Berger 6.5 / 156 gr Terminal Performance Thread

Ladd

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I'm at a turning point with me 6.5 PRC. I am currently shooting the 147 ELD-M and shot a Mule deer this year and the deer literally just stood there like I missed him. Second shot he kicked and went 10 steps.

I am thinking about switching to a different pullet. Are you guys/gals still liking the 156 EOL's? I found a few I can buy.

I am 100% behind the 156 gr Berger EOL.


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OSOK - Crash

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Are these offered in factory ammo? I'm currently shooting the 143 ELD-X (6.5 Creedmoor) and having good luck with the two deer I shot this year. But wouldn't mind trying a new bullet.

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Lethal Chica

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I took a mature whitetail doe on the eastern shore of Maryland with my 6.5 SAUM and the Berger 156 EOL. Pushing 3030 fps; using RL 26 and CCI 250. She was at 200 yards and quartered to me slightly. The damage to her lungs was massive. Pic below. She dropped where she stood.
1607174621365.png
 

Ladd

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Are these offered in factory ammo? I'm currently shooting the 143 ELD-X (6.5 Creedmoor) and having good luck with the two deer I shot this year. But wouldn't mind trying a new bullet.

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The answer to this is it’s not really offered in factory ammo yet. I’m guessing Berger will in 2021 but that’s a hunch. You can get it hand loaded by several companies. Copper Creek Cartridge Co., Unknown Munitions, Choice Ammunition, Hendershot’s, and probably a few others. The other issue is they’re out of stock so it will be difficult to find unless you can build them yourself. I just made some for testing in a new rifle.


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OSOK - Crash

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The answer to this is it’s not really offered in factory ammo yet. I’m guessing Berger will in 2021 but that’s a hunch. You can get it hand loaded by several companies. Copper Creek Cartridge Co., Unknown Munitions, Choice Ammunition, Hendershot’s, and probably a few others. The other issue is they’re out of stock so it will be difficult to find unless you can build them yourself. I just made some for testing in a new rifle.


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Thanks. I will look into these. I looked into one of these you referenced awhile back and they were out of stock.

I really wish I was set up for reloading. Ammo crisis is stupid right now.

I went on GunBroker out of desperation, and honestly, I am not that desperate yet. Because the prices ammo is going for right now is crazy. And I thought going with 6.5 Creed was a good choice for ammo. Guess nothing is safe during these times.

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Ladd

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Thanks. I will look into these. I looked into one of these you referenced awhile back and they were out of stock.

I really wish I was set up for reloading. Ammo crisis is stupid right now.

I went on GunBroker out of desperation, and honestly, I am not that desperate yet. Because the prices ammo is going for right now is crazy. And I thought going with 6.5 Creed was a good choice for ammo. Guess nothing is safe during these times.

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My bad. For some reason I had 6.5 PRC in my head. Berger will have this in their ammo for the 6.5 Creedmoor if all goes well for 2021.


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Kimber7man

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Desert Dan

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One more for the Berger 156, and my first coues buck. Honestly this one wasn't even a contest. This gun and scope are good to go to at least 600 yards on these little deer (my personal limit) but he got caught sneaking along some thick cover at barely 100 yards and I got him quartering away. He started to turn his body away from me the instant I shot so it went in behind his right shoulder and put a big hole out through his throat. Dead on the spot but screwed up the cape. Quick kill and no meat lost so thumbs up from me.
 

Ladd

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One more for the Berger 156, and my first coues buck. Honestly this one wasn't even a contest. This gun and scope are good to go to at least 600 yards on these little deer (my personal limit) but he got caught sneaking along some thick cover at barely 100 yards and I got him quartering away. He started to turn his body away from me the instant I shot so it went in behind his right shoulder and put a big hole out through his throat. Dead on the spot but screwed up the cape. Quick kill and no meat lost so thumbs up from me.

You did it. All the load development, shooting with the 6.5 PRC, working through the carbon ring issue and your coues deer hunt is in the books. Congrats.


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Desert Dan

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Thanks guys. Total confidence in the PRC with that 156 now. I’d love to use one on a nice muley.
 

