6.5mm Bullet Construction


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sumpnz
January 9, 2010, 01:22 AM
I'm essentially out of 6.5mm projectiles (these would be for my 6.5x55mm CZ). I've got a few 140gr XLC's left that I can't get any more of anyway, and not quite 15 left of the 140gr Hornady Spire Points I deer hunted with this year. And they are all already loaded into cartridges anyway.

The 140gr Spire Points were certainly more than good enough for me for accuracy. With 38.0gr Varget (WARNING: THAT IS OVER BOOK MAX - USE AT YOUR OWN RISK) it puts 3 shots into less than 1" at 100 yards from sandbags. Can't ask for too much more than that, and its not like the deer would notice any improvement in accuracy anyway. Didn't chrono it, but MV should be pretty close to 2700fps.

My issue with the SP's is that I got a LOT of blood-shot meat from my deer, and the bullet must have fragmented. Range was maybe 50 yards. There were 4 exit holes from one shot. Some of that could have been bone fragments though as that bullet pulverized about an inch or more of leg bone on both the entry and exit sides. Needless to say he didn't go very far.

I hadn't intended to hunt western WA blacktails with that load, as I'd had eastern WA mulies in mind for it. But I didn't get a deer during early season on the east side of the state, so I met up with my FIL for the late season on the west side. It seems like that load was a bit much for such close range on a small blacktail.

But the eastern WA mulies, at at the spot that seems like about the best for the area, typically present opportunities for minimum 150 yard shots. 400 yards would certainly be a distance one could have a clear shot for.

So what would everyone here recommend I shop for for bullets? I need something that can handle the long range opportunities for mule deer (they can get as large as 300# out there, 150-225# is typical), while not destroying half the meat on the off side for short range blacktail shots. Just stick with the 140gr SP's and just live with the blood shot meat if I get another blacktail? Switch to the SST's (for those that have shot both SP's and SST's in the same rifle, how do they compare for POI if the rest of the load formula is the same)? Something other than 140gr Hornady's?

I'm tempted to either stick with the Hornady SP's or switch to the Rem Core-lokt's as they are both about the cheapest options and the Rem's can be bought in lot size increments.

I'm not made of gold, so as much as I'd like to try to the TSX's and Partitions they're not in my price range at the moment. Maybe in a few months if the economy improves. So if those really are the best options I'll just hold off on buying them until money isn't quite as tight.

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FLNT4EVR
January 9, 2010, 09:59 AM
Try the Rem Core lokt's. In both the 140 and 120 grn. They are good shooters and well constructed for both penetration and expansion. Deer don't seem to know the difference between the Rems and premium bullets.They fall down dead just the same, but with a lot less bloodshot meat.

scythefwd
January 9, 2010, 10:23 AM
Shoot the vitals and not the shoulders and you will have much less bloodshot meat. I am looking into reloading my own game ammo as well. I am going for the partitions. If you are on a tight budget, the corelokts are tried and proven.

sumpnz
January 9, 2010, 03:00 PM
Shoot the vitals and not the shoulders and you will have much less bloodshot meat. I am looking into reloading my own game ammo as well. I am going for the partitions. If you are on a tight budget, the corelokts are tried and proven.
I did shoot for the vitals rather than the shoulder, and got the hit in that spot. The shoulder shot was to anchor the deer as it boarderline end of shooting light for the day and I really did not want to have to track him. Good chance he'd have laid down where he was standing when I took the second shot, but I didn't want to take the chance. But even the shot that went behind the shoulders still left a lot of blood shot meat. Pretty much ruined that side of the ribs.

USSR
January 9, 2010, 06:16 PM
sumpnz,

I would use the Hornady A-Max bullet. This is a match bullet that offers outstanding performance on game. I use a .30 caliber 178gr A-Max bullet on our large NY whitetails, and typical performance is a single 1.5" exit hole on a chest shot. I would expect the 6.5mm bullets are of similar construction. They are available in 120gr, 123gr, and 140 grains in 6.5mm.

Don

Float Pilot
January 9, 2010, 07:01 PM
For ranges within 350 yards, you may want to experiment with the Hornady 160 grain round nose. I have had very good luck using that bullet on Moose and Caribou. They are very inexpensive and pretty darn accurate. They do not fall apart even at close range. Plus they smack the heck out of whatever they hit.
Yes they do not look all sexy like a nice pointy boat tail, but looks have nothing to do with effectiveness on game animals.

