dcrimy
May 27, 2017

6.5-06

19 comments

looking at the 6.5x68 I think about the 6.5x06 I just put together. I assume they may be similar . Preliminary testing with the Barnes 120gr TSX & Alliant Rel 22 powder gave a pleasing 3235fps out of a 24"Bbl with a 1/8 twist. About 235 fps faster than my 260 Rem. Since the 260Rem/6.5x55 & the Barnes 120gr TSX have proved to be consistently dependable for elk, the 6.5-06 should be a smidgen flatter shooting. Considering most elk I have shot have been under 200yds I'm probably not going to notice any difference in field performance. Mostly a psychological gain. Besides I needed another 6.5

Andries
May 28, 2017Edited: May 28, 2017

Welcome to the forum, Dom! Trusting the snow melt is not causing too much slipping and sliding?

 

Amazing how the old German cartridges are slowly being recognised for what they are: When the excellent .260 Remington (you have the pre-production version I know, and must have been one of the first to exploit its potential) was not appreciated for what it was the 6.5x55 had been chugging along doing its thing for about 100 years.

 

The 30-06 necked to 6.5mm will emulate the 6.5x64 Brenneke I believe.

 

Member SteveP. is planning to build a 6.5x68 Schuler, as is Japie, the local hunting outfitter I associate with - the latter wanting it in a single action for culling where brain shots are required at 220-250 yards.

 

Because of the powder capacity of the Schuler case and its European rated pressure Japie will probably settle on the GRC HV 121gr at 3 500 ft/sec.

recoiljunky
May 30, 2017

The 6.6-06 should mirror 6.5X284 pretty closely and be quite a shooter. Who's barrel did you use? I'm not a fan of Barnes bullets as I've had little success as IMO they have a velocity ange hat needs to be followed closely or they don't perform well. They either don't open up and pencil through or the petals come completely off on initial impact and the shank pencils through. Accuracy in my 30-06AI and 300RUM was less than I'd accept with my smallest group being just over 1 1/2 inches at 100 yards. If they work for you then you've done better than me. Good luck!!

 

Allen

dcrimy
May 30, 2017

The barrel used is an "E.R. Shaw" stainless 1/8 twist. I have several Shaw barreled rifles & all shoot with pleasing accuracy. As to the Barnes bullets I have not had a problem with accuracy. They deliver stellar accuracy in my rifles. Barnes bullets require deep seating . They should be seated .050 off the lands to start with. Some times deeper. Seating depth is critical. I have taken many elk with them over the years including two last season. I have never seen them fail to expand & leave good size exit holes. I have never lost an elk using the Barnes bullets & have never recovered a bullet with all passing completely thru. My cal of choice is 6.5 with a 120gr TSX. I have taken a few muley bucks with the Barnes bullets with complete success. I see no need for such a stout bullet for deer & we use basic C&C bullets for our deer with no problem. I went with the 6.5-06 instead of the 6.5-284 because of the large amount of 06 & 270 brass I have & the 06 Ruger action I had on hand. the Hope I have been of some help.

recoiljunky
May 31, 2017

Thanks for update. I've heard good things about Shaw barrels. Deeper seating may e at I was doing wrong. I've gotten great loads worked up with CnC bullets in the rifles mentioned, and I'm not keen on starting anew lol. Keep us posted onoonyonyouron development.

 

Allen

Andries
May 31, 2017

The geometry of the 30-06 case is perfect for specific energy release per grain of propellant, having emulated the 7x57. That 6.5 will be a pleasure, Dom, I am sure.

 

Outfitter Japie Folscher wants the 68 mm case of the Schuler for his 6.5mm culler and member Steve wants it because he likes the old German cartridges which 100 years ago all had been doing things we only attempting now.

 

The case which has never been necked down is the 7.5x55 of the Swiss. Having shot against the K31 in international Bisley I was astonished at both the accuracy of stock military rifles and the performance of this high pressure cartridge. Just to be different this would be my choice for a 6.5 mm hunter.

