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Old October 12, 2013, 04:51 PM   #26
oldgunsmith
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I usually FL size unless I'm loading for a specific rifle (I have 4 6.5x55 rifles). Not one shoots bad with 140 gr. Sierra boat tail & 47 gr. of RL-19. I bought 1600 of them when a local dealer went out of business, so that's the 6.5 bullet I shoot the most now.
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Old October 13, 2013, 08:08 AM   #27
kawasakifreak77
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Thanks for the tip bud.

Shooting yesterday: First off my homemade sight drifting tool worked great. Saved me a bunch of money so I'm tickled pink with it. I started off with my Micro to get warmed up & upon my fifth group got 3 dead on in the black with a 2" group.

So I get out the Swede & shoot a few. Man that trigger is awesome! I got the windage spot on but ran into the bolt with the bottom of the Skinner lopro. I'll have to shorten it. I shot another group which ended being my best yet with the Swede at 2.5"

I might put the glass back on top from this point. As much as I love irons I have my Micro back now for that. I can shoot it better too for some reason.

So now the real work begins. I'm not sure what shrunk my group with the Swede. The trigger, a peep sight or reloads. Maybe all three.

Mental note. I've never owned a rifle with glass. Shot quite a few though & never seemed to do any better with glass if the distance was less than 200 yards.

Until next time!
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Old October 13, 2013, 01:10 PM   #28
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Shot quite a few though & never seemed to do any better with glass if the distance was less than 200 yards
This tells me you are still on the sunny side of 50! Probably 40!

I used to doubt my Dad when he said the glass helped, but now that I am here where he was then, I find that he was right.

So you got the Timmny trigger in the Swede? That single thing probably did the most to improve your groups.

Generally, you can be more accurate with a rifle that has a good trigger and crappy sights than one that has good sights and a crappy trigger.

Better trigger and better sights? If you didn't see an improvement, I'd be surprised.

Original Swede barrels are throated for the "looong" 160gr FMJ RN bullets, and may be a bit...generous.. on top of that.

I have had very good results with IMR 4320 in the 42.x gr range with 140gr bullets. (work up to this, every rifle is different, and what is a safe max can vary a lot)

let us know how it goes, good luck and good shooting!
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Old October 16, 2013, 02:51 PM   #29
kawasakifreak77
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Well this project just came to a screeching halt. Long story short I owe dad a new scope now. It was acting funny (one click would move several inches) at the range so I spent the rest of the time shooting my Micro. Which with any ammo I can outshoot this Swede with iron sights. That alone tells me I was wasting my time chasing a fantasy of a moa group out of a 100 year old rifle.

After I got done cleaning it my hoody caught something & pulled it off the bench. I wasn't fast enough to catch it, only to fumble it, making the situation worse & watch it hit right square on both turrets.

So I'll give this up once I replace dad's scope & just be happy with my Micro.

Thanks for the help guys & following along.
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Old October 17, 2013, 07:22 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by "kawasakifreak77
That alone tells me I was wasting my time chasing a fantasy of a moa group out of a 100 year old rifle.
I'm shooting MOA...(see post #6)

I am having trouble understanding how a bad scope is making you give-up on the rifle
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Old October 18, 2013, 03:51 AM   #31
kawasakifreak77
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Well come to find out the scope survived. Not sure how. After talking to dad & licking my wounds I gave it another go today. That must be one tough scope, for sure.

Still can't get a respectable group with it. I've tried 4 different load / bullet combinations & the best I've gotten with any of them was 2.5" I'm no match shooter but I've drawn better groups with any rifle I've had. Almost all of them with iron sights.

It's not a bad rifle, I just can't shoot it as good as I want to. It's plenty accurate to kill a deer, which is why dad built it. So she's going back in the safe.
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Old October 18, 2013, 08:43 AM   #32
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That's odd. I don't think I've EVER heard of a Swede that won't do at least 1 1/2" groups... most are pretty much minute of angle. I don't remember if you said it had been re-barrelled... if so, that could be the issue. If not, I'd start looking for red flag stuff, damaged crown, damaged rifling at muzzle, ringed barrel, odd forearm pressure.. It should shoot better than what you are reporting.
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Old October 21, 2013, 04:24 AM   #33
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I'm pretty sure the nut that connects the buttplate to the trigger is this rifle's problem!

Two things I have noticed.

The more I cleaned the rifle, the worse the bore looked. The rifling doesn't look very 'sharp'. It appears as if the lands have rounded edges. Were they made like that or is it nearly 100 years of wear? Also I can make out copper streaks in the grooves near the muzzle & there is visible pitting in the bore. Not much, you really have to look for it but it is present.

Something else I noticed. When I started loading for it a bullet would slip right in the neck of a spent case. I haven't loaded rifles much, but I don't remember seeing this in anything else I've loaded for including an '03 30-06, post '64 Winchester '94 & my 300blk.

I ended up taking her out again, since dad is still on the road & he's the only one that can figure out how to get the safe open. I had loaded up more of the 140 Amaxs over 36 gr of 3031, mostly to use up the powder as that's what we had the least of. It was in a rather old looking metal can so I wanted rid of it.

