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Old August 8, 2014, 07:28 AM   #1
*tim*
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7mm08 vs 6.5 creedmoor or 260 in 20" barrel

I've been looking for a new gun for my son and was really looking into the 7mm08. I have settled on the savage lightweight hunter but noticed it also came in 6.5 creedmoor and 260. I figured the 6.5 would have a little less recoil but always read the 6.5's really needed longer barrels to shine where the 7mm was very efficient in even shorter barrels. the gun will never be used to hunt anything bigger than whitetails
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Old August 8, 2014, 07:58 AM   #2
ammo.crafter
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For the boy

Look into a 7-30 Waters.

Light recoil, deadly accurate and fun to shoot.
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Old August 8, 2014, 08:22 AM   #3
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Well, it's a close call. Personally, if it was a 16 or maybe even 18" barrel, I'd lean toward 7mm-08, but 20" bbl is quite a bit, so I'd go .260 rem. I think it's the right question. 7mm-08 is easier to find on local store shelves, so it's never a mistake IMO.... it's gained a solid following. But .260 would perform well from a 20" bbl. That's 42.9% more barrel than a 14" Encore / Striker / XP100, and they chamber those pretty commonly in both these rounds.
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Old August 8, 2014, 08:25 AM   #4
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I doubt barrel length makes any difference in whether one cartridge shines brighter than the other. An inch or two or three is easily masked by differences in bore/groove/bullet diameters which will make just as much difference in muzzle velocity for a given load's components set.

Name any animal that'll know the difference between two identical bullets striking 75 fps apart in impact speed. That's the typical difference in a 3 inch change in barrel lengths for those cartridges.
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Old August 8, 2014, 08:32 AM   #5
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I've got a .260 with an 18.5" bbl. If there is any velocity loss, I sure don't notice it.
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Old August 8, 2014, 08:32 AM   #6
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That 6.5 Creedmore has been nagging at the back of my mind for some time now, and I think one might be in my future, but I use a 7mm/08 a lot now and am very happy with it. I have it in a Stainless Ruger 77 and it works great, but some load development was needed to get it that way. Factory loads seem to be lacking consistency big time.
Both calibers would work fine for your application, it's just about you making the choice.
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Old August 8, 2014, 08:37 AM   #7
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My Long range rig is a .260 Rem with a 21" barrel and it runs great. Shot a Pronghorn at 680 last year. I am sure he will be fine inside 400 yards with either. I had a few 7mm-08s, and it is a good cartridge as well.

The difference in recoil and performance on deer sized game with appropriate loads inside 400 yards is, for practical purposes, non-existant.
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Old August 8, 2014, 09:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
but always read the 6.5's really needed longer barrels to shine where the 7mm was very efficient in even shorter barrels.
Not sure where you read that but I would not pay much attention to it with the cartridges you're looking at. Any one of those three cartridges are going to give about the same results out of a shorter barreled gun and all are excellent choices in my opinion for what you're wanting to do. Pick a good bullet, put it in the right spot and bambi's not going to care which one you picked
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Old August 8, 2014, 10:16 AM   #9
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Don't have experience with the 6.5 or 260 but I shoot a 700 SPS Varmint with a 20" barrel, it's a killer. My load is a 150grn Nosler BT over 45.5grns of H4350 for 2700fps or so, no deer has walked away from a squeeze of the trigger. Accuracy has been exceptional with little recoil.
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Old August 8, 2014, 10:30 AM   #10
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After my first 260, I had a new one made up and specifically asked for a 20 inch barrel. Works great.
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Old August 8, 2014, 10:38 AM   #11
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BartB.& the others are spot on. As a practical matter there won't be much difference between the three. However, if you want to fine tune this and ignore all the variables but one:

1. All other things being equal, the 6.5 creedmoor will always lag behind the .260 remington in velocity, due to less powder capacity in the creedmoor.

2. The .260 remington has the largest ratio of case capacity to bore volume of the three cartridges. The 6.5 creedmoor and the 7mm-08 are essentially identical. Therefore, the effect of barrel length on velocity will be the greatest on the .260 remington. It should be about the same on the other two.

3. If recoil is a major consideration for a new shooter, then I would chose the 6.5 creedmoor, because of lighter bullets, less powder and lower velocities. The downside is that brass is expensive and not as available as the 7mm-08.

Actually, since you stated that this rifle will never be used on anything larger than whitetails, then you may want to consider a .243. A 95 grain nosler partition or a 100 grain speer grand slam should be adequate for the largest whitetail.
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Old August 8, 2014, 10:43 AM   #12
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All the cartridges will 'work' technically the .308 and 7mm-08 are more efficient in shorter barrels over the .260 since they all use the same case, but the smaller diameter necks cause the case to be more 'overbore' which tends to benefit from a longer barrel over a cartridge that is less overbore in comparison.
Essentially if you cut a barrel down from 24'' to 20'' the more 'overbore' cartridges tend to lose more velocity per inch.

I'd probably go for the .260 personally, simply because I don't find the 7mm-08 to fill that big of a niche. Sure recoil is slightly less than .308, but ammo tends to be harder to find and more expensive than the extremely common .308 win. I don't find the difference in recoil levels to justify those negatives. The .260 will at least have a more noticeable reduction in recoil over the 7mm and for most purposes you're not going to notice any significant difference in performance, in most circumstances.

