A friend passed away and his wife had 4 boxes of rifle cartridges with 54 rounds in each. Two other boxes each have 65 rounds. No markings on the 4. One of the two has some, but tape blocks out some of the print. What I have is ERENS AMMUNITIONSARSENAL. Under that is 66 stk Under that is 6,5 mm patroner m. 1946 ru. Under that is a stamped date, 21 SEP 1950. I have taken pictures of the rounds but not sure if adding them is possible. The cartridges have a very long bullet with a silver “coloring.” The headstamp has “VI46” at the top, a “4” on the left side and an “8” on the right side. At the bottom is “HA.” The bullet, from the mouth of the case to its tip is almost 1" long. There are some cases with small corrosion spots, but steel wool would dismiss those. I was wondering if these are 6.5 x 54mm cartridges and if so, what rifles do they go with?
These are Danish made 6.5x55 Sweden Mauser cartridges for regular Swedish Mauser rifles.
The Danish Army had these weapons in their exile in Sweden (on loan from Sweden) before 1945 (then called the Danish Brigade) and kept the weapons for several years after 1945 when they had returned back to Denmark after Germany had pulled out. Denmark started already in 1946 to make own ammunition for these weapons in the same facilities they were using before the German occupation.
I would not fire these anymore.
I agree with EOD. I would not fire those cartridges. We had some
of that ammunition at our store, luckily without problems. But,
we got notice of problems with the ammo and stopped selling it.
That was so long ago, I no longer remember what the problems
were, but EOD’s advice is worth following.
Is there anyone who reloads that might be interested in taking them apart to retrieve the bullets and perhaps use the cases to reload? I have no use for them myself, but thought if they were safe to shoot, someone owning that particular rifle might like to have them at a reduced price. I wasn’t sure what they were so I was trying to find out. I appreciate the replies. thanks for your help.
I would suspect, as a reloader for 57 years, that the only component
of any use in those cartridges would be the projectiles, and only then if
they are not corroded anywhere, including the base.
Thanks John. I’ll take 2-3 apart and see what they look like and go from there. I appreciate your help.
I took 3 cartridges out of one box and took them apart. The bullets were free of any corrosion. I’m not sure what powder was used so I didn’t see any need in weighing each load. I put the three cases in the cleaner and will see how they turn out. I took pictures of the 3 bullets but don’t see a way to post them.
The problem for the reloader in the US is that the cases are
Berdan primed, and the primer in them is corrosive. I don’t think
any reloader would even want the cases. Not worth the bother
of making them usable. You couldn’t even sell
them for scrap brass without taking the live primer out of every one
of them. The bullets are fine, since not corroded.
Thanks John. Didn’t notice the inside to see if the cases had that tell-tale two holes. I figured a way to use the Berdan 7.62 x 39 cases, but the large US primers didn’t always go off. So, I marked it down as lesson learned. 7.62 x 54R will not accept the large US primers, the primer hole is too large. I decided not to buy the Russian large rifle primers. Another lesson learned, I hope!
On another forum, one discussing Krag rifles & ammo, the same original question was posted. Someone on that forum recalled that the reason the Danish-made ammo was condemned was because, after firing, the cupro-nickle bullets left heavy deposits of metal fouling in the barrel. The fouling increased with each shot, supposedly causing high chamber pressures. Heavy deposits of cupro-nickle in rifle barrels do destroy accuracy until it is all removed.
Early military loads with cupro-nickle bullets, like the US Krag loads, had sufficiently low velocity that metal fouling was not a problem. Fouling apparently appears when velocities exceed the 2,000 fps range.
Waterman - Thanks for that entry. Now I recall that was it. CN-fouling
is usually simply an annoyance, but it could be cleaned out after each
shooting session with extra effort to normal cleaning. However, I recall
now that the fouling was extreme to the point of increasing pressures.
I am sorry to say, for White_Collar’s sake, that this really means that
those bullets are not of much value, either.
Thanks a lot fellows for the information. I was wondering what the bullets were made of. I was hoping they were special bullets, made of silver, to kill vampires! First, I should have known that the rounds were Berdan primed. Second, I should have known from the date of manufacturing as well as the 1950 stamped date, that they were corrosive rounds. Now that I know that the bullets present a problem with fouling, it will save me the trouble of removing them to sell to someone. I think I’ll save one or two as souvenirs from the past! I appreciate your help I don’t know what the deceased friend was doing with that many boxes of that specific ammo. I thought he might have owned the rifle that used them, but if it went to a relative, I hope I am in possession of the ammo. I would hate for someone to shoot that rifle and have pressure build up and do some kind of damage to it and maybe him. Thanks again for your help…
“One of the two has some, but tape blocks out some of the print. What I have is ERENS AMMUNITIONSARSENAL. Under that is 66 stk Under that is 6,5 mm patroner m. 1946 ru. Under that is a stamped date, 21 SEP 1950.”
It’s a box of 65 rounds, no?
Yes, that’s the box, two of them, with 65 rounds each. Unless I can find someone who will pay postage for 4 boxes of 54 rounds and the 2 with 65, plus a small amount extra for the trouble, I guess I’ll bury them in heavy plastic bags. I don’t think I want to keep them in the closet for another 50 years as my friend did. He probably never shot them because he didn’t like the corrosive primers, nor the fact that the nickle based bullets would drive up pressures. I have a 1939 Mosin/Nagant in excellent condition and I decided to not shoot the corrosive ammo through it. I reload my own.