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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought my first Swedish Mauser (1900 m96/38) and I went out and bought reloading dies, Norma brass, RL22 powder, and what nots to load my own bullets. I got to thinking and couldn't decide what kind of bullets to get. I know I have had a few guns, like my Ruger Mini-14, that prefer specific heel shapes for bullets. Do these Mausers typically like flat base heels or boat tail heels better? Or are they not that finicky? Or is this just one of those things where every Mauser is different and I'll just buy every 140gr. 6.5mm bullet out there and decide what i think it likes best?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
just to add to the first post. I am leaning towards the Berger 140gr. BTHP (VLD:Hunting) bullet. Why? Simply has the best BC and SD of the 140gr. 6.5mm bullets out there that I have found. But because I have yet to see of hear of anyone using that bullet in there reloads I am a little hesitant to pull the trigger (no pun intended) on buying some.
 

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When the Swedish surplus ammo was available (139-140 grains) I shot a bunch of it. And it was very accurate. I seem to remember the twist was something like one turn in 7.8 inches. The origional military bullet was a 160 grain round nosed FMJ. I recently found an old box of norma 160 grain soft points. Someday for grins and giggles gotta try them out.I don't think you will have cause to complain about accuracy in any of the Swedish rifles. Their reputation is well deserved. Have fun. Frank
 

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There are a lot of bullets usually available. But for me, I like the 140gr and the 160 gr Hornady bullets. Cost is a factor to me. I use Hornady 140gr BTHP Match #26335, Hornady 140gr #2630 flat based, 140 Nosler Custom Competition HPBT, 160 Hornady #2640, and the cheapest is the Prvi 139 SPBT. Some of these are hard to find right now. But, after having used many of these I last tried the 139 Prvi from Grafs. It shot the be jeebers out of my targets last fall. Just as good and better than several of the others above.

I think I am set on the flat base #2630 Hornady and the 139 Prvi SP for 100 to 200 yards. And as others have found those flat base shoot far better in some Swedes that a BT does for some reason. But, here is the cheapy Prvi at 100 for an example. This is from a 1943 Husqvarna M96. Next to last day at the range before weather moved in.
I have went to IMR 7828ssc powder. A bit slower burn than is RL22 and so far all my M96 I have tried with it love it. This is the first six rounds fired with the Prvi 139 SP and that powder. I have tried 4 more M96 about a week later and got results equaling or exceeding same load with a few rounds of some of the other bullets. But, to each their own. I just know for a fact you do not need a high priced bullet with a Swede for every day usage. Including a Hunting round. Another member was visiting and shooting with me when I tried a number of different loads and bullets. Then I shot these.




Trial and error will teach you quite a bit. But as I see it, cost does determine the best bullet, to me personally that is. Good luck on your reloading. It is a fun thing to do for me and I enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I never would have thought to try the Prvi bullets when I avoid their factory ammo but I'm glad you opened my eyes to it. It also sounds like you have a few Swedes that like shooting flat heeled bullets which I suspected might be the case. I might look around and find some flat heeled bullets and order some Prvi bullets while I'm at it and start load developing. Last you said you like to use IMR 7828 which you said "A bit slower burn than is RL22" but your Mausers love it. I guess I had been reading that RL22 is almost too slow and some people were having problems with it sometimes not burning completely because it was too slow but it sounds like you are having great luck with a slower powder...there's a question to be asked in that last bit somewhere I just don't know how to put it to words.
 

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There are a lot of bullets usually available. But for me, I like the 140gr and the 160 gr Hornady bullets. Cost is a factor to me. I use Hornady 140gr BTHP Match #26335, Hornady 140gr #2630 flat based, 140 Nosler Custom Competition HPBT, 160 Hornady #2640, and the cheapest is the Prvi 139 SPBT. Some of these are hard to find right now. But, after having used many of these I last tried the 139 Prvi from Grafs. It shot the be jeebers out of my targets last fall. Just as good and better than several of the others above.

I think I am set on the flat base #2630 Hornady and the 139 Prvi SP for 100 to 200 yards. And as others have found those flat base shoot far better in some Swedes that a BT does for some reason. But, here is the cheapy Prvi at 100 for an example. This is from a 1943 Husqvarna M96. Next to last day at the range before weather moved in.
I have went to IMR 7828ssc powder. A bit slower burn than is RL22 and so far all my M96 I have tried with it love it. This is the first six rounds fired with the Prvi 139 SP and that powder. I have tried 4 more M96 about a week later and got results equaling or exceeding same load with a few rounds of some of the other bullets. But, to each their own. I just know for a fact you do not need a high priced bullet with a Swede for every day usage. Including a Hunting round. Another member was visiting and shooting with me when I tried a number of different loads and bullets. Then I shot these.




