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Thread: 6.5 x 55 as the "one" rifle???

  1. #1

    6.5 x 55 as the "one" rifle???

    Hi - sorry to start what appears to be one of the holy grail type quests - but I am keen to own just the one rifle for stalking all 6 of our species - plus at least give myself the option of a trip after boar (unlikely but you never know).

    I have been stalking for a year or so and have a Remington 700 in .243 with ASE moderator; great rifle and shoots very accurately. I have shot Red and Roe so far. The Roe was dead where it lay, the Red Spiker not so, although my first deer and I could have shot straighter! So the various folk that say a .243 is a bit "short" for Reds (including the recent article in Sporting Rifle) got me thinking.....

    So...I have now got a .308 on my ticket but after a bit of research am slightly worried that it is such a lobbing round that I will be forever worrying about exact yardage to ensure I make the right allowances. I am never going to shoot that often - but do want to be able to get out and feel confident in taking shots on everything from Woodland Red and Sika Stags to Hill Stags, Hinds and Roe.

    So before I p/x the .243 and lose money on it, I want to be sure that I get the best calibre and will happily go back to the police to swop the .308 if something else is better. I don't want the grief of a .270.

    I have reviewed many of the similar threads but feel there is probably some guidance missing.

    I am sure that there are multiple thoughts and would appreciate any you have

    thanks

    Rich

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Richfergy View Post
    Hi - sorry to start what appears to be one of the holy grail type quests - but I am keen to own just the one rifle for stalking all 6 of our species - plus at least give myself the option of a trip after boar (unlikely but you never know).

    I have been stalking for a year or so and have a Remington 700 in .243 with ASE moderator; great rifle and shoots very accurately. I have shot Red and Roe so far. The Roe was dead where it lay, the Red Spiker not so, although my first deer and I could have shot straighter! So the various folk that say a .243 is a bit "short" for Reds (including the recent article in Sporting Rifle) got me thinking.....

    So...I have now got a .308 on my ticket but after a bit of research am slightly worried that it is such a lobbing round that I will be forever worrying about exact yardage to ensure I make the right allowances. I am never going to shoot that often - but do want to be able to get out and feel confident in taking shots on everything from Woodland Red and Sika Stags to Hill Stags, Hinds and Roe.

    So before I p/x the .243 and lose money on it, I want to be sure that I get the best calibre and will happily go back to the police to swop the .308 if something else is better. I don't want the grief of a .270.

    I have reviewed many of the similar threads but feel there is probably some guidance missing.

    I am sure that there are multiple thoughts and would appreciate any you have

    thanks

    Rich
    Holy Smokes! How far are you shooting?~Muir

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Richfergy View Post
    I don't want the grief of a .270.


    Rich
    dont count the .270win out !

    i was an avid lover of the 6.5x55 and have shot big lowland reds muntys and roe with no problems , but i managed to lay my hands on a ruger left handed 270 and im loving it !

    since geting it home the 6.5x55 has been redundant , it can be a little lively on the on the carcass if you hit bone on the way in , but now ive got my 130gn home loads sorted and the rifle shoots a treat and shoots practicly flat to 300 yds .

    so ideal for hill stalking if that tickles your fancy .

    cheers lee

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  4. #4
    Hi Rich ,
    I am very new on here . Answer your question , and this is only my personal
    opinion . I have just got a 6.5x55 on my FAC , also Stalk with a .243 / .308 .

    I am very impressed with the 6.5 on the range , not had it out Stalking yet , but i am sure
    as a all rounder it will be more than adequate . I use factory ammo , with all my rifles , and
    Stalk mainly Red and Roe . Happy hunting .

    Cheers Jock 2481

  5. #5
    I think any of them will do your job, though would recommend something as big as you can get for sika. I don't think 375 H&H would be excessive :-)

    In terms of trajectory I'd be pretty confident that at normal stalking ranges, say keeping inside 200 yards through choice and never shooting more than 300 yards under any circumstances, there would not be much between them in the real world.

    I use a 308 and I'm sending a 150 grain Hornady spire point away at 3000fps from a home load. The calculated figures, books, gun writers, Tory Party election manifesto etc. put this 2 inches high at 100 yards for a zero about 220 yards and about 4 - 5 inches low at 300 yards. The truth in the field is that it is 2 inches high at 100 for an approx 220 yard zero but it is a full A4 sheet of paper low at 300 (about 12 inches). My bet is that you find similar things with all the rounds mentioned, you just have to shoot them in the real world to find the truth, and I'd be pretty confident that there wouldn't be more than an inch or two between them all at 300 yards.

