Plains Game hunt plus rifle and bullet selection

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by sgt_zim, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,124
    Video/Photo:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1,247
    Location:
    Sugar Land, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, Houston Safari Club Foundation, NWTF
    Hunted:
    Texas, Louisiana
    My first hunt is going to just be PG.

    I realize that this is the 'under 375' side of the house, but one of the rifles I want to bring is a .45-70, and the other is my brand new 6.5x55 Swedish.

    I've had terrific success with Hornady 325 FTX sitting on 51gr of RL7 against feral hogs. I've got an 1895G with the 18.5" BBL. The reason I want to bring this gun is just the challenge of hunting PG with a heavy, looping bullet. Any other bullet recommendations - the Barnes 300 solid is definitely on my RADAR, but I'm wide open to suggestions.

    My real question, though, is for my 6.5x55. I JUST got it, literally 2 weeks ago (Tikka T3 Hunter). I don't even have any glass for it yet, though I've already ordered (and received) dies, brass, and Hornady ELD-X 143 gr. Most of the published data for 6.5x55 is for the old Mausers and Krags, not for modern sporting firearms. I'm planning on starting just below Hornady's published max load, and then working my way up in 0.3 gr increments until I reach 2850 FPS, or I start seeing signs of over-pressure.

    I also want to have a go at Nosler AccuBond long range 142gr, and Berger's 140gr VLD hunter.

    Anyone have any non-sanctioned reloading experience with this cartridge?
     
    CAustin likes this.

  2. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    13,409
    Video/Photo:
    220
    Likes Received:
    9,613
    Member of:
    Courtney Hunting Club, NRA Life Member, SCI Kansas City Chapter
    Hunted:
    South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
    Sir AH member @Shootist43 is somewhat of an expert with the 6.5 and he is a re-loader. He has several 6.5 rifles. I have copied him into this thread so I would expect him to chime in at some point !
     
    rookhawk and sgt_zim like this.

  3. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,124
    Video/Photo:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1,247
    Location:
    Sugar Land, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, Houston Safari Club Foundation, NWTF
    Hunted:
    Texas, Louisiana

  4. Art Lambart II

    Art Lambart II AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Messages:
    830
    Video/Photo:
    20
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member, SCI, QDMA
    Hunted:
    MI, TX, MO, South Africa Limpopo & Northwest Provinces
    Before you decide to develop a load for the 6.5 you should decide where you'll be hunting in Africa. The 45-70 is great for the close quarters of the Limpopo bushveld but you wont need to shoot a long distance with the 6.5x55.
     

  5. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    4,826
    Video/Photo:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3,975
    Location:
    Grosse Ile, Michigan
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
    sgt_zim, I can give you the load I use, but I'd prefer that you do some reading first. Please go to Nathan Foster's website http://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase.html and check out what he has to say about the 6.5x55. Your expectation of 2850 might be a "scooch" high with 140 Gr bullets. The best I could get was 2,775 with them. There is always the fallback of using Hornady Superformance SSTs at 2730 fps. Another option is to work with someone that has a program called Quick Load on their computer. Most of the time 6.5x55's "sweet spot" is between 2750 & 2800 fps with a 24" barrel. We can communicate more fully in a PM (Private Message) What kind of PG are you going after? Are you on active duty, retired or in LE?

    Our shots in Africa ranged from 40 yds. to 220 yds. We used Nikon scopes with BDC zeroed at 100 yds. Rest assured that you will not be leaving anything on the table when using your 6.5.
     
    rookhawk and sgt_zim like this.

  6. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,124
    Video/Photo:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1,247
    Location:
    Sugar Land, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, Houston Safari Club Foundation, NWTF
    Hunted:
    Texas, Louisiana
    I'll go after whatever is available. I'd like a gemsbok and a kudu for sure, and I'd be perfectly happy shooting culls. Outside of those 2, hartebeest, nyala, springbok, black wildebeest

    Barnes Manual #3 has a 140gr xfb at 2834fps on 46 grains of RL19. The ELD-X has a significantly higher BC, and the 142 Accubond has a published BC 0f .71 (can't remember if that's 200 yards or 800 yards). My Tikka has a 22 5/8" barrel, so 2850 may be a stretch. If I can get an average of 2800-2820 with sub-MOA, I think I'll probably be happy.

    http://www.realguns.com/loads/655mmswede.htm has a couple loads just sneaking up on 2900, fired from a CZ 550 with a 20.5" barrel.

