Would you change a .243 for a 6.5x55?

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
I currently use a 243 - perhaps not the ideal calibre, but the left handed Heym SR20 I have fits well, shoots accurately and I have a lot of confidence in it.

I do have the space for a .30 caibre on my ticket and am thinking of getting something along the lines of 30-06 for African use / red stags etc.

But have just seen a nice left handed rifel in 6.5x55 that has got me thinking. Would you swap your current rifle that you really like for something quite similar - does the 6.5x55 do anything in the UK that you can't do with a .243, and is it really big enough to go up to plains game etc?
 

buckup

Well-Known Member
Hi Heym,
I was exactly your position about a year ago. Had a .243 Sauer L/Handed.
Wanted a bigger calibre for boar and posible future overseas trips, maybe Africa. As the Sauer cost a lot of hard earned, I wasn't willing to sell it at a huge loss. I decided if I was going for a bigger rifle I would get something rather larger than the 6.5 x 55.

I'm not knocking the calibre, (6.5 x 55) I wish I had brought one from the outset, but I didn't get the right advice. I'm told by one user that it has been perfectly adequate for boar and plains game

I went for the 7x64 not the 30.06 as I may at some time want to hunt in France.
If that is not an issue for you then I'd go with the 30,06.

I guess what I'm saying is, rather than a just adequate rifle I have gone down the route of two, one perfect for each job.

Enjoy the choosing process,
Mark
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
I am a large fan of the 30-06 but think that the 6.5x55 is a fine cartridge as well. (I have several) My brother in law was a guide at an exclusive elk hunting ranch in northern New Mexico and he used a custom 6.5x55 firing 160 grain bullets to put down elk that customers had wounded. More than once he was met with wide-eyed consternation when he showed the hapless hunter the round that dropped the bull as it ran away from them.

That being said, my favorite heavy game 30-06 load -a 220 grain RN- would have settled a wounded bulls hash just as easily.~Muir
 

ejg

Well-Known Member
Totally over rated caliber. Muzzle velocity with a shortish hunting barrel is very low. What good are high bc target bullets that start being good over 600yds for our kind of hunting.
How about something like a 7-08, not fancy but a good compromise and in a short action. Just compare the ballistics.

edi
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
I've owned both and can't see a lot of difference in a commercial action.
So why not put your faith in sectional density, not ballistic coefficient? Velocity doesn't kill game. (my four cents worth) ~Muir
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
ejg said:
Totally over rated caliber. Muzzle velocity with a shortish hunting barrel is very low. What good are high bc target bullets that start being good over 600yds for our kind of hunting.

edi
Edi,
I can't seem to follow what it is you are saying here, what is a shortish barrel, and who uses target bullets for hunting.

John
 

hunterscabin

Well-Known Member
Thar said:
ejg said:
Totally over rated caliber. Just compare the ballistics.
Agreed. :)
posibly but when you compare the entry and exit wounds on say a red deer shot @120yrds
with a 6.5x55 140grn bullet
and a 243 with a 100 grn bullet

the 6.5 has near no entry wound and a very small exit
however the 243 has a exit comparable to a large fist.

also the 6.5 has a very lage ammount of hitting power
personally i fire a 6.5x55with factory ammo and love it .
the 140 grn does everything from foxes to reds

just my thoughts

steve
 

ejg

Well-Known Member
Speed doesn't kill?? who said that?
energy goes up exponentially with increasing speed.
Speed is the key ingreedient of killing power.
A grain of dust takes out a sattelite, at very high speed.

Good penetration? take a bow and arrow, how does it kill?? damn slowly

What I don't like about the so called flat shooting swede is that with the quite suitable for bigger deer 140gr factory rounds only 2650 fps are achieved. 7-08 does over 2800 fps with a 145 gr. The swede has mostly slow burning powder and likes longer barrels. So subtract even more off the 2650 for your maybe 22" hunting barrel.
My friend used 156gr lapuas with his 22" ruger. Not only does this load drop like a stone but every deer just ran away. Looking at bullet channels, the bullet just didn't open right. Wrong bullet for the maybe 2400fps.

I'm not a fan of ultra high speed but the modern hunting rifle bullet on the market is designed to be used at certain speeds, not too fast and not too slow. With my 308 I'm swaying between 150gr and 165 gr at the moment.

If one goes out to buy a deer rifle.... why not buy something that is up to the job a bit better, we owe it to the deer. A bit of practice and the recoil becomes normal. My 308 is a **** to shoot with a moderator and without just grab it a bit harder.

I don't like the swede, but if I had one I'd try to get on with it.
edi
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
hunterscabin said:
the 6.5 has near no entry wound and a very small exit
however the 243 has a exit comparable to a large fist.
steve
More bull is talked about this calibre than any other, I am with Edi on this, it produce slightly more energy than a 243 and that is were it sits in the scheme of things, it certainly is not a cartridge that can be seen as a alternative to a 30-06.

Steve in a way you have made my point for me. :lol:

A modern rifle bullet kills in two ways, hydrolastic shock and direct tissue damaged to main body organs and archeries.

A key critical factor in achieving a large amount of hydrolastic shock is having the bullet travelling at high velocity (this is one reason that the 22-250 is such an effective round.) the old swede does not produce high velocity their for it produces little hydrolastic shock compared to a 25-06 say.

To cause mass tissue damage you need a wide wound channel, the better your bullet expands (with the provision it does not break up) the wider the wound channel and the more energy is expelled into the mass of the animal. A critical component in expansion is of cause velocity, the thing the old swede does not have.

As you have pointed out you get pencil thin holes though you’re animal with little of the projectiles energy being transferred into the tissue. Little meat damage means your bullet has not produced as much tissue damage, therefore it is less effective at humanely dispatching your animal. Personally I put a humane dispatch ahead of another 3lbs of venison on the hook every day, anyway the dogs have got to eat something so it is not wasted even if it is a bit blood shot.

