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6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede

31 Aug 2016
@ 01:46 am (GMT)

Lane Salvato

Just some musings here, but I wish with all of the 6.5 craze here in the states, Hornady would have looked to the Swede before reinventing the wheel with the Creedmor. The problem here is that there have been so many fads in the last ten to fifteen years with the "Short Mags" and the "Compact Mags" that it's become a bit of a joke. So many of these rounds have come and gone leaving the gullible with a rifle and no ammunition. I hope that this is not the case with the Creedmor. It would have been nice to just see them adopt and promote the Swede.

At least that with the way nearly everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, maybe it will stick and the usefulness of the 6.5 in a non-magnum round will be seen here in the states. The other possibly good outcome is that younger shooters who have been convinced by gun magazines that they need a 300 RUM for whitetails might take a look at a caliber that is more suitable and more pleasant to shoot.

I for one will be sticking with my trusty 25-06.


31 Aug 2016
@ 06:00 am (GMT)

Cor Nepgen

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede
Hi Lane,

Yes its interesting to see the 6.5 excitement going on. Have you read the cartridge book yet? I think it has a very good background and application for the caliber.

I think the recent craze with t he 6.5 has some to do with competitive PRS style shooting. I have look sometimes for interest sake and it seems most of the top guys use brass of the Creedmoore or 6.5 x 47 Lapua. These are either using the parent case as is, or necked down for a 6mm wildcat variant.

I think the competitive sport shooting community sets a lot of trends, they tend to shoot more than your average guy so buying power plays a role. Secondly I also think general public look at these guys and think well if they do this, it must be good so I will as well!

Thing is, these guys shoot rather heavy rifles and look for minimal recoil. They do not decide on a cartridge based on terminal performance as they mostly shoot steel. Either way, I think these cartridges will stay around for quite a while. I do think the Swede in hand loads is still the equal or perhaps better than many of the modern variants. Marketing by big companies and failure to do proper research by the average Joe may play some role in why the swede is not more popular but thats just speculation on my part.

Might be missing the boat entirely so feel free to disagree and share your thoughts.

Interesting thread though!
Cheers, Cor
31 Aug 2016
@ 07:41 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede
the 6.5x55 is a great round but there is one disadvantage, its trying to build a rifle around it cheaply. trying to stuff it in a short action is silly using a whole long action is silly, building a mid length action for a mildly popular cartridge is uneconomical, the one action that screams out as a perfect 6.5x55 and 7x57 candidate is the tikka.

now we look at the creedmoor is it any better ballistically not really no real advantage over the swede in the cartridge itself.
but when we look at the rifle we can house it in we start to see one advantage if we look at a short action with a short mag we can even see more advantage over the 260rem.
few things to remember new cartridges sell new guns and secondly most firearms are made in the usa that seems to still hold onto the not invented here not interested idea.
31 Aug 2016
@ 10:17 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede
Hi Lane, I was disappointed for some time when the .260 first came out. I thought- we already have a good cartridge at this power level, leave well enough alone. But I had to concede on the matters of metallurgy and action length or how best to utilize action length.

The manufacturers have been hamstrung a bit. The metallurgy of the original 94 and 96 actions was good but like all of the old steels, it was not as sound as modern steels. The Swede can take a good stout load of 4350 and can run at 2750fps without issues. But the truth is, regardless of what has been done with the Swedish action (including Kimber's first sporting rifles based on G96 rifles rebarreled to .243 and .308), this steel has its limits. Larger problems occur when we start mucking around with the action, removing case hardened surfaces and so forth. Poor gun care is a typical problem that can jack pressures up. Manufacturers are weary of such issues so even if using a hot Superformance load, they shy away by 100fps of potential. Other loads typically run 300 to 350fps below potential.

On the other hand, the (supposedly superior) K98's are not the best. Very basic steel but with careful surface hardening and heat treatment. Yet years on they have been mucked around left right and center, the tops milled off, the lugs trued, the lug rebates trued, scope base holes drilled into the edges of lug rebates. Rust, polish, rust, polish, rust blast. Then shoot till the bores are worn out, fit a new barrel and shoot again. Yet we seem OK jamming every conceivable cartridge design into these including cutting away the front of the mag box and milling towards the lower lug rebate, then opening the bolt face for the sake of magnum chamberings (eg 8x68 and .308 NM). That said, the K98 does have the third fail safe lug and also a large rear flange for gas handling which is vastly superior to many gun designs including the Tikka T3 gas handling system. The continued shooting can re-work harden lugs etc, but it can also create fatigue- hard to say what state any particular K98 action is in at any given time without full Rockwell testing.

