6.5x55 Swede and Berger bullets


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MovedWest
October 1, 2012, 03:09 PM
I've been reloading for 44 spl/mag for years, but I'm taking my first step in reloading for rifle. I've chosen the 6.5 Swede. Based on thorough research, reviews, and scouring my loading manuals, here's what I'm ballparking my first loads as:

Lapua brass
Berger 140gr hunting VLD (BC 0.612)
Alliant Reloader 22 (44.0-48.0gr)
Winchester WLR primer
OAL = 3.000~3.100"

Wondering if anyone has used these components and what their results were? Also looking for tweeks or suggestions to the information listed. TIA.

-MovedWest

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MrBorland
October 1, 2012, 04:06 PM
I tried some of those VLDs in my CZ550. The accuracy from my CZ550 was so-so, but keep in mind I didn't do much load development. It's a pretty long bullet, and my CZ's twist is a relatively slow 1:9, so I kinda figured I'd need a faster 1:8 twist for best results.

A lot of 6.5Swede handloaders really like RL-22. I'm new to the 6.5 Swede myself, but have no complaints about it so far.

MovedWest
October 1, 2012, 04:27 PM
Thanks MrBorland. That reminds me of one thing I left out. This is also for a CZ550 instead of one of the older Mausers. From what I understand those are different animals.

-MW

NCsmitty
October 1, 2012, 09:36 PM
The Berger 140gr Hunting VLD is a long bullet, and does require a 1in8" or faster twist to stabilize at 6.5x55 velocities.
My recommendation is to consider the Berger 130gr Hunting VLD which has a .522 BC and requires a 1in9" or faster twist to try, if you wish to stick with that brand. You might also consider one of the Hornady A-Max to try.

Here's a site with samples to try without buying a whole box.

http://www.bulletsamples.com/Stock.html


NCsmitty

MovedWest
October 2, 2012, 12:40 AM
NCsmitty, you bring up something that never even crossed my mind: stabilizing the bullet. This is a great lesson for me getting into reloading rifle rounds since my next step is the 7mm Rem Mag.

The Hornady A-Max only seem to be available in 123gr. I'm worried that might not be heavy enough to have stopping power for medium game at 300yds. I'm open to options, but would hate to not have a clean kill at longer ranges. I'd like to check them out though.

-MW

MrBorland
October 2, 2012, 07:35 PM
NCsmitty, you bring up something that never even crossed my mind: stabilizing the bullet.

And it never even crossed my mind that bullet stability didn't cross your mind when I mentioned the CZ's 1:9 twist with a long bullet. :rolleyes:

Thanks for the link, NCSmitty.

Coltdriver
October 2, 2012, 09:25 PM
I loaded Berger VLD's for my CZ 550. Had the same experience as others.

Plus if you go to the Berger site they encourage you to get the bullet on the lands.

My 550 chamber had a throat so long that getting to the lands with a 140 or 130 was not possible.

So I had a chamber reamer made and I shortened the chamber up for 130 to 140 grain bullets. The 1 in 9 worked best with the 130s that would go sub 1 moa at 100 yards with the new chamber. I used RL 22 also.

Had a Swede M38 that loved 43 grains of RL22 under about any 140 grain bullet. Got that load from FloatPilot on this board.

GJgo
October 3, 2012, 12:09 AM
I think you're going to have a real hard time getting near the lands in a Swede with any secant ogive bullet. Also Bergers can be difficult to load well- if you're just starting out I recommend beginning with a good tangent ogive bullet that will stabilize in your 9 twist. You'll get better results & less frustration as you figure things out.

The Amax also comes in 140gr. I killed a deer with one out of my Swede last fall at 420 yds, one shot. While it is still secant ogive, it's much more forgiving than Bergers. As with the NBTs it's actually more effective at longer range than shorter because it's soft. That said, my go-to load has become the 120gr TTSX in front of H1000. Very accurate, very effective.

627PCFan
October 3, 2012, 09:41 AM
I did some load development on my savage 110 with a 6.5x55 barrel from ER Shaw several years ago. It was a 26" tube and with RL22 and 140 grain Bergers I only got 2575FPS ave. velocity. I also tried H1000 that got around 2500fps. I settled on IMR4831 at 2750FPS and it was .75 moa'ish but it beat the hell out of the brass and in the end i ditched the barrel altogether.

Coltdriver
October 3, 2012, 06:42 PM
The Bergers are easily the longest bullet for the weight I have ever seen.

They are definitely like long very aerodynamic missles.

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