6.5 Creedmoor

Slickrick0999

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So i have A GAP TEMPLAR 6.5 I took off the titan break and put on a YHM 7.62 break with qd for my suppressor. Using hornady match ammo i was getting .21 groups to .45 (shooter error im sure) but now with the new muzzle break i ran a satterly extended 5 shot per load ladder 39.1 grains of h4350 to 40.9 grains. best group is like 40.3 grains that had a SD of 10.3 but my 40.9 2715 FPS had a 5.6 sd with a ES of 10 . but no one hole shots that im looking for. Max load according to sierra is 40.6 should i go higher looking for a better more solid node or is it the muzzle break? Do you guys look more at SD or group size? or will the lower SD get you a better group?
For what it is worth, my 140 bthp load is 42.1 & my 140 eld load is 41.1. Just watch for pressure signs.
I look for velocity flat spots between charges when developing. Usually 2 maybe 3 rounds of each charge weight & on 6.5cm, my first test is 0.3gr increments (I refine after down to 0.1). After that, seating depth testing.
 
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NamibHunter

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For what it is worth, my 140 bthp load is 42.1 & my 140 eld load is 41.1. Just watch for pressure signs.
I look for velocity flat spots between charges when developing. Usually 2 maybe 3 rounds of each charge weight & on 6.5cm, my first test is 0.3gr increments (I refine after down to 0.1). After that, seating depth testing.

Good advice. Once you know max load (to avoid over pressure), you can usually find two flat spots in the speed vs powder charge graph if you look at a 2 grain range. One flat spot is often wider than the other, so pick that one, even if 50 fps slower than max. Repeat in smaller increments (and shoot 3-5 rounds at each powder weight) if you want to make sure it was not just blind luck.

Seating depth optimization can almost always get your groups to tighten up. You may need to look at small jump (3 to 25 thou) in 3-5 thou increments, avoiding a jam, AND try large jump (30-150 thou) in 10-20 thou increments. On a worn barrel you may have to search the 50-250 thou range. Or get a barrel tuner. Deeper bullet seating just adds a small (microsecond) delay in bullet exit time, just enough to allow the barrel to whip upwards and point at the right angle.

Changing out a muzzle brake with one that is lighter or heavier will often mean that whatever factory ammo shot well before, might now shoot groups that are 2-3x bigger, with the exact same ammo. [Group size might also get smaller.] Even locking up your self-timing brake one thread further out than before can cause major accuracy problems

Barrel whip frequency changes with muzzle weight and length. Bullet exit time changes with bullet weight, seating depth, and powder charge (MV) - all contributing to barrel dwell time changes. A good load (optimized via seating depth changes) lines up the bullet exit time with an upswing in the barrel.

You will probably have to try other factory options, usually different bullet weight. Or install a barrel tuner.
 
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Slickrick0999

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Good advice. Once you know max load (to avoid over pressure), you can usually find two flat spots in the speed vs powder charge graph if you look at a 2 grain range. One flat spot is often wider than the other, so pick that one, even if 50 fps slower than max. Repeat in smaller increments (and shoot 3-5 rounds at each powder weight) if you want to make sure it was not just blind luck.

Seating depth optimization can almost always get your groups to tighten up. You may need to look at small jump (3 to 25 thou) in 3-5 thou increments, avoiding a jam, AND try large jump (30-150 thou) in 10-20 thou increments. On a worn barrel you may have to search the 50-250 thou range. Or get a barrel tuner.

Changing out a muzzle brake with one that is lighter or heavier will often mean that whatever factory ammo shot well before, might now shoot groups that are 2-3x bigger. Barrel whip frequency changes with muzzle weight. Bullet exit time changes with bullet weight and powder charge. You will then have to try other factory options, usually different bullet weight. Or install a barrel tuner.
This is almost exactly what I just did.
I wanted to shoot the 140 eld for a better BC. At the same time, I wanted to try out a tuner. I bought a EC Tuner brake and did all of the load development with the tuner set to zero. Once I had my charge and seating depth data, I started playing with the tuner and was able to tighten the group up even more.
 
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NamibHunter

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This is almost exactly what I just did.
I wanted to shoot the 140 eld for a better BC. At the same time, I wanted to try out a tuner. I bought a EC Tuner brake and did all of the load development with the tuner set to zero. Once I had my charge and seating depth data, I started playing with the tuner and was able to tighten the group up even more.

You are well on your way.

Curious how much you had to move the tuner to get the best group size?

Most folks would either use seating depth optimization (and not use a tuner), or they would skip the seating depth optimization and use the tuner to pull in the group size. The two approaches are thought of as equivalent. [But there possibly are some differences in combustion, and how the brass would grip the chamber.]

Curious what benefits you got (if any) from doing both.
 

Slickrick0999

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You are well on your way.

Curious how much you had to move the tuner to get the best group size?

Most folks would either use seating depth optimization (and not use a tuner), or they would skip the seating depth optimization and use the tuner to pull in the group size. The two approaches are thought of as equivalent. [But there possibly are some differences in combustion, and how the brass would grip the chamber.]

