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Finally have a M98 6.5x55

mitdr774mitdr774 Posts: 1,782 Senior Member
Last year I came across a 6.5x55 that was being cobbled together with old project parts that were laying around.  Knowing that once it was complete it would just be sold off I started probing for a price.  It took almost a year to get an answer and once that was figured out I was then asked if I had anything to throw in as a trade.  So a butchered d.o.u. 43 mauser, machined trigger guard, and some cash later I now have a M98 chambered in 6.5x55.  this is a combination I have been after for years.  I was always after one specific example that would pop up at shows in the area.  Never failed that the show I had the money it wouldn't be at, and the show I didn't have the money it would be taunting me.  

Once work calms down and I get some time I will have to work up a load for it.  This will be a nice stable mate for my M96 in 6.5x55.


  • ZeeZee Posts: 28,368 Senior Member
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Diver43Diver43 Posts: 12,746 Senior Member
    Very nice work
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • sakodudesakodude Posts: 4,881 Senior Member
    very nice, congrats.
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Posts: 8,811 Senior Member
    Very nicely done!! My kind of rifle!! Is that a Chapman safety, two position!! Those are the ones I always used!! Needs just a little checkering to high light the beauty in the wood!!
    Great score, I'm glad you finally got it!! 
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    That is a gorgeous gun!!!  Much envy here... 😍😍😍
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Posts: 14,840 Senior Member
    Wow, it is pretty, I hope it shoots, glad you got a deal worked out.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • FreezerFreezer Posts: 2,751 Senior Member
    That is a beautiful rifle!
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • Gene LGene L Posts: 12,815 Senior Member
    Way to go!  Nice rifle in a great cartridge.I think the cartridge head is bigger than a 8mm, requiring opening up the bolt face.  I had a CZ in 6.5 but like a fool, I sold it.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Posts: 1,782 Senior Member
    Thank you fellas.  

    This one will be pushed a little where I wont mush my M96 action.  Im sure the M96 could take it, but I am more comfortable with pushing to more modern pressures in a M98. not that the 6.5x55 really needs pushed to begin with.

    He has always done great work and even a rifle made of left over parts from other projects turned out great.

    I do not recall the make of the two position safety.  From what I recall the action was used to build a rifle back in the early to mid 90's and through some work related deal ended up back in his possession.  The stock used to be a mannlicher style stock in its last use.  

    I have no doubt about it shooting.  It may take some work to find the load it likes, but I am sure I will get there.  Not like I dont have 400 pieces of primed Fiocchi brass to figure it out with.  As best as I can tell the chamber has the same specs as my M96 has and I should be able to play with seating depth quite a bit as well.  Might be able to get a 142gr ABLR to 2900 with this rifle, assuming it will group.  If not, it should eat up 140gr InterLock bullets just fine.

    6.5x55 is my favorite cartridge, followed closely by .35 Whelen.  I have been after a M98 in 6.5 for a long time.  Almost had one built a few times, but my smith was always busy and is now retired.  Even in retirement he is busy with projects.  Some day I would like to learn more when we both have free time, which is almost never.
  • JustsomedudeJustsomedude Posts: 1,463 Senior Member
    Absolutely gorgeous rifle.
    We've been conditioned to believe that obedience is virtuous and voting is freedom- 
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Posts: 4,997 Senior Member
    Good lord that is gorgeous.  
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Posts: 1,782 Senior Member
    This is by far my prettiest rifle.  Next closest would be my .35 Whelen and it is a very distant second.  

