The 26 Nosler Cartridge

Nosler will be introducing a new long range hunting cartridge at SHOT Show next month. The 6.5mm cartridge is named the 26 Nosler and is capable of shooting a 129 grain high-BC bullet at 3400 fps. This gives a Point Blank Range (range of which no adjustments for bullet drop are required to be made) of 0 to 415 yards. At 400 yards it has the muzzle energy of a .260 Remington.

Internet forums are speculating it is based on a necked-down .375 Ruger. The real question is if this cartridge will gain a following or fade away like so many others. This is a niche cartridge for a small subset of the hunting community. A cartridge as hot as this will generate more recoil than the vast majority of casual hunters could tolerate, and nor should they since most game is taken at much closer ranges than the 26 Nosler will be capable of.

The press release …

The 26 Nosler® cartridge was designed to take advantage of the inherently accurate and high B.C. 6.5mm (.264) caliber bullets, and is capable of shooting the Nosler® 129 grain, AccuBond® Long Range™ bullet at a blazing 3400 fps out of the muzzle.  Zeroed at 350 yards, the 26 Nosler® has a Point Blank Range of 0-415 yards.  Loaded with the 129gr ABLR, the 26 Nosler® retains as much velocity at 400 yards as the 260 Remington® produces at the muzzle.

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.  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.” –Bob Nosler, CEO/President Nosler, Inc.

The 26 Nosler® is a new and unique cartridge that was submitted to SAAMI® in June, 2013. The formal launch will take place at the 2014 SHOT Show where more exciting news will be released regarding this cartridge. Additional announcements will include Nosler’s new platform rifle, in addition to exciting new bullet, brass and ammunition offerings.

Thanks to Joe for the tip.

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.


  • Andrew Tuohy

    Barrel life is sure to be impressive.

    • El Duderino

      A new barrel comes with every box of ammo.

  • A2H

    I’m interested to know what throat erosion will look like after 2k rounds.

  • Alex Nicolin

    With that amount of retained velocity, it will shred a lot of valuable meat.

  • Blake

    What was so wrong with the plethora of existing 6.5mm cartridges that we “need” yet another one?

    Anyone know if they have any rifle mfrs lined up to actually chamber this thing?

    BTW I’ll believe an MPBR of 415yds when I see it. This is ~100yds more than other 6.5mm cartridges with similar bullet weights & muzzle velocities:

  • Shooter13

    anyone have an idea has to how fast this case might push a 140gr vld?

    • Dean

      Just a WAG but 3100 fps + or – with a 140gr projo.

  • Paul White

    How many cartridges do we already have, and why do we need another?

  • DrewN

    Huh. Well, as usual, this is nothing new. Sounds an awful lot like a .264 Hawk to me. Or maybe a Lazzeroni 6.71 Blackbird. Factory loads will be ridiculously expensive and so will rifles (if anyone actually offers one). Everyone will just roll their own anyway. so the advantage of a commercial loading over a popular wildcat escapes me here.

  • Jordan Hyers

    What the heck are you going to hunt with this ? Short of safari style hunting

    • El Duderino

      Open country deer or maybe pronghorn come to mind. Sometimes 415yds is as close as you can get.

  • JWM

    Thats only 200 fps faster than my .264 win mag…

  • Hunter57dor

    this sounds more like something useful for polcie snipers or defense work.

    400 yard accuracy, no adjustments necesssary, and a hard hiting round?

    burning barrels is problematic though.

  • popejoe

    Can’t they just bring back the .256 Newton under another name and be done with it?

  • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

    Does it come with a quiver to carry all the spare barrels?

  • James kozlowski

    270 WSM shoots just as flat with a heavier bullet and more energy down range. Recoil is manageable. As for barrel erosion, as long as you let it cool down between shots you will be fine.

  • Fred Ross

    I am going to jump on the band wagon and have my 264 rechambered. I have been messing with it for a year and still can not get it to shoot an inch consistantly. I have a 300 UM that will shoot rings around it. I am thinking that getting rid of the belt might make the difference. I found that to be true with the RUM so it makes cense it would work with the 26. I went through 3, 300 winnys before the ultra and will never go back. Besides i have about 300, 375 ruger cases to use. I have double checked the measurements and they fall in line with the necked down ruger. Just for info Redding is already in the works for available dies. Oh, yes i jumped on the 375 ruger before any left handed ruger models came out and have not regretted it one bit. It also is a great cartidge.

  • Dustin lowe

    Dustin Lowe
    I have bought my barrel an can not wait tell my brass gets in
    As far as throat erosion goes keep the bullet off the lands an clean 10 00 rounds no problem my 264 win mag was doing great till I put the Berger bullets .001 into lands after that .030 gone in 250 rounds