6,5x55

Spindrift

Active Member
So, I have started load development in the 6,5x55- barrel of my Rössler Titan alpha rifle. This is a light weight, switch barrel bolt action with fat bolt, detatchable magazine. Barrels made by Lothar Walther of Germany, very nice barrels. Twist 1:220mm (8,66in). The rifle is my mountain rifle. Leupold VX-1 3-9x40, 19in threaded barrel (I always use sound moderator when hunting, my poor ears have had enough). Accuracy with jax is sub- MOA with almost all bullets I have tried, it is really accurate.

So, I have never loaded cast bullets for this cartridge before. I have a NOE 266-140- FN 4- cavity GC- mold, which is absolutely wonderful to work with. Alloy is air cooled 96/2/2, where the «96» part is BHN 12 nuclear medicine lead. Air- cooled bullet hardness 18 after 2 weeks. I plan to use water quenched bullets in the future, but wanted to get a feel for the cartridge/bullet at lower intensity loads first.
The mold drops at .268. I have the NOE push- through sizer, with bushings .265, .266, .267 and .268. I also have the corresponding top punch, giving the option of base- first sizing. The barrel slugs at .264 (for whatever that is worth); have not performed a pound cast.

At the first trip to the range, i tried bullets sized .265, with different loads of Viht- N110, TU-3000, IMR4198 and TU- 5000. Results from that first trip to the range were variable; the problem being, results varied from bad to even worse. Something was obviously wrong, most probably the sizing. I also suspected the gas checks (Sages, Cu) might not be up to the task since they seemed very shallow.

Next trip, I sized bullets .266, and .267. Kept the load weights that gave reasonable results (2,5 MOA). Compared Sages CuGC with homne made aluminum checks (Pat Marlin). Well, things definately looked better with both .266 and .267. The Sages and homemade gas checks performed similar. Not enough data yet to conclude with authority, but it seemed .266 worked best.

I thought I could keep you posted as I hopefully progress in the load development. I have a good feeling about this bullet, but as to how good accuracy I can get... We´ll just have to see.
Oh, and the range is 100m. Shooting from prone, with support on a bag. Bullseye is 30mm, and the distance between the circles are all 30mm (which for practical purposes is 1 MOA at 100m).89C7987E-D6C1-466B-82F1-6B415A51CCFC.jpeg74FF17CA-E654-4068-B80D-071759CAA32D.jpeg6494E411-1991-4566-A474-D6B02C4C4B09.jpegE0BAE6DD-5805-4714-91B1-BCAE07AAC973.jpeg
 

Jeff H

NW Ohio
I've tried to convince myself that the old 6.5 won't necessarily shoot well with cast so I don't have to buy more moulds and another gas check maker.

So much for that. You and a few other have dispelled a myth that had been saving me some money.

Do you have an idea what velocity you're achieving? My current 6.5x55 is a commercial barrel and I don't remember the twist offhand but it's a tad faster than the old '94 or M24 I had. Maybe I could get something to shoot well out of mine too.

Nice shooting!
 

quicksylver

Well-Known Member
Well since not too many have responded I will.. Ben and a few others have gotten excellent results using cast in the Swede 6.5BUT .. I believe they do so by keeping the velocity below 1400 fps the twist rate is too fast for any higher velocity, Dan
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
I have a Ruger 77R in 6.5 x 55, it has a 1-9" twist as best I can tell. Throat is .2645" or thereabouts, 6 grooves @ .264" and lands accept a .256" pin gauge/.257" is no-go. Just about any jacketed spitzer 140 grain bullet shoots into 1" at 100 yards or better; Barnes TSX 120 grainers (the Condor Cuddlers) stay within 1.5" at 100 yards.

A few years ago I did a "shoot-off" between Lyman #266469 (140 grain Loverin) and Lyman #266573 (150 grain RG-4-like javelin-esque bore rider) through this rifle. I used several powders and weighs that ran these bullets from 1500-1800 FPS, and the rifle showed a moderate but definite grouping preference for the Loverin. I have not yet been able to shoot into 1" at 100 yards with this bullet, but it will shoot right with the Barnes redbullet--1.4 to 1.7 inches. Push either cast bullet much past 1800 FPS, and groups blow up. Alloy was 92/6/2 throughout testing, Hornady gas checks and .265" sizing. YMMV, as always.

