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6.5X55 Freebore?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Coltdriver, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Well-Known Member

    I picked up a CZ550 in 6.5X55 a few months ago. I don't know if the chamber was a little eroded or if they all come this way but the free bore was very long on this rifle.

    I had a reamer made to shorten it up a lot. Just got it back and have not had a chance to shoot it yet.

    Anyone out there measure your 6.5X55 chamber and come up with a very long free bore? I am wondering if they are not made that way so you can shoot the 140 grain bullets.
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    they are made that way not so you can shoot 140g bullets but so you can shoot 160 grain ones

    IMO a short throated 6.5x55 is one that's been neutered, better known as 260rem
  3. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    Not sure how CZ cuts their chambers, but this is how Terry Cross cut mine. With a 139-142gr Match bullet, the boattail is in the case shoulder when loaded to just off the leade.


  4. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Well-Known Member

    The original 6.5x55mm military ammo (1894) was a 156 grain (10.1 gram) bullet loaded to an overall length of 80mm or 3.149 inches.

    In 1941 the Swede went to a 9 gram (139 grain) spitzer boat-tail bullet which was loaded to an overall length of 78mm 0r 3.070 inches.

    Even then, the Swedes built in a generous amount of leade which helped keep pressures down.

    A good accurate hand-load for the 6.5x55mm takes up most of the case interior, which is no big deal since the bullets for these were / are always loaded long. All you need is one calibers length of neck tension again the flat part of the bullet's side.

    What is the rifling twist rate on that CZ?[​IMG]


    Attached Files:

  5. Vaarok

    Vaarok Well-Known Member

    Basically, everything everybody else said, plus most 6.5 ammo in Europe uses/used round-nose rather than spitzer bullets, which contact the rifling sooner.
  6. vaupet

    vaupet Well-Known Member

    I use Sellier & Bellot 140 grs FMJ in my Carl Gustav.
    The cartridge has a total lenght of 78 mm.
    Normally, CZ is always very good with S&B ammo (same country of origin I suppose)
  7. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    As I recollect both my Swedish mausers and my AG42b liked the 140g dual cannelure sp seated in the lowest cannelure with a COL of 3.150"

    If memory serves my 6.5x55 howa m1500 would also accept this loading.

    Tapatalk post via IPhone.
  8. GlockNation

    GlockNation Well-Known Member

    Free Bore 6.5 x 55

    I am a handgun guy that has come over to rifles recently.
    After reading Chuck Hawks web pages and other postings such as these on THR, I decided to go 6.5 x 55 for hunting pigs. Actually, I just bought two of them so that my father in law and I can go hunting together: a sporterized Kimber of America and a Sporterized Husqvarna M38.

    Can anyone tell me if the free bores are long enough to handle the 156 grain ammo? My guess is yes since they are both military rifles. The Husqy M38 seems to be one of the converted 96's as it has the straight bolt handle just like the Kimber which is a Carl Gustof.

    Many thanks for your advice.
  9. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    Oh Yeah. They are long throated and you will have no problem. Even the CG-63 Match Rifles have throats WAY out there.

  10. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Well-Known Member


    Both your rifles have a long throat and both have a twist rate of 1 turn in 200mm, or 1 in 7.8 inch. That twist and throat were designed around the 156 grain round nose m/94 ammunition, while still shooting the lighter boat-tails just as well or better.

    Remember that both are still small ring Mausers , so do not hot-rod your loads. I have harvested moose, Sitka black-tail deer, caribou and black bear with the 6.5x55mm and never found it necessary to push the loads.
  11. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Well-Known Member

    I have a CZ 550 American which is a 1 in 9 twist.

    I measured the 140 grain Berger VLD tonight and at the lands it is a col of 3.065. So I am loading them at 3.06 and using the optimum charge method with RL22.

    Hopefully this weekend it gets tested.
  12. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Well-Known Member

    The 1 in 9 twist with the long VLD bullets might be a challenge.
    I have a CG-63 which was re-barreled sometime in the past with a Schultz and Larson 1 in 9 twist barrel.
    It hates the long bullets like the 142 grain SMKs.