Curious what benefits you got (if any) from doing both.
Well, that was my goal. I think I first started seeing tuners in about 2016. I spent 2 years shooting UBR (short range benchrest) with a 6ppc. I learned a lot from those guys. My gun did not have a tuner but I've been intrigued by them since.
I saw the EC tuner/brake and thought that was my chance since I didn't have to have any different threads on the barrel. I actually set out to try and see if the tuner would do anything at all. That is why I did the full load work up (charge & seat) with the new tuner brake set at zero. I wanted to get as much out of the load using my methods as possible before attempting anything with the tuner. I had the load shooting between 1/4 & 1/2 moa. Now, I do not take all the pains that some do and I'm just running Hornady brass & bullets.
Once I got everything I could out of it, I played with the tuner. EC says to move the tuner in increases of 2 to start with. I went from setting 0 to setting 2 and it tightened the group up to that 1 hole 3 shot group. I locked it down there! I am thinking (maybe) since I did do all the work up that might be why I didn't have to move it much. My thinking was that I might as well do all the work up to get the most I could then use the tuner to "sqeak" a little more out of it.
 
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NamibHunter

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Well, that was my goal. I think I first started seeing tuners in about 2016. I spent 2 years shooting UBR (short range benchrest) with a 6ppc. I learned a lot from those guys. My gun did not have a tuner but I've been intrigued by them since.
I saw the EC tuner/brake and thought that was my chance since I didn't have to have any different threads on the barrel. I actually set out to try and see if the tuner would do anything at all. That is why I did the full load work up (charge & seat) with the new tuner brake set at zero. I wanted to get as much out of the load using my methods as possible before attempting anything with the tuner. I had the load shooting between 1/4 & 1/2 moa. Now, I do not take all the pains that some do and I'm just running Hornady brass & bullets.
Once I got everything I could out of it, I played with the tuner. EC says to move the tuner in increases of 2 to start with. I went from setting 0 to setting 2 and it tightened the group up to that 1 hole 3 shot group. I locked it down there! I am thinking (maybe) since I did do all the work up that might be why I didn't have to move it much. My thinking was that I might as well do all the work up to get the most I could then use the tuner to "sqeak" a little more out of it.

Thanks for the details.

That is kinda what i expected: The seating depth optimization got you very close to “optimal”. The tuner then got that last little bit out of your rifle.

The theory would predict that seating dept optimization in smaller (2-3) thou increments could potentially have achieved the same group size. But that takes a more elaborate load development exercise. A tuner is just so much easier than going home, loading another tray of ammo, and driving back to the range.

I have the kit (arbor press and LE Wilson seater) to load at the bench, and did that for a while before installing a tuner. Managed at more than one occasion to tune a load below 0.2”. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

My latest 6.5 CM barrel is now getting close to 2,000 rounds, and groups have grown a little. Every 200-300 rounds, i will try a tuner setting two increments left and two increments to the right. Often that pulls in the group some amount. [Of course, not something to do during a competition.]

BTW, if you take off a brake to remove a carbon ring in front of the crown, no matter how carefully you put it back, the rifle will often be slightly out of tune. A quick tuner session and you are back in business.
 
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8pointer

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    Has anyone found out what barrel length gets a full burn for a max charge of whatever they are running? I was quite shocked at how much faster my 26" Proof was over the prior 22"....quite a bit more than I was expecting by the time the barrel was broken in. Just wondered as I run near a full charge with 43.8 of StaBall and hadn't thought about it since load dev until someone was asking me about my mv the other day.
     

    NamibHunter

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    Has anyone found out what barrel length gets a full burn for a max charge of whatever they are running? I was quite shocked at how much faster my 26" Proof was over the prior 22"....quite a bit more than I was expecting by the time the barrel was broken in. Just wondered as I run near a full charge with 43.8 of StaBall and hadn't thought about it since load dev until someone was asking me about my mv the other day.

    Have some relevant experience with this: In a 26” barrel, powders like H4350 or IMR4350 and IMR4381SC show a small amount of muzzle flash, indicating some powder kernels are burning outside the barrel, but probably close to optimal.

    When i mounted a 30” barrel, hoping to get a lot more speed, both H4350 and IMR4350 (different but very similar powders), did not gain more than about 40 or 50 fps (for a max pressure load), and slow motion video showed white smoke and no orange flame. That extra 4 inches were a waste for the traditional/popular powders. Did not achieve what i paid for.

    When i tried RL-17 and Superformance, i could get closer to 80-100 fps more, which was worth the extra money i thought. [I suspect that W760 will do similar.] Btw for the heavy 6.5 mm bullets (147-156), the difference was bigger. But it became a very unwieldy rifle, and only good as a dedicated bench gun.

    My conclusions at the end were as follows:

    1) Don’t expect miracles from a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle by mounting say a 32 or 34” barrel. The super magnums like 338 Norma and the various 375 calibers can get good benefits from long barrels in an ELR application, but a 223 with such a long barrel will be a waste. The 6, 6.5, 7, and 7.62 mm calibers are somewhere in the middle of the weight range with a 25-28” sweet spot in terms of barrel length.

