thoughts on a 260rem?

andychas

Well-Known Member
I'm looking at rebarreling a .243 Ruger M77 mkII to a .260rem, predominantly for a stalking rifle. Any thoughts/experiences with calibre/bullet weight/twist rate/barrel length from 260 users?
I homeload btw so would also be interested in favourite powders for the calibre.
Any opinions much appreciated!
many thanks in advance
Andy
 

The tramp

Well-Known Member
Ramshot hunter under a 140gr bullet works a treat. Get a 1:8" twist. 24" will suit a stalking gun well.

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Milligan

Well-Known Member
N150 or N550 should be fine.
I found N160 too slow in a 22", never got decent velocity with it.

In the end I had mine rebarrelled to .308, less faff and doesn't do anything too differently...
 

Briar

Well-Known Member
Found a second hand Remington on the web in 260 a few years ago, with 1 in 8 twist. Loves 130 grain Berger's with H4350 behind them.
 

Laurie

Well-Known Member
If you handload, the 6.5mm Hornady Creedmoor is fast becoming a better option. 260 Rem (as factory loads and brass) is increasingly scarce as it has never been more than a modest success in the USA and the Creedmoor is now rapidly displacing it. The Creedmoor's big downside until now was brass quality and availability when it was just Hornady, but Norma now makes it (albeit pricey at £1.20 / case), Lapua has already said it will be supplying it from next year and two new US suppliers have started to make the stuff, (one from the Peterson Cartridge Co. already ordered ion large quantities by Viking Arms which is taking trade pre-orders for it right now). Lapua does make 260 Rem brass though, and this is the one to buy if you opt for this cartridge.

There is nothing between the 260 and 6.5 Creedmoor performance-wise and both are very accurate with good handloads using a bullet the barrel likes, but the latter is better suited to 140gn loads at 2.810" COALs for magazine use, its shorter but fatter case seeing better (ie not so deep) bullet positioning.

1 in 8" twist is what you want for 120-143gn bullets. The go-to powder for 130s and up in the Creedmoor is H4350, or for something made nearer home Reload Swiss RS62. (RS60 is a killer MV wise, but is a very hot burner that seriously reduces barrel life.) Viht N160 works well in both 260 and the Creedmoor with 140gn class bullets. Hodgdon VarGet / H4350 and Viht N150 suit 120/123gn bullets.
 

jcampbellsmith

Well-Known Member
I've shot various 260 Rems since '99. I like the 260 Rem a lot and have two at present. Factory ammo for it isn't cheap, but can be sourced with patience. I've had good success with 1:8.5 twist barrels. I favour 120 gr - 130 gr bullets.

Regards

JCS
 

Laurie

Well-Known Member
John Campbell-Smith and others who use some factory ammo can no doubt answer that - I can't as I handload the cartridge. The US majors bar Winchester list the 260 and a number of smaller US specialist manufacturers load it, often for the American sniper/tactical competitor market. That's Cor-Bon, ABM, Hunting Shack Munitions and Prime Ammunition - but we don't see any of their stuff here as they don't export from the USA. The word on US forums seems to be that Nosler, Federal, and Remington cut back on the 260 during the recent major supply shortages when they largely ditched their lower volume lines to maximise production of the big sellers. Snipers Hide members were recently moaning that Remington hasn't made any brass or ammo for two or three years - the company may have resumed now that things have settled down again, or if not may resume soon given Hillary Clinton's failure be elected as president given the renewed panic buying that this would inevitably have provoked.

Although several European rifle manufacturers list 260 models, no European ammunition manufacturer loads it AFAIK. Norma and Lapua makes cases, but not ammunition - or to be more accurate none for us as RUAG (which owns Norma) uses Norma to load 260 (and Creedmoor) ammunition under bulk contract orders for Prime Ammunition in the US.

When it comes to 6.5s, Europe still leans heavily towards the 6.5X55mm. Other forum members who shoot factory ammo might wish to comment on this, but I have a 'feeling' that of all the 6.5s, the old 6.5X55mm likely offers the best variety and availability in our gunshops and at lower prices than that of 260.
 

Treedave

Well-Known Member
I'm running a 260 rem with a 26" barrel with 1:8.5 twist, for deer and long range fun.
Best results at long range with 140 gr berger vld / amax / eld's with H4350 or N160 under them.
Best stalking results are with pro hunter 120 gr over N160 or super accurate GSC HV (copper) 95 or 103 gr over N540.

To add to Laurie's comments about brass - Lapua 260 rem brass is now down to £75 per 100 and creedmore is an expensive special order at my local rfd. The other option I've discovered is to re-purpose old 308 cases, down to 260 rem case. I wouldn't fancy trying to get a 6.5 CM case out of a 308, perhaps its easier from another donor case?
 

