Powder fill

DS Mad

Well-Known Member
Good day. I am loading 6.5x55 sm with 129gr sp Hornady Interlock using Vit N160. The question i would like to ask I have just put 44.5gr of powder in the first case and when i looked inside the powder is quite close to the top. When i press the bullet it will not quite touch the powder is this ok with only a small gap and if i start to increase the powder by .5 of a gr what will happen if it touches. the bullet base. Im new at the reloading and don't want to damage anything. Vit web site tells me start weight ..43gr and max weight 47.3gr thats woring on a 130gr bullet tip

I am shooting a Tikka T3 COAL -30110 Case trimmed to 21565.


Many thanks.
 

Namman

Well-Known Member
Good day. I am loading 6.5x55 sm with 129gr sp Hornady Interlock using Vit N160. The question i would like to ask I have just put 44.5gr of powder in the first case and when i looked inside the powder is quite close to the top. When i press the bullet it will not quite touch the powder is this ok with only a small gap and if i start to increase the powder by .5 of a gr what will happen if it touches. the bullet base. Im new at the reloading and don't want to damage anything. Vit web site tells me start weight ..43gr and max weight 47.3gr thats woring on a 130gr bullet tip

I am shooting a Tikka T3 COAL -30110 Case trimmed to 21565.


Many thanks.
Best advice is to buy a good reloading manual and study it. Compressed loads in rifle cartridges are common and as long as you keep within the load data , are safe. Usually the most accurate loads are with a full case!
 

Foxyboy43

Well-Known Member
Assuming you have either worked up to 44.5 gns without any pressure signs you are good to go with what you have so far and the additional 0.5gns subject to keeping the bullet within prescribed COAL dimensions. However as all rifles are different you might want to reduce your increments to 0.2gns and as ever work up slowly. I don’t do the “hyper velocity” thing so my own go-to with N160 in the 6.5x55SE is 45gns driving the Sierra 120gns Prohunters and 130gns Gamechangers - both are super accurate and work well on all UK quarry. If you look at reloading data you till often see a mark at the max figure which indicates “compressed“ charges i.e. the base of the bullet compacting the powder but you should be well off that - again assuming for example your case trimming is not over zealous! Once you find the right load you can fine-tune with seating depth/COAL. Most recommendations for this round advise a large “jump” but in my experience that is pretty much guaranteed, certainly up to 130gns - because the 6.5 chamber is soooooo long - presumably to accommodate the very long 150gns+ bullets, that with some bullets I cannot even find the rifling! Again all rifles are different!
Good luck and stay safe, my friend.
🦊🦊
 

DS Mad

Well-Known Member
Assuming you have either worked up to 44.5 gns without any pressure signs you are good to go with what you have so far and the additional 0.5gns subject to keeping the bullet within prescribed COAL dimensions. However as all rifles are different you might want to reduce your increments to 0.2gns and as ever work up slowly. I don’t do the “hyper velocity” thing so my own go-to with N160 in the 6.5x55SE is 45gns driving the Sierra 120gns Prohunters and 130gns Gamechangers - both are super accurate and work well on all UK quarry. If you look at reloading data you till often see a mark at the max figure which indicates “compressed“ charges i.e. the base of the bullet compacting the powder but you should be well off that - again assuming for example your case trimming is not over zealous! Once you find the right load you can fine-tune with seating depth/COAL. Most recommendations for this round advise a large “jump” but in my experience that is pretty much guaranteed, certainly up to 130gns - because the 6.5 chamber is soooooo long - presumably to accommodate the very long 150gns+ bullets, that with some bullets I cannot even find the rifling! Again all rifles are different!
Good luck and stay safe, my friend.
🦊🦊
Thank you.. This is my first load so i diden't want to start a the lowest 43gr and not near the top weight 47.3gr. so i have started at 44.5gr mid way. Vit web site don't have load data for the 129gr its the 130.gr i guess there isent a lot of difference. They are not compressed loads because when i shake them i can hear the powder moving. Just close to the neck of the case and that's what worries me.
 

