6.5 x 55 advice.

H

Hillbilly

Guest
#1
At the risk of starting a calibre war for the thousandth time I would like some advice on the aforementioned calibre. Before anyone comments that I am wasting my time and should buy a 270 or a Howitzer to knock over deer, save yourself the bother, I'm asking for advice on the specific calibre not what each person considers best. Until now I am a 243 convert and have knocked down every species in the UK apart from Sika but just fancy a change.

Can any 6.5 x 55 users quantify why it is such a useful calibre for deer (I don't shoot Moose) and what I should be aware of in terms of limitations if any. I have read all the usual comments like low energy/velocity but as I am only shooting UK deer, predominantly Roe and Fallow I am leaning towards this underated calibre. Please could I have some constructive comments.

Paul.
 

smullery

Well-Known Member
#2
Paul,

Basically it allows you to shoot heavier bullets with mild recoil.

My experience is that a 156gr 6.5 x 55 does less meat damage than an 80gr .243.

Stan
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
#3
Hillbily

As one of the 6.5 biggest critics I will post. I would say that its not underrated, but exactly the opposite, but leaving that aside and moving on constructively. I will say that it is a bit more powerful than a 243 and fine for fallow and roe, its case capacity seems better suited to bullets in the 120gn to 130gn range IMHO. Accept it for what it is a mild shooting adequate deer cartridge, and there is nothing wrong with a cartridge being just that, and enjoy.

Best rgds

Tahr

(PS. like that Jingzy)
 

Ballibeg

Well-Known Member
#4
Chose the 6.5x55 because...

1) I've shot an estate rifle 6.5x55 on roe, rutting reds and Sika stags. All with no problems.

2) When I decided on my own FAC I did the calibre debate and soon realised every calibre has its ='s and -'s. I called the chap who's doing my DSC1 and he uses the swede for all his stalking.

So I stuck with what I know. And I know I can shoot it accurately with good shot placement and it culls all UK deer species effectively.

Dave
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
#5
I use either .308" or 6.5x55mm for hind-stalking.

My 6.5mm rifle is a lightweight, and I chose that calibre because I thought it would combine the ability to kill deer with modest recoil in the light rifle, which it does.

Using bullets of 120-140gr it seems possible to get a point-blank range of about 200yds with holdovers of 4-5" and 10" or so for 250yds and 300yds respectively, which is not, as far as I can tell, much different from any other of the convenional small-bore deer cartridges used in this country. It has perhaps less energy both at the muzzle and down-range than some of the bigger-cased rounds, but that's hardly surprising. The deer have not in my experience been bothered by this.
 

scotspine

Well-Known Member
#6
hillbilly

The 6.5x55 is the only calibre I have ever used so my comments may well be ignored however here's what I have to say anyway:-

Accuracy potential is first class plus it is soft on the shoulder and lets you see the strike.

Despite the relative low velocity/power I have cleanly killed Roe/Red and Sika at all the usual ranges using bullet weights from 100 to 140grains.

Bullets usually exit giving a good blood trail should you be stalking in cover.

Carcass damage is generally negligible

The rifle is a dream to shoot with a moderator.

A 200yard zero works; 2.5 inch high at 100-125yards and say 9inch drop at 300.

Reloading is easy plus relatively cheap as powder usage lowish and case life longish.

There you go...nothing to write home about, but the moral of the story is that this calibre works a treat and if it's the one you want then you will be well pleased with your choice.

regards
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
#8
To me, it suggests at once that 6.5mm rifle-users are a discerning breed, and that they realise the importance of shooting deer in the correct place. I think the necessity for this is even mentioned in 'Jagdwaffenkunde' von Eduard Kettner, even though Messers Biertuempel u. Koehler ignore 6.5x55mm.

Declaration of interest: I use a 6.5x55mm rifle and a .308", and have noticed that a badly-placed bullet from either doesn't work very well.
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
#9
Dalua said:
I think the necessity for this is even mentioned in 'Jagdwaffenkunde' von Eduard Kettner, even though Messers Biertuempel u. Koehler ignore 6.5x55mm.

