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Old February 12, 2020, 11:15 PM   #1
cdoc42
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6.5 PRC vs .264 Win Mag

I have a friend who is interested in having a rifle with which he can be confident in taking a trophy deer at 400-600 yards.

He has a preference for 6.5mm and recognizes the Creedmoor rush but wonders if the 6.5mm PRC would be a better choice.

I suggested he might want to consider having Hart build him a rifle in .264 Winchester Mag with a 1:8 twist.

Would anyone agree or disagree with that recommendation?
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Old February 12, 2020, 11:48 PM   #2
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Get a 270 Winchester, 3 times the barrel life as the 264 Winchester mag and twice as easy to shoot precisely.
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Old February 13, 2020, 01:08 AM   #3
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I agree. The 264 Win Mag got a black eye early on due to extreme barrel corrosion and poor killing performance. 6.5 bullets are famous for penetration, and penetration is the near antithesis of delivering energy on target. The 7mm Remington Magnum was introduced at the same time as the 264, and it got a reputation for dropping things in their tracks. 300 Wincheater Mag was introduced a few years later, and it is till going strong. 338 Winchester . . . anyway, you get the idea. Bigger bullets kill better, if you will. And deer arent terribly hard to kill, there's no need for a magnum. A 243 will kill deer out to 600 yds. If you just gotta have a 6.5mm, there is 6.5-06, 260 Remington, and 6.5 Creedmore. Learn how to shoot and range targets at distance and go get 'em.
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Old February 13, 2020, 08:17 AM   #4
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The 6.5 CM or 270 as well as at least a dozen other cartridges will do what he wants at 400-600 yards. The advantage of the 6.5 CM or 270 is easily available ammo off the shelf.

If he's looking for a little more speed I like the new 6.5 PRC better than the older 264. The 264 works, but has never been popular. I don't know if the 6.5 PRC will survive or not, but it is looking like it might.
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Old February 13, 2020, 11:11 AM   #5
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Personally, I have 3 rifles in .270 and I agree with all of you who recommend that caliber.

But I think the issue here is my friend's appreciation that the 6.5mm caliber bullet has gained the reputation of inherently better accuracy, demonstrated by the acceptance of the 6.5 Creedmoor. I believe the velocity of a 140gr bullet with H4350 is 2700-2800 fps. The 6.5 PRC has a larger case and more powder capacity, but I was surprised by a recent G&Ammo article about the new Ruger rifle wherein stats were given that showed the PRC it fired delivered the same 2700 fps velocity.

The unattractiveness of the .264 Win Mag was, as I understand it, barrel erosion and poor accuracy, but the latter was attributed to the 1:9 twist that would not stabilize the 140gr bullet. I read an article that a 1:8 twist would improve that accuracy, hence my recommendation to my friend. The larger case (same as the 7mm Rem Mag) would provide more velocity than either the Creedmoor or PRC. I brought up the subject of increased recoil (although personally I don't think that's a big deal) and he offered that he'd add a muzzle brake if needed.

At the end of the discussion we both wondered if the .264 Win Mag could have been revived rather than leaving it were it is, instead of adding the Creedmoor and then the PRC. The bullets seem to be the source of accuracy potential which may well have been able to pull the old .264 out of the loss of interest.
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Old February 13, 2020, 11:43 AM   #6
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All I know is what I read on the internet but...
A Modern .264 would be almost a wildcat with twist and chamber throat to suit the intended bullets.
The PRC might be a flash in the pan, but it should be feasible to get enough brass to wear out a barrel.

Me? I'd be looking hard at the 6.5x284

But I have to ask, is your friend a 600 yard SHOOTER to benefit from a 600 yard rifle?
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Old February 13, 2020, 12:03 PM   #7
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My though on a cartridge for shooting game at 400 to 600yds is if you have to ask, your not up to it!
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Old February 13, 2020, 01:57 PM   #8
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6.5 PRC, hands down. .264 Win Mag is inefficient and wasteful.


I did not expect this comment so early in the thread, but I almost completely agree:
Quote:
Get a 270 Winchester, 3 times the barrel life as the 264 Winchester mag and twice as easy to shoot precisely.
In this class of cartridge,
I own a 6.5-284 Norma, and a .270 Win.
My brother owns a 6.5 PRC, and a .270 Win.

As far as we are concerned, they're all .270s.
Very similar velocities. Very similar bullet weights.
They're all long actions.

I wanted to play with a 6.5-284 Norma for a long time. But I couldn't convince myself that it would be fun, due to the extreme lack of variety of 6.5mm bullets on the market (and, 10+ years ago, rarity of .284 Win brass, let alone 6.5-284 brass).

The impetus for changing my mind, however, I owe to .260 Remington and 6.5 Creedmoor. The rise in popularity of those two cartridges, the 6.5 Creed especially, caused an explosion of new bullets to hit the market.
My 6.5-284 Norma moved from questionable and limited, to viable and worthwhile.

