6.5x55 Swiss?


March 23, 2008, 10:35 PM
I'm narrowing the field on a new rifle.
Someone suggested something in a 6.5x55 Swiss. Anybody have experience with this caliber?

How does it compare to .308 for power, range, versatility, availability and price?

What is a good rifle chambered for this round?

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March 23, 2008, 10:41 PM
I think you mean 6.5 X55 "SWEDE" The ballistic compare as follows:
Cartridge Information
Index Number Cartridge Type Weight (grs.) Bullet Style Primer No. Ballistic Coefficient
R308W1 Remington® Express® 150 Pointed Soft Point Core-Lokt® 9 1/2 0.314
R65SWE1 Remington® Express® 140 Pointed Soft Point Core-Lokt® 9 1/2 0.435

Velocity (ft/sec)
Cartridge Type Bullet Muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
Remington® Express® 150 PSP CL 2820 2533 2263 2009 1774 1560
Remington® Express® 140 PSP CL 2550 2353 2164 1984 1814 1654

Energy (ft-lbs)
Cartridge Type Bullet Muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
Remington® Express® 150 PSP CL 2648 2137 1705 1344 1048 810
Remington® Express® 140 PSP CL 2021 1720 1456 1224 1023 850

Short-Range Trajectory
Cartridge Type Bullet 50 100 150 200 250 300
Remington® Express® 150 PSP CL 0.0 zero -1.2 -3.9 -8.4 -14.7
Remington® Express® 140 PSP CL 0.0 zero -1.5 -4.8 -9.9 -17.0

Long-Range Trajectory
Cartridge Type Bullet 100 150 200 250 300 400 500
Remington® Express® 150 PSP CL 2.0 1.7 zero -3.4 -8.8 -26.2 -54.8
Remington® Express® 140 PSP CL 2.4 2.1 zero -3.9 -9.8 -27.0 -57.8

March 23, 2008, 10:43 PM
I'm aware of a 6.5x55 (6.5 Swede) and a 7.5x55 (7.5 Swiss) round but not a 6.5x55 (6.5 Swiss).

I hear 6.5 Swede is a pretty good flat shooting cartridge that retains energy pretty well.

7.5 Swiss should be about on par with .308.

March 23, 2008, 10:47 PM
Sorry, I mis-typed. 6.5x55 Swede is what I meant.

March 23, 2008, 10:50 PM
With the array of modern bullets available today, the little 6.5 Swede can actually out-perform the 7mm-08 and .308. It will fall short of the .270, .280 and .30-06, but not by a whole lot. Excellent all-around cartridge for non-dangerous game.

I'm currently in the process of building a full-length stock to put on a sporterized Gustav M-38 for the woman.

March 23, 2008, 10:50 PM
I have one and I love it. I have an M-96, sporterized by Kimber. I once saw a picture of a man sitting on an elephant with a rifle just like mine. I've been told by people that I trust that I should feel comfortable hunting anything on the North American continent. The only thing that I have against the cartridge is that it is not very common in my area, and is kind of hard to find. I pay $.60 to $.75 a round for cheap target ammunition that was made in South Korea (Precision Made Cartridge.) My uncle has told me to start assembling my own cartridges with a turret press and I'm probably going to start doing that as soon as possible. Also, I've always heard it referred to as the 6.5x55 Swedish, and that's what's on the box, unless we're talking about two different cartridges. It's my first rifle, and I am not a wonderful shot. But a friend of mine who is a much better shot gets really good groups with it, and that's with cheap ammunition, and with the rifle laid on a block of wood. I was nervous about the reloading thing myself, but I've been told that in the 6.5 Swede, the powder comes almost all the way to the neck of the cartridge and so it is hard to overfill it by a whole lot. But you should know that I'm a gun newb and am not the most reliable source of information.