Just my .02
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Old August 8, 2014, 11:02 AM   #13
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One interesting thing about those different calibers using the same parent case, the .308 Win, is barrel life. When the 7-08, .260 Rem (originaly 6.5x.398), and .243 Win were used in high power competition the barrel life of each dropped below that of the .308 Win. All starting with 1/4 MOA to 1/3 MOA accuracy at 100 through 200 yards then opening up 50%, barrel life numbers were/are:

.308, 3000 rounds.

7-08, 2500 rounds.

.260, 2000 rounds.

.243, 1500 rounds.

Hunting rifles may get twice as many rounds; depends on where they start out at and what their owners expect.
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Old August 8, 2014, 11:40 AM   #14
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Get a .260 Remington. My dad gave me mine (my first rifle) when I was eight. The recoil is unnoticeable as long as you teach him not to hug the scope (made that mistake myself). It's a very effective and accurate round.
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Old August 8, 2014, 11:48 AM   #15
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Barrel life in a hunting rifle is insignificant. Few will ever get to 1000 rounds. OTOH, my .260 has about 4K on it. Best group in the first 500 was .37" at 100, best group last week was 0.41" at 100.
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Old August 8, 2014, 12:01 PM   #16
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Mark, my barrel life numbers are based on the largest groups shot. Any rifle barrel, even those that have 12,345 rounds through them, will shoot a tiny few shot group once in a great while. The tiniest groups happen when all the variables cancel each other out. Biggest ones happen when they all add up together in different directions. The more rounds there are through a barrel, the odds of shooting another group as tiny as the smallest one ever shot increase dramatically.

And all groups fired are zero MOA/inch at the muzzle anyway, aren't they?
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Last edited by Bart B.; August 8, 2014 at 12:10 PM.
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Old August 8, 2014, 12:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
308 and 7mm-08 are more efficient in shorter barrels over the .260
Technically true, but still insignificant in the real world. A 308 or 7-08 might be 25-30 fps slower in a 20" barrel vs 22". The 260 might be 30-35 fps slower. This is one of those things that some worry about WAY too much.
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Old August 8, 2014, 01:19 PM   #18
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When the time comes to rebarrel my Savage 10 It's going to be either a 260 Rem or 6.5 Creedmore barrel. These cartridges allow for good but not too excessive velocity and 6.5mm bullets have a very high ballistic coefficient. It's a match made in heaven.
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Old August 8, 2014, 01:52 PM   #19
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Well I think the answer is all of them, since we're talking exterior, not terminal, ballistics here, and any game would notice a hit relative to a miss.
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Old August 8, 2014, 03:31 PM   #20
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Don't hunt, but have .260, 7-08, and (natch) the .308.

IF I did, I would use the 7-08 for the greater knockdown power of the heavier, and larger, 7mm bullets.

No one has asked if you handload, which IMO, would greatly simplify this choice if the answer is "no".

If that's the case, 7-08 hands down. Very little factory ammo available for .260.
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Old August 8, 2014, 03:44 PM   #21
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I do reload but am leaning towards 7mm for availability of supplies and ammo just in case
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Old August 8, 2014, 03:54 PM   #22
Brian Pfleuger
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Originally Posted by *tim*
I do reload but am leaning towards 7mm for availability of supplies and ammo just in case
They all have the .308 for a parent case so the only difference in availability would be the actual bullets. If you can get any of the cases, you can simply form them to any of the others.
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Old August 8, 2014, 04:05 PM   #23
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If that's the case, 7-08 hands down. Very little factory ammo available for .260.
That is not an accurate statement. Midway for example, has (27) 7mm-08 loads and (21) 260 Remington loads. In the local Cabelas I was just in, there were 4 loads of 260 Remington on the shelf and 5 of 7mm-08. Remington and Nosler are both working on new loads for the .260 and Remington says it is one of the calibers they are getting more requests about than almost any other. Nosler catalogs fewer 7mm-08 loads than 260 Remington loads.
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Old August 8, 2014, 07:45 PM   #24
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1. All other things being equal, the 6.5 creedmoor will always lag behind the .260 remington in velocity, due to less powder capacity in the creedmoor.

2. The .260 remington has the largest ratio of case capacity to bore volume of the three cartridges. The 6.5 creedmoor and the 7mm-08 are essentially identical. Therefore, the effect of barrel length on velocity will be the greatest on the .260 remington. It should be about the same on the other two.

3. If recoil is a major consideration for a new shooter, then I would chose the 6.5 creedmoor, because of lighter bullets, less powder and lower velocities. The downside is that brass is expensive and not as available as the 7mm-08.
The 260 has a whopping 0.7gr greater powder capacity, when comparing empty cases...
The 6.5 actually has an advantage over the 260 with heavier bullets. Because of the slightly shorter case you can seat the heavy bullets out farther than you can in the .260. So in the same gun, with both rounds having the same OAL, The 6.5 actually has equal or slightly greater "loaded" powder capacity than the 260.
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Old August 8, 2014, 11:15 PM   #25
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If it came down to creedmoor vs 260 I would go creedmoor cause I would really like a 6.5 ar
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