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, 2013

Lapua Brass in Many Popular Calibers Available Now

Lapua cartridge brass accurateshooter.comWe all know that reloading components have been in short supply in recent months. If you’ve been searching for quality brass, your wait may be over.

A boatload of Lapua cartridge brass has crossed the Atlantic, cleared customs, and is now in warehouses. Many large vendors report that they have ample supplies of Lapua brass in stock now. So if you need some cartridge cases, place your orders today.

Here is a summary of the cartridge types in stock, vendor by vendor. Sorry, no 6mmBR brass on hand at these outfits, but you’ll find most other types of Lapua rifle brass:

Lapua Rifle Cartridge Brass in Stock as of 6/12/2013
Creedmoor Sports Grafs.com Powder Valley Inc.
.220 Russian
.223 Rem
22-250 Rem
6.5×47
6.5×284 Norma
.260 REM
.308 WIN
.308 WIN Palma
.30-06 Spr
.220 Russian
6.5×47
.260 Rem
6.5×55 SE
6.5×284 Norma
.338 Lapua Mag
.220 Russian
.222 Rem
.223 Rem
22-250 Rem
.243 Win
6.5×47
.260 Rem
6.5×55 SE
6.5×284 Norma
7.62×39
.308 Win
.308 Win Palma
.30-06 Spr
.338 Lapua Mag
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »
October 7th, 2012

260 Rem vs. 6.5×55 — Laurie Holland Compares the Cartridges

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.

For 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 varients. Depending on your bolt this may be an issue, or it may not.” — Neil L.

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February 14th, 2012

Nosler Discounts “Over-Run” Brass and Bullets

Nosler is offering deeply discounted pricing on Over-Run brass in these calibers: 6.5×55 Swede, .338 Lapua Magnum, 30-378 Weatherby, and 340 Weatherby. You can save up to 33% on the single-box price. Nosler puts 50 cases in a box of 6.5×55 brass. However, there are only 25 cases per box for the other, larger cartridges.

Nosler Sale Products

In addition to the bargain brass, Nosler is also offering big discounts on select Custom Competition bullets, and Nosler Custom Ammunition. For example, a 250-count box of Nosler’s 190gr .308-Cal Custom Comp bullets is marked down to $69.95 from $91.00, a 23% savings. Visit Nosler’s Over-Run Sales Page to see all the discounted products.

Nosler Sale tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
December 10th, 2009

More Interesting Shooting Competitions from Norway

Norway shooting matchOur recent post about Norway’s annual Landsskytterstevnet (Rifle Country Fair) marksmanship competition was very popular. American sling-shooters noticed how Norway’s marksmen used a different sling set-up and how the Norwegians were using their middle finger or ring finger to pull the trigger. This allows faster cycling of the bolt in rapid-fire competition.

CLICK HERE for more Landsskytterstevnet streaming videos

Unfortunately, some of our readers with slower internet connections were not able to stream the video from the Norwegian server. Here are two YouTube videos posted by reader ICECOOL from Norway. The first shows John O. Ã…gotnes shooting rapidfire in the Stangskyting discipline (25-second time limit). The gun is a Sauer 200 STR (Scandinavian Target Rifle) chambered in 6.5×55.

YouTube Preview Image

The second video, below, shows competitors in a 3-position (standing, kneeling, prone) shooting competition at the 2008 Samlagsskyting Finals. This provides good closeups of the Norsk sling arrangement. Note also the electronic scoring technology which instantly plots the shots on the target. This makes it exciting to watch the match… tension builds until the final shot. American clubs could benefit from electronic scoring which allows the crowd to follow the action.

YouTube Preview Image

ICECOOL has posted more links to Norway shooting match videos on the Firing Line Forum. Many of these matches are actually broadcast live, in prime-time, by Norwegian Television.

One interesting fact about Norway’s shooting matches is that they are partly funded by the Norwegian government. On the Firing Line Forum, member UltimaThule noted that: “The National Rifle Assn. of Norway receives financial support from the Department of Defence — 1/10 of one per cent of the National defence budget. What would your anti-gun people say if the American NRA got $560 million dollars a year from the government?”

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