Like many shooting enthusiasts, the Nosler family has always dreamed of introducing a new rifle cartridge. And they’ve done it with the arrival of the 26 Nosler—a new cartridge that was submitted to SAAMI in June 2013. Formal launch of the round will take place at the 2014 SHOT Show. Nosler hasn’t released case specs for the round, but some details have leaked out. A Nosler sales flyer says the round has a cartridge overall length of 3.340 inches and a usable case capacity of 93 grains of water. The parent case is rumored to be the .375 Ruger, which at 99 grains of water has the necessary starting capacity to be necked down for the smaller 6.5mm bullet. Rifles chambered for the round may have 1:8 barrel twist to stabilize heavier bullets.
“I really feel the 26 Nosler has great value among the large family of 6.5mm cartridges,” said Bob Nosler, CEO/President of Nosler, Inc.
The company said the goal of the new 26 Nosler cartridge was to take full advantage of new technology available to shooters, including the advance of optics, reticle systems, and high-ballistic-coefficient (B.C.) bullets such as the company’s AccuBond Long Range line.
The company stated the 26 Nosler cartridge utilizes inherently accurate and high-B.C. 6.5mm (.264) caliber bullets, and is capable of shooting the Nosler 129-grain AccuBond Long Range (ABLR) bullet at a 3400 fps at the muzzle. Zeroed at 350 yards, the 26 Nosler has a point-blank range of 0-415 yards. Loaded with the 129-gr ABLR, the 26 Nosler retains as much velocity at 400 yards as the 260 Remington produces at the muzzle, according to a Nosler release.
Other 6.5s do fall quite short of the 26 Nosler’s published performance. Nosler itself loads a 6.5-284 Norma round with the ABLR bullet (#60128) that has a muzzle velocity of 2965 fps. Nosler’s Custom Hand Loaded 260 Remington 130-grain AccuBond #13055 has a MV of 2800 fps.
The .264 Winchester Mag in the Custom Hand Loaded line #14072 uses a 125-grain Partition to get a MV of 3200 fps, and a 130-grain AccuBond #14076 in that cartridge drops to 3100 fps.
The 6.5 Remington Magnum Custom #14325 with a 125-grain Partition scoots along at 3025 at the muzzle.
One Nosler Custom round that does eclipse the proposed 26 Nosler is the 270 Weatherby Magnum #15020, which fires a 130-grain Partition at 3450 fps.
The 26 Nosler case is non-belted, so it’s headspaced off the shoulder to enhance accuracy. The 26N also utilizes a standard .30-06–length action, allowing for a shorter bolt-throw and lighter weight than magnum-length actions.
“With minimal recoil, tremendous velocity, energy, and the ability to point and shoot at the intended target up to a quarter-mile away, this is the quintessential deer, antelope and long-range-target cartridge,” Nosler said.