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:
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!