6.5x284 project, input welcome

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  • 6.5x284 project, input welcome

    OK some aspects of this project aren't changeable, like the hardware, but I'd welcome any advice on running in and load development. I've done the research and have some ideas, but with a barrel life of only 1000 rounds, I'm more than happy to listen to experience.

    The rifle
    Barnard P action, Vee bed on an aluminium stock. Trueflight 6.5 SG barrel (polygon lands) 32" 1:8.5. Norma brass, Berger 140 gn VLD target (I realise Berger say 1:8 for this round, but I have confirmed this barrel can handle this projectile, If I find it won't,,,, well I'll have to drop to a 130-120gn and I'll be a bit pissed!). Sightron SIII 10-50x60 fine reticle.

    Brass prep- to FL size every time or not?
    The Norma has proved to be very consistent brass. Over 200 rounds I have less than 2 gn in weight difference. Neck thickness is a pretty consistent 14 thou (none as low 13.5). I skimmed a few with a turning tool and took less than 1/2 a thou to full turn. Because of this, I'm tempted to accept they are true and not turn. The 14 thou also gives me 3 thou clearance in the planned chamber, which is the minimal end of what I was planning on.

    The BIG decision that I need to make is; do I run with a fireformed case or do I FL size every time and hunt for consistency from that. From the info above I figure I can get away with FL resize and nothing more, but with the tolerances I COULD fireform, turn necks and neck size only; the issue being, that costs rounds!

    Running in - 50 rounds (4 strings +2)

    Plan A - Don't plan on consistency during the run in
    Do a minimal skim on the necks to assure consistency and fireform the 50 cases with a moderate load and run the barrel in. Not interested in groups, just get used to the rifle, tweak what needs tweaking and end up with 50 formed cases for a ladder test and future competition use.

    If I go this way I will need to "waste rounds" fireforming any brass I want to use for competition.

    Plan B - Do plan on consistency during the run in
    FL size 55 cases and minimal turn (5 extra to zero as well as get the run in underway). Load a ladder test and fire groups from the off (one round from each load in a round robin, rather than 5 from the first, 5 from the second etc). If I get accuracy, I'm sorted, I have a load and will need to FL resize every time I shoot. No rounds wasted fireforming. I can play with seating depth but that's about it.

    If I go with Plan B, I can't really tweak anything after the first 5 rounds because it may throw the result, but, if it works I have 200 cases I can size and use. If it doesn't work, I'll have 55 fireformed cases and I'm in the same state as plan A, but I've eliminated the possibility of running on a FL resize every time.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    I was vaguely thinking of this cal for a Fclass purchase down the track but 1000 rounds out of the barrel...

    Good luck Tim. Sorry I can't help with your choices. Might take the first barrel to figure out what the rifle likes and you'll know by the time you put an 2nd one on it.

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      That's why I went with 32 inches, trim and rechamber rather than a whole new barrel. 800-1200 is what I've read about this cartridge, it's a barrel burner for sure, but performs very well if you get it right.

  • #3
    Most who try the 140's find the 47 case a little small however with a 32" tube you might find otherwise (assuming your 32" tube stays at 32" and isn't cut back to remove any flaws)

    If you use Wilson straight line dies you will need a tight base body die to correct case dimensions after repeated firings. Bare in mind the 6.5-284 is a big cartridge and you may only get a couple of firings before the cases wont chamber and you need to use the body die, then you may find the first firing may not be as accurate as a neck sized case.

    However if you use conventional dies I would use a f/l bushing die and bump the shoulder back .001" every time. This maintains chamber clearance without over sizing the case.

    Being an f class rifle you will be single loading and so little neck tension is required, .0005-.001" tension should be enough to hold the bullet concentric without over working the necks on sizing.

    Steve

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      Thanks Steve, I have a bit of reading to do to fully understand some of that. 'body die' is a new one on me. I currently have a set of Redding dies (FL, Neck and seater) plus a type S neck sizer). I 'm not too keen on expanding with a button but it was all I could get in the caliber, so I got a 6.5 mandrel from sinclair and will probably run that down before pushing the primer. I'm not sure if that's entirely necessary but its an option.
      I wasn't aware of the cases expanding that frequently so thanks for the warning, something else to plan for. Is it worth trying to chamber the case before reloading or will I know its gin oversized from trimming?

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      Originally posted by 6602steven" post=31971
      Most who try the 140's find the 47 case a little small however with a 32" tube you might find otherwise (assuming your 32" tube stays at 32" and isn't cut back to remove any flaws)

      Steve
      Flaws!!!!
      Holy Mary Mother of God!
      For the money those extra 2" cost, if there are any flaws it will be getting SENT back not CUT back.

  • #4
    There is now a lot of mis-conceptions about the 6.5/284 since it became the darling of the long range set. At the time we were limited in our choices (300 WSMs were still not in Australia for example) and our ambitions were ahead of technology in many respects.

