Berger 6.5 / 156 Grain EOL Bullets

Desert Dan

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I think the 156s are what I’m going to start working up after my December hunt is over and when they get back in stock again. I’ve already started on a hunting load based on what is on the shelves here but I’ve heard a lot of good things about these and the heavier bullets seem to be what the PRC really likes. Berger bullets in general are starting to look more and more appealing to me and I wish I worked on them from the beginning.

 

fisherman983

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finally got around to playing with some 156s and my 264 win mag with N570.
at .010 off the lands, I started at 68 gr and velocity was right at 3000 ish increased by .5gr until I had slight ejector marks at 71.5 gr and was right at 3200 fps.

looked like I had a node at 69 gr so I backed it back to .020 off. and fired another 3 round group.

3 rounds for an avg of 3090
sd was 1.4
ws was 2.

group was just over .6 moa. going to adjust seating depth a hair more

norma brass, fed 215m, cbol 2.680 ar .020 off.

hopefully the group will tighten up a bit.

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Coych

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New member, avid reader of the forum. Just finished up the easiest load development of my life thanks to all the input from all shooters. Wanted to say thanks to all for your knowledge and willingness to share with everyone. Here’s my experience with the 156 EOL

rifle:
Proof Research elevation MTR 6.5 PRC
Nightforce NX8 4-32
American rifle company rings
156 Berger EOL
Gunwerks Brass
N565
F210 primer
2.960” OACL (seated to max in AICS? mag

I started with a simple ladder test from 55 to 60 gr in half grain increments.
Found an accuracy node 59 grains to 59.5 with 9 FPS difference (2997,3006) respectively. i shot 60 grains and had a more prominent ejector mark. More so than 59.5 (faint marks) but even at 60 grains bolt lift was smooth. Velocity jumped 96 FPS from 59.5 g (3006 FPS) to 60 grains (3102) shot over a magnetospeed

I loaded 3 (4 shot)group test loads at 59, 59.3, and 59.5 grains

59.5 posted ~.3” group
59.3 ~ .5”
59 ~.6”

Still have some verifying to do but thisis very promising. Thanks to all who have chimed in, I hope my data can help someone else!
 

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fisherman983

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well whatever load I had, didn't work at all. i dunno what happened or went wrong but I can't seem to find a load that wants to work.

whats everyone else starting off the lands? I may need to go back to .010 off and start over

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Magnett

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New member, avid reader of the forum. Just finished up the easiest load development of my life thanks to all the input from all shooters. Wanted to say thanks to all for your knowledge and willingness to share with everyone. Here’s my experience with the 156 EOL

rifle:
Proof Research elevation MTR 6.5 PRC
Nightforce NX8 4-32
American rifle company rings
156 Berger EOL
Gunwerks Brass
N565
F210 primer
2.960” OACL (seated to max in AICS? mag

I started with a simple ladder test from 55 to 60 gr in half grain increments.
Found an accuracy node 59 grains to 59.5 with 9 FPS difference (2997,3006) respectively. i shot 60 grains and had a more prominent ejector mark. More so than 59.5 (faint marks) but even at 60 grains bolt lift was smooth. Velocity jumped 96 FPS from 59.5 g (3006 FPS) to 60 grains (3102) shot over a magnetospeed

I loaded 3 (4 shot)group test loads at 59, 59.3, and 59.5 grains

59.5 posted ~.3” group
59.3 ~ .5”
59 ~.6”

Still have some verifying to do but thisis very promising. Thanks to all who have chimed in, I hope my data can help someone else!
Were your rounds loaded in new unfired Gunwerks brass? If so, it will be interesting to see how the loads hold up after your brass is fully formed to your chamber.
 

Coych

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Yes it’s new brass though I did full length size them before loading them. Should I expect more pressure once they’re fired?
 

Magnett

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I don't know about more pressure but, once the brass assumes the full dimensions of your chamber from successive firings, that load may not exhibit the same accuracy and may have to be adjusted to get back into the node. I have had this happen 2x before. First with Norma brass and second with ADG.
 

Coych

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I don't know about more pressure but, once the brass assumes the full dimensions of your chamber from successive firings, that load may not exhibit the same accuracy and may have to be adjusted to get back into the node. I have had this happen 2x before. First with Norma brass and second with ADG.

interesting. Thanks for the heads up on that I’ll be sure to pay close attention when I reload them.
 

