6.5x55 Swedish Mauser

Fire Arm
:  m1896 Mauser
:  24 inches
:  1:7.5 inches
: 24 X
:  50 yards
:  10
Click for detailed 6.5x55 Swedish Tech drawing
Click on figure to access ANSI
technical cartridge drawing

Initially a military cartridge, since adopted as a commercial cartridge - either way, a venerable old cartridge with a long respected history. Fully: either, the 6.5x55mm Swedish Mauser (adopted by the Swedish military, 1894), or, the 6.5x55mm Norwegian Krag (adopted by their military, 1893): its adoption represented part of the world's militaries' change away from large-bore blackpowder, to small(er) caliber smokeless cartridges (eg, 30-03/30-06 Springfield replacing the 45-70 Government).

Of the 6.5mm military cartridges of its era, the 6.5x55 offers the largest case capacity: 52.9gr (of water, full case), or 47.4gr with a flat base bullet seated .400". Others of that era run: 6.5 Arisaka, 45.2gr (full case); 6.5 MC, 47.1gr; 6.5 MS, 49.9gr. The 260 Rem (or 6.5-308) - "a modern 6.5 Swede", runs 53.8gr and 50.2gr. Collectively these represent the smallest 6.5mm cartridges commercially available. The next larger class is typified by the 6.5-06 (64.7 and 59.1grs), or the 6.5x64 Brenneke. Slightly larger than these is the lone 6.5 Rem Mag (6.5mm-350RemMag), 68.6gr and 63.0gr. The magnum 6.5mm cases (eg 264 Win Mag, 6.5x68) run approximately 80 grs.

The 6.5 Swede has been used to hunt varmint to elephants, successfully. Because most of today's chamberings have relatively fast twist barrels, (1:9 or faster), the Swede is nominally used with heavy or the heaviest 6.5mm bullets. With a slower twist barrel (1:12), it can be used with lighter varmint class bullets. The cartridge is known worldwide for its accuracy. In this country it is nominally used to hunt deer, pronghorn and pig class animals; in Europe varmint to moose.

The nominal bullet diameter is .264"; SAAMI lists the maximum pressure as 46k psi, though the m1896 Mauser is best limited to 38k psi loads.

© Copyright Gregory J Mushial 1997-2005