March 12, 2010
Petzal Reviews the 6.5/284 Cartridge, Part II
By David E. Petzal
Let’s see, where was I? Oh yes.
What brought the 6.5/284 out of the shadows and into the bright light of factory production was target shooters, and the growing willingness of Americans to try hitherto-unpopular metric calibers. There is nothing magic about the 6.5/284. It is a highly efficient load that kicks about like a .25/06 (which is to say very little) but lets you shoot heavier bullets than the .25/06, which makes it more versatile. And as my testing over the past two weeks with two 6.5/284s indicates, it is capable of the most extreme accuracy. You hear me? I said extreme. There will be more on this later. It will not, however, do anything that a good .270 won’t do.
A word about twist. The best results with a 6.5/284 are gotten with bullets of 130 and 140 grains, and it takes a twist of 1-8 to 1-9 to stabilize them. If you are a simple life form and want to shoot 120-grain bullets in this cartridge (or in a 6.5 Swede, as I have found to my sorrow and great expense) you will need a twist of 1-10.5 or thereabouts. And that will not stabilize the heavier bullets worth a barrel of old hog s**t. Maybe you can find a way around this, but I wouldn’t count on it.
And one other fringe benefit: If, when someone asks you in hunting camp what caliber your rifle is, and you say “6.5/284,” people will have no idea what the hell you’re talking about and will think you know all about guns and shooting.
I’ve been dining off this for years.