New bolt gun

Pokes15

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Tell me why or why I shouldn't get a new bolt gun chambered in 6.5 PRC (other than the ammo is non-existent at the moment unless I want to pay $100/box).

I've been more of a bow hunter up until the last few years, and I've been shooting deer with my DD AR-15 chambered in 6.8. It's an absolute hammer, but its limited in range.

I'm leaning towards the Bergara B-14 Wilderness Ridge topped with a Vortex Razor Lite Hunter. I'm n

I'm not looking to get in to the custom guns, something off the shelf. Bergara seems to be the best bang for the buck. I also may be able to get a deal on one due to some family connections.

@dtspoke @panhndlpoke @TexasCowPoke
 
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panhndlpoke

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And I mean everything in order of the things you will kill most often
 

panhndlpoke

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Deer. Possibly an elk.
Ok, that’s a shorter list than I was expecting. Follow up. How many times do you want to pull the trigger, per year?

For deer, 6.5 Creedmoor is plenty. It’s plenty for elk too, if you’re a good shot. I’m a good shot. I shot a 300 WSM on my last elk hunt. Why? ft-lbs of energy. 6.5 CM - 2300. 6.5 PRC - 2800. 300 WSM - 3400. A 30 cal bullet traveling at 3000 fps is a lot of energy, especially at normal hunting distances (400 yards and in). Make a mistake and the 6.5 mm bullet is just less forgiving. 6.5 PRC is more so than CM, but still.

But let’s say you’ll shoot 100 deer for every elk you kill. 99% of the time, you’re shooting a deer, rather than some big bodied 600 lb behemoth. Let’s talk about why you might want a 6.5 CM vs a 6.5 PRC.

1. Cost. 6.5 CM is much less expensive.
2. Availability. 6.5 CM is much easier to find under normal circumstances.
3. Recoil. CM will have less recoil and muzzle blast than PRC.
4. Barrel life. CM will last into the several thousand . PRC will be in the 1500-2000 max I think.

But to be fair, we have to talk about the PRC advantages, too.

1. Down range energy. @ 400 yards, 1475 vs 1800 ft-lbs on a Hornady 143 ELD-X. PRC
2. More versatile. 6.5 PRC can hunt more animals. It is simply more powerful making elk, moose, etc. more feasible.
3. Longer Mean Point Blank Range. The PRC has a longer one than the CM. Anytime you can take out a variable on a hunt, I’m for it. Using MPBR eliminates holdover and no doubt PRC has a wider envelope.

I’ll tell you what I think and you can make a decision. First I want you to understand I shoot thousands of rounds of ammo a year. Cost is a big consideration in anything I do. I don’t hunt much. MPBR is a very important factor I use when planning a hunt. It means almost nothing to me when I’m shooting since I am not under a clock or have “deer fever”. I dial almost every shot but I use a reticle for holdover to practice faster target acquisition. I own almost no second focal plane scopes. Hell, my 22 long rifles have the ability to dial in dope for 300+ yard shots. I’m primarily a target shooter, but I split an Ibex’s heart at 125 yards last month.

Why do I tell you this? So you understand where I’m coming from. I’m primarily just a guy who loves to shoot. But I do a little hunting too.

If I were buying a “deer” rifle right now, Bergara would be hard to argue against. They’re light, accurate and priced right. They probably outsell every other gun on the market COMBINED for new shooters to “long range”. They work.

My scope for a typical yardage hunt would be a First Focal Plane scope cause that’s what I shoot. I would probably top a primarily focused hunting rifle with an Athlon Midas Tac 4-16. It’s a MIL scope but that’s what I shoot. If you need MOA, the 6-24 is slightly heavier and slightly more expensive. I think Leupold makes a lighter MOA FFP but I wouldn’t pay the premium probably. If weight is super important, I can come up with some alternatives, but I would need to do some research. If you absolutely don’t want a FFP, I can come up with alternatives, but again, I would need time. And budget. I know nothing about the Vortex you listed.

6.5 PRC. Man, it’s a killer round. And just not widely adopted. Ammo choices are limited and it’s a long action cartridge. Personally, if it is ONLY hunting, and you don’t want to shoot much, I would get a 300 Win Mag in a long action. So many ammo choices and so versatile. 150 - 200 grain bullets. Available anywhere in the world. Kicks like a mule and makes a bang so loud Afgani’s take cover when you shoot a deer in Texas with a muzzle brake on. But you can shoot coyotes and grizzly bears with it. It might not be your first choice for either, but it will do the job both places. 30-06 would be another good choice.