    2) If you want to run a long barrel in the 29-32” range, and want to fully optimize the load, you really have to switch to different powders (with a wider pressure pulse, like the various double base powders), and try slower burning single base powders. [But do understand that double base powdwrs will wear out your barrel in about half the nr shots.]

    3) Switch to heavier bullets with very high BC, in the 147 gn plus category, and pick a twist rate of 7.5 for the long heavy lead core projectiles to get the BC maximized (Stability Factor over 1.5). You will likely end up selecting different powders compared to what you use today.

    4) Consider using the super long high BC mono (copper) bullets like the Seneca (124 gn with 0.294 G7 BC), and the Badlands Bulldozer-2 (135 gn with a massive G7 of 0.358) with a rather fast twist rate like 6.5 to 6.75 and freebore optimized for the bullet of choice. With the right powders from a 28 or 30” barrel, especially if you HBN coat the bullets, you will be surprised at how much speed you can get, wind drift numbers that rival the best 7 mm short action non-magnum calibers. [And no i don’t intend to publish numbers or load recipes. 😊] Just understand that the barrel is then dedicated to monos and will likely not probably work well with lead core bullets. Bullet disintegration and poor accuracy with lead core projectiles are likely, but try it anyway, just don’t be shocked when you see these problems. Mono projectiles are made in a lathe and are extremely concentric and symmetrical, no weird hollows or inclusions, with super sharp tips, and they are very strong, far more so than lead core bullets, so they are often accurate and do well with very fast twist rates. Of course, playing with monos and special purpose dedicated 30” custom barrels is a rather expensive hobby.

    In the final analysis, BC wins out over speed. Speed drops by 30% or more by the time the bullet gets to 1000 yards. BC is mostly preserved (you only lose 5-10% in BC due to loss of speed). So a best-in-class 375 bullet going at 2800 fps will beat any 6.5 bullet going 3000 fps at distance.

    Note to self: Pick caliber and barrel length based on intended use (e. g. F-class vs hunting), then optimize the load, and just accept the trade offs involved. Next time i would rather buy a new 28” barrel in 7 mm or 30 cal, rather than try to push heavy 0.264” bullets over 3100 fps. Bullet weight contributes a whole lot to BC, and BC wins out over speed.
     
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    NamibHunter

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    Somebody with the time and skills needs to do a few hundred QuickLoads runs and determine optimal barrel length for a range of powders…. I don’t have a copy.
     

    8pointer

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    Hey thanks for all that really appreciate it. I'm definitely not velocity chasing was merely interested what a full burn might be neighborhood wise. I was. definitely burning a lot of powder north of the muzzle with 22" and 43.8 of Grayballz that's for sure! Would be incredibly difficult to steer me away from replacing this 26" Proof with anything else thus far just love it. Love the simplicity of ball powder plus hamBerger pills don't want to complicate a push up just repeat it.
     
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    NamibHunter

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    Hey thanks for all that really appreciate it. I'm definitely not velocity chasing was merely interested what a full burn might be neighborhood wise. I was. definitely burning a lot of powder north of the muzzle with 22" and 43.8 of Grayballz that's for sure! Would be incredibly difficult to steer me away from replacing this 26" Proof with anything else thus far just love it. Love the simplicity of ball powder plus hamBerger pills don't want to complicate a push up just repeat it.

    I also found 26” to be the sweet spot for 6.5 Creedmoor target rifles. I like my hunting rifles to be 22 to 24”. One day i would love to try a Desert Tech bullpup rifle with a 23” carbon barrel.

    A 26” carbon barrel will work for many hunting applications too, where a 1” (steel) bull barrel just won’t be practical, due to all that weight forward of the trigger. And i tried it, it sucks in a Texas deer blind!
     

    sifer0425

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    did a full data test on my 6.5 creedmoor 26inch ibi barrel. using h4350 powder 10thou off the lands. 140gr bthp hornady rounds. sized and anealed case. cci large rifle primers. 2interesting spots. i know the 40.3grains works used it for a ora match last month did 8bulls and 2 near misses at 500meters now to try out the 40.8grains next see how it goes
     

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    NamibHunter

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    did a full data test on my 6.5 creedmoor 26inch ibi barrel. using h4350 powder 10thou off the lands. 140gr bthp hornady rounds. sized and anealed case. cci large rifle primers. 2interesting spots. i know the 40.3grains works used it for a ora match last month did 8bulls and 2 near misses at 500meters now to try out the 40.8grains next see how it goes

    That top node ar 2790 fps looks nicely fat and very wide…. Could you go a little higher - or are you hitting pressure signs?
     

    sifer0425

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    had one pressure sign. got a case stuck in the chamber had to bang the bolt pretty hard to get it out. other than that no signs at all. just want to be running to fast i dont want to burning the barrel out
     
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    newageroman

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    I got some hits on the 1250 plate for the first time today. I was shooting the Barnes 140 Matchburners at 2700. Strelock Pro had overestimated the elevation I would need for those rounds, but I'm sure it was more my fault for bad/missing input.

