I would not want to be shooting near you as you are way over max for a 140gr bullet. The Hodgdon website shows that 40.0 gr of H4350 is max load at 59,200PSI for the 140 A-Max, which is the same length as the ELD (and probably very similar in shape.) It also shows this to be a compressed load so you're really crunching kernels of powder when you add 2.3 more grains of powder. I never liked compressed loads, especially ones that are so overly compressed like yours. The powder kernels can get bruised and broken and that can change their burn characteristics.
I'm unsure who writes those reloading manuals, but in ten years experience reloading I've found them to be on the conservative side. My load is no where near compressed, even when loading to mag length. It's nowhere close to being a "hot load" at 2800-ish FPS. No signs of pressure. No flattened primers or ejector swipe. No sticky bolt lift. If I had a way of uploading the picture off the box I would. I let the rifle tell me what it likes. Hornady's newest version has the 135 A tips and shows a max load of 42.9 of H4350. There's lots of load sharing data on the web for the 6.5CM using H4350 and the 140ELD. Most end up between 41.5 and slightly above 42 grains. Your numbers sound more like the 6.5x47 Lapua.
Similar thoughts... Loading manuals and data have always seemed to be written by the lawyers. Got to limit that liability.
I'm using a 6.5 Creedmore load for 140gr ELDs. 43gr Hodgon H4350 with Federal 210M Primers. It Chronos around 2760 and is very accurate. It does not appear to be or feel like a compressed load during seating.
There are NO signs of increased pressure - easy bolt lift, primers are fine, no ejector swipe, and tight primer pockets.
I'm sure others will disagree, but a careful and observant reloader can exceed published data with caution. The rifle and materials can dictate acceptable loads.
Duty is the sublimest word in the English Language - Gen Robert E Lee.
"Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." -Jeff Cooper
Now an FFL licensee, working on SIGs and other assorted firearms. My email is in my profile.
When it comes to picking loads, I always refer to the powder manufacturer's loading data, at the exclusion of other sources. I have found the Hodgdon website to be much less conservative than most other load sources, especially the ones from bullet manufacturers.
That said, I know nothing about handloading for the 6.5CM; I'm pretty much a .308 and .223 match handloader along with a rather long list of pistol/handgun calibers as well.
The issue is that Hodgdon shows the max load to be at 59,200 PSI. SAAMI max is 62,000PSI. Adding a couple more grains of powder over Hodgdon max will crank up the pressure quite a bit, buch more than the 2,000 PSI left to SAAMI max. So unless you have the means to measure the pressure of your load, such as a transducer, I would take it for granted that it is a lot higher than SAAMI max.
As I've said many times in the past, the signs of pressure that you are looking at are actually signs of overpressure; when they manifest themselves you are already in danger territory.
Freebore plays a big role in chamber pressure. All my 6.5 CM barrels have cut to run the 140 ELD's. The first issue I have with Hogdon's published data is that it's showing 42.3 grains as a compressed load. It's nowhere near being compressed.
This year I've struggled with consistent accuracy from my 18" barrel Wilson Combat AR-15. Hopefully I'm now on the path for a fix.
The rifle originally came with an A2-type stock. I didn't care much for the stock, but I shot the rifle with really good accuracy. Easily under 1 MOA accuracy, even out to 500-600 yards. Sometimes beyond. I wanted a collapsible stock, feeling I could better use the rifle in field matches, where positions change from stage to stage. I installed a Magpul UBR stock and converted the AR from a rifle to carbine buffer tube. Some days I liked the UBR stock, other days not so much.
Looking back, I have experienced a wandering vertical 100-yard zero on this setup for years. I am pretty much certain now that the UBR stock is the primary cause, as I use similar LaRue scope mounts and Nightforce scope (NXS F1 3.5-15x) on other rifles. I believe the problem is the lack of a consistent cheek weld with the UBR.
This spring I replaced the shot-out original Wilson barrel with a new 18" Bartlein barrel, chambered by Craddock Precision. The Bartlein is a better barrel than the Wilson, but the Wilson was no slouch. But I was still experiencing wandering 100-yard zeros. In a 2-gun match last month, a squad mate noticed my elevation issues, and stated that the UBR stock may be an issue -- primarily a consistent cheek weld problem.
After futzing around with this AR, I realized I needed to squish my face down on the buttstock pretty firmly to obtain a good eye box position in the scope. This resulted in undue downward pressure on the buttstock, throwing shots high. Two shooters in our squad commented that most of my AR target misses occurred with high shots.
Back home, I swapped out the original LaRue scope mount with one that is .4" higher. Thus, my scope center over bore height went from 2.5" to 2.9". I shot a little more consistently with the higher mount, but I had to work harder to obtain a consistent cheek weld. More like brushing lightly against the UBR stock instead of welding.
