Sideironjohn is right regarding the comparison of the 6.5x68S to the .264 Win. However, like the .264 WM, the 6.5x68S needs slow powders and the heavier bullets to perform efficiently. Otherwise you are simply throwing good powder out of the end of the barrel without being burned.
I'm posting some more things from Lutz Moeller's site which center on the 6.5x68S and hunting. He mentions that at the higher velocities, it is not uncommon for lightly constructed bullets to disintegrate in flight due to what he calls "stress risers", fast twist and higher velocities. I had noticed this when I first started shooting the .264 WM and some bullets didn't make it to the target. I have since started testing a couple of barrels made with the polygonal rifling form and I'm not seeing the jacket loss or non-arriving bullets as yet. The twist rates are 8.5" and 7.8" similar to the Swedish Mauser twist. Lutz may be on to something... I haven't tried the "5R, canted, ratchet" form yet but that's next on the 6.5 list of things to do.
I have converted a few (not all) of the dimensions to inches for simplicity.
This is a terrific classic European cartridge worthy of the rifle pictured.
I would like to ask your opinion for the 6.5x68 as you certainly have knowledge and experience of this caliber.
the 6,5x68 is a wonderful Cartridge to hunt most any European Animal, including the Finnish Whitetail but beware of long Twist! Current Factory Rifles come with 250 (9.8") or even 280 mm (11") long Twist, allowing to stabilize only 6g (93 gr.) RWS or the KS up to 8,2g (126 gr.) or Short Hornady V-Max or alike Stubnoses, nothing windslippery as a Scenar not 9-, no 8-, no 7 g, no nothing. They tumble after 50 m Flight; bad Luck!
So the Problem with the 6,5x68 are Twist and Bullets. The Benefits are a very sturdy Case, able to withstand extreme high Pressures like the 8x68s or .338 Lapua Magnum. If you have a 230 mm (9") or 220 mm (8.6") Twist Barrel and a good windslippery Bullet, to be able to withstand the achievable high Speeds and be strudy enough not to blast into Pieces upon Impact, like the Scenars do. You may be able to hunt further and smaller and bigger Animals than with almost any other Cartridge.
While I successfully, with short Flights, hunted from tiny Roe Deer to big 148 kg empty Red Stag and big tough Oryx in Southafrica and dozens Pigs and Springbock with the fast 6,5 mm 7g Lapua Scenar out of my 6,5x65RWS, I must admit the Rest mass is only 1,2 to 1,6 g and Penetration in Meat about 6-7 cm. So Shots with such a Blaster are risky. Clean sideways Heart or Lungshots work well with the Scenar.
To solve the Problem I make these Copperbullets here see above for the 6,5 mm. Now you can hunt big Game with the 6,5x65RWs even on small Distance. Well, you could load the Naturalis Copperbullet, but the will not fly far. So I start to offer turned Bullets with some special Features (Patent applied for) for the 6,5x65RWS on demand.
The 6,5x68 would need a slightly different Layout, to fit the different Throat. But that is easily possible as they all come from the CNC-Lathe (Gildemeister).
Also remember 6,5x68 Cartridges need al longer Magazine then most other Cartridges, around 86.5mm (3.4") or so. That means, if you just rebuilt an old Swedish Mauser, it will be single Shot. Sauer 202 is, as far as I know, only available in long Twist. So choose a Rifle in that you can easily install a new Barrel. Barrel life with conventional bullets for Match Precision is below 1000 Shots, with my bullets maybe double. I do not know yet. Would you like to test?
The disappearing 6.5 saga
I am confused! not surprised, that I am confused happens a lot. Is the Problem that some 6.5mm bullets go "POOF, or Puff, or just blow up, come apart in flight? Is it from the velocity they are shot at, the rate of twist or do we know. I am toying with the idea of building a 6.5 mm some thing 6.5 mm-06 or 6.5 mm-08. The reason being the 6.5mm bullets appear to be ballisticly superior to anything in the 5.6-7.62 range. So if some one would not mind to recapture the argument, I will be happy to call Sierra, Berger and JLK to pass this buy them.
