The Case for .260 Remington


DEMIGOD LLC has an interesting article on the .260 Remington, a necked down .308.

The .260 Remington provides long-range ballistics conventionally limited to the magnum calibers. Because its parent case is the ubiquitous .308 Winchester, building a rifle in .260 can be as easy as fitting a new barrel. The .260 provides much less wind drift and drop than .308 but has less recoil.

The hunting pedigree of 6.5 mm in Europe proves the caliber is formidable for practical use. For long-range shooters who want a better cartridge than .308, but don’t want the costs associated with big overbore magnums, the .260 is just the ticket.

More here





Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Me

    Possibly I do not understand the wildcat-cartridge mentality, beyond “wouldn’t-it-be-neat-if.”

    What does this new cartridge do that the .308 doesn’t do better? Note also that there has never been and will never be cheap surplus ammunition available for practice, or for stockpiling against “interesting times,” in any of these oddball 6.35x73mm Foon-Farnham Belted Magnum Speshul cartridges that the ammo companies delight in creating and then, five or twenty years of lackluster sales later, abandoning.

    Meh. Color me unimpressed.

  • I never had any problems with the .308, but we only shot our M24’s to 800 Meters.

    How the .260 improve on the .308? What are the disadvantages?

  • This just my uninformed opinion, I have been reading up on the .260 but have not fired a rifle chambered in it:

    I think the .260 makes good sense. It offers superior performance than the, popular in Europe, 6.5x55mm Swede in a shorter action.

    Swede 140 grain @ 2651 ft/s , 2185 lbs

    vs.

    .260 140 grain @ 2750 ft/s, 2351 lbs.

    And also much better hunting performance (for median size game) than the .243 Win. The .243 Win cannot drive bullets weighing more than 105 grains.

    Over the .308 it has a better trajectory without magnum recoil, and less recoil than the .308. Sure there is nothing a .260 will kill that a .308 will not, but the same case could be made for many other popular cartridges.

    I would also say that this is a cartridge that is being pushed organically by shooters, rather that the NEW BEST THING from the firearms marketing firms. Time will tell.

    Because the brass can be formed from .308 brass, and in many case a barrel swap from the .308 and its offspring will be enough to convert to this caliber, I think it will be around for a while, regardless of whether it is adopted by the industry.

  • Pingback: 6.5mm Shootout | The Firearm Blog()

  • how do you convert .308 brass to .260 rem step by step ?

  • I am the author of the article.

    For those of you who question “why?” for .260 Remington, or think it is a wildcat cartridge– read the article before you jump to false conclusions.

    .260 offers trajectory (drop & wind) performance about equivalent to a 300WM shooting 190SMKs, burning about half the power and having about half the recoil. It is not a wildcat– 6.5-08 was commercialized by Remington as the .260 in the late 1990’s.

    -z

  • Frank Aulgur

    I have a 260 Rem, and find it a really accurate, and easy on the shoulder cartridge. The 260 Rem in my opinion is what the 243 win was supposed to be, a dual purpose cartridge, varmints to big game. I can push a 100 grain partition to 3250 fps easily and that is a flat shooting setup. A 243 win is not capable of that performance with a 100 grain bullet. This setup is perfect for blacktail or whitetail deer hunting purposes. My other load is a 125grain Partition moving at 2925 fps. If you know anything about the 270 win, then you understand that this pretty much duplicates the performance of standard factory ammunition sold for the 270 win in 130 grain bullets. Only now, your 260 Rem duplicates it in a short bolt which usually is a much lighter rifle to pack, and with the short bolt, more accurate than a long bolt rifle. The 260 Rem can really be wrung out if you are a reloader. By the way, the 125 gr partition setup is perfect for all deer hunting, wild hogs, black bear, and elk if you are capable of placing the bullet where it belongs. If loaded with a Barnes 120 grain TSX, I’ve no doubt, you have a decent Elk setup, and an excellent deer setup.