Uncle Norm

Well-Known Member
I had a Sako 75 re-barrelled from .243 to .260 by James Clark (Jager SA on here). It has a 20'' fluted Bergara barrel.
I hand-load with N160 and 120 grain Sierra Prohunter at 2,700 fps MV. It is a powerful round with which I have taken Muntjac, Roe and Fallow so far. I will use it on woodland Red too.
When hand-loading one needs to be very careful with some powders, e.g. H414, as pressures increased very rapidly with small increases of powder, in my rifle.
The rifle is accurate and I am very pleased with it.
Laurie makes some very pertinent points regarding ammunition and brass availability. It is feasible to make .260 cases from .243 brass but, having been there and done that, with several problems en route, I would recommend buying .260 cases. jcampbellsmith and Laurie, both gave me that piece of sound advice.
I use my rifle exclusively for deer stalking, so it has a low round count. I have no criticisms of the rifle nor the cartridge.
 
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NigelM

Well-Known Member
Depends what you want to shoot with it. Lots of great 6.5's, I run a 6.5 Lapua for Fallow and below and it's ideal. If you are after something for the reds as well I would be tempted to go up to 7mm08 - just a bit more punch.
 

Laurie

Well-Known Member
I'm running a 260 rem with a 26" barrel with 1:8.5 twist, for deer and long range fun.
Best results at long range with 140 gr berger vld / amax / eld's with H4350 or N160 under them.
Best stalking results are with pro hunter 120 gr over N160 or super accurate GSC HV (copper) 95 or 103 gr over N540.

To add to Laurie's comments about brass - Lapua 260 rem brass is now down to £75 per 100 and creedmore is an expensive special order at my local rfd. The other option I've discovered is to re-purpose old 308 cases, down to 260 rem case. I wouldn't fancy trying to get a 6.5 CM case out of a 308, perhaps its easier from another donor case?
My earlier post was based on the upcoming Creedmoor supply position with Lapua and Peterson brass due to appear within a few months. (Lapua's US man Kevin Thomas has let this cat out of the bag already on another forum, and it is widely expected that the company will make the formal announcement at the American SHOT Show in January. Viking Arms says its Peterson manufactured Creedmoor brass is 'Lapua or better quality' and is currently being made for shipment very soon.)

The other thing everybody in the know is waiting to see is the case-head form of the Lapua version. It may be small primer / small flash-hole as per the BR, 6.5X47L and 308 'Palma' cases. Kevin T is pushing head office in Finland very strongly for this form. It'd move the Creedmoor up a notch in performance and will in effect make the 6.5X47L redundant, a small primer case-head Creedmoor being in effect an 'improved' 6.5X47L.

308 can be reformed to Creedmoor with a bit of work. It is being widely done in the US using Lapua 'Palma' donor brass. Some people on the Accurate Shooter Forum say it's a straight resize + trim job, but people I trust more say it needs more work. That is, reform the shoulder angle / push it back with a .300 Savage FL sizer die; reduce the neck diameter with a 6.5 Creedmoor sizer; anneal neck and shoulder; trim; if necessary, neck-turn as the necking-down thickens the neck walls.

Yes, 243 Win can be neck-expanded to 260 Rem - I have 50 or so Lapua examples so done. It invariably produces a really nasty 'doughnut' (inside ring) at the new neck to shoulder junction that ruins accuracy if the bullet has to be seated through it. It has to be removed though inside neck turning and/or neck-turning into the shoulder. This was a common 'trick' when you could get Lapua 243 but not 260, but since Lapua introduced the latter model, I don't see any benefit in using reformed 243 brass.
 

digger9523

Well-Known Member
My RPA is a .260 with a 24 inch Lothar Walther pipe. Very gentle on the Muntjac with hand loads of 129gn SST's.



Yet more than enough poke for the Reds.
 

antsa

Well-Known Member
I have a Sako 85 Varmint in .260 Rem. A 1:8", 600mm barrel. Never used any factory ammo only hand loads. Do remember seeing some factory listed by Sako. Check their website.
When I lived in Europe I used it primarily on the range and now and again for roe. Loaded VV N550 under Lapua Scenar 139gr and A-Max 140gr in Lapua brass. Nowdays, back Down-Under, I use it for kangaroo (only head shots and out to max 200m according to rules and regs) and foxes that are "out of" .223 range. Would be good on goats as well.
Still use Lapua brass (current price around equivalent of £105 per 100! but good for 20 - 30 loads, I hope) but now with Berger 140gr VLD Hunting and ADI AR2209 which you guys can get relabelled as H4350.