But the only thing that sets it apart from .270 Win is the slightly better ballistic coefficient of the bullets.
I was out a few weeks ago, testing 143 gr ELD-Xs in the 6.5-284. The velocity was only 30 fps slower than what my go-to 140 gr load clocks in .270 Win.

Then again...
The rise of 6.5 Creedmoor paralleled the increasing interest in 'long range' shooting, which has given us high-BC bullets for nearly every other caliber.
There are now readily available .277" bullets just as sleek and slick as the 6.5mm stuff that we drooled over 10 years ago.

They're all .270s.



As for the PRC, specifically:
It seems to be decent. My brother has one that's doing quite well - not as well as his Bergara .308, or my kludged 6.5-284, but it's still new to him and hasn't had loads properly tuned yet. It shows promise.
But, again, it's just a .270 by another name. ...With expensive and usually difficult to find brass and ammunition.

New things are fun to play with. If that's a motivator, go for it. Nothing else needs to be said if it's just a matter of, "I want one."

If it's just the general class of cartridge that's being considered, a boring old .270 Win is the most economical option. ...With ammunition and components available everywhere - and usually at lower prices.
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Old February 13, 2020, 08:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankenMauser View Post
6.5 PRC, hands down. .264 Win Mag is inefficient and wasteful.


I did not expect this comment so early in the thread, but I almost completely agree:

In this class of cartridge,
I own a 6.5-284 Norma, and a .270 Win.
My brother owns a 6.5 PRC, and a .270 Win.

As far as we are concerned, they're all .270s.
Very similar velocities. Very similar bullet weights.
They're all long actions.

I wanted to play with a 6.5-284 Norma for a long time. But I couldn't convince myself that it would be fun, due to the extreme lack of variety of 6.5mm bullets on the market (and, 10+ years ago, rarity of .284 Win brass, let alone 6.5-284 brass).

The impetus for changing my mind, however, I owe to .260 Remington and 6.5 Creedmoor. The rise in popularity of those two cartridges, the 6.5 Creed especially, caused an explosion of new bullets to hit the market.
My 6.5-284 Norma moved from questionable and limited, to viable and worthwhile.

But the only thing that sets it apart from .270 Win is the slightly better ballistic coefficient of the bullets.
I was out a few weeks ago, testing 143 gr ELD-Xs in the 6.5-284. The velocity was only 30 fps slower than what my go-to 140 gr load clocks in .270 Win.

Then again...
The rise of 6.5 Creedmoor paralleled the increasing interest in 'long range' shooting, which has given us high-BC bullets for nearly every other caliber.
There are now readily available .277" bullets just as sleek and slick as the 6.5mm stuff that we drooled over 10 years ago.

They're all .270s.



As for the PRC, specifically:
It seems to be decent. My brother has one that's doing quite well - not as well as his Bergara .308, or my kludged 6.5-284, but it's still new to him and hasn't had loads properly tuned yet. It shows promise.
But, again, it's just a .270 by another name. ...With expensive and usually difficult to find brass and ammunition.

New things are fun to play with. If that's a motivator, go for it. Nothing else needs to be said if it's just a matter of, "I want one."

If it's just the general class of cartridge that's being considered, a boring old .270 Win is the most economical option. ...With ammunition and components available everywhere - and usually at lower prices.
I have a 6 5 Creedmoor, 6.5 Rem mag, 6.5x284 Winchester, 6.5x284 Norma, 264 Win mag, and my favorite of all the "wasteful" 6.5x300 Wby mag. It might be wasteful, but its FLAT wasteful.
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Old February 13, 2020, 09:07 PM   #10
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Frankenmauser said: "But the only thing that sets it apart from .270 Win is the slightly better ballistic coefficient of the bullets." (compared to 6.5-284)

Isn't that the bottom line in the move to 6.5mm these days? The inherent accuracy of that particular bullet?

So, then, as reynolds357 posts his 6 different 6.5 variations, with his favorite being the one that has the largest case for more powder and velocity, shouldn't that cartridge be THE choice of long range target shooters or hunters simply because it is (I suspect) as accurate as the "slower"6.5's and has a flatter trajectory?
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Old February 13, 2020, 09:24 PM   #11
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I've hunted with 264mag,7mag and 338mag and last 35yrs been hunting with 30-338mag and necking up 264mag,7mag case and necking down 338mag.

Looking today at 264mag, you have 156gr Berger for hunting,142 ELD-X and 142gr ABLR.

https://bergerbullets.com/product/6-...-elite-hunter/
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Old February 14, 2020, 11:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Isn't that the bottom line in the move to 6.5mm these days? The inherent accuracy of that particular bullet?
For "inherent accuracy", the .277" bullets actually have the edge, due to theoretically lower yaw instability and quicker recovery from precession. Longer bullets are affected more by precession and take longer to stabilize; and longer bullets with yaw instability are more greatly impacted. Same-weight 6.5mm bullets are longer than .277" bullets of the same type.