    Load it with a 85 to 100 grain bullet and you have a fast, flat varmint rifle.
    Now realize you can also load 140 grain bullets for the 260 Rem and you begin to understand why it is a much better choice as an all around varmint to big game cartridge than the 243 win.

    Like I say, the 260 Rem is really what the 243 Win was supposed to be. It is a great cartridge.

  • Hi Frank, thanks for your comment. How does the recoil compare to the .243?

  • Frank Aulgur

    Steve, with 85 to 100 grain bullets, it kicks about like a 243 win. When you move up to 120-125 gr, or 140 gr, etc, as bullet wt goes up you get alittle bit more recoil energy, but very pleasant to to shoulder and shoot.

    Someone was commenting on why the need for these cartridges. Well for one, there are a bunch of us who frankly get bored with the so called standard cartridges. I am a reloader, and I enjoy working with different cartridges.

    If you think about what the 260 Remington offers, it goes down like this:
    85-100 gr bullet loads and you are in the 243 win range, except you can push your 100 grain bullet faster than a 243. In reality in this range, you are close to duplicating a 25-06, only in a short action rifle. Load up a 120-125 grain bullet, and you are very close to 270 win performance. Load up a 130-140 grain bullet, and you have a hard hitting cartridge similar to the 7mm-08.

    The best way to describe the 260 Rem is it is very accurate, and a pleasure to shoot. I have several magnum rifles, and I find myself reaching more and more for a 260 or the 7mm-08. Both are accurate, and effective.
    The 260 covers the varmint to big game range very well.

  • Thanks Frank for that info.

  • tommyd

    I hunt with a .260 in a Rem 700 ADL. Bought it as a low cost setup to see if I liked the .260. Previously I used a Ruger M77 in 6mm Remington, sometimes a Savage in .270 WSM, and an old Rem 700 BDL is .30-06. They are now in the gun safe and the .260 goes where ever I hunt. Can’t be beat. It is accurate, flat shooting, easy on the shoulder and deadly on medium game. I think the real reason it is so accurate is that it just doesn’t recoil. My 6mm kicks more than my .260.

    I hunt in Alabama, both north and south, and most shots will be within 200 yards. Some unusual situations might give you a 300+ yard oppurtunity. But the .260 seems to be able to handle all situations.

    I do reload but really don’t have the time to work up a load. This past season I used the 120 grain Remington Accutip factory load. Shot at two deer (one doe and one buck (8)) and both dropped where they stood.

    I would recommend it without reservation for deer, bear and hogs.

  • I just had a rifle rebarreled to 260 Remington. It should be a phenomenal rifle for coyotes, antelope and deer. I haven’t picked it up or shot it yet, but I think it is soon to be one of my favorite rifles.

    As a reloader I will be working up my own loads. My intent is to begin with a 95 grain V-Max for the coyotes and some 100 grain Nosler’s for antelope and deer.

  • @ Heath G:

    Let us know how it shoots when you get it!

  • charlie j

    I been thoroly researching the 25-06 with intent of buying one. But when I read up on the 260 rem and how accurate it was even to 1100 meters I thot wow maybe I otto look at one of them for my ‘everything’ gun.

  • I’ve got a Savage 99 in 250-300 that I’ve thought about re-barreling into a 7mm-08 or a 260 rem. being left handed there aren’t a lot of options out there in bolt action in these two calibers. Got any ideas?

  • John Kitchen

    I’ve got a Savage 99 in 250-3000 that I’ve thought about re-barreling into a 7mm-08 or a 260 rem. Being left handed there aren’t a lot of options out there in bolt action in these two calibers. Got any ideas?

