After this year's trip to WY-SHOT, Ernie hooked me up with the makings of a new project. I set out to put an XP together that would serve as a good hunting rig, yet something you wouldn't see every day.
I had an XP for the donor, a new McMillian center grip stock and a Lilja fluted 6.5 8 twist tube to work with. The barrel was originally lightly used in 6.5 WSM and chambered by Allen Precision and was outfitted with one of his brakes. I didn't want a magnum cartridge and wanted something unique in the XP. Hoggin and I conversed about it on the drive back from Ernie's. Numerous 6.5's came to mind for us both and I settled on the faithful 6.5x55 Swede. Moreover, the 6.5x55 AI.
After a lot of research and reading, the Swede in the Improved version seemed to fill the niche. All the attributes of the other 6.5 offerings and them some. Better case capacity than the 6.5x47, Creedmoor or the .260 and fell right on the heels of the 6.5/284. Plus, I've never seen one chambered in the XP. Having owned and shot the standard Swede in years past, I knew it'd do great in the scope of what I was after.
I went thru the action, later added a PTG Nosler/Lawton bolt release and opened her up for 8-40 screws for the base. I then set out on the barrel, I cut the existing chamber and throat completely out and readied her for threading. Next addition was a large, spiral fluted bolt from PTG set up with the Sako extractor. I turned out a knob afterwards out of 6061 aluminum stock.
Lastly, the stock was worked on a tad. I had to open up the barrel channel a bit for the straight bull barrel. Afterwards, there was quite a bit of flex in the fore end. I milled out a channel in the fore end and added steel stock which was bedded in and finished out with the barrel channel. This really stiffened her up and got rid of the flex. I drilled and tapped a bipod stud in while I was at it.
To get her off the ground, I ordered in some new Lapua brass. Next, a call to CH4D and dies were on the way. I loaded up a test round or two and gave her an impromptu test fire and checked the brass over. Satisfied all was well, now comes bedding and finish work.
Figured I'd throw a few teaser pics out there for you all to look over......
Here she is after test fire and ready for bedding and final finish work.....
Close up of the PTG bolt, love the looks of her......
A look at the Nosler/Lawton bolt release install.......
For those not familiar with the 6.5x55, here's a pic for comparison. 6.5 Creedmoor on left and formed 6.5x55 AI on the right......
If I did my research correctly, she ougtha run right on the heels of the 6.5/284 performance-wise and make a great hunting cartridge. In a 14" bbl plus brake, she's awfully handy as well.
Looking good Jeremy
Can't wait to see what she looks like all dolled up and shooting groups.
Ernie (xphunter) "The Un-Tactical"
WY-SHOT 2022 June 20-22
Will that bolt release position allow you to remove a loaded round without using the bolt release and removing the bolt?
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Very nice!! That's going to stand out in a crowd for certain!
Wow that is nice! Love the look! Let us know how it shoots.
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Bret, due to the cartridge OAL she won't eject a live round without using the bolt release. I knew this going into it and with the external bolt release it isn't an issue for me. The release is as far rearward as I'd be comfortable placing it as well. Fired brass ejects without issue and I don't mind pulling the bolt to ease a loaded round out. Was the same on the .300 WSM xp I had a few years ago. It didn't have the external release and I removed the bolt stop all together.
Beautiful rig!!! Nice work brother...
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Very nice. It doesn't look like it was a trigger in it yet ? Who's are you going to use ?
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Thanks Cody, appreciate the kind words!
Cpt John, trigger was taken out for final tear down. Running the factory trigger and really pleased with how it adjusted down. Thru the action in the stock for teaser pictures and didn't put the trigger back in.
Great looking rig, love the look of the big bull barrel with fluting. What kind of brake is that? What kind of load are looking to use for hunting?
Thank ya sir!
Likewise on the bbl, she us an attention getter. Plus side, would double as an axle for my Jeep!
I believe the brake is a Muscle Brake. Came with the bbl. I just had to index it after I cut her back and chambered it. If my loads are anything like the test fire liad, won't be any trouble getting full eye relief with a rifle scope.
As for loads, looking hard at the 140 Amax. My fireform loads I'll be running lighter Amax's as I have a few hundred on hand and 200 pcs of virgin Lapua brass.
Dang, that's a class act and class cartridge Jeremy! You know years ago Bob Jordan wrote a series of articles in Precision Shooting about the 6.5X55 Improved. He called it the BJ Improved or some such title. They were really good writeups too i thought.
Looks nice. I think you'll like that cartridge.
Thanks for the kind words Steve and Aaron!
Definitely a classic and Steve, I recall mention on the articles you mentioned. I remember reading how the Swede never was experimented with by PO Ackley but others had improved it. I was said that it was one of the cartridges that really shined in it's improved version.
With it running close behind the 6.5/284, oughta make a great hunting cartridge. Plus, it isn't one I've seem in an SP and brass was considerably cheaper than any other 6.5 offering from Lapua. Was a tad harder finding dies, but CH4D had them in stock.
That's a very nice SP,and a nice size case too.Lapua brass is a big plus as well.
Bet it will bust dogs way out yonder.
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