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Old 10-15-2021, 11:30 PM   #1
Bigfootwolff
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Default 6.5 Creedmoor Penetration on Deer Question

Another question for those experienced with 6.5 Creedmoor and it's performance on deer. With good hunting bullets (not target rounds), do you typically get full pass throughs on shots, either shoulder shots, or behind the shoulder lung shots?

I gave up using a .243 Win with 100 grain soft points (both Federal Premium and Hornady Custom) years ago after difficulty tracking several deer that were shot behind the shoulder. Both deer were eventually recovered after running into thick brush with absolutely zero blood trails. Both deer had .243 inch entrance holes, but no exit holes, which resulted in no blood trails. Vitals were destroyed, but one deer managed to run just over 100 yards, and the other about 50-75 yards. Getting torn up in thorn thickets wondering if you are ever going to be able to find the deer was very disheartening.

My thoughts are that with the slightly larger diameter and heavier bullet (129 -143 grains), there would be enough weight retention, even after expansion, to push through and exit the deer's body on a typical broadside shot. That is just my theory so that is why I am asking those of you with real world experience with the 6.5 Creedmoor for your observations and experiences on full pass through shots on deer.

If you guys typically get pass throughs, does it appear the rounds dump a significant amount of energy and transfer it to the vitals while passing through. I know there is a fine line where you want a round to dump most of the energy into the target, while holding together and punching through the opposite side to offer a decent blood trail if the deer doesn't drop within sight. If the latter has been your experience with the 6.5 Creedmoor, what factory rounds do you use to achieve this performance?

I grew up hunting with a .243 Win. hunting over big wheat and oat fields in north Texas. Deer would typically run 25-50 yards after being lung shot. I was always able to watch them fall in those fields, and never had any concerns using the .243 Win for deer. After switching over to hunting east Texas thickets, mainly hunting narrow roads, is when the lack of visibility and pass through shots became problematic. Switched to a .270 Win and the problem was solved. Issue now is getting my wife, daughter-in-law, and growing grandson interested in deer hunting, but with a round that has relatively low recoil, good performance on game, to include full pass throughs, and really good selection of available factory hunting rounds found on shelves (during normal times). Shots will be under 300 yards.

Looking forward to your feedback.

Last edited by Bigfootwolff; 10-15-2021 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 10-15-2021, 11:34 PM   #2
topshot
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My experience is limited, but the remington core lokt in 6.5 is one of the cheapest yet my favorite for whitetail under 200 yards. Blows holes through both sides with awesome blood trail. Others I've used have gone straight through without much energy transfer, little blood.

https://www.outdoorlimited.com/rifle...int-20-rounds/
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Old 10-16-2021, 07:49 AM   #3
Kaiser14
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I would say bullet selection will be key here along with distance of shot.

Your soft points will be more likely to come apart and not pass through the opposite side. Whereas your tougher bullets (any Barnes, Noslers partition/accubond, copper bullet, bonded, a-frame, etc) will likely stay together and retain enough energy to pass through a whitetail.
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Old 10-16-2021, 07:55 AM   #4
M16
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Change your shot placement to high shoulder and you won’t need to track.
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:23 AM   #5
Mr. Stickers
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High shoulder or where the neck meets the shoulder DRT no tracking needed

I use the 143 ELDX in my Creed. I'm typically a head & neck shooter, however the times that I've had to take a shoulder shot I shoot high & anchor them right there. I did hit one a lil low & deer ran 50 or so.....no exit & not much of a blood trail, but extensive internal damage. I'm wanting to try some nosler partitions to see what kind of performance I get with those

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Old 10-16-2021, 09:34 AM   #6
muzzlebrake
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Pin the shoulders and break the spine and butt hits the ground first. DRT
Just don't be using them SST bullets in small diameter light weight because they will blow up on the skin. Shoot something that will penetrate through the point of the shoulder and break that spine.
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:46 AM   #7
trophy8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M16 View Post
Change your shot placement to high shoulder and you wonít need to track.
X2. Behind the shoulder shots will rarely result in the deer dropping. 243 is plenty good enough for deer.

A bullet not exiting means you dumped all of that bullets potential energy into that animal. Shoot em in the front shoulder. Hard for em to run on only their back legs.

