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  • So I went back out this past weekend and had success with the ladder test I put together.
    I switched back to Barnes TTSX 120Gr. Bullets with Varget Powder. For Seating depth I backed off the lands by about 20 Thousandths and the results were pretty damn impressive. I was able to get my groupings to about 1/2 inch.

    I have renewed faith in this rifle, I was getting a little nervous after the last few batches and some of the reviews I had read. Anyways thanks for you help.

    My COAL for the 130 VLD Hunters is 2.798"

    Looking over my notes - looks like it was approx 2.874" to the lands (note the was not using a gage - it was repeatedly seating a loose bullet and averaging 5 measurements)... my first load-up was 2.815 - I went each direction by .010" till I found a node and then fine tuned it... so looks like I have a pretty decent jump... bergers usually have a close and far node. Been a while since I have looked at these numbers - I kinda just roll with my initial findings.

    I played with the 127 LRX and couldn't get them near as tight... but faster speeds. I usually carry 3 or so in case I want to take a closish shot on a bear. But yea - I haven't had as good of luck with light barnes in the 6.5 as I have with my '06 which loves them.

    Looking at my reloading app... with a 20" tube I'm betting you are around 2700ish with that load.

    Here's a quick pic of some of my early reloading data results:

    Hi Dean,

    Thank you for the info..
    I was originally loading Barnes TSX 120Gr with Varget 37.5Gr., 37.5Gr. seemed to be the ticket. When I increased the charge it seemed to go all over the place.

    I was getting down to 1/2 MOA but was getting some flyers as I pushed out passed 300Yards.
    My main concern was how low the charge was, I need to Chrono it to see what my FPS is.

    I just tried, H4350 with a Cutting Edge 130gr and the groups were awful.

    For your Berger 130 VLD load, what is your COAL that you found to work?
    Did you measure off the lands?

    Thank you

    Yes, I do have a Savage 16 LWH in 6.5 creed - I shoot pretty much exclusively handloads. It shoots great for me - usually in the 1/2-3/4 if I'm on that day. My most accurate load at this time is 42.6 gr. of IMR 4451 under a 130 VLD hunter - which clocks in at 2700 our of a 20" barrel.

    I have been playing around with 4-5 different other loads pushing for a little more speed and playing with 130 grain accubonds... almost all are at around an inch + or - a quarter or so...

    RL17 with accubonds gets low to mid 2800s
    H4350 performs very similar to 4451 but usually has very good ES

    Let me know if you have any other questions - note, a light weight rifle is a different beast for shooting... careful of tweaking it while shooting, or excessive cheek pressure etc... also, plya around with shooting off of bags if you were using a bipod etc.

    Good luck,

    Hi Riley, I saw a post you made about the Savage 116 Lightweaight Hunter. I have this same exact rifle in 6.5 and I am trying to work up a load for it. So far I have had a hard time finding the right load. I was curious if you ended up only using factory ammunition and or if you reloaded Ammo for the rifle.

    After having it now for sometime how is the rifle performing for you?
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