6.5x55 Carbines?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Pinnah, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. Pinnah

    Pinnah Scout

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    Anybody use one?

    I'm toying with the idea of a longer term project of setting up a carbine length gun in 6.5x55. On option may be to get an already butchered sporterized Swedish Mauser and cutting the barrel down and restocking it. Or perhaps getting a CZ or Tikka new and getting it shortened.

    I hunt in very thick woods in Vermont and have a very, very, very long barreled M96 Swede that I shoot at the range. It's way too long to carry hunting but I'm not going to hack it up.

    I currently hunt with the Winchester 94 and it carries like a dream, is accurate enough for deer but then.. there's that part of me that just prefers a more accurate gun. Plus, I've taken a fondness for and familiarity of 6.5x55, particularly on the reloading bench.

    I'd be curious to hear about people's experiences with this round in guns with barrels in the 18.5 to 20 inch range. How bad does accuracy suffer? Other issues?

    Pictures to help inspire?
     
  2. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    I have a Carl Gustaf 6.5x55 Mauser with an 18 1/2" barrel in a Ramline synthetic stock. Nothing fancy, but it will put 3 shots in a quarter at 100 yards if I do my part. Knocks deer stone dead too with either 129gr or 140gr pills.

    I'll have to get it out after supper for pics.
     
  3. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Supporter Supporter

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    Accuracy is not at all determinant on a barrels length. Having said that shorter barrels are stiffer barrels stiffer means moves less. More over it increases consistency and that is the basis for accuracy.
    You will negatively effect velocity, not Necessarily accuracy.

    Ya just gotta shoot it to see how well It shoots!

    CW
     
  4. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    Yup, you will sacrifice a few hundred fps, but I don't think the critters really care if that projectile hits them at 2100 or 2400.
     
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  5. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Supporter Supporter

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    The 6.5x55 has been what the Creedmore claims to be. A short barrel swede is likely still a ballistic warm Loaded Grendel. The Grendel is a dandy.

    Your gonna be fine with the Swede as a handier short barrel. Just find a accurate load and live life.

    CW
     
  6. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    Like you, I roll my own, so I can improve over the factory Grendel ballistics a little. But, if I need more than what the Swede can safely produce, I'll pick a bigger caliber. In the words of Robert Ruark, "use enough gun".
     
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  7. heldfast

    heldfast Tracker

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    CZ 550 FS has a 20.5” barrel, if you can find one!
     
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  8. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    There's a rifle very similarly set up at one of the gun shops I occasionally stop at. Looks decent, when I first saw the stepped barrel I was thinking 8mm until I pulled it off the rack and saw it was an M-96. If I recall correctly they're asking $250.00 for it.
     
  9. goon

    goon Scout

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    Century Arms did sell sporterized Swedish M96’s in the 90’s. Seems a shame to chop a gorgeous milsurp now, but if you could find one already modified...

    Also, doesn’t CZ do a couple 550’s in 6.5x55?
     
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  10. leghog

    leghog Guide

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    Why change what works?
     
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  11. Jeffro

    Jeffro Guide Bushclass I

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    I'd keep the long gun and find a Husky carbine. Have you considered 're-barreling a donor action and building your own carbine?
     
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  12. NuclearMeltdown

    NuclearMeltdown Tracker

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    CZ made their newer 557 in a carbine model, but they're not being imported right now. Bud's Gun Shop had some old stock on super-sale earlier this year. They came with open sights. Might be worth looking for. Here's CZ's stock photo:

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    That's what I'm doing. I'm about mid project doing a Turk action with an NOS Swede barrel. It's head spaced and ready to go, but I need a stock to put it in.
     
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  14. Raymond Eisele

    Raymond Eisele Scout

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    I also have a Carl Gustaf 18.5 inch carbine in original wooden stock. Rear sight was removed and replaced with a receiver sight. Best shooter that I have. Made in 1906.
     
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  15. Ascham

    Ascham Supporter Supporter

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    I am a sucker for the FS models.
     
  16. Pinnah

    Pinnah Scout

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    I have no intention of hacking up my 96. It's not matching numbers and the stock is rough, but the gun is all there.

    If I chop up a M96, it will be one that has already been sporterized.

    No good reason, really. Same reason I have as many bikes and skis as I do. It's something I just keep coming back to.
     
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  17. PeterCartwright

    PeterCartwright Guide

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    I also have a '94 Mauser carbine in 6.5X55, but I re-barreled the gun when I found a brand new surplus rifle-length barrel. I had it cut down to a bit about 23". My rifle really, really likes Hornady's 160 gr. round nose bullets, which are very much like the original ball ammo in weight and design. It's worth noting the old Swede's have a rather fast twist-somewhere around 7.5", which contributes to their love for the longer bullets. I've used 120 gr. (the old Nosler ballistic tips) and 140 gr. partitions and the 160 gr. Hornady round noses. I haven't been able to tell any difference in the way they take whitetails. And it's fun to remember the Scandinavians are fond of the cartridge for filling their freezers with moose venison.

    Great cartridge with neat history and efficient performance.

