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Old March 6, 2020, 03:01 PM   #1
joeranger
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For NM Elk? New 6.5 cm or old reliable 7mm rm?

My father in law passed down his "vintage" 7mm rem mag that he used for Elk. It is a Sporterized Mauser that has seen a "lot" of action. Recently, I bought a new Thomson 6.5 CM and it is a tack hammer. The 7mm isn't as tight. Range would be less than 300yrs. It,s a private ranch.

An experienced elk hunter I know, said "nothing less than 180gr", but he shoots a wildcat rd past 1200yds in the mountains.

I did read 4 pages of "what is the smallest rd for elk". I don't reload so I have to buy standard ammo. I will buy some bigger bullets for each and compare them at 200yds. (all I have access too) I spoke to my local Bass Pro and all they have is 143gr 6.5 cm and 175gr 7mmrm.

If I need to buy more gun, I will, but don't want to.

Edit: Sorry, here is the article that made me question the 6.5 for elk. He says its fine but gets paid for bullet sales...https://thebiggamehuntingblog.com/be...o-for-hunting/
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Old March 6, 2020, 06:10 PM   #2
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I wouldn't use the 6.5 Creedmore for anything larger than deer. It has less energy than the 6.5X55 or the 260. An experienced elk hunter that was able to take the "perfect shot" could do it, no doubt, but the margin of error is small. The 7mm Rem Mag has lots of extra energy and will hit hard enough to down an elk, no problem. I'm sure there will be all kinds of internet experts saying the 6.5 Creedmore will do it, I'm still sure that you better have the perfect range and clear shot to do it. The 7mm Mag takes a lot of "just perfect" assumptions out of the picture.
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Old March 6, 2020, 06:43 PM   #3
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I also agree with Scorch. The smallest I have ever used is the 30-06, with some buddies using their 270 Win with 150 gr bullets (Partitions mostly and Accubond).

I wouldn't want to trust a caliber smaller than the 7 Rem Mag. Another buddy had decent luck with his 264 Win Mag, but I would rather go with 7 Rem Mag and up.

The largest caliber I have used for Elk is the 375 H&H.

Nothing is worse to me than a Dude trying to poke a hole in an animal as grand as an Elk and coming up short in the knock down category.
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Old March 6, 2020, 07:39 PM   #4
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The 6.5 CM with 140 gr bullets will match 180 gr 30 caliber bullets in penetration regardless of whether they are fired in 308 or 30-06 or 300 WM.

European hunters have been using the 6.5X55 on moose since the 1890's and the 6.5 CM matches it for performance. The 6.5X55 has taken every game animal in Africa including elephant.

Jack O'Connor proved 270 was more than adequate for elk. The 6.5 shoots the same bullet weights 3/10 of a mm smaller in diameter a little slower at the muzzle, but by the time you reach 300 yards they catch up. And in the same weight 6.5's penetrate deeper.

The 7 mag is a fine cartridge and at ranges over 500 yards might offer some advantage. But at 300-400 yards 6.5CM, 7-08 and 308 have proven they are up to the job.

Use the one you have the most confidence in. And often the one you shot best is the one you trust the most. If you have any doubts in the 6.5's ability then carry the 7 mag. But I've seen enough dead animals taken with the 3 above to trust them to work. I was late to the 6.5 party. But after using it for a while sold my 300 magnums and consider it an upgrade.
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Old March 6, 2020, 08:40 PM   #5
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I'm also in agreement with Scorch on this one.

While, yes, the 7mm-08, and 308 are adequate for elk to 400 yards (give or take).
And, yes, the 6.5X55 has taken moosefor over 100 years.

But 6.5CM matching performance of the 260 Rem & the 6.5X55 will get more than a few peoples hairs up.
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Old March 6, 2020, 11:43 PM   #6
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Is there a great chasm in the performance of the 6.5 Swede, 260 Rem and 6.5 Creedmoor? Lol. Popcorn time. This kind of thread can be great entertainment.

I was reading a piece about speed goat hunting by some guru. His choice of cartridge was 300 Win Mag. Like hunting mosquitoes with a 223. It's all opinion, most of the time.
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Old March 7, 2020, 10:29 AM   #7
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I set my own standard on what I wanted to use on bull elk tag here in Co. I've taken more bulls with mag rifle on public land hunt.

If I'm on private ranch bull tag I might use 30-06 or 280AI. For me 270 I'll use on buck tag and never shot elk with 270.

I'm reloading vs buying factory ammo. Me I always take 2 rifles and nothing wrong with you taking 6.5 along.
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Old March 7, 2020, 10:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Redneck
Is there a great chasm in the performance of the 6.5 Swede, 260 Rem and 6.5 Creedmoor?
Not at all!

Would I use a 6.5 Creedmoor for elk, probably as I usually grab a .270 Win for elk. It's more about choosing the right bullet than cartridge. If I was hunting elk with a 6.5 CM I'd probably look at the Barnes 127 grain LRX, 130 grain TSX options and 129 to 140 grain Accubond. You can use any other mono metal, bonded or partitioned bullet in these weight ranges as well as long as they're accurate in your rifle.

