6.5 x 55 Swedish query

Good morning everone. As a South African collector I’m obviously interested in cartridges used in the Anglo Boer War (1899-1902). Pictured are three rounds used by the Boers, namely 7 x 57mm Mauser (D.M. 18 K. 97), 7 x 54mm Mauser ‘Kortnek’ (Short Neck) (D.M. 18 FyA 96) which was based on surplus 7.65 x 53mm Argentine Mauser brass and 6.5 x 55mm Krag-Jorgensen or Swedish (/ GR monogram / * / * / *). My query refers to last mentioned cartridge. According to Ron Bester in his book ‘Boer Rifles and Carbines of the Anglo Boer War’ only one headstamp for this cartridge is known, and that is RWS -T-. Does the era the G. Roth round was manufactured put it in the time bracket of the AB War? Secondly, the bullet seems a bit short to me. Has it perhaps been ‘pushed’ or seated into the case too far? Thank you in advance for your response.

As far as I know, the first time GR shows the 6.5x55 in a catalog, is in the June 1899 edition. That places your cartridge well within the time frame of the Anglo Boer war. GR shows a 10.1 g round nose bullet in the same catalog, and that might be the bullet in your cartridge, having been pushed in. Here is GR no.502.IMG_0290%20(3)

I think it is likely that as mentioned, the bullet has been pushed deeper into the case shown on the right in your picture. It seems to be the cartridge of the three in the worst condition. If you don’t want to pull the bullet to see its original length, I would suggest, for verification, you weigh all three cartridges. If the “short bullet” cartridge weighs basically the same as the others, I think the conclusion that it has been pushed into the case too far will be an accurate assumption.

John Moss

My copy of the Bester book shows 6.5x55 with that Roth hs recovered from Paardeberg and Magersfontein and considered scarce.
Agree bt has been pushed in.
Picked a 7x54 cortnek out of a junk box at a local gun shop last week.

Thank you for that confirmation.

You are welcome.


3.151" / 80.06mm oal


Thank you for that Pete, mine has the same headstamp.

Have a question.
How rare are 7x54 cortnek cartridges?

Hi wickj2, the ‘Kortnek’ cartridges are not rare, rather scarce, but if a collector wants one it should not take too long to get hold of one. In South Africa @ R150 more or less.