My hunting buddy out west dropped a mule deer in Northern California
with his 6.5x55...140gr. It was 320yds out and he uses iron sights. (know your weapon)....It dropped where it stood. He loves that gun and uses it exclusively. I love my 30-06.
The thing i don't like about the 6.5x55 is they don't make a larger grain bullet than the 140gr. I wouldn't shoot anything larger than a deer with that round but shot placement is the key to good hunting practice. 40 years ago i hunted with a 70 year old man that hunted with a 219 zipper. (22 caliber in a 30-06 case)
he only took head shots and they would "spin around where they stood" as he
would say. so i guess it comes down to what your comfortable with and shot placement.
They make a 160 gr. RN bullet for the 6.5. Very long and deep penitration. If I were to hunt elk with the Sweed thats what I would use. You can also down load it to shoot 100 grainers for lope and 120-140 for deer.
As far as the Mauser goes this is the grandfather of allmost all modern bolt action rifles. It will serve you for another 100years. They are durable. As long as you don't load your rounds too hot for the 96. The 6.5x55 seems to shoot very nice groups around 75-80% max loads. Yep I love the Mauser esp in this calibre I have shot a ton of rounds through my Mausers
Take a look at the Sectional Density of that 140grainer in 6.5. You have to get a much heavier 30 cal to equal it. This is the secret and what makes the 6.5x55 a long standing hunting round, it will penetrate very well. Also Scandanavian hunters have to qualify before hunting every year. They shoot targets at long distances and then at a moving target, and to add a little pressure,, all your hunting buddies are having lunch and watching how well you do (over the loud speaker). This is why the average Scandanavian can take a little bullet with great S.D. and do so well. Should I say it,,, since they practice more they are better shots?
A side note there is a guy with a 260AI that is winning every!! tactical compitition he shows up at. He left the 30cal crowd and now shoots the 6.5
The 6.5x55 is a very nice round. I have a m38 chambered for this. Reloading will give you ample choice in bullet selection and will show the true potental of this little round. This cartidge likes surprisingly slow powders. As a hunting load I was using H1000 under a Hornady 140gr SST. I shot a nice little whitetail buck this fall at 87 meters through the boilerroom. He was a very neatly shot deer, with very little bloodshot. Entery was caliber sized, and exit was about 69 cal. This little buck did not live long after the shot.
The record books, that are put out by Boone & Crocket and Pope & Young and where I live is Henry Kelsey they are a great way to research a state or a province for big game. This does take some time but the knowledge it gives you, can be very valuable. Not all hunters have their trophies recorded, as where I live after the Hanson Buck became the new world record typical Whitetail, we saw a flood of hunters and now that has happened, some hunters are shying away from the record books but...