Adventures in Low recoil 6.5 TCU ram loads

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Varn
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Adventures in Low recoil 6.5 TCU ram loads

Post by Varn »

I ran an experiment this year using a custom reamer for a 6.5 TCU and a 26 inch 7.5 twist Bartlein barrel with Sierra 150 Match Kings. I was able to get 2403 avg with single digit SD. The load was new non-crimped Lake city 5.56 brass fireformed to 6.5 TCU, CCI 450 Primer, 6.5mm 150 grain Sierra Match Kings and a whole case full of Varget. The reamer was designed with a throat that enabled the base of the bullet to sit at the shoulder thereby maximizing valuable case capacity. It also has a .289 neck with a .286 loaded round diameter for .003 clearance. This enabled quick neck sealing upon firing and very little blowback as evidenced by the minimal soot on my case necks and no soot on my case body.

Now that I got the technical details out of the way, lets get to the results. Going into Nationals I had hit 73 of them with 0 losses. The ranges these were shot at include: Ridgway, PA, CSLC in Mountoursville PA, and Atglen Sportsmen in Atglen, PA. Most of these were shot at Ridgway practicing prior to the Nationals.I admittedly didn't shoot well at Nationals but I hit 34 additional rams in practice and in matches. Out of 107 total rams hit I lost 3. So that gives me a loss percentage of 2.8 percent. The only thing that changed between 107 and 73 was it was very windy for the three days of Nationals and there were some brand new rams on the range.

My takeaway from this is the 6.5 TCU is a very effective round for HP Silhouette with low recoil, inexpensive brass, and minimal fuss. My fireform load was 26gr of Varget and a 123 Sierra which shot 1.5 inch 5 shot groups at 300 yards. This is certainly accurate enough to use for C-P_T loads in matches which is what I did. I couldn't see the value in wasting components to just fireform brass when I could practice or shoot a match while fireforming cases. The same load works well in fireformed brass.
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Re: Adventures in Low recoil 6.5 TCU ram loads

Post by hermit5 »

Mark,thank you for your work and useful information.
Thank you also for allowing me to shoot your rifle.I was very impressed with low recoil and accuracy.
I can attest to ram knockdown as I hit one about 3” up in the belly above ding dong on a new ram and it easily went down.
Good enough for me.
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PAndy
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Re: Adventures in Low recoil 6.5 TCU ram loads

Post by PAndy »

Thanks for sharing, that sounds like an excellent set up. What is overall length of the rounds?

150 grain bullets at 2400 fps have killed a lot of deer in PA...through 30-30 barrels.
Varn
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Re: Adventures in Low recoil 6.5 TCU ram loads

Post by Varn »

Pa Andy,
The base to ogive length is 2.140. I never measured a loaded round for overall length since I was loading it single shot. And I shot 2 deer last year with a 143 ELDX at 2400 out of a 6.5 TCU. Both around the 80 to 100 yd mark. One in the lungs and one in the heart. Both ran about 40 yds and collapsed at the end of a very impressive blood trail.
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dwostler
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Re: Adventures in Low recoil 6.5 TCU ram loads

Post by dwostler »

Sounds like fun!

I have a 6.5 Grendel that I built maybe 10+ years ago(?). It didn’t like the heavy bullets much back then, but recoil is light as well. But now we have many more choices of powder and bullets.

Not many ranges left here in California, hard for me test or find a match. Wish that one day I’ll make it out to the East Coast, but 2300 miles is tough on the feet. Maybe I’ll make it to Raton with my friend Tony next year.

I’m glad you are having fun, you sound like a person who likes to experiment!

Me too, Dennis
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Re: Adventures in Low recoil 6.5 TCU ram loads

Post by Pagunner »

I am currently working on load development for this cartridge using H4895. I have gone as low as 16 grains with a 123 nosler custom competition. Recoil is almost non existent. They are running around 1700 fps. I will update as I progress.

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Re: Adventures in Low recoil 6.5 TCU ram loads

Post by dwostler »

Try IMR 8208, keep your bullets under 130 gr., 107's for first three animals.

Norma Golden 130gr's also very good for rams, but you might have better luck with 123's.

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Re: Adventures in Low recoil 6.5 TCU ram loads

Post by Pagunner »

For anyone interested, I found a great CPT load for my 6.5 tcu. 21.8 grains of H4198, gold medal match primers and 107 grain sierra match kings. At 300 yards the load was 1.25 inches and 2.04 wide over five rounds. I also have to add that the projectiles were factory blems.
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Re: Adventures in Low recoil 6.5 TCU ram loads

Post by hermit5 »

Over a foot of snow on shooting bench and 100 meter range.
Time to develop some experiments using Shooters World Precision in 6.5TCU & 107,123,and 150 SMK. Testing the difference between it and Varget.
It’s a long winter whether Phil sees his shadow or not.
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Re: Adventures in Low recoil 6.5 TCU ram loads

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dwostler wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:36 pm Try IMR 8208, keep your bullets under 130 gr., 107's for first three animals.

Norma Golden 130gr's also very good for rams, but you might have better luck with 123's.

Dennis
One man at our New Braunfels (CTSA) range has been shooting a 6.5 Grendel (SAAMI Spec chamber) with Norma 130gr bullets. I don’t recall his powder charge, but he has been surprisingly successful on rams.
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dwostler
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Re: Adventures in Low recoil 6.5 TCU ram loads

Post by dwostler »

I think my load is 27 grains of 8208, but your mileage my vary, please be safe with your reloading.

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Re: Adventures in Low recoil 6.5 TCU ram loads

Post by jbmarshtx »

RBriscoe wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 7:18 pm One man at our New Braunfels (CTSA) range has been shooting a 6.5 Grendel (SAAMI Spec chamber) with Norma 130gr bullets. I don’t recall his powder charge, but he has been surprisingly successful on rams.
That's me. If I get to shoot much this year, I'll be using my grendel only. I'm using the berger hybrid 130s with 28.2 of 4895. That's above max according to Nosler. I know this is a TCU thread, but most grendel data is for AR15s. I'm using the same charge of varget with 100s for the cpt. I may just use 4895 for all this year.
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Re: Adventures in Low recoil 6.5 TCU ram loads

Post by RBriscoe »

A Grendel in a bolt gun is an entirely different proposition from one in an AR. I recall looking at your fired cases. They seemed to be anything but “hot”. I think the biggest differences between a 6.5 TCU and a 6.5 Grendel are not having to fireform brass and (potentially) brass life. The Grendel can handle a few grains mor powder, but the result is very much the same, if not interchangeable.
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