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Thread: 6.5x55 seating depth

  1. #1
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    6.5x55 seating depth

    Still new to reloading shooting 6.5 x 55 Swede please help
    Brass length plus seating depth = over all lenght?
    What should a standard lenght be?
    Also what is the lands and how does that come into bullet seating?

  2. #2
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    OAL is the total length of the loaded cartridge (base of brass to tip of projectile).
    SAAMI standard length for 6.5x55 is 80mm, but if you're handloading you can seat bullets out to whatever length you want.
    6.5x55 factory chambers typically have VERY long freebore / distance to lands (due to being chambered for round nose 150gr projectiles, which aren't particularly fashionable any more).

    Lands are where the rifling starts in the chamber. If you seat a bullet longer than the lands, it will crush back into the case when you close the bolt.
    "Couple thou off the lands" (0.5mm) is a common starting freebore for nerds that care a lot about that.
    You will generally struggle to get that close to the lands with modern projectiles (which are pointier) and a factory chamber (which has a huge distance to lands). Having a large "jump" (distance to lands) doesn't seem to affect me that much, most factory swedes seem to shoot well enough without it being an issue.

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    WallyR likes this.

  3. #3
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    Ideal overall length varies between rifles, and varies a lot between different projectiles in the same rifle.
    The lands are the start of the rifling, at the chamber end of the barrel. It is normal to load so that the projectile is not touching the lands ("has some jump"), or is just touching ("kissing the lands"), but not having the projectile jammed into the lands as this increases pressure considerably.

  4. #4
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    Very informative thxs how do you know how far off the lands you are?
    Do you load and empty carriage (no powder) and put a projectile slightly into shell then load into rifle this will push the projectile to the maximum length and then work back from that?

  5. #5
    northdude
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    Ive got 4 sweedes i load for the military ones have real long throats so cant get the bullets any where near the lands so seat the bullet 6.5mm into the case for the tikka i start the bullet in the case then put it in the rifle and close the bolt open and take the case out put it in your press unwind the seating part of seating die raise case into die and wind seating screw down untill it touches bullet lower case and wind down 1/2 turn more and reseat bullet that should five you a starting point label and keep the bullet you just used and use it to set up the die in future thats what i do and it works for me also obiously the bullet for setting up die isnt live

  6. #6
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    Traditionally, OAL is/was; 3.150, and case trim-lenght;2.155". What make/model of rifle are you reloading for ? A good reloading manual should give you all the data you need, including a 'starting-point' for OAL. The various projectile manufacturers, usually have on-line data for recommended length for each of their projectile profiles also. As already mentioned above, 6.5x55, is often NOT fussy about a jump, before it contacts the rifling, compared with most other calibers. I've always followed the Europeans with my 6.5's, and start 2mm back from the lands, then adjusting it closer to fine-tune. Often,around 1mm, seems to be a sweet-spot, and chasing velocity, for hunting at least, is really unnecessary, anything between 2550-2700, in 140gr, will work fine, and 120's at the upper end are my go-to.

  7. #7
    Member Puffin's Avatar
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    Your first priority should be to have the bullet seated deep enough in the case neck so that it holds the bullet securely for the application you have in mind. For magazine-fed hunting rifles where a loaded round needs to be reasonably robust this typically wouldn't be too much less than a bullet diameter as a minimum.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sr5dan View Post
    Very informative thxs how do you know how far off the lands you are?
    Do you load and empty carriage (no powder) and put a projectile slightly into shell then load into rifle this will push the projectile to the maximum length and then work back from that?
    Hornady OAL gauge is an easy way, you only need to do it once (unless you change projectles) so best if you can find one to borrow, with the correct modified case.
    Another method is similar to what you have posted, but smoke the projectile over a candle (NO powder, NO primer!!!), you will be able to see the rifling marks on the projectile. Loading the dummy round into the rifle may not push the projectile back in the case, so measure OAL first, if it measures the same after loading in the rifle, subtract the length of the rifling marks from your measurement to get max OAL. Or keep repeating, seating the projectile a little bit deeper each time, until you get no rifling marks.
    McNotty and shotie450 like this.

  9. #9
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    In my Tikka 6.5 x55 I load to an OAL of 79 mm which fits the magazine with plenty to spare.( Long Magazine) That's with the 143 gr ELD X.

  10. #10
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    Identify your target beyond all doubt

  11. #11
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    I've been told 78mm is about right is this to far into the case maybe to much jump

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkeye View Post
    OAL is the total length of the loaded cartridge (base of brass to tip of projectile).
    SAAMI standard length for 6.5x55 is 80mm, but if you're handloading you can seat bullets out to whatever length you want.
    6.5x55 factory chambers typically have VERY long freebore / distance to lands (due to being chambered for round nose 150gr projectiles, which aren't particularly fashionable any more).

    Lands are where the rifling starts in the chamber. If you seat a bullet longer than the lands, it will crush back into the case when you close the bolt.
    "Couple thou off the lands" (0.5mm) is a common starting freebore for nerds that care a lot about that.
    You will generally struggle to get that close to the lands with modern projectiles (which are pointier) and a factory chamber (which has a huge distance to lands). Having a large "jump" (distance to lands) doesn't seem to affect me that much, most factory swedes seem to shoot well enough without it being an issue.

    Attachment 96265
    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't it important to measure to the ogive when working out all these measurements? I know lead tipped pills vary drastically in length, even a lot of the lengths of ELDs I've measured aren't exactly that consistent. @chalkeye do you mean 20 thou? The average reloader will struggle to do anything down to 2 thou.
    chalkeye likes this.

  13. #13
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    @Sr5dan check out this video mate. Will give you a basic idea. Measuring to the ogive of the bullet when reloading will keep you a lot more consistent.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kL0HIgqqjU

  14. #14
    Member outdoorlad's Avatar
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    See if you can find a copy of Nick Harvey’s Practical reloading book and have a good read of it.
    Shut up, get out & start pushing!

  15. #15
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    Read all the reloading books you can find first. I went cover to cover on 3 books before researching more info on the web then went from there.

 

 

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