Hitting pressure early in 6.5 PRC

DJ Fergus

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I think you just have a one of those barrels. All of the numbers confuse people. It's the lands, grooves and throat that cause the most change to your loads. The lot of powder can also play big role in it too sometimes. (Why I don't buy one lb of powder at a time, and try to buy at least 5lbs off ogf the same lot#) What you are seeing is normal. How is the case fill? Maybe try retumbo or n570?
I totally agree with you. I've found h1000 to vary considerably from lot to lot. I prefer Retumbo over h1000. There were a several people who didn't have much success with h1000 in the 6.5-284 but did have success with Retumbo. I run N570 in a 6.5 saum. Works good.
 

quarterman

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I’ve experienced the same early pressure signs at modest velocity. Stiff bolt lift, ejector marks in my 28 Nosler. I went home and pulled between 15 and 30 bullets. Then loaded a new series with a different powder only to have the same issues. I did this 3 times and finally realized it was the Nosler brand brass.
Switched to Peterson brass and never had another problem.
I have the exact same problem in 3 different 28 nosler rifles. I came to the same conclusion that it is the nosler brass. I tried some hornady brass and The ejector marks and stiff bolt lift went away. I tried a box of factory nosler ammo and the results were the same as with handloads. I just got an order of ADG brass for my 28 and cant wait to try it. I personally would try a different brand of brass If you can find some
 

kfreeze

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I totally agree with you. I've found h1000 to vary considerably from lot to lot. I prefer Retumbo over h1000. There were a several people who didn't have much success with h1000 in the 6.5-284 but did have success with Retumbo. I run N570 in a 6.5 saum. Works good.
I had a noticable difference in the lot of h1000 I have too. I can't get enough of it in a 300 win mag case to give me pressure signs with a 190 ablr. That didn't go with what a lot of others said when I was looking at load data.
 

skookum

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To give an update on this 6.5 project, I have resolved the pressure issue. I switched to a CCI250 from a Fed 215, the load I found at 56.5 gr of H1000 was still leaving an ejector swipe but it was accurate with a decent ES. The CCI brought the pressure down, dropped the ES to under 20 and I gained about 20 fps in velocity; although that may be from the barrel speeding up. Either way, switching primers fixed the issue.
 

BrentM

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To give an update on this 6.5 project, I have resolved the pressure issue. I switched to a CCI250 from a Fed 215, the load I found at 56.5 gr of H1000 was still leaving an ejector swipe but it was accurate with a decent ES. The CCI brought the pressure down, dropped the ES to under 20 and I gained about 20 fps in velocity; although that may be from the barrel speeding up. Either way, switching primers fixed the issue.
Not a big fan of the mag primer in the prc personally. The 210M seems to be spot on for it.
 

BrentM

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Not sure I'm a fan of the PRC to be honest. I was tired of throwing bloodshot away on animals though so here I am. Kinda wish I would have gone with a 7 SAUM.
I've been running 6.5's for a long time and can't imagine needing or wanting anything else. From Yotes to Elk they handle all that and then some imho. The PRC is just a chambering variant to deliver the 6.5 caliber bullet to the target. If a person isn't a fan of the 6.5 caliber then so be it, but there's nothing a 140 grain 6.5 can't do that a 140 grain 7mm can do Saum vs PRC.
 

Wachsmann

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My 2 cents. I think if for the powder charge weight and the velocity seen/recorded maybe you have tight chamber our your neck is tight. On the flip side of this from what I was told I had a 6..5X284 that hit pressure early with a charge that should had produce about 75 to 100fps faster than what I was seeing. A smith told me that my chamber was slightly over sized. Even with slower powders like retumbo best I could get was about 2900fps/140 berger and then pressure would show up. So at least your not on that side of things. Not that that the gun shot bad I just had to run it at 2860. So even if you loose about 25 to 50fps its not that big of a difference and if you have a tight bolt lift then you need to back off the load. Don't want to end up with a hamburger face from a blown up bolt.
 

skookum

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I've been running 6.5's for a long time and can't imagine needing or wanting anything else. From Yotes to Elk they handle all that and then some imho. The PRC is just a chambering variant to deliver the 6.5 caliber bullet to the target. If a person isn't a fan of the 6.5 caliber then so be it, but there's nothing a 140 grain 6.5 can't do that a 140 grain 7mm can do Saum vs PRC.

Well thats great you like the 6.5. I'm not sure i do, but I'm giving it a try and so far I don't think its worth all the hype. I'm speaking from a ballistics standpoint. Up until now I have had nothing but 30 magnums and have been spoiled by heavier, higher BC bullets that are much better in the wind. Had I went with a SAUM I wouldn't run a 140gr bullet I'd run a 180 or even a 168. I'll shoot this barrel out and move on and probably get a lot better at calling the wind.
 

