Reduced recoil for 6.5 Creedmoor

Eric Zelanko

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I am setting up a rifle for my ten year old female cousin to use to shoot and hunt whitetails with us this fall. She’s not very big so recoil is a concern. She’s been shooting a 22LR a number of years but no center fire thus far.

I’ve settled on a tikka T3x with fluted barrel and muzzle brake that I could swap out with a silencer if need be. A limb saver recoil pad along with a Leupold VX5. I also picked up a Tikka compact stock that allows for LOP from 12” to 13.5 that doesn’t look terrible.

Until I get everything together and for general practice, I’ll put the compact stock on a .223 T3x I have. That should be a decent next step up from the 22LR. I’m not keen on the 223 for deer however. Thus the 6.5.

I’ve reached out to Nosler and Barnes for reduced recoil loads based on their 100 grain bullets but both only directed me to Hodgdon with their spec of reducing H4895 60% of max load. That would be great but finding H4895 is like finding hens teeth in my neck of the woods. And at $50/box, Barnes factory loaded reduced recoil ammo doesn’t seem a great option either.

Anyone have a recipe they’d be willing to share for the man bun rifle that doesn’t kick little ones? I should note max shooting range will be 150 yards, probably under 100 actually.

Any suggestions appreciated.
 
I would put the suppressor on it and just shoot full power loads. Should bring the recoil down to between a 223 and 243 level. The 6.5 Creed is a very good deer and antelope round, where it got a bad name is that all the hype of a do it all round and with marginal hunting bullets it failed badly on elk and bigger kritters. I have found the barnes 127gr recoil very accurate and recoil is acceptable to smaller framed shooters. that and a suppressor ought to fit the bill.
 
I agree with @AZDAVE .. I'd go the suppressor route with normal 6.5CM hunting loads.. You should be sitting on 223 recoil levels.. and would retain full performance of the 6.5 at the same time..

Ive got a small, lightweight 308 (Rem 600 in a kevlar stock) that kicks like a rented mule... an affordable YHM Resonator-K was all it took to take it to typical 243 levels of recoil.. its actually a dream to shoot now.. and I wouldnt hesitate to put a small statured, recoil sensitive shooter behind it...

the 6.5 CM should be even more gentle on the shoulder than my Rem 600...
 
I should have also noted I bought a case of the Norma 140 gn Whitetail ammo that Raven Rock has on sale. I was thinking she could use that during the deer season after she’s gotten a little familiar with the recoil.
 
100% agree on the supressor to protect those young ears.

In my load workups for 6.5CM with H4350 I sometimes found an accurate low node (not a reduced load) as well as a high node at near max pressure.

Nosler accubonds in 129, 130 and 140 grain are fairly easy to work with as well as the 140 NPt. 130s have noticably less recoil than the 140s.

My 6.5 is also a T3X, love it.
 
So I was in your exact same shoes just a few years ago with my oldest son. The biggest issue you will see with reduced loads and bullet manufactures should have warned you about is impact speed. Regular ballistic tips, accubonds whatever, Sierra bullets all require a minimum speed of 1800fps to properly open bullet up at impact. They all gave me this information when I called and talked to technicians at nosler and Sierra. Even the light 100 and 120 grain bullets. The solution is Nosler Long range accubonds. They only need 1300fps to open up. I had H4895 and used 32.0 grains, with 129LRAB, which was 2300-2400fps, cannot remember exact load. It is absolutely freaking awesome on deer. The furthest shot he ever took using this load was 215 yards on a 150# field dressed buck. Still a pass thru and excellent damage. In fact it was a liver shot, I saw impact, and it was still a quick kill due to damage it caused. It went less than 100yards. I didn’t recover any bullets from any deer he shot over 3 years. I agree with suppressor as well, it really reduces recoil way more than muzzle brake and kills noise when hunting. If you cannot get H4895, use minimum loads listed in nosler book, they are great. Varget shot great in his also. It is a tikka lite, and I love the tikka rifles. I have several.

