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!