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Thread: 6.5 x 55 ???

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    Lightbulb 6.5 x 55 ???

    Wanting to build a 6.5 X 55 was wondering why its not as popular as some other cartridges.I see it at the sporting goods shelves when there's no other ammo to be found its also available in mil-surp.Lapua ,norma,winchester all have brass available.So would like to know the goods and bad.
    Any pics of Guns,Grouping,velocities would be great need some ideas .Thanks G.W.
    UGSW 6.5x47L
    Dave Tooley 6.5 creed
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    Did a 6.5x55 for my wife. It is a great cartridge. Seems to shine with the 140 class bullets. Can't speak to relative popularity, but I am glad I have one in the safe.
    1 mil shy of dead center...

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    I think the main reason for the lack of popularity is due to the surplus military 6.5x55's sold after WW2. The actions on these rifles were weak compared to modern rifles, so the cartridge was always loaded to perform less than it's potential. Also, bullet selection was pretty limited. Even in those surplus rifles, this was a sweet cartridge. My dad has one and it was his primary deer rifle for decades, and never wanted or needed something different. In a modern rifle, like a T3, this is an outstanding cartridge.

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    I had never seen one until I moved to New Zealand - they very popular over here, for both hunting and target shooting.
    -- Dogtown

    "The truth should matter to you, even when it sometimes tells you things you may not want to hear. Choosing to lie to yourself because it makes you feel better just makes you delusional. Don't seek truth in comfort; find comfort in the truth." - me

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    I recently had one built on a L/A Model 700 by Accurate Ordnance. Absolutely love it! It has a Brux 26 inch barrel 1/8 twist and is siting in a McMillan HTG Stock. I am shooting the 140 Amax over H4831SC. It shoots the 140 Amax flatter tham my 6.5 Creedmoor. I haven't tried any other bullet in it yet. I plan on hunting with it later this year and will probably switch to the 130/140 Nosler Accubond. You have great brass and bullet selection if you handload.

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    I have a Bartlein gain twist 9.25 -8.5 will that stabilize 140s .My creed and 6.5X47L have 8s and My 6.5X284 has 8.5 and will stabilize 142smk but ive never used a gain twist. STick with gain twist or order 8.
    UGSW 6.5x47L
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    Longrifles 6.5x284

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    you know 3m-ta3 you might want to call norma and tell them that model 96 swedish mausers are week??? they test all there factory ammo to include their magnums in model 96 actions, and they dont down load their factory loads either thats a myth started hear. my 140 grain sst or amax 47 grains of h4831-kicks butt at long distance and brings home the venison without maming the shooter.
    she'll be 100 years old in 2017!!!!!

    savage 110ba .338 lapua magnum
    savage 10 bas/k .308 win.
    savage 10 6.5 creedmoor
    model 96 swede 6.5X55

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    Some of the new sako 85 bavarians are some of the coolest 6.5x55's out there right now problem is the 1500-2000 price tag on them compared to remmington or winchester in a 243 or 270 for under a $1000
    invisible souls.....

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    The short reason why the 6.5x55 lags behind the other 'newer' 6.5's is two-fold. Firstly, the tapered (Mauser) case of the 6.5x55 allows for excessive bolt thrust, so loading it hot is out of the question. You'll trash even the best brass doing this. Second, because of the first you get velocity using slow powders in a long barrel, you lose the flexibility of the shorter cases going in a shorter barrel.

    This is not to say the 6.5x55 is any kind of slacker. It isn't. In it's original configuration loaded up to where it shines,...it really shines!

    lastly, I'll go with what sav338lapua pointed out in correcting 3m-ta3 and stating the '96 Swede is not a weak action by any stretch of the imagination. That is an old myth started by people who didn't want to buy them when they were inexpensive and plentiful. Almost every Mauser action ever made started life as strong if not stronger than a Remington 700. That includes large and small ring. The Swedes being exceptionally strong as their steel was about as pure as steel ever got.
    Every shot serves a purpose, whether accurate or inaccurate. It will always tell you what you did, and did not do, right. Even if all you have is a fraction of a second to make it, learn from it. So the next one is even better.

