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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was gifted a Remington 40x with a 6.5-08 WTC barrel and Enertl 16 scope. My father-in-law was a Master Long Range competitor and went to Perry and Quantico with it every year and won numerous awards with it around the Pittsburgh tristate area. He told me to rebarrel it as it was a odd wildcat cartridge he developed custom loads for over years, and said it would not chamber a standard .260 Remington round. I have the .260 and custom 6.5-08 dies for it along with 7mm-08 and .308 dies. I have an abundance of .308 case both military and commercial. I will probably stick with the lighter commercial cases. I load strictly military 5.56, 7.62 and 30.06 as I am mainly a CMP/HighPower shooter and not much more experienced outside of mindlessly loading military cartridges for service rifle competition.

Using this data:

https://loaddata.com/Cartridge/65-08-A-Square-Data/6074

I took a fired range Federal .308 Win commercial case and sized it with the .308 dies then the 7mm-08 sizing die, then I sized again with the custom 6.5-08 die, I then trimmed it to the recommended trim to length of 2.005", I seated a 142 grain SMK 6.5 bullet to a coal of 2.8. I put in in the breech of the 40x and the bolt easily chambered without resistance in the chamber. I checked it with a .260 case checker and I could see the neck was below the case length hole. A .260 has a case length of 2.035 with a 2.015 trim length.

With the googling of the best case forming data I churned up this is what I crafted from fired range .308 brass. Th other option was to use .243 brass. Does this sound right/safe?

I am going to call Sierra next but I guess I follow standard .260 Remington load data for 6.5mm 142 grain SMK bullets with IMR 4350 the powder he made all his test/comp loads with a winchester 9 1/2 primer which he gave me 2 kegs, and thousands of bullets and primers but no cases. I have a gunsmith that can bore a new chamber in 6.5 Creedmore or 6.5-284 Norma but he said that latter round would burn up barrels in rapid fashion. As long as I know what I am doing I am content with using the 6.5-08 round. I plan to shoot F Class 300+ matches with it and the load I work up.

https://load-data.nosler.com/load-data/65-06-a-square/
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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Heck of a first post there. So not sure there was much of a question there, but here's the reasonable approach.

If you have his dies, you have the cartridge dimensions, or simply do a chamber cast.

If the chamber is actually just an A-squared, then while technically different; load data wise they are, for all intents and purposes the same thing. Ignore online data that lists CUP, and especially when it exceeds MAP pressures. Especially if we're are using the most accurate of smoke signals (CUP), those are positively over-pressure, and likely cranky loads.

Don't fall in love with powders that have tall tales behind them, they don't exist. The IMR he used, was probably surplus IMR powder. IMR doesn't make powder anymore, the plant that made it is completely changed, and the ingredients list is different. Just use a powder that gives you good results, and is recent manufacture.

Cheers
 

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A "6.5mm-08"? Amazing - America is surely going metric in a roundabout way. Should be called a 6.5x51 but then what will the 260 Remington be called, as it is a 6.5mm based on the .308W so it is a 6.5x51.

The American 6.5 mm-.257 Roberts, which is a .275 Roberts (which is a necked down 7x57 Mauser), opened to 6.5mm which is adding two more steps instead of using the 6.5x57 Mauser which is a one-step necked down 7x57 Mauser.

My idea of a real-deal, real performing American 6.5 is to turn the stupid belt off a .264 Win Mag and just call it the 6.5 mm Minstrel American Magnum - but I'll have the shoulder lower and the neck longer so it can utilise a proper performing 160 gr bullet.
 

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If you can chamber a .260 Remington round, it would be easier to simply buy a supply of .260R brass, and fireform the brass with a light bullet and something like Unique, or my favorite, Trail Boss.
If you can't do that, grab a supply of .260 Remington from Starline Brass in .260 Remington, and run that through the custom die. It costs the same a .243 brass or 7-08 brass.

I've squeezed a pile of .308 brass to 7-08, and not all of it does well. Some brands die on the first pass from split necks. .243 brass, which is fairly common at the public ranges actually works out better for me that .308 necked don, for whatever reason. .308 brass made by Remington, the most common form I encounter, works just like Remington 7-08 brass. It's the mainstay for my 7-08 practice loads.
 

