Hunting & Fishing  What 6.5 bullet for hunting?

Jmccracken1214

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  • Dec 10, 2018
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    I have 1 box of each of these, and whichever would be best, might trade the others off for more.
    I have :
    130 eldm
    140 eldm
    140 berger hybrid
    143 eldx
    147 eldm

    I’m assuming the 143’s but have read a lot of people using the M’s for hunting with good results.

    will be used for white tail
     

    diggler1833

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  • Jul 22, 2007
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    My vote would be for the 143s as well. I have a buddy that used the 6.5/ELD-Ms a lot on hogs. They worked very well most of the time, but offer just enough inconsistency to keep me from trusting a shot on a 'once in a lifetime' trophy.

    Not that I don't think a good shot could be trusted to be lethal with the ELD-M...Just that every additional yard they run with the crazy undergrowth around here increases your chances of losing a hit animal. Painting the brush behind your quarry is the best insurance to leaving a trail that is trackable, so most people around here avoid match bullets that may come apart too much or just poke a piece of core through the opposite side with minimal external blood loss.

    My go to load for this season is going to be a 7mm RM pushing a 150gr ELD-X at an easy 3,040 FPS...It's where the accuracy is, and I won't see a shot opportunity past 450 anyway.
     
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    Simonsza1

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    I use the 143eldx with great results and even better results with the Barnes 127lrx if you ever come across any.
     
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    Jigstick

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    What are you hunting? If it’s big game I’d be looking at some Barnes Triple Shocks, Sierra Game Changers, Nosler Accubonds. I’ve had disappointing blood trails on white tail with the Berger Hunting bullets but never lost a deer. If you’re talking elk, sheep, moose, deer, etc I’d certainly pick a bullet that’s going to stay together and mushroom well.
     

    hafejd30

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    What are you hunting? If it’s big game I’d be looking at some Barnes Triple Shocks, Sierra Game Changers, Nosler Accubonds. I’ve had disappointing blood trails on white tail with the Berger Hunting bullets but never lost a deer. If you’re talking elk, sheep, moose, deer, etc I’d certainly pick a bullet that’s going to stay together and mushroom well.
    Stated whitetail at bottom of original post
     

    Jigstick

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  • Jul 21, 2017
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    Gotcha. Like I said I had horrible blood trails using 140 Berger’s out of my 6.5x47. Lungs and hearts torn to pieces but just terrible blood trails. I switched to Barnes and Sierra game changers and I’m much happier.
     

    Kbh

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    I use hunting bullets for hunting. For whitetail in a 6.5, nosler accubonds work well. For anything bigger Barnes triple shocks or nosler partirions
     

    KnowNothing256

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    Hammer Bullets are also very well reputed; pricier than Barnes, but some get noticeably better accuracy. Remember to load for speed with the nonleads, they need about 2000 FPS to open up, and that can limit range significantly.
     
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    Jigstick

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  • Jul 21, 2017
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    The Hornady 140 Amax were deadly on white tail. Massive blood. But they would explode and ruin a lot of meat. I agree...hunting bullets for hunting. The Berger hunting line needs some tweaking if you ask me. Over 20 white tail killed in two years and they just didn’t hold together.
     

    Crews

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    Field reports on terminal performance are so subjective, they are the root cause of many myths.

    I’ve killed a lot of deer with ELD-M’s. There’s a very strong correlation between terminal performance and proper shot placement. SO, shoot the bullet you can afford to practice with, and do so as much as you can. 130’s may make sense if you’ve got a shorter barrel.

    One more note, in most of the rifles I’ve had, the 140 ELD-M and 143 ELD-X have had the same zero, and dope has been very close to identical out to 600ish yards (way farther than most people have any business shooting at an animal.) Check it for yourself, but you should be able to swap between those two pretty easily depending on range/hunting. This is with Hornady box ammo, if you’re loading it still may apply.
     
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    Whiplash6.5

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    Not on your list but I have been hunting/target shooting with 130gr Sierra game changers. Great accuracy out to 1k of my 18.5” creedmoor and I’m really happy with terminal ballistics on white tail at hunting distance.
     

