6.5x55 - 140 Grain Reload Velocity?

blacks

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In my 96 Swede, 44gn AR2209 behind the 140gn SST gets me 2710 fps with no pressure signs. It's a new M38 barrel though. Very accurate as well!
 

Shootist43

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Tong1, first of all welcome to AH. I have been an advocate of this caliber in a Swedish Mauser for over twenty years. The accuracy your rifle and load produced is not at all uncommon. But that is what I like most about it. Book loads for the 6.5x55 are all reduced to accommodate the earlier rifles designed for this caliber. If you haven' done so previously take a look at Nathan Foster's Knowledge Base concern the 1896 Small Ring Swedish Mausers in 6.5 x 55. Here is the link https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/6.5x55.html
 

Tomg1

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Thank you Bruce and Shootist43, I enjoyed hearing from you both. I am going read that link now. I am glad to be part of a forum where guys can share what they know. I love the 6.5 swede. I build a lot of them. I am currently building a 6.5 PRC. I am not seeing a lot of performance gain over a properly loaded 6.5 Swede but a magnum case has to have some in there somewhere. I will get that load chronographed and see what the fps is and post the results. I would like to hear about what loads others have tried also. Once thanks for your comments.
 

Shootist43

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Tomg1, you are a man after my own heart. I have stated numerous time on these pages that a properly loaded 6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser (now a little over 120 years old) leaves very little if anything on the table vs the Modern 6.5 hot shots. My load produces a chronographed velocity of 2775 FPS with a 140 gr Nosler Partition. Nathan Foster has published a number of books, he discusses the old Swede in most if not all of them. They are well worth the asking price and a very informative read.
 

bruce moulds

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perttime,
I notice they recommend not using the stronger loads in the 96 mauser and krag.
while it is my belief that the 96 is stronger than the krag, I also believe, unlike some here, that the 96 is not up there with the 98 and modern actions.
bruce.
 

perttime

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Companies want to play it safe. I'm sure Vihtavuori knows what they are doing in that respect too.

The warning says:
""
WARNING: This reloading data is intended to use at modern rifles in good condition such as Sauer, Sako or Blaser chambered to 6,5 x 55 SKAN or 6,5 x 55 SE
WARNING: DO NOT USE with Krag-Jörgensen, Mauser M1896 or similar rifles. This data has max loads set at pressure of 380 MPa!
NOTE: Data contains velocity information for standard barrel lengths of Sauer STR200 rifles

""
 

Shootist43

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Bruce Moulds, please take a look at the following,
https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/8x57JS+Mauser.html
The Swedish steel required to be used in the production of the 1896 (Swedish Mauser) was far superior to the other steels of the day. If I recall correctly it was because of the Chrome and Manganese content of their ores. Proof loads for the Swede are in the 64 K psi range. But in fact the actions have been tested at pressures far in excess of that. Other than a common caliber, there is no comparison between a Kraig Jorgenson and the 1896 Swedish Mauser. Being able to discuss differences (of opinion) is what makes AH a perfect forum for guys like us.
 

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With the number of different rifles by different manufacturers, made at different times, and the way chamber reaming dies are made and then wear with use, it is not unusual to see a plethora of different results among so many users even when using the exact same components. Our only real world option is to WORK UP to what is the safest, most accurate loading for our own particular rifle/chamber combination with the components we have available. I have been a long time fan of the 6.5 x 55SE but my experience has always been with high quality modern actions. I can get more velocity without pressure signs other than a very slight shiny mark from the extractor, but found usually the most accurate load was at a lower velocity. For example I can drive 143gn ELD-X to 2850fps (Magnetospeed chrono) but the groups open up to almost an inch for 5 shots at 100yds. But by reducing the load ( to what is a very mild load in my current Tikka T3 SS Varmint) I get 2716fps and .625" 5 shot groups with barely discernable hits where the projectiles have gone through the same hole. At 73 years of age the group size is more a product of my inability to shoot as well as I once could and not a rifle induced problem. I seat .002" from the lands and the load that works best is 48gns of RE22, Lapua cases, Rem. 9.5 primers. Having said all that I repeat, this load is great in this particular rifle. There are so many great products available today for the 6.5 calibre, we just have to safely experiment until we find exactly what works best, match the projectile to the game and find the sweet spot for each projectile. Forums such as this give a fantastic wealth of diverse information. Thanks folks.
 

Shootist43

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Kev, my experience with the 6.5 x 55 is very similar to yours. Although I use a sporterized Swedish Mauser sporting a 24" barrel, a 140 Gr. NP and H 4350. My velocity using the standard Chrony setup i.e. 10' in front of the muzzle was 2775 FPS. My loads grouped just under an inch but they are larger than those at slightly lower velocities. But for hunting purposes, I'll "take" the sub MOA at the higher velocity with no "appreciable" loss in accuracy. There is a reason why those of us that own and shoot this caliber "just love it to death."
 

samu

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Thanks. I will have to look in to Vihta Vuori powders. I usually steer clear of them because they are so ridiculously expensive.
Then again Vihtavuori is cheapest you can find in Finland. ReloadSwiss gets pretty close but everything else is 60€/lb or more.

Try finding Lapua brass for your loads, for me they allowed higher loads than Norma. In some calibers Norma case allows highest loads as it is bit harder than average, but my guess is that the tapered case wall of the swede prefers softer brass. Vihtavuori N560 is great for almost any bullet weight in 6,5x55.
 