    PC
     
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  18. 1066vik

    1066vik Supporter Supporter

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    love my 1942 husky m38 turnbolt, but one of those CZ's sounds like the ticket.
     
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  19. DKR

    DKR Guide

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    One overlooked rifle is the 6.5x50 (6.5×50 Japanese Arisaka,) Super strong action, and barrels are on the market. You'll likely find one for less $$ than a Mauser...
     
  20. bluecow

    bluecow Scout

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    sounds like a fun project. in the end i'm betting ya end up with the M94.
     
  21. Royal Wulff

    Royal Wulff Scout

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    You might find a Howa or a Tikka used to cut down, then you could load it to modern pressures. Another option would be to get an old long action Savage and rebarrel it with a prefit barrel from one of several manufacturers. I have a Tikka T3 Hunter and it has 22.4" barrel. I've found it carries pretty well, but I get the attraction of a carbine. I think you'd be fine with a carbine length.
     
  22. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    Ok, here's my "mountain rifle"...it was manufactured in 1923. It has the stock safety so I installed med bases for clearance. I'm going to have a Buhler safety installed at some point. It wears a vintage Weaver 2.5 - 7 scope.

    IMG_20190904_212807185.jpg

    My other 6.5x55 was manufactured in 1908. I had the barrel cut to 24", the bolt turned, Buhler safety installed and drilled and tapped. I cut the stock back, plugged the hole for the cleaning rod with a black walnut dowel, relieved the side for the bolt and thinned the wrist leaving a palm swell.

    IMG_20190904_213424139.jpg
     
  23. designtom

    designtom Men Of Action #43 Supporter

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  24. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    Oooh, a butter knife handle!! That's what I wanted on my wood stocked rifle, but it didn't work out. Nice rifle and nice buck!
     
  25. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Supporter Supporter

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    Yup I spied that too. When I built my Whelen and later my Wifes “bob” I used a butter knife bolt handle. Very classy!

    I also noticed that about the only thing that Swede didnt do at the shot was WRAP THAT MEAT UP! GOOD SHOW!!! :D:eek:;)

    CW
     
  26. Jeffro

    Jeffro Guide Bushclass I

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    This is Freja. She is a 6.5x55 built with a Shilen barrel on a Rem 700 action, chambered with a match grade reamer and set into a Masterpiece Arms chassis. The 6.5x55 is way better than the Creedmore and capable of approaching the 6.5 SAUM. With a 140 grain bullet I load Hornaday ELD's she will break down an aoudad AT DISTANCE those pencil bullets hit hard and penetrate deep. A Swede years ago had his ballistics wired up tight and designed a great round. With a little thinking and looking you could make a carbine length rifle with a cadaver action, spin on a new barrel, drop it in a Bell and Carlson stock and you would have a handy rifle capable of some high performance. IMG_20180602_1623429_rewind.jpg
     
  27. Pinnah

    Pinnah Scout

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    This is the sort of cautionary tales I was hoping to surface so thank you.

    I have a box of Nosler 140s set aside for if/when I decide to hunt a Swede.

    I've had great luck reloading my M96 with a variety of Hornady 140s. I generally shoot ELD Match for Target but the gun also loves the Interlocks.

    The gun HATES Speer HotCores. I got massive pressure problems with "safe" loads. Had my loads reviewed by an experienced NRA reloading instructor and my gunsmith. Concluding speculation was the HotCore (or that lot) had stiffer side walls.

    One bitten, twice shy, I'm confident in shooting Hornady and nervous about loading up Noslers for fear they'll behave like the Speers.

    Every report I've read says the Partition is THE lights out bullet though.

    The question is, will it produce good enough expansion out of 20" barrel with older military loads for a Mauser?

    Maybe I should save up for a used CZ carbine.
     
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  28. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Supporter Supporter

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    Nosler still Makes a125 Partition too ya know! I have t tried them in the Grendel cause I dont have enough to test loads. But I did use them in my 6.5/06 @ 3300 fps with good success!! They fully penetrated one Ram goat and a couple Whitetails.

    The old standbuy 120 was always the Sierra. They where not offered for some Time but are again available. They are a bit stoughter then most 120’s and absolutely up to the Swede or Creed.

    For me the 129 Hornady has been the base line. They always worked very well. They have a red tipped version now too if you feel the need.

    CW
     
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  29. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    EXCELLENT choice! I have one of those too... a Ruger M77 tang safety. ;)
     
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  30. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    19.5 inches was my go-to, back yonder. i don't remember why. 140s loaded to 2,500 will penetrate a good-sized deer length-wise. my favorite round, ever ...
     
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  31. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    Tom, was your statement made tongue-in-cheek? I'm not sure there is a "cautionary tale" to be had with a shortened 6.5 Swede. I shot a mature PA whitetail buck (17" spread, 11 point with split G2) at around 75 yards and he dropped in his tracks shot thru the heart and both lungs. I was using Hornady 129gr handloads (I don't remember if they were Interlock or SST) and it completely penetrated.

