6mm vs. 6.5

360precision

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Mar 7, 2018
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#1
So I am having a precision rifle built and it will be for shooting targets at mostly (100 to 1400yd) distances . The choice between a 6mm or a 6.5 is really starting to wear me down. I would like longer barrel life but also want a fast and lighter recoiling round. Something that I can also buy factory ammo too, so it's coming down to 6mm creedmoor or 6.5 creedmoor. I couldn't find a thread narrowing down just these two catridges as a choice. I'm new to reloading so I want to choose the right caliber and be able to collect brass I will actually utilize. Thoughts and opinions on this please!
 
Jul 29, 2014
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#2
Went through the same thing. Went with 6.5 for my Hancock, But I'm gonna spin a 6 on a tikka when the hancock comes in. I have local matches that go to 600max and then 1200 max. Reloading both is pretty straightforward so that's non concern. 6.5 prime will be a good source of brass for both, but nothing wrong with the hornady either.

Don't think either will give up much for either distance range just a difference in recoil so may come down to positional portions of matches from the recoil standpoint
 
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360precision

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Mar 7, 2018
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#3
Reloading for either isn't my biggest concern, it is more of the fact that is there a huge difference in recoil and will the extra 200 to 300 fps be worth having to rebarrel 800 to 1100 rounds sooner with the 6mm creedmoor. Are these wildcat 6mm's really worth the performance over cost? I know it is critical to trace your shot and see your impact and this is what I'm wondering between the two is it a big difference?
 

spife7980

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Feb 10, 2017
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#4
It depends on what you’re shooting. The small 6 is getting popular for positional shooting and needing to spot shots but those targets generally aren’t as far out. If you’ll be prone or spotting yourself the extra splash of the 6.5 would be appriciable for targets way out there.
 
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360precision

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Mar 7, 2018
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#5
In competition you will have a spotter confirming impacts, but if a shooter misses and needs to adjust for elevation or wind they need to spot the splash from the impact. The 6.5 creedmoor seems like the new workhorse. So is the trendy speedy 6mm worth the short barrel life for the added benefits of speed and less recoil? Like I said the rifle will be used out to distances that seeing the impact is no problem and what I will be shooting is steel and paper. Shooting positions will range from prone to standing with a tripod
 

FUNCTIONAL

Dirty Civilian
Feb 19, 2012
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#7
Having just come out of the 6mm for the past 4 years ill say the 6mm is excellent but you will be tuning your load more often with a 6creedmoor due to the faster throat erosion while a 6.5 stays stable for much longer. With my 6creeds ive seen the need to tune a load every 400 rounds. Sometimes its just a jump adjustment and sometimes its powder and jump. It adds to barrel life and more work to keep it consistent. Also the 6mm and 6.5 are pretty much a wash in the wind .1mil diff isnt really that big of a deal and can go in favor either way depending on speed and bullet loaded in each. The drop is going to be different. My 110smk was 6mil to 1k and my 105 was 6.7mil while comparable 6.5 land between 7 mil and 8 mil. If you do a lot of unknown target distances in comps then the 6mm will give you more wiggle room. Recoil to me feels jyst about the same with a good brake on either.
 
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lash

Swamp Rat
Sep 28, 2012
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#8
Reloading for either isn't my biggest concern, it is more of the fact that is there a huge difference in recoil and will the extra 200 to 300 fps be worth having to rebarrel 800 to 1100 rounds sooner with the 6mm creedmoor. Are these wildcat 6mm's really worth the performance over cost? I know it is critical to trace your shot and see your impact and this is what I'm wondering between the two is it a big difference?
What "huge difference in recoil"? Have you shot either of these rounds? As said above, put a good brake on either one and there will be much less difference between them.

You are reading too much and need to just shoot some. That will help you decide, though it sounds to me like you should probably get the 6mm. The 6.5 will be too much recoil.
 

360precision

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Mar 7, 2018
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#9
https://forum.snipershide.com/threa...-range-prs-applications.6875819/#post-6948890

I just posted this a few days ago and got some good answers.

Think I’m going the 6mm route for speed
Thanks, this post has some insight like what i was looking for.
What "huge difference in recoil"? Have you shot either of these rounds? As said above, put a good brake on either one and there will be much less difference between them.