BrentM

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Well thats great you like the 6.5. I'm not sure i do, but I'm giving it a try and so far I don't think its worth all the hype. I'm speaking from a ballistics standpoint. Up until now I have had nothing but 30 magnums and have been spoiled by heavier, higher BC bullets that are much better in the wind. Had I went with a SAUM I wouldn't run a 140gr bullet I'd run a 180 or even a 168. I'll shoot this barrel out and move on and probably get a lot better at calling the wind.
Everything is a trade off. If you want a heavier higher bc bullet in a 30 you have to go fairly heavy and much much more recoil to get the same performance. I don't know why people go on about hype. What hype? There is zero claim the PRC does anything magic. Caliber for weight, performance, etc. The 6.5 caliber in general does a fantastic job for what it is designed to do. For long range hunting it is not magic, never has been, never claimed to be. The 6.5 is popular in competition sports due to high for weight bc and lower recoil. It is not on the list of ELR and ko2m style shooting that's for sure. For reasonable distances and conditions the PRC and heavy for caliber bullet is pretty good. High sectional density for terminal performance, 700ish bc, and low recoil for staying on target. Ultimately it boils down to preferences and desires. The 6.5 will do what ever you ask to within it's limits. I think people confuse realistic limits with internet sensationalism. I mean everyone seems to be a sniper these days and never misses a shot. I have seen a sh!t ton of animals killed with a 6.5 the past several years and know it's capable. Sure doesn't make it the best.
 

skookum

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Everything is a trade off. If you want a heavier higher bc bullet in a 30 you have to go fairly heavy and much much more recoil to get the same performance. I don't know why people go on about hype. What hype? There is zero claim the PRC does anything magic. Caliber for weight, performance, etc. The 6.5 caliber in general does a fantastic job for what it is designed to do. For long range hunting it is not magic, never has been, never claimed to be. The 6.5 is popular in competition sports due to high for weight bc and lower recoil. It is not on the list of ELR and ko2m style shooting that's for sure. For reasonable distances and conditions the PRC and heavy for caliber bullet is pretty good. High sectional density for terminal performance, 700ish bc, and low recoil for staying on target. Ultimately it boils down to preferences and desires. The 6.5 will do what ever you ask to within it's limits. I think people confuse realistic limits with internet sensationalism. I mean everyone seems to be a sniper these days and never misses a shot. I have seen a sh!t ton of animals killed with a 6.5 the past several years and know it's capable. Sure doesn't make it the best.
I definitely agree with you, I'd have no problem shooting an elk with it within reasonable distances, and the mild recoil is something I could get used to.
 

BrentM

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I definitely agree with you, I'd have no problem shooting an elk with it within reasonable distances, and the mild recoil is something I could get used to.
Good luck man. I shot the 153 this weekend out to 900 and was super impressed with the groups. I’ve been running the 135 in my prc but if I had to chase elk I might swap to the 153. I run those at 2960 and they seem consistent. I think they are running higher than advertised bc too. I was pulling a little bit off 700-900.
 

vancewalker007

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Not sure I'm a fan of the PRC to be honest. I was tired of throwing bloodshot away on animals though so here I am. Kinda wish I would have gone with a 7 SAUM.
That bloodshot issue depends more on what bullet you shoot. If you don't need to to kill things over 500-600 yards the Barnes LRX 127g or one of the other monos will give you very little bloodshot meat. The second to the monos would be a bonded or partitioned bullet. All the sleek long range bullets and cup and core ones are going to leave more mess behind in that 0-400ish yardage.

Sounds like you figured out your pressure mystery. Those thicker Nosler cases and hot mag primers are going to make your results different than the book data you were looking at. Plus, every rifle is a little different and going to hit 60000+ PSI at different points. Likely the book rounds were shot with Hornady brass and a standard rifle primers. I have found in these small cases and in cartridges like WSMs the standard large rifle primers gave the best results. I've been shooting CCI BR2s in my 6.5 for 3 years now with great results.

What you need to watch out for on your PRC are cases not resizing just above the web. This starts happening after several reloads. I would suggest once you finish resizing and trimming cases shot more than 3 times I'd run the cases through your rifle paying close attention to how tight the bolt closes. If you find one that is tight, ie. doesn't close like new case, I'd toss it. If that web area does not resize and you fire that case you're likely gonna realized some primer popping pressure. I know, because I've experienced it.
 

skookum

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That bloodshot issue depends more on what bullet you shoot. If you don't need to to kill things over 500-600 yards the Barnes LRX 127g or one of the other monos will give you very little bloodshot meat. The second to the monos would be a bonded or partitioned bullet. All the sleek long range bullets and cup and core ones are going to leave more mess behind in that 0-400ish yardage.

Sounds like you figured out your pressure mystery. Those thicker Nosler cases and hot mag primers are going to make your results different than the book data you were looking at. Plus, every rifle is a little different and going to hit 60000+ PSI at different points. Likely the book rounds were shot with Hornady brass and a standard rifle primers. I have found in these small cases and in cartridges like WSMs the standard large rifle primers gave the best results. I've been shooting CCI BR2s in my 6.5 for 3 years now with great results.

What you need to watch out for on your PRC are cases not resizing just above the web. This starts happening after several reloads. I would suggest once you finish resizing and trimming cases shot more than 3 times I'd run the cases through your rifle paying close attention to how tight the bolt closes. If you find one that is tight, ie. doesn't close like new case, I'd toss it. If that web area does not resize and you fire that case you're likely gonna realized some primer popping pressure. I know, because I've experienced it.

Good to know! Thank you. Looks like I may have to try some different primers in the future. 3 firings out of brass is a bit of a bummer. I'm sure this Nosler brass won't be an exception.
 

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