    I started at 100 and went to 1k, and confirmed my dope along the way. After seeing a pattern I was able to correctly estimate the MOA needed for the longer shots. I annealed a bunch of 6.5 and 6ARC today and will be loading the 123 flatlines next. I may have also found a semil local place to shoot a mile.

    1250 has been a big step for me personally, mostly due to being optics/elevation limited. It's been a great day! Hope you guys have a great weekend.
     

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    Agent Entropy

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    Sent out a few this weekend. I'm using N-555 and it seems quite stable in the Texas heat. Running 42 grains pushing 140 Hybrids at over 2800 with no pressure signs. This range has a weird vortex between 800 and 1k and I didn't notice all the shifting winds, so missed a few. Also hard to spot misses with the overgrown berms. Just excuses, I know.

    Nice to see someone else running N555. What's your barrel length? I'm running 43gr of N555 with 140gr Hybrids on a 22" Proof in Carson City, NV. Average MV is 2715 with ES 12 and SD 5.
     
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    TC.TURTLECREEK

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    I am new to the 6.5. I've been reloading a 308 using moly for about 3 years. it was a used gun already. i guess i have 3500-4000 rounds through it now. Learned plenty, but only what it taught me, since it is my one set of "experience", besides a little tinkering with a 300BLK. lets say my only precision experience. So, my new 6.5 is an MPA. Shot Hornday 147 ELD for first 100 rnds and it shoots great. I did see a small amount of ejector print/swipe on the factory ammo. it was running about 2680-2700 fps. I loaded: 140 ELD, Lapua brass, br-4 primer and 41.5 of H4350. COAL was right at 2.80. distance to lands on this rifle are 2.206 and CtoO is 2.186 with that OAL, so 20 thou jump. i expanded the neck using sinclairs mandrel to .262. temp was 90 degress. more ejector print/swipe. i backed it down and i had to get below 40.3 for it almost to disappear. 40.0 and even with the magnifiying glass, it was pretty much not there. This was running 2680, which seems very slow for a 6.5CM. plus, reading folks doing up to 43g, it leaves me somewhat confused. one more piece of info: i measured neck diamter and it measure .264" after firing. that seems stranged too as i expected it, like my 308, to have grown much larger than the bullet.

    question: any thoughts on why my gun is seemingly so slow when pressure signs show? should i just shoot my brass, then resize and worry about it once i have the fire formed brass, knowing all this will change anyways? are precision "hand lapped" barrels slower by nature? thanks for your help ahead of time.
     
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    briang7511

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    once you get a few hundred rounds down your barrel it will speed up. lot a variables as to why you are seeing pressure and slower speed. if you can find some different powders to test you may find more speed. RL16 is a good powder for the 6.5cm. little dirty. RL17 will get you more speed but it is temp sensitive. you can try jumping more than .020. that may reduce your pressure signs. you do mention using lapua brass. it has less internal capacity than others which is why some run more powder. for me going from hornady brass to lapua was 1.1gr difference.

    speed is just a number. when you look at how little it changes at 1000 yards, 50 or 100 fps is nothing. Lowest ES/SD is what you are after.
     
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    sifer0425

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    I am new to the 6.5. I've been reloading a 308 using moly for about 3 years. it was a used gun already. i guess i have 3500-4000 rounds through it now. Learned plenty, but only what it taught me, since it is my one set of "experience", besides a little tinkering with a 300BLK. lets say my only precision experience. So, my new 6.5 is an MPA. Shot Hornday 147 ELD for first 100 rnds and it shoots great. I did see a small amount of ejector print/swipe on the factory ammo. it was running about 2680-2700 fps. I loaded: 140 ELD, Lapua brass, br-4 primer and 41.5 of H4350. COAL was right at 2.80. distance to lands on this rifle are 2.206 and CtoO is 2.186 with that OAL, so 20 thou jump. i expanded the neck using sinclairs mandrel to .262. temp was 90 degress. more ejector print/swipe. i backed it down and i had to get below 40.3 for it almost to disappear. 40.0 and even with the magnifiying glass, it was pretty much not there. This was running 2680, which seems very slow for a 6.5CM. plus, reading folks doing up to 43g, it leaves me somewhat confused. one more piece of info: i measured neck diamter and it measure .264" after firing. that seems stranged too as i expected it, like my 308, to have grown much larger than the bullet.

    question: any thoughts on why my gun is seemingly so slow when pressure signs show? should i just shoot my brass, then resize and worry about it once i have the fire formed brass, knowing all this will change anyways? are precision "hand lapped" barrels slower by nature? thanks for your help ahead of time.
    why did you start at 41.5 grains of h4350??? have you not worked up in loads?
     

