View Full Version : Really miss the threads like Dok used to post

01-26-2011, 05:40 PM
Notcied versifier has'nt never written us a story yet.

01-26-2011, 07:35 PM
I miss Dave, too. Maybe someday soon he'll reappear here. It could happen. You fell off of the planet for a while and you came back. I will continue to think positive.

OK, I will tell you the story of the world's ugliest rifle, since it's a cold raw winter day and I'm in the mood to avoid going out in it.

I have an old friend who doesn't shoot, isn't into guns, doesn't even eat meat. He had mentioned many years ago that his dad had brought back from WWII an old ratty looking rifle that had been quietly gathering dust in his attic, probably since then. His wife wanted to clean out the attic for some unfathomable female reasons and he asked me if I wanted it. Duuuuh. "Sure! What is it?" "I don't have any idea. Dad said it was a 6.5, but that they didn't make ammo for it anymore and he'd never even fired it."

Bliss! Joy! Ecstasy!!!! A 6.5!!!! I figured it had to be a Swede. No problem for a handloader. I had had one on my wish list for years. I ordered brass and dies for it and went to visit them and pick it up.

It was a military rifle that had seen some very hard use. It looked like a tank had run over it, back and forth several times just to make sure. But it was no Mauser. The barrel was much too long and it had a split bridge. I had seen a rifle something like it before, but I couldn't place it. Then I remembered seeing an Austrian mil rifle several years before in 8x57. It was a Mannlicher. But I had never heard of anything but a Swede in 6.5. WTF? The bore looked perfect, the crown undamaged.

So I started doing some research. The crest on the reciever ring was Greek. It was a model 1903/13, made at Breda in 1927. And to my consternation, it wasn't a 6.5x55. It was a 6.5x54 M/S (Mannlicher/Schoeneauer). I found out that the round had been a very popular civilian hunting round in Europe, and the sporter versions of the rifle were some of the finest production rifles ever made, now selling for thousands when you could find them. The rifle, like the civilian versions, was charged by a 5rd stripper clip as per usual for the time, but they fed into an intricate internal rotary magazine. I learned that Arthur Savage had based his m99 on it.

Dies weren't hard to find, but they weren't cheap. I ordered a set from RCBS with the odd sized shell holder. Brass was something else again. I haunted shows (found collector cartridges for $5 each - no thanks) but came up empty handed. I posted about it and one of the guys on CB sent me fifteen cases, then another found some available and in stock at Graf's, so I ordered fifty more and a box of Sierra 140gr GK's. I looked up the data and loaded up some minimum loads with 3031. I couldn't get it to feed from the magazine, but I figured I'd just load them singly to see what happened.

Almost two years after it became mine, I was finally ready to give it a try. I put a huge sheet of brown paper on the 4x4 100yd target butt at the range and stuck a target in the middle. I fired five shots from a rest, taking care to keep the same POA for each shot. The battle sights were clear and easy to use, but the trigger had the grit of many years and I was not overly optimistic as I walked down range. I figured they ought to at least be on the 4x4 somewhere, but I could see no holes anywhere around the target as I got closer. There was one ragged hole dead center that a quarter could cover. OMG.... I went back and fired two more groups just in case I was hallucinating, but it was for real.

So I brought it home and took it completely apart, took off the exterior rust with naval jelly, polished the trigger. I spent a week on the magazine, carefully removing all the surface rust and freeing up the moving parts. (It still won't feed, but I think I have finally figured out why.) Testing showed that the first load I tried was the most accurate, but I also tried a lighter bullet and two other powders just to see what would happen.

Since then, I have built a custom 6.5 Swede on a Yugo action for my daughter and I got a couple of moulds so she could have some cheap practice ammo. One of them was the 170gr Cruise Missile FNGC that Midsouth had Lee do a custom run of. I wondered what the old rifle would do with them. Last week I loaded up some and headed to my friend's range with heated shooting house (10*F outside, 70*F inside). He hadn't plowed down to the 100yd target, so I set up at 50yds to see what it would do. Five shots in a 3" group, two inches high, windage dead on. More tests to come, but it's good enough to hunt with as is.

If I can get the mag working so I can load at least three rounds in it, I'm going to fix up the stock and redo the whole rifle. I'll try to post a picture later, but the photo must be resized and I have to install the software to do it on this computer first.

01-26-2011, 08:02 PM
Here she is...

01-27-2011, 12:58 AM
that's not even homely.
maybe i can get little girl to post some pics of my 257 bob arisaka.
someone tried to inlay [turtle shell, mother of pearl,plastic combs] something shiney.
cut down the stock [i think with a nail and hammer]
and had the bbl re-lined to roberts but the shoulder come out more like a weatherby.
i still need to re-shape the extractor to fit the case cut better. as it pushes the extractor out binding the bolt.
which was bent with some pliars and a vice [i'm fairly sure]
but it does shoot everything from 86 gr bullets at 2400 up through 120's at 2700.
i spent more for the cheap scope and stuff to mount it than the rifle cost.
but as a shooter it's first rate.
and i doubt anyone will ever steal it from the truck.

then there is the 99 i got in a box that i looked at [and was told it was] and thought for sure it was a 7.7x58
till i got it to the range and tried to chamber a proper round.
turned out [finally] to be a 300 savage that was re-chambered on the original bbl cut back and cleaned up.
so i ended up with a one off 311 savage.
need to shorten the mag box for the new shorter round.
it will be getting cast pretty soon.

01-27-2011, 04:03 AM
great stories amigos !

01-28-2011, 12:42 AM
You guys made me start thinking about DOK too.

I wonder what ever happened to him.