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    It's a great round. I had an old mauser chambered in it. There was a lot of inappropriately hot factory ammo on the market at one point that showed major pressure signs in guns like mine (which is not entirely unexpected given the rifle's age - about 100 years old, if I recall correctly), so perhaps that gave the round a bad name. But there's nothing wrong with it if you run it in a modern rifle. In fact, it seems like a pretty reasonable 6.5. It'd be near the top of my list if I wanted a new 6.5.
    http://bisonballistics.com - articles about precision shooting and an online ballistic calculator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sav338lapua View Post
    you know 3m-ta3 you might want to call norma and tell them that model 96 swedish mausers are week??? they test all there factory ammo to include their magnums in model 96 actions, and they dont down load their factory loads either thats a myth started hear. my 140 grain sst or amax 47 grains of h4831-kicks butt at long distance and brings home the venison without maming the shooter.
    she'll be 100 years old in 2017!!!!!

    I completely agree with the myth story. My M96 is a blast to shoot, literally. 140 a-max and 48.0 RL-22 or 43.0 RL-17, very accurate!


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    sav338lapua, According to my Speer manual the M94 Mauser and well as the Norwegian Krag were engineered for about 45,000 PSI. It's an older manual, though (1980's), and could be wrong. I don't know about the 96 compared to the 94. If any of you can point me to better information that goes beyond opinion, I'd be appreciative. Not looking for a ruckus, just want to have the correct information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwarrior View Post
    lastly, I'll go with what sav338lapua pointed out in correcting 3m-ta3 and stating the '96 Swede is not a weak action by any stretch of the imagination. That is an old myth started by people who didn't want to buy them when they were inexpensive and plentiful. Almost every Mauser action ever made started life as strong if not stronger than a Remington 700. That includes large and small ring. The Swedes being exceptionally strong as their steel was about as pure as steel ever got.
    Below is a link to a Google translation of a thread, on a Swedish hunting forum, about using modern ammunition in M96 rifles. The poster "PMT" has worked as an armorer in the Swedish army:

    Google Översätt

    (A few words that Google failed to translate or didn't explain: bönhaserier = bad gun smithing, pipmutter = barrel nut, lås = rifle action, låset = the rifle action, mått = measurement, Laddata=load data, The Crown = nickname for the Swedish defense, Class 1 = legal for all game in Sweden = At least 2700 joules of impact energy at 100m with a 9g bullet or at least 2000 joules at 100m with a 10g bullet)
    Last edited by 6XC; 04-12-2013 at 04:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogtown View Post
    I had never seen one until I moved to New Zealand - they very popular over here, for both hunting and target shooting.
    mate where have you seen them for target shooting? seen a few in service rifle but down at the nra, 6.5-284 rules free rifle

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    I have one on the way now and am curious about velocities people are seeing. Specifically with the 140s.

    L
    TSRA / NRA Life Member


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    So, another question here is would it make more sense to go with a 6.5x55 or go with something similar like a creedmoor? All things considered like barrel/brass life, accuracy, long range capability and hunting capability, which makes sense the best?

    I have been pondering another question, in my mind seems logical, so here it goes. If you're shooting 140's out of either gun, isn't the accuracy node for the round going to be the same out of either? So regardless of how much faster you can push it, won't most 6.5 cartridges shoot the same if you shoot the same accuracy node and this is why the creedmoor is so popular, because its shooting the same trajectory with more efficiency and works great in short actions?
    Last edited by anthonylapoint; 04-12-2013 at 08:13 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by g.ross View Post
    I have a Bartlein gain twist 9.25 -8.5 will that stabilize 140s .My creed and 6.5X47L have 8s and My 6.5X284 has 8.5 and will stabilize 142smk but ive never used a gain twist. STick with gain twist or order 8.
    WTF are you talking about?

    Gain twists are a fad.

    8.5 is entirely adequate to handle 6.5mm ~140gr bullets @ 2750+ fps.

