The 6mm Remington

By Chuck Hawks

6mm Rem.
Illustration courtesy of Hornady Mfg. Co.

The superb 6mm Remington started life in 1955, the same year as the .243 Winchester. It was originally named the .244 Remington. Although the 6mm lost the popularity contest to the .243, it is one of my favorite rifle cartridges, and much appreciated by reloaders generally.

The .244 and 6mm cartridges are completely interchangable, and anyone with a .244 rifle can shoot 6mm ammunition in complete safety (or vice-versa). Remington .244 rifles made from 1958 on can stabilize all 6mm bullets, while those made in 1955 through 1957 are limited to loads using spitzer bullets not heavier than 90 grains for best accuracy.

Factory loads in 6mm call for an 80 grain bullet at 3,470 fps, and a 100 grain bullet at 3,100 fps. The heaviest bullet factory loaded for the caliber, the 105 grain Speer spitzer (with a BC of .443 and a SD of .254), is factory loaded to 3,060 fps. This is 140 fps faster than the .243 factory load with the same bullet.

The 6mm is probably the best of the standard .24/6mm cartridges from the reloader's standpoint. It has a little more powder capacity than the .243 Win.--similar to the .243 WSSM without that cartridge's problems--and a longer neck than either of the Winchester .243's.

Here are some specifications of interest to reloaders: bullet diameter .243", maximum cartridge length 2.825", maximum case length 2.233", MAP 52,000 cup.

There is a wide range of bullets available for any .24/6mm cartridge, ranging from 55 grains to 115 grains. The 6mm Rem. can use all of these. Generally, bullets from 55 to 87 grains are varmint bullets, and the bullets from 90-115 grains are the CXP2 class game bullets. Most popular and useful are the 70-80 grain varmint bullets and the 90-105 grain big game bullets.

The well balanced 6mm Rem. is not choosy about powders. Depending on the bullet weight, medium to slow burning rifle powders are most appropriate. Examples include W760, VIHT N-160, IMR 4064, IMR 4831, and RL-19. I kind of like IMR 4064 in the 6mm Rem.

According to the Nosler Reloading Guide, Fifth Edition their 80 grain Ballistic Tip varmint bullet can be driven to a MV of 3179 fps in front of 38.0 grains of IMR 4064 powder; 42.0 grains of IMR 4064 raises the MV to 3451 fps. IMR 4064 was found to be the most accurate of the powders tested with this bullet.

The popular Nosler 95-100 grain bullets can be driven at a MV of 2856 fps in front of 42.0 grains of RL19 powder, or 3159 fps with a maximum load of 46.0 grains of RL19. RL-19 was found to be the most accurate of the powders tested with these bullets. The folks at Nosler used Remington cases and Federal 210M primers for their load development. These Nosler loads were chronographed in a 24 inch barrel.

Note: A full length article about the 6mm Remington can be found on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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