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6.5 Creedmore for elk?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by phonesysphonesys, Dec 27, 2018.

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  1. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    I'd say it's at the minimum of acceptability, but it is acceptable with 140gr or heavier premium bullets. Essentially the same advice given for the .270.

    The 160gr Weldcore would be my #1 bullet, but since it's not readily available in factory ammo if you don't reload my #2 choice would be the 140gr A-Frame. It is factory loaded by Swift, and assuming that load shot well in your gun I would use it. The roughly 25% extra weight retention of either of those bullets could make the difference on a big bull vs. say a 140 Accubond.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  2. captain awesome

    captain awesome Member

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    The elk I refered to that was shot with the .243 winchester went all the way through the elk. It was a good hunting bullet. But it Didnt seem to be enough anyway for a clean quick kill. You are right that 6.5 is closer to the 270 though. But the principles are the same. If a bullet expands ( I can only assume the 243 did since it hit the elk at a mere 30 yards away) and it goes all the way through it doesnt really matter whether it was a 120 grain or a 100 grain (i believe it was a 100) it "should" do the job. But my point is it doesn't always.

    Another reason my personal choice was to go bigger...rifle tags for bull elk in good units are rare in AZ. The draw is very competitive. When the opportunity finally does come along I want to give myself the BEST chance of a clean DRT kill. It's not worth going with a marginal or borderline cartridge for the application for me. Its Not worth even that 1% chance of losing that bull of a life time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  3. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    There's a difference between a fatal shot and one that stops the animal relatively close to where it was shot.

    .243 is the minimum legal elk caliber here (OK, I guess you could legally use a 6mm Dasher or 6BR, but no one does). I've seen enough bad outcomes from good shots to be leery of the .243. The last couple of years the 6.5CM has been very hot for the low-recoil crowd, and has done much better.

    The other things that consistently causes problems is frangibile match-type bullets. They're legal here, but leave your SMKs, Bergers (I don't care if it says "hunting" on the box) and Hornady OTM at home. Sometimes they work spectacularly (lots of shock with all those fragments) but sometimes they blow up on a rib going in, leaving the heart and far lung nearly or totally intact. A elk only missing one lung can and will go many miles before it dies.
     
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  4. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    My favorite rifle is my 6.5x55 CZ 550 American. If I were going on an elk hunt and it was my only rifle I’d take it without a second thought. But since I have a .270 and a 30-06 I’d take one of them. At the max distance I feel comfortable shooting - 350 yards, I think a .270 has more punch than a 6.5x55. Ballistics may say otherwise, I’ve never looked it up. I’m an expert because I killed one elk, in 1982 with the same .270 I have today using a 130 grain Corelokt. You guys that kill an elk every year should believe me and not your lying eyes.
     
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  5. hillman23

    hillman23 Member

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    My dad's killed several elk with the Swede and 140 grain Accubonds. It's not the caliber of choice among more devoted elk hunters around here, but the steaks taste the same. I'd be choosy about bullets and shot selection but it'll do the job for folks that shoot straight.
     
  6. CryptKeeper5

    CryptKeeper5 Member

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    No.

    Oh...and it's CREEDMOOR. Named after the match shooters supply house where one of the designers was a VP. It was introduced as a match rifle round for short actions but people are now using it in the field...where I don't think it's a very good round at all.

    That said...

    I grew up in Wyoming. I also shoot high power/long range matches. I've hunted them since the mid 80's and no way would I go out with anything under a .270Win with any bullet weighing under 150gr either. My father used that exact combo to take several elk/mulies so I KNOW it is sufficient. I've seen people kill elk with a .243, 25-06 et al however those people were VERY familiar with the shots they get. No way would I ever recommend a 6.5(which was designed to punch paper) to hunt elk. Mulies? Sure. Elk are a WHOLE different game...literally and figuratively.

    If you live in elk country and have more time to spend scouting and actually in the field where you can be more choosy that's one thing, however if you're heading out of state, spent a couple thousand dollars and only have a week to scout/hunt/shoot? No way am I trusting that potentially less than optimal shot to a small caliber. You may have to take a quartering away shot where your bullet may need to drive stern to stem and no way should you believe a 140gr bullet will do this with any regularity. Head out with as much rifle as you can shoot accurately and consistently. Head out with at LEAST a 150gr partitioned bullet with a muzzle velocity of around 2800-3000fps.

