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Thread: 6.5 x 55 / Sako 85 loads

  1. #1

    6.5 x 55 / Sako 85 loads


    I'm about to start doing some reloading for my Sako 85 in 6.5 x 55. I don't have any cases, powder, primers or bullets yet so I'm looking for suggestions on components before I spend any cash. I will of course check the safe loads for these in due course and will then work up the range till I find the sweet spot for my rifle.

    I want to start with soft point / partition bullets (as opposed to the ballistic tipped ones) in the middle of the normal range, so I guess weights of between about 120 and 140 grains.

    I recall that this topic was done fairly recently - Flytie and others shared some really useful stuff. However, I've looked and I can't find the thread.

    I'd be very grateful to here about the combinations that work for you.



  2. #2
    Lapua/Norma brass
    47.4g Reloader 19
    Hornady 129g Sp
    CCI LR primer
    3.000 inch oal

    I get about 2675fps from a factory 22inch barrel. Get best accuracy from experimenting as per
    Worth doing a little work using this OCW method at the stert to find a stable, accurate load then stick with it. A 200 yard zero gives a 2 inch(ish) high impact between 90-140yards . Drops off to -3,-6 and -9 inch at 250,275 and 300 yards respectively but you will need to field test your own loads. I like the 129g SST's so worth a try when you get your hands on them. I get best accuracy from 140 Sierra game kings

  3. #3
    My Sako likes a 120gn Amax over 45.1gn IMR4350 (work up slowly) with sub 1" groups at 175 yards. It doesn't like the Sierra 85gn HP at the same distance with shotgun pattern style groups. This maybe due to the massive jump to the lands due to the short bullet and long throat.
    It also prefers stick type powders over ball type, which give pressure signs and dirty burning.
    BTW, do you need any dies? I have a brand new Redding seater die that needs selling!

  4. #4
    Just this minute finished reloading so I will pass on the loads I just did. I load 120 grain Sierra pro hunters in my 6.5 Tikka T3, brass is Federal and N160 49 grains.... My load for roe and Munti...well chuffed with it, accurate and minimal damage.

    The other load I have just completed which I want to try and use on Sika is 125 grain Nosler Partition, 46.5 grains N160...very accurate at 100 yards.. Re the COL ...cant remember what mine was but you will probably find that as you are shooting 6.5 the throat of the rifle will be so deep you will be off the lands with the lesser weight bullets?

    A point of interest...both these loads zero to the exact same spot.

    Hope that helps....just remember to use SLOW powders..

    Last edited by chickenman; 01-12-2010 at 15:24.

  5. #5
    Just finished typing and see you posted the same as me guesty re the throat on 6.5s....I was always told a rule of thumb was to not seat less than the bullet no less than 6.5mm.
    Last edited by chickenman; 01-12-2010 at 15:26.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the replies - much appreciated.


    Last edited by Dovebob; 02-12-2010 at 13:56.

  7. #7
    Bob, I can't find the other thread either, but if i can be of help just give me a shout.

    In my 75 (6.5x55) I am using Federal Match LR Primers, Lapua Brass, Hornady 129gn SST's (I know you don't want plastic tips, but it's what I'm using) and 46gn of Vit N160.

    There are no pressure signs and I could well stoke it up so it is much faster, but would the deer be any more dead? My load has been chrono'd at (I think, as this is from memory) 2670fps, which is well in the effective range for the bullet.

    I used a stoney point COAL guage (and a comparator) to find what distance it was to the lands using the SST's, then reduced the length so I had at least 6.5mm of the bullet seated in the brass. I found that seating depth was the key to accuracy in my rifle and that extremely accurate powder measures were realtively unimportant. I found that a powder trickler is nice to have, but not essential.

    As all rifles are different, even in the same makes, it is unimportant for me to tell you my COAL. Find out what yours is, make sure you use a loading chart and start in the lower end of the scale with your powder load. Then make up three round batches of different bullet seat lengths, and go out to the range and find what seating depth suits your rifle. Then you can increase powder loads until your groups suffer. I found two sweet spots in seating depth for the SST's in my Sako.

    I have heard that one well known stalking guide, who frequents this site, has taken to using Privi Partizan 6.5x55 rather than reload. I have bought 100, .308 Privi's for 58.60, which is not much more than the price for good brass. I will buy some bullets and powder to suit the .308 in the future, and reload using the privi brass. It may not last as long as Lapua, but it is cost effective!


    Edit, I write an account of all my reloads in an exercise book, how many made, depth seated, OAL, powder used, powder measure, primer etc. Then I can check if anything had moved or is different. I use the comparator every five rounds to check nothing has changed.
    Last edited by flytie; 02-12-2010 at 12:18. Reason: School book
    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  8. #8

    Thanks for the help with that - some really useful stuff. I had thought that distance to the lands might be a secondary consideration and was thinking of working through the powder weights before starting to play with seating depth. It sounds like it was the other way round in your case so I'll give that some thought.

    I really like the idea of a reload record book and will get one before I start out. I am forever promising that I will keep sporting diaries which I can look back on when I'm old. However, I've never done so. I am hoping that if I can be sufficiently self disciplined to keep reloading records I might have a chance of startinga sporting diary.


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