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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:14 am 
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wpflgun

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Registered: 4/23/05
Posts: 448
8/02/05 at 12:14 PM


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I am considering taking on an already bubba’d Arisaka 38 (6.5 Jap) as a sporter project. I am interested in possibly re-chambering to 6.5x55 Swede (.264 bullet size) whereas the current chambering is 6.5x50 (.263 bullet size per this website).

Has anyone out there done this, and is there a problem with the slight bullet size difference, in the case size, or with the extractor? Is it simply a matter of reaming the chamber for the 6.5x55 case?


JeffS

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Registered: 2/26/05
Posts: 1,612
8/02/05 at 12:52 PM


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Never done it, but the 6.5 x 55's rim is about 0.007 bigger diameter than other "standard" calibers (.480 vs .473), while the Arisaka's is .002 smaller (471), making a 0.009 difference. The bolt face may or may not be sloppy enough to work without mods with the bigger base cartridge. Also the original Japanese cartridge is semi rimmed so the case body dia is smaller yet. I don't know how that would affect feeding, but suspect you'll have to make a few mods there, too. I have heard of people making 6.5 x 57s out of them - an excellent cartridge, though a wildcat here in the US. I might think about building a 260 Rem (6.5mm-08) because it'd be closer to the original size, but factory loads would be too much pressure for the rifle.

As I understand it, 6.5 Arisaka barrels shoot standard 6.5mm (.264 dia) bullets just fine. Brass is still available for them in the original caliber, so why not just handload? Hornady's book has plenty of loads for plinking targets, and game.

- Jeff


wpflgun

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Registered: 4/23/05
Posts: 448
8/02/05 at 02:17 PM


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Jeff,

Thanks for the info. I already have a Type 38 in pretty good shape that I want to maintain in original condition. The bubba'd Type 38 I am considering taking on is something that has come about as a result of a member of the forums having one available with a desire to get rid of it. I am only interested in getting it if a worthwhile project is possible.

The potential sporter project is of interest because I really like the 6.5x55 Swede cartridge and think it would be an interesting endeavor if it wasn't too complicated and was reasonably inexpensive. Other than the re-chambering and having the bolt bent, I can do most of the other work myself to turn it into an interesting rifle.


mod70

Mil-Surp Shooter
Registered: 5/24/05
Posts: 759
8/02/05 at 02:22 PM


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If I recall correctly, the Ariska action is the only one P. O. Ackley was unable to blow up in his torture tests. I do clearly recall it outlasted the Mausers' by a fair margin in his tests. Can't say his experiments makes the Ariska suitable for the .260 rem but I have a Mauser in .260. Seems I recall the Ariska as being listed as one of the strongest actions ever tested. The P17 Enfield ranks very highly as well.


wpflgun

Mil-Surp Owner
Registered: 4/23/05
Posts: 448
8/02/05 at 02:44 PM


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I have heard that as well. I have also seen these re-barrelled in 30-06. Strength of the action appears to be a non-issue.


1shot

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Registered: 4/02/04
Posts: 1,214
8/02/05 at 03:27 PM


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Many of the 6.5 Jap rifles were reamed out to 6.5 X 257 Roberts. The 257 Roberts case necked up to 6.5. The 257 Roberts is made from the 7 X 57 Mauser necked down to 257. The rim is the same as the 6.5 Jap but the case is longer. It makes a very good round but you have to hand load for it. That Arisaka action is a very strong action. Loads that turned a 98 Mauser action into junk never even fazed the Arisaka. I read that in some test that they did , the load melted the case and welded the action shut but did not blow it up.


mike_thomas

Mil-Surp Shooter
Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 657
8/02/05 at 04:17 PM


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I have only rebarreled one. The steel is tough. The one I did, I made a .308 out of. I doubt this action would make a very good 06, too short. It is the 99 that is made into an 06. One problem you may encounter is the tit on the end of the bolt. It rides in a groove machined into the shank. Off the top of my head, I cannot tell you how much metal you must remove to fit the 6X55 case into the chamber, but you will need to watch you do not cut into the groove as you increase the diameter of the chamber. Mike


wpflgun

Mil-Surp Owner
Registered: 4/23/05
Posts: 448
8/02/05 at 04:36 PM


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Mike,

JeffS above said there is a .009 difference in case size between the 6.5 Jap and the 6.5x55 Swede. Hopefully that would not encroach into the groove you identified.