    Westernhntr

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    I used 147's to kill a bunch of deer and a few elk personally I was not impressed at all.
    Very shallow wounds with shrapnel thrown everywhere.
    The last bull I shot behind the shoulder at 375 yards, it made a softball sized entry wound with about 3" of penetration.
    He bled out cuz it was a perfect hit but damn .. coulda been bad.
    I'd use the eldx or 140 berger, if meat contamination is a concern then I'd use none of the above and go with a mono or partition
     

    eddie102870

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    i found some remington core-lokt's i use with my 6.5 cm. a lot better blood trails than the hornady bullets. i have some bergers to try this coming season
     
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    diggler1833

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  • Jul 22, 2007
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    Field reports on terminal performance are so subjective, they are the root cause of many myths.

    This right here X100. I've got to the point now where I take every terminal performance story with a grain of salt UNLESS there are accompanying photos and especially videos. What those allow me to do is analyze bullet performance as it relates to shot placement.

    As a hog hunting enthusist, there are numerous examples on YouTube of dudes putting poor shots on a hog and then blaming the bullet. Same goes for deer. Very hard to adequately predict what your experience will be using the exact same equipment when some Annie Oakley blasts an animal in the liver and then has to track forever. At least with a photo - or especially video - I can instantly reference where the true failure occurred.
     

    sboone

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    For white tail Id look at lighter bullets moving faster. 120-130 class, get em moving good and fast, and use a hunting bullet designed for the application, not a match bullet for edible game. Had this been a "I need to take care of some pests" scenario Id say F it, load em all up and give er hell. A guy I work with in MO has seem to find out that generally, with white tail specifically, unless it is just a monster, the heavier bullets seem to poke through them and dont want to transfer the energy, not much goin on inside. The lighter bullets will hit fast, blow up a little better and cause the internal damage to lungs better more often than not. He is a fan of the barnes bullets.
     

    wade2big

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    140gr and 147gr eldm perform well on game. I kill several hogs and 5-6 deer every year. Last year I used 140gr eldm and 147gr eldm the three years before that. These bullets expand like soft points to as far as the 365yds that I used them at. Even close up they hold together fairly well. This is my goto bullet. The hornady 129gr interlock does the trick as well. My son has killed several deer with these.

    This is the exit wound on a doe shot at about 150 yards with a 140gr eldm factory load. Perfect expansion. Shoot all your animals in this spot and they will never take a step.

    5AE25674-890B-424D-963F-469307B5982C.jpeg
     

    Westernhntr

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    Last year I used 140gr eldm and 147gr eldm the three years before that. These bullets expand like soft points to as far as the 365yds that I used them at. Even close up they hold together fairly well.
    I'm curious what your muzzle velocity is with the eldms?
    This does not mimic what I've seen with the 147's at all, these things come apart much more rapidly than bergers when sent at 3050.
    I had two really bad splash wounds out of 6 kills inside 400 yards.
    Sorry no pictures so I guess it didn't happen🙄
     
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    wade2big

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    I'm curious what your muzzle velocity is with the eldms?
    This does not mimic what I've seen with the 147's at all, these things come apart much more rapidly than bergers when sent at 3050.
    I had two really bad splash wounds out of 6 kills inside 400 yards.
    Sorry no pictures so I guess it didn't happen🙄
    The photo above is a 140eldm at 2700 out of the muzzle. The 147eldm were shot out of a factory 24” tikka ctr at 2650 fps. Everything I shot with either looked like what that photo shows. I would wager yours were coming apart because of the higher impact speeds. They work exceptionally well when at moderate speeds. Something to keep in mind if considering them.
     

    Westernhntr

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    The photo above is a 140eldm at 2700 out of the muzzle. The 147eldm were shot out of a factory 24” tikka ctr at 2650 fps. Everything I shot with either looked like what that photo shows. I would wager yours were coming apart because of the higher impact speeds. They work exceptionally well when at moderate speeds. Something to keep in mind if considering them.
    Gotcha that makes sense those are pretty low velocities
     

    KnowNothing256

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    Well, they’re pretty standard for 6.5 CM, at least for one that isn’t being hot-rodded. If you’re shooting 6.5 PRC, then ok yeah, those will look slow.

