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Old December 25, 2007, 11:17 PM   #8
James K
Member In Memoriam
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,383
Hi, guys,

Points well taken. First, I am assuming that the rifle in question is in fact a pre-1898 Swedish Mauser, Models 94-96, made into a sporter by Kimber.

The design working pressure of the 6.5x55 is about 45k psi. I agree that the surplus Swedish rifles are the best of the pre-98 actions (much better than, say, the Spanish-made 93), and the steel was top quality for the period, but they are still not in the Model 98 category. (If they were as good and as strong as the 98, why did Mauser develop the 98?)

.308 Winchester commercial loads can run pretty hot, up to or over 60k psi; military 7.62 NATO runs about 52k. As I said, I don't think the gun is a "bomb", but every gun is designed for a working pressure and exceeding that by a lot can eventually result in problems.

Of course, just about any action can take a lot higher pressures than the cartridge working pressure, at least for a while, but why push the envelope?

Assuming the action is from an 1894-96 rifle, why did Kimber choose that action? Likely because they were available and cheap. And probably because they felt that most owners would fire only a few rounds and troubles would not arise. In my limited experience, deer hunters do not fire their rifles very much, and a box of ammo may well last 10 years or more. If shooting is that limited, I doubt there is any reason for concern with the use of those actions, and one may well last several lifetimes.

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