It’s a MatchKing® bullet actually introduced in October 2017 but is certainly being featured at the 2018 SHOT Show. The popularity of 6.5 cartridges like the Creedmoor, 6.5×47 Lapua and 6.5×284 in all its numerous iterations will insure the sales of a new match bullet for Sierra. At the time of this writing it appears Sierra is the only major bullet producer that offers a 150 grain bullet for the 6.5 bore. This bullet will be best suited for cartridges with more case capacity, the 6.5-06 or the 6.5-284 will probably utilize it best.
MatchKing 6.5mm 150 grain HPBT (#1755). Has a sleek 27 caliber elongated ogive and a final meplat reducing operation (pointing) to provide an increased ballistic coefficient (claiming over .700) for optimal wind resistance and velocity retention. To ensure precise bullet to bore alignment, a unique bearing surface to ogive junction uses the same 1.5 degree angle commonly found in many match rifle chamber throats. There is an interesting subject for a test; does matching the shape of the throat and bullet change the accuracy of any given bullet?
MatchKing® and Tipped MatchKing® bullets are not recommended for most hunting applications. Especially when we are talking about game animals of any size. Match bullets are designed for accuracy and bucking wind over long range, but they are not designed to reliably expand. Sierra makes GameKing® bullets for Hunters.
According to Sierra this bullet requires a barrel twist rate of 1 turn in 7.5” or faster.
26 Nosler is a new cartridge design, it actually fills a niche in the factory cartridge world. Between the WSM cartridges and the RUM cartridges, the first being short action, the latter being full length magnum. So the 26 Nosler is in between.
This may not sound like a big deal but it was a very good idea for a 6.5mm Magnum. When the 7mm or 300 Remington Ultra Mag is necked to 6.5mm it’s not very satisfactory. The case capacity is far overbore for the 6.5mm bore, so accuracy suffers and finding a good load is difficult.
By reducing case capacity as Nosler has done with this new design they have brought the balance between bore and capacity back into a range where load development is easier and barrel life will be better than with the full length RUM wildcat such as the 6.5MM UltraCat originated by Z-Hat Custom back in 1999.
Designed with a maximum cartridge O.A.L. of 3.340”, the 26 Nosler cartridge functions in a standard length magnum action with a 3.400″ magazine box. It is very similar in length to a 300 Winchester magnum case. This equates to a shorter bolt through and lighter weight gun than with the full length magnums like the 300 H&H or 7mm RUM.
The 26 Nosler is capable of pushing a 130gr bullet at a Muzzle Velocity of 3400 fps according to Nosler. With that kind of velocity bullets must be made for the extra stress that velocity will bring to the jacket. No disrespect to Nosler but this is a job for a NorthFork Bullet if I ever saw one.
The 26 Nosler is a non-belted, 6.5mm centerfire rifle cartridge. With a useable case capacity of 93 grains of water, the 26 Nosler is speedy, it outperforms the 264 Win Mag by over 200 fps with a 130 gr bullet. Loaded with the 129gr AccuBond-LR, the 26 Nosler retains as much velocity at 400 yards as the 260 Remington produces at the muzzle.
Zeroed at 350 yards, the 26 Nosler has a maximum point blank range (PBR) of 415 yards. It appears from the chart at the right that Nosler is figuring 5 inches +or- form zero to get to that 415 yard point blank range.
Nosler’s choice of a 6.5mm cartridge is a good one, sectional density and high ballistic coefficients make 6.5mm a good bet. Retained energy and accuracy at long range is always good with a 6.5mm. This will be a good cartridge for wide open western hunting for deer class animals. Thumbs Up!
Nosler is looking to tap into the long range market with it’s latest offering. 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.
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, the26 Nosler® retains as much velocity at 400 yards as the 260 Remington® produces at the muzzle.
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. Nosler will introduce a rifle, brass, ammunition and a new bullet all in conjunction with this cartridge.