    I've looked at getting QuickLoad, just haven't pulled the trigger on it yet. Honestly, this is the only rifle I own that it would be of any use - there is so much published data for both .308 and .45-70, it hardly seems worth it for just the 6.5x55.

    I like Hornady bullets the best (that's pretty much all I shoot out of my 308 and 45-70), but they are so farging conservative on their loads, just very frustrating. Looking at the Barnes data for a 140, then at Hornady - they're publishing a top end of 2500 fps on 44.2 gr of RL19 for the 140 and 143 gr bullets. Of course, all of Hornady's 6.5x55 data is published for the old Mausers and Krags, not modern sporting arms. I did send them an email asking for a similar side-by-side for 6.5x55 after the same fashion they have SxS data for 45-70 trapdoor, Marlin 1895, and Ruger #1. The guy wrote me back and said "that's a pretty good idea. we'll look at it."

    Anyway, the Tikka can handle 58,000 CUP for 260 Rem and 6.5CM, no reason I can't run my Swede up to that level, too.

    yeah, I know, slow and steady, small increments, check for signs of over-pressure.

    last - ex-cop (Houston). I quit back in 1998. Sgt Zim is a character from the Robert Heinlein novel "Starship Troopers."
     

  7. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,124
    Video/Photo:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1,247
    Location:
    Sugar Land, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, Houston Safari Club Foundation, NWTF
    Hunted:
    Texas, Louisiana
    well rats. he didn't talk about the (new) Accubond 142 long range hunter. Looks to me like I might skip on the Berger VLD hunters all together, and try the Barnes in its place. I had thought about the Bergers after watching Matt Dubber make some fairly long shots with his 260 Rem.
     

  8. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    4,826
    Video/Photo:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3,975
    Location:
    Grosse Ile, Michigan
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
    I knew an old "black" cop from Houston that was one he__ of a pistol shooter. I think he had been on the force for almost 50 years. The name Al Tant comes to mind but I'm not sure. Those old Swedish Mausers that I love so much were proofed at 68,000 PSI 120 years ago. And yes that numbers is a conversion of the pressure measurement the Swedes used at the time.
     

  9. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,124
    Video/Photo:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1,247
    Location:
    Sugar Land, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, Houston Safari Club Foundation, NWTF
    Hunted:
    Texas, Louisiana
    @Shootist43 - here's a head-scratcher for you.

    One of my company's corporate officers runs a couple of hunting outfits up in B.C. He uses a .264 SAUM. He's got money coming out of his ears, so I guess he put some money behind this wildcat - I never even heard of it until he talked about it. The way he describes it, it sounds like it's hotter than the old 264 win mags.

    Speaking of the 264 win mag, I saw Craig Boddington take a fine-looking golden gemsbok with his. I've exchanged a few emails with him since. He seems like the real deal, nice guy who knows his business.
     

  10. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,124
    Video/Photo:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1,247
    Location:
    Sugar Land, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, Houston Safari Club Foundation, NWTF
    Hunted:
    Texas, Louisiana
    Mr Thomas (that's what we all called him) was sneaking up on 50 years when I resigned. I haven't heard of Al Tant. When Mr Thomas came on in the late 1940s, he couldn't even arrest white people.

    More racial stuff. I hit the streets in 1992. Riding with my night shift FTO, we got sent out to a dead body. It was an old black guy that just died from being old, apparently. Anyway, my FTO says "get on the radio and ask for a black body car."

    "What the AF????" sez I to myself. "George," I told him, "you aren't jacking this rookie around like that. No way am I calling for a 'black body car' in 1992."

