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What Are the Ballistics on the 6.5x55?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Kestrel, Oct 26, 2006.

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  1. Kestrel

    Kestrel Member

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    I keep going back and forth on keeping a 6.5x55. Can anyone tell me what the figures are for this caliber? (Velocity, bullet weights, etc.)

    Also, what ammo companies produce this load? I don't handload, so would need factory ammo.

    What is 6.5 - approximately .243?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    6.5mm = 0.264"

    And that's a magic number when it comes to exterior ballistics. ;)
     
  3. Chilean

    Chilean Member

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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2006
  4. GTSteve03

    GTSteve03 Member

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    Bullet weights around 120-140gr, I think there might be specialty ones heavier and lighter.

    Velocity is rather mundane, the trick to the 6.5 Swede isn't blistering speed, it's the insanely high ballistic coefficients of the bullets themselves. They don't need a whole lot of speed starting out because they retain most all of it and penetrate deep for their weight.

    Factory ammo can be found by Remington, Wolf Gold, and the cream of the crop Lapua and Norma (which you'll be paying out the nose for.) You really should look into reloading, as case life is long due to lower pressure.
     
  5. Kestrel

    Kestrel Member

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    Thanks for the info. Maybe I'll keep my 6.5.

    My 6.5 is a CZ 550, which seems like a classic rifle for this caliber. (I almost forgot, I also have a Swedish M96.) I've never fired either, but I kind of like the idea of an intermediate cartridge, that doesn't have a lot of recoil. It might also be a good caliber for my daughter and wife.

    ~2550 fps, with a 140 grain bullet. What other calibers are in this ballpark, in terms of recoil, etc.?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. runninmike

    runninmike Member

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  7. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    It's not so much the BC as the sectional density. The 140-160 grain loadings have extremely high SD numbers and will penetrate like crossbow bolts. They tend to hit far harder than the ft. lbs. would suggest. The round is considered fine for Moose.
     
  8. Colt46

    Colt46 Member

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    Pretty much a magical caliber

    Modest velocity, high sectional density, low recoil, accurate. It makes a much better choice for most hunting applications than our home grown .30-06 or .308 Winchester.
    The only bad thing I can say about it is lack of quality guns chambered for it.
    Most commercial ammo is rather sedate as the older '96 action is weaker than most bolt designs chambered for them. Norma ammo is quite hot and designed for modern bolt actions.
     
  9. 270Win

    270Win Member

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    How did the Swedes develop the 6.5x55 cartridge? Did they have long-range ballistics in mind?
     
  10. mete

    mete Member

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    The Norwegian and Swedish developed the 6.5x55 as a military cartridge [ 1894] it takes bullets from about 77-160 grains .Unfortunately the ammo makers here have dropped the pressures due to the old rifles especially the single locking lug Krag rifle of Norway. So I feel today it's a handloaders cartridge.I have used it for many years as a deer rifle and agree that it is the perfect deer cartridge. Handloading , in a modern rifle can get 2750-2850 fps at reasonable pressures with the 140 gr bullet. This I think is the ideal bullet because of it's high SD and BC it really holds velocity well . It's also an exceptionally accurate cartridge and is used as a target cartridge in Europe.While a few use it in Scandinavia as a moose cartridge it is the minimum permitted and the moose are smaller than ours.It does it's work without much recoil , muzzle blast , velocity.
     
  11. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Fella's;

    Does anyone have the link to the M96 brass disc interpretation guide?

    I bought my son his first centerfire hunting gun in 6.5 Swede, and it's been a keeper fer sure, fer sure. I'm continually impressed with it's accuracy and terminal performance on game.

    900F
     
  12. lunde

    lunde Member

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    I ordered my first 6.5x55 SE rifle in August of 2005, and I received it in February of this year. I bought it for antelope hunting. It has produced two stunning groups using my hunting load, and took my antelope on October 1st with a single upper-chest shot. I love this cartridge! The rifle is a Cooper Arms M22 Phoenix with a Leupold VX-III 4.5-14x40 LR scope with Varmint Hunter's reticle. Some photos:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Husker1911

    Husker1911 Member

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  14. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Good post, mete. I will only add through experience, that in a modern rifle with safe pressure, you can go as high as 2950fps with the 142SMK bullet. And, the 6.5x55 is used as a target cartridge in the US as well (1,000 yard F Class competition).