But, yes, you are correct that most people recently and currently getting into 6.5mm cartridges are doing so for the higher ballistic coefficients and perceived long range advantages.

How great is that advantage, though?
With Hornady Precision Hunter factory ammo and a 200 yard zero:
6.5 PRC, 24" barrel. 143 gr ELD-X, 2960 fps muzzle velocity. (.310 G7 BC)
.270 Win, 24" barrel. 145 gr ELD-X, 2970 fps muzzle velocity. (.270 G7 BC)
.338 WM, 24" barrel, 230 gr ELD-X, 2810 fps muzzle velocity. (For a dissimilar comparison. .310 G7 BC)

At 500 yards, 6.5 PRC drops 36.2" in an ideal atmosphere. .270 Win slips the bullet in at 37.6". And .338 WM crashes down at 40.7".

One point four. The difference is only 1.4 inches at 500 yards.
Even the .338 WM is only down 4.5 inches on the 6.5 PRC.

The difference between that 6.5 PRC load, and that .270 Win load, is about 1.46 MoA ... or no more than six clicks with the average 1/4 MoA or 1/4" scope adjustment.



They're all .270s.
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Old February 14, 2020, 04:08 PM   #13
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The inherent accuracy of that particular bullet?
6.5mm bullets are no more "inherently accurate" than any other bullet of similar design and construction. What they are is lightweight and long for caliber with a high ballistic coefficient, so they shoot really flat with less recoil to the shooter. Shooters moving to the 6.5mm cartridges want less recoil. In order to get a similar ballistic coefficient in any other caliber you have to get heavier bullets, which translates into a lot more recoil.
For example:
6.5mm Hornady A-Tip Match 153 gr BC=.701
7mm Hornady ELD Match 180 gr BC=.796
30 cal Hornady ELD Match 225 gr BC=.777
338 cal Hornady ELD Match 300 gr BC=.829

So for a 15% gain in BC you can easily double the weight, each step up in caliber brings more weight and more powder required to get the bullet to velocity, both of which translate pretty quickly to increased recoil. About 20 years ago, people were all flocking to the 6.5-284 because someone had won a match with it and it was better, faster, sleeker, more accurate, and all that. Nowadays, people are all flocking to the 6.5 PRC or Creedmore because it is more accurate, better, faster, sleeker, etc. And yet, people are still winning matches with 338s and 30 cals.

I built a 22 Texas Trophy Hunter for a customer for match shooting, and he was in love with it because it would launch 90 gr Bergers (BC .534) at 3,500 fps and shot as flat as a string. The next year he wanted a 338 because somebody beat him with a 338, so we built a 338 to launch 300 gr Bergers (BC .814) at 2,800 fps, and it shot flat as a string. But he complained about the recoil. Gotta pay if you wanna play. As a former target shooter, I can tell you that everybody is looking for that magic pill, and there ain't no magic pill. You have to work within the laws of physics, and that really sucks because some people want magic.

Long way to say that 6.5mm bullets aren't magic.
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Old February 14, 2020, 04:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankenMauser View Post
For "inherent accuracy", the .277" bullets actually have the edge, due to theoretically lower yaw instability and quicker recovery from precession. Longer bullets are affected more by precession and take longer to stabilize; and longer bullets with yaw instability are more greatly impacted. Same-weight 6.5mm bullets are longer than .277" bullets of the same type.
All bullets of any diameter are equally accurate if they're perfectly balanced, have uniform shape and weight then shot with uniform velocity. Their trajectories will be100% repeatable in stable environmental conditions. The firearm is part of the environment.

Last edited by Bart B.; February 14, 2020 at 04:41 PM.
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Old February 14, 2020, 05:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Scorch View Post
About 20 years ago, people were all flocking to the 6.5-284 because someone had won a match with it and it was better, faster, sleeker, more accurate, and all that.
The 6.5x284 was no more accurate than 30 caliber belted magnums when it replaced them in the 1990s for NRA's 1000 yard matches. It's easier to shoot precisely than 30 caliber magnums. The 6.5's bucked the wind only a tiny bit less but its milder recoil moved the LOF axis much less during barrel time. Point of impact was closer to calls thereby shooting more 10's and X's slung up in prone without artificial support.