You are reading too much and need to just shoot some. That will help you decide, though it sounds to me like you should probably get the 6mm. The 6.5 will be too much recoil.
I don't know I missed that last sentence from functional. I have a hellfire brake that I will be using so it should knock alot of the recoil down. The only thing I can see is most people don't shoot alot of the 6mm calibers is because if you don't reload you are very limited to what you shoot.
I'm probably going to go 6.5 and worst case scenario sell the brass if I want less recoil after I have to rebarrel then go 6mm. There is more versatility with bullet selection and factory ammo choice's.
 
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Mar 7, 2017
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#10
i have been thinking about going with the 6mm in the future but I think I am going to try loading some lighter 6.5 bullets like the 123 scenar to get some MV and go that route for a bit. I have been using the 140 ELD-M and 142SMK for a while and love it but I want to see if i can get a little faster and see if its worth the compromise in wind fighting ability.

might be something to think about for yourself if you go with the 6.5
 

lash

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Sep 28, 2012
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#11
i have been thinking about going with the 6mm in the future but I think I am going to try loading some lighter 6.5 bullets like the 123 scenar to get some MV and go that route for a bit. I have been using the 140 ELD-M and 142SMK for a while and love it but I want to see if i can get a little faster and see if its worth the compromise in wind fighting ability.

might be something to think about for yourself if you go with the 6.5
I was going to suggest this for those who might want to decrease perceived recoil. Since Force = Mass * Acceleration and the case size for both 6.5 creed and 6 creed are the same, it stands to reason that the only place you can change recoil, all things else being equal, is the projectile weight.

For what it's worth, I've always been a fan of the 123g 6.5s. Out at 800-1000, the winds down here do affect them more than the heavier bullets with higher BCs, but it all depends upon your most usage and maximum benefit. For matches and other use where most or all of the shooting will be under 800 yards, the 123s are lasers. They still do work fine for longer distances, especially if pushed faster, but get pushed around just a bit more.
 
Mar 27, 2012
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#12
I would go 6.5. This is coming from a 6mm shooter. Negligible recoil either way. 6.5 gets you better barrel life and better splash on misses. Just shot out to a mile with both calibers this week and was very surprised that they both laid hits on a 1.5 moa Target but also how much more dirt the 142gr bullet kicked up compared to my 115gr.
 

Moose

Sergeant
Jul 3, 2005
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#13
Im just wondering how much less recoil with the 6.5cm have then a 308.I can't shoot the 308 anymore because of issues with my spine.Im talking a 10lb rifle with a break on it.
 
Nov 16, 2007
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#15
I went 6.5 and load the 130 hyrbid bergers. Trued velocity down range is 2,950ish fps. I like the extra splash, extra barrel life, and better wind hold compared to the 6mm. I only dial an extra .3mils of elevation at 1,000 yds compared to the 6mm.
 
#16
I personally would go to 6mm. Contrary to others - I have found a very noticeable difference in recoil going down to 6mm.

I have a desert tech in 6.5 creedmoor that weighs 16 pounds. my 6 SLR weighs 13. I can consistently see my trace with the 6mm where I cannot with the 6.5. sometimes on a good day I can.

i will also note, last week shooting at 1150 yards side by side, i could not see a perceivable difference in "splash" they were both the same to me.

140 ELD M's going 2725
105 RDF going 2935
 

Crews

Sergeant
May 11, 2017
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#17
I'll equate this to C cup or D cup.
Both are quite nice and provide hours of enjoyment.
C cup is typically lighter and holds a flater "dope" for longer.
D cup is heavier and has more droop over time but hits the target with more cleavage.

R
Double like for this analogy. Double like.
 

360precision

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Mar 7, 2018
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#19
I was going to suggest this for those who might want to decrease perceived recoil. Since Force = Mass * Acceleration and the case size for both 6.5 creed and 6 creed are the same, it stands to reason that the only place you can change recoil, all things else being equal, is the projectile weight.

