safe 6.5 x 55 swede ammo


May 21, 2011, 03:11 PM
Can anyone share their expertise on what ammo is safe to use in a 6.5 x 55 Husqvarna M38 straight bolt handle (ala I think a 96 factory cut down?). I have seen some posts that that older swedes potentially can't handle hotter stuff due to something with the bolt lug design not being as strong as the 98 mauser design.

Many thanks in advance for your help!

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May 21, 2011, 03:36 PM
They shoot it all worries..

May 21, 2011, 05:15 PM
The Mauser 96 action will safely handle any factory load. The confusion over higher pressure loads and safety is a result Norway's use of Krag rifles designed for the original version of the cartridge from 1894. Those Krags can't safely fire the modern loads.

May 22, 2011, 07:46 AM
Ball ammunition gets an excellent velocity out of the 29 inch barrel but velocity really drops in the 24"

I shot Swedish ball in several rifles and decided that a 140 with 43 grains AA4350 was a ball equivalent. You could probably cut my load by a grain and it would not hurt anything.

M1896 Infantry Rifle 29' barrel Carl Gustafs mfgr 1903

17-Aug-06 T = 85 F
143 gr FMJ 1986 Swedish Ball

Ave Vel = 2610
Std Dev = 14.38
ES = 45.59
High = 2633
Low = 2587
N = 8

M38 Infantry Carbine 24" barrel
28-Oct-94 T ≈ 60 F

143 gr 1986 Swedish Ball OAL 3.065" 47.4 grs powder average

Ave Vel = 2427
Std Dev = 22
ES = 62
Low = 2395
High = 2457
N = 10

M700 22" Barrel

143 gr Swedish Ball 1986 headstamp

2 Feb 2008 T = 54 F

Ave Vel = 2470
Std Dev = 18
ES = 48
High = 2491
Low = 2443
N = 5

140 gr Hornday Spire Point 43.0 grs AA4350
R-P new brass CCI-200 OAL 2.990"

2 Feb 2008 T = 52 F

Ave Vel = 2512
Std Dev = 27
ES = 72
High = 2547
Low = 2475
N = 5

May 22, 2011, 11:26 AM
I use Prvi and the Wolf Gold which is just repackaged Prvi. I do recall reading a while back that some people thought the PMC ammo was too hot.

Float Pilot
May 22, 2011, 11:21 PM
You did not say what year your Husqvarna m/38 has engraved on the front receiver ring.

Husqvarna was contracted to make 23.5 inch barreled m/38 rifles starting in 1941 when the conversion of m/96 rifles could not keep up with WWII swirling all around Sweden.
They made:
28,672 in 1941
38,781 in 1942
14,156 in 1943
1,969 in 1944.

They also made a few m/96 (29 inch barrel) long rifles for the FSR during WWII.
These are rather sought after.
1943=@8,750 Husqvarna m/96 rifles
1944=@ 5,328 Husqvarna m/96 rifles

Your m/38 rifle has a rifling twist of one turn in 200mm or about a 1 in 7.5in twist.

Your bolt may have been replaced at some time. Husqvarna parts are stamped with a tilted crown. Carl Gustaf parts have an upright crown and the old Oberndorf Mauser factory parts have a crown with a baggy looking bottom.

Husqvarna also made replacement parts for many years. And they also made the upgrade parts for all the rifles and carbines on a contract basis.
So they made both straight and bent bolts.
Many rifles were still being armory re-built and stored up into the 1970s. At that time they used whatever new parts they still had on hand.

You will find that US and Korean(PMC) ammo has undersized brass. It is ok for a couple reloads and then it has problems. PMC is the worst as far as size is concerned.

The BEST brass for hand-loading the 6.5x55 Swede is Lapua. I have some that has been reloaded 14 times.
In fact I just won a match using that old Lapua brass, using my 1943 Husqvarna m/38. And fairly hot loads.

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