6.5x57 info, opinions, and reloading data needed

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Steve Steyr, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. Steve Steyr

    Steve Steyr AH Veteran

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    I just purchased a Mannlicher-Schoenauer 1903 rechambered to .256 Gibbs Magnum. Despite the midleading ID in COTW, which states the .256 Gibbs Magnum is a reworked 6.5x55 Swede, the cartridge is a 6.5x57 Mauser with the neck shortened to 55mm.
    The rifle, which I don't have yet, has a 21.5" barrel reportedly in excellent condition. Case capacity should be the same as 6.5x57 and I believe 6.5x57 dies can be used.
    It's tempting to buy some PRVI or S&B 6.5 ammo and see if they, per chance, chamber with out trimming. If they are too long, as they should be, I can pull the bullets, trim, repowder, and reseat. Or I can just start by using 7x57 or .257 Roberts brass, both of which I have in abundance.
    Anyway, please let me know your experiences with this caliber and your reloading data. I have no need to hot rod the rifle as, supposedly, it was made in 1906. My main interest is in finding an accurate load.
    Thanks for your help in advance.
     

  2. Craigzilla

    Craigzilla New Member

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    Im keen on a 6.5x55, so am awaiting comments with interest!
     

  3. Foxi

    Foxi AH Elite

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    > Deva Wiederladebuch
    für Hornady SP, R903 mit 46,0 gr; N135 mit 41,0 gr.
    für BTip, R907 mit 42,0 gr, OAL 76,0 mm

    > Lapua Reloading Manual
    für 100 gr Bullet N135 (42,2 gr), N140 (44,0 gr), BL-C2 (43,7 gr)

    Alles Daten ohne Gewähr -no responsibility for the informations.

    I loved it for the deer in our mountains with a 123 gr bullet.
    Foxi
     

  4. Steve Steyr

    Steve Steyr AH Veteran

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    Thank you.
    I opened the necks on some old .257 Roberts brass and trimmed to specs.
    Then I loaded 42 gr IMR4350 behind a 140 gr Hornady Amax. The cheekpiece is too high to see the sights so I just fired two rounds holding the rifle one handed.
    The brass came out kind of mottled, as if the chamber was rough or the load was too hot.
    The load should have been modest so maybe I better back up and make a chamber cast before proceeding further.
    I also need to find someone to reshape the stock as close as possible to original MS shape and to refurb the metal.
     

  5. farrokhrt

    farrokhrt AH Senior Member

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    Steve, make the chamber cast as you mentioned and determine what you have first. If it turns out to be 7x57, I can give you my load data that works great in my Oberndorf Mauser in that caliber. Mine likes the Hornady 160 grain bullets and Sierra 140 grain best (as usual for these old rifles mine, has a long throat).
    I got some S&B and PRVI factory loads and bought a couple of hundred once fired RWS brass from Huntington supply a few years ago. Great caliber with mild recoil of lovely .264 bullets!
     

  6. Steve Steyr

    Steve Steyr AH Veteran

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    I am sure it is 6.5mm rather than 7mm. It is marked "For .256 Gibbs Magnum only" on the receiver and has British proof markings.
    I did buy a nice Mannlicher Schoenauer Model 1905 that was rebarreled to 7x57. It has both a pop-up tang receiver sight and a Lyman 36 receiver sight.
    7x57 is my favorite caliber. I have owned them since 1974 and currently have 5 of them.
     

  7. farrokhrt

    farrokhrt AH Senior Member

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    Steve, if you haven't seen this you may find it useful: http://www.pbase.com/image/94981008
     

  8. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Hmmm. If you have the rifle, I assume you have checked feeding with something? The 6.5x54 magazine on the '03 is notoriously difficult to alter to 6.5x57. The vast majority end up single shots or two or three shooters at the best. Good luck.
     

  9. Steve Steyr

    Steve Steyr AH Veteran

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    Thanks,
    I have one round of Kynoch .256 Gibbs Magnum. My .257 Roberts brass formed in 6.5x57 dies and trimmed to 2.163" measures the same as the .256 Gibbs Magnum round.
    As far as feeding, I have tried it with three rounds and all was well. I believe the rifle was reworked in Great Britain many years ago and the rotor was properly done. That is not a critical issue with me anyway as I will never hunt with it. I merely want to have a nice Mannlicher-Schoenauer shooter in a very rare caliber.
     

  10. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Very cool. I have one in 6.5x57 and it has been tweaked several times by some of the best, but the third round jams the roter. Still, one in the chamber and two in reserve are fine for deer. I do hunt mine a bit. Truly a joy to carry such a wee thing.
     

  11. Steve Steyr

    Steve Steyr AH Veteran

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    Suggest you check cartridge overall length. This happened to me with my Rem 700 Classic 300 H&H and several times with MS's-8x56MS and 7x64 specifically. I reseat the bullets just a little at a time and this, so far, has always solved the problem. Good luck.
     

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