June 12th, 2014

The Great Debate: .260 Rem vs. 6.5×55 — Which Is Better?

One of our Shooters’ Forum readers, Trent from Louisiana, asked for help deciding between a .260 Remington and a 6.5×55 for his latest gun project. In the Forum thread, respected UK gun writer Laurie Holland provided a good summary of the differences between the two chamberings. Laurie writes:

Remington 260 Cartridge“The 6.5×55 case has 6 or 7% more capacity than the .260s, even more in practice when both are loaded to standard COALs with heavy bullets, which sees them having to seated very deep in the .260 Rem using up quite a lot of powder capacity. So loaded up for reasonable pressures in modern actions, the 6.5×55 will give a bit more performance.

The issue for many is what action length is available or wanted, the 6.5 requiring a long action. So sniper rifle / tactical rifle competitors will go for the .260 Rem with the option of the many good short-bolt-throw designs around with detachable box magazines. If a bit more performance is needed, the .260AI gives another 100-150 fps depending on bullet weight.

Brass-wise, you’ve got really good Lapua 6.5×55 off the shelf that needs minimum preparation, and it’s strong and long-lived. There is an Ackley version too that was popular in F-Class in Europe for a while that isn’t too far short of 6.5-284 performance. If you go for .260 Rem, the American brass isn’t as good but you can neck-up Lapua or Norma .243 Win and trim them (or neck-down .308 Win or 7mm-08). This has the downside that doing so usually creates a noticeable ‘doughnut’ at the case-shoulder junction, that may cause problems depending on how deep bullets are seated. [Editor’s Note: After Laurie wrote this, Lapua began producing high-quality .260 Remington brass.]

Laurie HollandFor purely target shooting, I think I’d go with 6.5×55 if I was making the choice again today for performance and brass-preparation reasons. In fact, I’ve considered going back to the gunsmith to have the barrel rechambered.

You want a multi-purpose rifle though and that makes things trickier depending on the bullet weight(s) you want to use. The [typical] 6.5×55 and 6.5-08 throats are really designed for 140s, so 90-120s make a long jump into the rifling. If you’re always going to use 130s and up, it’s less of an issue. If you want to use the lighter stuff, I’d say go for .260 Rem and discuss the reamer with the gunsmith to come up with as good a compromise as you can depending on the mix of shooting. 1:8.5″ twist is the norm and handles all the usual sporting and match bullets; you can go for a little slower twist if you won’t use the heavies.

Over here in the UK, in Scotland to be precise, we have a top sporting rifle builder (Callum Ferguson of Precision Rifle Services) who almost specializes in .260 Rem usually built on Borden actions. He throats the barrel ‘short’ so it’s suited to varmint bullets, but will still handle the 100gr Nosler Partition which he says is more than adequate for any British deer species including Scottish red stags.

Accuracy-wise, I don’t think there’s anything between them if everything else is equal. The 6.5 has a reputation for superlative accuracy, but that was high-quality Swedish military rifles and ammunition matched against often not-so-high-quality military stuff from elsewhere. Put the pair in custom rifles and use equally good brass and bullets and you’ll be hard pressed to tell them apart.” – Laurie Holland

Remington 260 CartridgeAfter Laurie’s helpful comments, some other Forum members added their insights on the .260 Rem vs. 6.5×55 question:

“To me, the .260 Remington has no advantage over the 6.5×55 if one is going to use a long action. Likewise, the only advantage the .260 has in a modern rifle is it can be used in a short-action. There is more powder capacity in the 6.5×55 so you have the potential to get more velocity plus there is a lot of reloading data available to you for loading at lower velocity/pressure if you choose. The Lapua brass is great and Winchester brass is pretty good at low pressures. Having loaded a good bit for both, the 6.5×55 would always get the nod from me. To me, if someone wants to use a short-action, the 6.5×47 Lapua is even a better option than the .260 for a target rifle.” — Olympian

“There is just one small item that has been missing from this conversation — the 6.5×55 has a non-standard rim diameter of .479″ vs. the standard .473″ of a .308 and all of its variants. Depending on your bolt this may be an issue, or it may not.” — Neil L.

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June 12th, 2014

National Champion Shooter Ty Cooper Joins Creedmoor Sports

Creedmoor Sports has hired ace marksman Tyrel Cooper “as the newest addition to the Creedmoor Sports family”. Ty brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience as a service rifle shooter, match rifle shooter, and long range shooter. Cooper’s shooting resume includes five national championships (one each in 2008, 2011, 2012, and two in 2013). He is the current (2013) NRA National Long Range Champion, and reigning (2013) NRA National Service Rifle Champion.

Tyrel Cooper USAMU

Creedmoor’s General Manager, Dennis DeMille, states: “I’ve known Ty and watched him progress from the time he was 14 years old attending matches with this parents, Lonnie and Lupe, and his sister Sam. Even at that young age his maturity and potential was obvious. His 10 years as a member of the elite USAMU squad allowed him to realize that true potential, becoming one of best service rifle shooters of all time…and he’s not done. Customers who call Creedmoor Sports to get advice on shooting equipment, or shooting in general, will be able to get that advice from either Ty or myself. His quiet, polite and humble demeanor make him a perfect champion and representative for Creedmoor. When we heard Ty might be available we couldn’t risk missing an opportunity to get him on board.”

Tyrel Cooper USAMU National Champion Creedmoor Sports

Below is a 2012 file photo of SSG Ty Cooper shooting a service rifle. Cooper won the 2013 NRA National High Power Rifle Long Range Championships with a final score of 1243-71X. In the Long Range Championships, Cooper used a Nesika-actioned bolt gun with long barrel chambered in 7mm SAUM.

Ty Tyrel Cooper USAMU

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June 12th, 2014

Huge Arsenal of Tommy Guns Set for Auction in St. Louis

St. Louis police thompson tommy gun auction NFA saleIt is an iconic American firearm design — the Thompson submachine gun, or “Tommy Gun”. Here’s your chance to add the real thing to your firearms collection. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLPD) plans to auction off twenty-nine (29) historic Tommy Guns. These 1920s-era .45-caliber weapons have been stored in a vault for decades. The SLPD is selling the highly-collectible submachine guns to raise money for new service pistols for its officers. The auction will take place later this year, but no exact auction date has yet been set.

St. Louis police thompson tommy gun auction NFA sale

A Million Dollars Worth of Full-Auto Firepower
The Tommy guns are expected to fetch from $15,000 to $40,000 each, putting a estimated value of the whole collection at as much as $1,000,000. According to the Washington Times: “The collection was appraised by a local dealer in 2012 at $770,000, but police and some collectors believe it could sell for much more. The collection includes rare 1921 and 1927 Colts and a model made in 1942.”

SLPD chief Sam Dotson stated: “We’re told [that] outside of the military and federal government we have the largest cache of Thompson machine guns.”


Because these are fully-automatic “Class III” weapons, subject to the National Firearms Act (NFA), purchasers much fill out the proper paperwork, pass background checks, and obtain a Federal Tax stamp for each Tommy gun purchased. The SLPD expects the majority of the firearms will be purchased by wealthy collectors or museums.

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