Caliber Choices - Comparison and Applications

mj1995

Little airborne
Apr 11, 2012
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I am looking for folks with first hand knowledge of this as well, but the last few weeks of research
have led me to my current conclusion that while it may be possible to run a 7mm SAUM in a short action loaded with Berger 180s, it will be less than optimal. My reasoning is that in order to get COAL down to the range where it will feed from SA magazines, the 180s will have to be seated deep enough to either intrude on case (powder) capacity or have the beginning of the ogive below the case mouth (more likely, it will be both).

Either way, IMO it makes more sense to go with a long action for that chambering, because at that point you'll have enough room in the magazine for whatever bullets you like seated to whatever COAL works best for your specific rifle.

Regarding the bolt face, the SAUM and WSM cartridges both run a magnum bolt face.
Ok thank you for the info. Do you (or anyone else) feel that the 6.5mm saum would be better off for overall length in a long action than a short action? And thank you for the bolt face info. I wasn't positive if they ran the same face as wsm but thought they did.
 
Nov 24, 2013
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Ok thank you for the info. Do you (or anyone else) feel that the 6.5mm saum would be better off for overall length in a long action than a short action? And thank you for the bolt face info. I wasn't positive if they ran the same face as wsm but thought they did.
Honestly, I'm going to have to admit that I don't know; the question is whether or not the high-BC .264 bullets are longer than the high-BC .284 bullets.

If it makes any difference, I see that the SAUM case is nominally 2.035" long compared to the 6.5-284 case at 2.170"... so it would stand to reason that the SAUM chambering would be more advantageous (in regard to COAL in a short action) than would the .284-based chambering... but again, we're right on the "it works/it doesn't work" line. FWIW, if it were my decision to make, I'd go with the long action because I know it'll work.

All of that being said, there are undoubtedly people on here that are more knowledgeable than I on this subject, so perhaps they'll chime in. Failing that, it may make sense to consult with a gunsmith/rifle builder rather than trusting anything that I have to say on the subject... :)
 
Can someone comment on the 6.5x55mm Swede?
I am currently having a rifle built in this caliber/cartridge (mine will be the more modern 6.5 X 55 Scandinavian version) with a trued Remington 700 Long Action, Krieger 26" SS barrel, aftermarket over sized recoil lug, Timney trigger and it will wear a Vortex Viper PST scope for the following reasons and thinking:

Brass is usually pretty easy to get, BUT if it is European brass it (across the head) will most likely be a several thou bigger than US brass for this same caliber, which tends to be .308 size. If you have a rifle with the bolt face sized for European brass, then you can shoot either US or European brass without an issue. If your bolt face is the common in the US .308 size, then you will likely have an issue if you try to use European ammo/brass as it may not even go into the bolt face or, if it does, it will want to stick and not eject properly. Some people now days break this cartridge into two separate "cartridge names"....ie: 6.5 X 55 Swede and 6.5 X 55 Scandinavian. They are the same dimension-wise, but the older Swede marked cartridges are loaded to a lower pressure (about 55,100 PSI max) limit due to the likelihood of them being used in older military rifles that can't take "modern" pressure levels. On the other hand the ones called 6.5 X 55 Scandinavian are loaded to a 63,000 pressure max level and should only be used in MODERN rifles with MODERN steels/metallurgy used in the action and barrels. I handload and DO load to modern pressure levels, but I use cases marked as 6.5 X 55 Swedish mostly because I haven't yet seen any marked as "Scandinavian". Ballistics-wise and speed-wise the 6.55 X Swede is pretty good and uses the fine range of 6.5mm bullets available, but the 6.5 X 55 Scandinavian version of the same cartridge can push bullets a tad faster and still be within pressure levels for what is essentially the same cartridge.

If you go with the older "Swede" pressure levels, there are a pretty fair number of older military bolt guns that you can use, but if you want to build or buy a "modern pressure level" gun, then I can recommend the "Scandinavian" version, which, if well made by a decent 'smith using good components, should turn out to be a FINE rifle to shoot.

This cartridge (the Scandinavian version) falls pretty much just a tad faster than the 6.5 Creedmoor and a tad slower than the 6.5-284, but is, from what I'm hearing not nearly as hard on barrels as is the 6.5-284 is, especially when the 6.5-284 is pushed hard.

Ballistics are, in my opinion, pretty darned good (see all the data available for the 6.5mms) and recoil is pretty reasonable.

PROS (1) Ammunition is fairly available in stores, but it is pretty much all the "Swede" pressure level stuff.
(2) Military surplus rifles fairly available.
(3) Recoil is reasonable.
(4) Lots of 6.5mm bullets available and they DO have great ballistics.
(5) Brass reasonably available.
(6) The Swedes and Norwegians have been shooting pretty much any and all game found in Scandinavia for DECADES.....it is a
good, proven hunting round even though it started life as a military round.

Could be Con: (1) Usually needs a long action unless you intend to really restrict yourself to lighter bullets.

CONS (1) To get/use the "Scandinavian" version (pressures), you will pretty much need to be a hand loader.
(2) If you want a caliber to use "if the excrement hits the air propulsion screw", you will not be able to pick up ammo for this ` off of the battlefield (if this is a consideration, go to the VERY common .308 Winch or maybe.223/5.56 NATO), so it is much
more suited for hunting and/or target shooting.
(3) Not many "modern" rifles being made for the 6.5 X 55 Scandinavian right now.
(4) If it matters to you, it is considered to be kind of an "odd-ball" caliber.
 
