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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The mention of these potentially dangerous cartridges pops up ever and ever again. This is one of the more substantial and noteworthy threads on them:
(Original source is: http://old.gunboards.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=147301 for importing the pics one by one)

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kriggevaer
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1709 Posts
Posted - 02/03/2006 : 10:50:38 PM
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/kriggevaer/200623221546_Haerens6555-09.JPG
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This ammunition has been a recurrent topic among Swedish firearms enthusiasts since the 1950s. Basically, the ammo has been proclaimed unsafe to fire in any 6.5x55 chambered firearm. Generally, the conclusion has been that excessive bullet jacket metal fouling created extreme pressures. The story also often includes unreferenced reports from Denmark of rifles "blowing up" when the ammunition was used by Danish shooters.

I am not certain if it was the first printed warning about the Danish ammo, but the earliest published reference I have found is in The Book of Rifles(Third Edition) by W.H.B. Smith and Joseph E. Smith, copyright dates of 1948, 1960, 1963, published by the Stackpole Company, Harrisburg,PA, Pages 370-371.
In this reference, Smith and Smith state the problem with the ammo is the bullet jackets of "soft rolled copper".

I recently obtained a box of this ammunition and decided to do some analysis of my own to find out if this old acorn of shooter's lore is based in fact or folk lore. To begin, I broke down five cartridges and weighed the bullets and powder charges and made some initial observations. As time goes by I hope to refine this information and do some other kinds of analysis to see what this particular cartridge is all about.

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/kriggevaer/200623221727_Haerens6555-08.JPG
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The bullets are silver colored FMJ-RN with a gilding metal jacket and an average weight of 155.98 grains. Eyeballing the bullet bases the jacket appears to be fairly thick, but I need to section some bullets and get accurate measurements. Also, just from visual exam, the jacket material seems to have a high zinc content, but again this would take some metallurigical analysis to determine.

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/kriggevaer/20062322239_Haerens6555-13.JPG
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The gunpowder is a square flake powder with an average charge weight of 37.25 grains. I don't know the origin or composition of the powder, but will try to find that out. The powder intrigues me because it resembles an American pistol or shotgun powder. But, I have read that diamond/square flake rifle powder is not uncommon in Europe.

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/kriggevaer/200623222813_Haerens6555-14a.JPG
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The headstamps have markings of VI46 (I believe the VI is a roman numeral, although Smith and Smith state the "drawing number" is V146). The triangle on some of the cartridges supposedly indicates reworking of the anvil to correct it. I don't know what that means and will remove some primers to get a look at the anvils and to find out what the primer material is. The cartridges of course are berdan primed. The HA stands for Hærens Ammunitionsarsenal, or the Danish Army Ammuntion Arsenal. And, the 48 supposedly stands for the year of manufacture, although the box is clearly stamped with "Patroneringsdato: 6 NOV 1950".

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/kriggevaer/20062322388_Haerens6555-10.JPG
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The really eye opening feature that I observed on this ammo are the shoulder splits in the brass. At least half of the cartridges in the box have these shoulder splits. This indicates overworked brass or perhaps brass too brittle to begin with. It does not appear that the cartridge cases were annealed. Shoulder splits in newly loaded ammo are a big warning sign that something isn't right with the cartridge.

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/kriggevaer/200623224453_Haerens6555-12.JPG
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I am going to pull down a few more cartridges to get better averages on powder and bullet weight and I need to make some more measurements on OAL and cartridge length as well as having some other metal analyses done for the bullets and the cases. It seems that the story may be more complex than simply excessive metal fouling. With just the initial observations I've made I think we can raise questions of cartridge case failure due to bad brass, inappropriate powder, etc. I'll stay with this and see if I can come up with some more complete answers.



Dutchman
Posted - 02/04/2006 : 11:36:26 AM
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Herr Kriggevar

I'm glad to see you take on this subject. May I suggest that when you have the bullet jackets analysed that you also include a known m/94 Swedish bullet for comparison.

