6.5 for deer...2600 fps <<< VS >>> 2800 fps...???

Discussion in 'Big Stuff -- 6.5mm, 7mm, 30 Cal' started by daniel brothers, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. daniel brothers

    daniel brothers

    Feb 6, 2013
    For you Guys that have killed deer size game with the 6.5 caliber... would it matter if the 140 gr SST was going 2600 fps or 2800 fps for DRT...???

    The 2600 load is way more accurate than the 2800, but I can work on getting the 2600 fps up some more...BUT... does it really matter? Both loads will hit and kill a deer, but I'm looking for advice on the DRT ability of each under 200 yds. I just bought a Savage Axis in the Creedmoor for my elderly Buddy to shoot deer with, and am wanting to use the load that will put them down on the spot with broadside shots...behind the shoulder... lung area.

    What are your thoughts? Thanks Guys...Dan
  2. T 700

    T 700 Silver $$ Contributor

    May 27, 2011
    Deer are very tuff animals, I've shot them with a 243 to 300 RUM, I'm using a 260 Remington now and some has run some DRT, most all will run if hit behind the shoulder, you would be better served with a shoulder or neck shot. That being said inside of 200yds I don't think it will make a difference.

    Bullet speed means nothing if you can't hit your target.
    oregonshooter likes this.
  3. SSL

    SSL Gold $$ Contributor

    Apr 13, 2017
    I realize that this isn't comparing apples to apples, but I have shot whitetail deer out to 175 yards with a 7 BR from an XP100 using a Hornady 120-grain SSP (sadly, a no longer made Single Shot Pistol bullet) at 2400 fps. Two dropped right away, one ran about 40 yards. I really doubt if you will have a problem 200 fps faster and 20 grains heavier.
  4. Prose


    Apr 20, 2017
    Maybe you'd consider using a 120 grain bullet for a bit more velocity considering the ranges you are shooting at? They'll pass through too.
  5. jim_k


    Aug 26, 2013
    The Hornady 140 SST at 2,600 fps muzzle velocity will kill deer reliably out to more than 500 yards. That is an excellent hunting bullet, expands great, stays together. It is also potentially very accurate. No need to do more. Like others, I hunt with a 6.5 120 gr soft-point bullet, and I'm confident out to 300 yards. MV on my bullets is about 2,700 fps. You're fine at 2,600 with a 140 SST.
  6. ms6852


    Sep 14, 2008
    If you are using the same bullet at 2600 fps and it expends well, going to 2800 fps will cause more tissue damage destroying more meat...just saying.
    daniel brothers, DirtySteve and Bc'z like this.
  7. FJIM


    Jun 7, 2010
    My experience says some bullets work well at a lower speed, some work kind of in a velocity window where they just seem to kill well.
    Experts say once the velocity falls below 2,000 FPS some bullets down to 1,800 FPS they do not expand well or kill well. I talked to a few guys who have a lot of experience with a few calibers and kind like guides who see a lot of animals down and have watched most of them or have first hand to them say below 2,000 FPS they dont see good bullet performance. I kind of feel there is truth to that. But that is not writ in stone, some bullets may work ok.
    So I base my max range on where the bullet is at 2,000 FPS. So I base my velocity much higher for hunting and even give up some accuracy for the speed as long as it is good enough and I can hit at longer range with the load. I personally like a min Velocity of 2,950 FPS in my 6.5 when I had it. I personally feel around 3,000-.3150 FPS most bullets I shoot seem to work well on game. I think over 3,150 FPS then now bullet performance can suffer at closer ranges. Just some information and kind of how I feel about. So I guess how far the range is that you are shooting is important for the speed.
    daniel brothers likes this.
  8. Falfan2017

    Falfan2017 Gold $$ Contributor

    Apr 2, 2018
    Shot placement is much more important than 200 more fps. If you're going for drt just limit your distance to where you're sure of making a good hit.
    DennisH, JASmith, savageboy and 5 others like this.
  9. JRS

    JRS Gold $$ Contributor

    Mar 3, 2008
    Ask Hornady. Most hunting type bullets have a minimum and maximum impact velocity at certain distances to work reliably, to include Berger hunting bullets.
    msinc and ms6852 like this.
  10. Drop Port

    Drop Port

    Oct 3, 2012
    DRT and behind the shoulder are not synonymous. If you want to put them down on the spot with certainty the only way is a CNS shot period.