ETA--For a time, I had a Win 94 flatband in 25/35 WCF. It could do GREAT work with an NEI 114 grain flatpoint GC bullet, but had a DEFINITE 1600 FPS "speed limit" in its 1-8" twist. Far be it from me to start up any RPM discussion here, but cast bullets in faster twist rates tend to show speed limits in my experience, and are not coy about disclosing same. That flatband 94 got a chamber ring from use of dacron filler (I was chasing velocity consistency......), and now labors as a 38/55 M&B thanks to Jesse Ocumpah in Oregon. No mas 25/35, and no mas dacron.
 
Last edited:

fiver

Well-Known Member
Well since not too many have responded I will.. Ben and a few others have gotten excellent results using cast in the Swede 6.5BUT .. I believe they do so by keeping the velocity below 1400 fps the twist rate is too fast for any higher velocity, Dan
just like the 8 twist 223 and 10 twist 30 cal rifles...
:headbang:
 

quicksylver

Well-Known Member
yes Fiver..Now at 70 I realize that the 10 twist in 30 cal is a sad mistake..the 12 in the 30-30 and 08 are a pleasure to work with ..giving a much wider range of excellent bullet and powder combinations, as a mater of fact I have been thinking of screwing a 1-12 twist barrel on one of my Springfield's 1-12 likes just about any cast bullet,, But back to the 6.5 if you do a little search here you can find some of the posts showing what the 6.5 can do with cast IF the velocity is kept low enough and the proper powder is used.
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
it is a difficult round to work with.
the length of the bullets are probably the biggest hurdle.
not being able to get someone to make a proper mold is an even higher one.
 

Spindrift

Active Member
Thank you all for your feedback!
I view this project as an exciting challenge. I am aware it might not be easy. It is still early days with me and this bullet, but now I think I have established sizing preference at least, so I can start more serious load development. I have read all I have found on the subject of cast bullets in the 6,5x55, but I have never found reports on this bullet. I actually have a good feeling about this bullet. Most reports I have seen have involved bore riders/ lovereign designs. Maybe this conical nose- bullet can bring something new to the table? After the bullet and I have gotten to know each other, I will try with water quenched bullets and see how far I can get, with intact accuracy. I have not chronoed the loads so far. For now, 5 shots/2MOA/100 is a reasonable start, at least. Plenty of room for refinement here.
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
1-10" in the 30s I can almost live with. 1-12" is much easier to manage. Even the NatMatch M1As come with 1-11" twists.

The 1-10" twist in 30 caliber rifles is like the 1-38" twist in 44 caliber leverguns--a prehistoric leftover that won't decompose. In the 30 calibers, 1-10" was originally assigned to the 30/40 Krag rifles that launched a 220 grain RN bullet at 1900-2000 FPS. Since 1906, the 30 caliber service rifles have used spitzer FMJs weighing from 147-152 grains, which a 1-12" twist will stabilize wonderfully at the spec'ed 2700-2800 FPS. But NOOOO, "We have always used the 1-10" twist since eighteen-ought-92, by God we will stick with that twist come hell or high water!" And that is how such suet-headed mindsets achieve immortality.
 

oscarflytyer

Well-Known Member
years ago after reading of all the difficulty and failure of getting cast to shoot well in a 6.5, I decided not to even try it. I currently have a Win 70 FW. It has a pencil bbl and accuracy was just ok, but certainly good enough for deer. And it has taken more than its fair share. Had put it away for awhile and needed to rework a reload for it. Then broke the stock and got it repaired AND rebedded (Win factory bed was pitiful). Yet to start back working on it, but hopefully I can find a nice accurate load for either the Speer 140 Hotcor or 120 Hotcor (what I started with in it - German hunting). Also have an old Sportered Mauser I started about 25 yrs ago. FINALLY have the stock I want to put it in. Just gotta get it put together... But I love the round, and especially how it performs on deer
 

