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Thread: 6.5 x 55 advice.

  1. #1

    6.5 x 55 advice.

    At the risk of starting a calibre war for the thousandth time I would like some advice on the aforementioned calibre. Before anyone comments that I am wasting my time and should buy a 270 or a Howitzer to knock over deer, save yourself the bother, I'm asking for advice on the specific calibre not what each person considers best. Until now I am a 243 convert and have knocked down every species in the UK apart from Sika but just fancy a change.

    Can any 6.5 x 55 users quantify why it is such a useful calibre for deer (I don't shoot Moose) and what I should be aware of in terms of limitations if any. I have read all the usual comments like low energy/velocity but as I am only shooting UK deer, predominantly Roe and Fallow I am leaning towards this underated calibre. Please could I have some constructive comments.


  2. #2

    Basically it allows you to shoot heavier bullets with mild recoil.

    My experience is that a 156gr 6.5 x 55 does less meat damage than an 80gr .243.


  3. #3

    As one of the 6.5 biggest critics I will post. I would say that its not underrated, but exactly the opposite, but leaving that aside and moving on constructively. I will say that it is a bit more powerful than a 243 and fine for fallow and roe, its case capacity seems better suited to bullets in the 120gn to 130gn range IMHO. Accept it for what it is a mild shooting adequate deer cartridge, and there is nothing wrong with a cartridge being just that, and enjoy.

    Best rgds


    (PS. like that Jingzy)

  4. #4
    Chose the 6.5x55 because...

    1) I've shot an estate rifle 6.5x55 on roe, rutting reds and Sika stags. All with no problems.

    2) When I decided on my own FAC I did the calibre debate and soon realised every calibre has its ='s and -'s. I called the chap who's doing my DSC1 and he uses the swede for all his stalking.

    So I stuck with what I know. And I know I can shoot it accurately with good shot placement and it culls all UK deer species effectively.


  5. #5
    I use either .308" or 6.5x55mm for hind-stalking.

    My 6.5mm rifle is a lightweight, and I chose that calibre because I thought it would combine the ability to kill deer with modest recoil in the light rifle, which it does.

    Using bullets of 120-140gr it seems possible to get a point-blank range of about 200yds with holdovers of 4-5" and 10" or so for 250yds and 300yds respectively, which is not, as far as I can tell, much different from any other of the convenional small-bore deer cartridges used in this country. It has perhaps less energy both at the muzzle and down-range than some of the bigger-cased rounds, but that's hardly surprising. The deer have not in my experience been bothered by this.

  6. #6

    The 6.5x55 is the only calibre I have ever used so my comments may well be ignored however here's what I have to say anyway:-

    Accuracy potential is first class plus it is soft on the shoulder and lets you see the strike.

    Despite the relative low velocity/power I have cleanly killed Roe/Red and Sika at all the usual ranges using bullet weights from 100 to 140grains.

    Bullets usually exit giving a good blood trail should you be stalking in cover.

    Carcass damage is generally negligible

    The rifle is a dream to shoot with a moderator.

    A 200yard zero works; 2.5 inch high at 100-125yards and say 9inch drop at 300.

    Reloading is easy plus relatively cheap as powder usage lowish and case life longish.

    There you go...nothing to write home about, but the moral of the story is that this calibre works a treat and if it's the one you want then you will be well pleased with your choice.


  7. #7
    When people mention 6.5x55 they also mention "good shot placement"
    doesn't that say something?

  8. #8
    To me, it suggests at once that 6.5mm rifle-users are a discerning breed, and that they realise the importance of shooting deer in the correct place. I think the necessity for this is even mentioned in 'Jagdwaffenkunde' von Eduard Kettner, even though Messers Biertuempel u. Koehler ignore 6.5x55mm.

    Declaration of interest: I use a 6.5x55mm rifle and a .308", and have noticed that a badly-placed bullet from either doesn't work very well.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dalua
    I think the necessity for this is even mentioned in 'Jagdwaffenkunde' von Eduard Kettner, even though Messers Biertuempel u. Koehler ignore 6.5x55mm.

    Quotes in German about hunting to Edi Dalua you really haven't a clue who you are "talking" to.

    Best rgds


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dalua
    ...Declaration of interest: I use a 6.5x55mm rifle and a .308", and have noticed that a badly-placed bullet from either doesn't work very well.
    Finally! Thankyou! You are 100% correct. NOTHING kills well with bad shot placement. My personal feelings are that if you need a rifle in which "power" makes up for a mis placed shot you should practice more or stay out of the field. ~Muir.

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