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Thread: The 6.5x55mm Swede Handloading Thread

  1. #1
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default The 6.5x55mm Swede Handloading Thread

    That is is really odd...

    The RL-22 loads I have been testing lately show an increase in velocity for every round fired unless I let the barrel cool for a few minutes between shots.

    Since RL22 is somewhat chamber temp sensitive I figured it was the powder heating up in the hot chamber while I was trying to hold still long enough to make the shot.

    Of course it may take two or three shots to get the oil of of the barrel depending on what you are using and how much you leave in there.


    Here are primer experiments .

    With 46.3 grains of H-1000, Lapua brass, a Sierra 140 grain HPBT Match King bullet, and all loaded to 3.100 inches. With a very slight roll crimp.
    I fired 3 groups, of ten shots each and averaged them.

    Federal 210 Match Primer.......... CG63....2,528 fps 0.90 inch group
    ................................................m/96...2,517 fps 0.60 inch group

    CCI 34 Military Primer.............CG63..2,540 fps...1.0 inch group
    ............................................m/96..2,503 fps...1.5 inch group

    Win, WLR primer....................CG63..2,579 fps....0.40 inch group ********* GOOD LOAD
    ............................................m/96..2,514 fps....1.0 inch group
    ONLY 17 fps extreme spread on this load!

    CCI-200 Primer.......................CG63...2,560 fps...3.0 inch group
    ..............................................m/96..2,535 fps...2.0 inch group

    CCI-BR-2 Primer......................CG63...2,563 fps...1.1 inch group
    ..............................................m/96....2,547 fps...0.70 inch group
    Only a 10 fps SD on this load!
    Might have shot better but both rifles were dirty and I was in a hurry.




    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Fast Powder... vs.... Slow powder
    For the same velocity in the 6.5x55 Swede Mauser. with 29, 23.5 and 17 inch barrels



    I bought some H-380 in an attempt to see if it was close to the original m/94 powder they used in the 156 grain loads. Several books list it as a powder for the 6.5x55. However my rifles all showed high pressure signs well before the book max for the small ring Swede Mausers.

    Hornady 140 grain round nose loaded to 3.140 col to duplicate the length of the original m/94 rounds. I was trying to see if this might be a good deer hunting load.. Lapua Virgin brass, sized and trimmed if needed. WLR primers.

    39.0 grains H-380
    m/96=2,540 fps, sticky bolt and pressure signs. 3 inch group
    m/38=2,389 fps, sticky bolt and pressure signs 4 inch group
    m/94=2,135 fps and sticky bolt, flat primers, cratering, extractor marks. Huge group


    44.0 grains RL-22
    m/96= 2,522 fps, no pressure signs, 1.0 inch group
    m/38= 2,373 fps, no pressure signs, 2.0 inch group
    m/94= 2,199 fps, no pressure signs, 2.0 inch group

    46.3 grains H-1000, a very slow powder
    m/96= 2,512 fps, no pressure signs and a 0.90 inch group
    m/38= 2,325 fps, no pressure signs, 1.5 inch group
    m/94= 2,099 fps, no pressure signs and a 2.5 inch group

    ****

    Please note that with worn barrels in the m/94 and m/38, the 140 grain Hornady round nose still had blacken case necks. I think it is from the bullet having to jump so far before engaging the rifling. In this case the rear (base of the bullet is out of the case mouth pretty fast and the bullet is spending time in no-mans-land.

    The longer 160 grain Hornady bullets loaded to the same COL are seated deeper into the case neck. They shoot better groups in the worn barrel rifles and are going nearly as fast as the 140s with no pressure signs. The case necks are clean with the 160 grain bullets.
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  2. #2
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks for bringing this subject back to life in a definitively titled thread. I'm really interested to see what your RL22 loads look like.

  3. #3
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    Here are some more experiments with RL-22 loads

    Warm weather experiments



    6.5x55mm
    120gr Sierra HPBT
    43.0gr H-4350
    CCI-200
    WW Brass
    3.00 col, no crimp
    2,787 fps m/96
    2,649 fps m/38
    2,380 fps m/94

    0.39 in grp m/96
    1.67 in grp m/38
    1.66 in grp m/94
    no pressure signs
    Clean brass


    6.5x55mm
    120gr NOSLER Bal-Tip
    47.0gr RL-22
    CCI-200
    WW Brass
    3.00 col, no crimp
    2,724 fps m/96
    2,619 fps m/38

    0.28 in grp m/96
    3.69 in grp m/38
    no pressure signs
    Clean brass
    Aug 30, 2009. temp 65F




