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Who's got loads for the 6.5x55?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by riddleofsteel, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel Well-Known Member

    I have been doing some loading for a Remington Classic in 6.5x55. The 6.5x55 is one of those older cartridges that is held back in the 1896 Mauser but can really shine in a modern rifle like the Remington 700 or Winchester 70. I really enjoy loading for a rifle where you have enough room in the magazine to seat bullets out as far as you need to allow the bullet to almost kiss the lands when chambered. One of my pet peeves about short actions is that the dern magazines are so short. The German engineers that designed the 6.5x55 used the same concept as the 8mm Mauser cartridge in that they use almost 100% of the case capacity only seating the bullet enough to hold it in place.
    For loads I have been using Remington cases, Benchrest primers, and the excellent Hornady 129 grain SP. So far IMR 4350, H 4831, and Reloader 22 all seem to be in the runing as top velocity and accuracy.
    I have several pounds of IMR 4350 on hand. However I use H 4831 for my 25-06 loading and for the 6.5-.284 so I have it around also. My supply of Reloader 22 is limited to part of an old can left from some other long forgotten project.
    Do some of you have pet loads for the 6.5X55 in a modern rifle you would like to share?
  2. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

    I have a load that dulicates mil spec, but its mild

  3. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    Is there something stronger in the Rem700 than the 96 Mauser?
    I own both guns, and I can't see anything.
    The Swedes chamber the '96 in .270 and sell it.
    The 270 is 65 kpsi, proof loads at 84.5 to 91 kpsi.
  4. niemand

    niemand member

    "M-96" (And Simular) Actions given Stateside "Military Action-Beware" status. Most of this "Rumour/Urban Legend" material.

    Northern Arms in particular quite nice, constituant material "Meteoric-Iron", low-impurities.
  5. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Well-Known Member

    In my Winchester Featherweight, I use 47gr of RL22 under a Sierra 140gr Gameking. I was getting 3 shot half moa groups for a while, but lately, I've been shooting .75" to 1.5". I think it's me because I didn't do any rifle shooting for quite a while and made no changes to the gun.

    Using the same bullet and same cases, a slight overcharge of IMR 4350 got me to about 1".

  6. JNewell

    JNewell Well-Known Member

    I think I'd be more concerned with gas handling than with physical strength when shooting a 96 Mauser. I don't think a rifle in good condition is any more likely to let go than other (in some cases more) modern actions, but if something happens, the results in the Swede may be worse.
  7. niemand

    niemand member

    I think I'd be more concerned with gas handling than with physical strength when shooting a 96 Mauser. I don't think a rifle in good condition is any more likely to let go than other (in some cases more) modern actions, but if something happens, the results in the Swede may be worse.

    Should be utter "Non-Issue" with potential exception of "Clark". :)
  8. Jaywalker

    Jaywalker Well-Known Member

    I suspect the variation you see is based upon the change in ambient temperatures - RL22 is reputed to be very sensitive to temperature changes. It's the main reason I'm changing to Hodgdon Extreme. Do you want to buy an unopened can of RL22?

    Trying someone else's pet load has never worked very well for me. (1) As per the above discussion, I'm moving to a more temperature-insensitive powder than RL22. (2) I've also read some gunwriters who believe double-based powder is somewhat less consistent than single-based. I'm trying two of Hodgdon's Extreme line, H4831SC and Varget, both single-based, but H4350 might be in my future, too. (3) I think even more than a grain or two of powder, seating depth of the bullet has much to do with group size, and the tools to measure this aren't common. This isn't much help - sorry.

  9. JNewell

    JNewell Well-Known Member

    Oh, shudder!!! :what:
  10. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Well-Known Member

    Nope. I have enough already and don't want more if it's not going to be my solution. I wish it was though. When the temps are favorable for it, I get great groups.

    I have some H4350, but didn't get good results with it. I may revisit it though. If Varget isn't too pricey at the Leesburg show this weekend, I may buy a pound of it as well.

  11. Jaywalker

    Jaywalker Well-Known Member

    Didn't know about the Leesburg show - where and when? I paid $19-something for Varget at the Ffx Gun Club.