    A few more points:

    Sandwarrior makes an excellent point concerning the large amount of body taper in this cartridge, which is why the improved versions of this cartridge are popular and a great idea. Look into them.

    I don't think the 6.5x55 fits a short action as nicely as a 6.5 Creed.

    One reason they're not as popular is they don't have the standard .473" casehead, but rather, .480". Not a huge difference, but's it best to open up the boltface a little to accomodate.

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    This is the most often used cartridge for Scandinavian competition shooting at 100m, 200m and 300m, and is used in the combination with the Sauer STR 200 (Scandinavian target rifle), which is pretty much the same action as the SSG3000 rifle. It outperforms the .308w with ease. Also a very good long range cartridge... Very accurate!

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    If your serious about doing a 6.5x55 then you need to do the 6.5 Hellcat (6.5x55 AI). This takes the taper out of the case and makes it where you can run low-hot loads without issue. Also keeps your cases from stretching. Go to the list ( Custom Rifles and Custom Rifle Stocks | Equipment and reamer list | Precision Rifles and Tool, LLC )and look halfway down the page. Ray Bowman will build you laser, just go to the home page and read up!
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    Thanks everyone with all the great info.Gray do you have any idea on speeds ,dies, or forming cases.
    UGSW 6.5x47L
    Dave Tooley 6.5 creed
    Longrifles 6.5x284

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    Any speed from 2900 to 3200 is achievable with a 140 pill.. I would try to stay around 3000 fps to get good barrel life. Ray has the dies which Redding makes, fire forming is just like a 260 AI, just load and fire. Sub .5moa is also easy with the fire forming loads. You can get 3000 fps out of a 260 AI but the Lapua 6.5x55 brass is half the price.
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    Not sure of the popularity reasons, but perhaps it would be that the factory offerings are under powered for the older Mauser actions out there.

    I just bult a 6.5x55 on a 700 LA last year. I absolutely love it. Mild recoil, carries like a 300, and the 140 AMAX is the best hunting bullet I have ever used. On deer it penetrates all the way through, and the internal wound cavity is size of a volleyball.

    I have used both RL22, and H4831. I prefer the Hodgdon powder for the temp stability. At 52gr of 4831 it will run 3200 with the 140's, but with a sticky bolt. I settled at 48.1 gr and run 2925. I am not a speed freak, I like to shoot alot, and in short, I'm a puss and hate recoil. So the lower load is a great compromise for me.

    I have a thread around somewhere that had a ton of loads and photos in it somewhere. I will have to look for it. On a different note, I should be getting my GroveTec flush cups in the mail any day, hopefully they come tomorrow so I can install them this weekend!

    Rem 700 LA 6.5x55
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    Quote Originally Posted by battlestick View Post
    I have used both RL22, and H4831. I prefer the Hodgdon powder for the temp stability. At 52gr of 4831 it will run 3200 with the 140's, but with a sticky bolt. I settled at 48.1 gr and run 2925. I am not a speed freak, I like to shoot alot, and in short, I'm a puss and hate recoil. So the lower load is a great compromise for me.
    Very nice rifle!! Anxiety is about to kill me waiting on mine. And those are the velocities with 140s I have been told to expect with a 26" barrel so that's reassuring to see you're getting there with 22". I'll be happy in the 2900 range. I'm gonna have to look for your other thread now. Apparently this caliber is one of the best keep secrets that has just never really caught on here.

    L

    edt: Have you tried N560?
    Last edited by Layton; 04-13-2013 at 07:15 AM.
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    don`t be afraid of it................ better than a 260
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    N560

    No, I have not tried N560 powder for my 6.5x55.

    With a 26" tube, I am betting you will get 3200 without the pressure signs I am getting. My two cents - If I had a longer barrel and could get 3200 without the pressure signs, I probably still wouldn't do it as I am sure it will smoke a barrel.
    bs

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    It's one of the more unappreciated 6.5's because it requires a LA in 700 form and cant be pushed to insanity. You dont need to push it hard for it to perform. I had mine built while on a deployment to Iraq. Came back home, shot it a couple times with about 30 rounds through it, cleaned and then put away to come back to the sand box. With some of the first rounds through it with limited trigger time and trying to get a 200yd zero, I put 5 rounds of Lapua 123gr factory ammo on the target that grouped at .243". I will never complain about the x55 Swede!