    So he gets on the radio and asks for a black body car. Well, my jaw hit the ground so hard I had to pick up a few teeth that got knocked out from the impact, LOL. Black body cars for black people funeral homes, white body cars for white people funeral homes. In Houston, Texas. As recently as about 1995 or 1996. Here I am, 25 years later, and I'm still chuckling about that.
     

  11. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    4,826
    Video/Photo:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3,975
    Location:
    Grosse Ile, Michigan
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
    I just looked at the loads posted on RealGuns.com One of them nailed my load on the head bus was stated to be faster with a 20" barrel than my chronographed velocities with a 24" barrel. I'm skeptical!!
     
    sgt_zim likes this.

  12. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,124
    Video/Photo:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1,247
    Location:
    Sugar Land, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, Houston Safari Club Foundation, NWTF
    Hunted:
    Texas, Louisiana
    which load? the hornady sst?
     

  13. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Elite

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Messages:
    1,072
    Video/Photo:
    45
    Likes Received:
    920
    Location:
    Denair, California USA
    Member of:
    Life member NRA and NAHC Escalon Sportsmans club, Manteca sportsman club and Coalinga Rifle Club. Member of SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, RSA
    I have a lot of data for the 6.5X55 in my Tikka T-3 Lite. Both over Chrono and the targets.
    I have collected data for modern rifles as the data often is watered down for some of the early Mauser actions in much of what you see.
    I would not use the hornady bullet myself---forget about the BC you are not going to be shooting 900 yards.
    The barnes bullets are great but you need to follow 4 rules if you want them to be accurate and give proper terminal performance. You also need a lighter Barnes bullet to have it be reliable but consider that it will act like a lead core bullet 30% heavier and you can push it faster which is VERY important.
    If you pass on Barnes then the Nosler Partition or Swift A-Frame is the way to go.
    We used A-Frames in 2013 and all animals were one shot kills and little (20-80 yards) or no tracking. Shots were from 135 to 480 yards all spot and stalk.
    I am headed back to Africa in May and I will use Barnes in one rifle and A-Frames in the other.

    That Barnes bullet in the 45-70 would be killer but with it most bullets would be fine.

    Pm me with an email and I will send you my data and phone #
     

  14. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Messages:
    3,187
    Video/Photo:
    81
    Likes Received:
    2,682
    Hunted:
    Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(2) New Zealand
    The 6.5's are a great rifle in all of their forms. The bullets have a great BC and SD's. They "kill" better than what they should. I have a 6.5X06 and a 6.5X47. Fun to shoot rifles. All of the bullets you are looking at are rather "soft". Fast expansion. Many African PH's prefer a harder bullet. A regular Accubond, TTSX and Swift A-frames..... They are examples of harder bullets that may give you pass throughs. Some of your listed African animals are rather tough. Your bigger rifle may be more appropriate. Your choice. I lost an eland last yr with a 7mm..... Have always wondered if a .30 cal might have made the difference..... Bullet placement trumps everything else. Hope those thoughts help. Bruce
     
    sgt_zim likes this.

  15. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    4,826
    Video/Photo:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3,975
    Location:
    Grosse Ile, Michigan
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
    No the one using 140 Gr bullets and 4350 powder.
     

  16. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Messages:
    2,594
    Video/Photo:
    75
    Likes Received:
    2,851
    Location:
    North America
    Member of:
    NRA Life Benefactor, Trout Unlimited, Safari Club International
    Shootist43 knows much more than I do about 6.5.

    I would suggest you look up Norma and Lapua load data from Europe for the 6.5x55SE. That's hot loads for modern actions.

    For factory ammo, check our nosler brand ammo. They have a marvelous 140gr option.

    You have a wonderful caliber on your hands! Listen to shootist and he'll take you to the promised land.

    Also, look at Norma oryx bullets if you need more oomph for shots inside 200 yards. 156gr and 160s are quite effective.
     