March 23, 2008, 10:54 PM
Low recoil and "deadly beyond its caliber". 6.5mm bullets have a great reputation for high BCs, giving them great tragectory/retained energy, and high SDs, giving them great penetration and killing power.

That's why many of the new long range cartridges are based on the 6.5mm bullet.

March 24, 2008, 12:09 AM
I've shot a fair amount of 6.5 x 55 and I like it a great deal. Most people do. As a previous poster mentioned, it shoots nice and flat and it retains a lot of energy a long way out there -- loooong bullets, low drag, high stability, great sectional density -- making it unusually effective as a game-getter as well as a target round. The 6.5 calibers are beating the pants off the .30s in the target world these days.

There are problems, the most significant being that rifles as good as the round are hard to find in the U.S. There are still plenty of Swedish military surplus Mausers knocking around, most of them in good shape and relatively inexpensive, so that end of the spectrum is covered quite nicely, but quality hunting rifles are rare and true target guns are very rare indeed. Winchester and Ruger both made a few hunters, Steyr made a handful, and now and again you run across an older Tikka or Sako from the pre-Beretta days. Currently, the only people making 6.5 Swede hunting rifles are Howa (the 1500), Tikka (T3) and CZ (the 550). They're all OK, and the CZs are great, in my opinion at least. A CZ 550 American in 6.5 x 55 would suit me just fine as an all-around hunting rifle, but you're not going to be able to walk into any old gun store and buy one off the shelf. Another possibility is a sporterized military gun like the Kimber mentioned above or a Bubba special you might find at a gun show. There's also a small number of current production Ruger Number 1 single-shots out there.

Ammo is another difficulty. Federal makes the best American 6.5 x 55 hunting ammo, and it will do, but neither it nor any other US brand is loaded up to the round's potential. The European stuff is, but it's expensive, sometimes horribly so. Again, there's a well-hidden solution, in this case the Wolf Gold line of hunting ammo marketed by the Russians but made by Prvi Partizan in I forget where exactly. That's good stuff, and they make full metal Jacket ammo too -- but there again, it's usually mail order or nothing. I get around this by reloading, as most 6.5 Swede fans do.

Right now I have only one gun in 6.5 x 55, a military Mauser 96 set up by the Swedes in the 1950s as a target rifle, but at various times I've had a Winchester 70 Featherweight, a Ruger 77, a Tikka Master Sporter target rifle, a few standard military 96s and 38s, and one of those high-tech Steyrs from a few years ago. I still haven't had a CZ. Hmm.....

Hope this helps.

March 24, 2008, 12:54 AM
6.5 bullets are the king, just the best, they do everyting well. I even like the old 6.5 carcano, and 6.5 jap. AS far as 6.5 swede, any milsurp will be accurate, and for new, jump all over a CZ, best rifle for the money, period.
As far as the ammo goes, the swiss made great rounds for their soldiers, have no probs buying milsurp 6.5 swede, either from gunshows, or off the net, they will be nearly match grade accurate.

March 24, 2008, 01:10 AM
ive read that the minimum round for moose or elk is a high powered .308, and the 6.5x55 SWEDE is the undisputed champion for that weight class of animal in europe.

Nothing to laugh about with this cartridge, only thing is, ive never seen how well the surplus ammo with wooden bullets shoots in production rifles of today, any ideas?

rust collector
March 24, 2008, 01:32 AM
Wooden bullets were for training (hence the threaded muzzles on many M96s, for afixing shredding devices) and I have never seen any wooden bullet loads for sale.

Igman, Prvi Partizan, Norma, and Winchester produce it, although I never heard much good about the Win brass. Lapua would be a source of brass, and Graf had Hornady or other brass for sale as well.

It's a great cartridge that just keeps bringing home the venison. Very capable, fun to shoot, and easy to reload. There are some fine bullets out there, which do the job without rattling fillings out of the teeth.

