Josh Wayner

Ask anyone. Look on internet forums or in print magazines. Strike up a conversation at your local gun store. You’ll hear it everywhere: the 6.5mm family of rounds are like a mystical laser beam. Efficiency? Lethality? The 6.5mm round blows away other calibers. It knocks the .308 out of the water and shoots like a .300 mag. The 6.5mm cartridge family can literally transform your shooting. Before long, you’ll be a regular Bob Lee Swagger. I call bullsh*t.

People have been shooting the 6.5mm bore for over a hundred years. The oldest 6.5mm cartridge still in use is the 6.5x55mm. I shoot thousands of rounds of this caliber a year; it’s my favorite cartridge of all time. Modern loadings are typically launching a 140gr-class bullet at about 2600-2700fps from a 24-29” 1:7-8 twist barrel. Some guys who shoot CMP with me fire 120gr bullets in this cartridge loaded to well over 3000fps. It is a fantastic cartridge and was perfected long ago. Everything else is basically a copy.

Josh Wayner
All 140gr and all 6.5mm. 6.5×55, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 6.5 Grendel.

Wait. What? You heard me right. Despite being new and cutting-edge, the 6.5x47mm Lapua and the 6.5 Creedmoor are essentially ballistic twins of the 6.5x55mm and, by default, the older .260 Remington. But that can’t be right, can it? How can modern stuff be basically the same as a century old design from Scandinavia? Easy. The modern 6.5mm rifle varies little ballistically when compared to the old x55. It was essentially duplicated because it works now as it did then.

Standard loadings for the 6.5×47 clock a 140gr bullet at about 2600-2700fps. Standard loadings for the 6.5 Creedmoor offer a 140gr bullet at about 2700fps. Same thing with the .260 and the 6.5x55mm. All these calibers, including modern 6.5x55mm rifles, use the same twist rate. What it comes down to is just a matter of what you want your barrel chambered in. Everything else stays the same. There really isn’t a difference at all if you were to fire the same bullet. A 140gr ELD Match bullet from Hornady can be loaded into any of these cartridges and achieve identical performance. It all comes down to what your needs in a rifle are.

The advantage that the modern 6.5mm cartridges: they can be loaded easily into what has become a standard of the industry: the AICS-pattern magazine and the PMAG 20 LR/SR. In short, these newer rounds fit into the types of rifles we use most and, well, that’s about it.

Josh Wayner
Standard Practice: The AICS-pattern mags have become a must-have on today’s rifles. Alpha Mags 10rd .308 mag will house 6.5×47 and 6.5 Creedmoor. A big 220gr .300 Win Mag in an Alpha 5-rounder looms in the background.

It wasn’t until about ten years ago that the 6.5mm began to catch on for the competition world. Competitors looking to get an edge in their game went with less recoil and sleeker bullets to help them win. That right there is where the craze began.

The competition world tends to push the limits of gear and bullets, so new advances are needed to win each year. The 6.5 became an answer to the .308 in competition because it offered better ballistics and less recoil for playing a game. Yes, I said it. Better ballistics for playing a game. The slightly cringworthy idea of tactical rifle shooting was born and a new generation of wannabe snipers stepped up ring steel. This is harsh, but true.

The sport was later re-branded as Practical competition, which is kinda odd seeing as how it isn’t really practical at all. But then again I shoot at circles with a 100 year old Mauser, so I guess I shouldn’t comment too much on the matter. Alas, people playing sniper led to the trend in modern 6.5mm rifles and PRS competition was established, which has given the idea some actual weight in the community in recent years.

Yes, the caliber is great at what it does. But it’s hardly better or more practical than .308 for use on game or the needs of the average rifle shooter. I’ve written before about the paradoxical notion of looking at 1000-yard ballistics when your range only goes out to 200. Out of the nearly fifty people I know who own a modern 6.5mm rifle, exactly two have fired past 600 yards and only one managed to get up to fire past that. Sure, living out West affords more opportunities for longer range shooting, but let’s not kid ourselves here. Most rifle shooters, especially those east of the Mississippi, don’t get out past 500 yards enough to be truly proficient at extended ranges.

I hear it a lot that the military wants to move into 6.5mm rifles because of the performance issues with the 5.56 and .308. Again, this is wishful thinking. The 6.5mm will never unseat the 5.56mm or .308 from their thrones, despite the constant outcry from armchair generals and YouTube experts. I’d actually argue that the 5.56, namely the 77gr OTM rounds and the new Barnes 85gr OTM mag-length loads, are actually better than any 6.5mm round for service, including 6.5 Grendel.

Josh Wayner
Left to Right: 6.5 140gr Hornady ELD-M, .308 178gr Hornady ELD-X, 6.5 140gr Speer SP, .308 168gr Hornady BTHP, 6.5 140gr Sierra MatchKing, .308 220gr Sierra MatchKing

Military customers aren’t often concerned with what the shooting public demands of them. This was very noticeable when the shooting world pushed for the adoption of the 6.8SPC. It looked good on paper, but was hilariously and duly overthrown by the .300 AAC Blackout, which is now wildly popular despite being ballistically ‘inferior’ to both the 6.8 and 6.5 in a standard AR.

Josh Wayner
The 6.5 Creedmoor and the .308 both pale to the massive .300 Win Mag downrange. The new .300WM loads being used in the military rival the .338 Lapua in performance, but at a fraction of the cost.

I would go so far as to say that they current trend in 6.5mm rifles will exhaust itself as even smaller-bore rounds become better and better. The old .243 offers superior ballistics when loaded with modern match bullets in a barrel of similar length and quality. Why? Well, the .243 is a 6mm, and 6mm rifles hold countless world records. It is a proven winner and I think it will begin to supersede the 6.5mm in competition in the years to come with cartridges like the 6XC, 6mm Creedmoor, and 6×47.

I’m not biased against the use of the 6.5mm. As I said, it is easily my favorite cartridge for match shooting, which again, is playing a game. I’ve been very clear about that in all my CMP articles to date. CMP and PRS are games, just like golf and tennis. When applied correctly, the 6.5mm class of cartridges offer a shooter great ballistics and low recoil. These things are good for winning matches and offer an increased likelihood of making hits at extended ranges.

Taking the logic a step further, this should mean that hunting will be taken over by the 6.5 if the trend continues. Again, I don’t think so. I would say that most people who say they regularly and ethically shoot deer past 300 yards are full of it. I’ve gotten some fantastic kills in the field on everything from coyote to boar, but even then my longest shot ever on a coyote was 440 yards with a .308. My average shot these days is a paltry 75 yards. The average total of all the game I’ve taken is only 110 yards. I challenge the credentials and honesty of anyone who claims to have a longer lifetime average than that. Shooting animals at long range isn’t funny and injuring an animal is cruel. If you hunt, do it right.

Josh Wayner

At distances inside of 300 yards, a .308 and a 6.5 are equals. My last two kills were a deer with my 6.5mm Mauser at 90 yards using iron sights and a boar at 250 yards with my .308. Both dead in one shot from a Hornady match bullet. It is true that the 6.5x55mm has been used for over a century on moose and bears in Scandinavia. It is also true that it has been used extensively in Africa and on animals as large as elephants. The caliber was also a favorite of Hemingway and featured heavily in his stories. I believe that it is a fantastic hunting caliber, but it cannot whatsoever claim superiority over .308 for these applications. Equal, sure, but certainly not better.

Josh Wayner

 

I’m not trying to make a case for .308 over the 6.5mm. I just feel that too many “experts” claim the 6.5mm is superior in every way. It isn’t. Shooters need to see the 6.5mm in context.

We all know what the .308 is and what it does well and what it doesn’t, but a lot of people are hesitant to say anything bad about the new 6.5mm rounds. I think it comes down to feeling embarrassed or inadequate. Again harsh, but true. Savvy competitors usually make the switch for shame of being left out rather than a true step-up in performance. It is very obvious that a 6.5mm bore is in vogue these days and many a shooter gravitates towards it because of fashion.

I’ve been to a fair number of 600 yard matches with my little 13.5” .308 and routinely beat most of the others I shot against. On the line of those matches, the 6.5 has hardly any advantage against a .308 shooter. The imaginary 1000 yard benchmark doesn’t apply and the ranges are known, so the advantage disappears. Steel at unknown distances gets harder for a .308 shooter, but only marginally so. You are typically allowed to mil for distance in those cases, and again, the advantage disappears rapidly. What it boils down to is shooter skill and knowing your gear, regardless of caliber. Again, practice, practice, practice.

To sum up, having a 6.5mm rifle in competition will not make you a better shooter. It will not make you a better hunter. It will certainly not turn you into a Camp Perry legend overnight. What will do is take animals the same as any other medium caliber rifle at ethical distances and will allow you to do better in a shooting game when competing against others with similar gear. Will it ever fully replace .308? No. Should it? Again, no.

Josh Wayner
The champ on the right and the contender on the left. The 6.5 Creedmoor offers numerous advantages, but it has a long way to go to catch up with the tried-and-true .308 Win in the hands of the both advanced and average shooters alike.

If you are considering getting a rifle chambered in a modern 6.5mm cartridge, understand that it is essentially a reimagining of the classic 6.5x55mm and shares all the same characteristics. Many people I’ve spoken to consider this to be a slander, but it all comes down to the bullet and at what speed. A 140gr bullet at 2700fps doesn’t care if it is launched from an old Mauser or a new Savage Arms rifle. It is all relative to the bullet and velocity, not the rifle or cartridge.

It is my belief that the current 6.5mm trend is fueled by a true desire to do good in the world. The 6.5mm has many advantages and they are worth looking at. It is a very good do-all caliber and has earned a place in the modern shooting world. Is it the end-all for long range? I don’t think so. It is, however, an excellent place to start for the average shooter looking to take his game a bit further out.

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206 Responses to The Truth About 6.5mm Ammo

  1. My hunting rifle is a .243(6mm). My preferred load is an 80 grain copper barnes tsx at 3200 fps. I use factory ammo. My son uses a .308 with handloaded barnes 150 grainers.

    For my specific hunting needs(northern CA deer and yotes) my .243 is just about perfect. If I hunted practically anywhere else I would not hesitate to switch up to the .308.

    • .243 winchester, my fav.It used to be THE caliber, imo still is. Low recoil,accurate, and two hundred yard slayer of beast.

    • As a big fan of the .243, I second the motion.

      In the Northeast, .243 (and .30-30 in lever guns) is the caliber of choice for deer and similar critters. It’s fast, accurate and recoil is pleasantly low. The 6X52 is a classic caliber that I believe is overlooked outside of the Northeast. Pretty modern, too, since it was introduced to the commercial market in 1955.

      There isn’t much business that the .243 Winchester can’t do.

        • I have an old Winchester Model 88 in .243. It’s an absolutely beautiful gun, but it seems to break every time I shoot it. I’d love to use it for deer and coyotes but I feel like I need a source for firing pins.

    • The 243 beats the 6.5 CR on velocity out to about 1400 yds. At typical target or game shooting ranges of under 400 yds the 243 easily beats the 6.5 CR by 200 – 250 fps while maintaining 80% of the energy of the 6.5 CR. It’s a winner. Also the 243 beats the 308, the 7-08mm, the 25-06 and the 260 on velocity from muzzle out to one mile. Not too shabby.

  2. Basically agree and have no skin in the 308 vs 6.5 game, I’m old school and shoot 30-06 for hunting here in Texas. The one thing I kind of take issue with here is tone, no reason to be rude son.

      • That’s Josh Wayner you’re talking about. I’ve followed his articles for years on TTAG. Maybe do a little research into that ‘wet behind the ears’ kid and you’ll know why he writes what he does.

        • True, this article should be renamed, “Talking shit about the 6.5 because I am awesome with teh Mosin”.

          Josh, when you hit a .25 MOA at 300+ yards with your Mosin (personally seen it with 6.5 Creedmoor and factory Winchester ammo) or find any popular caliber that isn’t over-hyped, let us know.

        • @ Jeremy b

          That isn’t a mosin hes talking about. That Mauser IS a 6.5×55 caliber and is a Swedish m96. In fact, he says it’s his favorite round of all time. I don’t think he said anything at all bad about the 6.5. he said what it was and what it wasn’t. I don’t think took the time to read this article at all before your comment.

      • You’re a pissey one…… Name call based on a photo. Really? Hey, If you want a real flat shooter with fairly good energy the 243 beats the 6.5 CR on velocity out to about 1400 yds while maintaining about 80% the energy of the 6.5. Not too shabby.

  3. “The slightly cringworthy idea of tactical rifle shooting was born and a new generation of wannabe snipers stepped up ring steel. This is harsh, but true.

    The sport was later re-branded as Practical competition, which is kinda odd seeing as how it isn’t really practical at all. ”

    To preface this: I am not here to argue 6.5mm vs other calibers as I don’t care about equipment all that much.

