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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Going through high school in the 60s in the Midwest I dreamed of some day going on big game hunts in the Rocky Mountains using "wildcat" guns like the 25-06 and the 6.5 Remington Magnum. Well here I am, in Wyoming for nearly 35 years. I've worn out a 25-06 or two and now it's time to get the 6.5 Rem Mag out.

I've had this closet queen for a couple of years. It's a Rem 700 6.5 Rem Mag with a 24" barrel, one of 650 or so ever made:


The 6.5 Remington Mag is a necked-down 350 Rem Mag. The 350 Rem Mag was the first short mag, a 35 caliber in a blown out 375 H&H case. The 6.5 Rem Mag the second short magnum gun, born 50 years ago, 1966. Another one of Remington's "wild ideas", the 6.5 Remington could have been a great one if it wasn't limited by the length of the magazine. The original Model 600 6.5 Rem Mags were short-action guns with 18.5" to 20" barrels. But who cares? The rifle was made for hunting deer-sized animals at medium ranges in a short-action rifle using very fast 100 or 120 grain pointed bullets. I don't think anyone at Remington was looking at the full potential of the 6.5.

What few 6.5 700s I've seen, or held, had nice wood:


Made in 1969.....you know, pressed checkering, bell bottom pants:


I have some factory ammo. 6.5 Rem Mag ammo is hard to find now and the price per box of what's out there is scary and has doubled in the last two years. Here's some old and some new ammo:

Look a those short fat bullets. Pretty cool for 1966.

I put a period Redfield scope on the old girl, an early 70s AccuTrac. The Denver USA-made scope's been in the shop for about 17 months and I just got her back:


This 3x9 Accu-Trac set-up goes out to 600 yards, long range for the day. The scope will wear an "A" turret; the range for a pointed 125 grain 6.5 bullet at 3200 fps:


The end of the stock had that old bump in it designed to hold the barrel up, keep the barrel from vibrating too much. The barrel on this one rode hard, and rubbed off to one side. My guess is didn't hold "zero" very well after a few shoots or in wet weather. I filed the barrel channel out until a piece of copy paper slides in easily and then gave the wood a couple light coats of spar varnish:


There was only one noticeable place on the action that exhibited a "bearing" spot and it was back on the tang behind the action screw. I'll leave it alone for now. The action screws were tightened to 35 in/lb, factory for a Remington wood-stock 700 (35 in/lb today. I'm hearing the rear screw was like 45 in/lb back in the 60s.)

Barrel rode hard enough to wear a 1/4"-long spot:


My plans are to first see how the gun shoots using a box of the green n yellows. Later I'll neck size them and load em up with 130 grain Accubonds, probably the max length of bullet for the gun's 1 in 9" twist and the ejection port. I may glass bed the action later.

The trigger is stock Rem 700, "conditioned" like we did in the old days and set to 2 3/4 lbs like all my other hunting rifles and slug shotguns. It's as crisp, and as safe, as any of the fancy-dancy triggers I keep buying these days....good grief.

More later. Maybe compare the 6.5 Rem Mag to the 264 Win Mag or the 6.5x284. fun stuff

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Cool stuff Goob. I cut my long range teeth with a Redfield Accutrac. I even got pretty good at using the integrated ranging system back before the proliferation of laser rangefinders. ----SS
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
The old Redfield Accu-Trac scopes came with 4 different turrets (elevation dials), a fast "A", a "B", then "C", and the slower than heck "D".

Here's the elevation dial list tied to the ballistics of the popular calibers of the day, about 1972:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Cool stuff Goob. I cut my long range teeth with a Redfield Accutrac. I even got pretty good at using the integrated ranging system back before the proliferation of laser rangefinders. ----SS
Yep me too and thanks.

The Accu-Trac isn't much different than a lot of the scopes now. But they were only as good as your "guess" when putting the deer between the horizontal lines, dialing in the 18". But you can't beat the laser rangefinders out there today. They completely changed the way, the distance of, how we shoot.

I have a number of Accu-Tracs, mostly 2x7s, cornbelt stuff.

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Nifty gun Goob!
- Neat caliber.
- "one of 650 or so ever made". That's pretty cool. I wonder how many survive.
- "The 6.5 Rem Mag the second short magnum gun, born 50 years ago," You mean the short mags of late aren't the latest and greatest fad calibers? It's funny how different calibers come back around and are now highly publicized as the new whiz-bang caliber.
- You don't see checkering, whiteline spacing or forend caps on factory rifles much anymore. And you definitely don't see figured wood like that anymore.
- I love that scope. It reminds me of a few old Tasco scopes I had. It fits that rifle perfectly. Did they make them in 10-50x72? :mrgreen:

Pretty cool gun Goob. It'll be interesting to see how well it shoots.
 

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Bjorne Lou Tsar
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The old Redfield Accu-Trac scopes came with 4 different turrets, a fast "A", a "B", then "C", and the slower than heck "D".