    His comment about slowing them down so they don’t explode is a big reason why I tend towards copper bullets for hunting. What’re you gonna do if an animal rolls up on you at 50 yds? You’re not gonna wait til it gets far enough away for your bullet to slow down. Plus, Barnes bullets at least almost always pass through, leaving a happy blood trail to follow. Hammers don’t do that quite as effectively I think, but they won’t blow up on a shoulder.
     

    Simonsza1

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    Well, they’re pretty standard for 6.5 CM, at least for one that isn’t being hot-rodded. If you’re shooting 6.5 PRC, then ok yeah, those will look slow.

    His comment about slowing them down so they don’t explode is a big reason why I tend towards copper bullets for hunting. What’re you gonna do if an animal rolls up on you at 50 yds? You’re not gonna wait til it gets far enough away for your bullet to slow down. Plus, Barnes bullets at least almost always pass through, leaving a happy blood trail to follow. Hammers don’t do that quite as effectively I think, but they won’t blow up on a shoulder.
    I agree here, Barnes are where it’s at! Put it in the right spot and they all work. Barnes though are just out right hammers on game
     

    Dr. Davy Jones

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    The photo above is a 140eldm at 2700 out of the muzzle. The 147eldm were shot out of a factory 24” tikka ctr at 2650 fps. Everything I shot with either looked like what that photo shows. I would wager yours were coming apart because of the higher impact speeds. They work exceptionally well when at moderate speeds. Something to keep in mind if considering them.
    FWIW I’ve also heard the same from folks I know. ELD-Ms work great if the velocities aren’t scorching and placement is true. They make sense for people out west where shots are taken further away. Personally I use 140 gr Nosler Ballistic Tips as ranges in Maine are rarely past 150 and I don’t want to just punch through.
     

    260284

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    Here are pictures of 3 of the 4 deer I shot during our anterless season with the 130gr Norma Golden Target that Prime used to use in their 6.5 Creedmoor ammo. I load them and get 2764 fps out of an 18" Bartlein with Rl16 and Peterson brass. These were all shot at 200-225 yards. My sons have used then out of a Ruger American, a RPR and my 20" CTR barrel at 2715 fps to 2835. Always the same results, good exits, good blood trails, shots out to 400 yards.

    Had a 140 ELDM not expand on a 200+ lb buck's neck at 100 yards and had one grenade on a doe at 240 yards. Killed both deer, but wasn't impressed. A friend uses the factory 147 ELDM out of a 24" Tikka and they seem to work like the 130 Norma.

    I killed 4 deer 3 years ago with the 143 ELDX and they all came apart pretty fast. Had them moving a little over 2800 and the shots were 165, 225, 240, and 320. Had exits on all but the 165 yard shot.
    20210116_102143.jpg
    20210116_103226.jpg
    20210116_114457.jpg
    20210116_101534.jpg
    20210116_184500.jpg
    20210116_102355.jpg
     
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    Straw Hat

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    Hornady eld-x has been good to me so far. A lot of guys use the eld-m, which, I imagine would give you more shedding of weight as it is a target round.
     

    Simonsza1

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    Here are pictures of 3 of the 4 deer I shot during our anterless season with the 130gr Norma Golden Target that Prime used to use in their 6.5 Creedmoor ammo. I load them and get 2764 fps out of an 18" Bartlein with Rl16 and Peterson brass. These were all shot at 200-225 yards. My sons have used then out of a Ruger American, a RPR and my 20" CTR barrel at 2715 fps to 2835. Always the same results, good exits, good blood trails, shots out to 400 yards.

    Had a 140 ELDM not expand on a 200+ lb buck's neck at 100 yards and had one grenade on a doe at 240 yards. Killed both deer, but wasn't impressed. A friend uses the factory 147 ELDM out of a 24" Tikka and they seem to work like the 130 Norma.

