6.5s for Elk

Hornseeker

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Feb 2, 2017
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I'd like to hear any experiences with 6.5s on elk. I'm thinking about picking up a new rifle for myself and my lady... I've been a 30 Cal guy for 38 years.... so... breaking the mold, stepping out of the box... looking for reassurance that I'll be happy with a 6.5!!

Not looking for a long range gun. Probably 450 max for me. 300ish for her!

Also, most interested in the short actions...

You guys kill any elk with 6.5s?
Have buddy's that do?

Funny part is, I have my daughter and step son set up with 243s and 85 grain TSXs and never think twice about them being under gunned!! Lmao. Just want to talk about it I guess!!

Thanks!!


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Justin Crossley

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I've killed one bull elk with my 6.5-06 AI at 200 yds. I was shooting 140 Berger Hunting VLD's at 3220 fps. The bullet performed well as it went through both front shoulders and the bull dropped in his tracks. There was more tissue damage than I like typically but he was dead so.....

With that said I wouldn't recommend a 6.5 as an elk rifle even though it obviously can work.
 

ianpadron

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Feb 3, 2016
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I'd like to hear any experiences with 6.5s on elk. I'm thinking about picking up a new rifle for myself and my lady... I've been a 30 Cal guy for 38 years.... so... breaking the mold, stepping out of the box... looking for reassurance that I'll be happy with a 6.5!!

Not looking for a long range gun. Probably 450 max for me. 300ish for her!

Also, most interested in the short actions...

You guys kill any elk with 6.5s?
Have buddy's that do?

Funny part is, I have my daughter and step son set up with 243s and 85 grain TSXs and never think twice about them being under gunned!! Lmao. Just want to talk about it I guess!!

Thanks!!


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Always refer back to Wayne Van Zwoll dropping a bull at 600 yds with a 129 grain SST out of a Creedmoor. Shot placement matters. Speed matters. 6.5s are easier to shoot accurately and the fast ones are flatter than your big 30s.

I haven't killed an elk with a 6.5, but definitely wouldn't feel undergunned with one for anything but grizzlies...especially under 300 yds.

6.5x284 is a nasty little round, there's a thread on Long Range Huntings forum with some pretty graphic representations of what a hot 6.5 round does to critters.

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5MilesBack

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Funny part is, I have my daughter and step son set up with 243s and 85 grain TSXs and never think twice about them being under gunned!!

Yep. My daughter shot a small "doe" with the 6.5 CM from 375 yards and a factory Hornady 143gr ELD-X. The bullet didn't even make it all the way through her. We found the core separated from the jacket under the offside skin......broadside shot, and no bone except ribs. I expected better than that. My next step is to load up some TTSX's and see how they do. But I wouldn't even consider the ELD-X's on an elk after seeing how they did on a small doe.
 

KurtR

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I shot a mule deer buck and doe and a white tail buck and doe my kid shot a whitetail doe all with the 143 eldx and all exited and ranged from 100 yards up to 650 yards. From a creedmoor at 2810 fps so it is what i took elk hunting last year but didnt get a chance to shoot and i dont feel under gunned one bit.
 

Cockeye

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I just bought a weatherby accumark in 6.5-300 and it's tuned in with 127 Barnes at 3550 fps is that going to be heavy enough for elk. Thanks southern boy moved to Montana
 
OP
Hornseeker

Hornseeker

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Thanks for the info.
If not shooting LR, like say 400 and less, I bet a lighter bullet in the TSX or similar would kick but.


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JWP58

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Thanks for the info.
If not shooting LR, like say 400 and less, I bet a lighter bullet in the TSX or similar would kick but.


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Only one way to find out. I'll report back if I'm fortunate enough this season. I suggest everyone hunting with a 6.5mm to subscribe to this thread and update with their results, while anecdotal, it could provide statistics that could be determined useful.
 

Yotekiller

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May 12, 2016
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I shot my elk last fall at 905 yards. It didn't move 10 feet. I shoot a 6.5x284 with 140 grain berger vld at 2927 fps. I would not recommend this bullet at close range but for the long shots I feel it is ideal. I like using heavy for calibur bullets for the high sectional density. This gun is a lot more pleasant to shoot than a big boomer, and it makes practice a whole lot more enjoyable. I have no intention on changing any time soon.
 
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Fireguy

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Guys have been shooting elk with a 270 and 130 grain bullets for YEARS yet a 6.5 147 grain bullet isn't enough. Weird.
 

shotgunwilly

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morrison, co
I recovered this from the hide of a bull I shot, 130 grain Barnes tsx from a 6.5 rem mag @3150 fps. The elk dropped like a rock.



IMG_0068.jpg IMG_0070.jpg
 

RCR

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Littleton, CO
My son has killed two cows with a 6.5 R.E.M. Mag shooting 130 ABs at about 2700. One at 200yds and the other about 425. No issues with bullet performance on either. Bullet placement is key.


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brocksw

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.264 win is a great caliber as well, another to consider in that 6.5 mold.

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WRO

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Yep. My daughter shot a small "doe" with the 6.5 CM from 375 yards and a factory Hornady 143gr ELD-X. The bullet didn't even make it all the way through her. We found the core separated from the jacket under the offside skin......broadside shot, and no bone except ribs. I expected better than that. My next step is to load up some TTSX's and see how they do. But I wouldn't even consider the ELD-X's on an elk after seeing how they did on a small doe.
was it drt? I shoot elk with 230 bergers and haven't gotten an exit yet, but they end up dead as a door nail.
 

Jason Snyder

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There's a very high likelihood a 6.5 Hipster is going to find its way into my gun cabinet very soon. I plan on shooting the 127 grain LRX out of it, and won't hesitate a second to shoot elk with it. Even at 500 yards it's still over 1900 fps.


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huntsman22

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kimber .260......

 

PathFinder

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My buddy shot his bull at 300 even this year with my 6.5 CM. 140 ELD M at ~2820 MV. It really impressed me. He was bedded for the first shot, which broke the onside shoulder and was found under the hide offside. Second shot was a heart/lung shot and dropped him. At the ranges most people shoot at, a high lung shot is absolutely no problem. I think that the only things they give up to the 30 magnums are the ability to deal with a less than perfect shot angle and poor shot placement. I'd take a 6.5 140 over a 30 cal 150-180 grain bullet every time. Sectional density is a huge part of terminal performance.

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The Europeans have been killing the heck out of everything even moose for ever with the 6.5x55 which is the ballistic twin to the 6.5 cm. Marketing has really pushed the magnum thing. Folks in the us have been killing everything from coyotes to bison with the 30-30 forever....now all the sudden deer are bullet proof and if you don't have at least a 7 mag they will just walk off after being shot. So apparently bullets of non magnums just bounce off critters these days.
 
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