6,5x55 Swedish vs 6,5x55 Norwegian

Sorry for such amateur question, but existed a “rumour” that military rounds 6,5x55 Swedish and 6,5x55 Norwegian are not the same, because Swedish ammo loaded for higher pressure.

Could somebody confirm or disprove this information? May be known some data for Maximum pressure from the Swedish and Norwegian military manuals?

ballisticstudies.com/Knowled … .5x55.html

The next Countries to adopt the 6.5mm bore diameter were Norway and Sweden. The 6.5x55 cartridge was initially designed during a joint Norwegian-Swedish commission. Norway officially adopted the 6.5x55 in 1894. But for whatever reasons, history seems to have forgotten Norwegian involvement as well as the the 6.5x55 Krag even though over a quarter of a million rifles were produced in Norway. Furthermore, to the dismay of modern Norwegian hunters and historians, the 6.5x55 is today known as the 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser.

Sweden looked to Paul Mauser for a rifle design to house the 6.5x55. Mauser’s newest rifle, the M93 (1893) chambered in 7x57 had just been sold in great numbers to the Spanish military. This rifle was a culmination of Paul Mauser’s 22 years as a rifle designer and all of it’s features were of his own design. Sweden decided to adopt the M93 design and in 1894 the Karbin M94 in 6.5x55 became Sweden’s military rifle.

Between 1894 and 95 Mauser Werkes produced 10,000 M94 carbines (using Swedish steel) before Sweden’s Carl Gustaf factory took over production. In 1896 a much longer rifle was released with a 29" barrel over the original carbines barrel length of 18.5". This model was designated the Gevar M96 and some 40,000 were made by Mauser Werkes between 1896 and 1899 while the Carl Gustaf factory produced 445,000 between 1898 and 1925. The next version of this rifle was the M38 manufactured by Husqvarna. The M38 featured a 24" barrel and micrometer adjustable rear U notch sight. Type 1 M38’s were converted M96 rifles while type 2 M38’s were newly built rifles.

Swedish Mauser rifles were built and inspected to incredibly high levels of workmanship. The Mauser design was also capable of handling greater pressures than the Krag. All inspected parts received a stamped crown for approval or an X if the part failed inspection and was to be scrapped. Horizontal crowns meant the part was made by Mauser or Carl Gustaf while tilted crowns denoted parts made by Husqvarna. Most rifles were proof tested and the inspection mark for this is a crown stamped on the left of the receiver beside the serial number or on the rear sight of Husqvarna rifles.

Military 6.5x55 ammunition was loaded to a pressure of 3200 ATM which converts to 47008psi. Proof loads developed between 4000 and 4500 ATM which converted (x14.69) give pressures of between 58,760psi and 66,000psi. The original m/94 military load featured a 10.1 gram (156 grain) round nosed bullet which achieved 725m/s (2378 fps) in the 29" barreled m/96 rifle, 700m/s (2297 fps) in the 24" m/38 rifle and 655m/s (2149 fps) in the original 18.5" m/94 carbine. The first pointed bullets were tested between 1910 and 1920 in experimental rifles, the final load appeared in the M/41 sniper rifle and used a 9 gram (139 grain) pointed bullet . This load quickly proved itself superior to the former and in 1944, the 9 gram load replaced all of the previous M94 designated ammunition. The M/41 load achieved 793 m/s (2601 fps) in the 29" M/96 barrel, 768 m/s (2519 fps) in the 24" m/38 barrel and 730 m/s (2395 fps) in the18.5" M/94 . Many Swedish rifles still bare a brass disc on the butt which helps tell the user which ammunition the rifle was sighted in for, its zero- and the condition of the bore since its last inspection.

After WWII, Sweden adopted newer self loading rifle designs and released the Swedish Mauser to the civilian market. It is at this point that the 6.5x55 cartridge became known as the 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser or simply the 6.5 Swede. The 6.5x55 offered hunters worldwide the same virtues it had provided the military with; high quality, adequate power, excellent accuracy combined with low recoil. America mostly received the carbine M94 rifles while the longer rifles made it as far as Australia and New Zealand where they remain popular to this day. Having limited knowledge of the Swedish Mauser, American ammunition companies kept sporting loads for the Swede to extremely low pressures. Such loads perform adequately at close ranges, under 50 yards, but are left wanting at further ranges.

Interesting comment here regarding your question:


Chamber differences
Due to different interpretations of the standard, i.e. the standards of manufacturing using maximum chamber in the Krag vs. minimum chamber in the Swedish Mauser, a small percentage of the ammunition produced in Norway required a heavy push on the bolt handle to chamber in the Swedish Mauser rifle. After the rumor of this difference first surfaced in 1900, it was examined by the Swedish military. They declared the difference to be insignificant, and that both the Swedish and Norwegian ammunition was within the specified parameters laid down for the 6,5×55. Despite this finding, the Swedish weapon-historian Josef Alm repeated the rumor in a book in the 1930s, leading many to believe that there was a significant difference. The CIP MAP for the 6.5 × 55 is 380 MPa (55000 PSI). SAAMI MAP for this cartridge is 46,000 CUP or 51000 PSI.[2] All Swedish Mauser actions were proof-tested with a single 6.5 × 55mm proof load developing approximately 55,000 CUP (66,000 psi).[3]

Alex, thank you for reply!
I already saw this artciles, but for a pitty they don’t give us the complete answer.

I ask about differences between Swedish and Norwegian military cartridges, because some my friends told me about them, and I find a picture at the web (may be it is a page of Cartridges of the World), where this was also mentioned.