CaliforniaMuley209

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Was able to take two deer with the 156 Berger out of new PRC this year. Both worked great. Shot a Montana mule deer at about 400. Deer was slightly quarter are entered with a small hole, complete pass through with a 1 inch exit. Lungs were jello. Deer took about 4 steps and fell over.
Then shot a South Dakota white tail at close range. Rattled Him in to about 100 and shot him. Same result. Small entrance with about 3/4 inch exit and his insides were mush. Ran about 10 yards and died.Very happy with how to performed in real hunting situations.
Muzzle velocity - 2850
6.5 PRC
Hornady brass
C0DE54E5-D888-42F8-8D8A-2C050C357CEF.jpeg6377B40F-0F15-44E8-BD2F-B0DACE40537D.jpeg9CC3E0DF-9A02-4267-A586-3BA2D92BB722.jpeg
 

OSOK - Crash

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Was able to take two deer with the 156 Berger out of new PRC this year. Both worked great. Shot a Montana mule deer at about 400. Deer was slightly quarter are entered with a small hole, complete pass through with a 1 inch exit. Lungs were jello. Deer took about 4 steps and fell over.
Then shot a South Dakota white tail at close range. Rattled Him in to about 100 and shot him. Same result. Small entrance with about 3/4 inch exit and his insides were mush. Ran about 10 yards and died.Very happy with how to performed in real hunting situations.
Muzzle velocity - 2850
6.5 PRC
Hornady brass
View attachment 6306View attachment 6307View attachment 6308
Congrats on two successful hunts!

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Kimber7man

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Was able to take two deer with the 156 Berger out of new PRC this year. Both worked great. Shot a Montana mule deer at about 400. Deer was slightly quarter are entered with a small hole, complete pass through with a 1 inch exit. Lungs were jello. Deer took about 4 steps and fell over.
Then shot a South Dakota white tail at close range. Rattled Him in to about 100 and shot him. Same result. Small entrance with about 3/4 inch exit and his insides were mush. Ran about 10 yards and died.Very happy with how to performed in real hunting situations.
Muzzle velocity - 2850
6.5 PRC
Hornady brass
View attachment 6306View attachment 6307View attachment 6308

Congrats!!
 

Elkhnter5

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Nice work everyone! Love hearing the results and congrats on all your successful hunts. I just switched this year to the 156 berger in my custom 6.5-284 and only got to harvest one mule deer doe with them (I was doing testing with the 210 berger out of my christensen 300 win mag so the 6.5 got put on the back burner for the most of the season). Anyway, the doe was 358 yards walking right to left. She was walking through some small pines and trying to get over the ridge. I whistled when she hit an opening where all I could see were vitals. I shot and watched the bullet hit her right behind the shoulder a little higher than I wanted. Her hide rippled and she "death dropped" and starting plowing nose down the very steep mountain. Blood was pouring out of her and the only reason she made it the 70 yards she did was because of how steep the hill was. Bullet performance was great. Bullet size in half dollar exit. I am hoping to draw some antelope tags this fall here in Montana to try to do some more testing. Muzzle velocity is 2840 FPS. I am going to try some retumbo and see if I can get the muzzle velocity up a little higher. I ran the 147 eld-m at 2950 out of my 26" tube with retumbo. My friend loaded these for me as I had a kid and didn't have time to work a load for the 156 berger. Shoot .300 groups. H4831 was the powder used in these loads.
 

J2shooter

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Shot a large doe On my way to the tree stand, shot was approximately 40 yards. Muzzle velocity 2940 out of my 6.5 SAUM, shot was broadside.
When the deer was hit, it lunged up and then collapsed and died.
Both shoulders were shattered, the top of the heart was blown apart/off and was basically disconnected from the arteries and rolling around in the chest cavity.
Picture of the gut pile shows the heart in the top left it's pretty hard to make out what it is but that is basically where the top of the heart was.

Again both shoulders were broken, with the offside shoulder being shattered the worst. Most likely the majority of the meat on the front shoulders is gone/ruined. I kind of chose this shot a little further to the front as I didn't want to bust the spleen and have that mess to deal with.

I'll try to get a picture of the inner chest cavity before I drop it off in the processor and I'll upload that here shortly.

The 156 did well for such a close shot. Brutal and tough.

