Handloading a New Cartridge

I had an interesting morning and thought I would share the results with all of you.

I have written previously about a very nice Swedish 6.5 X 55 Mauser that I own.

Swedish Model 96 Mauser

I had never reloaded for it as I found 6.5 X 55 Military Ball and bought it cheap and stacked it deep. It usually shoots really well, much better than most military ball.

But I have a good friend and he called me and told me he had given his reloading equipment to his grandsons, but still had some 6.5 dies and components if I had any use for them. Of course, I was glad to get them.

Here is some of the components he gave me

He had some excellent Lapua brass and some excellent quality bullets, both in 120 grains and 140 grains.

I decided to load some up and see if I could beat the military ball in accuracy.

The old military ball is 142 grain ammo, and looks terrible, but shoots great. The brass is about the ugliest stuff I have ever seen. But as Forrest Gump would say, “Pretty is as pretty does.” And it shoots well.

It was range time. Here’s the rifle this morning.

It is a fine piece.

And here are the handloads and the ball, ready to go.

Long story short, here are the results, with the 140 grain handloads on the left, the 120 grain handloads in the center, and the ball on the right.

As you can see, the handloads, even though they were my first effort, both beat the excellent quality ball.

Bottom line: You can almost always handload rounds that will beat military ball or factory loads, especially if you use good quality components.

Oh well, a good day at the range.

1 Comment on Handloading a New Cartridge

  1. Funny thing, though these were designed for 160 grain roundnosed bullets, I have found 120 grain bullets to print amazingly in every one I have ever tried.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*