I find only some data regarding Swedish loading at Gunboards (forums.gunboards.com/showthread. … n-question):
“From the Försvarets Materialverk Ammunitionskatalog M7779-000190, the 6.5 MM SK PTR M/94 PRJ M/41 PRICKSKYTTE loading, Pmax is listed as 3300 bar (47,862 PSI).”

But I can’t find data for Norwegian cartridge

Can anyone supply what the “Official” European 6.5mm Swedish case headspace specification dimensions and tolerances are (length and shoulder datum diameter)? I have understood that US-manufactured (SAAMI spec) 6.5X55mm cartridges use a somewhat shorter headspace length, but I don’t know why that would be, unless there is a greater shoulder datum diameter used under SAAMI that would result in essentially identical case dimensions.

The headspace information given in the previously cited forum is not particularly helpful, aside from suggesting that CIP does not specify headspace dimensions in the same manner as SAAMI does. If so, I guess the more appropriate question is - Are CIP-compliant and SAAMI-compliant 6.5X55mm cases substantially identical in critical dimensions?

I can add that the 6,5x55 is still used by the swedish army, the palace guards in Stockholm are armed with M/94 carbines.
The latest SoldR manual for the M/94-14 carbine is from 2004.

FWIW I was told quite recently by some people in the Norwegian army that the ammunition was not the same, and should not be mixed.

In the May 1995 issue of Rifle Magazine Ludwig Olson discussed the history of the 6.5 x 55 cartridge at considerable length in an article entitled “The Ageless 6.5 x 55”. That cartridge was the result of a project carried out by the Norwegian and Swedish armed forces to place in service a cartridge for the small arms of both countries. Olson pointed out that sets of gages were produced in Norway for the use of firms intending to produce ammunition for either, or both, countries.

At no point in the article does Olson say the cartridge of each country is the same as that of the other, but it is implicit in the presentation. I’m sure it wouldn’t have occurred to Olson that anyone would have thought Swedish and Norwegian 6.5 m/m ammunition was not fully interchangeable. Olson, you may know, was the author of the authoritative Mauser Bolt Rifles. He was also the co-author, with Franklin B. Mallory, of The Krag Rifle Story. Jack

Didn’t Denmark also use the 6.5X55mm cartridge? Whose dimensions did it use?

Dennis: I believe Danish military use of the 6.5 x 55 was limited to a short period following the end of WW.2 when their own 8 m/m Krags were no longer available. They did produce their own 6.5 m/m ammunition in this period, and I would assume it was dimensionally based on existing Norwegian and Swedish standards. Jack

Denmark and in particular the Danish Brigade (Danish forces in Swedish exile during the war) used Swedish equipment during this time and shortly after their return to Denmark in 1945. The Danish made some own ammunition and then returned the rifles to Sweden as all surplus from the US and UK was coming in.

Somewhere I have a, I believe, 50 round box of Danish 6.5X55 ammunition from the late 1940s (Haerensarsenal??). It has CN jacketed bullets. Didn’t the Danes have their own version of the Swedish AG42 rifle in 6.5mm?

The Danes used the Sweden Mauser rifles in 6.5x55 but DISA (Madsen) made a variant of the AG42 as the M49 in 7.92x57 if I recall it right. The M49 was not in Danish service though and was only a commercial offer for the international market.
I had a DISA flyer on it somewhere but do not know where it is gone.

Two sets of swedish Mausers came to Denmark after the war, The brigade brought both M/94 carbines, M/96 and M/38 rifles. these were paid for and was given to the home guard after the army equipped with american surplus. The troops stationed in Germany was equipped by the british they had to work with.
During 1954-58 the home guard were rearmed with M/53(17) rifles: US Model of 1917.
In 1946 the danish Shooters federation were kindly borrowed 20,000 M/96 rifles from the stocks of the swedish army (FSR) and many were very worn, so got new Schultz and Larsen barrels while they were here. These rifles were given back to the swedes in 1952.
When S&L began to rebuild Mauser 98 systems into target rifles in 1952 they kept the caliber.

I did check on the Danish Madsen version of the AG42. Apparently it was not too successful for them due to performance problems, and only a few were made, in 7mm and 8mm, but not 6.5X55. I’m sure there is more to the story.

A gift from my friend in Sweden, these contain a mountain of information & it feels better to flip through the pages of a book vs looking at something on my phone.

1 Like

Just a small addition to this interesting story, the Swedish Norwegian commission actually had Mauser make up some trials carbines, based on the M91-92 Spanish design, but in 8x58R Danish, for commonality with the Fellow Skandinavians in Denmark.
This calibre and model were soon passed over in favour of the Newer M93 design, and the
Commission also went for the rimless case, which was optimal for a staggered box magazine. Asto where the cartridge was developed is a question not well researched.
The fatter body ( .475" head vs .470" Mauser ctg head) seems to indicate a Non Mauser origin…bullet design follows common practice of the time…long RN, under-sized projectile, Base Upset Obturation.

Also, the fine workmanship of both the Mauser and Carl Gustav Rifles was due to Johannsen, of CG, who, unsatisfied with Mauser’s tolerance measurements, designed ( on the train) what became the famous "Johannsen Blocks) of finely polished and measured steel, foruse in checking tooling and finished parts for tolerances.
Adopted by Mauser forthe1896 manufacture of Carbines, and then the manufacture of Rifles by both Mauser and CG ( I have a CG 1898, #58), the iuse of the blocks , both Inch Nd Metric, spread world wide in all manner
Of precision Engineering.
Doc AV