View Full Version : Norwegian Krags and SAMMI spec 6.5x55
I just acquired a very nice Norwegian Krag in 6.5x55. I would like to shot it and see how it does against my Swedish Mauser in the same caliber, but I read somewhere that the Norwegians loaded their 6.5x55 a bit lighter then the Swedes did :eek:. The 6.5x55 ammo I have it withing the SAMMI specs, but at the top end of the spec (as per the Sierra reloading manual). Is it safe to shoot in a Norwegian Krag, or do I need to load some a bit lighter? If so how much lighter.
Assuming your Krag is in good condition, I wouldn't worry at all about the commercial ammo you may want to try out. My experiences for my 1896 dated Steyr date back about 20 years now. I've always followed a moderate course of handloading efforts; more out of respect for an 1890's design and metallurgy, not for any "weaknesses".
Your rifle may exhibit only mediocre accuracy with lighter (100-140 gr) bullets in the standard .263-264 diameter. My Krag, even with a very nice bore, slugs out at .267 diameter across the grooves. What shoots best in it is old steel jacketed Norma hunting bullets of 159 gr. Swedish military ammo (also steel jacketed, but 139 gr) is almost as good.
Even better for fun shooting is cast bullets of the proper diameter (.268). You'll definitely need a Lyman "M" die for seating those.
Any rumors about the Norwegian Krag requiring lower-pressure ammunition reflect some ignorance of history. The Norwegian Krag and Swedish Mauser were designed for a common cartridge developed by a joint commission representing both nations (which were loosely united from 1814 to 1905)
The SAAMI spec for 6.5x55 states Maximum Average Pressure is 46,000 c.u.p.. If your handloading data gives pressures in c.u.p., you can check against that figure, confident that a Norwegian Krag in good condition will handle it without difficulty.
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