For what it's worth, I've always been a fan of the 123g 6.5s. Out at 800-1000, the winds down here do affect them more than the heavier bullets with higher BCs, but it all depends upon your most usage and maximum benefit. For matches and other use where most or all of the shooting will be under 800 yards, the 123s are lasers. They still do work fine for longer distances, especially if pushed faster, but get pushed around just a bit more.
I wouldn't say that most shooters want to decrease perceived recoil we want to be able to see trace and projectiles impact . From what I see here it comes down to money and knowing your dope. Too close to call one a definitive go to .
 
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Mar 7, 2017
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#20
Unless you are for sure going to reload I think the 6.5 is the way to go. its nice to have access to factory ammo if you need it. Sometimes its just easier to buy some ammo for a match rather than have to reload the night before.
 

arm017

Sergeant
Jun 5, 2017
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#22
But 360; what do you have right now? that is what you ought to start shooting. Old 308 SPS tactical - fine.

I struggled a shitload with your same decisions and spent too much time reading about 'what the pros use' and chasing that shit.
Starting from scratch (if you are really wanting to focus on PRS/NRL) I would shoot whatever the hell I started with and quite chasing caliber. 6.5 CM is fine, ubiquitous, plenty great for what we do.

Plenty fine until you get the itch for a dasher...
 
Feb 14, 2017
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#23
For target shooting, the 6.5 is a great round and plenty of good factory ammo if you go that way. If you want to compete in timed events the 6 shines as has been proven but you'll probably be forced to load for it. The 6.5 occasionally shines in timed competition also;)...
 

5RWill

Optics Fiend
Oct 15, 2009
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#24
I don't personally have the funds at the moment to deal with a 6mm. As noted above the throat erosion and short barrel life is a pretty big detriment to me. Bullet cost is a little more for the 6.5 if shooting berger. Ballistically the 6.5 doesn't give up anything to the 6mm other than a little stronger recoil impulse. Drop is an extremely moot point IMHO as it's just gravity's pull on the projectile the game is fighting wind. Yes it's a 1/10th or so difference usually in favor of the 6.5 especially past 800yds, but that's a 10th or so i'd like to have in my favor. I also hunt with my match rifle some and prefer the energy advantage of the 6.5.

Now i know i'm about to hear a lot of "but competitor x uses 6 dasher, 6 creed, 6XC," etc. etc. the caliber is not what makes them a great shooter. Hence i think it was Shannon still scoring top 5 last year or the year before last in a major match using a 6.5x47, I know he and the crew have switched to 6mms since. My point remains though and i understand the appeal of a little less recoil for the sport as it makes sense. I'd just take the small increase in recoil impulse for a potential 500-1000rds more in barrel life personally.
 
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#26
i shot a 260 for about 6yrs...i switched to a 6CM(because of all the 6mm hype)that i shot for 2 years...after looking back at scores between the 6mm and the 6.5mm i went back to a 6.5mm.
 
Likes: MarkCO
Jun 17, 2009
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#27
Easy decision - get a barrel spun up in both 6mm and 6.5mm.

Boom, done.

This way you can figure it out for yourself. Honestly, for just shooting targets, there is no practical difference. For certain competition disciplines, it would definitely make a difference - however if you were using it for that purpose you wouldn't have to be asking here.
 
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MarkCO

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#28
I have been shooting a .260 for almost 15 years sporadically off and on until about 4 years ago and a .243 primarily for the last 3 years.

.243Win. Bullet splash is less, especially when there are weeds and grass around the target. Balancing recoil vs. splash, it is probably a wash for me. Barrel life is less, and yes, a consumable. I have shot a lot of 87 grainers at 2800 in practice...makes my training a little harder and has doubled the barrel life. For matches I am shooting 105s, 107s or 115s. I am keeping my .243s for hunting, but I just recently sold off my .243Win Precision Rigs.

.260Rem. Sure, with 140+ bullets, more recoil. But shooting 120 and 123s in the same weight rifle, I really can not tell the difference between that and a 115 out of the .243Win. I just shot 250+ rounds of 142 grain in a class and past 300 yards, I see my bullet impacts 100%. After shooting both, several times head to head, going back to the 6.5 and will use different weight bullets depending on what I am doing. I am glad I shot both and compared both, but for me, the 6.5 is a better all-around choice.
 
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