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Old August 13, 2008, 02:01 PM   #1
Wildalaska
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The Ultimate 6.5x55 Load Thread

Continuing in our saga to make this the ultimate firearms resource on the net, I ask all you 6.5x55 lovers to post your loads!

as to me: PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING ARE SAFE IN MY RIFLES, YOU NEED TO WORK UP IN YOURS.

1. For M96, 38, 41 and 94 Swedish Mausers....139 grain Lapua Scenar or 140 SMK, Lapua case, Fed 210M, 44 grains RL22, OAL 3.150 for 2575 fps out of a 26" barrel, 5 shot sub 1/2 inch groups

2. For Modern rifles (I shoot a Blaser) 139 grain Lapua Scenar, Lapua case, Fed 210M, 47 grains RL22, OAL 3.100 for 2750 out of a 26" barrel, 5 shot sub 1/2 inch groups

3. For Modern rifles: 108 grain Lapua Scenar, Norma case, Fed 210, 51 grains VN560, OAL 3.100 for 3010 fps out of a 26" barrel, best group .297 4 shots, still tweaking this one.


More to follow, later, as I review data

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Old August 13, 2008, 08:06 PM   #2
ligonierbill
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Are the Lapua bullets that much better? Or your rifle? I got 2,679 avg. with your Re22 load and Speer 140's out of a Model 70 Classic Featherweight. Good group (about 1"), but not as good as yours. 22" barrel accounts for slightly lower velocity. Also got a pretty good group <1" with 45.5 gr IMR 4350 and Speer 120's. About 2,800 avg. Both loads are a bit below the Speer Manual max.
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Old August 13, 2008, 08:32 PM   #3
Wildalaska
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Bill which load? 44 or 47gr?

The scenars are strictly a target bullet....I have some hunting loads I will post as soon as I get home and take off all of my clothes so I can eat soup

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PS I have had NO luck with 4350 in anyhting!
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Old August 13, 2008, 08:38 PM   #4
firewrench044
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Accuracy, target loads

6.5 X 55, M96 29" barrel and M41b 29" barrel (mil. surp. )( M96 holds 1" to
2" groups and the M41b ( scoped Sniper ) holds 1/2" to 1" groups at 200 yards )

142 gr Sierra MK
CCI # 34 primer
43.5 gr IMR 4350

Daughter's shorter barrel Swede (mil. surp. )( she gets 1" to 2" groups at 100 yards, when I worked up the load for her I was getting 1/2" groups at
100 yards )

142 gr Sierra MK
CCI # 34 primer
35.8 Hodgdon Varget
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Old August 13, 2008, 09:19 PM   #5
ligonierbill
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47 gr of Re22. I am loading more Hornady bullets lately in other calibers--like their SST. And yes, these are hunting loads, main target Pennsylvania deer.
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Old August 13, 2008, 09:24 PM   #6
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What, again? Oh, you backsliding heathen. I thought I had convinced you to give up that imperfect 6.5 and come to the perfect 7. 7X57, that is. Oh, Ken, you disappoint me.
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Old August 13, 2008, 11:55 PM   #7
Wildalaska
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What, again? Oh, you backsliding heathen. I thought I had convinced you to give up that imperfect 6.5 and come to the perfect 7. 7X57, that is. Oh, Ken, you disappoint me.
I cant I'm addicted

heres another one....modern rifles:

120 Grain NBT, Lapua case, 210 primer, OAL 3.10, 50gr N560 for 2800fps and 4 shots into 1/2 inch with one flyer knocking it out to 1.2", second group 4 shots into .6, flyer opens it to 1"

Whatever would I shoot with a 120NBT anyway

WildworkingontsxloadsAlaska TM



Anorher
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Old August 14, 2008, 09:54 PM   #8
ligonierbill
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Scorch, it's hard to garmouth any Mauserwerke round, and the fellow that used to write the rifle column for PA Game News thought 7mm was the perfect bore, but...well you just won't talk anyone out of the Swede.
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Old August 14, 2008, 10:45 PM   #9
2spurrs
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OK my using 6.5x55 loads
I'm using these to shoot at the wily coyote. They seem to be mild loads that work for me.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING ARE SAFE IN MY mod 38 RIFLE

47gr IMR 4350 120 sierra cci br primer
@100 yds 5 shots 1.35

42.5gr H4895 100gr horn rem primer 2.940 OAL
ave 3011 es=24 4 shots in .6” the 5th opened to 1.5"
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Old August 15, 2008, 09:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Whatever would I shoot with a 120NBT anyway
Nosler Ballistic Tip? I was thinking that a 120 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip would be about the perfect round for Pronghorn Antelope here in AZ. In fact, that's the main reason I bought my Swede. I haven't started handloading yet, but the load I was eyeballing in the manual is this one:

43 grains AA3100 (most accurate powder tested by lab techs)
120 grain Nosler Solid Base Ballistic Tip
Norma Case (I would be using Lapua)
Rem 9 1/2
2668 fps

They list the max load for that powder/bullet combination as being 47 grains of AA3100 for 2898 fps, but the above recipe was noted as being the most accurate load for this powder.

