6.5 Rem Mag & 6.5x284 Best Powder

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by RonAKA, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. RonAKA

    RonAKA

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    I'm gearing up to shoot a 6.5 Rem Mag orphan cartridge. From what I can see based on cartridge length and case volume, it is almost identical to the more currently popular 6.5x284. I am wondering about powder choice for these cartridges, assuming there is no substantial difference. I don't believe that powder has any magical accuracy properties, and the criteria for choosing powder is that it has a burn rate that is efficient, the SD of velocity produced, and ES is low. A secondary criteria is that it does not produce excessive heat that will accelerate barrel burning.

    With this in mind my short list has come down to H1000 and VV N165. The problem is that neither seem all that popular. Or perhaps what experienced users really use and what it posted on the internet is not in sync...

    I like Hodgdon extreme powders for their temperature insensitivity. I think that is one factor that reduces real life ES and SD due to cooking in the chamber. And if you believe the numbers VV N165 is one of the lowest heat powders on the market, which would suggest it may be easier on the barrel.

    And based on Nosler published data the best burn rate for producing velocity for the 140 grain class of bullets is RL-22 and RL-19. Based on Vihtavuori burn rate data, that puts H1000 and VV N165 right on the money for most efficient.

    So, now my question. Do you have experience with these two powders? Can you recommend them over the more often used powders like H4831 and H4350's?
     
  2. Titandriver

    Titandriver

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    Both of mine are on Rem long actions - I use H1000, RL-22, 7828SSC with 140 Bergers - I typically run 3300 with them (28" Brux/30" Pac-nor) and have hit 3400 before primers start to flatten/sticky bolt lift.
     
  3. ireload2

    ireload2

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    Use the powders that have the most data. With the 6.5 Rem Mag that would be old powders from the late 1960s.
    If these do not make you happy pick powders with similar burn rates and investigate them.
    I never use modern powders because they seem to come and go like bad fads.
     
  4. RonAKA

    RonAKA

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    3400 fps! Wow that is getting up there. This will be a long action Remington 700 with a 28" barrel, so I should be able to seat these long bullets out to the lands.
     
  5. RonAKA

    RonAKA

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    I'm with you on the fad powders. I wouldn't put Vihtavuori in that category. They have been around for a while, but not so popular in North America. I'm wondering how accurate this chart of powder heat potential is, and where the data came from. I got it from the barrel life calculator program posted elsewhere on this site. VV N165 sure seems to compare well, although H1000 is not far behind.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. mikegaiz

    mikegaiz Stay frosty, my friend. Silver $$ Contributor

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    H4831 SC, works best in 6.5/284 for me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  7. TimS

    TimS Gold $$ Contributor

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    I'm using RL25 in myv6.5x284. It's a compressed load but accurate. I only use my rifle for hunting.
     
  8. RonAKA

    RonAKA

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    I suspect you meant, H4831 SC? I have some H4831 that was made in Scotland, I suspect in the mid 1980's or so. I should use it up before it gets old! Also have some newer stuff made in Australia but it is not the SC version...

    When I first started buying H4831 in the 1960's we would get it in a brown paper bag. The local gun shop would order in bulk army surplus powder, and weigh it out for you in a bag! No idea where that stuff was made, but it did work in my .264WM.
     
  9. RonAKA

    RonAKA

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    Yep, it should work. Pretty much the same burn rate as H1000 and VV N165. Our local dealer claims they have been waiting months for the Reloader stuff but they can't get it...
     
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  10. JLT

    JLT Gold $$ Contributor

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    I'm using RL-26 for the 140 gr. bullets in the 6.5-.284 . Modest pressures, good velocities and excellent accuracy. I don't have to wring the case's neck to get the velocities I'm looking for.
     
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  11. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    I've been shooting a 6.5 Rem Mag for years. H1000 won't give you the best speeds. H1000 is just too slow and you will run out of case capacity before you reach top speeds that the cartridge is capable of.

    RL-25 and IMR 7828 are a little slow as well. They will give you good speeds, but not until you are compressing the powder with the bullet. Even then, there will be a good amount of speed left on the table when compared to what other powders can give you. I like a good case fill, but I've never been a fan of compressed loads so I steered clear of those powders after testing them.

    RL-17 is by far the best powder for speed in the 6.5 Rem Mag, but it burns very hot which shortens barrel life and it is a little sensitive to temperature changes. To give you a speed comparison between RL-17 and H1000, I am only using 52gr of RL17 with 140gr Berger VLDs in my 26" barrel and achieving 3209 fps. My father in law has a 6.5-300 WSM and he shoots the 140gr Berger VLDs at 3200 fps in a 26" barrel as well, but he has to use 67gr of H1000 to get there. That's a charge difference of 15gr! Granted they are different chamberings, but the difference is pretty significant.

    I achieved 3200+ fps with RL-22 but I was up around 58gr and primer pockets were too loose to hold a primer after a few firings. RL-22 is also pretty temp sensitive. RL-19 will give you great speed as well with a smaller charge than RL-22, but it is also a little temp sensitive.

    If you like the Hogdon powders, I would work with H4350. Start at 51gr and work up. If your barrel is at least 26" long, you should be able to achieve over 3200 fps. IMR 4350 works good as well, but its more temperature sensitive than the Hogdon version.

