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6.5 PRC speed issues

BergaraGuy

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May 30, 2019
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So I've shot factory loads, and worked up loads based on both Hornady and Hodgdon load data for 6.5 PRC using H1000 and H4831SC, and keep coming up WAY slow compared to the published data, to the tune of hundreds of feet per second. I thought this was just the rifle (a Ruger Hawkeye Long Range), so I bought a Seekins Havak in 6.5 PRC...same issue. But I recently read where some of you are getting published speeds, and several were using a Seekins. I'm having to go 2-3 full grains above published max to get even close to 3000 fps (not even Hornady max) out of a 147 ELD-M, which makes me WAY nervous. I'm not showing any pressure signs out of the Seekins except for just a little primer cratering, but the Ruger is showing sticky bolt and a fair amount of cratering. I've been reloading for multiple other calibers for a number of years, and have never seen differences between published and actual this bad. Is anyone else seeing this disappointing of results?
 

MNTC

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  • Apr 29, 2017
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    So I've shot factory loads, and worked up loads based on both Hornady and Hodgdon load data for 6.5 PRC using H1000 and H4831SC, and keep coming up WAY slow compared to the published data, to the tune of hundreds of feet per second. I thought this was just the rifle (a Ruger Hawkeye Long Range), so I bought a Seekins Havak in 6.5 PRC...same issue. But I recently read where some of you are getting published speeds, and several were using a Seekins. I'm having to go 2-3 full grains above published max to get even close to 3000 fps (not even Hornady max) out of a 147 ELD-M, which makes me WAY nervous. I'm not showing any pressure signs out of the Seekins except for just a little primer cratering, but the Ruger is showing sticky bolt and a fair amount of cratering. I've been reloading for multiple other calibers for a number of years, and have never seen differences between published and actual this bad. Is anyone else seeing this disappointing of results?

    What's your barrel length, brass, primer, powder weight, bullets, and velocities you are seeing?
     

    BergaraGuy

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    May 30, 2019
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    Well Ruger has 26", Seekins 24" barrel. As mentioned, 147 ELD-M. CCI 200 primers. Hornady and Gunwerks brass behaving the same. Take a Hornady published weight, and I have to add about 3 grains to get their published speed. Ex. 56.8 of H4831 gets me about 2950 fps, Hornady says I should get that at 53.2. Similar results for H1000. So my question was simply if anyone else was seeing this big of a difference between published fps and actual for the 6.5 PRC?
     

    6brshooter

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  • Oct 2, 2012
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    Those max charges are a guideline, I think they purposely have the max low because they know some people will go straight to the max charge instead of working up. How many rds on your barrels? My 26" shilen was slow at first, but hammered. 140eldm were at 3040 with 58.7gr h1000, barrel has sped up to 3120fps with same load. It's actually sped up enough that I'm out of the accuracy node and I need to cut charge weight and retune.
     

    BergaraGuy

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    May 30, 2019
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    The Ruger has about 300 rounds through it, and has sped up about 70fps based on factory 147 eld-m tests between first rounds and the last time at the range. The Seekins has about 150 rounds down the tube, has sped up maybe 40 fps. I'll run a test with factory ammo that I shot the break-in rounds with next time I'm out with the Havak. Accuracy on both is pretty good with the right (but slow) load, with the 147 ELD's (.75" for the Ruger, .65' for the Seekins), just the velocities are way low. I've got 2 Chargemaster Lite's, an S&D and another digital that I've been confirming charge weights with, so that's not the problem. I'm at the point where if I can't get close to 3000fps without blowing myself up I'm going to sell both guns, since this has been an expensive and completely diappointing little experiment (though I love the Seekins) . But I can get almost to the velocities I'm seeing with the 6.5 PRC with a hot load in my 6.5 Creedmoor. I've just never seen any other caliber's load data being so different than what I'm getting. Very strange.
     

    Sticks

    That guy
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    Oct 5, 2018
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    54.14 gr of RL-26 (unicorn powder right now) with 147 ELD at 2.955 gets me 3020 FPS in a 26" MPA barrel. Factory 147 ammo also runs 3020. I consider myself to be lucky and have a fast barrel.

