Looking for feedback from Africa hunters with experience using 6.5mm cartridges

MrCreedmoor

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I have no doubt a well placed shot from a 6.5 CM will kill. I personally have killed 3 whitetail deer with 1 shot each. I used quality ammo from Hornady (superformance 129 gn SST and precision hunter 143 gn ELD-X). The one problem I encountered was: no pass through, no blood trail on 2 of the 3 kills. The 129 gn SST shot through the front shoulder and had zero blood trail on top of fresh white snow. One of the 143 gn ELD-X went through only the rib cage with no pass through and no blood trail. The last shot with a 143 gn ELD-X went through the front shoulder and did pass all the way through and had a great blood trail. All 3 animals ran less than 100 yards and died quickly. Because in Africa you hit an animal, you bought it, I would prefer to hunt with a 7mm mag. Make it easier to track down the animal. Anyone else have similar issues with lack of blood trail?
 

shark_za

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Your assumption my advocating AMax for hunting is simply yours and without merit. My reference to Premium bullets should have been a tip off...A Max are not premium bullets, my statement was an allusion to confidence of your own ability and that of your firearm before you attempt those less than ideal, whether caliber, range or size of animal in real life hunting situations with bullets designed for the task at hand. I have seen and not personally used but witnessed the devastating Meat destroying damage a Hornady AMax will due to a Wyoming antelope at 200 yds. Exit the size of a baseball, internal mush. This was with a 22 250, 75 grain bullet.
Again you make this sound like qood performance.
This will not work on anything bigger than Springbok, maybe Impala with perfect placement.
 

Luederitz

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Try and argue that with a SA Official. Good Luck!
Easy solution: use more gun ;-)

Honestly, we pay a lot of money for a hunting trip and then we discuss about using the legal minimum? I believe the recommendation to use the biggest caliber you can handle is the correct approach for a safari.
 

samu

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Gently steering this thread back on track. Any thoughts on this? Shot placement is quite ideal but how fast the animal died and how far it went isn't shown.
 

Shootist43

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Most of the animals I've taken with my 6.5 X 55 Swedish Mauser (primarily White Tailed Deer and Hogs) were DRT(s.) I did have to track one deer for about a hundred yards. It was fairly easy though, the blood trail looked like someone was sloshing red paint out of a bucket. My preferred shot with this caliber is on animals that weigh less than 250 Lbs. taken at under 150 yds. Deep penetration is one of the key features of 6.5 caliber bullets, but still there are limitations.
 

Areaonereal

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Shark-za...well when a bullet blows a baseball size hole thru a Pronghorn at 200 yds and it is DRT..tell me it was not good performance...meat damage..Yes, would I use it ...no...but the Hornady AMax has been used for deer and antelope with terminal success many times in the USA. Certainly not my choice for here or in Africa, but a very accurate bullet in many calibers and as such was used as a hunting bullet. My earlier post referring to using the AMax in a 6.5x47 L was referencing its accuracy potential in regards to confidence in one’s shooting ability and what your personal limitations should be, whether it was a 123 gr AMax, 123 gr Sierra MK, 130 gr Berger Match VLD, etc, reinforcing the ability of the shooter and the firearm to use the 6.5 for game at the upper limits of the shooters ability, and Not referencing or endorsing the use of a specific bullet designed for target use. Your dogma regarding that the A Max will not work on anything larger than a Springbok or possibly an Impala,,.... what has been your experience with A Max failures. Again I am Not advocating its use, just curious what your experience has been with the AMax. Many Deer, antelope, hogs, and other medium size game are taken here in the US with every type of bullet imaginable, including match grade HP, my choice..Not...but it happens. Sierra makes a 6 mm, 85 grain HP Game King, a tough bullet for medium size game and extreme accurate used by many in hand loaded ammo. Do not take my mention of a specific bullet as an endorsement or encouragement for its use, but when I do endorse or encourage use of a specific bullet it will be obviously plain, simple and to the point without any doubt of my intentions.
 

MS 9x56

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Just one mans opinion but if I were going to take a 6.5 to Africa I would load the bullet that makes its reputation before the First World War, the long for caliber 160 grain round nose. If it penetrated elephant skulls for Bell it should penetrate enough for any plains game species. But that said a 6.5 would not be my first or fifth choice. Good hunting.
 

shark_za

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Shark-za...well when a bullet blows a baseball size hole thru a Pronghorn at 200 yds and it is DRT..tell me it was not good performance...meat damage..Yes, would I use it ...no...but the Hornady AMax has been used for deer and antelope with terminal success many times in the USA. Certainly not my choice for here or in Africa, but a very accurate bullet in many calibers and as such was used as a hunting bullet. My earlier post referring to using the AMax in a 6.5x47 L was referencing its accuracy potential in regards to confidence in one’s shooting ability and what your personal limitations should be, whether it was a 123 gr AMax, 123 gr Sierra MK, 130 gr Berger Match VLD, etc, reinforcing the ability of the shooter and the firearm to use the 6.5 for game at the upper limits of the shooters ability, and Not referencing or endorsing the use of a specific bullet designed for target use. Your dogma regarding that the A Max will not work on anything larger than a Springbok or possibly an Impala,,.... what has been your experience with A Max failures. Again I am Not advocating its use, just curious what your experience has been with the AMax. Many Deer, antelope, hogs, and other medium size game are taken here in the US with every type of bullet imaginable, including match grade HP, my choice..Not...but it happens. Sierra makes a 6 mm, 85 grain HP Game King, a tough bullet for medium size game and extreme accurate used by many in hand loaded ammo. Do not take my mention of a specific bullet as an endorsement or encouragement for its use, but when I do endorse or encourage use of a specific bullet it will be obviously plain, simple and to the point without any doubt of my intentions.
Noted, we are all talking about recommendations here, they have to be quite sure and certain as you cannot judge a persons capabilities.
I know a farmer who wanted to stop people using 6.5CM on his hunting farm because some hunters left some game running around on three legs this year. Use of the 6.5CM has exploded (pun intended) and people are getting confused with advice and taking A-Max and Ballistic Tips short range hunting with bad outcomes.
I love the soft Sierra Game King 140gr but will only shoot smaller plains game like Springbok and Blesbuck with it. I shot a kudu in the shoulder and lucky it was quite hurt and I could get another into it quite quickly to end that disaster.
I dont think a game king is a good hunting bullet so A Max, ELD-X and Bergers are all lumped well below even that.

6.5 in Africa (6.5x55), I have used Rhino Solid Shank 140gr, Norma Oryx 156gr, even Nosler Partition 140gr as the small rear core does go deep enough once it sheds the front.
I have even used 140gr Hornady Interlock and never had a failure on small to medium game apart from the Sierra GK.
 

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