6.5 Creedmoor

archangel485

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Thanks guys!!!

Archangel
I’ll do exactly that! And yes curiosity has totally gotten the better of me. At this point it’s the principle. Once I figure it out I can shoot my 2850 and be good. My load shoots lights out At this point I feel like I “need” to know.

lunchbox
Thanks. That makes me feel like I’m not crazy! I’ve been reading through this thread most of the day (I’m working ;) ) and it seems like a lot of people are using H4350. Is there a reason? It seems like H4350 is what the vast majority of people use. There has to be a reason why.
haha, okay well more power to you then.

H4350 has been around a very long time and is a very well respected powder. The burn rate is ideal for this size of cartridge with heavier bullets and it is very temperature stable, plus has fairly low lot to lot inconsistencies. So that's why so many use it. RL16 is a really good powder for this cartridge too though and from the data I've seen appears to be even more temperature stable than H4350. But it may have more lot to lot variability, which can be frustrating. It seems like regardless of powder you have to rework loads when changing lots. I currently use H4350, but I'm actually thinking of switching to RL16 for my creed sized cartridges. Part of that depends on availability, haha.

Cal Zant has a blog called the precision rifle blog. He covers all sorts of topics and does surveys on top shooters nationwide to determine what they're using and often why. I'd suggest you check out his blogs titled "what the pros use" and that will help answer a lot of these questions on what and why they're using. I'm fairly sure he has powder choice for one of his surveys, but so many more. He's also a stellar guy.
 

NamibHunter

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Almost certainly your powder lots are different and the burn rates are not the same. Fairly typical actually to see a difference, but usually not this extreme.

Just add some powder and watch for pressure signs. Chambers will not be identical, so one rifle will sometimes hit pressure signs well before another.

Trim cases to the same length. Then weight sort your two batches of brass just to be sure (cull out the bad ones), and compare average weight values. Very likely not the issue.
 
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NamibHunter

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haha, okay well more power to you then.

H4350 has been around a very long time and is a very well respected powder. The burn rate is ideal for this size of cartridge with heavier bullets and it is very temperature stable, plus has fairly low lot to lot inconsistencies. So that's why so many use it. RL16 is a really good powder for this cartridge too though and from the data I've seen appears to be even more temperature stable than H4350. But it may have more lot to lot variability, which can be frustrating. It seems like regardless of powder you have to rework loads when changing lots. I currently use H4350, but I'm actually thinking of switching to RL16 for my creed sized cartridges. Part of that depends on availability, haha.

Cal Zant has a blog called the precision rifle blog. He covers all sorts of topics and does surveys on top shooters nationwide to determine what they're using and often why. I'd suggest you check out his blogs titled "what the pros use" and that will help answer a lot of these questions on what and why they're using. I'm fairly sure he has powder choice for one of his surveys, but so many more. He's also a stellar guy.
When Hornady launched the 6.5 Creedmoor in 2008 they published the load recipe on the ammo box, and they were using Hodgedon H4350 at that time.

95D052B7-3152-4EAE-AF8C-07A69507E937.png

They are probably using a proprietary blend now and has stopped publishing the recipe.

This load recipe may or may not work well for you, but at least it was a way for hand loaders to reproduce the factory ammo produced at that time. Always start low and work up. You may see pressure signs before you get to 41.5 gn depending on chamber dimensions, brass thickness, powder lot, etc.

Very temp insensitive and works well in the 6.5 CM - with 90% plus case fill. And all too often in short supply!
 
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slayer 2c

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I just might know a little country store that has one pounders on the shelf!!! Might pick some up and try it out.
Like I said previously however I got 8 lbs of the RL-16. Might have to use that up first though!!
 

Lunchbox27

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I just might know a little country store that has one pounders on the shelf!!! Might pick some up and try it out.
Like I said previously however I got 8 lbs of the RL-16. Might have to use that up first though!!
If you have 8lbs of it, rework the load and shoot it. RL16 is a solid powder, just too much of a velocity swing for me from lot to lot. Here in Maryland, we cannot purchase 8lbs of powder so it’s only 1 lbs containers for me. I can drive out of state and purchase, but RL16 is never on the shelf of the stores I hit in 8lbs. 8lbs of H4350 come in all the time.