Edit: didn't get the inner chest cavity photo.

AndroVid_Pro_9379.jpg
 
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Gord0

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I always shoot for the crease, or sometimes a little farther forward just out of habit. That's where lots of leaks make for humane kills. I've never taken a neck shot, but that's almost worth it at that range.
 

J2shooter

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I always shoot for the crease, or sometimes a little farther forward just out of habit. That's where lots of leaks make for humane kills. I've never taken a neck shot, but that's almost worth it at that range.
I do take neck shots at this range from time to time, but this situation was off hand after I'd been trying to remain motionless for about 10 minutes while they settled down. On my way in, I lightly busted several deer up the hill in the direction I was heading, they were up there trying to figure out what I was and where I was. While I'm waiting for one to move Into a window three ease out directly 9 o'clock about 40 yards trying to figure out what the deer up the hill were keyed up about. Had to stand there for a while with my pack on trying to get a chance to square up with them. She finally put her head down and behind a tree and I was able to square off for an off hand shot. Thought about the neck shot too but was a little shaky and just figured punch the shoulders to be safe.

Hopefully I'll get to go back for one more hunt before the season is up to get some more terminal performance data a little further out. I feel fine about any close up shot with these on deer size game though. Very hard hitting. I know they'll be great way out there too.
 

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Figured I would add mine in. Not gonna do all the pictures though, too much to upload ha ha.

We have taken over 30 pronghorn, mule deer and elk with the 156 in either my 29" 260ai @ 2930, or my dad's 26" .264 win mag @ a mild 3080, at ranges from 250ish yards out to 910 on an elk. They fragment a little more than the 140 vld from my experience, however they kill exquisitely. You don't always get exits on bigger quartering animals, but I have always got exits on pronghorn. They have accounted for 2 elk, 890 yards and 910 yards, one was a center shoulder hit, dropped in tracks, the other was a heart shot, trotted 10 paces and went down. Several mule deer from 500-880, and a LOT of pronghorn. None of the 30+ animals have gone out of sight after being hit, even if the hit wasn't optimal, and the majority have dropped in their tracks. For smaller to medium sized game, I give them a thumbs up.

While I have used them on a couple elk, at extended ranges no less, with good results, for long range stuff I still prefer a minimum of 7mm on elk, with a preference of 30 cal and above. They will work well in a pinch with proper shot placement, as many other smaller chamberings and bullet choices will, but in my opinion (for what it's worth) they (and a 6.5 in general) aren't optimal for elk. They put a smack down on pronghorn and mule deer sized game though
 

haisardao

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I know this thread is not new, wondering if this bullet still performing as expected. I’m deciding between my 6.5 Saum and the 156 EOL, vs a 30 cal with 245s for a mule deer hunt I have in MT late October. thanks
 

codyadams

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I know this thread is not new, wondering if this bullet still performing as expected. I’m deciding between my 6.5 Saum and the 156 EOL, vs a 30 cal with 245s for a mule deer hunt I have in MT late October. thanks
For mule deer, I would personally run the 156. You can see some good mule deer results in the 156 berger "bullet breakdown" located here -


Now if you were talking elk, that would without a doubt go to the 245. However I found the 156 to be more than sufficient on big mullies.
 

Ladd

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The 156 gr Berger is a very good bullet. My 6.5 PRC has taken 4 mule deer and they were killed fairly quick. I love that bullet, it has done well but it may not go with me on every mule deer hunt after the last time.

I had a very nice and heavy non typical mule deer bedded in front of me at just over 800 yards with a canyon separating us with a 5 mph wind. I didn’t feel good about the shot so I didn’t pull the trigger even with a really good prone setup. In my mind, the 156 was borderline in my situation. It may not have been but this buck was big and he was close to the adjoining property I did not have access to. Bucks that size have deceptively big bodies.

The following years I’ve carried a 7mm or larger for mule deer when I know I may have a chance at an old mature buck. 7 max with a 180 gr Berger the following year and 300 PRC with the 215 gr Berger last year. I was reminded how big mule deer can be standing over Dave’s 30”, 195” buck last year so my decision was validated.