    If I already had a 243 and 308 I'd spend the cash on a range day, to see exactly where my ammo shoots at different ranges, and a few good days stalking. You will get more value from that money than you will from chopping and changing cartridges and rifles every time you hear of a new "flat shooting like a laser" cartridge. If you don't have the 308 and big red stags and sika are in your future then it might be worth considering changing the 243 for a 30 calibre and 308 is good as any but if you don't see big reds and sika any time soon then keep the 243, it's a great all rounder, and spend the cash as detailed above.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the thoughts thus far - to clarify distances - have no intention of shooting any further than 200yds by preference! I had heard that a .308 set up at 1" high at 100 would be dropping off by about 4" at 200 yds - that seemed just a bit excessive and worth worrying about?

    Perhaps I am fuss arsing over nothing and the .308 will be fine?

    Cheers

    Rich

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Richfergy View Post
    Thanks for the thoughts thus far - to clarify distances - have no intention of shooting any further than 200yds by preference! I had heard that a .308 set up at 1" high at 100 would be dropping off by about 4" at 200 yds - that seemed just a bit excessive and worth worrying about?
    Perhaps I am fuss arsing over nothing and the .308 will be fine?
    Cheers
    Rich
    Rich, stop listening to the armchair stalker down the pub who told you the drop on a .308, unless he is loading his own very weakly charged ammunition, or trying to discharge very large bullets from his (probably imaginary) .308.

    Simon
    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  8. #8
    So sight in 2" high at 100 and split the difference. The brain is a wonderful tool. If you shoot enough with a given load at a give sigh-in distance, you will quickly calculate for drop and hold over. Additionally, i would add if missing the exact mark by two inches means not killing your game then you are aiming for the wrong end of the beast!

    I sight in my 165 grain 30-06 loads to shoot 3" hight at 100M. With that I am dead on again at about 215M and not so low at 300M as to fall out of the lung area on a white tail or mule deer when I center the reticle behind the foreleg. "Trajectory" is a language that shooters need to be fluent in.~Muir

  9. #9
    You have been given some good advice here so I'll just add a few points on ballistics.

    You don't say if you are a homeloader or not. If you are not you will struggle to find a factory 6.5x55 round that is significantly flatter than the "lobbing round" 308. If you do homeload you will be able to push 120gr bullets at around 2900-3000 fps and 308 150gr bullets at between 2800-2900. Admittedly the 6.5 has slightly better ballistic coefficients and slightly higher velocity than the 308 but as other have pointed out, not enought to make a difference at normal deerstalking ranges.

    The figures, to be used as a comparison rather than absolute gospel, are:
    .................. . Drop 100 200 300 400 500 Retained Energy

    6.5x 55 120gr BTSP +1.5" 0 -7" -20" -42" 960ft/lb

    308 150gr BTSP +1.5" -.5" -8" -24" -48" 1080fl/lb

    As you can see there is bugger all in it.


    I'll tentatively suggest that this settles the issue, as far as ballistics is concerned.

    You say that you have a slot for a 308 available, I am assuming that you would need to put a variation in to have a 6.5?

    In any event the individual rifle and how you get on with it is much more important than calibre in this case.

    Personally, I would go for the 308 as it can handle the heavier bullets and has more frontal area if boar and larger game were on the cards. In fact until recently I was in the same situation as yourself, as a one rifle man. I was recommended a 30.06 and have never had the slightest cause to regret that decision.
    Last edited by Grandhubert; 23-01-2011 at 17:27.

  10. #10
    It wasn't going to be long before someone mantioned it, but the 7mm08 is a fantastic all-rounder. I won't try selling it to you, theres loads of articles flying about singing its praises at the moment. Availability of factory rounds isn't great at the moment but it is getting better. If your going to be reloading then thats not an issue.

    Having said that, a .308 is hard to beat as an all-rounder. Sure its a bit rainbowier than the fairly flat shooting 7mm08, but don't listen to what some people say, its not like it drops off by 4 foot at 200 yds like some would have you believe !

    Tom

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