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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I've decieded I'm am going to get a 6.5 Swede. I'm putting it in layway for Christmas. I know it's a while a way but it's not to early to spread the joy. I'm going to get a Ruger M77 in 6.5 Swede. I'm planning on using Hornady's 140 factory ammo. I thought I read somewhere they had a Light Magnum round out for it, but now I can't find it on their web page. Any other manfacture's ammo anyone would suggest?
 

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Try TheHuntingShack.com in Montana they will custom load ammo at a very reasonable price and the shipping charges won't break the bank either. They load commercial ammo in just about every concievable combination. To see the list you need adobe acrobat reader also available at their site.
 

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Okay, now we are talking! I'm a huge fan of the 6.5, ballistically its an amazing bullet, ballistic coeffecients and sectional density are both very high for bullet weights. This is a great combo for medium velocity rounds like the 6.5x55. Now, I'm not certain of any light magnum loads for this round, I know the max pressures are kept very low because of the old rifles chambered in this caliber. There are a few new 6.5s out there, namely the 6.5x284 and the .260. The .260 remington pretty much is a modern version of the swede, but short action. The 6.5x284 is a long range demon! BUT, be careful of barrel burn out. The long 6.5 bullets are known for smoking a barrel when you start pushing velocities. My research indicates about 2800fps with a 140gr is when to start watching it, so if you handload your 6.5x55, do some homework. I've really been researching the new 6.5's for the SC2 project.....very impressive

MEL
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info about the Swede, especially about the velocity, I took a second look at the Hornady round I'm planning on using and the max veloctiy is about 2550 give or take I can't remember it exactly. So I'm pretty safe with velocity. I've go another question about how much veloctiy is lost with taking away two inches from a 24 inch barrel? Since all the velocity's are are measured with a 24 inch barrel, and the rifle I'm looking at has a 22 inch.

Anyway, I did think about getting a Remington 700 in .260 but there isn't enough ammo selection, so I sided with the good ol' Swede.
 

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There isn't really one exact number to go by, but a good "ball park" figure is to estimate losing 25 fps per 1" difference. This will get you close, and the number is different for all cartridges, and for actual barrel length, etc.

MEL
 

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Mele:

About the barrel becoming worn very quickly when firing high-velocity 6.5 variants, my guess is that it's very dependant upon the manufacturing process.

For example, the Swedish m/41b(old sniper-adapted M/96 Mauser) was certified for both the standard ball ammo, with a V0 of 793m/s,(roughly 2400f/s) and the AP ammo with a V0 of 965m/s(2924f/s roughly), and as late as last year, some of those rifles were still functional, without barrel replacements, test fired with around 50 rounds of each, and then put back into storage, many of them approaching a couple of thousand rounds.

Also, 6.5x55 is more or less tied with 7.62x51 as the most common hunting caliber here in Sweden, and is about as common as the .22lr as a competition caliber, and there are many variants being used, quite a few approaching the 900-970m/s mark, without heavy wear being talked about.

(Yes, such old weapons are still kept in weapon caches around the country)

Greets,
Nekekami
 

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Nekekami,

Yes, part of it could be related to that. The issue first started with the .264 Winchester Magnum which came out back in the 60's. This was a 6.5 that was launching 140gr's at 3000+ fps. As you can imagine, the performance was amazing. But catch this, the cartridge got a reputation of burning out barrels, with many barrels lasting less then 100 rounds, yes, that is one HUNDRED rounds. The throat just gets toasted. Now, is this because of the long 6.5 bullets? No one knows for sure. I know of the 6.5x55 Swede's popularity in Europe, and its well deserved, I personally am a huge fan. But as I was researching calibers for the upcoming SC2, I started looking into the .264 Mag, the .260 Remington and the 6.5x284 Norma. Blackhills loads a 142gr 6.5x284 at 2950fps, which is an amazing performing load. We talked to many manufacturers, and everyone in the USA is scared of the 6.5's when the velocities go up. Now, I am specifically talking about the 140gr range of bullets (or there abouts). It was nearly a concensus of the USA manufacturers that up to about 2800 fps you are fine and should get 4000+ rounds from a barrel. But pushing to 2900+ fps and you can halve that amount for barrel life. For many people, that may be fine, and in reality is probably as good as you'll see from a 7mm Rem mag. Its just something to be careful of.

Now, I will admit, USA manufacturers are FAR behind the European's when it comes to the 6.5. I would not be surprised if there is a secret that has not made it to the USA yet in regards to this special bullet and keeping the rifles happy that shoot them. Personally, I like lapua and norma when it comes to talking the 6.5, but there is no one in their tech departments that I think I can call for their opinion.

Thanks for the discussion!!

MEL
 

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Mel:

Yes, I can understand that. But what I was primarily aiming at was that the manufacture of the barrels couldd be different(different grades of steel for example)

However, the two ammo variants I mentioned both had a Tombac(90% copper and 10% zinc) jacket. It's excellent because it's easy to do shapes with high precision, and it's very kind to barrels, yielding a lower wear compared to many other materials.

Btw, I still owe you thanks for your recommendation of a barrel manufacturer, even though that approach never took place.

