6.5x55 - 140 Grain Reload Velocity?

lcq

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Try weighing different manufacturers brass. Generally the lightest has the highest case capacity. I have found that to be winchester. You can usually safely stuff a little more powder in a winchester case.
 

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I talked to a guy in SA who has a youtube channel, and he and his buddy shoot 260 Rem. He swears he's getting 3K fps with 130 gr Berger VLD hunters with no signs of over-pressure. The 6.5 tapers more (wider at base, narrower at the bottom of the shoulder) than a 308 Win case, but it is 4 mm longer. If he's really getting 3K fps (Tikka T3 Varmint), I wonder if he really knows what signs of over-pressure actually look like.

These guys have some interesting loads for 6.5x55SE: http://www.realguns.com/loads/655mmswede.htm. Their published velocities don't quite jive with IRL experience of another guy on this board (I'll let him announce if he wants).

I worked some 143 gr ELD-X/IMR-4831 loads up, to a little past hornady's published max, and shot them yesterday (Tikka T3 hunter). Been sort of busy since I got home from the range yesterday, but I'll put my calipers to the over-boosted brass and check the deltas between factory hornady brass and the other within-normal-limits loads I worked on. I'll let you guys know, but I don't expect to see anything unusual. Extraction certainly felt like the other brass, and there was no primer deformation or any other obvious indicators of over-pressure.
 

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I talked to a guy in SA who has a youtube channel, and he and his buddy shoot 260 Rem. He swears he's getting 3K fps with 130 gr Berger VLD hunters with no signs of over-pressure. The 6.5 tapers more (wider at base, narrower at the bottom of the shoulder) than a 308 Win case, but it is 4 mm longer. If he's really getting 3K fps (Tikka T3 Varmint), I wonder if he really knows what signs of over-pressure actually look like.

These guys have some interesting loads for 6.5x55SE: http://www.realguns.com/loads/655mmswede.htm. Their published velocities don't quite jive with IRL experience of another guy on this board (I'll let him announce if he wants).

I worked some 143 gr ELD-X/IMR-4831 loads up, to a little past hornady's published max, and shot them yesterday (Tikka T3 hunter). Been sort of busy since I got home from the range yesterday, but I'll put my calipers to the over-boosted brass and check the deltas between factory hornady brass and the other within-normal-limits loads I worked on. I'll let you guys know, but I don't expect to see anything unusual. Extraction certainly felt like the other brass, and there was no primer deformation or any other obvious indicators of over-pressure.

I am actually surprised how many people completely MISS pressure signs. The other end of that pendulum are the folks that think that a flat primer is always a sign of high pressure. The fact of the matter is, with good brass and a proper chamber, sometimes pressure signs don't show up until you are well past 80,000 psi. Good annealed cartridge brass (No new cartridge base is annealed and is left work hardened to some extent) doesn't even start to deform until around 70,000psi, and that number goes up dependent on how many times it's been loaded. A work hardened brass may not deform until 90,000. Thats why I always advocate being sensible. If you're the ONLY person who "knows" how to get a rifle to some obscene velocity, and you are neither a ballistics engineer or have access to a strain gauge, you are probably playing with fire. I get a little miffed by the guys who continually claim that their marlin guide gun can get 2000fps with a 500 grain solid from an 18.5" barrel. Nothing like a lever action proofed to 45,000psi to ask Mr. Murphy to show up sometime. Same thing with some of these bozos happen to know how to use a keyboard and have a powder scale and a reloading press.
 

