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Thread: How Much Gun?

  1. #1

    How Much Gun?

    Having got 6.5x55 religion (but admittedly little experience of it as yet) I was shamelessly proselytising its wonders the other day with a fellow 'deer manager.' He commented seriously that he would never use anything less than a .270 for reds in Scotland, and preferred it for fallow in England. 'Anything less' suggests that all manner of ordinance might be on the cards for him. In the friendliest of ways, we had to agree to disagree. Interestingly, he was a man of long experience, and no small understanding.

    Our excellent American cousins are really into magnums, but I found this wonderful dose of common sense on a US forum, and thought it might be well framed and put on the wall of every stalker.

    On the whole, we don't suffer from magnumitis here in the UK., but the following excellent posting bears reading.This is brilliant argument, leading to an unassailable position. My thanks to the author, whom I can't identify, but here freely acknowledge.


    I’ve done some more thinking on this. First off, a 6.5x55 will always loose to a 270. But a 270 will always loose to a 300 Win mag, and a 300 Win mag will always loose to the next larger one up the chain, all the way to a 50 BMG, which looses to a 20 mm, which looses to a 30 mm, etc., etc.,…,which looses to a nuclear weapon.

    So what’s the point? The point is that while a larger round always “wins” at some point we all find the round that’s right for the task at hand and is right for us. And the law of diminishing returns will kick in at some point. I don’t need or want a 30-378 Weatherby Mag. for hunting whitetails at close range in the woods. So at some point we have enough power without subjecting ourselves to undue recoil. I’m just suggesting that to that end the 6.5x55 Swedeheart deserves a second, third, and fourth look. And when you look at it very closely, I think it can “dance with a 270” as I once heard Mr. Atkinson say regarding the .257 Roberts.

    The energy and velocity of a 6.5x55 140 gr. bullet is approximately that of a 270 with a 140 gr. bullet…100 yards away. So leaving the trajectory issue alone for a minute a 270 buys you an extra 100 yards, so to speak. So, I contend that if something is appropriate to shoot with a 270 at 300 yards, it’s appropriate to shoot with a 6.5x55 at 200 yards. And if people think a 270 has a useful range of 500 yards, then the 6.5 has a useful range of 400 yards, though even that is perhaps further than we should be shooting at game. And by the way, the 6.5 “catches up” to the 270 at around 400 to 500 yards. Therefore, following this line of thinking, the only thing a 270 can do that a 6.5 can’t, is obtain the energy it obtains within a 100 yards. There, we have it! A 270 is only useful within 100 yards! (That’s a joke fellas, a joke.)

    But, are there any animals that we would shoot within 100 yards with a 270 that we wouldn’t with a 6.5? Maybe. Black bear, moose, and elk come to mind. But I think a 6.5 would work on them too, it’s just not optimal for that task. But neither is a 270; it works, certainly, but that doesn’t make it “optimal”.

  2. #2
    Watermain... very nicely put!!!

    I have to agree with a lot of what you said... I especially like the quote

    I shot 270 for many years, and found it an excellent calibre on all deer species from Munties to Reds. The man that taught me to shoot had only 2 deer calibres: a 270 estate rifle and his 6.5x55.

    He would always say that the 6.5x55 was the best calibre that he had every bought and that in time he would change his estate rifle to the same. He used his rifle for all his deer management work and even on hunting trips to Africa!

    However I have now gone over to a 243, not to reduce recoil or for ease of obtaining reloading componenets, but simply to do 2 jobs at the same time; foxing and stalking. A&S police would not let me have a 6.5x55 for both purposes... I did ask.

    Interestingly the 6.5x55 is an exceptionaly good long range round, stable and accurate out to much greater ranges that the 270 or 243. Hence why a lot of target shooters are taking to it.

  3. #3
    Watermain... very nicely put!!!

    I have to agree with a lot of what you said... I especially like the quote

    I shot 270 for many years, and found it an excellent calibre on all deer species from Munties to Reds. The man that taught me to shoot had only 2 deer calibres: a 270 estate rifle and his 6.5x55.

    He would always say that the 6.5x55 was the best calibre that he had every bought and that in time he would change his estate rifle to the same. He used his rifle for all his deer management work and even on hunting trips to Africa!

    However I have now gone over to a 243, not to reduce recoil or for ease of obtaining reloading componenets, but simply to do 2 jobs at the same time; foxing and stalking. A&S police would not let me have a 6.5x55 for both purposes... I did ask.

    Interestingly the 6.5x55 is an exceptionaly good long range round, stable and accurate out to much greater ranges that the 270 or 243. Hence why a lot of target shooters are taking to it.

  4. #4
    I haven't heard a word said against 6.5x55 SE. Apart from its impeccible, gentle manners, it's just so capable, and versatile. There are plenty of stock ammunition branded alternatives in this calibre, and I gather that it is a re-loaders dream: that’s something I’m hoping to get into soon.

