26 Nosler: Will It Be the Next Cartridge Gun Guys Want?

posted on March 9, 2014

It’s not like any of us need another rifle, let alone another cartridge to add to our inventories of ammo to keep in stock. But as gun guys know, it’s never about need so much as want. With that in mind, I think many hunters might want a 26 Nosler.

The 26 Nosler is the company’s first proprietary cartridge, and we mention it in our April print edition, in our annual “First Look” feature.

It was designed to take advantage of the 6.5mm bullet, which, as gun guys know, is inherently accurate because it carries a high ballistic coefficient—BC being a measure of a bullet’s ability to overcome air resistance, or, conversely, its tendency to decelerate in flight. The 26 Nosler fires a 129-grain Nosler Accubond at 3400 fps. Zeroed at 350 yards, it has a point-blank range of 415 yards, according to company reports.

Remember the .264 Win. Mag? It was released by Winchester in 1958 as one of a series of cartridges based on the .458 Win. Mag. It was the first American 6.5mm cartridge since the defunct .256 Newton, introduced in 1913. The .264 Win. Mag. is an ultra-fast cartridge with excellent long-range potential. I think of it as an ideal cartridge for plains game, whether it be the American or African plains. Come to think of it, it’ll be just fine in the mountains, too.

When it comes to the 26 Nosler, think .264 Win. Mag. without the length or the belt. The 26 Nosler fits in a standard-length action to produce a shorter bolt throw and lighter overall weight than magnum-length cartridges like the .264 Win. Mag. The 26 Nosler is produced with a non-belted case; headspacing is achieved off the shoulder of the case. The best part: It flies faster than the Win. Mag. cartridge. OK, that might eat up barrel life faster than some hunters want, but it’ll put the pill on target lickety-split.

Look for a full review of the 26 Nosler in print, in our “Hardware” department, soon.


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