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Yokel Matt

First attempt - got lucky

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Had my first crack at reloading today after spending ages staring at the kit and fretting. 

The aim was start the development of a load for my 6.5x55. The ingredients were Lapua brass, CCI benchrest primers, Vihtavuori N160 and Barnes 120 grain TTSX. I was hoping for an MV of around 2800 and figured this would be phase one of a long road.

There were several false starts on the run up to today due to not having little but essential bits of equipment. Needless to say this gave me more time to research which only served to get me totally bloody confused as the data seemed to vary depending on where you got it from. I couldn’t stump up for a chronograph so decided to keep below the book max of 46.1gr and make up 7 strings of 3 rounds with 0.5gr increments from 42 to 45 grains checking each case for signs of pressure.

 

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Book seating depth varied enormously depending on where you looked (even more so with all copper heads) so I took some advice and went with a mean average giving me a COL of 2.885.

The first group was better than my existing factory ammo and the recoil felt less than my airgun! Things got better from there, strings 3&4 were cloverleafs, 5 was only two rounds as I spilt the powder but they were touching, the fourth would have been as well but I pulled it and the last group (45gr) would have had elbow room inside a 5p coin. MV is a mystery but judging from the book it could be between 2750 and 2850 fps... with accuracy like this at 100m I can’t say I care too much.

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Well done you!! There is nothing on those targets that should worry you. The 6.5 is a very tolerant calibre when it comes to reloading. I assume you will be full lengthening each time? I have just run the info you have provided through Quickload at a guess of a 22" tube and at a weight of 45gr predicts 2704 fps (1948ft lbs) with a case fill of 103.9% (so pour your powder into the case slowly)  Please bear in mind that the amount of powder burnt on ignition is predicted at 92.21% and whilst not really an issue, you may find that upon extraction you will occasionally see sooty marks down the walls of the spent cartridge (obturation) - it happens in my 6.5 on occasions.  Personally I would not worry about getting up around 2800 fps - its not speed that kills but accuracy.

Reloading is all about being consistent with your method of reloading - always be methodical - don't take on too many rounds to reload at one time - 20 at a time is ideal, have a system to do your reloading in the same sequence each time. Below is my crib sheet for reloading process - other may do theirs in a different sequence.

 

Edited by dicehorn

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Oh blast it would not let me put the word doc in for me - if you email me exmoordeer@gmail.com I will send a copy that you can print off.........or anyone else for that matter!

Peter

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Hi Peter - very many thanks for your reply. I’ll take you up on your kind offer and ping you an email if that’s ok and may tap you up for a few other tips if that’s ok with you 👍. 

It is a 22” barrel and some of the cases did show some obturation but there were no signs of excess pressure that I could see.

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13 hours ago, zx10mike said:

lucky bugger lol it took me years to get groups like that.very nicely done.

Yes mate👍 Feeling very smug and relieved. Still need to see how fast it’s going so to we’ll see what happens. Using Barnes copper bullets is a new one for me so I’d be interested to hear from anyone with experience with their terminal performance - especially at these sort of speeds.

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4 hours ago, Yokel Matt said:

Yes mate👍 Feeling very smug and relieved. Still need to see how fast it’s going so to we’ll see what happens. Using Barnes copper bullets is a new one for me so I’d be interested to hear from anyone with experience with their terminal performance - especially at these sort of speeds.

if there the varmint grenades there a real safe expansion round.i have used them in .204 and 6mm br.i see them as a 3-400 yard bullet because that gaping meplat kills the bc and other bullets with tips just stomp them further out.

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Well done that centre group is a belter mate, I would stick with that one, try it out at 200-250 yards just to check but that looks like job done to me.

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Very nice.

It's very hard to make a 6.5 swede shoot badly!

 

U.

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Hi Matt

Trust you found yesterday useful - sorry I burnt the soup - window cleaner's fault!!!

On your journey with reloading please refer back to me at any time. Hopefully if you are looking for a foxing rig in the future, you wont dismiss the 20 Tac!

Peter

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12 hours ago, dicehorn said:

Hi Matt

Trust you found yesterday useful - sorry I burnt the soup - window cleaner's fault!!!

On your journey with reloading please refer back to me at any time. Hopefully if you are looking for a foxing rig in the future, you wont dismiss the 20 Tac!

Peter

Thanks Peter - great to see you yesterday and many thanks for the load advice and chrono help! You had to protect the window cleaner from those vicious dogs of yours so don’t worry about the soup! 

That 20 Tac both looked and did the business - wish the rounds I brought down grouped like those.. bet you thought I drilled those holes myself!! A little more time at the bench required.

I’ll keep in touch and also let you know how these TTSX work on game as opposed to Ballistic gel.

Thanks again

Matt

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Got to get a chrono. Its like driving a car without a spedo. Accuracy is good and essential but so is terminal velocity. I reloaded 223 and could shoot 410 cases off of fence posts at 100 paces but the bullets didn't expand so they went straight through and that left charlies wandering around with holes in them. When I got the chrono the bullets were doing 2,8. I altered the load a bit up to 3,4 and they were even more accurate and killed on every hit from the other side of an Apple tree out to 300+ paces. I dont normally shoot at that range. It more usual in the  80 pace 》》 150 range.

Edited by Meece

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1 minute ago, Meece said:

Got to get a chrono. Its like driving a car without a spedo. Accuracy is good and essential but so is terminal velocity. I reloaded 223 and could shoot 410 cases off of fence posts at 100 paces but the bullets didn't expand so they went straight through and that left charlies wandering around with holes in them. When I got the chrono the bullets were doing 2,8. I altered the load a bit up to 3,4 and they were even more accurate and killed on every hit from the other side of an Apple tree out to 300+ paces. I dont normally shoot at that range. It more usual in the  eighty  pace 》》 150 range.

 

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