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sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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Not sure if anybody has addressed this yet, but I don't see anything on the .30-.338

this case is the .338 Winchester necked down to .30 cal. At least in the old days! In today's world you can also neck up 7mm rem Mag (same case) to .30 cal.

Advantages:

While being a wildcat, it is a simple neck job to punch it to .30 cal. Meaning you can take the .30 cal ball out of your .300 WM or .30-06 and use that to neck 7mm Rem mag cases up.
You can attain .300 WM velocities on about 5 less grains of powder.
less erosive on barrels than a .300 WM due to the longer neck.
A sometime advantage of not having to seat bullets too deep in the case to fit standard long actions (magnum boltface).

Disadvantages:
You have to reload. Right now high BC bullets in .30 cal are very hard to come by. You have to already have a stash on hand to reload with. Otherwise this disadvantage over-rides any advantage of going to this cartridge. But, the same can be said for any .30 cal bullet now.

Overall a fun wildcat to work with. More efficient than the .300 WM A set of dies is all it takes. I have two rifles chambered for it that are dead accurate.
 
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gewehr

Sergeant
Nov 23, 2013
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Not sure if anybody has addressed this yet, but I don't see anything on the .30-.338

this case is the .338 Winchester necked down to .30 cal. At least in the old days! In today's world you can also neck up 7mm rem Mag (same case) to .30 cal.

Advantages:

While being a wildcat, it is a simple neck job to punch it to .30 cal. Meaning you can take the .30 cal ball out of your .300 WM or .30-06 and use that to neck 7mm Rem mag cases up.
You can attain .300 WM velocities on about 5 less grains of powder.
less erosive on barrels than a .300 WM due to the longer neck.
A sometime advantage of not having to seat bullets too deep in the case to fit standard long actions (magnum boltface).

Disadvantages:
You have to reload. Right now high BC bullets in .30 cal are very hard to come by. You have to already have a stash on hand to reload with. Otherwise this disadvantage over-rides any advantage of going to this cartridge. But, the same can be said for any .30 cal bullet now.

Overall a fun wildcat to work with. More efficient than the .300 WM A set of dies is all it takes. I have two rifles chambered for it that are dead accurate.
Alas if only 308 norma was more popular


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Mr.T

Private
Aug 2, 2014
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For long action i feel .284 win is a great compromise of balistics,rifle weight, barrel life

Used a mine 284win loaded to hot 3090fps with 162Amax in recent Finnsniper competition in Finland where we shot at unknown distance(no laser rangefinders) targets (17.5in wide) mostly at 600 to 1350y (500-1250m) ,with that load rifle was quite competitive against competitors mostly using .338 LM
 

Snuby642

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 11, 2017
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So my intrest has peeked on the rem 260.
As i understand it all i have to do for a start is re barrel a 308.
Sounds cost effective for a midrange firearm.
Any place i can get a good 260 specific lesson?

 
Mar 5, 2017
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So my intrest has peeked on the rem 260.
As i understand it all i have to do for a start is re barrel a 308.
Sounds cost effective for a midrange firearm.
Any place i can get a good 260 specific lesson?
Yes the 260 Rem uses the same action length and bolt face as a 308 Win so all you need is the new barrel, and a competent smith to do the rebarrel. Now how you go about that is entirely up to you and what component's you have available. 260 factory ammo is steadily becoming more available as well as factory rifle options, so yes it is becoming a more affordable option. There's plenty of people on here that can give you better hands on experience but as far as I know 260 is not a bad choice to pursue. Try this link to get some professional input and comparison to another hot cartridge http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/06/17/birds-of-a-feather-260-remington-vs-6-5-creedmoor/
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
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Arizona, good place for me...
From: 06-18-2010

Re: Caliber Choices - Comparison and Applications

.222 Rem Match/Target/Varmint.
.223 Rem Match/Target/Varmint, possible SR maybe MR Tactical
.260 Rem Match/Target/Varmint/Med Game, possible Tactical.
.280 Rem Same as just prior, plus Large Game
.30-'06 Match/Target/Med-large Game, possible Tactical/MBR
.44 Mag Small-Med Game/Zombies
20Ga. Med Game/Home Def/Zombies

Greg
Seven years down the road, with nearly the last year transplanted to SE Arizona, changes have appeared. The .222 rests in a nephew's home. The .223 has become a standard for training and MR F T/R. Our 20 y/o Granddaughter has taken up the MR challenge with this caliber as well. The .260 is being developed with new HDY 6.5 143 ELD-X to take full advantage of the 4800ft altitude. The .280 has gone Hasta La Bye Bye, hopefully to be replaced in the not too distant future. The .30-'06 has undergone a replacement with the bolt gun, and the 1941 Garand occupies a solid residence at the back of the rifle cabinet. The .44 Mag is now my Grandson's sidekick rifle. The 20ga keeps the Garand company.

A Savage 10FCM Scout 7.62x39 is a current project rifle, shooting far smaller than any x39 ought to with 110gr V-Max in it .308 barrel. A Savage 11VT 308 is up for initial development, side by side with its veteran twin .223.

Greg

 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,241
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Much change with me as well. Two .222's have gone, but I still have the TC 10" barrel for a challenge. The .280 AI went away as well. I'M m on my second Savage .223, an FCP, and it shoots like the first. Which was sold to the neighbor kid so he'd get more into shooting.(benchrest).
I hung on to my 7mm-08 though. No sense in going light when the heavies in 7mm beat the 6.5's every time for windage.