 

We know that once the bullet has left the case mouth the geometric shape of that combustion chamber has zero influence on accuracy, but to be different is good.

dcrimy
May 31, 2017

Over many years I have taken numerous elk with various bullets , C&C, Nosler Part., Barnes "X" & TSX in the 338Mag,7x57, 7mag, & my various 6.5's. Witnessed numerous kills with the 270 & the TSX bullet which works positively on elk. My personal opinion which I base on my experience in the field is that I get just as clean one shot kills on elk from the Barnes 120gr X & TSX in cal's like 260Rem/6.5x55 as I got with any of the more traditional more powerful cartridge's use on elk. I am a firm believer in understanding the vascular, muscular, & skeletal structure of the game hunted. As Walter Maitland ( Karamojo Bell ) wrote, I strive for pinpoint placement of the bullet. Also try to make a point of keeping my shooting range as moderate as possible. Sometimes terrain & vegetation prohibits getting closer but most of the time I have been able to get closer. . As i have stated before 99% of the elk me & mine have taken has been under 200yds. Mostly well under 200yds. I do practice at longer range & understand the capability of the cal I'm using. i am fortunate in living on a piece of land that gives me the opportunity to shoot whenever I wish. Every now & then I will pick up a rifle & shoot at a 300 to 400yd target just to reinforce my understanding of the bullets path. Practice , practice , practice. Just an old ( 72 ) year old hunter trying to put meat in the freezer. Packed out two elk last year . God for sure has blessed me & mine. Love this site. Dom

Andries
May 31, 2017

Ahh... so I am not alone in my 5 months to go to 73 and blessed with the ability to keep up with the 40s- and under in the hunt.... I really, really respect you for stalking to under 200 yards and for surgical shot placement - and for using an accurate rifle that shoots minute of a deer's heart and not minute of deer, which seems to be the acceptable norm for hunting for many.

 

The giraffe hunt I attended the other day was to learn because there is quite an over population of them in South Africa and it has the most excellent meat - lots of it. More and more butchers buy the meat so I shall be hunting them more regularly from now on. US hunters used to worry about what type mount to do, but this young Texas girl and her hubby had the best idea - a full flat skin with the cape intact.

 

Talking about knowledge of the anatomy: The ranch PH who guided that schoolboy to shoot the first giraffe impressed me no end. When we came into position the brush was too high and obscured the heart and I indicated to André the PH that I would wait for the two bulls to move on to a clearer area but he showed that they were getting restless. Then he whispered to the kid a specific point on the skin pattern. I was sure the shot was going to be high and pushed the safety off my .303. The bull ran and I ran on a cut- off line but after 20 yards it fell fell down and died.

 

After skinning and during quartering I traced the bullet path. It had completely severed the pulmonary artery. He knew exactly where it runs in the giraffe at that high position in the chest. Now I know too.

Andries
Jun 13, 2017Edited: Jun 13, 2017

Dom, have you had opportunity to shoot your 6.5x63 again? Do you trim the case to 30-06 length or left it as it is after resizing? What is the heaviest Barnes that will sit at the neck line and fit into your rifle's magazine and freebore?

 

I hope to achieve 2,800 ft/sec with the base of Peregrine 140gr VRG-3 seated at the neck line of the 7x64 case, and 2,900 ft/sec with the 132 gr VRG-4 just below the neck line.

 

Here is a photo of the .312" 168gr VRG-3 I use in my Lee Enfield .303 Brit at just over 2,600 ft/sec. A PMP 174 gr is to the right - also 2,600 ft/sec.

dcrimy
Jun 13, 2017

My 6.5-06 ( 6.5x53 ) is out having open sites installed. So no shooting until it comes back. I have a phobia about depending on only the scope especially when I way back in some remote area. There has been no need to trim 30-06 brass size to 6.5-06. I merely make sure the necks are square. OAL seems to come out right on the money. If 270 Win brass is used trimming is absolutely needed. Since the 6.5 120gr Barnes TSX has been so successful for me I have not tried any heavier bullet in this rifle. A few years back I tried some 130gr Barnes in another 6.5 & shot a couple elk with them. I got the exact same results as with the 120grTSX. One shot kill with complete penetration. So I stick with the 120gr. With these homogeneous bullets requiring .050 seating depth I see no reason why a 140gr bullet could not be easily be accommodated. The Ruger Hawkeye magazine is more than long enough & Ruger actions & magazines seem to be a bit shorter than Rem. or Win. actions.

L see no reason why you could not easily get 2900FPS with the 132 gr bullet. I have found a powder a bit on the slow side works best in this case. I had no problem getting 3235FPS ( 24" Bbl. ) with the Barnes 120gr TSX & Alliant Rel. 22 powder & standard L.R. primer.

When it comes to penetration I have found these homogeneous bullets to be awesome. They have to be tried to be believe. I believe the 140 gr Barnes could take on Tyrannosaurs Rex.