I decided I'm done with the UBR stock. I ordered a Magpul PRS Gen3 stock, which arrived today. I'm also going back to a rifle-length buffer. Stay tuned.....
And now for part deux of the 18" Wilson AR woes.
Not long ago I started shooting a 223 bolt action rifle. I currently have only one 223 suppressor -- a direct-thread Thunderbeast -- which I was using on both the 18" Wilson/Bartlein AR-15 and the Defiance/Proof Research bolt action. Turns out that the suppressor doesn't fit exactly the same on both rifles, as the threads on the Proof Research barrel are a few hundredths of an inch longer than those on the Bartlein barrel.
This means I have to really crank down on the can to install it on the Proof, after I've been shooting the Bartlein. After shooting the Proof barrel, the can just rolls right on to the Bartlein.
The Proof barrel doesn't seem to mind if can was just used on the Bartlein. Zero doesn't change at all. I just seems like I have to crank through a small carbon ring to get the can tight.
I discovered the hard way that the Bartlein doesn't like can being on the Proof barrel. Zero changes and accuracy gets all wonky. I kind of suspected that in the 2-gun match, but I finally confirmed it last weekend at my home range.
I first shot the bolt action Defiance/Proof. Accuracy was good from the beginning, from 100 to 700 yards. From memory, I believe I put 70-80 rounds down range. I like this rifle. A lot.
I then put the TBAC can on the Wilson/Proof AR-15. I zeroed this AR the prior weekend and it was shooting well, as long as I wasn't a sheep dip with cheek welds -- which is discussed in my post above. Anyway, first group at 100 yards with Hornady 75 MPBT was a crappy 1.88" spread, centered 2" low and 2" right. Next group was 1.9", centered 2" low and 1.5" right. Ruh-roh.
I then loaded up with Hornady 73 ELD. First round was 2" low and 1/2" right -- craptastic. I then put 5 rounds in a .55" spread, but 1.5" right of POA. The next group of 5 was 1.75" spread, 2" right and 1" low.
OK, how about FGMM 69. First group of 1.83", but 1.5" right of POA. Vertical issues are gone, however. So I adjusted the scope 1.25 MOA left. Next group was .76", and 1/4" right of POA. During all of this I kept checking the can -- it remained tight on the barrel. I suspect the gun is finally shooting reasonably well. And whatever is going on between the barrel and the can is likely done. For now.
It's getting late in the day, so I have a time for one group at steel. I pick a plate at 417 yards, which is lit well in the setting sun. In 8-10mph winds from my right, I put 6 rounds near the center of the plate -- with 2-3/8" vertical spread and 1-1/2" horizontal spread. Which translates to roughly .55 MOA at 417 yards. OK, the Wilson/Bartlein AR still shoots.
It will be next year before my next TBAC can gets out of NFA jail. It will have TBAC's quick-mount brake system, which hopefully eliminates the gun-swapping issues with direct thread mounts. I had heard of such issues with other shooters' rifles, but figured they wouldn't occur to me. Now I know better. It appears that swapping my can from my Proof barrel to my Bartlein barrel requires some 30 rounds to rebuild the same carbon ring within the can's mount area.
FYI, for those who swap cans between rifles.
I have no experience with TBAC's quick mount brake system. But I've been using Area 419's brakes with the TBAC adapters. I have one TBAC that is shared between two precision rifles. I see no shift in my zero at all.
I installed the Magpul PRS gen3 stock on the 18" AR-15 and changed the buffer tube from carbine to rifle length.
The PRS stock is, of course, solid as a rock. The Gen 3 has a thicker and squishier buttstock pad than the Gen 1. I like the feel, but it adds about 1/2" to the length of pull. I had to move move scope backwards 2 notches on the rail to obtain a comfortable head/eye position on the stock. Time will tell, but I may consider swapping the PRS Gen 3 on this 18" AR-15 with a PRS Gen 1 on my 6.5CM AR-10.
From the first shot I felt comfy behind the 18" AR-15 with the PRS Gen 3 and the rifle-length buffer tube. The gun is just way nicer to shoot than with UBR stock and carbine-length buffer tube.
However, it's a bit frustrating that accuracy seemed a little off with the first few rounds with the direct-thread TBAC. Furthermore, the last shooting I did was with this 18" AR -- I didn't remount the can on the Defiance/Proof bolt action. The first 10 rounds were with Hornady 75 HPBT Match. Since I moved the scope backwards, I was more concerned about re-sighing the scope than pure accuracy. But the suspect the accuracy was a little off, and had I been shooting for 5-round groups, they may not have been any better than 1".
With sight-in done, it was off to Magnetospeed testing, at a 320 yard plate with Hornady 75 Match. In 10-15 mph winds from my right, 10 rounds had a 2.75" vertical dispersion. OK, things are going better.