P.S. A lot of my fun shooters are still in storage up in Idaho, while I'm working through life/work changes.
 
May 31, 2017
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Nice write up, really down to the most important points. I am finishing up some comparison articles featuring most of those calibers and covering a more technical side. I plan on sharing them here as well.
 
Mar 1, 2014
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Lately I have been toying with the idea of getting into the larger Magnum calibers for ELR, but time and again my .30-06 brings me back to reality. Realistically, for myself I think 1500m (I shoot in meters) is about as far as I would go in a given circumstance (hunting, making a run for the border,etc...) I use Berger 185 VLDs out of my 28" going about 2880fps. For my application it is perfect. I hear a lot of talk about 06 not being optimal, but IMO .30-06 is the bees knees. 0-1500m and the 185's 06.jpg still have enough energy downrange to kill most things.
 

NateVA

Basement Dweller
Feb 10, 2017
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have you tried yours on Moose? just curious. I've heard of people using it successfully on deer and sometimes elk! I'll try myself on deer pretty soon. I just got done bow-hunting for elk. definitely a NO-GO for dangerous game like buffalo, bison, those guys.
I was under that impression that moose are not that difficult to kill. If I was going to take a step up from the 6.5CM I think it'd be for elk, not so much moose.
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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have you tried yours on Moose? just curious. I've heard of people using it successfully on deer and sometimes elk! I'll try myself on deer pretty soon. I just got done bow-hunting for elk. definitely a NO-GO for dangerous game like buffalo, bison, those guys.
6.5x55 launching a hunting bullet at the same speed. Shot placement put the elk down in one shot. It was a 100 gr. partition moving @ just over 3k fps. I've had a lot more luck killing animals quickly with high velocity rather than big and slow bullets.
 
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NateVA

Basement Dweller
Feb 10, 2017
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oh, so you are saying elk are tougher than moose?
I can speak from painful experience that elk are extremely tough and will run into the next state if you don't hit them well. I've never heard of someone shooting a moose and having that same experience, though I'm sure it's possible. If I go elk hunting, I'll step up from a 6.5CM.
 
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6.5x55 launching a hunting bullet at the same speed. Shot placement put the elk down in one shot. It was a 100 gr. partition moving @ just over 3k fps. I've had a lot more luck killing animals quickly with high velocity rather than big and slow bullets.
I've heard that 6.5x55 is a commonly used cartridge for Scandinavian moose (they call it elk over there) hunting. However, the European moose is generally a little bit smaller than its North American cousin. And the 6.5x55 is packing a bit more punch than the 6.5 cm.

I don't hear about any guides advocating the 6.5 cm as a true big game cartridge. I'm sure with the right shot placement it can take down elk and moose, but I wouldn't consider it the preferred cartridge for such applications, especially in light of the numerous other cartridges that have an established track record in those scenarios.
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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I've heard that 6.5x55 is a commonly used cartridge for Scandinavian moose (they call it elk over there) hunting. However, the European moose is generally a little bit smaller than its North American cousin. And the 6.5x55 is packing a bit more punch than the 6.5 cm.

I don't hear about any guides advocating the 6.5 cm as a true big game cartridge. I'm sure with the right shot placement it can take down elk and moose, but I wouldn't consider it the preferred cartridge for such applications, especially in light of the numerous other cartridges that have an established track record in those scenarios.
If you shoot the same bullet at the same speed, from either cartridge, neither has an energy advantage or disadvantage. While European moose are smaller than American moose, they are still larger than elk. And, not as tough as American elk.

The reason you don't hear many guides talking about the 6.5 Creed is:

1.) The myth that bigger is always better, therefore any magnum that outpaces the 6.5 Creed will also outpace any 6.5x55 for muzzle energy. Also, the .260 Rem and 6.5x47. All shooting the same bullet at roughly the same speeds. The energy difference is negligible at a few fps difference. downrange is where 6.5's shine as they retain velocity, therefore energy well. Without the massive recoil. However, in talking to many of them, they ALL advocate a magnum or at least a 30-06. I've even interviewed a number that don't feel the .270 is up to snuff. Colorado used to actually have a caliber restriction, that I believe said you couldn't use a .270. It is now 6mm, though. Guides in general don't really advocate using any 6.5mm cartridge. They'd much rather you shot something bigger. Just their thing.

2.) The 6.5 Creed is relatively new to the hunting world. It was always intended to be a target round. However, Hornady knows that no matter how good a target cartridge, is, Americans won't buy it if it's not advertisable as being able to kill big game, specifically deer. Remington lost that battle to Winchester in the 6mm Rem. vs. .243 Win debate in 1955. Hornady took note of that and when introducing the cartridge, put viable hunting rounds out there.
 
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If you shoot the same bullet at the same speed, from either cartridge, neither has an energy advantage or disadvantage. While European moose are smaller than American moose, they are still larger than elk. And, not as tough as American elk.
Yes, but 6.5x55 can fire the same bullet mass at faster velocities (which translate into more kinetic energy and momentum on target) and can also fire bigger bullets relative to 6.5 cm. Unlike the 6.5 cm, it was originally designed and developed as a military service cartridge, so lethality was a factor in its development and selection. And to be frank, even over in Europe the 6.5x55 is considered a bare minimum of sorts of taking down bigger game; there are other cartridges better suited for such uses.





