Detailed laser Doppler velocimetry measurements of profiles of mean axial and tangential velocities and their corresponding r.m.s components in confined turbulent swirling pipe flow with and without the presence of a conical bluff body have been conducted. The working fluid was water and the value of Reynolds number based on the bulk velocity inside the pipe was 40,850. The main focus of the study was to document the interaction between turbulent swirling flow inside a pipe with the presence of a conical bluff body. The flow structure was found in all cases to be composed of a forced-free vortex. The swirl decay was exponential. The presence of the bluff body's effect on the flow was found to be limited to a short region upstream, so that the effect on the flow structure and strength of swirl upstream could be considered negligible. The flow around the bluff body adopted a different structure where the mean axial and tangential velocities tended to assume uniform profiles with turbulence activity limited to the region close to the surface of the bluff body.