Ol` Joe
March 24, 2008, 10:34 AM
Ammo is available from Winchester, Remington, Hornady, Federal, Norma, Lapua, RWS, PMC, and is available from Cabelas, Bass Pro, Gander MT, and I believe I`ve seen it in Dunhams and most gun shops in my area. Tikka and CZ are importing rifles and Winchester, Remington, Ruger rifles have been chambered for it in the past and still turn up. The old M96 has been around for decades and makes a nice sporter or as is mil rifle.
The Swedes favore it for moose and more European Polar bear likely have been dropped with it then any other cartridge.
Did I say I like the round???

March 24, 2008, 10:56 AM
Easy to shoot well. Those 140 grain bullets don't start off as screamers, but get on target with enough authority for most large game.
My only complaint is finding a decent rifle offered in the caliber.

March 24, 2008, 11:22 AM
It is a great round. I have hunted with the Swede for over 25 years. It is available in a lot of name brands, Ruger, Remington, Winchester, Sako, etc., and etc. I have a SAKO in 6.5 X 55 that I will be taking to the gun show outside of Washington in April. PM me if you are interested. I think questions comparing the ballistics to the the .308 have already been answered. I might add that the report and recoil is also milder. I have a EXTREMELY ACCURATE hand load in this caliber. The only drawback is that it requires a long action. I do not believe the .308 does.

March 24, 2008, 11:24 AM
I have done a lot of research on this round. It is an excellent round. I just ordered a Sako. However, Tikka and Howa also make excellent rifles for this round. Winchester and Remington have also made rifles for this caliber too, so keep your eye on the used market.

High Planes Drifter
March 24, 2008, 11:41 AM
You probably wont find many folks who have something negative to say about the cartridge. Its a very efficient, mild recoil round. I wish there were more firearms chambered in it.

March 24, 2008, 11:46 AM
In a nutshell...the 6.5x55 is a great round...its hard to beat the percentage of retained energy downrange...those long pencil shaped bullets are the best at this.

March 24, 2008, 11:48 AM
Impossible to make a better choice for a deer rifle. I have many .308's, .300's, .243's, and 7mm variants...and when the weather's good, it's always the Win M70 in 6.5x55 SE that goes with me into the woods.

March 24, 2008, 11:59 AM
The currently available battle packs of Swedish surplus ammo are all sniper grade bullets. If you have to have soft points to hunt with, pull down a few and replace with bulk CoreLokts then re-crimp with a Lee Factory Crimp die. The brass is Berdan primed, but the price is right. Be warned though, the first time you shoot one is the last time you'll want to shoot anything else.

Grizzly Adams
March 24, 2008, 01:49 PM
What everyone has said is true. One of the most underrated rounds available. If you reload and have one chambered in a modern rifle (Rem, Win, Ruger, etc.) you can approach 270 volocities.

I've owned several and all have been tack-drivers. I currently hunt with a Rem. 700 Classic.

March 24, 2008, 02:16 PM
The 6.5x55mm is, overall, the finest cartridge on earth...

Even if, as a close friend of mine says, you need to take Geritol with it...



Float Pilot
March 24, 2008, 02:51 PM
I have three rifles chambered for the great 6.5 x 55mm Mauser cartridge. Also known as the 6.5 Swedish Mauser. (The Norwegians also had their Kraig Rifles chambered for this round)

The case dimensions are not similar to the other Mauser cartridges developed in the early 1890s. The case head is slightly larger in diameter.

I had previously heard that Winchester brass was not the right size. However I recently bought 200 rounds of Winchester virgin brass and it is the same in dimensions as the original Swedish brass. I mic’ed the heck out of it and my most accurate hand-loads are using Winchester brass. Oddly enough, the PMC brass is undersized. Avoid the Igmann ammo from Bosnia. The velocity and pressures jump all over the place. That stuff is a good way to lose an eye.

Since I am loading for vintage collector grade Swede rifles, I am using RL-22 in my hand-loads since it seems to duplicate the original military loadings, while still having a reasonably low pressure.

