6.5SS & 156 Berger Elite Hunter

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by lancetkenyon, Jul 20, 2019.


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  1. lancetkenyon

    lancetkenyon Well-Known Member

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    Jun 3, 2013
    Made it to the range today. Braved the heat and stayed out for 8 hours. Was 111° when I left.

    To reiterate, this was a brand new unfired rifle. 26" 1:7.5" Proof Research 4 groove.

    I had loaded up two types of powder from information I had gleaned from previous trials in my own 6.5SS w. 25.5" 1:8" Bartlein, and a few other 6.5SSs I have shot. Rich Sherman was also a great source of information over the past year during testing the 6.5SS, 6SST, and 7SS.

    I have the older Norma brass for my other 6.5SS. I also have 120 pcs of the new ADG brass that I had previously fire formed 115 pcs of in my old 6.5SS and left unsized afterwards, specifically for this new rifle, so I could start with fully formed brass right away, not needing to fire form them. Both rifles were built by Axisworks with the same reamer. So I figured they would be real close.
    Using a Hornady headspace comparitor w. .420 insert, the brass fired in my old chamber measured 1.564". I bump them back .002" to 1.562". Well, the 1.562" barely close in the new chamber, I can feel the bolt drag when it closes tightly. Bumped them back to 1.560", and closed like butter. I have not checked length on the cases fired in my new chamber yet, but would bet they are right at 1.562" +/-.0005".

    My 120pcs of ADG brass weigh an average of 217.5gr +/- (216.9 to 217.8).

    Neck thickness is .014". I run a .291" bushing in my die, and then an expanding mandrel @ .263". I also anneal every firing. Cases trimmed to 1.950" minimum spec.

    ADG brass
    Fed GM215M
    156 Berger Elite @ 2.278" CBTO (.010" jump)

    H1000: 56.0-58.5gr
    RL23: 54.5-57.0gr

    With shooting a few other rifles today, and being at the range from 6:45am to 2:45pm and the 111° temps, heavy mirage, and hot *Rule 4 Violation* desert fluctuating winds from 10-15+mph, I did not get all the RL23 loads fired today.

    Boresighted by pulling the bolt and eyeballing. I can usually get somewhere within 3-4" of POA. I got super lucky and hit within 1" of POA on my first loads.

    Here are the results. Shot at 100 yards except the last two groups moved out to 200 yards.

    H1000:
    56.0gr: 2904, 2905, 2903. ES 3, SD 1.4, Av 2904 (shots 1/2/3) air temps 94°
    56.5gr: 2942, 2941, 2933. ES 9, SD 4.8, Av 2939 (shots 7/8/9) air temps 101°
    57.0gr: 2981, 2975, 2974. ES 7, SD 3.7, Av 2977 (shots 10/11/12) air temps 102°
    57.5gr: 2994, 2981, 2990. ES 13, SD 7.8, Av 2988 (shots 13/14/15) air temps 104°
    58.0gr: 3006, 3010, 3018. ES 12, SD 6.0, Av 3011 (shots 16/17/18-very slightly heavier bolt lift) air temps 108°
    58.5gr: 3025, 3025, 3035. ES 10, SD 7.1, Av 3028 (shots 19/20/21-slightly heavy bolt.lift, no other pressure signs) air temps 110°

    RL23:
    54.5gr: 2953, 2952, 2952. ES 2, SD .9, Av 2952 (shots 4/5/6-accuracy was not as good as H1000 for this single group) air temps 97°
    55.0gr: N/A TBD
    55.5gr: N/A TBD
    56.0gr: N/A TBD
    56.5gr: N/A TBD
    57.0gr: N/A TBD

    I think once this barrel breaks in, this thing is going to be a laser.

    Accuracy results were pretty darn good. These new 156 Elites show real accuracy potential.

    [​IMG]

    56.0 H1000 shots 1 (high from cold, clean, new barrel, 2/3 touching) minimal wind
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    54.5 RL23 (shots 4/5/6) no wind
    [​IMG]

    Adjust .2MIL (whoops, wrong way)
    56.5gr H1000 (shots 7/8/9) no wind
    [​IMG]

    Adjust .4MIL back Left
    57.0gr H1000 (shots 10/11/12) minimal wind
    [​IMG]

    57.5 H1000 (shots 13/14/15) fluctuating winds 5-10mph
    [​IMG]

    Move out to 200 to shoot some other rifles too. After about 11:00, the heat ran most of the people off. So it was pretty empty.

    [​IMG]

    58.0 H1000 @ 200 (shots 16/17/18) mirage was so bad, I couldn't consistently see the rings on the target. I held on the black square, expecting 200 to be zero. It will be interesting to see how they work at longer ranges. Winds were picking up, 8-12mph
    [​IMG]

    Dropped down .2MIL, held on square since I couldn't consistently pick up the circles with the mirage again. Fluctuating winds had really kicked up after 1:00pm. 12-15 and changing constantly.
    58.5gr H1000 @ 200
    [​IMG]

    Hopefully be back out shooting next week, but with a hunt coming up in a month, I think I will just load up a bunch at 57.5gr and go shoot for distance if the desert opens back up. If not, have to hit a ranch I know of and stretch it out to verify drops. An antelope won't stand a chance against the 156 @ 2988fps for now.

    To be continued....
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  2. dok7mm

    dok7mm Well-Known Member

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    Great information, well presented and very valuable to those of us still waiting on our builds. Many thanks, that will give us a route to follow.
     
  3. OrionsStar

    OrionsStar Well-Known Member

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    Great info and well documented! Thanks I will be following this thread!
     
  4. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Man, I'm going to pull out the 6.5 SS this week and get it back up and running, I kinda cannibalized it for building an experimental drop port action and never got ordered new parts.
    I know many guys just can't seem to make the math work from 140 to 156 but I've seen many elk hit with 140,150 and 160 class 6.5 bullets and you get into the heavier end of those there is just no doubt your shooting a bullet when they touch down, seen some elk just wrecked by big 6.5 bullets and you can sit there and comfortably shoot with no brake or much of any recoil, it's almost not fair!!!
     
    predator 22, TwoMore and muleystalker like this.
  5. Braunschweiger

    Braunschweiger Well-Known Member

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    Mar 16, 2018
    Very nice sir! Keep seeing these Sherman Shorts popping up.. may have to have one built eventually in 7SS
     
  6. lancetkenyon

    lancetkenyon Well-Known Member

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    Got 50 loaded up at 58.0gr H1000 for an upcoming pronghorn hunt. Went and verified exact 200 yard zero today with a 3 shot .347" group at 200. That will do just fine. With 51 shots down the barrel now, I am at 3020fps so far.
     
  7. dok7mm

    dok7mm Well-Known Member

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    Great work, thank you for sharing.
     
  8. Nomad8961

    Nomad8961 Active Member

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    Jan 27, 2019
    Ive got a 6.5x284 and am planning on trying the 156 Berger’s. I also am not trying for the most speed, more like the most ft.lbs out to 600 yards. That’s where I think the 156s will really start to excel over 140s, definitely over the 130s!!!