Spindrift

Active Member
Oscarflytyer; maybe it will shoot better after the rebedding! It certainly is a nice cartridge. A lot of powders work with 140grs jacketed bullets, but my favourite for high velocity/good accuracy is Norma MRP. It is expensive, though. Also got good results with imr 4831, and Hodgdon superformance. N160 gave good accuracy, but slightly lower accuracy potential compared to the slower powders. Good luck with the Winchester, that is a really nice hunting rifle!
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
I have a feeling I know where much of this designs influence come from, and it does have a lot more potential than many of the others out there.
the question is does the rifle have the same type of throat these bullets are designed for?
 

oscarflytyer

Well-Known Member
Spindrift - I got some great results with 4831 years ago. My best 120 grn load was with 4064. Book says it is too hot today, but I really doubt it. Have avoided going back to it, but really think I need to just work up to it in my rifle and be done... RL22 is supposed to be the going thing theses days, but didn't have great results. Need to retry with the new bedding
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
With heavier jacketed bullets, IMR-4831 did very well for me in 6.5 x 55. A Nosler 140 Partition downed my most recent buck in the local mountains. IMR-4831 prompted it along at 2700 FPS and pulped the heart right well on its way through at 65 yards. He went about 35 yards farther and piled up.

Another nice load in the caliber with the jacketed 140s was WC-860, the cheep surplus 50 BMG powder. A full case of that stuff (55.0 grains) gave about 2450 FPS and docile pressures as best I can tell from fired-brass appearances. This is close to the 1896 ballistics for the military Swedes, and from my rifle the accuracy is first-rate. The burn is clean (no bore trash) and the report is a satisfying boom-y sound that adds much to the shooting experience. It's the little things that give life its seasoning and flavor, after all.
 
Last edited:

Ian

Well-Known Member
H414/WW760 was my favorite. Reduce the jax load some and make it up with buffer for cast.

Here's what makes the military Swedish Mausers so challenging with cast:
  • Throat is very long and bullet options very limited,
  • Chamber neck is too big for common neck thickness,
  • Lands are very wide and displace a tremendous amount of metal,
  • Handloaders almost always choose the wrong style/shape of bullet for them,
  • The bullets that do fit are often very close to wadcutters in terms of dynamic stability.
I only know of two bullets which will shoot well in the Swedes, the 6.5mm Kurz and the 266469....after it's been modified to be a 269469. Lube the space in front of the gas check and the next two grooves up only. Both bullets have a lot of small grease grooves, fill the throat, and have a relatively pointed nose which throws the center of gravity to the rear of the center of pressure just enough to make them stable. Make brass from '06 brass per instructions on boolits site and turn necks for minimal clearance. Use buffer.....carefully, per instructions. Don't put too much tin or antimony in your alloy, and heat treat your bullets. All it takes is reducing tolerances, using a bullet with almost all bearing surface yet has lots of room for the lands to displace lead without stretching the whole core of the bullet, and achieving a gentle launch with a slow powder/buffer combination tuned to exactly work with the system to get good accuracy at much more useful velocity.
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
That Ruger chamber and bore form will spoil you some. 6-groove rifling, snug-for-caliber throat and grooves, throat length reasonable, twist rate less radical--much to like for castings. #266469 did just a bit better than #266573.

I don't know that my Ruger will see many more castings. I have re-purposed the 6.5 x 55 into a heavy varmint rig, and currently am conducting a shoot-off between the Sierra 85 grain HP and the Hornady 100 grain V-Max. Early indicia is that the Sierra will get the nod, but a few more powders need trying before I declare a victor. WW-760 has done well, IMR-4064 was semi-all-right, I want to give IMR-4320 and IMR-4350 test-drives with both bullets.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Ian

Spindrift

Active Member
For the next range trip, I plan to use .266 bullets, with Sages copper checks. Dip- lubed in a mix of x-lox, beeswax, mineral spirits and a little bit of paraffin wax. Top layer of tumble lube, 60/40 x-lox and liquid boat wax. N110 (14-15), TU-3000 (20-22), imr 4064(26-27), N120 (17-18).
Ps sorry about the messy bench. 51358FC9-A3BA-40C9-A399-1DE2F3FF5DDF.jpeg
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
What mess? I can't even see my benches most days.

I look forward to more range results. Your Rössler is obviously much more kind to cast bullets than "Karlina" Gustov. A water-quench as you mentioned to toughen the bullets a bit may be an improvement still.