Reloading for .243Win and 6.5x55SE - Which powder(s)?

Just about to start reloading .243 and 6.5x55 for deer stalking and occasional fox. Planning to use Hornady Interlock 100gn for the .243 and 140gn for the 6.5x55, both with Federal primers and brass.

The problem is which powder!! Can I get away with using the same powder for both calibres or should I use 2 different ones?

Rifles are Winchester M70 Sporter (.243 Win) with 1:10" twist, and CZ 550 American (6.5x55SE) with 1:9" twist.

All advice/suggestions gratefully received!
Check the Vihta manual. Therein will lie your answer.
As Stoatie says, Vhitavouri is the way. I use their stuff for 7.62, .223, and 30-06. It's the dogs bits.


I use IMR 4895, it does all my centre fire carts bar 1 and only as I havent had the time to develop a load for the 7.62 x 39 with that powder!
Many thanks guys - those were the sort of answers I was hoping for. I had been looking at the IMR4895 as a possible do all option.

Anyone else recommend a specific powder for multiple calibres?

P.S I'm not looking create any hot loads just consistent accuracy and stopping power


I'll look it up later but my pet load for 140 gn 6.5 shoots to the same poi as federal 140 gn loads and within 1/2 an inch of the Privi 139 grain loads!
You can't beat IMR 4895 for most calibres but you are better testing loads and different bullet makes yourself!

Some mornings its hardly worth chewing through the straps! Sent from my Blackberry!
Checked on the Vihtavuori website as per Stoatman's suggestion - seems that N160 would be the other contender to cater for both calibres.

I guess from here its just a matter of picking one, giving it a try and hoping that my fire-sticks aren't fussy eaters!!

Thanks again for the replies - I'll let you know the outcome (will be in the New Year - the memsahib is giving me a reloading kit for Christmas - a whole lot better than the roasting tray and shirt she gave me last year!!!)


Get a good scale, don't scrimp don't use Lee dippers!

Some mornings its hardly worth chewing through the straps! Sent from my Blackberry!
Get a good scale, don't scrimp don't use Lee dippers!

I'm planning to get the Lee Breech Lock Challenger kit which comes with the Lee Safety Powder Scale (balance beam type). I have used digital scales before and that would be my first choice but can I achieve good accuracy with the balance beam type?

I'd rather invest in a case tumbler and powder trickler initially - the start-up cost for reloading seems to rack up pretty quickly with heads, powder, primers.......etc. Thankfully I've saved all of my Federal empty cases and have plenty to get me started.


personally I would go green, RCBS and Redding, Redding is more expensive and RCBS has fantastic customer service. remember its a manufacturers warranty not a retailers so if you stuff a die e mail RCBS and expect parts by return of post even if its your fault.
By an O frame press as C frames flex and give. Also buy imperial sizing die wax, buy 2 tins as you will lose 1. Also buy the best kit lee made, the primer pocket cleaner. you will need a funnel for powder. Balance beam scales are ok to start with as are powder throwers and stands but a combined powder throw and digi scale is a life saver. Cheap case tumblers for £40 last you a lifetime.
Also please remember Bullets are the things you seat in the cases not heads.
Finally a decent priming tool. I use RCBS multi tool so no longer need all the primer shell holders. If you buy the cheapo lee primer seater ask me and I will sort out the shell holders for you, yes they are different to the loading press ones!
Shop around for powder, a good dealer will hold a stock for you with your name on it (cheaper to buy in bulk) and you collect when you need it. sadly the days of 8 pound tins of IMR are long gone thanks to the H&S Nazis.
Apply for an explosive cert from HSE free and only for non black powder, means you can have courier delivered powder rather than collecting!
That's great advice Ugly! The Lee Breech Lock Challenger Kit seems to offer quite a lot for a good price (managed to find it for under £115 inc VAT. It includes:

Lee Breech Lock Challenger Kit

Kit included
Lee Breech lock challenger O frame press
breech lock quick change bushings ONLY ONE SUPPLIED
auto primer too w/set of 11 shell holders
perfect powder measurew/stand
powder funnel
case trimmer
chamfer tool
safety powder scale
primer pocket cleaning
tube of sizing lube

I'm a little price conscious as it's the memsahib who will be paying for it and I'm sure she will expect more than a roasting tray in return!!!



You have enough there to be getting on with, shop around for different primers and bullets, eventually you will find a load you are happy with. A good load manual is vital, I use Sierra Infinity as it has ballistic calcs and allows you to work out loads with other firms bullets.
I started reloading as you couldnt get .455 or .303 when I was starting shooting, later it became important to match hand loads to factory loads should I ever run out of factory and now its almost therapeutic, spend a week getting cases prepped, ammo loaded and tested, rifles zeroed and thats an hour an evening with some range work thrown in and the stalking trip is sorted!

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