Find what shoots very well, and use a bullet that is tough enough to penetrate the heavier bones of an elk that retain more weight. Accurate rifles that you are confident in and shoot well, will always trump a larger bore less accurate rifle even on big game. Just don't get sucked into the more is better that's often spewed, just shoot more and better! A good deer rifle can make a good elk rifle.
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Old March 7, 2020, 01:32 PM   #9
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I have hunted elk all my life,,,, and my life is growing long now. I started when I was a kid of about 9 years old with my dad and uncle. Killed my first with a 300 Savage back in 64. 180 grain factory load. I have killed more than I can accurately count, and as a guide I have probably seen about 5X more than that killed, and I have done the butchering on a few hundred of them. I have over 50 years of experience and many of those years I hunted in up to 4 states per season. In some camps it was not uncommon to see 15 elk per season killed, and for my own tags it is most common for me to shoot 2 each year, but the best year was 7, in 4 different state.

So to answer those that believe they know, I can say I don't have to believe that I know. I do know!

If I were to choose between the 2 I'd probably go with the 7MM. But that's not to say the 6.5 is a bad way to go. I have seen several killed with the 6.5 Swede and the old Swede is ballisticly the same as the 6.5 CM, or so close that a 15 yard difference in range would make them identical. Good bullet that hold together are FAR more important then the brass shell that holds the powder.
The way to know the difference is pretty simple. Any round that will expand well and penetrate clear through, leaving an exit, from any realistic angle--- is an elk round. Any that don't go through in a fairly straight line are NOT elk rounds and that includes some 338 Win Mags one 340 Weatherby and one 9.3X74R and a lot of 300 mags when loaded with the wrong bullets.

In the 6.5 MM your bullet selection is not as good as the 7MM size, but there are good bullets available in both for elk killing.

I have killed several with a 270 Winchester and all but 1 fell at the shot. The one that didn't went about 15 yards.

A 270 is more powerful then the 6.5CM but less then the 7MM Mag, and so anyone that is telling you that you need a bigger gun has not seen many shot with 270s 308s 260 Remington's 6.5X55s 7X57s 7-08s and so on. I have. MANY! Use a good bullet and you'll be fine with either one.

Rounds I have killed elk with are:
270 Winchester about 15
270 Short Magnum 1
7X57 2
7MM Mag 2
7MM STW 1
300 Savage 1
308 Winchester 6
30-06 about 13-15
300 H&H 3
300 Win Mag 1
308 Norma Mag 4
300 Weatherby 1
8X57 2
348 Winchester 1
9.3X74R 2
9.3X62 1
375H&H about 20-25
416 Taylor 1
45-70 1
58 Cal Muzzleloader 1
62 cal muzzleloader 2
Wood arrow with real feathers 1
44 magnum 6
454 Casull 2
and I am betting I have a few that I am not remembering right now as I write this.

The list of calibers I have seen used to kill elk is all the above plus about 25 or 30 others, and the count of dead elk I was involved with, other then my own, kills is about 5X as long as my own. From smallest/weakest to most powerful run from the 243 Winchester to the 460 Weatherby Mag.

One large cow that a 12 year old girl shot with 243 winchester, with a Barnes TSX dropped like it was brain shot with the bullet breaking the shoulder and spine and still exiting the off side. On the other end of the scale I saw a mid size bull shot with a 340 Weatherby with a Burger, that ran about 500 yard after the hit. Now NO ONE is going to convince me a 340 is not enough gun for elk, but bullets that loose 90% of their weight on the game are not a good enough bullet.

Don't fall for the "marketeers trap" (new and improved) and remember that when new theories and established history disagree, it's EASY to know which one is wrong.

The old 6.5X55 loaded with good 156 and 160 grain bullets has been dropping European Stags (a bit smaller then out elk) and moose (about 65% larger then out elk) for over 100 years. That's not a theory, but established history. That's a fact!

The 7X57 has been doing the same, and the 7X57 is less powerful then the 270 or the 7MM Mag. Either with a good bullet is fine. But a fragmenting bullet in a 338 Win Mag is a bad elk round. Again--- I know. I have seen the old Solid Base 210 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips fail horribly a few times on both elk and moose and even on White Tail deer.

But the shell is not the issue!

Use a good bullet that will go clear through and you'll be fine with either one.

I bet I have seen 25 elk killed with 25-06s and at least 10 killed with 243s. Those that used heavy Partitions or Barnes TSX bullet killed the elk perfectly and in most cases the elk had exit wounds. If you use a large gun (say a 300 mag) with a good elk bullet like a good bonded, a partition, A-Frame or solid expanding bullet (Barnes, Nosler EW-Tip or Hornady GMX,) you have a GREAT elk gun.

But it's mostly about your hunting abilities, your marksmanship in the field (not over a bench) and then the bullet..........not the cartridge case.

With a good bullet, a 257 Roberts is a good elk rifle. I know, my daughter and all my grand sons have done it, many times. With a poor game bullet a 340 Weatherby doesn't do very well.

