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Thread: Different 6.5 question

  1. #1

    Different 6.5 question

    Not sure if this might belong in the ballistics but here you go.

    Q: Why is the 6.5x55 considered a slow ish round? Theres a fair bit of powder in there and the heads arent that heavy

    Is there scope to wind the velocity up a bit with reloads?

    Its a curiosity thing more than anything else.

    I bought one a while ago and though it was a pleasure to shoot, it turned out a lemon so went back to the dealer.

    Now thinking about getting rid of my .243 Sauer for a 6.5x55 again as a pure deer rifle as i have a .22-250 for foxes etc

    This isnt a 'is 6.5x55 better than .243/anything else' thread please

    Dan

  2. #2
    The 6.5x55 has traditionally been loaded with 140gr - 160gr bullets at lowish pressures for the old Mauser 96 action. Modern factory loads, particularly US loads are a bit anaemic.

    Now take that 6.5 and hand load it with 120gr Nosler BT's or Sierra Prohunters with a powder like Varget or H4350 and you should be able to reach 3000fps.

    Load a 100gr BT to 3100-3200fps for foxes.

    Velocity wise you are now in 270win territory, which is nobody's version of slow....

  3. #3

    Re: Different 6.5 question

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Newcombe
    Not sure if this might belong in the ballistics but here you go.

    Q: Why is the 6.5x55 considered a slow ish round? Theres a fair bit of powder in there and the heads arent that heavy

    Is there scope to wind the velocity up a bit with reloads?

    Its a curiosity thing more than anything else.

    I bought one a while ago and though it was a pleasure to shoot, it turned out a lemon so went back to the dealer.

    Now thinking about getting rid of my .243 Sauer for a 6.5x55 again as a pure deer rifle as i have a .22-250 for foxes etc

    This isnt a 'is 6.5x55 better than .243/anything else' thread please

    Dan
    Let's see if I can answer you questions:-

    Q: Why is the 6.5x55 considered a slow ish round? Theres a fair bit of powder in there and the heads arent that heavy
    You have to remember that the 6.5x55 was developed back in 1893/4 and there simply was not the modern slow burning powders we have today so pressures were kept lower. This was still the fairly early years of smokeless powder development. Also I have never tried firing a cartridge head, I shoot bullets , the head is where the primer seats and where the headstamp is found!

    Is there scope to wind the velocity up a bit with reloads?
    Yes in the right action/rifle. The old hoohla about weak brass is just that as all 6.5x55 cases are of the solid head type and no balloon headed cases were ever made for it to my knowledge.

    if your really worried that the 6.5x55 is slow then I suggest you look at the modern copy, namely yhe 260 remington, which of course operates at higher pressures to achieve it's "improvements" over the old Swedish cartridge.

    I hope that helps some

  4. #4
    Dan, just looked at the load data again. H4350 is actually too slow.

    Go and compare the 6.5x55 data with 260rem data. Then bear in mind the 6.5 has 2-3 grains more capacity than the 260.

    You won't get a 120gr over 2900FPS with the published data, but try 38-41grs of Benchmark in the 6.5 and that should get you near 3000fps.

    39.2grs of Benchmark in my 260 with either the sierra or the nosler gives over 2900fps, that is with a 22" LW barrel and a very snug chamber. 40grs of Benchmark is book max for the 260, but my rifle starts to show pressure signs over 39.5grs.

  5. #5
    Hmmmm I was using 45.5 grains of IMR4350 behind the Speer 120 grain bullet and it shot very well indeed and despite my not recalling the velocity from our chrongraph session soem years ago now the books claim it should be somewhere around 2800-2900fps. My Sporterised Swedish Mauser has a 22" barrel.

    I really must get a chronograph this year .

  6. #6
    So say with a modern rifle with a 22 inch barrel its easy enough and not dangerous to push a 120gn bullet up around 2900fps

    That sounds like a much more expected velocity and stands well against other rounds.

    Think il be getting rid of the .243 and looking for a tikka / sako 6.5x55

    Dan

  7. #7
    Dan my rifle is a Swedish M95 Mauser sporterised by some commercial outfit, I don't know who, but the inspectors initials on the action date it to between 1903-1905. The loads I have been using have proved safe and accuret in this old timer even though in the conversion they fitted a new surplus barrel and I have used normal commercial ammunition through it quite happily.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Newcombe
    So say with a modern rifle with a 22 inch barrel its easy enough and not dangerous to push a 120gn bullet up around 2900fps

    That sounds like a much more expected velocity and stands well against other rounds.

    Think il be getting rid of the .243 and looking for a tikka / sako 6.5x55

    Dan
    Dan in a modern rifle with good quality brass, this should be prefectly acheivable.

    I should have said, the velocities quoted above were over my own Chrono, ten feet from the muzzle.

    Edited to add:

    Hodgdon's Data has 6.5x55 max'd at 46K CUP's for all loads. If you look at comparable data for 243, 270 and 7/08, the same data has these rounds all at max pressure of 51K CUP. ie The 6.5 data is max at 10% less pressure than other modern rounds.

  9. #9
    I'll stick my oar in on this thread if you all don't mind.

    I've not owned a rifle chambered for the Swede as yet but have shot quite a few and have found one of it's best attributes to be the recoil, or rather lack of it compared to, say, my .308.

    As I'm looking for a single shot break action for woodland stalking in either 6.5x55 or 6.5x57, that is one of the things that is making me quite keen to have it in one of those calibres - plus the availablity of suitable rifles chambered in 6.5x57R from the continent.

    I've always thought that running the Swede or 6.5x57 with a 140gr bullet at velocities around the 2600/2700 mark would do everything I need, at an acceptable level of recoil, so I personally wouldn't feel the need to try and eke out every last fps as it would remove some of the attraction the round has for me. Of course YMMV.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Orion
    I've always thought that running the Swede or 6.5x57 with a 140gr bullet at velocities around the 2600/2700 mark would do everything I need, at an acceptable level of recoil, so I personally wouldn't feel the need to try and eke out every last fps as it would remove some of the attraction the round has for me. Of course YMMV.
    I agree with Orion. If you read some of the reloading manuals you will find that expanding ammunition has to be within prescribed speeds to perform as the manufacturers state it will. This never ending quest by some reloaders to push bullets faster and faster does not always bode well for the performance of the bullet on impact and it's travel through the animal.

    There is no need to push a 140gn .264 (6.5) bullet at extreme speeds, at 2800 fps zeroed at 1.5" high at 100yds, gives me zero at 200yds. I will admit it drops quickly afterwards. With the high ballistic coifficient of the bullet, it will push right through, munty, roe, fallow and red's leaving a very efficient wound channel.

    ft

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