Here's the turret list tied to the ballistics of the popular calibers of the day, about 1972:
I'm looking at the scale at the bottom of the reticle and I've used something similar to that. I think it was an old Russian Kalinka. Within normal hunting distances they could put you in the kill zone of a deer every time. You might be a bit high or low but you'd usually end up with a dead deer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Nifty gun Goob!
- Neat caliber.
- "one of 650 or so ever made". That's pretty cool. I wonder how many survive.
- "The 6.5 Rem Mag the second short magnum gun, born 50 years ago," You mean the short mags of late aren't the latest and greatest fad calibers? It's funny how different calibers come back around and are now highly publicized as the new whiz-bang caliber.
- You don't see checkering, whiteline spacing or forend caps on factory rifles much anymore. And you definitely don't see figured wood like that anymore.
- I love that scope. It reminds me of a few old Tasco scopes I had. It fits that rifle perfectly. Did they make them in 10-50x72? :mrgreen:

Pretty cool gun Goob. It'll be interesting to see how well it shoots.
Thanks, Chuck.

Redfield made a 4x12 power Accu-trac in the late 70s. Red fox were up to $90 then, more than a day's pay, so high power magnification scopes were popular for awhile.

I'm going to try to make an honest 500-yard rifle out of it. The range, and the period, fits me.

Dime-sized groups? I doubt it. There are hurdles...case capacity maybe.... barrel twist, a huge barrel jump, the short ejection port and short magazine will limit the use of long skinny projectiles. Uh...poor eyesight.

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I'm looking at the scale at the bottom of the reticle and I've used something similar to that. I think it was an old Russian Kalinka. Within normal hunting distances they could put you in the kill zone of a deer every time. You might be a bit high or low but you'd usually end up with a dead deer.
yes

Accu-Trac and Accu-Range scopes have the old standard rangefinder lines 18" apart. Dial the lines in on the top and bottom of the deer and then read the yardage. Dial turret to yardage. Hope the deer stands still during all of this. Hold dead on, close eyes, pull trigger. :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I should note that not all rifles will shoot better with a free-floated barrel. Barrel pressure points on a stock are put there for a reason, especially on light contour hunting barrels like this one.

This pressure point was not pushing the barrel straight up, it was off to one side so I removed it. If I don't like the way it shoots I'll temporarily shim it and see if it groups better.

Riding off center and riding too hard:


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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
The 6.5 Remington Magnum was Remington's answer to Winchester's very popular .270 but in a short-action, easy to handle, lightweight rifle. Both calibers had the same case capacity. Using 100 gr to 130 grain projectiles there wasn't much difference in the ballistics between the two.

Remington first offered the 6.5 in the Model 600 in 1964. The short-action 600 sported an 18.5" barrel and had a ventilated rib of all things. In 1968 the Model 660 with a 20" barrel was introduced. The 660 was discontinued in 1971, replaced by the older Model 600 which made another run thru 1980. The 600 and the 660 came in all the short-action calibers of the day but neither were very popular. Today 600s and 660s in good condition are highly sought after and are going for well over $1000.

For one year only, 2003, Remington brought back the 6.5 Rem Mag and the parent cartridge of the 6.5 Rem Mag, the 350 Rem Mag, in another short-action carbine, the Model 673. Sales were dismal.

Only a small number of Rem 700s 6.5s were made, 648 by some accounts, "less thand 750" by others. They were made in the late 60s, early 70s, and draw top dollar today if you can find one.

Other gun manufacturers ran the 6.5 Rem Mag. Ruger was one, and even offered it in their venerable #1. There's a Ruger #1 6.5 Rem Mag up for auction on GunBroker now:
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=552882465

Boy, I wish.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
The SAAMI COAL for the 6.5 Rem Mag is 2.800" so the ammo will fit in the Remington short action magazines of the Model 600, and later the model 660 and 673. That's 0.215" off the lands. So I'm loadin' up some 140 grain Accubonds for 0.015" and 0.030" off the lands. I'll single load them in the gun.

Words alone can't express how excited I am.

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Goob,

Have you tested them yet?
I still haven't checked out those 140 gr Accubonds in the 6.5 Remington Mag. The 125 gr Partitions I've done look really good on paper although haven't taken anything with them yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
bore scoped da barrel

I finally bore scoped the barrel on the old gun. I have been a little apprehensive to look down the barrel of the used rifle because by the looks of the bolt the gun had been shot a number of times. The bore was slick, rifling sharp and the throat had the start of what looked like erosion; pretty good news. However, there was a good amount of copper fouling on the lands that took some work to remove.

I have a video and some pictures of the bore but they are poor quality. In real time the video and pics look good on the screen though. I use a lot of bore scopes at work, one of which an Olympus that cost $55,000, and I find none of them can reproduce the quality of the live shots.

Tried Remington's "Rem All In" bore cleaner for the first time. It's similar to their old stand-by "40-X Bore Cleaner", just thicker. Works ok.

happy, happy
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
primer pockets not deep enough

Outside of Quality Cartridge and a couple other spendy custom rifle brass makers the only brass available for the 6.5 Rem Mag is Remington RP. All my brass is Remington RP.

All of the reloading books say to use Remington 9 1/2 magnum primers for the 6.5 Rem Mag. The pocket on the 6.5 Rem Mag brass is 0.133" deep. The primer is 0.133" tall so magnum primers end up flush, some even stick above the end of the shell casing if I don't press the new primer down hard enough. I noticed the bolt face is scratching some of the primers on the rounds I've cycled without firing. Good grief.

I'm thinking of using large rifle primers. The Rem 9 1/2 large rifle primers are 0.131" tall and the primers would be recessed a couple of thousands that way.

Any thoughts?
 

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Goob,

I'd try a different large rifle magnum primer first, but a regular large rifle primer could work. Any Federal 215's or CCI 250's available locally? Maybe just buy a single 100 pack to see how they fit?
 
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