For JUST deer and/or higher volume shooting, I would pick 6.5 CM. Easier round to shoot in all capacities. It would not be my first choice for elk, but if you know the rifle, understand the limits of the cartridge, and know you won’t go all blind crazy when encountered with a bull “just a bit outside” the capabilities of the cartridge or yourself, it would be fine. You can kill an elk with a 223 Rem with proper shot placement at proper range. Just don’t do it, ok?

6.5 MM is a really versatile bullet. The CM is a really nice round for a lot of reasons. If you’re planning on pulling the trigger 2 or 3 dozen times a year, PRC will be a great choice. It’s a better hunting cartridge for a lot reasons. If you think it is possible you could shoot a bit more than to “freshen up” your skills before deer season, then opt for a friendlier round. But honestly, if you’re just going to shoot 30 times a year, why buy anything? Just shoot what ya got and be happy. Dead is dead.

FYI. I shoot 223 Rem, 6.5 CM, 22 LR, and 17 HMR more than anything. I have about 15,000 22 LR rounds. That probably tells you all you need to know about what I shoot the most.

Hope that helps.
 

Pokes15

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Thanks for the info. I am not much of a trigger puller. If I'm shooting, I'm hunting, and thats usually waterfowl. My rifles don't get used much, outside of my .22 plinking with my kids. However, like I mentioned, I'm rifle hunting more these days.

Yes, I meant the Vortex Razor HD LHT. I'm partial to Vortex, because my bro-in-law is a rep for them so I get them heavily discounted. That's what he uses on all of his hunting rifles. He teaches long range shooting classes, and his recommendation has been the 6.5 PRC for an all around gun for what I want to hunt, but has made similar remarks like you have above regarding the 300 WSM.
 
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panhndlpoke

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Thanks for the info. I am not much of a trigger puller. If I'm shooting, I'm hunting, and thats usually waterfowl. My rifles don't get used much, outside of my .22 plinking with my kids. However, like I mentioned, I'm rifle hunting more these days.

Yes, I meant the Vortex Razor HD LHT. I'm partial to Vortex, because my bro-in-law is a rep for them so I get them heavily discounted. That's what he uses on all of his hunting rifles. He teaches long range shooting classes, and his recommendation has been the 6.5 PRC for an all around gun for what I want to hunt, but has made similar remarks like you have above regarding the 300 WSM.
Right. Ok, so I actually have an older generation of that same scope. It's a good option for hunting. My old one has some markings on the reticle like the current ones have, but I hate the complexity of using a SFP scope for hold overs. For just hunting deer and maybe an elk, I think what you've chosen is a great set up. 6.5 PRC will do everything you want it to do for the normal hunting you plan on doing.

I loved the 300 WSM but it wasn't a lot of fun to shoot. The rifle I had was light and it kicked. Great hunting rifle, though. It is a slightly more efficient cartridge than a 300 Win Mag so you can use a shorter barrel and get about the same velocities which is nice in a hunting rifle. I would pick the 300 Win Mag if I had to do it over again for the sheer volume of manufactured rounds for it. But the 300 WSM has a lot of ammo too. Also, for general hunting distances, the velocity lost on a shorter barrel is irrelevant on a 300 Win Mag or WSM. a 150 grain soft point will destroy every deer in North America. If you want to shoot elk, 175-200 grain bonded bullets will get penetration you need pretty much regardless of shot placement.

Keep us posted on what you buy and how it shoots. I love hearing about new guns.
 

dtspoke

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Ok, that’s a shorter list than I was expecting. Follow up. How many times do you want to pull the trigger, per year?

For deer, 6.5 Creedmoor is plenty. It’s plenty for elk too, if you’re a good shot. I’m a good shot. I shot a 300 WSM on my last elk hunt. Why? ft-lbs of energy. 6.5 CM - 2300. 6.5 PRC - 2800. 300 WSM - 3400. A 30 cal bullet traveling at 3000 fps is a lot of energy, especially at normal hunting distances (400 yards and in). Make a mistake and the 6.5 mm bullet is just less forgiving. 6.5 PRC is more so than CM, but still.

