Battle of the 6.5s

AshGoff

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Jun 11, 2019
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6.5 PRC, 6.5 Saum, 6.5 Creedmoor, 260 Remington, 6.5 Swede, 6.5x47, 264 Winchester Magnum, the list goes on.

My next build will be for steel between 800 yards and a mile. I've heard of guys throwing the 6.5 cm to a mile and I'm sure it can be done but there are better 6.5 cartridges. I've seen the 6.5 Saum do very well at a mile (it's also the round I'm leaning on for this future build). My gunsmith is convinced that the 260AI is the bees knees and thinks the Creedmoor is useless. As a college student, I don't want to build anything I can't buy ammo for since reloading in a dorm is discouraged so one of my thoughts is to build on a 6.5 PRC and shoot it during school then barrel swap to 6.5 Saum since they both have the magnum bolt face and can be ran in a short or medium action. Thoughts on the 6.5mm projectiles and chamberings for punching steel from 800 to 1760 yards? I'd really like to avoid a long action but I'm not tied to a short action so what would be the "best" choice here?
 

Ledzep

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6.5 PRC or SAUM, and 147 ELDM or 153gr A-Tips.

The A Tips might be spendy but if it's purely 800-1800yd, round counts probably won't be very high.

The PRC has the obvious advantage of factory ammo at the cost of 100ish fps. At 26-30" long, either is a rocket ship for short actions.

Beware, much past 1500 and impacts start to get hard to spot with the 6.5 magnums.
 

Steel head

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A repeat of what Zep said about seeing hits at distance.

It gets tough to see those Lil bullets out yonder
 

AshGoff

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I've read that you really need a long action to seat them out very far. Any experience with that?
 

b6graham

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I'd really like to stay in a short action
While the 6.5s will do what you want. They're not ideal. Look into 7SAW or 7SS if you have ti stay short action. But you're reloading at that point

300PRC will get you out to distance. Without reloading. And with minimal cost increase compared to 6.5PRC ammo
 
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Ledzep

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In a 28" barrel I could get 3200 fps with 140s in a short action SAUM. Never got around to 147s.

In a long barrel (28-31") you can probably safely exceed 2900 fps in a 6.5 creedmoore with RL26 and 147s. In my 21" barrel I'm right at 2800fps. My load is 47.1gr. I ran 48.0gr in a pressure test barrel and it was around 61-62ksi...

So if 25 fps per inch holds true, potentially could knock on the door of 3000fps....

Food for thought. Rl26 is made of magic.
 
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AshGoff

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I’d really look at 7 Saum or 7SS
The 180 and 190 are easier to spot and work quite well at distance.
I've looked at the 7 saum but haven't really been able to find much benefit to it other than a bigger bullet for a bigger splash and better wind bucking way out there but how much better? There isn't a whole lot of data on either of them quite yet.
 

b6graham

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I've looked at the 7 saum but haven't really been able to find much benefit to it other than a bigger bullet for a bigger splash and better wind bucking way out there but how much better? There isn't a whole lot of data on either of them quite yet.
There's a lot of data on them. Just more on hunting forums.

Run a 140 at 3050 (known 260AI load with RL26 and also hot as fuck) versus a 180ELDM at 3000 from a 7SS

Big difference is energy. Seeing impacts and misses. Less elevation and better wind just helps
 

Steel head

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There's a lot of data on them. Just more on hunting forums.

Run a 140 at 3050 (known 260AI load with RL26 and also hot as fuck) versus a 180ELDM at 3000 from a 7SS

Big difference is energy. Seeing impacts and misses. Less elevation and better wind just helps

This.
 

b6graham

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I shoot a 7SAW in matches. Short action 308 boltface. 162 at 2860.

Even compared to a 6.5. It's a big big difference in energy. Hitting a steel plate at 1k SOUNDS different. Splash is more obvious. But also more recoil.
 

AshGoff

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I shoot a 7SAW in matches. Short action 308 boltface. 162 at 2860.

Even compared to a 6.5. It's a big big difference in energy. Hitting a steel plate at 1k SOUNDS different. Splash is more obvious. But also more recoil.
I haven't heard of the 7SAW. I know the saums are on the magnum bolt face (.540 I think) which is also kind of offsetting because then id I decided I wanted to rechamber to a smaller round, I'd have to get another bolt or build another rifle (option b is preferred because a lot isn't enough) but it's a minor inconvenience.
 

b6graham

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I haven't heard of the 7SAW. I know the saums are on the magnum bolt face (.540 I think) which is also kind of offsetting because then id I decided I wanted to rechamber to a smaller round, I'd have to get another bolt or build another rifle (option b is preferred because a lot isn't enough) but it's a minor inconvenience.
Or get a Bighorn and change the bolthead from 223 to 308 to mag in a minute

7SAW is from West Texas Ordnance
 

AshGoff

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Or get a Bighorn and change the bolthead from 223 to 308 to mag in a minute

7SAW is from West Texas Ordnance
that's a dream rig and we'll see how much my next internship shells out but buy once cry once. Do the defiance actions have that ability also?
 

