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Old May 14, 2021, 11:18 AM   #1
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need help 6.5 Parks magnum

This is a long story but will shorten it I received this rifle from a friend who has passed away. It is a pre 64 Winchester model 70 lightweight barrel as is the stock. the barrel is stamped 6.5 Parks Mag below that is K E Smith. I would guess he's the gunsmith that did the work. The empty cases I got were 300 H&H and 300 Win necked to 6.5 of course. Here's the kicker the ammo and empty cases I received with the gun were set up for reverse ignition. I broke a few decapping pins before I figured that out.
when I punch in this info to the brain box all it shows is 6.5 X 300 Weatherby, nothing about 6.5 Parks Mag.
Just a side note the rifle was purchased in Az. not that that means any thing.
Not sure I'm posting this in the right section maybe the gunsmith post ??
Any way I would like anyone's impute please.
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Old May 14, 2021, 03:27 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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Reverse ignition?
You mean a tube in the flash hole, like an OKH Duplex?

Fired cases would let you have dies made but that has become an expensive job.
Measurements of fired cases or a chamber cast might show that Mr Parks and Mr Smith were using a known chamber just with "reverse ignition" if you are lucky.

Permission to rummage through the estate items would be worth asking for.
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Old May 17, 2021, 05:56 AM   #3
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I'll go ahead and jump to the conclusion that you have a set of dies that came with the rifle, as you said you broke the decapping pin trying to resize the cases.
I don't know the 6.5 Parks cartridge.

I'm thinking you have two things going on.

One is the "reverse ignition" or "Duplex" load (As Elmer Keith might describe it)

And the other is reloading a 6.5 belted magnum wildcat cartridge.

You don't necessarily have to use the "duplex" brass. You can form up some new brass without that feature. That might simplify your task considerably.

One reference that MIGHT give you some info is P.O.Ackley's "Handbook for Shooters" Vol 1 and 2.

If you do find info there, I'll offer this caution. That old book offers load data.

In those days, the powder was different than what we can buy today. For example, Hogdon H-4831. Like many of the Hogdon powders,it was salvage WW2 powder. Supplies of that powder ran out decades ago.

It was great powder,and demand was there. Hogdon brought out "Newly Manufactured" H-4831 And H-4895,and H-4350,etc.

The newly manufactured powder required reduced charges from the data given for surplus powder.
Using the old P O Ackley load data with Newly Manufacture powder will give you serious overpressure.

I've seen the results of "Dads Old Elk Hunting Buddy" loading up some ammo for the Son to use in Dad's 30-06.

The results were primer pockets opened WAY up!! Primers blown out.

In good faith,Dad's Old Elk Hunting buddy loaded up the same old safe,midrange load of H-4895,that was published in PO Ackleys book. I pulled bullets and weighed charges.

With old surplus powder,it was a mild load,but with new powder it was a dangerous overload.

Data will be different for conventional primer ignition,too.

I'd start from scratch developing loads.
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Old May 17, 2021, 08:09 AM   #4
old roper
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There is few wildcats (6.5) that used 300 H&H and 300mag cases but none have name Parks. One problem is 300mag case is shorter than 300 H&H case so did they shorten 300 H&H case?

Pretty easy finding gunsmith
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Last edited by old roper; May 17, 2021 at 10:53 AM.
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Old May 17, 2021, 08:52 AM   #5
Jim Watson
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I rashly assumed you broke decapping pins in a decapping die or some improvisation.

But given real Parks dies and Parks brass, I would measure the case length and trim a convenient belted magnum (It IS a belted round, isn't it?) cases to length, size them in the Parks die and fireform.
I'd measure case capacity and see if it matched a commercial round like say .264 or 6.5x300 Weatherby. If so, great, load 'em up. If not, I would ask UncleNick to do the Quickload computer approximation.
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Old May 18, 2021, 07:29 PM   #6
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One reference that MIGHT give you some info is P.O.Ackley's "Handbook for Shooters" Vol 1 and 2.
I thought of that and checked it. No mention of the 6.5 Parks.

My recommendation is to measure the brass and find out if it is similar to some other belted magnum case. Simpe enough to do, get a copy of "Cartridges Of The World" and a set of calipers and start comparing to other cartridges of similar size. You might get lucky, it might be the same dimensions as another cartridge with only minor differences.
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Old May 18, 2021, 08:06 PM   #7
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Following on Scorch's recommendation: Assuming you have sample cases fired in your rifle,formed with your dies

I assume its a belted magnum. Therefore,when you form cases ,you have your sizing die to adjust the shoulder but a belt for a headspace feature.

Any of the intermediate belted magnum dies,such as 338,308 Norma,etc may be helpful intermediate steps.

Assuming you might be shortening a longer cartridge,it helps to think in terms of necking down the case body rather than forcing the shoulder back. Smaller bites are easier. I found a used Lee 416 Taylor sizing die someplace. Its a great step in forming .458 to 375 Taylor. Next would be 358 Norma or 338Win. 338 Win,then 30/338.

Even once fired is work hardened. As I don't have a precise case annealing setup,I have better luck with virgin brass

Use a good case lube. Imperial is not wrong.

Depending on what you do,the case neck walls may thicken and require turning,reaming,or both.

As its a belted magnum,you can rely on the belt for initial headspace control.

The shoulder will fireform. It will be up to you if you want to control head clearance by sizing the shoulder approx .002. Given the investment in brass,controlling case stretch that way might be wise.

Can you show us a pic of a 6.5 Parks beside some familiar cartridges?
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Old May 20, 2021, 07:56 PM   #8
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> reverse ignition

Rocky Gibbs called it "forward ignition" in the 1950s. It worked well with slow military surplus powders available inexpensively then. There's a book out there about the Gibbs wildcats and his forward ignition setup. Nowadays there's not much call for the ignition tubes, but they worked just fine, and Gibbs' book has all the information you need to make new forward-ignition brass if you want. Given the powder shortages we're seeing, you might appreciate the loading flexibility forward ignition can provide...

Back to your 6.5 Parks, being a pre'64 rifle and the Gibbs style ignition, it was likely built in the 1950s. While it's possible the gunsmith might have used custom dies, most wildcats then often used a basic case, like the .300 H&H, then would have formed the neck down with, say, a 7x57, and then finished "neck sizing" with a 6.5x55 or 6.5 Mannlicher. The highly-tapered H&H case would make that easy.

If you carefully measure the fired brass or a chamber cast, you need two dimensions: the diameter of the shoulder and the length from there to the neck. You don't really need the taper angle. Using the shoulder diameter and neck length, you can use your cartridge books to find the 6.5mm die that was used to neck size the Parks brass.

It might sound complex, but making new brass just needs passing the brass through the 7mm intermediate die, then neck sizing with (hopefully) an off-the-shelf 6.5mm die.

We need lots of feelthy peekchurs, compadre... sounds like a really nice rifle.

Last edited by TRX; May 23, 2021 at 08:52 PM.
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