People bang on about what good BC and sectional density 6.5 bullets have, well it only looks good when compared to a 30cal look at the figures of a 6.4mm bullet (25cal) or 6.8mm(270) then it is not so impressive.

I have news for you a, 308 with it’s big blunt bullet will punch straight though a big red stag so why do you need a bullet with better penetration?

The 6.5X55 is not flat shooting it drops 1/3 more than a 270win at 300yrds.

My friend has a lovely Mannlicher in 6.5X55 for 5 years in a row we when to a big estate in Sept/Oct on the red stags, and almost every year he had animals run or had to shoot them 2 or more times to put them down, he tried 129gn then 140gn bullets. He then came out with me and watch me drop a big rutting stag on the spot with a 270. The following year he turned up with a 270 Tikka. I have shot with him on the range and while lamping rabbits and foxes many times and we are either equally good or bad shots. ;) Go figure.

Here’s a thought for you, in the Second World War Japan entered it using a 6.5mm cartridge with very similar performance to the 6.5x55 Swede.
and a 7.7mm(30cal) with performance close to a 303 British, guess which cartridge they were getting rid off? :eek: yep the 6.5 was being replaced with the 7.7mm round, the 6.5 lacked "stopping power".


Don’t try and use 160gn bullets up here in Scotland in your swede they are not deer legal because you need to reach a velocity of 2450fps.

I am not against the 6.5mm calibre a friend of mine has 3 a 6.5s a 260 a 6.5-284 and is now having a 6.5X47 built. Nothing wrong with the calibre just remember the swede sits between a 243 and a 7-08 in power, that is all, nothing more, use it with that in mind and don’t try and kid anybody else or yourself with BS like it “punches above it weight”, “it kills better because it bullets are moving slowly” if that is the case I will leave the 223 behind when going foxing and just use the 22 RF as it bullets are doing a 3rd the speed it will kill far better. :rolleyes:

Now climbed down from my box. :rolleyes:

Tahr.
 

Jagare

Well-Known Member
The 6.5x55 is still very popular here in Sweden. A lot of moose are still killed with it every year. But remember that nearly all moose are shot at under 100mtrs. Its also very popular for use on the range. Its accurate, light recoil and above all cheap to shoot.
I would not have a .243 here my self as its a class 2 weapon and can only be used on roe and badger plus vermin.
Buy a .308 a much more versatile round.
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
Hi Jagare

I saw a post somewhere, last year I think that said in some Scandinavian countries there is talk of changing the legislation regarding the minimum calibre for Moose a min’ of 30-06 was being talked about.

Before the Deer act became Law in the UK the 22-250 was considered a good red hind round.

The Swede is light on recoil because it produces moderate muzzle energy, basic physics “for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Down load any calibre be it 260,7-08,308,270,280 or 30-06 using a 130gn bullet to 2650fps and all will have light recoil. There are no free lunches.

Best rgds

Tahr
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
Don’t try and use 160gn bullets up here in Scotland in your swede they are not deer legal because you need to reach a velocity of 2450fps.


You sure about that?

John
 

Baldrick

Well-Known Member
Heym SR20, I actually went the other way, starting out with a 6.5x55, chopping it in recently for a .243. I shoot fallow, muntjac and as many foxes as possible. I wanted a flat-shooting rifle, and the .243 has been a very welcome change, and certainly showing its capability with fallow. It won't often be used for reds, as I have a .30-06 for that work.

All I'm saying is that, having owned both the Swede and the .243, I found the 6.5x55 to be over-rated. I get on really well with my .243.

It's an unpopular suggestion now, but for a 'one rifle' policy, why not consider a well-moderated .270 Win? It's is a very capable round. Boar-legal and will ably cover you for any UK deer.
 

ejg

Well-Known Member
I think Tahr is right.
Lapua have only metric data with a 29" barrel, makes it look better.

so the 156 lapua mega does 2556 fps with a 29" barrel.
chop 7" off a slow powder caliber. We will loose more than 100fps I think.

edi
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
JAYB said:
Don’t try and use 160gn bullets up here in Scotland in your swede they are not deer legal because you need to reach a velocity of 2450fps.
John
As a second source, Hornady reloading manual Sixth Edition:- With there 29” barrelled Test rifle the maximum velocity achieved (high lighted in red so do not exceed these loads) with 160gn bullets was 2300fps with 5 different powders. :confused: They list no loadings that better this speed.

Best rgds

B-b
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
The Lee Reloading manual second edition for 160 grain bullets for 6.5 X 55 has eight loads from 2450 up to 2506 with eight different powders.

John
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
JAYB said:
The Lee Reloading manual second edition for 160 grain bullets for 6.5 X 55 has eight loads from 2450 up to 2506 with eight different powders.

John
What barrel lenght? Most Published reloading data is for at least a 24” barrel, yet most stalkers use a 22” barrel, so you would be under the legal limit using a rule of thumb of 50fps per inch of barrel. If Lee is using a 29” barrel like Hornady and Laupa then you best just turn yourself in now. :lol: :lol:

Seriously to be sure you are legal you would need to chrony your load before you took it to the hill, there again you would have to put up with near 2ft of drop at 300yrds even if it was just deer legal. :eek:

So we have gone from debating how good the 6.5X55 is compared to 308 and other commonly used deer rounds to debating whether it is deer legal by 50fps. :rolleyes:

Best rgds

Tahr
 

ejg

Well-Known Member
Why buy a swede if you can buy a 308 or 270 7-08 at the same price?
Just because of maybe a tiny bruise on the shoulder?
edi
 

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