Rework, shoot and enjoy. When it’s gone, then decide if you want to switch. For what it’s worth it was a very accurate/fast powder for me between 6.5 and 6mm creedmoor.
 

NamibHunter

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I just might know a little country store that has one pounders on the shelf!!! Might pick some up and try it out.
Like I said previously however I got 8 lbs of the RL-16. Might have to use that up first though!!
I got good results with RL-16 and Hornady 135 Atips. Have not tried other bullets yet with this powder.

I would say keep using RL-16 until you run out. H4350 is good but it is not really dramatically better than other temp stable options.
 
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Bantam1

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I got good results with RL-16 and Hornady 135 Atips. Have not tried other bullets yet with this powder.

I would say keep using RL-16 until you run out. H4350 is good but it is not really dramatically better than other temp stable options.
I have similar results. RL-16 with my 135 A-tips and H4350 for the 140 ELD-M loads.
 

slayer 2c

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I agree. I’m going to run out the rl-16 and then switch. I don’t want to have to go back through load development every time I switch lots. The good thing is I have 7 lbs left until I have to worry about it!
 

Jordanwickham

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Yes. Same Peterson brass, as for lot number we don’t know it came from once fired Prime that we both shot.
The powder I will have to check. He bought his in 1 lbs from one brownells and I got an 8lbs from midsouth I believe. I would assume that they are different lots. Would velocities change that much from lot to lot?

Another question and I ask for knowledge not to disagree. Would case size change speed even with the same powder charge?
It's hard to say what the differences are but I would guess that the separate lots of powder and brass account for alot of it. Different dies may size cases slightly different. Also I would ask what each of you are setting headspace at and if your headspace is set the same in both rifles. Its got to be a cumulative effect of a few differences.
 
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Fubarredz

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Re: **6.5 Creedmoor Loads**

With everyone's input thus far, is the factory ammo worth focusing on or are the hand load results far better?
My build will be complete soon and I was looking to shoot the factory ammo. I'd like consistent results. I have 400 rounds in the cabinet already. if I need to buy dies, I can move that way too.
I'd appreciate the opinions.

SP
Man if you want a really good Factory loaded match grade ammo go with the Berger 135gr loaded ammo shot 2860fps out of my rifle .2’s all day long the plus with this ammo is it comes with lapua brass so if you don’t reload it you can always sale the brass. .
 
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CNC-Dude

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My RPR in 6.5 Creedmoor shoots the factory 140g and 147g ELD match ammo very well. It regularly and consistently was shooting upper .6 MOA at 600, 800 and 1000 yards. I did some load development and wanted to push the bullets faster within reason to have less drop at the longer distances. I like the heavier bullets, so I used the 147g ELD's and used Superformance powder and the Hodgdon load data. I shot several rounds of the factory ammo at 600 yards to get a baseline FPS reading. My best loads ended up being with the 147g ELD's, 44.8g of Superformance, Hornady brass, CCI BR-2 primers. My MOA's have now dropped to consistent low .5's at 600, 800 and 1000 yards. The FPS at the targets at those ranges are also consistently 175 FPS faster than the factory 147g ELD's, and the SD even at 1000 yards are typically 2-5 FPS apart. I have about 300 rounds through the gun now and have used different bottles of powder and the load has stayed consistent thoughout. Im very pleased with both the rifle and developing a load for the first time.
 

NamibHunter

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I have 8 pounds of IMR 4350. Anyone found an accurate load with this pounder?
I got good results with this powder with 140s at around 41.5 gn in a factory Savage 12. My current rifle has a min spec chamber so my latest loads are not going to work the same in another rifle.

Start at 40.0 and work up in 0.3 grain increments, and look for a nice wide flat spot in the speed vs powder charge graph, and hopefully SD (for muzzle velocity) will also be low somewhere along the flat spot.

You should easily get speed between 2700 and 2750 fps from a 24” barrel shooting 140s, and perhaps 40 fps more out of a 26” barrel.

Other powders are available that will give you 100-150 fps more speed, but many of them have given me larger SD and more vertical dispersion, or they are too temp sensitive. Consistency always wins out in this game. Speed is not the end goal, group size is!

