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Thread: 6.5x55ai light loads

  1. #1
    6.5
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    6.5x55ai light loads

    Hi all,
    I am having a rifle built sometime in the next 6 weeks. I am still switching back and forward between 6.5x55, 6.5x55ai, 6.5slr, and 260/260ai.
    its a long action so overall length is no issue. I have always liked 6.5x55 and am fairly keen on the ai version's mainly so i have the option of getting the heavy 147eldm, 150smk and 155berger going a decent velocity if needed. i will predominantly shoot 140/142gr projectiles.
    For general everyday shooting/practice/short range days etc i was hoping to run it at standard 6.5x55/creedmore/260 velocity's ie 2500-2700 with 142gr to get as long a barrel life as possible and use less powder but when hunting and long range shooting i can run a much hotter high performance load. The rifle is intended to be a long range hunting/target/f class rifle for when i get some spare time to go join the local club.
    IT will be built on a tikka m65 action and have a 26in barrel

    So I was wondering if any one loads there 6.5x55ai with reduced loads,what the load is and what sort of results you get ie accuracy, brass life, barrel life etc?
    Also just out of interest what sort of performance are you getting out of your full power loads, accuracy and velocity? whats the brass and barrel life like compared to a standard 6.5x55

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
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    With any AI rounds just use the standard parent case loads as starting / mild loads. They will shoot slower (less pressure) than the parent case because of the greater case capacity in the AI.
    The 6.5x55 AI should be very good because the 257 Roberts AI is a very good AI and the case is almost the same. What about 6.5 x 57 AI ? that would be made from necked down 7x57 cases.
    WallyR likes this.
    'Bother' said Pooh, as he chambered another round ... Wong Far King Way

  3. #3
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    Then there is always the 6,5 PRC or something along those lines if you want speed . Id shoot the same loads at the range that i would use on the hill .That way you know where they are going and your familiar with your set up . Just my 2 cents
    7mmsaum and Beaker like this.

  4. #4
    6.5
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    Thanks moa hunter thatís a great help.
    Wayno I agree itís best to use the same load at the range and on the hill but Iím just worried about barrel life if I use a hotter load for everything, all the information I have found on the internet suggests if you run the velocity at the top end you will get the similar barrel life to a 6.5x284. I intend to shoot it regularly so I donít want something that will eat barrels when Iím just practicing

  5. #5
    Gkp
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    Barrels are a consumable and can be replaced.
    "better to burn out than fade away"
    7mmsaum, Dama dama and Moa Hunter like this.

  6. #6
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    Just shoot a standard .260 but you don't need a 26" barrel to get the speeds you are after.

    Sent from my CPH1903 using Tapatalk
    superdiver and kiwi303 like this.

  7. #7
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    Go the swede! (6.5 x 55 swede)

    Easy to load for, good barrel life, all the bits are off the shelf. One load for every thing.
    140 Amaxs, not to fast, but hitting 12in plates at 800m repeatable.

    Down side is need to trim brass after a bit.
    Ingrid 51 likes this.
    Please excuse spelling, as finger speed is sometimes behind brain spped........ Or maybe the other wayy.....

  8. #8
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    did some one say '06 AI
    Rated M for Magnum likes this.

  9. #9
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    Anything pushed hard will wear out faster its just physics. Your barrel is your cheapest consumable , you will have spent more on powder/projectiles brass by the time your barrel is toast. and a 6.5 -06 wouldnt be a silly idea either .
    Rated M for Magnum likes this.

  10. #10
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    Before building a 6.506 watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93kVM22XHSo
    The important bit being that the SAUM gets 200 fps more with an identical powder charge to the 06
    'Bother' said Pooh, as he chambered another round ... Wong Far King Way

  11. #11
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    If you want to be trying sierra 150gn then you need to take note of the required barrel twist. I found they're not as precise as 147gn in my 1/8" twist (they actually require 1/7.5"min)

    Go the 6.5x55AI
    Moa Hunter likes this.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gkp View Post
    Barrels are a consumable and can be replaced.
    "better to burn out than fade away"
    That's good if you have lots of disposable income and a stock of barrel blanks in your cupboard plus a good gunsmith just waiting to do your rebarreled.

    Also barrels, particularly in the hot 6.5s have a nasty habit of going off the boil at the most inopportune moment eg 1/2 way through the NRANZ National's.

    I would build a 6.5 PRC before I went down the path of a 6.5x55ai.
    Moa Hunter and WallyR like this.

  13. #13
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    25/08 has an 18" bbl 260 shooting 143eldx at over 2800fps. No need to go crazy on the calibre
    25 /08 IMP likes this.

  14. #14
    6.5
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    Thanks thatís all good info, barrel twist rate is on my list of things to discuss with the gunsmith we may have to order one with the correct twist.
    Superdiver do you know what powder is being used in the 260 to get those velocities?
    I donít mind long barrels my intention is to start at 26 and if its to much of a pain Iíll cut it down to 24 I wonít go shorter unless I really have too.

    I was originally looking at PRC with the same intention of having a mild load and a full power load but for some reason it just doesnít float my boat.

    My biggest conundrum is I have is I have always liked the old 55 and I have wanted to build one for the last 10 years, but common sense tells me I should probably go with a more modern case thatís probably stronger and rated at much higher pressure

  15. #15
    6.5
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    Which is where aiíing the 55 comes into it by doing that I would get better performance out of it while keeping the pressure at the modern 6.5x55se max pressure and still have room to spare
    Moa Hunter likes this.

 

 

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