Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Quaticman, Feb 21, 2018.
See above pic of young guest with BWB taken with 6.5 x 55.
Just one of many (I would say 30 plus) animals cleanly taken with this rifle/calibre combo.
Note: I am not saying that this weapon compares with something like a 9.3 x 62 or .338WM ; however in my experience it is every bit the equal of a .308, which is a very popular calibre for general bush/plains game applications over here.
Note also that my experience is based on a strong rifle which is able to safely digest a fairly hot load. Experiences with an old or weaker action rifle may be different as V0's are typically quite a bit less with identical bullets.
6.5 X 55 has been killing animals for longer than any of us have been alive. The animals aren't tougher, the bullet aren't softer,,,,,, Use it , love it
Totally agree greyfox. The 6.5x55 and 7x57 are outstanding calibers and are at their best with heavy for caliber, well constructed bullets. I don’t understand the desire for bigger and faster. All it does is produce recoil and damage meat.
The photo is my wife and I with a BWB she made a one shot kill on. Quartering frontal, 175 gr Swift A-Frame through the shoulder. The bullet exited. This cartridge and it’s close relative the 6.5x55 are more than adequate.
I must wanted to say the Natthan Foster knowledgebase link is the best bullet data source I've ever come across. After reading his comments about the 6,5 140 Partition I tried it in a CM with just excellent results.
Great data on many more calibers as well.
Oh, yes we do
I hunt with 6,5x55, 8x57is, 9,3x62 atm and I'm building a 404 Jeff.
Bring enuff gun they say, shoot placement is what it all comes down to... there simley is no moose that will survive a hit in the lungs, even if the moose runs 200 meter it's dead anyway... he just don't know it yet.
Swedish military actions are strong enough, to handle EVERY load, american firearms industry offers on the market.
They have no problems even with european CIP ammunition, witch is generally loaded to higher pressures than the americans.
Whenever there is a problem, it is not an old swedish 6,5 action, but a weak loaded american ammunition.
Back in the day the 6,5x55 was a marginal but good moose round with only conventional bullets available. Nowadays with a wide range of excellent premium bullets on offer for the reloader and, with premium factory ammunition available from top manufactures the 6,5x55 really shines and is perfect for much of the moose hunting here in Scandinavia and also good for small to medium sized plains game.
Being shooting range responsible for a couple of years I saw too many examples of young (also the occasional seasoned) hunters coming to the range with rifles they were not at all comfortable with. Typically 7mm or 300 mags or larger in light sporter rifles. Even the good old 30-06 can be nasty in a superlight configuration. Developing a flinches, jerking off shots, bleeding from "Weatherby jars" you name it. Those rifles where not their hunters best friend as they should. Many of them would be better off with a 6,5 of course. When the time comes to fire at game you go up on those sticks and shoot with great confidence and squeeze off that perfect first shot not focusing on and thinking "damn,,,this s gonna hurt".
6,5x55 is by some referred to as the "270" of Scandinavia, and I think that sums it up pretty good. An absolute joy to shoot and it delivers in the other end.
I agree 100%.
This little calibre never ceases to impress and frankly even amaze me.
As mentioned above, I have used it with great success on animals as big and tough as plains Zebra and Blue Wildebeest.It also does a good job on giraffe provided you place the shot correctly.
Recoil is significantly less than that of a 30-06 but terminal effect is very much in the same league with good quality bullets.
I have also never experienced any "blow ups" with this round , even when used close range.
The only criticism I have of it is that it lacks punch - i.e. it tends not to knock animals down. But then the same applies to all smallish calibres.
Just got back from SA a few weeks ago on a plains game safari. Took my 6.5x55 (actually my son's rifle, a CZ 550 FS) with 140 grain AFrame handloads. Took klippy, impala, and bushbuck. Didn't find a single bullet - all clean pass-thrus. On the bushbuck (severely quartering away) and the impala (frontal, but quartering) that 140 grain pill went through about 18" of animal and exited. All this at about 2660 fps over the chrony - this CZ didn't seem to like those AFrames pushed hard but did seem to like them loaded long. Pictures of the animals are on a different thread if interested.
There was a little more damage to the klippy than I expected on exit - he was about 80 yards broadside. Shoulder mount so no harm, really. I wouldn't use 6.5x55 on kudu, blue wildebeest, zebra, nyala, hartebeest, or eland if I had a larger choice, but YMMV. It's a perfect choice for impala, bushbuck, reedbuck, and blesbuck IMHO.
Load was 44.5g of IMR 4831 with a CBTO of 2.5350 with my Hornady ogive tool. Very mild load.
The damage to the klippie would have been the result of the relatively high velocity of your loads.
