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6,5x55 won't chamber my reloads

21 Aug 2017
@ 09:49 am (GMT)

Arve Ringsbye

My wife bought herself a new Tikka T3x stainless lite in 6,5x55 last week. I mounted her riflescope and brought it on paper with some lapua training ammo and went to my work bench to make up some reloads with the lapua cases. None of the cases where over saami specs after once fired. Made a dummy round with nosler 140 gr BT. Max coal 3.134. Doublechecked the 15 fired cases, all of them chambered fine. Necksized the cases with my lee die. Checked chambering again, OK. Primed with fed 215. Load 45,5 gr. of Vn 560. Coal 3.12. NONE of the cartridges where able to chamber!

Started over again, not sure what went wrong. Same recipie as before, except this time I full length sized all of the cases. Same result, neither of the cartridges where able to chamber. What am I doing wrong here?


21 Aug 2017
@ 10:21 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 6,5x55 won't chamber my reloads
Hi Arve, nice to hear from you after such a long time.

Will pay to check your primer pockets, make sure the primers are seated deep. If the primers are not flush, this may be the issue. Try chambering a primed case without its bullet seated to see if this is an issue. If its not the issue, then we have to assume something is wrong in the case neck / ogive area.

That throat seems a bit on the short side (3mm) but may just be the current style reamer. I dislike trying to guess these things from a distance. For now, study the primers.

21 Aug 2017
@ 10:07 pm (GMT)

Arve Ringsbye

Re: 6,5x55 won't chamber my reloads
Thanks Nathan!

I actually tried chambering one of the rounds after priming, before bullet seating, and it chambered, however maybe somewhat thighter.

Nonetheless You are probably right, have to be the primer seating, doesnt make sense beeing anything else, and I didn`t check if the primers where exactly flush.

Might have to get a new primer tool, probably my rcbs hand priming tool needs retirement. First try to uniform the primer pockets though.

One more question regarded the T3, I noticed that one of the (blind)screws from the scope mounting rail where protruding between the locking recesses and the chamber, same with the front action screw, is this a new feature on the T3x, cannot remeber this from my old T3 hunter ( sold the rifle last year, so not able to compare myself )??

I didn`t like the look of it, and both srews seemed to look a litle long, and when i tried the primed case, which was a very thight fit, had to use a little force to close the bolt, the bolt lugs felt like scrathcing against something, might be those two, or one of those, screws.

Anyway the action srews came with about 25 in torque, and if I`m going to render this to 30 or more, the action srew for sure will protrude into the action...

Probably I have to disasemble and grind the two srews down 1 mm or so?

22 Aug 2017
@ 07:32 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 6,5x55 won't chamber my reloads
Hi Arve, the top blind screws are made of rubber so should not cause any major issues but yes, we should always avoid any protrusion from the top or bottom.

Yes, if the front action screw is protruding, it will need to be ground back a touch. This is very important as it can both gouge the lower bolt locking lug and also upset accuracy terribly. And yes, it will effect how the bolt feels when opening and closing.

Yes, shoot the rifle at 30 inch-lb and see how you get on.

Note for others: protruding scope base screws can severely upset accuracy- a common problem on the Win M70 due to the many variations in action finish versus scope bases (Lane take note regarding your new rig). When doing up the scope base screws at the front of any rifle but particularly the M70, do a dummy test first. Do the front most screw up, then try to wriggle the base. If the base wriggles, it means that the screw is touching the barrel threads, not the base. If so, the screw needs to be ground back. Once this has been sorted, do up the rear screw and check for protrusion. For example, you can put vivid marker pen on the sides of the locking lugs to check for any scratching. Rear scope base screws also need to be checked for protrusion.
22 Aug 2017
@ 10:09 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: 6,5x55 won't chamber my reloads
Hand primer side note as l have been caught out measuring oal's with the primers slightly proud by a few thou.

l have screwed on a small block of wood that fits between the handle & body or tube section of the tool (Hornady tool). This acts as a depth stop when filed to the appropriate thickness, so once the inside of the handle contacts the primer is flush.
I adjust for different cases with small pieces of tape but will get around to making a proper adjustable stop with inserts one day (on along list!). Has also allowed my boys to help out with repeatable, consistent results.

