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Thread: Re-loading 6.5 x 55, Hornady 129 gr SST, Viht N160.

  1. #1

    Re-loading 6.5 x 55, Hornady 129 gr SST, Viht N160.

    Hi guys,

    I am looking for some information with regard re-loading 6.5 x 55. I will be using Hornady 129 gr SST bullet heads with Viht N160 powder (Lapua brass and CCI large rifle primers). Rifle is a Tikka T3 Lite - Synthetic / Stainless.

    I have read on this forum of people re-loading 6.5mm to achieve up to 2900 ft / second. However, I have also come to realise that whilst higher speeds achieve flatter trajectory, these higher speeds do not necessarily equate to greater levels of consistent accuracy (shot groupings). The challenge therefore, is to find a combination which is fast, flat but also consistently accurate. I personally do not re-load, I get a friend to do it for me. For this reason, I want to know that my load is correct before I get my friend to make me a few hundred rounds.

    So chaps, over to you. I am thinking that the optimum is somewhere between 45 - 47 grains of N160, what do you think? Especially interested to here from those using this recipe through a Tikka T3 Lite.

  2. #2
    With 129/130-gr bullets and VV N-160, start at 44.0 grains and work up to 46.4 in 0.2 gr increments, to find the best groups.
    Velocity will not change much, from 2,600 to 2,750. It is a bit slow powder for that bullet weight.
    You could use the same loadings with 140-gr SST.

    If you want more velocity, get to N-150 or 4350, H-414, W-760, RL-19.

    There is a busload of 6.5x55 SWE reloaders on this site, who will even have the same rifle as yours, and I lot of experience.

  3. #3
    You simply have no way of knowing what may or may not work (for accuracy) in your rifle until you conduct appropriate reloading work-ups. Your rifle may shoot well with a moderate load, it may do even better near max loads. The other big variable much ignored is seating depth, which seems to me to have more impact on accuracy than the powder load.

    As a general observation, N160 is on the slow side for a 129gr bullet in a 6.5, I would try something faster in the Reloder 19 - H4350 - N150 range.

    I also don't like SST's at higher velocity, too prone to disintegrate.
    Brian.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Claret_Dabbler View Post
    You simply have no way of knowing what may or may not work (for accuracy) in your rifle until you conduct appropriate reloading work-ups. Your rifle may shoot well with a moderate load, it may do even better near max loads. The other big variable much ignored is seating depth, which seems to me to have more impact on accuracy than the powder load.

    As a general observation, N160 is on the slow side for a 129gr bullet in a 6.5, I would try something faster in the Reloder 19 - H4350 - N150 range.

    I also don't like SST's at higher velocity, too prone to disintegrate.
    agree. You might want to go to N150. I find N160 is perfect for
    140grn but need N150 for 120grn. I am a tad obsessive though lol.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Claret_Dabbler View Post
    You simply have no way of knowing what may or may not work (for accuracy) in your rifle until you conduct appropriate reloading work-ups. Your rifle may shoot well with a moderate load, it may do even better near max loads. The other big variable much ignored is seating depth, which seems to me to have more impact on accuracy than the powder load.

    As a general observation, N160 is on the slow side for a 129gr bullet in a 6.5, I would try something faster in the Reloder 19 - H4350 - N150 range.

    I also don't like SST's at higher velocity, too prone to disintegrate.
    Claret Dabbler is right, you must find a load that works for your rifle. I could tell you what works in mine but it will NOT shoot the same in yours. Mine has a 26.5" stepped barrel and therefore different dynamics and velocities.

  6. #6
    Had the same conversation with a customer who I just built a 6.5 Swede for. What I ended up saying was try some factory before starting to reload.

    He went and bought PPU 139g, the results were damn good, he said he won't bother reloading!

    The 2 groups he sent are at 100 and 300, there is 2 separate groups at 300.




  7. #7
    Hmm, interesting about the other powder choices, i'm new to reloading and also using N160 through my tikka but with 123 gr A-Max. I'm getting 2560fps from that load with 45.5gr of N160, That was the most accurate load without creating any pressure signs.

  8. #8
    I use 47.5 grain N160 with 120 grain noslers and I'm getting around 2890 fps with a sako 22 inch barrel 1/2 inch group @100 meters ,

  9. #9
    N160 although comfortable to shoot will struggle to get good velocities out of the 20" barrel of the T3. N150 would work well so would IMR 4350 but the powder par excellence giving great accuracy and velocity close to 2700 is rl17.....if you can find any!

    BE

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by madyarra View Post
    Hmm, interesting about the other powder choices, i'm new to reloading and also using N160 through my tikka but with 123 gr A-Max. I'm getting 2560fps from that load with 45.5gr of N160, That was the most accurate load without creating any pressure signs.
    You aren't getting pressure signs because that is really, really slow...
    I'd be surprised if you weren't getting very sooty necks.
    Try a faster powder.

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