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Old October 25, 2007, 09:58 PM   #1
Smokey Joe
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Barnes TSX's and the 6.5x55...

Don't seem to mix well at all in my Bubba-ized Swede Mauser. (No comments on the Bubba-izing, please--it was that way when I got it.)

Want to take the Swede deer hunting this fall, so have been trying to work up a load it likes. Began by thoroughly cleaning the bbl. With a smaller diameter bullet than, say, a .30-'06, I decided to go with a high-grade bullet, and so went for a box of Barnes TSX's. Hmm, they don't come in 140 grain size in 6.5mm (supposedly the Swede's favorite bullet size) but they do come in a 130 grainer.

Took some doing to find a load for this--I wanted to use IMR 4350 as a propellant, as I have it and it works very well with everything else from .243 Win up to my '06. E-mailedBarnes. They are "developing the data" for their TSX's, they tell me, and can't advise on the 130 grainer in the Swede. But they'll be happy to sell me a copy of their new reloading manual--WHEN it is ready early next year.

The Complete Reloading Manual for the 6.5x55 Swedish gives Barnes' loads for their other 130 grain bullets, so I went with that. Made up a series from the lightest charge listed to the heaviest, in 0.5 grain increments. (I normally do that when working up a load. Then when I find the load with the most promise in the 0.5 grain series, I make up a series in 0.1 grain increments, bracketing that most promising load.)

Anyhow, took 'em out to the range and shot 'em up, and found that the Swede's stock was touching the bbl, so as to interfere with vibration. Scratch that whole try.

Loaded up the same series again, and relieved the bbl on the Swede, and took rifle and ammo to the range today. Shot up 1/2 the series and quit in disgust. Whoopie, the best I could get was about a 4" group @ 100 yd. Trust me, I'm a better shot than that, especially on a bench, using a Wichita rest.

Now just for the heck of it, I'd also done up a similar series using 140 grain Sierra Game Kings. Different powder amounts, of course, since a heavier bullet, but in the same 0.5 grain steps. Shot half of that series today too. (Darkness interfered with the completion of the series.) Used the loads in Lyman's 48th edition for a 140 grain bullet. First load in the series, said by Lyman to be hitting an astounding 2100 fps, got me a 1 1/2" group. The other loads I shot from this series were worse, but most were tighter than the groups with the Barnes bullets.

One difference between the two series besides the bullets was that the Barnes series cases had been shot out of this rifle previous, and been neck-sized. The cases for the Sierra series were brand-new cases. In theory, that should aid the Barnes bullets in grouping better than the Sierras, but alas, I live in the real world, not in Theory.

Anyhow, I'm puzzled by what I've observed so far. Do Swedes not like Barnes bullets generally? Is there a hunting bullet they DO like? Is the phase of the moon wrong or just WHAT????

I'd like a tighter group than 1 1/2". I'd like a little more velocity, but accuracy is more important. Any helpful observations or suggestions would certainly be welcome!
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Old October 29, 2007, 09:17 PM   #2
Smokey Joe
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Bump.

Subxequently shot the rest of the series of loads w/SGKs. Got another couple of 1 1/2"groups, nothing to write home about. It's accuracy that could be lived with for hunting, but Dang It All, I Want Better!!!
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Last edited by Smokey Joe; October 29, 2007 at 09:22 PM. Reason: The usual--had another thought.
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Old November 4, 2007, 08:40 AM   #3
paknheat
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I too have a bubbaized 6.5 swed, and it too has proven to be a challenge in finding that magic load. After MANY trial and error sessions , i think i have found a load it likes. My rifle has a 18" barrell, so none of the conventional swed load recipes worked, and accuracy was non-existing (4-6" groupings).I then tried a load that consisted of the Hornady 129gn SST 40 gn of IMR4895 and a Win Lg Rifle primer. This provided a 3 shot group of 1/2 inch.
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Old November 4, 2007, 11:11 AM   #4
VaFisher
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I just did the same with the Swede but used Hornady 140gr. SST bullets with 4064 powder. Had some very good results first time out with this load and refined it a bit the second time out. I am going to refine it better but for now 36gr. 4064 and 140gr. SST are giving me 3/4" groups at 100 yards. As far as the SST bullet for hunting I has had great results in 30 caliper and feel they should preform fine in the 6.5 cal.
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Old November 4, 2007, 12:02 PM   #5
Wildalaska
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Finicky aint they?

Best I have done with Barnes is.875 5 shots in an unusable load (jammed into the lands) out of a custom 6.5

All part of the fun

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Old November 4, 2007, 12:35 PM   #6
ligonierbill
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My Model 70 groups well with Speer Hot Cor 120 gr over 45.5 gr IMR 4350 at about 2800 fps. That is not the max load, but should do fine on deer. However, I'm going to 140 gr bullets and Reloader 22. Haven't shot for group yet, but I get an average of 2679 fps with only 7.4 STD. Speer recommends backing off a grain or two for older Mausers.
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Old November 6, 2007, 11:25 PM   #7
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Barnes TSX's suck out of my 25-06 as well... Haven't shot any in my 6.5 Lapua, but having seen how terribly they shoot (2"+ out of a rifle that cloverleaf's Hornady 117SPBT's) in my 25, they'll never see the bore of anything else I shoot!
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Old November 7, 2007, 05:52 PM   #8
arizona hunter
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What is your OAL? I have had very good results at 2.995-3.00. But at 2.90 the accuracy was not good.

I have a 1942 Husqvarna 6.5 x 55. Just two weeks ago I shot Barnes 120 gr. blue XLC's (these are NLA). The powder was 49.0 gr. of RL 19 (2750 fps) and got a 1.0" group.

Also, with the Hornady 129 SST and 44.0 gr. of H4350 (2750 fps), it shoots to the same POI as that Barnes but into 3/4".
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Old November 7, 2007, 07:08 PM   #9
Smokey Joe
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Hmmmph!

It's beginning to look as if TSX's aren't the way to go at all! I want to use something other than a lead-pointed bullet, and get better-than-good accuracy, and be deadly on deer.

Anybody for 140 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips for the Swede? How about Accubonds?

(My other Mauser, an M-48 8x57mm, just loves the 200 grain Accubonds. Yes, a bit much for deer, I realize, but I want just one load in 8mm that's useful for both deer and feral hogs.)
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Old November 7, 2007, 07:23 PM   #10
Wildalaska
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I have accubonds but havent started to work with them...plus the ranges close in december, so I have to concentrate on my Coyote loads (108 Scenars)

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Old November 12, 2007, 12:56 PM   #11
Smokey Joe
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Another frustration...

Apparently Nosler doesn't make a 140 grain Ballistic Tip in 6.5mm. Dang!!

So I bought a couple boxes of 120 grain NBT's to try, failing the 140's. Have had XLNT accuracy with NBT's in other rifles. But will the 6.5mm 120 grain NBT's do in a whitetail with dispatch? I DO like that plastic, non-deforming bullet tip!
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Last edited by Smokey Joe; November 12, 2007 at 12:57 PM. Reason: The usual--had another thought.
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