There is always good availability at my local gun store. A little more temp sensitive than H4350, so adjust your load between winter and summer to stay in the desired speed range (node). IMR4350 is not exactly the same burn rate as H4350 (load manuals show different powder loads are needed for the same speed), but it is fairly close (often within 0.3 to 0.4 gn). Not a direct replacement but close.

Btw/ Lots of good data in the loading manuals.
 
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NamibHunter

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I got good results with this powder with 140s at around 41.5 gn in a factory Savage 12. My current rifle has a min spec chamber so my latest loads are not going to work the same in another rifle.

Start at 40.0 and work up in 0.3 grain increments, and look for a nice wide flat spot in the speed vs powder charge graph, and hopefully SD (for muzzle velocity) will also be low somewhere along the flat spot.

You should easily get speed between 2700 and 2750 fps from a 24” barrel shooting 140s, and perhaps 40 fps more out of a 26” barrel.

Other powders are available that will give you 100-150 fps more speed, but many of them have given me larger SD and more vertical dispersion, or they are too temp sensitive. Consistency always wins out in this game. Speed is not the end goal, group size is!

There is always good availability at my local gun store. A little more temp sensitive than H4350, so adjust your load between winter and summer to stay in the desired speed range (node). IMR4350 is not exactly the same burn rate as H4350 (load manuals show different powder loads are needed for the same speed), but it is fairly close (often within 0.3 to 0.4 gn). Not a direct replacement but close.

Btw/ Lots of good data in the loading manuals.
BTW:

If your widest node (widest flat spot in speed graph) is 50-90 fps below max pressure, i woud recommend you load there. The tiny wind drift benefit from that extra speed does not compensate for a bad SD (large changes in muzzle velocity).

Having a wide node helps a lot to compensate for scale errors (a/c turns on causing high air flow across the scale, accidentally leaning on the table, normal scale drift, scale not level, etc.), and speed changes caused by the fact that all powders are somewhat (or a lot) temp sensitive so ambient temperature is a real factor (especially leaving loaded rounds baking in bright sunlight for 2 hours, or cooking a round for too long in a hot chamber), case volume differences, bullet weight variance, or primer spark differences caused by variance in firing pin fall, etc. Picking a wide node makes your optimized load more ‘robust’ (insensitive) with regard to many/most sources of error.

Speed is less important than achieving good SD and low vertical dispersion when shooting at longer distances.
 
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FrozenMinnesotan

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Anybody shooting light bullets out of a 1:8t? Thinking about picking up some 100gr or so bullets for coyote until I get a 223 barrel or another rifle.
 

CNC-Dude

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The lightest I've shot were some 129g Eld match in mine. At 1000 yards they drop almost 16 inches more than my hand loaded 147g Eld's with the same point of aim. If your trying to shoot a wide range, like 100 yds to 1000, you might not have enough MOA adjustment in your scope to do it without having to reset your zero point.
 

NamibHunter

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Anybody shooting light bullets out of a 1:8t? Thinking about picking up some 100gr or so bullets for coyote until I get a 223 barrel or another rifle.
i have shot Sierra 120 gn SMKs from a 1:8 twist barrel and they were accurate out to 300, but have not tried them beyond that. Expect they will work fine out to 600 plus. Eventually wind drift estimation errors will make it challenging to hit the animal on the first shot.

If you use an LRF, there is very little benefit in using a low BC lightweight bullets at higher speed. Point blank range goes up only a little bit. Example: Hornady 95 Vmax goes 3,300 fps and has Maximum Point Blank Range of 327 yards, compared to 286 yards for the 147 ELDM, assuming vitals have a diameter of 6”.

I have before printed out google maps which allows you to pre-calculate distances to landmarks like rocks, gullys and fences from a fixed position. Or use apps like Planimeter. If you know the distance, then a high BC expanding bullet like an ELD-X or similar will work very well.

If you intend to sell the pelts, or do a full body mount of an interesting specimen, then avoiding excessive pelt damage will be the main benefit to using a lightweight varmint bullet that disintegrates inside the animal, like the Vmax. I have not tried them in 6.5 CM. Strelok says the 95 Vmax will stay supersonic out to almost 1000 yards, at coastal elevations, but wind drift is double compared to say a 147 ELDM.
 