    Interestingly, my short barrel 6.5 will shoot 129gr and 140gr equally well with about 1" difference in point of impact at 100 yards. However, my 24" model will NOT eat 129gr fodder with anything resembling accuracy (3 shots barely kept on an 8" paper plate) from a football field away, but will shoot 140s like a laser.
     
  32. designtom

    designtom Men Of Action #43 Supporter

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    Can't talk about the 6.5x55 without reading this page (or re-reading it)

    https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/6.5x55.html

    Copy/paste:
    The 140 grain Partition is without a doubt the most effective all around projectile for the Swede. Nothing else comes remotely close. This is a bullet that time after time, produces a deep, broad, violent wound resulting in fast kills. The Partition exits medium game at speeds fast enough to ensure complete disruption of vital organ pressures. Light and lean or large and tough, this is the go to bullet in the Swede, reaching its limit (wide wounding) on game weighing around 150kg (330lb) although it is adequate for use on Elk - unless you are sold on the idea that 450kg (1000lb) body weights are what the Swede was designed for. Wounding is wide down to velocities as low as 2200fps (310 yards) becoming moderate as velocities approach 2000fps or 430 yards. For those who use the Swede and have not hunted with this bullet, try it. The Partition should be driven into the major bones of the forwards chest cavity on game of all weights, not because of the bullet design but due to the power limitations of the Swede. Used this way, the Swede is brought to optimum performance.
     
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  33. designtom

    designtom Men Of Action #43 Supporter

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    No that was serious. Factory loading of a 140 gr Hornady interlok only expanded to approx .30 caliber. The buck was harvested cleanly, traveled less than 15 yards, but the recovered bullet showed that I either needed to start handloading, or find a bullet that expands easier. Since the Nosler Partition is regarded as having a very soft nose, and expanding at almost any velocity, that's what I've been using. Helps that there's still someone selling it in loaded format since I don't handload.
     
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  34. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    Thanks for the clarification. Factory loading does tend to be a bit anemic because of the prevalence of older rifles chambered for this round. Ammo companies do NOT want a lawsuit from weakened actions giving way under borderline pressures.

    Save your brass...with us seeing each other a few times a year, I'm sure I can help out there if you are interested.
     
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  35. lmc8541

    lmc8541 Tracker

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  36. lmc8541

    lmc8541 Tracker

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    Love me some Swede..... well, any mauser really!
     
  37. Pinnah

    Pinnah Scout

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  38. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    Here he is...

    IMG_20190905_193904302.jpg
     
  39. randyt

    randyt Guide

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    a 6.5x55 carbine is my saddest gun trade. When I was a kid, maybe 15 years old I had a Norwgian krag short rifle. At the time 6.5 x 55 was a bit rare. I traded it off and have commiserated ever since.

    Now I have two full length Carl Gustaf mausers. The intent was to cut one down but I just can't seem to bring myself to do it. So I'm on the look out for a project gun, something someone started on and moved on to something else.
     
  40. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    To me that rifle with the smoothness of the Krag action and the 6.5 round has to be one of the sweetest combinations in history.
     
  41. randyt

    randyt Guide

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    Ah yes, the folly of my youth
     
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  42. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    Don't feel like you're alone my friend, I've let a few go through the years that still make me shudder when I think of them!
     
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  43. JD Miller

    JD Miller Guide

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  44. Woodsroamer

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    If you can find a cz 557 carbine grab it. Mine shoots and carries like a dream. It hits like a tank in that little gun.
     
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  45. Pilot

    Pilot Scout

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    6.5x55 is my favorite big game round, and if you reload for it, then it really shines.
     
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  46. Oldguy59

    Oldguy59 Roughian #5 Supporter

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    I’ve got a swede carbine with a 16.25 inch barrel and synthetic stock. Weights about the same as my 94 win. When it belonged to my uncle it took bear, moose and caribou. Happy hunting.
     
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  47. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    the krags, in think, are why the factory rounds are kept on the mild side, not the m96/38 variants ...
     
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  48. optrixs

    optrixs Tracker

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    Is that a "Long Action" that is one Awesome looking rifle!!.How far have you shot it?.It makes my Savage 6.5 CM LRP model 12 look pale:)
     
  49. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Supporter Supporter

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    Yup. The way the industry hypes the Creesmore one might think its a second coming. :rolleyes::eek:

    We all know this Sweede has been doing more for over a century. Just dosent like to blow its own horns. :9::p

    I sold off my last one a couple years ago when i decided to build a 257 Roberts for my wife. It was a hard decision as they are close ballistically with the Swede leaning to larger game and the Bob softer shootin and lighter bullets.

    Then about a year or two later I bought a Grendel. Another “upstart” but at least this one had good reason. It brought near Swede/Creedmoore ballistics to a MSR.

    I REALLY LIKE THE GRENDEL! Yes all day and twice on Sunday the Swede is ballistically superior.

    CW
     
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  50. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    I bought a Creedmore due to being able to push it a bit more without worry and because it's short action. I agree the 6.5x55 can do anything the CM can do...especially in a modern rifle.
     
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