And then this happened...

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by jduckhunter, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    So let me start at the beginning, a few weeks ago I won a Ruger American rifle in the caliber of my choice. A good deal, but unfortunately all of the calibers they come in I either have, had or just didn't want. So I struck a deal with the gun shop owner that was supplying the guns. I could choose whatever gun I wanted and just pay the difference in price. So being the Ruger guy that I am I decided on the Ruger Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor combo, which comes with a Vortex Crossfire 4x12 scope factory mounted, and the Predator has the barrel already threaded for my suppressor. The deal cost me $146, I couldn't buy the scope for that. I picked it up at his shop as soon as I got back from my WY hunting trip and have been working on a load for it almost every day since, that is until yesterday. Before my trip I ordered new brass, small rifle primers and some fancy, bonded, tipped, low drag, 130 gr. bullets. I was determined to make them work and they were going to be my go to hunting bullets for this gun. Well after hours and hours spent at the bench with 5 different powders, 2 different sets of dies, several different seating depths, 2 different primers and 3 trips to the range, I was still no where near what I would call a group with these bullets. Yesterday after spending some time online chatting with people that have some experience with this cartridge I decided that enough was enough. I gave up on the 130gr. wonders and borrowed some bullets from my sons side of the reloading bench. I say borrowed cause that's what he calls it when he takes my stuff. I rather hurriedly put together several 140 gr. Hornady Interlock loads and several 143 gr. Hornady ELDX loads and off to the range I went in the mid day sun. At 100 yards the Interlocks grouped right around an inch, I was pretty happy. Then this happened... that's 3 shots with the 143 gr ELDX bullets. There was one other club member there using the range with me, a slightly younger man and a relatively new member of the club, upon seeing the group that I just shot he offered to buy the gun from me on the spot. Had he offered a little sooner I'm pretty sure it would have been his. But for now I'm thinking that's the best $146 I've spent for a gun in quite a while. So I guess unless something changes it looks like the 143 gr. bullets will me my go to hunting bullets for this gun.

    P_20171019_114354_NT.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2017
    ZG47, MAdcox, ve7poi and 7 others like this.

  2. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Very NICE !
     

  3. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Don't you love it when a plan comes together?

    Even when it didn't start out as a plan!
     
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  4. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Waiting for someone to come along and tell you it's not in the bull's-eye, LOL !!

    You'll be saving that group!
     

  5. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    I too am waiting for that, but I bet I could get it in the bull pretty quick. lol Your right, target will be hanging on the wall for a while.
     
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  6. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Fanatic

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    I am sure you know this, but your rifle will decide which bullets/powder/primer combination it likes. Have you shot any factory ammo through it yet?
     

  7. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    That’s a keeper target for sure I have 1 from my 35 Whelen it’s two shots first from the bench second off hand never do that again. Your rifle will pick it’s components, sometimes what you want sometimes what it wants.
    I had a 30-06 that loved 180 grain round noses didn’t matter what brand couldn’t get much under 2” with anything else.
    Great shooting
    Shawn
     
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  8. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    No I can't remember the last time I shot factory ammo
     

  9. Art Lambart II

    Art Lambart II AH Fanatic

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    He thankful your son is a Hornady fan.
     
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  10. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    Very impressive! Looks like a winner to me.
     

  11. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    Now that’s what I call a good group.
     

  12. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Very nice. It is such a relief to find a good combo. Had a 25-06 that I worked with over the course of 10 yrs and finally found a combo that gave me 1/2 MOA groups. Congrats on figuring it out. Bruce
     

  13. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Funny how a rifle can just absolutely hate one bullet and love another, well done @jduckhunter!
     

  14. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    That's a good group. What is the maximum distance you will shoot? If longer than 100, I would see what it does at 400 and beyond. Sometimes a good group at 100 doesn't repeat at a longer distance. As others have posted, let your barrel tell you what bullet/powder/primer combo to use.
     
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  15. Amado

    Amado AH Senior Member

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    Fantastic. I don't think I could have done better if I walked up and slammed them in by hand.
     

  16. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Outstanding performance!
     

  17. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    When I shoot at critters I try to keep my shots under 400 yds. The longest range my club has is 300 yds. So I figure if it works at 300 it should work at 400. I do most of my hunting in the west so I tend to shoot my guns in for 250 yds. that way I don't have to hold so high at 400 or so.
     

  18. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Congratulations. The 6.5(s) shoot very well. I use a 6.5 x 55 Swedish as my go to rifle for deer and hogs. I load 46.5 Gr of H4350 and use 140 gr. bullets. My avg. velocity is 2775 FPS, maybe not quite as high as yours but close. My group sizes are similar to yours i.e. under 1" . All in all not bad for a 120 year old rifle. But after seeing the group you got with the those 143 Gr. ELDX I'm going to have to give them a try. Thanks for sharing.
     

  19. cagkt3

    cagkt3 PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    That ELD-X is a fantastic choice - it's what I shoot. I have the Hawkeye Predator and it will put those 143gr on target all day long. So far it has taken several hogs and an axis deer. It will get some whitetail action once rifle season opens
     

  20. zephyr

    zephyr AH Enthusiast

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