  • ryno

    my cousin and i had got this gun for christmas a couple of years ago and everythind that we shot at dropped in a instent. awesome gun

  • Duncan

    I have killed 4 elk with the 260 Rem with factory Federal Premium 140 gr Trophy Bonded bearclaws…. I have been hunting elk in MT for 30 years and I am here to tell you this thing with these bullets kills elk like nothing else. I think it is the wound channel that the TBBC makes, coupled with the incredibly high sectional density of the 140gr 6.5 bullet: it simply plows through anything! I am talking 1 shot kills out to 250-275 yds. and the animals just pile up. I have hunted so many different guns over the years: 30-06, .280, 350 Whelen, .338 federal to name some… honestly, nothing kills like this combo. Sadly, Federal doesn’t load the 140 TBBC in their premium ammo anymore so when I run out, I will need to reload. I have killed over 20 elk, and been in on at least 10 other kills on top of that and NOTHING KILLS LIKE THIS!! And it is so small, low-recoiling and user-friendly. I have a Kimber Classic M-84 in .260 I got for my 50th B-day in ’04. I have tried almost everything else over the years, searching for the ultimate rifle. I am here to say you do not need magnum! This little round is pure dynamite!! I would even use it without hesitation on a Namibia plain’s game hunt for game up to and including zebra, kudu, and oryx. Good things DO come in small packages!!

  • I have since picked up my 260 and have done a little load development with the 95 grain V-Max and a 120 grain Nosler which I used for deer. My rifle is very accurate and has a very acceptable recoil levels. I own a 308 as well and the recoil from the 260 is noticeable less.

    I hope to get out and use it on coyotes in February with my 95 grain V-Max.

  • John Kitchen, I am also a lefty and I watch GunBroker like a hawk for used left hand rifles. Some of the Savages can be had for a decent price and Pac-Nor makes barrels for them in a whole slew of calibers.

  • Duncan

    It IS an everything gun. I failed to mention how well it does on antelope and deer. If the elk cave to it, you can imagine it’s lethal effect on deer and ‘lope. I shoot factory Speer Nitrex (Grand Slams) 140 gr for the deer and antelope and save the Federals for elk. The Speers shoot at the same point of impact as the Federal TBBC’s which is lucky. I would encourage anybody to get a .260 for any North American game except maybe Alaskan brown bear. The 140’s do great for all big game needs here in MT, anyhow. If I didn’t have these factory Federals, I would reload Bear Claws or A-Frames. Barnes makes a Triple Shock X in 130gr that would likely be fine also, though many animals I have seen hit with it walk or run a bit before going down. The Trophy Bonded bullets really appear to anchor game the best, at least with my experience with the .260. It is hard to believe that a little cartridge like that with a medium weight bullet kills better than most bigger cartridges I have tried over the years, but seeing is believing. I think part of the secret is the high sectional density. These long thin bullets are like pencils and they keep plowing and plowing through the game. I think the other part is Bear Claw’s exceptional bullet construction, weight retention and the massive wound channel they make.

  • R.I. Bob

    It seems that win M94 +30/30 is considered by many as the ultimate brush gun for Eastern deer hunting. Consider this – Savage 99 .243 converted to .260 Rem.
    There are enough out 99s there to make this a popular conversion. Go down the line of features and I suspect the 99 will offer more. recoil, downrange ballistics bullet performance etc. Savage 99 / Browning BLR conversions are reason alone why the .260 will win out over the 6.5 Swede over time.

  • R.I. Bob

    It seems that win M94 +30/30 is considered by many as the ultimate brush gun for Eastern deer hunting. Consider this – Savage 99 .243 converted to .260 Rem.
    There are enough 99s out there to make this a popular conversion. Go down the line of features and I suspect the 99 will offer more. recoil, downrange ballistics bullet performance etc. Savage 99 / Browning BLR conversions are reason alone why the .260 will win out over the 6.5 Swede over time.

