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6.5x55

08 Oct 2019
@ 08:16 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Not sure why, but for some reason I had the overwhelming urge to go shopping, and ended up with a Swede. I guess I gave into the marketing pressure and felt that to be complete, I needed a 6.5. I tried to post a photo, but the thumbnail on Tradex wouldn't resize, so I gave up. It's your basic M96 surplus with an adjustable trigger and cheek-piece, and what I really needed, a flash suppressor. Should be here in a week or so, dies are on the way, will have to pick up some brass (so far Lapua is the most reasonable) and some Partitions. Guns make every day like Christmas.

Replies

10 Oct 2019
@ 04:09 am (GMT)

Kenneth Johnson

Re: 6.5x55
Congrats Paul! My wife bought me a Tikka Tx hunter this year in a 6.5X55 (I have an old M96). It is one of my favorite calibers that will do everything the "vaunted" 6.5 Creedmoor will do.
I've found Nathans advise on loading for this cartridge very helpful in achieving max efficiency. My go to bullet has become the Hornady 143gr ELD-X and H4350. I also agree with Nathan regarding loading pressure with this cartridge. Since the "Swedes", according to record, proof tested all their M96's with a 66,000psi load (vice 60,000 for the .308Win) I'm not to worried about using Norma or Lapua data for mine. The warnings I see by most American manufactures seem to consider "Krag" action, which is weaker by design, when posting data for this caliber where there are very few Krags in my neck of the woods. Because the "Swede" does not have "gas ports" or a third bolt handle safety lug does not make it a weaker action in my estimation. For one to shear off two lugs in a M96 action, the load would have to far exceed 66,000psi.
I'm not suggesting "hot rodding" into experimental rocketry for explosive results; but using top (max) loads, if they are accurate, should not be of great concern! According to Nathan it is what he does and many of us has been following his "lead" knowingly, or unknowingly, for years. Enjoy your new rifle.
10 Oct 2019
@ 07:10 am (GMT)

Peter Bjerregaard

Re: 6.5x55
I would like to add some comments to Kenneth's reply.

Firstly from Wikipedia, 308 is proofed to:


According to the official C.I.P. (Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives) rulings the .308 Winchester can handle up to 415.00 MPa (60,191 psi) Pmax piezo pressure. In C.I.P. regulated countries every rifle cartridge combo has to be proofed at 125% of this maximum C.I.P. pressure to certify for sale to consumers. This means that .308 Winchester chambered arms in C.I.P. regulated countries are currently (2008) proof tested at 519.00 MPa (75,275 psi) PE piezo pressure. [11]

North American SAAMI maximum pressure for the 308 Winchester is 427.47 MPa (62,000 psi). [12]


Secondly:
The m/96 and m/38 actions were made to pressures around 2900-3000 bar.
Swedish military's hottest load (the m/41) never exceeded 3100 bar.
The m/96 IS safe to pressures 3800 bar (modern load from Norma factory).
But please don't compare working load to proof.

Thirdly:
Original barrels and hunting rounds like the Partition can jack up pressures since a lot of the original barrels are down to 5.45 instead of 6.5 mm. Not so with softer original bullets.

Fourthly:
There are quality differences between actions made 50 years apart. Perversely the m/38 is of lowest quality. A lot of the actions are brittle.

Fithly:
A lot can happen before locking lugs are sheared off. Please study attached pictures.

Note one locking left


Please note brittle metal and bolt handle blown clean off


And note the soft action


This all happened with a moderate hot load (intended to be around 308 pressures 62,000 psi. A Partition bullet and an undersize barrel

Take care out there!

NB This only killed a test bench - and not the shooter. Another likely outcome

Pictures from Tobias Hassel: Vapen och Ammunition.
Probably copyrighted, please don't repost.
But I'm sure he won't mind if it saves a soul.....

10 Oct 2019
@ 07:26 am (GMT)

Peter Bjerregaard

Re: 6.5x55
A reply to my own post.....

1) Yes, if you stay within reasonable working loads (modern book loads) from Norma, Lapua etc - you are safe. Please note the difference between 6.5x55 SE and SCAN.
2) Yes, a lot of Swedish shooters have hot-rodded their Swedes. Most have not had any issues.
3) No, you can't be 100% sure
4) Hot loads = soft bullets if unsure of barrel. So please have a gunsmith check the barrel measurements.

Please note
It's a decidedly unpleasant experience to have a m/96 blow up. Don't ask me how I know... But Nathan can testify the truth of it.
10 Oct 2019
@ 07:38 am (GMT)

Luis Vazquez

Re: 6.5x55
Congrata Paul, the 6.5x55 is a very nice cartridge that works great. Hope your rifle shoots great

Best regards

Luis
10 Oct 2019
@ 01:52 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: 6.5x55
Thanks, guys. A "new" gun is always exciting, at least for me. It's not my first Swede, but I can't really use the AG42b for much except playing with. Granted, it is fun to play with, but not really practical. Cases and dies are on their way, I was trying to find Partitions, but no luck. Found some ELD-Ms in the next town, along with the 135gr A-Tip. Have you seen the price of these? $125 for a box of 100 135gr . Think I'll pass on those.

Thanks, Peter. I will slug the bore to make sure.
17 Oct 2019
@ 11:17 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: 6.5x55
Surprise Surprise Surprise! The postie drove up the driveway today and said "How much do you love me?". She had the dies AND the rifle! Must admit the rifle was not what I had expected. New barrel by the looks of it, definitely not a military. It measures .743" at the 24" mark, which is the point just below the flash arrestor. You can see part of Carl's name under the scope mounts, I will have to remove them to see if there is anything else under there. It feels really good, has a good heft to it, well balanced. I think I might like this one.
 

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