Assuming this is feasible to do, would it be within the capability of a novice with the proper reamer and headspace gauges to accomplish?

And you are right, I was remembering a 7.7 converted to 30-06. .308 would be an attractive choice if re-barrelling was the route taken.


JeffS

Mil-Surp Collector
Registered: 2/26/05
Posts: 1,612
8/02/05 at 05:54 PM


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You know the 260 Rem or 6.5x57 (as 1 Shot called it 6.5 x 257 Roberts) both are very easily made from other cases, and have just as good or better an accuracy potential, and more power using the same bullets, as the 6.5x55 Swede. I think the reason people are so enamored with the Swede is because the rifles themselves were so well made, so got a reputation for accuracy. It was the rifles, not necessarily the cartridge. There is nothing the 6.5 x 55 will do that the 260 won't do as well or better. Brass is a whole lot easier to come by too - just run 308 brass through a sizer, or if you go for the 57mm case, run 7x57 brass through. You'll likely have less mods to make to get it to feed and eject properly, too. Just a personal opinion.

- Jeff



mod70

Mil-Surp Shooter
Registered: 5/24/05
Posts: 759
8/02/05 at 07:12 PM


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Jeff

Not to be argumentative but, I have to differ with you on the 6.5x55 vs .260 rem comparison.

Many notice in loading manuals that the .260 outperforms the 6.5x55 BUT that is due to the manuals taking into account the 100 plus year old guns still firing the cartridge. The 6.5x55 holds more powder than does the .260, and allows bullets to be seated farther out of the case, which further increases its realative powder capacity. In a modern action such as a Win M70 or Sako, Tika, etc, the 6.5x55 can safely be loaded to handily outperform the .260 rem, especially with the heaver bullets.

I own and load for both and this info is pretty common knowledge in the benchrest crowd. Hope you take my post in the right way as I don't want to offend you as is so easy to do unintentionaly on one of these boards.


mike_thomas

Mil-Surp Shooter
Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 657
8/02/05 at 08:05 PM


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When I made the 308, I had the luxury of reducing the width of the groove the bolt tit rides in. I cannot say how much clearance you would have with the stock groove.

This stuff looks easy to the individual with no experience. The big item to consider, is whether or not the shoulder of the reamer will enter the existing chamber. The next consideraton is whether or not the pilot will reach the bore. The 260 reamer will not enter, the 6.5X55 reamer will barely enter, but will probably not allow the pilot to reach the bore. The 6.5X57 reamer will enter, and the pilot MAY reach the bore.

Unless one selects the 6.5X57 (aka 6.5 Roberts), there is considerable metal to remove. This makes it difficult to hand ream a new chamber. I would cut the new chamber close to size with a boring bar and then ream. I imagine most gunsmiths you would take this to would step drill to get the reamer started. While workable, this is the cheap and dirty way to get the result you want. Note that workable does not equate to precise.

So, I would say that in most homes, this is not a home gunsmithing project. Mike


JeffS

Mil-Surp Collector
Registered: 2/26/05
Posts: 1,612
8/02/05 at 09:40 PM


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Hey no offense taken. You're absolutely right, that given the same strength guns, the 6.5 x 55 can be loaded to a higher velocity because it has a bigger case. You're exceeding what the reloading manuals publish though, because they take into account the lower pressure ratings of the Krags and '94 Mausers the cartridge was designed for. If you know what you're doing, hey great. I get a bit squeamish about exceeding the manuals, myself, even though I do use a few higher pressure loads in my 7x57 on a '98 action from Jack O'Connor's book.

What I was alluding to, is that some of the guys I shoot with with seem to think the 6.5x55 is some kind of phenome accuracy wise - especially when I suggest a 6.5 x 57 should be just as accurate and powerful and a lot more available. The round is no more or no less accurate than any other round. It depends far more on the rifle and shooter than the choice of caliber for most ranges.