But let’s say you’ll shoot 100 deer for every elk you kill. 99% of the time, you’re shooting a deer, rather than some big bodied 600 lb behemoth. Let’s talk about why you might want a 6.5 CM vs a 6.5 PRC.

1. Cost. 6.5 CM is much less expensive.
2. Availability. 6.5 CM is much easier to find under normal circumstances.
3. Recoil. CM will have less recoil and muzzle blast than PRC.
4. Barrel life. CM will last into the several thousand . PRC will be in the 1500-2000 max I think.

But to be fair, we have to talk about the PRC advantages, too.

1. Down range energy. @ 400 yards, 1475 vs 1800 ft-lbs on a Hornady 143 ELD-X. PRC
2. More versatile. 6.5 PRC can hunt more animals. It is simply more powerful making elk, moose, etc. more feasible.
3. Longer Mean Point Blank Range. The PRC has a longer one than the CM. Anytime you can take out a variable on a hunt, I’m for it. Using MPBR eliminates holdover and no doubt PRC has a wider envelope.

I’ll tell you what I think and you can make a decision. First I want you to understand I shoot thousands of rounds of ammo a year. Cost is a big consideration in anything I do. I don’t hunt much. MPBR is a very important factor I use when planning a hunt. It means almost nothing to me when I’m shooting since I am not under a clock or have “deer fever”. I dial almost every shot but I use a reticle for holdover to practice faster target acquisition. I own almost no second focal plane scopes. Hell, my 22 long rifles have the ability to dial in dope for 300+ yard shots. I’m primarily a target shooter, but I split an Ibex’s heart at 125 yards last month.

Why do I tell you this? So you understand where I’m coming from. I’m primarily just a guy who loves to shoot. But I do a little hunting too.

If I were buying a “deer” rifle right now, Bergara would be hard to argue against. They’re light, accurate and priced right. They probably outsell every other gun on the market COMBINED for new shooters to “long range”. They work.

My scope for a typical yardage hunt would be a First Focal Plane scope cause that’s what I shoot. I would probably top a primarily focused hunting rifle with an Athlon Midas Tac 4-16. It’s a MIL scope but that’s what I shoot. If you need MOA, the 6-24 is slightly heavier and slightly more expensive. I think Leupold makes a lighter MOA FFP but I wouldn’t pay the premium probably. If weight is super important, I can come up with some alternatives, but I would need to do some research. If you absolutely don’t want a FFP, I can come up with alternatives, but again, I would need time. And budget. I know nothing about the Vortex you listed.

6.5 PRC. Man, it’s a killer round. And just not widely adopted. Ammo choices are limited and it’s a long action cartridge. Personally, if it is ONLY hunting, and you don’t want to shoot much, I would get a 300 Win Mag in a long action. So many ammo choices and so versatile. 150 - 200 grain bullets. Available anywhere in the world. Kicks like a mule and makes a bang so loud Afgani’s take cover when you shoot a deer in Texas with a muzzle brake on. But you can shoot coyotes and grizzly bears with it. It might not be your first choice for either, but it will do the job both places. 30-06 would be another good choice.

For JUST deer and/or higher volume shooting, I would pick 6.5 CM. Easier round to shoot in all capacities. It would not be my first choice for elk, but if you know the rifle, understand the limits of the cartridge, and know you won’t go all blind crazy when encountered with a bull “just a bit outside” the capabilities of the cartridge or yourself, it would be fine. You can kill an elk with a 223 Rem with proper shot placement at proper range. Just don’t do it, ok?

6.5 MM is a really versatile bullet. The CM is a really nice round for a lot of reasons. If you’re planning on pulling the trigger 2 or 3 dozen times a year, PRC will be a great choice. It’s a better hunting cartridge for a lot reasons. If you think it is possible you could shoot a bit more than to “freshen up” your skills before deer season, then opt for a friendlier round. But honestly, if you’re just going to shoot 30 times a year, why buy anything? Just shoot what ya got and be happy. Dead is dead.

FYI. I shoot 223 Rem, 6.5 CM, 22 LR, and 17 HMR more than anything. I have about 15,000 22 LR rounds. That probably tells you all you need to know about what I shoot the most.

Hope that helps.


