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Old April 2, 2014, 07:23 PM   #1
tahunua001
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6.5mm against elk.

hello all,
disclaimer: this is not a bb gun VS buffalo thread, this isn't a you can't kill that or shouldn't kill that thread.

with all that said, if a fellow was able to get a 120gr .264 diameter bullet going 2500fps, which one would have the best weight retention, expansion, and penetration all wrapped in one package? I have a box of nosler E tips on order but they are relatively new and unproven.
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Old April 2, 2014, 09:31 PM   #2
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Just look at the usual suspects from Barnes, Hornady, Sierra, and the rest.

If it's a good bullet in .30 cal or whatever you use, then it'll be good in 6.5mm.

I've used the Hornady SP and the Remington Corlokt on elk with no problem.
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Old April 2, 2014, 09:42 PM   #3
tahunua001
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I really wish that speer would hurry up and make a deep curl in 6.5mm since that is what I get the best accuracy and performance in 30 cal so that leaves me with the other guys.
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Old April 2, 2014, 09:49 PM   #4
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a 120 grain copper should do well. but might i ask what caliber a 6.5 120 grain bet at 2500?
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Old April 2, 2014, 10:36 PM   #5
tahunua001
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grendel.
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Old April 2, 2014, 11:38 PM   #6
green_MTman
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why would you use a 6.5 120gr on elk.use the 140 grain which can be loaded to about 2,600 in a swedish mauser or .260rem

they have 140
nosler accubond
nosler partition
swift A frame
norma orynx in 140 or also 155 grain
lapua mega in 140 or 155 grain

not to mention the 160 gr round nose

barns x,swift scirocco and nosler accubond also make a 130gr with a sectional density of 266.

remember big guns like 6.5-284norma and .264 winchester would the a 155 grain a lot of long range stoping power.

talk to me about 6.5 handloads cause thats what i love to do
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Old April 3, 2014, 01:34 AM   #7
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Please refer to the new Grendel reloading handbook. Volume II is all about hunting. Elk have been taken with the 123 SST and 123 AMAX no problem. The 140 grain pills are too long and take up too much case volume. You will have better luck with the 120 range pills with CFE powder and then XBR. I have heard good things about Lever Revolution though. Never tried it. The website to get your book is http://www.ar15buildbox.com/site/864...2FSitemap.html

I think some have had good success with the 100 and 120 TTSX bullet as well.

Also which chamber do you have? There is a lot of talk about the Grendel II chamber. Allows for bullets to be seated longer...
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Old April 3, 2014, 06:52 AM   #8
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the 6.5-55 swedish mauser was designed to shoot the 160gr round nose,which by the way could be close in lenth to a 120gr very low drag boatail spitzer.powder capacity is fine

the .260rem was originaly wild cated by 1000 yd match shooters before rem. adoted it and was designed to shot a 140gr VLDBT

the 6.5-284 was also a 1000 yd match wild cat before norma adopted it

you are right about the .264 win. mag because it was originaly given a 1/9 "twist and was viewed as prong horn gun,however a custon rifle can have whatever twist you like.

i dont know about these new ones like grendal or creedmore.more excesses of guns people really need.7 out of ten rifles out there are so similar to another or several other guns why do we need them
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Old April 3, 2014, 06:53 AM   #9
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ok the OP did say grendal,so maybe your right about that
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Old April 3, 2014, 07:00 AM   #10
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also Swift makes a 120 grain A frame;that could be good for elk in your type of gun
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Old April 3, 2014, 09:39 AM   #11
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My elk rifle is a 30-06 shooting 160gr TTSX.
My backup is a 260 Remington shooting 120gr TTSX at 2950 fps.

I'm 100% confident in either, if I do my part.
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Old April 3, 2014, 10:08 AM   #12
green_MTman
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the 160gr has a sectional density of 301
the 140gr 287
the 130 266

i dont know the SD of the 120gr off hand being that i never view that bullet from a penitration perspective but i know a 120 grain 25 cal has an SD of 260 which would make a 26 call 120 an even lower SD.
in Vermont 25 cal is the minimum for moose and i would also guess for moose,elk and brown bear out west.

so a 120 grain 6.5mm .264 dia bullet is below the minimum for elk/moose in most states.even if its technicaly legal

that would be like hunting buffalo in Zimbabwe with a 45-70 or .450 marlin because its technicaly bigger than 40 caliber which is a minimun in most african nations


at least go 130 on anything bigger than deer
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Old April 3, 2014, 10:12 AM   #13
tahunua001
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I didn't realize that there were two different chambers. I'm only guessing it's the II because I built the rifle recently.

EDIT: as I stated in the OP, this is not a Don't kill that, or use a bigger bullet thread. I am simply asking that if you were restricted to lighter bullet weights, and couldn't push it much past 2500 FPS what bullet would you use?