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I am actually surprised how many people completely MISS pressure signs. The other end of that pendulum are the folks that think that a flat primer is always a sign of high pressure. The fact of the matter is, with good brass and a proper chamber, sometimes pressure signs don't show up until you are well past 80,000 psi. Good annealed cartridge brass (No new cartridge base is annealed and is left work hardened to some extent) doesn't even start to deform until around 70,000psi, and that number goes up dependent on how many times it's been loaded. A work hardened brass may not deform until 90,000. Thats why I always advocate being sensible. If you're the ONLY person who "knows" how to get a rifle to some obscene velocity, and you are neither a ballistics engineer or have access to a strain gauge, you are probably playing with fire. I get a little miffed by the guys who continually claim that their marlin guide gun can get 2000fps with a 500 grain solid from an 18.5" barrel. Nothing like a lever action proofed to 45,000psi to ask Mr. Murphy to show up sometime. Same thing with some of these bozos happen to know how to use a keyboard and have a powder scale and a reloading press.
All I know to look for is what the Hornady and Barnes reloading manuals say to look for (plus what Google says ;) ), so for my other rifles, I don't put my toe over the line even a little bit. But given that what's published for 6.5x55 seems to be 90% for the old Mausers and Krag-Jorgensens, I figured I'd experiment a bit. Given that the published pressure max for Tikka T3 chambered in 6.5 CM and 260 Rem is in the 58-60K territory, I figured I'd push my loads a little bit at a time until I got to 2750 fps territory with the ELD-X 143.
 

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Hi All,

So I have a Ruger M77 in 6.5x55 that I have been reloading for for some time. It is my one of my favorite rifles and I will never get rid of it. Great old classic caliber.

I have shot it quite a bit but even using really slow powders like RL22, I can't seem to get a 140 grain bullet over 2550fps without getting ejector slot marks in the base of my brass. Yet I see people online constantly stating that they are "easily" getting 2,800-2,900fps from a 24" barrel. I feel like they have no idea what pressure signs look like, their chronograph is wrong or they are downright making it up unless they know something I don't know. Now granted, I am shooting from a 22" barrel but that won't account for 300-400 fps. It may not be possible in a standard length barrel and these people either have an original military rifle with a 28" barrel or are running the ragged edge of pressure or both.

Keep in mind that I also am not going to beat the heck out of my gun to get that kind of speed. If it isn't possible then I guess I will have to stick with the best I can get. I would just like it to shoot a little flatter and have a little better expansion probability at 250-300 yards.

I also will not try "worked up" loads. I only start with data published by a reputable source that is pressure tested. I want to be able to hand my rifles down to my kids and shooting unknowns is not the best way to make a rifle last.

Any insight would be appreciated.

The question is whether they are using140 gn

I suggest not or they are simply guessing
 

ChrisG

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The question is whether they are using140 gn

I suggest not or they are simply guessing
Well a majority CLAIM they are using 140 grain bullets. It is definitely possible to go a little faster with boat tail bullets as the reduction in bearing surface reduces pressure a bit and allows a little more powder. I don't see 2900 being possible without a 30" barrel. The original M96 had a 29" barrel, more for use with a bayonet as a pike against cavalry, but it certainly gave that 156 grain round nose a decent boost.
 

lcq

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Well a majority CLAIM they are using 140 grain bullets. It is definitely possible to go a little faster with boat tail bullets as the reduction in bearing surface reduces pressure a bit and allows a little more powder. I don't see 2900 being possible without a 30" barrel. The original M96 had a 29" barrel, more for use with a bayonet as a pike against cavalry, but it certainly gave that 156 grain round nose a decent boost.

I asked my buddy who lives and breathes 6.5x55 and he called BS on 2900. I'm with you on this one particularly on pressure signs. Where possible I use Win primers because they are soft and flatten easier than CCI, an extra measure of safety
 

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Hi All,

So I have a Ruger M77 in 6.5x55 that I have been reloading for for some time. It is my one of my favorite rifles and I will never get rid of it. Great old classic caliber.

I have shot it quite a bit but even using really slow powders like RL22, I can't seem to get a 140 grain bullet over 2550fps without getting ejector slot marks in the base of my brass. Yet I see people online constantly stating that they are "easily" getting 2,800-2,900fps from a 24" barrel. I feel like they have no idea what pressure signs look like, their chronograph is wrong or they are downright making it up unless they know something I don't know. Now granted, I am shooting from a 22" barrel but that won't account for 300-400 fps. It may not be possible in a standard length barrel and these people either have an original military rifle with a 28" barrel or are running the ragged edge of pressure or both.