    Ah yes the usual bashing of competition by people who don’t compete. Though I am sure that some of the advancements made by PRS matches aren’t applicable outside of competition, putting a time component on matches is practical. Particularly when you consider how the sniping in an urban environment is different from sniping in a more rural environment.

    A sniper in a target rich urban environment, like Iraq during the height of the war, can get as many kills in a day that many snipers from earlier wars would get during their entire tour. In those environments spending less time figure out where to place the shot, and a faster recovery time are important.

    And the military world acknowledges this too, as the military sniper competition are a mix of run & gun, PRS type stages, and traditional sniper craft (stalking, long range shooting, et al).

    • Doesn’t compete? I’ve won 13 medals at Camp Perry and won dozens of other competitions over the years, designed the tan rifle in the hog photo, and published the first mainstream articles on precision SBRs in addition to my other industry contributions, but what do I know, right?

      • And how many PRS style matches have you shot? I should’ve added compete in PRS.

        This is no different from the bullseye vs USPSA/IPSC. You will always have those from one side crapping on the other side. But unlike bullseye and IPSC the rifle matches are similar enough that they can feed each other if the two sides can stop crapping on each other. Because they are practical for a certian segment of sniping and hunting.

        But that rarely happens.

        • I actually had to turn down going to the GAP Grind this year and last year due to time conflict. I usually attend PRS or similar unaffiliated matches in the fall. I never said people shouldn’t compete in it, I just said it was a game, which it is, and has zero bearing or virtually and real similarities to what trained military snipers do or are. Talking about snipers in the context of PRS is like talking about cops in terms of USPSA. In fact, playing Call of Duty had more in common with PRS or pistol sports than cops or soldiers do. Playing a game is always playing a game, and yes, PRS is a game with no more real-life significance than your K/D ratio in Black Ops 3. Carrying an issued weapon for your job doesn’t count for points.

        • So what does ‘count for points’ in your view? If it’s only killing men, well, there’s (thankfully) little opportunity for experimentation. If it’s killing animals, as you say, you have to intentionally limit yourself so as to avoid causing suffering due to miscalculation. If it’s accuracy, then bullet shape and BC are ultimately the only variables that matter, since all else can be accounted for. If it’s an arbitrary threshold of kinetic energy or momentum at a fixed range, then a higher BC bullet will always, within reason, be superior since less is lost to drag in the interim (added bonus for reduced wind drift). If practicality, boutique short rounds with sharp, extreme necks and a tendency to wear out barrels strikes me as uniquely poor, vs. a choice with long-lived un-necked brass and a large easily cast lead bullet.

          If ‘effectiveness,’ you aren’t actually defining a problem to be solved, and neither is anyone else for that matter.

          This is stupid; we’re arguing over how half –no, a quarter of a millimeter translates nearly a kilometer away. Look up ‘smooth’ vs. ‘disjoint’ mathemetical functions and tell me how this debate isn’t moronic. Obviously, at around the 6mm mark, bullet weights start dropping rapidly as diameter is reduced and the necessary length for desired BC gets harder to accomodate, obviously at around 8mm mark, they start getting so heavy that the recoil limit of most shooters is stressed. Stuff in between these marks is less of both, and more of each.

        • And yet cops, soldiers, and other “serious” users have benefited from pistol sports like USPSA.

          Techniques are created, tested, and sometimes bested in competition. Equipment is created, tested, and refined by competition. I highly doubt that Aimpoint would be such a high quality optic if it didn’t have to survive years of abuse on IPSC open guns.

          Just because the stages don’t resemble a tactical scenario doesn’t mean that the shooting fundamentals and equipment aren’t being tested. And if you compare the Ft Benning Sniper competition (a competition by professional snipers for professional snipers) to other shooting sports, it has more in common with PRS than Camp Perry.

      • You mad bro?

        Seriously friend, self deprecation and civility will serve you well in life. Even if you’re the 2nd coming of Christ himself it annoys people if you don’t carry yourself right. I’m not questioning your knowledge or skill merely trying to offer some advice on your delivery.

        • I think it is refreshing to hear it told like it is. More writers should write aggressively like this. It made sense and put this caliber debate into terms that took the magic off of a a hyped family of rounds. They are cool, but I never shoot past 300 and never shoot deer past 50. He’s right that its sport only. He isn’t worng about anything in that article actually.

      • Best DANG & TRUTHFUL article I read in a LONG time-good job & great reading-reality really hurts some of these wannabes pouting on here-lol

      • Don’t worry about those other so called shooters. Excellent article, I have also looked at the ballistics of the 6.5. I still love my .300 mag. My humble opinion, nothing is better than a 30 cal round.

    • It’s ok PPGMD,

      Josh “harsh but true” Wayner can’t write an article without accidentally slapping someone in the face. Humility doesn’t exist within his character. He is kind of like one of those college students that when he knows he is right he doesn’t politely interrupt with a “shouldn’t it be” or “I think it should be …” Instead he is more of a “You’re wrong bitch” kind of guy. Most of his articles are not written in the tone of a friend trying to help you out when you are wrong, but one of indignation and condescension.

        • You guys realize that military sniper competitions are for actual real snipers, right?

          PPGMD just give up. Competition shooting is a game and that’s it. I’ve really been shocked by how immature some people can be when they know they’re put in a box by someone else. Josh NAILED you guys down and buried the coffin by comparing sport shooting to video games. It’s true and you hate it!
          I’m rolling on the floor at your assertion that games have any bearing on life or death situations. Technique from USPSA? Lol whatever man. Id love to hear a cop say he got good split times on a bad guy in front of a judge.

        • George,

          Maybe you replied to the wrong post? We were talking about assholes not the fact that any shooting competition is a game, which is obvious.

          Some games have a little more physical activity to them and can be viewed as a game with a little training mixed in, but a game no less.

        • I’m rolling on the floor at your assertion that games have any bearing on life or death situations.

          Quick scenario. Who is going to be better at defending his life with a gun: A USPSA shooter, a guy who plays call of duty, or an accountant with no experience with real or simulated firearms?

          Looks to me that games can have a bearing on life or death situations.

        • If it weren’t for shooting games like IPSC the most widely accepted shooting technique would be the combat crouch. 1911 and a lot of other guns wouldn’t have the refinements that were made to them by competitors trying to find the next best thing.

          On top of that is the push of basic shooting skills, a middle of the road shooter today would be a high level shooter in the 1980s. Even the most defensive oriented cops that craps on shooting sports will pull out a shot timer (another invention directly caused by shooting sports).

          People who don’t recognize what shooting sports brought to shooting don’t know their history. Shooting techniques and equipment would be several generations behind modern if it weren’t for shooting sports.

        • “I’m rolling on the floor at your assertion that games have any bearing on life or death situations. Technique from USPSA? Lol whatever man. Id love to hear a cop say he got good split times on a bad guy in front of a judge.”

          I’d like to just leave this here as a counter-point:

          https://firearmusernetwork.com/2012/11/22/competition-shooters-and-techniques-win-fights/

          If it is your assertion that more practice is NOT good for winning fights, I doubt you have a leg to stand on.

          There simply is no evidence to support the point that competition shooting HURTS survivability. Arguments like this reveal a LOT about those engaging in them.

      • It’s pretty hard to stay humble at his(JW) age when you’ve won as many awards as he has. But it’s real easy to look down on other people who haven’t achieved quite as much, or done it quite as early. I think he does a quite credible job at being neutral here. Both calibers are good, as stated. Many DO overrate the .264 bore size(often based on false beliefs, as also noted here), also as stated.
        As I have posted in many a comment here: There are no BAD guns(or calibers), some are just better than others.
        Can’t you just give the guy a break? He has both and uses both, and has an opinion. So what? How is that something to get butthurt over?

      • It’s an article not a personal affront to any person. Get over it. There are people out there who can help you to recognize this.

  4. If all you know is what you read in the Cosmopolitans of the gun magazines you might not know this. Otherwise, it’s pretty obvious stuff.

    • That’s a one of a kind deal right there. 26.5″ folded, 13.5″ barrel, half moa at 500m. It’s a great rifle and fits just about anywhere. Made some of the best shots of my life with that gun.

      • Interesting that you made such a short barreled precision gun. Do you attribute the accuracy to the short barrel or in spite of it?

        • You were not asking me, but through the years and many, many firearms, I’ve always found shorter barrels to give greater accuracy. The most accurate out of the box rifles I have found to be Remington 788s with their 18 inch barrels. As cheap as they are, I’ve never had a one shoot over an inch at 100 yards.
          I attribute it to the barrel stiffness. All else being equal, a shorter tube will always be stiffer than a longer one. A 2X2 seems nice and strong, so long as it’s a short piece in your hands. Make a ten foot tall stud wall out of them, however, and you can almost walk right through it…

      • Saw this article a little late, but who cares.
        Some thoughts………………………….

        1/2 MOA out of a 13 inch barrel? Buy i’d love to see the hard data on that.
        That would be some miracle ballistics right there. It’s amazing that you can get
        1/2 minute of angle in a distance so short, that the powder doesn’t have enough time
        to fully burn, (maximizing the rounds potential). Let alone a single rifle twist in 8-10 inches.
        Ballistically, it is impossible. I’ll give ya an E for effort though.

        Oh. and as for credentials, 24 years in uniform as Army Recon. Pathfinder trained, Sniper graduate
        and 5 Combat tours in the Canadian Army.

        I’ve got 24 years behind a 7.62. Experience tells me your’re full of Shit on this point.
        unless you’ve got some empirical proof positive evidence of as yet,undiscovered ballistics,
        I call BULLSHIT on a 13 inch barrel and 1/2 MOA at 500.

        The level of experience i have with this round also tells me that to call the 308 superior to the 6.5 is stretching it. Realistically, and ballistically, the 6.5CM is just better at most things. Look at the pure drop rate ballistics as an example.Also, look at the fact that a 6.5 has such a low recoil level. Which means tighter groups overall and consistent “Scope on” time in most rifles than a 7.62.
        It takes a well engineered rifle to make a 762 sing.And that usually equates to a lot of money. The 6.5CM (specifically) holds better groups at any range (200 meters to 1200 meters), than the 308. It also
        delivers more kinetic energy at range than a 300WM from 500-100. Don’t blame me that the hard facts
        are there Boyo. It is what it is.
        I’m not calling the 6.5CM a miracle round, but back when i started out as a Soldier, i wish i’d had at
        least the choice between the two. Because i definitely would have taken the 6.5CM. And i absolutely
        would have taken it as first choice in Afghanistan.
        The 338, 375CT or the 408/416CT. are however are about as perfect as it gets though.

        As for your “Ethical Hunting” “Reminder” to everyone, spare me. Just because your hunting “style”
        is within a comfortable “safety net” range, don’t harp on others, it makes you look like a wanna be know it
        all. An “i know best” guru. Not your place to say anything.
        Up here, a lot of people hunt deer and bear routinely at 200-400 yards. If a Deer
        doesn’t drop, then yes, the hunter has a moral obligation to track it down.If at a personal leve, they don’t
        feel they should, then they need to have their licenses pulled, the gun taken away and charges laid.

        It’s fine that you feel the need to “Expose the truth” in your articles. But stop being such an ass and pissing people off because of your “i know best” snarky attitude. It’s not about whether you felt the need to “expose” or dispel the truth behind something, you did it just to piss in people’s faces. Why, because that is what your generation feels it has the god given right to do, and because,well “I just wanna be a dick”……………………………..
        Oh wait a minute, calling you that would make you useful. You’ve proved in this, and other articles, that you provide nothing useful.

  5. Only “might” I could place is while the 6.5 won’t make you a better shooter by its own right but a reduction in recoil makes shooting easier, easy means more rounds logged before I’m sore.

  6. I’m surprised the .243 isn’t more favored in tacticool long-range shooting. Maybe because it’s not a fancy metric boolit? At least it doesn’t burn up barrels like a lot of these newer cartridges do. Heck, if there was a .243-06 with factory brass and barrels, tons of classic and surplus rifles could become long-range tacticool sniper-blasters.

    • .243’s are pretty favored in long range if set up right. If you build a 1-7.5″ or 1-8″ twist 26″ gun and run 107bergers or 115 dtacs you’ll be fine at a grand.

      • I just finished 5 years of living and hunting in Europe (Germany) I never saw a single European hunting with a .243. It is not even legal in most countries of Hochwilde (Big Game) because it generally doesn’t meet the minimum energy requirements. In Germany and most of Europe it is not the caliber, but the energy the rifle/bullet produce.

        • You’re right

          In most central Europe countries, large game is traditionally hunted in battue. It’s a kind of hunt like a big party, with a banquet after.
          During the hunt, guys with guns are placed, and some others with dogs, make animals run in the direction where those with guns are, and track them.
          So, when animals pass near to the shooters, they run very fast. In these conditions, well placing a bullet is much harder than when you approach quietly and/or surprise a roaming animal. Plus, as animals are full of adrenalin because tracked by dogs, they may not feel the injuries and still run, if shooted with small calibers.
          So a strong caliber is recommended for ethically down every boars and deers. Calibers like 7×64, 30-06, 9.3×62, 300WM, … are often used.

