6.5 creedmoor whitetail round

Imthatguywithquestions

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So last year, I built a 6.5 grendel. Due to the ammo shortage I was only able to find American eagle 120 grain OTM which was extremely accurate. I shot 1 whitetail at about 300 yards. It obliterated it's shoulder and the internal damage was minimal at best. I couldn't even find a hole in the lungs or heart. Not sure how it even died. Second one I shot was at 70 yards, lungs were jello and the exit wound was larger than a silver dollar. I know people hunt with OTM and I did take 2 deer with it, but I don't have alot of confidence in the round at all. For my creedmoor, I'd like to start reloading, but I will be buying factory ammo for it this year. Any suggestions on what I should use? I'll have opportunity to take whitetail from 10 yards all the way out to about 400. Also, any explanation as to why that happened with the 300 yard shot? Was there just not enough kinetic energy? Thanks
 

reubenski

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Shot placement and bullet construction. I have hunted a fair amount with a 6.5 Grendel and it's one of my favorite hunting cartridges. You're also going to potentially be using some of the same bullets in your Creedmoor but with more speed behind it. I use 100gr Nosler BT's in the Grendel and they're going about 2730fps.

I am always confused by people on the internet talking about hunting and bullet performance in animals. There's no consensus on what people expect a bullet to do. You have folks that talk about how they're disappointed because the bullet just did a through and through, then you have people that talk about how there wasn't much damage to internal organs because the bullet didn't fragment and the animal didn't "DRT". Then you have people that talk about how the bullet was too explosive and didn't retain it's mass; just made a mess and came apart.

I'm a meat hunter and I really dislike making a mess of an animal, even if that means it doesn't die as quickly. I usually try to head or neck shoot them. The last year I was able to get home and hunt whitetail I shot 4. Three in the head and one behind the shoulder. That particular year I was using a 6 Creed and 90gr TGK's going 3050fps. The animal I shot behind the shoulder was a gooey mess. When blow the box up you just get bile and shit all over the meat as your gutting. I hate that so I try to neck or head shoot them if possible. But when you're shooting antelope at 600yds it's body shots or nothing. I would never aim for a shoulder on a lighter skinned deer because you're likely going to ruin both front quarters. When you hear people talk about shooting elk in the shoulder to stop it, that's another deal. Different animal, bullet construction and magnum cartridge.

Try a 120 gr Nosler BT for your Creedmoor. Keep it relatively slow, like 2750 and try not to hit any large bones unless it's a skull.
 

blackblue

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Anything out of the creedmoor will kill well. I also generally avoid shooting the shoulder no matter what, your experience with the OTM is more typical of the performance out of various calibers in my experience, which leaves quick kills and good blood trails and I also avoid shoulder shots.
 

DJL2

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I like the 140 ELD-M, 129 SST Superformance for factory ammo. You could do the 143 ELD-X too.
If you're gonna roll your own, you can add the 130 TMK to that list.

If you hew a different direction, the 120 TTSX might be worth considering.
 

spife7980

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You’ll get answers saying all of them work so just roll the dice and pick one.
I’ve shot noslers, hornady, Sierra, Speer, Berger etc. they all work.

Just don’t expect a target bullet to be a hunting bullet. They may blow up, they may pencil through, they aren’t designed to do anything consistently terminally, they are designed to fly well, not impact well.
 

DJL2

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I wouldn't hesitate to use this, either, if I could find it in stock somewhere:
https://le.vistaoutdoor.com/ammunition/federal/rifle/details.aspx?id=1018

I haven't seen Sierra make that 140 TMK publicly available.
The TMK and ELD-M are both loaded in LE ammo and are both very consistent open air performers with violent/frangible like effects on target. That's my jam, but it's not everyone's.
 

Imthatguywithquestions

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I wouldn't hesitate to use this, either, if I could find it in stock somewhere:
https://le.vistaoutdoor.com/ammunition/federal/rifle/details.aspx?id=1018

I haven't seen Sierra make that 140 TMK publicly available.
The TMK and ELD-M are both loaded in LE ammo and are both very consistent open air performers with violent/frangible like effects on target. That's my jam, but it's not everyone's.
I use the elds on varmint and they are devastating. My father used Hornady for a decade and lost a few. I'm going to guarantee it wasn't the bullet, but rather his ability to not make a horrible shot. Lol
 

davsco

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i've ordered but haven't used these yet, but reasonably priced in today's market and more importantly, it's available. and with 'whitetail' in the name, presumably they'll work on deer.

