Reloading 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge – Initial Observations

The first thing I discovered is that new Brass for the Creedmoor does not appear to be abundant. In fact I found Hornady brass to be the one of the only available new brass in stock. Nosler Brass was out of stock. If you have read my previous articles on the 6.5 Creedmoor you will see that the Hornady brass is soft, thus making it difficult to reload. Lots of case prep to bevel the inside of the case neck without creating a sharp flair edge is difficult indeed. Pressing on with the only new brass in town, I have succeeded in reloading it more than twice. The brass is stiffer as it becomes harder with use and better for pressing the bullet into the neck.

Of great interest should be Cartridge Overall Length (COL) ; The Max SAAMI Over All Cartridge Length is specified as 2.825.

I am shooting 120 grain Sierra Pro-Hunter heads as I am a hunter first and a target shooter second. I originally set the COL for this head with case at 2.53 inches and later discovered that I could push the head out as far as a COL of 2.70 and still have enough of the bullet seated. Groups of the 2.53 COL show excellent results as groups are 1 inch or less. Yesterday I shot several rounds set at a COL of 2.70 and the result deteriorated with fliers in the 2 inch group area. One would think that groups would improve as the bullet is closer to the rifling. Not so in this case, perhaps because the case had very little of the bullet in it. I perceive that the 120 grain is still a small bullet for the 6.5 and that heavier and larger bullets will make better use of the max COL.

Bullets are readily available from most all manufacturers, key bullets like the Nosler AccuBond  are available as are several Berger Hunting Bullets, et al. The reloader must experiment with COL to see what works best and provides best groups.

On powders, my only experience is with Hodgdon Hornady Superformance at this time and I like it very much because it is a smaller kernel and meters well with less variation than larger kernels. Nosler folks suggest powders such as Varget, W760, IMR 4007 SSC, Big Game, H4350, RL17 and Hunter.among others.

Since the Creedmoor Cartridge is new, older reloading manuals do not have it. Nosler does provide load data at  and SAAMI specifications. Hornady has the 6.5 listed at but no data for reloading. Check out the scrapbook of game animals taken. It includes a record Gemsbok. © 2015