  12. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Well-Known Member

  13. TNrifleman

    TNrifleman Member

    I have a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in 6.5X55. I really like this rifle for hunting whitetail deer. You might try Reloder 19 powder. I have used it over Nosler 140 grain Partitions with good results. I especially like it with 125 grain Partitions. Pure poison on whitetails. The Nosler #5 manual has good data on the Swede.
  14. Jaywalker

    Jaywalker Well-Known Member

    Not on the original topic, but that gunshow at Leesburg, Virginia, was the worst show I've ever attended. It could have been entitled "6 Men and a Table."

  15. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Well-Known Member

    I agree. Sad, sad show.

    I did pick up a pound of Varget at Loudoun Guns though. Loaded up a few rounds with it, IMR 4350, H4350, and another batch using a touch more RL22 than last time.

    I'll take those to the NRA range and work further with the two best loads from that session.

    I read something depressing in Layne Simpsons book on big game rifles. In the chapter on barrels, he mentions that the featherweight barrels (those around .5" muzzle diameter) generally don't do much better than MOA on a consistent basis. I'm finding that to be true with my gun. I can get my gun to group around half MOA, but not on a consistent basis. I'm normally in the .8" to 1.25" range.

  16. NavajoNPaleFace

    NavajoNPaleFace Well-Known Member

    My one M96 likes a 140 grain Sierra HP BT Match bullet pushed with 37 grain of Hodgdon H414 powder with Winchester primers and OAL set at 3.050 " (+/- .005").

    The other is partial for the 140 grain Speer Spitzer SP pushed with 38.5 grain of H414 powder, still using Winchester primers but with an OAL of this one of 3.025" (+/- .005").

    I've used a mixture of Winchester and Remington new brass but I can't see any noticable difference in the brass.

    disclaimer: use of any one else's loading data can be dangerous. Use data only in guns designed for such loads and in firearms that have been inspected and tested for safety.

    Although I never post loads that are 'hot' or not within the limits of published data I will not assure safety and sucess in others' firearms and my load data is to be used only as a guideline for developing your own loads.

    Use of my load data is used at your own risk and I assume no liabilities.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2004
  17. schromf

    schromf Well-Known Member

    I have a new CZ in the 6.5x55 and it starts stringing when its hot. I have shot some .75 groups the secret is slow between the shoots and don't let the barrel heat up. take about 15-20 minutes to shoot a group and try it.

    Check yours out the next time your at the range, your first shot is right on, the second real close, then the third starts opening up. The next two start vertical stringing. What I end up with the first two touching, the third opened up a little and the last two opening up the group nasty. The Hornandy light mags seem to make this worse, and I notice the barrel heating up quicker with these than the other (slower) ammo I have tried.

    Pretty much all of the new factory hunting rifles have too light of a barrel contour for my liking, a #4-5 would be better, but it adds wieght so I guess that isn't going to happen. Its real common for the new guns to shoot reasonable groups of three shoots, but 5 shot groups are yuck. 3 shot wonders is the term I think.

    I also concede that for hunting you aren't going to using any more than 1-2 shots anyway, its not like shooting from the bench where your shooting a lot more.
  18. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Well-Known Member

    I generally shoot two or three 3 shot groups and let it cool for a good 15 to 30 minutes depending on the ambient temperature and if I have other things to do. I don't get any stringing and my first shot on a cold, clean barrel is always exactly where I want it. Even when the groups are larger than ideal, they're nicely spaced and even.

    Your CZ's barrel is likely heavier than my Featherweight's barrel. I'm shooting through a limp noodle. :)

  19. schromf

    schromf Well-Known Member

    So when your groups are opening up there is no pattern? Mine is consistant vertical to the right on the last three shots, but it will be the last two that blow the group.

    If yours is doing groups that open it up on all points of the clock I bet skim bedding will tighten that up. Mine I know its the light barrel contour and nothing short of a new barrel is likely to correct it.
  20. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Well-Known Member

    I think you have it backwards. My large groups are larger versions of the tight groups I strive for. I have already skim bedded the rifle. That took care of the stringing I was experiencing (stringing is caused by pressure points pushing against the action or barrel during heating).

    I generally get three shots into a triangle shaped group. My definition of stringing is multiple shots arranged in a straight line, either horizontal or vertical.


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