As I am just starting into handloading I'm planning to work up to the above recipe and then see how it shoots out of my gun. I was thinking about working up towards the max and watching what happens to my accuracy but I have read some posts here by you, WA, where you mentioned that the "swede spot" for accuracy seems to be amongst the milder loads so I'm going to keep that in mind and not go too crazy trying to get more power/velocity.

One other load I had been thinking about was something I could use for bobcat that wouldn't destroy too much of the fur, yet put it down with authority. I posted to the reloading section of the predator masters forum and asked an old trapper friend of mine and the consensus was almost uniformly to go with a heavier bullet (140 grain) in a soft point, theory being that it will pretty much zip right through and not leave too large an exit hole. Originally I was thinking of something like a light 100 grain ballistic tip over a mild and accurate charge, but someone said that might not stay in a bobcat and would leave a larger-than-desired exit hole. If anyone has any thoughts on this kind of load, I'd appreciate getting all the input I can. I kind of like the idea of the heavier ~140 grain so that I could use it for Cougar, Sheep and Black Bear as well.

I'll keep an eye on this thread for sure, thanks for starting it. I'm excited to start developing hunting loads for this rifle and experiencing the satisfaction of handloading.
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Last edited by azsixshooter; August 15, 2008 at 11:05 AM. Reason: Case-brand Correction
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Old August 15, 2008, 12:16 PM   #11
Wildalaska
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With respect to the Accurate Powder load, I have had a buddy play with those Powders and he doesnt like him. Perhaps the burning rate? Where does it sit on the scale? Swedey likes it sloooooooooooow....

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Old August 15, 2008, 09:54 PM   #12
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I haven't tried this load or powder, I was only pointing out that I am tentatively planning to see how it performs in my CZ 550 when I start loading.

I was looking for an Antelope round for my Swede and read many places that a 120 grain ballistic tip would be just about perfect. So I just looked in "The Complete Reloading Manual for the 6.5x55 Swedish" and found Hornady and Nosler both having ballistic tip offerings. I looked at the info for Nosler and found that of the powders they tested the AA3100 was their most accurate and, of the different charges of it they listed, the one I posted was notated as being the most accurate of the bunch. How reliable are those lab-suggested accuracy loads? I read somewhere that they don't actually fire for groups or anything, but that they analyze the internal ballistics of the load and that's how they figure them. I think it said that consistent internal ballistics go hand-in-hand with good accuracy and that you can't have one without the other so good internal ballistics indicate a potential for a high level of accuracy. Am I understanding that correctly?

I have never reloaded and haven't even bought a press or anything yet. I was going to today, but I thought I would buy another book instead and read some more before investing any money. I have read the "ABC's of Reloading" book a couple of times and I bought the "Nosler Reloading Manual 6" today. The RCBS kit I'm thinking of getting comes with the "Speer 14" and I'm going to try and pick up "Metallic Cartridge Reloading" as per the equipment basics sticky in this section of the forums. I think that should be a good little reference shelf to get started with.

Interestingly, in this edition of Nosler data for the 120 grain Solid Base Ballistic Tip (Brown) the charges are different than in "The Complete Reloading Manual for the 6.5x55mm Swedish". They are now indicating that 46.5 grains of the AA3100 is the most accurate of the bunch (at 2672 fps) and that the max is a compressed load (102%) of 50.5 grains (2974 fps).

I don't know what you guys have up there in AK that would be comparable in size to a pronghorn, but maybe a 120 Ballistic Tip would work well for those little Sitka deer. Aren't they relatively small?
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Old September 30, 2008, 07:07 PM   #13
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After some experimenting I have found a sub-MOA load with the 120 gr NBT's in my CZ 550 American.

I'm currently using Federal cases, Remington 9 1/2 primers and 47.5 grains of AA3100 to get 3 shot groups of .625" to .9" when bullets are seated to an OAL of 3.047". I think that load would be a fine Antelope load, but I feel I can do even better with the Swede!

I just bought a digital chrony today, 2 boxes of 130 grain Nosler Accubonds and 100 shiny new Lapua cases, per Mr. WildAlaska's ardent recommendations!

With the next two days off and the wonderful Ben Avery Shooting Facility a mere 15 minutes from my apartment I'm planning to see how close I can cozy up to .5 MOA with these Accubonds.