          Smaller calibers like 243win, 22-250, 223 rem. (222 rem. in areas where 223 is restricted), are mostly used for foxes and pest regulation.

      • My thoughts also. .243 doesn’t get much love outside the extra-FUDDs in the hunting community and the bleeding-edge competitors. It is interesting that these two very opposed groups have a similar love for the same cartridge. It’s everyone in the middle that doesn’t acknowledge the .243 for what it is.

  7. Always nice to read about someone that does it vs someone that fakes it.
    Thank you for a great article.

  8. As someone who enjoys long range plinking, I like the 6.5 CM over the .308.
    I hand load both to maximize their efficiency.
    As the current 6.5 bullet from Nosler offers the most aerodynamically efficient projectile, I’m using that for really long range fun.
    While I don’t plan on shooting critters at 1,000 yards plus, I like to know that I can if I choose to.

    • I’m a notorious cheapskate, so I have a good number of guns in common (military) cartridges so I can buy really cheap brass. (9mm, .223/5.56, .308/7.62). I buy them locally from an auctioning agent that obtains them from the military base nearby, and they are guaranteed the same head stamp and only once fired.

  9. I always figured the answer to the high SD and BC of the 140gr. 6.5mm was just to shoot 180gr. bullets in your .308. Practically the same ballistics, just a little more energy and recoil.

  10. Good, if somewhat obvious, data from an author who sounds like a condescending know-it-all hipster?

    Is that you, Josh Wayner? Is this me?

      • You guys realize that most deer in the east aren’t big, right? That seems average plus he’s turned away at night and we don’t know how tall or strong he is.
        But you guys probably don’t hunt because not every deer is a ten point trophy buck. Thats how it really is. Muck boots, jeans, and normal sized wild animals.

        • I’m a big strong boy. I hunt deer. I’m in the east. Any deer I can carry with one hand needs to wait till next year.

          I also don’t pose next to my downed deer with my firearm and a sneer on my face.

  11. 6.5’s are the shiznit. I run a model 12 Lrp savage 260 rem with 26″ barrel. With a 140gr hornady ELD bullet and 43.3 grains of H4350 powder I’m getting 2875fps. Folks that’s flatter than a 300 win mag with half the recoil and 80% of the energy. 200 yard groups are a single bullet hole. 1000 yard groups range between 5-8″ if I’m on my game. I honestly don’t know why people don’t like 6.5mm when you can get bc’s as high as .625. Oh and it carries past 1600 yards before subsonic.

      • Brian litz did some testing on those new Accubond LRs, general consensus was that while yes the BCs are legit, most if not all required a faster than normal twist rate to reach an optimum SG coefficient to not compromise that BC. They are really long (longer than even most VLD bullets) and have short bearing surface and a long secant ogive (VLD profile). With standard twists on some of the bullets he tested, measured BC was actually about 10-15% lower. You’ll also have to tune them for seating depth like you would a VLD bullet which may or may not feed from a standard magazine.

    • just getting interested in long range, have several irons in 308, but, very curious what others are finding relating to speed/down range energy and barrel length. In 308 games, there does not seem to be a big gain in fps after 24″ barrel, and you start to get more involved in harmonics. So, i guess i am asking is would i be at a disadvantage using a 22″ “heavy” contour bbl. 8-twist (which would be appropriate for hunting as well) versus what you mention with a 26″ (as you note 1600 yards before unstable – which is amazing for such a little pill). We are just setting up our own private 1600 acre steel range only 10 minutes from home, and excited about getting involved in long range pinking with 6.5CM.

      • With what .300 win mag load? I’m pretty sure mine generates about 3800 ft lbs of energy at the muzzle (energy means a hell of a lot more to an elk than BC or recoil energy)

        • sorry, question i have is advantage of 26″ bbl over say a 22″ for 6.5CM (if there really is any). and i meant to say “1600 yard range” , not “acre”

      • Jjimmy, on average I get 50-75fps more with those extra 2 inches and with a heavy countour fluted barrel still have good harmonics. The 6.5 creedmoor and 260 rem are pretty close ballistically but I have precision 308’s so I chose the 260rem for brass on hand. If you’re wanting to get long range on a decent price my suggestion is a savage 12 Lrp in either creedmoor or 260 rem. Put a quality 20 moa base a vortex viper 30mm 6.5-20 scope with good rings and go embarrass some custom rigs. Not a spokesman of savage but a believer in their accuracy. I love the hornady ELD bullets behind either H4831sc or H4350 with a fgmm primer setting them off. If your not worried about barrel life, the 6.5×284 blows everything else away on wind drift and velocity but eats barrels for lunch. Another up and comer is a 7mm WSM. It is an awesome round with a good bc match bullet but is a custom job.

      • If you have a 1:12 or 1:11 twist on any of your 308s grab some 185gr Berger VLDs or their Tactical OTM, and a pound of Alliant Pro2000mr.

        If you have a 1:10 twist grab the 208Amax or 210gr Berger Hybrid and some Alliant RE17.

        I am about 1.5grs below max on that 185gr VLD load and I am getting just under 2700fps average from my 26″ Remington 700 VLS.

        There’s plenty of load data out there for RE17 and the 200gr+ projectiles getting similar velocity.

        • @tex. The problem I have with reloader 17 is it is vary temp unstable. You can have as much as 200+fps swings going from 30 to 100 degrees. I like a general load and have had summer pressure spikes with reloader 17.

      • As far as a .308 VS 6.5CM I like my 6.5 (not because it is the cool thing like some folks believe) because I can shoot a high BC bullet that is a lot lighter than a .308. This translates in less recoil and less possibility of flinching. I believe that translates to hunting as well, even if both will do the job at under 500 yards. If I had a pure deer rifle it would be a 6.5CM, but I don’t I have 300WSM, because I have a little dick and live out west, wich my average shot is between 200-300 yards.

    • Hornady’s 140-grain ELD-M (.307 G7 BC) at 2,875 goes subsonic at 1,375, and is as flat as a 220-grain SMK (.310 G7 BC) at 2,850. But, the .300 WM is going to have 61% more retained energy at 1K – 1,148 FPE (@1,532 FPS) vs. 711 FPE (1,512 FPS). This is under ICAO seal level conditions, though. YMMV. The big .30-caliber magnums will always win on energy and terminal ballistics, especially if you chose similar bullet types for any calibers you wish to compare. But, what makes 6.5s so special is that they are more efficient and lend themselves to lighter-weight and lighter-recoiling rifles with much longer barrel life.

      • I’m shooting a 180 grain Barnes TSX on top of 69.4 grains of IMR 4350 out of a bone stock Ruger M77 MkII. I’m not a bench rest shooter and if I wanted to go poke holes in paper or ring some steel I’d shoot something a lot cheaper to operate. that being said I would absolutely love a Ruger precision rifle in 6.5 creedmoor for just that sort of shooting.

      • At 4,000 feet I’m at 1241 fps at 1625 yards. Shooters calculator is pretty close to my drop chart. Tho I only go to 1300 yards it’s possible.

    • The “flatter than .300 Win Mag” requires that shooters don’t hand load and are not aware of the 190-210+ grain .300 WM loadings, which are where .308 caliber bullets have higher G1 and G7 BCs than the 6.5 140 grain. Examples include the 190 and 210 Accubond LR and Hornady ELD-X which have higher BCs than the 6.5 140 grain counterparts.

      Although I confess that I’m not aware of all of the 6.5 loadings and bullets. I’ll get a 6.5 upper or Ruger PR one of these days.

      • Berger .264-cal., 130-gr. Hunting VLD: .288 G7 BC (Litz)
        Berger .264-cal., 140-gr. Hunting VLD: .307 G7 BC (Litz)
        Berger .264-cal., 140-gr. Target Hybrid: .311 G7 BC (Litz)
        Hornady .264-cal., 123-gr. A-MAX: .239 G7 BC (Litz)
        Hornady .264-cal., 140-gr. A-MAX: .288 G7 BC (Litz)
        Hornady .264-cal., 140-gr. ELD-M: .305 G7 BC (ASM)
        Hornady .264-cal., 143-gr. ELD-X: .315 G7 BC (ASM)
        Nosler .264-cal., 129-gr. AccuBond LR: .283 G7 BC (Litz)
        Nosler .264-cal., 142-gr. AccuBond LR: 293 G7 BC (Litz)
        Hoover .264-cal., 136-gr. VLD: .314 G7 BC (Litz)
        JLK .264-cal., 140-gr. VLD: .321 G7 BC (Litz)
        Lapua .264-cal., 123-gr. Scenar: .265 G7 BC (Litz)
        Lapua .264-cal., 139-gr. Scenar: .290 G7 BC (Litz)
        Sierra .264-cal., 123-gr. MatchKing: .260 G7 BC (Litz)
        Sierra .264-cal., 142-gr. MatchKing: .301 G7 BC (Litz)
        Hornady .308-cal., 178-gr. ELD-X: .268 G7 BC (ASM)
        Hornady .308-cal., 200-gr. ELD-X: .315 G7 BC (ASM)
        Hornady .308-cal., 208-gr. ELD-M: .335 G7 BC (ASM)
        Hornady .308-cal., 212-gr. ELD-X: 336 G7 BC (ASM)
        Hornady .308-cal., 220-gr. ELD-X: 325 G7 BC (ASM)
        Nosler .308-cal., 190-gr. AccuBond LR: .292 G7 BC (Litz)
        Nosler .308-cal., 210-gr. AccuBond LR: .332 G7 BC (Litz)
        Sierra .308-cal., 190-gr. MatchKing: .267 G7 BC (Litz)
        Sierra .308-cal., 220-gr. MatchKing: .310 G7 BC (Litz)
        Berger .308-cal., 175-gr. Hunting VLD: .265 G7 BC (Litz)
        Berger .308-cal., 185-gr. Target Hybrid: .295 G7 BC (Litz)
        Berger .308-cal., 200-gr. Target Hybrid: 316 G7 BC (Litz)
        Berger .308-cal., 210-gr. Hunting VLD: .320 G7 BC (Litz)
        Berger .308-cal., 215-gr. Target Hybrid: .354 G7 BC (Litz)
        Berger .308-cal., 230-gr. Target Hybrid: .367 G7 BC (Litz)

        This assumes that Hornady’s factory ballstic coefficients are accurate.

        • you left out the most important data and that was for the 160 grain .264 bullets.

        • The 160-grain, .264-caliber pills are simply too long to get any more velocity than your garden-variety .308 Winchester loadings (and perhaps even less than that), and are definitely too long to load to magazine length.

        • Well said, sir. Those number look familiar!

          I wasn’t aware of 160 grain 6.5 loads. That seems too long to me.

          Not hating on the 6.5, I’ll probably get one someday. Just being realistic about the numbers.

    • I love it when you get an excellent shooting factory rifle. Mine is a .264 WinMag 700 Sendero from the early 00’s. That thing is a tack driver shooting 90 gr. TNTs or heavyweight VLDs. And from easily the least loved 6.5 caliber out there.

      • The .264 is the hottest 6.5 that isn’t a wildcat. The only complaint I’ve heard about it is the barrel life, which just comes with the territory. No way is a high intensity caliber like that not going to eat barrel steel like candy. Its just physics.

  12. The world record at 300 m stands since Moscow 1980 and was achieved with a .308, if I’m not wrong.
    I like 6,5, but also love .308.
    In the Army I really missed it when we switched to .223.

  13. 6mm-7mm-08 are generally “better” than .308, if recoil sensitive. If you do have access to super long ranges, more than 1,000 yards, these rounds should be easier to shoot because they are supersonic longer. For example, a 7mm-08 bullet can be supersonic to 1600 yards.

    • If the .243 is my “favorite” caliber, then 7mm-08 has to be my second favorite. Both were developed in the ’50s, both were necked down from .308 and both will do whatever business you have in mind.

      Both are great choices for game or games.

  14. The caliber wars will never end. It is a competitive pursuit, I think. Just like hunters who insist that they have to have a .300 WinMag to hunt deer or elk. A .243 is more than sufficient for deer or anything smaller, and an old boss of mine has been hunting elk every year for over 30 years with a .270. Other than Bighorn, or some of the skittish antelope out there, long range shots are really unnecessary. From my limited view of the forests in north central Pennsylvania, where the trees are so close together I couldn’t understand how deer could run through them, long range shots never happen. So yeah, these long range rifles are an expensive hobby for some, and I enjoyed the article immensely.

