View Full Version : 6.5X55 in a Krag

06-13-2008, 11:09 AM
I have had a Norwegian Krag in 6.5X55 for years, it has been lightly sporterized by some one cutting the forend off and removing the handguard. Any way I recently got one of the Lee 6.5 170gr. moulds to use in my 6.5 Carcano and a 6.5X53 R Dutch Mannlicher and was wondering if I can use the same data for the 6.5X55 in my Krag as everyone is using in their Swedish Mausers. Has anyone tried this bullet in a 6.5 Krag? if so what tips can you give me.

06-13-2008, 11:28 AM
Love to get a mold for my 6.5 Jap Lee doesnt list them. Where could I get one? Thanks Rick

06-13-2008, 12:04 PM
Caution would dictate you use starting loads for the "stronger" Mauser 6.5's in your Krag. The 6.5 Krags I've seen are very similar to the US Krags and the same cautions regarding bolt locking lug cracks would apply.

The 6.5 mould is/was available from Midsouth Shooters Supply.

06-13-2008, 12:09 PM
From the Speer Reloading Manual, Number 11:

"However, the Swedish M94 Mauser actions and the Norwegian Krag actions are designed for pressures of about 45000 psi so the handloader should not exceed the loading data shown for the older rifles"

Note they compare the Swede 94 (not the 96, don't know if there is a difference) and the Norwegian Krag, stating they are designed for "about 45000 psi".

Myself, I'd keep it to relatively mild loads.

- Tristan

06-13-2008, 01:51 PM

Welcome to the board. So far as it goes, as you probably know, the Norwegian and Danish Krags are stronger than the US variety, in that the bolt guide rib bears on the receiver. So I've been told. Never having had one to examine I couldn't say of course. Such being the case, I'd not worry much about action strength. Anything you are likely to do with the Lee fat 6.5 from Midsouth (I bought one after you gave me some bullets and they worked well) in terms of velocity shouldn't get you into any pressure concerns.

I've done ok with 16 gr of SR 4759 or 16 gr of 2400, for plinker loads with this bullet, but can never say that I ever got top notch accuracy either. I really don't shoot my 6.5s much, and when I do it is usually with jacketed bullets. Either of these loads should be mild enough to be nice to your Krag though. Let us know how it turns out.


Jonathan Klein

06-13-2008, 08:04 PM
Even a heavy cast load will produce about 38-40,000 on average and the Norwegian Krag is good for that. Mine shot a ton of surplus 6.5 loads before I sold it. (foolishly) My data from back then shoows that my hannloads were mostly IMR 3031 and were the same loads I shot in my Mausers. I didn't hot rod either gun but did push a 140 gran bullet at 2600 fps. I don't see that i ever shot cast from my Krag, but this was back in the late 70-early 80's and just shooting 6.5 was an adventure. My data shows that I had 40 rounds of Norma brass that I hoarded for over 15 years.

06-14-2008, 08:29 AM
Thanks everyone for the advice. Jonathan good to hear from you, did you ever decide if you were going to get the Savage?
As far as loads I'm going to stay on the light side. My favorite loads right now with the Lee 170 are 6.5 Carcano - 10.0gr Unique (but I have just started to play with this one) and my 6.5X53R Mannlicher loves 11.5gr of Unique. So as you can see I don't shoot heavy loads. I was just looking to see if anyone had tried this bullet in the 6.5 Krag and had a good load.

06-14-2008, 10:28 AM
Just saw this post and thought I'd toss in a quick note....a quantity of Danish military surplus 6.5 x 55 was imported some years ago. DON'T USE IT. It is recognizable by the small triangle stamped on the base. Unlike the Swedish ammo, it used a copperized steel jacket and slightly oversized bullet which caused some action damage (much higher pressure) when used in the Swede rifles. I know this has nothing to do with cast, but I just wanted to get the word out to folks that shoot this stuff can be hazadous to you (and your rifle's) health.:roll:

06-14-2008, 11:30 PM
Jonk is right about the rib and lug both bearing on the Norwegian Krags. Never owned a Danish Krag but I can state positively that the rib and lug both were in full contact on the M1912 I owned but foolishly sold many years ago. Matter of fact, that led me to lapping the lugs on all the US Krags that I have ever rebarreled until the rib also contacts.

3006guns is correct about the Danish ammo also. Here is a scan of a headstamp so you can see the triangle (which is hard up against the A on the headstamp of this cartridge). Boy that one goes back many years ago. But the jacket wasn't copper colored on all that I saw and had, it was to the best of my memory cupro nickle. My memory of that deal was that the jacket material was building up in the bores and causing high pressures. A magnet will not attract the bullet in the sample I have.

VSchneider, is the gun you have a Norwegian M1912? If so, the one I had was sporterized just like that. I'm stretching my memory now but it seems like the serial number of the one I had was 23772 or some such. Long time ago, I owned that gun in the fifties.