Trial and error will teach you quite a bit. But as I see it, cost does determine the best bullet, to me personally that is. Good luck on your reloading. It is a fun thing to do for me and I enjoy it.

I was there and saw Steve do it. They look a lot better now that he figured out how to get the powder burns off the plates. :laugh:


Just kidding of course but I was there and saw him do it.
 

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I believe the 139gr / 140gr is the standard weight. I sighted in my 1907 CG M96 using brand new sellier & bellot 131gr soft point ammo. At 100yds she shoot a 1 1/2" group constantly. There is no way to not constantly shoot this group. Accuracy with the Swede mauser is just too easy. The first available ammo for the Swede mauser was the FNM brand. It was in a target ammo and a standard ammo. It shot just as accurate as the s&b ammo did.

This is the Swede mauser that shot better than the SWAT scoped rifles at the range with only iron sites. This century Swede mauser made this grandpa very proud that day.

Now with reloading I used 140gr bullets and was told here to use the IMR 4064 gun powder.
 

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Berger Hybrids are very nice in 140gr, if you can find em. Every time I shoot Norma Alaska or Oryx these are just pleasure to shoot as far as accuracy, I am having hard time finding that ammo too. Stevan1 mentioned 160gr Hornady - also a very fine product.
Depending on a rifle and a range I have some favorites.
heavy barreled CG-xx rifles do really nice with 139gr lapua scenar. Also it holds true to my HVA M/96s.
typical M/96, M/38 are the best for me via SMK 142gr (better compared to 140gr).
M/94 - is really nice with 140-142gr, but really shines if you take your time with a Norma 156gr commercial ammo.
I have no doubt that a decent load can be developed for other brands of ammo (Nosler, lighter Hornady, etc.). With that said, I am having a very hard time coming up with a CONSISTENT accuracy load with PPU 139gr bullet, Woodleigh bullets and Remington bullets.
Some lighter bullets will really blow you away as far as velocity and flatness of shooting, but you will need to get used to sights once you start going 300m and beyond with those light 120gr and under...
I am too poor to try new Lapua Naturalis bullets, however, they look promising as far as hunting loads go (no way am I spending $2.50 per bullet to plink :)
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just a few of my 'playing' instruments. Metal Brass Fastener Nail


129gr SST is what took 3 deer for me this past hunting season. 2 dropped on the spot, one (on the full run) had exactly 7 more heart beats before going down.
 

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The 155gr Lapua Mega RN is very much like the Norma 156gr Alaska RN or Hornady 160gr RN. Recently they seem to have sold out everywhere but they are the only larger/ original style bullets for the Swedes that have been around recently. Let's hope they are still available as many of the other larger RN bullets in this caliber seem to have been hard to find for quite a while.These seem to be the best shooters so far for me out of my M38 at 100 yards using 41.7grs of IMR 7828.
 

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I'm hand loading the 155 gr Lapuas. Never tried the 156gr Norma's because they have not been available for a while.I am getting around 2245 ft/ sec with 41.7 grs. of IMR7828. Not real fast but seems to work well for me at 100 yards. (Mostly shot during this winter at around 30 F, so we will have to see how it does at 90 F in the summer time.)
 

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Pictured Norma 139gr commercial is rated at 2650fps, I believe. One box, specifically indicates that it is for use in both military and modern hunting rifles... If memory serves me right, some Norma Vulcan 139gr ammo was rated at 2850fps...
as far as 160gr bullets, modern rigs(R700 Classic) you can push it to 2800 and likely beyond; for military Mauser, I would stay in a 2400 as a red line max velocity.
it is my understanding that a Norwegian Krag (6.5x55) is weaker compared to Swedish Mauser, so those loads will have a different and LOWER max.

Also, if you have a source for Norma 139gr bullets or commercial ammo, as well as .264 bullets (Sierra, Hornady, Norma) in 154-160gr - I would be very interested in purchasing or trading for those, as I can't find heavy bullets as such for quite a while now (except here and there)...
 

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You just gotta get lucky finding Norma's stuff. I've a number of boxes of old 156 grn Norma. They state vel is 2645fps and my chrono agrees!! I know all the old 139 Norma used to advertise 2850fps. I've never seen Norma to advise not to use any of their commercial loaded ammo in anyones military rifles. However in their reloading section there are cavets about using strong modern actions for the more robust loads. And plenty of people like to split hairs about what is weak, modern, or robust?Norma does/did use the 96 actions developing their Swede loads, imagine that.
Speaking of splitting hairs, with a 26" or even shorter tube pushing a 156-160grainer at 2800fps and beyond is definately into 264WinMag territory. Tread lightly.
No magical sources, only occasional good luck.Best
 
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