    • A lot of guys here in western Montana have moved clear up to 338 lapua and the 300 or 338 Remington ultra mag for long range hunting. Several people I know have killed elk in the 750 to 1000 yard range. I regularly shoot that far but don’t shoot at game that far, my elevation adjustments are good but a misjudgment on wind will mean a wounded animal. The guys shooting 270’s usually don’t attempt those kind of shots.

  15. Easily one of the best articles I have read in a long time and I really wish more gun writers were more honest, and to the point like you are.

    Not only are you right about competition shooting but you are also right about the average shooter. The fact that you pissed off a lot of people so far proves you right.

    • The fact that you pissed off a lot of people so far proves you right.

      In this circumstance, being right and pissing people off can be separate events. Some people might be pissed off not necessarily because he is right.

      Just because someone is pissed off – doesn’t make him right. And just because someone is pissed off – doesn’t mean it is because he was right.

      • Naw he is clearly right by the reaction this article created from all the keyboard commandos and butthurt fudds. The best part is that he has more lifetime experience than these people and shoots way better than them as well yet he is half their age.

        People don’t like getting called on their bullsh!t.

        • The fact that you pissed off a lot of people so far proves you right.

          So if I make a point – any point – and then call you a dipshit, that automatically makes my point correct? Just wanted to make sure that is exactly what you were saying.

  16. My take from this article as a newbie that doesn’t even own a “long range” rifle. The 6.5 x whatever is an awesome round. Always has been. Always will be. But you suck as a shooter so stick with the .308.

  17. We are at a point in time where equipment and components are pushing the boundaries of what pressurized gas and hand eye coordination are capable of. To be honest with modern day components there really is not any “bad” caliber or case combination as long as they are used within their phylosophy of use. That is to say that if specific rifle and ammunition combination are designed for long range shooting, hunting, or self defense, it probably works just fine. In fact in capable hands it is probably great. Just how great comes back to the ability of the mall ninja, operational operator, shooter, or grunt holding the weapon. Obviously a high velocity flat shooting round is going to be easier apply to a target than a slower arching load especially if the recoil impulse is low. How much better? Well from the standpoint of an average shooter that is hard to say. But in capable trained hands we may be looking at as much as .25″ at 100yds. That may not sound like much but it is when you start talking about needing 1moa all the time every shot like and F-class shooter. That .25″ is a world of difference for guys at a Highpower or Palma Match. Taking all of that in to consideration with the crap I see people do that same .25″ may not even be noticeable due to poor fundamentals and bad habits.

    Gents’ we are at a great time technology wise. We have handheld gizmos that can act a weather station, range finder, and even record all your DOPE for you. We have rifles that are more capable than we are and ammunition that is equally matched. We have also at this point cut, shouldered, stretched and skewed the .223 and .308 cases in every direction until now we have exhausted our options. Many cartridges have come and gone that do one thing or the other great. We are left with plenty of options that provide very similar performance but have slightly different advantages at different distances. We also have to consider the supply for components when we pick a caliber. What can you find? How much will it cost? .308 brass grows in the dirt like peanuts here where I live 6×47 Lapua……not so much. Pick what you feel comfortable with and then go practice. Don’t ever expect your equipment or ammunition to make up for a lack of solid fundamentals and time behind the scope.

    • Does everyone know you can neck down 308, 7-08, or neck up 243 to make 260 brass. I prefer 243 necked up to 260 rem actually. So brass availablity is not a concern for my 6.5mm. I can’t understand why everyone hasn’t embraced the 260 rem. More case capacity than 6.5 creedmoor and easy to reload. 3000-4000 barrel life for max accuracy.

      • It’s always easier to neck a case up, rather than down, because when you squash the neck down to a smaller diameter you increase the neck thickness, thus requiring reaming or turning the neck back down to spec. This does make for a higher quality brass, as the neck thickness should then be perfect. Benchrest shooters do this habitually, but I prefer to load for quantity instead of extreme accuracy that one doesn’t even notice until one measures 100 meter groups in thousandths of an inch.
        IMO, the big reason so many shooters like other rounds is the availability of 5.56 brass and the fit into an AR pattern rifle using standard magazines.

  18. My opinion, The reason people buy rifles in 6.5 CM is because the 6.5 CM can shoot sub MOA out of the box with off the self ammo from Cabelas. If you want sub MOA from a .308 you would have to reload for the gun to shoot sub MOA.

    That is all.

    • “…The reason people buy rifles in 6.5 CM is because the 6.5 CM can shoot sub MOA out of the box with off the self ammo from Cabelas.”

      This. (So it seems to me, a know-nothing shooter)

      Seeing the TTAG review on that Ruger sub-MOA 6.5 Creedmore rife and Tom in Oregon’s experience with it, leads me to believe that it is a relatively pain-free way to get into long-range shooting without second-guessing my equipment choice.

      Without that option, I would have been listening to a thousand voices giving conflicting information on rifle, ‘gunsmith upgrades’, and ammo and I would have likely just thrown my hands up and said “Fvck it.”

    • If you want sub moa from a .308 with off the shelf ammo you feed your rifle FGMM. My stock out of the box 700 shot less than a minute with it.

  19. “pushed for the adoption of the 6.8SPC. It looked good on paper, but was hilariously and duly overthrown by the .300 AAC Blackout, which is now wildly popular despite being ballistically ‘inferior’ to both the 6.8 and 6.5 in a standard AR.”

    And let’s don’t forget that the 300BLK is nothing but a more ‘tacticool’ name(and just slightly changed in order to patent the design as ‘new’. Similar to what Winchester pulled, renaming their “Black Talon” round as STX or something similar, except to make it sound LESS cool, instead of more…) for the old 300 Whisper, first created by JD Jones about 30 years back….
    “Modern” is just today’s version of yesteryear’s favorite TV catchphrase; “new and improved”. IOWs, Bull***t! Just a word designed to sell you something. Advertising BS.

      • So just what, exactly, is “improved” about a RangerT round over an old black talon? I ask because I haven’t the slightest, I’ve never shot one. But I require more than a new name to call something “improved”. I require some type of change for the better, and not just a name change, or an insignificant dimensional change in order to call it ‘different’, like the 300Whisper/300BLK.

  20. Ah, that familiar “in your face” style. Tsk-tsk-tsk, gurus these days… At least quote said experts before blowing them up, mkay?

    Of course, one will be hard-pressed to notice ballistic difference between 6.5s and .308. Under 300y, of course. Hell, zero them both to 500y, and at 200y, difference between 175gr SMK at 2600 fps and, say, 123gr Scenar at 2900 fps (pretty close to some factory loads from 24″) will be what – half of an inch?

    So, yeah, no one exactly needs 6.5s (both modern and Swede). Except those shooting at 500+y distances and enjoying consistent ballistic advantage (figure like 20% less wind drifts and going transonic waaay later, all of this with almost laughable recoil).

    • Love my .270 for deer but I want to throw bigger lead for elk, which is why I shoot either a .338-378 or a .300 RUM. I deer hunt with my .300 win mag sometimes just because I like the rifle.

    • Gotta love the .270 Win. Simultaneously the best overall cartridge around, and the most overrated. Hard to top that…
      Everyone is aware that its just the .30-06 necked down, or the .25-06 necked up, yes?

      • Um, no, actually. The .270 Winchester is not a ’06 necked down. The .280 Remington is a necked-down ’06.

        The .270 Winchester was a necked-down .30-03.

        People need to check the case dimensions of the .30-06 vs. the .270 Winchester. The .270 Winchester is longer than the ’06 by about 50 thou – and this is how much longer the ’03 is than the ’06.

        • Excellent points. I left out specifics in the interest of brevity. Guess I should have said one can create 270Win out of 30-06 brass if need be…

  21. A couple of comments on the 6.5×55 Swede vs. the other 6.5mm offerings out there today:

    First, let’s answer the question of “why have all these recently introduced 6.5mm cartridges re-invented a wheel that was particularly round already?” And make no mistake, the 6.5×55’s “wheel” was quite perfectly round.

    Well, the first, biggest issue is that the 6.5×55 cartridge falls into this netherworld of cartridge dimensions in the US.

    The 6.5×55 cartridge has a longer OAL (over all length) than a .308/7.62 cartridge. The 6.5×55 has a nominal OAL of about 3.15 inches, and the .308 (and derived cartridges, such as the .243, .260, etc) have an OAL of about 2.80 inches. If you’re interested in seeing dimensions out to tenths of a thousandth, go to the SAAMI web site – I’m going to lay all this out from memory, so I’m not going to spec dimensions down to a tenth.

    Anyway, the 6.5×55 is longer than a “short” bolt action receiver and magazine in the US sporting arms industry. The benchrest folks will tell you that they prefer short actions because they’re stiffer than standard length actions. For most people who aren’t shooting off a bench, this difference in rifle construction is “down below the noise floor,” ie, I highly doubt you can see a statistically significant “signal” above the “noise” of randomness in your groups in the short vs. long action debate.

    OK, so how does the 6.5×55 fit into a .30-06 action? Just fine – the OAL of a ’06 is 3.34″, so the 6.5×55 fits into a “standard” length action with room left over, right? Sure. But you have about .200 of unused case length – and you could be getting more out of that action if you used a longer cartridge.

    But will the 6.5×55 fit? Sure…. with one important modification yet to be discussed.

    The case head diameter for the 6.5×55 is .480″, whereas the .308, .30-06, .250 Savage, and all derived rounds have head diameters of .473″. If you try to use a standard bolt to cram a 6.5×55 cartridge home, odds are you’re going to mash the case head into the bolt nose, and ruin your brass as well as compromise your ejection.

    “Well, it is soooo close… can’t you gunsmiths do anything about this? You’re supposed to be such wizards, make my rifle take this 6.5×55 ammo!”

    Yup, can do. Been done. Any gunsmith can modify a “standard” length action to take a 6.5×55 – all we have to do is put the bolt into a fixture (like a LaBounty fixture), dial it in on the lathe, and take out a little bit of diameter on the bolt nose, right?

    Well…. seeing as how the “most popular bolt action rifle” is a Remington 700 (and derived models), we have a little problem with Remington’s riveted-in extractor on the bolt. Now we have to up-sell the customer to putting on a Sako or AR-15 style extractor onto their bolt to handle the 6.5×55, because we need to take out the factory extractor.

    Now you start to see why I don’t think much of these “improvements” to the Mauser bolt action design. On a real Mauser or a Mauser clone, I’d pull off the claw extractor from the bolt, put it into a fixture on the lathe, dial it in, pull out a few thou from the recess in the bolt nose, check it for fit with a shop-made gage pin, pull the bolt out of the lathe, re-install the claw extractor and ta-da! Your action now will handle a 6.5×55 Swede. At most, 30 to 40 minutes of work.

    The Remington style bolt? Oh cripes, we’re going to be in there, fiddle-farting around for at least two hours on both the lathe and the mill, with multiple fixtures and setups required. Oh, and you’ll need to fork up for the new extractor, spring, etc.

    Hmmm. This project of making a 6.5×55 rifle on a readily available action seems to be going up in price….

    Second issue with the 6.5×55 is that it is a round developed back in the early days of nitro powders, so the MAP’s are lower – SAAMI calls out a MAP for the 6.5×55 of about 51K PSI. An example of the pressures of newly developed cartridges, the 6.5 Creedmore has a MAP of 62K PSI. This additional pressure gets you about 200 fps more muzzle velocity out of the 6.5 Creedmore over the 6.5×55. Americans have this lust for maximum possible velocities – sometimes to silly extremes – but that’s the whole reason for all the cartridge development in the US going clear back to the 1920’s. You can load the 6.5×55 hotter – but if you’re looking at reloading tables based on recommended SAAMI MAP’s, you see the 6.5×55 as being slower than the modern offerings in 6.5.

    If it weren’t for the American obsession with “better, better, best!,” we’d have settled on the 7×57 from back at the start of the Spitzer/smokeless revolution and been done with it. The 7×57 had a MAP that was the same as the 6.5×55 – about 51K PSI. Today, the 7×57 is a footnote in the American rifle market. The US market is positively obsessed with maximizing muzzle velocity, even when launching a low Bc pill that will bleed it off quickly anyway. This is the reason for one .30 caliber magnum after another, going clear back to the .300 H&H Magnum. The .300 H&H gave you, oh, 400 fps more than the .30-06 – to which anyone looking at ballistics would say “So what?” Doesn’t matter to Americans. More is better, having the most means that men want to be like you, women want to be with you. This is like the American obsession with V-8 engines in cars. Give me an inline 6 eight days of the week – they have more torque, they’re easier to work on, they’re smoother, etc. Doesn’t matter: Madison Avenue has decreed that you shall have a V-8 if your car has more than four cylinders. If your car has four cylinders, well then, you’re obviously one of those effete Euro-weenies who nibbles on salads made of obscure greens.