Nekekami
 

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I recently had a 6.5x284 rifle built, and did a fair amount of research on the barrel life. Sadly, Mel is correct as usual. They eat barrels for lunch, especially if you are pushing 140-142 grain projectiles at over 3,000 fps. I figure to hold mine in the 2,800-2,900 range to try to optimize barrel life yet still get some of the performance that I'm looking for on the 1,000 yard line.

Mel have you ever heard of the "6.5x61 Belted Magnum" there is a great article in an old Handloader's Digest that my father-in-law gave me when I was researching 6.5 chamberings. Bob Steindler wrote the article and said it was much flatter shooting than the .264 Win. Mag, but burned a lot less powder and the barrel lasted significantly longer than the .264 Magnum. Sounds too good to be true - But if its real where can I get one?
 

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Nekekami,

The bullet compounds that you are talking about are interesting, I would like to find out more. In terms of barrel quality, yes, it matters a little. Stainless will outlast chrome moly, but not really by much. Unfortunately for the .264 Win Mag, it smoked all barrels, all manufacturers!

Jeffvn,

6.5x61?? Wow, I've never heard of that one! But if it were/is true, it sounds ideal! Anyone out there heard of this cartridge?

MEL
 

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Jeffvn:

It seems that the problem is highly related to the 6.5x284 in particular then.
If so, I'd hazard a guess that it's related to the materials used and the shape of the bullet that is the culprit behind it. As I mentioned before, there are military and hunting loads in 6.5x55 that have those properties, and barrel wear isn't a problem over here.

Does anyone have good side-view drawings of the two bullets, with the same scale?

And does the jacket leave slag in the barrel, due to high heat and pressure?

Mel:

I don't know that much more about Tombac other than that it's a brass alloy, consisting of at least 86% copper, primarily with the rest being zinc, but sometimes arsenic is added, which gives you white Tombac. That's about it. I don't have any figures for thermal resistance etc.

Nekekami
 

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I agree its probably the way its loaded here that causes the barrel problems. I hope my SS Hart will give me at least 1,500 to 2,000 rounds of real (post-load work up) use. The 6.5x284 was "strongly" recommended as the chambering to have for 1,000 yard competition, which is why I went that way. Had I known that it was likely going to eat the first barrel before I was able to work up a good 1,000 yard load, I probably would have opted for a different chambering.

My quest for a long-range (beyond 1,200 yards), hard hitting, economical to shoot (that leaves out the .338 Lapua and .50 cal) rifle with a long barrel life goes on.

Edited because my typing mostly stinks.
 

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Hmmm, economic shooting at distances beyond 1097m? Ooh, that can be tricky. Personally, I'd go with .338 Lapua Magnum anyway, but I'm thinking from my military position. And even then I wouldn't have much use for it, due to terrain, the kind of missions we do etc.

And I don't hunt(Don't need to hunt when food is available in the store, and I don't kill for pleasure), so I have no use for it in a long-range or big game hunting perspective either.

So, it's mostly excercises for me, with the occasional pleasure shooting with weapons on the firing range, i.e testing a rifle I haven't fired with before and such.

As for 1000 yard(914.4m) competitions, with the right ammo, a 7.62x51 rifle is still _highly_ competitive.
 
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6.5x55mm

Hello folks:

In case anyone is interested in a really great 6.5x55 load, here's one for modern rifles only. ( Sako, Rem 700 etc.)

49.0 grains H4350 powder, 120 grain Sierra Matchking or 120 Nosler Ballistic Tip, Federal Match Primers, Remington brass. Overall loaded length: 3.073".

Muzzle velocity measured with Oehler 33 chronograph: 3009 fps @ 12 feet from the muzzle. Accuracy: consistant 0.5MOA or better.
 
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I've never heard of the 6.5x61, however before i had to leave the states i was starting to load some wildcats that were 6.5x63. (Standard .270 win necked down to the 6.5) I know thats not much of a change, and i dont have any data to talk about since i was transfered to a country where i cant bring my rifles. More info in about 3 months when i get back stateside.
 

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i dont know what to do!!!

My brother and I have always been into hunting deer and other game about the same size. I know my brother has been talking to Mel about a rifel that he wanted to get made and i have been getting more and more interested in getting a rifel for myself. what i want to know is if the 6.5X55 is a good cartridge and where i can get one. i would really like for mel to get in touch with me so that we can talk about what rifel and cartridge i should get and use for hunting and just target practice. thnx everyone for putting up with a Sniper WanaB
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have just purchased a brand new 6.5 Swede in a Ruger M77 MkII. The Ruger M77 rifles are as good as you can get when looking for a simple no nonsense deer rifle. I have gotten four different types of ammunition (going to see which one shoots the best in it :D ). I am hoping the Hornady 129 grain Light Magnum round will be the best. But I have some Federal Gold Match that looks good too. I would suggest seeing how the 129 Hornady grain bullet would work if your going to get one (129 grain would work fine for any deer hunting due to its high ballistic coaffiectent LOL sp?) but 140 would be very, very good, also.
 

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sniper_wanab2, I just sent you a PM.

Everyone... if you have sent a message to me specifically in a forum, and I don't answer within 24 hours, please notify me via email or PM. I probably missed the post. I sometimes have to scan posts quickly, or even skip some altogether if I'm 'out'.

MEL
 
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