  17. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,939
    Video/Photo:
    58
    Likes Received:
    4,144
    Location:
    Anchorage
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member.
    Hunted:
    South Africa 3 times, Namibia 2 times, USA - most western states including Alaska and Hawaii.
    Hello again sgt_zim,

    One former Flat Foot to another, not sure all PH's will welcome your 6.5 x 55 with open arms but, no doubt many will.
    It isn't that a .26 cant be a very fine antelope and swine getter (with a tough bullet, in the right place).
    But, many PH's recommend the 7x57 / 7-08, with heavy bullet, as a minimum.
    That being said, I too am fond of the 6.5x55 ballistics (especially with 160 grain bullet).
    My 6.5x55 is a CZ "550 FS" (full length stock/20" barrel).

    Generally, I favor a bit longer barrel on my rifles but, this little 6.5 is an exception.
    The factory papers indicate that it's best with 140 gr bullets but, mine is amazingly accurate with 160 gr Hornady round nose.
    Haven't tried Woodleigh 160 gr or Norma "Oryx" 156 gr however, I presume those will also shoot well.

    As per the usual PH preference toward the 7x57 and 7-08 minimum recommendation, personally I would suggest abiding within that caliber suggestion, unless discussed with your PH well in advance.
    That being said, I doubt that a 6.5 is unlawful in most, if not all of Africa for impala, wart hog and such.
    And, if you speak with whichever PH you are planning to hunt with beforehand, no doubt many would say "bring it".

    The possible roach in your beer are the largest antelopes (and zebra) when they refuse to stand perfectly broadside for you.
    An eland, zebra, waterbok or blue wildebeest, quartering toward you will make you wish you had brought a .35 Whelen / 250 gr or, 9.3x62 / 286 gr, etc., instead of any 6.5 mm.

    In regards to the .45-70, I've no experience with the bullet you mention.
    I've only used this cartridge with 405 gr Bullet at about 1300 to 1400 fps.
    And at that, I've only shot deer with it.
    However, I would not hesitate to hunt everything non-dangerous, In Africa or anywhere, from Eland to duiker, with this ammunition, out to around 200 paces, more or less.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
    Art Lambart II likes this.

  18. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,124
    Video/Photo:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1,247
    Location:
    Sugar Land, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, Houston Safari Club Foundation, NWTF
    Hunted:
    Texas, Louisiana
    @Velo Dog - most of the 300-350 gr .458 bullets are rated for large game, particularly the ones where 1900-2100 fps mv can be achieved. Some are better than others, but that's the way they all are. And I have lots of time to play around with the 6.5 loads. It will be probably a couple years before I go to Africa, and if the opportunity presents for moose or caribou before then, well, it would be a tough call on spending money on that first. Just have to wait and see.
     
    Velo Dog likes this.

  19. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Messages:
    2,594
    Video/Photo:
    75
    Likes Received:
    2,851
    Location:
    North America
    Member of:
    NRA Life Benefactor, Trout Unlimited, Safari Club International


    6.5x55 is illegal for larger plains game in Zim. 7x57 is minimum caliber.
     
    Velo Dog likes this.

  20. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    4,826
    Video/Photo:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3,975
    Location:
    Grosse Ile, Michigan
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
    VeloDog, for the most part I agree 100% with your post regarding the limitations of the 6.5 x 55. In Africa I limited its' use to Impala sized game and Wart Hog. I did talk to a number of PHs about my intended use of the 6.5 prior to selecting my outfitter, none of them had any objections. My reloads using 140 Gr. NPs averaging 2775 fps are very close if not equal to factory 7 x 57 loads. I used my 35 Whelen and reloads pushing 225 Gr. NPs at 2800 fps for the larger game i.e. Gemsbok, BWB and Waterbuck. That being said, I would have been willing to take a perfectly broadside shot at one of the larger animals if one presented itself while I was carrying the 6.5 with no doubt that it would wind up in the salt.

    From your many previous posts I know that you are a knowledgeable reloader. What would be your opinion of using Swift A Frames in lieu of NPs in the Swede? As a second option would you consider 130 Gr Barnes TSX or Hornady GMX at a somewhat higher velocity?

    I'm a deep woods Whitetail hunter kind a guy (read 200 yd. maximum shots) and have never seen the need to use Norma's 160 Gr Orex. Have you used it on anything, if so what are your thoughts?
     

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice