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Normal Topic Decent Loads for the 6.5x55 (Read 3060 times)
grandpamac
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Decent Loads for the 6.5x55
May 13th, 2019 at 2:45pm
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Greetings. I have a Tikka T3 in 6.5x55 and need some tested load data for the 129 gr SST projectile. Most data is held to around 46,000 CUP due to all the military rifles about. I am using AR2209 and AR2213SC which are producing velocities in line with the Hodgdon data or a little more. I have looked at the Speer high pressure data but this seems to have been developed in a rifle with a tight chamber, barrel and throat, useless for my purposes. The 6.5x55 case is a few percent larger in capacity than the 260 Rem and 6.5 Creedmore so should be able to produce at least the same velocity. To be clear I am not looking for that last erosive foot per second just loads approximating Norma ammunition. Any thoughts?
  
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Re: Decent Loads for the 6.5x55
Reply #1 - Jun 1st, 2019 at 3:56pm
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I am currently working up loads for my 6.5x55, with 140 and 142gr pills, just using powder I have on hand, 2213sc, H1000 etc, I will look for some RE22 also.
  
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Re: Decent Loads for the 6.5x55
Reply #2 - Jun 1st, 2019 at 10:53pm
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50 grains of  N560 with the 130 size projectiles gives decent results.
  

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grandpamac
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Re: Decent Loads for the 6.5x55
Reply #3 - Jun 4th, 2019 at 4:29pm
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Thanks for the reply rooster shooter and Nor-West. I have done a bit more digging and found with the 6.5 x 55  the more data sets you have the more confused you become. The Hodgdon  on line data seems closest to my rifle with my velocities a little higher with the same components with a pressure around 45,000 CUP so there is some velocity left on the table. John Barsness who writes for Handloader and Rifle mags, and likely others, came up with a rule for possible velocity based case capacity. In short possible velocity, at the same pressure, increases or decreases at one quarter of case capacity. John lives in Montana where the winters are long and harsh and he arrived at the rule after studying heaps of reliable load data while confined to barracks. Using John's rule and using the .260 Rem and the 6.5-284 Norma working back to the 6.5 x 55 I calculated the following possible velocities. 129 or 130 grain projectile about 2,850 feet per second and 139, 140 or 142 grain projectiles about 2,750 feet per second. Current Superformance factory loads from Hornady are claimed to achieve the 129 grain velocity at standard pressures and Norma factory loads I chronographed in the 1990's produced around 2,750 feet per second. I will shout myself a new container of AR 2209 and start with that as my current tin (yes it is a tin) is almost empty and it is pointless starting with that. I will report in due course.
  
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Re: Decent Loads for the 6.5x55
Reply #4 - Jun 6th, 2019 at 9:33am
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45 Gr 2213 and 143Gr Hornady ELD-X
Did some load development for mates Tikka 6.5 and this load shot like a laser.
5 Shots into about half inch group. Even I was surprised!!
  
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Re: Decent Loads for the 6.5x55
Reply #5 - Jun 13th, 2019 at 2:06pm
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Thanks for the reply Bos. I have a few 143 grain ELDX projectiles that a mate gave me to try and will move onto them once I am done with the 129 grains. My rifle is a T3 Lite and fitted with a 6 power Leupold scope, so more of a light walking rifle rather than a sniper and the lighter projectiles will probably be better for the moment.

Anyway with my new powder I loaded three rounds each 46 grains and 47 grains expecting about 2750 and 2800 feet per second respectively. The projectiles are 129 grain SST's and the cases Lapua. Fired the first 46 grain round chronographed 2845 fps. Was not expecting that. None of the traditional signs of pressure were present so fired the second. 2862 fps. Pulled the last load apart and weighed the charge for operator error. 46.0 grains on the button.

Single base powders, and possibly others have a linear relationship between powder charge and velocity. If you graph increasing powder charges against velocity you get a straight line. I went back to my loading log and found that AR 2209 loads I had tested in 1993 (in a M38 Swedish Mauser) and more recently in the T3 pretty well match that graph. The new AR 2209 did not. The new AR 2209 load does however match the graph for the Nosler on line data.

So it appears that AR 2209 increased somewhat in speed at some stage. A quick trawl on the internet produced a post dated 2013 reporting an increase of about this magnitude. In any case the AR 2209 we have now is what we have now. It has been one of the go to powders for the 6.5 mm Creedmoor and should work equally as well in the Swede.