    6.5x55mm
    140gr Sierra HPBT
    46.3gr RL-22
    CCI-200
    WW Brass
    3.055 col, no crimp
    2,729 fps m/96
    2,622 fps m/38
    2,342 fps m/94
    0.68 in grp m/96
    1.19 in grp m/38
    3.20 in grp m/94
    no pressure signs
    Clean brass
    temp 65F




    COLDER TEMP TESTING




    6.5x55mm Swede
    120gr SMK
    40.0gr RL-17
    Lapua, WW Standard primer
    3.050 COL no Crimp
    CG-63 2,670fps and 1.5 inch grp
    M/96 2,650fps and 1.2 inch grp
    Dirty case necks, temp neg 15C

    6.5x55mm Swede
    120gr SMK
    46.0gr H-4831
    Lapua brass, CCI-200
    3.070 COL no Crimp
    CG-63 2,770fps and 1.2 inch grp
    M/96 2,664fps and 1.75 inch grp
    Clean cases, temp neg 15 C



    6.5x55mm Swede
    142gr SMK
    44.5gr H-4831
    Lapua, CCI-200
    3.090 COL no Crimp
    CG-63.. Not tested due to yaw
    M/96.. 2,570fps and 1.5 inch grp
    Clean cases, temp neg 15C



    6.5x55mm Swede
    140gr Sierra game king BT
    46.5gr H-1000
    Lapua, WW Standard primer
    3.100 COL, no Crimp
    CG-63 2,612fps and 1.75 inch grp
    M/96 2,500 fps and 1.0 inch grp
    Medium dirty necks, Temp Neg 15C




    How far you need to seat for accuracy photo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 6.5 Swede Seating depth pic 001.jpg  
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  4. #4
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't have anything to contribute here, yet, but look forward to it in the future. In the meantime I can only ask questions. Has anyone worked with the Barnes X's in the 6.5x55?

  5. #5
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    TRIED SOME RL-25

    Since I always obtain good groups from slow powders in colder weather, I decided to try some RL-25.

    46.3 grains RL-25, 140 grain Nosler Competition BTHP, Lapua Brass, WW Primers (ran out of match primers) 3.100 col. Temp 10 F.

    CG-63 = 2,540 fps and a 1.20 inch group no pressure signs
    m/96 = 2,500 fps and a 0.70 inch group no pressure signs


    Tried some Hornady 129 grain SST bullets

    46.5 grains RL-19, Hornady 129 grain SST, Lapua Brass, WW Primers, 3.090 col Temp 10 F

    CG-63 = 2,790 fps and a 0.64 inch group
    m/96 = 2,734 fps and a 1.00 inch group
    m/38 = 2,675 fps and a 0.45 inch group best group this worn out rifle ever fired

    This would be a great deer and Caribou hunting load as long as this bullet will hold together at impact velocities.



    Then tried some 130 grain BERGER VLD bullets

    46.5 Grains RL-19, 130 grain Berger VLD, Lapua Brass, WW Primers, 3.110 col Temp 10 F

    CG-63= 2,775 fps and a 1.00 inch group
    m/96 = 2,744 fps and a huge 3.00 inch group
    m/38 = 2,616 fps and a 4 inch group
    The exact opposite of what I expected

    Taiga ,,

    I have some Barnes experiments in my book... I will look them up this week, I gotta get ready for a CAP squadron inspection by the AK Wing
    I.G.

    Was hoping some other folks would jump in here...
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  6. #6

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    Ok I have nothing unusual but will post, if for no other reason to encourage your efforts.

    Hornady 129 sp fed 210/ fed case 1908 CG 1896 IMR 4350
    41g 2450 1.5 group
    42g 2520 0.7 '
    42.5 2580 1.0
    43 2660 2.0
    43.5 2700 2.0

    I use hornady because they are cheap and accurate for practice. I still have the 0.7 inch 5 shot group on my wall. These are open sight groups at 100 yds. I expect with a scope it would be more consistent and accurate. I use 42.5g now as the rifle is 102 yrs old and I love it. last time out this load produced groups of just under 1.0 to just over 2.0 inches at 2653 fps.

    speer 120 spitzer fed 210 /Norma case 1896 cg IMR 4895
    39g 2683 1.5 group

    Sierra 120 spitzer fed 210/Norma case 1896 cg IMR 4350
    43g 2639 2.0 group.

    I guess the two loads above are somewhat of a tiny comparison between a relatively fast and medium-slow powder. I was encouraged by the 4895 but ran out....

