6.5 x 55 Swede for African plains game

rookhawk

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Rookhawk, I have no intention of using my 6.5 x 55 on anything above deer sized animals. Th Lapua data you showed is slightly over 100 FPS faster than my deer load. Providing it shoots well and is achievable out of a 24" or better yet a 22" barred I may be interested in trying it out. So far I haven't been able to get the "grandkid's" gun to shoot a 120 gr bullet accurately. To be fair the first load I tried was reduced to right at 2500 FPS. It may need to be faster to group well. That same rifle shot 156 Gr. Norma Oryx just fine.

The problem with these storied euro metric cartridges is that the long throats and twist rates were built for heavy for caliber bullets. Solution if going with lighter weights is to maintain heavy for caliber VOLUME of the bullet. Translation: use copper bullets if you need to go lighter and they’ll perform like the 140-160gr lead they were meant for.
 

bruce moulds

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long throats should not be a problem - read urban myth.
another urban myth is burning all the powder in the barrel.
use a chronograph and find the powder that gives most velocity at lowest pressure. with good grouping.
bruce.
 

HWL

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shootist~

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Interesting that there is very little discussion of the heavier (155 to 160 grain) 6.5 bullets used for plains game. The higher SD would seem to be an advantage.

The 155 grain Lapua Mega (.318 SD) was in stock when I was looking for a reloading project recently. (For the 6.5 Creedmoor, in my case.)

Results at 100 yards with the 155 were very good during initial load development.
 

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The cartridge was designed to around a long, heavy bullet so, as a rule, those provide good results. They also penetrate much better than lighter bullets - which is what the Swede is all about. Most modern rifles will work well with 140grn bullets , but will not group well with 120grn bullets unless you go to a bullet which is long for its weight - which generally means an all copper bullet. I have not personally tried the latter, but I have a friend who loads Barnes 120grn and he absolutely swears by that load.
 

bruce moulds

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all the 6.5x55s i have seen have shot 85, 100, and 120 gn bullets as well as 140s at ranges that suit those bullets.
bruce.
 

Luederitz

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One remark concerning Namibia: minimum caliber for medium game ich .270" / 7mm. That means a 6,5x55SE is illegal for most of the trophy game like Oryx, Kudu, Hartebeest...

Also Zimbabwe requires a minimum bullet diameter of 7mm.
 

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One remark concerning Namibia: minimum caliber for medium game ich .270" / 7mm. That means a 6,5x55SE is illegal for most of the trophy game like Oryx, Kudu, Hartebeest...

Also Zimbabwe requires a minimum bullet diameter of 7mm.
Not true....

There is no legal minimum to hunt with in Namibia, there is only a recommended guideline from NAPHA....
ZIM YES 7mm is the minimum for most game but class D PG can be hunted with 5.56 mm and up....
 

Cervus elaphus

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What are your thoughts on the 6.5 x 55 Swede for use on plains game?
Used that caliber on deer-sized animals. It was a Swedish Mauser conversion, the action closed like a bank vault - kerchunk. Swedish steel is good stuff. Caliber might be a bit light though for the bigger beasties.
 

Luederitz

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Not true....

There is no legal minimum to hunt with in Namibia, there is only a recommended guideline from NAPHA....
As per the Nature Conservation Ordinance No 4 of 1975:

No person shall use a revolver, pistol or automatic firearm when hunting game or use a firearm of which the bullet has an energy at the muzzle of the barrel which is lower than the following when hunting a species of game indicated there under:

Small Game:
(e.g. Dik-Dik; Steenbok; Duiker; Springbok)
Minimum caliber: .243 (or equivalent caliber in mm)
Energy: 1350 Joule

Medium Game:
(e.g. Hartebeest; Oryx; Wildebeest; Kudu; Eland and all exotic species)
Minimum caliber: .270 (or equivalent caliber in mm)
Energy: 2700 Joule

Dangerous Game:
(e.g. Elephant; Hippo; Rhino; Buffalo; Lion)
Minimum caliber: .375 (or equivalent caliber in mm)
Energy: 5400 Joule

No solids are allowed as per the Nature Conservation Ordinance No 4 of 1975 on any other species than pachyderms (Elephant, Hippo, Rhino).

---
I would not say that this is only a recommendation. But anyhow, you´re travaling around the half world to hunt quite heavy species and then we´re discussing about the lowest minimum you can use?
Play it safe, use more gun!
 

Nevada Mike

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I have a 6.5 X 55. It will shoot 1/2" groups at 100 yards with standard cup and core 120, 140, or160 grain bullets. It's an original (somewhat reduced) M96. Only problem I ever had was shooting some hot Norma ammo in it - hard to open the bolt. I switched back to handloads.
 

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I never met a Swede, Icelander, Norwegian or Finn that didn't have one or two that they had killed a mountain of animals with. To include moose, reindeer, roe deer, red deer, fallow deer, whitetails, wildboar an brown bears.

Pretty popular in the UK on red deer. Never saw one in Australia, but I heard when I lived there they were common.

I think there are just too many options in America with the 308, 270, 30-06, 300 Win and 7mm Rem leading the charge and of course the 6.5 Creedmoor now stomping their guts in sales.

Appears from the Namibian Professional Hunters website that it wouldn't be legal for a lot of Namibian species bigger about 275 pounds.

My PH used a worn out non-Mauser Musgrave 243, he was too cheap to buy a new rifle. Had several thousand rounds through it. Successfull farmer, not sure why this was his rifle.
 

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