    TC.TURTLECREEK

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    once you get a few hundred rounds down your barrel it will speed up. lot a variables as to why you are seeing pressure and slower speed. if you can find some different powders to test you may find more speed. RL16 is a good powder for the 6.5cm. little dirty. RL17 will get you more speed but it is temp sensitive. you can try jumping more than .020. that may reduce your pressure signs. you do mention using lapua brass. it has less internal capacity than others which is why some run more powder. for me going from hornady brass to lapua was 1.1gr difference.

    speed is just a number. when you look at how little it changes at 1000 yards, 50 or 100 fps is nothing. Lowest ES/SD is what you are after.
    thank you. helpful. i didn't know new barrels speed up over time. as to your added last statement, i agree. i ran my 308 at 2760 for a year+, added a tuner, tweaked depth, etc....i was shooting single digit SDs, but 1 MOA typical was the best i ever got (yes it shot less from time to time, but not consistently). then one day, was looking at old data and saw slower node. tried it on a whim. bam, .5MOA. so now, i run 2650 and it shoots lights out. learned that lesson...only took a year and a 1/2... :D

    the 6.5 ballistics are so much better that even at the same speed, it is a huge step up in performance, so as you said, i'm not overlly worried about it, other than its my new baby and i am expecting miracles from the gun. :) its already shooting <.5MOA with my first load attempts, so no complaints.
     
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    newageroman

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    When I started 6.5 loadings I found a sweet node with 143ELDx @ 2550 and still load it actually. I have some other high vel loads, but the bulk of what I shoot are fairly slow and I just rainbow them in. A bit comforting on a hot range day, and its good to know you have a tad more capacity to use if you need it. Unless its for long range, I load mid level by default. Same with pistols (major/minor).
     

    NamibHunter

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    I am new to the 6.5. I've been reloading a 308 using moly for about 3 years. it was a used gun already. i guess i have 3500-4000 rounds through it now. Learned plenty, but only what it taught me, since it is my one set of "experience", besides a little tinkering with a 300BLK. lets say my only precision experience. So, my new 6.5 is an MPA. Shot Hornday 147 ELD for first 100 rnds and it shoots great. I did see a small amount of ejector print/swipe on the factory ammo. it was running about 2680-2700 fps. I loaded: 140 ELD, Lapua brass, br-4 primer and 41.5 of H4350. COAL was right at 2.80. distance to lands on this rifle are 2.206 and CtoO is 2.186 with that OAL, so 20 thou jump. i expanded the neck using sinclairs mandrel to .262. temp was 90 degress. more ejector print/swipe. i backed it down and i had to get below 40.3 for it almost to disappear. 40.0 and even with the magnifiying glass, it was pretty much not there. This was running 2680, which seems very slow for a 6.5CM. plus, reading folks doing up to 43g, it leaves me somewhat confused. one more piece of info: i measured neck diamter and it measure .264" after firing. that seems stranged too as i expected it, like my 308, to have grown much larger than the bullet.

    question: any thoughts on why my gun is seemingly so slow when pressure signs show? should i just shoot my brass, then resize and worry about it once i have the fire formed brass, knowing all this will change anyways? are precision "hand lapped" barrels slower by nature? thanks for your help ahead of time.
    I also have a MPA BA rifle, and it is remarkably accurate with 140 gn factory Hornady and Berger ammo.

    Found max pressure at 40.9 gn of H4350 and 2740 fps (which is low), shooting 140’s. So i loaded around 40.5 initially where SD was lowest. The barrel sped up 50+ fps at a round count of about 150.

    Did a bit more reading through the MPA manual and found the answer: The chamber (and neck) is tight/tighter, smaller than your typical R700 chamber. Probably close to a min spec chamber. MPA calls it a “Match Chamber”, and they state that the chamber is optimized for Hornady 140 gn ELD-M Match factory ammo, and freebore is optimized for that bullet. They also mention not to use the 147 ELDM factory ammo.

    When i tried Alpha brass, which had 15.2 thou neck thickness, a bullet would NOT drop freely though the neck of a fired case, it needed a tiny amount of finger pressure to push it in, so still safe but not ideal, and definitely a tighter neck. My Lapua brass did not have that problem, as it had a 14.5 thou average neck thickness, but i neck turned them all down to 14.1 thou for consistency (probably overkill). Hornady brass is thinner, and there is no need to neck turn, but it is lower quality, with higher case weight and internal volume variations.

    Sent you a PM as well.

    Enjoy that lovely rifle!
     
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    Doc68

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    Did a load up of 3 different powders using virgin Lapua brass, CCI450.
    Used 65 staball
    Hybrid 100V
    VV n540

    25rds each. All seated to 2.855 will see how far off lands once rifle comes in.

    Will seat all .050 off lands. Heard The nosler ABLR bullets like to jump far.

    Will post results once I shoot them

    Doc
     

    TC.TURTLECREEK

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    Apr 24, 2021
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    I also have a MPA BA rifle, and it is remarkably accurate with 140 gn factory Hornady and Berger ammo.

    Found max pressure at 40.9 gn of H4350 and 2740 fps (which is low), shooting 140’s. So i loaded around 40.5 initially where SD was lowest. The barrel sped up 50+ fps at a round count of about 150.

    Did a bit more reading through the MPA manual and found the answer: The chamber (and neck) is tight/tighter, smaller than your typical R700 chamber. Probably close to a min spec chamber. MPA calls it a “Match Chamber”, and they state that the chamber is optimized for Hornady 140 gn ELD-M Match factory ammo, and freebore is optimized for that bullet. They also mention not to use the 147 ELDM factory ammo.

