6.5 Creedmoor load development: 142 grain Sierra MatchKing with Reloader 17 and W760

6.5 Creedmoor load development: 142 grain Sierra MatchKing with Reloader 17 and W760

142 SMK

The Sierra 142 grain MatchKing is a popular bullet for 6,5mm shooters.  According to Sierra, the 142 grain SMK has a sectional density .291, and G1 bc of .595 above 2850 feet/second and .580 between 2850 and 2400 feet/second.

6.5 creedmoor custom rifle on gravel 2

The rifle is built with the following components from Brownells:

It is topped with the outstanding Nightforce BEAST 5-25 FFP mil/mil scope in Nightforce rings.

To see how I built the rifle, check out Building a Custom 6.5 Creedmoor Precision Rifle.

WARNING: The loads shown are for informational purposes only.  They are only safe in the rifle shown and may not be safe in yours.  Consult appropriate load manuals prior to developing your own handloads.  Rifleshooter.com and its authors, do not assume any responsibility, directly or indirectly for the safety of the readers attempting to follow any instructions or perform any of the tasks shown, or the use or misuse of any information contained herein, on this website.

I had some Reloader 17 (which is known for high velocities) and Winchester 760 on the shelf so I decided to take a look at how they performed in the 6.5 Creedmoor. I used Hornady brass, neck sized in a Redding full length neck size die with a .290 titanium nitride bushing (note: the I did not use the FL die to set back the shoulder).  Powder charges were measured with a RCBS Charge Master.  A Redding competition seat die was used to seat the bullets on a Forster single stage press.  Tula primers were seated by hand with a Sinclair priming tool.

All shooting was done prone, from a Harris BR bipod equipped with a Pod-Loc, and a rear bag. Range conditions were 84F, 69% humidity, with a 13 mile/hour crosswind.  Target distance was 100 yards.

Velocity information was collected with a MagnetoSpeed barrel mounted ballistic chronograph.

The data presented below was collected after firing 100 rounds through the gun so the barrel was quite hot and the barrel mirage, made for difficult shooting conditions.

142 smk rl 17 table

reloader 17 142 smk groups 1

41.0-42.5 grains of Reloader 17 and the 142 SMK (above).

Reloader 17 6.5 creedmoor 142 smk groups

42.5-43.4 grains of Reloader 17 and the 142 SMK (above).

Reloader 17 offered some fairly impressive velocities considering this gun is equipped with a 22″ barrel.  Unfortunately, the accuracy doesn’t seem to be there on the higher end (2911 feet/second).  The 42.5 grain load offered a good combination of velocity, 2828 feet/second, and accuracy.

Reloader 17 seems like it would be a great powder for heavier bullets in a 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifle.

142 smk and w760 table for creed

w760 groups

The Winchester 760 would work in a pinch, however, I would prefer lower standard deviations and higher velocities. Compared to other powders in the Creedmoor, it seemed erratic.  I think H4350 is a better choice.