The viability of 6.5mm / .264 calibers for long range precision work

Are 6.5mm cartridges a good choice for a precision rifle?

  • Yes - superior exterior ballistics, lower recoil... what's not to like?

  • Yes - but there are better options, like 300 WM

  • Inconclusive

  • No - bad idea - niche unproved cartridges, decreased barrel life, poor terminal ballistics, etc.

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Certified Derpologist
Staff member
Kasparov- That and there is potential in the 300 WN that allows for greater BC and greater terminal effect then the 6.5 as well. For the military, 300WM is excellent, specifically if they rock the 220 SMK.
For a shooter that doesn't have Uncle Sam as an ammo sponsor the 6.5 is most definitely better than 308. I have looked at cost per shot in reference to barrel and bullet because the brass. powder and primer all cost the same. Reloading the 30 cal pills cost 14 cents more than the 6.5s so even with an extra barrel spun on the 6.5 it is cheaper to shoot. Factory 6.5 creed ammo is $25 a box FGGM is $32 a box so you save even more money if you don't reload. Now lets look at cost per hit. The 6.5s are 30% better in the wind than 308 so you save even more money going with the 6.5s. Heck 6mm that burn barrels up are cheaper to shoot at cost per hit than the 308s. As far as terminal ballistic go. If you go shoot moose in Europe or Greater Zebra in Africa you will probably do it with a 6.5 Swede. Sectional density, length of bullet and velocity are all critical for terminal ballistic.
I'm interested in the 26 Nosler's barrel life. I've considered 28 Nosler for a ELR/ULR shooter.
Dont be, its more of Nosler's looking for for a solution to a problem that was solved by others long ago. The only thing less impressive than their barrel life is the primers falling out of the brass after two or three loads.


I'm interested in the 26 Nosler's barrel life. I've considered 28 Nosler for a ELR/ULR shooter.

Expand your search to include the "7mm Shooting Times Westerner (STW)". The 7mm STW and the 6.5mm STW are the cartridges that Nosler copy/pasted and renamed with "XX Nosler", so what goes for one should be directly applicable to the other.