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Posted - 12/02/2005 : 10:12:34 AM

I've been piecing together some information about the 6.5x58R K-J cartridge and it is an interesting history. From what little information I've scraped up, it appears that the 6.5x58R was developed at Schultz & Larsen in the 1930s for target shooters. S&L rebarreled/rechambered a number of Krag-Jørgensen m/89 rifles for the cartridge and at least in Denmark it was well received. I don't know if the cartridge made it to Sweden, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were some 6.5x58r there. Although the 6.5x58r was developed for the Eighty Niner, it would be fantastic for the Danish and Swedish rolling blocks. Perhaps over the winter I will get one of my rolling blocks rebarreled for 6.5x58r.


Posted - 12/02/2005 : 10:32:13 AM

what I have always wanted to know and understand is what range of calibers/weapons the European gunsmiths, hobbyists, shooters had access during those early years! That identification of what all was available to them will enlighten as to what was possible.. and why they made the custom calibers they did.. For instance in USA during those years the 7x57 was a baseline cartridge and rifle.. so gunsmiths necked up and down the 7x57.... hence the current day 257 roberts etc.. same thing with of course the 30-06.. where the venerable 6.5-06 came about... SO do you know what rifles and calibers were commonly available to nordic gunsmiths for customization during those early years?? and who were the major thinkers, tinkerers coming up with the new chamberings? like our P.O Ackely and the like...
Inquiring minds were wondering
and what twist rate would you use for your 6.5x58R project? Does norma still offer brass? or would you make it from ??

Posted - 12/02/2005 : 11:26:01 AM

Great questions and I certainly don't have the answers to many of them, but I am constantly being surprised at the plethora of cartridges that were developed from say, around 1900 to the beginning of WW2. Of course, the Finns used the 7.62x53R as a base for a whole bunch of sporting cartridges, but I think most of that development came about after WW2. Also, the .22 Hi-Power and the .22 Hornet cartridges got some modifications in Europe. The great 9.3x62 came about during that period if I'm not mistaken. As far as wildcatting cartridges in Scandinavia, I know they did it, but there just isn't a lot of info in English. I can read the languages (except Finnish), but my translating is slow and idiomatic phrases throw me frequently. Pettson needs to help us out on that.

As for twist rate I think I would stay in the 7.5:1 range that the Swedish Mausers worked so well with. But, I've got to measure the twist on my S&L 6.5x55 target rifle (built on a M98 action) and see what that is. I probably would stick with the 140 grain bullets, as this would be pretty much a target shooter (can you picture the rapid fire stage with a rolling block!!). Right now I'm using Bertram brass for my 8x58R rifles (always anneal Bertram), but Buffalo Arms has reformed .45-70 brass and I need to try some of that. It is a little short, but from all reports works well. Maybe Pettson knows if there is any Norma 8x58R still available. I've seen one box of Norma 8x58R and the owner wouldn't sell it to me - darn it. Ummimak is doing some investigating on hunting rifles in Greenland and I bet he comes up with some real interesting stuff. I home today with a very irritating chest cold, so I'm moving a little slow (too much Nyquil). But, the quest will continue - it is interesting and possibly significant stuff for us Norsk collectors.


Posted - 12/02/2005 : 9:12:08 PM

let me know what brass/calibers you are in need of.. I see all kinds of strange stuff at these big gun shows like Cross Roads of the West etc.. I have picked up brand new Norma 6.5x55 and 220 Swift for under 4 or 5 bucks a box several times well as 257 R and 220 Russian.. so let me know what you simply cannot live with out and I will keep an extra eye out for you!