  • Michael

    My brother owns a .260. I had a 6.5x55mm and it was a fantastic gun. That being said, I doubt the .260 will EVER make it as a super popular sporting round. Lack of affordable firearms chambered for it will spell it’s demise. The fight over short vs long actions is a load of hooey. Don’t purchase a firearm based on just this option. I have never noticed any difference between the two for practical hunting purposes.. Those thinking they can buy a .260 and snipe deer to 1100 yards are living in a fantasy world. And last but probably most important there is nothing a .260 can do to 400 yards, which to tell the truth is beyond the range of the average shooter, that a .270 won’t do as well or better. I really like the 6.5’s and hope they do well. But when I searched for affordable rifles and ammo the .260 is not anywhere near the top of the list. I bought two Marlin XL7 .270’s for what my brother paid for his Ruger .260.

  • R.I. Bob

    Short vs long actions is not an issue with bolt action rifles. It is with rifles where the “stroke” needs to cam the bolt and cycle the action in one motion. (I.e. lever, pump, auto) it is in this configuration that short actions are more of a factor. There are two “families” of cartridges that address this factor – the 308 and the Savage “families”. I would suggest that a lot of shooters would be quite content with a two rifle battery that a “one rifle for all” does not satisfy. One would be a bolt action in the 30 caliber range that would take care of all CX2 type game, and if “Maybe if I get to go to Montana…” The other would be a lighter, quick action, lighter rifle for deer that probably gets most of the actual field time. With this type of battery, a .260 in a converted 99 savage, browning BLR, Remington 7600,7400 would be a sterling choice. With the reduced recoil loads for 30 calibers combined with a 250/260/6.5mm quick action second rifle, a fellow could be pretty well set for most North American hunting situations.

  • Michael

    I’m all for the .260 Rem. Wanted the 6.5x55mm to become more popular for years. But today there are very few who make them. I gave mine to my brother. The .260 Rem. may have a big following among competition shooters and a limited following in the field but without the affordable rifles chambered for it the subject is moot. I tried forever to talk Savage into chambering the 6.5 in their model 111 or “package” rifles. A lot of people buy rifles like these for one simple reason: Price. I walked into my favorite Walmart store and guess what. Not one box of .260 on the shelf. Same thing in Big 5 and my favorite gun store. But in all of them I find .243, 25-06, .270, .308 and 30-06 in ample amounts. If the die hard .260 fan wants to support the cause they need to lobby the gun makers to chamber their base rifles for it. As of right now I would put my cheap Marlin XL7’s in .270 against any expensive Ruger .260 anyday.. Out to 300 yards there is no real advantage to having a .260. My long action .270 rifles are light, fairly compact and reliable. Now why would the average bumkin want to spend their hard earned nickles for a .260 when there are more common calibers out there??? Why not but a 7mm-08? Again, it will all come down to availability and price…..

  • Dan in Montana

    I and my kids have killed a lot of deer with a 6.5×55 with 140 gr Speer.
    It is far, far more effective that the paper ballistics would indicate.
    Clean kills of deer to 350 about as far as I would ever need. Always goes clear through from any angle. I can’t praise the cartridge enough. 12 year olds can handle the recoil.
    I hunt a lot with a traditional ML and its my end of season “fill the rest of the tags” rifle and “hay field” white tail killer. I REALLY like it.
    I am looking at building a 260 when I find a cheap 308-243 in a 700 rem etc.
    Want a little more barrel than the factory offers and I can make a minimum spec chamber this way as well.

    A friend has shot elk with a 6.5 Mannlicher-Scho and it kills them very well.

  • Tony Wallace

    My wife shoots a 260 Remington, and has for two years. She has killed four deer, with four shots using 120 grain Remington and no tracking was required. The range was from 125-175 yards. It is a very capable cartridge.

