6.5x55 Swede Loads

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Rob44, May 6, 2013.

  1. Safari Specialty Importers

    Safari Specialty Importers AH Member

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    Hi everyone, hope I'm on the right forum.
    I'm think of using my 6.5X55 Model 70 feather weight in Spain for Ibex,Mouflon sheep & Chamois. Hoping for some advice.

    Robert
  2. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Veteran

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    I have quite a bit of load test data for the 6.5X55 in my Tikka T3. If you want any just PM me
  3. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    The 6.5x55 works great for these animals.
    Do you plan to load your own ammo or to use factory ammo?
    If you plan to use factory ammo, I in general recommend ammo made by European ammo makers as most of the US 6.5x55 made ammo tend to be very anemic.
    The only good US factory load I know about for the 6.5x55 is the Hornady 140 gr SST Superformance.
  4. Safari Specialty Importers

    Safari Specialty Importers AH Member

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    Thank you for the info.
    Yes I reload, I use Berger 140 VLD and RL22 powder.
    My concern is how slow the bullet is.
    I was in Texas in 2012 hunting Aoudad with the 6.5X55.
    The shot was 380 yards and it took forever to hear the bullet hit the Aoudad. I checked the speed of the bullet at the muzzle which came in at
    a little over 2400 fps. The barrel is only 23" with a 1 in 9 twist from the factory. Will a longer barrel help ? I'm at max load now.....
    Robert
  5. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    2400 fps sounds a bit low, even with a 23" barrel.
    Normally you should be able to get between 2500 and 2550 fps with a 140 grains bullet and a 23" barrel.
    I have never used the Berger VLD bullet, so I don't know if it has a tendency to build high pressure quickly.
    Like how the old Barnes X bullets did.

    A longer barrel will help a bit of course.
    There has been done some testing with barrel length and fps when it comes to the 6.5x55 and in general you lose/gain around 25-35 fps per inch when it comes to barrel lengths between 16 and 28 inches.
    Depending on bullet weights and what sort of powders used.

    Here is a link to the Hornady factory ammo I talked about:
    http://www.hornady.com/store/6.5-x-55-Swedish-Mauser-140-GR-SST-Superformance/

    I don't think it will shoot as flat as your load, but it will hit faster :)

    When it comes to long range shooting I am more concerned about having high bc bullets than having lots of speed.
  6. Safari Specialty Importers

    Safari Specialty Importers AH Member

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    Thank you Norwegian wood, the berger 140 vld has a very high BC.
    I'm worried about the down rang speed and energy....

    Robert
  7. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Just curious how your accuracy is with the 9 twist barrel? I know berger recommends and 8 twist for their bullets and am very interested in how they are performing especially at lowers than optimal speed.

    John
  8. Safari Specialty Importers

    Safari Specialty Importers AH Member

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    Hi Johnny, not to accurate. I was doing better with factory loads....

    Robert
  9. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Accuracy is much more important than high bc.

    The 120 gr Barnes TTSX bullet might be a good option.
    But 350 yards might be the max distance for it to expand well in a 6.5x55.

    Another option is the 120gr Nosler Ballistic Tip that expands much easier, but I would not use it for anything larger than Ibex and Mouflon, and also on them, I would try to hit behind the shoulder with that bullet.
  10. Safari Specialty Importers

    Safari Specialty Importers AH Member

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    Good morning Norwegianwood,

    Thank you for your advice.
    My hunting trip to Spain for Ibex, Mouflon and Chamois is a hunt of a life time. I don't want to sell myself short on bullet weight. I like a heaver bullet. Will the 120gr perform at a 300 or 400 yard shot ? I know its all about shot placement, but with a lighter bullet I don't want it to run off and we need track it for a day or two. Please give me your idea.
    Robert
  11. Safari Specialty Importers

    Safari Specialty Importers AH Member

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    Good morning Divernhunter,
    I would love some of your reload recipes.
    I don't know how to PM you.
    Robert
  12. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    There is also noslers new 129 grain Accubond LR if high BC is your driving factor.

    For what it's worth I have found that in hunting situations a mid to light for calibre bullet with a moderate BC gives up very little in the form of energy at ranges out 500 plus meters in most loadings. In fact I have found that the flatter trajectory and reduced recoil typically makes for a better hunting round anyway.

    I ran an interesting test a while back where I fired the same style bullet in two weights at a steel pipe blank. The lighter faster bullets caused noticeably deeper and wider craters in the steel than the slow heavy ones. Take it for what it's worth steel isn't flesh and it was only one isolated test but it made a change in what I loaded for hunting.

    Cheers,

    John
  13. Safari Specialty Importers

    Safari Specialty Importers AH Member

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    Thank you John,
    It is food for thought........
  14. Safari Specialty Importers

    Safari Specialty Importers AH Member

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    Hi John,
    Just got off the phone with Nosler and the 129 lr is great for Ibex, Mouflon and Chamois. The thing with the 129lr is it likes slow burning power.....

    Thank you
    Robert
  15. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    That's great because RL22 is a slow burning powder. In fact I would venture that it is probably too slow for that particular cartridge and is the reason you are getting slower than expected velocity.

    John
  16. Safari Specialty Importers

    Safari Specialty Importers AH Member

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    John, the 1-9 twist is great for the 129LR.....
    No barrle change......
    What powder do you recommend.

    Robert
  17. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    My personal recommendations would be H4350 or 4831sc, RL17 or 19, Viht 550.

    4831sc is a little slow but it has always been an exceptionally consistent powder for me.

    Cheers,
  18. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    As said earlier, I don't recommend to shoot further than 350 yards with the Barnes TTSX in a 6.5x55 to be sure of proper bullet expansion.
    The impact speed at 350 yards should be close to 2000 fps and enough for proper expansion.
    Inside 350 yards it will do the job very well on your intended animals and it will not lose weight after the impact.

    Here you see the result of a 120 gr TTSX from my 6.5-06 hitting a deer with the impact speed of around 3150 fps and penetrating 8 inches of neck/spine, continue to cut some ribs and stop after a total of about 24 inches of penetration through hide, bones and muscles.

    P8180402_zpse4d7d1a5.jpg P8180407_zps06eb2c51.jpg

    I also like a heavy bullet sometimes, but I would not use it for very long shots in a 6.5x55.
    Specially not if you have problems to stabilize the high bc bullets well and don't get outstanding accuracy.
    One of my favorite bullets in 6.5x55 besides the 120 gr TTSX is the 155 gr Lapua Mega.
    It has the bc of 0.377 and is a high quality cup and core bullet that performs very well on animals.
    It is not the flattest shooting bullet, but personally I use it out to around 270 yards(250 meters) with great results.

    When it comes to the 120 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip, I prefer to use it on Roe deer and Chamois sized animals and smaller.
    I don't feel confident enough on how well the bullet will perform on shoulder hits on bigger animals.

    Personally I prefer Vihtavuori N160 and N560 when reloading for the 6.5x55.
    Sometimes I also use N165.
    Most of the times I use N160.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2014
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  19. Safari Specialty Importers

    Safari Specialty Importers AH Member

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    Thank you,
    I spoke to Nosler this afternoon about there new 129gr LR bullets ,which Nosler said it will work for Ibex, Mouflon sheep and Chamois. The best results is with slow burning powder.
    Robert
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