Bullet holes are what kills. Not shells and not guns. A hole in the right place that hits all the things you want hit (meaning it doesn't turn off much in it's penetration) and exits to let the blood pressure drop faster is the "best elk round".

I allow that all can have their options.

I base mine on the actual eye witnessed results of about 500-600 kills on elk. I am going to bet that ANY hunter that had seen that many elk killed with a large number of different bullet and guns would say EXACTLY the same thing I am saying here.

Choose a good bullet and ignore all the other BS.

Last edited by Wyosmith; March 8, 2020 at 10:52 AM.
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Old March 7, 2020, 10:39 PM   #10
Colorado Redneck
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Best post I've read concerning elk hunting ballistics, Wyosmith. The voice of experience.

Taylorce, exactly the point of my post.
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Old March 8, 2020, 09:09 AM   #11
taylorce1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Redneck
Taylorce, exactly the point of my post.
I was agreeing with the sarcasm in your post.

I referenced my using the .270 on elk, because after 300 yards there really isn't much of a difference. While the 6.5 starts out with less "power" it rapidly closes the gap due to better bullets. Plus I've never once seen Ft-lbs of energy kill an animal better than a well placed bullet. I never let "power" or "energy" be a deciding factor in what I'm using to hunt with.
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Old March 8, 2020, 10:43 AM   #12
Nathan
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I think I hear you saying you really want to bring your 6.5 Creed.

I would use: Nosler Accubond LR

I think that would work well. It is a bonded bullet with high bc, designed to open up down to 1300 fps...the Accubond std might be better, but they don’t make loaded ammo in that.

Federal makes it......LINK

Hornady Outfitter with the 120 gmx looks good too, but a bit light.
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Old March 8, 2020, 11:07 AM   #13
Wyosmith
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Just a few suggestions knowing you don't reload.
Remember that elk are large targets. The very idea you need 1/2 MOA to hunt elk is as ridiculous as the idea you need a 5 ton truck to pick up groceries. 2 MOA with a good bullet beats 1/4 MOA with a poor bullet for elk hunting 100% of the time.
As I said above, I have killed more elk then I can count with perfect accuracy, (so I just say it's around 100) so what I say next is something to consider deeply.

The longest range shot I ever made in 50+ years of elk killing was 415 yards. The next longest was about 375. ALL the rest have been under 300 yards and about 65% of those have been under 150 yards.

Dedicated Long Range bullets usually do not work very well for hits under about 300 yards because they loose too much of their weight due to the very thin jackets of their noses. Good,--- but not the best.

So you should NOT prepare to kill elk at 700 and and ignore the FACT that any guide that can use the title will get you under 400yds 99.9% of the time. Any good guide is not a lazy man. That's important!!!!!!

Go with the gear and ammo you will use 99.95% of the time and do NOT try to get a bullet for that one elk shot in 500. .5% of the time

If you have a bullet that works at impact speeds of 1500 FPS and lower (being a hit waaaaaay out there) it's not likely to hold together at the closer range you are nearly certain to make the shot.

The one bullet that I have had the best results with across the broad ranges of shots from 10 to 900 (on all game including deer and antelope a, hence the 900 yard range I wrote here,--- despite the fact I never needed to shoot an elk that far. EVER!) is the Classic Nosler Partition. Standard Bonded bullets (not those made just for long range) do just about as well.

Solid expanding bullets (copper based, like Barnes, Nosler E-Tips and Hornady GMX) do not open well at impacts below 2000 FPS. If you choose the 7mmMag this is mostly a non-existent problem because by the time you are to 2000 FPS with the big 7, the range is so far out there it's not likely to happen.

Shooting 130 grain 6.5s At about 2900 FPS the same is true. The impact being around 2000 FPS at 300 yards

The 7mm mag will open them up at about 375.

If you use the Standard Accubond you get about 100-150 yards more range and even a bit more with the Partitions.

L.R. Accubonds do very well at about 650 to 700, but not as good at 50 to 350 yardswhich is a range FAR more likely then the longer shot.



https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1019279279?pid=106321

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1020009167?pid=465679

https://www.federalpremium.com/rifle...5CRDBTSX1.html

And for the 7MM
https://www.federalpremium.com/rifle...n/11-P7RF.html

https://www.federalpremium.com/rifle...x/11-P7RN.html


There are more, but any of these will do you very well.

Last edited by Wyosmith; March 8, 2020 at 11:37 AM.
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Old March 8, 2020, 01:29 PM   #14
joeranger
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Thank you all so much. Yes, great info from experts
If I am going to spend a week and $2,500 on the trip, I won't cheap out on the tool. I will take the 7mm to the range and look at the shot patterns. Again, it is a vintage rifle...a re-barreled Mauser. Side note, Amazing smooth action. My new Thompson 6.5 action is a little clunky between shots but extremely accurate.
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Old March 8, 2020, 03:14 PM   #15
Colorado Redneck
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Taylorce...I am slow on the uptake sometimes.
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Old March 8, 2020, 03:20 PM   #16
reynolds357
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Maybe I am just too Elmer Keith old school, but I would not consider taking my 6.5 Creed Elk hunting. 7 Rem mag is perfect medicine but I prefer 7 Rum.
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