BC- .488
SD- .266
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Old September 30, 2008, 07:39 PM   #14
Wildalaska
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Here ya go...130 Accubond, Lapua case, Fed 210 Primer, 48 grains VN 560, 5 shots ..908 @100 , oal 3.100...

or want to get silly? 140 Lapua Naturalis (at about $1.25 a bullet) Lapua case, 46 VN 560, Fed 210, oal 3.00, 5 shots .877@100

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Old September 30, 2008, 08:58 PM   #15
azsixshooter
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Thanks!

Quote:
130 Accubond, Lapua case, Fed 210 Primer, 48 grains VN 560, 5 shots ..908 @100 , oal 3.100...
That one really sounds like a winner! I feel more confident working towards the max loads now that I have this chrony. I'm going to run up to Sportsman's Warehouse right now to try and get some of that powder and those primers.
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Old October 1, 2008, 12:54 AM   #16
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Im jealous guys i am looking for my swede now. Cant wait to hit the load development stage. How is the Blaser to shoot out of Wildalaska. I bet great. Are these hunting rifles or target.
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Old October 1, 2008, 01:22 AM   #17
Wildalaska
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How is the Blaser to shoot out of Wildalaska. I bet great. Are these hunting rifles or target..
I just love Blasers.....I shoot an LRS2, my bud has an R93, he is a light bullet freakzoid in the 6.5x55...I'll post a few of his sketchy as they are.....

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Old November 29, 2008, 01:21 AM   #18
azsixshooter
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I finally got a pound of that N560 and it sure is nice powder. The stick length is shorter and very consistent so it throws very smoothly out of my RCBS measure.

I did an Audette Ladder at 200 yards with neck-sized Lapua cases, CCI 210 primers and Nosler 130 grain Accubonds. I shot a range of N560 from 46.5 to 50.3 at 2/10ths of a grain increments. Sure enough, I got a 5 shot group of 1.437" (at 200 yards, so roughly .71 MOA) with loads from 47.5 to 48.3. So that puts the ballistic sweet spot of my CZ 550 American right around 48 grains of N560 as well.

The velocities I measured across those 5 loads were:

47.5 gr - 2715 fps
47.7 gr - 2749 fps
47.9 gr - 2754 fps
48.1 gr - 2754 fps
48.3 gr - 2766 fps

That powder is expensive, but it sure is nice.
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Old December 27, 2008, 09:40 PM   #19
Tuckerp229
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I am currently looking to buy dies for the 6.5x55 Swede. I currently own several dies from RCBS, Lee and Dillon for other calibers. For the first time I have decided to try to first research which dies offer the best characteristics so I can buy once rather than twice. Lee makes some big claims with there full length dies and "factory crimp" die, many seem to think the Hornady dies are nearly like competition dies and then there is the idea of just jumping into the intermediate to high end dies to obtain the micrometer setting and bullet seating alignment. I do not shoot competitively but have discovered that buying based on the cheapest price often yields disappointment and then extra expense to buy the better set and sell off the cheaper set as used.
What say you? Is all the product hype from each of the company's just sales pitch? Has any one had experience with the micrometer adjustable bullet seaters? Is the Lee bullet seater and or their factory crimper die the way to go?
Thanks in advance for your experienced advice.
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Old December 27, 2008, 10:13 PM   #20
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The only load I have for my 6.5x55 (Winchester Featherweight):

140gr Sierra Gameking over 36gr Varget in a Winchester case with a Winchester primer.

Kills deer and does better than an inch at 100yds.

Chris
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Old January 3, 2009, 01:30 AM   #21
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Great thread, thanks!

I just ordered a new rifle in 6.5x55 and figured that I'd work up some loads while I'm waiting for it to come in. I'm only going to be shooting 100 and 200 yard targets for a while, so does anyone have a good target load using the 123 grain Lapua Scenars or Sierra MatchKings?
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Old January 3, 2009, 03:27 AM   #22
Wildalaska
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Never played with either, sorry. Try N150 for the Scenars and 560 for the SMK, and I bet you could get away with 560 for the Scenar too.

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Old January 3, 2009, 09:19 AM   #23
skydiver3346
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6.5x55 (Wildalaska)

Hi Ken,
I know you like your Blaser and I just love mine in 6.5x55 Swede. Can you reload me some 139 grain bullets for deer hunting that will shoot well in my Blaser? Thanks, Rick

rick4347@bellsouth.net
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Old January 3, 2009, 10:47 AM   #24
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Quote:
WildwhatkindofrifleAlaska
Cooper Model 22 Classic - It will take a few months to come in, which is fine because I haven't done any metallic reloading in 20+ years. That will give me time to stock up on components and set up a reloading bench.
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Old January 3, 2009, 04:39 PM   #25
Wildalaska
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Quote:
Hi Ken,
I know you like your Blaser and I just love mine in 6.5x55 Swede. Can you reload me some 139 grain bullets for deer hunting that will shoot well in my Blaser? Thanks, Rick
Sorry I cant custom load for anybody. Try that 130 AB load posted earlier, start at 46 grains

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