    Of course accuracy is an unknown factor with all powders in any new rifle, but my 6.5 Rem Mag has never really shot any loads with what I would call "bad" accuracy. It is a very forgiving round that Im sure you will be very pleased with once you get it dialed in and it will easily blow the doors off the 6.5-284 when it comes to speed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  12. RonAKA

    RonAKA

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    I finally have the new barrel on my Remington 6.5RM and have gone through the break-in and some limited testing. Thought I would share the results, for anyone looking for 6.5 Remington Magnum loading data using Hodgdon H1000 powder. I have only tested two loads over a chronograph.

    Powder: Hodgdon H1000
    Primer: Federal 215M Match
    Bullet: Berger #26409, 6.5 MM 140 gr Long Range BT Target
    COL: 3.166" (0.005" Jam)
    Barrel: McGowen 28", 8.5 Twist

    Powder Weight - Velocity
    59.0 grains - 3037 fps
    60.5 grains - 3137 fps

    I can't see any signs of excessive pressure, and have not tried any higher loads, but I suspect there is room left. The case without compressing holds about 64 grains of H1000. H1000 is less dense than say H4831 and does fill the case more on a grain for grain basis. But 64 grains is probably more than the 140 grain can take for pressure, so I would expect to reach a maximum safe load at less than 64 grains, with no powder compression. The throat I got in the McGowen barrel is a touch shorter than I would have liked. This 140 Berger seats with the end of the bearing surface just slightly into the neck. I would be happier with it half way down the neck. Will leave it as is for now and see if it burns in a bit with a few rounds down the barrel...

    The velocity seems good compared to maximum velocities shown in published data for 140 grains in a 6.5RM:

    Nosler: 3059 with 58.5 grains of IMR7828
    Hodgdon: 2943 with 54 grains of H4831

    They of course are limiting COL to the SAAMI max of 2.800". My quick calculation is that I am gaining about 5 grains of water capacity by seating out to 3.166". This makes me think there is room left for more velocity. Possibly out to 3200+, but only testing will tell...
     
  13. seymour fish

    seymour fish

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    Ron, have you measured the water capacity weight of a fired case ?
     
  14. RonAKA

    RonAKA

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    No, I have not reloaded any fired cases yet. The shoulder is moving about 0.010" on firing, and that probably gives about a half of grain extra capacity. You will gain some on the body too, if you only neck resize. This will be chamber specific though.
     
  15. ebb

    ebb

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    I have only used a few powders in my 6.5-284, IMR 4831 (cause I had some and nothing else to use it in), H 4831 and VV165. I found in my gun IMR 4831 was more accurate then H 4831. I tried to load H100 and could not get enough in the case. I am currently using VV165 and believe it to be the best I have tried. VV165 and Berger 140 hunting boat tails (not vld) were pure poison. I was shooting aspirins with the 6mm PPC bunch and had 7 in a row at 100yds when the 140 hit one of the 2x4 cross pieces and knocked half of the remaining aspirins off the target. They wouldn't let me shoot after that, I thought I was the winner. There is a VV powder that is a 5 series triple based powder that is supposed to be even better than 165 ( VV560 maybe). As far as water cap. the 6.5-284 is the same as a 25-06 and the wildcat 6.5-06. I don't know it , but suspect the 6.5 rem mag holds more water, as the manuals show more speed than the others. I have clocked mine before with a load that was winter only (in Florida) and with a 30 inch Shilen could get 3150.
     
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  16. Clavius-Walker

    Clavius-Walker

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    Re26 works well for me also but if that's considered a fad power then I'd suggest Trailboss
     
  17. R.Morehouse

    R.Morehouse Gold $$ Contributor

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    Whats a fad powder?
     
  18. Clavius-Walker

    Clavius-Walker

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    Dunno, read the thread maybe.
     
  19. R.Morehouse

    R.Morehouse Gold $$ Contributor

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    I guess all new powders taking advantage of new tec. have been "fad" powders until they are used......I use 22 & 25 in my 6.5-06imp and recently tried 26 with great results on paper and chrono. Is seems to clean up a lot easier as well and the barrel stays cooler......Looks like i may be making the switch to the new to the market powder.....
     
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  20. RonAKA

    RonAKA

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    I guess I am a bit primitive on powders. My theory is that you get velocity from the pressure and time it acts on the back of the bullet. Your peak pressure is limited by the strength of your cartridge and gun. If the powder is fast you still get to the same maximum peak pressure, but the time duration that it stays effective is less and you get less velocity. Seems to me that one wants the slowest possible powder burn rate to extend the time/pressure duration, but still achieve peak pressure. And usually as the powder gets slower it becomes more bulky and fills more of your case.

    From this my rule of thumb is to look for a powder that fills the case and possibly has slight compression and still reaches peak pressure. I presume with QuickLoad this is all obvious and easy, but I have not been able to justify the purchase of it, and rely on the old fashioned trial and error method. Today I was doing ladder loading on the 6.5RM. I used some older H4831 (to use it up) for the fouling rounds and found with moderately high loads it fills the case with a 140 grain to about the bottom of the shoulder. In my view not a high enough fill. However the H1000, which I used for the actual ladder loads (135 grain Berger) ended up almost at the slight compression point with the max load of 62.5 grains. It might be beyond max load, and I will not get to fire it! But, according to my rules of thumb that I follow this seems about ideal.

    Accuracy is yet to be determined, but so far the H1000 seems like a good powder for the 6.5RM. I also have to admit that I am partial to temperature insensitive powders, and like to stay with the Australian Hodgdon stuff if I can...
     

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