6.5 Creed no penetration

Raudy707

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Last week while mule deer hunting in CA my son shot a nice sized mule deer buck with his 6.5 Creed at 327 yards. It was quartering to us and he made a bad shot hitting it square in the guts. A solid drum thwap and the deer jumped and walked over the hill. It's California so we are shooting all copper bullets. His rifle shoots Federal 130 gain Barnes TSX factory ammo very well so that's what he was using. We sneak up after a 30 min cooling off period because I felt it would need a follow up shot. As we sneak up the deer is bedded, jumps up and runs off zig zagging throught the junipers. The next time we see him is 500 yds away for a second as he continued walking into the juniper cover. Three of us comb the area for 3 hours. We find his tracks and I followed them for 1200 yds before losing them in a lava field. Not a single drop of blood. A few hairs at the shot impact on the ground and nothing else. Fast foward 2 days later. Still looking for the buck. We find what we think is him in an alfalfa field and wait for him to move on to the public. My son kills the buck with neck shoulder shot. Upon inspection we find a 6.5 cal hole in the middle of him so I field dress the deer. The bullet enter the main stomach with small hole and never exited. The deer was fine. No rupture of the stomach or internal bleeding. No pass thru. Bullet was just somewhere in a mass of alfalfa?? Has anyone ever had this happen? Poor shot placement for sure but really has me questioning my Creed. Maybe I should have taken the 7 mag. All ended well but it would have no matter what because the buck was alive and eating when we located him again. Dangdest thing I've ever seen in 35 years of hunting. Ruger American Predator with 22" barrel. Velocity is 2790 at the muzzle.
 

Ross1147

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Raudy,
That is one downfall I see with non-lead bullets. Bad shots happen, but if the bullet is explosive enough (Bergers) you have a much better chance of recovering the deer. Good job at sticking with it and finding the deer!
What zone were y’all hunting? I spent the last week in X3B with nothing to show for it.

Ryan
 

Raudy707

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Raudy,
That is one downfall I see with non-lead bullets. Bad shots happen, but if the bullet is explosive enough (Bergers) you have a much better chance of recovering the deer. Good job at sticking with it and finding the deer!
What zone were y’all hunting? I spent the last week in X3B with nothing to show for it.

Ryan
X3A and it was way hot and dry. Worst year ever for us. Struggled to find deer.
 

snookntarpon

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Feb 28, 2011
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FL
Hitting the animal in a full gut of alfalfa is like shooting wet newsprint. Same exact result, same penetration, same expansion. Not the bullet's fault, just a bad shot and that happens. I would love to blame the creedmoor as I am not a fan of its magical powers in popularity, but it is plenty powerful, and the bullet is definitely not to blame. The animal would most certainly have died, so good on you for looking for him as long as you did.
SnT
 

Ross1147

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X3A and it was way hot and dry. Worst year ever for us. Struggled to find deer.
Yeah same here. We hunted 3B back in 16 and did fairly well. This year there were so many people. We hiked in 6.5 miles on the Thursday before season. By Saturday we had already seen 12 other hunters in the area that far in. Glassed 3 good bucks a day before the season, they were in a hurry to make it to the refuge it seemed. After those nothing but little guys. Saw a forky and spike Sunday, another forky Monday, then a 18-20” 3x3 Tuesday but we were around 5 miles in and not big enough to want to pack it out. Cat and bear tracks everywhere. Deer herd is the lowest I’ve seen in my lifetime. Sad...
 

Muddyboots

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The hardest decision to make is to back out for at least 8 hours after a gut hit without pressuring the animal at all. If you do that, the animal will likely be within couple hundred yards at most and likely dead or in enough shock they will not be able to get up and can finish off. If at last light leave overnight which I know with temps can be a difficult decision but they will not be dead too long by the time you find them in morning and hopefully yotes haven't ravaged it. Gut shots are recoverable but you cannot push an animal after one, the odds of recovery are virtually nil especially in heavy cover. Very difficult to get another shot into them even with a rifle.
 

Raudy707

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The hardest decision to make is to back out for at least 8 hours after a gut hit without pressuring the animal at all. If you do that, the animal will likely be within couple hundred yards at most and likely dead or in enough shock they will not be able to get up and can finish off. If at last light leave overnight which I know with temps can be a difficult decision but they will not be dead too long by the time you find them in morning and hopefully yotes haven't ravaged it. Gut shots are recoverable but you cannot push an animal after one, the odds of recovery are virtually nil especially in heavy cover. Very difficult to get another shot into them even with a rifle.
Yeah it was in the high 80s every day. The buck would have spoiled if it died and was left all day. So that's why we went in after a half hour. It was a gamble. The buck went on with his normal life and was back in the alfalfa fields feeding so I don't think no matter how long we backed out if it would have made a difference. Tough decision for sure.
 

wildwilderness

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May 1, 2011
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116
Here is your problem- At 325 yards the bullet will be going about 2000 fps. That is if your reported muzzle velocity at 2790 is correct? Did you verify that or going off what the box says? The BC for that bullet is g1 .365.

The barnes TSX needs a min 2000 fps to adequately open, especially if hitting soft tissue only. I suspect the rifle is shooting a little bit slower? So it was very marginal for expansion anyway.

This is what I would recommend- Switch to a lighter bullet, and go Tipped. the TTSX will expand to a lower velocity, and the lighter bullet will help with the velocity. The 6.5 creed is not a magic cartridge, and monos work better with velocity! The 6.5 does fine with heavy for caliber "target" type explosive bullets at the slower velocities, not so on monos. look at the 120gr TTSX load or start reloading your own!
 

AFraser

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Rutland, UK
I agree with the above comments about a gut full of semi-liquid alfalfa, but your impact velocity would have only been ~2200fps. Maybe you also need a but more speed to open up the copper bullet.
Have you thought of 120 gr class bullets? They would probably give you +200fps at that range.
 

wildwilderness

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I agree with the above comments about a gut full of semi-liquid alfalfa, but your impact velocity would have only been ~2200fps. Maybe you also need a but more speed to open up the copper bullet.
Have you thought of 120 gr class bullets? They would probably give you +200fps at that range.

I get 2000 fps impact velocity at 325yds using the .365 g1 BC that the mentioned federal TSX uses, which is the old model 130gr bullet, not the new boat tail one. I would reload the Hammer 110 HH or the new 109 AH and get over 3000 fps for sure!
 

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