    Are you going to settle for that? No, dammit! You want a V-8, you teach your child to say “Hemi!” before he says “Mom,” you eat a whole side of beef for your lunch, and you want a rifle that shoots so fast, the deer is dead before you pull the trigger! ‘murica, dammit!

    Since the American cartridge development of recent has been based on short length actions (eg, the WSSM’s), the new 6.5’s were going to have to fit into a short action. No one wants to fool around with making a bolt to take a .480 case head in the US. So you’re going to get short-action 6.5’s with 0.473″ case heads: the 6.5 Creedmore, the 6.5×47, the .260 Remington.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the 6.5×55. It is an absolutely fine cartridge. I like it plenty. The two issues that have hampered the 6.5×55 in North America for years were the case head issue (and the cost of adapting a Remington-style rifle bolt to fit) and the cost of brass, which has been historically more expensive than .308 or ’06 based brass.

    • …you eat a whole side of beef for your lunch…

      Just when to “BurnCo” and ordered the “happy platter.” It was amazing – huge pile of different meats. Amazing bbq – ever. If you actually want a vegetable, order the grilled potato salad. Hands down – the best BBQ restaurant I’ve ever been to. Line goes down the road, best to be there a few minutes before they open.

      • And I thought the ‘Merkin thing to do was to train your kid, after he hears “Got a hemi in it?”, was to reply “Sweet…”.

        (And I love me some inline-6 engines. So much easier to build a reliable ridiculous amounts of power when the crank is hit with a power impulse every 60 degrees of crank rotation, nice and even like)…

    • Got to love reading dyspeptic when he gets rolling. Well worth the price of admission. I hope ttag is sending him a couple of nice bottles of bourbon now and again.

      • No kidding. I always learn a bit more when the good Smithy gets rolling.
        I came back to this article to see if he chimed in. I am not disappointed!

    • Dyspeptic’s comment was so much better than the original article. The contrast perfectly explains the difference between “knowledgeable” and “know-it-all”.

  22. Good timing on the article since I just ordered a 6.5 grendel barrel. While I read all the hype about the cartridge, I did so with a bit of skepticism. nothing is ever as perfect as some people claim. still should be a very effective cartridge that I won’t hesitate to turn to.

    • I think the Grendel in an AR is great. Gives you a bit more downrange energy, and reaches out there. For an AR.

    • Something this article didn’t really address; 6.5 Grendel (and 6.8 SPCII for that matter) gives you near-.308 hunting performance (for smallish large game, like deer) that can fit in an ar-15. There is a lot to be said for that. Sure, it is not quite a .308, sure you won’t want to be hunting bear (or probably even elk) with it. But it is light, fast, accurate, and has good enough range for the 600 yard and less typical Western/prairie deer hunter, and has light recoil on top of all that.

      I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on precision shooting, or hunting, but it seems like there is room for this particular variety, even amongst relative newbies.

  23. Article devoted to trashing new 6.5 rounds designed around autoloader designs doesn’t mention autoloaders once. Somehow Creedmore’s ballistic similarity to Swede is used against it, but Swede is the best ever, but Swede is also bigger/heavier/more expensive? Not following. Creedmore was seeking to duplicate Swede from the start, but using the benefit of modern pressure levels and short action autoloader rifles. Sounds more like an indirect compliment of a round that improves over the Swede’s few shortcomings (long-ish round for what it is, odd case dimensions in the States)

    Also love how shooting steel is considered “wannabe sniping” whereas hunting is…wait, what kind of ‘real deal’ hunter who seriously takes game as the best route to sustenance uses expensive, rather obscure optimized cartridges to take animals so stupid they can be stalked or baited to within a hundred yards or so reliably? Oh, right, it isn’t “serious” hunting, it’s a weekend activity you do because you enjoy it, that comes with its own set of inherent and arbitrary rules. Just like steel shooting.

  24. I’ll shorten that up a bit. The 6.5×55 is great. The 6.5Creedmore is just as good. (In reality it is actually slightly better.) If you want to shoot a 6.5X55 in a short action bolt gun, buy a 6.5Creedmore.

    Oh, Josh, some of us were shooting steel with a bolt gun about the time you stopped teething. Some before you were born. We remember when silhouettes weren’t paper and they were in the shapes of all of God’s craeation. And we were standing up. (MF rams won’t fall down!)

    • You mean silhouette? Too easy man. CMP and NRA are far more difficult offhand. I just wrote an article on TTAG this week about building stability for offhand. You should check it out.

  25. A YouTube commenter tried to tell James Yeager that the .308 was a terrible sniper round. Yeager said “walk down range and when you feel comfortable that you can’t be killed with the .308, wave a flag”.

    • Meh, neither fish nor fowl. The .25 bullet space doesn’t do much for me. I mean, it works, but if you’re going to push a hunting bullet with an ’06 case, I’d rather be shooting a .280 Rem or the Ackley variant.

      I’ve shot a variety of “quarter-bore” cartridges – the .250 Savage, the .25-06, .257 Roberts, etc. None of them have ever really wow’ed me much. They work, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to build a rifle in a quarter-bore for my own use.

      • I built a .257 WBY on a .303 action back in the early ’90s, when I was into my ‘velocity is great’ phase. I grew out of that though. It didn’t impress me that much either. It shot flat, and light bullets blew up nicely on varmints, but it didn’t do any better on bigger game than any other .25 I used previously.

  26. Sure, the article is a little “offensive,” but the 6.5 crowd can be a little cultish. The 6.5 guys have insulted the .30 guys and vice versa.

    If someone doesn’t have a .308, I’d get one of those before a 6.5 CM, .260, etc. if someone didn’t have a 5.56, I’d tell them to get one of those before a 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC or 300 BLK. I have a general idea of my current stores of 5.56, .308, 9mm and .22 LR. General. It’s tough to go wrong with the military calibers.

    My perspective is heavily influenced by my previous tactical and future SHTF preparations. There is a metric shite-ton of 2.23, 5.56 and .308 ammo (and 7.62 X 39) in this world. Way more than any of the 6mm, 6.5mm, and 7mm ammo offerings combined.

    Those who are actual competition and / or long range hunters / shooters don’t need my advice. For the record, that’d be 6.5 Grendel in AR-15, 6.5 CM in AR-10, 7mm Mag, .300 WM, .338 Lapua in bolt or semi-autos). I like stuff that’s easy-ish to find.

    Plus if I get a Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5 CM I’m going to have to save up for another pricey scope and stock yet another caliber. If I had to do it over again I would have picked up a 6.5 Grendel instead of a 6.8 SPC.

    But I still like my collection of “obsolete” .30 caliber guns and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. There’s always room for more guns and ammo if I get a bigger house.

  27. Few pointers:

    1) This is a gun blog for gun people. All gun people. Not just people who shoot CMP but dislike “tactical rifle shooting”, or like .308, but hate 6.5mm bullets.

    2). Yes. Competitive sports are a game. All of them are games. We all know this. Does a pro football player walk out and say, “Coach – it’s just a game.” No. Some people take their games seriously. Which is fine. Nobody denies that it is not a game.

    3). You came to a gun blog and called a lot of people “wannabe snipers.” Instead of taking the opportunity to discuss 6.5 cartridges and their pros and cons in a friendly manner.

    4). You competing with your scoped 13.5″ SBR 308 is not a “wannabe sniper” activity, but people taking part in “tactical rifle shooting” are.

    5). Shooting competition games have real world significance. That significance is limited, but it does exist. A man who is well practiced at range finding and hitting objects at long range will do better in a real situation that requires it than someone who has no experience in hitting targets long range. A man who shoots USPSA and is practiced with moving and shooting will shoot better than one who has no experience in moving and shooting. Claiming otherwise is simply incorrect. You can’t in one sentence say that a person needs practice with their firearm and then in another say that practice in a competition has no significance.

    6). Please read this timeless classic:
    http://www.yourcoach.be/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Dale-Carnegie-How-to-win-friends-and-influence-people.pdf

  28. I enjoyed the article and I agree with your assertions. However, the shooting community has many DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH, whatever faith is in vogue at the moment and they are illogically rude and extremely vocal. Many of the comments written in response to your article were not written by the most logical, intelligent, polite or educated shooters around. Anyway, that comes with territory so keep writing.

    • Thanks man. I don’t write these articles for guys who already have their minds made up. I am here to enlighten and educate with articles based on my real life experience.

  29. Let me explain, Alfonso.

    I was a little dumbfounded to visit TTAG and be told I didn’t know the 6.5 wasn’t a mystical laser beam or of the 6.5’s history, and that I am an unethical hunter and wannabe sniper.

    Anyway, whatever straw man arguments the author wishes to refute, FACT IS the 6.5s *do* recoil less than the .308 (at all ranges) and they *do* perform better beyond 600 yards.

    Does that make it a better round? Only if either or both facts matter to you.

    “The average total of all the game I’ve taken is only 110 yards. I challenge the credentials and honesty of anyone who claims to have a longer lifetime average than that.”

    Why don’t you go ahead and post this over at http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/, Josh?

  30. Quote:. Same thing with the .260 and the 6.5x55mm. All these calibers, including modern 6.5x55mm rifles, use the same twist rate.” Quote

    Wrong. The original 6.5×55 Swedish rifles had a 1 in 7 twist to stabilize the long 160 grain bullets. Newly made 6.5 guns have slower twists which may not stabilize the 160 grain bullets which made the 6.5 mm so deadly and so accurate because of the tremendous penetration of the 6.5x 55 cartridge. W.D.M. Bell said the 6.5 even out penetrated the 7×57 Mauser with the 175 grain loading.

    The author is also wrong about the 6.5 not being any better than the .308. As a matter of fact the .308 is vastly inferior because the .308 can only handle bullets up to about 162 grains not the superior 220 grain bullets. Of course all this is totally unknown and if known totally rejected by the “velocity is everything crowd”. Little do they realize that most game is taken below 100 yards and the average skill of the average hunter is to lacking to shoot much farther than that under field conditions. Little do they realize that it is bullet penetration and shot placement that kills not velocity or bullet diameter.

    Few hunters realize that recoil and muzzle blast also play a big part in accuracy. More velocity means more barrel vibration that kills accuracy and more recoil and muzzle blast affect the shooters ability to shoot a gun accurately. All this rules out the magnum and ultra-magnum cartridges for being suited for the average “Joe Hunter”.

    In regards to the 6mm class of cartridges. They suffer from a lack of good heavy weight bullets and most of these calibers suffer from very short barrel life as well. The 6mm ppc often gets less than a 2,000 round barrel life and the problems of throat erosion in the .243 Winchester are legendary.

    In conclusion the legendary performance both in combat and in the hunting fields of the 6.5 mm class of military cartridges, Japanese, Chinese (yes they had their own too) and the Swedish, Portuguese, Italian, Austrian etc. all used the heavy 160 grain bullets and the very fast rifling twists. Extreme long range accuracy and mild recoil all contributed to the 6.5mm success. The caliber only lately has become popular in the U.S. but the U.S. shooter still fails to realize that the U.S. Gun Manufactures have still “got it all wrong” when it comes to rifling twist in these various 6.5mm calibers when it comes to using them for hunting purposes.

    • I was going to mention the twist issue on the (to our American view) absurdly long 160gr pills that were popular in 6.5 military rounds, but my comment was getting overly long. You’re right, of course.

      Bit of historical trivia: This preference for 160+ grain bullets in 6.5’s was the cause of the “magic bullet” from the 6.5 Carcano that was used to shoot JFK. The 160+ grain bullets have a very high sectional density (which is what leads to their high Bc’s), and a high sectional density means that it has more ability to penetrate in terminal ballistics. Hence the bullet that went through JFK, then the Governor, falling out on the stretcher.

      One other bit of arcane gunsmith knowledge: Since the advent of the new copper VLD pills, we need to revisit the determination of rifling twists. The old reliable, and simple, formula, Greenhill’s, is no longer as valid on modern bullets that have a long length:bearing area ratio, as opposed to the older, round or spire-pointed lead pills which had a much more predictable length:bearing area.

      http://www.jbmballistics.com/ballistics/bibliography/articles/miller_stability_1.pdf

    • False on every count. The original rifles had a 1:200mm or 7.87″ twist, so closer to 8 than 7. The original military loads were close to 160 grains, but in the 1940s, there was a switch to the 140gr M41 cartridge.

      The assertion that a .308 can only handle up to 162gr bullets is also false, seeing as how everyone knows that common factory loads are up to 180grs and match handloads can be loaded with 200-210gr bullets easily. I do it all the time, man.

      You are also wrong about the 6mm class of rifles. Ever hear of a 115gr DTAC? You know, the bullet that famous shooter David Tubb uses? Yeah.

      The 308 is not vastly inferior to the 6.5. I like 6.5 better for some things, but .308 for most stuff. Neither has that much recoil to begin with, so there is that, too. The 6.5 is a great round and so is the .308.

