More on the Carl Gustaf
I write in regard to Rod Pascoe’s Top Shots answer on the 6.5x55 Carl Gustaf (Australian Shooter, November 2018). These rifles in 6.5x55 were originally chambered for a 156 round nose projectile. I have many samples of this rifle and a copy of Crown Jewels, one of the definitive info sources on them.
I found I can’t get a 140gr pill to touch the lands and still be engaged in the case neck with ‘as issued’ rifles. The only way a projectile can ‘touch the rifling’ is if the gun has had the barrel chamber re-cut with a sporting chamber reamer, set back in the receiver then it’s possible to engage the projectile into the rifling.
When my son was at school, for reduced recoil I tried 100gr Tipans in the 2001-4 when available but no matter the powder or load (2208 or 2209) couldn’t get an as issued 6.5x55 to shoot less than 6^ at 300m.
For repeated accuracy I wouldn’t recommend less than 120gr pills in the original barrel/chamber (keep in mind the guns are only designed for 45,000 psi loads). Ensure cases are neck sized to give sufficient neck tension to achieve the proper burn rate, too light and you get fouled necks with drop-off in consistency.
Best I have with light 120gr is 36gr of ADI2208 or 42gr of ADI2209 which achieves the same result for hunting and remember to maintain 85 per cent case capacity of powder as sometimes 2208 doesn’t fill the case to achieve proper burn rate.
I’ve been testing and competing since 1999 in Military Rifle and Combined Services and what I quote above works in my guns and is conservative. I use a CED Mk2 velocity device and know how it all works, case pressure, head measurement, primers etc.
Andy Prowse, via email
02 May 2019