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    yep my old 96 has its original barrel just shortened to 27.5" and a nice 11 degree crown. you definitly need a long barrel to burn the slow powder the 6.5x55 likes.
    as i said earlier my load is 47 grains of imr 4831 but h 4831 works just as well. with either 140 sst's or amax's
    oh i forgot this gun just loves 120 gr. nosler ballistic tips and surprise 50 grains of imr 4831 = 3000+ fps and very accurate.
    the swede is definitly sweet.
    savage 110ba .338 lapua magnum
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    model 96 swede 6.5X55

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonylapoint View Post
    So, another question here is would it make more sense to go with a 6.5x55 or go with something similar like a creedmoor? All things considered like barrel/brass life, accuracy, long range capability and hunting capability, which makes sense the best?

    I have been pondering another question, in my mind seems logical, so here it goes. If you're shooting 140's out of either gun, isn't the accuracy node for the round going to be the same out of either? So regardless of how much faster you can push it, won't most 6.5 cartridges shoot the same if you shoot the same accuracy node and this is why the creedmoor is so popular, because its shooting the same trajectory with more efficiency and works great in short actions?
    That is a very good question. The reason it is different though is the case volume pressure and length of barrel in each rifle. The case size and shape and powder/primer combo give a pulse. The barrel reacts to that pulse. The bullet would fly the way it does at any speed if there were no pulse to deal with. So, we want to time the pulse to maximize accuracy. Obviously, it works relatively well at most speeds because for all intents and purposes the system is a "mostly closed" one. Meaning, the chamber is a specific size, so is the barrel, so is the case, and so is the bullet. When fired the bullet can go one way and that is down the barrel. But, the slight variances make big differences to us who shoot them. No one has ever shot perfectly. The pursuit of that is what we do. Narrowing the factors by changing the loads is what we can do.
    Every shot serves a purpose, whether accurate or inaccurate. It will always tell you what you did, and did not do, right. Even if all you have is a fraction of a second to make it, learn from it. So the next one is even better.

    The pen is only mighty when it is backed by the sword.

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    You know what really needs to happen for the 6.5x55 to go bonkers again is find someone who will build a 156 gr. VLD. The 156gr. was the original cartridge projectile. In an improved 6.5x55 of some sort, I'm sure that thing would just rock the wind.
    Every shot serves a purpose, whether accurate or inaccurate. It will always tell you what you did, and did not do, right. Even if all you have is a fraction of a second to make it, learn from it. So the next one is even better.

    The pen is only mighty when it is backed by the sword.

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    My 6.5 Swede built on a LA 700, it's a hammer with H4350 and 140gr Berger VLD's




    I recently did some work on the bolt.

    " I find it amazing that so many people get bent out of shape and take longer to post instead of just ignoring too-often-asked questions."


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    Quote Originally Posted by el gordo2 View Post
    My 6.5 Swede built on a LA 700, it's a hammer with H4350 and 140gr Berger VLD's




    I recently did some work on the bolt.

    Gordo, what COAL are you running?
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    Gordo that is an awesome rig...

    I have been contemplating a similar 6.5x55 build myself for awhile now (I have an old thread if anyone cares to look it up). One thing that no one has brought up here is the use and availability of magazines. If you are going to use AI mags you will have to buy the 300wm version and modify the feed lips. Evidently, the short action mags are too short. Don't know if that is a deal breaker for anyone... but another bump in the road none the less.

    Good luck with your build. Keep us posted
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    6.5x55 swede is ballistically similar to the 260 but is one of those in between cartridges that should be built in a long action. I don't own one because it you go with a long action you may as well fill it up. You can't go wrong with 260 or 6.5cm.
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