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Thread: 6.5x54 Mannlicher-Schoenauer

  1. #1

    6.5x54 Mannlicher-Schoenauer

    Does anyone use one of these regularly?
    I have a 1906 Mannlicher-Schoenauer with open sights and a diminishing stock of Kynoch ammo (also pretty antique) and am wondering what to do with it. It's not especially practical but is a wonderful gun to handle and so far anything I have shot with it dropped like a stone. However, it's not much use in low light, and while I can be acceptable accurate with it,
    My questions to anyone willing to share their experiences are:
    1. How much of a hassle do you find it getting ammo?
    2. How confident do you feel in its/your accuracy with it at medium/longer ranges?
    (3. If you know anyone who might want to sell some reloading dies for it....)

    I suppose advice from anyone using express sights for stalking would also be most helpful.

  2. #2
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I don't have one of these lovely rifles but I figured I'd post anyway
    As you hinted at in the latter part of your post, reloading will be the way forward for you regards getting ammo.
    Hopefully the link works but dies are available here http://www.brownells.co.uk/epages/UK...howAllFacets=1

    Not cheap but it'll keep the old girl shooting and will add values the rifle if you chose to sell.

    Regards the sights, I haven't used express sights in anger but have always loved the sight picture. Have you considered an aperture sight? A properly skilled gunsmith will be able to mount one to either the back or top of the bolt, although I am no expert on this. Find a smith who is and you will discover the best open sight known to man, although likely at a price.
    Apertures are faster, more precise and easier on the human eye than any other non-optical sight; I love mine.

    They're no better in low light mind as you will still lose front sight. A fibre optic front sight would fix that but they are ugly and you are still left with finding the rear sight. The human eye automatically centre the front sight in the centre of an aperture but it still has to be able to see the aperture!

    Anyway, I've rambled enough.

    ps. I would love to see the rifle in question
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  3. #3
    I had one of these 6.5x54mm MS in a stutzen, early 1950s, with a factory swing off mount and 4x Zeiss scope. It is a lovely rifle. I just bought it to keep any Philistine from despoiling it. I was really looking for a stutzen in .30-06 or .308 Win. I used it on deer with the iron sights and the scope, then was talking to a friend who was restoring a .318 Westley Richards and crying about how he had searched for a 6.5x54 MS to take to Africa along with his restored .416 Rigby. Once I hauled mine out for him to handle it, I knew I had to sell it to him, and he did take it to Africa.

    Why don't you keep it, and just use it in good light, as you would with use some fine old rifle only in good weather. Get something in impervious finish, synthetic stock, and 6x42 scope for rougher weather and bad light.

    If your eyeglasses are not working well for iron sights, get a pair with a single fixed prescription ( no bifocals or variable lens ) just for shooting with iron sights? Put those on when game is in range and make a good shot.
    Last edited by Southern; 09-09-2016 at 16:35.

  4. #4
    6.5x54 's are lovely rifles and close friend has several, including some with scopes mounted either on a side mount or a swing mount. Don't let it go - they do not make rifles of that quality now, and no reason not to continue using it as it seems to drop everything for you. All sights, whether they be ultra modern top of the range telescopic, or open sights have their limitations. I have open sights on two rifles and can quite happily shoot them well enough to hit clay pigeon sized targets out to 80 / 100 yds, so would have no issue using them on game. And 40 years ago nobody would think twice about using open sights on deer out to any sensible range - up the foreleg, slightly back and squeeze.

    Kynochammo - http://www.kynochammunition.co.uk still makes 6.5x54 ammunition with a 140gn bullet at velocities that is legal in Scotland. Holland and Holland on Bruton Street stock it.
    Last edited by Heym SR20; 09-09-2016 at 16:57.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Heym SR20 View Post
    6.5x54 's are lovely rifles and close friend has several, including some with scopes mounted either on a side mount or a swing mount. Don't let it go - they do not make rifles of that quality now, and no reason not to continue using it as it seems to drop everything for you. All sights, whether they be ultra modern top of the range telescopic, or open sights have their limitations. I have open sights on two rifles and can quite happily shoot them well enough to hit clay pigeon sized targets out to 80 / 100 yds, so would have no issue using them on game. And 40 years ago nobody would think twice about using open sights on deer out to any sensible range - up the foreleg, slightly back and squeeze.

    Kynochammo - http://www.kynochammunition.co.uk still makes 6.5x54 ammunition with a 140gn bullet at velocities that is legal in Scotland. Holland and Holland on Bruton Street stock it.
    Are you sure the 140 gn reaches the legal velocity and muzzle energy for Scotland? The6.5 x54 was very popular at one time with professional highland stalkers, the change in the law bringing about its demise due to the unavailability of ammunition that met the legal requirements, some managed to keep legal by reloading but most gave up their rifles opting for calibers that met the legal requirements and had easily obtainable ammunition, this change in the law saw the rise in popularity of the .243 among Scottish professionals.

  6. #6
    The ballistics for the Kynoch round are on their web site:

    http://www.kynochammunition.co.uk/6-5MS.html

    I think they're deer-legal in scotland?

  7. #7
    My brother had access to one of these on an estate on the island of Mull.
    lovely rifle from turn of century with an inbuilt rotary magazine.
    i understand that this was the rifle of choice for big game hunters at that time, with many an elephant being taken with them. With some loads they fall below the minimum legal velocity for modern day uk deer use!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewS View Post
    The ballistics for the Kynoch round are on their web site:

    http://www.kynochammunition.co.uk/6-5MS.html

    I think they're deer-legal in scotland?
    Scotland requires a min 100 gn bullet and 2450fps muzzle velocity. The Kynochammo is doing 2,700 fps. The original load was a 160 odd gn bullet at 2350 ish fps and that's they are often considered obsolete.

  9. #9
    I bought my 6.5x54 MS from its original owner, and it came with RWS 120-gr ammunition and, IIRC, some Kynoch or something in 129-gr. The 120-gr was about 2,700 fps from my 20-inch rifle, which is like a .257 Roberts standard factory load, both of them great deer rifles. I would not hesitate to shoot some large game with something like a 130-gr TSX.

  10. #10
    Seems like there is more ammunition available now than there was in this rifles hay day.
    I was brought up with this rif!e as it was my fathers go to rifle ,this was in the 50s and early 60s 160gn and 180 gn being
    the on!y ammunition I can remember being available!e at that time , 180gn being my fathers choice.

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