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Thread: Reloading Mannlicher Schoenauer 6.5x54

  1. #1

    Reloading Mannlicher Schoenauer 6.5x54

    Now that my M1903 has been scoped I'm ready to start loading some ammo for it and ask my fellow readers what recipes you use for making the rifle go bang - with a degree of accuracy?

    The rifle is never going to 'cloverleaf' and I have some recipes using H4895 & IMR3031 from 25 years ago. However, since that time, those propellants may have changed somewhat. Certainly the packaging has.

    Currently I have 37gns of IMR4350 powering a 160gn Hornady RN Interlock bullet & Rem. 9 1/2 primers. Total OAL of 2.944"
    The barrel on my rifle is 22 1/2" and I'm trying to achieve a close RWS factory ammo MV of 2350fps.
    The cartridge cases are brand new Norma & headspace at 1.7" the fired RWS cases I have measured, fired case headspace/deprimed @ 1.704 - 1.705"

    I haven't yet tested the above load, so have no idea if it will work satisfactorily or not.
    If the rifle gives 1" MOA @ 100yds, I'll be content, better & I'll consider it a bonus.

    I'd appreciate any input from you all. Cheers.
    Last edited by deeangeo; 31-03-2016 at 21:37.
    Blaser K95 Luxus Kipplaufbüchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

  2. #2
    Have a look at http://www.chuckhawks.com/6-5x54_MS.htm

    also the Hornady manual has a couple of loads. Also try the IMR and Norma websites - they all have data. The Hornady manual is now in an electronic version for c£10.

    Kynochammo is now loading 6.5x54 with a 140 gn bullet at Scottish deer legal velocities. I really like these rifles, but they have the bolt handles on the wrong side for me , otherwise I would be very tempted to acquire one.

  3. #3
    What is the Scottish legal MV ( or muzzle energy) requirement ?

    RL-19 or IMR-4350 should safely get close to 2,500 fps with 140-gr bullet, and a 129-gr even faster.
    I used to shoot 140-gr Hornday bullets in mine, which is what came in the Norma ammunition I got with the rifle ( 20 inch carbine ).

  4. #4
    Thanks folks. Scottish required MV is 2450fps with 1750ft lbs ME.
    I know I can readily achieve this with a 140gn bullet, but I rather like the idea of using the 160gn RN bullet. Legal in England for deer, but not Scotland.

    I shall develop a load for both though - with the 140gn SST too.
    Cheers.
    Blaser K95 Luxus Kipplaufbüchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

  5. #5
    Have you ever seen the more recent documentary on John Kennedy with the interview of the Army ballistics expert who tested Lee Harvey Oswald's Carcano rifle? He replicates the experiment with a Mannlicher 6.5x54MS and a 160-gr RN, to show how deep and straight the penetration is, compared to other common hunting and military rounds. I bet a 140-gr Barnes TSX would give it new wheels.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Southern View Post
    Have you ever seen the more recent documentary on John Kennedy with the interview of the Army ballistics expert who tested Lee Harvey Oswald's Carcano rifle? He replicates the experiment with a Mannlicher 6.5x54MS and a 160-gr RN, to show how deep and straight the penetration is, compared to other common hunting and military rounds. I bet a 140-gr Barnes TSX would give it new wheels.
    I saw an extensive documentary some time ago. It was an investigation by an ex CIA or detective chappie. The footage shown of the 1st ladies agent who at the time of the shooting was riding in the following car, clearly shows an agent in that car, lift a full auto assault rifle. The rifle was described as cocked/being cocked while being raised. The angle of the shot from that rifle is speculated to be the correct one for the bullet to have struck Kennedy leaving the wound that killed him. An accidental shot from one of his own CIA agents rifle. That was the documentary conclusion. Right/wrong? We're never going to know.

    As for penetration of the 160gn bullet, it's never been doubted. The problem in Scotland is that the MV doesn't meet the legal requirement, the ME is well above the legal minimum.
    That means a 140gn bullet must be used to generate the necessary MV in Scotland. For the rest of the UK a 160gn bullet is just fine & dandy.
    Last edited by deeangeo; 31-03-2016 at 21:05.
    Blaser K95 Luxus Kipplaufbüchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

  7. #7
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    And for the Scottish 'problem' we have the idiots of the BDS to thank. Which is why I will never give a penny to them nor join them and give them a legitimacy.

    Rant over. Well I haven't even started. But...

    Hornady do, or did, as a bullet for reloaders, the classic 160 grain RN in two diameters. One ideal for generous bore sized MS rifles. And Hirtenberger, now defunct, did ammunition as did RWS.

    It's also a fine wild boar round. Yet we have today's idiots saying that .270 Winchester should be a 'minimum calibre' for those in UK.

    Amazing then, and now, these experts. Obsessed with velocity or "calibre" for its sake without regard to real world performance.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 31-03-2016 at 20:35.

  8. #8
    I was shooting on Kynamco's range this evening and asked a friend of mine what he loads for stalking with his 6.5 x 54 MS. He says 39 gr N165 for a 140gr bullet and 37gr N150 for a 120gr bullet. I also asked David Little (who owns Kynamco) if this calibre is one they routinely load - it is, but only in the 140gr bullet weight because this is legal for deer in Scotland; details on this page:


    I'd be interested to hear what load you find makes a 160gr bullet deer-legal in Scotland.

    HTH

    Andrew


  9. #9
    All interesting stuff folks. Thankyou...time will tell where I end up. Plainly it'll have to be a 140gn for Scotland, unless!!...I find something with enough thrutch to push a 160gn bullet to 2450MV
    Blaser K95 Luxus Kipplaufbüchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewS View Post
    I was shooting on Kynamco's range this evening and asked a friend of mine what he loads for stalking with his 6.5 x 54 MS. He says 39 gr N165 for a 140gr bullet and 37gr N150 for a 120gr bullet. I also asked David Little (who owns Kynamco) if this calibre is one they routinely load - it is, but only in the 140gr bullet weight because this is legal for deer in Scotland; details on this page:


    I'd be interested to hear what load you find makes a 160gr bullet deer-legal in Scotland.

    HTH

    Andrew

    Andrew,
    I have no idea if I'll get a 160gn bullet to legal MV for Scotland. More experienced heads than mine will have attempted the challenge I reckon. But, I really do like the stopping power of the Hornady 160 gn Interlock. Used it before, and most certainly I shall use it again.

    It is a great probability that more deer in Scotlands past have been shot using a MSch 6.5x54 with a 160gn bullet, than with any other combination during the last century.
    Quite why it was decided there had to be a minimum MV when ME energy would really be the deciding killing factor, lord only knows...but, it is what it is and people with more authority than knowledge are likely to have been involved in the decision making.
    Cheers, d
    Blaser K95 Luxus Kipplaufbüchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

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