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Thread: Mauser 6.5X.55

  1. #1

    Default Mauser 6.5X.55

    I have a Mauser chambered 6.5X55 it is stamped gustavs and all the numbers match. Its not in bad shape but is well used. Any thoughts on whether or not to restore? I am fairly certain I dont want to sporterize it. I am also curious about availability of Ammo, I've never shot it and I dont see to many references to this caliber in shotgun news or any other periodical I have perused. Anyone familiar with a place to buy? Thanks

  2. #2

    Default

    Not sure how you distinguish between restoring and sporterizing, but if your goal is collection, I certainly wouldn't do any restoration. It's certainly a prime candidate for sporterizing however, because it's a heck of a caliber and the rifles are usually very accurate. As for shotgun news, etc, these rifles used to be in there in large numbers at pretty reasonable prices. Lack of current listings is a pretty good sign that surplus sources have dried up. It's not a rare rifle by any means, but really worthy nonetheless.

  3. #3
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default The last one I bought...

    was out of a used gun rack, cost was $65.00 for an M1938 carbine.
    They're a mite more'n that now!
    Ammo is available, the Norma is pricey, around $30 a box as I recall, but PMC and the other major brands are comparable to other rounds.
    Handloading wakes the cartridge up. Most popular, as far as I know, bullet weight is the 140. Most of the military rifles were throated for the 160 gr. round nose FMJ, but I've never had a problem using the shorter bullets, even got sub MOA with 75 gr. hollow points in them.
    My wife and kids have never complained about recoil using them, even with warmish loads. The 129 gr. Hornady is a very nice bullet in them, good velocity, good trajectory, no recoil, and accurate.
    As I recall, I got my best performance with IMR or Hodgdon 4350.
    If your rifle is indeed a number matching gun, and complete, by all means, use it, but don't modify it. If you had to, advertise the piece, sell it off, and buy a sporter.
    At one time, the M700 Remington, the Model 70, and the Ruger M77 were available chambered to it, as well as the CZ and several of the other 'popular' imports.

  4. #4

    Cool Shoot It

    What you are describing is a 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser. Most of these little rifles are high quality. The 6.5x55 is and excellent round and is used in Sweden and Norway to hunt animals as large as moose with great results. This round has a high sectional density bullet with a very good balistic coefficient. The rifles were designed as the military weapon of Sweden and were capable of handling just about any and all weather conditions. The rifles were adopted as the firearm of Sweden in 1896 and produced until the 60's. There were 3 basic styles; the initial 96' infintry rifle had a barrel about 27" long, in 1938 the military adopted a shorter barreled version about 22' long ( a lot of 96's were reworked in the arsenal to become 38/96's) the other variant was a calvary model with a bent bolt also there were sniper models and other variants. The first run of rifles were made by Orbendorf in Germany for the Swedes, by about the WW1 the Sewdes began production of their own rifles.These were made by Gustav and Husquvarna. Both of the Swedish produced rifles are superior to the German models (as metalurgy had improved). This is one very good rifle if it has a good tube it should make a good shooter. P.S. This rifle doesn't like short bullets, the twist is set up for the long 144 grn bullets and bullets shorter than 120 grns may not shoot as accurately.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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  5. #5
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    Default mauser 6.5x55