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FrozenMinnesotan

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i have shot Sierra 120 gn SMKs from a 1:8 twist barrel and they were accurate out to 300, but have not tried them beyond that. Expect they will work fine out to 600 plus. Eventually wind drift estimation will eventually make it challenging to hit the animal on the first shot.

If you use an LRF, there is very little benefit in using a low BC lightweight bullets at higher speed. Point blank range goes up only a little bit.

I have before printed out google maps which allows you to pre-calculate distances to landmarks like rocks, gullys and fences from a fixed position. Or use apps like Planimeter. If you know the distance, then a high BC expanding bullet like an ELD-X or similar will work very well.

If you intend to sell the pelts, or do a full body mount of an interesting specimen, then avoiding excessive pelt damage will be the main benefit to using a lightweight varmint bullet that disintegrates inside the animal, like the Vmax. I have not tried them in 6.5 CM.
I plan on selling them eventually. Shots would be 400 yards and in with this load. Otherwise id use the heavies. Looking at the 100gr varminter from Sierra, 95gr vmax.
 

Zack_va248

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After seeing improvements in my ES/SD by dropping my charge weight in 6 Creed, I tried the same for my 6.5.

24” Proof barrel with Silco Omega
140 ELD M
Hornady brass
CCI 200 primers
H4350

41.4 was my load before
2830fps
ES 19
SD 8.7

40.6 is my new load
2770
ES 7
SD 3.0

Same accuracy, slower, but I’ll take better ES numbers.
What kind of accuracy were you getting? I'm going to be running the same load. Just curious on someone elses results
 

Lunchbox27

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What kind of accuracy were you getting? I'm going to be running the same load. Just curious on someone elses results
3/8-5/8th moa at 100 yards. Had a nice 5” group at 830 yards with the 40.6 load, though. While the lower node is slower, its definitely more consistent at distance.
 
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SDGator

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So doing load development with Alpha SRP brass, is the advice still to start at 40.0 grains and work up from there, or does that change due to the case volume?

H4350 pushing 140 ELDM's.
 
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Zeju

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Hi guys,

Just did my first proper load development with my 6.5 CM. I can go through the actual data later if anybody wants to take a closer look, but basically my best STD was 5.4 and the speeds seemed inconsistent overall while the groups, generally speaking, were shocking using a 140 ELDX pill with virgin brass.

I had previously loaded 123 gn Sierra Match Kings which were all one hole groups, as well as using standard American Gunner which was quite decent as well. So these ELDX loads disappointed my.

My question is: I felt some tension as I seated each bullet. Is that ever normal? Every time I've loaded anything before it went in like I couldn't even feel it. With these, I felt something new which is why I'm wondering if it affected the performance. I.e. trying to figure out if there was an issue with load dev or if it's just a recipe my gun doesn't like. Every bit of brass was sized and chamfered, and all rounds were 2.800" OAL.
 

Jordanwickham

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Tension in seating a bullet is either a neck tension issue or a compressed load issue. The AMP jacket is more maleable than some other jackets.
 

Zeju

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How would I look into it / fix it if it's neck tension related? The brass was virgin Prime brass so I just resized and deburred, nothing fancy. I did think it could be neck tension but I had a lot of people say to me that there's no such thing as too much next tension, so that's why I'm asking here.
 

Kevins750

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all my brass including new is ran through a mandrel that is 2 thousands smaller than the projectile. Getting the necks consistent as possible.
 

Jordanwickham

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^
Technically there's no such thing as too much neck tension as long as you can seat a bullet. But theres good neck tension, bad neck tension, consistent neck tension, and jacked up neck tension. Neck tension and powder charge are the most important consistency check there is.

Virgin brass also has a tendency to stick a little more than once+ fired.
Get a mandrel die + mandrel. I would also advise Imperial dry neck lube ( for the AMP jacketed bullets ) that jacket is pretty fragile. But at a minimum get the mandrel set up.
The dry neck lube is most important after an annealing ( which is how premium brass comes ) since annealing causes an oxide build up inside the neck which is only an issue on the next firing after annealing. This oxide can cause rough seating and also could cause a cold weld making your neck tension real high.
 

want2learn

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Sometimes in addition to the awesome information that has been presented above and in recent threads some videos can also help especially if you're a visual learner. I've attached two videos that discuss neck tension....they differ in some aspects but there's a lot of good information.