  • Arch Fleming

    It’s about time the 6.5 bore has sparked more interest.I’ve been shooting A 264 win mag ever since it’s introduction–I know many are going to say “overbore / barrel burner etc” but to the long range shooter it don’t get much better than that! With todays new bullets and powders it totally excells as one long range powerhouse.As a student of ballistics and Airforce training I didn’t bite on winchesters’ short barreled version at the outset–you can’t drive magnum calibers with large bullets out of short tubes.So I settled on a custom FN supreme action with a 26″ Douglas barrel.This has been a very deadly extremely accurate and long
    range combo.The very reason I have stayed with it as other calibers have surpassed it in popularity is because of the bore dia.–now finally the DOD and military are giving it a real hard look plus check out all the new calibers in the 6.5 bore with target applications.I still have plenty of H-570 on hand which is my powder of choice with 130 and 140 gr pills.I’m so convinced that a 6.5 is the way to go that I’m thinking about rebarreling my old trusty 700 ADL in 260 remington.Don’t want to bust the chops of many other great calibers out there but I think the age of the 26’s is upon us!!!!

  • frank ferro

    I live in Australia,and like in the US everyone is chasing a one gun battery.I totally agree with the comments on this site about the 260.I have loaded 85gn sierra hp as a varmint round to 3350fps,gotten .5moa out of my 700rem,then turned around and loaded 120gn Noslers for hogs out to 300yards,no fuss.But what astounds me is if everyone,including alot of gunwriters agree on the virtues of the 260,why has Remington abandoned it?Last time I checked their site it was only chambered in their little model 7 with an 18inch barrel.It should be in their hunting rifles,varmint guns,tactical guns and if their is a better lightweight cartridge for a mountain rifle I would be dumbfounded.Also I was in the states in 08 and read in a few magazines that the military had even considered the 260 over the 308 as a sniper round.

  • James

    Hi, I too am a big fan of the 260. I have a Rem 700 40x target rifle, two Rem 700 adl’s found used at a gun shop, one is original and the other I restocked with a Boyds stock and glass bedded, a Rem 7600 punp and a 1985 vintage savage sillouette 308 that I had rebarreled by E. B. Brown Co. I don’t have a lot of money in these 260’s except for the Rem 40x. All are bolt actions except the Rem 7600. They all shoot exceptionally well and will drop a deer in their tracks if I do my part. Savage has begun to chamber six of their rifles in 260 as of December 2010 ( check there website for info. I just ordered their model light hunter, 20″ barrel at 5.5 lbs. They have a rifle chambered in 260 in a configeration for most. Anyone who has not had the pleasure of using a 260, don’t know what they are missing. I agree with all the above comments except those that appear to be negative to the 260.

  • mike c.

    hi all, i recently bought a 260 for my 7 year old son to hunt deer with. it was a savage m 11 youth with a detatchable mag. this gun shoots .5 moa @ 100 yds and drops deer in their tracks . we also shoot a local tactical match on a regular basis and 1st round hits on 12 oz water bottles at 350 yds as well as 4 to 6 inch groups on the 800 yd targets are a piece of cake. we consistantly outshoot the larger calibers. this is a great round and i would recomend it to anyone for a starter gun for kids.brass can be made from .243, 7mm08,and 308 with easewith 243 being the easiest, jest run the 243 case through a 260 re sizing die and load it.same with 7mm08. with the .308, sometimes you need a 7mm08 to bring the neck down a little bit before using the 260 die as with some dies you will get a crinckled mess trying to neck it down that much in one step. i reload for everything i own and have never fired a factory round in our 260. we use 243 brass and sierra 120 gr. pro hunters for deer, and 140 a-max’s for the matches. some good powders are reloader 19, hodgen 4350, v v n150 .the n150 is very accurate in a lot of loads .also for the younger recoil sensitive shooters try the lighter 85 and 95 grain bullets with reduced loads as always safety first pay strict attention to the listed minimum and maximum load data.

    money will not buy skill, only trigger time and attenion to detail

    mike c.

