Slight aside to the 6.5 308 debate

#1
I shoot Lowland reds with a 6.5 55 using federal 140 power shoks. As stated in the previous post, a shot in the right place will allways do the job. However I do find I get a small exit wound leaving a poor blood trail if required. I wonder if this is due to the bullet not expanding adequately due to a reduced velocity or whether these bullets are particularly hard.. My rifle has a 20" barrel and I wondered if anybody knows how much this will reduce the velocity of a factory load when compared to the quoted figures ?
 

Laurie

Well-Known Member
#5
It's not just a 20-inch barrel issue with factory 6.5X55 ammo. Lapua 139gn Match should produce 800 m/s (2,625 fps) and the old (now discontinued) Hornady 140gn Spire Point Interlock 2,525 fps in nominally 24-inch barrels. Actual for 20 rounds of each in a custom Savage with a 30-inch Bartlein heavy match barrel was Lapua 2,596 fps, ES: 35, SD: 13.5 and average of four 100 yard 5-shot groups shot off the bench was 0.59". The Hornady ammo produced 2,487 fps average (1,922 ft/lb ME), ES: 126, SD: 38.4 average of four groups 1.1" and lots of signs of a severely underloaded round.

It's unlikely the Hornady stuff would reliably achieve 1,700 ft/lb in a 20-inch barrel at that performance level. It's now been superceded by the SuperPerformance brand I should add.

By comparison, my match handloads for this rifle and barrel see the 140gn Berger LRBT run at 2,912 fps with an ES in the low teens, 100 yard groups averaging a third of an inch or better.
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
#6
After noting dismal velocities with RWS 140gr factory loads from my 21" barrel, it was drawn to my attention that RWS's test barrel for these was a whopping 29" - and this for sporting, not target, rounds.

In comparison, the 126gr load was tested in a relatively normal 24" tube, and the 6.5x54M-S using a very ungenerous (but realistic for Stutzen-type rifles) 17.25".
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
#7
The original M1896 Swedish Army Mausers wore a 29-inch barrel.
The Calvary Carbines wore a very short barrel, like the Mannlicher M1903 ( varied 17.25 to 20 inches over the years).

The Norwegian Krag 6.5x55mm rifles ( lower pressure, ancestor of the cartridge for Sweden by Mauser) were short barrel carbines, and after 1896, these were replaced with very short M1896 Carbines.
 
#8
Thanks for input , I am aware that the 6.5 is generally considered under loaded and in addition to that the short barrel reduces the velocity further. If the bullet is travelling at sub 2500 will this effect bullet expansion in a typical, normal chest shot red? Or is the difference negligible ?
 

Cadex

Well-Known Member
#9
I suppose the reputation the Swede has as a mild recoiling cartridge probably originates from the mildly loaded factory ammunition.

I've seriously toyed on two separate occasions about buying one as the cartridge certainly appeals to me, however I think one needs to choose his tool based not only on his quarry but their habitat as well.

I have some enormous clear fells and just felt the 6.5x55 didn't have the legs for those longer shots on larger animals.. . . It's still a chambering I would like to tinker with in the future though.
 

sikadog

Well-Known Member
#10
I love 6.5x55 but I had the same problem as Cadex, Huge clearfells and huge Galloway Red stags at the other side so my answer was 6.5-284 with a 26" barrel and a muzzle brake.
Problem sorted
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
#11
I have some enormous clear fells and just felt the 6.5x55 didn't have the legs for those longer shots on larger animals.. . . It's still a chambering I would like to tinker with in the future though.
Get the 6.5x55 and for those clear fells, enjoy getting closer....and use a .270 with 150-gr or a .30-06 with 165s on the big game.
 

sikadog

Well-Known Member
#12
Southern
The problem we have with the clearfells here is they are like a desert they now clear all the brash off and it goes for making electricity.
So very difficult to get closer.
 

Cadex

Well-Known Member
#13
Get the 6.5x55 and for those clear fells, enjoy getting closer....and use a .270 with 150-gr or a .30-06 with 165s on the big game.

This is the trouble, sometimes it just isn't possible.
Anyway I bought a 25-06 for those clear fell areas and the longer I had it the more I disliked it so maybe I should have just bought the Swede after all :)
 
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bullet chucker

Well-Known Member
#14
This is the trouble, sometimes it just isn't possible.
Anyway I bought a 25-06 for those clear fell areas and the longer I had it the more I disliked it so maybe I should have just bought the Swede after all :)
Hi I do not want to blow your thread, but my friend uses a 25.06 and swears by it's vellocity, accuracy on long distances ect, He does load his own ammo. WHAT? is your dislike to your gun is it the gun its self or the callibre? I jus gots ta know !
I use a swede by the way.

BC.
 

Cadex

Well-Known Member
#15
Hi I do not want to blow your thread, but my friend uses a 25.06 and swears by it's vellocity, accuracy on long distances ect, He does load his own ammo. WHAT? is your dislike to your gun is it the gun its self or the callibre? I jus gots ta know !
I use a swede by the way.