 

jbuck88

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I can vouch for the 143ELDx. My son has 2 deer with it and I have a couple deer as well as various coyotes and grouse(head shot only). I almost switched to the Barnes LRX for my kids elk, but I plan on backing him up if needed.

All of our deer have been 200yds or less, and our closest was 20yds. It has performed perfectly and all but 1 was DRT. That one took a few steps, but it's lungs and heart were trashed.
 

loveha

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    I'll use any high quality hunting round. But my preference is Barnes with their all copper bullets. Also used Hornady Outfitter ammo which is also all copper to great success last year. The copper rounds simply retain almost all of their weight.
    Varmints, sure, OTM or a dedicated varmint round that "grenades". Deer, elk, etc I want an actual hunting bullet designed for expansion.
     

    KnowNothing256

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    +1 for the copper bullets. You have to keep the impact velocity up, which shouldn’t be an issue with a 120-130gr bullet out of a 6.5CM at 400 yds. 2000 FPS at impact bare minimum, 2200 FPS is better.

    The 120 TTSX or 127 LRX are great hunting bullets within their limitations, and if they aren’t the most accurate (varies rifle to rifle), so what, 2 MOA at 400 yds is still ethical on deer-sized game if you can hold that steady.
     

    Hollywood_Jake_Speed

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    i've ordered but haven't used these yet, but reasonably priced in today's market and more importantly, it's available. and with 'whitetail' in the name, presumably they'll work on deer.

    My Ruger Precision likes the Norma 140gr.
     

    Imthatguywithquestions

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    Thanks for all the responses. I think I'll try some Hornady or Barnes. whatever is available. Good luck to everyone hunting this year!
     

    gopherslayer

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    I’d love to tell you my favorites but I’m a whore when it comes to bullets. I’m not a fan of match bullets at close range but any cup and core will work. I‘ve used at least 8 different bullets in 260Rems. I like Barnes in faster magnums.
     

    Hondo64d

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    So last year, I built a 6.5 grendel. Due to the ammo shortage I was only able to find American eagle 120 grain OTM which was extremely accurate. I shot 1 whitetail at about 300 yards. It obliterated it's shoulder and the internal damage was minimal at best. I couldn't even find a hole in the lungs or heart. Not sure how it even died. Second one I shot was at 70 yards, lungs were jello and the exit wound was larger than a silver dollar. I know people hunt with OTM and I did take 2 deer with it, but I don't have alot of confidence in the round at all. For my creedmoor, I'd like to start reloading, but I will be buying factory ammo for it this year. Any suggestions on what I should use? I'll have opportunity to take whitetail from 10 yards all the way out to about 400. Also, any explanation as to why that happened with the 300 yard shot? Was there just not enough kinetic energy? Thanks
    From your write up, it sounds like you would be more confident in more of a controlled expansion bullet than one that fragments. I have had great luck with the 129gr Hornady SPs loaded to 2870 or so. Doesn’t grenade but does leave a silver dollar sized exit on whitetails. BC is nothing great but you should be fine out to 400 yards or so. Hornady loads it in their American Whitetail ammo. Have also had great results from the 130gr Nosler Accubond. The only one I recovered was from a giant pig that was pushing 400 pounds. Recovered the bullet from under the hide on the off side. Perfect mushroom. A bit better BC than the Hornady. Shot a decent sized boar a couple of weeks ago with a 120gr Ballistic tip launched at 2950 or so. Spined him at 324 yards, which of course, put him down right there. Didn’t kill him though. Had to put one in his brain when I got to him. Didn’t do an autopsy, but no exit wound. I’ll try them some more before drawing conclusions.

    John
     

    GrumpyOleFart

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    I've changed from 129gr SST, to 143gr ELDX.
    really like the extra legs, and heavier thump at the feral end.
    I don't like AR2209/4350 powder... fucken filthy.
    So I have been playing with AR2206H/H4895.
    Been getting nice single hole/slight clover groups at one hundred metres at the range, 32.4gr and a cleaner barrel.
    Still tinkering with OAL.
    Has anyone used non spec powders and found better results?
     