    I killed 4 deer 3 years ago with the 143 ELDX and they all came apart pretty fast. Had them moving a little over 2800 and the shots were 165, 225, 240, and 320. Had exits on all but the 165 yard shot.View attachment 7619370View attachment 7619372View attachment 7619373View attachment 7619377View attachment 7619399
    you don’t mind me asking, what’s your load with the 130s that’s getting you almost 2,800fps out of the 18”? Thanks
     

    260284

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    If

    you don’t mind me asking, what’s your load with the 130s that’s getting you almost 2,800fps out of the 18”? Thanks
    I will have to look to be sure, but somewhere around 42gr of Rl16, Peterson SRP brass, and CCI450s. This Bartlein has been a fast barrel from the start. I ran it at 24" for 1200 rounds and was getting 2835 fps with the 143 ELDX and 140 ELDM before I cut it down to 18". Getting 2715 fps with the 143 ELDX at 18" with the same load, 41.4 gr of Rl16. Shot two 80-100 lb hogs last spring with the 143 ELDX and had no exit at 80 yards. They dropped in their tracks.
     
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    Simonsza1

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    Thanks, ya the rl16 is fast also so that helps. I have a 18” krieger and loaded up some 140 Barnes match burners hoping to make power factor for the nrl hunters challenge match but couldn’t get past 2,640 give or take a few FPS without pressure signs using h4350. I didn’t even try with the 130eldm which is what I load for my match gun knowing I would never make it. Ended up not using that 18” rifle but really wanted to. Rules are rules but using my actual hunting rifle for a hunters challenge would have been cool.
     

    260284

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    Thanks, ya the rl16 is fast also so that helps. I have a 18” krieger and loaded up some 140 Barnes match burners hoping to make power factor for the nrl hunters challenge match but couldn’t get past 2,640 give or take a few FPS without pressure signs using h4350. I didn’t even try with the 130eldm which is what I load for my match gun knowing I would never make it. Ended up not using that 18” rifle but really wanted to. Rules are rules but using my actual hunting rifle for a hunters challenge would have been cool.
    I have a heavy 28" heavy palma Bartlein in 6.5 Creed that I was going to use for the Hornady Steel Challenge in Colorado last August. I hurt my shoulder and sold my spot. I had the 135 A-Tips running 2845 fps with 41.4grs of Rl16. I was a few ounces under 16lbs with a sling, brake, bipod, and Tikka CTR bottom metal. Pretty much the same setup as the rifle pictured without the suppressor. I need to find another NRL Hunter match to shoot next year if I am healed up.
    20210116_133030.jpg
     

    Painless300

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    I know the 156 EOL Berger is not on your list but had very good results both close in shots as well as 390 yds, which is as far as I have taken whitetail so far. I pushing them at 2930 out of a 22" PRC and the close shot at 50 yards results looked just like the longer shot. Both behind the shoulder quartering away, both passthrough with large wound channel and exist hole. Both only ran 10-15 yards. This combo is like a lightning bolt hit them.
    But we are talking whitetail so pretty much any bullet in the 6.5 category is going to be deadly. Ive shot many with my 12.5 grendel with 123g SST and only pushing them at 2380 and have had no issues, just not as much internal damage and they run just a little further!
    Just pick what shoots the most accurate and go with it.
     
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    GONE BAD

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    Okay,
    BERGER 140 VLD -H
    I witnessed a lot of deer and elk that have been killed in our camp with bergers so I started shooting them.
    So far for me 1 bull at 300 yds, 1 bull at 690 yds , 1 deer at 410. All 1 shot kills.
    Oh, I forgot the cougar at 180!
    No exit but if they're drt who needs it, and yes the jacket is the only thing you'll usually find .
    The cougar was with a 260 the rest were with a 6.5-284.
    I've killed a lot of deer and elk with other calibers and bullets but the burgers (to me) are impressive. Just sayin.

    This year I might use my straight 284?
    Or my 6.5-284 Norma with a brand new barrel running 140 vlds
    Or my brand new 300WM with a 200 class burger.