Cheers
 

andychas

Well-Known Member
thanks everyone for all the input, excellent info and plenty to ponder

There is nothing between the 260 and 6.5 Creedmoor performance-wise and both are very accurate with good handloads using a bullet the barrel likes, but the latter is better suited to 140gn loads at 2.810" COALs for magazine use, its shorter but fatter case seeing better (ie not so deep) bullet positioning.
Laurie, interesting about the Creedmoor, I'd not really looked into it as an option (yet!) My thinking was that as its a rebarrel, I might be better off going with the 260 as its the same parent cartridge as the donor rifle (a 243 Ruger fixed floor plate magazine) so less likelihood of any feeding complications etc, thats only me trying to be as simple as poss of course and Im happy to be persuaded otherwise! Does the Creedmoor have any bad history in the feed/extract dept?
Bullet wise I'd be looking at the 130-140 area, I like Sierra GKs, Nosler PT and Accubond in my other rifles (243 & 30-06) so Id start out there at the front end I suspect

thanks again chaps

Andy
 

Laurie

Well-Known Member
The 6.5 Creedmoor feeds just the same as 243/260/308 etc, that is faultlessly. It was developed by Hornady Manufacturing and former US Marine Corps rifle team member Dennis DeMille who is now MD of the Creedmoor Sports target shooting supply outfit that specialises in kit for the US NRA Hi-Power rapid fire / 3-position disciplines. The original remit was a 6.5mm match round to use in AR-10 type semi-auto match rifles and their bolt-action magazine fed equivalents, so fitting in standard AI and McMillan / Tubb magazines with faultless feed and ejection was a must-have feature.

American deerhunters soon saw this match cartridge and demanded factory expanding bullet loads and its use seems to be growing pretty fast in this role. Although the cartridge is only about 8 years old, it's been adopted by Savage, Ruger, Howa, and in Europe Sabatti for its new STR rifle. The big breakthrough especially for us Brits is the new Ruger Precision Rifle offered in 243, 6.5 Creedmoor and 308, another tactical thingie covered in Picatinny rails and looking more at home on a battlefield than on ranges or hills, but very fashionable. Viking Arms can't get enough of them to meet demand, and that's also why it's desperate to get the Peterson ammo and brass, Hornady importer Edgar Brothers not having managed to get its stuff in.
 

takbok

Well-Known Member
The 6.5 Creedmoor feeds just the same as 243/260/308 etc, that is faultlessly. It was developed by Hornady Manufacturing and former US Marine Corps rifle team member Dennis DeMille who is now MD of the Creedmoor Sports target shooting supply outfit that specialises in kit for the US NRA Hi-Power rapid fire / 3-position disciplines. The original remit was a 6.5mm match round to use in AR-10 type semi-auto match rifles and their bolt-action magazine fed equivalents, so fitting in standard AI and McMillan / Tubb magazines with faultless feed and ejection was a must-have feature.

American deerhunters soon saw this match cartridge and demanded factory expanding bullet loads and its use seems to be growing pretty fast in this role. Although the cartridge is only about 8 years old, it's been adopted by Savage, Ruger, Howa, and in Europe Sabatti for its new STR rifle. The big breakthrough especially for us Brits is the new Ruger Precision Rifle offered in 243, 6.5 Creedmoor and 308, another tactical thingie covered in Picatinny rails and looking more at home on a battlefield than on ranges or hills, but very fashionable. Viking Arms can't get enough of them to meet demand, and that's also why it's desperate to get the Peterson ammo and brass, Hornady importer Edgar Brothers not having managed to get its stuff in.
Thanks, Laurie, you've pretty much sold me on the cartridge. I thought that it wouldn't be worthwhile building one because of brass availability etc. but from what you've said that will change.

I like the fact that bullets can be seated further out than the 260 Rem and still fit in a standard length magazine.
 

jthyttin

Well-Known Member
Sako loads 260 with match and hunting bullets.

I've only used resized Win and Rem 243 in my 260 Rems and never had donuts (was quite concerned at first). I wouldn't recommend using resized 308 w/o check and neck turning if needed (depends on chamber). And if you end up neck turning 308, you should do it before resizing since this would all but eliminate the chance for donuts (the top of the shoulder same thickness as neck).

In general use rifle I wouldn't want small primer in a 308 sized cartridge. No need to push the brass too hard, and freezing temps may introduce problems with too weak primers.

If concerned about COAL, measure your mag box first. I didn't find any reputable info but it seems you might have several mm playroom over the 71mm/2.800" spec.
 

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