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  • 1 Post By joelhenton
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Thread: 6.5x55 Swedish Start Load - Short 16" Barrel CFE223

  1. #1
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    6.5x55 Swedish Start Load - Short 16" Barrel CFE223

    Hi Guys,

    My brother has a 6.5x55 and I'm looking at loading a few rounds for a hunting trip. Short 16" barrel, I've got Hornady 6.5mm ELD-M 147gr projectiles. I have a bit of CFE223 that I use in my 16" barreled 7mm-08. Anyone used CFE in a 6.5x55? A quick search in the forum shows most guys are using ADI 2209 but usually in barrel lengths of 18-24". Just hoping for a ballpark safe starting load. Thanks.
    Ryan_Songhurst likes this.

  2. #2
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    Greetings Joelhenton,
    I don't have any data for CFE223 but it may be a little fast for this application. The belief that you need a faster powder for shorter barrels is a bit of a fable although repeated ad nauseum over the years. The bookshelves yielded a couple of old manuals from the 1970's that gave loads for the 6.5 x 55 mm with 18 inch (or a little less) barrels. The more complete data in Speer no 9 manual showed the powders giving the highest velocity as IMR 4831, N 205 and IMR 4350 from fastest to slowest. IMR 4064, IMR 4320 and H 380 lagged well behind. This would indicate that AR2209 or AR2213SC should give the best results. Velocities ranged from 2,560 fps to 2,600 fps. In your 16 inch barrel about 2,500 fps should be possible. Hodgdons list 44 grains of AR2209 for the 140 grain projectile at around 46,000 CUP. This data was developed in the early 1990,s and current AR2209 is faster. I would regard 44 grains of AR2209 as max in a strong modern action and 47 grains of AR2213SC as max for the 140 or 143 grain Hornady projectiles. These loads should not be used in ex military rifles or with any other than lead core projectiles. I would suggest that you load a couple of cartridges with 40 grains of AR2209 or 43 grains of AR2213SC and chronograph them to see where you are. Following that work up to the maximum loads or 2,500 feet per second whichever comes first.
    I haven't quoted any of the loads from the old manuals and suggest that the not be used. The loads from this time were worked up without any sort of pressure testing and many are excessive by modern standards. They are intrepid loads from the past and in the past is where they should remain. Have fun with my favourite cartridge.
    Regards Grandpamac.
    WallyR likes this.

  3. #3
    By Popular Demand gimp's Avatar
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    Full case of 2209 and away you go

  4. #4
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    My load in a 20 inch barrel is 49 grains AR 2213SC and the 143 ELDX at 2754 fps. It is safe in my rifle but work up to this load. It is super accurate best group to date is a 3 shot, one enlarged hole at 100 yards.

  5. #5
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    Thanks fellas for replying. Sounds like you all recommend I go get some 2209. I've got some 2206H that's sitting idle, thoughts? Seems my fast powder assumption (CFE223) might need some further research then @grandpamac

  6. #6
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    Greetings again,
    AR 2206H is easily my most used powder. I use it in my .223's, .308's and for light loads in my .303's and .30-40 Krag. I tried it in my M38 6.5 x 55 mm with light loads but found that AR2209 gave better results. AR2206H is even faster than CFE223 and velocities for the heavier projectiles are low. Hodgdon does not list CFE223 for the heavier projectiles which shows what they think.
    You will find plenty of posts and articles supporting the short barrel fast powder theory, some stating that the muzzle flash is your powder burning in front of the rifle. The flash is actually the hot, expanding powder gasses interacting with the air. What you won't find is any chronographed research supporting the theory.
    Regards Grandpamac.

  7. #7
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    @joelhenton

    Where in the BOP are you? I am in Tga, could hook you up with enough 2209 to do some test loads to save you buying a whole bottle.

    PM me if you are keen.

    Cheers

    Ted

  8. #8
    Member 300_BLK's Avatar
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    stagstalker likes this.
    Warm Barrels!

 

 

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