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Greetings!

I currently own rifles chambered in .308 Win., .243 Win., 7.62x39, and .22LR. I recently sold a rifle chambered in .30-06 Springfield, as the .308 Win. does everything I want from a .30 caliber. I'm also in the process of selling the 7.62x39 (it's an SKS that's fun, but wildly inaccurate).

I have absolutely ZERO interest in magnum cartridges, I briefly owned a .300 Win. Mag. a few years ago and quite frankly thought it was way too overpowered for any kind of shooting I was interested in - I guess I just don't understand the "bigger is better" American fascination with magnum cartridges. A friend recently tried to sell me his 7mm Mag. and after taking a day at the range with it, I politely declined for the same reasons.

So, here's my current situation. I am interested in filling the "gap" between the .243 Win. and the .308 Win. with some variety of 6.5mm or possibly a .270 Win. I am considering a Tikka T3 for the rifle, but I'm open to other (bolt-action only) suggestions. Right now, I'm considering these 3 cartridges, but again I'm open to suggestions:

6.5x55 Swedish Mauser
.260 Remington
.270 Winchester

I particularly like the .270 Win. ballistics, but I don't like the fact that it is a long action, generally preferring short actions. Other than that, the .270 seems like a dream cartridge, almost the ideal north american medium-to-large game cartridge with magnum-like ballistics without the overpowered mega-recoil, mega-powder burning and mega-overkill of the magnums.

I've always liked the 6.5mm cartridges for a variety of reasons, starting shortly after shooting a friend's 6.5x55 and REALLY enjoying the light recoil and report. I've long been fascinated by the .260 Remington, even though I realize it is not widely supported making it a handloaders cartridge for the most part. I've briefly considered the .257 Roberts +P, but would really prefer a 6.5mm cartridge over a .25 caliber. I've also found myself somewhat fascinated with the new 6.5 Grendel, but it seems too new to obtain good support for yet so I've shelved that idea for now.

Any suggestions? What cartridge (and to a lesser extent what rifle) would you choose?

Best wishes, and thanks in advance!
Bawko
 

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Please help choose my next cartridge/rifle.

All the cartridges you are considering are excellent choices. I have both a 270 Winchester and a 6.5X55 in bolt action rifles. I hunt with the 6.5 far more than the 270 as I too really enjoy the mild recoil, great accuracy, and impressive terminal performance the 6.5 offers. The 260 Remington basically has the same ballistics of the Swede in a shorter case. It too is a fine cartridge. However, like you, I wonder about its availability long-term. For a handloader, this in a very small concern though. All things considered, I'd go with the Swede. You mentioned that you liked it when you tried one. Mine has never disappointed me at the range or in the field. I think it is a perfect whitetail deer round. As to rifle choices, I hear and read that the Tikka is an excellent rifle. My 6.5s are a Model 70 Winchester Featherweight and a Remington Model 700 Classic. Both are classy, accurate, and proven rifles. 8)
 

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Calibers....

I have a 6.5-55 T3 wood and blued. Favorite current rifle. However, the .270 maybe the right decision if you need a long range carry the freight, flat shooter. There is some over lay between the .308 and the 6.5-55 as to handling larger bullets if you need to. Again the 6.5-55 is my sentimental favorite for the reasons mentioned in your post but a screaming 130gr , .270 fills out the options. It pained me to say this!

Buckfever
 

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Please help choose my next cartridge/rifle.

I don't really see a "gap" between .243 and .308 for big game. To me the 6.5mm and the .260 Rem seem like a good compromise for someone that wants neither of them.
 

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Please help choose my next cartridge/rifle.

I love my .260...it's a short action with light recoil. The max distance that I shot a whitetail with this rifle was about 100 yards and the 140 grain Sierra Boattails on a neck shot dropped the deer right in its tracks.

I also have a .270 Win and I love that rifle also. With similar 140 bullets, it kicks a bit more, but I really can't tell the difference in the field. Also, ammo in the .270 is much more readily available.

The 6.5x-55 is a cartridge that I was going to get. It's essentially a little longer than the .260 with less powder and thus less power. Also, ammo is more scarce than the .260. Hornady does make Light Magnum ammo for the 6.5x55 though which should be a bit more than the .260.