    I have not tried any other powders right now. I don't think you are the only one that is not getting "Published speeds" as they tend to be a little exaggerated - it sells rifles, ammo, powder and bullets.

    Wait to see what factory ammo speeds are. IMO that should have been the first thing to be done with a new barrel/rifle to establish a baseline.

    If your max published load is in the mid 2800s and you are holding sub MOA at 800+ yards....Quit complaining. I'd take a slow load that shoots bugholes over a hyper fast that can't group.
     

    6brshooter

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    The Ruger has about 300 rounds through it, and has sped up about 70fps based on factory 147 eld-m tests between first rounds and the last time at the range. The Seekins has about 150 rounds down the tube, has sped up maybe 40 fps. I'll run a test with factory ammo that I shot the break-in rounds with next time I'm out with the Havak. Accuracy on both is pretty good with the right (but slow) load, with the 147 ELD's (.75" for the Ruger, .65' for the Seekins), just the velocities are way low. I've got 2 Chargemaster Lite's, an S&D and another digital that I've been confirming charge weights with, so that's not the problem. I'm at the point where if I can't get close to 3000fps without blowing myself up I'm going to sell both guns, since this has been an expensive and completely diappointing little experiment (though I love the Seekins) . But I can get almost to the velocities I'm seeing with the 6.5 PRC with a hot load in my 6.5 Creedmoor. I've just never seen any other caliber's load data being so different than what I'm getting. Very strange.

    Wait, so you're cool with going way over max in 6.5creed, but get the heeby jeebies about getting to max in prc? I'd be more let down by your barrels, than I would be of cartridge. Sounds like you got 2 slow barrels, cause everyone else gets fine speed. I wouldn't hold a load manual up as what to expect in powder charge/velocity correlations. Their barrel is vastly different than yours. A load manual is a loose guide to an experienced reloader, all I use it for is a starting point and to also see what is best powder to start with in an unfamiliar cartridge.

    When I started on 6.5prc, I had 4831sc on hand and would love for it to work. Unfortunately it's a better powder with lighter bullets in this case. It's too fast burn rate will hit pressure before speed with heavier bullets. H1000, imr8133, rl26, retumbo are all better options. Sucked cause I had none of those powders, but if I wanted optimal performance, it dictated using one of those powders.
     
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    918v

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    Jul 15, 2007
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    Maybe you’re too close to the lands? Repeat the test at factory COAL.
     

    MNTC

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  • Apr 29, 2017
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    Another thing would be verifying velocity on another chrono. Maybe you have. Just an idea.
     

    BergaraGuy

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    May 30, 2019
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    Maybe you’re too close to the lands? Repeat the test at factory COAL.
    Well that's another interesting point. The freebore on the Ruger is short...factory 147 loads are actually jammed. Seekins is long, to the point where I'm going to have to single feed the 147s in order to get anywhere close to the lands. Measured with Hornady guage and several other methods.
     

    BergaraGuy

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    May 30, 2019
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    Wait, so you're cool with going way over max in 6.5creed, but get the heeby jeebies about getting to max in prc? I'd be more let down by your barrels, than I would be of cartridge. Sounds like you got 2 slow barrels, cause everyone else gets fine speed. I wouldn't hold a load manual up as what to expect in powder charge/velocity correlations. Their barrel is vastly different than yours. A load manual is a loose guide to an experienced reloader, all I use it for is a starting point and to also see what is best powder to start with in an unfamiliar cartridge.

    When I started on 6.5prc, I had 4831sc on hand and would love for it to work. Unfortunately it's a better powder with lighter bullets in this case. It's too fast burn rate will hit pressure before speed with heavier bullets. H1000, imr8133, rl26, retumbo are all better options. Sucked cause I had none of those powders, but if I wanted optimal performance, it dictated using one of those powders.
    6.5 Creedmoor is only slightly over and not showing any presure signs. 6.5 PRC is showing sticky bolt and flattened primers.
     