    Behind the shoulder and trying to achieve DRT ("put them down on the spot") is a crap shoot but your best bet is a frangible bullet at warp speed to shock and disrupt as much tissue as possible.

    Shoot 10 deer behind the shoulder and results can leave you scratching your head shoot 10 CNS and and go pick them up where they were standing.
    rogn, /VH, savageboy and 3 others like this.
  11. Knotwild

    Knotwild Silver $$ Contributor

    Dec 21, 2010
    I am curious as to why more people don't use a high shoulder shot?
  12. varmintshooter

    varmintshooter Silver $$ Contributor

    Jan 19, 2014
    Some good information here. There is not a magic bullet made that will put a deer down on the spot but there are some shots (read placement) that will.
  13. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

    Feb 5, 2011
    I do not mind a 50 yard run. Which you can often get when you shoot for the heart and lungs. A heart or lung shot is humane, doesnt ruin meat, and doesnt have them sucking air with 2 broken shoulders and a lot of wasted meat. I think the high shoulder shots became popular because its good TV. It looks like they died instantly.
    Zero333, daleboy, savageboy and 6 others like this.
  14. sbhooper

    sbhooper Silver $$ Contributor

    Nov 11, 2011
    I am not personally very fond of the SST, but they should really shine at the slower velocity. I have had them completely blow up on small deer at 2650, from a .308. They supposedly are tougher now, but I have not gone back. Either load will serve you just fine, but if you like the slow one, then use it, as the SST should expand real well at that speed.

    I have killed a lot of deer over the last couple years with the 6.5s and I am a big fan. My go-tos are the 129 Interlock at 3010 fps and the 147 ELDM at 2725.

    All velocity really does is give you a little more go at extended ranges. At 200 yards, the accuracy is far more important. Except for maybe monos, most bullets are going to perform very reliably at the slower velocity, also.
    msinc and daniel brothers like this.
  15. CTK

    CTK Silver $$ Contributor

    Jul 5, 2016
    My 8y old son shot a doe at 100y with a 7mm08. This was a reduced load of 37 or 38gr h4955 with a 120 Ballistic Tip. Maybe 2600 fps my out of a 20” barrel. Perfect shot behind the shoulder. Big exit hole and 50y death dash. I used to think that 3000fps mv was a benchmark for open field deer hunting. Learned from others and fairly recent personal experience that I was mistaken. I may hunt 140gr bullets out of my 23” 6.5x47 this year @ probably 2725 FPS.
    daniel brothers likes this.
  16. Barlow

    Barlow Silver $$ Contributor

    Apr 15, 2013
    I have never used the SST, but I have used the 140 IL's in my 6.5x55"s with great results at around 2600 on deer and a cow elk. Barlow
    daniel brothers likes this.
  17. ms6852


    Sep 14, 2008
    A high shoulder shot does not guarantee that the deer will drop right where it is standing. It will go through the lungs depending on angle and shot deer can still run away until it bleeds to death. The heart actually lies lower .
    sbhooper and daniel brothers like this.
  18. Don

    Don Gold $$ Contributor

    May 24, 2007
    7x57 with 140 gr .Sierra at 150 + Heart Lung shot on White Deer . is a Anchor .
    .260 with 120 Nosler Kills Coyotes 360 well .

    I vote for 140 gr.
    daniel brothers likes this.
  19. Sniper338


    Aug 14, 2014
    Ive shot quite a few deer with a 6.5 Grendel and hornadys at 2500fps... it wollops em just as good as anything else.
    hikfromstik and daniel brothers like this.
  20. argrendel

    argrendel Silver $$ Contributor

    Jun 28, 2008
    I do think speed can be a factor. I shot several deer with my 270. All behind the shoulder. I was amazed with the internal damage. It’s like a vacuum destroyed the organs. Blood shot shoulders without bullet damage. But very few were DRT.
    Now I hunt with a 6.5 Grendel. Harvested more than a dozen deer with 120 grain bullet at 2450 FPS. None ran more than 100 yards.
    Shot placement is key. Practice with your “buddy” and if possible set him up with a rest, tree limb, bail of hay, etc. steady crosshairs and smooth trigger pull is key.
    daniel brothers and charcher like this.

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