Let’s have a look at the gamut of popular 6.5mm cartridges, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Metric bore diameters have never really been a huge success here in America; perhaps it’s our natural resistance to the metric system, or simple American pride. Nonetheless, the very nature of the 6.5mm (.260 cal.) bullets makes it a wonderful choice.
While the 6.5 Creedmoor is gobbling up the lion’s share of attention within this bore diameter, there are many other, and many older, viable choices. It has been overlooked for far too long here in the U.S., being an excellent choice for the most popular game animals here. Let’s have a look at the gamut of popular 6.5mm cartridges, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each.
6.5×55 Swedish Mauser
Bred for war, the 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser dates back to the late 19th century, yet remains one of the finest 6.5mm cartridges on the market. Offering the capability of driving the heavy 156- and 160-grain bullets to a muzzle velocity of just over 2,500 feet per second (fps) – it makes a good choice for an all-around hunting rifle. The Swede will shine with the 140-spitzers, pushing them to over 2,850 fps; this betters the Creedmoor’s velocity by over 100 fps, making the Swede a perfectly viable long-range cartridge. No, it won’t run in an AR platform, but makes a great choice for the bolt guns.
6.5×54 Mannlicher Schoenauer
Released in the early 1900s as a military cartridge, the 6.5×54 earned a great reputation among hunters in Africa. W.D.M. ‘Karamoja’ Bell used one as an elephant rifle – though he preferred the .275 Rigby – taking many of the great