I typically load my 6.5 to 2400fps using a 140gr bullet for bush use. Penetration is excellent and meat damage is minimal. Most shots have been under 100m but some have been out to about 200. As far as I can recall all have been one shot kills. Terminal effect is basically the same as a .308 except that I have generally seen less bruising and meat damage with the 6.5.
I am told that 156 gr bullets are even better for bush applications and I may try that; however I will first need to whittle down my stock of 140s. Also as the 6.5 isn't my "go to" bush rifle I may not get there.
It is definitely more than enough rifle for any kudu, hartebeest, etc at bush ranges.
As the calibre is really in the same class as a .308 I would not recommend it on eland, especially not a bull. I am sure that a correctly placed shot will do the job, however recommended calibres for that application are .338 - .416.
Daga Boy, I second your thoughts on what animals a 6.5 x 55 can be used on. I purposefully intended to use it in the smaller PG species like impala, Blesbok, Warthog etc. but was more than willing to take the perfect broadside shot on a Kudu at around 100 yds. or so. My load pushes 140 Gr. NPs at 2775 FPS. With that being said, I used a factory loaded 156 Gr. Norma Oryx on a nice Whitetail last year. All of my shots with the 6.5s have been pass throughs. If I'm not hunting a Bull Eland or DG I will most likely be "toting" a 6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser.
I think (this has been covered, just wish to reiterate) that legislation is a major contributor to the stigma attached to the various 6.5's. As a general rule, RSA legislation doesn't allow anything under a .277 to be used on game larger than springbok in areas that aren't high-fenced. Namibia have the 7mm cap.
If it can be hunted with a 270, it can be hunted with a 6.5 (my humble opinion).
I do, however, question whether the 6.5/.270 options are reliable options for the larger plains game species. Does a well constructed 140gr 6.5 projectile (assuming that's what you use) have enough behind it to break the top of that humerus and continue to punch through vitals? Or, in the event of a quartering shot, do those projectiles have enough momentum to get where they need to on an animal like zebra? There are people better equipped to answer these questions (please do, I would like to know) than myself.
Perhaps it's just a case of using a cartridge for what it's made for. If your going to be shooting elk-sized game more regularly (zebra, kudu, gemsbok, blue wildebeest) then I would suggest something with a bit more diameter would be a better option. But if your shooting impala, blesbok and so on and want a small, lightweight FA that you can use for larger game on occasion, then I think any of the larger capacity 6.5's are an awesome win.
Double lung shots work pretty good. Moose are regular fodder for the 6.5 x 55 in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. Like you, I wouldn't recommend it for what I thought was a questionable angle. But broadside, no problem.
Penetration of a 140grn 6.5mm bullet is very much in the same class as that of a 180grn .308 bullet at roughly similar velocities.
The .308 has more "knock down" effect but actual killing power of 6.5x55 seems to me to be the same as that of .308Win.
As previously mentioned I have shot numerous species including BWB , waterbuck and plains Zebra with it - all very successfully (1 shot kills)
I also know of several giraffe which have been taken with this calibre.
It is not one of my "go to" or highly recommended calibres for all round use - but that is simply because I generally prefer to carry something with more punch, especially in circumstances where I might stumble onto a buffalo or something with sharp teeth and claws. It is also not a good choice as a back up weapon as it lacks the energy and penetration required to put bigger animals down from odd angles.
However for the client hunter it will do as good a job as any .308 or .270 on plains game provided you use appropriate loads and stick to sensible ranges. A Kudu is definitely no problem at all for this calibre as it is actually quite a "soft" animal for its size.
Well said - exactly
Very interesting that you use 6,5x55 on Zebra! Have you ever hit Zebra in the shoulder area? Does the bullets go thru? What bullets are you using?
Now, I know the 6,5x55. Its a great small calibre. I`ve seen/experienced what it can do, but for comparison; I`ve seen a lot of moose taken by 375H&H. Also large bull moose in the 1000lb range shot from different angles and I`ve never ever recovered a bullet. They`ve all gone clean thru.
In Zim I shot a huge herd stallion thru a small hole in the bush. 80-90 yds. 300 grain Barnes X. Difficult shot actually and the trackers was shaking their heads after the shot (didn't hear the characteristic smash), but to my great relief one of them pointed a finger in the air, he was hearing something and we ran over, and there it was. A huge Zebra stallion struggling to get up.
The bullet had completely pulverized the right shoulder, gone thru the lungs and then it stopped under the skin.. I couldn't believe it! And still it was trying to get up.. Zebras definitely got my respect, that's for sure!
never make the mistake of putting the nosler partition in the same class as the swift aframe..
you use the swift to make a little gun into a bigger gun, and the nosler to make a big gun into a littler one.
Really Bruce? I have about 400 animals that say you are wrong about NP.
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