Pressure issues reloading for Christensen

Eric H

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
168
Bought a custom 6.5x284 from Chris Palmer and was very satisfied. Vangard Action with Wilson barrel and very good brake. Can shoot it all day. So far got it up to 3274FPS with 123gr Absolute Hammer using H100V.
 

Allan Clark

New Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Michigan
I've got a Christensen in 6.5x284, 26" bbl. that I started working up hunting loads for. The problem is that I experienced very high pressures approaching max loads. Very tight bolts and extractor marks on cases. Those were still only at 2800-2900 fps. I've tried RL22, RL25 and 4831SC with both Berger 140 and 156 gr. Elite Hunter and Fed 215 primers. I spoke with Berger and they said that Christensen barrels and actions had very tight tolerances and most people had to adjust down to starting loads. The folks at Christensen are no help at all.

I've cut my loads and came up with the best accuracy being 47 gr. of 4831SC but now I'm only pushing 2575 FPS. My COAL is 3.275 which I think is about .035 off the lands. Question is, what can I do to get more velocity while staying away from the pressure issues? This rifle should easily shoot 3000 fps, but i can't get close. I'll be using this for LR elk and mule deer. Out to 800 yards.
I have a McGowan 6.5 284 and can only shoot Lapua brand brass with that i shoot 140 BTH match with 51gr of Power Pro 4000 for about 3100 fps no pressure issues. Hornady brass i couldnt brake 2700 without issues.. Just my input on what i have ran into. Try some Lapua brass if you haven't
 

Hugnot

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Joined
Sep 26, 2020
Messages
149
Location
Montana
I have experienced similar problems with my 6.5-06's both having McGowen 8 twist barrels. My favorite powder is H1000 for 140's. I checkout fired cases to see if bullets can easily be slipped fit inside brass mouths. I routinely turn necks to .288, leaving neck walls ~ .012. I use real cheap brass, often bought once fired then annealed. Lapua .30-06, brass is an option and if I were to tackle important stuff I would use it. Most of my shooting is with 130 H ELDM's with RL 23 ~ 3100 fps. I also use 4000MR with great results in .243 W & .300 WM but temps may range between 20* to over 90* resulting in use of RL 23, H1000 (real scarce), or H4831SC.

140's - Skinny, heavy weight for caliber to launch.
 

Eric H

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
168
I have experienced similar problems with my 6.5-06's both having McGowen 8 twist barrels. My favorite powder is H1000 for 140's. I checkout fired cases to see if bullets can easily be slipped fit inside brass mouths. I routinely turn necks to .288, leaving neck walls ~ .012. I use real cheap brass, often bought once fired then annealed. Lapua .30-06, brass is an option and if I were to tackle important stuff I would use it. Most of my shooting is with 130 H ELDM's with RL 23 ~ 3100 fps. I also use 4000MR with great results in .243 W & .300 WM but temps may range between 20* to over 90* resulting in use of RL 23, H1000 (real scarce), or H4831SC.

140's - Skinny, heavy weight for caliber to launch.
Nowadays when you see powder that you need, get at least 2-3 lbs.
 

Walt Pence

New Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
3
Location
28515
What's your jump?
I set it up to hand feed with no mag. This allows me to load them all where they are right at the lands. So really almost none or less than .001". Every now and then, I can feel where I got them just a bit long when I close the bolt.
 

Quintus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
623
I have a CA Mesa in the 6.5 PRC and it is fantastic. Running 140 grain Accubonds at 3126 with zero pressure signs. Hornady brass and RL26 ES of 10 over 20 shots. It will shoot these and 130 Berger VLDH into about .7 MOA to 400 yards. I think I got really lucky. My "dual ejectors' needed work, they would not pop and eject the case without some polishing. And the bedding job was actually comical. Even with the factory stock it shot pretty well though. It definitely sounds like they gave you the tight neck chamber. Too bad CA can't get it together and turn out rifles without the unforced errors. It seems like it's always things that could have been caught and fixed before leaving the shop that always gives them fits and thus the bad rap and no trust.
 

