Busy days in Paso Robles Calif. Well, at least for one of the town’s most famous residents.
In addition to Weatherby redesigning its flagship rifle — the Mark V — the manufacturer also released a new round in recent weeks. This is big news, in one respect, due to how long it’s been since the company expanded its ammunition catalog. For the record, it’s been around two decades.
There is, however, much more to the freshly unveiled 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum than just its place in the company’s history. There is also a little issue of where the cartridge sits in regards to other red-hot rifle ammunition.
In short, it is perched at the top. In fact, the new round — built on a necked-down .300 Weatherby Magnum cartridge — is the fastest commercial 6.5mm round on the market.
How fast, you might ask? Well, the company is introducing three cartridges, each with a muzzle velocity well north of 3,300 fps:
- 127-grain Barnes LRX — 3,531 fps
- 130-grain Swift Scirocco — 3,475 fps
- 140-grain Swift A-Frame — 3,395 fps
To give some perspective, the 127-grain round has a maximum point blank range (MPBR) of 0-305 yards on a 5-inch target with the rifle scoped in at 200 yards. And the bullet has more velocity at this particular MPBR than the .260 Remington produces at the muzzle.
Weatherby offering a sizzling 6.5mm cartridge is of little surprise, given many companies have recently turned their attention to the ballistically gifted caliber.
But, in all actuality, this isn’t the California company’s first rodeo with a 6.5-300. The company’s founder and iconic wildcatter Roy Weatherby produced at least two rifles for the round, but never took the next step to making it a commercial endeavor.
Obviously, the blistering round has the potential to eat barrels more quickly than most ammunition. But that’s not the only point that could potentially leave interested parties howling. Presently, Weatherby has a fairly steep price on the 6.5-300’s ammunition — $95 for a box of 20 or $4.75 per round.
Weatherby is chambering three of its rifles for the round — Accumark (MSRP $2,300), Accumark RC ($2,700) and Mark V Ultra Lightweight ($2,300).
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I compared ballistics with Double Tap 7mm STW using 140 gr Barnes Tipped Triple Shock which sell for $84.95.
The 7 STW seems a little faster, a little flatter, and retains more energy at 500 yards.
Am I missing something?
Why not. Somewhere I have an article written by Elgin Gates in the late 60’s about this cartridge. Roy Weatherby gave him one of his test rifles, he had been working with the US military to develop hyper velocity rounds but had more success with the 30-378 overall. Elgin tried the round for sporting use but was limited with the powder and projectile range at the time. Wildcatters developed a similar cartridge in the 70’s for 1000 yard long range vermin rifles for which it was the cartridge of choice. Given the powder, projectiles and barrels today I can’t wait to get my hands on one.