    When i tried Alpha brass, which had 15.2 thou neck thickness, a bullet would NOT drop freely though the neck of a fired case, it needed a tiny amount of finger pressure to push it in, so still safe but not ideal, and definitely a tighter neck. My Lapua brass did not have that problem, as it had a 14.5 thou average neck thickness, but i neck turned them all down to 14.1 thou for consistency (probably overkill). Hornady brass is thinner, and there is no need to neck turn, but it is lower quality, with higher case weight and internal volume variations.

    Sent you a PM as well. Enjoy that lovely rifle!
    thanks again for your help here and in the messages. i reached out to MPA and they responded quickly. they confirmed the 140 gn focus, but did not specify a brand (i did ask). they also said you can use 147. no further details. i rechecked my lapua and it measured 14.5 to 15 thou. the majority of 1fired brass has opened up enough that the bullet slides in fairly easy...not quite "free", but with a light to medium push, it seated....enough that i will need to resize prior to using, so again, i think everything is operating as expected and I just need to turn it down a little regarding charge weight. oh, they also said don't worry about speed as it will pick up. :) thanks again!
     
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    NamibHunter

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    thanks again for your help here and in the messages. i reached out to MPA and they responded quickly. they confirmed the 140 gn focus, but did not specify a brand (i did ask). they also said you can use 147. no further details. i rechecked my lapua and it measured 14.5 to 15 thou. the majority of 1fired brass has opened up enough that the bullet slides in fairly easy...not quite "free", but with a light to medium push, it seated....enough that i will need to resize prior to using, so again, i think everything is operating as expected and I just need to turn it down a little regarding charge weight. oh, they also said don't worry about speed as it will pick up. :) thanks again!
    Glad it got sorted out. I have found the folks at MPA to be super responsive.

    Guess MPA has increased the freebore a little to accommodate the longer bullets. Probably a good thing.

    Of course, once you put 500 to 1000 shots through the barrel, the lands will typically move forward enough to use the longer bullets, without sitting too deep in the case. Double base powders like RL17 wear out the lands quicker than a single base powder like H4350. I go from 140 ELDMs to 144 Berger Hybrids at about 1,000 rounds, then swith to 147 ELDMs somewhere around 2,000 to 2,500 rounds, and eventually use the 153 Berger towards the barrel’s end-of-life.

    My 5 year old Savage 12 has 3,500 shots on it, and surprisingly, it still shoots really well. Recently did three successive groups at 600 that were all below 1.5”. It shoots the 147 and 153/156 gn bullets very accurately at this stage. Load had to go up 1.5 gn to get the same speed, but there are no pressure signs.

    Enjoy your new rifle!
     
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    sifer0425

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    had one pressure sign. got a case stuck in the chamber had to bang the bolt pretty hard to get it out. other than that no signs at all. just want to be running to fast i dont want to burning the barrel out
    had pressure signs today with 41.1 grains of h4350 got 2 cases stuck after firing. so nope on that one. will back it down now to40.8 grains i know there was no pressure signs there.
     

    newageroman

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    Loaded up the 123 FlatLines - just loaded 5 rounds going up in pressure. Loaded 50 Barnes 140 MBs.

    It is strange to see pressure that low, good luck with it.
     

    reubenski

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    Man, I hate to say. I honestly don't "really " measure off the lands. I do the Eric Cortina style. I loaded a round and kept seating in deeper until bolt close was what I wanted (smooth). Then used his method on seating depth tuning (and then used his tuner brake as well). As far as a measurement, I use BTOG.
    Potato - potato. It's pretty much the same thing.
    Baseline + distance at which it groups best = measuring for seating depth
     
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    Hondo64d

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    Trying to narrow down component inventory so worked up a load for my hunting rig with some of what I had left. Load data is on the pic. OAL is actually base to ogive but includes Sinclair comparator so subtract 1”. This is a ten shot group.

    John

    75-F49-E30-FE26-4-FCD-A867-83-C0-EE4-CFFF6.jpg
     

    Hondo64d

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    Haven’t checked yet. I don’t chrono any more but rather give an educated guess and true the velocity on my farthest target (900 yards) using ballistic AE.

    John
     
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    Trubester88

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    Quick question here. I finally got my hands on some powders and primers today. I bought 1000 CCI #34 because I also reload 7.62 and I read that they are similar to the CCI #200. Is that true and has anyone had experience with them in 6.5 creedmoor? Apparently, they are less sensitive to prevent slam fires, but I am sure they respond to solid firing pin strikes.

    I also bought StaBALL and I have .264 Berger hpbt LR 140's with some Hornady once fired brass.
     

    8pointer

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    Quick question here. I finally got my hands on some powders and primers today. I bought 1000 CCI #34 because I also reload 7.62 and I read that they are similar to the CCI #200. Is that true and has anyone had experience with them in 6.5 creedmoor? Apparently, they are less sensitive to prevent slam fires, but I am sure they respond to solid firing pin strikes.