When you get further into this we'll make this topic a sticky so it stays at the top of the forum. Its an important topic that needs to be kept in the forefront as there is still lots of this ammo around and its still causing problems!!



kriggevaer
Posted - 02/04/2006 : 1:55:40 PM
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Well, thank you very much for the comments. And, coincidentally I have some m/94 ammo coming my way very soon thanks to SwedeJohn, so definitely will be able to do some comparisons. This particular ammo has been bugging me for quite awhile. It is such awful stuff and that is not in the character of the Danish military or civilian weapons and ammo makers. The Danish design and engineering perspectives and practices with arms and ammo may have been strange, idiosyncratic, weird, anachronistic, etc., but poor quality and bad evil ammo, nope, it's just not the way they did things.

One of the other questions I have is about the "many" rifles blown up by Danish shooters using this ammo. Well, it makes a good story, but right now it's a yes-no-maybe? It would seem to me that if the problem was simply metal fouling and increasing pressure that there would have been really plain signs of impending doom. Not being able to open bolts, increased recoil, deformed cartridge cases, primer signs of high pressure, gas blowing out escape ports, etc.

Another aspect of the "blown rifle" question, is that during the late 1940s and early 1950s the Danish shooters most likely would have been using Swedish m/96 rifles and Shultz & Larsen converted K98k target rifles. The m/96 actions definitely have some moderate pressure limits, but the 98 actions could stand a lot before letting go. Oh, I wouldn't doubt that a rifle or two had catastrophic failures, but we will probably never know how big the problem was.

In any case, I will keep at it. This little project is too much fun to get lazy with.



Alkali
64 Posts
Posted - 02/06/2006 : 1:43:32 PM
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Kriggevaer - I'm glad you're looking into this. I happen to still have a full 65 round box of very similar ammo. The box is labeled differently as follows:

FORSVARETS KRIGSMATERIELFORVALTNING
65 stk.
6,5 mm skarppatroner m/46-ru

Ammunitionsparti: 56-01
Blandingsammunition.
Efterset og ompakket: 1956

FREMSTILLET AF AMMUNITIONSARSENALET

The rounds are headstamped VI46 (at 12:00), H A (at 6:00), and 4 (at 9:00), and 8 (at 3:00). These show evidence of neck annealing during assembly and none have neck or shoulder splits or cracks. Bullets are round nose and are not attracted by a magnet. I shot up a partial box 25 years ago in an M94 carbine w/o problem except that cleaning the bore residue (I knew they were also corrosive primed) with Hoppe's solvent took noticeably longer than my handloads. Only years later did I read cautions about this ammo in Smith's. I'm looking forward to any conclusions you may reach. Regards.



kriggevaer
Posted - 02/06/2006 : 4:42:51 PM
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Alkali,
Thank you very much for that information! The plot thickens, doesn't it?! Very interesting. Yes, I am going to test fire some of my ammo in one of my shooter grade m/96 rifles to get some info on the fouling that takes place. I've also contacted a local college that has an Engineering/Materials Science department and it looks like they would be happy to help me on some metals analysis.



snowhunter
Posted - 02/07/2006 : 09:41:42 AM
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Alkali, "Forsvarets krigsmaterielforvaltning" translates into "the (danish) defence departments war material productions". "65 stk" means 65 rounds, and the "stk" is shortening of the danish words "stykker" which means "amount". "Ammunitionsparti 56-01" means ammo lot of January 1956.
"Blandingsammunition" means mixed ammo (lot). "Efterset og ompakket: 1956" means inspected and repacked in 1956. "Fremstillet af ammunitionsarsenalet" means produced by the (danish military) ammunitions arsenal. The headstamp "H A" stands for "Haerens Arsenal", The (danish) Army Arsenal.



Ed B.
Posted - 02/07/2006 : 11:59:48 AM
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Kriggevaer,
You are doing a wonderful service for all of us! I suspect there are many shooters new to the 6.5x55 -- I include myself -- who were not aware of this issue of potentially faulty ammunition. Thank you for your time to make this a safer sport.



