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Thread: 6.5 x 55 performance

  1. #1

    6.5 x 55 performance


    I am considering a rebarrel towards the end of the year. I'm going down the 6.5 route. Rifle is a Sako 75 long action. My options have been whittled down to 6.5x284 or 6.5 swede. Application is as a general stalker, with a bias towards red and sika. A reasonable amount of this is likely to be on clear fell and the hill, so a flat shooting round is preferred.

    My question is; those out there hand loading 6.5 swede in a good modern rifle, how close can you get it in performance to the 284? Or is it just a huge gulf? I would probably look to use a 120g Barnes TTSX. What are the loads you use to gain optimum performance.


  2. #2
    I load 120's around 2900 fps in my FN actioned Swede. The 6.5x284 will best that by a good margin.~Muir

  3. #3
    I use reloaded 140 SSTs in my 75 6.5x55, leaving the barrel at 2,660 fps. They are a bigger, slower round so I have more confidence on fallow (not used on reds yet).

    Certainly can't be described as "flat shooting"!!, but time at the range and I know my drops, clicks & reticule lines, so again have the confidence in the rifle/ammo/scope combination.

    The .284 will certainly bang the rounds out faster, giving you the velocity that you want - plus possible additional meat damage. .284 has been described as a barrel burner - 1500 rounds or so - but as a general stalker, it's worth knowing, but ultimately irrelevant.

    Sako 75 6.5x55mm-Z6i 3-18x50. MauserM12 .308-SIII 6-24x50. Beretta 690 III Field 12b.
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
    Hi James
    have you considered 284 Winchester and use the 7mm bullets. Almost at Rem mag territory I believe and I think he who shall not be named (Redmist ) has the reamer. The other option to consider for what you describe is 270
    Last edited by srvet; 13-04-2015 at 18:36.

  5. #5
    I have been using a 6.5 Lapua on the hill for a few years now. 120 grain BT's at 2960 fps (chronographed) which is a bit quicker than a swede.

    I am just in the process of changing to a 280AI for the hill specifically because when you stretch the range out a bit (250-300) which you need to at times on the hill, I don't think the 6.5 is quite man enough. It works, they die, but on a lung shot they take just a bit too long to die for my liking.

    The Lapua delivers 1450 ft lb at 300 yds, a .270 about 1650, 280AI about 1900.

    If it's specifically for the hill I would move to 7mm personally.
    So much to learn and so little time left

  6. #6
    Have a read of Knowledgebase on the Cartridge Research tab. Regards JCS

  7. #7
    Cheers guys.

    I am tending towards monolithic bullets hence the need for a bit of velocity. Barrel life isn't a big deal, I'm not shooting a huge number of rounds per year.

    Simon-thanks, had a look at .270 and in fairness it ticks the boxes, but I just keep coming back to the 6.5. Makes a lot of sense as a all purpose stalker.

  8. #8
    I guess the origin of my post is that I realise the 6.5x284 is a more powerful round...but can a bit of careful hand loading of 6.5 swede bring it close? the gist I get is that there is quite a bit of difference.

  9. #9
    I used to shoot a Swede for 24 years and decided to stay with 6.5 and upgraded to a 6.5-284.
    The Sweed was shooting 120grn Sierras at 2900fps
    The 6.5-284 shoots 140grn Hornadys at 2950fps.
    I hope this helps.
    The Swede with a 20" barrel the 6.5-284 with a 26" barrel
    THis is with handloads.

  10. #10
    It may be that you are getting concerned over something that on the hill will make little difference. Shooting red deer in Scotland for example the 6.5 x 55 is often compared to the .275 Rigby (7x57) which is the traditional round on the hill. Why? It delivers a hefty 'push' rather than kick and a 139 or 156 grain bullet; it is a known military sniper round in Europe, and so ballistically I wouldn't be concerned. It is a very good round. Check the ballistic tables for the trajectory and practice on a range.

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