    what is the length of the barrel? Does your rifle have full length furniture?
    Date of manufacture on the receiver? If it has a brass disc in the buttstock what numbers have a small punched triangle above them? T bolt or turned down bolt? Rear sight, does it have the standard ladder adjustment or does it have
    a flat rotating dial atop the rear sight with a symbol of a sailing ship?
    Is the muzzle threaded for blank shooting device?
    Depending upon your eyes, this 48 year old fart can still hit coffee cans with the issued iron sights 250 yards, (yes the 5 lb cans! Not those little things)
    As stated above, the swede cartridge is quite a sleeper, Check www.aimsurplus.com; www.midwayusa.co.; www.sportsmansguide.com;
    quite honestly the brass case russian/yugoslav does quite well in the old rifles,
    buy it for the brass,but realize that it does shoot minute of angle (1.3 inches at 100 yds three rounds)
    Factory Remington, though short OACL, consistently keep three rounds under minute of angle for me in all of my Swedes.
    Reloading, ridiculously forgiving round. Minute of Deer cartridge all the time.
    As for OACL, been shooting this thing for 20 plus years, contrary to ALL that I have a read; my groups shrunk dramatically ( inside inch three rounds) when I experimented with 2.95 oal for cartridge. This is the oal for the factory Remington Ammo which has never failed to shoot moa.
    I have a load with H380 using Rem and PRizi brass with Midway castoff Rem 140 gr, oal 2.95, out of my Sporterized 23 " bbl, scoped, 2894 MV/Yes 2894 MV. I thought I had missed the target, was using 7x binoculars, walked down range, three rounds .76 inches. Dramatic change from the 3.15 oal at the same moment , same range , cold barrel, calm day, 1.75 -2.0 inch groups.
    gO FIGURE, sometime logic does not work. Bullet jump, you bet ya.
    OH for those who have not tried it, on a clean white page, draw a 2 inch square in the dead center of the page. Now draw a 2.5" square around this inner square, darken the border, kinda like shooting a window pane, lot easier to remain centered for scoped rifles.
    It will end up being your go-to rifle, I am surprised there are not more replies, it is quite a sleeper, people don't ramble on about their swede, they just love them and remain quiet.
    Please use Google, wait till you see the Hits for the Swede.........

  6. #6
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    Default mauser 6.5x55

    Don't forget to search this site for 6.5x55 or Swede

  7. #7
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default The Swede I hang onto...

    I had a Remington Classic 700 chambered to this round, couldn't get rid of that rifle fast enough. Wouldn't shoot close to the same (small) size groups that the converted military surplus rifles I had would. Had a bent bolt 38 that would outshoot that Remington and it had irons still on it.
    The one that I have left now, is one that I assembled with a new, replacement 1938 barrel that I installed onto a Turk 98, the one that has the large ring outside dimensions, and set up for the small ring diameter barrel. No real advantage over the Swede actions, other than it's like buying parts for a Chev vs. a Ford. Everybody makes parts for a 98, not anywhere near the selection of aftermarket stuff for the 96 types, and the 98 still has the third safety lug....
    Anyhow, to make a short story long, had it trued up, exterior and interior, lapped the bolt in, and it shoots great.
    Left the long throat in, and in THIS rifle, it does it's best shooting (so far) with the 129 Hornady seated out to just off the lands, and a healthy dose of IMR 4350. Been waiting for the weather to clear up a bit to head to the range with my shiny new chronograph, I've mounted a scope of known performance for me, an older Lyman 10X target type, to see what the rifle will do.
    Last summer, depending on range conditions, this rifle with a 6X scope on the bags would give an occasional .5 inch group. Generally hangs around .75-1.00.
    Best shot I EVER made on a Wyoming Speed Goat was with my first 6.5 Swede. Jim, my best friend, and my oldest Son, were up north of Rawlins just west of the N. Platte River, putting the stalk on a small band we'd spotted near a water hole. Got fairly close, about a 150 yards out, and Jim spooked a 14 1/2 inch Buck out of it's bed, and it bolted from my right to left runnin' Hell-Bent for Election. I lead him just off the end of his nose, squeezed the trigger and brained him, shot entered the ear and exited the bridge of his nose. The rifle was one I'd bought out of the newspaper a few months prior, had been cut to 18", and had a Lyman rear sight and ramped Redfield up front. I welded a new bolt handle on it, drilled and tapped the receiver and mounted a 4X Redfield on it, put it all in a full-length 'fancy' Fajen black walnut stock. I built it's twin and gave it to a friend of mine up in Fairbanks back in 2003. Haven't heard how it's worked out for him yet.
    The ONLY problems I've had with it were my fault. In that antelope camp, I was using the 6.5 Swede, Hagar had a 6mm Remington, and the boy was using a .257 Roberts. Put one round of each into my hand, and it was darned tough to tell which was which at a glance. Had to keep close track of who was using what, and what they had in their belt.