    I also bought StaBALL and I have .264 Berger hpbt LR 140's with some Hornady once fired brass.
    As far as powder goes I have well over 3k probably closing in on 4k rounds with StaBall in various 6.5CMs. Fantastic performance shoot it to a mile every week I don't trickle any charges. I drop within .02g every time I do maybe 5 test drops b/f I start more to get my tempo down on my powder measuring, but double check on a beam scale and digital. Love it won't be going back to 4350.
     
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    TC.TURTLECREEK

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    as I recently posted above, I have been working with a 308 a long time (to me :) ). I am preparing for a PRS match with the 308, but bring the 6.5 with me to the range to fire form and test loads once finished training. Yesterday, I found H4350 w/ 140 ELDS loaded at 39.4, 39.6 and 39.8 to have shot a .25MOA group at 300 yds. I was simply amazed. this brings me to my question: how do you decide between speed and accuracy? Is .25 MOA @2650 better than .5MOA at 2750 with the 6.5? with my 308 using 175g, I went from 2750, but 1 MOA with occassional flyers to 2650 and .5 MOA. That was pretty obvious to me. But the 6.5 being flatter, more impervious to wind, it seems like it gets a little greyer.

    so, which would you choose for PRS and why? .25MOA@2650 or .5MOA@2750? I'm leaning towards .5MOA@2750 just for reference, but thats just because 2650 "feels" slow.
     

    reubenski

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    as I recently posted above, I have been working with a 308 a long time (to me :) ). I am preparing for a PRS match with the 308, but bring the 6.5 with me to the range to fire form and test loads once finished training. Yesterday, I found H4350 w/ 140 ELDS loaded at 39.4, 39.6 and 39.8 to have shot a .25MOA group at 300 yds. I was simply amazed. this brings me to my question: how do you decide between speed and accuracy? Is .25 MOA @2650 better than .5MOA at 2750 with the 6.5? with my 308 using 175g, I went from 2750, but 1 MOA with occassional flyers to 2650 and .5 MOA. That was pretty obvious to me. But the 6.5 being flatter, more impervious to wind, it seems like it gets a little greyer.

    so, which would you choose for PRS and why? .25MOA@2650 or .5MOA@2750? I'm leaning towards .5MOA@2750 just for reference, but thats just because 2650 "feels" slow.
    I would shoot it again and verify you get the same results. But provided you do, I'd probably go with the more accurate load. There is a mathematical answer to this. The only thing that matters is wind. See what your ballistic computer says the difference in drift is. I'm betting 100fps doesn't net even a .1 at 900yds. Ancillary benefits MIGHT be reduced recoil and a more stable load over 1000rds.
     

    TC.TURTLECREEK

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    I would shoot it again and verify you get the same results. But provided you do, I'd probably go with the more accurate load. There is a mathematical answer to this. The only thing that matters is wind. See what your ballistic computer says the difference in drift is. I'm betting 100fps doesn't net even a .1 at 900yds. Ancillary benefits MIGHT be reduced recoil and a more stable load over 1000rds.
    Yep, makes sense .01mil/mph dif at 1000, so definitely not much difference. 26" more drop, but since shooting mostly known distances, that should matter too much either.
     
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    Capemike

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    Excuse me for jumping in, but I have a problem and you guys may be touching on the solution.
    I'm new to reloading and am shooting a Howa 1500 in 6.5 Creedmoor. My factory rounds are right on, but my reloads are about two to three inches high at 100 yards.
    I'm using once fired S&B casings, (once fired from my gun), Hornady 140 BTHP Match. My powder is 40gr of StaBall powder, CCI #200 primers.
    I've been careful to make sure my COL is 2.8".
    A couple of guys have mentioned that my bullet seating may need to go a little deeper. I wanted to put my feelers out before I tried that.
    Any ideas? Remember, I'm new to this! LOL
     

    223762

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    6.5 alpha SRP brass, CCI 450, 40.5 of H4350, 150SMK, 0.10 off and going 2587fps. This is a 3 shot group at 200 yards. Thoughts are 1 inch squares.
     

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    TC.TURTLECREEK

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    Apr 24, 2021
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    Excuse me for jumping in, but I have a problem and you guys may be touching on the solution.
    I'm new to reloading and am shooting a Howa 1500 in 6.5 Creedmoor. My factory rounds are right on, but my reloads are about two to three inches high at 100 yards.
    I'm using once fired S&B casings, (once fired from my gun), Hornady 140 BTHP Match. My powder is 40gr of StaBall powder, CCI #200 primers.
    I've been careful to make sure my COL is 2.8".
    A couple of guys have mentioned that my bullet seating may need to go a little deeper. I wanted to put my feelers out before I tried that.
    Any ideas? Remember, I'm new to this! LOL
    i'm not following you. are you saying your factory rounds have been zeroed and that your reloads are 2" to 3" high using that same zero? that would not be unusual at all, but just making sure that is your point.
     

    Capemike

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    i'm not following you. are you saying your factory rounds have been zeroed and that your reloads are 2" to 3" high using that same zero? that would not be unusual at all, but just making sure that is your point.
    Yes, that's what I'm experiencing. I was told that my bullet might need to be seated deeper, but I am looking for opinions before I tweek anything.
     

