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6.5x55 SE twist rate

Discussion in 'Sako Long/Magnum Actions' started by Webphut, Mar 15, 2017.

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  1. Webphut

    Webphut Well-Known Member

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    So I'm pretty much committed now to a new rifle build using an inherited Sako L61R action some of you may recognize from my other bolt question post. Now I'm going to order a new barrel, gunsmith will be doing all the work. Question: what length barrel and what twist rate? I am going with stainless Krieger #6 contour. I have never shot this caliber so pour me over the need to know so I don't order the wrong barrel. Plan to shoot paper at range and hopefully deer, maybe elk if the cartridge is of sufficient size. But I'm thinking this may be a little light for elk. Now I am new to stainless, but I live in the outskirts of Houston and I have been having a slight rust issue here since moving here from communist left coast(California).



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  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary SCC Board Member

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    Know what you mean. My daughter lives in Houston and I've had my earlobes and toenails rust during a weekend visit there.

    The ancient Swede cartridge has had a revival during the last decade or so. Some people have gotten on the super-fast twist bandwagon, but there isn't a 6.5mm hunting bullet made that won't stabilize in a 1-9" twist. But if you wanted to order a 1-8" it would probably do fine, too.

    Barrel length is a matter of preference. I wouldn't see the need of anything longer than 24 inches, and wouldn't go below 22" unless I were building a Mannlicher or something specially intended for shooting in close conditions.

    The 6.5x55 is loaded to mild pressures due to the older military rifles chambered for it (however, those '94 Mausers are probably just as strong as '98's when it comes to demolition strength). If you handload it, the 6.5x55 can step right along. Scandinavian hunting statistics indicate approximately 2.74 Jillion Bazillion moose have been killed with the cartridge, so I suspect that an elk is also vulnerable to its impact.
     
  3. KAIFS

    KAIFS Member

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    If you are patient and willing to wait for a Krieger 'special run' - I now have a pair of their barrels in 5R and 1-8 - it delivers incredible results and groups... I put anything from 85-160gr thru my 6.5x55 rigs.
     
  4. JohnWoolf

    JohnWoolf Active Member

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    I agree about 1:8. Old Carl Gustavs were made in 1:7.8. I currently own a '96 and a '38 so twisted. They shoot everything from 95 (though it takes the bullet a whole summer to run all the way down to the leade) to 142 (at least).

    Years ago I had a Brno 98 chambered in the Swede cartridge that shot 125s very accurately and I later foolishly traded for a K-31. I slugged it and found a twist close to 1:8.5. Still, for all-round use I would go to 1:8.

    JW.
     
  5. Paul7

    Paul7 Well-Known Member

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    Cow elk taken with Sako Finnlight, 6.5x55, factory Norma 156 gr. ammo. Chest cavity destruction was impressive. 071.JPG
     
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  6. Webphut

    Webphut Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the delay in a reply. Thank you for the input. I think 1-8" sounds good. Pictures speak a thousand words, so thank you. That is what sold me. I have a 7mm rem mag that causes me body aches just thinking of shooting. I fell in love with the 6mm PPc and the 243 Win. this past year, but I never have get a clear answer if it big enough to kill a elk humanely. I know there have been plenty elk taken with the 243 win, but just not clear on the how far they have run before falling to the ground. This is why I was researching the 6.5 x 55 SE. A little more oomph.
     
  7. Paul7

    Paul7 Well-Known Member

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    Personally, a cow elk is as big an animal as I would go after with the 6.5x55, but the handloaders here would probably disagree with me.
     
  8. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary SCC Board Member

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    Any of the "small" 6.5's (6.5 Creedmore, 260 Remington, 6.5x55) will offer the hunter a bit more confidence than a .243 when taking an elk.

    A long time ago I took an elk with my Sako .264 shooting a 140 Nosler. I had recently had a gunsmith lengthen the zero-leade throat so that I could seat the bullets out so that the base of the bullet was even with the base of the neck. But I had failed to re-chrongraph and adjust my loads after the throating operation and later found that due to the extra freebore they were only doing about 2900 fps, or not much different from a 6.5x55 with the same bullet. The bull elk didn't seem to notice that the bullets weren't launched at 3100 fps and stayed on his feet just long enough for me to put a second round into his thorax before he fell over and let out a death moan.

    Maybe (doubtfully) he would have dropped in his tracks had the first shot been 200 fps faster, but my point is that a good 6.5 bullet like the Nosler Partition with a muzzle velocity in the mid to high 2,000's placed in an elk's chest will reliably yield several hundred pounds of excellent venison.
     
  9. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    The question is not if a 243 "will" kill an elk, but rather if it's 100 grain bullet is adequate & reliable enough to do it humanely or without considerable risk of wounding & losing your quarry. IMHO it is not. The 6.5 Swede with the 155 to 160 grain bullets, with their much higher sectional density, will provide more than adequate penetration for large animals like elk or moose. It's then up to you to place that bullet in the right spot, as is true with any caliber. I was eye witness to an elk being shot with a Lapua 155 gr Mega bullet that left a 6.5 Creedmoor barrel at 2500 fps. It blew a hole completely through his chest. He had blood spewing from both sides for the 30 yards he staggered before collapsing. Use the heavy bullets in the Swede & you can hunt about anything except the big bears. BTW, any of the 6.5's will be much more pleasant to shoot than your 7mm Mag.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  10. Webphut

    Webphut Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. Having some mods done to my 7mag. Have not got the call to come pick it up yet, but excited to see if it’s more comfortable on my shoulder. Had mercury recoil reducer installed along with kick Eez butt pad. I’m hoping it’s much tamer to shoot on the bench.


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