6.5mm Rem Mag Cartridge

Sad Fate Of The 6.5 Remington Magnum

6.5mm Rem Mag Cartridge Drawing
6.5mm Rem Mag Cartridge Drawing

Q: What can you tell me about the 6.5 Remington Magnum? I just bought a Remington Model 700 in this calibre together with three boxes of original ammo less 15 rounds the previous owner fired and a die set.

To date I haven’t been able to locate any ammunition for it. I’ve tried just about every gun shop I can think of and they all say they’ve never heard of it. I haven’t shot it at any game yet, but I got it sighted in 2-1/2 inches high at 100yds. The scope on it is an old Redfield 2-7x that is bright and compact. Can you suggest a good load for deer?Brad Jarvis

6.5mm Rem Mag Cartridge 6.5mm Rem Mag Cartridge

A: You are one lucky guy! the 6.5 Rem. Mag. which was introduced in 1966 for the carbine models 600 and 660 never caught on because their short 457mm barrels stifled the cartridge’s performance. In 1971 Remington made a short run of their 6.5 in the Model 700 and 40XB with 600mm barrels which allowed the cartridge to develop its full velocity.

The Ruger Model 77 was briefly offered in this chambering. Published factory ballistics had the 6.5 Rem.Mag. driving a 120gn bullet at 3210fps, but from a 600mm barrel. There was a velocity loss of 300 fps in the carbines. The cartridge intrigued me so much that in 1977 I got Heimo Petzl to build me custom Mauser 98 with 584mm barrel for it. Having it long-throated allowed me to use 140 and 160gn bullets and to seat lighter bullets to a longer overall length to utilise more powder space.

Ballistically, the 6.5 Rem. Mag. is the equal of the 6.5-284 Norma and 6.5-06. It offers flat trajectories and deep penetration for hunting all deer species. In the 584mm barrel of my Mauser the 100gn bullet did 3320fps, the 129gn 3150, and 140gn 3000. But I used old H4831 and W-785, powders that are no longer available. If your Model 700 has a short action, my loads would be too hot in your standard chamber. Some reloading manuals no longer list loads for the 6.5 Remington, but Nosler still does.

They list the following loads: Nosler 100gn BT 57.5gn of W-760 3466fps up to a MAXIMUM 59.5gn for 3556fps;or 58.5gn of AR2209 for 3480fps MAX. 60.5gn for 3585fps. Nosler 120gn E-Tip 54gn W-760 for 3172fps up to 56gn for 3264fps MAX. or 55gn of AR2209 for 3228fps up to MAX of 57gn for 3286fps. Nosler 130gn AccuBond and 55.5gn AR2213SC for 3044fps up to 57.5gn MAX. and 3103fps. Nosler 140gn AccuBond and 55gn AR2213SC for 2908fps up to 57gn MAX. and 2979 fps. I think you’ll find you have got yourself a top deer rifle.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.