.26 Nosler

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.26 Nosler

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Nosler, located in Bend, Oregon USA, officially announced at the 2014 SHOT Show a new 6.5mm cartridge, the .26 Nosler. This is the first SAAMI standardized cartridge to bear the Nosler name. The .26 Nosler is based on a shortened (to .30-06 length) .404 Jeffery case blown-out and necked down with a sharp shoulder and a short neck. The result is a cartridge the same length as the .264 Win. Magnum with even more powder capacity than that over-bore number. Nosler, of course, intends to produce rifles for the new round using their M48 action. 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 129 grain ABLR, the .26 Nosler retains as much velocity at 400 yards as the 260 Remington produces at the muzzle. The advertised muzzle velocity (MV) with a 129 grain AccuBond bullet is 3400 fps and 3300 fps with a 140 grain AccuBond bullet. Here are the actual ballistics for a 140 grain Nosler AccuBond bullet (BC .509), since a 129 grain bullet makes little sense in such a huge case. The following trajectory is computed for a scope mounted 1.5" over the line of bore and a 350 yard zero, since Nosler specifies a 350 yard zero in their literature and claims a 415 yard maximum point blank range (MPBR). Velocity: 3300 fps MV, 3094 fps at 100 yards, 2902 fps at 200 yards, 2718 fps at 300 yards, 2542 fps at 400 yards, 2374 fps at 500 yards Energy: 3385 ft. lbs. ME, 2976 ft. lbs. at 100 yards, 2618 ft. lbs. at 200 yards, 2297 ft. lbs. at 300 yards, 2009 ft. lbs. at 400 yards, 1752 ft. lbs. at 500 yards Trajectory: -1.5" at muzzle, +3.81" at 100 yards, +5.47" at 200 yards, +2.98" at 300 yards, +/- 0" at 350 yards, -4.24" at 400 yards, -16.87" at 500 yards Incidentally, that bullet, sleek as it is, would drift 14-1/2" laterally in only a 10 MPH crosswind at 500 yards. That is enough to turn a broadside lung shot at a stationary Class 2 game animal into a gut shot. The result would almost certainly be a wounded and lost trophy that dies alone and in great agony. Not a happy thought for any conscientious hunter. Note also that the trajectory allows about a 5-1/2" bullet rise at 200 yards, much more than the maximum 3" bullet deviation from the line of sight normally considered acceptable for hunting Class 2 animals. The trajectory of that load based on a standard +/- 3" bullet rise/fall results in a more realistic MPBR of 325 yards, which is 17 yards more than the .264 Win. Mag. with a 140 grain bullet.

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