  8. #8
    Member Ripper's Avatar
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    Default Good cartridge

    As everyone has been saying, there are a lot of good things about that rifle. My '96 is an absolute blast to shoot. If yours has matching numbers I wouldn't touch it. The last guy I talked to said he couldn't find a decent one for under $600. I think he was exaggerating a bit, but nonetheless, the prices have definitely gone up. The '96 barrels had a 1-7.5" twist (or so) and tend to prefer the heavier bullets. The M700 Classics had a slower twist (1-9" if I remember right) and were better with the lighter bullets. But they also tended to have a really long throat, which led to accuracy problems like D.W.'s. One rule of thumb was that the 1-7.5" didn't shoot anything lighter than 120gr very well.

    As far as ammo, the premium hunting ammo is pretty spendy...I think at least $30 or so. But surplus plinking ammo can be had for about $10. I ran into some in ANC at a pawn shop on Northern Lights or Benson, but I don't remember the name.

    One problem you may have if yours is a '96 is that the sights are set for 300m with 160gr bullets. You'll need to do some work to be more accurate for shorter distances. I would take mine out hunting 'bou or smaller, but wouldn't do moose with it. I know the Swede's do, but they also wound a high percentage (that is why by law they are required to hunt witha dog or have a dog available for tracking). The other reason they use it for moose is because it "is what they have". Every male in the country was issued one during their mandatory service time. Those things are a dime a dozen over there...kinda like a 30'06 here.

    Reloading for this thing is a blast. The options and combinations are endless. And it does shoot well! I like the slower powders, 4350, 4831, RL 19, RL 22.

    My plan is to keep my '96 as-is and mainly bench shoot and plink with it, but I like the caliber so well I am planning on picking up a modern factory rifle as well, probably a CZ, although I need to check if Tikka makes one, if so I'd probably go with that. The nice part about the modern rifles is you can load them safely to higher pressures and you get even better performance out of an already good cartridge.

    Enjoy. And feel free to ask or PM if you want any more info..

  9. #9

    Default

    Excellent cartridge, with 140 nosler good for game up to and including moose at sensible ranges. carl gustaf rifles are built to exacting standards with excellent Swedish steel and in good condition are capable of impressive accuracy. Good condition matching # rifles are sought after and becoming hard to find so you might not want to drill and tap. it's your rifle, but if you are paying someone else to do it, sporterising is not economical. No-smithing Mojos and scout style mounts will help for hunting. Regardless and excellent rifle and calibre.....enjoy . Search Swedish mauser on the net for lots of info.

    Cheers

  10. #10

    Default 6.5x55 is a medium game caliber.

    6.5x55 is readily available from Remington and other ammo manufacturers. It is also a very good mountain and deer caliber. Those milsurp rifles don't usually need any restoration. You might want to sand some scratches out of the stock and stain it, but that's about it.

    Regardless of any restoration you might do, the value of the rifle is basically fixed and any restoration would probably decrease the value.

    Those Swedish Mausers were good known to be accurate and they make good camp and trail rifles since they are lighter and shorter (M38) than the 8mm Mausers. By the way, which one do you have, M96 or M38? Here's some more info. A lot of M38 enthusiasts out there.

    http://www.surplusrifle.com/mauserswedishm38/index.asp
    http://www.surplusrifle.com/mauserswedish/index.asp
    Last edited by MrWoodsWalker; 02-15-2007 at 16:25.

  11. #11
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    Default mauser 6.5x55

    To Ripper,
    Tikka has them alright, cannot wait to grab one...........

  12. #12

    Default Thanks

    I really appreciate all the response's. As soon as the weekend comes I am going to dig her out and see what else I can learn. Sounds like it would be a great one just to shoot and maintain. I appreciate your thoughts, thanks again.

  13. #13
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    Default

    I have three of them and they all shoot! Minute of angle is routine. I use H4831 and 140 Hornady. If you are looking to modify, try one of the cock-on-opening cocking pieces available from Brownell's. The cock on opening is nice and it also has a much stiffer firing pin spring shortening the lock time. This is a wonderful rifle and round.

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