.
Quotes in German about hunting to Edi :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Dalua you really haven't a clue who you are "talking" to. ;)

Best rgds

Tahr
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
#10
Dalua said:
...Declaration of interest: I use a 6.5x55mm rifle and a .308", and have noticed that a badly-placed bullet from either doesn't work very well.
Finally! Thankyou! You are 100% correct. NOTHING kills well with bad shot placement. My personal feelings are that if you need a rifle in which "power" makes up for a mis placed shot you should practice more or stay out of the field. ~Muir.
 
H

Hillbilly

Guest
#11
Gents

Thank you. 8 replies and thus far not too much sniping although I sense it's going that way. I have been reading about sectional density and it would appear that the 6.5 has very nearly the highest if not the highest of all, how important is this to our needs.

regards.
 
H

Hillbilly

Guest
#12
Gents

Thank you. 8 replies and thus far not too much sniping although I sense it's going that way. I have been reading about sectional density and it would appear that the 6.5 has very nearly the highest if not the highest of all, how important is this to our needs.

regards.
 

IanF

Well-Known Member
#13
OK - I can't resist.

I have fired the swede and found it to be very soft and forgiving.

Stalked on Sika in Wicklow eight years back, and noted that the outfitter complained of more runners with that calibre than any other. An issue of the superior penetration combined with lack of expansion.

My feeling is that with modern bullet technology, the low velocity is not an issue in getting a bullet to 'set up' and deliver its terminal energy to the beast, as opposed to the backstop!

Certainly, I download a .270win to similar velocities,to a 6.5, push a heavy bullet through a moderator and find that it does a fine job on our hefty Dorset japs.

Rgds Ian :)
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
#14
Hillbilly said:
Gents
I have been reading about sectional density and it would appear that the 6.5 has very nearly the highest if not the highest of all, how important is this to our needs.

regards.
Hilabily

High Sectional density is not always a good property to have; I will explain, the SD figure is calculated ratio of bullet diameter and bullet weight. The heavier the bullet for a given bore diameter the better the SD. Therefore a 100gn 243 bullet will have a better SD than a 100gn 6.5mm bullet. A 140gn 270 bullet and a 130gn 6.5mm bullet have about the same SD. The higher the S.D. all other things being equal the better a bullet will penetrate.

A high sectional density comes at the expense of bullet frontal area, assuming both bullets have the same weight.

When shooting a deer in an ideal world you want your bullet to pass right though your deer then just drop out the other side with all of its energy transferred into the animal, in doing so you want as wide a wound channel as possible to cause as much damage to the internal organs bring death quickly.

308 bullets have about the worse sectional density of the common stalking calibres but it still has more than enough penetration to go right though any UK deer and because of its bullet much larger frontal area it creates a much wider wound channel than smaller diameter calibres.

For UK deer I would not give a high sectional density too much consideration as even the worse calibre in this department is more than good enough for us, It is more a consideration if you are shooting large plains game/Elk dangerous game ect.

Best rgds

Tahr
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
#15
Sectional Density is the correlation of frontal area of the bullet and its weight. Short fat bullets (100gn, 308) have a low SD. Long thin bullets (156gn 6.5mm, 176gn 7mm) have a high SD.

Bullets with a high SD, all things being equal have much better penetration. Important for two things.

1) Penetration through the air - High SD bullets do not slow down as quickly as low SD bullets thus will have a flatter trajectory and more retained energy on target. Take two 130 gn bullets, one a 308 and one say 6.5 - launch them at the same muzzle velocity - at 100 yds and 200yds the 6.5 will be going faster than the 308.

2) When the bullet hits the target the High SD will penetrate much better than low SD bullet and the old 176 gn 7mm bullet in solid form would had legendary penetration.

Clearly what will also affect terminal pentration is the expansion of the bullet which is a function of the type of bullet and speed at which it hits.

In terms of the science, air friction slows down the bullet and friction is a function of surface area and the square of velocity. Two bullets of the same weight at the the same velocity will start of with the same energy, but the fatter bullet will be subject to more friction ad thus slow down more quickly.

Rounds such s the 6.5 x55, 7x57 and 30-06 shooting 180 to 200 gn bullets win because, whilst not having particularly high muzzle velocities with a high SD bullets tend to be reasonably flat shooting and then have good pentration on target.
 

