6.5mm for plains game hunting?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Intu Safaris, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. Intu Safaris

    Intu Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    Having read a lot about the 6.5mm x 55 Swedish Mauser it is not very commonly used in Africa. Yet hunters in Scandinavia have used this caliber very effectively for decades on eveything up to the size of moose. The ballistics sound perfect for plains game. Bullet weight ranges from 110 gr up 150 or 160gr, sectional density (read penetration) is on par with a 30-06, its flat shooting and the beauty is that it has the recoil of a 25-06. Has anybody used this on African plains game?

    Intu Safaris
  2. billrquimby

    billrquimby AH Veteran

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    My 6.5 Remington Magnum is instant death on mule deer with 120-grain Nosler Partition bullets, and I plan to use it on elk with 140-grain bullets next year.

    I have had no experience with the slower 6.5x55, but it has a good reputation all over the world and should be just fine for all African plains game up to and including kudu -- except maybe hasty shots at wildebeest (the toughest antelope of all, IMHO).

    For some reason, too many Americans falsely believe they need a shoulder-thumping caliber when they head to Africa to shoot antelope no larger or tougher than our deer and elk. Proper bullet placement is all-important, and few can handle the recoil of calibers larger than the .338 Winchester Magnum.

    My personal limit for comfortable shooting is the .300 Winchester Magnum. Although it is not legal everywhere for the larger critters, it will put down anything in Africa except elephant and rhino with proper bullet placement.

    So take your 6.5x55, and enjoy.

    Bill Quimby
  3. milford

    milford AH Veteran

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    I have 3 6.5x55 including a carl gustov that can drive nails at 200 yards , with custom loads I believe that you kill anything up to elk size . Two elk in the past 3 years have fallen to that old gun . I just bought a Tika T3 in the same caliber just have not the time to set it up yet . :rolleyes:
  4. Intu Safaris

    Intu Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    It is on record that one of the old commercial elephant hunters in East Africa (can't remember the name) used a 6.5mm x 55 extensively and effectively on elephants for years. He used a .303 or something before and because of availabilty of ammunition at the time and the higher costs he switched over to the 6.5mm x 55. BUT he knew where to place the shot.
  5. umshiniwam

    umshiniwam New Member

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    The 6.5x55 Swede is fairly popular amongst local hunters in SA. I know of a couple of locals who use it.

    By all accounts it works very effectively and offers great penetration.
  6. DLS

    DLS AH Member

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    I shoot a .264 win mag quite a bit for my western states hunting, and it is outstanding in game up to the size of elk. I imagine it'd be a great plains game caliber in Africa for everything other than perhaps Eland, but keep in mind that it wouldn't be legal in all countries. Zimbabwe has a .275 minimum, so the ribgy or .270 is the minimum for many species.
  7. Pancho

    Pancho AH Member

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    I took my 264 last year. It worked just fine on everything I tried with it. I'm so confident in it that I wouldn't hesitate on an eland with it. Shot placement is everything and I have full faith and confidence in this calibre's terminal ballistics.
  8. chemarq

    chemarq AH Senior Member

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    Let me suggest something. There is an exclent european caliber 6,5x68 , ideal for small and medium plains game.
    Really fast, flat trajectory... and excelent option for long range shooting... and quite power for such a small bullet.

    I just point it because it is not well known outside european countries.
    Jose
  9. ECHIV

    ECHIV AH Member

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    WMD "Karamojo" Bell, Saying that he knew where to place a shot is an understatement. I know people who have shot Alska-Yukon Moose with a 6.5X55 Swede. They are quite large and take a lot of killing. .264 caliber is above the minimum required for Tanzania Plains game.
  10. duckman90

    duckman90 AH Senior Member

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    Im taking my 6.5x55 Swede to Namibia for a plains game hunt. Its a little small for Kudu and Oryx, but for Steenbuck, and Impala, and Dik Dik, they are supposed to be great. Thats what from what i have read.
  11. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Perhaps someone from Namibia can chime in here but my understanding is that 7mm (.284) is the minimum caliber for hunting big game in Namibia. They have further energy classes for various size classes of big game.

    Firearms

    Smallest calibre 7 mm.
    Minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity): 1350 Joule for springbuck, duiker etc.
    2700 Joule for hartebeest, wildebeest, kudu, gemsbuck, eland etc.
    5400 Joule for buffalo, elephant, rhino etc.

    No solid point cartridge is allowed to be used on antelope or any other species.
    Fully automatic weapons (e.g. AK 47 and other military hardware) are PROHIBITED.
    Other self-loading, considered semi-automatic weapons are NOT PROHIBITED, but you can expect questions at the Airport of importation.
    !! Handguns and automatic weapons are prohibited. !!

    If something has changed someone from Namibia can surely advise.
  12. duckman90

    duckman90 AH Senior Member

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    Yeh SkyLine I looked that up. I wasn't sure though if they went by the size requirement or the energy. :-( I am only going to use it for Springbuck, Duiker and Klipspringer. I am taking a .300 Remington Ultra magnum with 180 Gr. Scirocco for the Oryx and Kudu. Im afraid that would blow appart one of those little Springbuck. The remington ammo for my .300 RUM puts out 5722.8318 Joules. I think that would be over kill. I know that the 6.5x55 meets the energy requirements. Its 2738.716 Joule's should be more than sufficient. I hope that they will let me use it. Again any one who knows Namibia please let me know,.Im spending a small fortune upgrading my guns for this trip. Thanks for the quick response
  13. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    duckman90, Kelly is right, the smallest rifle caliber allowed to be brought into Namibia for plains game hunting is a 7 mm (.284) caliber or the equivalent of a .270 caliber. I would say that your 6.5 Swede (.260) caliber does not meet the minimum requirement imposed by Namibia. It is not wether it meets the minimum energy of 1350 Joule for medium to small game or if "they" will let you use it... It is just not legal to import in the first place.
  14. duckman90

    duckman90 AH Senior Member

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    Thanks Guys! Im glad this got squared away before I shipped it there. Gues that means Im taking my 30-06 as my back up gun.
  15. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    Duckman: That 30-06 can be your primary gun. That gun will take care of any of the animals you listed easily! I've collected all of them and more & used nothing but the 06!!
  16. JHC-II

    JHC-II New Member

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    I love my big rifles but have fallen in love with the 6.5x55 I have a Tika T3 Laminate I can load small 85 grain for wolf and go up to 160 grain for deer have not shot a moose with it but think if I do my part right the cartridge would do just fine, I find the older I get the more sensitive to recoil I become alas I got rid of the big thumpers and my largest being a 300H&H, it was very interesting to find out you cannot take a 6.5 to Namibia as I have pondered alot about taking the 6.5 on my next hunt to Afrika no worries the 7x57 is just as classy

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