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Old February 14, 2020, 06:09 PM   #16
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So are we really talking about our friends in the gun magazine industry, upon whom we rely to disseminate the unbiased truth delivered by the guns and ammo manufacturing industry ?
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Old February 14, 2020, 07:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by cdoc42 View Post
So are we really talking about our friends in the gun magazine industry, upon whom we rely to disseminate the unbiased truth delivered by the guns and ammo manufacturing industry ?
Lots of gun and ammo companies, along with print magazines, spout false information. Mostly because they're ignorant of the mechanics involved. I used to have a list of those myths, can't be found.

Here's my favorite: Fluting a barrel makes it stiffer.

Another two near the top: Putting scope angular adjustments midpoint in their mechanical range centers the erector tube on the scope optical axis. Cases are held against the bolt face or lay in the chamber bottom when fired.

Got the biggest laugh reading Browning's explanation of how their BOSS worked. First claimed the muzzle axis vertical vibration was tuned so bullets left when the bore was midpoint and straight. Later changed to when the bore axis was at either the high or low point in its vibration cycle. Neither one compensates for velocity spread of all shots fired.

Problem is, they don't have the wherewithal to learn they're wrong. And seldom admit they're wrong when so proved or shown.

Last edited by Bart B.; February 15, 2020 at 10:07 AM.
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Old February 14, 2020, 10:29 PM   #18
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Some seem to like 6.5x284.

https://www.accurateshooter.com/guns...mpionship-gun/
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Old February 15, 2020, 02:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
I have a friend who is interested in having a rifle with which he can be confident in taking a trophy deer at 400-600 yards.
Many years ago I came to agree with a writer's opinion that if you ever took a shot at a GAME animal at over 300 yards you should be forced to write a letter, longhand (cursive for you kids) in triplicate (no carbons) explaining just WHY you HAD to take that shot.

I'd tell your friend to get a 6.5 Swede and a few thousand rounds to practice with, and go shooting. when he can reliably hit the 400 meter gong, in ALL weather and wind conditions from FIELD positions (standing, kneeling, sitting, prone) no bench rest, THEN he can START considering the ethics of shooting a game animal at 400 yards +.

It's not the same as shooting targets or gongs that don't MOVE. Sure, the same skills are involved, but a GAME ANIMAL at 600 yards is a LOONG way and a single step in the second it takes for the bullet to get there can mean the difference between a clean miss, a good shot or a gutshot deer dying slowly in pain over several hours or even days.

Specific to 6.5 PRC vs .264 Win Mag, published figures show the .264 Win with 100fps+ velocity advantage with the same bullets. Win mag is based on the standard belted magnum case, the PRC is not. Does that matter? Today, not a lot, in a dozen years?? Who knows.

Basically as I see it, it boils down do which rifle you are looking at. If you've got you heart set on a certain "platform" go with the round it chambers. If you're set on the round, find a rifle with the features you want and go with that. THEN start shooting and see what you need to do to YOU to be able to live up to the potential of the equipment, if you can.

IT isn't the rifle, or the cartridge that makes a good long range shot, its the shooter and his or her skill whatever is being used.
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Old February 15, 2020, 02:18 PM   #20
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"Specific to 6.5 PRC vs .264 Win Mag, published figures show the .264 Win with 100fps+ velocity advantage with the same bullets."

Is it fair to assume the success of .264 Win Mag in the past was limited by the powders, in addition to the bullets, available? Might we also expect that any of the 6.5's mentioned in these posts, maximizing potential with various powders but with the same bullets, would not differ significantly?
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Old February 15, 2020, 04:46 PM   #21
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The only thing I can add is if you're going 270 win--I'd recommend taking a serious look at 270 Weatherby magnum--makes a good thing even better and no real noticeable recoil penalty IMO.
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Old February 15, 2020, 05:26 PM   #22
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Note those 26 and 27 caliber big case magnums have accurate barrel lives in the 600 to 700 round count.
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Old February 15, 2020, 07:27 PM   #23
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stagpanther, I have 270Wby with 26" Rock Creek 5r barrel and it will handle Berger 170gr.

If I was going to build 264mag I'd build it for Berger 156gr.

https://bergerbullets.com/product/6-...-elite-hunter/
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Old February 15, 2020, 07:33 PM   #24
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Quote:
Note those 26 and 27 caliber big case magnums have accurate barrel lives in the 600 to 700 round count.
Good point--I suppose that limits it to a hunter. I've shot two different make rifles in the 270 WM and I've been very impressed with the cartridge. Might even qualify for worth the rebarrel expense/effort. The major drawback is the cost of factory ammo, but reloading is reasonable and it's one tough case.
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Old February 15, 2020, 07:36 PM   #25
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stagpanther, I have 270Wby with 26" Rock Creek 5r barrel and it will handle Berger 170gr.
I'm sure it can handle it--but do you maintain the stellar flat trajectory as far as you would with a lighter projectile? I just looked up that "extreme outer limits" bullet (there is nothing wrong with your television set)--sounds like a soft jacket bullet but might not be the best on bone?
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