      • There are heavy pills for 6mm/.243 as you correctly point out, but the barrel life of many 6mm cartridges isn’t that long. The .243 is known for throat erosion, and many of the 6mm benchrest folks complain about their barrel life going downhill after 2000 to 2500 rounds. Some competitors reduce their barrel expense by just setting their barrels back a turn, and if you planned ahead in the barrel profile, that works fine. The barrel is damaged only in the throat area, unless the owner has been sawing at the bore with a brush.

        Some of the smaller bore centerfire cartridges are just trying to shove far too much powder behind too small a hole in the barrel – the 6’s and 6.5’s bore diameters seem to have some of the worst over-bored cartridges around. One of the worst would be the 6.5-284 – sometimes barrels last only about 1200 to 1400 rounds there.

        This is compared to things like .223/5.56 barrels, which can last a few thousand more rounds, .30-06 barrels which can last 4K+ rounds, and .22LR barrels, some of which last 50K+ rounds.

  31. No love or disdain for .277 Wolverine in this discussion? I’ve been waiting for TTAG to discuss .277WVL.

  32. So if 6.5creedmoor and the like are similarly effective to .308win but with lower recoil, why not go with 6.5?
    Josh makes some solid arguments here for using a 308 that you already have rather than re-gearing up with a 6.5, but I’ve read all those arguments from other articles before.
    It feels like this article is arguing with some “308 is awful use 6.5” strawman, rather than providing useful information. It also failed to deal with the reasons I most commonly hear for switching to 6.5, lower recoil and cost of match grade ammo.

    It’s clear the author knows long range shooting, but a pretty dissapointing article that suffers from an oddly smug tone. Stating an opinion on other folks reasons for shooting and then saying “harsh but true” does not make an opinion true.

  33. Accuracy is improved In a cross wind greatly at distance with the 6.5 over a .308. percentage of hits . That is enough for me.

  34. You realize the Army is using a 260REM for sniping right ? CAG is using them because their guys attend PRS matches and saw the writing on the wall. Consider the UKD target.

    A bullet like the 6.5 has a flatter trajectory, and 1/3 less wind drift. So your danger space has increased. Sounds like a better hunting and sniping round.

    The 308 is a great training round, but it’s no longer competitive. You have to have separate classes for it now.

    The world is turning, it’s about speed, it’s about efficiency, it’s also ballistically superior. Unless of course you caveat it with, under 300 yards.

    • They also use the .300 Norma Mag, .338 Lapua, .338 Norma Mag, .300 AAC, .45ACP, and a large number of other non-standard cartridges for a variety of uses.

      None of those rounds will ever replace the .308 or 5.56 in military use. They may be used occasionally by small units, but the .260 will NEVER replace the .308 in standard service or for the vast majority of military snipers and marksmen. The military will improve the .308 before dumping it.

      The .308 will always be competitive because it is a round common the world over. Is the .260 better? No. Not whatsoever. The needs of combat are not the needs of the competitor. I’d take a .308 over a .260 any day of the week if I was back in service again. Even then, I’d prefer a 5.56 with 77gr OTM bullets over .308 at that.

      Virtually all hunting takes place inside of 300 yards. It isn’t a caveat. It’s reality. At real-life distances, the 6.5 and 308 are the same, with the heavier .308 bullets at an advantage at those ranges. Nobody cares about 1200 yard shooting when all you do is fire at a 200 yard local range and talk about how good your bullets are. Its speculation at best. Don’t worry about drop and drift numbers, man. Those numbers are BS and you should be out practicing. I just got done firing this morning. I shoot about 200-300 rounds a week of rifle in practice for competition. It takes time and patience. Having a .260 will not make you a better shooter. Practice will.

      • PS, My personal range goes to a Mile, practice is not the issue as shooting is my only job, specifically long range

  35. Flatter and faster is always better the 6.5 is ballistic ally superior and with all things equal the 6.5 will win, it’s been proven beyond a shadow ofa doubt, by math, science and practical real world experience. Your argument is flawed. Sure a better shooter will win, but not always.

    They use those other tools because they are better. Just cause the military still uses the 308 doesn’t make it better. In most countries the 308 is a training round, the 338 is the operational winner.

    • The idea that all things are equal is flawed not just in practice but in principle. Nothing is ever equal, just on par. The 260 will never equal the 308 in service and common use. It, like other boutique rounds, will eventually pass from fashion or back into obscurity like so many have before it.

      .280 Ross was a great caliber and was touted as the best in the world. It saw limited service. Dozens of rounds have come and gone and a handful of voices won’t change the way of the world. We will likely never see the end of the 7.62×39, 7.62x54R, 308, 5.56, or 5.45 in our lifetimes. The 260? Sure. It will eventually become a chapter in the history of good ideas, just like so many others.

      It’s good that you shoot for a job. Realize that you may shoot to a mile, but nearly all don’t. This article is for those people.

  36. Wait a minute is the op/author saying that every 6.5 is basically the same as a 6.5×55 swed if that’s the case I’m just woundering why my published book data on MY 6.5 is 3k+Fps with 142 grain hornaday edl?? And add in I have a 1:9 twist barrel from a factory rifle. All I’m trying to get at here is there are different shades of any color same as different shades of any caliber.

  37. I’ll reemphasize what lowlight said: math doesn’t lie, and your article and arguement is flawed. For one, there are multiple ranges east of the Mississippi that now extend past 1000y; CORE Shooting solutions in FL, NSAG in Cussetta, GA. K&M in Tennessee. Peacemaker National Training Center in WV. And that is not counting the smaller ranges that clubs like MOST, LPRC, or the SEPRC use on private land. This article also had a pretentious tone that PRS was not practical. While harsh that statement is; its furthest from the truth. PRS involves moving tgts. Silly me; real life bad guys in Badhdad, Mosul, or Fallujah and hunting game ALWAYS stand still. And there is never any obstacles or barriers in the real world; all long range shooting in combat was from the prone and all hunters engage from the prime. guess Cabela’s needs to recall all the tripods, hunting sticks, and no need for a hog saddle.
    While my tone is one of sarcasm and snide; it proves a point. The author has very little experience in dealing or going to a practical precision match. This is evident in the multiple times of referencing the CMP. Solution to this; come to a PRS match in Oklahoma with your .308 and watch many others beat you with their 6mm and 6.5mm rounds. I know this first hand. And I even saw a top, very experienced shooter finish below mid pack because he was running a .308 I will agree that the .308 is secure for conventional military and NATO forces. But it ends there. Army and USMC BRFs at Quantico and Abredeen has proven that terminal effects between selected 6.5mm and 7.62mm rounds were near identical. The 6.5mm still beat the .308 in terms of SG rate, Aerodynamic Jump, MV, and barrel life.

    While I enjoyed the history lesson of the 6.5mm, that is the only positive takeaway I got from the article. To attend a PRS match; go to http://www.precisionrifleseries.com and there are multiple clubs in many states. Maybe next time you will have more experience to make a more informed, non biased article.

    • Agreed.

      Since CMP is a “game” and the author enjoys that “game” then he knows all the history about how that “game” helped bring about better instruction for the services in the early 20th century so soliders could become more lethal with weapons of better quality after the turn of the century.

      • CMP began as a government-administered program for military readiness. It is in no way similar to the origins of PRS. CMP competition today is just that: an echo of a past that has been turned into a fun game for points and is in no way preparation for the coming steampunk trench war against WW1 zombies. CMP is about as relevant to that as PRS is to people running-and-gunning around with a custom 6.5 defending our country alongside Chuck Norris in Invasion USA at 1500 yards. Today they are games for points, not training for war.

        PRS began as a game and will always be a game and will never be considered anything close to military training that is or was sanctioned and sponsored by the government.

        • I’m guessing you were mixing both Ryan and my reply. Never did I compare CMP to PRS. I don’t understand why you keep jumping on the video game and WW1 wagon. The simple fact is almost any type of discipline I can think of can be relative and be productive training. Applying fundamentals alone is IMO the greatest training value one can be rewarded whether they are military, LEO, civilian. You are more than welcome to your opinion on 6.5 vs whatever. Your article may have been better receptors if you used actual data on those cartridges as far as case capacity, load date, barrel length etc etc like someone mentioned above.

          Hopefully I’ll meet you at Perry. I will only be shooting the Garand and Vintage Sniper match during the games events

    • Its cute that you post a link to your own clearly-biased video that has a load of comments calling you out as a biased elitist.

  38. Well, its fair to say that I have been completely baffled and overwhelmed with the level of technical information in the comments posted above.
    I am a Brit now based here. I began shooting deer in my very early teens. I began with a .243 and later in life bought a second hand Rigby .275 (7mm Mauser, 7 x 57). Both of those cartridges performed admirably for me at medium ranges by which I mean up to 300 yards. I have rarely in my nearly 45 years of hunting come across people who regularly take a beast at in excess of that range.
    Remember, the .275 was particularly favoured by noted ivory hunter W.D.M. “Karamojo” Bell, who shot about 800 African Elephants with 1893 pattern 7×57mm military ball ammunition using Rigby Mauser 98 rifles. So what we know is that a well placed shot even with a reasonably small calibre can do ‘the business’ in competent hands.
    What I do find interesting is the amount of articles discussing shooting animals at extreme range. I know that I am a Brit and as such apparently know very little about hunting but, I was brought up to believe half the ‘sport’ was working the contours of the land to get close to the target in order to despatch the beast in an ethical manner.
    I am in the final stages of deciding upon a hunting rifle which I will have built by the guys at GA Precision and the calibre will be either 7 x 57 or .308. My reasoning being If it ain’t broke why try and fix it.

    • The POTG are a technical and opinionated lot, that’s for sure. Any caliber from .222 to 45-70 will take medium game nicely, given proper shot placement. The rest is all people trying to get a leg up on somebody else, or convinced that they have THE one solution to everything, everywhere.
      Like the comment about flatter shooting is always better. So, then my .22-250 makes a better elephant gun than a .458 Win? I think not.
      When someone wants a custom rifle made the first question is something along the lines of; “What do you intend to use it for”?
      Everything is dependant upon the situation and the intended use. If you think 6.5/.308 is an argument, you should hear the goings on between the .45ACP/9mm camps, or the glock/1911 guys! I won’t even bring up my favorite provocation, revolver/autoloader.
      Anyway, my question; I thought Bell’s favorite elephant caliber was the .257 Rigby, not the .275. Would you remember the place you saw that at? I also seem to remember something about him always carring a pair of .303s, along with the brace of 7X57s. He often ran out of ammo for the Rigby, but 7X57 and .303 were always available in Africa with solid bullets, depending upon whether he was near a German or British settlement. He thought that the construction of the bullet was ever more important than the bore diameter, or the case(I know the case doesn’t produce the gases, just a matter of brevity) that was pushing it.

    • Hey welcome to the States! You will be served equally as well with a 308, a 7mm, or a 6.5, as there is no real difference in them for 99% of people. GAP will make a fine rifle in any caliber.

      My recommendation? Get a Gladius in 308 and see about getting it with a 1:8 twist barrel. The fast twist will allow for bullets from 110-230 grains if you handload. You will never need more rifle than that for anything in America, despite what armchair operators tell you.

      Consider the fact that most people in America’s gun culture, especially the ones that comment so loudly here, have never even shot the calibers they advocate for. The guys calling me an idiot have likely never fired a shot past 100 yards and probably only shoot 50 rounds a year, but somehow care about 1500 yard retained energy. Ive shot well over 2000 rounds of 6.5 and an additional 1000 or more of 308 in the last few weeks alone out to 500m+, won 13 medals at national competition, dozens of local comps, and tell the unbiased, unvarnished truth when I write from personal experience. That makes me a bad guy to most people, which isn’t surprising here.

      I know that they’ve been confused and hurt when they are reduced to making fun of me personally and calling me names. People take calibers and guns personally here and hate it when their tribe is insulted, so have a thick skin if you dare express an opinion about literally anything. my simple advice to you: get the rifle you want and practice with it to the best of your ability. Please, please, please just have fun and enjoy this hobby. Ignore anyone who tells you differently.
      If you have questions just email TTAG and you can reach me directly. I am more than happy to talk shop. Again, welcome to the US and I’m glad to have you here.

  39. Great article-reality-sure makes the wannabe snipers shooting them dangerous,excuse me, engaging those “bad ass” animals at long range like 1000 or 1500 yards, when it was actually an accident they hit it at all & it was 275yds. really whine & pout-lol

    • I know, right? I read this whole section of comments and I can understand why people don’t like gun people. The OP shoots BOTH calibers by the THOUSAND and is called out for being a know-nothing asshole. I looked up the data and he’s right about everything including how big of babies these PRS guys must be. OP IS a competitor. He is an expert. He straight up loves 6.5 caliber but everyone in the comments says he’s a hater because he calls out the fact that these are just games and all the Navy SEAL snipers who lurk in the comments section suddenly have to come defend themselves anonymously like real men.