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If the barrel is still competitive, I would form brass. I shoot 30cal wildcat and neck up brass, so for me I would use 243 brass if I was doing it.


I'm shooting 243AI use Lapua brass, forms real nice.
 

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Why not simply re-barrel to 6.5xsomething? I've got a 6.5x06 and love it but from what I've seen over the years, wildcatt's simply have nothing of value to offer other than the owner claiming to have one. I love my 6.5x06 but there is little it does that a 280 Rem can't do better! Well other than with it I can say I have one. Only one in town too! The other 30 something resident's don't have 20 guns between them and no 6.5x06's!
 

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Why not simply re-barrel to 6.5xsomething? I've got a 6.5x06 and love it but from what I've seen over the years, wildcatt's simply have nothing of value to offer other than the owner claiming to have one. I love my 6.5x06 but there is little it does that a 280 Rem can't do better! Well other than with it I can say I have one. Only one in town too! The other 30 something resident's don't have 20 guns between them and no 6.5x06's!

Rem 40x is short action and should be single shot.
 

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Congratulations on receiving your dads rifle and reloading components. Think I would start with a close inspection of the barrel and bore scoping. Then a chamber cast to determine what the chamber dimensions really are. With that much for powder Id try what’s there instead of turning it into plant food. Same with the primers and bullets. Your dad must of liked those components since he layed up so much.
You may end up going a different direction but you could at least start with what he had.
Best wishes as you sort out this puzzle.
 

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Congratulations on receiving your dads rifle and reloading components. Think I would start with a close inspection of the barrel and bore scoping. Then a chamber cast to determine what the chamber dimensions really are. With that much for powder Id try what’s there instead of turning it into plant food. Same with the primers and bullets. Your dad must of liked those components since he layed up so much.
You may end up going a different direction but you could at least start with what he had.
Best wishes as you sort out this puzzle.
Good post and if the barrel is worn the 40x is an outstanding action to have rebarreled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Congratulations on receiving your dads rifle and reloading components. Think I would start with a close inspection of the barrel and bore scoping. Then a chamber cast to determine what the chamber dimensions really are. With that much for powder Id try what’s there instead of turning it into plant food. Same with the primers and bullets. Your dad must of liked those components since he layed up so much.
You may end up going a different direction but you could at least start with what he had.
Best wishes as you sort out this puzzle.

Thanks but it is my father-in-law's. He took this rifle to Camp Perry and Quantico to compete every year. It is IMR 4350 powder and I have two 8# kegs of it, along with 15k Win 9 1/2 primers, 1500 Sierra SMKs 142 gr bullets, but no brass. The 6.5mm-08 dies if the .260 dies are longer I think I would have to trim the neck a bit so the 6.5 dies does not push it down. The only .260 brass I can find is on Midway with a quantity of 50. I don't want to invest into stuff in quantity until I know what I am doing. However the step necking the .308 to a 6.5 via a 7mm-08 I did to do a gradual and easier resizing the brass.

My dummy round does chamber with a trim to length of 2.005. I am going to give Sierra a call and see what they tell me. I know during the peak of his long range competition he talk with Sierra daily and they gave him a lot of ballistic data including taking his current load, and giving him some refinements and sight corrections that he used in a match and had excellent and optimum results he reported back to Sierra.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If you can chamber a .260 Remington round, it would be easier to simply buy a supply of .260R brass, and fireform the brass with a light bullet and something like Unique, or my favorite, Trail Boss.
If you can't do that, grab a supply of .260 Remington from Starline Brass in .260 Remington, and run that through the custom die. It costs the same a .243 brass or 7-08 brass.

I've squeezed a pile of .308 brass to 7-08, and not all of it does well. Some brands die on the first pass from split necks. .243 brass, which is fairly common at the public ranges actually works out better for me that .308 necked don, for whatever reason. .308 brass made by Remington, the most common form I encounter, works just like Remington 7-08 brass. It's the mainstay for my 7-08 practice loads.
I don't have any .260 brass, my father-in-law said it won't chamber .260 and I have to use the 6.5mm-08 sizer. I could buy some .260 brass but the smallest quantity I foud is 50 on MidwayUSA. I don't want to buy in bulk until I know what i am doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good post and if the barrel is worn the 40x is an outstanding action to have rebarreled.
I was told the barrel was in excellent shape even though it was very heavily used. It is stamped WTC 6.5-08. Not familiar with WTC.

