Ammo Brief: The Precise 6.5-284 Norma


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The one-time wildcat cartridge, the 6.5-284 Norma has grown the earn the respect of precision shooters and hunters alike.

How The 6.5-284 Norma Excels A Long-Range:

  • Designed to offer a shorter hunting cartridge that approximates 6.5-06 ballistics.
  • Used extensively in NRA High Power and F-Class matches.
  • Relatively light recoil and capable of achieving sufficient velocities for 1,000-plus-yards shots.

Hornady now produces cases and will produce ammunition (depending upon rifle manufacturing) for this long-popular wildcat chambering. Originally, this version of the .284 Winchester was designed to offer a shorter hunting cartridge that approximates 6.5-06 ballistics; the long-range accuracy potential was recognized much later. This chambering has been used extensively in NRA High Power and elsewhere, where accuracy and barrel life are important. Peak pressure specification for this thoroughly modern cartridge is comparatively high.

General Comments

A 28-inch barrel loaded with any of the better VLD (very low drag), moly-plated bullets between 130 and 155 grains in this cartridge easily achieves sufficient velocities for accurate 1,000-yard benchrest shooting. These combinations generate much less recoil than any effective .30- or .33-caliber 1,000-yard match combination. This contributes to precise shooting.

On-Target Ammunition Information:

However, unless conditions are unusually good, shooters using larger-bored rifles usually fare better. While those rifles generate more recoil, which effectively reduces intrinsic accuracy, the longer bullets those bigger bores can accurately fire exhibit less wind drift and, therefore, reduce the error associated with imperfections in the shooter’s ability to properly dope the wind.

Owing to a relatively high working pressure, ballistic potential is not too different from that of the .270 Winchester, making this a fine hunting cartridge and one that will function in medium-length actions. One only hopes that current gun writers treat the 6.5-284 Norma more fairly than their forebears did its progenitor.

65-284 Reloading Data

Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from Cartridges of the World, 16th Edition.

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