Working up a load for Tikka T3 6.5x55


June 25, 2013, 08:52 PM
I've been reloading for my Swedish Mausers for a few months and got the Tikka in this week. Zeroed the scope with factory PPU 139 gr FMJ and got a decent group, even with my shaky aim today. If the weather holds, I'm taking it out tomorrow with a more stable rest than a lumpy sandbag. This will be my deer rifle and I'd like to stretch it out to 200 yrds. Right now, I'm loading Hornady 140 gr Interlocks over 47.5 gr of Winchester 760. My LGS now has other powders in stock - saw RL-17 and -22 last time I was there. I'm getting ready to buy another 100 bullets, and am leaning toward the Hornady 140gr SSTs, but am open to other ideas. Shot a box of 20 in the Tikka today, so I have formed brass now. Everything I've read says the Tikka can handle higher pressures (or that the published charges are for milsurps).


ETA: Also, how do I go about determining the correct length to seat the bullet? I know there is the published data, but I've also read that the bullet should be seated so it is just touching the lands. Is this correct?

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June 25, 2013, 11:03 PM
I'm wondering where you got the 47.5gr Win760 load data that you mentioned, for a starting load? It seems a bit vigorous for a start load. Tikka's are good but not infallible. Win760 and H414 are the same powders, and data is the same. Look at and you'll see this.

Here's a link to full power data for the 6.5x55 Swede worked up in a CZ550, and should not be used in small ring Swede Mausers
You need to reduce the load at least 3% for start loads, according to the information given.

I seat my 6.5x55 bullets @ .020" off the lands, and each brand and weight will have different dimensions because of the shape of the bullet. Mark the bullet box or keep a log of this number for reference.
A lightly, partially sized neck on an empty case that allows movement of the bullet is used and after chambering, measure the oal of the test with calipers, and do this several times for an average. Subtract .020" and that is the oal for a completed round. You need to maintain at least a caliber, .264, of bullet in the case neck.
I hope I didn't confuse you.


June 25, 2013, 11:46 PM
Keep in mind, while your Swede is a great rifle, due to itís age, metallurgy, and design, it does not lend itself to hot rodding. Keep your loads for the Tikka well labeled, marked, and segregated.

If your looking to add a powder to your stable RL-17 would be a good choice. IMR or H 4831 and 4350 would all be appropriate. The 6.5x55 likes the slower powders. Shoot some heavier bullets and RL-22 would come into play.

June 26, 2013, 09:06 AM
Stick with Reloader22. Thats what most swear by. Personally I have success with H4831 in the 140 grain weights and switch to IMR 4831 for the 120 grain bullets.

Side note, I dont think your going to be able to seat your bullets into the lands unless your using vld's and even then I doubt they will be able to fit in your mag-

June 26, 2013, 10:06 AM
Oops, I meant 37.5 gr.

How do you tell if the bullet is touching the lands? The length I have them seated now gives me marks all around the bullet at the widest point.

Smitty, I think I understand what you are saying. Basically, take a fired case that has a neck big enough to allow the bullet to slide back in and chamber it. The act of chambering it will push the bullet back to a certain point. Subtract .020" from the resulting round and seat to that length. Sound about right?

June 26, 2013, 11:49 AM
Stick with Reloader22. Thats what most swear by.

+1. When I was shooting my 6.5x55 in 1,000 yard competition, I used RL22 and N160 exclusively for the 139-142gr bullets.


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