I shot a 0.75 inch group with iron sights yesterday, using a 108 year old M/96 Swedish Mauser made at the German Mauser Oberndorf factory on the Necker River.

March 24, 2008, 08:43 PM
I'm another fan of this great round. Sporterized an M38 11 years ago and used a new, milsurp Swede barrel cut to 20" on the reworked action. Throats are long on the swedes, so handloading gets best results. With 140 grain Sierra Gamekings over a stout load of H4350 mine shoots to one hole at 100 yards off the bench when I do my part. Sweet shooting, low recoil and accurate.

March 24, 2008, 08:51 PM
I am also a fan of this round. I have a CZ, Tikka Stainless and a sporterized. All are very accurate, but the sporterized shoots the best out of the 3.

March 24, 2008, 09:48 PM
Great round. Handing the round in a modern action really adds to the cartridge. Most of the stuff we get in the US is down loaded so it won't cause troubles in those 100 year old M1894's, M1896's.

I have a couple of sporter rifles, one I will have to rebed as the barrel is binding. Even so, I can tell it is easy to develop accurate loads, and the recoil with 140's is not bad.

One another site, one that has a lot of Europeans, the 6.5 X 55 is highly considered. Even for Moose, thought the comment was sort of "if you do your part the cartridge will do its part". The author, a Swede, gave the opinion that bigger cartridges, like the 30-06, were becoming more popular, but I think the 6.5 X 55 was still a staple.

March 24, 2008, 09:55 PM
I like the caliber also, having sporterized a Mauser '96 several years ago.

However, unless you are going to be shooting bullets heavier than 140 grains, the .260 Remington is its virtual twin ballistically, but in a short action as opposed to the 6.5 Swede's long action.

IMNTBHO, you won't go wrong with either one.


Grizzly Adams
March 25, 2008, 02:01 PM
The Rem 260 the the commerical verison of the wildcat 6.5X308 based on the 308 Win necked down the .264 or 6.5mm.

March 25, 2008, 11:11 PM
Someone suggested something in a 6.5x55 [Swede]. What is a good rifle chambered for this round?

I've been looking for a hunting rifle in this cartridge. There aren't a lot of new ones currently chambered for this round, although almost every major make has been chambered for it at one time or another.

I'd look at the CZ 550. It has been getting good reviews, reasonably priced, and is apparently very accurate.

Here's a range report from several years ago: http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-1130.html

October 13, 2008, 02:54 PM
I hate to resurrect a dead thread, but does anyone have any information on 6.5 Swiss ammo, specifically AP varieties that were produced. Anyone ever SEEN any in the US?

October 13, 2008, 02:57 PM

There is no 6.5 Swiss. There is a 7.5 Swiss and a 6.5 Swede.


October 13, 2008, 03:27 PM
Pictured below is a M96 in original condition and another that I have done some work on. I guess you could call it sporterizing.
I am not a fan of altering historically correct rifles such as these but, this one came with missing parts, no bluing left and a stock that was rotted and broken in several places. The redeeming feature was that it is all matching. I bought it at a gun show for $65. It turned out to be the most accurate of the two I now own and I tried to leave it as original as possible and still meet my needs.
It shoots as accurately, if not more so, than any deer rifle I have owned. I do load my own.
I had a Model 700 in 270 that would shoot 130 gr bullets at around 2900 fps and that was my favorite deer hunting round. My most accurate hunting load in that sporterized M96 is a 120 gr Sierra, behind some IMR 4350. It chronies right around 2925 and no sign of over-pressure.
I've yet to put one in a deer but, I am sure it will perform much like that 270 while shooting a little flatter with less recoil.
A great caliber.

KellyTTE, I found the following here before joining. It lists milsurp dealers that may be of assistance to you.




Sigarmed 1
October 13, 2008, 04:15 PM
Someone suggested something in a 6.5x55 [Swede]. What is a good rifle chambered for this round?

