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Thread: 5.6 x 57 RWS

  1. #1

    5.6 x 57 RWS

    Does anyone have experience of this cartridge? Would be interested to hear their observations.

    I know it's a bit of a niche thing but I'm sure there are a few on here using them.

    I have done all the web searches which give the technical/develoment stuff but not a lot of practical input.

    Have also placed a wanted ad in the classifieds for 5.6 x 57 bits and bobs.

    Thanks in advance, Chris.

  2. #2
    Hopefully the Irish chaps will be able to help as at one time is was the cartridge in us down South there due to the daft restrictions. I have only ever seen one rifle chambered for this cartridge but never actually had any dealings with it and it has always held a bit of an interest for me.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Brithunter View Post
    Hopefully the Irish chaps will be able to help as at one time is was the cartridge in us down South there due to the daft restrictions. I have only ever seen one rifle chambered for this cartridge but never actually had any dealings with it and it has always held a bit of an interest for me.
    Hi Brit

    Many of the European cartridges hold an interest for me too. I know 5.6x57 was late on parade it is amazing how the Germans were ahead of the game with the medium and larger cartridges - way ahead of America in many ways - but not always appreciated in the UK.

    I think a lot of 'reinventing the wheel' has gone on over the years which combined with effective worldwide marketing has resulted in many European cartridges being sidelined.

    Colonel Jeff Cooper's observations on the matter make interesting reading.

    BTW congratulations on 8,000 posts!

    Chris

  4. #4
    I don't know anything about the calibre but I did notice that Sloanes of Inverurie had a dozen or so very dusty boxes of factory ammunition in 5.6x57 on their shelves - given the prices I paid in October to buy up all of their (very) old stock .270W, .243W and .300WM ammunition, you could buy the lot for about 50.

    ​Adam.

  5. #5
    Interesting stuff - I hadn't realised that this calibre had the potential to be an interesting varminting calibre too, out pacing the .22-250 and the .220 Swift!

    According to Wiki (usual caveats apply):

    "With a factory-load velocity of 3,500 ft/s (1,100 m/s) with a 74-grain, cone-pointed bullet, it is approximately 100 ft/s (30 m/s) faster than the .220 Swift cartridge firing a bullet of equivalent weight. The larger case capacity means that handloaders can produce 50-grain loads that, with velocities in excess of 4,100 ft/s (1,200 m/s), will outpace anything that can safely be achieved by the Swift. There are no dimensional or ballistic differences between the 5.6x57mm round and the 5.6x57mmR round, other than that the latter is rimmed.The 5.6x57mm cartridge case has a distinctively thick case wall, and this causes significant problems when handloading, owing to the force that needs to be used through the press when re-sizing the case neck. It has been suggested that this unusual neck thickness is the result of the use of .22 rimfire chamber adapters in centrefire rifles chambered for this cartridge."

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamant View Post
    I don't know anything about the calibre but I did notice that Sloanes of Inverurie had a dozen or so very dusty boxes of factory ammunition in 5.6x57 on their shelves - given the prices I paid in October to buy up all of their (very) old stock .270W, .243W and .300WM ammunition, you could buy the lot for about 50.

    ​Adam.
    Thanks for that, tried them but they have only 19 rounds in stock according to the bloke I spoke to.

  7. #7
    For many years only .22 CF rifles were permitted for shooting Deer in the Irish Republic with the .22-250 being at the bottom of the terminal energy scale with its 55gr bullet.
    Most of these available were of `Varmint`construction and unsuitable for the humane killing of the larger species.
    As these were Fallow, Sika, Reds and Sika/Red Hybrids many fine animals were wounded and not recovered.
    The .220 Swift was used by a few people but at that time the factory cartridges were loaded with a 48gr `Varmint` bullet again `unfit for purpose`.
    Soon the stalkers found the RWS 5.6x57 with its 74gr Kegel Spitz or cone pointed bullet.
    Hornady and others produced some excellent 70gr soft-point bullets for the re-loader and things improved with their use.
    I had a BSA CF2 .22/250 which I reloaded with these 70gr projectiles and the old Nobel No O powder.

    One day I was in contact with the late Stan Armstrong of Nottingham and was told that he had a S/H 5.6X61 Vom Hofe Super Express calibre rifle in stock complete with a set of RCBS re-loading dies. Rifle was a Mauser Model 66 .
    This seemed like a present from the shooting Gods and I did an immediate deal with him.
    The published ballistics of this cartridge were :- 77gr bullet, MV.3700 FPS, ME.2350 foot-pounds compared with the RWS 5.6x57 at 74gr bullet, MV.3410 FPS, ME.1910 foot-pounds.

    This cartridge however and unlike most .22cf rifles which are .224 was a beast of .228 calibre firing a 77gr Blei Spitz Geshoss bullet. [Lead pointed bullet.]
    Stan also had some once fired cases which showed signs of incipient head separation.
    I managed to find a small supply of the factory 77gr ammo at Grays of Inverness.
    Again the bright ring at the case web showed signs of potential head separation.
    Obviously there was a faulty head-space problem here and the take-down barrel and bolt were sent to Mauser for attention.

    Mauser diagnosed an unsuitable bolt- sleeve assembly and replaced this and cured the fault.

    The 77gr .228 bullets for re-loading were difficult to find but I found a few thousand 70gr .228 Norma projectiles designed for use in the .22 Savage Hi-Power which also was the curious .228 size.
    With these I cleanly killed many Irish deer of all their available species.

    When the Republics rifle calibre ceiling was raised to .270 I bought an excellent Carl Gustaf .

    HWH.

  8. #8
    Thanks for that interesting information stag, am reaching for Cartridges of the World now!

  9. #9
    A friend of ours turned up at our little Muntjac trip to Suffolk with a very nice Krico in 5.6x57. Beautiful and very effective on small deer. He had RWS factory ammo with him which was of very recent manufacture. He uses the rifle mainly for Roe in Scotland. I was quite impressed with it.

    I know another guy with a 5.6x57R barrel for a Blaser K95, now that would really float my boat....
    Brian.

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

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by VIGILAIRE View Post
    Does anyone have experience of this cartridge? Would be interested to hear their observations.

    I know it's a bit of a niche thing but I'm sure there are a few on here using them.

    I have done all the web searches which give the technical/develoment stuff but not a lot of practical input.

    Have also placed a wanted ad in the classifieds for 5.6 x 57 bits and bobs.

    Thanks in advance, Chris.
    I have found 28 once-fired RWS 5.6x57 cases, clean and in perfect order.
    I can pack them in .243 boxes and send them postage paid for 25.

    Regards, HWH.
    Last edited by stag1933; 08-12-2013 at 20:51.

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