In any case, it was metallurgy that caused the fresh start or we could say- an excuse for a new product and marketing campaign. I am just a little surprised that Remington kicked all of this off with the .260 rather than a 6.5-06. They had already commercialized the .25-06, .280 and .35 Whelen. Why not add another? I do recall the marketing hype being based around low recoil and big power from the handy M7 rifle (with comparisons made to the .270- more power than the .270 past 200 yards). But then I also remember the actual power being far lower than advertised with the bullets also suffering from low BC's. The actual gains over the Swede (for factory ammo users) were not so great. The Core-Lokt is one heck of a good hunting bullet, but it loses velocity quickly. Far better pushed from an 06 case and truth be told, the way Remington load their factory ammo, a 140 grain load would have been going around 2800fps from a Rem factory 6.5-06.

All told, the .260 never really lived up to its promises as a factory load, this I stuggle to understand. It is a good cartridge when hand loaded but then so is the Swede. The Creedmore is different again. I believe you will find that the leade angle has been optimized for Hornady ELD ogives and with care towards barrel making (higher QC than in past years), Ruger and Hornady have been able to work together to make very accurate rifles. I think (I do try to get inside the heads of these guys) that this may be a key factor in their design approach. The reduction in case capacity can help a bit with ES, if using a good case fill. All of this based around optimization for factory ammo users and all from the company who made their mark as a hand loading company, but are just as quickly removing projectile options from the market. Still- the combo works and factory ammo users can take a basic rifle and ammo, then shoot long.

The Creedmore cartridge is supposedly designed to boast a short OAL, ideal for long low drag bullets in short actions, yet the Max OAL's are still 40 to 100 thou (or more) longer than short action magazines, more if you want another 40 thou space in the mag for smooth feeding. In Kiwi speak, this means a total jump of up to 3.5mm. The .260 is much the same, also featuring some freebore. In a long magazine, you can seat both the .260 and Creedmore close to the lands. If using a Swede, you cannot seat to the lands regardless of mag length because the projectiles end up too far out of the case neck.

All of this will ensure that we continue to see support for the 6.5 in one way or another. Both Howa and Tikka have continued with swede rifle production- just to name two supporters of the original cartridge design without going into other European manufacturers or mentioning the S word.
01 Sep 2016
@ 12:17 am (GMT)

Lane Salvato

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede

That's a great synopsis. An interesting observation about Hornady removing projectile options as well. I hadn't noticed it as much but you are up to speed on this more than most.

I do think that the competitive shooting community does drive some of the craze with the Creedmor, and if they continue to use it with success in high profile matches, the Creedmor may be here to stay.
01 Sep 2016
@ 07:02 am (GMT)

Jon Short

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede
Great info there Nathan. Very interesting. Having a soft spot for my 6.5x55s for general north island deer stalking, a 6.5-06 sounds like a lot of fun... Has such a thing been done? (Excuse my ignorance please)

01 Sep 2016
@ 06:07 pm (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede
thank you Nathan i really learnt a lot.

Lane by the sounds of it you can make creedmoor brass from the 08 cases but sounds like the 22/250 is the easiest. we'll see the creedmoor sticking around in small numbers for a long time even if it does get drop from a standard factory item.
i see people have been necking it down to 6mm but this to seems odd as there's already plenty of 6mm's, 243, 6xc, 6mm remington.

hi Jon the 6.5-06 is getting pretty common Grant at trueflte has a reamer for it. i know one guy with one based on a tikka his max load with 143gr ELD-X is going 3130fps he is still in finally load development thou.
it'll be interesting to see if it does become a factory item, i wonder if the fact there's so many different specs/reamers out there already called 6.5-06 if that has put them off, only time will tell what happens
01 Sep 2016
@ 09:02 pm (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede
My gunsmith mate uses a 6 x 47 that's the 6.5 x 47 Lapua case necked down to 6mm. It's very good.

He made me a rifle on the same case necked up to 308, it produces higher velocity than a 308 winchester
01 Sep 2016
@ 09:26 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede
Thomas the 6.5-06 has been registered as the A-Square l recall
reading somewhere but that may not be correct (old timers again!!)

The use of std short actions is the big plus for these case designs over the Swede with its medium or long required length. A detach mag takes care of the mag lengths if needed with the Creed or 260rem. No options there with the Swede as Nathan has said.
A suitable short action donor would have to be one of the easiest things
to find!

