First Elk Hunt - bullet of choice for 6.5 PRC

BrentM

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Interesting. As a guide I’ve seen quite a few elk drop with 143’s. 1 and done. Ive not killed an elk with a 147 but it does a hell of a job on deer and wolves. I’d have no issue. Basically the bullet as the amax
 

bigngreen

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Respectfully, extended range wasn't what he had in mind...

That's not to say anything 'bad' about the Bergers you are advocating. They are a fine bullet for longer range shots due to their high BC and ability to expand at low velocities. But they are not a controlled expansion bullet; just cup-and-core.

Shooting a 6.5 PRC at elk, he needs to tip the odds in his favor using a bullet that will hold together and penetrate. That gets us to bonded core bullets, partitioned bullets, or mono-metal bullets, all of which will do fine at the max range he indicated.

But we agree on the ELD-X! Not a good choice for this application.

Extended range is exactly what out to 500 yards is in this country, it's not really long range but your pushing normal gear and should be putting some rounds on your rifles and be ready to go.
I have a pretty good idea what bullets work good on elk in a 6.5, I've been playing with a 7mm lately but last year alone my buddies killed 18 elk with 6.5's most inside 500 yards, most with a 140 Berger all one shot kills, quick and clean. On wanted to try some 127 Barnes and those elk both required tracking and multiple shots with shot placement behind the shoulder, didn't even finish the box of bullets. I don't like 140 Bergers on elk because I read something about the construction I put a LOT of them through elk and then opened them up, I've done the same with a lot of other bullets and I still haven't seen a bullet in 6.5 that will give the consistent terminal performance of the 140 Berger though I'm super stoked to get some 156 Bergers into elk with the bigger 6.5's. I don't really give a hoot about what marketing tells you about bullet construction and what it will do, I'll shoot a few antelope and deer and if that looks good I'll run a few through elk, I open everything I shoot up and take a detailed look at bullet performance which is half the fun in hunting for me.
 

bigngreen

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Interesting. As a guide I’ve seen quite a few elk drop with 143’s. 1 and done. Ive not killed an elk with a 147 but it does a hell of a job on deer and wolves. I’d have no issue. Basically the bullet as the amax
I had my daughter shoot 143's in her Creedmore last year to test them and I was not to impressed, did not have a single bullet make it to the of side of a deer, I don't care if they exit I do however want to see them make it to the of side, the wound channels stopped mid way though and I could find no evidence that jacket or frag hit the of side, usually there will be a bunch of cuts or frag stuck inside the rib but there was nothing. They have behaved nothing like what we saw with the 140 Amax which was awesome sauce. I was very disappointed and surprised especially after years of shooting the 140 Berger!!
The feed back I got was all over the board the last couple years on them, some guys had great results some horrible results, nothing consistent, don't know if it's different lots or what. I do know that different lots will have differences in the internal ring, I've cut some that it looked good and some it was basically none existent which may explain the exploding ones.
 

Eagleye242

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I am astounded at the number of shooters recommending fragile bullets on Elk. Grab some 142 LRABs, and shoot with confidence. I have shot over 35 elk, and they can soak up a hit better than can a moose. Additionally, with the bonded bullet (or a partition) you can take angled shots and expect them to reach vitals, something that is "iffy" with Vld types. Dave
 

cohunt

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make sure you bring enough gun for those tough elk ;)
armor.jpg


in all seriousness, almost any bullet will work inside of 500 yards in the prc if you put it in the right spot, I prefer HH bullets, they fly like a laser and hit hard--but I like eld-m's sometimes too
 

bigngreen

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I am astounded at the number of shooters recommending fragile bullets on Elk. Grab some 142 LRABs, and shoot with confidence. I have shot over 35 elk, and they can soak up a hit better than can a moose. Additionally, with the bonded bullet (or a partition) you can take angled shots and expect them to reach vitals, something that is "iffy" with Vld types. Dave
You realize the 142 ALRB BLOWS up far, far more than a 140 Berger right, they are one of the most explosive bullets I've ever shot, my faster 6.5's blow them right down to the base on the entrance on an elk and you might find a little base disk in the soup in the bottom, blew the front shoulder completely out of a deer with one!
 

Eagleye242

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BG; you are obviously pushing the 1st design lrab quite fast to get the blowups you describe. I'm not a huge fan of hunting elk with bullets under 7mm. We have some pretty big bulls here in the area I hunt in bc. My pet elk killer is the 8mm Rem Mag, driving the 220 A-Frame at over 3000. Next in line is the 308 Norma mag....210 lrab right at 3000. No elk i have shot with these combos has gone beyond 50 meters , and meat looses are acceptable. Last elk taken with the big 8 was quartering toward me at 270 meters. That A-Frame smashed through the shoulder destroyed the lungs and was recovered under the hide in his flank. He went nowhere after the shot. I would not have attempted that shot with a fragile bullet. Dave
 

PredatorSlayer

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Just curious - does your guide know you are planning to bring a 6.5mm PRC? I only ask because some folks have mentioned guides having a 'minimum caliber' restriction on their elk hunts. Some require .270 and above. Others make the cut-off 7mm and up. Probably some even want .30 cal or bigger. I'm not saying you NEED a bigger cartridge. I think your choice will work fine with the right bullet. But wanted to make sure your guide knew what your plan was before you got too far along in the planning/preparation process.