AshGoff

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Nope. New bolt.

Bighorn. ARC. Savage. APR G2
my current build (and first) is an old savage model 12 with the flat back on it and I put it in new furniture and stuff. I've seen bolt face conversions for it but read that you have to be careful or that they don't come with all of the parts like the ejector assembly.
 

Steel head

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my current build (and first) is an old savage model 12 with the flat back on it and I put it in new furniture and stuff. I've seen bolt face conversions for it but read that you have to be careful or that they don't come with all of the parts like the ejector assembly.

If you want to maintain your current action and boltface the 7saw or 260 AI are probably your best options.

Optional easy to get bolt heads are one of the reasons I bailed from the savage realm and bought ARC action.

I’m shooting a 260 now with 147’s at FPS.

I plan on getting a 7 SAUM or 7 SS barrel and bolt head this year.
 

AshGoff

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If you want to maintain your current action and boltface the 7saw or 260 AI are probably your best options.
I'll probably keep this gun as is. It shoots 3 inch groups at 500 yards and is a great trainer. I'll build another as my longer range rifle which is why I'm not opposed to a long action but would prefer to stay on short.
 

Steel head

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I'll probably keep this gun as is. It shoots 3 inch groups at 500 yards and is a great trainer. I'll build another as my longer range rifle which is why I'm not opposed to a long action but would prefer to stay on short.

You can get a magnum bolt head from PTG and a bolt head kit from Gun shack.
You can also get the target trigger spring from gun shack as well.
 

WeiserBucks

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If you're end goal is to whack steel at a mile, why not step it up ? Nothing in a short action will be even close to ideal .

Time to start thinking about something that ends with Norma .
 
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AshGoff

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Something about the challenge of doing a lot with a little. I don't mind that it isn't ideal and eventually I'll have a safe where I can close my eyes, spin till I'm dizzy, then point and be happy with the pick but for now, it'd be nice to have a gun that is more capable than I am to really learn and stretch my legs on. I've seen the 7mm saum hit a milk jug at 2200 yards and the 6.5 saum do really well at a mile. Maybe not crushing the plate but hitting it plenty hard to knock a bunch of paint off and swing the target.
 

Steel head

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OP,,,,I’ve shot my 260 to just under a mile.
And I plan on going further as soon as the snow thaws at my ELR spot this year.

If conditions are decent it’s not bad.

If conditions aren’t nice it’s rather frustrating.

6.5 saum will certainly do better than 260 but you still have the spotting issue.
 
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Jmcmath

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Personally I think your BEST option is either a 300 prc or 300 win set up/ with long enough mag to run the berger 215 factory loads available.

Your second best is a 6.5 prc.


I’m focusing on the part where you straight up say you want a cartridge you can buy loaded ammo for while still in college.
 
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AshGoff

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Personally I think your BEST option is either a 300 prc or 300 win set up/ with long enough mag to run the berger 215 factory loads available.

Your second best is a 6.5 prc.


I’m focusing on the part where you straight up say you want a cartridge you can buy loaded ammo for while still in college.
That's kind of what I've been thinking and then when I get the space and money to set up a reloading station, then I can rebarrel to 6.5 saum or 7 saum and go from there since they share the same bolt face.
 

Greg Langelius *

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Arizona, good place for me...
260 is my 1Kyd chambering, probably still good out to 1400 at my 4350ft ASL altitude.

For beyond that, I'd up it to 7mm; .280AI (RCBS). Discussion.

Case capacity beyond that doesn't appeal to me.

FYI, a fired/empty 280 case will extract and eject from a short action (tested in a 308), but not a loaded round. Hand feeding would be necessary.

By tripping the bolt release, the bolt can be withdrawn a bit further; enough to get the longer, unfired one out adequately.

This is about extracting/ejecting a chambered, but unfired, round; which I have never had to deal with in any chambering and any rifle on anything more than a very infrequent basis.

Personally, I'd still prefer the Long action with the .280.

I once had the loan of a rarer Ruger 77 MKI 280 with the Varmint Barrel. I load developed it with (Nosler) 120, 140, and 150gr bullets and H-4350/H-4831. It was very easy to find accuracy. I was about to start with 168's when the rifle was recalled by owner (my Elder Brother). Hard to give it up...

I would have eventually gone to the 175's, but the factory twist would likely have made it a crapshoot.

Decent Factory Ammo is available.

Savage 110 Long Range Hunter.

Greg
 
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