I currently have a Cooper Phoenix in 6.5 x 55 for sale in the classifieds here. It is one of the best examples of a quality modern rifle chambered in this caliber that I know of.

October 13, 2008, 06:03 PM
an excellent rifle for an excellent round.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 13, 2008, 07:29 PM
How does it compare to .308 for power, range, versatility, availability and price?

1. Power: Under 300 yards, a little less power than .308 Win. Past 300 yards, the same gradually becoming a little more than .308.

2. Range: About the same - the 6.5x55 has a little more range in terms of less drop and better wind-bucking, due to the superior BCs of the bullets.

3. Versatility: 6.5x55 wins - it's arguably one of if not the most versatile centerfire rounds in existence, from varmints to very large game. But the .308 is quite versatile too, with bullets as light as the Speer 100 gr plinker on up to 220 grains or even more.

4. Availability: .308 Winchester wins easily. It's far far more available, though 6.5x55 is somewhat popular and can be found at the larger stores like BassPro, Cabela's, Sportsman's Warehouse, etc., and most large local gun shops, but not Walmart or small gun shops.

5. Price. .308 Winchester is cheaper if buying non-premium factory (Fusion, etc.). If buying premium factory, then about the same, and if reloading, about the same as well.

Don't forget the lower recoil of the 6.5x55 and the superior penetrative abilities of the typically-higher sectional density bullets, ceteris paribus.

October 13, 2008, 08:29 PM
Will tack a bit more info onto "Sauce's" versatility comments.

It's true the .308 can be called a "varminter" because they have a 100-gr. bullet out for it. But that's sorta like calling Phyliss Diller a sex symbol.

The 100-grainer for the .308 has a ballistic coefficient of only .152 - copared to the B.C. of .358 for the 100gr. 6.5 bullet.

If you look at deer-weight bullets, the .308's SST 150-grainer has a B.C. of .415 but the 6.5 140-gr. SST bullet has a B. C. of .520. Now both of those BCs are very good but there is no doubt which is better.


Old Time Hunter
October 13, 2008, 08:58 PM
Gambit, what #'s are stamped on your disks for bore condition and dimensions? Nice rifles, thanks for posting.

You really made me feel ill though, I picked up a 1917 M96 this past weekend because of it's condition (non-reissued armory rebuilt). Unfortunately I paid $200 for it. Now it seems high. The other draw back, it has the threaded barrel muzzle. The good, brand new appearing stock with cartouche's, excellent bluing (not chemical), correct #'s.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 13, 2008, 09:03 PM
But that's sorta like calling Phyliss Diller a sex symbol.

So I'm the only one who found Phyllis hot when she appeared on hollywood squares? :evil:

October 13, 2008, 09:13 PM
"So I'm the only one who found Phyllis hot "


Sauce - you've been in the woods too long !


October 13, 2008, 11:58 PM
Another 0.02 on the Swede . . .

I bought a sporterized 6.5 x 55 1895 Mauser Carbine over the summer and took it bear hunting this past weekend. (Didn't get a bear, but had a lot of fun shooting the Swede). It's got a BIG boom with hardly any recoil. I remember years ago shooting my uncle's Mauser (can't remember which model), but it left my shoulder black and blue. My Ruger GP100 .357 has more kick than the Swede - and the Ruger is a solid gun which absorbs recoil pretty well. I really like it. I just can't bring myself to drill and tap it for a scope, so it's going to stay with iron sights. Even still, I feel comfortable enough to take shots out to a couple hundred yards.

October 14, 2008, 01:00 AM
I've got two Swedish Mausers, and they are a delight to shoot. If I could find a Ruger MkII chambered in 6.5x55 (and Ruger did make rifles so chambered for some time), I believe that would become my #1 hunting rifle. I am quite certain that I could look up ballistics charts and see that there are better performers, but it's a round that has a fairly long history of performance behind it. No, it isn't what I would choose for bears, but I can't think of a quadriped on this continent that it wouldn't be suitable for.

