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Old Mitch

6.5 Swede for Long-Distance Accuracy? Any Experience or Opinions?

I've started thinking about something economical and relatively accurate at 600 meters or so.  A lot of Old School shooters would have put together a Swedish Mauser.

While searching prices on the internet, I ran across new Howa bolt action rifles in 6.5 Swede and wondered if that might be as good or better, especially considering how hard it might be to find a Swedish Mauser with a really great barrel.  These Howas are priced from about $450 on up.  That's cheaper than most Swedish Mausers I've found listed.   I do already have a Weatherby Vanguard in .308, which I believe was made by Howa, and it is a very good rifle considering the price.  IIRC, both my Vanguard and the Howas in 6.5 I've been looking at are on Howa 1500 actions.

What are some views on the Howa, the 6.5 Swede caliber, and so forth?  I'm not any great marksman, but would like something I can reliably get MOA at 400-600 meters, without going into debt.

Also, I think the Howa is also available in 6.5 Creedmore.  How does that compare to the 6.5 Swede?

 

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I'm not too well versed in either, but I would have to believe that these days there would be more factory ammo availability on the creedmore as well as current reloading data and maybe even brass. 

 

Ive heard nothing but great things about the performance on the creedmore from owners, usually when you hear about the swede, it is great...for a milsurp round. 

i would imagine with hand loads and a modern quality rifle either would fine. 

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For me, the 6.5 Swede would be nice cause I've already got a 96 Mauser and a Ljungman, and I reload for those already. So not having to reload yet another caliber would be great.   Sadly, I haven't had either of my guns out to distance yet, and can't say what kind of groups I'm getting on paper.   But from what I've read, the 6.5 Swedish should make a good contender at distance for an average marksman.  The BC of the 6.5mm bullets are great.   I also can't say anything about the Howa rifles, but I'm glad that manufacturers are still building rifles for the 6.5 Swedish round.

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Will you be shooting paper targets, or 4 legged creatures?

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The 6.5 swed is a fine choice for a nice comfortable, accurate cartridge. In its day, it had numerous long range grouping records in Europe. The Howa is a fine action and I'm sure it will be a great gun for what you want. Last fall I was at Sarco in PA and they had a row of about 20 or 30 96 Swedish Mausers on the back wall. Even a few of their big bucks match target Mausers. I don't remember what they were going for but it wasn't the pricing of yester year for sure. About 10 years ago I built a 6.5 Swed for an old customer of mine who became a good friend. We tossed the build around a bit and this is what it ended up as. Styled after a Mannlicher Schoenhower , I used a Mexican 98 Mauser short action with a Military Swed replacement barrel That I removed the steps off of. M70 style swing safety and reformed hot forged handle into a pear spoon handle.  This rifle would shoot 1MOA all day with the heavier factory 156g Norma bullets. The 6.5 military chambers have a very long throat. Not sure if Howa kept to the long throat or not.

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Edited by xtriggerman

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Thanks for replies. Xtriggerman, that's a beautiful rifle!  Anything I come up with will be pretty plain-Jane compared to that.

Likely I will mainly target shoot but doubt I have skills to compete.  This rifle could go hunting with me, but long range accuracy hardly needed in the wooded hills around here.   If my base rifle is a surplus Swede Mauser, my work on it will probably not go much farther than bedding action and possibly relieving barrel channel--if even that.  I've always heard many old 96's get close to moa in original configuration.  If I go with the Howa and initial results are promising, might leave it like it comes out of the box.  I'm not really looking for another project so much--got plenty of those already!  

Swede ammo with reloadable cases is still pretty widely available.  Pretty sure PPU and either Remington or Winchester still catalog it.  Norma available too, iirc. Once I've got a supply of brass I'll start reloading.

The Creedmore is still a possibility but I'm kind of a traditionalist.  

If anyone has experience with the Howa in 6.5 Swede, I would appreciate hearing from you.  It comes with low-end scope and mounts so it could go to the range the day I get it.  Built for a hunter, Hogue overmold synthetic stock.  Biggest drawback (in my eyes), no iron sights.

 

 

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On 3/21/2017 at 0:03 AM, xtriggerman said:

About 10 years ago I built a 6.5 Swed for an old customer of mine who became a good friend.

 

1 hour ago, Old Mitch said:

Xtriggerman, that's a beautiful rifle!

 

On 3/21/2017 at 0:03 AM, xtriggerman said:

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That is a very nice sporter job there xtriggerman.  I bought a 1909 M96 Carl Gustaf Swedish Mauser at a gun show many years ago with the intent to sporterize it but have yet to find my Round Tuit to make it happen.  You still doing stuff like this?

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At 600 yards any modern .308 bolt should run circles around any of the surplus rifles mentioned here regardless of caliber. I’ve never owned a Vanguard is there something wrong with it? What scope are you using on it?

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9 hours ago, MP5_Rizzo said:

That is a very nice sporter job there xtriggerman.  I bought a 1909 M96 Carl Gustaf Swedish Mauser at a gun show many years ago with the intent to sporterize it but have yet to find my Round Tuit to make it happen.  You still doing stuff like this?

 Thanks MP,  I don't have blueing tanks any more so I just stick to smaller projects more or less.

9 hours ago, DaveTN said:

At 600 yards any modern .308 bolt should run circles around any of the surplus rifles mentioned here regardless of caliber. I’ve never owned a Vanguard is there something wrong with it? What scope are you using on it?

 True for Win .308 or larger capacity cartridges and 600 yards is a tad far for the rather mild 6.5 swed but the caliber is a nice combination of low recoil and flat trajectory of the .26 cal bullet. If the Howa has a heavy varmint taper barrel, the thing will recoil on par of a light weight AR in 5.56.  Add a good BDC scope and that all spells fun for those of us that arnt excited any more by the belted magnum braun of our youth days passed.  As a reloader, sure the bullets are not in great variety but for informal targeting, I don't fault the choice one bit!

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17 hours ago, xtriggerman said:

I don't have blueing tanks any more so I just stick to smaller projects more or less.

I totally understand.  I always enjoy seeing the work you've done.  Keep it up.

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DaveTN, I don't think there's anything wrong with Vanguard except I just never quite fell in love with it. Scope is nothing great. Iirc, it's a Tasco World Class 3x9? that my dealer said he would make me a real deal on since he had it in his shop way too long. Vanguard does seem to punch my shoulder harder than other .308's I have. Really, I should just get it out more and shoot it til I'm used to it and find ammo it likes. Haven't seen anything better than about 2 1/2" from it. 

But then, there's also that urge for the new.

Actually though I've started thinking I should just hold off a while on purchases that aren't related to all the work my wife would like done on the house. :bored:  She be lot happier seeing stuff accomplished and then not so fussy about, "What? ANOTHER gun?"

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5 hours ago, Old Mitch said:

Haven't seen anything better than about 2 1/2" from it. 

At 400-600 meters?

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