    Ruger M77 Scoped
    H4831 RP brass fed 210 140 hornady sp
    44g 2432 fps 1.0 inch
    45 2488 fps 0.8 inch
    45.5 2542 fps 0.8 inch

    H4350 RP brass fed 210 140 hornady sp
    41.5 2526 fps 1.5
    42 2540 fps 1.5inch
    42.5 2565 fps 1.0 inch

    I have switched to Hodgon powder as I shoot anwhere from +30 celcius to -15 celcius. I am still experimenting and working up these two loads.

    I have noted during my time with the 6.5 that it seems almost impossible to find a bad load when working up with 4350 and 4831.

    Wife saw an article of lead in game meat. Ridiculous, but I used it as an excuse to buy Barnes 120 TSX. So thats next in line for the ruger.

    Cheers

  7. #7

    Default What a great caliber!

    I got a Swede as a gift, and in working with it was surprised that I had lock time problems with CCI 200's in my work-up with RL 19 and H4350 pushing Hornady 129gr SP. I now use CCI 250 and have no lock time or pressure issues, which is good. Anyone have similar experience with needing magnum primers?

    Still trying to solve the accuracy riddle though.

  8. #8

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    acs01 - What rifle is your 6.5 in? I've not encountered that before so not much help. Others on here should be able to offer some good and concise information. Keep us posted.

  9. #9
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    Well I tried the BERGER 130gr VLDs at a longer over all length. I loaded them out to 3.140 inch COL. And again fired them from my CG-63.
    The group enlarged from 1.0 inches last time when loaded to 3.110 col to a rather huge 3.0 inch group. And the velocity jumped up another 40 fps from loading them longer......
    So that did not work out so well.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>

    Then I tried some Nosler 140gr HPBT competition bullets. With 47.0 grains of RL-25 this time.
    The velocity was right at 2,605 fps from the CG-63 which is exactly what I was looking for.
    HOWEVER, the group went to 4.0 inches ...!!!!!

    With 46.3 grains the groups was 1.2 inches.... What the heck.......???

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>

    I even tried some more 129 grain Hornady SSTs loaded to 3.138 COL instead of the 3.090 from last time... The groups opened up to 2.0 inches across the board... compared to the 1.0 or less when seated deeper... go figure.....

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>


    I did run across one old load that stunk in the longer rifles (CG-63 and M/96) but does just fine in my Husky m/38 rifle with a worn out barrel throat...

    Sierra 120 grain Match King, 45.3 grains of H-100V, Lapua Brass and a CCI BR2 primer. , loaded to a short 3.085 inch COL.
    From my 1943 Husqvarna m/38 , this load gave an average of 2,770 fps
    and a 0.50 inch group with one flyer out to 0.75 inch.
    And this rifle does not shoot anything very well.
    Oh, it also punched out the x ring....using the open military sights which I worked on a little to get a 100 yard zero when using a 6 o'clock hold.
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    44 grains of RL22 in Lapua brass with a 210M primer and 139 scenar or 140SMK seated to 3.150 to exactly duplicate M41 Swede ball and sub moa out of my M41B.

    For you guys using modern rifles, I gots a bunch more.

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    My favorite load (in modern actions only!!!!!!) is in Lapua brass, BR-2 primers, 48.5 grains RL-22 and 140 Berger VLD seated for absolute maximum OAL for the individual rifle. I expect 2750+ fps and sub M.O.A.

  12. #12
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    My favorite load (in modern actions only!!!!!!) is in Lapua brass, BR-2 primers, 48.5 grains RL-22 and 140 Berger VLD seated for absolute maximum OAL for the individual rifle. I expect 2750+ fps and sub M.O.A.
    I have loaded 47.0 grains of RL-22, Lapua Brass and a BR-2 primer, using a 140 grain Sierra Match King. From a 23.5 inched m/38 rifle I had 2,631 fps over the chronograph and 2,408 fps from a 17 inch barreled m/94 carbine.

    So your load should be smoking right along...
    .and is too hot for old small ring Mausers like you said.

    BTW my 47 grain load was not all that accurate, so I dropped it back to 46.3 grains of RL-22 and obtained:
    m/96 rifle with 29 inch barrel = 2,729 fps and a 0.68 inch group
    m/38 rifle with a 23.5 barrel = 2,622 fps and a 1.1 inch group
    m/94 carbine with 17 inch bbl= 2,342 fps and a 3.0 inch group

    Also tried 44 grains of RL-22, br-2 and a 140 SMK
    m/96 = 2,522 fps and a 1.0 inch group
    m/38 = 2,373 fps and a 2.0 inch group
    m/94 = 2,199 fps and a 2.0 inch group
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    My favorite load (in modern actions only!!!!!!) is in Lapua brass, BR-2 primers, 48.5 grains RL-22 and 140 Berger VLD seated for absolute maximum OAL for the individual rifle. I expect 2750+ fps and sub M.O.A.