That being said, it's still pretty hard to beat the good ol' .30-06!!!

October 14, 2008, 01:53 AM
6.5x55 has to be the most liked cartridge of all, for those that know of it. I shot my ~sporterized one last weekend, shot good for the scope on it..........

What other caliber can have 40 responses w/o a single negative comment? Maybe the lack of ammo or few rifles but that is the ONLY negatives and it's a good trade for a little bit of work. You always have something about any caliber, 30-30, 30-06, 7mm-08 they all have someone that thinks they suck, not with the Swede and I think that says a lot.


October 14, 2008, 03:33 AM
My 0.02
A Ruger #1, with a Mannlicher stock, 20" barrel, aperture sighted and chambered for 6.5X55 would be a darn near perfect rifle.

Will Fennell
October 14, 2008, 07:59 AM
I just got a Tikka T3 in 6.5 Swede for my wife's deer/hog rifle. My first reloads for it are shooting right around .5" for 3 shot groups, and it's VERY light on the shoulder as hoped. So far it really likes 130 gr Nosler Accubonds.

October 14, 2008, 12:05 PM

Learn to separate our two countries!!! :cuss:

SWEDEN = Blond girls, Smörgåsbord, Boring family cars, IKEA, ABBA, Mauser 6.5x55

SWITZERLAND = Cheese, Banking, Chocolate, Expensive watches, The Alps, K31 7.5x55


October 14, 2008, 12:25 PM
Hey Will Fennell...

What load are you using with that bullet and what do you figure the muzzle velocity is ? :confused:

Hey Lefteyedom...

GEEZ ! Pleeeeease don't mention a Ruger #1 in the Swede.:eek:


October 14, 2008, 05:42 PM
Hi Old Time Hunter,

Both are #1s and both are listed as 6.51 to 6.46.

October 14, 2008, 05:56 PM
Hi Old Time Hunter,

The sporter (CG 1908) is marked as a 1 with a 6.52 bore diameter.
The original M96 (CG 1919) is also a 1 with a 6.50.

October 14, 2008, 05:58 PM
Hi Old Time Hunter,

The sporter (CG 1908) is marked as a 1 with a 6.52 bore diameter.
The original M96 (CG 1919) is also a 1 with a 6.50.

October 14, 2008, 06:01 PM
Hi Old Time Hunter,

The sporter (CG 1908) is marked as a 1 with a 6.52 bore diameter.
The original M96 (CG 1919) is also a 1 with a 6.50.

October 14, 2008, 06:03 PM
Hi Old Time Hunter,

The sporter (CG 1908) is marked as a 1 with a 6.52 bore diameter.
The original M96 (CG 1919) is also a 1 with a 6.50.

Sorry guys, I kept getting an error message that lead me to believe the post was not being accepted.

October 14, 2008, 06:57 PM
It's ok, I know you did not like that 1 next to your post count :neener:


Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 14, 2008, 08:18 PM
SWEDEN = Blond girls, Smörgåsbord, Boring family cars, IKEA, ABBA, Mauser 6.5x55

SWITZERLAND = Cheese, Banking, Chocolate, Expensive watches, The Alps, K31 7.5x55

Hee hee. Ahem, I believe that they BOTH have blonde haired, blue eyed beauties (though more in Sweden), and both make great guns. So it's fair enough to get them confused. And yes I was kidding about Phyllis Diller being hot - lol, I thought that would get a rise out of someone. :uhoh:

A Ruger #1, with a Mannlicher stock, 20" barrel, aperture sighted and chambered for 6.5X55 would be a darn near perfect rifle.

I have to say, that would be a pretty tasty nugget of a rifle. Very lightweight, very short/handy, very effective, and very beautiful. But as long as we're dreamin, may as well make it a Blaser instead of a Ruger.

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