6.5mm bullets for ELR

Discussion in 'Extreme Long Range Hunting & Shooting (ELR)' started by M67, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. M67

    M67 Well-Known Member

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    Recently Lapua came out with their new 136gr Scenar-L bullet in 6.5mm. I have previously stuck to the 139gr Scenar, at any range.
    The 139gr has proven itself well, and good shooting have been done at ranges to at least 1300m. Groups around, or less than 30cm at 1000m have been the norm, better on occasions. That is in weather and conditions, out of the dirt, no BR-shooting.

    So enter the 136, having a new barrel that didnt quite shoot bugholes with 139s, i tried the 136, and voila - at 200m, and at 500m - what we all want, tiny groups. I have been shooting 10 shot groups around 4" at 500m, prone in the dirt. And that i feel is as good as i can excpect.

    But i want a load that works on all distances, and even though i have only shot the 136 at 1000m on 3 occasions, weather has been fair, and others have shot well. On saturday i spread 10 shots over perhaps 80x80cm, or almost 3 by 3 feet - at 1km. That will not do.

    Rifle is a Sauer 200STR and the 136s i run at about 910-915m/s, quite precisely 3000fps, the 139s i get only 890m/s from.
    Medium range (<700m) ballistics are the same, but the 136 go "way too high" at 1000m, compared tho predictions made wuth Lapuas advertised BC (G7)
    The 136 is more accurate at 500m than the 139, but from 700 and beyond, the 139 is more accurate it seems.

    - how can this be?
    - any takes on the BC of the 136gr Scenar - L
    - any experience using 6.5mm bullets out past 1000yards, in particular the 136gr Scenar-L
    - have anyone shot other 6.5mm bullets past 1000 and how did they perform?
    - have anyone experience with high and low shots in light haze?


    K
     
  2. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    With the exception of 300 yard or less target shooting I haven't done any LR shooting with the Scenars. I went directly to the Berger/JLK VLD 140's which have about 10% greater BC's over the Lapua 139's. I don't know the BC of the 136's but the Litz BC for the 139 Scenar is .285(G7). I run the Bergers with .313 G7 at 2950-3000 FPS and can hold .5-1 MOA out at 1300 yards, better out to 1000, with the drops following my charts very closely. No sure what's going on with your rifle with the effects you are seeing. It might be bullet stability. What is the twist rate of your rifle?
     

  3. M67

    M67 Well-Known Member

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    At close range i have tried Berger 130 and 140s, Amax, Sierra 140, 142, 144, 8g Scenar, and Norma GTs, and Nosler CCs.

    Currently i am conducting a test to see how these bullets behave at 500 and 1000m. I seems to me, at 500m, any bullet that will group in your rifle is good shit. 10% BC cannot ever trump 10% better accuracy, or more. All tested 130-144gr 6.5 bullets group 10 shots inside 150mm from my rifle, at
    500m.

    Anyway, the whole thing was spurred by variuos shooters "losing" 130GTs on their way to 1km, and i have seen several shooters tear out hair over the 1000m performance of 8g Scenar factory ammo - I was lobbing my 770m/s Krag loads with 139 Scenars inside a third of the group size a couple of fellas managed with the 130GT, @ 1km, and that travelling at 920m/s too.

    These are "old" bullets, and OK, they migth not work out there - but the brand new 136 Scenar-L. To be unstable at LR?

    The rifle i shoot is a Sauer 200STR, it has a 700mm barrel with a 1:220mm twist, 1:8.66".
    [​IMG]

    Actually i shoot three of them. One the LR-piece shown over, a wood stocked, diopter equipped one for the Norwegian version of highpower, and a similar one with a .22LR conversion kit.
    [​IMG]

    A digression, grossly off topic, but the modular nature of the 200STR allows you to make a rather sexy 22-rifle i you want to.
    [​IMG]

    Basically there are two possible reasons for what i see. Stability issues, and good old poor shooting. It is very difficult to dismiss a bullet on the basis of a few shots. Just hoping otheres have some experience with this bullet.
    The american bullets, except Amax and the 140 Sierra, are far more expensive than the Scenars and the GT. Typically a Berger bullet will cost more than twice as much as a Scenar - if it can even be had... and then in small amounts, and the next time the vendor will have another of Bergers creations... Lapuas are the same, always, always in stock, and only Nosler CCs are cheaper, and they dont group as well.
    With the 136 Scenar i found a bullet that groups as well as the Bergers - just damned it wont shoot at long range.

    K
     
  4. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    If shooting skills are a possible issue, all bets are off trying to figure out load prrformace IMO. I'm not sure I would neccesarily buy into the premise that a 10% improvment in group size trumps a 10% increase in BC when it comes to LR. I have had a few instances where LR accuracy was better overall. ES, BC. and bullet design ,etc plays a big role past 800 yards. My buddy just went through this recently finding that ther was a notable difference in Berger performance over the Sierras and Amax's when shooting at LR. They outperformed the Bergers at mid range in terms of precision but fell apart at LR.
     
  5. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    I have no experience with those and have settled on Berger and Matrix. The Matrix 160 in a 8 twist fly really well out to 1300. I have not shot them past that yet but will be doing so this week.

    1 think I found that is that a bullet with a longer bearing surface changes the impact and flight characteristics significantly. If you compare the bearing surface of those two bullets you may well have to change powder volume and seating depth significantly. I can shoot berger 140 VLD target in a tiny group at 200 at .010 off the lands. My 140 VLD Hunt will not group at all until I hit .075 to .100. Pressure is different as well.