I don’t consider mule deer to have the will to live like an elk but big mature bucks have big bodies and if I’m shooting long range at one, I would rather have something that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling that tells me, I got this.
 
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haisardao

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The 156 gr Berger is a very good bullet. My 6.5 PRC has taken 4 mule deer and they were killed fairly quick. I love that bullet, it has done well but it may not go with me on every mule deer hunt after the last time.

I had a very nice and heavy non typical mule deer bedded in front of me at just over 800 yards with a canyon separating us with a 5 mph wind. I didn’t feel good about the shot so I didn’t pull the trigger even with a really good prone setup. In my mind, the 156 was borderline in my situation. It may not have been but this buck was big and he was close to the adjoining property I didn’t not have access to. Bucks that size have deceptively big bodies.

The following years I’ve carried a 7mm or larger for mule deer when I know I may have a chance at an old mature buck. 7 max with a 180 gr Berger the following year and 300 PRC with the 215 gr Berger last year. I was reminded how big mule deer can be standing over Dave’s 30”, 195” buck last year so my decision was validated.

I don’t consider mule deer to have the will to live like an elk but big mature bucks have big bodies and if I’m shooting long range at one, I would rather have something that gives me a warm fuzzy feelings that tells me, I got this.
Makes sense, thanks Ladd. This is my first MT trip, so I’m trying to stack the deck on my favor.
 

Elkhnter5

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I know this thread is not new, wondering if this bullet still performing as expected. I’m deciding between my 6.5 Saum and the 156 EOL, vs a 30 cal with 245s for a mule deer hunt I have in MT late October. thanks
I have been very impressed with the 156 on deer and antelope. That being said I have taken an elk with it as well and was very impressed. If you’re coming up here for just mule deer I would bring the 6.5 SAUM and enjoy our beautiful state! Good luck!
 

haisardao

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I have been very impressed with the 156 on deer and antelope. That being said I have taken an elk with it as well and was very impressed. If you’re coming up here for just mule deer I would bring the 6.5 SAUM and enjoy our beautiful state! Good luck!
Thank you!
 

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I run the 156 in a 6.5 SS at 3000 fps. First 8 or was it 9 shots at deer/antelope all resulted in dead animals. All 1 shot kills and none went out of sight. Good bullet.
Bruce
 

ABC1000

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*Edited to add impact velocity and energy.

They’ve been great on deer. Only mishap I had was with my young son and a cow elk. I let him shoot the 300 PRC and I had the 6.5 as a backup. He missed, and I (also had a tag) shot a hair low and hit her in the shoulder. Not a drop of blood for many hundred yards…. 30-40 minutes later, we found her standing up, perfectly silhouetted behind a tall sage brush. Still, no blood to be found… she wasn’t going anywhere but I guess this proves (for me) that 30 cal is better for elk.

Shot was just under 400 yards (2,988 mv @ muzzle, 2,520 mv at impact and ,2198 2,199 ft-lbs energy) but I guessed on elevation as I came over the hill and they weren’t where I expected the herd to be and were already bolting.

I should have taken a picture of the wound, but I shot her at the top of the mountain and she ran straight down to the bottom. I was more concerned with the pack out I guess.
 
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haisardao

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They’ve been great on deer. Only mishap I had was with my young son and a cow elk. I let him shoot the 300 PRC and I had the 6.5 as a backup. He missed, and I (also had a tag) shot a hair low and hit her in the shoulder. Not a drop of blood for many hundred yards…. 30-40 minutes later, we found her standing up, perfectly silhouetted behind a tall sage brush. Still, no blood to be found… she wasn’t going anywhere but I guess this proves (for me) that 30 cal is better for elk.

Shot was just under 400 yards (2,988 mv @ muzzle) but I guessed on elevation as I came over the hill and they weren’t where I expected the herd to be and were already bolting.

I should have taken a picture of the wound, but I shot her at the top of the mountain and she ran straight down to the bottom. I was more concerned with the pack out I guess.
Good input, thanks.
 

charliehorse27

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I’ve been using the 156’s out of my 6.5 PRC for the past several years. My rifle has a short barrel, and my velocities are just a shade over 2800. Bullet has been great. Took an antelope buck last year at 450 yards and the bullet expanded a little. Poked a hole through him, he walked about 30 steps and fell over dead. Shot a whitetail buck in the neck at the base of the skull this year, and it destroyed the spinal column. Exit wound was about 2 inches diameter of bone fragments.

