6.5x55mm for Plains Game?

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by timbear, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. TMac

    TMac AH Senior Member

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    Can’t help you on African PG, but can speak to Deer/Elk in NA. A good 140gr .264 bullet will cleanly take them. .264 bullets have accounted for a number of deer & elk for new/recoil sensitive hunters in my camp. Most were mature cows, up to 600lbs ish. It’s an excellent choice when properly employed. We wait for close to perfect shot angles and keep ranges moderate. Mostly under 300, more due to inexperienced shooters than any concerns about the lethality of the weapon. The 260 Rem is the one we most commonly use.

    So if you were coming here to hunt elk, I’d say bring the 6.5x55 and we’ll hang meat on the pole, if the shooter does their job. Are there better choices, sure, but only if the shooter is comfortable with them. Will this one work well when properly employed, you bet.
     
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  2. Nicholas Barcomb

    Nicholas Barcomb AH Veteran

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    Love my Tikka T3 SS Lite in 6.5x55 SE. I reload all of my own ammunition for it using VihtaVuori N550 and VihtaVuori N560 as powders; bullets ranging from 85 gr to 160 gr from Sierra, Hornady, and Woodleigh. Everything that I load for that rifle shoots at least MOA using a 3-9x40mm Nikon ProStaff scope and it has taken deer, hogs, and caribou from 10 yds out to 300 yds along with varmints and predators with the bullets listed. As someone mentioned earlier, it is about shoot placement. It is also about fit of the rifle to the shooter. Like a pistol, if the rifle is comfortable to mount in the shoulder, the quicker it comes up to the eye each time, and the better the shooter absorbs the recoil. I've done plenty of research on this topic and even though several PHs would love their clients to bring a 6.5x55 for PG, the government usually has a minimum caliber size of 7mm. Even though I have an identical rifle in .30-06 SPR and shoot it quite well, I would prefer to use the 6.5x55 SE. For those that believe that anyone will be under gunned with a 6.5x55 has never shot one on game or even shot one, period. I have retired from the US Army Reserve, after 23 years (as a 12B, 62E, 62J, and 62N), with 11 years active and 12 years in the Reserve. I was also a Sapper Team member when I was stationed in Germany, as well as a Sapper Team leader on two different teams in the US. The reason I stated that, is because we fired almost every conceivable weapon the US military and other foreign governments had for familiarization and mission usefulness. I didn't care for the 5.56mm then and don't care for it now. Pretty much like the .308 Win. (7.62x51mm), I've just never felt an attachment to them. As for their purpose, they worked for what they were designed to do. Also not a big fan of the Remington 700 platforms we used, I liked the Sauer's, Mauser's, and AI's much better, also the Winchester 70s in .30-06 were much preferred. To each their own and hopefully, someday, I will be able to use my 6.5x55 SE on PGs. Good luck and stay safe!
     
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  3. 9.3x57 Freak

    9.3x57 Freak SILVER SUPPORTER AH Member

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    I took the 6.5x55 during my trip to SA last year. Took 5 animals w handloaded Norma Oryx 156gr. Had my Sako AV for about 20 years so we are quite familiar with each other :). The animals i shot was warthog, blesbock, impalas and blue wildebeest. Only found 2 bullets. So i am happy and i’m sure you will be able to use your 6.5x55 successfully.
     
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  4. Nicholas Barcomb

    Nicholas Barcomb AH Veteran

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    Interesting, maybe some of the laws are beginning to change. However, I am looking to hunt Namibia, Zimbabwe, and/or Tanzania. Last time I looked, minimum calibers in those countries were 7mm for plains game. Good hunting on the PGs. My heavy load for the 6.5x55 SE is a 160 gr Woodleigh PPRN at about 2500 fps. Knocked the snot out of a hog about 3.5 m, with no bullet recovery. Two caribou were taken with Hornady 140 gr SSTs at about 2800 fps from 50 m to 300m, with no bullets recovered. I also load the 140 gr Woodleigh PPRN, but have taken no game with that load yet. Same with a 129 gr Hornady SST load, which I am hoping to try on sheep, deer, and hogs this fall/winter on a new property I am hoping to buy. Good luck stay safe and good hunting!
     
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  5. Johan van der Walt

    Johan van der Walt New Member

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    Hi Nicholas, Interesting post. I am looking for some recipesfor 156gr Norma Oryx which I can use for both short and long range hunting. I use IMR4350 and Vithavouri N550. Shooting from a Sako 85 Hunter so its a modern rifle and can handle higher pressures. Thanks in advance
     

  6. Nicholas Barcomb

    Nicholas Barcomb AH Veteran

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    Good day Johan! Please send me what OAL that you are expecting to use with the Norma Oryx via private message and hopefully I will be able to transfer some data to you.
     

  7. Oldschool280

    Oldschool280 AH Senior Member

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    My experience with the 6.5 swede. Incredibly accurate, tons of bullets to choose from for the handloader. Factory ammo in the is anemic and clocks around 2500 fps with 140 grainers. This weight bullet is what i would think you would want for plains game. Hornady loads um up a little faster. I would handload partitions or accubonds to around 2750 fps and let it ride. For the record i have only used them on deer and hogs.
     
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  8. nksmfamjp

    nksmfamjp AH Veteran

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    I agree with this statement. My Ruger shoots a 140gr Accubond loaded to 2762 fps into about 1” at 100 yds, but the best part is that load can ballistically be quite effective out o 500 yds.
     

  9. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

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    My big gripe - how has Remington NEVER modified that rifle to include a floated barrel???
     
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  10. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

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    As much as I like Norma Oryx, one thing it ain't is a long-range bullet out of a non-magnum rifle. Norma's published top MV is a little over 2500 fps for that bullet.

    Nosler AB and Partition at 140 gr are both good choices; as are Woodleigh 140 and 160 grain.

    Woodleigh 160 with a MV of 2500 fps is still at 1800 fps at almost 500 yards.

    Norma Oryx 156 with MV of 2500 fps is already at 1800 fps at ~300 yards.

    I don't know that I would count on either of them opening reliably at velocities slower than that.
     
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