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Thread: 6.5 x 55 limitations

  1. #1

    6.5 x 55 limitations

    I have been looking at taking a rifle to South Africa for plains game and after posting on here and a bit of research I am thinking 30-06 as I can use it here in the UK too for Sika etc. But whilst looking at different calibres I keep seeing refernces to 6.5 x 55 being used in Europe for Moose, Elk and Boar and even when I looked on Chuck Hawks pages he said it has even been used for Elephants? Now I am a tad confused to say the least as the minimum for boar in the UK ( well recommended ) is .270 ) so how come if a 6.5 can put large animals on the ground abroad then why isnt it classed as good enough for boar here? Also if I did opt to take the Swede to South Africa what would be the largest animal that I would be able to shoot with it as such as it might save me having to buy a 30-06

    Cheers

    Pete

  2. #2
    I have known American elk to be killed with it. The question is: How well to you shoot it? A well placed shot will kill anything but you must be able to place the shot. If it was what I had, and I was good with it, I'd take it. Surely it's better than going out with a rifle you are less familiar with?~Muir

  3. #3
    I doubt it's legal for the Elephants but in the past when Ivory hunting was big business the 6.5mm calibre using 160grain solids was well thought of by W. D. M. Bell. He used the Mannlicher Model 1892 in 6.5x53R at one point in his career. I believe he started out using a pair of Lee Enfields in 303 then moved to the 6.5x53R before using a 7x57 Mauser which he became famous for. In later life he used the Mannlicher 6.5x54 Schoenauer. OF course this was way back in the 20th century.

    One reason he liked the small bores was their quiet report disturbed the groups less and he could shoot more than way. It's also said he disliked recoil and of course weight mattered when on a walking hunt he could carry more ammunition. He was an excellent shot and knew the place to place a bullet where it would bring the huge beasts down swiftly and cleanly. He also got close. It's claimed that on more then one occasion he actually ran up the back of an Elephant as it's back legs collapsed and place a bullet into the back of it's head whilst standing on it's shoulders. How true this is ??? but it has been claimed so...............

    I have never heard of Bell using the Swedish cartridge.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Brithunter View Post
    One reason he liked the small bores was their quiet report disturbed the groups less and he could shoot more than way. It's also said he disliked recoil and of course weight mattered when on a walking hunt he could carry more ammunition. He was an excellent shot and knew the place to place a bullet where it would bring the huge beasts down swiftly and cleanly. He also got close................
    He was also quoted as saying “never has a lead bullet fouled any of my bores” he used bronze solids. Totally different to heart lung shots we use for deer etc.

    Moose are often quoted as being soft for their big size and are killed quite easily with a well-placed shot, African Plains game are notoriously tough even when hit hard they don’t go down. Most Elk or European Moose/ Elg are hunted with dogs so once hit they are followed up on quickly, the range is often short as well. Plains game may need to be shot at longer range.

    The trouble with the inter-net or any other media is very very few people shout about it when things go wrong, you will hear about how a medal head Elg was shot at 500 yards using 17 mouse calibre, but not the occasion when a **** point five calibre rifle had to use its whole mag’ to bring down a 100lb calf. That just gets filed as “what happens on the hill stays on the hill”.

    I am sure other will offer advice, what does your guide say? After all it will be him picking up the pieces and tracking the animal if the 6.5 is found wanting, what will he charge you for an injured animal? If he is happy then you could conceder it, me I would want a 30-06 min’ may be 8mm magnum.

    ATb

    Tahr
    Last edited by Thar; 06-11-2011 at 01:33.

  5. #5
    He was also quoted as saying “never has a lead bullet fouled any of my bores” he used bronze solids
    Wonder who wrote that as one reason he stopped using the lee Enfields was due to questionable quality of the Military 215 Grain FMJ's he was getting. I have never heard of nor seen any solid bronze bullets for the 6.5mm Mannlichers. One thing all these cartridges had in common was a velocity of about 2300fps. Penetration as that velocity seems reliable, go much higher an strange things happen one reason the 460 Wetherby is not so good as the paper numbers say it should be.

  6. #6
    Hi Brit

    My memory may be failing me, at the minute I can only find reference to him never using soft point ammo, if I can be arsed I might try and look it up tomorrow, on the other hand life is too short. FMJ or solids and head shots totally different technique to heart lung shots.

    ATB

    Tahr

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Thar View Post
    Hi Brit

    My memory may be failing me, at the minute I can only find reference to him never using soft point ammo, if I can be arsed I might try and look it up tomorrow, on the other hand life is too short. FMJ or solids and head shots totally different technique to heart lung shots.

    ATB

    Tahr
    Except that Bell also condoned the heart shot with solids. He has written many times that a novice is far better trying a heart shot on an elephant than a head shot, even with solids. All that said, he also stressed marksmanship and believed that hitting the spot was more important than what you hit it with. I agree to an extent.~Muir

  8. #8
    Just because the 6.5x55 has been used to kill a lot of game, doesn't necessarily mean it is the best tool for the job. Sometimes people just had to use what was available to them at the time, and now when we look back and read about these historical exploits, we draw the conclusion that it was the weapon of choice.

    Personally I would not use a 6.5x55 on anything bigger than a blesbok. The 30-06 is a far better choice when it comes to African game. Also with the new TOPS legislation, there are now legally defined minimum Calibres and bullet weights for hunting in SA on different species. So you may find you can't use a 6.5 on your intended quarry even if you want to.

  9. #9
    Thats for the replies some interesting stuff there and as regards to 6.5 for SA it was only to see for if it could be used for smaller stuff of in SA and nothing large or thick skinned, hence why I mentioned 30-06 aswell.