You may have to get away from using Varget.
The case capacity of the 6.5x55 Swede was originally set up to use a larger amount (46.3grains) of slow burning powder (NC1220). By using a faster powder like Varget you are giving yourself two problems, 1. Positional variations due to the powder laying differently in all that empty space. 2. Higher initial pressure spikes.

Your CZ action is much stronger than my old Swede Mausers and I assume you have a 23.5 inch barrel.

46.0 grains of RL-22, a standard Winchester primer and good brass, will push a 160 grain Hornady at 2,500 fps from my old m/38 Swede with a 23.5 inch bbl. And it gives me a 0.75 inch group with iron sights at 100 yards. And no high pressure signs. Your CZ will shoot it a little faster since the rifling twist is not as tight. The 160s look long, but they do OK in 1 in 8 and 1 in 9 twist barrels because they have all their weight in a central area.

If you insist on using the 139 to 140 grain bullets. The more expensive bullets do stick together much better. The AMAXs and the Nosler partition.
I tried some Nosler ballistic tips on caribou and they came apart. I have not tried the 6.5mm 130gr Accubonds on game yet. The Sierra Game kings worked at long range but they came apart at close range. I was using 47.0 grans of RL-22 with a 140gr game king and it was leaving my 23.5 inch barrel at 2,631 fps. The caribou at 150 and 210 yards had nice clean wounds while another from 40 yards at copper fragments in the meat.

46.3 grains of H-4831 pushed a 140 grain Nolser Partition at over 2,575fps from the same rifle.
43.0gr H-4350 (NOT IMR) pushed a 140 grain Amax at 2,610 fps.

Tuckerp229
January 9, 2010, 07:10 PM
First off, a fast way to reduce blood shot meat is to use the given bullet at a slower speed. Having said that I had good success with my 6.5x55 Swede this year. I dropped two medium sized deer, one 10 point buck, one doe, with one shot each at 90 and 70 yards respectively. Neither came up blood shot as I experienced with my usual 150 grain 30-06 from 30 years of deer hunting. Both had great vital bleeding , just none of the jellified bloodfilled "hemotos?" under the skin. The deer went down quickly, bled profusely with their vitals all torn up. Both bullets exited leaving a small hole the size of a nickel. The bullets were not recovered. The bullet taking the buck impacted the front right shoulder on the way out. It broke the bone in half as it cleared the body.
The bullet I used was the Nosler Accutip in 140 grain. This bullet on top of 46 grains of RL22 gives me 5/8 inch groups at one hundred yards rested and patient. This set-up chronos about 2650FPS so we are not breaking any records here.
Good luck in your search.

sumpnz
January 10, 2010, 12:00 AM
USSR - How does the AMAX compare to the SST? They look similar except for the cannelure on the SST. Is one tougher than the other? Is the AMAX just a better QC'd SST sans cannalure?

Float Pilot - Varget was giving me the best groups in some admitedly very limited testing. I did not try my IMR 4831 with the 140gr SP's. I did have to go 2.5gr over book max (granted book max was only 51ksi), to get good groups though which would agree with the observation that it leaves too much empty space in the case. When I could get the XLC's I used a lighly compressed 50.0gr Rl-19. But I didn't have enought of that left to do anything with at the time I was working up the load for this year's hunt.

USSR
January 10, 2010, 10:07 PM
USSR - How does the AMAX compare to the SST? They look similar except for the cannelure on the SST. Is one tougher than the other? Is the AMAX just a better QC'd SST sans cannalure?

sumpnz,

Don't know, never shot the SST. The Amax is Hornady's match bullet, but unlike HP match bullets which are "iffy" on expansion, it seems to give good expansion and penetration. At least the 178gr .30 caliber Amax does.

Don

NCsmitty
January 10, 2010, 10:57 PM
I have shot a few different brands of bullets through my 6.5x55, but nothing high priced so far. I have had some pretty good groups, but I was initially breaking in my barrel with easy loads using Remington 140gr Core-lokt, Hornady 140gr spire SP and 139gr Prvi-Partizan SP.
I was going to recommend trying the Prvi-Patizan as they have 120gr HPBT and the mentioned 139gr SPBT and a 139gr FMJBT. Unfortunately, I just checked, and Grafs is out of the 139gr SPBT and the 120gr.
The 139gr SPBT is very reminiscent of the Core-Lokt in construction. The BT is very marginal and the cannelure is very shallow.
I have some 100gr Hornady and the 129gr Hornady loaded for the 6.5 too, but untried as yet.
My rifle is a heavy barrel M98 and the 26" A&B F-54 barrel is a 1in9 twist. Lapua brass and a good assortment of powders will allow me to push the envelope.



NCsmitty

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