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Thread: 6.5x53R Mannlicher

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    6.5x53R Mannlicher

    Anyone here with PP experience with this one?
    The bore is rough. Bore is ~ .257", groove is .270". I sized some 266469s to .259"/.260" and patched with green bar copy paper. I have .270" and .2735" size dies. I sized Pp'd bullet with the .2735 die and loaded over 29 grins of H4895.
    I have fired maybe 20 rounds of this load at 50 yds. So far inaccuracy has been pronounced.
    A .272" lubed Ctuise Missile over 15.5 gn 2400 has been good for 1.5" to 2" at 50 yds, which is about as good as I can see to shoot this little carbine.
    Thoughts or suggestions?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have something to suggest. I was having poor results with a p14 enfield. Paper patch would be just a white poof and bad shooting. One fine day I shot lubed regular WW lead bullets for a number of rounds and then shot the PP bullets. Instant turnaround . Good targets paper in shreds ( just like you would want) no leading. The lube on the bullets must have smoothed out the rust textured barrel and permitted this to work.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    My solution was to either rebore or rebarrel but the cost impact on the project has put it on perhaps permanent hold.
    I used paper patched to fire lap the horrendous corrosion. This did smooth it out quite a bit but not enough due to the greater corrosion near the muzzle.

    Initial polishing rounds.


    One that got stuck near the muzzle.


    Because I was using wrapped rounds the hugely corroded forcing cone and bore ahead of the chamber got smoothed up first. Now it's .273" and tapers towards the muzzle. I threw my hands up in frustration but maybe I'll go back to it.

    Another path forward I've considered and almost did was to get the barrel rebored to .338" groove diameter. Then recut the chamber neck. Then get a case sizing die. The case volume is plenty for use with a .338. Or even a .358.
    Last edited by Good Cheer; 07-07-2021 at 05:55 AM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    > would post a picture but don't have a clue how but,
    The last time out the scraggly barrel put 4 of 5 lubed Cruise Missiles into 3/4" x 1 5/8" at 50 yds. I am pleasantly surprised, even happy, with that performance. I hoped that maybe with PP it could fit this groove dia and get closer to factory velocity.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by n.h.schmidt View Post
    I have something to suggest. I was having poor results with a p14 enfield. Paper patch would be just a white poof and bad shooting. One fine day I shot lubed regular WW lead bullets for a number of rounds and then shot the PP bullets. Instant turnaround . Good targets paper in shreds ( just like you would want) no leading. The lube on the bullets must have smoothed out the rust textured barrel and permitted this to work.
    I was recently at the range to get a zero with the Mannlicher carbine with lubed cast bullets. After firing 12 - 15 lubed bullets thru the barrel I decided to fire 3 remaining PP rounds left in the box. Just as you experienced, the PP bullets after the lubed ones went into a nice group.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    Hi Good Cheer.
    Looking at that stuck boolit, I would say there's nothing wrong with rifle's bore. You might be limited in the velocity you can achieve though. With the bore being tapered toward the muzzle, you're good to go. As long as the patch doesn't break through too soon, you should get reasonable relults.

    I'm waiting for the lockdown to end to get out the the range and test mine (mine is a Lee Enfield carbine). I did in the past get very satisfactory results with it.
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

    ''Assume everything that moves is a human before identifying as otherwise''

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    You know 303Guy, I don't know what I'm gonna do with that piece.
    I'm tempted to have it rebored to .338 or .358 (use the same chamber with a new neck) or else rebarrel to this .27 based on a 6.8SPC using 30-30 brass. I've got too many irons in the fire. I need to put some dummy cartridges together and see if they'll cycle OK through a '94 Winchester.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Have it rebarreled into .303 British and don't look back. Had one that was done with an old 03a3 barrel , anything will work . Also , clips will work fine .
    Last edited by Tedly; 09-19-2021 at 09:59 PM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tedly View Post
    Have it rebarreled into .303 British and don't look back. Had one that was done with an old 03a3 barrel , anything will work . Also , clips will work fine .
    Lithgow Small Arms Factory in Australia rebarreled 600 Dutch Mannlichers to .303 in 1941 (?) (Reference: Skennerton) to aid logistical cooperation in the East Indies. Unfortunately the Japanese sank the ship, so the rifles never got delivered. I recall also seeing adverts back in the good old days for surplus Dutch Mannlicher carbines converted/rebored to .303 (with horrible muzzle brakes) by the Indonesians.

    SO - .303 conversion is a well trodden path. Another well trodden path is making 6.5 Mannlicher brass out of .303, so I would imagine reboring to .303 would be entirely feasible.
    It'll be handy if I never need it.

    Experience is what you get when you don't read the instructions

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    The only downside to 303 is limited bullet choice. There is enough to choose from though and it's actually a nice cartridge. Just for fun I'm going to be trying 308 bullets in a 303, the idea being to widen the choices. Mostly though, my interest is in paper patching. It's just that paper patching for the 303 seems to be better suited to worn bores, as in the only way to make them shoot. Plain cast works in worn bores too for the same reason - custom fit to the throat.

    I must say if it were me I would look at a 303 but that 3030/6.8 SPC looks like a viable option and since I already have one or two 303's, I would lean that way. If I was in the rebarreling stage, I would look at a 3030/6.8 for a Lee Enfield. Or just a 303/6.8 It already exists and I could conceivably find a take-off barrel. Except I already have a 303/25 so I don't need one. Or do I? Mmmm ....

    Back down to reality .... I have enough old and worn and some pretty good Lee Enfields to play with so I'm good. But it's fun to contemplate these things.

    P.S. That 3030/6.8 SPC idea looks very appealing!
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

    ''Assume everything that moves is a human before identifying as otherwise''

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Reboring the orig 6.5 x53R bbl to .303 and then rechambering it to .303 British will leave you with a 303 chamber that has a neck with a 2 diameter 'step' in it.
    The fired brass will come out with a distinct 2-diameter neck.

    It would seem on first thought that the 303 Brit cartridge would entirely 'clean up' the 6.5 Mannlicher chamber. But it does not.
    Place the two side by side and carefully examine them and you will see how a portion of the 6.5 reveals itself in the new 303 neck.

    That it was done back in WW2 as an quick way to put the rifles into service with the better source of ammo didn't have any problems. No one was thinking of reloading the brass.'

    If you set the bbl back one turn, then rebore and rechamber, you won't have the problem.

    Many of those converted carbines were sold by Springfield Sporters of PA in the 80's and early 90's.
    Most had a muzzle break and a recoil pad not unlike that fitted to the #5 Jungle Carbine Enfield.
    The little Dutch carbine in 303 does Kick!
    But in a well designed sporter stock/rifle, the caliber was a common choice of Brit gunmakers along with the 375 Rimmed 2 1/2" N/E

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check