      This article was great, I learned alot about what the 6.5mm rifles aren’t, and what they actually do great, because he presented BOTH SIDES, unlike most other writers.

      My take: At standard ranges and hunting distances, there is no difference at all between most calibers, which is good to know because here I was worried about shooting out to a mile even though I don’t have a place that goes that far. After this, I don’t believe the hype and I’ll be sticking to my .308 because it is good for what I use it for at the ranges I shoot at.

  40. Good lord, this article is so full of straw man arguments and red herrings, that I have to dismiss it as clickbait filler.

    Here’s the author’s argument, in a nutshell — the 6.5 may be better than the 308 at long distance, but under 300 yards, they’re equal.

    Response: actually, when a cartridge is terminally equal to another, yet while delivering less recoil, we call that cartridge “better.” That’s not brain surgery. That’s common sense. Everything else about this piece is just fluff.

    • All I can say is I have used the 6.5×55 for every thing you would use a rifle for in shooting and hunting from mule deer to black bear and white tail deer I think you will not beat it as far as the authors article he wrote I will say he is full of sheep dip what a moron

  41. Guys, a lot of opinions and motions. I have a different question related with hopfully a lesson for us all: Around the 1888s with the coming of the smokeless powders the clever guys designed cartrages leading up to the first world war. All of them were in the order of 0.300 inch diameter. The Germans first ( not first of everyone) designed the 8x57J which was a 0.318 and a few years later changed to 0.323. Not a great legacy because it’s dangerous. The 8x57JS. The Brits came out with 0.303 and so the story goes. You all know the details.. All in the same ball park. Now keep in mind that although this may work well as a hunting round, it was designed for killing men. More accurately armed men who would shoot back at your fire. Now for the question:
    Why did the Swedes deviate so far from the “norm”? I am not asking for a better or worse answer. Simply the reasoning. Their conditions related to the average target range, operations temperature (first bullet to the rest) etc. was the same than their “competition”. Why have 1.5mm smaller bore? Can we hone it down to one thought that may present an answer that can be used in the next round of development? Not even when the trend moved to 7.62 was the jump so big. Why?

    • Actually, when smokeless powder conmming out, all the armies around the world used large bore cartridges, with .40 to .45 diameter heavy bullets, propelled by black powder. In 1886, the French 8mm Lebel was a double revolution : longer bullet with smaller bore diameter (they switched from 11mm to 8mm), and of course smokeless powder. A 232 grains at 2000fps ; at this era (19th century) that was a stellar ballistic compared to other BP rounds like 11mm Mauser, 11mm Gras, 450/577 Martini-Henry, 45-70 Govt, 10.4 Vetterli, … The German was in the hurry to develop their smokeless round to match the 8mm Lebel. The French cartridge had a 8mm diameter, so the German cartridge would have a one too (the barrel throat and twist of the Gewehr 1888 is a copy of the Lebel barrel). They did it with the 8×57 I. But they solved the main problem of the 8mm Lebel : its large and conical rimmed case.
      Mauser company designed in 1889 for Belgium their first smokeless cartridge : the 7.65×53, with a .311 diameter. The Brits and the Russian followed this way too. Some others chose to run .308 calibers, like the Swiss, the US, …

      There was already people who thought that an even smaller diameter would perform still better. Mauser designed for Spain the 7×57 in 1892, the 6.5×55 for Sweden in 1896, … The Italians and Japanese adopted 6.5 calibers too (6.5×52 Carcano and 6.5x50sr Arisaka). Many other smaller bore calibers came out, such 6.5×54 Mannlicher-Schoenauer, 6.5×53 Daudeteau, 6.5×57 (based on 8×57 case), etc with less sucess.

      You have to undersand the world just discovered a “new” ballistic. There actually was different schools of think : the ones who was convinced that a smaller diameter bullet, with a higher velocity and flater trajectory was better, especially for a battle rifle in the hands of non-professionnal mobilized soldiers ; and the others who thought these 6.5mm and 7mm was too small to be efficient. Larger and heavier bullets obviously have more energy and stopping power. For exemple when the Brits used the 303 for the first time in thier colonnies, their discovered that the bullets had tendency to over penetrate, and 303 wasn’t as good as the old 450/577 as a short range man stopper. So they started to develop the famous scary “Dum-dum” expansive bullets.

      Thinking that the Swedes was aware at the end of 19th century, of the superior ballistics of a 6.5mm, because of higher BC with small diameter long bullets over .30 caliber bullets with same weight, same velocity, sounds like bullshit for me.
      It is a well designed cartridge, without major defaults, performances are still very good today, especially with the current trend for 6.5mm calibers. This round became very popular in all the north of Europe for hunting, and for Swedish rifle Matchs. This is the reasons why this caliber survive until today. In an other context it could having disappear, as many other good calibers did.

  42. I read this article. I read the comments. I reread the article. I reread the comments.

    Several things stand out, to me:

    1. The author admits that 6.5 class cartridges are “equal” to the .308. “At distances inside of 300 yards, a .308 and a 6.5 are equals.” “Equal, sure, but certainly not better.” Do keep in mind that the author was referring to the two cartridges in a hunting and/or military scenario, because, you know, that’s the only valid use for modern rifles in the 21st century (see: author’s scorn for shooting “games”). I still find this argument tenuous at best, however. While I would admit the same – “At distances inside of 300 yards, a .308 and a 6.5 are equals”, the edge goes to the 6.5 as distance increases. The reality of the situation is easily illustrated by simply plugging data into any ballistic calculator and looking at both drop and drift. When playing a game, terminal ballistics and energy on target are not something that needs consideration. The only thing required of the round is the ability to put a hole in a piece of paper, or to make a piece of steel ring/swing. In order to do so, one must hit what one aims at, and a 6.5 inarguably makes that easier.

    2. The author admits that 6.5 class bullets have better ballistic coefficients than do .30 caliber bullets. “The 6.5 became an answer to the .308 in competition because it offered better ballistics and less recoil for playing a game.” Again, better ballistic coefficients provide flatter trajectories and less wind drift – two things that, to anyone who wants to hit what they aim at, are always important.

    3. If the author admits that .308 and 6.5 are “equal”, recognizes the fact that 6.5 bullets are ballistically superior, and recognizes the fact that 6.5 cartridges have less recoil, his argument becomes invalid on its face. He has already conceded every point of the argument that 6.5 is, in fact, superior to .308 – with the possible exception of energy on target, but even that argument begins to fail as distance increases. Regardless that fact, shot placement is still the most important aspect of shooting, and a 6.5, with flatter trajectory and less wind drift, is simply easier to put on target. To put it in terms the author may understand, a “zombie” will still be more dead from 400 ft/lbs worth of 6.5 to the head than he will be from 1000 ft/lbs of .308 delivered into the tree next to him.

    4. I cannot figure out why the author has such a hard-on for all things military. The military is not the end-all, be-all of the world of weaponry. There are logistical considerations, compatibility of ammunition with allies, cost, barrel life, and many, many other things that must be thought about when an organization is going to commit to purchasing hundreds of thousands of rifles and tens of millions of rounds of ammunition. To that end, the .308 and .223 meet the need well: Ammunition is, in fact, available the world over, US allies use it, and if you manage to shoot the barrel out of a bolt-action .308, you’ve put in some serious work. Combine that with existing stockpiles of ammunition that would have to be scrapped/sold/otherwise disposed of, and of course it would literally take an act of congress for the military to change cartridges. HOWEVER – when someone walks into a gun shop and wants a rifle to go hunting with, I doubt the first words out of their mouth are “I want to go hunting with what the military uses”, but rather, they are far more likely to want a rifle that will be effective for their chosen game, at their chosen distance, and meeting their varying requirements of accuracy, weight, and cost.

    5. I cannot figure out why the author has such a hard-on for the PRS. While I am, admittedly, a relatively new competitor in the world of PRS shooting, I have attended several matches in varying parts of the country, thus allowing me to meet a vast cross-section of the competitors. I’ve met guys from nearly all the 50 states and Canada as well, and not a single one of them said to me “You need to make sure you do well at this in case you ever have to smoke check a zombie at 1300 yards!” Similarly, no one has ever said to me “I was a sniper in the sandbox, and this is the most realistic thing I’ve been able to find that simulates my experiences over there. Oorah!” So, I cannot help but wonder why, if the competitors themselves don’t feel this way, the author does? Is it perhaps that he maybe did try this type of GAME (yes, I’m not arguing it’s a game, I’m simply calling bullshit on the author’s hard-on for a “bunch of ‘wannabe (sic) snipers'”), and he sucked at it?

    In conclusion, on examining the above article, after carefully working my way through the haze of spelling errors, abuse of capitalization, and general crimes against grammar and syntax, I have demonstrated that, beneath it all, the work betrays the author’s staggering ignorance of the history and the workings of the PRS (not to mention ballistics). While the authors wildly swerving train of thought did at one point flirt with coherence, this brief encounter was more likely a chance event than a result of even rudimentary lucidity.

  43. reality isnt for everyone…..luckily they have enough imagination to get them by…..but fantasy always collides with reality.

    and the reality is that the 6 and 6.5’s trump the 30’s……no way to spin it otherwise…but frost it as you wish, rekon you have to sleep at night too

  44. Good Article expect for the fact that you forgot the Nolser 26 and the new well not so new 6.5-300 Weatherby…..
    People have been talking about the down range performance of the 6.5 but not the ones you mentioned …..140GR @2600-2700FPS nope your right not very exciting but 6.5-300 120GR @ 3500FPS 140GR @ 3300FPS Well that sir is exciting, And out performs the anemic 7.62x51mm!

  45. I would LOVE for you explain to me….. a “record holding” “real sniper” how the over all ballistics of the 308 is superior and how competition like the PRS is a video game rather than real training…… please contact me and let’s talk. Jim@usoptics.com

    I find your arrogance and raise you reality.

    • You should do some research on James before you contact him. Just FYI. Make sure you brush up on real snipers, record holders and PRS.

  46. The author clearly hasn’t shot much at long distance or in the wind or he would understand the clear advantages of the various 6.5mm and 6mm cartridges over 308. I shoot at monthly practical matches at NRA Whittington Center and we have 6″ & 12″ circles as well as 5″ & 10″ squares hung as diamonds out to 875 yards. I shot that match with a 308 for 3 years. Now a 260 for the last 2 years. My wind calls require less precision with a 140 gr 6.5mm than a 175 gr 308 and I can push the 6.5 faster without pressure signs. The difference in wind drift is what matters, not drop. If the author shot much on small targets out to 1000+ yards he’d know that. Amateurs study bullet drop. Journeyman riflemen study the wind. I have stuck with 6.5mm rather than 6mm because it has more versatility in hunting out here. And yes, a 300 WIN Mag with 200 gr bullets will do everything a 140 gr 260/Creedmoor/6.5×47 will, but with twice the recoil, half the barrel life, lots more powder, and the inability to see your own hits or misses. The only gain with a 300 WIN over a 260/Creedmoor/6.5×47 is the extra payload, which targets don’t need, but big critters might.

    Keep your powder dry, my friends. We’re going to have to stick together in the coming administration, not quibble about cartridge choices and that someone else’s match shooting is illegitimate.

  47. How in the Holy living f**k did you get a “job” writing about guns. Your ignorance is terrifying. How can you speak as though you know about the “gamers” who shoot this and admit that only 2 people you know who do so have shot past 600 yards? You don’t know the right people.

  48. This article is hilarious. There are so many more factors when selecting a round.
    1. Performance(V, BC, et).
    2. Barrel life
    3. Availability of good brass for reloading
    4. Recoil mgmt
    I could go on and on. 308 Win loses to 6.5mm and 6mm in every area I can think of. .243 is an excellent round and run it but my match gun is a 6x47L(necked down 6.5x47L) or a 6.5 SAUM aka 6.5 GAP. I get much better barrel life with the 6.47L vs my 243. The choice is simple.
    Also, guys are PRS matches aren’t wannabe snipers. I’m a Special Forces Sniper, and use it to get better. Also, the most important reason I do it and it’s the same for everyone else at matches, it’s fucking fun. There are countless guys at matches that never spent a day in the military, much less as a sniper, that will kick my ass with ease. We all learn from each other(mostly me from them) and we have fun in the process.
    Another bit of misinformation. In several SOF units, the 260 Remington is being used and some are finishing testing and will be using it soon. Barrel life is not of concern, hence the 260 vs all the other 6.5 mm rounds. I can personally tell you, for years now, some snipes in SOF units have been running 260 remmy down range. It’s easy to do. Bring your own gasser upper, pull Bullets and neck down 308 or just bring your own shit. You then made that boat anchor KAC M110 piece of shit, and useful rifle at distance with the ass to drop folks.
    Get your facts straight and get outside of the mall ninja crowd. Maybe go to a PRA match and learn something. Bring your 308 there btw. You’ll get smoked. I learned a long time ago, when you think you know everything, or have it figured out, you need to hang it up. I’d start with Bryan Litzs books.

