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6.5-06 is it an ok caliber for africa and help with bullet choice

This is a discussion on 6.5-06 is it an ok caliber for africa and help with bullet choice within the Up To .375 forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; I just had a 6.5-06 custom rifle commissioned and want to take it on my safari. is it a capable ...

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    Biggdawg's Avatar
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    Default 6.5-06 is it an ok caliber for africa and help with bullet choice

    I just had a 6.5-06 custom rifle commissioned and want to take it on my safari.

    is it a capable caliber for namibia game?

    What bullet/weights woudl be good to use, i was thinking barnes 130 ttsx or the 127 lrx, nosler accubond 130 or 140 or maybe the hornady gmx.

    any and all input would be appreciated.

    i will also be taking a 300 win mag. i would just like to take a few with my first custom rifle and i love wildcat rounds. I like to be different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggdawg View Post
    I just had a 6.5-06 custom rifle commissioned and want to take it on my safari.

    is it a capable caliber for namibia game?

    What bullet/weights woudl be good to use, i was thinking barnes 130 ttsx or the 127 lrx, nosler accubond 130 or 140 or maybe the hornady gmx.

    any and all input would be appreciated.

    i will also be taking a 300 win mag. i would just like to take a few with my first custom rifle and i love wildcat rounds. I like to be different.
    I'd say you have a great two gun combination there. If Eland, Zebra, Kudu and/or Waterbuck are on your list, use the .300WM. In just about the rest of the PG species your 6.5 will work fine IMO.
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    thanks,

    yes Kudu is number one on my list along with Gemsbuk, impala and the rest.

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    I used 140 gr 7mm Accubonds once in Namibia and will not use them again. Didn't penetrate the shoulder of a gemsbuck. The others I think would be fine Shot placement is paramount. Learn the vital areas of the game by looking on this forum for shot placement on African game.
    IF YOU GO ONCE-YOU WILL GO AGAIN-DEAL WITH IT

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    Quote Originally Posted by PHOENIX PHIL View Post
    I'd say you have a great two gun combination there. If Eland, Zebra, Kudu and/or Waterbuck are on your list, use the .300WM. In just about the rest of the PG species your 6.5 will work fine IMO.
    I agree with you!

    Wildebeest can be tough unless you take a broadside shot to the lungs too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post
    I used 140 gr 7mm Accubonds once in Namibia and will not use them again. Didn't penetrate the shoulder of a gemsbuck. The others I think would be fine Shot placement is paramount. Learn the vital areas of the game by looking on this forum for shot placement on African game.
    Thanks Cliffy,

    The Gentleman that i am going with gave me the video and small guide on shot placement and i have been studying it.
    I will skip the accubonds then and stick with the lead free stuff. my try the nosler etip if i can find them.

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    Put a triple shock in it and kill any plains game you feel like with it. 6.5 Swedish works on all sorts of animals, the 6.5-06 is very similar, with a bit more velocity. As long as the bullet holds together it will do all the Swede will do and then some.

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    mlg
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    130gn TSX would be a great bullet in the 6.5/06 for the game you mentioned! They are one of the best hunting bullets available today.

    The 130gn is a long projectile and penetration will be superb.

    You could leave your 300 win mag at home IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlg View Post
    130gn TSX would be a great bullet in the 6.5/06 for the game you mentioned! They are one of the best hunting bullets available today.

    The 130gn is a long projectile and penetration will be superb.

    You could leave your 300 win mag at home IMO.
    Thank you

    your not the only one to say that but i can't go with just one gun

    i found some 130 tsx's and have some on order to try along with the berger 140 hunting vld and 140 accubonds. need to see what the gun likes also -- also found the 127 lrx barnes to try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggdawg View Post
    Thank you

    your not the only one to say that but i can't go with just one gun

    i found some 130 tsx's and have some on order to try along with the berger 140 hunting vld and 140 accubonds. need to see what the gun likes also -- also found the 127 lrx barnes to try.
    It seems you're a hand loader. You may want to give the A-Frames and North Fork bullets a go. My son killed an Eland with his .308 Win using 165gr North Forks this past summer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHOENIX PHIL View Post
    It seems you're a hand loader. You may want to give the A-Frames and North Fork bullets a go. My son killed an Eland with his .308 Win using 165gr North Forks this past summer.
    Yes i am big into hand loading, I don't buy factory rounds unless last resort. I also have quite a few wildcats.

    I will look into the A-Frames and North forks for their availability. I want the best bullet that shoots good in the gun.

    thanks for the info.

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    If you use the Berger's be sure and do NOT shoot on the shoulder. Hit them behind the shoulder! I used a 6.5-06 last year on my Bighorn ram, deer and antelope. Sheep in one shot that was too far back. Antelope at 325 yards. 1shot kill. My deer stretched it out to 563 yards. Took 2 shots on him. First was a little far back, but he just stood there.
    For Africa I'd probably prefer to use the TTSX. They will do a good job when shot on the shoulder. Good luck. Bruce

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    Quote Originally Posted by gillettehunter View Post
    If you use the Berger's be sure and do NOT shoot on the shoulder. Hit them behind the shoulder! I used a 6.5-06 last year on my Bighorn ram, deer and antelope. Sheep in one shot that was too far back. Antelope at 325 yards. 1shot kill. My deer stretched it out to 563 yards. Took 2 shots on him. First was a little far back, but he just stood there.
    For Africa I'd probably prefer to use the TTSX. They will do a good job when shot on the shoulder. Good luck. Bruce

    Thank you for the feedback, I am only trying the bergers because my smith -- also the guy that is taking me with him on the trip likes them. I have done research and have found what you said. you need to be more precise and hit the right spot. I want something more forgiving since this is my first big game hunt.