Foxyboy43

Well-Known Member
Hmmm. “Midway” really is not the best idea you will ever have because there is so much variation in rifles and more so case capacity - that is why you should start at the minimum! Case capacity variations can be quite significant so you need to always bear that in mind. You could well end up with a low capacity case and a too short COAL giving you a nasty surprise 💥!
Find a safe and effective combination of bullet, powder, COAL and CASE then stick with it! You might be very surprised by pressure signs if you loaded a variety of identical loads, bullets and COALS in a number of different manufacturer’s cases!
Stay safe.
🦊🦊
 

DS Mad

Well-Known Member
Hmmm. “Midway” really is not the best idea you will ever have because there is so much variation in rifles and more so case capacity - that is why you should start at the minimum! Case capacity variations can be quite significant so you need to always bear that in mind. You could well end up with a low capacity case and a too short COAL giving you a nasty surprise 💥!
Find a safe and effective combination of bullet, powder, COAL and CASE then stick with it! You might be very surprised by pressure signs if you loaded a variety of identical loads, bullets and COALS in a number of different manufacturer’s cases!
Stay safe.
🦊🦊
I haven't fired them yet so i will take your advise and start at the bottom weight and work up in .2gr As for COAL i'm struggling to find the correct length when i put the Hornady COAL gauge down my rifle the bullet tip seemed to be sticking right out the case.
 

Namman

Well-Known Member
I haven't fired them yet so i will take your advise and start at the bottom weight and work up in .2gr As for COAL i'm struggling to find the correct length when i put the Hornady COAL gauge down my rifle the bullet tip seemed to be sticking right out the case.
Don't overthink things. Hornady data uses a Col of 2.905 for the 129 grain interlock.
 

Rory

Well-Known Member
I haven't fired them yet so i will take your advise and start at the bottom weight and work up in .2gr As for COAL i'm struggling to find the correct length when i put the Hornady COAL gauge down my rifle the bullet tip seemed to be sticking right out the case.
Some mixed terminology creeping in here, I had to cogitate here a little.
Bullet is bullet, a tip would be the very point or polymer/metal end cap on a bullet itself.
Start at recommended COAL from the manuals - different bullet types, weights and even composition all can generate different COALs to keep pressure and safety in check. Some OAL will be governed by magazine length, so a rifle with a long jump from chamber to lands might not be able to fit in its magazine a cartridge that is loaded to meet the lands.
I would definitely start at COAL, use a chronograph to make sure the velocities are agreeing with expectations and then start varying jump etc. Additionally, keep using the chronograph and inspecting the cases for pressure signs if you start changing things. And change things one at a time, otherwise it is difficult to know if it was the primer, or the seating depth, or the different powder...
 

Foxyboy43

Well-Known Member
Good man - either pull them and start again or better still set them aside until you have done your load development and proven them to be safe or otherwise!
As stated the 6.5x55SE has a very long throat to accommodate very heavy bullets which are of necessity very long themselves so it is not unusual with a much lighter bullet to be unable to touch the lands and get an accurate reading. For example my then new 130gns Sierra Gamechangers fell out of the customary neck-cut case when I first tried to get the chamber length so I defaulted to the traditional route of seating them to chamber depth (.264), starting at the minimum for powder/bullet/calibre, increasing loads in .2gns increments until I was content and then experimenting with COAL from there in 10 thou increments - until I was entirely happy with the round. It is a super accurate bullet and shoots to the same point of aim as my go-to Prohunters. Result!
At seating depth of .264 you will be well within safety margins with the recommended Viht starting load (42.1/47.1 but do check!) for 129gns Interlocks, then work up your loads until happy with result (always looking for pressure signs - then back off) and if you wish refine by adjusting seating depth to your requirements. Personally, for stalking purposes I do not do much in the way of seating refinement, except of course very recently of necessity, when I set off down the "Copper road to perdition" route but that is another (continuing) story!
🐺🐺
 

paul o'

Well-Known Member
Try a sonic tooth brush hers is always best! just to settle the powder down. I made a vibrating pad thing just for this .
 

paul o'

Well-Known Member
The only danger is her walking in while I have her toothbrush resting next to the case . The vibrating box/ pad that the try sits in/ on top is best . 15 min build has saved all the waiting for the powder to settle before being able to drop the next charge in the case lol.
 