The reason you don't hear many guides talking about the 6.5 Creed is:

1.) The myth that bigger is always better, therefore any magnum that outpaces the 6.5 Creed will also outpace any 6.5x55 for muzzle energy. Also, the .260 Rem and 6.5x47. All shooting the same bullet at roughly the same speeds. The energy difference is negligible at a few fps difference. downrange is where 6.5's shine as they retain velocity, therefore energy well. Without the massive recoil. However, in talking to many of them, they ALL advocate a magnum or at least a 30-06. I've even interviewed a number that don't feel the .270 is up to snuff. Colorado used to actually have a caliber restriction, that I believe said you couldn't use a .270. It is now 6mm, though. Guides in general don't really advocate using any 6.5mm cartridge. They'd much rather you shot something bigger. Just their thing.

2.) The 6.5 Creed is relatively new to the hunting world. It was always intended to be a target round. However, Hornady knows that no matter how good a target cartridge, is, Americans won't buy it if it's not advertisable as being able to kill big game, specifically deer. Remington lost that battle to Winchester in the 6mm Rem. vs. .243 Win debate in 1955. Hornady took note of that and when introducing the cartridge, put viable hunting rounds out there.
1) "Bigger is better," while overused at times, does have at least some merit in hunting applications. For example, no one is advocating the use of .260 to take out Moose or other big game, even though it offers velocities that are comparable to 6.5 cm and 6.5x55. Certain cartridges are better than others when it comes to quickly and humanely killing big game. Bullet mass plays a huge role in that. Guides want a cartridge that has a proven capability of killing game quickly due to practical reasons (not wanting to lose a client's trophy) and ethical reasons (not wanting to draw out the animal's suffering).

2) The 6.5 cm is not that new anymore. It's been out for nearly 10 years now, and in that time it has seen an increase in use among target shooters and some hunters who focus on small to medium sized ungulates (deer, antelope, ect.). It has not seen widespread use as an all-around big game cartridge because there are other cartridges that are much better at that role. The big game guides out west are just as in tune with the developments in the rifle world as us target shooters, for obvious reasons. If 6.5 cm offered substantial benefits over the existing big game cartridges, the guides, and the rest of the big game hunting community, would be using it with more frequency; they're not.
 
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sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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Yes, but 6.5x55 can fire the same bullet mass at faster velocities (which translate into more kinetic energy and momentum on target) and can also fire bigger bullets relative to 6.5 cm. Unlike the 6.5 cm, it was originally designed and developed as a military service cartridge, so lethality was a factor in its development and selection. And to be frank, even over in Europe the 6.5x55 is considered a bare minimum of sorts of taking down bigger game; there are other cartridges better suited for such uses.







1) "Bigger is better," while overused at times, does have at least some merit in hunting applications. For example, no one is advocating the use of .260 to take out Moose or other big game, even though it offers velocities that are comparable to 6.5 cm and 6.5x55. Certain cartridges are better than others when it comes to quickly and humanely killing big game. Bullet mass plays a huge role in that. Guides want a cartridge that has a proven capability of killing game quickly due to practical reasons (not wanting to lose a client's trophy) and ethical reasons (not wanting to draw out the animal's suffering).

2) The 6.5 cm is not that new anymore. It's been out for nearly 10 years now, and in that time it has seen an increase in use among target shooters and some hunters who focus on small to medium sized ungulates (deer, antelope, ect.). It has not seen widespread use as an all-around big game cartridge because there are other cartridges that are much better at that role. The big game guides out west are just as in tune with the developments in the rifle world as us target shooters, for obvious reasons. If 6.5 cm offered substantial benefits over the existing big game cartridges, the guides, and the rest of the big game hunting community, would be using it with more frequency; they're not.
I'm so sick and tired of running into people on this site, that just want to argue for arguments sake. I don't really give a shit what guides recommend or don't recommend. They are there to babysit people who don't know how to hunt, IMO. In Europe, they've shot big animals for 100+ years with the 6.5x55. Bare minimum is an OPINION. It kills just fine. So does every other 6.5 of comparable power.

A 6.5 Creed uses the same diameter bullets. Most 6.5 Creed rifles use the same twist and are therefore capable of using the same bullets. And, most, I can't say all, as there are exceptions, 6.5x55 isn't loaded to modern potential.

And, if you don't like my opinion go out to the state legislatures of ID, NV, CO and MT, and get the caliber minimums changed. Because whole states disagrees with your opinion and allow .22 and 6mm centerfires. Yeah, .223 is considered adequate for elk in three of those states and .243/6mm Rem are allowed in CO.
 
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I'm so sick and tired of running into people on this site, that just want to argue for arguments sake. I don't really give a shit what guides recommend or don't recommend. They are there to babysit people who don't know how to hunt, IMO. In Europe, they've shot big animals for 100+ years with the 6.5x55. Bare minimum is an OPINION. It kills just fine. So does every other 6.5 of comparable power.

A 6.5 Creed uses the same diameter bullets. Most 6.5 Creed rifles use the same twist and are therefore capable of using the same bullets. And, most, I can't say all, as there are exceptions, 6.5x55 isn't loaded to modern potential.