    TC.TURTLECREEK

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    Apr 24, 2021
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    Yes, that's what I'm experiencing. I was told that my bullet might need to be seated deeper, but I am looking for opinions before I tweek anything.
    well, the seating might be an issue, but when you reloaded, you basically created a completely different solution from the factory ammo. therefore, the point of impact could easily be expected to be different. based upon powder type and amount, i can very easily create two rounds that don't hit anywhere near each other. if your goal is to try and "replicate" the factory ammo, then you'll need to determine its velocity and then see if the powder you have can produce those velocities while not exceeding pressure. once that is determined, then moving seating depth may change point of impact and change the repeatibility of the bullet. i guess the real question is why are you trying to replicate the factory ammo instead of developing a hand load that meets whatever goal you have.
     

    Capemike

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    well, the seating might be an issue, but when you reloaded, you basically created a completely different solution from the factory ammo. therefore, the point of impact could easily be expected to be different. based upon powder type and amount, i can very easily create two rounds that don't hit anywhere near each other. if your goal is to try and "replicate" the factory ammo, then you'll need to determine its velocity and then see if the powder you have can produce those velocities while not exceeding pressure. once that is determined, then moving seating depth may change point of impact and change the repeatibility of the bullet. i guess the real question is why are you trying to replicate the factory ammo instead of developing a hand load that meets whatever goal you have.
    I didn't realize I'd have to re-zero each time I changed ammo. I know it's good to do each time I set up incase the scope got knocked out of walk.
    I was zeroed in with the factory ammo, switched to.my reloads, and other than being high, they were ok.
    I saw in one of the posts here that seating the bullet a little deeper can tighten the groups, so I thought that might be my issue. But now that you tell me I must re-zero with each load, I can understand what you're saying.
    When I read that my overall case & bullet length must be, say 2.82, how much can I safely shrink that?
     

    CavReconScout

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    I didn't realize I'd have to re-zero each time I changed ammo. I know it's good to do each time I set up incase the scope got knocked out of walk.
    I was zeroed in with the factory ammo, switched to.my reloads, and other than being high, they were ok.
    I saw in one of the posts here that seating the bullet a little deeper can tighten the groups, so I thought that might be my issue. But now that you tell me I must re-zero with each load, I can understand what you're saying.
    When I read that my overall case & bullet length must be, say 2.82, how much can I safely shrink that?
    Your 40gr Staball load is a starting load. It shoots higher because it’s going slower. IMHO around 2.810 works well as a start point with the Hornady 140 HPBT. I see you posted you are somewhat new to reloading. If you were going to try to lower the POI by bullet seating IMHO you are changing the wrong variable. Sure it will increase pressure and therefore velocity but there are better ways. Standard practice is to increase powder charge to increase velocity, change bullet depth to fine tune the precision. If you haven’t run a pressure check with your rifle be careful, you can’t just dump more powder in 😉
    9C6AC68E-13CB-498B-8949-FA37CA7653FB.jpg
     
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    TC.TURTLECREEK

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    Apr 24, 2021
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    I didn't realize I'd have to re-zero each time I changed ammo. I know it's good to do each time I set up incase the scope got knocked out of walk.
    I was zeroed in with the factory ammo, switched to.my reloads, and other than being high, they were ok.
    I saw in one of the posts here that seating the bullet a little deeper can tighten the groups, so I thought that might be my issue. But now that you tell me I must re-zero with each load, I can understand what you're saying.
    When I read that my overall case & bullet length must be, say 2.82, how much can I safely shrink that?
    yes, even if you use the same bullet and powder, but change just the case, for example, or even if you use all the same components, but sight in with virgin brass, you will find that once fired brass probably will have a different POI. as to your question on changing seating depth, again, it will depend on your powder type/charge as to when too little is too much. sorry to be "ambiguous", but you are building a system and all the variables have impact on the outcome, so its hard to tell you what one variable is without having developed all the other variables. if you are happy with the repeatibility of the round you have reloaded, i would zero and move forward with it. if you want to move the seating depth, you should probably look at doing sets of 3 rounds at varying depths. maybe try moving in increments of .003" and see how that impacts your repeatibility and see if pressure signs develop. varying the depth can make a round display pressure signs where it was just fine before.
     

    TC.TURTLECREEK

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    Apr 24, 2021
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    I didn't realize I'd have to re-zero each time I changed ammo. I know it's good to do each time I set up incase the scope got knocked out of walk.
    I was zeroed in with the factory ammo, switched to.my reloads, and other than being high, they were ok.
    I saw in one of the posts here that seating the bullet a little deeper can tighten the groups, so I thought that might be my issue. But now that you tell me I must re-zero with each load, I can understand what you're saying.
    When I read that my overall case & bullet length must be, say 2.82, how much can I safely shrink that?
    i should add, i have three different powder loads/bullet combinations in my 308 that have the same zero at 100 yds, so just because they are different doesn't mean it MUST have a different zero. it is just highly likely.