reloading for 6.5x55

maxwell24

Member
hi I need some help in reloading for my Blaser R8 in 6.5x55 for deer stalking here in the UK, I have the kit but can any one give me a few pointers where to start with powders, bullet type and weight.
TA
 

Apthorpe

Well-Known Member
As a recent learner (for 6.5x54) and therefore definitely not an expert, I'd suggest you start off by seeing what powders and primers your local RFD stocks. There is a wealth of loading data produced by Hogdgon, Norma, Ramshot, Relaod Swiss etc. This will give the recipes.
As for bullet choice, at the most basic level, i'd be happy using any weight from 120-160gr, and most expanding bullets will kill deer under sensible circumstances. If you were buying factory rounds, you'd have far less choice and wouldn't worry about the exact bullet choice.

I've been using IMR4350 and Hornady #2640 160gr RN and am happy with the results to date. I may try 130gr SST or 140gr Nosler BT next, and i'll be sticking to long bullets with as long a bearing surface as possible. Load data will tell you what other powders are suitable.

What cartridges have you been using so far?
 
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big ears

Well-Known Member
Ballistically 140gr is the best overall weight in the 6.5x55. It will do for all species in this country and more. I use gamekings BTSP and they are very accurate but nosler bullets are also top bullets. As for powders it depends on barrel length. Everyone will quote N160 but if is too slow and has a poor burn (<95%) in anything shorter than 24". N150 might be better but my choice for 20-22" barrels is RL17. IMR4350 is good but not as good as RL17.
As others have said look what your RFD has but if you can get it RL17,elcho17 (think they don't make this anymore) or RS60.
 

andychas

Well-Known Member
A mate and I have been developing a load for his R8 in 6.5x55, so heres our experience so far,

originally started off with 130gn sierra BTHP and IMR4350 (Norma once fired brass full length resized to avoid "Blaser Click" btw) quickly found a superbly accurate load for this at the top end of book data. My mate wasn't totally convinced by the bullet performance, on foxes at least, with this bullet though.

Next we tried Hornady 123gn SST and N160 instead. This has been more hard work, with a fair bit of fiddling to find a clean burning and accurate load. We were getting really sooty cases at the lower charge weights with this, and some soot at the higher charges too. Tweaking the bullet seating, crimping and using higher charges has solved this. Best accuracy has been at the higher end of the book data again, bullet performance so far with the SST has been good on foxes and deer so will persist with this combination.
Obviously your rifle will be different so you'll need to start low and work up
cheers
Andy
 

deeangeo

Well-Known Member
I'd have thought a trip to Mike Norris (Brock & Norris) & a word with him would help you along nicely; personally, I'd be thinking a 130 or 140gn bullet & Viht N160/N560 or similar burn rate propellant.
 

Gunner223

Well-Known Member
When I had my 6-5x55 120bt's were the best for accuracy, and that was with R17/elcho17 and that's still the powder I use in my 6-5x47 lap.
 

activeviii

Well-Known Member
N150 powder and 140gn hornady interlocks. i have over the years tried all manner of bullets and powders, this is where i ended up.

N-150 gave the best as i use it with 95gn vmax as well (fox) it is also easier to get hold of around here with HPS-tr being local.
bullet wise i tried all sorts. from what i call posh, expensive bullets, right to the ppu. in all cases there was issues of one form or another. some passing right through with out expansion. others over expanding or even blowing apart, speer come to mind with that one. the hornady, even though hard to find at times, seamed to give the best compromise, held together nicely and didn't smash its way through the body. i run then slow. about 2733fps. this puts them just about on legel limit. but they now push their way through rather than smash their way out.
 

stalkerboydy

Well-Known Member
[QUOTE but my choice for 20-22" barrels is RL17. IMR4350 is good but not as good as RL17.
[/QUOTE]

May i ask why .
Whilst I'm not one who chases fps i looked at vast amounts of load data and could never see or find data for Reloader 17 making the fps quoted by people on forums in a 6.5x55se.
What if anything have i missed :thumb:
 

stephentri

Well-Known Member
Hi I have a 6.5x55 t3 and have found reloader 17 works the best in the 20 inch barrel I get 2700 fps with 140 grain sst. Before I got onto reloader 17 I used n560 good accuracy but the fastest I was getting with the 140 grain sst was 2450 fps as all the powder was not burning in the short barrel.
 

big ears

Well-Known Member
[QUOTE but my choice for 20-22" barrels is RL17. IMR4350 is good but not as good as RL17.
May i ask why .
Whilst I'm not one who chases fps i looked at vast amounts of load data and could never see or find data for Reloader 17 making the fps quoted by people on forums in a 6.5x55se.
What if anything have i missed :thumb:[/QUOTE]

Hi I have a 6.5x55 t3 and have found reloader 17 works the best in the 20 inch barrel I get 2700 fps with 140 grain sst. Before I got onto reloader 17 I used n560 good accuracy but the fastest I was getting with the 140 grain sst was 2450 fps as all the powder was not burning in the short barrel.

what he said
 

Orvil

Well-Known Member
I reload 6.5x55 in a T3 and can't beat 44gr of H4350 behind anything 140gr or 46gr H4350 behind anything 120gr. H4350 is a good, temperature insensitive but 'kin expensive now
 

Ratc

Well-Known Member
Sauer 202 - Lapua Brass, 120gn Sierra Pro Hunter, 38gn of H4895 powder and Federal 210 Match Primers.

2650fps with 0.525" grouping at 100yds.
 

big ears

Well-Known Member
[QUOTE but my choice for 20-22" barrels is RL17. IMR4350 is good but not as good as RL17.
May i ask why .
Whilst I'm not one who chases fps i looked at vast amounts of load data and could never see or find data for Reloader 17 making the fps quoted by people on forums in a 6.5x55se.
What if anything have i missed :thumb:[/QUOTE]


One of the things that makes RL17 so good is the slower longer pressure spike. This gives more opportunity to accelerate the bullet to its full potential
 
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Milligan

Well-Known Member
Hi I have a 6.5x55 t3 and have found reloader 17 works the best in the 20 inch barrel I get 2700 fps with 140 grain sst. Before I got onto reloader 17 I used n560 good accuracy but the fastest I was getting with the 140 grain sst was 2450 fps as all the powder was not burning in the short barrel.
N550 will give you more zip but at low case fills.

To the OP, reloading data is available on the internet, viht in particular is free.
6.5x55 is old, no secrets really. Choose an established powder you can get easily and a bullet in the 120-140gr range and you won't go wrong, especially in a modern rifle.
 

maxwell24

Member
hi, thanks for getting back to me, so far I have used rws 140g hollow point, very accurate but expensive, funnily enough I have just bought some hornady 160g rn to try so will let you know how I get on
 

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