Advice for Pistol Reloader Considering 6.5 Creedmoor

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by English Bob, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. English Bob

    English Bob Well-Known Member

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    I am torn between buying cheapish 6.5 Creedmoor hunting ammo and reloading something a little more high-end. Problem: I've done a lot of pistol reloading, but I have yet to do a single rifle round.

    Are there any 6.5 CM dies I should avoid? I was thinking I'd get the Hornady Match dies because...it says "Match" in the name. That's the best rationale I've come up with at this time. I would like something good in case I develop some shooting skill and want to make highly accurate ammo.

    What extra junk should I invest in? Is a case trimmer mandatory? I have a good beam scale and the Hornady rifle powder thing my press came with.

    I don't think brass will be a problem, as I loaded up on Sellier & Bellot FMJ for practice.
     
  2. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    If you can load a pistol round, you can load a rifle round. The principle is the same but a little more entailed with rifle. You will need a way to lube the rifle brass and yes, a way to trim them. I do not know what a "Hornady rifle powder thing" refers to.

    I only own one set of Hornady dies (I don't remember caliber), only because they were cheaper, so I don't know anything about their "Match" dies, but it is probably a sales gimmick. ANY brand of dies will work for you.
     

  3. rcairflr

    rcairflr Well-Known Member

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    If all you buy is cheap hunting ammo, you are not going to get great accuracy. So if all you want to do is throw lead down range, buy cheap ammo. If you want the best accuracy your rifle is capable of, then reload with quality components.
    As far as die, I really like the Redding Competition dies. They come with a little micrometer built into the seating die. My second favorite would be the Forster Competition dies.
    BTW, a case trimmer is a must with centerfire reloading
     
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  4. English Bob

    English Bob Well-Known Member

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    Who makes a good case trimmer?
     
  5. rcairflr

    rcairflr Well-Known Member

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    The only one I've use is the Lee Case trimmer. Inexpensive, easy to use and works good. For anything more elaborate you will have to wait for someone else to reply/
     
  6. rcairflr

    rcairflr Well-Known Member

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    Just a couple more suggestions on reloading 6.5 Creedmoor > i don't load it, but i do reload another 6.5mm round (260 REmington). They both have very similar ballistics and reload similar as in powder and bullets.
    Hodgdon H4350 is an excellent powder for the 6.5mm rounds and use as heavy bullet as your barrel/chamber will handle. Usually the 123 grain and the 140 grain will work the best. Some excellent accurate bullets are: Sierra Matchking, Hornady ELD Match bullets or Lapua Scenars.
     
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  7. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    I would second the Lee case trimmer, it is very inexpensive and does a great job. I use the Lee trimmers for all of my rifles except .223 and .308. You would also need a way to chamfer and deburr your brass and I would recommend the use of a Lee tool for that also, again, it is inexpensive and does a good job,
     
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  8. Rob Watson

    Rob Watson Well-Known Member

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    Ditto Lee Case Trimmer. Been using one for years on my rifle ammo. You can buy the case holder and standoff inexpensively
     
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  9. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Reloading any rifle cartridge is not hard but there are “MUST DO” things that need to be done. Here’s the process:

    Clean cases (vibratory or rotary cleaner, wet or dry but if wet, all the water has to be removed!!)

    Lube cases and then size cases and de-prime….size case neck up to size ***

    Measure case length with calipers and trim the whole lot to the reloading manual’s “trim-to” length if any one of a random selection of 10 needs trimming

    Prime cases (primer must be seated to below flush with the case head)

    Powder cases (+ or - a few tenths of a grain is still accurate)

    Seat bullets and crimp

    Remove sizing lube (with damp rag and towel if it is RCBS Pad case lube which is water soluble

    As for dies, RCBS dies are great dies and LEE not so much. You don’t need “Match” dies to make good ammo.

    You can use almost any single stage press or turret press and even a progressive press like the Dillon presses ****

    There are all kinds of trimming devices available from super cheap to expensive. I find trimming boring and time consuming so I mechanize the task with a powered trimmer from RCBS.

