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Thread: 6.5x55 reloading

  1. #1

    6.5x55 reloading

    I've been reloading for my .223 for years just used max o.a.l from my book measuring from tip to base of case, and had it shooting hole through hole. Picked up all my kit for my 6.5 and if I used o.a.l it won't chamber, in my rifle. What's the best way to sort it although I haven't got an overall length gauge to measure my chamber.

    Cheers James


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  2. #2
    You could try screwing the seating die in a bit and try again. "A bit" depending on how much it's not chambering.
    You sure it's not a case issue? With my new'ish 6.5x55 I can seat very long without touching the lands: something about being able to chamber 160grain bullets...

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  3. #3
    Take an unprimed sized case and use a hacksaw or better a Dremel to cut 2 opposite cuts down the neck, seat your bullet just inside the neck, load into chamber and close the bolt. Carefully open bolt and unload, the cuts should allow the bullet to be pushed back into the case by the rifling but there should be enough neck tension to hold the bullet.

    This should give you a dummy round that you can measure with the bullet seated to the lands for that particular bullet, then you can decide how far back you want to start testing.

    My x55 copes with / likes quite a lot of jump based on the factory loads it likes and small amount of load development I've done with it so far.

  4. #4
    what bullet is this?
    I found the OAL on the 6.5x55mm from the books to be silly on some bullets, almost nothing in the case.

    P.S> the OAL in the books is typically MIN OAL, not MAX.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Milligan View Post
    what bullet is this?
    I found the OAL on the 6.5x55mm from the books to be silly on some bullets, almost nothing in the case.

    P.S> the OAL in the books is typically MIN OAL, not MAX.
    Hence, my comment on case etc.

    The lengths listed by the likes of Lapua are pretty much spot on for my nearly new chamber but leave about 3/16" at best in the neck (less boattail) for everything from 129 SSTs to 144 FMJs.

    I think you can get reamers for a more "normal" throat but those are not factory fits...

    Sent from my XT1032 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Great idea.... and free.

    Take an unprimed sized case and use a hacksaw or better a Dremel to cut 2 opposite cuts down the neck, seat your bullet just inside the neck, load into chamber and close the bolt. Carefully open bolt and unload, the cuts should allow the bullet to be pushed back into the case by the rifling but there should be enough neck tension to hold the bullet.

    This should give you a dummy round that you can measure with the bullet seated to the lands for that particular bullet, then you can decide how far back you want to start testing.

  7. #7
    If you want to measure max OAL for your specific rifle there is no need to modify a case or use a case at all for that matter.

    Just stick a cleaning rod in from the muzzle end so it touches the bolt face on a closed (and cocked) bolt. Wrap electric tape or some other suitable tape around the cleaning rod at the muzzle to mark depth. Remove bolt and insert your bullet of choice into the chamber and use another cleaning rod or similar to push it lightly against the lands. Again stick in your measuring cleaning rod in from the muzzle end and mark the depth with tape.

    Now you have your max OAL on your cleaning rod marked with tape.

    If you use really undersized brass and/or really need to kiss the lands with your load this method won't work for you. Whether you want your load to touch the lands or be really close to them outside benchrest shooting is something to think about, too.

  8. #8
    or alternatively.....

    Just stick to SAAMI spec or what your reloading book tells you such as 3.15"

    I tend to load between 2.96 thro 3.06 to 3.16 with 140gr Amax/SST/Nos Partition etc.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsettaff View Post
    or alternatively.....

    Just stick to SAAMI spec or what your reloading book tells you such as 3.15"
    You can but then you would be missing out on where the Swede shines. It has a long throat and so long/heavy bullets can usually be seated farther out. A needlessly long jump to the lands will eat up case capacity, raise pressure and make it more diffcult to cook up a load that is consistently accurate. Furthermore the Swede is usually chambered in a relatively long action, which gives ample room for longish COALs in the magazine, too.

  10. #10
    The Vihtavuori handbook is pretty close for at least the 140 Sierra MK and the Lapua 144 FMJ when I measured my T3x. The cited max COAL would be a really hard jam into the rifling.

    For other bullets, Hornady 129 SST being one, it'd be OK in my rifle.

    Best to check using mostly any techniques... The cleaning rod trick worked for me although, clearly, you need a nice clean end and a US style "female" end will be useless. Old PH rods ought to be OK although the "male" end is a bit variable at times.

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