Keep in mind that I also am not going to beat the heck out of my gun to get that kind of speed. If it isn't possible then I guess I will have to stick with the best I can get. I would just like it to shoot a little flatter and have a little better expansion probability at 250-300 yards.

I also will not try "worked up" loads. I only start with data published by a reputable source that is pressure tested. I want to be able to hand my rifles down to my kids and shooting unknowns is not the best way to make a rifle last.

Any insight would be appreciated.

If it works well for you leave alone and be content.
We would all like faster etc but there is a limit without upping pressures dramatically.
I have found that when I have squeezed as much velocity without flattening printed too much, the accuracy fell off and groups opened up dramatically.
Suggest you go for good groups and know the cartridge limit.
 

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Hi all, new member here from Australia. Ive been reloading 6.5x55 for some time now. I have a Mauser M03 and running a 60cm barrel in 6.5x55. Twist rate is 1:8.66" (1:220cm). I load Lapua Brass, Winchester primers, 47.5gr RL-22 and 140gr Berger Hunting VLD projectiles and measured average velocity of 2780fps. OAL is 2.535" (to the ogive - about -0.007" off the lands) I have a Magneto speed chronograph used to measure the speeds. Using CCI primers with this same load results in lower speeds around 2750fps. Hope this helps. Cheers.
 

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Hi all, new member here from Australia. Ive been reloading 6.5x55 for some time now. I have a Mauser M03 and running a 60cm barrel in 6.5x55. Twist rate is 1:8.66" (1:220cm). I load Lapua Brass, Winchester primers, 47.5gr RL-22 and 140gr Berger Hunting VLD projectiles and measured average velocity of 2780fps. OAL is 2.535" (to the ogive - about -0.007" off the lands) I have a Magneto speed chronograph used to measure the speeds. Using CCI primers with this same load results in lower speeds around 2750fps. Hope this helps. Cheers.

Win LR primers are the hottest almost magnum territory
 

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Welcome 6.5 x 55. Your post corroborates my findings. I have been advocating for my load of 46.5 Gr. of H4350 pushing 140 Gr. bullets at 2775 fps for almost 2 years with very little success. My reload was the one used by Nathan Foster a noted long distance hunter from New Zealand. Where did you get yours from or did you just work it up yourself? My rifle is an 1896 Swedish Mauser with a 24 " barrel having a twist rate of 1/7.8 inches. Have you tried any all copper bullets, if so whose and what weight?
 

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Hi all, new member here from Australia. Ive been reloading 6.5x55 for some time now. I have a Mauser M03 and running a 60cm barrel in 6.5x55. Twist rate is 1:8.66" (1:220cm). I load Lapua Brass, Winchester primers, 47.5gr RL-22 and 140gr Berger Hunting VLD projectiles and measured average velocity of 2780fps. OAL is 2.535" (to the ogive - about -0.007" off the lands) I have a Magneto speed chronograph used to measure the speeds. Using CCI primers with this same load results in lower speeds around 2750fps. Hope this helps. Cheers.
These must be right up to maximum pressure unless the VLDs have very little surface area, thin jackets or are seated long. Alliant is showing an absoulte max load of 45.0 grains for what they call a "commercial action" or a modern bolt action rifle. I believe they run these up to 55,000psi. That is one of those things I don't mess around with too much because I don't have a strain gauge to measure pressure and I don't fully trust QuickLoad's math. I think QL is a great tool to find a starting load, I don't trust it's max pressure load. Do you have any pressure data on this? As noted in some of my previous posts, good brass won't even start to show pressure signs until well into the 75-80k psi range. That's not something I want to beat up my rifle with.
 