    Going to have to dive back into quick load and see what I can work up for a load that will get me to slightly more modern velocities while still keeping to realistic theoretical pressures.  My dad is debating a pronghorn hunt next year and Im thinking this would be the rifle to use.  Only been out for pronghorn once and I took my only unused hunting rifle at the time.  .300 WM is overkill under 100 yards on a pronghorn.
  • ojrojr Posts: 1,344 Senior Member
    edited December 2020 #14
    As the caretaker of a few 6.5 caliber rifles, two in particular being the x55 chambering.  ..............
    I like it.
    The flight was uneventful, which is what one wants when one is transporting an Elephant.
     Reuters, Dec 2020.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Posts: 1,782 Senior Member
    This makes three 6.5x55 rifles.  One is an surplus M96 from 1905, one I put together using a M96 action and M38 surplus barrel, and now this one.  I also have a couple 6.5 Grendels.  Im thinking that the future may hold a 6.5-06 project as well.
  • bellcatbellcat Posts: 2,040 Senior Member
    Beautiful! And an outstanding caliber!
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • Elk creekElk creek Posts: 7,926 Senior Member
    Now that isn’t some cobbled together bubba special! That’s a beautiful rifle!!
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Posts: 1,782 Senior Member
    By cobbled together I mean that it was parts and pieces from older projects that were changed or abandoned put together to make a different rifle.  The barrel came off a different 6.5x55 that was rebarreled to .257 roberts, the stock may have been on that rifle but used to be a mannlicher length, I dont recall what the rifle the action came from was chambered for.  By no means a back shed project.

    Did some checks on my maximum cartridge length and it would appear that this rifle used the same spec reamer as my M96 rifle was done with.  I developed loads for my M96 using Lapua brass so I ordered some Fiocchi brass for the M98.  It was a bonus that the Fiocchi brass is already primed with what looks to be CCI primers.  If this rifle likes the same set up as my M96 then I will be seating long with just about every bullet I use with it.
  • MichakavMichakav Posts: 2,907 Senior Member
    That is a beautiful rifle in a classic chambering. 
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Posts: 1,782 Senior Member
    edited March 2021 #20
    Finally had a chance to put a few rounds through the 6.5x55.  By few I mean about 11.  This was mostly to see if what my other 6.5x55 likes would be a decent starting point and to fire 5 of the Fiocchi cases to get a measurement on case capacity to start plugging numbers into Quick Load.

    Hornady 129gr InterLock, Lapua brass, CCI 200, IMR4350, seated long, about 2550 FPS if memory is correct.  3 rounds

    Nosler 140gr Custom Competition, pre-primed Fiocchi brass, IMR4350, middle charge per Nosler load data.  5 rounds.  Thrown together load from the book this morning before heading out.  High shot was the 4th shot.  Second highest was 1st shot.

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    More than just a pretty face!

  • mitdr774mitdr774 Posts: 1,782 Senior Member
    The plan is to use the Fiocchi brass for this rifle and keep the Lapua brass for my M96 rifles.  Once I have time to really work on it, I plan on seeing what kind of a load I can develop for this rifle.  I would like to be able to push things a bit more than I am willing to in my M96, but that may not really be of any benefit in the end.

    The 140gr CC load shocked me as it was just a throw together load to get some fired cases.  The 129gr IL wasnt a huge surprise as that is about how it shoots out of my M96.  While done years apart, both chambers were probably cut with the same reamer and I believe both have a 1:7.5 twist.  I know there are a lot of variables, but I was fairly confident it would be a decent load in this rifle.
  • ZeeZee Posts: 28,368 Senior Member
    That should work. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Ok, I'm officially in love with your rifle...  <3

  • mitdr774mitdr774 Posts: 1,782 Senior Member
    I will eventually fine tune the loads for it.  The Fiocchi brass has about 1gr H2O extra capacity and of the 5 I checked, four came out to 58.3 and the last one was 58.5.  I would call that fairly consistent, but a small sample size.  The Lapua brass seems to come in between 57.2 and 57.6 with most at 57.4  Hopefully I will have some free time this year to experiment and find out what this thing can do on paper.  I have plenty of 129 and 140gr SST, 140gr Custom Competition, and 123 FMJ that are just for paper punching.  As long as it continues to like IMR 4350 or Hybrid 100V I should be good for a while.  I may even try some 160gr RN in it for grins as well.

    I am very pleased with this rifle.  Its not a target rifle, but I suspect it is capable of far better than I am.  I also suspect that if I take it to the public range when the usual target shooter guys are there, it will make a few question if they really needed all the fancy bits when their skills and abilities dont match their rifle.  Im not saying that I am good, Im saying that most of the guys that show up with precision rifles really need a lot more practice before assuming the rifle will just shoot 1/4" groups.  Im happy with 1" groups from hunting loads in hunting rifles.  I will strive for better, but I know I am a bigger limit than my rifles.  I need more trigger time.  I would like to see what some of the far better shooters on this forum could do with it.
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