I’m in a bit of a pickle. I’ve always wanted a 6.5mm rifle, and am torn between two calibers: .260 Remington and 6.5 Creedmor
Here is my criteria list:
1. Factory Ammunition availability, 20+ years. I’m fairly young, and still have another 40 years of shooting in front of me. Therefore, I’d like to be able to buy factory ammo somewhat easily in 10-20-30 years.
That’s about it. Both calibers are more or less identical, the .260 has more case capacity and the 6.5 can take slightly longer bullets in a standard magazine, but they are ballistic twins, more or less.
USSOCOM is supposedly choosing 6.5 CM for rifles this year, and even Walmart carries 6.5 CM ammunition. Should I go that route?
I'm going to guess 6.5 Creedmor. It seems to have enough head start with more manufacturers chambering for it. Which one is better is irrelevant. The 6mm Remington (.244 Remington) is slightly superior to the 243 Win, but you'd be hard pressed to find 6mm Rem anywhere today. Winchester got the jump with a higher twist rate, gathered more initial fans and rifles chambered for their cartridge, and the 6mm Rem died on the vine.
Hannibal ad portas. Carthago delenda est.
6.5CM is more common these days but 260 will never be uncommon. Go with whichever you prefer. Id take .260 just to avoid being a 6.5CM owner I went a liitle further and went 6.5x55 and 6.5x47, metric calibers are instant street cred.
What was pushing me towards the 6.5CM is better selection of different types(target or hunting) of factory ammo.
6.5 Creedmoor over 260 Remy.
The 260 case was designed in a time of shorter & lighter bullets. The Creedmoor case was designed to better handle longer & heavier bullets and still be able to fit in standard-length-action magazines. Thus, the Creedmoor case is slightly shorter and has slightly less powder capacity. The additional powder in the 260 means its muzzle velocity will be slightly higher, and muzzle energy will be slightly higher, too. The 260's higher MV is relatively so small that it makes no practical difference in either hunting or target shooting.
The Creedmoor's ability to shoot heavier bullets makes a difference in long-distance target shooting. These heavier bullets have higher BCs and thus are deflected less in cross winds.
Review website ammo sellers for availability of 260 versus 6.5CM ammo. You will likely see 2 to 4 times as many factory options in 6.5CM as you will in 260. If you hand load, there won't be any real difference, as it boils down to brass availability.
There are probably more manufacturers which offer chambered rifles in 6.5CM than 260.
260 will burn up barrels a little faster than 6.5CM, due to powder capacity and case design. For those of us interested in the best accuracy, expect 3,000 to 4,000 rounds out of a 6.5CM barrel. 260 will be a few hundred less than that.
If you do any volume of shooting over your projected 40 years, you will consume multiple barrels. Barrel changes are just part of the game for high-volume shooters. Which means that if you don't like a given caliber, you can easily change when you install a new barrel. However, if you limit the volume on this rifle to 100 rounds per year and you shoot those rounds slowly, one barrel might last your lifetime.
If you shoot factory ammo, there is no 6.5mm cartridge that has an advantage over 6.5CM -- all of them have less bullet options, and almost always cost more per round for comparable ammo. If you hand load, then 260 is comparable, except that you're probably limited to roughly a 130 grain bullet for best feeding and performance.
If you hand load, 6.5x47 is a good option. 6.5x47 was likely the best competition cartridge for awhile, before 6.5CM had high-quality brass options. In competition circles, 6.5x47's popularity has dropped noticeably. 6.5x47 and 6.5CM and 260 Remy are all amazingly accurate -- with the right components, rifle, and shooter.
Some say 6.5CM is a fad, and it too will pass. That's highly doubtful, as the cartridge is only growing in popularity. Call it a 12-year overnight success. 6.5CM is my primary competition cartridge.
Thank you all for the very thoughtful replies, especially Fritz.
You have convinced me, one thing I hadn’t mentioned is that I bought a T3x in .260 Rem a few months ago and still hadn’t shot, because this decision was weighing on my mind. I just ordered a Tikka T3x Lite in 6.5CM, and will sell the .260
I think you are making the right choice. The 260 never really took off and was just about on its last legs before the 6.5 CreedMoor took the shooting world by storm. When it first came out a lot of the critics predicted its failure like every other 6.5 round ever made in America (including the 260). That the 6.5 CreedMoor was the resounding success that it turned out to be stunned a lot of people..........
Remember, this is all supposed to be for fun...................
Start hand loading. Worst case scenario, there will always be something you can form them from.
Sliced bread, the greatest thing since the 1911.
6.5 Creedmor has Hornady behind it so there will be ammo, brass and bullets for use down the road. An excellent deer round, good to reload.
U.S. Army 11F4P Vietnam 69-70 NRA Life Member
that’s a given! Now that I have kids, I’m using more factory ammunition as time is short.
I think the 6.5 Creedmore is your best bet. I love my 700 Mountain Rifle in .260 but ammo selection in my area is very limited. The Creedmore is much more available.
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