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  • 6,5x55

    You can write a whole book about the 6,5x55 ammunition and its variations and also about the trade it created during WWII. It got in service in 1894 and did recently end its service after almost 100 years. The cartridge was created as a joint venture by Sweden and Norway and it has made service in both countries. The production started in Sweden in 1896, the same time as the introduction of the m/96 rifle. Before that it was imported from Hirtenberger in Austria. During WWII there were also an import from Germany and Finland and I will develop that story later on.
    The precision of the 6,5x55 with the m/41 projectile is very good on moderate ranges. Over 600 meters the precision drops. This is the Swedish military's first real all round caliber for many types of guns, e.g. rifle and machine gun.

    The forms of the projectiles

    You can say that the projectile have lived two life's, as the original blunt form from 1894 and with the torpedo form from 1941. 
    The military experimented with spits projectiles already 1905-1920. That resulted in the projectiles fm/06 and fm/13 (fm is "försöksmodell", experimental model). The trials did not result in anything at that time, and I hope to find a bit more of why later on. It is either that the projectiles did not live up to the expectations, or that the production was too complicated to produce or too expensive for the current needs.

    The m/41 spits projectile

    Tygdepartementet has in May 1941 announced a switch to the m/41 spits projectile to occur as fast as possible. The manufacturing of this ammunition has earlier on only been done for the account of the sharpshooter union (skytterörelsen). The switch to the manufacturing of this projectile needs a built out of the machine park, and will take a while before it will run fully as the new projectile is more complicated to manufacture compared to the old blunt type.
    Source: Ammunitionsnämndens report page 13

    The blank 6,5x55 ammunition

    The color for the blank 6,5x55 ammunition has changed during the years. It has been found with a purple, red or unpainted wooden projectiles. The blue to be found is rifle cartridges for the krevadpatron m/13, and is not to be mixed in the same sentence with the blank ammunition.

    The first model, the "6,5 mm l ptr m/94" blanks had the for the time in Sweden a standard purple wooden projectile.
    Quite soon, the color changed to the today standard red. I have not found a good written source of when the change in color were done, but it should of been in the 1900-1910 era.

    With the introduction of the machine gun, a new blank cartridge was developed that is generating a higher pressure to be able to cycle the weapon. This cartridge is identified through the green dyed wooden projectile and is designated "6,5 mm l ptr m/14".

    In 1942 it is time for the next change. The Kg m/21 and m/37 used the m/94 blank ammunition, but by exchanging the nozzle cap used for blank ammunition to one with a 4,5 mm hole for the Kg's, it was possible to use the same blank m/14 ammunition for all weapons, even if the m/14 at the time were mainly intended for the machine guns.
    The m/14 changes now from green to a unpainted wooden projectile. The reason I unclear to me, but it can signal a "use for all weapons" status. The intention to phase out the m/94 ammunition is done in the same time, and were rolling until the 1944 Amreg catalog were it is removed. In 1945 the m/14 were changed again to a red projectile an I can conclude that the order is settled again.

    The form of the wooden projectile for the blank ammunition is only moderately changed during the years, and it can be found in 3 or 4 basic shapes.