    I know people hunt elk with all sorts of smaller calibers and kill them occasionally as well. However there are also a LOT of wounded elk who absorb those same small bullets and keep going for a LONG time whereas the same hit with a heavier projectile would have probably meant a larger would channel or more shock.

    Obviously...my 2¢ based on my firsthand experience and not just opinion or belief. Yours may and probably will differ!
     
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  7. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger on an elk if I ran across one while deer hunting with the CM, but would be carrying my 300 WSM if elk was the only game hunted. Sorry, but elk are big and you don't always get a perfect shot. I tend to lean towards the heavy side when I have $600 worth of tags in my pocket.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
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  8. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Lets ask the question in a different way.

    Would a 140 grain .264" nosler accubond at 2700-2000 FPS be suitable for hunting elk? I would have to say it would be. That is the ballistics of a 6.5C from muzzle to 400 yards.

    To put that into another perspective few people would argue that a 6.5-06 or a 264 win mag would be suitible elk cartridges right? They will shoot the same bullet at 2900, and 3000 fps according to nosler's load data.

    A 6.5-06 drops to the same velocity at 100 yards. So whatever range you would consider a 6.5-06 to be effective at just subtract 100 yards for the 6.5C.

    A 264 win mag drops to the same velocity at 150 yards. So whatever range you would consider a 6.5-06 to be effective at just subtract 150 yards for the 6.5C.
     
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  9. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    This thread calls to mind a similar thread from another forum, asking about the use of 140gr Accubonds out of a 7mm-08 for elk, a combo that I would be more worried about penetration problems with than the same bullet weight out of a 6.5.

    Might be worth a read OP, there's lots of first hand reports and pictures of dead elk in there.

    https://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/13133691/2

    What bothers me more than any caliber discussion is the number of folks I talk to or see missing or wounding elk out there. There's a ton of folks out there who just flat can't make the shots they are trying, many of them at pretty normal ranges. When I was tracking the herd I took my elk from this year, I ran into two groups of hunters who had shot at and (hopefully) missed the same herd, one was a kid using a .270, the other was a group of men with various .300 Mags.

    I also know a guy with a nice streak of 5 or 6 bulls he'd taken with no problems with his 7mm-08, who bought a .300 Wby this year and wounded one. Luckily his friend picked it off with something like a 7mm Mag. Maybe it still would have happened with his familiar 7mm-08, maybe not, but the power of the 300 surely wasn't a game changer for him, in a good way anyway.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
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  10. homers

    homers Member

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  11. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    The headstamp doesn't kill the animal, the bullet does. And neither the bullet nor the game will care if it was launched from a Creedmoor, a Swede, or a .260. I don't think a 140 gr .264" Partition was designed for paper punching.
     
  12. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    If the elk get wind that they are being hunted and shot with a 6.5 CM, they will refuse to die. The elk will only agree to die if hunted and shot with a .338 or larger caliber.
     
  13. CryptKeeper5

    CryptKeeper5 Member

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    Hey, go out and use your slingshot if you're comfortable and confident with it.

    It was an OPINION based question and there's no use in arguing ballistic stats.

    My father was director of the state crime lab back in the 70's who used to do a lot of poaching cases for the game and fish department and knew almost all of the wardens back then. I remember having this discussion a number of times and most of the wardens also concluded that from their view a 270 was really about the minimum they'd ever recommend to any average hunter shooting at the average distances. That's NOT to say a lesser cartridge CANNOT kill and elk. It's only what they (and I) would recommend.

    I carried a lever 30 30 as a "woods" rifle (for a quick jump shot, later switched to a .444 Marlin) just in case I found myself in a thick timber however in that instance I knew I'd never use it to shoot more than 75 yards or so. I never had to use it but at that distance I wouldn't hesitate.
     
  14. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    If you would recommend a 270 then that is also an endorsement of a 6.5 creedmoor as well. The advantage of the 270 is the extra muzzle velocity, but the advantage of the 6.5 is the better ballistic coefficient bullets, which will make the two pretty much ballistically identical. The 6.5 is about 200 fps behind a 270 win with the same bullet weight, and they will both handle the same weight class of bullets so if one is suitable, so is the other. At a few hundred yards a typical 6.5 load will actually pass a typical 270 load. There is just no practical difference to be found.

    In any case if I were going elk hunting I would take my 30-06 so take that for what it is, I'm just trying to look at this question objectively. Cartridges are just brass shells that hold different amounts of powder.
     