    I have no clue how you reload but it is just some thoughts about how you might need to approach the accuracy issue.
     
  6. M67

    M67 Well-Known Member

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    Let me point out that i have noe accuracy issues inside about 600m, or even 900m. I am questioning the 1000m performance.

    My reloading is probably like anyone elses, i do some testing (not much, having burned some barrels over the years, i tend to find what i want) to find a load that is "good enough", generally that would be <1/2" at 100m, but preferably better.
    Since i compete at 500m matches, 10 shots @ 500m is the acid test. I also compete in "feltskyting" that might take it to 600m or so, and from field positions.

    A 500m target might look like this, [​IMG]

    The point beiing, shooting such a group with my 7mm WSM or the 338LM or the 139 Scenar in 6.5x55 generally would make me excpect a group somewhat twice the size at 1000m, given that i feel i was in control regarding wind.
    But, shooting the 136 (this is a 136gr Scenar group) at 1km vs 500m, increases the group size about 10-fold.

    I do not believe anything in my reloading can make bullets group very well at 500, just to fall completely apart at 1000, both height and sideways.

    K
     
  7. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    OK, I think I might have missed your point.

    Let's discuss the 160 matrix vs the 140 berger. The 140 VLD has put down several .5 MOA groups at 800 and 900 yards. At 1000 yards I have shot a couple for 4" groups with the 160. At 1300 yards I have shot the 160 consistently in smaller groups then the 140. At longer ranges the BC of the 160 is kicking the BC of the 140's butt and putting down better results.

    I was trying to say, that I think there are several factors that might be contributing to less than desired LR accuracy. BC is one but so is stability in the overall length of the bullet and bearing surface that is being used to creat the stability. If am not on the same page as you ignore me. I have a raging headache today and fighting with a crisis at work that is driving me crazy.
     
  8. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    I have been milling this bullet annealing idea over and over in my head since I learned about it. I wonder what it would do for Lapua bullets on game.
     
  9. M67

    M67 Well-Known Member

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    BrentM,

    I have seen the same type of thing you describe, An example that is well known here is the Norma GT i mentioned. It generally shoots superbly at "short" range, and is preferred over the 139 Scenar by the 200m shooters, the 8g Scenar likevise. At 1000m, both are clearly outperformed by the 139 Scenar.

    What is the BC of the 160 Matrix? Tell me some more about using the 140 Berger and the 160 Matrix @ ELR.

    K
     
  10. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what the G7 for the Matrix is but the G1 is advertised as .680. Berger VLD is .612 / .313. I would imagine the G7 of the 160 is around .340 to .347 but I am not sure.

    The first time I shot the 160 I was able to dial in .25 moa on a 200 yard zero. I shot 400, 680, then 1010. I videod the sequence but it is on an older camera and I could get it up load to my computer. At 1000 I put two separate groups of 5 on the rock. The first group was 3x4 and the second was 4x4, for 4. I pulled 1 about 4" right. The next time out I tried to shoot 1400 in the mountains and my solution was not working me. At 980 I shot a rock for 3 shots and it was 4x5. My last time shooting the 160 was at 1280 yards. I did not measure the group but in the scope (NF NXS 5.5x22 NPR1) the size came in at 1 MOA. 6 out 6 were on the rock. If you split the rock in 1/2 all 6 hit the right side of the 1 MOA rock.

    Now, the 140 at 1300 has done well for me too but I have noticed from 1300-1500 it opens up more and so far I am only able to shoot around 1 MOA. I personally think the 140 is not as stable due to the slower LR fps. I could be wrong but I wondering if the bullet is starting to wobble a bit. I have not done a lot of shooting at 1500 because it has proven to be a bit of a waste of time with lack of a good spotter and not being able to get first round cold bore hits on 1 moa or less size targets.

    Not sure if this helps or not but it has been my experience. I just got a new box of matrix bullets, yesterday actually. The bearing surface is .685 compared to the last batch of .676 and the length went to 1.506 vs 1.496. 140 VLDs have been .562 / 1.421. Big difference in bearing surface. I have about 12 of the last batch loaded and ready to shoot. Unfortuantely with this big of change I will be required to work up the load again.
     
  11. M67

    M67 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting post Brent,

    What you say about the bearing sfc. and making a new load is basically what keeps me sticking to Lapua, their bullets are what they are..
    I think i will be shelving the 136 for other than "Feltskyting" with the match-rifle, that stops at 600m, and i have seen nothing that shoots as flat. The matches are shot UKD, without scopes, so flat is gold.

    Next time i can get out shooting at paper around 1000m i will bring them back out. But that is a small hike, and i need a spotter, and i cant be bringing the kids, as i normally do. Also i can only bring one rifle, and who knows, it might be the 7mm...
    Lots of logistics this ELR- stuff, but the good thing is, it makes 5-600m shots quite trivial.

    K
     
  12. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    I have not shot the Lapau bullets but if they would work for hunting I would give them a try. I do know the Hunting VLDs from Berger have all been very consistent on the bearing surface. The last batch of 140's I bought a box of 500. I measured several hundred and they were all the same, so I stopped. : ) I think Bergers are fine, but I still measure them to be sure.

    The berger vld TARGET has a shorter bearing surface and the ones I have played with have been very accurate. However, I don't shoot those anymore since I can't hunt with them and don't want or need multiple set ups. They might be the ticket for you for the match shoots though. Their BC is pretty good and if they shoot well for you the BC is going to be your friend at LR.