6.5 - 06 Interested?

Thread starter #1

Nimrod71

Senior Member
I went to see and old friend yesterday and as I looked over his assortment of rifles a custom build caught my eye. I have never been much for custom built guns because of the cost and I never really thought they were that much better when you figured in the cost. I have hunted with my standard off the shelf guns and they have brought down just as many animals as the custom guns my friends and clients used.

But back to the rifle I am looking at, Harry told me it was a 6.5 mm 06 he had built several years ago. I ask him why he just didn't buy a 6.5 C.M. and he told me that when he had the rifle built there were no 6.5 C.M. This rifle was built in 1991. He told me he got the idea from reading an article about hunting with the 6.5 mm in Finland. He bought a Sako in 6.5 and liked it but he said it didn't kick enough, he wanted something more. After trip to a gun show he said he decided to have the 6.5 - 06 built an the rest is history. He showed me pictures of hunts with the rifle and it has worked well from local white tail deer to elk in Idaho.

Now back to me. I am on fire to get a new rifle and I have resisted the 6.5 craze up until now. At this time I can't make up my mind which rifle I want 6.5 or 6.8 or something else. After reviewing Harry's loads for his 6.5 - 06 I only need a barrel, dies and bullets to put a new rifle together.

Now the question I am asking. Do any of you fellow Riflemen have any experience with a 6.5mm - 06, or what of your thoughts on having one built versus what is currently on the market in 6.5.
 

JustUs4All

Slow Mod
Staff member
If you were to ask the animals being shot, I'm sure they would say that any of the above work just fine and they can't tell the difference.
 

Jester896

Senior Member
I use .260s a bunch so I don't Needmoor. They shoot 140ish grain bullets much better than the Needmoor. My buddy that had a fire recently had several 6.5-06s that he used for 1K competitions and really liked them. One of them had a 30" tube and target sights.

I just depends on whether you like L/A or S/A I guess.
 
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bullgator

Darn Flankee
The 6.5-06 is closer to the 25-06 than the .270 in terms of bullet diameter. I’m of the mindset that there really isn’t a single perfect cartridge. That said, enjoy the opportunity to try something new to you. If your going to get a rifle built, you may as well do it it a somewhat different cartridge at the same time. Enjoy the journey.
 

Buckstop

Senior Member
Have a rifle getting re-barreled right now to a 6.5-06 with a 1 in 8 twist. Dies just arrived yesterday. If your a handloader, no reason to avoid it if you really want one. While being not too far off from the 25-06, most 25-06's have a 1 in 10 twist that struggles to stabilize bullets beyond 120 grains. A 6.5 with 1 in 8 will stabilize in to the 140's with slightly better ballistics than the similar weight bullet in .277 in the 270 win. Should produce about 200 fps more velo than the 6.5CM. For handloading, one pass of 270 win cases through a 6.5-06 die to neck down, trim to length and they're ready to go. Apparently some use 25-06 cases, which avoids the trimming but ends up being a bit short in the neck. Of course you could always build a 6.5x284 instead. Almost identical performance as the 6.5-06 with correct head stamped Lapua brass available and some limited factory stuff also around.

I had a good bit of 6.5 bullets on hand from loading for my 6.5CM and 6.5x284 and a bunch of 270 brass collecting dust. Seemed like something interesting and different to work with. Usually full length size and trim my new brass prior to loading anyway, so no added steps.
 
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J Gilbert

Senior Member
To Buckstop's point, 6.5x284 is very similar and would require the same items, but with the ability to buy top notch headstamped brass. The 6.5PRC is also a ballistic twin, but would require a magnum bolt face due to the short/wide case.

They're all going to kill the same, but given the ability to buy brass readily (in normal times), I'd lean for one of the other two options. 6.5PRC is going to be my next rifle, but in your situation I'd go 6.5x284. Still cool, still super functional, and a lot easier to get into without a lot of extra steps. There's tons of load data for that one as well compared to 6.5-06.
 
Maybe get a look at the 6.5 PRC, I think it’s similar in performance and in medium or short action. Agree with the points above though, don’t see why not!
 
Thread starter #12

Nimrod71

Senior Member
Buck, I am interested in the 06 because I already have the action and plenty of 25-06 and 270 brass. By this I have 25-06 and 270 rifles and I have been waiting on getting a 6.5 PRC due to the lack of affordable brass. I have a Remington 700 L/A with a Trigger Tech trigger and McMillan stock. A friend has a 6.5 - 284 and he really likes it and before the PRC came out I had thought about getting the 284, but I would be buying a complete new shooting system. I am still in the planning stag so let me know how you rifle turns out.
 
I’ve kicked a 6.5-06 around a couple times. The head stamped brass alway held me back, just for the off chance I grabbed the wrong stuff for my 25-06. I’d probably use 270 brass since I don’t own or plan to own one. Maybe 280 brass if you don’t have a 280.
 

Buckstop

Senior Member
Buck, I am interested in the 06 because I already have the action and plenty of 25-06 and 270 brass. By this I have 25-06 and 270 rifles and I have been waiting on getting a 6.5 PRC due to the lack of affordable brass. I have a Remington 700 L/A with a Trigger Tech trigger and McMillan stock. A friend has a 6.5 - 284 and he really likes it and before the PRC came out I had thought about getting the 284, but I would be buying a complete new shooting system. I am still in the planning stag so let me know how you rifle turns out.
Your M700 long action would be a good platform for either. They both use the same bolt face and the 6.5/284 usually works better in a long action if your using heavier bullets seated out near the lands. Mine started out as a older long action 270 win sendero.
 

jglenn

Senior Member
I own two 6.5 -06 rifles. My 1st one was built by a friend back in 1965 on an fn 98 receiver.. killed a few mule deer with it on our western hunts in Co. This year i finally finished a model 700 in 6.5 using a shilen select match blank.. darn think had been laying around for a few years. Loves the new Sierra 130 tipped game kings and imr4350. the sierra 140s were my bullet of choice most of the time. Nice to see the 6.5 gather some interest now days.

Back in the 60s the only load data came from an old P.O. Ackley book. It had a ton of wildcat calibers in it
 
I had a 6.5-06 built in about 1990 it was a wonderful cartridge. It shot flat and I took a good antelope and mule deer buck with it. A nationally known custom reloader lived about twenty minutes away and was a fan of the cartridge so I got my ammo from him. One day I went to a company shoot and one of my coworkers fell in love with it. I didn't want to sell but his price got so outlandish I had to. He killed a big buck with it and had it propped against the back of his pickup when he backed up to leave he heard a terrible sound. A friend told me he actually cried. Nice cartridge I regret parting with. I say go for it!
 
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