 

NamibHunter

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How would I look into it / fix it if it's neck tension related? The brass was virgin Prime brass so I just resized and deburred, nothing fancy. I did think it could be neck tension but I had a lot of people say to me that there's no such thing as too much next tension, so that's why I'm asking here.
Like others have said, use a mandrel to lighten the neck tension.

Of course bushing dies or specialized dies like the Whidden non-bushing die with a set of sizing buttons of different OD allows you to easily adjust neck tension. I get good results from the Whidden and the Forster BR dies.

High neck tension just delay the bullet release a microsecond or two, changing dwell time in the barrel. Bullet seating depth changes do the same (changes the timing of the bullet exit, to coincide with the barrel pointing at the correct angle in the whip cycle). Get positive compensation to help you.

You can probably get your groups to reduce a lot by adjusting bullet jump. [Or get a barrel tuner.]
 
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Baddog 0302

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As a birthday gift I got the Lyman LR Percussion Rifle loading manual. There accucary load for the 123 SMK is 38.4 gn. of Varget. and for the 140 SMK they list RL-15.
Seams like both loads would be low on the loading density compared to say ; 43 H 4350 or 44 RL 16.
As soon as both I and "Chesty" feel like braving the heat index Temps. I'll give them a try.
 

WilburW

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I would like to ask for opinions on a load for my HMR 6.5CM:
I had a reliable load for 140 ELD-M with H4350. Groups were okay, but not anything to brag about.
After switching to Berger 135 Classic Hunters, the groups are excellent.
I'm just conflicted by the load. I worked up from 41 to 43.2 grains of H4350. At 43.2, SD is low single-digits and groups are excellent. However, this charge appears much higher than other published max. There is some minor primer flattening and just a hint of ejector mark on the base. Chrono 2825. Am I too hot here? I'm not eager to re-start the load workups, but don't want to have it blow up in my face, either... What say you all?

135 Berger Classic Hunter
43.2 gr H4350
Lapua brass
CCI primers
2.800
Bergara HMR 1:8 22"
 

WilburW

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Thx.
I had similar excellent results at 42.3 gr (vel 2779/SD5.9) and 42.6 gr (2798/5.2). It was a small sample size, so I may just go back with a a broader range and larger sample size and see if I can reproduce and catch a node...
 

straight-shooter

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Shooting a Savage 110 Precision which was posting repeated sub groups with this load. Report generated by the LabRadar and MS office. I found this lower node at 41.8gr and a higher node at 42.2gr but with only a 35 fps difference I've opted for this slightly milder load.

 

Sokam101

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Anyone else having problems with Hornady brass getting low SD's and ES's?

The Hornady was a mix of store-bought ammo and some cases I picked up and reloaded. I can only get down to 10-12 SD on my progressive press and chargemaster using the Scott Satterlee exact method he put on the modern-day sniper podcast. I just picked up some laupa brass to try. My buddy using nosler brass is getting 5-7SD using the same method.
 

DMP

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Not only that but Hornady case heads seperate. I weighed 100 once and they weighed acceptably close, but four were 8-9 grains lighter
 

lunatic209

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Anyone else having problems with Hornady brass getting low SD's and ES's?

The Hornady was a mix of store-bought ammo and some cases I picked up and reloaded. I can only get down to 10-12 SD on my progressive press and chargemaster using the Scott Satterlee exact method he put on the modern-day sniper podcast. I just picked up some laupa brass to try. My buddy using nosler brass is getting 5-7SD using the same method.
I’m using Hornady brass I have 4 different nodes that has an ES of 10 and lower with Varget and H4350, lowest ES is 7 with a .3 difference in powder charge. Shooting Cutting edge 125 lazers Fed210 primers.
 

Tokay444

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How would I look into it / fix it if it's neck tension related? The brass was virgin Prime brass so I just resized and deburred, nothing fancy. I did think it could be neck tension but I had a lot of people say to me that there's no such thing as too much next tension, so that's why I'm asking here.
How’d you get virgin Prime brass? They sell loaded ammunition and don’t even make their own brass...
 

Sokam101

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What bullets are you guys shooting for PRS and hunting all in ones? Considering berger 140 elite hunters.