6,5 - 06 armstrong

Picked up this cartridge at SLICS.
Headstamp is 6,5-06 ARMSTRONG, but somebody reloaded it to a 30-06 cartridge again.

Can anybody tell me what the 6,5-06 ARMSTRONG is.


Good evening Rene
The 6,5 Armstrong is a normal 6,5-06. It was made with a vanity headstamp and loaded by OPM in South Africa.

I did load it on my site (www.cartridgecollector.net). You can have a look under 6,5-06


In this photo the (original) Armstrong headstamped 6.5mm is on the top. The lower is headstamped “QUAL-CART 6.5mm-06”. There is a distinct shoulder angle difference between the two, with Qual-Cart’s variation being longer, plus it has a thicker rim. This could well be manufacturers input or?

being wildcats I suppose that cases with several minor variations can be found around.
I think that also Qual Cart makes cases according the most commonly used chamber dimensions. I have been noticed, for example, that 416 Taylor brass made by Qual Cart sometimes have to be passed through a F/L die if used in a rifle chambered according 416 Taylor’s A-Square version

My 6.5 - 06 sample is a full-wildcat made form reformed 30/06 brass and probably differs for minor dimensions from both of your rounds

Hi Marco
Your comment about these being wildcats is correct, however both of these have factory headstamps, which takes them out of the wildcat category and into factory production.

The longer shoulder, shorter neck on the Qual-Cart would likely not allow clambering in an Armstrong chamber unless as you note it was run through a die or perhaps a hammer was used on the bolt. Just my 2¢, Ray M. would be much more knowledgeable about that factor.

Your comment about Qual-Cart sometimes not being quite up to specs agrees with my impressions of their product.

Factories when starting production of a wildcat or an in-house design often alter minor aspects to ease production. i have a copy of Phil Sharpe’s original blueprint for his belted 7x61 & a blueprint copy of what Norma sent back to him for OK to actually produce. Lots & lots of small changes were made.

The ease in acquiring brass with personalized head stamps has muddied the waters when it comes to defining a wildcat cartridge.

From the looks of Pete’s two cases, I’d say that it would be impossible to chamber the QC cartridge in a rifle built to take the Armstrong case. It may very we’ll be that Armstrong did that intentionally. That would make his cartridge more of a Proprietary round rather than a wildcat, assuming there are several rifles chambered for it. Of course, it could also mean that QC patented their design and head stamp, pre-empting Armstrong. That’s happened before, the 220 Wilson Arrow being a good example. Wildcatters often have egos that are bigger than their cartridges.



can you provide some dimensional data of your rounds?

For example the rim to shoulder lenght. Just to compare them with my sample

Armstrong lengths in mm:
base to shoulder 49.6, neck 7.86, (shoulder diam. 11.11) shoulder 5.9, cl 63.26, & cm diam. 7.36

6.5mm -06
base to shoulder 50.2, neck 6.97, (shoulder diam. 11.04) shoulder 6.44, cl 63.29, & cm diam. 7.48

Hope this is of help, as you know some of these are not easy to accurately measure.

My sample:

rim to shoulder: 49,34 mm
neck lenght: 8.03 mm
case length: 63,24 mm
shoulde: 5,60 mm

So it is closer to your Armstrong round than the Qual Cart one

I have these 3 in my collection. The dimensions for A-Square and Q-C are virtually the same.

The reason why the Armstrong case is shorter is because existing 30-06/270 Win brass was used when they were loaded, they were not new. The original headstamp was milled off and the Armstrong headstamp was added.


Case length is of little concern to a wildcatter. It is usually a product of the desired case capacity, the neck length needed to firmly hold the bullet, and the original length of the parent case. Other than that, the designer little cares what the final length may be.


These ARMSTRONG cases were made by OPM. I contacted Otto to check with him, he made them using a RCBS die set. The rifle was made & chambered in South Africa by a gunsmith in Kimberley, I believe, and the cartridges fit perfectly. The only other interesting bit of information is that it was made for Mrs. Armstrong.