Please help decide: .260 Rem. Vs. 7mm-08 - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-04-2005, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Default Please help decide: .260 Rem. Vs. 7mm-08


I recently posted a thread about choosing the caliber of my next rifle. At the time, I was considering the 6.5x55 Swede, .260 Rem., or .270 Win. as the possible options. Since that time, I've sold my .308 Win. rifle and currently only own rifles in .22LR and .243 Win.

Given the new "gap" in my arsenal, and after eliminating the .270 Win. as a possible contender for various reasons, I would like to buy a new rifle next week in one of these three calibers:

.260 Remington
6.5x55 Swedish Mauser

OK... before jumping in and posting your preference, please understand a few things. First off, I am a handloader, so the scarcity of factory loaded ammo is not a problem for me (making the .260 a viable contender).

Second, I am NOT after mega-hyper-magnum-ultradeath performance, I am far more interested in flat trajectory and accuracy than super-duper-kill-everything-that-moves energy. I have owned magnum rifles, including a .300 Win. Mag. several years ago, and just don't see the point - I think that with the exception of grizzly bears, everything on this continent can be easily killed by a carefully placed 6.5mm or 7mm bullet in a standard non-magnum cartridge with less recoil, report, powder burn, and ammunition cost.

Finally, I like the 6.5x55 Swedish cartridge. However, with identical ballistics in a shorter action the .260 Remington just seems to make more sense to me... unless someone can come up with a REALLY good reason to choose the Swedish round over the .260.

I don't know a whole lot about the 7mm-08, except that it is fairly close to the .308 Win. ballistically - with a slightly better trajectory and lower recoil. Most of the reason I chose to sell the .308 a few days ago was that the particular rifle I had chambered for that cartridge (a Remington 700 VS) had SERIOUSLY PUNISHING recoil... worse than any other rifle I've ever shot including numerous magnums... although this is not the .308 cartridge's fault (I know this because I've owned other .308 rifles and shot many friends' .308's and found generally that the round is typically quite comfortable to shoot.)

So... I'm apparently down to the .260 Rem. vs. 7mm-08, unless someone can convince me that the 6.5x55 has some unseen advantage over either.

What do you recommend? Why?

Best wishes, and thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-04-2005, 10:20 PM
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Default Please help decide: .260 Rem. Vs. 7mm-08

My opinion here is based strictly on what I've read, but given the similarity between the two cartridges I would go 7-08 just for the bullet selection.

I suppose it depends on what you want to hunt with the rifle. If the biggest game is deer than it won't matter. If game bigger than deer is to be hunted the 7-08 gets the nod.

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-04-2005, 11:15 PM
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Default Please help decide: .260 Rem. Vs. 7mm-08

Well, I have both a 260 Ruger 77 and a 7mm-08 Stevens and a Handi in 7mm-08 ( it just came in, get it tomorrow )also a Stevens 25-06. I really like the 7mm-08...
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2005, 01:02 AM
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Default Please help decide: .260 Rem. Vs. 7mm-08

I think the .260 Rem is perfect for deer size game. So is the 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser, with handloads. My pick for a more versitile rifle would be the 6.5x55, as it can handle some seriously heavy-for caliber bullets much better than the .260. I hear tell it even kills moose pretty well.

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2005, 08:12 AM
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Default Please help decide: .260 Rem. Vs. 7mm-08

I think a .260 with a 22 inch barrel in a Mountain Rifle would be the perfect deer rifle. As far as better than 6.5 or 7-08, not a nickle's worth of difference.
Of course, that is only from several years of deer and hog hunting with a .260. I bought a Model 7 the first year they came out and it is a very fun gun to shoot. But it also is plenty potent with a 140 grain bullet.

You can't go wrong with any of the three.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2005, 09:35 AM
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Default Please help decide: .260 Rem. Vs. 7mm-08

Whew!!! That's a tough call! I made that choice at one time based on recoil because I was buying the gun for my 10 year old to hunt deer with. The .260 shooting a lighter bullet naturally has less recoil. What I like best about the 6.5 bullet though is that with the increased sectional density, you get equivalent penetration with a lighter bullet. But, the 7mm if I'm not mistaken has a better ballistic coefficient giving it slightly better downrange performance. Oh, my head hurts... Just buy one of each.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2005, 10:17 AM
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Default 6.5-55