    Many thanks

  10. #10
    May I suggest you either buy, beg or borrow an excellent book on African game shooting entitled:-

    The Perfect Shot

    It will answer a lot of questions and be educational about African game too.

    As for this:-

    Just because the 6.5x55 has been used to kill a lot of game, doesn't necessarily mean it is the best tool for the job. Sometimes people just had to use what was available to them at the time, and now when we look back and read about these historical exploits, we draw the conclusion that it was the weapon of choice.
    It's best to note when in time such rifle/cartridge combinations were being used before assuming why that might be. This is taken from quite a famous book on game shooting that was printed in 1905 I believe:-

    Suggested battery
    A .303 Lee Enfield ( or .256 Mannlicher) sporting rifle, carefully sighted.

    With the .303 or .256 all kinds of fine shooting at medium sized game at lng ranges can be made. Telescopic sights are now often employed, and for Ibex and otehr hill shooting, and even Springbuck and Gazelle stalking on the plains at long ranges, they are very useful. The .303 is so powerful a weapon that is now often used even for the pursuit of heavy game, and Elephants, and Rhinoceros have in recent years frequently been killed with it.
    Of course in places around the world the old .303 is still bringing heavy game down even if not legally:-

    THE CAREER OF THE NOTORIOUS Indian wildlife poacher Naren Pegu came to an end early on the morning of December 13, 2010, in the Eastern Range of Kaziranga National Park. Tucked away in the northeastern state of *Assam, hugging the southern bank of the wide Brahmaputra River, Kaziranga is *India’s Serengeti, a *mosaic of grass, jungle, and wet*lands supporting a staggering amount of biodiversity, including Asia’s highest concentration of endangered one-horned *rhinos and Bengal *tigers. Since 2005, Pegu had poached about 30 of those rhinos, which live in Kazi*ranga and almost nowhere else. He’d shoot a rhino, cut off its horn with a machete, and sell it for thousands of dollars in Nagaland, a lawless state that runs along *India’s fuzzy border with Myanmar. From there, the horns travel to Myanmar and then to China, where they sell for tens of thousands of dollars a kilo. In powdered form, they cure every**thing from cataracts to cancer, or so say *believers. It’s really just a big fingernail.

    Pegu was a member of the Mishing tribe, one of Assam’s many indigenous groups that, like their equivalents everywhere, have lost land and livelihoods. Mishing villages line the park boundary, their inhabitants pressed against it like kids at a candy-store window. If you can’t pay $50 for a jeep safari, you can’t get inside. Growing up here, Pegu learned to sneak past the border; he knew the park like his own backyard. He’d come and go unde*tec*ted by the forest guards—India’s version of wildlife rangers. Poaching ran in Pegu’s family; his father was a poacher before him.

    Most Mishing involved in the trade are content to serve as illegal guides for the bigger regional guns—sharpshooters and brokers from Nagaland—whom they lead in and out of the vast park, taking a small cut. But *Naren Pegu was enterprising. He taught himself the rules of the trade, cutting deals in seedy hotels. Learned where to get black-market .303 rifles from the sep**aratists who control the Nagaland hills. He thought big. Typically, poachers blow any money they come into, but not Pegu: he’d saved enough to invest in three vehicles, a big house, even a plot of land, where he was starting his own tea garden in some sort of psychological stab at legitimacy. While Pegu was bringing down more than $20,000 per year through poaching, his Mishing relations scrabbled to earn $200 a year in the rice paddies.

    Pegu had every right to feel cocky as he and an accomplice slipped into Kaziranga on the evening of December 12, waiting out the night munching on rotis and precooked rice; a fire would have given them away. At dawn, rhinos scatter across Kaziranga to feed on the rich grasslands, and Pegu was ready. He came upon a mother rhino feeding with her calf. Got out his rifle. Shooting a rhino is like shooting a barn: when you take aim, they stop and stare, deciding whether to charge. Pegu shot the mother dead, hacked off her horn, and left the baby standing there. The park border, his village, and a payday in Naga*land were not far away.

    Pegu should have been home free. He knew the landscape, and Kaziranga employs only about 500 forest guards to cover more than 300 square miles of tall grass and jungle—on foot. What were their chances of finding him? Yet, unbeknownst to Pegu, before he even fired his shot three forest guards had entered the area, searching for him. As soon as he fired, they closed on the spot. Unlike most guards in most parks in India, they were armed. And they had license to kill.

    Pegu saw the guards first and opened fire. Missed. The guards took cover. As the shooting continued, one guard calmly raised his antique .303 Lee Enfield rifle to his shoulder, lined up Pegu in his sights, and blew his head off.

    Krishna Deori, the director of Kaziranga’s Eastern Range, one of the park’s four divi*sions, proudly shows me the gruesome pic*tures when I visit his office, a concrete bungalow beside the park entrance, in April. “I almost gave up!” he says. “I was ready to leave this place because of him.” Then, in a red *UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON *shirt, *Deori *models for my camera with rifles seized from poachers. I try to envision a ranger in the U.S. *doing the same. But nothing in Kaziranga is like anything in the U.S. There’s the super*dense concentration of tigers, rhinos, and *ele*phants—and the fact that they’re thriving. The sheer value of that wildlife on the black market. The grinding poverty of the *surrounding *villages. And the tsunami of money and *demand pouring out of China. Kaziranga is an ark bob*bing upon a frothing sea of humanity. Yet somehow it keeps on floating.
    Link to article:-

    http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor...et.html?page=1

    Bear in mind private ownership of guns in India is very difficult and .303 is banned ................. yet there you go.

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