And, if you don't like my opinion go out to the state legislatures of ID, NV, CO and MT, and get the caliber minimums changed. Because whole states disagrees with your opinion and allow .22 and 6mm centerfires. Yeah, .223 is considered adequate for elk in three of those states and .243/6mm Rem are allowed in CO.
I'm arguing with you because you're presenting the 6.5 cm as something that it is not. It is not a good all around big game cartridge (or at the very least, it isn't preferred for such uses). Yes that is an opinion on my part, but it is one that is backed up by my own hunting experiences and the experiences of numerous other hunters who have actually had to kill animals with their rifles. That's fine if you don't want to listen to a guide's recommendations; you have that choice. But you act as if you're the only one who doesn't have his head in the sand when it comes to appreciating the supposed hunting virtues of 6.5 cm. There are guides and DIY hunters with years of experience when it comes to killing animals. If 6.5 cm truly offered the same terminal performance as the existing big game cartridges, I'd certainly expect more hunters and guides to be adopting it for such applications....that simply isn't the case. It's a flatter shooting cartridge relative to some of the more traditional cartridges out there; but hitting an inanimate target and putting down a living animal are two very different things. If you want to get butt hurt over that statement, go ahead. Your opinion on 6.5 cm does not match the reality of its current employment....and that's not because the general population is somehow unaware of the 6.5 cm's capabilities.

For the record, I don't agree with caliber minimums being mandated by states, and to my knowledge that is not a common practice in most states. I think a hunter should be motivated enough to do some research on caliber selection and make the appropriate, and ethical, choice. And just because .223 is considered legally acceptable for elk hunting in some states does not mean it is ethically acceptable. Most hunters are using bigger cartridges for elk-sized game because of the practical knowledge developed and espoused by the collective hunting community.
 
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sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,241
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I'm arguing with you because you're presenting the 6.5 cm as something that it is not. It is not a good all around big game cartridge (or at the very least, it isn't preferred for such uses). Yes that is an opinion on my part, but it is one that is backed up by my own hunting experiences and the experiences of numerous other hunters who have actually had to kill animals with their rifles. That's fine if you don't want to listen to a guide's recommendations; you have that choice. But you act as if you're the only one who doesn't have his head in the sand when it comes to appreciating the supposed hunting virtues of 6.5 cm. There are guides and DIY hunters with years of experience when it comes to killing animals. If 6.5 cm truly offered the same terminal performance as the existing big game cartridges, I'd certainly expect more hunters and guides to be adopting it for such applications....that simply isn't the case. It's a flatter shooting cartridge relative to some of the more traditional cartridges out there; but hitting an inanimate target and putting down a living animal are two very different things. If you want to get butt hurt over that statement, go ahead. Your opinion on 6.5 cm does not match the reality of its current employment....and that's not because the general population is somehow unaware of the 6.5 cm's capabilities.

For the record, I don't agree with caliber minimums being mandated by states, and to my knowledge that is not a common practice in most states. I think a hunter should be motivated enough to do some research on caliber selection and make the appropriate, and ethical, choice. And just because .223 is considered legally acceptable for elk hunting in some states does not mean it is ethically acceptable. Most hunters are using bigger cartridges for elk-sized game because of the practical knowledge developed and espoused by the collective hunting community.
I don't have my head in the sand. You do, though. I'm presenting the 6.5 CM for what it is. A fully capable cartridge of taking any big game here in N. America. If you don't get that, you don't understand energy and ballistics. It's the bullet design as much as the cartridge design. Statements like "But, the 6.5x55 was designed for killing, the 6.5 CM was not." mean that you have little comprehension of terminal ballistics. Both the 6.5x55 and the 6.5 CM fire the same bullets. And, at approximate speeds produce very comparable energies.

The only thing I wouldn't use it for is dangerous game. But, I wouldn't hesitate to use it if I had it. Caliber/cartridge minimums are dictated in most states, in case you didn't know, which you clearly don't.
 
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I'm presenting the 6.5 CM for what it is. A fully capable cartridge of taking any big game here in N. America.
Okay, but being capable of taking certain big game and being effective or practical for taking certain game don't always add up to the same cartridge. Most big game hunters in North America don't default to the 6.5 cm as an all-around, do-anything cartridge; there is a reason for that.


If you don't get that, you don't understand energy and ballistics.
Actually it's because of energy (and momentum) that I have my doubts about 6.5 cm's attributes as an all around big game cartridge.

Statements like "But, the 6.5x55 was designed for killing, the 6.5 CM was not." mean that you have little comprehension of terminal ballistics.
I didn't say, or imply, that the 6.5 cm was incapable of killing. It most certainly is when targeting the appropriate game. I did note that the 6.5x55 was originally designed as a wartime cartridge, while the 6.5 cm was originally designed for target shooting...that observation is accurate, whether you like it or not.

Both the 6.5x55 and the 6.5 CM fire the same bullets. And, at approximate speeds produce very comparable energies.
6.5x55 can fire up to 160gr bullets. Is that a common factory load for 6.5 cm? And again, I encourage you to read on or talk to some hunters from northern Europe. 6.5x55 can be used to take down Moose under the right circumstances, however many hunters will note that there are much better cartridges for such applications.

Caliber/cartridge minimums are dictated in most states, in case you didn't know, which you clearly don't.
The state where I currently reside in the northeast (NY) doesn't have caliber minimums. I'm only vaguely familiar with the reg's for the rest of the northeastern states, but other than restrictions on rimfire rifles, I've not heard of any caliber restrictions for conventional centerfire rifles.

Anyways, that's getting off topic. Some states may have requirements or recommendations, but they don't always align with the practical knowledge of the overall hunting community. For example, you noted that .223 was legally allowable for hunting elk in Colorado. I promise you that most dedicated and ethical elk hunters out there are using heavier cartridges than .223. Likewise, most hunters going after the bigger big game (elk, moose, bear) are using cartridges that are heavier than 6.5 cm. You don't have to agree with that, but if you ever get a chance to break away from your keyboard duties and actually go after some of these animals, you might begin to appreciate why those "babysitter" guides prefer some cartridges over others for certain hunts.
 