    Oh and I gave my 260 to my grandson and at 13 years old, killed his 1st bull at 408 yds with my hands loads and 140 burgers. 1 shot!😊
     
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    NFAJohn

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    I'm new to the .264 for hunting, had previously run either a 300wm or a 308, but the little 6.5CM has been an efficient rifle. My wife shot this south Texas buck at a shade over 175 with a 135gr berger classic hunter. She shot him right in the pocket and he took about 8 wobbly steps and was done for. The following day she shot two does with similar results. The internal damage was massive, but blood trails were a little light, but they didn't go far...I'll continue to use them this year, but will be trying the 130 sierra tmk or tgk if i can find the tgk again at some point.

    41.3gr rl16
    135gr berger classic hunter
    2770 from a 20" proof plus can
    IMG_0533.jpg
     

    Bart

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    I have used the x with great back to back results, and have observed the m grenade more than once....while that is a small sample, it was impactful to me:)
    Been very happy with the old, stupid, boring semi-cheap speer hotcor as well....
     
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    HogsLife

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    I have 1 box of each of these, and whichever would be best, might trade the others off for more.

    I have :
    130 eldm
    140 eldm
    140 berger hybrid
    143 eldx
    147 eldm
    140 Nosler Accubonds
    I’m assuming the 143’s but have read a lot of people using the M’s for hunting with good results.

    will be used for white tail

    127gn LRX
    143 gn ELDX
    140gn TTSX
    140gn Nosler Accubonds

    The Barnes coppers have always done real well at putting em down quickly!. I have heard people having luck with the ELDM’s. Think it’s really gonna boil down to shot placement and how tough the animal is. Elk are a whole nother level of tough. Probably wanna hit him with something that’s actually design to do damage as opposed to something designed purely for accuracy over distance .
     
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    YotaEer

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    We've had good luck with the 140 ELD-M on groundhogs, Coyotes and northern whitetails. My brother dropped a yuge bodied buck this past season at 270ish with my tikka. Had to follow up with a neck shot for ethic's sake, but he wasn't going anywhere.

    They will grenade some on sub 100 yard shots though. If you were only tree stand hunting, I'd go with something like the interlock.
     

    KnowNothing256

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    We've had good luck with the 140 ELD-M on groundhogs, Coyotes and northern whitetails. My brother dropped a yuge bodied buck this past season at 270ish with my tikka. Had to follow up with a neck shot for ethic's sake, but he wasn't going anywhere.

    They will grenade some on sub 100 yard shots though. If you were only tree stand hunting, I'd go with something like the interlock.
    The short-range blow-ups have had me considering running a single round of an all-copper bullet, prolly the 127 LRX since I have it, on top of a stack of 140 ELDM or similar. Thataway if I get an in-close snap shot it’ll be with a bullet that will hold together, and if I line up on a long-range shot I just run the bolt and chamber my LR ammo.

    The difference in zero and dope for the two rounds wouldn’t really matter for deer and bear sizes at 100, so that’s no issue either. The one hesitation I’d have is just getting too psyched on a good-looking animal and forget to dump the copper round. I’m not sold on it, I think I’d just as soon go full LRX or Hammers and not worry about it.
     
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    HogsLife

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    The short-range blow-ups have had me considering running a single round of an all-copper bullet, prolly the 127 LRX since I have it, on top of a stack of 140 ELDM or similar. Thataway if I get an in-close snap shot it’ll be with a bullet that will hold together, and if I line up on a long-range shot I just run the bolt and chamber my LR ammo.

    The difference in zero and dope for the two rounds wouldn’t really matter for deer and bear sizes at 100, so that’s no issue either. The one hesitation I’d have is just getting too psyched on a good-looking animal and forget to dump the copper round. I’m not sold on it, I think I’d just as soon go full LRX or Hammers and not worry about it.

    I’ve always had good luck with the coppers. The Barnes Match 168’s hammered out of my 308 and they do a lot of damage. At ranges you’re talking about, that’s no brainer man. Run them solids
     
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    Simonsza1

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    Totally agree! Like I’ve already stated in this thread those 127 lrx are working there magic for me.
     
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    FCS

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    Swift Scirroco has been a very effective bullet for dropping game in several calibers.