I bought my youngest son a 308 for Christmas. I am doing the same thing with his, lightest bullet and very lite charges. He took his first deer a few days after Christmas with it using reduced load and Sierra 125 tipped bullets that were made for 300 blackout. I will say it didn’t do well as far as penetration but still killed deer. I switched to Barnes 125’s made for blackout and hopefully they do better not blowing up. Only running 2200fps with them.
 
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I am setting up a rifle for my ten year old female cousin to use to shoot and hunt whitetails with us this fall. She’s not very big so recoil is a concern. She’s been shooting a 22LR a number of years but no center fire thus far.

I’ve settled on a tikka T3x with fluted barrel and muzzle brake that I could swap out with a silencer if need be. A limb saver recoil pad along with a Leupold VX5. I also picked up a Tikka compact stock that allows for LOP from 12” to 13.5 that doesn’t look terrible.

Until I get everything together and for general practice, I’ll put the compact stock on a .223 T3x I have. That should be a decent next step up from the 22LR. I’m not keen on the 223 for deer however. Thus the 6.5.

I’ve reached out to Nosler and Barnes for reduced recoil loads based on their 100 grain bullets but both only directed me to Hodgdon with their spec of reducing H4895 60% of max load. That would be great but finding H4895 is like finding hens teeth in my neck of the woods. And at $50/box, Barnes factory loaded reduced recoil ammo doesn’t seem a great option either.

Anyone have a recipe they’d be willing to share for the man bun rifle that doesn’t kick little ones? I should note max shooting range will be 150 yards, probably under 100 actually.

Any suggestions appreciated.
Check out hammer bullets - they have a few selections for bullets in the 110 - 125 gr neighborhood.

Look at the 117 gr shock hammer in particular. That 6.5CM from Tikka should be an 8.5 twist


1719000024742.png


Per Steve Davis, co-owner of Hammer, for LD with Hammer bullets, start at the bottom, then go up in 0.5 gr increments until you start seeing pressure signs. @CBH Australia has lots of experience with Hammer bullets.
 
I have a Tikka t3x in 6.5 as well. I use a suppressor on it for target shooting and it’s very mild to shoot. I also have a Tikka t3x in 223, and I’d say the suppressed 6.5 is similar in recoil to the unsuppressed 223. Maybe just a touch more.
 
Count me as another to go with the suppressor and the most accurate load for the rifle. The increased volume of a muzzle brake might bother the young lady more than the recoil without a brake. Let her shoot a few rounds standing up so she knows the rifle isn't going to kill her.

Then some rounds from the bench to firm up her form. I say use the most accurate round. It's not hard to teach kids to shoot and if she takes to it quickly and she can see her accuracy, confidence will soar.
 
My girls use creedmoors with 130gr Accubonds and have killed elk, deer, bears, antelope etc. They started shooting the creedmoor at age 10, short 21" barrel with 3 port brake has zero recoil. They now have suppressors on them too.
 
Thanks for all the information so far. I will look at the LR accubonds and plan on using the AB Raptor suppressor I have. She can practice with the 223 (with good ear protection) while I get the Creedmoor worked out. Still lots of time before our youth season begins here in PA. If anyone has other suggestions, I’m all ears. This is new territory for me.
 
One other question if I can. I received the compact stock for the Tikka today with the three different LOP spacers. I actually think it will be a good fit for her at the shortest LOP but still allow me to lengthen if needs be in the future. My question is on the grip. The stock came with the regular grip but I also got the more vertical pistol grip since it is easily changed. I had read somewhere that the pistol grip is easier for younger shooters to reach the trigger with their smaller hands. Anyone have any experience with that they can share? Since the Tikka is so easy to change, I’ll more than likely just try both and see which works best.
 
More vertical grip presents a better position for the trigger finger at 90deg. Fyi the Long Range Accubonds are very finicky, they like to jump a mile. Alot of guns wont shoot them well. Standard Accubonds are less headache, I use both depending on gun.
 
