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Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by HDBLACKNT, Jan 4, 2011.
Thinking of buying my 12 year old a 6.5x55 sm in a howa action. How is the gun for a young hunter
I think you'll be pleased, low recoil and report. If you reload you can get a lot more from the cartridge than what factory ammo or even the reloading manuals would lead you to believe. I'm getting 2850fps with 140grn Hornady SSTs and .375" clover leafs. You may have to trim the stock or find a replacement for a smaller shooter, but the cartrige is ideal for deer or well placed shots on elk.
The 6.5X55 is a much better round than something like the 243 Win for a youngster. About the same recoil and the 6.5 kills WAAAAAY beyond what you think it will. For deer I would start off with 120 Nosler ballistic tips and one of the 4350 powders. For very large deer and elk I would go with the 130 Nosler Accubond.
I have a number of Mauser Swedes in military configuration but do have a sported 96 Mauser. I shoot Accurate 4350 with max loads given by Accurate which are under 46,000 CUP and with the 29" barrel I get 3000 fps with the 120 BT and 2850 with 140 gr bullets. They hammer deer and do not have much recoil.
Both of the replies above, for the loads and loading, are solid. Not much to add to that really. For a youngster, I would probably roll up the 120 or 130 at most. Probably the 120 tbh, with some H4350, win lr or wolf lr primers, and Winchester cases. I will repeat, Winchester cases. Unless you want to take an expensive chance on Lapua cases, I have 100 that I flatly refuse to use My winchesters were every bit as good and better! My Remington cases were nearly as good!! For those of you who hate Win cases...they are great for the 6.5 sm. I am still pissed off at that particular lot of Lapua. Now for the 308 Lapua kicks ass, wth?
The Howa is on a long action which is a plus, and it uses an 8 twist which is a plus. Dang good rifle setup! They shoot well, hold 5+1, and have a decent trigger with just a small bit of work.
I think your son will like the new rifle. Don't forget Nosler offers the Partition in 100 gr for even less recoil if necessary.
If you have had a problem with your Lapua brass I suggest you PM Kevin Thomas about he posts on this board and if there is an issue he will take care of it. I had some problems with a few rounds out of one particular lot and he took care of it for me. What kind of problems did you have with it anyways?
I've got roughly 150 win cases 2-3x fired that I'll trade you straight across for you Lapua.
Inconsistent case volume, case weight spread higher than expected (versus 308 win lapua), Neck wall thickness variations far greater than expected (right in line with remington).
I do not hate Lapua, I have used it in 308, and will use it there again. I was shocked so bad on the swede that I said screw it and gave it to a friend who shoots only war swede's and his personal accuracy goals are about 2moa @ 100. He was very happy.
So no, I could have called Lapua CS, but in this case I did a friend a good turn. If I came off sounding like "Lapua sucks" I do apologize, sometimes the written word does not convey the spirit of what was meant.
But with a bit of work your win brass will do quite nicely. If you get the chance to directly compare win brass to lapua, you will see their weights are *VERY* similar, their rim diameters and groove cuts are also very similar. After judicious case prep, my winchester delivers very good accuracy! I have many, many reloads on my brass, but I anneal every 3-4 firing too.
P.S. I know I said that I have 100 cases, I really should have said that I had had 100 cases. I have 500 win cases, that I put quite a bit of time into prepping. I also have 500 Remington cases, they are good for screwing around, not quite up to win. Remington are lighter than win/laupa, their case head diameter is slightly smaller (and suprisingly more consistent from the point of fitting into the shell holder).
I was just curious more then anything. I had bought 500 Lapua 6.5x55 cases and out of that 500 I had 5-10 that had some anomalies and I was wondering if you had run into the same thing. I had my chamber reamer made for Lapua cases so I stay away from the Rem and Win stuff ( base and neck dimensions were .002-.004 smaller). I did find that Privi Partizan cases are very good cases for the money (surprisingly consistent). I use them if there is a good possibility of losing brass .
I had thought about looking into Privi, now that you mention it I think i will check into it. That bad lot of Lapua was back in early 2008 or late 2007. After that, given how expensive it is, I just went with winchester that I know from the get go I will have to prep. Plus, I do not snivel so bad when I lose a win case vs. a lapua.
It is just about time for a rebarrel on my savage-swede AI. I had about 1200 rounds when it was a regular swede, then had it rechambered to Swede AI, and have since put pretty close to 2k rounds down range. Accuracy last time I went out was barely 3/4 moa, when it was fresh that load would print .2 to .3 pretty consistently. Some of those loads were fairly warmish too.
I have been pondering another swede (still have my 29" war swede), or rolling up something like a 6.5 RCM. Looking at case capacity, I think the RCM with a longer neck would be pretty close to optimal case capacity for 6.5, especially since I am using a LA and can seat them out so as not to intrude on the case capacity.
Hard toss up, I have enjoyed the AI quite a bit actually. Then again a shiny new toy is always kinda nice. That, and I have 24# of H1000 sitting here begging to be used. I bought it because it was a good deal, and because it looked like I was going to get a great deal on a 300wm. The ole' boy sold the WM a couple days after we talked without saying anything haha. So, here I sit with 3 jugs of H1000, and my AI is chambered short for the 120s. So, the H1000 was a bit too slow to really be at peak consistency. H4831sc and H4350 turned out to be The Go To powders. I use more 4831sc than 4350 however.
To 6.5 RCM or not to ....damn that is this years question! That and I for sure will be picking up a new Howa 308....hmmm...or Savage Maybe...decisions!
I think it is a great choice. With the right bullet, it will kill anything that breathes! I shot a 6.5 for years and have taken moose, elk, bear, and of course deer. Good accuracy, velocity, flat trajectory, low recoil, good barrel life, high sectional density, etc. No holes in the 6.5!...Rich
What kind of prep work do you have to do to the Win brass to get it in LR shooting shape?
-- First I do a visual inspection of the brass, then I look hard at the primer flash hole to make sure it is pretty much centered and that this area seems to be good to go...
-- Then I do the #2 / #3 shell holder sort, believe it or not that lot of Lapua required the same thing. This separates out the extractor groove differences from the actual case capacity differences. Some times the weight of a case is in the "head" area, not so much case capacity, so this helps with that.
-- Next I will trim them to just a hair over minimum trim to length. Next If I am really feeling energetic, I will run some spent primers up in the cases and fill them up with 92% rubbing alcohol up to the top and "volume sort" the cases. I use 92% rubbing alcohol because it dries fast and leaves pretty much zero residue. All I am doing here is getting a comparative case volume. I am not trying to get an exact volume for reloading software etc.
-- After this step, here lately, I have actually been neck annealing before I ever shoot the brass. I have had some brass that was a bit more "springy" than I am used to from brand new brass.
-- Next up, I do a 65-70% outside neck trim. I use outside because it is what I have, If you prefer inside to help remove any potential "donut" that works too. At this point you can FL Size them, tumble, etc and then you are pretty much good to go.
Ya, that is a lot of work. Do you do all of this for LRH or is this for match type shooting?
Thanks for sharing what your process is.
My rule of thumb is if I plan on making a "Heart Shot" out past 500 yards, then yes I "match prep". Five hundred yards is actually a fairly long shot for most folks. The ammo / rifle needs to be able to hold genuine half moa or less when the range opens out past about 700 or you really risk a poor wounding shot that will result in a long track session or a lost animal.