Again not to repeat myself, I am going to call sierra and see what they can tell me. I called a few times about other things, some other questions I asked about other things they reluctantly gave me some vague advise of course I did not bother to proceed with.

But not being much of a question, I seem to have formed the case that chambers, and seems to be in dimension, if that is the right way to form the case? I was going to use the minimum load for 142gr and 4350.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Heck of a first post there. So not sure there was much of a question there, but here's the reasonable approach.

If you have his dies, you have the cartridge dimensions, or simply do a chamber cast.

If the chamber is actually just an A-squared, then while technically different; load data wise they are, for all intents and purposes the same thing. Ignore online data that lists CUP, and especially when it exceeds MAP pressures. Especially if we're are using the most accurate of smoke signals (CUP), those are positively over-pressure, and likely cranky loads.

Don't fall in love with powders that have tall tales behind them, they don't exist. The IMR he used, was probably surplus IMR powder. IMR doesn't make powder anymore, the plant that made it is completely changed, and the ingredients list is different. Just use a powder that gives you good results, and is recent manufacture.

Cheers
I am not familiar with chamber casting or how to, and if I did what is that going to tell me and what do I do with the chamber cast? all I got is a set of digital calipers to measure length not sure how to measure the other dimensions.
 

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ajn1963: I have 15 pieces of 260Rem brass that were fired in a 7mm-08 I can give you. Of course you would need to run them through your full length sizing die to neck them back down to 6.5mm, as well as any other forming that needs to take place to form your 6.5x08 cases. If you can send me a PM with your home address we can get the ball rolling.
 

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I am not familiar with chamber casting or how to, and if I did what is that going to tell me and what do I do with the chamber cast? all I got is a set of digital calipers to measure length not sure how to measure the other dimensions.
Sorry I missed on your father-in-law. Guess after reading the thread to end it slipped my mind.

Some of what a chamber cast could tell you is the diameter at the head and shoulder, shoulder angle, neck diameter, diameter and length of freebore, and leade angle.

Just because your resized case will chamber doesn’t mean you came up with the magic length needed. All it means is you squeezed that .308 case down enough to close the bolt. At this point there is no way of determining if case is .0005” or .500” shorter than the chamber. There are several ways to get the desired answers. Probably the easiest is to make a fireforming load. About 10 grains of a fast pistol powder (I use 800x) one square of toilet tissue tamped over the powder, fill the case with corn meal and put a wax plug in the neck. After firing you will end up with a sharply defined case which will at least inform you of where you need to be for datum to head length and what shoulder angle the chamber has.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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I am not familiar with chamber casting or how to, and if I did what is that going to tell me and what do I do with the chamber cast? all I got is a set of digital calipers to measure length not sure how to measure the other dimensions.
Casting a chamber allows you to have a "negative" of the chamber. A 3 dimensional piece of metal where you can measure it at various locations.

Looking at my A-Squared manual and the 6.5-08 drawings, Vs the 260 Rem there isn't enough difference to care about. The only difference of note, is the trim length. There is a 0.002" difference in base to Shoulder/neck junction. That difference is so minor, and easily "bumped" with a standard die.

260
Max - 2.035"
Trim - 2.025"

6.5-08 A-Squared
Max - 2.015"
Trim - 2.005"

The loads just aren't going to be "different" short of a trim/ throat difference; which is handling 101(load for your rifle, not the ideal rifle).

Also, powders age even when sealed. So don't load in a "paint by numbers" fashion. Use age appropriate data for that powder, and don't expect identical results anyway.

Cheers
 
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I don't think that you should re-barrel it. But, you should re-chamber it.

Turn the barrel in a few turns, then ream it to .260. A smith would know how many turns the bbl would need to be turned in, in order to clean up the chamber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
ajn1963: I have 15 pieces of 260Rem brass that were fired in a 7mm-08 I can give you. Of course you would need to run them through your full length sizing die to neck them back down to 6.5mm, as well as any other forming that needs to take place to form your 6.5x08 cases. If you can send me a PM with your home address we can get the ball rolling.
Thanks, but I have thousands of .308 and 7.62 to form from. I am going to talk with Sierra first and see what they say.
 
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