Makes priming case lots heaps quicker once set which takes seconds and they are always the same. If using uniformed primer pockets, seating to deep is very easy to do when seating by feel alone.

22 Aug 2017
@ 11:12 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: 6,5x55 won't chamber my reloads
Hi guys. I bought some Norma 243 cases and had to clean out the primer pockets with my K&M uniforming tool, impossible to seat the primers before re cutting the the pockets.
23 Aug 2017
@ 02:04 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: 6,5x55 won't chamber my reloads
Hi Bob.

A couple years back I had bought 200 Norma .308 Winchester cases that had very tight primer pockets. It was a real pain to correct those but eventually got them reamed out to the appropriate size. (Not all of them were like that) Back then they cost me $132.45 Canadian per 100 brass. Should not be happening but I am guilty of forgetting to let Norma know that.

They are still working well but have been annealed about every 4 or 5 reloads and have got 12 reloads out of them so far, so not complaining so much now.
23 Aug 2017
@ 09:03 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 6,5x55 won't chamber my reloads
And the same here too. A batch of Norma .308 supplied with a client rifle. Would not accept primers. Had to be K&M turned prior to usage.
01 Sep 2017
@ 07:21 pm (GMT)

Arve Ringsbye

Re: 6,5x55 won't chamber my reloads
Rechecked the front action screw after thigtening to 30 inch-ib and screw was protruding, so grounded it down to slightly below flush - ok now.

You where correct Nathan - the primers where not flush. Checked my shellholders, my rcbs priming tool, even bought a new Lyman hand held primer tool. Deprimed some of the cases and checked the primer pocket, uniformed them over again. Same problem - cartridge still wont chamber. Then tried with new Lapua cases which chambered nicely before priming, didnt chamber after priming. Worked the primers with the Lyman tool by first prime in ordinary fashion - then turning the cartridge 90 degrees at the time reapplying pressure on the primer - and was able to camber afterwards.

Came to think that this actually could be the primer itself. Checked by priming some new winchester 300 wsm cases. Result - was not able to chamber those cartridges either.

Pulled out another box of federal 210 primers - compared them to the 215 primers - ! The 215 primers where app 0,3 - 0,4 mm longer than the 210!!

Problem solved - will have to dump the rest of the 215 box.

Anyone experienced this before?

02 Sep 2017
@ 04:00 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: 6,5x55 won't chamber my reloads
I would be sure to let Federal know of this issue.
02 Sep 2017
@ 09:46 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 6,5x55 won't chamber my reloads
Very interesting Arve. As Bryan said, it will pay to report.

I assume you wanted the 215 primer for freezing temps.

If using the 210 primer, try N204 or N150 rather than something akin to MRP. The faster powder will allow you to use 4 to 6 grains less powder, placing less of a demand on the primer.
02 Sep 2017
@ 02:16 pm (GMT)

mark whiteley

Re: 6,5x55 won't chamber my reloads
I would have definitely lost money on this if I had bet on it
I have seen protruded primers seated by chambering a round, but they could chamber the round.
without being able to see the case with primer protruding this was a really tough call
I measured fed 215 and 210 primers (my stock) and they are both the same, 3.22mm
I then measured the primer pockets of old and new lapua 6.5x55 cases and that was 3.28mm
gives an extra bit of gap 0.06mm
adding the .4mm over from Arve's 215 primer is 3.62mm
.28mm (.0110") over
thats roughly the max head space allowed, if your primer pockets are cleaned up so the primers seat the same amount

definitely get onto federal and make a complaint, if you have these oversized primers so does someone else

glad you have it sorted
regards Mark


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