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Thread: 6.5x55

  1. #1


    I was just wondering aout this calibre. Its quite a big round although I didnt think the calibre was a massive one as it goes.

    However I have been reading about how it is used in alot of places to take large game like moose and bear

    So I was wondering if anyone knows anything interesting about it ?
    Where does it compare to say a 243 ? 270 ? 308 ?

    Thanks for any info

  2. #2
    It seems to be a calibre that attracts a lot of conflicting views! I've had a 6.5x55 for just over a year, and have shot muntjac, roe & red deer, all with Federal 140 gn soft points.
    My rifle recoils less than the .270 & .308 I've had previously, is very accurate and I'm more than satisfied with the end results.
    Most dealers stock a reasonable range of ammunition, although not as wide a variety as you can get in .243/.270 & .308 etc.
    I'd recommend it but, as I said, others will disagree..still, each to their own!

  3. #3
    It has an odd base diameter: .480 as opposed to .473. Means that the bolt face of 6.5 rifles is unique. The sectional density of the 160gr bullets takes some beating too. If you look at the 160gr round noses you will be impressed by their length. I am led to believe that they have penetration to spare and as it goes, millions of dead scandinavian moose cannot be wrong.

  4. #4
    In terms of where it sits, between 243 and 270, but nearer 270 in performance than 243. Traditionaly the 6.5 has been loaded with heavier bullets (140-160gr) than the 270, but a much slower speeds, 300-400fps slower. I can easily achieve 3000fps with a 140gr in a 270, though I chose not to.

    It is a good mild calibre. With modern bullets, I think it woulld do better to be loaded with 120-130gr bullets.

  5. #5

    It is slightly more powerful that a 243 and less powerful than pretty much every other popular big deer legal calibre. Donít take my word for it look at some reloading manuals. As been said works best with lighter bullets 120/130 gn bullets, with 160gn bullets and a 22Ē barrel it struggles to stay deer legal for Scotland.

    Donít be fooled by thinking because it is legal for "moose" in Scandinavia it is a powerful calibre, it is only European Elk legal because 100 years ago this was the service calibre of the armed forces and there fore because thousands of hunters owned rifles of this calibre the government made this the minimum. There is talk of 30-06 being made the minimum calibre for European Elk.

    Moose in the USA is considered a soft animal for its size; North American Elk is considered pound for pound a far tougher animal. North American Elk or Wapiti are related to our red deer.

    Do your home work, look back over some of the old threads, I am usually involved with the discussion at some point.



  6. #6
    Thar speaks the truth! It is a bit more powerful than .243 and less powerful than nearly every other common deer round in this country.

    In my view, that makes it a super choice. My lightweight rifle is chambered for this calibre, and it combines (relatively) gentle and undramatic characteristics on firing with effectively slain deer. Lighter bullets (120-140gr) in robustly-loaded (European) rounds allow the short-barrelled rifle to reach the all-important minimum MV for Scotland. I actually find it more pleasant to fire than the .243 which I used to own.

    Declaration of interest: I also have a .308

  7. #7
    I'll give my view on the calibre as it is my main stalking rifle. That said, don't take it as right because my experience is limited!

    I picked it because it recoils fairly mildly. Velocity is low but the bullets are heavy. It stands more chance of doing a good job on bigger animals than a fast light bullet that will slow fast when it hits the target. I think the only drawbacks of the 6.5 are loopy trajectory and maybe the fact that it doesn't make that big a hole!

    It's not a vastly powerful calibre but in fairness does it need to be? The 6.5 will easily go right through a Red Stag and mash up the heart and lungs on the way through. That equals a dead Deer. Why put up with the kick and blast of a bigger round if you don't need to? Plenty of people take Reds with a .243. The 6.5 is in the same kind of energy group but just gives you a little more penetration and a good blood trail if you get a runner.

    If you maybe want an in between, try the .260 Rem. It handles lighter bullets better. The 6.5 seems to shoot well with 120-160grn loads but the throat is too long to be accurate with lighter bullets, the .260 shoots better with sub 130s but doesn't have the neck length to give good velocities with heavy stuff. That puts it closer to the .243 but without struggling to shoot 100grn+ rounds well.

  8. #8
    My 16 year old finds it OK on Kudu and Wildebeest.


  9. #9
    Try reading This and This I think they are interesting reads, and yes I shoot 6.5X55


  10. #10
    John, was there a couple of links in there?

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