Which 6.5X55mm Reamer?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by .30US, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. .30US

    .30US Well-Known Member

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    I am planning to build a 6.5X55mm in the near future and have Lapua brass, 140gr. Barnes Match Burner bullets, a 1:8" barrel, and a 700 long action. I'm not sure which reamer to go with. I am leaning towards the Bob Jourdan Ackley Improved, and can find a few reamers listed as AI. However, I don't know enough to know what the throat should be for 140s since I don't want the SAAMI-spec throat for 160gr. military ammo. I emailed PTG a week or so ago, and haven't heard back, but I also saw half the reviews of their reamers at MidwayUSA say they only cut on one flute and one said it even broke off. JGS has quoted $200 for a reamer, but did not respond to my inquiries about throating, just that there would be an additional charge for custom grinding. I don't know whether their standard reamer will work, so I don't know if it will need custom grinding (scan of their reamer below). I emailed Manson Reamers this morning and am hoping for success. For half the price, I guess I could always take my chances with Manson's non-AI reamer that is in stock at Brownell's, I just really wanted to build my first AI and the 6.5 Swede seemed like a good one to do it with. Any guidance from those of you in the know as to which have proper throating for my intended use, would be appreciated. Thanks.

    JGS:
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    Clymer:
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  2. .30US

    .30US Well-Known Member

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    Heard back from Clymer:

    Unfortunately we do not make a 6.5x55 Ackley….and we are out of stock on center drills with no anticipated in stock date at this time.
     
  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    I send a dumby round 95% pf the time, but you probably don't have one for this Ackley. I'd suggest ordering the reamer with a "short" or "no throat" and order a "throating" reamer. That way the throat can be set properly for the bullet and setting depth you prefer. Trying to work strickley from "the numbers" is taking what someone else wanted,, not what you want. Have you checked with Dave Manson? PT&G isn't the only tool maker out there.
     
  4. .30US

    .30US Well-Known Member

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    I haven't heard back from Manson, yet, but I just emailed them today. I have two backup plans. Brownell's has both Clymer and Manson 6.5X55mm SAAMI reamers in stock, as well as 6.5-06 AI from Manson. For my class, I'm supposed to show up with a roughing reamer with no throat and a finishing reamer with a throat.
     
  5. Edd

    Edd Well-Known Member

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    Search for 6.5x55 BJAI.
     
  6. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    A roughing reamer!? Your "class" must be sponsered by one of the tool makers! I know of no 'custom gunsmith" that uses a roughing reamer. And, I'll ad, screw the e-mails, pick up the phone and make a call. You'll get to someone who can really help you that way when you're searching/reseaching tools.
     
  7. .30US

    .30US Well-Known Member

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    The instructor is a benchrest gunsmith. He specifies the tools, we just have to show up with them. I'm still in Afghanistan, so email is pretty easy when the weather cooperates, but a phone is not so easy, right now.
     
  8. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    Its difficult to get answers in a timely manner by e-mail. Most are swamped with questions. I know Hart Bbls. has put in some OT to try to keep delivery dates a bit more reasonable, but I don't know about some of the others. It's hard to hire someone to help respond to e-mails. #1 they have to know what they're talking about. And, #2 , it drives up costs . With 38+ years of machining experience and a degree from an accredited two year gunsmithing school I'd have real trouble with the roughing reamer thing, benchrester or not. I was taught a roughing reamer is usefull for production work only. Tooling is expensive enough, let alone something that's not needed to do a first class job. Everyone's got an idea, though! I'd be much more inclined to take a NRA Summer Gunsmithing seminar at one of the accredited schools, after I got back.
     
  9. .30US

    .30US Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the advice. It is an NRA Short-Term Gunsmithing Course. I don't figure it is my place to second guess the instructor or sharpshoot with ideas I have learned other places or read on the internet. My job is to show up with the tools he intends to teach and learn his way. How I do it afterwards is up to me, but I won't disrupt other students' experience questioning the whys and hows of a professional trying to teach a class.