I then loaded Hornady 75 Black, which is a little faster and more accurate in my rifles than Hornady 75 HPBT Match. With pretty constant 15 mph winds from my right, I put 5 rounds on a 320 yard plate with only 1" of vertical dispersion. Woo-frickin-hoo! I had to walk down to the plate to measure it.
Next was 10 rounds at a 433 yard plate with Hornady 75 Black. Winds were now 15-25 mph from 3-4 o'clock. I landed 8 of 10 rounds, with vertical dispersion of 3". Considering that this strong of wind increases both horizontal and vertical dispersion, I'm OK with the results.
Back to paper at 100 yards, I finished with two 5-round groups of 75 Black to confirm zero. The results were .63" and .75". Goodbye UBR stock. The one thing I don't care too much for is the "sproing" sound of the spring in the rifle-length butter tube. I probably just need to put a little grease on the spring.
People with actual pressure testing equipment, not people guessing at possible signs.
The downsides to installing the PRS stock on the 18" AR15 are the additional weight and the lack of stock length adjustment. This may be an issue with the Raton 2-rifle match -- where we carry and shoot both a precision bolt action and an AR.
Therefore I'm comparing the accuracy and generally feel of my two 16" uppers, both mated to a lower with a Magpul STR collapsible stock. Both 16" uppers have Wilson Combat 1/8 SS barrels. One has a non-fluted barrel (I call it #2) and the other a fluted barrel (#3). #2 has a 2-10x Vortex Viper scope, #3 has a Nightforce 2.5-10x Compact. I like the Viper's reticle better; I like the NF's glass better.
#2 has been a little more picky with ammo. It seemed to do better with 69 grain ammo -- with ADI being slightly more accurate than FGMM. A few of the best 5-round 100-yard groups were around 3/4". Ability to hold vertical at 300-400 yards in wind was pretty good -- being in the 1/2 MOA when the stars were aligned. I was a bit inconsistent with Hornady 75 Match HPBT.
#3 shoots just about any match ammo well. Lots of 3/4" groups at 100 yards, with some down to 1/2". Lots of sub- 1/2 MOA verticals at 300-400 yards. With both SMK 69 and Hornady 75 ammo.
Finally, I got to shoot both in "reasonable" winds....of 7-12 mph, but switching way-too-frequently from 9 o'clock to 1 o'clock. When the wind jumped back and forth from 9 to 1, vertical dispersion.....got worse.
I found that #2 actually does like Hornady 75 Black ammo. Two groups of a little under 1" at 100 yards. At 433 yards there was 3.75" of vertical, with one high outlier -- which occurred during a wind shift. The other 4 rounds showed 2.25" vertical. At 492 yards I put 6 rounds in 2.75" vertical. Yeehaw, I'll take that for an 10x scope on a white piece of steel.
#2 shot the 69 grain loads well at 433 and 492 yards -- for 4 out of 5 rounds. I got a either a high or a low impact with wind changes, and there was noticeably more horizontal dispersion from the wind, as compared to the 75 grain.
With the sun going down and the wind picking up, I had a short window on #3 with Hornady 75 Black. At 320 yards I got a 2.25" group, with all of it being vertical. Nice to stack rounds on top of each other in changing winds. At 433 yards the wind was getting interesting -- a 3.5" vertical, now with more horizontal. Things just sucked at 492 yards. I had to dial an extra 3/4 MOA elevation due to wind effects, and keeping impacts on a 12" diamond plate was a challenge. Oh well, maybe next time.
I picked up a few points from the day, and confirmed what I suspected from the past month of practice. First, the ADI 69 doesn't really shoot noticeably better than FGMM 69. So I can drop ADI from my ammo purchases going forward.
Second, Hornady 75 Black shoots slightly faster and slightly more accurately than Hornady 75 Match HPBT in all my ARs. I can drop H-75 Match from my ammo purchases going forward. Black 75 costs less, so that's a bonus.
Third, both 16" uppers shoot well, as long as I'm not being a sheep dip. #3 is a little more accurate than #2, but I think they can both get the job done, for the matches they will be used in. Now I just need to think about dropping from a 3-15x scope in these matches to a 2-10x scope.
More time to evaluate the 16” uppers, with #3 in the early afternoon. Winds were quite variable at 5-15 mph from my 1-3 o’clock. Not so good for making tiny groups, but good for evaluating how various ammo holds vertical in crosswinds. I placed a 12” diamond at 320 yards and an 18” high by 24” wide rectangle plate at 440 yards.
Taking note of offgrid’s methods, I attempted to have a dark horizontal aiming line on the white steel targets. I tried 1” wide blue painter’s tape for the line. It worked well until a bullet impacted close to the tape – at which point the tape blew off the target. Oh well – maybe next time I’ll try with stickier electrician’s tape.
