Reply with quote #9
summit - Either of the 6.5s you mentioned would be pretty good for the stated tasks, but if you're at all concerned about barrel life, you oughta look at a 6.5x55. I had a local 'smith chamber a 30" Krieger 1:8 tw. in med. Palma contour in 6.5x55 for my Nesika K prone rifle several years before I started doing my own barrel work, and it's been a fine performer out to 1000yds. I load Sierra 142MKs to just over 2900fps with N160 - most LR target shooters only load their 6.5x284s to around 2950-2980fps with this bullet to get best accuracy, and barrel life can be as short as 1100rds. using 4350.
I considered going with the 6.5x284 or 6.5x55 Ackley Imp. before settling on the std. 6.5x55, but decided the Ackley version's case capacity was so close to the 6.5x284's that barrel life was probably going to be about the same. Then curiousity got the best of me a year or so ago, so I ordered a 6.5x55 AI reamer, and used it on a 30" Bartlein 1:8.5tw heavy Palma. The barrel is fitted to a BAT 3LL action in a Robertson H&H prone stock, and is very accurate.
However, so far, it looks like the AI version is only going to give me another 50-60fps velocity with 139/140/142gr. bullets. The other 'advantage' of the AI version is that I'll probably never have to trim cases (something that the std. 6.5x55's case taper & shoulder angle make necessary on a regular basis). Be that as it may, I'm a fan of the Ackley case form - currently have a 250AI, the 6.5x55AI, and a 280AI. Once you start doing your own barrel work, part of the fun is giving into the temptation of experimenting with some of the 'neat' cartridges you've always wondered about.