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Welcome 6.5 x 55. Your post corroborates my findings. I have been advocating for my load of 46.5 Gr. of H4350 pushing 140 Gr. bullets at 2775 fps for almost 2 years with very little success. My reload was the one used by Nathan Foster a noted long distance hunter from New Zealand. Where did you get yours from or did you just work it up yourself? My rifle is an 1896 Swedish Mauser with a 24 " barrel having a twist rate of 1/7.8 inches. Have you tried any all copper bullets, if so whose and what weight?

Ive tried and haven't had much luck with SST. I have target loads with Sierra 142gr and Lapua Scenar, but the Berger is my hunting load. Once I land in an accurate load Ive stuck to it.
 

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These must be right up to maximum pressure unless the VLDs have very little surface area, thin jackets or are seated long. Alliant is showing an absoulte max load of 45.0 grains for what they call a "commercial action" or a modern bolt action rifle. I believe they run these up to 55,000psi. That is one of those things I don't mess around with too much because I don't have a strain gauge to measure pressure and I don't fully trust QuickLoad's math. I think QL is a great tool to find a starting load, I don't trust it's max pressure load. Do you have any pressure data on this? As noted in some of my previous posts, good brass won't even start to show pressure signs until well into the 75-80k psi range. That's not something I want to beat up my rifle with.

Yes my loads are on the hotter side. The bullets are seated very deep in the throat and luckily with the M03 I have ample magazine length to allow this.

Would be interesting to see what quickload says but I started at 44gr RL22 and worked up to this load in my rifle.
 

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ChrisG, Hornady's Superformance loads for the 6.5 x 55 with a 140 Gr SST bullet is 2730fps. Do you think for a moment that they would put themselves into a position to be sued for offering a potentially disastrous cartridge?
 

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ChrisG, Hornady's Superformance loads for the 6.5 x 55 with a 140 Gr SST bullet is 2730fps. Do you think for a moment that they would put themselves into a position to be sued for offering a potentially disastrous cartridge?
No I don't. I also know that they have access to powders that I don't. As well as extensive pressure testing equipment and a laboratory to work on this stuff. I have a reloading press, a can of powder that claims it is the same formulation as previous generations of the same name, and a chronograph. I trust the people at hornady to make their ammo go that fast. Trying to duplicate it myself at home, not knowing exactly what they used and how it was assembled is not something I am prepared to do.

For all I know, Hornady could be using custom brass that is made and toleranced exactly to their spec, a primer designed specifically for that purpose, and a canister grade custom powder that was designed for them by chemical engineers at any of the large explosives manufacturing plants all over the world.

I have none of those things.
 

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Yes my loads are on the hotter side. The bullets are seated very deep in the throat and luckily with the M03 I have ample magazine length to allow this.

Would be interesting to see what quickload says but I started at 44gr RL22 and worked up to this load in my rifle.
I think a strain gauge would be the true test of what is being produced. You got lucky that the magazine of the mauser is long enough to feed the bullet set out quite a ways. If I set mine out to come just 0.05" off the lands, the rounds won't go into the magazine. I would like to be able to set them out farther but it turns my rifle into a single shot.
 
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I've been working upwards with ELD-X 143 and IMR-4831. Hornady's published highest load in that is 44.1 grains, I'm up to 45.5 grains with zero over-pressure signs. I don't have a chrony yet, but I expect I'm getting just a skosh under 2700 fps. Out of my Tikka T3, I'm seating the bullets 0.1" of the lands, and am able to stack bullets with this arrangement. So, I'm done testing with this load. Whatever velocity gains I might get aren't worth potential loss of accuracy or pressure issues.

It's basically flat (for deer and hogs) out to 300 yards, which is what I hunt.

I will mess around with Berger, Nosler, and Barnes at some future date, but for now, I'm good with where I am.

Nice thing about Tikka is they use the same action for all of their rifles, so if you had a strain gauge, you'd be safe in generating the same pressures that are safe for 260 Rem and 6.5 CM in your 6.5x55.
 

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