Sambar stag. Credit:

6.5 Swede For Sambar?

Nosler Accubond .264 140gn
Nosler Accubond .264 140gn

Q: I’ve been invited on a sambar hunt in southern NSW where there are no limits on the calibre you can use, like there is in Victoria. The only rifle I own is a CZ557 chambered in 6.5×55, and I worried about the performance of the 6.5 Swede on an animal this big. I handload using the Nosler 140gn AccuBond and 48gn of AR2213sc. In your opinion will this get the job done?
Ron Hibberd

A: I may get criticised for this, but what the hell! The bullet you are using has an S.D of .287 and high B.C of .509 and you are probably getting about 2840fps with 2507 ft/lb of muzzle energy. The load you are using is close to maximum, but if it

PPU Factory 65x55 ammo
PPU Factory 65×55 ammo

shoots accurately without showing any pressure signs, it should be capable of doing the job on sambar. The fact that you are familiar with your rifle and seem to be aware of its limitations works strongly in your favour. If you are a careful hunter who can place his shots in a vital area and doesn’t try to shoot game 500 yards away you should get along just fine. By the way, I nearly forgot to tell you that on the Norma moose hunt in 1986, I dropped five moose running flat out, each with a single 140gn bullet from the 6.5×55 Swede.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.