  49. James,
    I was thinking of you when I read the article. Not to mention all the SF, SEAL, CAG, FBI, Secret Service, and LEO snipers I’ve shot with at PRS matches. The TRUTH is they are encouraged to attend these matches and several shoot their work guns. To a man they tell me there is nothing ,outside of actual combat, that induces stress like shooting on the clock in front of your peers.
    Mr Wayne I suggest you actually go to a PRS event with your 308, and put your money where your mouth is. Then come back and write and honest article about your experiences.

    • Thanks,
      I just don’t get where these guys get off preaching down to everyone while they readily admit they have not and refuse to try what they are spewing hate about. I wish everyday I had shot PRS before deploying on ANY of my trips abroad. I would go so far as saying an upper middle packer in the PRS has more knowledge and shooting skill than MOST of the military shooters I have ever served with. The OP is a loud mouth with an opinion and just like every other self-important Internet SME he is showing his lack of humility and proving he is nothing more than a traditionalist blowhard who got the attention he wanted.

  50. I see there are some here that have drank the 6.5 koolaid. Truth is that the 6.5 does have better wind bucking ability that only a master or high master could use. If you are a lowly expert, then learn to read the wind with a 308 or 223. Over bore 6.5s, not mentioned in the article, do over shadow the 308 win. I agree with your premise that in “practical” applications that the 6.5 is not magic. It is the skill of the shooter.If the shooter misses the wind he hopes to make up for that with a 6.5. Face it a 30-06 will do whatever you want in the lower 48 and the 2700-2600 fps is the “magic” velocity for most paper punchers to succeed. I was shooting high power when the 22-250s where blowing up 80gr bullets and the same for some 6mm-250 wildcats. I agree that low recoil on XCR or F-class does improve scores. I moved from an M1 to AR15A2 and immediately was an expert. However, shooting TR (308) will improve the shooter. Palma is still the place to go to really improve the shooter’s ability to read the wind. I will take wind reading ability every day instead of hot rod cartridges. All that being said, my next rifle will be 260 rem. Why? Because I have 2 daughters that want to shoot and there is no reason to pound them with 308 Win 190 gr bullets when 6.5mm 140s and less will do the same at punching paper and rocks at LR. Great article! PS I have chased after those points with every snake oil gimmick out there to include ruining barrels with Molybdenum disulfide lubricant. The secret to success? Just shoot. That is the greatest teacher of all. Most great shooters are all so 22 LT champions of some kind. That is called a clue.

  51. I think this whole debate is funny. I am a cop, and have been in situations where I had to pull and use my firearm. I would argue that any “practice” with a firearm, whether it is shooting paper, cans, or steel, is helpful if you ever have to use a firearm to defend you life. I would even argue that playing video games is a great way to increase hand/eye coordination, which is also beneficial. However, the one variable that no shooting sport (game) can take into account is the mental attitude necessary to survive a gunfight. I would argue that being willing to pull the trigger is probably the most important aspect of preparing to defend your life. There are lots of great folks out there shooting lots of rounds every month, that when faced with the hard choice of taking another human’s life, would hesitate, or worse yet, fail completely. Short of actual role-playing scenarios with sims guns or airsoft, there is no way to even begin to test this, and those are weak tests at best. I’ve seen lots of cops who purport to be mentally prepared hesitate to pull the trigger on a sims gun, even though they know there will be no repercussions for doing so, other than a little razzing if they miss. As a firearms trainer, I say buy and use whatever you are the most proficient with. I appreciate the candor of the article, and I tell people all the time that firearms and ammunition manufacturers have the same business model as the folks that are trying to sell you deodorant and shampoo. Everything “new” is always “better” than everything “old”, even though we have advanced in firearms and ammunition design now to the point where there are very few truly “new” ideas, and most of those aren’t really “better” just different. I own lots of guns, because there is no one firearm that will do everything I want to do with a gun.

  52. Great article! Too bad people can’t just debate with kind words or positions and not get emotional. If you disagree then state why but name calling and trolling gets old. I actually liked Charlie’s comments the most. Pragmatic and factual.

  53. The use of the 6.5x.308 in silhouette competition goes back much further than acknowledged in the article. Both it and the 7x.308 (before Remington standardized both) offered less recoil and less wind drift than the .308 Win. Each is flatter shooting than the .308 Win which can be a benefit when shooting at unknown distances.

    Where power factor is required, e.g. high power rifle silhouette, 6mm cartridges have not done well in the long run. Barrel life is a bigger issue with 6mm cartridges. The Army Marksmanship Unit used to shoot 6mm Rem. They reportedly were not allowed to travel to competition with a rifle that had more than 800 rounds through the barrel and had to carry a backup rifle in any event. The .243 proved not to be the equal of the 6mm Rem in most competitions. For these reasons the development of the smaller 6mms (6X, 6XC, 6×6.5×47 Lapua, and 6×6.5 Creedmoor among others) in competitions not requiring particular power factor (basically paper punching).

    Whether the armed forces adopt a new rifle will determine what cartridge can be utilized. The current AR platform is rather restrictive when it comes to cartridge choice.

    • I am 76 years old and have been shooting a sweedish model mauser 94, 6.5×55 sense 1960. It has done every thing I wanted a firearm to due. I have killed everything from coyotes to elk, and it did well. The only problem I had was a Hornady 140 grn. sst I will never shoot another animal with that bullet again. It was exploding on contact with the skin. Hornady seemed to have any interest in the problem. I’ll go back to Noslers.

  54. Very well written article. Thanks for being realistic in your views. We all have our pets and usually for good reason. The M1 Garand in 30-06 used to be the champ only to be replaced by the M-14 in .308. This too was replaced by the M-14 in .556.

    Each has its virtues and downfalls, protectors and detractors. I have shot all of these to 600 yards/meters in matches. I have only shot out to 1000 with an M1 tho. I have only used iron sights and have ultimate respect for those that shoot well at that range, it’s another world of shooting.

    I have recently gotten into the use of optics for shooting for use on my 6.5 Grendel 24″ Alexander Overwatch but will stuck with irons for my M1, MA, and match AR 15.

    I used to have the belief that one was superior to another, but for practical hunting purposes and ranges, dance with what you brung and practice practice practice. You don’t have to worry much about shooting 600 to 1000+ yards with any regularity unless you are into competitive CMP.

    Think about this, your game doesn’t know if it was a 223,6.5, 243,308 or if by a 75 – 220 grain projectile if whatever just hit it takes it down efficiently and humanely.

  55. Your commentary was largely based on your own experience. My experience has been very different. For long range shooting I do enjoy the benefit of living out west. Any bit of wide open public land is my shooting range. Coyotes at 440 yards is a mid range shot where I come from. The dogs will not give you a shot inside of 200 yards. A 200-300 yard shot is so easy its just plain murder rather than hunting.
    The 6.5mm family of cartridges should be more appreciated by hunters. Bullet weights from 90 grains are fast and flat for varmints. Heavyweights of 120,123,129,140,and 160 give a hunter plenty of options for big game. I shoot an 1899 Gustav, a Steyr Prohunter 6.5×55, a DPMS LR260 black rifle, a Steyr ProHunter .260 Rem, and an AR in 6.5 Grendel. A Creedmor build is next on the list. I have good success and good fun with the 6.5s. Shooting “games” mean nothing to me because the nearest competition is 4 hours away and I dont have the time. Long live the 6.5.

  56. Wait! What???
    77gr .223 superior to 6.5 Grendel?
    In what universe? Maybe if you compare it to wolf steel case but that’s not a comparison that’s a joke. Grendel beats any loading of 5.56 with a similar sectional density out to 1200 yards.

  57. No!

    Now you have put your foot in properly!

    In my attempts to break out of my old school habits and try something new, I ordered a 6.5 Ruger PR, but reading this makes me believe I made the wrong decision! I will very quickly change this.

    Thanks for an informative post and helping my justify my original decision to go with the .308. Putting distance in perspective is important, and frankly, at my age I rarely, if ever, will hunt at more than 150 yards, and for playing a game, I just have to learn to shoot straight at longer distances.

    Thanks
    Paul

  58. I had the misfortune of inheriting a Winchester pre-64, Model 70 in .264 Winchester Mag along with lots of loaded ammo and exactly 1200 projectiles. I carried it last year for the last time hoping not to get a shot at a deer. I Flinch just thinking about it. (I’m planning on pulling all of the bullets from the loaded ammo for the 6.5 CM.)
    I just purchased a nice little Ruger Hawkeye FTW Hunter in the 6.5mm Creedmoor with a muzzle break and look forward to shooting it without a sandbag between the stock and my shoulder. I’ve never shot an animal past 130-yards (big KUDU in South Africa with a .375 H&H couldn’t miss) and would never try it for fear of wounding an animal only to have it limp off and die painfully. Most California hunting is less than 100-yards (yes I know that all the X-Zones offer longer shooting) and the little Blacktail deer will go down just fine with bullets at 140-grains or less. So, that’s my rationalization for buying the 6.5mm CM (my wife went for it).
    I wouldn’t wish a .264 Win Mag on anybody. (By the way, the .375 H&H CZ Safari doesn’t kick that much and it is built heavier to compensate.)

  59. It sounds like you just want to tell us all how awsom you are and that everyone one else is just a try hard. Under 3 or 400 yards if you are shooting at paper then it doesnt really matter a toss what caliber you shoot and energy downrange is unnecessary unless you are hunting. And yes at known distances the drop doesnt matter as much but what about wind and recoil? Id wager that if you had to mill 10 targets over 700yards you would miss 9 of them with your 13 inch 308. PRS might be just a game but then what isnt, are you saying mike tyson is a shit fighter cause he only fought in the ring and didnt fight to the death on the street? If tactical rifle is what guys enjoy doing then who are you to knock them? If pretending they are a sniper makes them shoot better then I say go for it. the guys winning PRS comps are amasing shooters and if their 6 and 6.5 calibers didnt give them an advantage over 308 they would all be using 308. Hunting is totally different situation and at 300yards a 30cal is more than likley going to give an average shooter like me a bit more room for error but you are talking chalk and cheese, your points are all over the place and half the reasons you give are irrelevant. I shoot 308 300winmag and 6.5creedmoor anywhere from 600 to 1k, i dont hunt and i enjoy my hobby. My 6.5 gets way more use than the other 2 and im more consistent with it. Consistency is where the money is but Im sure you knew that already.

  60. The .308 Win suffers from a lack of really good 150 and 168 grain bullets. Fortunately a friend of mine and myself are attempting to solve this problem, by manufacturing all copper aluminum tipped hollow point bullets with high BCs. Those bullets combined with unconventional use of the Leverevolution powder have allowed us to create 308Win loads that rival Hornady Superformance 7mm Rem mag 154SST loads out to 500 yds. There is less than a 2.5 inch difference in drop and wind drift. My favorite load is 49 grs of LVR, WLRM primer, Lapua brass with our 150 gr all copper bullet whose BC we measure at 0.485 (G1) launched at 2920 from a 1:10 twist 20 inch barrel or at 3050 fps from a 24 inch 1:9.5 twist barrel. By contrast the Nosler E-Tip with an advertised BC of .469 actually measured .396. The test was a side by side comparison of our bullet with the other all copper 150 gr 308 caliber bullets available. All BCs were measured by flight time over 500 yds on the same day. We tested our 150 grain bullet on African plains game. 200-300 yd shots were easy. We killed all seven animals with 7 shots and did not have to track anything beyond 10 yds. With the right bullet and powder the 308, because of the extreme efficiency of the cartridge, can be made to perform way better the factory ammo.

      • I am familiar with them and have the bullet to which you refer. They claim extraordinarily high BCs. I plan on actually testing these claims. One thing though, they are not hunting bullets. They actually use the same ogive function that we do.

      • Is that Alan Warner’s Palma bullet? While interesting, a 6.5mm bullet of similar construction would have an advantage over the .308 bullet.

  61. One thing to remember about sectional densities and lead core bullets. They drop like stones on impact. An expanding copper bullet will likely penetrate better than a lead core bullet of higher sectional density. Remember, the formula for sectional density is mass divided by cross sectional area. As a lead core bullet expands and starts to shed weight the sectional density decreases linearly as the weight is reduced and decreases as the square of the increase in diameter as the bullet expands.

  62. 6.5 mm cartridges are popular in Europe. European shooters have several 6.5mm cartridges that are virtually unknown in North America. If you want to purchase 6.5mm cartridge then you can purchase it from Europe. For most big game hunting, the 6.5mm cartridges are the right choice for every professional hunters. Including this I would like to suggest the use of choke tubes for better shooting experience. You can go for “Muller chokes” because it is one of the best choke tubes manufacturers in the United State.

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