    I am really leaning toward the bergers if they shoot good. i can't find any of the 130ttsx so i got the 127 long range instead.

    thanks again and i know i will have fun. and all the luck is welcome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggdawg View Post
    Yes i am big into hand loading, I don't buy factory rounds unless last resort. I also have quite a few wildcats.

    I will look into the A-Frames and North forks for their availability. I want the best bullet that shoots good in the gun.

    thanks for the info.
    I don't think you'll have a problem finding either. One thing about the North Forks is the diameter of the bullets matches the diameter, not slightly less like some bullets. As such I found they were sensitive to the concentricity of the necks. Every 3 to 4 shots there would be a flier. Not awful, but enough to screw up a nice group.

    I spoke to NF about this and they recommended better brass or to turn my necks. I chose the lazy route and bought Lapua brass for my son's .308 and Norma for my .300WM. That was the trick, groups tightened right up.

    The NF's like the A-Frames are bonded core bullets. Weight retention ran about 95% in the North Forks. The North Forks are a bit pricy, but in comparison to the overall cost of a trip to Africa, it's easily worth it in my opinion.

    Good luck!
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    My son did a 5th grade science project comparing 243 bullet performance (shot into a wax/vaseline mix). The Berger was fairly frangible, creating a spectacular but relatively shallow cavity. The Barnes created a nearly cylindrical cavity with the deepest overall penetration. The partition was in between with penetration Berger<Partition<Barnes and initial cavity size Berger>Partition>Barnes. I can't remember what the fourth bullet was, but it behaved similarly to the Partition.

    Probably helpful information for next time you hunt a wax/vaseline block. I'd use the Berger on the travel size blocks and the Barnes on the Costco sized blocks, but that is just me.

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    i miss typed in the post above. i am leaning toward the Barnes and now a frame and north folk.

    i don't want the fragmenting bullets i want penetration. i will test the bergers to make my smith happy but i am a bit more anal when it comes to my loads.

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    Looks like Sportsmans Warehouse has the 120 gr TTSX in stock. When you reload them bear in mind that they like to jump some to the lands. Try 50 thousanths off. May be as much as 150 off of the lands or more.
    With the Bergers, they often like to be touching the lands. Bergers can be a bit touchy to reload. Seating depth differences of 10 thou off the lands can change the group from 2 inches to 1/2 inch. Reloading help with the Bergers can be found on their website, I believe. On the Bergers ALWAYS use the HEAVIEST for caliber bullet that they make. For your 6.5 that is the 140 gr. Helps with penetration which is what they lack. Also will have the highest BC for flatter shooting if you ever do any long range shooting. Good luck. Bruce

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    I think you are making the right choice with the Barnes.

    I don't know if your smith is a hunter and if so whether he has much experience beyond whitetails. A lot of gunsmiths put accuracy above all else, which may be why he favors Bergers. They are more than tough enough to punch paper!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gillettehunter View Post
    Looks like Sportsmans Warehouse has the 120 gr TTSX in stock. When you reload them bear in mind that they like to jump some to the lands. Try 50 thousanths off. May be as much as 150 off of the lands or more.
    With the Bergers, they often like to be touching the lands. Bergers can be a bit touchy to reload. Seating depth differences of 10 thou off the lands can change the group from 2 inches to 1/2 inch. Reloading help with the Bergers can be found on their website, I believe. On the Bergers ALWAYS use the HEAVIEST for caliber bullet that they make. For your 6.5 that is the 140 gr. Helps with penetration which is what they lack. Also will have the highest BC for flatter shooting if you ever do any long range shooting. Good luck. Bruce
    Would the 120 be good or would the 130's be better? i did order 150 of the 127 lrx barnes they are supposed to be good for longer ranges. I am told the average shot i will be taking will be 250 - 300 yards out to 4-500 sometimes.

    I really appreciate all the info. i had read on barnes's site to run .050 of the lands and it is good to know i may have to bump back further, i always start with the suggested depth do my development then i start playing with seating depth

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    Stay far away from the berger bullets!

    My daughter used a 257Roberts and 120gr A-Frames and killed everything with one shot at ranges from 135 to 400(with rangefinder) yards. She took Kudu,Warthog, Zebra, Red hartebeest, (2)impala and other animals.

    I used a 338Win mag with 225gr A-Frames with same results on Waterbuck, Gemsbuck, warthog, Blesbuck, Springbuck,Impala(2), Blue Wildebeest(2),Kudu, and others.

    I took a 30-06 with 150gr TTSX bullets but never used it.

    I would use 140gr(or 120gr if you like) A-Frame bullets in your 6.5-06 or the TTSX (Not TSX) and you will be happy with the results. I would also use the 165gr A-Frame (or 150gr TTSX) in your 300 mag. You can take any of the animals with the 6.5-06 so do not worry.

    My PH had great advise. Shoot so you hit a shoulder and forget the placement os the book when it does not include hitting one or both shoulders. IF you need to track the animal it is easier then.

    If I get to go back I plan to take my new custom 264Win mag with A-Frame bullets. They just plain work. They are like Nosler Partitions on steriods.

    If you would like to talk or compare noters etc feel free to PM me. I did 3 years of research before booking my hunt and 1+ year of load testing and it paid off. Had the best trip with the outfit/PH/Owner which was perfect for me and my daughter. It was all spot and stalk on owner/outfitter/PH owned land which was huge and no internal fencing.

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