HELP - 6.5x55 swede

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by etisll40, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. etisll40

    etisll40 Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2009
    I have 2 guns, a 1909 6.5x55 sporter and a new savage that was converted from 30-06 to 6.5x55 with a match grade barrel, SAAMI specs. I'm going to have the barrel cut to 24" from 26" to improve handling.

    Here are my 2 questions:

    1. I have about 200 round of swedish FMJ 140 grain sniper ammunition and it is very accuate in my mauser 1909 sporter. It is reloadable too and was cheap. But it is longer than SAAMI spec commercial 6.5x55 and it won't fit into my SAAMI spec new 6.5x55, as my gunsmith informed me has a shorter chamber! So I can't shoot it. But I like it and can buy more. Can my new 6.5x55 be re-reamed to accomodate the ammo? Will I be screwing it up? Is it worth it? I have a 9 twist in the new gun, don't know what the 1909 twist rate is.

    2. I bought some berger 142 vld's and I've heard they are typically longer, maybe similiar to the swedish sniper rounds. If I have it reamed again, will I be able to shoot the bergers too and play with the shooting depth (length) more?) And can the Bergers be seated to SAAMI specs and be loaded with max accuarcy in my new gun without re reaming it? If so, then I'll leave the new gun as is.

  2. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    It would not be that your chamber is larger in the old Swede it is that the throat is longer in the old military M-96 Swede rifle. They were throated to use the 160 gr RN bullet which is a mile long. The twist in the military Swedes was around 7.5", it is metric measured twist but ruffly 7.5" twist. Your Savage 9" twist may not stabilize the long 140 gr bullets. If you are a handloader you can probably seat the bullets a touch deeper in the case and do OK. I would make up a case by FL sizing it and cutting a line down one side of the neck with a cutting tool of some short, hack saw etc. Clean up the burrs and run it back through the FL sizer to straighten up the neck. Place a bullet by hand in the case neck and carefully place it into the chamber and close the bolt. The bullet will be pushed back into the case when the O-give of the bullet hits the lands. Carefully remove the case and measure the over all length of the cartridge. This is the to the lands measurement. It is as long as you can load that particular bullet in that chamber. YOu can pull that bullet out of the case with your fingers and use it. You can now pinch the neck of the case together to tighten it up and use a different bullet to check your length with it. If you have the throat lengthened in your Savage with only a 9" twist you may be messing up because it might not stabilize longer heaver bullets. You can still use longer heaver bullets in your Savage to see if they will stabilize by just loading them to shorter COAL. I have a number of 6.5X55 Swede military rifles and one sported M-96 Swede, With any bullet 120 to 140 grs I load the COAL 3.050 because that is as long as it can be and still work through the magazine and at that length the O-give is still a mile off the lands. Doesn't matter though because they are tack drivers.