Yes, that Vortex, the optics company. Folks at Vortex Nation Podcast started a project of designing a new long-range hunting cartridge. Their goal was to create a 6.5mm (.264″) caliber cartridge for antelope/deer-sized game that performance- and length-wise would fall somewhere between the cartridges like 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum. The result is a long action (3.340″ COAL) cartridge dubbed 6.5 BC (BC semi-officially stands for Bitch Cat).
The parent cartridge of 6.5 BC is .300 Remington Ultra Magnum (.300 RUM), which means it is a rebated rim cartridge with a head diameter of .534″ that will fit a standard belted magnum bolt, and a base diameter of .550″ that all other factors being equal, will provide a larger case capacity compared to cartridges with the same head diameter but based on .375 H&H Magnum or .375 Ruger. Thanks to the relatively shorter case in relation to the maximum cartridge overall length and caliber, 6.5 BC can be loaded with heavy, high-BC bullets and retain as much useful case capacity as practically possible.
The first batch of brass for this wildcat project was made by Roberson Cartridge Company (RCC) and the chamber reamers and reloading dies were manufactured by Pacific Tool & Guage (PTG). Whether this will remain a wildcat or will become a production round is unknown at the time of writing this article. On their social media pages, Vortex noted that it is possible that they will get into the ammunition game but even if they do, it won’t be in the foreseeable future.
To learn more about the 6.5 BC cartridge, watch the below-embedded videos where the Vortex Nation Podcast team shows the load development process and the field testing of the new cartridge during a hunting trip. There are also Vortex Nation Podcast episodes dedicated to the development of this cartridge which you can listen to by clicking here.
It is really uncommon to see an optics company developing a cartridge, isn’t it? Let us know in the comments section what do you think about Vortex’s 6.5 BC cartridge. Do you think it has the potential of becoming a commercial success or will it join the thousands of other wildcats that never became production cartridges? What other cartridges do you use that you think perform similarly?
Pictures by Vortex Optics, www.vortexoptics.com