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Thread: What to do?

  1. #1

    What to do?

    Some advice needed all you knowledgeable people,

    I recently asked a riflesmith to build a custom deer rifle in 6.5x55 built around an RPA action. I am very keen on the 6.5 as i believe it ticks all the boxes, easy shooting, handles heavier bullets well, delivers enough for big deer, but is gentle on roe......etc.

    Unfortunately, RPA don't do a L/H action in 6.5x55.

    Question is, should I seek an alternative action, I really like my Sako 75 are they available for building?

    Or should I just be prepared to consider an RPA in .308 or (shudders) .243.

    The rifle is being built as a semi-carbine for close-range thick woodland stalking of reds and roe.

    Thoughts anyone?


  2. #2
    Unless you do much shooting of deer past 600 yards and have the ancillary equipment and skills to match I would tend to suspect that the Sako action will be more than good enough from an accuracy and reliability standpoint to not have to suffer the ignominy of owning a 308 or 243!

  3. #3
    There are plenty of other custom actions out there apart from RPA, besides which as Grandhubert has said, the Sako is more than adequate! You'll need to find a donor rifle to get the action though, you can't buy it by itself

  4. #4
    Steve Bowers builds a lot of rifles on the Sako 75 action, I would try and get a Sako if you can. The RPA's are always so heavy, I think there are lighter and as good, if not better options available.

    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  5. #5
    I would suggest talking to the following folk: I am very pleased with the work Russell did on the 260 in my gallery. I recently saw a Sako 75 rebarrelled by Callum and was most impressed.
    or another riflesmith in the premier league.
    The one point to consider with whoever you eventually go to for a rifle is to factor in the cost of two trips to the riflesmith. One to agree what's to be done and one to pick up the finished article.
    Good luck. JCS

  6. #6
    Thanks guys,

    Think I'll stick with my calibre choice if possible, the riflesmith lives 3 miles away, an old friend who does good work.

    Now, anyone know of a decent L/H 6.5 sako 75?


  7. #7
    There was a Tikka M695 on here a few weeks back in cack handed guise! Not sure if that would be any good?

    No idea what happened to it though

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Ronin's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Lancs / Cumbria Border
    As far as I recall, RPA make Quadlites in left and right hand orientations with .473" boltface.

    The 6.5x55 requires a .476" bolt face, but I would bet a tenner that the RPA .473" boltface will accomodate the "55" case.

    It is a relatively simple task to open up the bolt face (once its stripped) bearing in mind that there is only a .0015" cut required.....

    If you did decide to go with the RPA you would need to use their trigger system and possibly their mag system (which IMHO is clumsy) - the RPA is a 4 lug bolt, so if you were to choose say a HS Precision, Grisel, Wyat, Badger / copy mag system, it would require altering to allow pick up of the round as the centre lug will foul the mag if it isnt alterered.

    Also, while the true 6.5x55 is really a long action case (SAAMI places the Max OAL at 3.100"), it would again be easy for the smith to specify a shorter throated reamer (for say 120 - 140grain bullets) and keep the MAX OAL to 2.900 " so you can use a short action rifle action.

    Personally, if your going to the expense of a custom action (the RPA), I would consider other alternatives - the RPA also has a stiff bolt cycle which will upset the rifle (and you) if you require a quick reload.

    Other alternatives - Lawton, RG Rifles (not sure if Russ makes a left handed action though, SYSS make their own custom left handed actions, STiller, Pierce Precision, to name but a few, plus the doggedly reliable Tikka and Sako's that are available as donors.....
    Last edited by Ronin; 23-06-2010 at 18:26.

  9. #9

    It may be the case that you do not have to necessarily look for a 6.5x55 action. The case diameter at the rim of this calibre is .480, the case diameter at the rim of .308, .243 etc is .473. I cannot say for certain as 6.6x55 is one calibre I have never owned but I have had semi and full custom rifles built on actions that were not of the same calibre that they ended up as. Providing the bolt face can accommodate the 6.5x55 case you could source out any short, left hand action and have it re-chambered during the rebarrelling process in the calibre of your choice. The only restriction may be the use of long heavy bullets in a particular short action.

    My current .243AI was from a .22-250 originally.

    (Just noticed above post which also alludes to this although slightly different measurements, must be from other than Hornady manual!)
    Another point worth noting is that I would not be concerned about the state of the rest of the rifle if the action is okay as the gunsmith can 'tart' this up or ultimately blueprint to better than new.


  10. #10
    Thanks guys,

    I will pass this on to my "knowledgeable person". I have tried a few contacts today for a SAKO 75 to no avail. What about McMillan their actions look good anyone got any experience?



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