Really good summation. The PRC in either flavor is highly specialized to take advantage of the excellent ballistic coefficient with the bullet extended further out to the lands of the rifle. It makes accuracy and the use of longer high BC bullets a highly desirable characteristic. I shoot a ton and I hunt a ton so I also reload quite a bit. The PRC's are great for people like me, but otherwise probably not the best decision for someone who isn't shooting a ton and taking advantage of the incremental gains these chambers offer.

The 6.5 PRC is essentially a 6.5 CM Magnum or a more accurate .264 Win Mag. I've got a 6.5 PRC on order from Bergara in an LRP 2.0 and a 300 PRC in a titanium Christensen. I need those rifles like a need more nose hair, but I collect, build and trade firearms all the time on top of using them on a regular basis. They make sense for me, kind of, but I'd go with something more pedestrian and main stream where you can buy ammo anytime and not spend an arm and a leg.

But I was ringing steel with a Seekins Precision in 6.5 PRC in Oregon at 1000 yards within 4 shots. Same rifle dropped a big bull elk at 375 too. It's frighteningly consistent and accurate.
 

TexasCowPoke

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Panhandl did a great job on explaining the give and take, the strengths and compromises of these calibers. I only have the 6.5CM and love it, shoot target but also coyotes, deer, and pronghorn with. I haven't tried elk with it but would likely load up something heavier for my '06 browning for Elk, not that you can't kill an elk with the CM... it's more a matter of which tool fits the job best. Of course the 300 mags and larger diameter are all superior tools for elk. Yes, let us know what you find and how it works!
 

Pokes15

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Well unfortunately my Sig Sauer SRD762 doesn't have a high enough pressure rating to fit on the end of a 6.5 PRC, and I'd really like to buy something i can stick my can on. I'd rather not have to spend another $1000 on a new suppressor, so this limits my options some. Probably leaning towards the 6.5 CM now.
 

panhndlpoke

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Makes sense. I think you’ll be pleased with the 6.5 CM, but there’s a lot of great hunting options. One we didn’t mention is the 7mm-08. It might be the compromise you’re looking for.
 

panhndlpoke

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@panhndlpoke Thoughts on a 7mag?
I lump 7 Mag and 300 Win Mag together since they're about the same age and both have belted cases. They both are among the most powerful of the popular cartridges in their respective bullet diameters. Basically I'll contrast them with each other and against 6.5 CM

I use Midway USA to illustrate how popular a cartridge is. 300 WM has 84 different ammunition choices on Midway. 7 mag has 65 and 6.5 CM has 84. Comparatively, 300 WM and 6.5 CM are more popular than the 7 but all three are way more than just popular. They'd be among the most popular cartridges available. I do believe that in the next 10 years, 7 Mag is the most likely one to suffer popularity with the onslaught of new options available.

Pros of 7 & 300 mags. Extremely popular. Tons of ammunition choices. Literally millions of rifles for sale in the calibers. Great for virtually anything in North America and many animals in Africa. 300 WM is slightly more versatile in all aspects and every situation with ammo down to 150 grain up to 210 grain. The offset is more recoil and muzzle blast. About the only animal I would question hunting with a 7 mag is a larger grizzly or polar bear. Even so, it may be plenty, but I don't know a lot about those animals. 300 WM would be enough for either.

Cons: Recoil and muzzle blast is pretty significant. I've owned a 7 Mag and a 300 Win Short Mag, which would be about the same as a Win Mag. They kick and make mucho bang when in a hunting weight platform and with a muzzle brake. Honestly, they're just not any damn fun to shoot. They do kill shit very effectively though. It's all a trade off. Both 7 Mag and 300 WM are belted cases. That can make reloading less fun. If you ever plan to reload, I'd look elsewhere simply because there are high performance cartridges that are easier to reload. Older case design that makes them less efficient, requiring a longer barrel to maximize performance. I doubt this really matters for a strictly hunting weapon, but it's a factor. Both are long action cartridges. I prefer short actions where I can for shorter bolt throw for quicker follow up shots.

