6.5 x 50mm Japanese
The 6.5 x 50mm cartridge was introduced in
1897 and served as a Japanese military cartridge through World War II. Both
the Model 1905 and its successor, the Model 99 Arisaka rifles, were chambered
for this cartridge. The 6.5 x 50mm military cartridge was loaded with a 139
grain bullet at 2500 fps in a 32" barrel.
Very little was known about this 6.5 until American troops returned home after the big war with Arisaka rifles picked up from many battlefields. Later, during the 1950's, the U.S. was literally flooded with surplus military rifles from all countries as various mail order dealers imported them by the shiploads.
No one has ever accused the Arisaka rifle of being handsome, but as several authorities like P.O. Ackley were eventually discovered, it was probably the strongest and safest bolt action battle rifle ever built. When subjected to destructive testing, loads that blew apart '17 Enfield, '03 Springfield, and '98 Mauser actions were taken in stride by the Arisaka action.
Until the 1950's, most rifles in this caliber served as wall hangers. But when Norma ammunition with a 139 grain bullet began showing up in the U.S., Arisakas in the hands of hunters began to bark across the the land. Many found the little cartridge to be far deadlier on deer than those of the .30-30 class.
Norma 6.5 x 50mm ammunition and unprimed cases are still available. Any of the .264" bullets will work in this cartridge, but due to its relatively small powder capacity, those weighing 120, 125, and 129 grains are best for deer. The small powder capacity also calls for powders of medium burning rate with H380, H335, and H4895 doing a good job.
Source: Hodgdon Data Manual, 26th Edition
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