I'll do my best to pass an what I discovered to date, as well as why I THINK it is so. (Doesn't mean it's true though!). My experience to date concerns .264 Win. Mag. and 6.5-06 cartridges; 264 Win. Mag. from back in 1970; 6.5-06 over the last 2 years. High BC (therefore long) bullets needs Lots of spin to stablise them. Thin long Bastards like 140gr+ 6.5s need 8" and 9" twists to do this which equates to RPM rates of 220,000 to 300,000 depending an MVs of between 2800 and 3400fps and the twist in each case. I lost Berger 140s @ 3200 fps into thin air presumably due to the jackets letting go (almost certainly); several at 300 metres, a few more at up to 600 yards, 1 in 10 at 1000 yards, 4 in 10 at 1100 yards, whilst at 1200, only 6 out of 17 arrived. In ALL Gases, the ones that arrived were in the V ring (or up or down wind) i.e. accurate. I 'lost' 2 Match King 142s to date; one at 300m, the other at 1200 yards at 3200 fps MV.
So far, Lapua SCENAR 139s all arrived OK even at 3400fps! I would say that it is the RPM that causes the jackets to split, and it is likely that either the change of section where the boattail starts thinner jacket section there - or the Stress raisers caused by the rifling, is the most probable scenario.
I would concurr, that the 6.5 calibre presents a good Case for V. long range accurate wind resisting shooting, as the calibre increases from this size, more recoil, more powder, more shooter distress and so on. To achieve the result from 30ca1 that is readily available from a 6.5-284 or 6.5-06, one would need to shoot say 210 Bergers at 3250 fps. This requires a .300 Weatherby Magnum at least - possibly 300/338 Lapua Magnum; IMHO this is simply is a non Starter.
Datum: Sun, 28 May 2000 21:50:16 +0200 Von: Laurie <topcorpl
And thank you for quick and very informative answear!
My interest to the 6.5x68 cartridge aroused when my gunsmith offered me a brand new Lothar Walther barrel with a dirty cheap price. So I took it and selected classic Mauser 98 action as the heart of this system.
I am aware that the 6.5x68 barrels have usually slower twist than used with eg. the 6.5x55. With 1-8" twist and 9 g Scenars, the 6.5x68 would be a noteworthy long range cartridge having performance similar to the .264 Win. Mag. yet the 6.5x68 is certainly more easy to reload due to its case shape compared with deep-shoulder magnum cartridges (other example would be the .300 Lapua Magnum vs .30-378 Weatherby). However, for me the 6.5x68 would be primarily hunting cartridge (mainly long range bird caliber (large forest birds like black grouse, goose and varmints like grow at wintertime), but also Forest Deer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus) and wild boar, if I have sometimes oppoturnity for that. If barrel accepts a 9 g bullet, it would be also legal for moose hunting! At least there will be no lack of energy! Anyway it will also interesting to ! test, develope loads etc.
Also, can you point me a source for reloadable brass (RWS or Hirtenberger?); The 6.5x68 is not available from Finland, and I have not found empty cases from big mail order firms like Frankonia.
I thank you inviting me to whitetail hunt. Perhaps I could join, if I have time.
so you got cheap Lothar Walther Barrel. Fine!
Usual Lothar Walther Barrels are as such. So you will not stabilize the long Bullets, when you shoot them with the Front first!
For Varmint the short Hornady-VMAx will do fine, but be explosive
Now to hunt Moose I advise a Trick I know not, whether it shall work, but it is worth a Try. You have a 141 grain 6,5 mm FMJ Bullet. Try to load that with the open end (the usual open Tail) in Front. The Back, being closed, will withstand the Pressure. The non-aerodynamic Flatnose now stabilizes Flight, the Mass center moves forward and the Lead tip is good to hunt Game. So a Solution for Moose may be just a Turn away.
I know the Bullets are out of Program, but I still have some, you may like. Also Sellier % Bellot makes a 6,5mm FMJ you could reverse. I also have those.
Brass is available form RWS and Hirtenberger. RWS is Sturdier with a thicker Bottom, so I would us those. I have to order some Brass as well, so tell me how many you want and I order them and send them to you. How many? 100?
Please let me know your Home Adress.