Between a 300 WM and a 7 Mag, I would likely choose a 300 WM. I don't reload. It would be a strictly hunting rig so I won't be shooting it much so recoil just won't be a big factor for it. 300 WM is just so damn good for hunting so many animals, but honestly, either would be a great North American all around rifle. Both would be overkill on lighter south Texas whitetails and barren ground caribou, but I'd just shoot them in the neck with a soft point bullet and blow their head off if shooting for meat. They'd both be fine for elk, moose and black bear especially with high performance bonded bullets. They're pretty comparable for bucking the wind at normal hunting distances. Both would be pretty similar for Mean Point Blank Range. Both have comparable stopping power for everything except big bears where the extra case capacity and bullet size favor the 300 WM.

From what you've described, I think the 7 would be great.
 

Pokes15

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Thanks for that. With all the info above I’m down to the 6.5CM or 7mm-08, with an outside chance at just getting the 6.5prc and getting another can for it down the road. I’m probably way overthinking this decision since it will sit in my safe 350 days a year.
 
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Ostatedchi

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I lump 7 Mag and 300 Win Mag together since they're about the same age and both have belted cases. They both are among the most powerful of the popular cartridges in their respective bullet diameters. Basically I'll contrast them with each other and against 6.5 CM

I use Midway USA to illustrate how popular a cartridge is. 300 WM has 84 different ammunition choices on Midway. 7 mag has 65 and 6.5 CM has 84. Comparatively, 300 WM and 6.5 CM are more popular than the 7 but all three are way more than just popular. They'd be among the most popular cartridges available. I do believe that in the next 10 years, 7 Mag is the most likely one to suffer popularity with the onslaught of new options available.

Pros of 7 & 300 mags. Extremely popular. Tons of ammunition choices. Literally millions of rifles for sale in the calibers. Great for virtually anything in North America and many animals in Africa. 300 WM is slightly more versatile in all aspects and every situation with ammo down to 150 grain up to 210 grain. The offset is more recoil and muzzle blast. About the only animal I would question hunting with a 7 mag is a larger grizzly or polar bear. Even so, it may be plenty, but I don't know a lot about those animals. 300 WM would be enough for either.

Cons: Recoil and muzzle blast is pretty significant. I've owned a 7 Mag and a 300 Win Short Mag, which would be about the same as a Win Mag. They kick and make mucho bang when in a hunting weight platform and with a muzzle brake. Honestly, they're just not any damn fun to shoot. They do kill shit very effectively though. It's all a trade off. Both 7 Mag and 300 WM are belted cases. That can make reloading less fun. If you ever plan to reload, I'd look elsewhere simply because there are high performance cartridges that are easier to reload. Older case design that makes them less efficient, requiring a longer barrel to maximize performance. I doubt this really matters for a strictly hunting weapon, but it's a factor. Both are long action cartridges. I prefer short actions where I can for shorter bolt throw for quicker follow up shots.

Between a 300 WM and a 7 Mag, I would likely choose a 300 WM. I don't reload. It would be a strictly hunting rig so I won't be shooting it much so recoil just won't be a big factor for it. 300 WM is just so damn good for hunting so many animals, but honestly, either would be a great North American all around rifle. Both would be overkill on lighter south Texas whitetails and barren ground caribou, but I'd just shoot them in the neck with a soft point bullet and blow their head off if shooting for meat. They'd both be fine for elk, moose and black bear especially with high performance bonded bullets. They're pretty comparable for bucking the wind at normal hunting distances. Both would be pretty similar for Mean Point Blank Range. Both have comparable stopping power for everything except big bears where the extra case capacity and bullet size favor the 300 WM.

From what you've described, I think the 7 would be great.
I'd love to hear a similar breakdown regarding my 6.8 SPC. I built it basically as a hog gun. But it would probably be my new deer rifle as well (assuming I ever go back to hunting deer).

ACtC-3fNEezWkRiZ6GTC3NkLftDLdxpGypQtQjQVDg7YyIGXQaq6yFbzEBzelv7VZfnkk3fkM_2_fF1LbRaNLV53PcIqUlhGlKB_8UdcSDP6XU_m6FB5BLjvXhMhBD42cYIH7rIh9rVIv9SD4-KKxQjQOzh9=w1838-h563-no
 

Pokes15

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I have a 6.8 SPC and I love it. It has been my primary deer and hog gun, but it has its distance limitations. I use the Hornady 120gr SST and they're very effective. Didn't have much luck with the 110 VMAX or BTHP.
 