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    Clark

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    I shot a whitetail doe with a 6.5-06, 120 gr nos bal tip, at 629 yards.

    Those whitetail does are a small target.
     

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    ColbyLang

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    Shooting Berger Bullet 135’s Hunting Ammo out of my Daniels AR-10 for whitetail (tremendous hog population on our club, love a 10 round mag).

    5 deer shot with said Ammo, all were within 20 yards of where they were shot, bullet did what it was supposed to do. Can’t seem to find any anywhere tho, glad I grabbed a case
     

    Superjet

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    I may try the 130 hybrid this year after a less than ideal performance last year with 130 gamechangers. The gamechanger just pencil’d thru and I didn’t have a drop of blood for 100 yards. Velocity was around 2700 from an 18” 6.5x47.
     

    DJL2

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    The TGK is a designed with a "thick, tough" jacket for "outstanding penetration and controlled expansion." I'm not surprised it struggled some with a launch velocity of 2700 on a relatively light weight/skinned animal.

    Source for the quotes:
     
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    Defender32

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    Nosler 129 ABLR is a golden bullet if you can find enough to work up a load with.
    Hornady 143 ELDX is another great one.
    Berger 135 Classic Hunter & 140 Elite hunter shot great as well.

    I shot the Nosler out of the Grendel and the rest out of the Creed. I killed KY White tail and Coyotes with both. Bothe performed well and did their job. The 143 ELDX 2-10 yards after hit behind the shoulder. Coyotes jut roll. The 129 ABLR was about the same. I planned to work a load of the ABLR into the creed for this season, but I found 5 boxes tucked away of the 143 ELDXs so that won't be needed. The will still stay on the shed for a later date.
     

    Imthatguywithquestions

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    Nosler 129 ABLR is a golden bullet if you can find enough to work up a load with.
    Hornady 143 ELDX is another great one.
    Berger 135 Classic Hunter & 140 Elite hunter shot great as well.

    I shot the Nosler out of the Grendel and the rest out of the Creed. I killed KY White tail and Coyotes with both. Bothe performed well and did their job. The 143 ELDX 2-10 yards after hit behind the shoulder. Coyotes jut roll. The 129 ABLR was about the same. I planned to work a load of the ABLR into the creed for this season, but I found 5 boxes tucked away of the 143 ELDXs so that won't be needed. The will still stay on the shed for a later date.
    Finding ammo you didn't know you had is one of the best feelings haha.
     
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    Superjet

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    The TGK is a designed with a "thick, tough" jacket for "outstanding penetration and controlled expansion." I'm not surprised it struggled some with a launch velocity of 2700 on a relatively light weight/skinned animal.

    Source for the quotes:

    Agreed. It does have a pronghorn on the box and states “handles deer with ease.”

    I shot my buck at 100 yards last year. While my mv is a little slow due to the short barrel, impact velocity is basically the same as a hotter caliber making a 600 yd shot. I wish the mfg’s would give an ideal impact velocity for performance.
     
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    DJL2

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    Agreed. It does have a pronghorn on the box and states “handles deer with ease.”

    I shot my buck at 100 yards last year. While my mv is a little slow due to the short barrel, impact velocity is basically the same as a hotter caliber making a 600 yd shot. I wish the mfg’s would give an ideal impact velocity for performance.
    We've (royal we) got a really strong bias towards penetration and pretty mushrooms. Bonded, tough jacket, monolithic - all of it briefs well, looks good (if you recover the bullet). Not really ideal performance in many situations, though, if you consider factors beyond just penetration. I've never aligned to the "use a tough bullets and break both shoulders" school of thought, but I've seen it "out there" quite a bit.

    I read an observational study done years ago that concluded 2400-2700 fps was a sweet spot for emphatic terminal performance without excessive meat damage using a variety of bullet types. Obviously, some bullets are effective to much lower velocities, some produce desirable performance at higher velocities... that was just an area where a lot of different designs performed well IF the bullet weight (sectional density) was matched to game weight. I would love to find that again as a reference.
     
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