TESTED: Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass (Large and Small Primer)

Lapua makes top-shelf brass, and their 6.5 Creedmoor offerings are no exception. If you’ve used this brass, you’re probably aware that it’s available only with small primer pockets. Well, that used to be true, but recently Lapua released large primer pocket 6.5 Creedmoor brass, and it’s given me stellar results this last year with long-term testing. In this story, I’ll compare both of these brass SKUs- taking a data-driven approach!

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Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass which is available at Creedmoor Sports with both large and small primer pockets, has been heralded as top shelf by shooters for years now!

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass (small primer pocket)

From Lapua:

Lapua’s 6.5 Creedmoor is designed to function in a short action, which is also a plus for hunters, vitally concerned with the rifle’s weight and compactness. In fact, many of the same features which make for a successful competition cartridge, translate nicely to the hunting fields as well.

For most species of mid-size game such as deer or boar, the Creedmoor will prove to be a deadly performer. And while the selection of high grade Match bullets in the 6.5 bore size is tremendous, there’s no shortage of exceptionally good hunting bullets either. The 6.5’s as a group have always been known as excellent performers on game.

Made with Lapua’s typical dedication to precision, our new 6.5 Creedmoor case has been refined just a bit, to make it an even better performer. We’ve opted for the small rifle primer, which normally produces an optimized ignition and better accuracy than large primers in mid-sized cartridges like the Creedmoor.

We’ve also incorporated our smaller diameter flash hole (1.5mm, rather than the industry standard 2.0mm), which has proven to provide enhanced accuracy, and is used in a number of our other accuracy oriented cases. In this respect, the new 6.5 Creedmoor joins the ranks of our other dedicated accuracy cartridges such as the .220 Russian (6mm PPC), the 6mm BR Norma, the 6.5×47 Lapua and the .308 Win. Palma cases.

And naturally, the new 6.5 Creedmoor will be made with our well known Passion for Precision. Strictest control over the metallurgy, the forming and drawing processes, precise annealing all performed under the watchful eyes of our production experts. For you, the handloader, that means the durability for which our cases are famous, combined with consistency and long life. Already proven in competition, we predict that the 6.5 Creedmoor will be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.

NEW! Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass (large primer pocket)

From Lapua:

Lapua, world-renowned for producing the finest components and ammunition products, announces the addition of the 6.5 Creedmoor Large Rifle Primer cartridge cases.

The new 6.5 Creedmoor Large Rifle Primer cartridge cases provide competitive shooters, hunters and Mil/LE operators an option utilizing a large rifle primer for enhanced performance in inclement weather conditions. The Large Rifle cases improve ignition consistency where extreme temperature swings are prevalent.

Our elite forces and civilians utilize various semi-auto platforms to engage targets at extreme long ranges. The large rifle primed 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges cases are purpose-built to function flawlessly in these platforms.

“Lapua Large Rifle Primer, 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge cases provide the same industry-leading consistency and performance benefits of our Small Rifle Primed cases,” stated, Emil Praslick, Business Development Manager USA Tactical Sales. “We’ve found that for some applications, like tactical semi-automatic rifles, a Large Rifle Primer is required to ensure function and performance. Lapua created this product to meet that requirement.”

-The Outdoor Wire January 13, 2020

Lab Consistency Testing

A&D EJ-54D2 Precision Scale from Cambridge Environmental

You may have read my recent story covering the A&D EJ-54D2 Precision Scale (0.003 grain sensitivity), which I will be using for weight measurements in this story!

You can find this and other precision reloading scales at Cambridge Environmental! (UltimateReloader code gets you a free calibration weight!)

Weight Consistency

Using the EJ-54D2, the following results were gathered:

Interestingly, just like the 6mm Creedmoor Starline cases I tested, the large rifle primer Lapua cases varied more than the small rifle primer cases. Comparing Lapua to Starline, the Starline cases had about twice the variation in weight! Win for Lapua.

Length Consistency

Length consistency is not the most important measure for brass quality, but it is nonetheless an indicator of precision! Here are the length measurements and statistics for the lots of brass I tested:

When I tested Starline 6mm Creedmoor cases (large and small primers), I got an SD on length of 0.0009″, so Lapua met (small primer) and exceeded (large primer) those results.

Case Neck Thickness and Uniformity

Case neck thickness uniformity *IS* an important factor for accuracy, so these numbers are worth a look!

Case neck thickness uniformity was tested by taking three neck thickness measurements with a ball micrometer accurate to 0.0001″. Here’s that data:

Again compared to the Starline brass, the Lapua wins out here too. Starline showed 73% more variation compared to the Lapua brass tested in this article.

Case Capacity

Case capacity was very close to the specification for 6.5 Creedmoor:

Once the case is fired once, these numbers could increase to 52 grains or so (depends on the chamber in our rifle, and other factors!).

Preview: AMP Press Bullet Seating Force Profiling System

*PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS BETA PRE-RELEASE HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE*

As a “quick preview”, I thought I’d show some bullet seating force graphs that I produced with a pre-production prototype bullet seating force system from Annealing Made Perfect: the AMP Press!

This tool is pretty amazing- you can see how much force is generated while seating bullets over the length of “press fit” when the bullet is inserted into the case mouth. I decided to see how consistent bullet seating force would be between the small primer and large primer Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cases, and as you can see below, the results were near identical! That’s consistency.

Force plot, Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor (small primer pocket):

Force plot, Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor (large primer pocket):

Large -vs- Small Primers

Large -vs- small primer (for 6.5 Creedmoor and similar cartridges) – when does it matter? Here are some factors to think about:

    1. Primer pocket longevity – small primer pockets can endure high pressures and repeated firings better.
    2. Velocity consistency – some shooters report more consistent velocity with small primers.
    3. Ignition performance for hunting – Large primers have the edge here.
    4. Reloading equipment, setup, components stock- you can match your cases to what components you have, and what equipment setups you’re using.

25 Creedmoor Results

I’ve gotten GREAT results with these cases shooting both 6.5 Creedmoor, and 25 Creedmoor (necking cases down for 25 caliber bullets).

For the 25 Creedmoor load, I took data from Blackjack Bullets, and worked up a series of 3-shot OCW string based on the following components:

As seen in the picture above:

The results where IMPRESSIVE! Here’s the best 3-shot group from this exercise:

Conclusion

You can’t go wrong with Lapua cases, and now that you can get Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cases in both large and small primer configurations, you have all the options you’ll need for your shooting application and components/equipment in the shop.

Get Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cases at Creedmoor Sports

Get Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cases (large primer pocket):

Get Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cases (small primer pocket):

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Thanks,
Gavin

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