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Thread: What a Reloading Geek: Reading reloading manuals on Christmas morning.

  1. #1

    What a Reloading Geek: Reading reloading manuals on Christmas morning.

    I recently rebarreled my FN commercial 30-06 to 6.5x55, and more recently bought an autoloading rifle in 6.5 Hornady Creedmore for my business partner. The latest Revised Lee 2nd Edition Reloading book has some 6.5 Creedmore data so thought I'd familiarize myself with it and check the data for the 6.5x55 at the same time. To complete the ballistic trilogy, I looked at the 260 Remington. All of these cartridges are very close to each other which is no secret, but I did notice something new.

    The new 6.5x55 data lists loads into the 55,000PSI class where old data tended to top out at 51K. This makes a significant change in the comparison between the 260 and the 6.5x55. They have become virtually identical in ballistics. In much of the data, the 6.5 moving a the same top speeds, (or faster) at less pressure, but using more powder than the 260 Remington.

    For example:
    Using a 140 grain bullet and IMR 4831, the velocities are within 15 fps.

    The charge is 44 grains for the 260 and 46.3 grains for the 6.5x55.

    The pressures, however, are 57,000 PSI and 50,335 PSI, respectively.

    A comparison of minimum OALs shows that the 6.5 is not only a larger case, but the bullets are seated farther out. (The min OAL for the 260 is .250” shorter than the 6.5x55.) A combination of these two things probably contributes to the powder/pressure balance between the two cases with powders of appropriate burning rates.

    Just a Christmas morning rambling.~Muir

    PS: The 6.5 Hornady Creedmore edges both the 260 and the 6.5 but not by much, and operating at a slightly higher pressure, still.

  2. #2
    The 6.5x55 has always been "Hamstrung" by aneamic reloading data and Lawyer proof factory Ammunition. They must presume that they will be used in older and possibly weaker Rifles and make allowances. Loaded to its full potential it is at least the equal of a .260 in my opinion. Nice to see a Manual recognising this.
    Can i presume that SAAMI still prescribe the very long throat in the 6.5x55? I think this hails back to the very long round nosed bullets originaly used? Do you think this keeps pressures down same as weatherby`s design?


  3. #3
    Agreed on the underloading of the 6.5x55. The case capacity is actually .3cc larger than the 260 I believe.

    I think that the long throat was mostly for the 160 grain bullet but it could help with pressure to some extent. The real pressure valve in the original Swede rifles is the groove diameter. I've seen groove diameters as large as .270" and the average seems to be .268 inches. My Wilson-barreled FN Commercial Mauser has a throat close enough so that it places the 140 grain Hornady SST's boat tail below the shoulder neck junction so it's not that long in some commercial chamberings. This is one cartridge where you'd better pay attention to "minimum OAL" when loading, especially if you own a commercial variety.

    In any event, it's nice to see the 6.5's loading data brought out of the 19th century.~Muir

  4. #4
    I am a bit of a 260 zealot, however, I don't doubt the 6.5x55 could be loaded to exceed 260 velocities by a careful hand loader. An idiot could load the 6.5 to near 270 speeds, and probably not kill himself or wreck a rifle.

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

  5. #5
    Well. Idiots do all kinds of idiotic things: especially in reloading!

    If you look at the new 260/6.5x55/6.5 Hornady data, the top speeds with most applicable bullet weights are all but identical. (inside 100 fps) Only the pressures are different. Also interesting to note that several loads with the 160 grain bullets are up into the 2500's with a 24" tube.

    To the edging up of the pressure limits I say: FINALLY! It's good news. The 6,5x55 shooter with modern rifles can now use it to it's fullest. Now, if they would only get after the 7x57! ~Muir

  6. #6
    i must admit i did have a little root through my manuals looking at 300 win mag loads !

    sad i know

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  7. #7
    Muir checkout the Lapua website, vihtavuori reloading, they also now give data for modern rifles in 6.5x55 SKAN

  8. #8
    nothing wrong with a bit of reloading geekiness on an xmas morning

    I have secretly been toying with the idea of converting the .243 to a 6.5HCM when it's time comes and if monies are tight. Otherwise I think a .223 and a custom 6.5-284 job is on the cards, with the .243 playing the middle man as usual (it hates it when I call it by that name!).

    ...why are we never happy with what we've got

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