Between last year and this year, I heard about the trick with the Berger’s to clean out the hollow tips with a torch tip cleaner to ensure no residual debris from manufacturing are leftover. This ensures expansion and prevents the bullet tip closing in and ‘penciling through,’ is my understanding. Probably applies more to me in my situation than others with pushing it at a little lower velocity.
 

J2shooter

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Three more whitetail doe taken with the 156 berger this season.
6.5 saum
2940 mv
zeiss v6 3-18

Two medium size (dressed about 80-90 pounds ) and one a little larger that dressed at 100.
The two smaller ones were shot inside of 60 yards. And the larger one at 390.

On the two close up shots, one was broadside and the other one was pointed directly away from me to the point that I had to ease to the side enough to get enough angle to be able to punch behind the shoulder on a very sharp quartering away.

The broadside shot was typical for this bullet. Nickel size entrance and exit, vitals wrecked and she made it 30 yards and piled up.

The sharp quartering shot took out the right side lung and badly damaged the shoulder on that side and it actually didn't touch the heart it was so sharp.
She made it 45-50 yards and expired.
This bullet didn't exit and seemed to have been absorbed by the shoulder and brisket.


The larger doe shot at 390 was broad side/slightly quartering to. Bullet broke the front left shoulder, butterflied the heart and caused significant lung damage with about a nickel size exit 3" behind the right side shoulder / out the ribs. She managed 35 yards slightly down hill into the field and fell over.

Sorry no pictures this time. I keep ending up such a mess dressing them that I keep passing on taking pictures.

Love this bullet.
 

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2 weeks ago Oklahoma Whitetail. Out of a TS Customs 6.5PRC Lone Peak Razor TI action, 22" Benchmark carbon barrel. Berger factory 156 gr 6.5PRC load. Large buck 275 ish lbs., 165 yards. Dime sized entrance hole quarter sized exit. Eviscerated the the front half of both lungs and separated the Aorta from the heart. Amazingly the buck went 75 yards in a draw where it piled up. The buckets of blood made it rather easy to follow.

72305864810__0038E212-CFBC-4352-9DB6-9365C6A34554.jpeg
 
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sveltri

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I shot a mule deer buck this year 400 yds, 2930 mv, hit a rib going in damage appeared to be quarter sized, blew the top half of the heart apart, internal damage was approx 4.5" wide x 1.5" tall. He probably went 50 yards and fell over dead. There was no visible blood on the ground, but didn't really look as i watched him fall. I was initially surprised to see no blood on the animal, but after giving it some thought if the pump is broken I wouldn't expect to see and flow.
 

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I’ve killed two small 5x5 bull elk with a Jim See Elite Accuracy 6.5 GAP 4S Titanium Mountain shooting the 156 Bergers @ 2850 using ammo from Copper Creek.

Distances were short, 150 and 250 yards, no tracking involved. Speed seems a little slow, less than 100 rounds on the barrel. Accuracy is excellent, probably shoots the 140 Berger a little better but wanted some more weight for elk and mule deer.
 

J2shooter

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I’ve killed two small 5x5 bull elk with a Jim See Elite Accuracy 6.5 GAP 4S Titanium Mountain shooting the 156 Bergers @ 2850 using ammo from Copper Creek.

Distances were short, 150 and 250 yards, no tracking involved. Speed seems a little slow, less than 100 rounds on the barrel. Accuracy is excellent, probably shoots the 140 Berger a little better but wanted some more weight for elk and mule deer.
What is the barrel length on this rifle?
 

Sako76

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Barrel is 24” plus a 3 port gill brake. I believe the fps on the Copper Creek box says 2930 fps. I was told after 100 and 200 rounds the barrel would gain 100-150 fps.

I have 10 boxes of CC ammo but I don’t want to plink with it.

I also have a GA Precision in 6.5 PRC that shoots the 139 Scenar @3075 fps and accuracy is excellent. Funny thing, the Scenar is the only bullet it shoots great!
 

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