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6.5 Remington Magnum

Cartridge Drawing

When the 6.5 Remington Magnum was introduced in 1966, those who take great joy in redesigning every new cartridge that comes down the pike were in hog heaven. Some even went so far as to have custom rifles with long actions built so handloads with bullets seated out of the powder cavity could be used. This, despite the fact that the longer .264 Winchester Magnum was already available for long action rifles. Truth is, those fellows were so busy finding fault with the new cartridge, they overlooked the logic behind its design; the 6.5mm Remington Magnum was designed to cycle through and squeeze .270 Winchester performance from the short action Model 600 carbine.

At one time or another, the 6.5 Magnum has been available in the Remington Models 600 and 660 carbines, Remington Model 700 and Ruger Model 77. Years ago, Ruger also produced a few No. 1 single shots with 26" barrels in this chambering. As this is written, the Remington Custom Shop and Ultra Light Arms are the only known sources of commercially produced rifles in 6.5 Remington Magnum.

Despite the criticism it has endured, the 6.5 Magnum is an excellent big game cartridge. From 18-1/2 and 20" barrels, respectively, it will push a 120 grain and 125 grain bullet to 2900 and 3100 fps. Those who have experience with this cartridge consider the 125 grain Nosler Partition to be an excellent choice for deer, caribou, and such but usually prefer the 129 or 140 grain bullets for moose and elk. Most handloaders prefer H4350, IMR-4350, and H414 in the 6.5 Magnum but H4831 and IMR-4831 often produce higher velocities with heavier bullets. For varmint shooting, H380 or IMR-4320 loaded behind the 87 or 100 grain bullets are excellent choices.

6.5 Remington Magnum


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