The 6.5mm Remington Magnum

By Chuck Hawks

In 2003 Remington kicked over the traces and reintroduced the .350 Rem. Mag. cartridge and the new Model 673 Guide Rifle in which to shoot it. And in 2004 they reintroduced the 6.5mm Remington Magnum cartridge, also in the Model 673.

The 6.5mm Rem. Mag., along with its running mate the .350 Rem. Mag., were the first short Magnums. These sensible cartridges were first introduced in the mid-1960's, long before the present short magnum craze was a glimmer on the horizon. They were way ahead of their time, but perhaps their time has now come.

The 6.5mm Rem. Mag. is again being factory loaded by Remington with a 120 grain PSP Core-Lokt bullet (SD .247) at a MV of 3,210 fps and a ME of 2,745 ft. lbs. Retained energy at 200 yards is 2056 ft. lbs., at 300 yards is 1,475 ft. lbs., and at 400 yards the 120 grain bullet still packs 1,177 ft. lbs. of energy.

Here are some 6.5mm Rem. Mag. statistics of interest to reloaders: bullet diameter .264", maximum COL 2.80", maximum case length 2.17", MAP 53,000 cup.

Medium to slow burning rifle powders generally give the best performance in the 6.5mm Mag. Examples include IMR 4064, IMR4350, IMR 4831, H414, H4350, H4895, and H4831.

For the handloader there is a selection of bullets suitable for the 6.5mm Mag. in 85, 100, 120, 125, 129-130, 140, and 160 grain weights. The 129 grain Hornady Interlock Spire Point (SD .264, BC .445) has always seemed to me to be a good all-around bullet for the 6.5mm Rem. Mag.

The Hornady Handbook, Sixth Edition shows that a starter load of 43.6 grains of IMR 4350 behind the 129 grain bullet is good for a MV of 2700 fps. Or, a maximum charge of 49.8 grains of IMR 4350 will give a MV of 3000 fps and ME of 2578 ft. lbs. The 200 yard figures for the latter load are 2583 fps and 1911 ft. lbs.

The Hornady Handbook also shows that 47.4 grains of H4831 behind any of the Hornady 140 grain bullets (SD .287) yields a MV of 2600 fps, and a maximum load of 54.3 grains of H4831 powder gives a MV of 2900 fps. The ME of that latter load is 2799 ft. lbs. At 200 yards the figures for the Interlock Spire Point bullet (BC .465) are 2567 fps and 2050 ft. lbs.

That load can be zeroed about 2.5" high at 100 yards for a maximum point blank range of about 290 yards. These Hornady loads used Remington brass and Federal 210 primers and were chronographed in a 24" rifle barrel.

Note: A full length article about the 6.5mm Rem. Mag. can be found on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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Copyright 2004, 2013 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.