    Rifling twist and how it stabilizes bullets is a function of the bullet length,
    not the bullet weight.


    Attached Files:

  13. GlockNation

    GlockNation Well-Known Member

    so do not hot-rod your loads

    Before I did my homework and learned about the "small ring Mauser" issue, I saw one box of HSM 130 grain Berger HPBT VLD 6.5 x 55 cartridges at Cabellas and I bought it. The box does give the warning "modern firearms only".

    I have since tried to figure out if the pressures from this ammo would be too high for my sporterized Swedes but I have not had any luck. My guess is that the pressures would be too high, but I have seen other postings that the 96's can take any factory load.

    What do you guys think?
  14. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Well-Known Member

    I have no idea what HSM does. My old dept used to buy a bunch of there reloads for the issue Glocks. I never shot any of it in my guns.

    As for hunting ammo, the Federal factory hunting ammo actually chronographs pretty high, yet does not show any signs of high pressure. And it was VERY accurate in all my Swede Mausers.

    I hand-load for individual rifles and only play with factory stuff for testing purposes.
  15. GlockNation

    GlockNation Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys for the great information!
  16. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Well-Known Member

    Glock Nation:
    Here are some loads that worked well in my Husqvarna m/38 rifle. Usually I load for my m/96s or CG-63s. The m38s with the 23.5 inch barrel are a touch more picky for some reason.
    These were all accurate loads. For hunting just use the 120 grain Nosler ballistic tip or something similar.
    I won another Mauser Match last month using one of my m/38s and the first load listed.

    I also load some warmer loads for my Sako and Winchester M-70. But I make sure I put a red ring around the brass of those loads with a red sharpe pen.

    And as you can see from the photo, there is nothing wrong with using the old plain Jane 160 grain Hornady round no se. They are accurate and punch through all sorts of bone. Load info in the photo

    Sierra 120 grain Match King,
    45.3 grains of H-100V,
    Lapua Brass and a CCI BR2 primer. ,
    loaded to a short 3.085 inch COL.
    From my 1943 Husqvarna m/38 , this load gave an average of 2,770 fps
    and a 0.50 inch group with one flyer out to 0.75 inch.

    120 grain Hornady SST bullet
    46.5 grains of RL-19
    WW Primer
    Lapua Brass
    3.090 col
    2,673 fps from an m/38 rifle, 0.75 inch group

    129 grain SST
    42.0 grain H-4350
    Lapua Brass
    3.097 col
    1.5 inch group from m/38

    120gr Sierra HPBT
    43.0gr H-4350
    WW Brass
    3.00 col, no crimp
    2,649 fps m/38

    120gr NOSLER Bal-Tip
    47.0gr RL-22
    WW Brass
    3.00 col, no crimp

    2,619 fps m/38

    Attached Files:

  17. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Well-Known Member

    It's always a nice surprise how well some rifles group old round nosed bullets. They work just fine on the beasties :)
  18. GlockNation

    GlockNation Well-Known Member

    Float Pilot

    The m38s with the 23.5 inch barrel are a touch more picky for some reason.

    Float Pilot thanks for that excellent clinic on loads. Since I own a M38 also, I am a little curious about the above observation you made. I plan to shoot 140 grain and above probably 156 factory the most. Any issues of touchiness with the 140-156 grain factory stuff?
  19. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Well-Known Member

    Every rifle is different, The long sight radius and long barrel burn time of the 29 inch m/96s and CG-63s probably just helps make up for minor variations.

    The shorter m/38s and sporters made from m/38 length rifles are much easier to shoot from the standing and knelling positions.

    It will depend on how tight your barrel might be, how well you work up yours loads and basically how good you are with the rifle.

    My best m/38 has won the local Mauser Match twice , while my m/96 has also done so more often.

    Of course I am getting so old and broken down that I can't see all that swell past a 100 yards these days...



    Attached Files:

  20. vaupet

    vaupet Well-Known Member

    Boy, FloatPilot, that is very nice wood. Is it original?

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