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6.5x55 tell me about it.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by scythefwd, Jun 9, 2011.

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  1. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    from what I can tell, it's about half way between .30-30 and 300 sav on the power. How are the ballistics? Effective range on smallish deer (150lbs)? How consistent in quality are the m38 swedish mausers?

    educate me. Few caps because I'm on a phone and it sometimes does it for me.
     
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    In the real world with modern rifle loads 6.5x55 far far outclasses 300 savage and even 308 with the right loads. In laymans terms think of it as a very accurized long range 270win

    The quality of swedish mausers are spectacular, However these are OLD guns and should be treated and loaded for accordingly
     
  3. vaupet

    vaupet Member

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    My 1909 carl gustav is my 2nd favorit rifle (of over 20)
    it shoots like a dream.

    watch out, shooting 6,5x55 can be addictive: very accurate and low recoil for the power.

    There are some very good people on this forum (ussr and float pilot,) on 6,5x55
     

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  4. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Member

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    Slowly assembling the pieces to build one. Starting with 6.5x50 as in Arisaka Type 38 (already hacked by previous owner). Mounting a new used barrel (old one looks like a sewer pipe) and then will have it reamed to 6.5x55 and tweak the bolt head if need be. It'll take a year to get it there among all the other projects and life in general. But looking forward to trying this cartridge :)
     
  5. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    r.w. Mind expanding that info a little? The 270 is faster per weight, but slightly less aero dynamic. Does the swede maintain velocity well enough to have more thump at distance? It'll have a slightly better sd per weight, but the heavier rounds used in target loads for the .308 should be better.
     
  6. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    The 6.5x55 paper ballistics do not tell the whole story. It possesses the ability to handle high ballistic coefficient bullets and they afford deep penetration and long range potential. Couple that with a light recoil in a quality milsurp firearm, and you will understand why this 110 year old design is so popular.
    In a modern rifle, the ballistics can only get better.


    NCsmitty
     
  7. USSR

    USSR Member

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    In a small ring Mauser, the 6.5x55 is an Excellent cartridge. In a modern boltgun and loaded to it's potential (60k psi), it's a Great cartridge.

    Don
     
  8. elkdomBC

    elkdomBC Member

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    not sure what a "modern rifle" could do to improve on what the 1905 Carl Gustav Mauser in 6.5x55 swede I shoot, all original barrel and chamber, custom stock and glass bedded, trigger re-worked,

    3 shot 100 yard groups at 5/8 inch , with 140 grn HPBT hand-loads ,
    1 shot kill on 187 5/8 BC mule deer buck at 280 yards ( bang flop)
    several one shot kills on Canada moose ( head or neck shots) bang flops,

    and such a pleasure to shoot !,
    winter coyotes regularly get their ticket canceled out at 350+ yards,

    all round good caliber,
    far exceeding as previously stated, it's "paper ballistic abilities",,,
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  9. lencac

    lencac Member

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    The 6.5 Swede is one of the all time great rounds for many reasons. They do rather well in surplus Swedes so I can only imagine it would be a veritable stud in a modern rifle loaded to it's potential.
    Inherently it has great BC and SD.
     
  10. axxxel

    axxxel Member

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    The heavier (longer) bullets not only have very good ballistics but a high sectional density, making deep penetration possible.

    Us Swedes use it for all game including moose (and sometimes brown bear). Shot placement (lungs, preferably heart) is key. Neck/brain shots are very foreign to me, we get by just fine aiming for the lungs with our 6,5x55's.
     
  11. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I have two carl gustav's and am very happy with them. You just have to stop and stare at them for a minute to really absorb the elegance of their design and workmanship.

    Two things to remember about Swede's though. First, their case head is larger than other cartridges like 8X57 or .30-06, so you can run into problems trying to make 6.5X55 brass from other cartridges. Best to mail order 6.5mm brass to start.

    The second is that this older design is limited to 45-50K psi as compared to other cartridges running at 60-65K psi. Even though the 6.5 is loaded at somewhat lower than contemporary pressures, it still gets the job done!
     
  12. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    My wife hunts with a custom 6.5mm Swede. It kills far better than paper charts would suggest. But cost-wise if I could do it again, I'd buy her a 270 and have the stock fitted to her dimensions. The 150 grain 270 bullet and 140 grain 6.5mm bullet have very similar trajectory and performance.

    TR
     
  13. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Uh, 2925fps with 139-142gr Match bullets, and only 25.5MOA from a 100 yard zero to 1k.

    Don
     
  14. lencac

    lencac Member

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    Those Swedes knew how to make those small ring Mausers, uh :scrutiny:
    Ok, not to divert this thread .................... nope, I'm just going to post a new thread ................. K-31 Swiss vs. M38 Swede.
    See ya there
     
  15. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

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    dont know about the old surplus mausers, but my Tikka T3 lite stainless has become on of my favorites, low recoil, flat shooting and should take anything in Texas....some people just got to have magnums and super magnums, I just cant see it unless you just got to have one, my old 57 year shoulder dont need em or have a use for em. the people that I know shooting these shoulder bruisers are flinching when they pull the trigger and seem to miss their target a lot....but they got a big gun..
     