    Don
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Will Fennell

    Will Fennell Member

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    Barrel Lenght

    Don,
    What lenght barrel are you getting those impressive veliocities out of......?
     
  16. mete

    mete Member

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    The Norma load for many years was 2788 with the 140 and 24" barrel and Norma 204. Then that was increased to 2850 with Norma 205. 2950 would be pushing the pressures a bit. BTW my custom M98 with 24" barrel barely warms the fired case. Mine is also chambered for the very long 160 gr which means a good bit of freebore....2950 would be more typical of the 6.5-284.
     
  17. WYO

    WYO Member

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    I agree with mete that this is a handloader's caliber. I don't think the caliber really needs maximum velocity, but factory velocities are WAY too low and don't allow you to take full advantage of the excellent BC's. For example, I worked up a mild load for my wife's Sauer 202 that is a 140 grain Nosler Partition launched at 2620 fps. (She used it to bang flop her antelope this year, and she would use this same load if she can get a shot at an elk.) I chronographed some Federal factory 140's, and was getting 2386! I love the caliber, but, if I were limiting myself to factory ammo, I would get a .260 instead. The .260 is a modern 6.5 cartridge that is factory loaded to modern rifle pressures.
     
  18. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    2950fps is just shy of the 6.5-284 and 6.5-06 with 140+ grain bullets.

    My own 6.5-06 sends a 139gr Lapua Scenar downrange at a hair over 3000fps, so yes, Don is pushing things with his custom 6.5x55 Winchester Model 70. He posted earlier that he's using one of the slower Reloder numbers as his powder of choice, and that gorgeous Model 70 of his has a fairly long barrel to make best use of all that slow powder. Nor would his handload be a good one to run through a small-ring 94 or 96 Swedish Mauser. ;)
     
  19. atblis

    atblis Member

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    I wonder

    I've heard rumours that the downloading of the 6.5x55 is due more to the Krag than the M96. Has anybody every actually gotten a m96 to spontaneously disassemble itself with normal loads (no bullseye filled cases)?
     
  20. GTSteve03

    GTSteve03 Member

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    I've always heard the M96's were factory tested with a double-charge to make sure it held. I would think this would mean it still has a pretty hefty action that should handle most reasonable hot loads.
     
  21. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    of course another beauty of this round is that, if you go to gunshows, you can find lots of new mfgr boxes of this stuff from 110 to 140 grns, plus wolf now makes it, best of all , there is plenty of milsurp to be had as well. At the houston shows, I see it typically for about 7 bucks a box. And it us usually swedish mfgr, so it is plenty accurate. i would think, that if handloading, with a good new action, such as cz, you could get speed approaching the 3000 mark, without sacrificing accuracy. And if you really felt naughty, you could allways step up to the 6.5/284.
     
  22. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Will,

    That's a 28" Obermeyer. Gewehr98 is correct, loads like this are not for the '94 and '96 Mausers.

    Don
     
  23. atblis

    atblis Member

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    Swedes

    Swedes did proof there guns.

    What's weak about the 96 in comparison to a 98?

    I wonder if there is any merit to this, or if it is just something that everybody has heard from somewhere else? Kinda like the CZ52 being so strong, when in fact they are more likely to blow up in your face than just about any other pistol.
     
  24. USSR

    USSR Member

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    The pre-98 Mausers are missing the third lug of the '98.

    Don
     
  25. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Husker;

    Thanks for that link. There are little triangular impress cartouches on the disc, I didn't see them mentioned in the link. I suppose they are either an indicator to the number or something to keep the disc from rotating on the stock, but I sure don't know. Can anybody please explain?

    900F
     
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