Alkali
Posted - 02/07/2006 : 1:58:53 PM
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Thanks to Snowhunter for the translation of the label markings. It could help explain why my rounds (produced at a later date?) have annealed case necks and Kriggevaer's apparently are not. I should add that my rounds also have the little triangle stamped on the cartridge head. These are at random locations; sometimes even over the previously described marks. Regards.



snowhunter
Posted - 02/10/2006 : 09:03:54 AM
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Alkali, I see that I did not translate the line " 6.5 mm skarppatroner m/46-ru", which translates into: "6.5 mm spitzer bullets model 1946". Have no idea what the "-ru" stands for.



kriggevaer
Posted - 02/10/2006 : 10:18:05 AM
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The "ru." shows up on some of the Hærens Ammunitionsarsenal boxes I have seen for various kinds of ammunition. About the closest (and wildest) guess that I have about it, is that it is an abbreviation for "rust" which can be translated as "corrosive". I'm sure we'll find the real answer sooner or later.

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snowhunter
Posted - 02/10/2006 : 09:03:54 AM
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Alkali, I see that I did not translate the line " 6.5 mm skarppatroner m/46-ru", which translates into: "6.5 mm spitzer bullets model 1946". Have no idea what the "-ru" stands for.


kriggevaer
Posted - 02/10/2006 : 10:18:05 AM
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The "ru." shows up on some of the Hærens Ammunitionsarsenal boxes I have seen for various kinds of ammunition. About the closest (and wildest) guess that I have about it, is that it is an abbreviation for "rust" which can be translated as "corrosive". I'm sure we'll find the real answer sooner or later.

Hi to all.
Sorry for cooking up this old stuff, but this corrosive-thing is really funny ...

The term "ru." means 'round tip' - look at the bullets! But the Danes used spitzer bullets too. So to distinguish them the model designations of the cartridges were "M/46 ru." and "M/46 sp."

Have a look here: M/46 ru and here: M/46 sp
 

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Defender130, I firmly believe you are right about the translation and meaning or the danish abriviation "ru" actually stands for "roundnose" bullet, and the "sp" stands for "spidskarp" which means a pointed (spitzer) bullet in danish.

Thank you for clarifying this mystery, and welcome to this interesting fireamrs forum :)

Where about are you located ?

Cheers,

Snowhunter
 

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M94 6.5x55 Danish ammo

Glad to see this old post resurrected; it might be of real benefit to someone that didn't see it the first time around. I have no new and or exciting information to add. I still have my box of ammo in it's original packaging with no future plans to shoot it. Regards !
 

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For some reason, I have seen a lot of this ammo lately and frequently send out a note telling them the dangers of the ammo.
 

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I see this ammo come up on GB once in a while and I'm quick to send a link to the seller regarding the dangers of it.
 

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I'd bought some of that a few years ago from one of the auction sites as well. Fired one and pulled out a case with the neck split wide open. I double-checked the rest, found cracked and split necks, and scrapped it.

I dumped all the funny looking powder into a box lid and we lit it off on the 4th that year. Made a heck of a fountain for about 10 seconds :D
 

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Defender130, I firmly believe you are right about the translation and meaning or the danish abriviation "ru" actually stands for "roundnose" bullet, and the "sp" stands for "spidskarp" which means a pointed (spitzer) bullet in danish.
Thank you for clarifying this mystery, and welcome to this interesting fireamrs forum :)
Where about are you located ?
Cheers,
Snowhunter
Hi Snowhunter,

I'm an ammo-collector from Germany - trying to specialise on danish ammo.

Cheers,
Defender
 

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thanks for the renewed alert ,seems that old dogs are being ignored as usual.in brief; almost all old military and some commercial ammo used the silver looking bullets.this is the old cupro-nickel alloy which is one of the worst pieces of bleep to ever be used for for a bullet jacket. this material has always been major bore fouling wonder .it will build up on almost any barrels lands and grooves and cause dangerous pressure spikes. since most of the early mil-ammo was corrosive primed, this made the problem much worse.sell this stuff to the cartridge collectors.
 
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