  15. CryptKeeper5

    CryptKeeper5 Member

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    This is a good video to watch and I agree with much of what he says...and I don't need to type as much.

    I recommend the .270 with a 150gr bullet not ANY 6.5 Creed. I don't care about BC when hunting game. Shooting long range Palma match with my .243? Sure. I am MUCH more concerned with sectional density and how sturdy the projectile is. I didn't recommend a "class", I made a specific recommendation and the two are NOT identical. I personally draw my "line in the sand" at the .270/150gr Partition...at MINIMUM. That's it. I've shot at Camp Perry, national matches for a couple of decades and know well why the 6.5 was designed...I know people who did the development work ups for both CMP/NRA match shooting and at Quantico with the MMU(Marine Marksmanship Unit) and in the AMU (Army Marksmanship Unit) testing for the military. Again...it was purposely designed to punch paper at 600yds(the furthest a competitor shoots at service rifle/high power course of fire) and was NEVER intended as a hunting or long range(1000m) round. Now, the military got a hold of it and found that since it's a short action round(comparable to the .308) with less recoil and similar performance at long range...they liked the lower recoil and ability to retro fit barrels onto current actions. A sniper round does NOT need to perform the same way a hunting round does. Humans are both thin skinned and easy to gravely wound in comparison to game animals. Where a .30cal can kill a human, the same lighter 6.5 can also...all the while with less recoil, lower cost etc....so that in itself is a plus for them. That does NOT mean people/companies have not bastardized it and convinced people it's some wonder round. Of COURSE every bullet maker is going to make hunting bullets for it. Of COURSE rifle manufactures are going to chamber hunting rifles for it...because they want YOU to put money in their pocket.

    Again...I'm SURE it WILL kill an elk if properly hit. I'm SURE a .338 WILL NOT if not properly hit. I'm NOT debating that point. However I will NOT recommend ANYTHING less than a .277 caliber/150 gr bullet out of a .270 being pushed at the 2800-3000fps range. THAT is MY minimum. That said...the lightest round I've ever hunted elk with is my .280Rem/160gr Partition which is only slightly bigger but has been very effective at the ranges I've used it (longest shot was 320yds or so).

    Like I said...others can recommend or suggest whatever they want based on whatever experience they PERSONALLY have. However nowdays I see a LOT of shooters sitting around spouting numbers out of books who don't have near enough real world trigger time to back up their book knowledge with target proof.

    One of the reasons I rarely post in forums is just this...

    Hold hard...
     
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  16. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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    Depends on the hunt.

    The 6.5 Swede/140 gr. is used regularly to hunt moose - so it should work equally well on elk.

    But that is woods hunting - good presentations at close range.


    As stated, the 6.5 CM is a round designed to have low recoil - yet have adequate energy at very long range to deal with thin skin and paper targets.

    It does this with lower muzzle energy and higher twist rates and ballistic coefficients - essentially a ballistic magic trick.


    This does not, however, translate well into the hunting fields, where energy penetrated and transferred kills game.

    At the 50 - 350 yards, and questionable presentation, that your average elk might be taken? The 6.5 CM is only suited for the very bottom corner of the envelope - close/broadside shots.

    So if you are going to hunt the woods and carefully choose your shots? Sure.

    But if you are going to hunt open range or meadows, you should have a round sufficient to perform further up and over in the envelop - starting w/ the .270 Win/150 gr. NP at >2800 fps.




    GR
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
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  17. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    Well when experience and observation butts up against untested opinions, and physics butts up against feelings that "they just aren't the same", it would seem the useful discussion is probably over.
     
  18. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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    Understanding the problem is the key to understanding the solution.

    The 6.5 CM will do what the 6.5 Swede will do - given good presentations and appropriate bullets, it will kill large game at close range.




    GR
     
  19. Mr. Hill

    Mr. Hill Member

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    I think it will as long as the rifle likes the heavier bullets for that caliber. I don’t think I’d want to go lighter than 140 grains for elk. And I’d use bullets that are tough and designed to penetrate thick hide.
     
  20. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    If push comes to shove the .270 is slightly LESS capable on elk than the CM. My 1885 in 6.5CM gives me 2775 ft/s for the accuracy load for a 160gr Weldcore protected point. That's a far better bullet with a higher BC, higher SD, and higher weight retention than the .270 partition. It's a flat out better elk load and remains within Woodleigh's recommended impact velocity window (>2000 ft/s) out to over 500 yards at elk elevations. I would have no concerns about taking that shot from an appropriate firing position.

