6.5 x 55 Swede for African plains game

Red Devil

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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.
bruce.
Really Bruce? I have about 400 animals that say you are wrong about NP.

Have to agree on the NP being a good performer.

The 150 gr. .270 WCF, even factory loaded, has been absolutely outstanding on game up to and including large boar and elk.

As for the 6.5x55, have settled on the 140 gr. Speer GS, as the rifle is aperture sighted, and large whitetail and piney woods hogs will most likely be the upper limit.




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bruce moulds

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believe me one day a n.p. will let you down.
don't ask me how I know this.
these bullets are on a completely different page than swift.
 

Graham Hunter

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believe me one day a n.p. will let you down.
don't ask me how I know this.
these bullets are on a completely different page than swift.
I am sure that any bullet will let you down at some point. The Swift is a direct copy of the Partition except it is bonded and the jacket specs are different than the NP. The funny thing is everyone wants to refer the Partition like the one from 40 plus years ago. Nosler Partitions now are a different bullet. The height of the partition varies from both bullet weight and caliber. Also the jackets dimensions differ. Today's Partition are not the bullets of 40 years ago. I would be happy if they went to bonding. Bullet placement is still the most important point. Lots of animals have been killed by less than premium bullets that was placed in the proper spot and lots have been lost by a premium bullet that was not properly placed. What it all comes down to Bruce is percentage wise very few animals are lost because of bullet failure vs poor bullet placement. That being said I would not recommend a 17 HMR for Buffalo.
 

Gerhard

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The 6,5 Swede is a brilliant caliber for plains game.
I have had hunters use 123gr Barnes TTSX in them and had brilliant penetration and performance.
 

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Having shot quite a number of animals with both A-Frames and Partitions in a number of cartridges I say they are both excellent bullets. That said I feel the A-Frames are better especially in faster cartridges. I used them in my 338win mag and 257W and my daughter used them in a 257Roberts in Africa. We both took Zebra cleanly using the 338win mag and the 257R using the A-Frames. We have also taken game in the USA with both bullets.

Remember dead is dead. You cannot kill an animal deader with one bullet or another. Something I ask people is "at what point in killing the animal did the bullet fail" when they say a bullet failed yet have the animal.
Both A-Frames and Partition bullets are excellent but I feel the A-Frames are just a bit better.
 

Red Devil

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believe me one day a n.p. will let you down.
don't ask me how I know this.
these bullets are on a completely different page than swift.

They are a different bullet... period.

Their "failure" - contributes to their quick killing ability.


Like the AF, too. Rugged and dependable.

But it is not my 1st choice for a lot of field shooting.

In fact, in a medium velocity/high SD round on medium game? The Speer GS does very well.




Red
 

Daga Boy

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In my experience the 2 bullets in question operate very differently.
With the Nosler the front part tends to explode, leaving only the rear portion intact. Penetration is limited due to weight loss. (Even with a powerful cartridge like a .338WM I will generally recover the rear section in the animal.). On the other hand trauma is extensive (this due to the "explosion" of the front section) and kills are generally pretty spectacular. Meat damage is generally also quite extensive unless used at fairly low MV's or at long ranges.
The Swift, on the other hand, flies through just about anything. Meat damage tends to be minimal and kills are generally not nearly as spectacular as the bullet behaves more like a solid. I have yet to find one so cannot testify to weight retention but judging from penetration and exit wounds it is clearly very high.
In my book the Nosler is good for soft skinned animals at range and also for cats whereas the Swift is much better for close range applications and any applications which require deep penetration through heavy skin, bone, etc.
 

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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!
Hi accidental,
I have used a variety of 140grn bullets. Current loads are Speer GS, which is a compromise between a conventional bullet like the Interlock and a fully bonded, super tough bullet like the A Frame. And no, I haven't shot any Zebra directly on the shoulder but don't doubt that the bullet would penetrate sufficiently as I have shot and observed guests shoot quite a few Blue Wildebeest with this combo and penetration was always more than enough. Remember that this calibre has been used (with FMJ bullets) to kill elephants!
An interesting observation is that internal trauma is often worse than with some of my larger calibres. As mentioned earlier in this thread I think that the reason is that the bullets (which are very long for calibre) are inclined to tumble or keyhole.
 

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The 6,5x55 probably is a good cartridge for a perfect situation in Africa.

But you can encount the "not really perfect situation".

You need a cartridge that can handle the worst situation you can imagine.

Use enough gun....


HWL
 

Daga Boy

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See my earlier comments.
As you will see, I specifically do not recommend carrying a rife of less than .338 cal in any situation where you might encounter any dangerous game and also do not recommend the 6.5 as an allrounder.
However these considerations do not apply to the client hunter as the PH will always have his own rifle, which will hopefully be of sufficient calibre to deal with any situation which may arise. (Hopefully he will also be able to shoot straight! :)
 

BeeMaa

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In my experience the 2 bullets in question operate very differently.
With the Nosler the front part tends to explode, leaving only the rear portion intact. Penetration is limited due to weight loss. (Even with a powerful cartridge like a .338WM I will generally recover the rear section in the animal.). On the other hand trauma is extensive (this due to the "explosion" of the front section) and kills are generally pretty spectacular. Meat damage is generally also quite extensive unless used at fairly low MV's or at long ranges.
The Swift, on the other hand, flies through just about anything. Meat damage tends to be minimal and kills are generally not nearly as spectacular as the bullet behaves more like a solid. I have yet to find one so cannot testify to weight retention but judging from penetration and exit wounds it is clearly very high.
In my book the Nosler is good for soft skinned animals at range and also for cats whereas the Swift is much better for close range applications and any applications which require deep penetration through heavy skin, bone, etc.
While not exactly a 6.5mm bullet, my skinner recovered 4 Swift A-Frames.
I was shooting NP's and switched to SAF's for the reasons you mentioned.
My PH was much happier with my decision to use the Swift bullet over the Nosler.
10 animals in the salt in 8 days, I will not be looking for another bullet for a while.
 

rookhawk

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US market 6.5x55 ammo is ballistically neutered versus EU 6.5x55SE. Add to that the bullets are “deer bullets”.