All the benches were full so I was laying on a duffle bag with my hoody rolled up under the action as I've noticed the forend is very flexible. I didn't want to support to rifle on a part that wasn't solid.

Long story short I think the rifle likes the Amaxs a little better. I didn't shoot anything worth writing home about I feel. My best (last group, of about 30 rounds fired) was right at 2" the center of which was in the 10 ring. I stopped while I was ahead!

So. A wee bit better.

In the end a nearly 100 year old rifle with a visually compromised (sp?) bore, an easily flexible stock & a scope that took the entire weight of the rifle from waist height right to the turrets on concrete I don't feel too bad.

Keep the advise coming. I appreciate it & even though this one is going back in the safe when dad gets home, I'd like to take as much from this as possible. To apply the information to another platform someday in search of that sub 1" group.
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Old October 21, 2013, 08:56 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
I have had very good results with IMR 4320 in the 42.x gr range with 140gr bullets. (work up to this, every rifle is different, and what is a safe max can vary a lot)
That's exactly the load that my Swede likes 42.0gr of IMR 4320 with 140gr Sierras. Groups hover right around 1" @ 100yds, some will even be under an inch when I'm on my game.

Stu
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Old October 21, 2013, 10:34 PM   #35
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Is there a pressure point built into your rifle stock? Some of the lighter sporter barrels need them. Could try using credit cards slipped between your barrel and stock to tune it. I hear it tunes better if you're using your wife's credit cards....

Have you checked your action screws to make sure they're not loose? If they're not torqued right that could lead to bad groups. One way to check is (if you don't have an in/lb torque wrench) is to have the front one just barely tightened and gradually tighten it up as you group. Can do the same with the rear. Good beding job never hurt either.
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Old October 22, 2013, 05:17 PM   #36
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Something else I noticed. When I started loading for it a bullet would slip right in the neck of a spent case. I haven't loaded rifles much, but I don't remember seeing this in anything else I've loaded for including an '03 30-06, post '64 Winchester '94 & my 300blk.
That's what you want a bullet to do, in a just-fired case. It should slide in with almost no effort. If there is still friction, it means the chamber neck is borderline too tight to allow the neck of the case to "release" the bullet. If the chamber is too tight, you will see some scary high pressures with normal loads.
I would clean all the copper out of the barrel. ALL of it. What you are seeing on the rifling (rounded edges) could very well be massive copper buildup. I'd use a good copper cleaner and clean/re-clean until you get NO more blue on your cleaning patches. If you get ALL the copper fouling out, without question, and it still doesn't shoot, then you have other problems.
Sometimes badly pitted barrels will shoot better after a few "fouling" shots are fired, also.
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Old October 25, 2013, 04:45 PM   #37
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You might want to glass bed your action. Dressing up the muzzle crown may help too. I have always set my bullets with a .020 "jump" unless the OAL was too long for the magazine or not enough bullet was left in the neck.
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Old January 5, 2014, 11:58 PM   #38
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Welp. After pestering dad weekly about selling me the swede, he finally caved... & gave it to me!

So here's the plan: set her down in some nice wood. Any suggestions on a nice stock for iron sights? Nothing too fancy.

I love the look of an old blue steel bolt action, in wood with a leather sling & a peep sight. Now I get to build one!

I got Hornadys new loading manual. Looking at the powder burn rate chart, I didn't realize how fast 3031 is compared to what you guys suggested. Woops. Next powder down the list that I have is Varget so I built me up some loads with 37 grains under the 142 SMKs. That's about the only heavier bullet I'be been able to find frequently. I'm only looking to get around 2600 fps so I don't push this old rifle. I made a dummy round with a COL of 3.200" thinking surely I'll hit the rifling & adjust from there... Nope! Any longer & they won't fit the magazine!

If the Varget loads don't work I'll move on down the list to 4320 / 4350.

I had an extra brass front blade laying around. After four hours of filing & polishing I've got a nice ramped post front sight that tapers to .046" at the top. The sight picture is great with it. I think it will work great for longer range work.

A buddy's uncle has a place just a few miles south of here & I'm twisting his arm real hard to let us set up at least a 200 meter range. I'm getting tired of only shooting 100.

Until next time!
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Old January 6, 2014, 01:15 AM   #39
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Keep us posted on how she shoots at longer ranges. I suspect that your groups will shrink a bit in terms of MOA as the range increases.

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Old January 6, 2014, 01:39 PM   #40
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brass front blade
Be aware that brass front sights, blade or bead, can shoot to slightly different points of aim/impact depending on how the light hits them. Not a big concern if you are looking for a fast sight picture and minute of deer accuracy, but something to be aware of when shooting for accuracy at longer ranges.

The angle of the light on the brass will change the way your eye sees it, and can affect your aim, without you even realizing it. Fine for hunting, Not so much for target work. At noon you might be perfect, but in late afternoon, with the sun slanting over your shoulder? Maybe not. Might not make any difference to you, but it might, so just something to look out for.

