Re: Building a rifle backwards
The Kimber '96 is build on original swedish Mauser 96 actions?
If so, you shouldn't load it to modern pressure levels. Only at modern pressure levels the 6.5x55 can compete with the rest of the standard 6.5s. Since you are already loading it, you could have one build on a rem700 long action, 26-28" barrel and 140gr bergers would be a sweet combo. (Im having this build on a tikka action.)
One problem would be left, namely keeping hot loads out of the old mauser action. Since this is problem you can't solve with absolute certainty and 96 blow ups are pretty ugly, personally, i'd rather build a .260 or 6.5 Creedmore, just to make sure all parts of my hands stay attached to my body. This particular problem set aside, the 6.5x55 is the perfect cartridge for your needs.