Desert Dan

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Looks like I'll finally be able to get to work on these 156s in my 6.5 PRC. Got an email this morning from Midway USA that they're back in stock and will be here by the end of September. I won't be able to shoot for about 6 weeks since my scope has to go into Nightforce but if I'm lucky it will be back sooner or the NX8 will arrive sooner. Thanks to all the info on this thread, by the time I have the scope back I should have enough time get a hunting load together for my December hunt and I'll be able to test it in cooler temps closer to what I'll be hunting in. I'll be trying N565, 1X or 2X ADG brass, 210s in the Ridgeline first with H1K if the 565 doesn't do it but I doubt that based on the results posted here.

*Edit after the first round of shots with the 156s and N565 from the 6.5 PRC...
Pretty good first impression and I see why the response with N565 has been so positive. Only fired two shots each of charges starting at 54 grains and stopping at 56.5 (.020" OTL, once fired annealed ADG brass, dry lube on bullet before seating) to get a feel for the velocities. The barrel was squeaky clean and seems to speed up and get consistent after about 20 rounds but it was good to get an idea anyway. Shot one round per charge working up, then back down for the second shots. Brought a second rifle so I could shoot a 3 shot group then let it sit for about 20 minutes - temps still around 90. No pressure signs aside from the faint ejector marks I always get even with near minimum loads. Happy with the initial results. I'll probably play with seating depths around 56 or 56.5 grains and if it's accurate and the ES stays decent I'll get it ready to hunt since I'm 2 months away and can push to find pressure or perfect it later.

54 grains - 2859, 2871 (ES 12)
54.5 grains - 2869, 2868 (ES 1)
55 grains - 2866, 2903 (ES 37)
55.5 grains - 2908, 2929 (21)
56 grains - 2942, 2953 (ES 11)
56.5 grains - 2980, 2988 (ES 8)
 
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CaNINE

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Here’s the load I’m finalizing on for hunting season.

264WinMag
26” Benchmark heavy sporter 8 twist
60.7 grains H1000
Nosler
0.030” jump

this formula is giving me 3000 FPS with low ES.

I’m holding Montana deer and pronghorn tags this year and looking forward to putting a 156 EOL into some critters.
 

hidalgo

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My 6.5 PRC should be ready shortly and I’m going to start load development. Has any tried the 153.5 gr Berger long range hybrid target bullets? I grabbed some of the shelf a couple months ago as I was unable to get the 156gr EOLs discussed in this thread. I‘ve got a good selection of 140 gr bullets but would like use the heavier bullets in the 6.5 PRC. Would this bullet work for game up to and including Mule Deer ?
 

Sod Farmer

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My 6.5 PRC should be ready shortly and I’m going to start load development. Has any tried the 153.5 gr Berger long range hybrid target bullets? I grabbed some of the shelf a couple months ago as I was unable to get the 156gr EOLs discussed in this thread. I‘ve got a good selection of 140 gr bullets but would like use the heavier bullets in the 6.5 PRC. Would this bullet work for game up to and including Mule Deer ?

There is very little data on the 153.3g Berger as a hunting bullet. What little hunting experience I have been able to find has been positive so far. If you cant find the 156g EOL I hope you use the 153.5g on game and report back with your results.
 

hidalgo

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I just got some Lapua brass so I’ll do some load development with the 153.5 gr Bergers, I’m in Texas so there is always something to shoot . I’ll report back with the results.
 

kbaerg

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My 6.5 PRC should be ready shortly and I’m going to start load development. Has any tried the 153.5 gr Berger long range hybrid target bullets? I grabbed some of the shelf a couple months ago as I was unable to get the 156gr EOLs discussed in this thread. I‘ve got a good selection of 140 gr bullets but would like use the heavier bullets in the 6.5 PRC. Would this bullet work for game up to and including Mule Deer ?
I'm using the 153.5 Berger in my Mesa Long Range. I started with the bullet seated to just fit my mag box and worked up a load starting at 53 gr. Using H1000. I ended up with a nice load at 55gr. and a velocity just under 2900. If you seat them further out maybe you could get more speed, not sure. I haven't used them on any game yet but will when the time comes.