  16. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Outstanding cartridge that, in it's modern loading, compares better to the .25-06Rem. or .270Win. than the .300Savage. The original Swede loading, being similar to a .260Rem. or 7mm-08Rem....which is still no slouch.

    :)
     
  17. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Member

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    There are some cartridges that just hit the all around magic formula and last a loooong time (as in 100 years of steady use & development ). 30-30 is one. 303 in another. 30-06 is another. And 6.5x55 is certainly one of the all time classics :)
     
  18. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    So next question, directly related. I am looking at a sporterized , aka bubba'd, m38 swede mauser.

    Why are the mauser actions so popular?

    Since it's already bubba'd, I'll probably go the whole schebang and do it right.... a good glass bedded stock, possibly a replacement barrel from kreiger or shilen, adjustable trigger. It's already got a scope mount (would revert it to original if it hadn't already been drilled and tapped) so a moderately good scope , like a bushy 3200 or 4200 might be in order as well.

    To the purists... don't want to hear it. I respect and admire a properly cared for and preserved milsurp... but once it's been drilled and tapped, it's no longer original and all bets are off. I feel the same way about my Garand.
     
  19. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Well, because that's what the 6.5x55 was chambered in, thousands of them were made, and they are relatively cheap.

    If it's your intention to have all that work done on that M38, I would not. You would be taking a $300 rifle, putting $1000 into it, and end up with a $500 rifle. If you are going to go to all the trouble of putting a good barrel, trigger, stock, etc. on it, I would look at building on a commercial receiver. Just MHO.

    Don
     
  20. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    Don - stock and trigger are going to run about 125. Barrel will run 400 after having it fitted to the action. Krieger barrels are only 285. Bedding and stock finishing would be done by me. It already has a leupold one piece scope base and rings... The 3200 would be 250 if I don't trade something else off to get one. So I'd be spending 750ish on a 500 dollar rifle (same as everyone that buys a rifle new and does a test fire). I'm in talks to trade a bow for one... no money out of my wallet (traded for the bow too, actually... didn't pay for the items that I traded for it... in reality the cost is 0 for the rifle).

    Nice thumbhole stock from boyds is 90, they have adjustable triggers for 35. Those triggers get good reviews from the replies on boyds... though they might not be too reliable. It may already have an acceptable trigger on it. I want something that is relatively light and that has an ok break. I'm not talking about a jewell here. I'm talking something better than my garands trigger.

    As to the mauser action being popular because the 6.5x55 was chambered in it... it's one of the most copied actions... there has to be more to it than the 6.5x55 was chambered in it.
     
  21. viking499

    viking499 Member

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    I started out a few years ago with an "oldie". Nothing wrong with the 38's or 96's. But when I started looking at money to invest and comparing apples to apples, I decided to sell it and start fresh with a modern version of the oldie. I have not done any "custom building" yet, but am very fond of the swede cartridge. Right now, my swedish trifecta includes a Tikka, CZ and a Howa.:D
     
  22. USSR

    USSR Member

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    scythefwd,

    Simply having a fine Krieger barrel screwed on your receiver without having the receiver being trued is, in MHO, being penny wise and pound foolish. Spend the extra $$$ and have the receiver trued. But, in any case, putting all that money in a small ring mauser with it's pressure limitations is not something I would recommend doing. Again, just MHO.

    Don
     
  23. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Ain't that the truth!

    You know Winchester made M70 featherweights in 6.5 Swede and Remington made a Classic 700 in 6.5 Swede.

    Rem70065SwedeFullLength9.jpg
    Rem7006.jpg

    M70IMG_1523.jpg
    M7065SwedeBarrelMarkingsIMG_1526.jpg

    Both are long actions. There are lots of long actions M70's and M700's in 30-06 and 270. I have not tried the 6.5 case head in a 30-06 bolt face but I don't think it will be a lot of trouble. The military rounds seem to have wider rims than commercial brass.

    If you have to have a Kreiger barrel on a rifle, putting one on a modern M70 or M700 is going to cost the same and you will have an action made of modern materials that you can load the 6.5 Swede to its true potential. With the M700 you have one of the strongest and safetest actions, in terms of gas handling, around. Both of these actions are safer to be behind in an accident than a small ring mauser and because they are alloy steel, you are less likely to develop headspace issues. The military actions were just low carbon steel ,case hardened. They have been known to peen out and just due to the poor materials used, pressures for the 6.5 Swede are kept low.

    I do understand if you just have to have a 6.5 Swede in a 6.5 Swede action. Rifle decisions don't always have to be rational. In my case, seldom rational. :D
     
  24. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Nice, SlamFire. That's what my 6.5x55 M70 looked like, until I sold off all the parts but the action, and turned it into a 1,000 yard Match Rifle.

    Don
    6.5Swede1.jpg
     
  25. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    +1 for a factory Winchester M-70fwt. I love a good commercial Mauser '98, but a custom build isn't worth the added expense IMO.

    :)
     
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