I don't care about 160gr, 140gr, or 155gr bullets, my magazine is not long enough to accommodate them. I am using a 6.5 grendel so information on 6.5-284s, 6.5 swede, and 260 rem is completely irrelevant. all I want to know is what is the best 120gr bullet for big game and would a nosler E-tip fit that bill?
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Last edited by tahunua001; April 3, 2014 at 10:17 AM.
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Old April 3, 2014, 10:43 AM   #14
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Try the 129gr Hornady Interbond. Good bullet and just a tad heavier than your 120gr idea.
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Old April 3, 2014, 11:13 AM   #15
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You're looking for CXP3 bullets, since elk is generally CXP3 game.

This means you probably want a sectional density of at least .26 which would put you at the lower end of cxp3 game.

120 grain = .246
123 grain = .252
129 grain = .264
140 grain = .287

It looks like a 129-130 grain is right where you want to be. According to information on the Grendel, you should be able to push a 130 grain up to around 2510fps in a 24'' barrel. The 129 interbond or Nosler's 129 grain accubond 'long range', seems like they were built for the job. Since the Grendel lists 130's in the load data I've seen, I'd have to assume they'd work, unless your magazine is too short. I am not sure, because I don't know the rifle in question, but as far as the cartridge being able to fire bullets that heavy, it should be fine. You could always single feed worst comes to worst, you don't really need a mag loaded with 120-130 grain bullets on an elk hunt, but it would be nice to have your elk loads fit into your mag.

You could probably get away with something a little lighter with the TTSX, but the 129 just seems like a better choice IMO. The accubond also has a very high BC of .561 (G1) compared to the hornady bullet in the same weight, at .485 (G1) which could help extend your range, because the bullet is so efficient.

Last edited by JD0x0; April 3, 2014 at 11:19 AM.
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Old April 3, 2014, 02:00 PM   #16
green_MTman
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@the OP.thank you for being clear about your question.the only way to find the right bullet is to see what shoots best in your gun.different guns shoot different bullets better and by gun i mean (your physical gun you own)not the type of gun or brand of gun maker.

this can sometimes take experienced reloaders years to find that magic load.my gun shoots the sierra game king and pro hunters best.
take the nosler E tips to the range and see how accurate they shoot.i dont know enough about the e tips to tell you if there tough enough for elk.the nosler partition is tough and so is the accubond.but if the E tip is a bonded core or pure copper bullet its tough enough.

it takes experimentation, i have never been able to hit the broad side of a barn with anything but sierra's.i would like to get the 155gr norma orynx for a thick brush moose hunt but accuracy means little there.my 120 grain seirra pro hunter is a tack driving deer load.it is accurate at ranges my 6.5 swede could not kill a deer anyway.

here are some elk/moose kill zone facts

1. must have 2000 psi of kenetic energy at the range you will likely be shooting to
2. a bullet with a sectional density of 260 or better
3.a load that is accurate to at least 250 yards,many people take elk a short ranges but you could just as easily bring a muzzle loader or a 45-70.
reloading for high powered rifles to hunt elk implies you want some range.
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Old April 3, 2014, 03:42 PM   #17
tahunua001
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2000PSI equals 288,000FTLBs... somehow, I doubt that elk require a 12 inch round fired from a battleship to drop. I've always heard 1000 FTLBs of energy is the required minimum.
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Old April 3, 2014, 05:27 PM   #18
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While I really don't think the Grendel is a good choice for an elk rifle, I'm sure as long as you don't try to break down the shoulders it will work. The thing I'd worry about is adequate expansion. If you look at Nosler's web page they show what the expanded bullets look like. The one they show at 2600 fps looks a lot better than the one at 1800 fps.

IMO the speed you're trying to achieve the 120 grain Nosler Partition would be a better choice for the Grendel as it works over a broader range of speed but may not have the BC you're looking for. However, with the lack of energy you'll have the BC won't make a difference for hunting elk at ranges you should be trying to kill elk at with the Grendel. I doubt you'll be trying to use the rifle for long range on elk.
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Old April 3, 2014, 09:06 PM   #19
green_MTman
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RANGE FOR ELK/MOOSE RIFLES

most short action rifles about 200

250 yards: .270win,25-06,.280rem and maybe 285yds on the 30-06

300 yards: at least a 7mm magnum with a 160gr or 7mmWSM
350 yards: at least a .270 wby mag or 7mm wby mag
400 yards: .300 winchester magnum or a 7mm RUM
450 YARDS: .338 WIN mag or .300 wby mag
500 yards : a 300 or 338 RUM,.300 dakota or 330 dakota or .340 wby mag
600 plus : at least a .30-378 or 338-378 wby mag or a 30 or 33 cal lazzeroni
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Old April 3, 2014, 09:40 PM   #20
tahunua001
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just out of curiosity where do you get your data from?
2000PSI necessary to kill an elk?
short actions restricted to 200 yards?
a 308 with a 180gr nosler Etip would be traveling 2275FPS and carry over 2050FTLBs of energy.

