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Old May 7, 2012, 07:17 AM   #1
davery25
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Pulling factory rounds to reduce the load - Potential issues

Hi guys,

I hope I'll get enough attention on this one. I have an old 1907 Carl Gustav M96 Swedish Mauser in 6.5x55 swedish. I've been using it for military rifle competition and recently bought some (older) Norma factory ammunition from a gun show but am now concerned about using this stuff in the old swede.

I've read many times over that american ammo makers load down old cartridges in lots of European calibres like the 6.5 swede and the 8mm mauser but that Lapua and Norma produce full/modern power ammunition which can't safely be used in these old guns.

I'm therefore considering pulling these factory rounds apart and reducing the load to make it safe for my old swede.

I just want to make sure I'm going to do this right. I've read that the powder in the ammo is RL-22 but given that theres no label in there I'm not going to trust that it is.

If I assume that the powder in there is loaded to max (which it won't be) - can I simply reduce the load by 15% and use this safely?

Let me know if I'm taking too big a risk or whether I'd be best to burn the powder and just reload the factory rounds with a powder load of my own.

A pic of the ammo box is attached for reference as the stuff i bought is older ammo, not the newest stuff from Norma
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:21 AM   #2
Jimro
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I wouldn't worry about running Norma ammo through a Swede M96. The reason for downloading 8x57 is that the Germans changed from a .318 bore to a .323 bore when they went from the 7.92x57 to the 8x57JS. The land to land diameter stayed the same, so the newer rifles could shoot the older ammo, but the bore diameter increased so the older rifle shouldn't shoot the newer ammo.

The Swedes never screwed with their bore size, and Norma brass is very unlikely to have a catastrophic failure (which is why pre-m98 actions are recommended for low pressure loads, they are strong enough to handle full power loads but don't have the gas handling safety features of the m98).

So shoot them as is.

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Old May 7, 2012, 08:29 AM   #3
chiefr
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The Norma factory ammo you have pictured should work fine in your rifle. I have shot quite a few boxes of Norma myself thru my 96. I have read that max pressure for these rifles are around 45K.
IMHO, I would fire the ammo and save the cases for reloading and work your own reduced load. Some reloading manuals have approximate pressures listed for their test barrels for certain powders and bullets which should give you a good idea.
One thing I have observed about my 96 is it prefers the longer heavier bullets over the light weights if you want exceptional accuracy.
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Old May 7, 2012, 12:16 PM   #4
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My M96, 6.5x55 gets fed factory ammo. That is until I get my dies and bullets and I can reload them. Unless there is some damage to your Mauser, I'd say it's ok to shooth the Norma ammo.
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Old May 7, 2012, 03:51 PM   #5
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I think you would be making a silk purse into a sow's ear.
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Old May 7, 2012, 04:15 PM   #6
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Agree. As you download you reduce pressure and that reduces the burning regularity of the powder and can be detrimental to accuracy if you don't handle it in a systematic way that probably requires more ammo than you have.

The Swedish action is not a strength wimp. I know a gunsmith who chambered one in .350 Rem Mag. As Jimro said, the issue is the lack of safety features, so the main thing to concern yourself with is good quality brass in good condition that won't fail prematurely. Norma has that covered with new ammo, so you should be just fine. You can then go on to find a milder load for yourself later.

Understand that as long as the gun isn't severely corroded, it will withstand proof loads that are 30% warmer than factory ammo. A steady diet of them would eventually set bolt lugs back more than is best for strength, but small numbers of slightly warmer than usual rounds should not be a dietary problem for it.
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Old May 7, 2012, 09:08 PM   #7
davery25
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Alright, thanks for the answers guys. I'll reload the 5 that I've already pulled and use them.

Cheers
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Old May 8, 2012, 09:26 PM   #8
bfoosh006
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Consider contacting Norma/USA, I have e-mailed numerous ammo/powder/bullet companies, and have always gotten a prompt response.

http://www.norma-usa.com/index.php?o...d=3&Itemid=140
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Old May 8, 2012, 09:34 PM   #9
Jim Watson
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Norma is a well established Swedish company. I figure they know how to make safe and correct ammunition for a Swedish rifle.
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Old May 8, 2012, 11:06 PM   #10
davery25
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A modern rifle yes. I'm sure you guys would think twice before putting modern 30-06 through a M1903, or modern shotshells through a damascus barrel shotgun.

Either way, i measured the load inside the rounds - 49.5 grains of what i can only speculate is RL-22. If this is the case then my reloading book indicates a max load of 48 grains, but there's probably a fair margin of safety built in. The test gun for the load data was a Swedish M96 after all
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Old May 8, 2012, 11:10 PM   #11
davery25
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As Jimro stated though, it's just the gas safety venting thats lacking so I should be OK. rifles in good condition. This will pretty much be the last factory ammo going through this rifle anyway, the rest will all be reduced pressure reloads.

Thanks guys
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Old May 8, 2012, 11:12 PM   #12
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You can't figure an overcharge based on a speculation of powder identification. It could be RL-22, but it probably isn't.

Me, I'd fire one round. If there are no signs of overpressure I'd fire the rest.
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Old May 9, 2012, 08:03 PM   #13
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Norma makes powder , why would they use Alliant ?
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Old May 10, 2012, 06:01 PM   #14
davery25
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Bofors of Sweden make RL-22 (and RL-19 if im not mistaken). Perhaps Norma own them or has a shareholding? Who knows.

As stated though I can't trust that it actually is RL-22 so the point is moot

I'll just fire the rounds after the answers on here.

Cheers

Last edited by davery25; May 10, 2012 at 06:37 PM.
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Old May 11, 2012, 04:42 AM   #15
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The only logical conclusion a thinking man could come to !
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