Putting the wind drift into perspective to the targets, using Hornady 75 grain bullets, the horizontal drift at 320 yards was 1.2 to 3.7 MOA, or 4” to 12”. At 440 yards the drift was 1.8 to 5.4 MOA, or 8” to 24”. Drift was a little higher with 69 and 55 grain ammo. Thus, I’m shooting to evaluate vertical dispersion, and just trying to keep horizontal variation small enough to reasonably measure verticals.
Hornady 75 Black ammo continues to perform the best of my ammo in upper #3. At 320 yards I had 5-round strings with verticals of 3.25” and 3.5”. OK, but I’m likely not yet warmed up. At 440 yards I had strings with 2.5” and 1.75” verticals – now we’re talkin’. Here’s the 1.75”
Hornady 73 ELD produces good groups at 100 yards, but just doesn’t do well down range in this upper. A 5.5” vertical at 320 yards and a 7.75” vertical at 440 yards.
Hornady 75 Match did 2.25” at 320 yards and 3.75” at 440 yards. Same bullet at 75 Black, but at a lower MV.
Hornady 55 Vmax did 1.75” at 320 yards. At 440 yards it did 2.75” and 3.75” verticals. This is a great round for accuracy, but the little bullet gets tossed by the wind.
Federal GMM 69 did 2.5” at 320 yards. At 440 yards the verticals were 3.75” and 3.5”.
ADI SMK 69 produced 2.5” at 320 yards. But at 440 yards the vertical was a disappointing 6.5”. It’s interesting that ADI ammo performed so well earlier, in calmer conditions.
On to upper #2 in late afternoon. Wind increased to 10-17 mph, shifting to my 3-5 o’clock. Wind drift for the 75 grainers was 16-28” at 440 yards and 8-13” at 320 yards. This means I was generally holding the crosshairs off plate on most shots.
FGMM 69 did 1.5” vertical at 320 yards and 4.25” at 440 yards. ADI 69 did 4.25” vertical at 320 yards and 5.25” at 440 yards.
I shot Hornady 75 Match only at 440 yards. My first shot impacted high, then the next 5 were lower and better. So….6 shots in 5” vertical, but shots #2 thru #6 in a nice 2” vertical. Sometimes I see odd impacts with the first bullet or two when switching from one type of ammo to another. Not like what I see with .22lr ammo, but it can occur with .223 Remy.
Hornady 75 Black produced a vertical of 2.25” at 320 yards, then 1.75” and 4.0” at 440 yards. I felt my technique was a little off on the 4.0” vertical group. The 1.75” target
Hornady 73 ELD-M was disappointing – a 7.25” vertical at 320 yards and 6.5” vertical at 440 yards. Here’s the comparison of H-75 with 2.25” on the left and H-73 with 7.25” on the right at 320 yards.
Thanks for those reports, fritz.
“A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”
— Simon & Garfunkel, The Boxer, 1970
And....some time with the 14.5" LWRC piston upper, with a 1/7 twist. Won it in a 2-rifle match, had the pinned FH removed, so now it's an SBR upper. Essentially, it's my "beater upper". It's an OK upper -- finicky with ammo, has an old-school quad rail, runs clean as can be due to the piston system. It wears a 2.5-10x Nightforce.
My range received 12" of snow earlier in the week -- much of the pasture still had a few of inches of snow on the ground. Melting during the 50-degree day was noticeable. Breezes were 5-8 mph from my left.
I only set targets at 320 yards. I thought that the white-painted plates would be usable with a 1.5" wide strip of black duct tape placed laterally across the middle of the target. Not so much -- I couldn't distinguish targets from the partially snow covered backgrounds. I re-sprayed the plates with orange paint and all was good. As with before, I measured only vertical dispersion.
Hornady 75 HPBT Match produced verticals of 3.5" and 3.75" for 5 rounds. OK, but nothing special.
I had hopes for Hornady 75 Black, but not so much. Verticals of 5.25", 3.5", 5.5", 6.5", and 4.75". There seemed to be a high flyer impact in almost every group. Interesting that it performed worse than the Hornady 75 Match.
Hornady 55 Vmax did 3.0" and 3.25". Not bad, and similar to what I saw in testing months earlier.
American Eagle 55 did 4.5" and 5.0". But not all rounds hit the plates -- misses both horizontally and likely vertical. Therefore the true accuracy was worse.
Federal GMM 69 remains this barrel's favorite. Verticals of 2.25", 3.25", 3.5" (one high called yank, the other four were in 2.0"), and 2.25".
This LWRC upper definitely likes 69 SMK loads, especially Federal. It does OK with 55 grain varmint bullets -- Vmax & Blitzking.This message has been edited. Last edited by: fritz,
Stable enough for acoustic slide guitar?
Now the Pint Sized, Lite Game Changer is perfect for Electric Guitars...…
Duty is the sublimest word in the English Language - Gen Robert E Lee.
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