6.5 CM Bullet Type & Grain for Range Loads

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6.5 CM Bullet Type & Grain for Range Loads

Post by 369Hit » 10 Nov 2023, 8:35 pm

Hi all, new member and first post...
Am using Tikka T3x Lite 6.5 CM, want to develop a load for the range at mixed distances (100m, 200m, 400m & 800m), assuming I will only need to establish 1 load to cover all these distances, will be using AR 2208, what would be a recommended grain and bullet type to work with?
Looking to gain some knowledge from some more experienced shooters here.
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Re: 6.5 CM Bullet Type & Grain for Range Loads

Post by Gamerancher » 11 Nov 2023, 11:20 am

There's no "one size fits all" when it comes down to it. What are you shooting at, paper, steel, fur?
For close range, say out to 400 you might be better served by a lighter bullet, 90 -130gr with a faster burning powder.
Longer ranges are usually better served by heavier bullets 136 - 150gr using slower powders.
Of course you'll need at least a 1 in 8 twist barrel to get best results.
I personally use 2206H for any load using up to 130's, 2209 for the heavier loads.
2209 will give better velocities at lower pressures than 2208 using the same bullet, but I don't go chasing max velocity.
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Re: 6.5 CM Bullet Type & Grain for Range Loads

Post by 369Hit » 11 Nov 2023, 1:49 pm

Gamerancher wrote:There's no "one size fits all" when it comes down to it. What are you shooting at, paper, steel, fur?
For close range, say out to 400 you might be better served by a lighter bullet, 90 -130gr with a faster burning powder.
Longer ranges are usually better served by heavier bullets 136 - 150gr using slower powders.
Of course you'll need at least a 1 in 8 twist barrel to get best results.
I personally use 2206H for any load using up to 130's, 2209 for the heavier loads.
2209 will give better velocities at lower pressures than 2208 using the same bullet, but I don't go chasing max velocity.


Valid point about appropriate selection of bullet weight and powder burn rate to better suit short or longer distances.
Guess as I am just starting out reloading I am looking to establish just one load to work all distances from 100m-800m and want to come up with most appropriate weight and Bullet Type to suit (I was leaning towards 140 or 142 gr),
I will be working with AR2208 as that is what I have got my hands on and will be using paper targets only, barrel is a 1:8 twist.
Looking to gain some knowledge from some more experienced shooters here.
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Re: 6.5 CM Bullet Type & Grain for Range Loads

Post by bladeracer » 11 Nov 2023, 2:01 pm

369Hit wrote:
Gamerancher wrote:There's no "one size fits all" when it comes down to it. What are you shooting at, paper, steel, fur?
For close range, say out to 400 you might be better served by a lighter bullet, 90 -130gr with a faster burning powder.
Longer ranges are usually better served by heavier bullets 136 - 150gr using slower powders.
Of course you'll need at least a 1 in 8 twist barrel to get best results.
I personally use 2206H for any load using up to 130's, 2209 for the heavier loads.
2209 will give better velocities at lower pressures than 2208 using the same bullet, but I don't go chasing max velocity.


Valid point about appropriate selection of bullet weight and powder burn rate to better suit short or longer distances.
Guess as I am just starting out reloading I am looking to establish just one load to work all distances from 100m-800m and want to come up with most appropriate weight and Bullet Type to suit (I was leaning towards 140 or 142 gr),
I will be working with AR2208 as that is what I have got my hands on and will be using paper targets only, barrel is a 1:8 twist.


I lean toward the 147gn ELDM on AR2206H in my 6.5x55mm's, they shoot very well and were cheap when I bought a pile on special. Other people like the 140gn and 143gn offerings but if you were shooting competition there might be better match-grade bullets around, if you can get them.
Practice Strict Gun Control - Precision Counts!
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Re: 6.5 CM Bullet Type & Grain for Range Loads

Post by TuskerOrd » 27 Nov 2023, 4:11 pm

Had two Howas, Both 26" barrels, one steel and the other a carbon wraped barrel.

I found the 142gr SMKs to work best for me in both. Same load same seating depth. Shot it out to 1400m with no issues at all.

Back in Africa I used to shoot the 95gr Vmax's for short range(50 to 350m unknown distances) competitions as well as for varminting. The extra speed helps a lot when your range estimation is not perfect.
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Re: 6.5 CM Bullet Type & Grain for Range Loads

Post by MontyShooter » 28 Nov 2023, 3:23 pm

140g and 2209 for me.
147g never went well in factory ammo so i never bothered to reload for it.
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Re: 6.5 CM Bullet Type & Grain for Range Loads

Post by Wyliecoyote » 28 Nov 2023, 10:16 pm

Comparison of 2208 and 2209. Velocity gain may not be worth the barrel life where this data confirms what i have seen over many years and dozens of barrels, 2209 is the most erosive powder in mid sized cartridges. Reloder 26 in my own experience is showing better barrel life and speeds comparable or exceeding this data but in a 26 inch barrel. The pic is from a manual listing many long range cartridges with data taken over several years from numerous shooters in Fclass mainly and compiled by a respected Aus shooter.
In a 24 inch barrel take off around 200 fps min using either of those powders. The loads listed are not necessarily max loads but are known accuracy loads again sourced from many notable shooters both here and overseas.
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