    BergaraGuy

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    May 30, 2019
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    Wait, so you're cool with going way over max in 6.5creed, but get the heeby jeebies about getting to max in prc? I'd be more let down by your barrels, than I would be of cartridge. Sounds like you got 2 slow barrels, cause everyone else gets fine speed. I wouldn't hold a load manual up as what to expect in powder charge/velocity correlations. Their barrel is vastly different than yours. A load manual is a loose guide to an experienced reloader, all I use it for is a starting point and to also see what is best powder to start with in an unfamiliar cartridge.

    When I started on 6.5prc, I had 4831sc on hand and would love for it to work. Unfortunately it's a better powder with lighter bullets in this case. It's too fast burn rate will hit pressure before speed with heavier bullets. H1000, imr8133, rl26, retumbo are all better options. Sucked cause I had none of those powders, but if I wanted optimal performance, it dictated using one of those powders.
    I'll go back to H1000, but to get any speeds, it's WAY compressed at 3 grains over Hornady max published
     

    6brshooter

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    What's your charge? Quit saying 3 grains over hornady max. What's your creedmoor load, powder charge and speed?
     

    BergaraGuy

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    May 30, 2019
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    We sort of got off topic. The original question that I was hoping someone would answer was whether anyone else was seeing a big difference between published load data and actual results, to the tune of several hundred feet slower than Hornady's, or having to go way above (as in 3 gr) max published (54.5 gr for H4831, 57.4 gr for H1000). Creedmoor load is not the issue.
     

    BergaraGuy

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    May 30, 2019
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    I get 3090 with 140eldm and 57.8gr h1000 in a 26" shilen, 3045 with 57.5, and 3125 with 58.7gr
    Great. Thanks for the info. I've got some 140 BTHP Match that I'll try until I can get my hands on some 140 eldm, but I would think speeds would be similar.
     

    akxx

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    Hey OP--did you ever get this sorted out? Curious if scale or chrono swaps showed anything different.
     
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    Cascade Hemi

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    We sort of got off topic. The original question that I was hoping someone would answer was whether anyone else was seeing a big difference between published load data and actual results, to the tune of several hundred feet slower than Hornady's, or having to go way above (as in 3 gr) max published (54.5 gr for H4831, 57.4 gr for H1000). Creedmoor load is not the issue.

    I worked up to 3129fps with 153 A-Tip and 55.8gr RL26 before I saw the beginning of pressure signs. QL is nearly spot on for my rifle with this combo and it estimates pressure to be just over 58K PSI. SD's kind of fell apart at the top despite groups well under .5". The node appears to be around 55.0gr. Barrel length is 30" with a .130" throat. The barrel has 120 rounds through it, the initial pressure ladder at 25 rounds showed pressure starting at 55.0gr but has since changed to 55.8gr. Hornady's load data appears to be realistic for my rifle, possibly conservative for the charge weight. They state they used a GAP rifle for load development and I would expect it to be faster than most factory guns.
     

    DDRH65CM

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    I cant speak for the Ruger but the Seekins may need more rounds through it...mine fully sped up ~220rnds. Had 2 diff lots of factory ammo and one lot was faster than the other. The slower lot is now shooting about 2920fps.

    I think my factory bbl had a poor chamber job. Brass grew quite a lot compared to my pre-fit bbls.
     
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    BergaraGuy

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    May 30, 2019
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    Thanks for all of the input. I checked out the Magnetospeed on several other rifles of various calibers...readings were consistent with previous, so I don't think that was the problem. After about a hundred more rounds, the Seekins shot 2950 fps with the 147 ELD-M with 55.6 gr 4831SC, which is 1.1 grain over Hornady max, but still much slower than published. I'm getting heavy bolt lift, so I know I'm past the max charge. It's shooting pretty well, decent groups at 100 yds (~.75"), and banging steel OK all the way out to 1600 yds, but is still way slower than I'd hoped (and been led to believe). I had a hard time getting my hands on any H1000 again, but I came upon a few pounds so I'll try that again. Would love to try some RL-26, but apparently that's not going to happen any time soon. I think I just got a couple of slow barrels(?).
     

