reloading a 6.5 swede, advice welcome !

Polly

Member
Hi all, after the realisation that my 6.5 steyr with a 20" barrel will be sending rounds out at considerably less than factory velocity figures I am wondering whether to start loading myself. Shooting 140 gn Federal powershok quoted at 2600 fps the general concensus seems to be that with my barrel that may be reduced to 2400-2500 fps, I wonder if this contributes to limited bullet expansion on chest shot animals ?
My thought is whether I can improve on factory ammo to give me a bit more velocity, one point is that I can load a 120 gn which does not seem readily available in factory rounds. I am new to loading and dont have a big budget ( Lee loader ) so will not be able to try loads of different powders etc and without a chrono how will I know anyway ? Basicly can I find a formula with maybe a fast burning powder to off set the short barrel and achive higher mv`s without masses of experimentation as I dont have the time or budget.
Happy to be labelled as naive and maybe should just pay £ 56 a box for Norma 140 gn quoted at 2690 fps ???
 

jimsim

Well-Known Member
Hi polly, I'd say with a 20 Inch barrel and 120 grain heads I'd say N160 would be a good choice of powder the figures on the factory ammo boxes I'd say you will struggle to get with a short barrel in 6.5 I shoot 120 noslers with n160 @2900 fps but iv got 23 1/2 inch barrel
 

ziggy

Well-Known Member
I have a standard length barrel R8 that's pushing 140 grain SST along at 2730fps with 47.3 grains of n160 in a Lapua case with a CCI BR primer. Plenty of case space left too so might see what it's truly capable of one day. I tried 123 grain amax with n160 and it was an experiment in getting sooty cases so maybe something like n150 or n550 might be a better option?
 

sikadog

Well-Known Member
If you homeload you will get much better velocity.
I shot with a BSA CF2 with a 20 inch barrel and 120 game kings in front of Ramshot Magnum for a long long time.
I will look up the load if you are interested.
 

Primer

Well-Known Member
Hi all, after the realisation that my 6.5 steyr with a 20" barrel will be sending rounds out at considerably less than factory velocity figures I am wondering whether to start loading myself. Shooting 140 gn Federal powershok quoted at 2600 fps the general concensus seems to be that with my barrel that may be reduced to 2400-2500 fps, I wonder if this contributes to limited bullet expansion on chest shot animals ?
My thought is whether I can improve on factory ammo to give me a bit more velocity, one point is that I can load a 120 gn which does not seem readily available in factory rounds. I am new to loading and dont have a big budget ( Lee loader ) so will not be able to try loads of different powders etc and without a chrono how will I know anyway ? Basicly can I find a formula with maybe a fast burning powder to off set the short barrel and achive higher mv`s without masses of experimentation as I dont have the time or budget.
Happy to be labelled as naive and maybe should just pay £ 56 a box for Norma 140 gn quoted at 2690 fps ???
I'm in the middle of trying to develop a load for my 20" Browning A bolt myself but suffered a few set backs (search my posts to see my problems) but now have some advice to follow and just brought a Chrono so I can see what it's doing, I will be happy to share my load data with you when I get there.
 

cambsman

Well-Known Member
I would suggest N150 for the 120grn bullets. I find that N160 works better for 140 grn heads. Just my tuppence worth
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
The same powders which work with bullet weights in a 24-inch 6.5x55 will also work best in a 20-inch barrel.

If it is velocity you need, Alliant RL-22 or either flavor or 4831 will safely get you 2,600 fps with 140-gr bullets from a carbine with accuracy.

With the 120-gr or 123, or 125, some flavor of 4350 or AA-2209, or RL-19 will safely get you 2,750 fps.
 

The deer man

Well-Known Member
As Southern has said R-22 will get you the velocity with 140gr bullets equally H4350 should get you close and which I've found to be more accurate. R17 works well and has been my standard load giving 2,680 ft/sec. I shall use H4350 next (at same velocity) as my R17 has run out but I'm happy with either, third choice R22.

Or R-17 with 120gr bullets (Sierra PH or Nosler BT). With a COL of 3.000" and 44.6g of powder I get a consistent 2,850 ft/sec and phenomenal range accuracy in perfect conditions of 1/4" (!) out of a 22 7/16" barrel. So with a 20" you might get 2,750 ft/sec or more. I think there also might be room to increase this load but suggest you work up slowly before you go there.

I've experimented with other powders but have found these four to give a balanced overall performance. I'm sure there's more but there's only so many I'm prepared to pour money into trying!

You could also try bullet weights in-between 129gr Hornady Interbond (1st) or Interlock (2nd), they work very well and are accurate with the powders mentioned, H4350 first choice. Maybe a good compromise.
 

Gunner223

Well-Known Member
The deer man, when you say your standard load with R17 gets you 2680, what is your load ?
as ive been useing R17 with nosler 120 bt's and getting great results but want to try some 140 bt's
any info or starting point would be great
Thanks
 

The deer man

Well-Known Member
The deer man, when you say your standard load with R17 gets you 2680, what is your load ?
as ive been useing R17 with nosler 120 bt's and getting great results but want to try some 140 bt's
any info or starting point would be great
Thanks
Hello Gunner, I'm using the following in a modern firearm, Sako 85 so work up to this load carefully.
140gr Sierra Soft Point - 42.4g of R17 - COL 2.950 - Federal 210 Match Primers in Lapua cases - giving 2.680 ft/sec

If you are using BT's I have found you need to seat them further out. E.g. Using 129gr Hornady Interbonds once I found I needed to seat them at COL 3.090, quite a difference!
 

Gunner223

Well-Known Member
Thanks for that deer man, that will be my job for the weekend, and as you say i will start lowish and work my way up,the guns a Tikka by the way
Thanks again
 

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