For the first time in decades, Weatherby unleashed a new cartridge in 2016, this one is based on a necked-down .300 Weatherby Magnum: the 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum. The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI), the firearms and ammunition industry’s technical standards-setting organization, recently announced the acceptance of the new cartridge and chamber standard.
This cartridge isn’t exactly new, even though Weatherby is billing it that way. Roy Weatherby built a 6.5-300 in the early 1950s, as evidenced by an old Mauser-action rifle in the company’s collection. Also, in the early 1970s, a group of benchrest wildcatters built rifles chambered for the 6.5-300 WWH (Weatherby Wright Hoyer), a 6.5mm cartridge using the .300 Weatherby as the parent case.
In keeping with Weatherby’s DNA, this is a high-velocity centerfire rifle cartridge that, when combined with high Ballistic Coefficient (BC) projectiles, targets the bolt-action rifle, long-range shooting market.
“This is now the fastest production 6.5mm cartridge in the world,” said Adam Weatherby, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Weatherby Inc. “The speed and energy of this cartridge is unprecedented and worthy of carrying the Weatherby name, all while exhibiting very manageable recoil.”
SAAMI was founded in 1926 at the request of the federal government and tasked with coordinating the industry’s technical data, creating and publishing industry standards for interchangeability, reliability, performance, quality and product safety and promote safe and responsible use of firearms.
The company released specs on three loads: a 127-grain Barnes LRX running at 3,531 fps, a 130-grain Swift Scirocco shooting at 3,475 fps and a 140-grain Swift A-Frame scooting along at 3,395 fps. The 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum was chambered in the New Mark V family of rifles and offered in the Accumark, Accumark RC and Ultra Lightweight models for 2016.
All the rifles have 26-inch barrels (the Ultra Lightweight also has a 2-inch muzzle brake) with 1-in-8-inch twists. Factory-supplied ballistics show that with a 300-yard zero, the 127-grain Barnes drops 7.12 inches at 400 yards and 18.99 inches at 500 yards. The drop figures for the 130-grain Swift are 7.2 inches and 19.0 inches at 400 and 500 yards, respectively. Drops for the 140-grain A-Frame are 8.6 and 23.3 at 400 and 500 yards, respectively.