Assuming your guide is 'good' with your choice, you might ask him/her what bullets they 'prefer' you use. The ELD-X bullet has a good SD and BC, but it is not a 'controlled-expansion' bullet. The ELD-M is 'technically' not even a hunting bullet; it was designed for target shooting (not that people haven't used it on game...)

Elk are big, thick, and resistant to death. The 6.5 PRC can do the job and you are smart to seek out bullet recommendations. If you are looking for something that will likely pass all the way through an elk (which is good for blood trail and striking as many structures as you can) you might also consider the Barnes 120 gr TTSX or the Hammer 139 gr "sledge", since you are a reloader.
I have never heard of guides having minimum requirements for elk. I am a DIY guy, so have never used a guide before. Do some of them really cut it off at 7mm? That seems silly since the difference between a 7mm and 270 is immaterial. Also muddies the water if a 308 win shooting 150’s is ok, but a 264 win mag shooting 147’s is not?
 

BrentM

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exactly. I’ve had 7mm guys use 140’s and no one bats an eye. 140 6.5 and people lose their minds. The sectional density and design of a 140 class 6.5 has proven itself over many decades to include people using the Swede on moose. Of course this is a long range page so yes the energy and FPS at the desired range is the main focus. FPS to expand and bullet design to penetrate. Get both of those right and elk don’t make it far. I’ve never told a hunter I have a minimum when it comes to normally acceptable calibers. If someone shows up with a 243 we are going hunting. Just going to not let them shoot that far.
 

bigngreen

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BG; you are obviously pushing the 1st design lrab quite fast to get the blowups you describe. I'm not a huge fan of hunting elk with bullets under 7mm. We have some pretty big bulls here in the area I hunt in bc. My pet elk killer is the 8mm Rem Mag, driving the 220 A-Frame at over 3000. Next in line is the 308 Norma mag....210 lrab right at 3000. No elk i have shot with these combos has gone beyond 50 meters , and meat looses are acceptable. Last elk taken with the big 8 was quartering toward me at 270 meters. That A-Frame smashed through the shoulder destroyed the lungs and was recovered under the hide in his flank. He went nowhere after the shot. I would not have attempted that shot with a fragile bullet. Dave
Run them the same velocities as the Berger in the similar grain range, I've not seen anything about an ALRB that is desirable, they open way faster and more than a Berger, I've seen some huge entrances with ALRBs then they plug a small hole through, I've sat and watched a guy pound an animal and by the time he got done killing it when we opened it up the inside was shredded then pencil holes through. A buddy sent me a pic of his deer missing most of the front end, they open faster and more explosive than a Ballistic tip!
I shot a huge cow a couple years ago,she was bigger bodied than the 6 point bulls we had in the truck, under 300 yards 140 Berger heavy quartering and up angle, hit her low in the heaviest shoulder bone, blew through that, blow a hole through three ribs, destroying the front of her lungs and arteries, found the bullet half way up her neck on the of side, she wobbled two steps and flipped over backwards and rolled to my feet. Typical kill with a 140 Berger.
 
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JTB

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The last two bulls we shot were taken with the 142 ABLR from a 6.5-06. Both performed flawlessly but they were both beyond 500 yards. At 530 yards it left a small entrance wound behind the shoulder and a fist size exit wound opposite side. Only one shot needed. The other did not exist but traveled through the front and was not found. Out to 500 the regular Accubond is what you need. Partitions and Berger elite hunters would also be great choices. I have not used solids for a long time but am being tempted with the new options out there. For truly long range hunting I haven’t found a better performer than the ABLR.
 

Coyote_Hunter

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Not a fan of cup-and-core bullets for elk. I'd go with a Barnes 120g TTSX or 127g LRX. Or experience with those bullet types, from .110g 257" to 180g .308", is 50% instant drops, straight down DRT.

We also shoot a lot of AccuBond. Partitions are always a good choice if they shoot well in your rifle. I shoot 130g Swift Scirocco II's in my 6.5-06AI and am very happy with them.

Have only killed 3 elk with AccuBonds. A 150g from a .30-06 went in and out with the cow on the ground before I recovered from the recoil.

Unless you are shooting beyond 500-600 yards, I wouldn't worry about high B.C. bullets. Yesterday I was banging 10" steel at will at 600 yards with a .243 Win (90g BT and 95g SST) and .257 Roberts (100g TTSX and 110g AB.) Most of my rifles are similarly capable, regardless of bullet used.
 
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I personally think pass through is over-rated. Having said that, I would roll with the 147’s. That is what i am going to be taking elk hunting this year.

I agree, splitting hairs on pass thru or not, is way less of a consideration for me as is accuracy and toughness. My first elk was taken with a .270 150gn Nosler Partition that, shot at a front quartering bedding cow, went thru her heart, crossed the chest and ended up on the hide. No pass thru and I still have that bullet. It was dramatic as she stood up on her hind legs and fell backwards into the scrub oak. Last year's cow was taken with a 300wsm 175gn Berger VLDH. It was an elk grenade on her shoulder and the vitals were sloshed. She ran 20 yards and fell. No pass thru.
 
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