6.5 creed isnít a huge step up from a 243.
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Old 10-16-2021, 10:01 AM   #8
shwacker1911
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My wife has only had issues with the Hornaday sp in the American whitetail loads. Shot multiple deer and pigs full pass through but the blood trail was little to none I switched her the the whinchester deerseason xp and it looked like someone dumped a bucket of red paint out the whole 30yards the deer went. I still have some 120gr copper rounds for it to try but have been holding off since can't find them anymore.
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Old 10-16-2021, 10:17 AM   #9
chrisk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topshot View Post
My experience is limited, but the remington core lokt in 6.5 is one of the cheapest yet my favorite for whitetail under 200 yards. Blows holes through both sides with awesome blood trail. Others I've used have gone straight through without much energy transfer, little blood.

https://www.outdoorlimited.com/rifle...int-20-rounds/
I have shot 2 deer with this round. Both had two holes.
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Old 10-16-2021, 10:26 AM   #10
critter69
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Try the hammer bullets, 95% of the time get an exit even with the 243 on mule deer. I am now going try the 110 gr and 124 gr. in a 6.5 cm. But back to the 243, I have shot a number of elk with it, using 100 gr. Nosler partitions. Not all of them exited but most didn’t make it very far, and bullet recovered on off side just under hide. The hammer seems to penetrate better, ( retain more weight) in my limited experience so far. And I believe two holes with a 243 through whitetail would be normal, with the hammer bullets. Not to much difference between the 6.5 cm and 243 really. ( kinda like a 243 ackley improved)

Last edited by critter69; 10-16-2021 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 10-16-2021, 10:56 AM   #11
Buckwheat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Stickers View Post
High shoulder or where the neck meets the shoulder DRT no tracking needed

I use the 143 ELDX in my Creed. I'm typically a head & neck shooter, however the times that I've had to take a shoulder shot I shoot high & anchor them right there. I did hit one a lil low & deer ran 50 or so.....no exit & not much of a blood trail, but extensive internal damage. I'm wanting to try some nosler partitions to see what kind of performance I get with those

Same here!!!! I have had great results


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Old 10-16-2021, 11:28 AM   #12
cwill
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My son shot a 243 for years and moved to a 6.5 creed a few years ago. He shoots the 140gr federal non typical soft points and has had 100% pass throughs on every critter he has shot with exception to straight on head shots on hogs. We've had respectable exit wounds and most deer didn't take a step, but the couple that have run had good blood trails. The 6.5 definitely delivers more energy and trauma than the 243, but not by a large margin.
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Old 10-16-2021, 11:35 AM   #13
sboudreaux
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I know you said no target rounds but I would not shy away from the ELDM's. I think they perform better than the ELDX's. My experience is with a .260 so not a creed but very similar ballistics.
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Old 10-16-2021, 11:53 AM   #14
S-3 Ranch
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Way back in the day ( 1990’s ) I shared a lease on the Kennedy ranch with some guys who
Shot a 7mm STW on nilgai on client hunts, I was amazed @ how many nilgai they wounded With a bullet doing 3300 FPS and mountains of FPE , then discovered that they were using the wrong bullet a 150gr Sierra, and had them switch to nosler partition

150 gr (10 g) BT 3,233 ft/s (985 m/s) 3,482 ft⋅lbf (4,721 J)
160 gr (10 g) Partition 3,177 ft/s (968 m/s) 3,587 ft⋅l”

Absolute world of difference,
bullet construction in any caliber is the key to breakage and punch through , example a .240 weatherby with 100gr soft points will explode inside a deer and not leave a exit
Switch to a nosler 100gr or a bonded bullet and little hole one side , big wound channel and exit other,
This video isn’t about deer but Genral principle is applied https://youtu.be/Cfd3XkHDaDA

IMO if you have a new hunter a 30-30 is a awesome round , light recoil, giant exit hole , limited to reasonable new hunter skill level distance, is devastating on deer , hogs, and ? @>150 yards

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Old 10-16-2021, 01:10 PM   #15
M16
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Anybody have any pictures of the wounds where the bullet blew up on the hide? I can’t say I’ve ever seen that. I’ve seen where penetration could have better just never saw one blow up on the hide.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:19 PM   #16
S-3 Ranch
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Quote:
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Anybody have any pictures of the wounds where the bullet blew up on the hide? I canít say Iíve ever seen that. Iíve seen where penetration could have better just never saw one blow up on the hide.
No pictures but those 7stw 140gr would break one shoulder on a nilgai and then be fragmented not taking out both lungs, but thatís on a nilgai, bet they would punch a deer no problem
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:52 PM   #17
trophy8
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Quote:
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Anybody have any pictures of the wounds where the bullet blew up on the hide? I canít say Iíve ever seen that. Iíve seen where penetration could have better just never saw one blow up on the hide.
Iíve seen Atips out of a 22 creed bow up on impact on a big axis cull haha. We were ready for that. Just wanted to try it.
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Old 10-16-2021, 03:48 PM   #18
Mike D
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My favorite hunting Bullet is the Nosler Partition.

I just wish they would make a tipped version of it.


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Old 10-16-2021, 04:18 PM   #19
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My son and I have a couple 6.5 manbuns and they kill deer, hogs and other critters just fine, at least at normal ranges. We shoot factory Hornady ELD-X bullets. All pass throughs, no issues at all with finding our deer. Some run a little ways, some drop dead. All depends on where you shoot them. The biggest critter we have killed with them is an aoudad my son shot and dropped in his tracks. He had a pass through on that big nasty sucker. We have had pass throughs on all of our deer and hogs with them too.

It's like any other chambering. Pick a good bullet, put it where it needs to go and you won't have any issues.
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Old 10-21-2021, 09:31 PM   #20
AmmannsvilleGUY
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I have been using the 6.5 Creedmoor for several years now and have about a dozen kills from it with most of the kills being whitetail deer and a few axis deer. I have been mainly using the Hornady ELD-X in 143 grain but could switch that up soon with bonded bullet or something stronger. A 243 is a fantastic round and consider continuing to use the round unless you just want another caliber. I would say buy it and let us know how you do!

A few notables with using the round.

1. You cannot find ammo for it now which is a hassle.
2. All of the animals that I have shot, I have NOT had an exit ever from an ELD-X but on the other side I have not had one go more than 30 yards after being shot. I do shoot behind the shoulder because there is no meat there unless you eat deer ribs.
3. Recoil from the gun is very mild and it is a pleasure to shoot.
4. The round itself is great on just about anything and it seems like most people now days own one or even two of them.
5. I do think as to why they got so popular so quick is that they look like a bullet and not a fat girl in a Honda like some of the other more popular rounds (just my opinion).
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Old 10-21-2021, 09:38 PM   #21
AmmannsvilleGUY
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Quote:
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Anybody have any pictures of the wounds where the bullet blew up on the hide? I canít say Iíve ever seen that. Iíve seen where penetration could have better just never saw one blow up on the hide.
Yes, I will try to send a picture later and attach it to the thread but I have had an ELD-X blow up on an Axis doe rib and got a kill shot on the second hit. I ended up getting a pillow made out of the hide and it is noticeable as to where the bullet blew up on the hide from the first hit. It was about an 80 yard shot on an Axis doe.
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Old 10-21-2021, 10:49 PM   #22
McClain
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Anybody have any pictures of the wounds where the bullet blew up on the hide? I canít say Iíve ever seen that. Iíve seen where penetration could have better just never saw one blow up on the hide.
Not a 6.5 creed and not a hunting bullet and not on the hide, but here is a picture (and accompanying story) of a match bullet blowing up at point of impact on a hog. The next match bullet did not blow up however.

https://discussions.texasbowhunter.c...d.php?t=784099
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Old 10-22-2021, 11:23 AM   #23
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There are 2 thoughts here.
1) Have the bullet enter and never exit. All of the energy is dissipated internally.
2) Have a bullet pass complete through. Gives you 2 holes but you did not use all the energy of the round.

Its personal preference here. I want 2 holes. If I hit the high shoulder they drop either way. If I have to put it behind the shoulder then I get a pass through.

Body size of the animal plays a huge role as well a bullet construction.
I want a bonded base solid core.
The old hill country deer dropped like a sack of bricks from a 243 a star county mature buck took that same load and never left a drop of blood. Killed them both. size and placement is key.

Thats why over the years I have all my kids shooting 300wm. one gun one bullet all over the US
teach them to shoot it. The recoil is recoil ... it only is bad because you were told its bad.
On the bench is the only time I have ever felt recoil. maybe just me

Last edited by powderburner; 10-22-2021 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 10-22-2021, 02:11 PM   #24
175gr7.62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sboudreaux View Post
I know you said no target rounds but I would not shy away from the ELDM's. I think they perform better than the ELDX's. My experience is with a .260 so not a creed but very similar ballistics.
This....after 6-7 deer and about 50 hogs with my Creedmoor I think the ELD-M is one of the wickedest hunting bullets around. They open up more than the ELD-X but they don't "blow up". We have had exits on everything we have shot (and we have shot several 200lb-plus hogs. If anything, I think the X is just a little too stout for deer.
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Old 10-22-2021, 02:48 PM   #25
Mike D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 175gr7.62 View Post
This....after 6-7 deer and about 50 hogs with my Creedmoor I think the ELD-M is one of the wickedest hunting bullets around. They open up more than the ELD-X but they don't "blow up". We have had exits on everything we have shot (and we have shot several 200lb-plus hogs. If anything, I think the X is just a little too stout for deer.

https://youtu.be/Xm8wAXkVaxU


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