    47 gr RL 22 is what I use in the Blaser with 139 Scenars.

    For you feellow 6.5x55 freaks, note I will shortly have a shipment of factory Lapua 6.5x55 ammo for use as a benchmark in loading...139 scenars and 140 Naturalis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    I have loaded 47.0 grains of RL-22, Lapua Brass and a BR-2 primer, using a 140 grain Sierra Match King. From a 23.5 inched m/38 rifle I had 2,631 fps over the chronograph and 2,408 fps from a 17 inch barreled m/94 carbine.

    So your load should be smoking right along...
    .and is too hot for old small ring Mausers like you said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    47 gr RL 22 is what I use in the Blaser with 139 Scenars.
    I've loaded them down a bit and up a bit, but for 300 yard targets I get/have gotten best performance at that charge weight (48.5 RL 22) and velocity (2750+). Again, THAT LOAD IS FOR MODERN/STRONG RIFLES. I've no issue with the Scenars or MKs but for the record IME the Berger VLDs hold closer in the wind and my scores (always encumbered by my poor doping ability) have been better with this setup than with more accurate loads and rigs.

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    Hmm.

    I am still having problems with getting 140 grain bullets to shoot well in my CG-63. I was rather surprised how the crimp made one load worse.

    I did managed to get some 129 grain Hornady SSTs to shoot well.

    Loads are on the photos:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 6.5x55 140gr Nosler Comp 001.jpg   6.5 swede 129gr Hornady SST 001.jpg  
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    For all you 6.5 lovers, we now have lapau 6.5 x55 brass and 108, 123 and 139 scenars, as well as Naturalis

  17. #17
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    Results of testing in a 1980s era Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in 6.5x55 Swede Mauser.
    *This rifle has been glass bedded.

    At 100 yards, light snow, 32F. 6-8 knot wind.

    Federal factory 140gr Soft Point:
    = 2,375 fps, 0.50 inch group.

    120gr Nosler Ballistic Tip: 46.5gr RL-19, Lapua, CCI BR-2, 3.085 col
    = 2,560 fps and a 1.0 inch group

    120gr Sierra Match King: 46.0 gr RL-19, Lapua, BR-2, 3.085 col
    = 2,508 fps and a 0.50 inch group.


    140gr Rem Accu-Tip, 47.0gr RL-22, Lapua Brass, CCI-200, 3.970 col
    = 2,640 fps and a 1.0 inch group

    140gr Nosler Partition, 47.0gr RL-22, Lapua Brass, CCI-200, 3.950 col
    = 2,569 fps and a 1.5 inch group

    140gr Hornady Soft :Point , 47.0gr RL-22, Lapua Brass, CCI-200, 3.850 col
    = 2,575 fps and a 2.0 inch group

    160gr Hornady Round Nose: 45.0 gr RL-22, PMC, Rem 9.5, 3.100 col
    = 2,288 fps and a 1.5 inch group
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    Interesting that the 6.5mm (264) 140 grain Remington Accu-Tips are actually longer than the 142 grain Sierra Match Kings. Therefore they will not stabilize in some rifles with a slow twist rate.

    Here are both side by side.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 140gr rem accu-tip.jpg  
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  19. #19

    Smile Chub eastman's comment about m96 strength

    Did anyone else read guns and ammo writer, chub eastman's article about his visit to a norma ammo factory. In this article he stated the model 96 action was as strong as modern commercial actions for the 6.5 swede loads. He said that norma uses these actions in their load testing and told him they were as strong as any modern action....this goes against all i have read for as long as i can remember.

    However, if you visit "sarco" you will see a number of these actions used with 30-06, 8x57, 9.3x62 calibers...i've always wondered about the safety of that action. Any comments would be appreciated. Mountaineer

  20. #20
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    If you hold them up side by side, the m/94s,96s and 38s are much smaller. There is NO WAY.. they can be just as strong. My personal opinion is that they are stronger than the other small ring Mauser actions, due to their superior steel.

    Here is one that was pushed too far...

    [IMG]p://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=24823&stc=1&d=12714515 57[/IMG]
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Blown Up m96 #2.jpg  
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