    I was an early adopter and chose the 6.5/284 Shehane chamber as it offers more case capacity and better velocities. At that time Norma base was coming on line and everything was very expensive but we were sharing ideas with UK and US shooters and learning as we shot. Lapua brass is far too nice these days and still affordable - buy as many packs as you can afford.

    Key lesson one was to rechamber between 800 - 1000 rounds (ie keep accurate records). A bore scope is your friend so keeping an eye on the state of the barrel and a proper cleaning regime is very important.

    Second lesson relates to vertical dispersion at 1000 yards. My hypothesis remains that the 6.5 is too long for calibre for beyond 800m and side winds cause vertical spreads out of the hotter 6.5s (I know this will catch crabs but I have not seen it with the smaller cases but the improved Swedes and the 284 have been challenging to tune at distance.)

    Third lesson is to find a velocity node in the 2950 to 3050 fps range that works and stick to it.

    I enjoyed the 6.5/284 and still have a barrel fitted but when I went to the 7mm/284 a lot of the issues I was having with the 6.5 went away. Less wind deflection and less vertical out at the longs and longer usable barrel life.

    Not really the answers you were looking for but hope the above helps.

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      Originally posted by Hairy Biker" post=31998
      There is now a lot of mis-conceptions about the 6.5/284 since it became the darling of the long range set. At the time we were limited in our choices (300 WSMs were still not in Australia for example) and our ambitions were ahead of technology in many respects.

      I was an early adopter and chose the 6.5/284 Shehane chamber as it offers more case capacity and better velocities. At that time Norma base was coming on line and everything was very expensive but we were sharing ideas with UK and US shooters and learning as we shot. Lapua brass is far too nice these days and still affordable - buy as many packs as you can afford.

      Key lesson one was to rechamber between 800 - 1000 rounds (ie keep accurate records). A bore scope is your friend so keeping an eye on the state of the barrel and a proper cleaning regime is very important.

      Second lesson relates to vertical dispersion at 1000 yards. My hypothesis remains that the 6.5 is too long for calibre for beyond 800m and side winds cause vertical spreads out of the hotter 6.5s (I know this will catch crabs but I have not seen it with the smaller cases but the improved Swedes and the 284 have been challenging to tune at distance.)

      Third lesson is to find a velocity node in the 2950 to 3050 fps range that works and stick to it.

      I enjoyed the 6.5/284 and still have a barrel fitted but when I went to the 7mm/284 a lot of the issues I was having with the 6.5 went away. Less wind deflection and less vertical out at the longs and longer usable barrel life.

      Not really the answers you were looking for but hope the above helps.
      Now I remember why I built a .284win

      Steve

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      Originally posted by Hairy Biker" post=31998
      There is now a lot of mis-conceptions about the 6.5/284 since it became the darling of the long range set. At the time we were limited in our choices (300 WSMs were still not in Australia for example) and our ambitions were ahead of technology in many respects.

      I was an early adopter and chose the 6.5/284 Shehane chamber as it offers more case capacity and better velocities. At that time Norma base was coming on line and everything was very expensive but we were sharing ideas with UK and US shooters and learning as we shot. Lapua brass is far too nice these days and still affordable - buy as many packs as you can afford.

      Key lesson one was to rechamber between 800 - 1000 rounds (ie keep accurate records). A bore scope is your friend so keeping an eye on the state of the barrel and a proper cleaning regime is very important.

      Second lesson relates to vertical dispersion at 1000 yards. My hypothesis remains that the 6.5 is too long for calibre for beyond 800m and side winds cause vertical spreads out of the hotter 6.5s (I know this will catch crabs but I have not seen it with the smaller cases but the improved Swedes and the 284 have been challenging to tune at distance.)

      Third lesson is to find a velocity node in the 2950 to 3050 fps range that works and stick to it.

      I enjoyed the 6.5/284 and still have a barrel fitted but when I went to the 7mm/284 a lot of the issues I was having with the 6.5 went away. Less wind deflection and less vertical out at the longs and longer usable barrel life.

      Not really the answers you were looking for but hope the above helps.
      Extremely helpful. I haven't asked all the questions I have (there isn't enough room!) ALL this info is useful.
      I was looking for Lapua, I just couldn't find any, the Norma came in so I grabbed it.
      I was advised to go 284 win but in my book only so much can be learned from books and talking. The rest comes from doing. I'm new to F class, with lots to learn. I could jump in with a 284 win but how much would I not learn if I did that? I'm hoping I can get good results with the 6.5, but this project is also aimed at providing me with an education.
      Any advice on loads?
      I'm told 2208 will be the go or should I go for something slower with the longer barrel?

  • #5
    My 6.5-284 has a trueflite PT barrel but is on a Zastava action as its built as a longer range hunting rifle. It is very accurate.
    Some of my cases have had 8 firings and after full length sizing are very hard to chamber. I was strapped for time and only quickly measured the case length of 2 or 3 cases. I will need measure them in full to see what is going on but they may be done.
    I have tried Berger 140gn VLD, 142gn SMK and 140gn Amax. The amax shoots better in my rifle and is more suitable for hunting than the others.
    I say don't have any regrets building the rifle you want cause it won't be the last. Make the next one a straight 284.
    And as mine shoots under half moa I have another trueflite in the mail (left nz last week) in 6mm to be chambered in 6x47 lapua. Keep us updated.