    How interesting that your local firearms officer wasn’t happy for you to use a 6.5x55 for fox control. I wonder why. With available bullet weights from 85gr to 160gr it can be used for everything from foxes to the biggest reds in Scotland. If you re-applied for the Swede, I suspect that you could make a very good case for it, and I’m sure BASC would help you with your application. In any case, stalkers with all sorts of calibres will often roll a fox that passes them: job done. What was S&A’s stated reason for a refusal for the Swede? Do they think it some sort of magnum dragon slayer?

    Try the range at this web-site. Enough for any firearms officer, methinks.

    http://user.tninet.se/~dvx072o/reloadin.htm


    Maybe there’s a case (no pun intended) for re-loading as a group. I’d like to do it for interest, but I doubt if I can find a use for all bullet sizes. Perhaps it could be done economically by banding together to buy a range of bits, then sharing the spoils of the labour.

  5. #5
    The calibre was not refused... as such. I spoke with teh FEO when looking over a new peice of land and he said that he would not be happy to have a 6.5x55 used for foxing... but a 22-250 or 243 would be OK. I already had a 22-250 at the time.

    I admit I was a little irretated as a 243 will do as much damage but he would not listen... I am not actually sure if he knew what the differnce was!

    If I look at changing my rifle again I think I will try to plead my case

    Getting the supplies for a 6.5x55 should not be too hard (not as easy as a 243 or 308), most of the major stockists will hold the cases and heads. Sportmans Gun Center and litts are very good for that sort of thing.

  6. #6
    Hi Watermain,

    I experienced the same as "CHOPS" when requesting vermin shooting using a 6.5x55. The police just didn't want to know despite a lengthy discussion trying to persuade them otherwise. I ended up selling the 6.5x55 and buying a 0.243 which they allowed me to use for both vermin control and deer stalking.

    I must admit I haven't noticed any difference in "drop down dead" kills since I swopped rifles albeit I omainly shoot roe deer.

    Willie

  7. #7
    Willie:

    It just doesn't make sense, does it? Both the .243 and the 6.5x55 can be used with a 100gr bullet to trip along at about 3,000 fps. My experience of either with 100gr bullets is nil; I'm simply quoting from the published tables. But if those stats can be shown, I would have thought any objection would be unsupportable. But then I wonder whether you were contemplating having only 140gr bullets in stock. A variation to include some 100gr ammunition might do the trick. Although, come to think about it, bullet weights are not a feature of the FAC. – only calibre. I suppose a 140gr of the wrong sort would zip through a whole line of foxes mighty briskly.

    I have found my FA officer to be excellent, knowledgeable, cheerful, and helpful. Apart from dropping my ammunition holding totals (and still to acceptable levels) he has been very good to work with. Maybe other constabularies simply don’t know enough about calibres other than the common .243 and .308. It’s not my impression that they want to be obstructionist, but rather that they are slightly out of their comfort zone.

    As I said earlier in this thread, I’d be inclined to talk to BASC., who are equipped to handle such questions. Maybe then follow this up with a request for a meeting, going armed with all the stats and a letter of support from BASC. We none of us want to fall out with the overseeing police authority, but a friendly discussion might do wonders.

    Although this has come up as a side issue, this matter may be important for all of us. Can anyone else offer precedents that might help Willie, and others? Better again, can any member who holds an official position, and who might see a case for a refusal such as this, shed further light.

  8. #8
    James B
    Guest

    local firearms officers

    On the point about your local firearms officer and fox culling, I live in central London and my local met firearms officer would not allow a 243 to be used for fox control, when I am out of town (naturally).
    They have always been very helpful, but on the "fox issue" were of the opinion that a 22 centerfire was the only realistic way to go.
    James

  9. #9
    .22 centrefire only. Yes, that seems to be the common stance, but WHY?

  10. #10
    Bullet type is key with all these issues rather than calibre, I shoot a .243, load my own rounds 100 gr nosler partitions for reds and fallow 70 gr nosler ballistic tip for everything else smalller, roe foxes muntys etc, I was out shooting Fallow on saturday and the deer had taken a holiday, I was about to leave when a fox came to within about 20 yards, as we have promised to control foxes on this land I put a round into his chest. The fox barked and rolled over job done I thought I waited in the high seat for a few minutes to ensure the shot hadnt stirred any deer. Five minutes had passed when up stands Mr Fox and scuttles off!!!! Down the ladder goes I to where the fox had lain, pile of hair blood bone and one front leg...bugger. Luckily the fox had left a trail even Ray Mears could follow 200 yards into the wood there was the fox sat under a tree looking at me, i finished him with a head shot. when I examined the body the round had gone through the chest intact taken the leg off and carried on.
    Long winded ,I know, but my point is if that had been my 70 gr ballistic tip he wouldnt have even have heard the shot. The bullet is important and where you put it, not the calibre

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