Zachary[/color]
 

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Please help choose my next cartridge/rifle.

Given your distaste for long actions there is really only one choice, the .260. The 6.5x55 won't fit into a true short action as they have 2.8" of capacity and the Swede likes an OAL of 3.0". The .270 has a noticable increase in recoil, not that it is bothersome. As for availablity of ammo, I make my own. They will never quit making either .308, 7mm/08 or .243 brass and 6.5mm bullets. :grin:
 

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Please help choose my next cartridge/rifle.

I have decided the .260 is a perfect deer caliber (for me). I always felt my 6mm was on the small end and my 7 mag was on the big end for our TX whitetails. And it had too much recoil. So the 6.5 is a perfect fit. I would like to have a 6.5 x 55 also, but the short action model 7 is a handy rifle in the field. I would suggest a longer barrel than my 20" for several reasons, but the caliber is great. Compare the ballistics on the Remington sight for all 3 of your choices at all ranges before you make the decision.
I am not worried about availability of ammo. This is a deer hunting rifle and will never see thousands of rounds. The basic 140 corelokts are deadly.
I have a .257 and .270 also, but the .260 is my main "go-to" deer/hog rifle. By the way, it was a failure in the field with the "early" ballistic tips, but that is covered in a million other posts.

pepaw
 

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Please help choose my next cartridge/rifle.

PEPAW, I recommend the 6.5x55. I reload for it and have 4 rifles in that caliber. It is inherently accurate but so is the 270 for that matter. My Tikka 270 shoots factory ammo good so I don't even bother to reload for it. By reloading the 6.5, I can load 100 grainers for varmints and my daughter to shoot or go up to 160 gr. big and hairy animals. For deer I use 120 to 140 grain bullets. You already know the recoil makes it a pleasure to shoot. Good luck on your decision.
James
 

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Please help choose my next cartridge/rifle.

7mm-08.....the perfect deer cartridge. Light recoil, kill any deer any where in the country.
 

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Please help choose my next cartridge/rifle.

Go with the 6.5mm Swede. History of accuracy and performance is the best reasons for getting the Swede. Lawdog
:D
 

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Please help choose my next cartridge/rifle.

260 , 7mm-08 and 270 WSM. The 270 WSM is a great round and recoil not that bad to me.....not like a 7mm mag. Any of the 3 are very good rounds........
 

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Please help choose my next cartridge/rifle.

i also cant see a noticable gap between the 243 and 308. from what you listed i would suggest either a 22 hornet or 223 remington to fill the power gap between the 243 and the 22. and between those two, i would lean toward the hornet because the 243 will do all the 223 can do and more.

i just cant imagine what you might need to kill that the 243 wouldnt be enough for or that the 308 would be too much for. :wink:
 

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there are a couple other choices....

I collect Swedish Mausers, so I am understandably partial to the 6.5x55. I also never had much use for a short action rifle. I live in southern Arizona, where all the shots are looooonngg! While the .270 is a fine cartridge, a 6.5-06 will do everything a .270 will do, if not better, and the 6.5 caliber has a much better bullet selection. I built my own on a Mauser action, and it is so accurate, it's kinda scary! If you can see it, you can hit it. If you hit it, it's dead. I am currently finishing up a .280 Remington on a 1909 Argentine action. Again, ballistics are very similar to the .270, but better bullet selection in 7mm caliber. This one is in a Hogue overmolded stock that has a very good recoil pad, recoil is not noticeably different from a Swede m/96. When loaded with Speer 175 gr. Mag-Tips at 2500 fps, the rock shattering capability is pretty impressive, will probably turn out to be a good long range elk gun.
 

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Please help choose my next cartridge/rifle.

I've been a fan of the Swedish M96 mauser in 6.5x55 for some years, own 3 of them. When Remington made their Classic in this caliber I couldn't resist. It's a winner. It's very accurate with mild recoil and handles bullet weights from 85 to 160grs. That's quite a range. This is a difficult caliber to bypass. Just one mans opinion. Best wishes.

Cal - Montreal
 
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