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MTFalconer

Peckerhead on a mountain.
Mar 10, 2014
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I'm going to throw one little post in here and let you guys have at it again but here are some things. I am a big game guide, have been for many years in Colorado, New Mexico and now I reside, hunt and guide in Montana. I have taken every big game species here. OK, so here is what I know for sure. A 6.5 anything ( I prefer 6.5-284 but that's me) with a 140grn bullet will kill deer, sheep, goats and pronghorn just fine. No issue at all. Elk, Moose, bear? Mmmmm, I think it would but I wouldn't do it. As was mentioned elk will run a mile with a good shot and a small bullet. Got the t shirt for that one. Moose and bear? I wouldn't let any client take less than a 30 caliber out for these two. Mostly as a bad shot with a 30 caliber often times will still kill the animal. A bad shot and a small bullet....Nope. Now we all like to think we are god's gift to rifles, well...we aren't. We all shoot with the best of intentions and sometimes it just doesn't come together and it ends up a bad shot. If it hasn't happened to you, then you haven't hunted for very long or taken many head. Caliber restriction is sort of a running joke out here in Montana, we don't have them, not really. Montana allows just about anything. So when you call someone like me to come help you track a wounded elk for two miles in the mountains because you shot it with a lightweight caliber, expect to get some shit. Or better yet just don't do it. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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Okay, but being capable of taking certain big game and being effective or practical for taking certain game don't always add up to the same cartridge. Most big game hunters in North America don't default to the 6.5 cm as an all-around, do-anything cartridge; there is a reason for that.
Most don't default to it, because they A. already own a heavy gun for big animals, so why buy a new one. B. It's relatively new on the market. The 30-06, which is more than adequate, has been around now for more than 100 years. The .300 Savage, 97 years, the .300 Win Mag. 54 years, the 7mm Rem mag 55 years. .338 and .264 Win Mags 59 years. People are getting away from bigger and bigger and bigger. A lot of people nowdays are gravitating away from that. No need for all the big recoil or a super loud muzzle brake with blast to match. So, when people buy a new one, the 6.5 Creed is right there as a great all-around gun.


Actually it's because of energy (and momentum) that I have my doubts about 6.5 cm's attributes as an all around big game cartridge.
The 6.5 Creed can fire a 140 gr. HUNTING bullet at 2700 fps. That's plenty enough to kill an elk.



I didn't say, or imply, that the 6.5 cm was incapable of killing. It most certainly is when targeting the appropriate game. I did note that the 6.5x55 was originally designed as a wartime cartridge, while the 6.5 cm was originally designed for target shooting...that observation is accurate, whether you like it or not.
You didn't imply, you stated clearly the 6.5x55 was a military round designed for killing. The 6.5 was designed as a target cartridge. If the two of them put out comparable velocities with the same bullet, then they can do comparable jobs.
Which brings me to the statement below. The 6.5 Creed will shoot a 160 gr. at about the same velocity as a 6.5x55. Again, same bullet about the same speed. Same work accomplished. And, again people are finding we don't need "the old standby magnum", we'd rather have something that does the job without hammering us in the process. As I posted above, look at how many elk were killed with 30-30's, and I'll add .300 Savages. If you're set on .30 cal the latter isn't too bad really.

I have spoken with a number of hunters from the Scandinavian countries. Most think the 6.5x55 is just fine. Although, they would like to have a full battery of rifles there, they don't anymore because extra rifles get taxed. I found this out in '08 when a ton of 9x57, 9.3x57 and 9.3x62's came on the market fresh out of Sweden. You and I ought to be thankful that isn't us...yet. Anyhow, a lot of them had to choose one over the other. Some went big, some stayed with the 6.5x55.


6.5x55 can fire up to 160gr bullets. Is that a common factory load for 6.5 cm? And again, I encourage you to read on or talk to some hunters from northern Europe. 6.5x55 can be used to take down Moose under the right circumstances, however many hunters will note that there are much better cartridges for such applications.


The state where I currently reside in the northeast (NY) doesn't have caliber minimums. I'm only vaguely familiar with the reg's for the rest of the northeastern states, but other than restrictions on rimfire rifles, I've not heard of any caliber restrictions for conventional centerfire rifles.
Believe it or not, I understand why there are not those restrictions in NY [State...not city]. Because a lot of rifles that are considered "underpowered" were and still are being used for deer there, i.e. 25-20, .32-20. I would agree with you probably that those are underpowered.

Anyways, that's getting off topic. Some states may have requirements or recommendations, but they don't always align with the practical knowledge of the overall hunting community. For example, you noted that .223 was legally allowable for hunting elk in Colorado. I promise you that most dedicated and ethical elk hunters out there are using heavier cartridges than .223. Likewise, most hunters going after the bigger big game (elk, moose, bear) are using cartridges that are heavier than 6.5 cm. You don't have to agree with that, but if you ever get a chance to break away from your keyboard duties and actually go after some of these animals, you might begin to appreciate why those "babysitter" guides prefer some cartridges over others for certain hunts.
I do agree that there are practical minimums to observe, if you consider yourself an ethical hunter. Colorado's minimum is 6mm, BTW. I didn't mean to mislead you on that. The other three states are .223 minimum. And, yeah, I do get away from the keyboard and hunt. I also shoot a lot just for the fun of shooting. I like to staff our club's deer rifle sight-ins. This is where I get a lot of practical application on how well a LOT of shooters, who DON'T practice through the year, don't shoot. Shooting a rifle that knocks the crap out of them only makes it worse. If they did come to the range, they likely would not seek instruction as to how to handle recoil better. This is why I advocate a lighter cartridge, better shooting. Any case in the .308 class (6.5 Cr, .260 included) is enough power to kill an elk if you put the bullet where it needs to be. Missing the kill zone on an animal, no matter how powerful the cartridge (Weatherby said that once...) isn't doing the job any rifle should be doing. I like Weatherbys, but I don't like his "hit them anywhere/enough velocity will kill anything"

