6.5x55 bullet choice.


Well-Known Member
Hi all,
a mate of mine is waiting to take delivery of his first centre fire rifle, Tika light stainless in 6.5x55. I don't have any knowledge of this calibre, other than it's a good all rounder. What are the common bullet weights available, from lightest to heaviest? He has ordered some 120grn to start with. Most of his shooting will be roe and fallow.


Well-Known Member
As I have already said I used 120/140/156 grain. But I too prefered out of the three the 140 grains.


Well-Known Member
My Finnlight groups 0.5"/100yds with the 120gr Norma ballistic tips.

I used these lately at the hinds, and although they were all efficiently killed, the behaviour of the bullet in the beasts, as observed in the larder, seemed rather unpredictable. The stalker was also unimpressed with the results with respect to the meat.

One might imagine that perhaps these bullets are too light in structure (not in weight) for hinds. However, in one case the bullet appeared to have passed through the heart without expanding very much at all, and the broke three ribs on the other side without obvious single exit wound. In another case, there were two fairly distinct exits holes.

The stalker himself clearly has a prejudice against ballistic tips (not unreasonably, from my observations on that expedition), but I must say that last year, when my pal and I were both using .308, my 150gr corelokts were behaving in a much more predicatable fashion in the beast than his 165gr Ballistic tips, though again, both worked.

I have been trying various 140-159gr loadings (factory, as I don't make my own) and will be using something other than 120gr on hinds in the future.

The 159gr Normas of various kinds do OK for accuracy, but the loopy tracetory is not appealing for the hill. The 140gr do rather better (though not as good as the 120gr, and hideously expensive). Federal 140gr seem OKish, and Remington 140gr rather poor. By the end of the Summer, I will have decided which to go with, perhaps.


Well-Known Member
Becareful using 159gn/160gn bullets in a 6.5X55 they struggle to make the minimum Velocity limit for Scotland of 2450fps. (I take it the Finlight has a 20” barrel) I would suspect these will not make that velocity.

If you are shooting in England you should have no problems.

Best rgds



New Member
Ballistic tips will cause the most meat damage most other bullets placed badly will do so to, head shot shots are great if you are a competant shot and close enough to your target, if you are shooting from a high seat try to compensate for the angle and aim a touch low, the 6.5x55 Swedish is a superb calibre, I have owned one for many years and is a most reliable bit of kit, I homeload Hornady 129 grain and 140 grain bullets, I found that a muzzle velocity of around 2600 fps make for a very accurate load, good luck.


Site Staff
I'm with bangabunny on this. I load Hornady 129 and 140 grain heads, the 6.5x55 is an excellent round. The long heads have excellent sectional density, which provide above average penetration. They punch way above their weight and do not need to be driven like an express train to be effective.

Hi all.

Its interesting reading the comments that have been posted and it's not until the latter posting that any one has asked where he is placing the shot. I would suggest that the bullet selection should be based on, where he will be placing the shot according to experience and situation and what weight of bullet groups well in the rifle.

I developed a load using 140 SST great load for heat shot on the red stags, due to the requirements of penetration of the bigger animal. But the same load smashed the hell out of the small Roe and wasted so much meat. I now shoot the Roe with 100 soft point, this causes little if any meat damage and groups very well, if the situation is right head shot can be taken with confidence of hitting the point of aim.

Fallow 6.5


Well-Known Member
don't head shoot

Don't do it.

either heart or neck, if you are cofindent with your rifle and in reasonable range go for a neck shot.

I agree with the other comments sbout 6.5, great sectional density and a proven performer.

I use soft point bullets in my rifles. If i was going down the 6.5 route i would use 140 gr soft points for everything. I don't use different bullets for different species. In my experince light bullet does not equal less damage, infact often the reverse is true

We are talking about stalking deer not sniping them so most of the shots are less than 80 yard. If you can judge distance and you know your rifles zero at 100 yards you can hit the point of aim. I have taken out to many stalkers to agree to them taking a neck shot unless they are taking it from behind the animal, they only have to aim for the middle of the neck from the head down. This presents a very forgiving shot in the vertical direction. So I guess this could be classed as a head or neck shot depending on how far down the neck you go. Some of the deer I have witnessed shot in the neck from the side, the shot has been placed bag in the middle of the neck and passes straight through missing the spine.

This is just my experience and I guess its horses for courses!!

Little Terry

Well-Known Member
I have used a 6.5x55 Blaser R93 for the last 5 years on everything from moose, wild boar and beaver in Sweden to Muntjac, Fallow and Roe in the UK. Never had any trouble with this calibre and use 156grn Norma Oryx for everything. No excessive meat damage and no wounded animals due to the bullet (only ever crap shooting). Fully recommended.

The Lucky Hunter