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Reloading Berger Bullets


6.5-300 wsm pressure signs

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Unread 03-21-2013, 12:18 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Near Mt Rainier
Posts: 321
Re: 6.5-300 wsm pressure signs

I shoot two 6.5 WSMs. Before that I shot .264 Winchesters for 30 years. I use Norma .270 WSM brass.

I think you are seeing lots of pressure.

Why did you choose H-1000. I bought 8 pounds when then alive Bruce Hodgdon brought it out. Personal communication: "It was designed for 160gr bullets in the 7mm Remington Magnum." The original data in the Hodgdon book (we didn't have the Internet then) said 72 grains was maximum. We had quite a discussion with Bruce himself about primers and the maximum. I finally settled on 68 gr as my maximum with Fed 215 primers with the 160 gr in 7mm Remington Mag. I tell you this because there may be lot variations and Hodgdon's data may be actually hotter than is safe. That is unusual for the industry but with my lot was hot.

I would recommend Retumbo (comes from the same plant as H-1000, ADI) for 120 through 160 gr bullets. Retumbo will produce higher velocities in the 6.5 WSM. Many shooters use F210M primers with Retumbo.

I like VV N-570 for 140 and 160 gr bullets. I recently purchased the discontinued Sierra 160 SMP and Woodleigh protected points for testing. I can get 2900 fps comfortably. With 140 gr I can get over the old published .264 Winchester velocity of 3200 from a 26 inch barrel. VV N-570 is disturbingly coarse and difficult to weigh.

Reloader 25 will produce great standard deviations but about 60 fps less velocity than Retumbo.

The 6.5 WSM is still less volume and less velocity than the .264 Winchester cartridge. I hope you are getting your barrels nitrocarburized so you can enjoy some barrel life. I use only HBN coated bullets as well.

My recent efforts are to make a game load with the 130 Berger VLDs. I have only shot the 130 Accubonds at game in the past. These go at 3300 fps comfortably. The Accubonds are a hard bullet at range (or the velocity is not adequate). Maybe the Bergers will perform better on small deer and antelope.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 12:30 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 1,647
Re: 6.5-300 wsm pressure signs

I went to chamber the rounds I shot this weekend and the majority were a snug fit, but I could not lock the bolt on 4 of them. I measured the web and came up with .0015 of expansion over the couple rounds that loaded no problem. I am really embarassed to make such and stupid mistake and also very thankful that nothing really bad happened.
On some brass that may cause ejector marks.

If youve seen some of my mistakes you would feel pretty smart. Gotta start somewhere and there is only one way to learn. At least here there is a wealth of experience to guide you. Happy hunting
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Unread 03-21-2013, 12:46 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Mead, WA
Posts: 62
Re: 6.5-300 wsm pressure signs

I chose h1000 because people have been getting decent njmbers out of the heavy 270 wsm rounds and because i already had a bunch at the house. i will be trying rl17 as well with this next lower bat h of h1000.
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Unread 03-28-2013, 11:26 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Northern Idaho
Posts: 436
Re: 6.5-300 wsm pressure signs

Dude, be careful...... 3420 is way too fast even in a 30" barrel. You wouldn't like it to much if your firing pin blew out the back of your action and hit you in the face?

I use Retumbo in my 6.5/300 WSM as well, it's a Shilen 1:8" 4 groove Ratchet barrel 24.5" long. I get great accuracy with the 140 Sierra MK, and the 140 GameKing, but I don't hot rod my loads, 3000 fps w/the SGK, and 3050 fps w/the SMK 20' from the muzzle with 65.0 and 66.5 grains but they shoot bug holes!

You'll soon discover a very fundamental truth about ballistics: once you have selected the cartridge case and the bullet, there is really no practical gain in wind drift from a load with excessive pressure. You are simply increasing both the danger level and the expected group size. That last point is worth dwelling on for a moment - once a load passes a certain point, reliable accuracy diminishes and that point is usually well below maximum pressure.

Honestly running 250 fps faster isn't worth the danger or the amount of abuse you're placing on your rig. Look at these photos of what can happen when mistakes are made:

The Rifleman's Journal: Cartridges: Long Range Reloading Safety - .308 and Others

Please think of safety first, and bragging rights for someone else.

"Only accurate rifle are interesting" Col. Townsend Whelen
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