Posted - 12/03/2005 : 09:48:55 AM

Lars I appreciate your generous offer. Right now I am looking for any military/commercial 8x58R cartridges or brass. If you would happen to find any loaded 6.5x58R cartridges or brass, that would be an incredible find. I suspect any factory ammunition came out of A/S Dansk Ammunitionsfabrik.Otterup. This was the cartridge production component of Shultz & Larsen and was run by Hans Schultz's son-in-law, Neils Larsen. The Swedish shooters had the 6.5x55 and probably saw no need for the Danish cartridge, unless there were a few rolling blocks that got converted, but I doubt this happened. Ballistically, the 6.5x58R shows all kinds of promise, mainly as a target round. Velocities in the 2500 fps range with low pressures. Although initial start up would be a little pricey to get reamers made, it would be a simple task to do. And reloading for the 6.5,no problem. And, it could breathe new life into those shot out rolling blocks owned by those who want something just a little different.


Posted - 12/03/2005 : 09:58:48 AM

The List... has been updated... I know I have seen 8X several times before.. years ago there was even a target shooter selling a boat load of S&L rifles and target stood out from all other tables to be sure... he had shooting coats the folks here had never seen before...from norway and sweden...for well as position shooting accessories there were lots of very different whitish and yellowish boxes...some black and white as ia remember... S&L? I will ask around and see if he still exists or ?? I fear he may have passed as that was how all his stuff was available.
off to the Cross Roads.. wish me good hunting!

Posted - 12/03/2005 : 11:54:12 AM

Wildcatting in Scandinavia:
According to Dixon's book on European sporting ammo, The Finns had a 7x54mm necked up from 6.5x55 (used from '46 to about early 70s) and the Norwegians used an 8x54mm (196gr at about 2300 fps) from about 1910 up to 1950s which was based on the same cartridge. It said the Finns also had a 7x50SR (5 g @ 800 mps or 77gr @ 2625 fps) which was 6.5 Jap necked up to 7mm(?!). I read somewhere else that the Finns used these 7mm wildcats for hunting large grouse (?!) during the 1930s. Finnish versions of the 7.62x53R (their nomenclature) included 5.7x53R, 6.3x53R, 7x53R, 8.2x53R and 9.3x53R.


Posted - 12/04/2005 : 9:11:50 PM

Interesting post!

It has always been a little confusing to me that the basic 6.5x55 case was not developed into a whole range of popular calibers, especially "up" in diameter for rusted/shot out 96 and 38 bores. Heavens, there's enough meat in a 96 barrel to rebore it several times!

As for the 6.5x58 in a Danish Krag, I would think the velocities could approach those obtainable in the 6.5'06. With the strength of the Danish Krag action and the case capacity of the necked-down Danish case, I would think some impressive performance would be the result.

I've never read any real pressure testing of the Danish and Norwegian Krag actions, and Ackley's testing of the botch-engineered American Krag doesn't count, {only one lug bearing...} but I suspect the Danish and Norwegian actions, with their locking lug and guide rib bearing, are quite strong indeed. For that matter, I wonder what the strength of a well heat-treated Danish or Norwegian action would be with lug, guide rib and bolt handle lapped into contact would be.

Regardless, I'd sure like to see the velocities obtainable from a 6.5 caliber wildcat based on an "improved" version {minimum taper, sharp shoulder} of the 8x58R case in a Danish action!


Posted - 12/05/2005 : 12:56:04 AM

The 6,5x55 was at least necked up once in a version that made it beyond the experimental stage... 8x54 Krag...


Umimmak Torulleq
Posted - 12/05/2005 : 06:34:01 AM

Well, there is a new 6,5 caliber out now, 6,5-284. It ads some 100m/s to the 6,5 x 55, and some swedes claim that this will be its successor. I though don't believe so.

But the all-scandinavian classic is now giving way for .308 and 30-06 due to the ususal maniac about leadfree ammonition. Even in Sweden they sell out their 6,5 x 55 due to wild boar in the south and bear in the north.

I though still like the moderate speed of the original 6,5 x 55. I believe a moderate speed to be much more usefull in hunting than all those highspeed-magnums!

Cheers from Umimmak Torulleq
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