And another offering is the 6.5x47lap which offers good velocities
& extended barrel life over them all and will house in a true S/A.

I have debated this exact thing for my new 6.5mm build (Ask Nathan!!) & have gone for the 260rem for many reasons. Abundant brass options with 243, 7mm08 or 308w all being easily obtainable, std bolt face & the ability to re-work to 6.5-06AI when the throat a bit tired.

Do we need all these very similar cartridge designs, no probably not but some have merit when you look into them a bit further!
02 Sep 2016
@ 01:28 am (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede
So what's the ideal barrel length? What length are the target guys using? I thought of changing the chamber of my 6.5x55 to 6.5 -06 but the 22 inch Sako barrel wouldn't give me much gain. I'd have done it if it was a 26 inch barrel!.I have made peace with the Swede as it is. With reloads and 140 gn Amax or partition as per Nathans advice and it's got some anger management issues now.......
The 35 Whelen takes over if I need to completely ruin somethings day!
02 Sep 2016
@ 01:58 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede
Going for a finished length of 26" with the 260 but have seen good reported speeds from 24".
The 06 case would want a 26" minimum to help with burn being only a 6.5mm bore otherwise would be like a short barrelled magnum......
02 Sep 2016
@ 05:19 am (GMT)

Cor Nepgen

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede
Thank you everyone, this has been a very interesting read. Co-incidentally I read a few articles stating Lapua will start manufacturing creedmoore brass as well. So I think the cartridge will stay for a while.

Thanks for a good read.
02 Sep 2016
@ 07:02 pm (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede
Martin you are right on the money saami has it as the 6.5-06 a square.

martin are you building your rifle on a tikka action?

i got a 98k mauser (parker hale wing safety) with a screwed barrel here and i have been debating what to do with it eventually, Nathan comments does make a note for concern thou.
i see Grant at trueflite has a 6.5x55 improved reamer so im thinking this might be a good option as i don't have the magazine length for the 6.5-06
02 Sep 2016
@ 08:34 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede
Thomas l as going to buy a Tikka Varmint in 260rem, job done, easy........... but l couldn't help myself!

I have just started building (after much procrastinating) a 260rem varmint style rig for my son & l to use in a LR target-varmint role. It's an 80's M700 L/A which will get married to a heavy TF fluted that I picked up.

Just need to find a stock so hint, hint to any OZ guys who have a Sendero, M40 stock or similar sitting around in the shed!!!!
03 Sep 2016
@ 08:59 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede
Thomas, you could just go 6.5-06 or 6.5-06 AI if you want. The gun would be in the shop so the work could be done.

1. Cut off front of mag box.
2. Mill bottom of action mag well forwards.
3. Epoxy a piece of sheet stainless to the front of the mag well area of the stock as your new false front of magazine.

This can take the action right out long, though the longer you go, the more of the lower lug rebate material you have to remove. Also keep in mind that its a one way ticket, you can't go back to mid length again without designing some kind of feed block.

That's basically how it was done in the old days by H&H.

Need to make sure your scope bases are all kosha and not odd ball. Best to fit some Burris Posi align rings.
05 Sep 2016
@ 09:45 am (GMT)

Andy Stewart

Re: 6.5 Creedmor vs the Swede
Reinventing the wheel keeps selling more wheels! For general purpose short range hunting (400dys ish), I run a 6.5x55 T3.18" barrel, runs the 140 Berger at 2800 (yes,2800) and the 120NBT at 3000, I look at the whole Creedmore thing and just shake my head, but the real purpose of the Creedmore invention, is of course, to make money!, dump that 6.5Swede, dump that .260 Rem, get the new, much better, shinier Creedmore!. Except, it isn't better.

I just happen to have my own AI reamer for the Swede, and the dies (including a hydraulic case former) for it, but not sure about the need to "improve" it, if I am going to be likely to shoot animals at any distance my .264 Win Mag running the 130 Swift and 130 Berger as a dual load, is substantially better than any of the small 6.5's can manage.

6.5/06 is a really good option, 25/06 handloaded speeds with 6.5 Ballisticswould make 25/06 and .270 redundant straight off the bat, and that would clobber loaded ammunition sales of the .270, making it a bad choice of calibre to standardise, I don't see 6.5/06 ever becoming a mainstream calibre, despite the fact it may be the best balanced long action cartridge ever invented.


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