I do not know how far away from lands I have mine loaded. I seated them to fit and feed from magazine, and the throats are very long from what I remember. I have never had an issue getting the 129lrab to shoot well in 4 different tikkas. I cannot say the same for the 142’s. I have yet to find a 6.5 rifle in many calibers and guns that they would shoot decent in.

Another thing I did was get a lighter trigger spring. The smith that threaded the rifle for suppressor recommended it with kids. It made a world of difference. He was inadvertently moving gun because of his hand strength and pull weight of the trigger. It definitely helped his group sizes and being more accurate
 
One more vote for a suppressor. My girls are extremely recoil sensitive. They shoot a suppressed .243 like a champ.

I also use a death grip tripod which helps with things.

Don’t write off the .223. There are some decent hunting rounds available now.
 
Don’t write off the .223. There are some decent hunting rounds available now.
Good point.

@Philip Glass took a 5.56x45 chambered bolt gun with 70 grain Barnes factory loads (IIRC), to Africa and mentions it being effective on Whitetail, etc., on his ranch. Might be worth the OP checking into (especially the twist rate) while he gets the 6.5 sorted out.
 
Thanks for the tips. I have the trigger springs ordered.

I’ve been looking at the twist rate of the 223. I THINK it is a 1:8 but need to verify. Apparently Tikka produced two different barrels a few years back when I bought the one I have. Anyone know how heavy bullet the 1:8 will stabilize?

This has become quite the fun little project. Very different from the type of rifles I normally shoot and load. Never worried about recoil or noise but that is the main concern with this rifle.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions. Feel free to offer anything else that might make her shooting experience a positive.
 
Anyone know how heavy bullet the 1:8 will stabilize?
[Edited . Sorry my brain was on the 6.5CM when I wrote the below]:

My T3x [6.5 CM] is a 1:8 and has a long throat. It shoots the 155 grain Lapua Mega very well.

If you haven't already noticed, the factory Tikka magazines will allow a much longer COL than a standard 308 based magazine. If you buy spares, the one you want is designed for the 6.5 CM and 7mm08.

I'm going to bet you need a 1:7 in 5,56 for the 70 gr Barnes.
 
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Probably not much help here but check out hammer bullets. Just order the lightest 6.5 bullet they make which I think is
Like 80gr. Keeping the bullet really light for short range like that is a great way to keep recoil down. Also if you can suppress the rifle that really helps young kids. A lot of times it’s not so much the recoil as it is muzzle blast that gets kids.
 
I am setting up a rifle for my ten year old female cousin to use to shoot and hunt whitetails with us this fall. She’s not very big so recoil is a concern. She’s been shooting a 22LR a number of years but no center fire thus far.

I’ve settled on a tikka T3x with fluted barrel and muzzle brake that I could swap out with a silencer if need be. A limb saver recoil pad along with a Leupold VX5. I also picked up a Tikka compact stock that allows for LOP from 12” to 13.5 that doesn’t look terrible.

Until I get everything together and for general practice, I’ll put the compact stock on a .223 T3x I have. That should be a decent next step up from the 22LR. I’m not keen on the 223 for deer however. Thus the 6.5.

I’ve reached out to Nosler and Barnes for reduced recoil loads based on their 100 grain bullets but both only directed me to Hodgdon with their spec of reducing H4895 60% of max load. That would be great but finding H4895 is like finding hens teeth in my neck of the woods. And at $50/box, Barnes factory loaded reduced recoil ammo doesn’t seem a great option either.

Anyone have a recipe they’d be willing to share for the man bun rifle that doesn’t kick little ones? I should note max shooting range will be 150 yards, probably under 100 actually.

Any suggestions appreciated.
Your best option is to install an Edwards Recoil Reducer. It is the most ingenious device I've ever used. I have it in a Tikka T3X 7mm Mag (and most of my guns) and it works so well. It will likely need to be installed by a competent gunsmith. Combine this with a suppressor and the smallest kids can shoot your 6.5.
 

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