5.6x50 R Bellm

The following data was developed by Blaine Eddy, Clearfield, UT about 10 years ago.  The cartridge was promoted so long as brass was available, but when it became quite hard to obtain, the cartridge and this data for it were filed away.  Huntington's, www.huntingtons.com is now importing high quality Hirtenberger brass and offers it at $39 per hundred, which while not in the $20 per hundred bracket for more common brass offers pretty spectacular performance in Contenders for under double the price.  The RWS brass formerly used was over $1 per empty unprimed case, so the Hirtenberger brass is much more attractive.

Data for bullets up through 63 gr. are shown especially for those who might hunt deer with this cartridge.  There are differing schools of thought regarding .22 caliber for big game, but one school insists .22 caliber is all you need, and from what I have seen, I tend to agree.

The data was developed in a 20" custom barrel I made.  Twist was 1-14."  Brass used at the time was RWS.  Results should be similar with Hirtenberger brass, but as with all loading data, always start low and work up.

When comparing the following 5.6x50 R Bellm data to published .22-250 data, remember that most .22-250 data is taken from 24-26" barrels and will be about 100 to 150 fps. faster.  A rechambered 21" TC factory barrel will be about 30 fps faster than our 20" barrel data.  Comparisons were made with various primers.  With standard primers, loads were about 12-25 fps faster than with the Federal 205s that Blaine used.  Data is also presented at the end using ball powders and CCI 450 Magnum primers which gave velocities about 25-50 fps faster than shown in the first section of the data using Federal 205 primers.

Best powder overall in Blaines tests was IMR 4064 with IMR 4895 a close second.  AA2520 did was not available when these tests were done, but based on current experience with this powder in .222 Mag.Imp barrels, it should be outstanding in the 5.6x50 R Bellm as well.

Accuracy was excellent with many 100 yard groups going into 1/2" or less.  Best powders for accuracy were IMR 4064, IMR 4895, WW748, and H380.

.22-250 velocities and superb accuracy from a little 6 pound rifle make the 5.6x50 R Bellm a very respectable varmint rig, and with 60 to 70 gr. bullets it would do well on deer sized game also.

Note:  This case holds nearly 37 gr. of  ball powder, and about 34 gr. of stick powder, compressed.  Max. loads must be worked up for each individual barrel and can be taken to the limits of the brass without damage to the barrel or frame due to the small diameter of the 5.6x50 R case.  Loads that lightly crater the primer and show no imprint of the rimfire firing pin hole on the case head should be considered maximum, taking into consideration also pressure increases with increases in temperature..

All loads should be reduced at least 10% below the maximum  loads shown and worked up carefully, especially where only the max loads are listed.

Due to variations in individual barrels and procedures used by individual reloaders, neither Blaine Eddy nor I assume any liability for the results obtained from the use of this data.  Top loads shown are absolute maximum for the barrel in which they were tested, but were safe.  

50 gr. Sierra Blitz Bullet     Primer:  Fed. 205

Powder

Charge wt. in grains

Velocity in feet per second

IMR 4895

31

3368

 

32

3495

 

33

3654

 

34

3684

H 380

35

3513

 

36

3592

WW760

36

3473

 

36.5

3506

H335

32.5

3538

WW748

34

3690

53 gr. Sierra HPBT Match    Primer:  Fed 205

Powder

Charge wt. in grains

Velocity in feet per second

IMR 4895

33.5

3616

H 380

36

3564

WW760

36.5

3486

H335

30.5

3472

WW748

32

3420

 

32.5

3502

 

33.5

3572

IMR 4064

32

3490

 

32.5

3648

BLC-2

31

3449

 

32

3522

 

33

3595

55 gr. Sierra SPBT   Primer:  Fed. 205

Powder

Charge wt. in grains

Velocity in feet per second

IMR 4895

33

3579

H 380

36

3543

WW760

36.5

3468

H335

30

3422

WW748

31.5

3368

 

32

3387

 

32.5

3446

 

33

3538

55 gr. Nosler SPBT      Primer:  Fed 205

(Probably the old Nosler Solid base, due to the age of the data. Using today's Ballistic Tip bullets, reduce charges another grain or two just in case.)

Powder

Charge wt. in grains

Velocity in feet per second

IMR 4064

32.5

3611

60 gr. Hornady     Primer:  Fed 205

Powder

Charge wt. in grains

Velocity in feet per second

IMR 4064

31.5

3415

BLC-2

30

3221

63 gr. Sierra Semi-pointed     Primer:  Fed 205

Powder

Charge wt. in grains

Velocity in feet per second

IMR 4895

31

3321

H 380

35

3352

WW760

34.5

3316

WW748

31.5

3332

IMR 4064

31

3355

The following are loads with ball powders and CCI 450 Magnum Primers.   Note: The  magnum primers showed 25-50 fps increase in velocity over those loads with Fed. 205 primers.

53 gr. Sierra HPBT Match

Powder

Charge wt. in grains

Velocity in feet per second

WW760

35

3415

 

35.5

3422

 

36.5

3536

H 380

36

3592

55 gr. Sierra SPBT

Powder

Charge wt. in grains

Velocity in feet per second

H 380

36

3568

55 gr. Nosler SPBT      

(Probably the old Nosler Solid base, due to the age of the data. Using today's Ballistic Tip bullets, reduce charges another grain or two just in case.)

Powder

Charge wt. in grains

Velocity in feet per second

WW760

36

3473

 

36.5

3503

60 gr. Hornady

Powder

Charge wt. in grains

Velocity in feet per second

WW760

35

3386

H 380

35

3400

63 gr. Sierra Semi-pointed 

Powder

Charge wt. in grains

Velocity in feet per second

WW760

34.5

3336

H 380

35

3381

Comment:

AA2520 powder has proven to be superb in the .222 Rem Mag Imp. and should be an excellent powder in the 5.6x50 R Bellm as well.  However, I have not tried it yet.  AA2700 is too slow for the .222 Mag Imp, but might be useful in the 5.6.