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panhndlpoke

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I'd love to hear a similar breakdown regarding my 6.8 SPC. I built it basically as a hog gun. But it would probably be my new deer rifle as well (assuming I ever go back to hunting deer).

ACtC-3fNEezWkRiZ6GTC3NkLftDLdxpGypQtQjQVDg7YyIGXQaq6yFbzEBzelv7VZfnkk3fkM_2_fF1LbRaNLV53PcIqUlhGlKB_8UdcSDP6XU_m6FB5BLjvXhMhBD42cYIH7rIh9rVIv9SD4-KKxQjQOzh9=w1838-h563-no
Honestly, I have a 6.8 SPC, and I still am just not much of a fan. Personally, I think it’s just sort of a bastard round. It works for short distance hunting out of an AR platform, but it’s just such a compromise I think there’s better options for just about any application besides war.

Hog gun? Why not a 458 SOCOM or one of the other similar cartridges? They’d have lots better close quarter stopping power. Deer gun? I hope it’s not very far away because the ballistics are not going to provide reliable expansion and penetration at very far distances. Coyotes? 223 is plenty of power and better down range performance.

It just doesn’t provide much for my needs. But it fits in the AR platform nicely. I also don’t really have many other options to provide. Frankly, the AR platform is just a shitty design for much besides killing people or varmints. It’s a really fun gun but I’ve just stopped shooting it much because my AR’s aren’t very accurate and mounting a suppressor on an AR adds a level of complexity that I don’t want to tinker with.

The beauty of the AR is that it’s relatively easy to make swaps to change caliber. To suit the application.
 
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Ostatedchi

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Honestly, I have a 6.8 SPC, and I still am just not much of a fan. Personally, I think it’s just sort of a bastard round. It works for short distance hunting out of an AR platform, but it’s just such a compromise I think there’s better options for just about any application besides war.

Hog gun? Why not a 458 SOCOM or one of the other similar cartridges? They’d have lots better close quarter stopping power. Deer gun? I hope it’s not very far away because the ballistics are not going to provide reliable expansion and penetration at very far distances. Coyotes? 223 is plenty of power and better down range performance.

It just doesn’t provide much for my needs. But it fits in the AR platform nicely. I also don’t really have many other options to provide. Frankly, the AR platform is just a shitty design for much besides killing people or varmints. It’s a really fun gun but I’ve just stopped shooting it much because my AR’s aren’t very accurate and mounting a suppressor on an AR adds a level of complexity that I don’t want to tinker with.

The beauty of the AR is that it’s relatively easy to make swaps to change caliber. To suit the application.
And yeah., I'm not attempting much over 100 to 150 yards.
 

panhndlpoke

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And yeah., I'm not attempting much over 100 to 150 yards.
We’re so open out here, there isn’t many deer shots less than 100 on my ground. You have to be extra sneaky to bag a buck with a bow.

Think of hunting deer with a 6.8 SPC as more like hunting with a black powder rifle and it will make ya feel better about it
 
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Pokes15

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@Ostatedchi @panhndlpoke either of you need a 30 rd PMAG for your 6.8? I bought one locally here and tore open the package only to find out it doesn’t fit in Daniel Defense lowers.
 

Ostatedchi

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I have an LWRCi and it has a special mag designed for 6.8. So I'm good.
 

Pokes15

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Finally decided on the Bergara B-14 Wilderness Terrain in 6.5CM. Just ordered it tonight. Topping it off with the Razor LHT 3x15 which I ordered a couple weeks ago.

Now just gotta find ammo... I did pick up two boxes of Hornady Black 140 grain at academy. They randomly had them but would only let me but two boxes at $25/box. I may have succumb to the gunbroker prices of $75/box...
 

TexasCowPoke

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First, Congrats on what sounds like a great set up!!!! I think you will love it. Please let us know with a range/hunting report!

Prices on ammo.... Yes, the industry is really taking advantage right now, but that's the good ol'American way. My preferred round here is the Hornady Precision Hunter with the 143 ELD-X hunting bullet. Usually it runs about $30 per, but now I found it in limited quantities for $55. I'm going down to my local gun dealer and see if I can't buy a case or two or three at a reasonable price. Really makes me think about reloading again though. You can find some cheaper target rounds that are great. I just like to have the option of having expansion if I want to shoot a critter like a hog or yote- one round to do everything.
 

panhndlpoke

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Finally decided on the Bergara B-14 Wilderness Terrain in 6.5CM. Just ordered it tonight. Topping it off with the Razor LHT 3x15 which I ordered a couple weeks ago.

