I acquired a M-1895 6.5x54R Dutch Carbine and loaded some rounds up for a range test. This carbine was originally issued in 1918 as a long rifle. During it's life it was converted to a Calvary Carbine. and Issued to Police and home guard type troops in the Dutch East Indies. A shorter barrel was needed as well as a wooden cover for the magazine well to allow slinging the carbine on your back and not have the metal dig into flesh While riding a horse.. I can imagine that riding a horse at full gallop and having anything this heavy bouncing around on your back would not be pleasant at all. It is a good idea the Dutch used to stop this problem. The rifle is of course a Manlicher design. The action is butter smooth to cycle. The sights are very easy to pick up with an inverted "V" front sight and a squeeze adjustable rear sight which goes to 2,000 meters. The original loading was using a round nose 154-7 grain FMJ lead filled bullet. This bullet is very long, and looks similar to the 6.5 Carcano in shape. The Dutch pushed this bullet between 2,500 and 2,700 fps. My local bullet supply house was out of the Hornandy 160 grain .264 bullets. I had to substitute a 140 grain SBT instead. These rifles were never loaded with a spitzer by the Dutch. The ogive of the spitzer meant that the bullet would jump into the rifling. Not really good for accuracy. Thanks to Scotsman, I was able to make brass for this carbine out of .303 Britt. It was very east to do. 50 could be made in under one hour. I first shoved the .303 shoulder back using a 7.62x54R Russian sizing die, then into the 6.5x54R Dutch sizing die. I had to shorten the case about 1/4". Neck diameter was not a problem. The Remington .303 brass was already thin at the neck. I loaded up 50 of these rounds using several types of powders. IMR-4895, BL(C)2, IMR-3031, IMR-4350 and IMR-7828. The weather was bitterly cold but the air was still. The range was so frozen that pistol shooters fired bullets that skimmed along the top of the snow leaving a furrow that if you followed it long enough, you'd find the fired bullet sitting at the end as good as new sans the rifling marks. I placed a target at 100 meters using a 200 meter repair center. This gives a nice aiming point, the "X". This little carbine is no light weight what so ever. You carry this bad boy all day you know you have done something. Because of the weight, recoil is far less than the M44 and way way less that the Steyr M95. None the less the report is very loud and recoil is on par with Mauser 98K W/ 150 grain ball ammo. With the range being covered with 8" of snow, and the impact berm being dark brown, seeing the front sight on the black target was no problem at all. Trigger pull was not so great, not stiff, but, rather long and heavy at about 12 pounds. I fired 5 rounds of each type of powder loading at the target. When the target was checked, all but the IMR-3031 shot very well. The later placed the shots a little higher and to the right. Remember that I am using the wrong type,weight and shape of bullet for this carbine. The fact that it would group at all says how well the Manlicher is made. When the right type of bullet is loaded into this carbine, I'm sure it will be a real tack driver. Now to find a long rifle...hhhhhuuuuummmmmm.
Heres the target and the Carbine and original ammo.