6.5 CM Hornady brass


Feb 6, 2013
I have been shooting a 6.5 CM a lot lately. Tikka T3X CTR, practically stock except for 20 MOA base, surefire muzzle brake for a can and 1 pound Mountain Tactical trigger spring.

I purchased 200 round ammo can of Hornady American Gunner Ammo when I received the rifle and have harvested that brass for my reloads. I am on my 3rd and 4th firing now and noticed a slight increase in muzzle velocity despite our colder weather and use of RL16 which is pretty much temperature stable. Only 10-15 fps but about to get me out of my accuracy node of 2815-2830 fps.(140 Hornady ELD).

My question to you more experienced reloaders is; should I just keep using the Hornady brass and backing off powder charge, or invest in an outside neck turning tool? (I do not have one). Or purchase other tools or brass?

there is a noticable increase in outside diameter of neck with increases firings whether you measure after firing, after sizing w the .290 bushing, or loaded ammo. 1/1000 to 2/1000 depending on where and how you measure OD.

While I have been a reloader for 40 plus years I do not have a bench rest quality set up. No arbor press, electronic annealilng machine, automatic powder measure w trickler, neck thickness tool, but I do have so called match quality Hornady dies with several bushing sizes and a micrometer seating die and can measure shoulder set back and base to ogive accurately. Ive had good results with the .310 bushing and Federal 210M primers w 1/1000 set back on shoulder.

I am getting half inch five shot groups with 43.4-43.6 grains of RL16 and the 140 grain ELD anywhere from 20/1000 to 30/1000 off jam. Dont really need to improve on that but low Extreme Spreads are desired for banging steel at 1200 and 1300 yard COSSA range.

I do not have a lot of real estate left on my reloadiing bench and am wondering whether to invest in new tools or just buy new brass when the time comes.

PS The Tikka is a lot of rifle for the money.

I appereciate your advice.
If you are asking what powder charge to use in the Nosler Brass, I would drop what you have been shooting 10% and work back up with the new brass.