Cheers and Happy Fathers Day all,



06-15-2008, 12:08 AM
Thanks for that info Phil. You are correct. I was going by memory from an article I read at least 10 years ago and it WAS a cupro nickle jacket fouling problem that was causing the problems. Doubtful that anyone would run into this stuff today, but every bit of information that can prevent a tragedy helps.

06-15-2008, 07:57 PM
Thanks for that info Phil. You are correct. I was going by memory from an article I read at least 10 years ago and it WAS a cupro nickle jacket fouling problem that was causing the problems. Doubtful that anyone would run into this stuff today, but every bit of information that can prevent a tragedy helps.

Wrong. Its still out there and still being shot and still destroying rifles. This was a Swedish Ag42b fired with less than 10 rds of the aforementioned Danish 6.5x55 and not by a newbie but an experienced collector. Completely destroyed the rifle.



Getting back to the topic at hand -

I've had excellent accuracy from both the Lyman Loverin 140 gr and Lee 170 gr in the Swedish Mauser. With the Lee 170 gr you have to pretty much seat the bullet out as far as you possibly can even to include a slight crush fit.... just don't open the bolt after you do or the bullet will remain in the chamber.


I'm bumping the 2400 load up from 13.2 grs with the Lee 170 gr to see what happens.

Since I'm the forum moderator of both the Swedish military firearms forum and the Krag forum at gunboards you'd think I know as much about Krags as I do about 1896 Swedish Mausers (which are the same action as the 1894 carbine). I don't. I just volunteered to moderate that forum so all three of the Krag models from US, Denmark & Norway could be under one roof. I just recently purchased my very first Krag, a NRA carbine. If I were loading the 6.5x55 with the 170 gr or 140 gr in the Norwegian Krag I'd do it exactly the same as for the Mauser and take it from there. The 10 gr load with the 170 gr is real low end. My 13.2 grs of 2400 was pretty nice and still has plenty of room to move up in power.


06-16-2008, 10:55 PM
Thanks everybody! I am going to try your load of 13.8 gr of 2400 Dutchman but I also want to try Unique as I have had very good luck with it and am also thinking of trying Trail Boss.
Phil, Yes it is a Norwegian M1912. The serial number is 2651. I have had the rifle quite a while must be close to 20 yrs.
Thanks again and I'll keep you guys posted as to my progress.

07-01-2008, 05:59 AM
The reduced charges for the norwegian Krag were introduced in 1957 after some incidents with Krag-Jørgenson-rifles cracking/blowing up. All the rifles were examined by the maker (Kongsberg våpenfabrikk) and the cause was said to one of three; guns damaged by being wrongly stored/hidden away during ww2, the use of steeljacketed bullets/SMG ammo in the 8x57IS "Elgrifle" m/48 ("moose rifle") and one old known problem; recivers produced in the periode 1917-1920, wich was known to have problem with steel quality.

Thoose very few norwegian steel shooting the Krag keeps pressure on the low side, a typical load is a 139grs bullet loaded to approx 770m/s.
However I know of Krag-Jørgensen rifles who has been used for close to 60 years chambered in 8x57IS and 9,3x62 without any sign of trouble.
But beeing old guns-better safe than sorry:-)

The norwegian goverment sold of lots of Krag-rifles, including prototypes and "patterns" as surplusmaterial to the US-market in the early -50ies. If anyone on the board owns and shoots them it would be nice to hear of it.

Cap'n Morgan
07-01-2008, 12:07 PM
Regarding the blow-up of rifles using the Danish 6.5 x 55 ammo:

I'm pretty sure the reason for the blow-ups were caused by SEE (Secondary Explosion Effect) and not a general high pressure in the ammo. Why? Back in the seventies I shoot several hundred rounds of the very same 1947 ammo in a Swedish 96 Mauser with no ill effect. Then I got a copy of the book 'Rifles of the World' and it warned about using the ammo. The book mentioned build-up in the bore as the culprit.

I was a little reluctant to shoot the ammo after reading this (to put it mildly) but I decided to try reducing the load a little, and maybe circumvent the problem that way.

(I was a teenager then, dirt poor, and my brain was probably not fully developed by the time)

As said as done; I pulled the bullet from four of the cartridges, weighed the powder, and reloaded the rounds using 10% less powder.

I still remember telling my shooting buddy after shooting the first two rounds that the load was reduced too much - there was too little 'oomph' in the gun.

Then I fired the third round...

This time I had all the oomph one could ask for and then some. The gun had a blowback, and since the venting holes in a 96 bolt are ridiculous small, the firing pin was blown back with such force that it snapped, and the rear part hit, first my thumb, and then my forehead leading to a considerable amount of involuntary bloodletting on my part.:cry:

When we later examined the gun we found the case head had expanded causing a severe gas leak through the primer pocket. The bullet was lodged in the throat with the base distorted and was removed with a few smart hammer blows on a rod from the muzzle. After a new firing pin, and enlarging the vent holes the gun was back in action.

I'm absolutely sure I didn't mess up when loading the rounds - not sure it would even be possible to overload with the flake-type powder which was used.
Perhaps it was a weak primer or the powder was too old, but something did indeed go wrong.

I dumped the rest of the ammo...