Alantoo

Well-Known Member
Well done for asking if you are unsure.

I am a bit confused by your dimensions here...

I am shooting a Tikka T3 COAL -30110 Case trimmed to 21565.

Is that COAL of 3.011" and case length 2.1565" ?

The Hornady data shows COAL as 2.905" for that bullet and 2.115" for the case trim length

KISS.

I recommend that you just stick to simple and just use the COAL recommended by the manufacturer's load data, especially if this is your first foray into reloading...I have been reloading for a few years and while I am obviously not in the league of competitive target shooters my 5 shot groups have averaged 0.850" over a few hundred groups with most bullets from a light stalking barrel...all at manufacturer's recommended COAL.

I compare both the bullet manufacturer's and the powder maker's data. Using the COAL from the bullet maker's data especially if the Powder maker's data doesn't list that particular bullet.

This is my first load so i diden't want to start a the lowest 43gr and not near the top weight 47.3gr

That is the powder charge range Viht give for a different bullet, the Norma HPBT, isn't it?

IMG_9633.png

I usually go for the powder manufacturer's load range because that is up to date with powder available to purchase... but in this case the Hornady data from their 9th edition reloading book gives a much lower powder range for Viht 160 starting at 33.4gr with 43.6gr as max for that specific bullet...so it is even more important that you don't just choose a random "halfway up to start"...apart from safety...what if the best load for your rifle is in the lower half of the Hornady powder load range?

Screenshot 2021-08-15 at 11.57.12.png

I notice @Foxyboy43 is referring to 6.5x55SE and you are referring to 6.5x55 sm so forgive me if I have confused the issue by looking up the wrong tables....do your own research of course and don't rely on some bloke like me on the internet...

Alan
 
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Foxyboy43

Well-Known Member
Well done for asking if you are unsure.

I am a bit confused by your dimensions here...



Is that COAL of 3.011" and case length 2.1565" ?

The Hornady data shows COAL as 2.905" for that bullet and 2.115" for the case length

KISS.

I recommend that you just stick to simple and just use the COAL recommended by the manufacturer's load data, especially if this is your first foray into reloading...I have been reloading for a few years and while I am obviously not in the league of competitive target shooters my 5 shot groups have averaged 0.850" over a few hundred groups with most bullets from a light stalking barrel...all at manufacturer's recommended COAL.

I compare both the bullet manufacturer's and the powder maker's data. Using the COAL from the bullet maker's data especially if the Powder maker's data doesn't list that particular bullet.



That is the powder charge range Viht give for a different bullet Norma HPBT isn't it?

View attachment 217411

I usually go for the powder manufacturer's load range because that is up to date with powder available to purchase... but in this case the Hornady data from their 9th edition reloading book gives a much lower powder range for Viht 160 starting at 33.4gr with 43.6gr as max...so it is even more important that you don't just choose a random "halfway up to start"...apart from safety...what if the best load for your rifle is in the lower half of the Hornady powder load range?

View attachment 217400

I notice @Foxyboy is referring to 6.5x55SE and you are referring to 6.5x55 sm so forgive me if I have confused the issue by looking up the wrong tables....do your own research of course and don't rely on some bloke like me on the internet...

Alan
Very well spotted - I had misread “sm” as “se” - be careful!!
🦊🦊
 

Alantoo

Well-Known Member
when i looked inside the powder is quite close to the top. When i press the bullet it will not quite touch the powder is this ok with only a small gap and if i start to increase the powder by .5 of a gr what will happen if it touches. the bullet base.
I didn't actually answer this bit of your OP because I was more concerned with your possible min max load issue.

There is no problem with powder being "quite close to the top"

There is even an argument that the bullet base touching or compressing the powder is advantageous.

There is some discussion about "flashover" with small powder charges, which I gather is largely dismissed...do a search.

Alan
 
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