Maybe that's off topic. But good shooting starts with a rifle most shooters can handle. If it has enough energy, and you use the right bullet, it will work just fine.

 

MTFalconer

Peckerhead on a mountain.
Mar 10, 2014
382
6
18
Little Belts, Montana
The only one I was aware of was 6mm for big game. I'm not sure they even have that anymore. It's been a while since working here. Montana doesn't have any regs there. It's legal to take deer here with a .22 LR
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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6mm is still in place. And, 1k ft. lbs. @ 100 yds. I had friends from NV who elk hunted there. They all had to get bigger rifles to hunt in CO. Of course they were .220 Swift nuts. I was told it was bigger for elk. Seems like many moons ago I looked it up, and it was .270 or .280 minimum. I would have thought if it was .280 that would be odd. The .270 is an exceptional round.
 
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This is why I advocate a lighter cartridge, better shooting. Any case in the .308 class (6.5 Cr, .260 included) is enough power to kill an elk if you put the bullet where it needs to be. Missing the kill zone on an animal, no matter how powerful the cartridge (Weatherby said that once...) isn't doing the job any rifle should be doing. I like Weatherbys, but I don't like his "hit them anywhere/enough velocity will kill anything"
Getting a bad hit or missing the kill zone is certainly not desired on the hunter's part, but in realistic hunting conditions it does occasionally happen and hunters need to anticipate such scenarios. That's generally why guides and experienced hunters prefer cartridges that are effective or preferred for killing big game rather than those that are barely adequate. MTFalconer reiterated something similar in his post.

Go check out Matunas' Optimal Game Weight formula which takes into account a bullet's momentum and kinetic energy to approximate what game weight can effectively be taken at certain ranges. You should see how a typical 6.5 cm cartridge compares to a .308 or .30-06 cartridge in taking 600lb+ game at longer ranges. It's not a hard rule, but it doe provide general guidelines for cartridge selection. Hydrostatic shock, wound channel, penetration all play a role in a bullet's lethality and are based upon kinetic energy and momentum, in addition to bullet construction. The cliff note version for you is that the 6.5 cm (and 6.5x55) don't fare as well as the more traditional .30 caliber cartridges.

I have no problem acknowledging that the 6.5 cm has distinct advantages over some of the traditional cartridges in terms of recoil and long range ballistics. But I also think some of its proponents place it on a pedestal and over-hype its capabilities. The big game hunting community is aware of 6.5 cm. A lot of hunters I know transition through rifles and calibers just as frequently as the target shooters I know. It's not being adopted as an all-around big game cartridge because there are other cartridges better suited to such uses.

If you want to hunt elk or moose with a 6.5 cm, and it's legal to do so, go ahead. Just remember what someone else said earlier: just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.
 
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sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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I thought I'd share this with you:
https://youtu.be/IOo6gprtKeA?t=110

In any case, I understand what you mean by putting a cartridge up on a pedestal. In some instances, cartridges deserve it, and some they don't. I was an early, and still am, a proponent of the 6.5 Grendel. Although, for the application I use it for, I might have waited and gotten the 6mm version. But, like you said, up on a pedestal it went. People were talking all over the place about how they were getting a 6.5G and going elk hunting, planned to shoot deer on a field they always see them on...at 500+ yds., etc. Like you I said WHOA! It's a great long range cartridge out of an AR15. It's advantage is it does what it does from an AR15. That does not make it a super cartridge. but people put it on a pedestal anyway. So badly so that some even talked like it was more capable than a 6.5 Creed or .260 Rem. 30-06 is a great all around cartridge. Again, though people think size matters more than efficiency. Not many compete with the 30-06. 300 magnums went away in all but the very longest shoots. Why, the bullets to make .30 cal efficient are in the 220-250 gr. range. Unless you want more recoil or muzzle brake blast, these don't make sense. But, I'm told again and again, how the 30-06 rules. In it's niche, I still think it rules, just not where I shoot out to a mile.
 
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In any case, I understand what you mean by putting a cartridge up on a pedestal. In some instances, cartridges deserve it, and some they don't. I was an early, and still am, a proponent of the 6.5 Grendel. Although, for the application I use it for, I might have waited and gotten the 6mm version. But, like you said, up on a pedestal it went. People were talking all over the place about how they were getting a 6.5G and going elk hunting, planned to shoot deer on a field they always see them on...at 500+ yds., etc. Like you I said WHOA! It's a great long range cartridge out of an AR15. It's advantage is it does what it does from an AR15. That does not make it a super cartridge. but people put it on a pedestal anyway. So badly so that some even talked like it was more capable than a 6.5 Creed or .260 Rem. 30-06 is a great all around cartridge. Again, though people think size matters more than efficiency. Not many compete with the 30-06. 300 magnums went away in all but the very longest shoots. Why, the bullets to make .30 cal efficient are in the 220-250 gr. range. Unless you want more recoil or muzzle brake blast, these don't make sense. But, I'm told again and again, how the 30-06 rules. In it's niche, I still think it rules, just not where I shoot out to a mile.
So you acknowledge that in the past other up-and-coming cartridges have been put on a pedestal, but you think that criticism doesn't apply to your views on 6.5 cm?

