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Thread: 6.5x54mm Mannlicher

  1. #1

    6.5x54mm Mannlicher

    Brithunter mentioned that he had a 6.5x54 Mannlicher rifle, and I notice how many deer hunters here use some sort of 6.5mm.

    Do any more of you shoot this older rifle?

    I used to own a 6.5x54 Mannlicher Schoenauer, 1952 Carbine with a Zeiss 4x. I got it from the original owner, and elderly gentleman who was selling it, a Stery M Luxus carbine in .30-06, and an MCA rifle in .270 Win. I just could not let it fall into the wrong hands. I only hunted with it for one year, and never loaded for it, because it came with over 120 rounds of RWS ammunition. What a lovely rifle! I sold it to a friend who had been searching for an affordable one for years. It is about the epitome of weight, balance, and power for truly stalking the hills and woods. It mounts like a good 28 gauge shotgun. The low recoil and slick action makes a second shot very fast.

    I know it has been popular in the UK, because I have run across so many rifles or carbines ( not many full stock ) which were stocked by Westley Richards and other gun makers.

  2. #2
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    No. The calibre is de facto illegal here in the UK and has been sence the idiots of the British Deer Society persuaded the British Parliament to prohibit rifle calibre with velocities under 2,450fps (or thereabouts) in parts of the UK for use on deer in the 1960s.

    So a lot of these rifles were then illegal to use on the hill in Scotland and were "dumped" through the various auction houses. This is a reason why many stalkers, or those with friends with long memories, will not give a penny to the British Deer Society.

    As it does not act (but then of course it has never ever claimed to) in the interests of stalkers.

  3. #3
    That explains why I keep seeing things for sale, like a pre-war 6.5x54 MS carbine for sale, modified by H&H to a takedown, in a fitted leather case, for less than a vintage 1903 MS here in the USA.

    Anyone who has ever shot a deer with a 6.5x54 MS knows how lethal it is.

    And how about a .444 Marlin with a 265-gr bullet at 2,400 fps? Is that too weak?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    No. The calibre is de facto illegal here in the UK and has been sence the idiots of the British Deer Society persuaded the British Parliament to prohibit rifle calibre with velocities under 2,450fps (or thereabouts) in parts of the UK for use on deer in the 1960s.

    So a lot of these rifles were then illegal to use on the hill in Scotland and were "dumped" through the various auction houses. This is a reason why many stalkers, or those with friends with long memories, will not give a

    penny to the British Deer Society.



    As it does not act (but then of course it has never ever claimed to) in the interests of stalkers.
    Think you will find minimum bullet weight, muzzle velocity, and energy was introduced in the 1980s not the 60s

  5. #5
    The good thing is that Kynochammo make a 140gn load that meets velocity requirements. And you can always hand load. I know a few who still use them.

  6. #6
    In France you see a lot of them rechambered for 6.5x55 as until last year the 6.5x54MS was prohibited as a military calibre. They may well have been made that way for the French market by Mannlicher Schoenauer in the first place though. And it can't be that much of a difference between those two cartridges.

  7. #7
    The 6.5x54 MS in a carbine length is an amazing woods rifle, especially when you are sitting in a small or makeshift treestand....

  8. #8
    Since when did England and Wales have the stupid velocity restriction???

    The 160 grain bullet makes over 1700 ft lbs energy so is legal in both England and Wales plus as mentioned lighter bullets like the 120 grain meet both energy and velocity restrictions in Scotland.

    Ahhh Southern I also had a 6.5x53R that of course used the same loads and produced the same velocity as the Schoenauuer providing barrel lengths were similar of course.
    Last edited by Brithunter; 05-06-2014 at 19:00.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    The 6.5x54 MS in a carbine length is an amazing woods rifle, especially when you are sitting in a small or makeshift treestand....
    like this one ?

    <-----------

  10. #10
    I should add that Kynoch used to load several bullet weights for the 6.5mm Mannlicher cartridges.

    120 Grain metal covered
    140 Grn Metal covered
    160 Grn metal covered

    I also believe that some companies also offered a 100 grain loading.

    W.D.M. Bell used a rifle chambered for the rimmed or flanged version (6.5x53R) for some of his earlier Ivory hunting and later he had a Mannlicher Schoenauer model 1903 in 6.5x54MS. He also hunted for a period with a pair of Lee Speed rifles in .303. He is most famous for his use of the 7 mm Mauser which I believe he brought back from South Africa after the 2nd Boer War.

    It seem Bell was not fond of recoil and ammunition weight was of critical importance when one is walking and carrying everything required.

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