Now just gotta find ammo... I did pick up two boxes of Hornady Black 140 grain at academy. They randomly had them but would only let me but two boxes at $25/box. I may have succumb to the gunbroker prices of $75/box...
I think you’ll be pleased. Don’t buy the $75/box stuff. While ammo is still super tight, it’s starting to open back up. If it gets close to hunting season and you still don’t have ammo, hit me up. I can get you some for the season.
 

panhndlpoke

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First, Congrats on what sounds like a great set up!!!! I think you will love it. Please let us know with a range/hunting report!

Prices on ammo.... Yes, the industry is really taking advantage right now, but that's the good ol'American way. My preferred round here is the Hornady Precision Hunter with the 143 ELD-X hunting bullet. Usually it runs about $30 per, but now I found it in limited quantities for $55. I'm going down to my local gun dealer and see if I can't buy a case or two or three at a reasonable price. Really makes me think about reloading again though. You can find some cheaper target rounds that are great. I just like to have the option of having expansion if I want to shoot a critter like a hog or yote- one round to do everything.
Components for ammunition pre-Covid pre-Biden were under priced relative to “normal” market. Current prices are high with shortages created by Covid related production disruptions and ammo hoarding. I don’t think Federal or Hornady are price gouging. I think bullets they were $0.50 to produce are now $1.00 because raw materials are so much more expensive and Covid precautions have slowed production for “social distancing” in manufacturing.

A box of Hornady 6.5 140 ELDM’s were about $25 and now are about $40. The $75/box is the retailers gouging, not the manufacturer.

I think after it is all said and done, it will come back to $30-35/box.
 
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Pokes15

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I’m not sure how it will shoot out of the gun, but the 143 eld-x was what I was planning on running if the barrel likes it. It does seem that more ammo is hitting the shelves, and not just the obscure rounds. That was the first boxes I have seen of 6.5 CM on a shelf in more than 6 months around OKC. I did go to another store a couple of weeks ago that has several different varieties, most of which I had never heard of.
 

panhndlpoke

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ELDX is very good ammo. Most of the ELD line have shot well out of a variety of rifles. Hornady seemed to hit a very solid performer with the line and I can tell very little difference between it and 140 ELDM. I had really good luck with American Gunner 200 rnd boxes for light stuff. I will buy some 143’s next time I am able and will post it up for cost, if you want.
 
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Pokes15

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Brownells had Hornady 147gr ELD Match in stock for $45/box, so I picked up a few of those for some target rounds.
 

Pokes15

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Got my scope in and everything mounted up yesterday and bore sighted. Got a chance to finish sighting it in today at a 100yd indoor range. Starting with the 140gr Hornady black ammo, I shot a 3 shot group that was barely outside an inch. I was about 6 inches low and 4 to the left, so I dialed that in and was right where I wanted to be on the next three shot group, which was sub MOA inch high at 100yds. Let the barrel cool down and switched to the Federal 140gr soft point hunting bullet shot a three shot group, and all three touched one another inch high. I wanted to shoot more, but the guy next to me was shooting a 300 win mag with a muzzle break, and I couldn’t take the noise even with hearing protection on. Really pleased so far with the combo I went with.
 

panhndlpoke

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Muzzle brakes suck outside and are completely intolerable inside. I don’t blame you.

Glad the rifle performed well. Bergara’s just seem to shoot consistent.
 

Pokes15

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Per the interwebs, a lot of people hunt with the 147 and 140 grain Hornady match bullets. Some even prefer it over the 143eldx. Seems like the negatives have been close range shots and the bullets causing a lot of damage to meat by super expansion and fragmenting. Any of you use match bullets to hunt with? I’ve got 4 boxes of the 147ge eldm’s
 

panhndlpoke

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Yes, 2 main probs with ELD M’s. Penetration and fragmentation. If you have poor shot placement and hit a clavical, the softer bullet may not penetrate past and leave a wounded animal. If you hit the heart of a deer, you might have a lot of ruined meat from fragmentation.

I wouldn’t use them for deer if I had other options, but many folks have had success with them regardless. They’d be fine for predators or varmints.