Rexby4

Member
Joined
May 31, 2020
Messages
15
Location
Arizona
I have a CA Mesa in the 6.5 PRC and it is fantastic. Running 140 grain Accubonds at 3126 with zero pressure signs. Hornady brass and RL26 ES of 10 over 20 shots. It will shoot these and 130 Berger VLDH into about .7 MOA to 400 yards. I think I got really lucky. My "dual ejectors' needed work, they would not pop and eject the case without some polishing. And the bedding job was actually comical. Even with the factory stock it shot pretty well though. It definitely sounds like they gave you the tight neck chamber. Too bad CA can't get it together and turn out rifles without the unforced errors. It seems like it's always things that could have been caught and fixed before leaving the shop that always gives them fits and thus the bad rap and no trust.
You maybe the lucky one, I have the same rifle and got ejector swipe almost from the get go. I even get them from factory loads.
A few questions, what is your load for your 140 grain Accubonds?
Do you full length size your cases or just bump the shoulders back?
 

Australia

Active Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Messages
42
Location
Sydney Australia
Have had two colleges with Christensen rifles and both took them back to the dealer for a refund and both had different trouble - unfortunately paying a lot of money for a rifle doesn't always mean you get a good one
A lot of people on this site have said they have had trouble with Christensen as well as their customer service
 

Boneafide

Active Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
31
Location
Biloxi miss
I've got a Christensen in 6.5x284, 26" bbl. that I started working up hunting loads for. The problem is that I experienced very high pressures approaching max loads. Very tight bolts and extractor marks on cases. Those were still only at 2800-2900 fps. I've tried RL22, RL25 and 4831SC with both Berger 140 and 156 gr. Elite Hunter and Fed 215 primers. I spoke with Berger and they said that Christensen barrels and actions had very tight tolerances and most people had to adjust down to starting loads. The folks at Christensen are no help at all.

I've cut my loads and came up with the best accuracy being 47 gr. of 4831SC but now I'm only pushing 2575 FPS. My COAL is 3.275 which I think is about .035 off the lands. Question is, what can I do to get more velocity while staying away from the pressure issues? This rifle should easily shoot 3000 fps, but i can't get close. I'll be using this for LR elk and mule deer. Out to 800 yards.
I have the same rifle but I don't load myself. I shoot copper creek ammo. I use it for hunting up north but I love it. now that I got the right ammo. Good luck with it
 

Quintus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
623
You maybe the lucky one, I have the same rifle and got ejector swipe almost from the get go. I even get them from factory loads.
A few questions, what is your load for your 140 grain Accubonds?
Do you full length size your cases or just bump the shoulders back?
I am full length sizing. Running 57 grains of RL26 lit with WLR primers. I am at working mag length so I have a bit of a jump. I ran my initial ladder up to 57.5 grains and still had zero pressure signs but I had a wide node at 56.8 to 57.2 grains that easily met my 3,100fps goal. I have had this gun for a couple years now just about so maybe I got the un-worn reamer chamber. I did move this gun into an H-S Precision thumbhole in Granite and that made a huge difference. Not in the chamber obviously, but my groups went from .7-.9 to .3-.6. I tried through goat season last year to convince myself that the factory stock was ok, but in the end the shape, flex, and slick finish was more than I could manage. The CA rifles are a nice design, executed poorly. Even as well as this one shoots, for the money there are far better options.
 

Sleds

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
11
Location
BC Canada
I must be one of the lucky ones. I've got a CA Ridgeline in 7mm rem mag, using ADG brass, CCI 250 primers, Reloader 25 shooting 175 ELD-X's at 3050fps. No pressure signs.
 

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katakenm

Active Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
41
BTW.... I can find powder and primers just about every S. Central PA gun shop that sells reloading components. Even the "mystical unicorn" RL 26. Acri's in Mechanicsburg and Shyda's in Lebanon just to mention a few. Good luck!
 

Glenn Tullius

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
98
Location
LaCrescent, MN
I'm getting exactly 3000 fps out of my CA in 6.5 PRC, with a 143g Eld-x. 57 grains of H1000 powder not a hint of pressure with 1.25" groups at 200 yards. Book says I can go higher but I'm good with it right now! My CDS caps come tomorrow!
 

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