  • frank ferro

    Me again,from Australia.
    It’s been a year since my last comment on the 260,and nothing has changed.With all the obvious benefits of this great round, like,lack of recoil,accuracy,short actions,etc,where are the manufacturers support.
    Even Remington only chamber it in their little model 7 with a 18 inch barrel.
    How about it in at least one of your hundred different model 700’s,e.g.CDL.
    Ammo as well, would help this round.As I and alot believe that this is a better multipurpose round than the 243,why not offer say a 85 varmint round as well as a big game one.This would certainly help get this round out there.
    Still hunting with it.Went to our tropical north in search of big hogs.Shot 37 pigs with 38 rounds,stone dead.Also,used a 130 gn Accubond Noslers on wild scrub cattle,dropped a 800 lbs bull with one shot thru the shoulder.
    Keep on hunting men.

  • Frank, do you reload?

  • frank ferro

    Heath,
    Yeah i do reload for a number of cartridges(14),especially the 260 as it is so versitile.85gns right thru to 160gns is a big choice.
    My earlier comment about the factories offering a bigger range of loaded ammo was not just to satisfy my requirements,but to give the nonreloader more of a reason to adopt the 260 as a worthwhile alternative to the usual suspects.If this were to happen we would see a bigger range of firearms(and components) being offered for this cartridge.

    frank f

  • Mike Rostov

    Frank,

    For firearms manufacturer support for the .260Rem, look more to Savage than to Remington, who, ironically, slapped their name on the cartridge.

    Savage currently (2011) offers 6 different models in their line up chambered for the .260Rem, and not only are Savage rifles less expensive than Remington, but they are more accurate, more innovative, and they are, by far, the easiest mass produced bolt action rifle for a non-gunsmith to change the barrel on.

    Just order the barrel, which comes ready to install, put the action in an action vise to stabilize it, loosen the locking nut, unscrew the barrel, put the locking nut on the new barrel and screw it in, put a gauge in the chamber on a closed bolt, finish tightening the barrel, torque down the locking nut. Bolt handles and bolt heads are also changeable. With some caliber changes, like going from .308 to .223, you need to change the magazine and the bolt head in addition to the barrel.

    These are the six models Savage chambers for the .260Rem

    Model: 11 FCNS Hunter
    Model: 16 FCSS Weather Warrior (stainless steel)
    Model: 11 Lightweight Hunter
    Model: 10 Predator Hunter Max 1
    Model: 11 Long Range Hunter
    Model: 12 Long Range Precision

  • frank ferro

    Mike,
    Thanks for that.The thing is,in Australia,Savage has for years run last in availability over the Rems,Sakos,Tikkas,Winchesters,Rugers,etc.Only in the last few years are importers bringing the full range in.I do agree with you that Savage offer alot of bang for the buck.
    Having said that,I still can’t fathom Remingtons decision to turn their back on the 260.
    P.s. went hunting last weekend,shot a wild goat, with 39inch horns , across a steep gully,at 400 yards.Dropped it without a murmur.

  • TONY

    I PURCHASED A 260 REM MADE IN SAVAGE’S CUSTOM SHOP. I BOUGHT INTO ALL THE HYPE. I SHOT A DEER WITH 120 GR. NOSLER BALLISTIC TIP BUT CAUGHT IT A LITTLE LOW AND BACK SO THE DEER RAN A LITTLE WAYS. THE BALLISTIC TIP WAS DEVASTATING AND I STILL DON’T KNOW HOW A DEER CAN RUN WITH HALF OF IT’S INNARDS HANGING OUT. YES I’M SOLD ON THE 260. IMO I DO BELIEVE WITH A WELL CONSTRUCTED 140 GR. BULLET YOU CAN TACKLE ANY ANIMAL IN NORTH AMERICA. IN GOD WE TRUST.

  • Reyzerblade

    While the 260 rem is interesting, one should realize its limits are that of any 08 based case too little powder to achieve velocities necessary for utilizing its great bullet bc’s on game at longer ranges, essentially though energy is retained fairly well it can’t compete with the same bullet at a greater velocity, for this reason I would love for rifle companies to make factory rifles chambered in 6.5-06 or possibly 6.5-06 ackley or even 6.5-280 ackley wishful thinking but a guy can dream and hopefully follow the 280 ackley