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6.5 x 55 vs. 6.5 x 284

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Old 07-11-2010, 01:02 AM   #1
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Default 6.5 x 55 vs. 6.5 x 284

Hey guys,

I am not extremely knowledgeable with guns, however, I know enough. I am currently in a difficult position about my next rifle purchase.

Brass, reloading, and all those expenses are not a problem for me.

I am stepping down from a Model 700 300 Ultra magnum since my shoulder can't take the heat even with reduced loads.

So my question is, what am I gaining with going with the 6.5 x 284 vs. the 6.5 x 55.

I have two rifles in mind. One is a Savage 111 Long Range Hunter with muzzle break, accu stock and trigger, etc, brand new for about 825. This is in the 6.5 x 284.

The other rifle in mind is a practically new Ruger 77 in 6.5 x 55 with a leupold scope which I will replace with Nikon Monarch for about 675.

I plan to get into long range shooting, 500 yards plus, and I am sure both rounds are capable. I am also a hunter for deer and the occasional moose in which both these rounds will also cooperate.

I am uncertain where to go or if there is another round that would better fit my purpose. Any help/ opinions/ comments would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 07-11-2010, 02:02 AM   #2
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Both calibers will serve you well as a hunting rifle,but the 6.5 x 284 will serve you better for long range shooting. Alot of Benchrest shooters use that caliber for long range competition.
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:11 AM   #3
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the thing you have to watch with the 6.5-284 is that it can eat up a barrel. I know a lot of guys that are tossing barrels after 1000 to 1500 rounds in their f-class rifles. I don't know if you are going to shoot as hard as an f-class match but the 6.5-284 is hard on barrels.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:15 PM   #4
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Default Next rifle...

Just some random thoughts...

My friend has a .300 RUM and put a Vais muzzle brake on it. He says it tamed the recoil pretty significantly. Might be something to think about.

I plan to get into long range shooting, 500 yards plus, and I am sure both rounds are capable. I am also a hunter for deer and the occasional moose in which both these rounds will also cooperate.
What are your intentions for the rifle specifically? I see the potential for hunting but, "long range shooting", do you mean targets? I would only consider the Ruger if it's going to be a hunter only. Ruger accuracy upgrades are very slim if you want it for targets. The Savage has a lot of aftermarket parts available if you decided you didn't like something about the rifle, wanted to improve it, change calibers, I could go on and on. Personally, if there's to be more target work than hunting, I would buy the bare Savage target action and build the rifle up instead of going with a factory rifle offering...but, that's just me.

As has been pointed out, the conventional wisdom on the 6.5x.284 is that it has a 900-1200 round accuracy life. That's benchrest accuracy. You would still be able to hit a deer/moose/whatever beyond that number. How many more rounds, who knows. Everybody I know shoots benchrest and replaces them. Hot loads, cleaning technique, allowing for barrel cooling,etc. will all play into the barrels' life expectancy. I've got three rifles in 6.5x284 Shehane (improved version), all are approaching 900 rounds, so I'm watching to see when the accuracy will fall off. They are benchrest rifles, not hunters.

In the longrange benchrest circles, a lot of guys are switching over to the straight .284 Winchester or an improved version of it. Barrel life is expected to be over 2000 rounds and the 7mm bullets have better ballistics than the 6.5's. You'd be able to use heavier bullets going 7mm vs. 6.5mm which might be of interest when hunting. More expensive though and a bit more recoil. I'm having my lightgun rebarreled right now in .284 Shehane and having a muzzle brake put on it (a first for me).

I've never shot a 6.5x55 but read the accuracy is supposed to be good with a little better barrel life than the 6.5x.284. Lots of 6.5mm bullet choices out there.

Unbiased Barnard, BAT, Kelbly, Nesika Bay x2, Remington x3, Browning, Marsh, Ruger x2, Savage x3, UltraLight Arms, AR15 x3 owner. I like 'em all.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:52 PM   #5
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Your not going to get more than 100fps more w/ the .284 over the 6.5x55 and the x55 will last lifetimes!
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