The 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser or simply 6.5 Swedish as it is often referred, although relatively new amongst UK deer stalkers is not in fact a new calibre. Having been introduced initially as a military calibre over 100 years ago it was soon adopted by Scandinavian hunters who found it enough of a calibre for use on animals as large as Moose and even Polar Bear!
(Above: A great combination for UK stalking, a Tikka T3 chambered in 6.5x55)
There is no denying it is a deceptively effective calibre, however on initial impressions it is easy at first to be confused. The figures surrounding this .264 calibre put simply, appear rather unimpressive. A 140 grain bullet is launched at around 2650fps and the energy at the muzzle is little more than that of a .243 Winchester at around 2050ft lbs.
The trajectory is also far from impressive, dropping around 4.6 inches at 200yards with a 100yrd zero and 16inches at 300yards.
(Left: A great choice of calibre - the 6.5x55 Swedish)
However this calibre is somewhat of an enigma and for many is the perfect trade off between shootability and knock down power. Amongst other reasons this is because it produces a minimum of recoil and muzzle blast, yet it is able to knock down animals that on paper just don't look justifiable.
Added to this, the long thin bullet which has excellent penetration, great accuracy and the fact it is able to handle bullet weights from 77 grains to 160 grains and things start to make sense again.
With the size of deer in the UK, and the ranges at which we shoot them, for me this calibre is simply perfect for lowland deer stalking.
It is also worth mentioning that with the often stringent conditions being placed on the Firearm Certificates of new comers to the sport, another reason for the huge up take of this calibre stems from the fact that many Firearms Enquiry Officers consider this calibre to be an acceptable calibre with which to start, and a good platform from which to gain experience before progressing onto larger calibre rifles.
With all things considered and irrespective of whether this is your first calibre or one of many, it is perhaps no surprise that UK deer stalkers are adopting the 6.5x55 calibre in greater and greater numbers.
Typical Ballistics: (140 grain Bullet)
Muzzle Energy: 2050 ft/lbs
Muzzle Velocity: 2650 fps