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    • #6
      There is heaps of info on the US forums with different powders being used.
      6mmbr.com has alot of info. So does tje forums attached to it. I have never seen anywhere of 2208 being used in the 6.5-284.

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        Originally posted by Kizza" post=32244
        There is heaps of info on the US forums with different powders being used.
        6mmbr.com has alot of info. So does tje forums attached to it. I have never seen anywhere of 2208 being used in the 6.5-284.
        Thanks Kizza, funnily enough I was just reading an article on 6mmbr, it seems people go as slow as 2225 but like you say, nothing at 2208.

        Ahh well food for thought, maybe I go middle for diddle and put 2213SC in the sucker and see how it flies.

        Just as a matter of interest, what's your length to the ogive (or OAL on the 140's)?

    • #7
      I use 2213sc in the 6.5 Shehane for 142 SMKs. The 142s are the most "forgiving" of the 6.5 bullets and can take a lot of abuse.

      I used 2208 with 120 grain Nosler BTs for hunting and with 107 SMKs. 107 SMKs are a great way to finish your barrel off very quickly but they work out to 1000 yards.

      I note your earlier comment about learning things on F Class. Without wanting to be rude, would a 6mm BR or 6mm Dasher be a better alternative - cheaper all around and teaches you wind reading without the negatives of short barrel life and recoil? Then go for a 284 barrel in 12 - 24 months?

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        Originally posted by Hairy Biker" post=32483
        I use 2213sc in the 6.5 Shehane for 142 SMKs. The 142s are the most "forgiving" of the 6.5 bullets and can take a lot of abuse.

        I used 2208 with 120 grain Nosler BTs for hunting and with 107 SMKs. 107 SMKs are a great way to finish your barrel off very quickly but they work out to 1000 yards.

        I note your earlier comment about learning things on F Class. Without wanting to be rude, would a 6mm BR or 6mm Dasher be a better alternative - cheaper all around and teaches you wind reading without the negatives of short barrel life and recoil? Then go for a 284 barrel in 12 - 24 months?
        Thanks for the powder info, I'm going to have to do a bit more research on that.
        As for caliber choice, you may be right, but here I am with a 6.5x284 barreled action on the way. 800 6.5 bergers on my load bench, 200 6.5x284 normas in the draw and a set of 6.5x284 dies. I guess I'm past that point of no return really

    • #8
      Good luck and enjoy the ride!

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      • #9
        It seems you have your mind set on the 6.5-284. You wont regret it. You will learn a lot and maybe you will decide to chamber in something else later. Or you may just built another. It is a very accurate cartridge and has earned its reputation. Recoil is very mild especially in a rifle with a bit of heft. Mine weighs 12 pound. Not a carry round hunter but from a vehicle or perched up its great.
        As hairy biker said 2208 might be ok for the lighter projectiles but for the 140's and that barrel length 2209 should be the slowest powder to use.
        Enjoy it its a cracker!

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        • #10
          Oh my oal from base to tip is 3.160 inches.
          .

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          • #11
            Thats with 140 Amax.

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            • #12
              It's arrived
              I got the barrelled action yesterday so spent today getting it fitted to the stock and dropped the scope on. All ready for it's first round
              6.5x284
              Outlaw stock
              Barnard action
              Trueflight Barrel 32"
              Sightron 10-50x60


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              • #13
                It should be a cracker mate. I've got a few steel plates sorted for mine if I have time over the break to get out to the farm. Or might just go to a new block close by. Has it all going on apparently. Pigs, goats, deer, dogs etc. Can't wait its been about 3 months since my last trip.

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                  nice setup

                  good to see I'm not the only one who like's the 6.5x284, I had one in a light mauser hunting rifle for a while but after 200 shots the barrel would not settle down and was a Fowler so I had the barrel changed, I used a shillen match grade #7 with my own Robert Whiteley design 6.5x284 reamer,
                  I have installed the barreled action into a Richards microfit benchmark stock, double A grade walnut and 5x10hr days to fit, bed and finish this stock,
                  the reamer is designed for using 140 berger vld's and so far this rifle shoots dots,
                  the powder to use for this cartridge is either adi 2209 or 2213sc no doubt and I did a ladder test when new to see if I could safely get up to 2950 fps with 2209,
                  no problems there but the ladder of 10 shots at .5 gr difference each all went into a 20 cent piece with 5 shots going into a pretty cloverleaf,
                  I have set this rifle up for hunting and shooting deer as they come out of the bush so the 1000 shots or so barrel life is not a worry,
                  if I shot 20 deer a year and check zero say twice a year it's going to be a long time before getting another barrel,
                  I did do a lot of research before going the way I did and am very happy with this rifle
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