There's a reason you see brass blades and beads on older hunting rifles, and not on target rifles from the same era.

Get a new stock, bed the action carefully, free float the barrel, and go from there. Cleaning all the copper out of the old barrel won't hurt and may help a lot.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old January 6, 2014, 06:40 PM   #41
kawasakifreak77
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Thanks for the tip about the brass blade, I'll watch to see if affects my shooting.

I talked to the local smith about putting a stock on her & asked me how I want it bedded. I have no idea about that stuff. And there doesn't seem to be many stocks available for the small ring versus the large ring. Seems odd, as the small ring action makes all the large ring actions I've seen look like dumptrucks. I want to make sure whatever I get has a low enough comb that iron sights are comfortable.

I've freaking scrubbed this barrel until my arms are numb with hoppes & a nice brush. About the third patch after that will be spotless yet I can still see what appears to be copper on the edge of the lands.
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Old January 6, 2014, 10:39 PM   #42
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Scrubbing only goes so far. What you need is to soak the bore with a copper solvent, let it work for a while, then scrub, then patch until clean. Repeat the process a couple times a week until you see the results you want.

I don't know if you can still get it, I haven't found any in a long time, but the best product I know of is RB-17

I don't know what's in it, but it doesn't smell bad, is non toxic, and it takes out everything!

Hoppes is good, but get a copper solvent (one that specifically claims to remove copper deposits), and use it.

Copper fouling is better than lead in the bore, copper actually smooths rough spots, and can actually improve accuracy, but there comes a point when this stops and the fouling reduces accuracy.
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Old January 11, 2014, 12:13 PM   #43
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I've finally found a stock. It wasn't anything fancy, just a small ring mauser walnut stock from Brownells. My only concern is the comb being low enough for iron sights. Fingers crossed.

Thr Varget / SMK loads shot okay (2") but as far as I'm seating the bullets out there's a lot of space left in the case & there's sure not much bullet in the neck. I think next I'll move on up to about 45gr of Dupont 4350 per several sources. Hopefully the slower burning powder will take up some case capacity.

If the slower powder doesn't work, considering the other issues with the barrel, I'm probably going to order a new Shillen for her. That will take care of all the unknowns about the factory barrel. Then there shouldn't be any reason for this to be an inaccurate rifle.

More to come!
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Old January 11, 2014, 12:55 PM   #44
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Before you go spending big bucks to accurize that Swede, check out the crown. A bad crown could easily cause your larger-than-normal groups. If it is lightly burred, you can polish it nicely with a brass round-head screw chucked up in a drill using Flitz for a polish.
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Old January 11, 2014, 03:34 PM   #45
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The 6.5x55 is inherently very accurate !!
Original military load would be 156 gr.
Use a powder that burns like 4350 and use a 140 to 160 bullet .
Get the proper cases not the stupid American ones .They had the 260 why screw up the 6.5x55.
Make sure the crown is OK.
Trigger was a very good idea.
When I made my custom 6.5x55 first try gave me 7/8" groups with iron sights !! Didn't go farther as it was a hunting gun which I used for deer for 25 yrs ! 140 , 4350 all you need .
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Old January 11, 2014, 09:45 PM   #46
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The stock came in already! & holy freakin' crap this thing nowhere begins to fit the rifle. I've got the bottom metal done & most (as far as I can tell) of the receiver. Started on the barrel channel but I'm starting ti get a bit tipsy from all the foriegn lagers I've drank. Whew.

But this will SO be worth it. There's nothing like an old steel & wood bolt action in my mind.

mete, I hope soon that I have the fortune you do & can hold a rifle that steady. Does your rifle still have the factory barrel? & what length is it? I just happened to load me up a batch of 142 SMKs over some 4350. American cases though. We'll see...

44 AMP, I did pick me up another bottle of hoppes, as I'm about out, but it specifically says it's for removing copper. Has a gold & brown label.

Thanks everyone for your help.

Until next time!
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Old January 11, 2014, 10:09 PM   #47
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Kawasaki, my rifle is a custom M98 Mauser. 24" barrel. My load was 140 Hornady with 4350 producing 2750 without any pressure signs.work up the load that works for your rifle .BTW Finn Aagard called the 6.5x55 the perfect deer rifle , I agree !!
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Old January 11, 2014, 11:25 PM   #48
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We need to make up some bumper stickers saying "I agree with Finn"...

He was a great gunwriter, and obviously had it dead on about the 6.5 X 55.

I also agree with Mete... IMR 4350, 140gr Hornady interlock, load it to about 2625 fps.... magic happens. Mine shoots that load into about an inch, day in, day out. Never had to shoot more than once with it, and never had to walk more than about 20yds to start field dressing. Kills deer as dead as disco...
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Old January 12, 2014, 12:08 AM   #49
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Disco's dead? Last I heard it was stayin' alive, stayin alive...

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Old January 12, 2014, 01:10 AM   #50
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oh, my...


he hits it out of the park!
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