Recommend 6.5mm bullets for LR elk

Good discussion. I have a 6.5-06 being built and have been looking at bullets for long range hunting. I may use it for elk, but thats not the primary use. I know the Berger's have a high BC. Have not been impressed w/ their performance in in the past. The Swift Scirocco in the 130 gr has a BC of .570. Has some good reviews. Anyone here actually used it at long range? Thanks Bruce
Alan...The Nosler partition will expand at lower velocity than the Berger but also loses velocity faster. The partition is also a better bullet (IMO) at higher velocity. The A-Max is a better bullet than either if you are pushing the limit to around 800 yards. Again, this is for the 6.5 and again, IMO!
The Swift scirocco was a very good bullet in the tests that I did but I didn't use it because it would not shoot in my rifle. Some rifles it will, but not as often as some other bullets. For me, what it would boil down to is, how far am I going to shoot and make up your mind before the elk shows up. Sometimes you can sight in with your longest range bullet and have a heavier constructed bullet that will hit close at 400 or under. This is somewhat of a hassle but it depends on what kind of hunting you do. For the last 30 years, I have either sat up in a tree about 90', or more recently, in a "benchrest style ground blind" so I have a lot of time to watch and decide. To be honest, I don't use the 6.5 too much for elk anymore as most of my shots exceed 600 yards and I have a good 30 that I make bullets for that will expand down to <1300'. I know that you would like me to state a max range, but I think that is for each person to decide based on the best info he has. I hope this helps.......Rich
I'm not trying to be a wise guy at all but am speaking from personal experience. I love my 6.5 Sherman and have killed in excess of 25 bulls with a 6.5. Last year I lost a bull that was shot in the chest at 1010 yards with a 140 leaving the muzzle at 3150'. I feel quite confident that it was a pretty good hit but will never know for sure because the elk ran off after lying there for three hours. The problem with the 6.5 is not much frontal area to start with and for a non expanded bullet, (pinhole)! You can get away with that with a .338 but not a 6.5. The approx. velocity of a 140 Berger (for instance) starting out at 2800' would be 1700' at 900 yards. There is no way that this bullet will will expand CONSISTENTLY at that velocity! I may get some argument on that, but I have done a lot of testing and that has been my experience. If I WERE going to shoot long distance, I would use the A-Max but then you have a terribly explosive bullet at closer range. The Berger is good IMO in a 6.5, above 2100-2200'. I have no doubt that you could kill a lot of elk at 900 yards with the scenario that you gave but the odds of losing one would also be quite high. I hesitate to recommend what the max yardage is, but if you choose to use my logic, I think you can come up with a good answer:D Good luck and good hunting......Rich

Ok, I have to weigh in. Spent 20 years as a long rang shooter in the Military so I'm very comfortable with my shots and placement. Have gotten an elk every year for the past 6 years and have never chased a wounded animal. The closest shot was 1,037 last years in Gunnison, CO. I use primarily three weapons for long range hunting. All three of them are extremely capable of over 1,000 yd shots on elk. I also would not hesitate taking an elk up to 1,500 yds because I know my capability and my weapons systems capability. I shoot 1. Nosler 26 (6.5mm) 29" barrel 142 gr Nosler Accubond Long Range at 3,503 fps, 2. 7mm STW 29" barrel 168 gr Nosler Accubond Long Range at 3,302 fps and 3. 30-378 weatherby 30" barrel using a 200 gr custom made bullet at 3,522 fps. Note that these velocities are only used during elk season in temperatures below 20 degrees and above 8,000 ft altitude. Although the powder I use (Retumbo) has a low sensitivity to temps, temps and air density still effects the burn rate. Enough rambling but to point out it is not all in the weapon choice or caliber or just in the operator, everything has to click! So yes you can take an elk out past 1,000 yds and safely with a 6.5 mm. (Nosler 26 (6.5mm) 142 gr Accubond Long range (ABLR) 3,502 fps, at 1,000 yd, velocity 2,344 fps 1,734 ft-lbs more than enogh if you as the shooter are capable!
I would never use a light caliber like that out to 800-900. I gave up a 7mm 20 yrs ago and I am A dedicated elk hunter with a large heard of elk under my belt.That set up will bite you one day at that range.

Did I miss the post where you stated what you are using now? 30 cal, 338 cal ?? What bullet (projectile) did you settle on?
My family and I have taken 14 elk in the last 5 years with the Accubond Long Range 142gr over 4831sc. None of them have taken more than a couple of steps before dropping. They have been at ranges from 50 to 630 yards. The ABLRs need 1300fps to perform as designed. I shot elk with partitions, accubonds, TTSX, interbonds before the ABLRs came out, they have performed flawlessly. That's my vote. By the way, I hunted with a 300WBY for years before the new strain of great hunting bullets where developed, there is no need to punish yourself anymore. .264 or .284 are great elk calibers without the kick.
6.5mm is plenty of bullet, if you choose the right bullet and put it where it needs to go. Rule of thumb I follow is that I won't shoot any further than I can keep my bullet inside a 7" circle with a CCB. YMMV
I've never shot an elk but have shot wt at distance with same ammo as elk hunters. I'd go with 140 berger or hornady 143 (think it's 143) eld-x had exelect results with both.
I'll give my opinion for what it's worth. But I'll start off by saying I'm in no way here to offend anyone....

Now for myself I personally would go to a different caliber. Something of more pop and kinetic energy. I have a 6.5-284 I just built and trying to find the sweet spot. Mainly built for deer as a pack rifle. Now assuming that my load is 3000fps with the 143 eldx (I would definitely recommend if you kept with a 6.5) at 6000 elevation and 40degrees I don't run out of my "personal" recommendation of 1000 ft/lbs until right after 1000 yards. Which is great. So at 7-800 yards youre at 1396/1263 But if you were going with a 6.5 Creed you run out at 900 yards surprisingly. That's assuming same bullet, 2700fps, and same weather conditions.

Now the reason I use a different caliber (.300wm) for elk is that it has way more kinetic energy. Even though the two calibers I mentioned above are feasible for elk, elk are tough animals. In my mind, one of the toughest in north America. With my .300 I don't have to worry about staying within my threshold. I don't drop below 1000 ft/lbs of energy until 1400 yards. Which I will never shoot at an animal that far. I don't hit below 2000ft/lbs until 700 yards. If I do my part, I won't have to worry about an elk getting up after hutthit it in the shoulder. At 700 yards and 2000 ft/lbs that bullet should destroy that shoulder (of course I aim for vitals).

Anyway you go, because of that 1000 ft/lbs threshold you won't (in my eyes) be unethical. But I do recommend going with something that has more kinetic energy.
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