You need handloads for Africa. Swift a-frames in 140gr and a stout load would be great.
 

Art Lambart II

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The 140 grn NP is a fabulous bullet for the Swede
 

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The 140 grn NP is a fabulous bullet for the Swede

Art, I’ve shot a lot of African game with NPs in 7mm, 175gr. Also bear and deer. Jacket separation was common. Totally deformed bullets were the norm. After separating, the “2bullets”did their job because it was originally 175gr. I’m not so sure that a 140gr 6.5mm NP would be a good plan compared to Barnes or A-frames in the event the jacket separated and tumbled a bit. YMMV.
 

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Nathan Foster tends to agree in his Ballistic Studies.com write-up:

Talking specifically about the 140 NP in the 6.5x55 - not the 7mm NP or the 375 NP, or anything else - he states:

"The 140 grain Partition is without a doubt the most effective all around projectile for the Swede. Nothing else comes remotely close. This is a bullet that time after time, produces a deep, broad, violent wound resulting in fast kills."

The 140 grn NP is a fabulous bullet for the Swede
 

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US market 6.5x55 ammo is ballistically neutered versus EU 6.5x55SE. Add to that the bullets are “deer bullets”.

You need handloads for Africa. Swift a-frames in 140gr and a stout load would be great.
Apologies in advance, I do not reload.

The Swift loaded ammo is a SAF 140 grain at ~2550 FPS and you believe this to be slow (neutered)...correct?
How do you feel the Norma loaded ammo with the 156 grain Oryx at ~2550 FPS compares to EUR ammo availability?
Although the same speed, it certainly has more energy and is a bonded premium bullet that I would be comfortable hunting with.
In your opinion, what bullet brand/weight and speed would you recommend in a factory loaded option for PG?
 

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Have any of these studies compared the cup and core & bonded bullets with Bergers in the Swede?
Apologies in advance, I do not reload.

The Swift loaded ammo is a SAF 140 grain at ~2550 FPS and you believe this to be slow (neutered)...correct?
How do you feel the Norma loaded ammo with the 156 grain Oryx at ~2550 FPS compares to EUR ammo availability?
Although the same speed, it certainly has more energy and is a bonded premium bullet that I would be comfortable hunting with.
In your opinion, what bullet brand/weight and speed would you recommend in a factory loaded option for PG?

Nosler 140 Accubond.

Or pick one of these:
https://www.sgammo.com/catalog/rifle-ammo-sale/65x55-swedish-ammo
 

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sgt_zim

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Apologies in advance, I do not reload.

The Swift loaded ammo is a SAF 140 grain at ~2550 FPS and you believe this to be slow (neutered)...correct?
How do you feel the Norma loaded ammo with the 156 grain Oryx at ~2550 FPS compares to EUR ammo availability?
Although the same speed, it certainly has more energy and is a bonded premium bullet that I would be comfortable hunting with.
In your opinion, what bullet brand/weight and speed would you recommend in a factory loaded option for PG?

About everything listed at midway is 2500-2650 in the heavier bullets (139 gr and heavier).

I ordered some Woodleigh 160 PP a couple months ago, it's just been too hot in my reloading "room" to get out there and work on loads.

Looking at Hornady's ballistics calculator, there isn't a whole lot of difference in any of the 139-160 gr bullets as far as ballistic arc at V0 of say 2450-2650. Faster V0 and higher BCs are easier to stretch to 300 yards, but any of them should be effective on thin-skinned game out to that range.

I think @Shootist43 mostly shoots Barnes 120s out of his.

No personal experience with magnum loads for NP, but there seems to be a common thread here and a couple other fora I visit that NP doesn't always play nicely with high velocity at close range. Better than cup and core, but not as good as bonded bullets like Swift, Norma, and Woodleigh; or monos like TTSX/TSX.
 

Art Lambart II

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Art, I’ve shot a lot of African game with NPs in 7mm, 175gr. Also bear and deer. Jacket separation was common. Totally deformed bullets were the norm. After separating, the “2bullets”did their job because it was originally 175gr. I’m not so sure that a 140gr 6.5mm NP would be a good plan compared to Barnes or A-frames in the event the jacket separated and tumbled a bit. YMMV.

I'm a big fan of the NP but only at non-magnum velocities. I also agree 100% hat the Barnes and SAF are much tougher bullets and retain 95% or more of their weight as apposed to the NP that retains 60% after the front lead core separates from the shank. If I where hunting Buffalo, Elephant or Rhino I would use the Barnes or the SAF but for PG as you noted the NP works just fine.

As a personal note if I where using the 6.5x55 in Africa I would use the 156 grn Oryx but I tend to be a heavy for caliber guy when I'm picking hunting bullets.
 

Art Lambart II

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I think @Shootist43 mostly shoots Barnes 120s out of his.

Dad (@Shootist43 ) loaded some 120 grn Barnes for my sons rifle but it didn't like them at all. Currently all of his reloads are 140 and above, we just haven't found the right recipe for the 120s yet.
 

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