Claret_Dabbler

Well-Known Member
#16
There is some serious navel gazing going on round this subject.

If a given quality bullet (let's say a nosler Partition) starts out of the barrel as 6.5 or 6.8 or 7 or 7.62 mm, with a weight of 130 - 160grs, but on impact opens to a frontal diameter of 12-15mm, and pushs right rough a deer's chest at a velocity anywhere between 2400 - 2850 FPS, it is going to kill that deer is short order.

I don't see how small variations in starting diameter, starting velocity, or the cartridge which held said projectile can cause such debate. We are talking small incremental changes, which would be very hard to measure with any sort of rigour.

Now I can accept that you might be able to see a marked increase in killing power if you stepped up from a round firing a 85gr 6mm bullet to a 300mag firing a 180gr at 3K FPS, but guys, in the middle ground where most of use find ourselves rifle wise....
 

Claret_Dabbler

Well-Known Member
#17
Heym SR20 said:
1) Penetration through the air - High SD bullets do not slow down as quickly as low SD bullets thus will have a flatter trajectory and more retained energy on target. Take two 130 gn bullets, one a 308 and one say 6.5 - launch them at the same muzzle velocity - at 100 yds and 200yds the 6.5 will be going faster than the 308.
Heym, SD has little or no bearing on how a bullet behaves in flight.

What does effect this is BC - Ballistic coefficient.

Quite often bellets with a high SD also have a high BC, but not always.

The old 156 & 160gr 6.5mm's have a great SD, but the BC is crap. Damn few of those being fired out of 6.5x284's.

Take a look at the BC on a 6.5mm 140gr VLD or A-max and compare it to the old rounds.
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
#18
Claret_Dabbler said:
Heym, SD has little or no bearing on how a bullet behaves in flight.

What does effect this is BC - Ballistic coefficient.

Quite often bellets with a high SD also have a high BC, but not always.
Very true Claret.

One other point to bearing mind when thinking about Ballistic coefficients of bullets, the BC changes with velocity; it is not a fixed value. The higher the velocity of the bullet the better the BC of that said bullet, as the bullet slows the BC decreases. Most bullet manufactories publish data for BCs working on a standard assumed muzzle velocity of 3000fps. If you compare one calibre, which fires it’s a bullet with manufactures data of 0.495 Bc at 2700fps and another that fires its bullet with a manufactures data 0.450 Bc at 3200fps, in real bullet flight the second calibre will have a higher BC than the first until its velocity has dropped.

At the ranges we stalk and shoot deer the above is largely theatrical, velocity has a bigger impact on the bullets trajectory at normal stalking ranges than ballistic coefficient. But now at least you know the theory.

Best rgds

Tahr
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
#19
Dalua you really haven't a clue who you are "talking" to. ;)

Best rgds

Tahr[/quote]

Of course I haven't, what with there being some degree of anonymity on the Forum. If you feel I ought to have one, please riddle away!

I just thought I'd mention that particular text because 'Edi' had quoted it (indeed, he posted a whole page of it) when on a previous occasion he authoritatively demonstrated that the 6.5x55mm cartridge was not really terribly useful.

My view is that it probably better demonstrated only (and unsurprisingly) that those who dwell between Maas, Memel, Etsch and Belt don't do things quite the same as we; except, of course, when it comes to acknowledging the importance of good bullet placement when trying to kill things with a rifle.

Best rgds to you, too ;)


Dalua
 

ejg

Well-Known Member
#20
Dalua, Tahr was I think just refering to me being born in Germany and lived there on and off.
Maybe that is a reason why I sometimes don't get the point across properly.
What bugs me a bit is all this talk about shot placement when it comes to caliber selection, it has nothing to do with it.
Lets say shot placement is equal whatever rifle the stalker chooses. Then it is down to the killing power of the bullet, its speed, construction, diameter and weight.
If one asks a seasoned stalker to evaluate years of stalking, i am sure he will come up with several occasions of not so good shot placements. One might even find a few occasions of heaven forbid shots at running game. Maybe because they were injured.
In all these situations one would be better off bowling the deer over instead of piercing a little hole through it.

edi
 

Top