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Thread: Old age

  1. #1

    Old age

    I began stalking almost fifty years ago with my fathers Mannlicher schoenauer carbine in 6.5x54
    stalked with it for a few years but like all young men was caught up in the trend for the latest all singing all dancing calibre, which at that time was .243 which I must admit has served me well.

    However I have recently heard of a 6.5x54 MS carbine that may be coming on the market, I know it won't make a lot of money due to the fact that its no longer legal in Scotland with factory ammo.


    So a few questions is it possible to hand load a bullet that will meet the legal requirements for all species of deer in Scotland min MV2450 min ME1750 standard 160 g fell well short of this.


    Is brass available? believe you can form 30-06 to suit but would need to cut an extractor ring this is a bit beyond my capability.

    I have been reloading for a good number of years but did not reload when I was using the 6.5x54 MS can you get dies for 6.5x54 OK straight forward reloading is not a problem but have no experience of forming brass from other calibres.

    Please remember guys I am only interested in loads that would meet the Scottish requirements.

    Also don't need to be told that I would be much better with a 6.5x55 Swede.

    I don't need the the 6.5 x54 its just a silly notion that came to me when I heard that this one may come on the market. I have only a couple of years left before I retire and just had the romantic idea
    that it would by nice to finish as I started.

  2. #2
    Yes it can be loaded with lighter bullets to reach the daft restrictions. brass is available but can be pricey and not you cannot use 06 brass cut down as the head diameter of the 6.5x54MS case is 0.450" whilst the 06 case of course is 0.473".

    The problem you might find is that not all 6.5x54's shot the lighter bullets well. At one time Kynoch offered a 120 grain loading for the 6.5x54.

    Another thing to watch out for is that Steyr used deep rifling grooves, they are 0.008" deep and this led to the claims of oversized barrels especially in the US where they seem to think anything deeper the 0.004" is wrong. I have in my collection two Steyr 6.5's a Mdl 1892 chambered for the 6.5x53R the forerunner of the 54MS rimless cartridge and a Mdl 1903 Schoenauer. The Schoenauer had a very poor chamber in a relined barrel. Muzzle was marked F. Clark zero liner. It ruined cases. Luckily Ron Wharton found me a new in the white Steyr 6.5x54 MS barrel and Lew Potter fitted it. The groove diameter best as I can measure with digital calipers at the muzzle is 0.268" same as the one on the 1893 vintage mdl 1892. The Schoenauer shoots the 120 grain bullets fine.

    Oh yes Kynoch claimed a MV of 2760 and 2720 fps using their Rifle No1 and rifle No2 powders. I tried Vectan TU5000 and SP7 along with reloader 15 in mine. Sorry I do not chronograph data for this cartridge and my loads. RWS still list the ammunition but only with the 156 grain bullet. Hmm Norma seems to have dropped it.. Time to get some more cases methinks.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Brithunter View Post
    Yes it can be loaded with lighter bullets to reach the daft restrictions. brass is available but can be pricey and not you cannot use 06 brass cut down as the head diameter of the 6.5x54MS case is 0.450" whilst the 06 case of course is 0.473".

    The problem you might find is that not all 6.5x54's shot the lighter bullets well. At one time Kynoch offered a 120 grain loading for the 6.5x54.

    Another thing to watch out for is that Steyr used deep rifling grooves, they are 0.008" deep and this led to the claims of oversized barrels especially in the US where they seem to think anything deeper the 0.004" is wrong. I have in my collection two Steyr 6.5's a Mdl 1892 chambered for the 6.5x53R the forerunner of the 54MS rimless cartridge and a Mdl 1903 Schoenauer. The Schoenauer had a very poor chamber in a relined barrel. Muzzle was marked F. Clark zero liner. It ruined cases. Luckily Ron Wharton found me a new in the white Steyr 6.5x54 MS barrel and Lew Potter fitted it. The groove diameter best as I can measure with digital calipers at the muzzle is 0.268" same as the one on the 1893 vintage mdl 1892. The Schoenauer shoots the 120 grain bullets fine.

    Oh yes Kynoch claimed a MV of 2760 and 2720 fps using their Rifle No1 and rifle No2 powders. I tried Vectan TU5000 and SP7 along with reloader 15 in mine. Sorry I do not chronograph data for this cartridge and my loads. RWS still list the ammunition but only with the 156 grain bullet. Hmm Norma seems to have dropped it.. Time to get some more cases methinks.
    Thanks for that, haven't made up my mind yet, but your information at least makes it a possibility, will need to go and have a look and see what sort of condition and price he is looking for.

  5. #5
    No problems in good condition they are lovely rifles.................. Others try to match the smooth operation but more than often not fail when compared to these Mannlicher Schoenauers.

  6. #6
    There was an article written in the Shooting Gazette by Diggory Hadoke using such a rifle, which I believe was borrowed from Bill Pink of Historic Guns & Militaria, and they managed to load a 160gn round which met the Scottish restrictions.

    If you know anyone with a stash of old Shooting Gazettes it might be worth trawling through or you could contact Mr Hadoke(http://www.vintageguns.co.uk/) or Bill Pink(http://historicguns.co.uk/). They are both renowned as good blokes so should be helpful.

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

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by flytie View Post
    There was an article written in the Shooting Gazette by Diggory Hadoke using such a rifle, which I believe was borrowed from Bill Pink of Historic Guns & Militaria, and they managed to load a 160gn round which met the Scottish restrictions.

    If you know anyone with a stash of old Shooting Gazettes it might be worth trawling through or you could contact Mr Hadoke(http://www.vintageguns.co.uk/) or Bill Pink(http://historicguns.co.uk/). They are both renowned as good blokes so should be helpful.

    Simon
    I was there that weekend among a party when Dig brought the 6.5x54 along. It was fun and games getting that old rifle zeroed.

    I am sure the easiest way to get a 6.5x54 deer legal is to use lighter bullets, maybe something in the 120gr - 130gr range. If you can get them to shoot in the long throat.

    They are lovely old rifles.

    I have met Dig every year for the past 3 or 4 years, he always brings something interesting along. Last year he had a Procter 7x57, really tasty.
    Brian.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  8. #8
    Years ago I used to have a 6.5x54Msch. It was a stutzen and a lovely rifle. I reloaded ammunition for it but no longer have the info.
    The only problem with the rifle was the headspacing. The result was fast brass attrition. I'd only get two or three firings from the brass, then had to scrap it before case head separation.
    Enjoy the rifle though, they are a fine piece of kit. Cheers,
    Blaser K95 Luxus Kipplaufbüchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

  9. #9

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