    Cascade Hemi

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    Your velocity is exactly where it should be with that combination. QL is predicting your load to be 2947FPS and 65K PSI. H4831 is too fast. If you can't find RL26 or H1000, try RL25 or N560. Powder Valley has both.
     

    MNTC

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  • Apr 29, 2017
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    @BergaraGuy Surely someone in your area can spare a few rounds worth of RL26 powder for you to just try out and verify so you can put the barrel speed issue behind you.

    If your in CO shoot me a PM and I'll share some for you to at least try 10 rounds with it.

    Or better yet if your out of state, send me 20 pieces of your prepped brass and whatever pills you want to use in a small flat rate box, I'll load them up for you with RL26 on my A&D 120 setup and send them back to you and ill even pay the return shipping for you. Just tell me the specs you want and ill turn them around in one day.
     

    BergaraGuy

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    May 30, 2019
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    @BergaraGuy Surely someone in your area can spare a few rounds worth of RL26 powder for you to just try out and verify so you can put the barrel speed issue behind you.

    If your in CO shoot me a PM and I'll share some for you to at least try 10 rounds with it.

    Or better yet if your out of state, send me 20 pieces of your prepped brass and whatever pills you want to use in a small flat rate box, I'll load them up for you with RL26 on my A&D 120 setup and send them back to you and ill even pay the return shipping for you. Just tell me the specs you want and ill turn them around in one day.
    Hey, thanks. I'm in Indiana, but I may take you up on the RL26 loads if I can't find any as soon as I can get some brass prepped. Unfortunatley shoulder surgery 2 weeks ago has left me with only one working arm, so it may be a while before I can get that done.
     
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    Pge

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    Jul 13, 2019
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    Powder question.

    Have you guys used 4350? I had a fella at a long distance range tell me he's been using that with some good success. Due to not being able to get RL-26 or H1000

    Have you?

    Thanks
     

    BergaraGuy

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    May 30, 2019
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    Powder question.

    Have you guys used 4350? I had a fella at a long distance range tell me he's been using that with some good success. Due to not being able to get RL-26 or H1000

    Have you?

    Thanks
    Haven't tried 4350. Like mentioned, no load data. Probably too fast of a burn rate?
     

    Pge

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    Jul 13, 2019
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    I have the Ruger Hawkeye 6.5 PRC Long Dist. I have best results with N565..! And it's clean! 4831sc is really dirty and took a major cleaning to get speed back up. I used JB compound!

    Before I went back to reloading factory ammo cooked the first barrel and their speed tolerance is +/-60 fps so it's really chasing your tail!

    I'm now shooting Berger 144, 153 and Hornady 153 ATip!

    Try the N565.
     

    6.5thorn

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    Oct 28, 2020
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    Factory 143 eldx average 2890 is with magneto speed I did notice it has a short throat you really have to bear down on the bolt to close it on factory ammo both match and precision hunter but no real pressure signs when fired bolt lifts easy. I have reloader 26 and H 1000 wanting to shoot Berger 140 VLDs up around that 3000 to 3100 Mark ,I maybe have about 70 rounds through the barrel
     

    BergaraGuy

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    May 30, 2019
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    Hey I have the same rifle suffering from the same problems did it ever speed up?
    Unfortunately, no. I sold the Ruger 6.5 PRC precision and focused on the Seekins. Continued to see sticky bolt and ugly primers trying to get anywhere over 2950 fps, with either 4350sc or H1000, and that was with several grains of powder over published max charge. The barrel did speed up a bit, but with about 400 down the tube, that seems like it's as fast as it's going to get. Never could find any RL 26. But haven't tried the gun in a while; had the triple whammy of shoulder surgery, Thunder Valley at Rock Castle closing and the COVID BS, so haven't gotten to shoot past 625 yards in many months. Maybe I'll try it again next spring, but there is nowhere near here to shoot past 1000 yds any more, so I may just sell the 6.5 PRC.