- Jeff


wpflgun

Mil-Surp Owner
Registered: 4/23/05
Posts: 448
8/10/05 at 05:02 PM


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Well,

After mulling this around for a few days, I am inclined to agree that the .260 Remington is probably my best option. My local gunsmith does not have the finishing reamer, however, and says he can't find one to rent. That made him include the purchase of the reamer into his price ($200 - ouch!). Do any of you have that reamer and is it available for loan or rent? I found one for $85 at Brownell's, which is an option.

Assuming I buy or otherwise get the reamer, is this a project that a rookie like me could/should take on? I did see the thread in this forum showing step-by-step photos and instructions for using a finishing reamer. I am not intimidated at the thought of trying it, but I don't want to do anything stupid either.

Thoughts?


JeffS

Mil-Surp Collector
Registered: 2/26/05
Posts: 1,612
8/10/05 at 09:38 PM


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Here's a guy who rents solid pilot reamers for $26. http://www.reamerrentals.com/ It's really not rocket science. Just take your time check everything as you go. I can also supply good photos of the process. I have to confess hough, I've only headspaced short chambered new barrels, never changed caliber, but they say the new A&B barrels are 0.050 in. short. In your case the new cartridge is a bit fatter too. PM me of you need a reamer handle and headspace gauges.

- Jeff


wpflgun

Mil-Surp Owner
Registered: 4/23/05
Posts: 448
8/14/05 at 02:12 AM


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Well, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge on the Arisaka, and am sending in my C&R and money order to the seller on Monday. When I get it in hand, I'll check it out first, then begin re-chamber work if all looks well.

It will be transformed into a .260 Remington. I haven't yet decided if I will rent or buy the finishing reamer, but have a good rental source thanks to JeffS. Also thanks for the "how to" reaming info and pics, as that will be my guide.


mike_thomas

Mil-Surp Shooter
Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 657
8/14/05 at 08:19 AM


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As the rear of the 6.5 Jap is smaller than the shoulder diameter of the .260, have you got a plan for starting the reamer? I am very curious to see how this goes. If you could post pics of the reaming, I would be thrilled. Mike


wpflgun

Mil-Surp Owner
Registered: 4/23/05
Posts: 448
8/14/05 at 11:00 AM


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Mike,

I guess the entertainment value might be high for that! You know, this afternoon I finally got around to getting out my caliper and sample brass on hand, consisting of 6.5 Jap, 6.5x55 Swede, and .243 Winchester. I now fully understand what you were saying (some of us non-machinists don't get it so quickly), and I'll have to back away from trying this at home. I had already contacted a gunsmith in the area, and will probably get him to do it, unless one of you guys who do this kind of stuff are bored (no pun intended) and want to take it on. I would even be willing to supply the finishing reamer.

Re-reading the posts, I guess I'm still not exactly sure whether .260 Remington or 6.5x55 Swede would be easier from a gunsmithing point of view for one who has the knowledge and tools. I am basically neutral as to which one, I just initially went for the Swede because I already have a couple of Swedish Mausers. I do want it to be a non-wildcat cartridge. Perhaps you can opine further...


mike_thomas

Mil-Surp Shooter
Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 657
8/14/05 at 11:48 AM


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Federal law restricts most of us hobby guys from helping one another. The rule about keeping a firearm on premise overnight is the real killer. A gunsmith may be your best bet. I just do not have a real good answer. The project seems like a good one, only slightly complicated. Mike


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:02 am 
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I know many have different opinions, but I have a 6.5 Arisaka that was rechambered to 6.5 swiss about 5 years back it loads without a hitch and shoots great. the round has plenty of power for any game I hunt.
The gun has been completely sporterized and hardly looks anything like its original state. I took great care into the rifle not for its value but as it was handed down to me from my late grandfather. He sporterized it and bent the bolt to take a scope. I have no complaints other than I want to send it off to get it coated.
What ever you do make it your decision as your going to live with it . just make sure you enjoy shooting it when your done. :D


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