    Heavier, higher BC, higher SD, better bullets, less windage. The 6.5CM just wins that comparison. Now, if you don't care about the details you could say they are both minimum rifles for elk at western distances, but the 6.5CM is a hair less minimum :D
     
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  21. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    I understand the problem and a few solutions that work. I've used the Creedmoor on elk, along with a .270 and a bullet less than 150gr. I know other people who have used Creedmoors along with other very similar chamberings on piles of animals, including elk. They all work well, and they work similarly, I'm not guessing on this topic. Is the 6.5 Creedmoor the ultimate elk round? I wouldn't say so, but it does work well enough to be a decent choice for the OPs wife, whom I'm guessing Is not 6'1", 230 lbs like myself, and might benefit from a lighter recoiling round (which she already happens to own).

    I honestly find the assertion that the 6.5 Creedmoor was designed for one specific type of shooting competition, and is therefore no good for hunting or even other types of competition especially dumbfounding. It's tough to guess at the mental gymnastics that would lead to that conclusion.
     
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  22. CryptKeeper5

    CryptKeeper5 Member

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    Many elk are poached at "danger close" range on their winter feeding grounds using .22lr's however I'm not relying on getting a good head shot.

    All rounds/cartridges have their practical maximum effective range. Some people ascribe hard numbers(as when the 7mm Mag was developed to meet a hard criteria) and others rely on the fact that they have better/bigger alternatives. I look at rifles as tools. I have match rifles to shoot paper. I have varmint rifles to shoot dirt dogs. I have my .243 to shoot pronghorn etc... I think most (especially here on an enthusiast forum) do have better options and should never settle for "adequate" out in the field. What's merely adequate on paper quickly turns into "I wish I had more" when it's a cold windy day and you need to take a less than optimal shot where you have little margin.

    Also, no one here really knows the level of marksmanship/competency anyone really posses. All I really know is what I can/will do based on my own honest assessment of my skill either on the line 600yd line at Camp Perry on a windy day or out in the field with a deer/elk etc in my sights and whether or not to let loose.

    In the end, that's what it really boils down to. Regardless of round, it's more placement, confidence and consistency. A larger round just buys more room for error. A heart shot at 300yds using a .243 and a heart shot from the same distance with a .300WM will end up with the same result. A last second gust/light change/twitch which may take the lighter bullet off by 2" in to the shoulder will have a much greater impact on that result though.

    Based on the level of intelligent discourse here, I'm not telling anyone here anything they already don't know...just another take.

    Regardless...Happy New Year to all and may 2019 bring great shooting, great friends and great success!
     
  23. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I own and shoot both, they are fine cartridges as are hundreds of others. One does 2800 with a 150 in the 4 rifles I load for, and the other does 2700 with a 140. I’ll leave it up to the individual to decide if that difference matters to them.

    I do often wonder if in the 30’s and 40’s when the 270 was becoming widely popular how many people sneared at it as being a new fangled wiz bang designed to seperate idiots from their money?
     
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  24. Casefull

    Casefull Member

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    I shot an elk a couple of years ago with a 30 caliber 150 grain Barnes TSX bullet. The rifle has a muzzle velocity of 2900 ft./s. The elk was approximately 150 yards away. The first shot hit the elks shoulder. The second shot killed the elk, he went down within 10 yards.
    I thought I had missed on the first shot. The bullet hit the shoulder and actually bent at about a 20° angle and was found under the hide at the top of the elks back. So it glanced at a 90° angle off of the shoulder bone. The other bullet performed like Barnes usually do and tore up the vitals.
    I have no doubt that a 180 grain lead bullet at similar muzzle velocity would have punched through that shoulder and anchored the elk.
    I also have no doubt that a skinny 6.5 mm 150 grain bullet would have glanced off the shoulder bone easier than that 150 grain copper bullet did. Hit a rib at an angle? Same thing can happen.
     
  25. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    The 6.5's will do just fine on elk-sized animals. Whether you're shooting that or a howitzer, you have to hit the vitals to get the job done. I think the gun industry advertising has convinced a bunch of folks who never shoot that they need to have a 338 Ultra as a starting point for elk. Put the bullet where the bullet is supposed to go, and an 6.5 will kill an elk with no problem.

    I've known folks who have anchored elk with .243's, and I've known folks who have lost wounded animals using a 375 H&H Mag (which no one would claim is too small for elk). Use the right bullet, shoot from an appropriate distance, and know your personal limits.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
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