Andries
Jun 13, 2017Edited: Jun 14, 2017

Instead of building a 6.5x64 Brenneke I may just decide to buy a new Musgrave 7x64 Brenneke and ask them to fit a 26" 6.5mm barrel. They do not build the 6.5x64. My first and second generation Musgraves now belong to my sons and I miss the darn things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the promised photo of the .312" Peregrine 168gr VRG-3 bullets I use in my .303. The bullet on the right is a PMP locked core 174 gr. Both go at 2,600 ft/sec because my Lee Enfield No.4 Mk.I likes that barrel time. The PMP case is once fired and neck resized.

dcrimy
Jun 13, 2017

That 168gr VRG-3 looks like it could shoot down rock walls.

Andries
Jun 14, 2017Edited: Jun 14, 2017

Hey Dom,

 

Pity you are not here. I need to cull twenty young adult blue wildebeest bulls over two weekends. Only brain shots allowed, or first vertebrae behind the head. The meat will go to butcheries and I shall take maybe 100lbs.

 

That is work for .308W and 150gr / 7x57 and 140g / .270W and 140gr / 7x64 and 140gr / 6.5-06 130gr / 6.5x55 and 120gr / .260 Rem and 120gr / 25-06 117 gr. The best bullet for this is the Hornady SST. Accuracy is important at 180-220 yards so a hard kicker is not your best choice.

 

The penetration of that VRG-3 from the .303 above is indeed very pleasing on big animals and meat damage is zero.

 

 

recoiljunky
Jun 15, 2017

What's the terrain like where the culling will take place?

Andries
Jun 15, 2017Edited: Jun 15, 2017

Rolling hills with some brush and ability to stalk to 180-220 yards. Good time of the year as there is little wind. Problem is these fool things shake their heads when nervous. They are family herd animals, spread out when grazing. You shoot one and they run into the next hollow. Get within eyesight and now they are closer together, but still one can identify one and kill it. Then they are into another little valley and knows what is on.

 

Now they tend to be bunched together, scanning for movement and nervous, so identifying a young bull takes time.

 

 

 

Young cow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unable to tell whether it is a youngish bull or cow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old cow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young bull

recoiljunky
Jun 16, 2017

Yeah, that's a tough call for sure. No pizzle string to give them away!!

Andries
Jun 16, 2017

In the bulls one can see a sheath, but the cows have a little false protrusion as well so one must follow it towards the rear to look for a "string".

fischerantlp
Jun 26, 2017

I have a 6.5x06. Wanted one for a long time and about 15yrs ago got there. Anymore I shoot it now and then at long range paper and it's awsome. 140gr SMK. I hunted with a number of time's for deer and elk. The 140gr Hornady bullet is just right on a deer, doesn't tear anything up and always exits. Pretty much the same on elk. My understanding is that it is about like the old 256 Newton! I don't have a lot of rifle's by any stretch of the imagine but I have 2 6.5's, the 06 and a nice mod 70 in 6.5x55. Love those 6.5's'

Andries
Jun 26, 2017

Maybe that 6.5-06 is the ultimate lightweight hunter with 140gr Hornady Interbonds or Interlocks. The 6.5x55 is an impressive performer when loaded to European and South African pressures and not the SAAMI downgraded loads.

dcrimy
Jun 26, 2017

Hey there fischerantip. Nice to hear of your success with your 6.5-06. The various 6.5's I have, have proven to be totally competent taking the largest deer & elk. The Sierra 6.5 120gr spt. has been my go to bullet for muley's & the Baunes 120gr X & TSX for elk. They have performed admirably There are various 6.5 bullets that work if placed in that sweet spot. I enjoy what I find to be inherent accuracy & mild recoil in the 6.5's. I will be using my new 6.5-06 on my elk hunt this coming October. Dom

