Help with 6.5x55

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by N10sivern, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. N10sivern

    N10sivern Well-Known Member

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    I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm far from being new to reloading. For whatever reason, a good 6.5x55 load is eluding me. I'm using RL22, remington magnum primers (all I could find), sierra matchkings 142gr, lapua brass, scott parker tuned scale, Forster co-ax press, and Forster ultra dies. My ES is not good at all. I shot yesterday and couldn't group to save my life. Averaging 1.5 moa. No it's not the shooter. I've loaded up 300 wsm and 7 mag and shot sub 0.5 moa. I'm shooting a Savage with a 28" criterion barrel in a bedded stock. My ladder group was kinda crappy to begin with as ES wasn't good then. Found a semi node and shot again. 45.5 gr had an ES of 61, 46.0gr was 29 and shot the best groups, 46.5 was 24 and 47.0 was 6 shooting the worst groups. This was with new lapua brass FL sized set to bump shoulder back 0.002 on once fired brass. Bullet concentricity was 0.002 and neck was 0.005 (I didn't neck turn these). Bullets are about 0.005 off the lands. What am I doing wrong? Is it my reloading, the powder, the primers, what? I know I need to at with seating depth, but will it make that huge of a difference because it never has in the past. Sad thing is, cheap wolf gold ammo that i used to sight in my scope shot better than my reloads!
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
  2. SavageLapua

    SavageLapua Member

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    I also run a 6.5x55 in a factory Tikka Varmint. My load is 47.5gr RL22, Lapua Brass, CCI250 Primers, and 140gr SMK average 2703. The ES (62) and SD (17) are higher than I'd like to see, but it shoots very well at 0.45 MOA. I've been able to narrow those numbers significantly by switching primers and trying different powders. I tested loads that would keep me in the same velocity node(~2750fps).

    10 shot string Results:

    H1000, Lapua brass, CCI250, 140gr SMK, 3.100 COAL. ES=65, SD=17 Ave=2753
    H4350, Lapua brass, CCI250, 140gr SMK, 3.100 COAL. ES=22, SD=7 Ave=2730
    RL22, Lapua brass, FGM210, 140gr SMK, 3.100 COAL. ES=30, SD=8 Ave=2749
    RL22, Lapua brass, FGM215M, 140gr SMK, 3.100 COAL. ES=32, SD=9 Ave=2789

    10 shot groups at 100yards, non printed worse than 0.5 MOA.

    I'm planning on doing some more testing in the future with these particular powders and primers. Either way, I'm very impressed with this rifle and caliber.

    SL
     

  3. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I have found seating depth to make a BIG difference in my reloads. I always test seating depth first, using low to mid range charges of my chosen powder and the following methidology:

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/for...accuracy-berger-vld-bullets-your-rifle-40204/

    This method works with almost every bullet I have tried, not just Berger VLD's. Once you find the best seating depth for a given bullet, you can experiment freely with powder and primers. After seating depth, do your normal charge workup. I have found my load in 50 rounds or less every time I have used this method.
     
  4. N10sivern

    N10sivern Well-Known Member

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    Ok. Maybe I have been doing it backwards. I normally find a decent load then tweak the depth to get the best out of it. I'll play with depth next week
     
  5. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    N10Sivern,

    Try 37.5 grains of RL-15 under the 142. Not a maximum load by any means, and your velocity should be around 2,600 fps, but it was the standard test load used by Sierra for the 142s for many, many years. Assuming a good lot of bullets, any decently tuned 6.5x55 should shoot bugholes with this combination, no problem.
     
  6. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    using 45.0 gr. RL-22 and wolf primers with 142 SMK, 2608fps avg., and .5moa to 700 yds.
     
  7. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    Nobody has ask this yet. What twist do you have in the barrel? If it is a 1-in-9 there could be your problem. Too slow for those long 142s. Could be your barrel just does not like the 142s or RL22. I have always had great success with the 4350 powders in the Swede. I have shot 45 grs Accurate 4350 with 140 gr Sierra Match, Sierra Game Kings and Hornady Interlock SPP in my M-96 sported Mauser with the 29" barrel and it shoots sub MOA and I average 2850 fps and this is according to Accurate is an under 46000 CUP load. I use Remington cases, Fed 210M primer, OAL 3.050 For a strictly target load for out to 200 yards for my open sight military M-96 Mauser 6.5X55 Swedes 37.8 grs IMR 4895, Rem case, CCI BR2, 140 gr Sierra Match King, OAL 3.050 runs in the 2500s fps but is one tack driving load.

    With your load it could be something as simple as changing your primer make. I have had so so loads turn into bug hole shooter loads by just using a different primer.

    Ain't getting a new rifle to shoot well fun especially when you can't get the stuff you need to do it with? :D
     
  8. N10sivern

    N10sivern Well-Known Member

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    Barrel is a 1 in 8.

    Yeah. Finding primers around here is impossible.
     
  9. g0rd0

    g0rd0 Well-Known Member

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    a good friend has a huskavarna in 6.5x55 he had the same problem. That is untill he started useing 160 grn rn. Now it is a real tack driver. you may want to try some of those
     
  10. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    That 160 RN has the ballistics of a ROCK though. I would try another primer if you can find some first. A regular not a mag primer.
     
  11. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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  12. N10sivern

    N10sivern Well-Known Member

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    Well I went to the range today. I loaded up cartridges with cci200, federal 215, and remington 9.5. The cci200 was the clear winner at 300 yards by a little over an inch. I then loaded up rounds at my oal to lands, 0.02 off lands, 0.04 off lands, 0.08 off lands, and 0.12 off lands. Previously I was shooting at 0.005 off lands and it wasn't grouping. I picked the best load from my last outing which was 46.0 gr of reloader 22. The clear winner today was the load that was 0.02 off the lands. Due to time restraints when I was loading the ammo I only loaded 3 shots of each oal. I plan to repeat this at a later date. Below is pictures of my best group from my first outing this post was about and the second picture is today. Both were shot at 300 yards. Now to recheck this and dial in the powder. I can't wait to see how much I can improve it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    That second group (the one labeled 1 of 78) is excellent. What really jumps out at me is how little vertical spread there is, which suggests very consistent ammo.

    It looks like seating depth and primer choice made a big difference.

    The powder charge workup should be very interesting, indeed!
     
  14. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    I told you so. Just changing primer make can make a world of difference. Good shooting.
    Just one word of caution. If you load ammo to be used while hunting I would suggest that you find another node on your seating depth much further off the lands. When loading so close to the lands it is possible for a bullet to be miss measured, pull forward under recoil, get longer by some means etc. While out in the field if you have to unload that round for some reason like getting into or out of a tree stand etc. You could stick the bullet in the bore and pull the case out and dump all the powder down into the action. I had this happen once to me and did not have a cleaning rod with me and wasted the best part of a day going home to clean the rifle and get the bullet out and then get back to my hunting place.