As a cleaning regimen, I use KG1 after every 30-40 shots specifically targeting carbon build up but don’t go after copper till accuracy drops off. Use KG12 for that and Kroil for lubricant in both instances. Sounds like I will need to be a little more aggressive with the KG1 and wrap a nylon brush every 200 on top of what I already do for this cartridge?
 

Rust

Sergeant
Apr 18, 2001
136
12
18
Florida
#21
Excepting short barrel life I love a 6.5 X 284. I would recommend using a standard length action such as your 25-06 for a 6.5 X 284. You'll be able to seat the bullets out a lot further than a short action and still feed from the mag. When I built mine I went with a standard action and can remove a loaded round (bullets seated way long) without having to pull the bolt like a short action.

There are sort of two chamberings for a 6.5 X 284. Originally as a wildcat the 6.5 X 284 reamer/chamber was based on the Winchester .284 brass. The original Winchester brass was high quality, not anymore. Norma standardized the chambering and is slightly different from the wildcat, thus the 6.5 X 284 Norma designation. The Norma was designed with the thought in mind of being able to seat heavy bullets long, the 140 grain class of match bullets.

As j-huskey pointed out, there are a lot of custom reamers out there with different neck diameters, freebore diameter and length too. Unless you have a fair amount of previous experience with that sort of thing better to stick with a straight SAAAMI 6.5 X 284 Norma chamber. Bad things have happened making mistakes.

Load development. You can burn your barrel out chasing loads. There are accuracy nodes in a 26" barrel around 2650, 2800 and 2950 fps with a 139 gr match bullet. If you decide to try for 2950 sneak up on it very carefully, you never know. Different rifles are different. I use Lapua brass exclusively, CCI primers, around 48.5 gr H4350, and Lapua Scenar match bullets. This combination gets 2940 fps out of my 28" match rifle with low ES and SD. H4831SC would be a second choice. If you have money to burn you can chase some magic new powder.

Being as I shoot competitively I do all the anal retentive things for precision loading, have a fully custom rifle yada yada. But a well put together factory receiver based rifle should get you at least 80% there or more. Your smith and the quality of his work are by far the biggest factor in producing an accurate rifle. From there it's down to the driver.

By the way JW, how are things up north in Alabama?
 
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