Case Histories: 260 Remington
- By Wheelwrite
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- Last updated: 21/09/2018
SI units are an alien species of measurement to our friends in the colonies. Amongst the most popular throwbacks are feet, inches, miles and a weird Liquid Gallon that is smaller than our old Imperial one… approx. 3.785 Litres (231 Cubic Inches, or c.i.) compared with our 4.546 Litres.
We’re all familiar with the host of excellent cartridge designs based around 6.5mm/.264” calibre. Some of the best performances in both hunting and precision have been set with it. But there’s the problem. It’s essentially metric. American bullet makers all offer a host of pills in .264” diameter but for many years their cartridge builders largely treated the 6.5 calibre as a ‘foreigner’. But, enter extreme cartridge developer and wildcatter Arthur Alphin, perhaps best known as the founder of A-Square.
In 1996, he registered a .264” calibre cartridge design with SAAMI, to be known as the 6.5-08 A-Square (the-08 referring to the parent case). Indeed, the parent was a necked down .308 case topped with a 120-grain ballistic tipped pill delivering almost 3000 fps. Early in the following year, Remington made a submission to SAAMI for an identical cartridge, to be named the .260 Remington. In a remarkable twist of integrity, SAAMI chose to list the cartridge under this second iteration.
In a reciprocal move, Alphin then submitted the design for his 6.5-06 A-Square cartridge (based upon the .30-06 Springfield case) to SAAMI. It was adopted but has never achieved success. The duplex naming causing me a problem during research about the cartridge. In the index of Cartridges of the World #13, it is named 6.508 A-Square/.260 Rem whilst on page 37 of the same tome it is listed as .260 Remington/6.5-08 A-Square! You pays your money… So, what can you do with this mighty little 6.5? Well, just about anything really.
It can offer tack-driving accuracy, coupled with comfortable recoil and low barrel wear, as well as being a highly capable performer on varmints and a wide range of small and medium game. A truly great all-rounder for those seeking a single, multi-role rifle; as witnessed by the diversity of makers. Choose from Remington, Savage, Barrett, Tikka, Ruger, Beretta, Sako, Nemo, Cooper, Weatherby, Browning, Accuracy International and lots more. Factory fuel is listed by Remington, Federal, Hornady, Barnes, Nosler, Black Hills, Berger, Swift and Gorilla.
Ammo building is a breeze. Apart from a plentiful supply of once-fired brass, there are new un-primed offerings from Lapua, Hornady, Starline, Nosler and Norma. Bullets in .264” are offered by every listed maker, varying in weight from 70 to 160-grains and in almost every style known to man. Data appears in every manual in my collection and spans too many propellant types to list. Unsurprisingly, all the tool makers offer the necessary kit. However, on the bench, you need to be aware of the precise dimensions of your chamber, as the COL specified in several tomes can lead to high pressures from bullet engraving. A number of potentially suitable bullet makes and styles cannot always be safely seated to the position of the cannelure. You have been warned!
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