New Posts
  • erich_33614
    Jan 28

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  • Andries
    Jan 28

    Terry B. sent me the verbatim quoted note below from the USA. He is not a signed up member yet so I took the liberty to repeat his missive here (Terry was a member minutes after I had posted this...) : The 30-06 in Africa With the African hunting season coming on soon, I thought of this old story I had about what gun to take on a plains game trip. It actually started way back in 1960 with an article by a Dr. Wendell G. Swank from Michigan State College that was in the Sports Afield Gun Annual. He and a fellow doctor took their old pre-64 Winchester M 70 .30-06 Springfield’s with Sierra bullets to Uganda to harvest game for research. They did a fantastic job of taking pictures of the bullets recovered and details of each bullets performance. Not only did they take plains game normally associated with the .30-06 Springfield, but also took Hippo, Lion and even a Cape Buffalo. That article intrigued me so much that I still have an original copy and it prompted me to research the .30-06 Springfield performance ever since. My first “Deer” rifle was lever action .30-30 Winchester, but my second was a Remington pump action .30-06 Springfield, and I don’t think that in the past 50 plus years, there has ever been a time that I did not have at least one or two .30-06 Springfield rifles around. At first, I used factory Remington 180 grain RN Core Lokts and all the Deer I shot fell over just fine. Then as time progressed I took up reloading and since then have taken Deer, Elk, Moose, Caribou, Antelope and Mt Goat in North America with various bullets. I started out using the same 180 grain Sierra bullets Dr. Swank used and eventually tried just about every bullet and powder combo I could come up with and eventually ended up using mostly 180 grain Nosler Partitions. During the next 30+ years, I took the .30-06 Springfield to Africa with me several times as it was my intention to field test as many bullets as I could, and here is a list of the bullets tested there: 180 gr Hornady Spire Point FB & BT 180 gr Speer Hot Core 190 gr Hornady Spire Point BT 180 gr Speer SP BT 220 gr Hornady RN 220 gr Sierra RN 180 gr Remington Core-Lokt Ultra 165 gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw 180 gr Nosler Partition 180 gr Speer Mag Tips 180 gr Remington RN Core Lokt 150 gr Barnes TSX & TTSX 180 gr Speer Deep Curl 165 gr Hornady GMX 180 gr Nosler AccuBond 168 gr Barnes TSX & TTSX 180 gr Federal Fusion 180 gr Barnes TSX & TTSX 180 gr Federal Tipped TBBC 180 gr Sierra SP BT & Flat Base 200 gr Nosler Partitions 150 gr Hornady SP Each of the above-mentioned bullets has its own distinctive characteristic performance. The typical soft point bullets all seem to kill about the same, but the premium bonded core or monolithic bullets give much more dependable penetration. On a recent trip, I shot six Blesbok with six different bullets and found that it made no difference at all. Each was shot about the same distance and they were all about the same broadside lung shots. Every bullet gave complete penetration and each animal rarely went more than a few yards before going down. If you were to make me choose any one of the “common” lead cup and core bullets to use from now on, my choice is surely going to surprise you as I’d take the 220 grain Nosler Partition as my first choice and the 220 grain Sierra RN next. Those two bullets will almost always penetrate completely and leave a nice exit hole. They will not give you those instant kills of high speed bullets, and seldom will the animals drop at the shot, but they will only go a few yards before expiring. Ya, Ya, I can see the readers jumping up a down about the “rainbow” trajectory of those bullets. Now just a minute, with the 220 grain Partition at 2400 fps muzzle velocity that is zeroed 2.9” high at 100 yards, it is then dead on at 200 yards. The 180 grain Nosler Partition at 2700 fps zeroed 2” high at 100 yards is dead on at 200 yards, so no big deal. I’m being conservative on my 220 grain velocities at 2,400 fps as the Nosler Reloading Guide #4 page 329 shows loads up to 2,602 fps. For most shooters 200 yards is plenty far to shoot anyway, and if you can crawl up to 200 you will never know the difference in trajectory, but you will see a difference in performance on the game as those 220 grain bullets really put the hammer down. I remember an outfitter from Zimbabwe that took some 220 grain Sierra RN bullets home to try. When I met up with him the next year, he said they were the most dependable bullet in the .30-06 Springfield he had ever used. As you can well imagine this whole bullet subject can be cussed and discussed much like religion and politics long into the night, but the truth will end up being that the .30-06 Springfield with well placed shots, will take any plains game Africa has to offer. Another wonderful thing about the .30-06 Springfield is that virtually anywhere in the world you go, and should you lose your luggage and ammo, you can usually scare up a box of ammo somewhere. It may not be your first choice of brand or bullet, but it beats having none at all. Not having or being able to find ammo is my number one contention with the new RUM and WSM cartridges. Unless the fellow that hunted there ahead of you left his ammo, you don’t have a snow ball’s chance of buying any abroad. We have seen great advances in bullet construction and technology with John Nosler’s first Partition bullets all the way thru the Jack Carter’s Trophy Bonded Bear Claws, and now unto the Hornady GMX and Barnes TSX lead free bullets. As usually, it all boils down to “Bullet Placement”. If you do your job the old “ought six” will do its part. Feel free to write Terry anytime about bullet choices at TBlauwkamp@superior-sales.com
  • Andries
    Jan 21, 2018