BTW. a 750gr Amax fired from a 50BMG, travelling 2950FPS only has 78PSI energy...

I see a heck of a lot of magnums listed at ranges that are easily attained by 30-06 and even short action cartridges.
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Old April 3, 2014, 10:51 PM   #21
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1000 ft-lbs at 100 yards as listed by manufacturer is only a Colorado requirement as far as I know. There isn't a definitive requirement how much energy is needed to kill any big game animal. All you need is enough to ensure proper bullet function, which can be far less than 1000 ft-lbs in some cases.

As far as green_MTman's suggestions on cartridges and ranges, well all I can say is it is far from accurate. The suggestions he gave sound like one who's only experience hunting elk is second hand through magazine articles and hunting shows. Elk aren't as hard to kill as people think, they die pretty fast with a well placed bullet. However, some bullets aren't adequate for all angles and you'll need to be selective on your shot choice especially with a cartridge that is already handicapped for this type of hunting.
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Old April 4, 2014, 06:14 AM   #22
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You can kill an elk with a sharp stick with a small blade on it.
I have.
Archery hunters do it all the time.

The thing you need is good penetration and some expansion. Also when using a less powerful weapon you need to be a better and more disciplined hunter.

When I hunt elk with a bow I limit my shots to 25 yards. If I were to hunt elk with a 6.5 Grendel or my 6.8 SPC (which I have also done, but I didn’t get a shot with it) I would limit my shots to about 100 yards. The bullets will kill elk farther away, but I worry about not bringing them home.

Without through and through penetration you may loose a blood trail or maybe not even get a blood trail. So dropping your elk within just a very few yards of where it’s hit is going to be vital.

I see you are in Idaho. I hunted and guided hunters in the Selway years ago, so a 100 yard limit is about 2X more than I’d probably need in that kind of cover. In fact I NEVER killed or saw an elk killed in there that was over 60 yards away. Cover was too thick.

But the 6.5 Grendel is an intermediate cartridge. A very good one I’ll grant you, but still not the kind of thing that was invented with 500-900 pound game in mind. I am 100% certain it’s going to be better than a good broad head on an arrow, but it’s never going to be a 270 Winchester
or 30-06. If you hunt elk with it keep in mind you have to accept it’s a more limited cartridge than a 270, or even a 243 or 25-06 for that matter.

If I were to try it I would NOT use an E-tip. I’d get a Barnes or a Nosler Partition
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Old April 4, 2014, 07:06 AM   #23
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tahunua001, You going to be low end of bullet expansion and maybe around 1300 ft-lbs of energy @ 100yd until you have a load do the ballistic you may or may not get that.

Archer hunter have choice of expandable blades that can do more damage but you don't have that choice.
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Old April 4, 2014, 08:44 AM   #24
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of coarse my ranges on elk are generalized approximations designed to give someone who is new to reloading a ballpark idea of guns and affective ranges.yes 2000psi is meant to include the biggest bulls not the average elk.but one never knows when one might see that big big bull.
i would call relativley accurate info aimed at the new reloader to give a decent reference point for starter.

it would like if i had my 6.5 mauser on a deer hunt and i saw a deer at 355 yards and i had not seen any deer so far in the hunt and it was getting late.i think i could likely pull of the shot.if i was going somewhere where i knew i would not see anything less than 200 minimum and a real long shot likely i would buy the 30-378 wby i have always dreamed of.
in think those elk ranges are helpfull but of coarse not meant to be taken literaly by the experieced shooter and hand loader
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Old April 4, 2014, 09:45 AM   #25
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Quote:
most short action rifles about 200

250 yards: .270win,25-06,.280rem and maybe 285yds on the 30-06

300 yards: at least a 7mm magnum with a 160gr or 7mmWSM
350 yards: at least a .270 wby mag or 7mm wby mag
400 yards: .300 winchester magnum or a 7mm RUM
450 YARDS: .338 WIN mag or .300 wby mag
500 yards : a 300 or 338 RUM,.300 dakota or 330 dakota or .340 wby mag
600 plus : at least a .30-378 or 338-378 wby mag or a 30 or 33 cal lazzeroni
This is EXTREMELY conservative. Folks kill elk all the time at 400-500 yards with 308's and consider a 30-06 a 500-600 yard elk gun. The magnums might provide a slight margin of error beyond 400, but aren't necessary until you start shooting beyond 500 yards.
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