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1896 Swede 6.5 x 55

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  • 1896 Swede 6.5 x 55

    Hi, I've been shooting my old Swede lately. Reloading has brought out the accuracy potential of this fine old rifle. Since this is the only military rifle I own, I have no experience with long stocks complete with barrel bands. I have experienced vertical stringing in my groups, and I'm wondering if this might be a bedding issue. The battle sights are pretty crude, and set to zero @ 300 meters. There's no way I could shoot 100 yard groups with these sights, even when my eyesight was at it's best. I have grafted a pistol scope onto the old rifle with a shop-built scope mount that doesn't need any holes drilled and threaded. It's pretty solid, and although the shots string vertically, the zero doesn't shift.
    Ive been shooting 120 Noslers and 140 Hornadys with 4895, 4350, and Varget. All are mid range powder charges. I don't want to hot-rod a fine old rifle, I just want to see how well I can make it shoot. So far 4895 with the 120gr and 4350 with the 140's seem to be the best.

    Any thoughts?
    I cut it off twice; it's still too short
    Oregon, USA

  • #2
    Generally vertical stringing on a rifle in good condition can be caused by three possibilities: erratic velocity, inconsistent positioning of the rifle on the rest/bags or inconsistent hold of the rifle when shooting. You may need to try different bullet seating depths and neck tension, primers or vary the powder charge slightly. For bench work, try putting a piece of masking tape on the stock to get your rifle back to the same position for each shot. Face placement on the buttstock and how and where you hold the stock must be the same each time. Face pressure on the stock, and shoulder pressure against the buttplate has to be the same. Where in OR are you? If you're near K Falls, I could send my son over to help! <VBG>
    David Kaiser
    “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.”
    ― Robert A. Heinlein

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    • #3
      Hi Tim, I am an old fan of the swede. You might try some Hodgden H4831SC powder and sierra 142 projectiles. I have a few M96's and a model 700 heavy barrel that I built to see what a cartridge made in 1893 could really do. Somewhere around 45 to 46 grains depending on your rifle seems to work well for me. Try a taller front sight blade and you will have better luck at 100 yards,I know what you mean about the sights unfortunately... Jim

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      • #4
        I've owned a couple of them and the sights are exactly what you and everyone else has stated - basic POI is about 300 yds but FWIW, the last one I had would shoot in the black at 100; although I think a previous owner may have changed out the front sight.

        Re the stringing, you might try shooting a 10 shot group at 25 yds, then move to 50 then 75, and see if anything changes. Might be your sight picture and not the rifle.

        I currently have a Swiss K31 in 7.5x55 and it is the best game rifle in the closet. Very accurate and plenty of punch. My sons and I have killed countless hogs and deer with it using Prvi 174 gr SP ammo.

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