    Ultimate Bolt Action Rifle Accuracy – James Messer
    NRA Toollist
     
  10. .30US

    .30US Well-Known Member

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    Every company I've contacted but PTG has been very responsive and helpful through email. I'm still hoping to hear back from PTG, because I've heard great things about Dave Kiff's knowledge; their contact form on their site just might not be working. Manson's reamer drawing is below. The only differences I see are a .300" vs .298" or .297" neck and a base of .480" (matches with my Lapua brass) vs .478". I don't know if it's worth having the neck turned down, .297" is what some on the benchrest forum recommended as maximum not needing neck turning. I've also read that Redding dies are based off of Manson reamers, so I would think the combination would be fine. Correct? Shortgrass, I hope you have some expert knowledge you can impart on this based on your experience.

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  11. .30US

    .30US Well-Known Member

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    The nice folks at Manson took care of me. I knew it was a good sign when the saleswoman responded with, "Oh yeah, I've known Bob Jourdan for 25 years!" I did take shortgrass's advice and went with the alternative item on the list of a center piloted drill rather than the roughing reamer. I'm guessing I'll cut more 6.5/.264s than I would just 6.5X55mm AIs, if I'm lucky.

    Well, if no other benefit to the community, I've put up as many 6.5 Swede AI reamer prints in one place as I could!
     
  12. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    Much depends on the intended use of the rifle. "Benchrest" is a very controlled set of circumstances. The shooting bench, of course, rests you wouldn't want to carry any further than from the pick-up to the bench, rifles weighing more than anyone but Hercules would want to carry very far that wears a scope of high magnification that wouldn't be usable from any position than that at a shooting bench. I get to build a bench gun or two in a years time, but I build a bunch of varmint rifles and several big game rifles every year. I want that varmint rifle to feed (coyotes travel in pairs much of the time, I want that second dog), so I generally don't go with much more than .0025-.0003" neck clearance. If you're single loading at a bench you can go tighter. .479-.480"" is correct head size for the parent brass. The bench guys almost always compete with fire formed brass, so with proper re-sizing, the numbers become not quit as important (think within reason, here). I hear lots of talk about the combination rifle ( I want to hunt elk, shoot varmints @ 750yds. and win the local benchrest match and maybe go the nationals). A rifle that'll do all that will be a compromise. The 'game' you choose should determine what configuration you build your rifle in. Also, keep in mind that those tool makers need a tolerance to work within (most take .0005" on diameters). Now you need to take into account the brass. No matter how 'good' there will be variations. It should be appearent why I prefer to send a dumby round. Nothing is "perfect". Like I've read another post, "there are just lesser degrees of f*%@-up. Dave Mansons' crew does good work. Probably 95% of the 65 or so reamers I own came from his shop. If you manange to get "too custom" you will need to make or have made 'custom' dies. Otherwise, Redding seem to work well. Have fun at your class. (the above doesn't even address stocking. it has as much importance as the metal work)
     
  13. .30US

    .30US Well-Known Member

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    I'm building a mid-weight hunting and plinking rifle for shooting off a bipod or improvised rest. I'll shoot a few deer, mostly hogs, and, maybe, an antelope or black bear, if I'm lucky. I'd like to play in the occasional F-Class match just to stay in practice, but I'm not going to modify my build for competition, since I'll probably shoot more rocks and steel at that distance than scored paper. I really planned to build a .308 for the class, but when I found a 700 long action at a real bargain and couldn't sell off a fluted Palma contour .264" 1:8 barrel I've had sitting for a few years, I decided to build on it. I would rather have something a bit lighter for this build, but this barrel is long since paid for and needs a home. I'll be shooting factory ammo at the end of class to evaluate how I did on the build, but at least I'll walk away with some fire-formed brass. I ordered Redding dies a little while ago. As for a stock, I am trying a B&C Medalist M40. If it works, then I'm set and it was a reasonable price. If not, then I know, and I'll go back to one of my old standby makers, or finally try a Manners that I've had my eye on. Thanks, again, for the help.