When comparing 6.5mm cartridges the standard that comes to mind is the 6.5x55mm Swedish. Serving the Swedes until the end of World War II, many of these rifles were imported into the country after the war introducing the American shooter to 6.5mm caliber rifles, a heretofore untested caliber for the American sportsman. Developed in 1894 it operated under a chamber pressure of 55,000 psi and spit out 140 grain pills at about 2700 fps.
6.5×47 Lapua Hunting Rifles
The 6.5x47mm LAPUA was introduced in 2006, by the Finnish company LAPUA for long range precision target shooting. Just about every 600 and 1000-yard record has fallen to this excellent cartridge. Records at a 1000-yards are being registered at a ¼ MOA. Chamber pressure is 55k psi (pounds per square inch) and launches a 140-grain bullet at over 2650 fps (feet per second.) Based on the .308 Winchester case using small rifle primers, the LAPUA is a top choice for the 1000 yard benchrest shooter. The LAPUA offers low recoil, good velocity and would be capable of bring down up to medium, deer sized game. In August 2016 a 2.856 inch 10-shot group was shot using the LAPUA round by Mike Gaizauskas.
Creedmoor Shooting Range
Creedmoor was a shooting range established on Long Island, now Queens Village, Queens, New York. The 70-acre range was active from June 1873 and closed in 1907. One of the first national ranges, Creedmoor holds a special place for competitive shooters. Creedmoor held 1000-yard matches and hosted the Irish Rifle team in 1873 and the NRA team one by a slim margin. The Irish team returned in 1874 and introduced the Leech Cup, the oldest trophy offered by shooters in the U.S. while the Wimbledon Cup was brought to our shores by the visiting British team for 1000-yard competition. Creedmoor therefore holds a special place in the hearts of the American target shooter.
6.5 Creedmore Hunting Rifles
In 2008 the 6.5mm Creedmoor was introduced. Essentially a shortened .260 Remington, another competitive 6.5mm cartridge, the Creedmoor was pumped to 60,190psi chamber pressure, and pushed a 140-grain bullet to over 2800 fps.
The 6.5mm projectiles have good lines with a high ballistic coefficients (BC) that is the drag model used by ballisticians. The bullets are relatively light at a 140 with a 1 in 9 to 1 in 10 twist rates. Barrel erosion is kept to a minimum giving good barrel life. With low to moderate recoil the 6.5mm’s have become the queens of 600 yard and 1000-yard bench shooters, both in the heavy and light rifle classes. All these attributes make the 6.5mm cartridges nearly ideal for the precision rifleman.
6mm Dasher Ballistics
Reality however, is different. The top dog of small bore rifles is the 6mm Dasher, kind of an Ackley improved 6mmBR. Brass is now available from Norma so the fire forming of specially prepared 6mm Benchrest brass is no longer necessary. The dasher is very popular, but on a windy day the heavier 6.5’s should shoot better and more consistently than a lighter bullet. The Dasher can push the 100-105 grain 6mm bullets to 3000 fps. Six-inch groups or tighter is very realistic, with many dipping into the high fours on a regular basis. Your choice is to go with the 6.5 for a bit better wind bucking performance or stick with the 105 grainers in 6mm. Part of the pleasure of bench rest competition is figuring out what works for you.