    There is an established confidence that ALL 7mm and .30" calibre cartridges will shoot to the same point of impact out to 250 yards and kill exactly the same with similar weight bullets. Because the 30-06 and 7mm Rem Magnum and 8x57 are ballistic triplets, and the .308W and .270W and 7x57 are ballistic triplets, and the 6.5x55 Swede, 6.5x57 Mauser, 6.5x58 Portuguese are ballistic triplets, and because all of these 9 cartridges shoot to within less than 1/4 MOA from one another when zeroed at 200 yards, the actual calibre designation has very little to do with the way South African hunters choose their hunting rifles. The 7mm Rem Magnum is not very popular here because despite its bigger case capacity it merely equals the 30-06 in performance. On top of that try and explain the reason for the presence of the belt on the case and South African hunters are not convinced that it has any advantage - in fact the opposite - and they just stay with their 30-06s. The .270W can not handle the heavier bullets we prefer for big game, so the 7x64 Brenneke and .308W outshines it on big game - and with 150gr bullets and lighter the .270W merely equals the .308W. So the .308W has become the most sought after calibre for big and smaller game. The rifle brand name is the first driver in getting the buyer's interest - but when paying the money even that is lower than the appealing appearance the rifle will have regarding a pleasing, understated profile, good wood, and neat wood to metal appearance, and the ease of shouldering, and immediate and instinctive line up. Only then will the buyer look at the calibre designation. He may beforehand have decided on whether he wanted a 6.5 mm or larger - but the choice between a 7mm and .30" and particularly amongst the ballistic similar chamberings will be made by the individual RIFLE as there is no difference in killing ability as long as any one of the 7mm chamberings allows for bullets in the 170+ gr weight class. The new (since the 1970s) standard against which all hunting cartridges have been measured regarding big game killing ability is the 308W. (Of course the real standard is the 30-06 or 8x57 which is 100% capable of killing even the 2,000 lb eland under all conditions - but the .308W is far by far the most popular big game hunting cartridge in South Africa). There are very few .338" calibres around and virtually no .35s because nothing " more powerful " than the 308W is needed to kill any of the 12 size elk big game with a single heart shot. The .338" / .35" is a true American want-but-not-needed calibre, which is a concept we do not fully understand in Africa. Having a non dangerous game rifle which merely sends its fully penetrating bullet further into the unknown beyond the shot animal than the .308W already does is seen as kind of an anomaly. If a .308W 180 gr bonded core bullet has a perfect penetration impulse to penetrate through the shoulders of all the 12 elk size big game animals then the next step up is for a rifle to kill buffalo or elephant - which is the .375 H&H - so there is no requirement in Africa for a rifle in between the ballistic similar group of the 7x57 / .308W / 30-06 / .303 Brit / 7x64 Brenneke and then, for dangerous game, the .375 H&H / .416 Rigby / .458 Lott / .458 3" Express / .458 Sabi. Regarding brand names - European made rifles without a doubt rule the roost - SAKO, BRNO, CZ 550, and of course the locally manufactured Musgraves and custom built rifles on Mauser actions. There are many South African hunters who only own one rifle and that invariably is a BRNO / CZ 550 / Mauser / SAKO / Musgrave in .308W. He will in all likelyhood use only one bullet weight in it all the time which will depend on the area where he hunts - the distances that he shoots at will determine bullet weight - whether he hunts wildebeest or impala. The size of the animal he hunts is not the determining factor. Always using only one bullet weight allows the hunter to intimately know the trajectory out to say 300 yards. In the northern part of the country where I live and where shooting distances are mostly between 80 - 150 and rarely 200 yards it will be 180 gr, and on the open plains with shooting distances of 200-300 yards it will be a 165-150 gr bullet of premium construction. On shooting distances: There still is a strong ethic here that if your stalking skills are such that you are unable to get closer than 300 yards then you need to practice more. The culture we foster in the hunter education programmes (the hunting rifle shooting competitions) is that there should never ever be a reason to shoot at an animal beyond 300 yards. If the local hunter can not get closer than 300 yards it more than likely means that game is too scarce in his area to be hunted.

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