    I reload for 6.5 Creedmoor for my AR10 (actually a PSA10) and it is no different than reloading 30-06 or 308 or any number of other cases. I do it progressively on my Dillon RL550B with good success. I use a Dillon Vibratory cleaner and walnut shell media. I use the RCBS lube Pad and their lube. I trim cases with the motorized RCBS case lathe but today there are many such tools that work fine and make trimming less of a burdensome task. Virtually all my 30+ die sets are RCBS (LEE crap went to the trash over the last 30 years) but other’s die set are fine too. I do use and praise the LEE Rifle Factory Crimp Die which is a collet style, different than anyone else’s crimp process. And finally and most important ….buy several different reloading manuals. Read them several times so you thoroughly understand ALL the processes. Use only “manual” loads or loads on the manufacturer’s web page (Hodgdon’s site is excellent featuring powders from several different suppliers).

    Sorry about the lengthy post but there is a lot to know. I write to help the new reloaders as well as the poster.

    LDBennett
     
  10. mudman35962

    mudman35962 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    all the above!!!^^^^^^
    personal experience: Lyman trimmer, new trimmed about 20 cases came apart, took 3 months to get a new head for it. yes cumpflu shut down had something to do with it, BAD management had a lot to do with it, Conn. governor shutting down everything [gun industry exempt?]. rant over for now.
    the Lee trimmer works great. for a few different guns you can not go wrong.

    rick
     
  11. Wild Turkey Cogburn

    Wild Turkey Cogburn Well-Known Member

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    80% of my dies are RCBS. The only rifle dies, not RCBS, is a set of Hornady .223.

    RCBS case trimmer. Connect battery drill to the hand crank.

    Lee Factory crimp dies, I like.

    Good lube is a MUST. RCBS lube pad and lube has worked for me, for 45 years.
     
  12. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    LEE Factory Crimp Dies (FCD):

    The LEE Rifle FCD versions (for necked rifle cases) uses a horizontally closing collet to push the case into the bullet as a crimp. Normal seating/crimp dies and other crimp only dies jam the case mouth vertically into a step inside the die, folding the case neck so as to make a crimp. The force, from regular crimp dies, to crimp, if over done, can swell the case body behind the case neck to an extent that the case might not fit a standard chamber. The Rifle FCD by LEE is a tremendously better way to crimp rifle necked cases. But be aware that if you are single loading a bolt gun (no ammo in the magazine) then no crimp is necessary. Whereas any time ammo is in a gun when firing (such as any magazine fed firearm) crimping is very highly suggested!!! So it is also true in a hunting situation where you are carrying loose rounds in you pockets.

    But there is a problem with LEE FCD. LEE uses the same FCD nomenclature for the pistol version when that version is NOT a collet operated die. Their pistol FCD is a regular crimp die (Roll crimper for revolver cartridges and taper crimp for semi-auto cartridges) with a sizer in the base that removes any excessive case bulging cause by the regular crimp. LEE finally got around to offering a real collet die for some common revolver cartridges (termed as collet crimp dies) which are hard to find even in the LEE catalog. I recommend those collet dies if they are available for your cartridge and I DO NOT recommend the Handgun version of the FCD. If you adjust the crimp die correctly there is no need to "fix" the cartridge after crimping.

    Hope this helps.
    LDBennett
     
  13. English Bob

    English Bob Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the help.

    If I go for the Redding dies, it looks like I'll be dropping a lot of money to get into Creedmoor. I see a lot of people like the L.E. Wilson case trimmer. I don't know if it's overkill or what.

    I want this stuff to be accurate. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry too much about getting good tools.
     
  14. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, you can get everything you need for single stage or turret press reloading right out of the RCBS catalog. I have some of the "Match" dies from others and frankly I can not tell the difference in the finished ammo or in the performance if I set up the dies correctly in both.

    I prefer motorized case trimming (I have in the distant past done case trimming with a small hand lathe, in a universal shell holder on a drill press, in a real lathe, and most recently (last 30 years) with the RCBS motorized lathe device. Trimming is a pain in the hands from the handling of hundreds of cases in a single sitting and very boring. The Motorized trimmer along with the motorized case Preparation Center speeds up the job significantly. I can trim a batch of 100 cases to within a thousandth of an inch of each other with the RCBS case trimmer. No other method I tried did any better and some did not match that.

    But we all get to choose. Whatever you choose, don't cheap out on tools. Good tools can last forever. Bad tools just make you mad every time you use them.

    LDBennett
     
  15. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    I will tell you, if the 6.5CM was the only rifle cartridge that I was going to load for, or load a lot of, I would buy the World's Finest Trimmer for that cartridge. I don't even know if they make one for the Creedmore but if they did that is what I would buy. They ain't cheap, by a long shot, but surly are worth it. A few years ago, I loaded a lot of .308 and .223 cartridges and I bought the WFT for them.
     
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