6.5x55 Swede Loads

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Rob404, May 6, 2013.

  1. Nicholas Barcomb

    Nicholas Barcomb AH Veteran

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    Seems a little slow for a 140 gr coming out of a Swede. You should be able to push 140s at or around 2700-2900 fps. IMR 4350 is good for bullets lighter than 140 gr., like the 85 to 129s. Do you have any powders that are in the burn rate of RL22? Moving in the right direction, though keep at it. Good luck and stay safe.
     
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  2. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    ive tried pushing the 140s faster but the groups open up. the hottest load I tried was 43.5gr of IMR 4350 which would have put the velocity over 2700fps but the accuracy was terrible. I do have some IMR 7828ssc that I plan on trying but I suspect the rifle isn't going to like pushing 140gr bullets much faster then it already is. 41grs yielded a 0.75" group while 41.5grs yielded a 1" group and 42grs+ continued to yield bigger and bigger groups. my next test will be with 40.5gr of IMR 4350 also some trial loads with IMR 7828ssc.

    -matt
     

  3. Nicholas Barcomb

    Nicholas Barcomb AH Veteran

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    Interesting, what rifle and twist? When I first started to load for my Tikka T3 Lite SS, I was using Varget and bug-holing at 100 yards with a load that was only going about 2550 fps. using 140 gr SSTs. The load that I am using now with the same bullet is only about 1/8" wider at the same distance. I'm pretty sure that there are not too many animals that will know the difference. I am also pretty close to the end of my VV N550 and VV N560, and no distributors in the US have any amount in stock currently. Will be having to look for a different kind of powder soon. Good luck and stay safe.
     

  4. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    its a Tikka T3 Hunter.

    -matt
     

  5. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    so far the best group this rifle has ever shot was around 0.4" at 100 yards. what will blow your mind is that group was made using PPU 139gr SP factory ammunition! the velocities were very slow, around 2400fps according to my chronograph.

    -matt
     

  6. Nicholas Barcomb

    Nicholas Barcomb AH Veteran

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    A modern Tikka T3 should be able to be brought up to 60,000 PSI. What is the COAL of your rifle with the 140 gr NABs? This may also be part of the story. I am at book max for COAL in mine, 3.150". You should be able to seat the bullet about 1 caliber deep and be good unless your throat/ leade is a little shorter than normal. It has been my experience that Swedes like to be seated long but not jammed into the lands. Also, since I am currently using VV N560 for this, the pressures have been really low. I don't have testing equipment, but going off of ballistic predictions, the load I currently shoot with the Hornady 140 SSTs is below 55,000 PSI.

    Load:
    [​IMG]

    Target:
    [​IMG]

    While not super awesome or less than 5/8" @ 100 yards, it hasn't let me down and anything I put the cross hairs on either dies in short order or is a hit in the black at distances out to 300 yards. I usually start my work ups at the highest possible pressure load for my rifle and work backwards until I find the accuracy node. I find the highest possible pressure limit by loading up 1 at a time in .5 gr increments until I am about full on the case. I then record each case on a separate sheet of paper with the initial pressure ring measurement and mark a corresponding number on the case. Once I fire the case I measure the pressure ring again and then take a not next to it about bolt lift and extraction (to a minor extent, I will look at the primers). Once I have reached a maximum measurement of .001" over the original case pressure ring measurement, I am at top pressure with a general tight bolt lift. I then go to the next lower powder charge and that is the maximum for that particular bullet weight, COAL, and cartridge. To find the COAL of a particular bullet, I place the bullet tip down into an empty case and chamber it. I then extract it and measure the base to base with calipers and that is the COAL, which is usually done before load up so I can set my seating die. After I get the max pressure load, I set about loading up 15 cases in 5 groups of 3 cartridges by .5 gr increments of the powder charges. I then shoot for minimum group. If there is a winner out of that, I then load up a 5-10 cartridge group of that load and shoot over a chronograph. If there isn't one in the initial group, but 2 targets are close, I will make up 18 cases in 6 groups of 3 shots at .1 gr increments and shoot for minimum groups. If there is a winner in that, I will then do the 5-10 shots over the chronograph. If that doesn't work, I will then go to a different COAL and try it all again. I have only had to do that one time on a .243 Winchester (finicky little bugger). Hope this helps some. Good luck and stay safe.
     

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  7. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    my COAL is 3.165" which is about 0.02" from the rifling. so there isn't much jump nor is the bullet crammed into the rifling. the group that was produced using 41gr of IMR 4350 measured 0.676" which isnt great but certainly isnt bad. i have a feeling 40.5gr of imr 4350 will yield an excellent group of under 0.5" however the velocity will likely be about 2500fps. this sunday i will try some loads using IMR 7828ssc and see if i cant get higher velocities while maintaining accuracy but i wont hold my breath.

    something else to consider is the bullets we are using. im not sure how different the Hornady SST is from my Nosler ballistic tip (interchangeable with accubonds).

    I don't like playing with fire so I have no interest in testing the guns max pressure. besides the accuracy went out the window long before I got to any pressure signs.