Kev

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60 Euro per pound! Crikey, that would take a lot of the enjoyment out of a day at the range. Lapua brass is certainly top shelf. The initial cost is easily outweighed by the longevity and consistency of the brass. While N560 might be great for any bullet weight in your particular rifle that might not be the case in ALL rifles. The only way to ascertain what is the optimum in your rifle is to go through the routine of testing, and that encompasses a lot of variables. This also applies to the published data in reloading manuals. They choose to look at the weakest link in the chain and provide the data for that, in some cases the published data is more of a pipe dream than reality.
 

samu

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60 Euro per pound! Crikey, that would take a lot of the enjoyment out of a day at the range. Lapua brass is certainly top shelf. The initial cost is easily outweighed by the longevity and consistency of the brass. While N560 might be great for any bullet weight in your particular rifle that might not be the case in ALL rifles. The only way to ascertain what is the optimum in your rifle is to go through the routine of testing, and that encompasses a lot of variables. This also applies to the published data in reloading manuals. They choose to look at the weakest link in the chain and provide the data for that, in some cases the published data is more of a pipe dream than reality.
Indeed.. not to mention US powders are nearly impossible to get anywhere. Norma powders are sometimes in shelf. Vihtavuori goes 99-110€/kg. You're right about the powders and I wouldn't go as far as to say N560 is best powder for everyone. Not that I would've tried every possible option even myself. N560 was just very easy to develop a load for and get to desired MV.
 

ChrisG

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Indeed.. not to mention US powders are nearly impossible to get anywhere. Norma powders are sometimes in shelf. Vihtavuori goes 99-110€/kg. You're right about the powders and I wouldn't go as far as to say N560 is best powder for everyone. Not that I would've tried every possible option even myself. N560 was just very easy to develop a load for and get to desired MV.
Haha thats ok... all I use are Alliant powders for the most part and I believe they are made in Sweden and imported into the US. I can get a pound of Alliant RL17 for like $22 USD vs. almost $30+ for some of the Hodgdon powders, who also make IMR and Winchester. Besides, I think the Swedish powders vary less lot to lot... probably because they are kept naturally refrigerated 10 months out of the year :ROFLMAO:

Its funny that you don't have any Alliant powders as they are produced pretty much right next door for you, and they are really good powders with vast product line diversity, all the way from Bullseye to their super slow burning heavy magnum rifle powders like Reloder 50.
 

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Then again Vihtavuori is cheapest you can find in Finland. ReloadSwiss gets pretty close but everything else is 60€/lb or more.

Try finding Lapua brass for your loads, for me they allowed higher loads than Norma. In some calibers Norma case allows highest loads as it is bit harder than average, but my guess is that the tapered case wall of the swede prefers softer brass. Vihtavuori N560 is great for almost any bullet weight in 6,5x55.

I actually do have 100 pieces of Lapua brass and is good stuff and very consistent, but I am actually of the mentality that 2,600fps for that rifle is more than sufficient. I took it as a backup when I went after Elk in Wyoming this past fall and I don't think I would have felt under gunned with it out to 300 yards or so. I also don't shoot super hot loads out of my guns because I would like to pass them down to my kids and have them be in as good of condition as possible. Shooting relatively mild loads, that 6.5x55 still kills game incredibly well and doesn't beat up the gun. It helps that it is pretty to look at too.

It is probably my favorite rifle and if someone said to me "pick one rifle to hunt with for the rest of your life" I would probably pick that one. I would have no issues picking my shots for the rest of my life given the limits of the round, because there is just something that a 6.5 swede has that I don't think any of the newer 6.5's do. It is just a classy, well engineered, hard hitting, mild recoiling round with all kinds of history and nostalgia.
 

Kev

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Indeed.. not to mention US powders are nearly impossible to get anywhere. Norma powders are sometimes in shelf. Vihtavuori goes 99-110€/kg. You're right about the powders and I wouldn't go as far as to say N560 is best powder for everyone. Not that I would've tried every possible option even myself. N560 was just very easy to develop a load for and get to desired MV.
Samu, I think that is the critical statement when it comes to the 6.5cal in general. "desired MV".. When I first started using a 6.5 the projectiles available were not much of a choice, the only powder I could procure was either IMR (the good old IMR) or Winchester ball powder. Projectiles were all heavy weights 140gn to 160gn and the 6.5 had a bad reputation with loads mainly kept to around 2,400/2,500fps. Slowly but surely better projectiles became available along with a wider choice of powders. But the arrival of good commercial rifles was the real "fixer". Working up loads with the new projectiles and getting unheard of velocities from the 6.5 x 55 gave an entirely new lease of life for what has to be one of the best. The old problem of projectiles just passing through and not expanding became a thing of the past. We have the terrific choice of projectiles that carry velocity over greater distances thus providing the expansion that is crucial for quick humane kills, plus we can load super fast light projectiles that deliver the energy where it does the job on smaller light skinned game. With the accuracy to cleanly head shoot small game like rabbits when hunting for the pot. If you can get hold of some Berger 130 VLD hunting bullets try them. In my Tikka I get a comfortable 2,980fps (Magnetospeed Chrono) MV, primers still round edges and no extractor marks. Flat shooting and truly devastating explosive impacts that completely destroy the engine room on everything from wild dogs to water buffalo, rabbits decapitated cleanly at an easy 200yds. If the supply was consistent I would use only that projectile, but alas that might not happen in the short lifetime I have left. Meantime I have to work with two different projectiles/loadings for the small game and larger game.
 

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