BC.
Hi BC,
The issue wasn't with the rifle, it was a T3 Hunter and actually shot really quite well.
Neither was it with the actual cartridge, it did what it was designed to do.

The issue I had with the 25-06 was one of finding a suitable bullet, I found the lighter offerings caused unacceptable amounts of damage to roe deer, but upping the weight I was regularly getting 'runners'.
In fact I had more runners with the 25-06 than all my other chambering I've had put together.

I felt there was no happy medium. Had I been reloading at the time I'm sure I could have found a bullet combination more suitable for my needs, but unfortunately I was relying on what the local shops had to offer, which wasn't very much.

I suppose to that end its unfair to say I don't like the 25-06 per`se, it's maybe more of a case of the cartridge not being suitable for the application that I was using it for.

Had I been home loading at that time I may well have gotten on better with it.

I'm now shooting all my roe with a .222 and using a .308 for the larger species.
And for the first time ever I'm actually completely happy with both setups.
 
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Southern

Well-Known Member
#16
Southern
The problem we have with the clearfells here is they are like a desert they now clear all the brash off and it goes for making electricity.
So very difficult to get closer.
If you are hunting the prairies of the American West for pronghorn, the deserts of West Texas for Auodad, the bare rock of mountains for sheep or goats, you have zero cover, but people do it, and with a bow and arrow. I have friends who send me photos of crawling on low grass and snow of Scotland to get from 500 yards to 200 yards before shooting. That it the fun.
 

stephentri

Well-Known Member
#17
Hi on the box they quote 2600fps I also have a 20inch barrel out of mine they do 2380fps. That's why I homeload for mine .
Scotland

For roe deer, where the bullet must weigh at least 50 grains AND have a minimum muzzle velocity of 2,450 feet per second AND a minimum muzzle energy of 1,000 foot pounds may be used.

For all deer of any species – the bullet must weigh at least 100 grains AND have a minimum muzzle velocity of 2,450 feet per second AND a minimum muzzle energy of 1,750 foot pounds.

It must be stressed that all these figures are the minimum legal requirement.
Scotland

For roe deer, where the bullet must weigh at least 50 grains AND have a minimum muzzle velocity of 2,450 feet per second AND a minimum muzzle energy of 1,000 foot pounds may be used.

For all deer of any species – the bullet must weigh at least 100 grains AND have a minimum muzzle velocity of 2,450 feet per second AND a minimum muzzle energy of 1,750 foot pounds.

It must be stressed that all these figures are the minimum legal requirement.
 

The deer man

Well-Known Member
#18
I shoot Lowland reds with a 6.5 55 using federal 140 power shoks. As stated in the previous post, a shot in the right place will allways do the job. However I do find I get a small exit wound leaving a poor blood trail if required. I wonder if this is due to the bullet not expanding adequately due to a reduced velocity or whether these bullets are particularly hard.. My rifle has a 20" barrel and I wondered if anybody knows how much this will reduce the velocity of a factory load when compared to the quoted figures ?
Well you have the answer 2,380 ft/sec out of a 20" barrel which does appear very low hence why many with 6.5's hand load to get the best performance. What I find ridiculous is why some manufacturers (Sako, Tikka) sell this calibre in 20" barrels when they know it will seriously reduce the rifles capability with factory ammo. This does not mean a 20" barrel is no good just limiting under certain conditions explained.

From my 22" barrel using 140gr bullets I achieve 2,650 ft/sec to 2,700 ft/sec dependent on weather/atmospheric conditions(!). It works well and my guess is if it were a 24" barrel I would get even more out of it. As has been said already the 6.5x55 was intended to have a long barrel to burn the slow burning powder optimum for the case design. If I were considering another 6.5 I would not go lower than 22".

To answer your question I don't believe the Power Shok are a hard premium bullet so suspect it is more due to the reduced velocity/energy at longer ranges. Try reloading with slightly lighter bullets - it's very therapeutic!
 

bullet chucker

Well-Known Member
#19
Hi Cadex,
Thank you for that,
Yes, the issue is with the reloading from the evidence my pal has shown. He does have to shop around for his choice of bullet heads, even in this neck of the woods.
 

Mungo

Well-Known Member
#20
If you are hunting the prairies of the American West for pronghorn, the deserts of West Texas for Auodad, the bare rock of mountains for sheep or goats, you have zero cover, but people do it, and with a bow and arrow. I have friends who send me photos of crawling on low grass and snow of Scotland to get from 500 yards to 200 yards before shooting. That it the fun.
Hi Southern - there are several problems here.

The first is that people like Cadex aren't doing it for fun - they're usually doing it more or less professionally, so generally don't have the time to spare taking half a morning to inch closer (even if they would like to).

The other problem is that clear fell is probably the single most horrific environment to stalk through on the planet. You usually have little or no cover, but it's littered with a billion twigs, small branches, stumps and random woody rubbish - so unless you move with more than glacial slowness, you make a huge racket. It really is horrible, and the only sensible approach is sit-and-wait from vantage points/high seats/towers.

And then there's extraction...
 

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