I was looking for 2800 fps or a little more so in the interests of science have loaded two test cartridges each at 45.5 grains of old and new AR 2209 with new Lapua cases and will see what we shall see. Should give about 2825 fps with the new powder.
I will be in touch.
  
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Re: Decent Loads for the 6.5x55
Reply #6 - Jun 13th, 2019 at 2:07pm
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Thanks for the reply Bos. I have a few 143 grain ELDX projectiles that a mate gave me to try and will move onto them once I am done with the 129 grains. My rifle is a T3 Lite and fitted with a 6 power Leupold scope, so more of a light walking rifle rather than a sniper and the lighter projectiles will probably be better for the moment.

Anyway with my new powder I loaded three rounds each 46 grains and 47 grains expecting about 2750 and 2800 feet per second respectively. The projectiles are 129 grain SST's and the cases Lapua. Fired the first 46 grain round chronographed 2845 fps. Was not expecting that. None of the traditional signs of pressure were present so fired the second. 2862 fps. Pulled the last load apart and weighed the charge for operator error. 46.0 grains on the button.

Single base powders, and possibly others have a linear relationship between powder charge and velocity. If you graph increasing powder charges against velocity you get a straight line. I went back to my loading log and found that AR 2209 loads I had tested in 1993 (in a M38 Swedish Mauser) and more recently in the T3 pretty well match that graph. The new AR 2209 did not. The new AR 2209 load does however match the graph for the Nosler on line data.

So it appears that AR 2209 increased somewhat in speed at some stage. A quick trawl on the internet produced a post dated 2013 reporting an increase of about this magnitude. In any case the AR 2209 we have now is what we have now. It has been one of the go to powders for the 6.5 mm Creedmoor and should work equally as well in the Swede.

I was looking for 2800 fps or a little more so in the interests of science have loaded two test cartridges each at 45.5 grains of old and new AR 2209 with new Lapua cases and will see what we shall see. Should give about 2825 fps with the new powder.
I will be in touch.
  
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Re: Decent Loads for the 6.5x55
Reply #7 - Jul 3rd, 2019 at 2:10am
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With 2209 you should end up at around 47 gns with a 120,  and 46 with a 129 in the swede. Start a bit lower.
  

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Re: Decent Loads for the 6.5x55
Reply #8 - Jul 3rd, 2019 at 8:16am
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Three powders have consistently given me better than 2,800 fps with 139 grn projectiles and 21.5" barrel. N560, IMR4831 and R22.

I settled many years ago on N560 for 2870fps. But it has become very expensive, so for target shooting I'm switching to 2209 and will keep N560 for hunting.

Mine is a very strong modern action.
  

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Re: Decent Loads for the 6.5x55
Reply #9 - Jul 4th, 2019 at 11:02am
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Greetings,
Thanks Bicko and BC for your replies. My results with 120 and 129 grain projectiles largely match yours Bicko.
The test loads with the two lots of AR 2209 yesterday. Both loads used new Lapua cases, Federal 210 primers and Hornady 129 grain SST projectiles. The projectiles were seated to an overall length of 78.5 mm, about 1 mm short of the lands. 45.5 of the old lot of AR 2209 produced 2,720 feet per second. I probably bought this can in 2004 and is in a round tin with a painted label. 45.5 grains of the new lot of AR 2209 produced 2,805 feet per second, a difference of 85 feet per second. It would take an additional 1.5 to 2 grains of the old lot to reach this velocity.
So there is a considerable difference in speed between these two lots. The results were plotted on a simple graph together with both the Nosler and Hornady load data. The graph has charge on the horizontal axis and velocity on the vertical. A straight line was drawn through each set of load data, extended as a broken line to 2,850 fps. The new lot AR 2209 velocities in my T3 matched the Nosler data very well showing the Nosler barrel is not tight. It also suggests, based on velocity, that the Nosler data produces similar pressure to the Hodgdon data. The old AR 2209 velocities run a little faster than the Hornady data, closer to velocities of an even earlier can.
What do we all learn from this? Use the most up to date data available. My data search turned up a load of 48 grains of H 4350 in a Ken Waters 1994 Pet Loads report and loads as high as 50 grains of IMR 4350 in older publications. Both would be excessive with the IMR load probably dangerous. Intrepid loads from the past which is where they should remain.
Regards Grandpamac.
  
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