The .260 and 6.5 cm are not considered all around big game cartridges by most in the hunting community....you're welcome to have a different opinion, but you're in the minority. Just FYI.

.30-06 may indeed have its own cult following, but within the realm of hunting it is widely considered to be one of the most versatile hunting cartridges out there. A lot of veteran hunters, writers and guides respect it, even if its ballistics are somewhat inferior to more modern cartridges, because of its proven ability to tackle pretty much the entire range of North American big game and still be practical for weekend deer hunting.
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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That is exactly what I said about the 30-06.

But, if you'll note, the person in the video is none other than Wayne Van Zwoll. I'd say that's proof enough the 6.5 Creed is gaining ground in the hunting community as well as the long range shooters. I would have to say though, I probably wouldn't have taken the shot he took in the video...with anything. I love long range shooting. I'm not so much a fan of long range hunting. There's plenty of energy in a lot of cartridges. The atmospheric variables, and their ability to change are what I don't like.
 

CMH

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 17, 2010
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Billings, MT
The atmospheric variables, and their ability to change are what I don't like.
Further, I have yet to hear an explanation that seems ethical to me of how you account for animal movement during flight time when taking animals at an extended range. I'm not talking about 400-500 yards. How far an elk can move during travel time at 1,000 yards or further? Far enough to go from a solid humane heart /lung shot to a solid gut shot.
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,241
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Further, I have yet to hear an explanation that seems ethical to me of how you account for animal movement during flight time when taking animals at an extended range. I'm not talking about 400-500 yards. How far an elk can move during travel time at 1,000 yards or further? Far enough to go from a solid humane heart /lung shot to a solid gut shot.
Agreed, Some of these guys that talk about any 1+ second shot, it's too long. I was telling MTFalconer that often the guy who gets within 50 yds. of these animals, who are spooky, never gets credit. While the guy who dings one @ 700-800 yds. gets the "Wow!, what a shot!" Truth is stalking is harder, but those who do it are more successful ,IMO.
 
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But, if you'll note, the person in the video is none other than Wayne Van Zwoll. I'd say that's proof enough the 6.5 Creed is gaining ground in the hunting community as well as the long range shooters.
That hunter was successful using his 6.5 cm to harvest an elk because everything went according to plan. What happens the next time when an unnoticed wind gust throws off the impact 2-3 inches? Or what if shooter error results in a point of impact that is less than optimal? What happens if the hunter tries to take a shot where the animal isn't presenting a perfect broadside? It's great that the 6.5 cm worked in this particular situation, but it also needs to work in the worst case situations. If that hunter is able to achieve perfect shot placement on every single elk-sized animal he takes, good on him. However, I don't think such consistency is common for all shooters under realistic field conditions. Moreover, I bet if you asked Wayne, he would agree with MTFalconer and myself that 6.5 cm is indeed too small a cartridge for the bigger end of big game (e.g. moose & bear).
 
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sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,241
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63
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That hunter was successful using his 6.5 cm to harvest an elk because everything went according to plan. What happens the next time when an unnoticed wind gust throws off the impact 2-3 inches? Or what if shooter error results in a point of impact that is less than optimal? What happens if the hunter tries to take a shot where the animal isn't presenting a perfect broadside? It's great that the 6.5 cm worked in this particular situation, but it also needs to work in the worst case situations. If that hunter is able to achieve perfect shot placement on every single elk-sized animal he takes, good on him. However, I don't think such consistency is common for all shooters under realistic field conditions. Moreover, I bet if you asked Wayne, he would agree with MTFalconer and myself that 6.5 cm is indeed too small a cartridge for the bigger end of big game (e.g. moose & bear).
It's not common with 30-06 and .300 WM's that everything always goes according to plan either. All kinds of factors come into play when shooting an animal. Wind drifts everything. Choice of bullet is going to dictate what kind of results you get when it hits a bone.

Rather than you telling me what is or is not with this why don't you contact Wayne Van Zwoll. I'm thinking he has a lot more faith in the 6.5 Creed than you think he ought to. I'm also pretty sure he has a reputation to keep that he wouldn't have done the film if he didn't have faith in the 6.5 Creed.

Also, did you see that the bullet went through the elk? That says to me it's plenty of cartridge.
 
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It's not common with 30-06 and .300 WM's that everything always goes according to plan either.
You're absolutely right. And that's exactly why those bigger cartridges are more preferred for dedicated big game duties versus something like a 6.5 cm. Greater energy and momentum on target which yields greater wound channels and penetration even for shots that are sub-optimal. A bad shot is a bad shot, but you have a lot less margin for error with something like a 6.5 cm.

Rather than you telling me what is or is not with this why don't you contact Wayne Van Zwoll.
I'm comfortable with the bet I made. You're the one claiming that the 6.5 cm has the makings of an all-around big game cartridge, preferred for taking everything up to and including moose-sized animals. So how about you contact and ask him if he agrees with your viewpoint.

Also, did you see that the bullet went through the elk? That says to me it's plenty of cartridge.
It was a well-placed broadside shot. I would certainly expect it to be a 100% pass through.
 
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