    -matt
     
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  8. Nicholas Barcomb

    Nicholas Barcomb AH Veteran

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    I think you are on the back side of it, the pressure curve I mean. But, if you are satisfied with the performance and the animals don't care, then what the heck, go with it. Not my rifle, cartridge, or my choice. The SST doesn't have any changeable data like the NAB or NBT. I also wouldn't use the SST on heavily boned animals. Sometime next summer I plan on working up some Woodleigh 140gr PPRNs for doing that nonsense. The Woodleigh 160 gr PPRNs are a bit much for light framed white tails and are better suited for elk, moose, and possibly eland.
     

  9. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    The Hornady Interbond and SST have the same bullet profile, but each is made different. The Interbond is suppose to be substantially stronger built.
     
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  10. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I will find out sunday, my loads using 782822c should take it over 2800fps.

    -matt
     

  11. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    had a little luck with 48.5gr of 7828ssc, two shots touching with a flier that opened the group up to 0.75". not sure on velocity since it rained all day and I couldn't get the chronograph out but im guessing the velocity was around 2700fps.

    -matt
     
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  12. Nicholas Barcomb

    Nicholas Barcomb AH Veteran

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    If you haven't noticed, Swede's like slow powders. Some also like a little jump to build up the velocity in the barrel. 1.5 more grains to go til max-out (50.0 gr). Good luck and stay safe.
     

  13. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    where are you getting the 50gr max from? none of my books even mention imr 7828 for the 6.5x55.

    -matt
     

  14. Nicholas Barcomb

    Nicholas Barcomb AH Veteran

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    Ballistic program called QuickLoad. I put in the parameters you gave me about barrel length, cartridge, COAL, bullet, and powder. You have a newer rifle, so it is safe to go up to 60,000 to 65,000 PSI and I am generally conservative in this assessment and went with 60,000 PSI in your case and with my own loading. It does have faults like not being able to account for different primers and that not all powders or bullets are listed. It's a neat program and use it for all of my start loads as well as what I wrote up earlier in the thread about my loading/ testing procedures. I do have about 4 other modern manuals that I do consult at different times depending on which cartridge I am loading/ testing.
     

  15. benchracer

    benchracer AH Member

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    If you are getting 2400 fps, even from a 23" barrel, you are nowhere near max. The problem with the 6.5x55 is the anemic book data for it. RL-22 is a nearly perfect match for the 6.5x55 with 140 grain bullets, giving excellent velocity and accuracy at moderate pressure. If you are going to load for the old mauser cartridges in Mauser '98 or stronger actions, you might as well forget the manuals and use QuickLoad paired with an accurate chronograph. Another way to sanity check yourself is to look at .260 Remington book data for the same bullets. The problem there is that the larger capacity 6.5x55 likes much slower powders than the .260 does, so you are still just guessing.
     
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  16. benchracer

    benchracer AH Member

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    The 140 Berger VLD's have worked very well from my 9 twist 6.5x55. The VLD's are very sensitive to seating depth. I highly recommend that you begin by performing the seating depth test detailed in this article: http://www.bergerbullets.com/getting-the-best-precision-and-accuracy-from-vld-bullets-in-your-rifle/

    Once you determine your rifle's preferred seating depth, start working up your powder charges. You should find best accuracy around 2750 or so. Pressures will still be very mild, but should be high enough to give you better consistency and accuracy. If RL-22 doesn't work for you, H4831 or H4831sc works very well also.
     
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  17. benchracer

    benchracer AH Member

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    I have a .264 win mag in a Model 70, as well. The Berger 140 VLD or Hornady 140 AMAX, paired with Retumbo or RL-33 makes for an excellent combination. For some reason, book data for any of the 6.5's is very spotty. Just like with the Swede, QuickLoad and a good chrono are very valuable tools for load development with this cartridge.
     
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  18. benchracer

    benchracer AH Member

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    As you work from minimum to maximum, your groups will open and close back down several times. Just because your groups open up doesn't mean you won't find an accurate load at a higher charge/higher velocity. The trick here is to perform a good minimum to maximum workup. Once you know where actual max is in your rifle, you will then have a better idea of whether or not there is enough "headroom" to reach your next higher accuracy node.
     

  19. robertq

    robertq AH Fanatic

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    Thank you Benchracer,
    I'm going to work with your advice and I love the .264 so much I had my winchester model 70 in 300 win mag. rebarrled to 264 win mag. I won't be able to let you know how I make out, for this is our busy season. Thank you again......
     

  20. drew416

    drew416 AH Veteran

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    Been playing with my M38 swede earlier this year. Am thinking of taking it with me on my next hunt?
    I have a matching serial number as issued 24" barrel huskvarna living in a Boyds laminate stock.
    No work done on trigger, no bedding just dropped it in, no cock on open modification. As issued, with fixed 4X Leupold scope and different stock.

    Woodleigh 160gn PP. 45gn of ADI 2213sc.

    Target @100m shot on the sticks. There is one 8mm hole inside the 6.5mm group.

    For SSAA Target competition shooting in Military Rifle events- The Sierra 142gn HPBT with 40gn of ADI 2209 OR 45gn of ADI 2213SC duplicates the original Swede Military load and shoots point of aim using the issued open sights. With even less felt recoil using the slower ADI 2213SC powder.

    I am really tossing up whether to take this rifle back to Africa for a Brown Hyena hunt or take something else...
     

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