Well I've mentioned on another thread about the fact that I have a 243 and a 308, the 243 is for small deer and fox and the 308 is for range shooting out to 1000 metres and big deer and pigs (if I get the chance). All that a side I love the 6.5x55. It was my first rifle and for a long time my only rifle. I will get another when I don't need the money for anything else!
6.5x55 are very sweet. I will get it in a Sako Finnlite next time around, I miss my 6.5
In fact here is a poem:-
My 6.5 you were so great, but I chopped you in for a 308,
O' 6.5 how I miss your slender shells, cos now you've gone, a tear it wells,
So 243 and 308 are now my rifles of choice, but for me 6.5 you were a Rolls Royce,
I miss the way you hit those deer, one sight of your barrell would fill them with fear,
One day I hope another to buy and to aim at a Roebuck for his final goodbye!
I have just got one and think its ace. The 6.5mm is also a great round. The sectional density of the 140 gr 6.5 or 7 mm at the relatively moderate velocities 2600 for the 6.5 or 2900 for the 7mm if using a soft pointed bullet would give excellant penetration and expansion making either calibre very hard hitting.
chasing mega high velocities in a stalking rifle is (in my opinion) not the way forward. Yes you get a flatter trajectory but in real terms when most shots are under 100 and very few are 200 yards it doesn't really matter. I also think that the damage to the carcass is made worse when you step over 3000 fps (again, a bit of steves homebaked physics)
All these calibres are roughly similar general purpose medium calibre rifles. None has any significant advantage over the other.
I would advise looking at a 7x64 as this is a good long range calibre, excellent on all species of deerand mild recoil compared to a 7mm Rem Mag. Its also legal if you decide to travel through Europe (France).
Lovely cartridge soon to be 100 years old.
I thought HIGHLANDER wanted to know what other people were useing not including .243.
I use .260 because it covers the three medium calibers .243/25.05 & 6.5x55
Granted it is a little used caliber but most people that have tried it are suprised at what it can do.
P.S i use a .308 if i feel the need.
There is a broad range of .30 caliber rifles. If yours is .30-06 or larger, I recommend 7mm-08. If yours is a .308 Win, then get the 6.5x55 for a totally different experience, from as mild as a .243 with more ooomph, to long range somewhere between .257 Roberts and a mild .270 Win.
But since I have been on an 8x57 and 8x60 kick for the last year, the .325 WSM is an appealing wildcard, if you ever think of going after really big game. A friend of mine has one and loves it..a perfect elk or big bear/ boar rifle, in a smaller package than a .338 Win Mag.
30 cal covers a multitude of sins (although I am very happy with .308).
If .308 win is what you have, why not try 25-06 - few people seem to use it but those that do rave about it, and it would be a true counterpart to what you already have.
What properties do you want from a second deer calibre that your 30 cal isn't giving you: knock-down power (I assume not from the possible calibres you've listed)? Range? Versatility? Value for money? Ballistic behaviour?
I would still say go for 25-06 just because it seems to be unusual!
I currently use 7 mm 08 for everything , I'm very happy with it in the past I've had 6.5 x 55 and was very happy with that too to be honest it's pretty much of a muchness you'd be well equipped with either
based on diameter and the range of quarry it will be ideal for, it has to be 6.5x55, anything else starts to be either too close to .30 or might as well be swapped for it. You only have to look at the potential for 6.5 to be tailored to shoot everything from muntjac to moose with good availability of bullet choice and rifles in the market. This also with the opportunity to buy good factory ammo anywhere with the like of PPU which is great being as cheap as homeloads!! I've got .223, 308 and a 375 h&h and the ONLY other calibre I would want for hunting is the 6.5 and it's legal for all deer and pigs in Europe too.
I see a lot of users of .25-06 here. If he is a reloader, how about some smaller, like a .250 Savage or .257 Roberts?
A .250 Savage in a Savage 99A 20-inch saddle gun is a great woods rifle. Or put it in a small action like the Montana, in a nicely stocked 6 lb Kimber.
The .257 Roberts can be put into a small short action carbine or a full sized rifle to match a larger one. Mine is a 24-inch barrel Rem 700 to match my .30-06 and .270s in same. I can load it to match the ballistics of a .30-06 with 180-gr or a .270. Slow powders like H4831 and H100V can approach .25-06 velocities with less powder and pressure, but a slower 2700 fps 115/117/120 gr bullet kills solidly with 40% less recoil than a .308.
It would be a totally different experience, hunting with a Savage 99, open sights, and maybe a tang peep, or a Kimber in .257R and small 4x or 6x scope.
If those are impractical from the standpoint of ammunition and rifle availability, there must surely be a lot of nice old Husqvarnas like the 640 in 6.5x55mm, with nice open sights and wood.