26 Nosler Cartridge: The Flattest-Shooting 6.5 Ever?

26 Nosler Cartridge: The Flattest-Shooting 6.5 Ever?

Nosler has introduced its first proprietary rifle cartridge — a smokin' hot little number called the 26 Nosler.

The company set out to push the limits with this thing, designing it as a flat-shooting 6.5mm cartridge with performance capable of taking full advantage of the newest long-range shooting reticles used in today's scopes.

Nosler 26 cartridge comparison.

The 26 Nosler cartridge was designed with the high ballistic coefficient (B.C.) inherent in 6.5mm (.264) caliber bullets. It spits out the Nosler 129 grain AccuBond Long Range bullet at a blazing 3400 fps out of the muzzle.

What does that mean? Zeroed at 350 yards, the 26 Nosler has a Point Blank Range of 0-415 yards.  Loaded with the 129 grain ABLR, the 26 Nosler retains as much velocity at 400 yards as the 260 Remington produces at the muzzle.

Nosler 26 cartridge specs.

The 26 Nosler case is non-belted, thus headspaced off of the shoulder to further enhance accuracy. The “26” also utilizes a standard (30-06) length action meaning shorter bolt-throw and lighter weight than magnum length actions.

“I really feel the 26 Nosler has great value amongst the large family of 6.5mm cartridges,” said Bob Nosler, President of Nosler, Inc.  “With minimal recoil, tremendous velocity, energy and the ability to point and shoot at the intended target up to a quarter mile away, this is the quintessential deer, antelope and long-range target cartridge available on the market today.” 

The Nosler Patriot rifle is built on the M48 action and chambered in the new 26 nosler.
The Nosler Patriot rifle is built on the M48 action and chambered in the new 26 nosler.

The cartridge was submitted to SAAMI in June, 2013. The formal launch took place at the 2014 SHOT Show in addition to Nosler’s new platform rifle, the Patriot, which is chambered in 26 Nosler and built on the company's well-reputed M48 action.


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  1. After hunting for over ten years with a 260 Remington bored Ruger M77 and a Remington Tactical in 308 Win I welcome this round. Even with the potential barrel life problems, hunting should be no problem. 100 rounds of my favorite hand loads in either of my calibers last several years. In Texas , where my 260 often comes up short on the longer shots Texas offers ( hence the 308 with 800 yard Nikon m-308 ) this round should fill the gap. The 308 is like shooting a 10 gauge compared to the 129 grain 260. If the writings are accurate and recoil is modest, which helps long range accuracy. This could end up a very popular favorite for deer hunters everywhere. I applaud Nosler for this. I’ll bet my son’s Navy Special Operations buddies grab these up. Maybe the Marine and Army snipers will too.

  2. Is this going to be ANOTHER cartridge that we can’t get brass, or bullets, or powder, or primers for? How about quit wasting time on reinventing the wheel and start increasing production of the COMPONENTS for all of the EXCELLENT cartridges we all ALREADY HAVE! Hornady is even WORSE. They’ve got more “new” products out this year than I have seen in 50 years, but they’re the ones whining the loudest – with the full complicity of the “rags” – that they “can’t keep up with demand”. This is just more proof that “production” isn’t what is keeping availability down; it’s the realization that manufacturers can make MORE MONEY by making LESS PRODUCT and CHARGING MORE.



    • I think you are the one whining.. The supply and demand of ammunition is not an accident, and someone is either making it difficult to get your rounds (IE: Assault rifle cartridges) or the demand is held high to keep prices high. I think that after a while we will all be very used to these high prices and low supply problems, just like what we saw with oil and fuel prices last decade. What’s not to like about new rounds? New rounds means rounds with no negative press or laws or restrictions. Lots of people still make lots of bullets, it just seems like there aren’t any so you pay 4x their worth.

    • I shoot long range matches with the 6.5X284, the accurate barrel life is approx. 800 – 1,000 rounds – I would imagine the barrel life with this new 6.5 would be much less! Maybe not a concern for a hunter? But – competition use where one might shoot 60 rounds or more in a match, would be a concern.
      Interesting cartridge.

      • Good question. The Win. 264 mag. was never accepted as the barrel life was less than 300 rounds at the time it was introduced. How ever barrels today are made of better steel than back then, in the 1960’s. However a 264 mag was still good enough for deer hunting at 600 rounds. It depends on what your needs are as to what constitutes a shot out barrel. If you are happy with two inch groups at a hundred then barrel life might be 1000 rounds, but if you are shooting in competition then it is shot out in three hundred or less. Most hunting rifles are not shot more than a few hundred times in the life of the original owner. Too many hunters shoot their rifle a few times before season and maybe three times hunting so a barrel will last them many years. Back in my prime I would shoot three to four hundred rounds a week in bench rest competition. A .264 mag was good for two weeks. That is why I used a .243 with reduced loads. I was shooting one hundred yards and two thousand FPS was more than fast enough for a piece of paper.


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