The 140gr. ammunition Hornady sells has very little recoil. The range of 100gr-160gr bullets gives a lot of killing power with minimun recoil. The gun offers a broader band of bullets and has much more killing power because of it. There will always be a 6.5-55 and it is gaining popularity.
I use a 140gr Nosler Partition and it is one tremendous deer thumper. The nice thing is I can go to the range and shoot without getting beatup or developing a flinch. If I didn't choose this caliber I would select a 7mm-08. Buckfever
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2005, 10:48 AM
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Default Please help decide: .260 Rem. Vs. 7mm-08

A couple of reason why I think you should pick the 260.
First, because you handload. If you didn't then the 7-08 might make more sense (although I don't handload and picked the 260 anyway). I like Hornady stuff and would opt for the hornady 129 gr. soft points - although there are options like SST and interbonds and you can even load all the way up to 160 round nose or all the way down to 100 grain sp's. he 7mm 100grains are hollow points.
Second, 6.5x55 are great, just talked Dad into one and he loves it. Way outperfoms in all proportion to its recoil or what the charts might indicate. I think the 260 is the 6.5x55 perfected. A true short action with just enough of the speed that the 6.5 is lacking . I think it is the best caliber to game match (For what thats worth) for deer sized game.
Third, goes back to handloading and the characteristics of many who load their own. The 260 is a bit more unusual and I find it's uniqueness a souce of satisfaction for having picked it. It is a real performer that pushes bullets at just about the perfect speed so that no matter what your choice is you are practically assured good bullet performance. I would love to buy a box of Hornady ammo in 129grain for m 260 but guess what- they don't make it - but you can.
Fourth reason - I want more folks to buy them so manufacturers will start offering a greater variety of rifles in this chamber. It does seem ideally suited for a mountain rifle or model 7.
Fifth reason, 7mm.....yawn
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2005, 11:20 AM
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Default Please help decide: .260 Rem. Vs. 7mm-08

Hi All,

In a modern rifle and run at the same pressures, the 6.5x55 will out perform the .260 for the same reason the 30-06 out performs the .308, more powder capapcity :-) . The .260 is loaded to higher pressures in factory ammo but if you up the 6.5x55 in a similar modern rifle it will better the .260. Remember that the 6.5x55 was designed back in 1893 and pressures of 51,000psi (according to Speer #13) were considered pretty high then. The .260 is loaded to 60,000psi, however I cannot see why in rifles of the same ilk which are designed to handle modern pressures why the Swede cannot be loaded to the same level as the .260, oh the old saw about weak brass does not hold any water for me at least.

6.5 Swedish cases are of modern solid head design, it's the chambering and breeching which will make more difference. The older Swedish cartridge is far better when the longer heavier bullets are loaded and it does not seem to have much effect of real accuracy have the longer throat. My sporterised Swedish Mauser shoots the speer 120 Grn flat based bullets into about 5/8". A better shot than myself would most probably improve upon this and being an milsurp it's throated for the long 160 Grn RN bullets.

A friend has a Ruger 77 in 6.5x55 which loves 125 grn Partitions and Rel 22 which gives over 3000fps and has taken quite a few deer with this including a very nice 11 point Buck in 2002.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-05-2005, 11:53 AM
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Default Please help decide: .260 Rem. Vs. 7mm-08

Fourth reason - I want more folks to buy them so manufacturers will start offering a greater variety of rifles in this chamber. It does seem ideally suited for a mountain rifle or model 7.
Can I get an amen???!!!??? :grin:

There are a lot of people outside the US that are very passionate about the 6.5x55, and for very good reason. I have only been a member of this community for a couple of weeks, so correct me if I'm wrong, but it almost appears that many take Remington's introduction of the .260 as a personal assault on one of their favorite cartridges. :shock: Remember, the majority of our experience in the US with this cartridge is from Milsurp rifles, which unsporterized are not practical for hunting, while the rest of the world is very accustomed to having hunting rifles chambered for it. I suspect that the main reason the US manufacturers started chambering their rifles in this cartridge, which realistically hasn't been that long ago, was to boost overseas sales. The simple fact is, Americans have never been "sold" on the cartridge because we all grew up on mostly .30 caliber rifles. The .30-06, .308, and 30-30 were mainstays for many, many years while the .270 filled the niche for those who wanted a flatter shooting gun. So naturally, we are comfortable with cartridges based on the .308 and 30-06 cases. The most "exotic" cartridge I remember as a kid was the Brit .303. Imagine that... So it's only natural that we are more inclined to lean towards American designed cartridges. This doesn't mean that we necessarily think badly of the 6.5x55, we are just more comfortable with what we know. Please don't think badly of us. :-D There might become more of a following for the 6.5x55 here if more American ammunition manufacturers would provide a better selection of over the counter ammo.
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