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Kimber7man

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I just got some Lapua brass so I’ll do some load development with the 153.5 gr Bergers, I’m in Texas so there is always something to shoot . I’ll report back with the results.

Wait, what? You got Lapua 6.5PRC brass already? How is it?
 

hidalgo

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Sorry have not been on for a while. I have not loaded any of the 6.5 PRC Lapua brass because the rifle has not been built yet. Rifle should be ready next week and I’ll start right away as these are the only cases I have. I’d hoped to get some Hornady factory ammo to start but no luck so far, I was able to get some Redding “S” type dies.
 

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Finally got to do some testing with the 156 and I figured I would share here.
Pictured is a pressure ladder.
Once I run an OCW I'll update here and in the 6.5 SAUM load data thread.
I had to move around a bit to keep the shots labeled. Impacts are noted on the target 1-14 which is lowest to highest charge.

6.5 SAUM
Short action - 22" barrel
9" TBAC Ultra
CBTO 2.254/ 20k jump
1x ADG Brass
Win LR Primers
H1000 54 - 60.5 grains in .5 increments.
Did not hit pressure
Planning to go three steps higher to 62.
Velocity
1-3 did not read
4 55.5 - 2671
5 56.0 - 2698
6 56.5 - 2736
7 57.0 - 2750
8 57.5 - 2762
9 58.0 - 2769
10 58.5 - 2808
11 59.0 - 2799
12 59.5 - 2823
13 60.0 - 2865
14 60.5 - 2896
 

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J2shooter

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Finally got to do some testing with the 156 and I figured I would share here.
Pictured is a pressure ladder.
Once I run an OCW I'll update here and in the 6.5 SAUM load data thread.
I had to move around a bit to keep the shots labeled. Impacts are noted on the target 1-14 which is lowest to highest charge.

6.5 SAUM
Short action - 22" barrel
9" TBAC Ultra
CBTO 2.254/ 20k jump
1x ADG Brass
Win LR Primers
H1000 54 - 60.5 grains in .5 increments.
Did not hit pressure
Planning to go three steps higher to 62.
Velocity
1-3 did not read
4 55.5 - 2671
5 56.0 - 2698
6 56.5 - 2736
7 57.0 - 2750
8 57.5 - 2762
9 58.0 - 2769
10 58.5 - 2808
11 59.0 - 2799
12 59.5 - 2823
13 60.0 - 2865
14 60.5 - 2896
Finished up the pressure test today.
Had trouble with the chronograph so I did not get velocity data on these four.
15 61 - DNR - no pressure signs
16 61.5 - DNR - no pressure signs
17 62 - sticky lift / ejector shadow
18 62.5 - slightly harder lift than 62, shiny ejector mark. Definitely too hot.

Overlaying this target with the one from Friday, charges 6-15 are within .449 moa of each other. I will consider 61.5 max working pressure but will not plan to load there. I'll back a little further away from the pressure to be safe. Looks like the node will be pretty wide .
Thinking OCW at 59.7, 60.0, 60.3, 60.6, 60.9, 61.2.
 

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hokiepride44

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So next I did my normal deal. Backed off to 59.0 gr. and seated the bullet deeper to .033" off the lands. The ejector marks were lighter or gone. And the groups tightened up actually.

This is one of the easiest bullets to load I have ever loaded. But I feel the N 565 is also awesome powder, the brass is top shelf, and you have to give this rifle a big pat on the back too.

Average Velocity 3013 fps. from a 24" tube with a 256 gr bullet, not to shabby.
ES was 13
3 at 100 yds
20190702_172211_zpssrrbd69u.jpg
Broz- How do you feel about this load on elk?
 

Broz

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Broz- How do you feel about this load on elk?

First off, in my world a 6.5 is not an elk rifle. They will kill elk yes, there is no doubt. But there is less margin for errors than a larger rifle provide. If you feel you need to hunt elk with a 6.5, I would keep it under 500 yards and be very sure I could place the bullet center vitals. I would not take any quartering shots or ANY shoulder shots. Destroy the vitals they won't go far. Only get one lung, or break one shoulder and they can go for miles and miles. But if I were to go after elk with a 6.5, the Berger 156 would be the bullet I would choose.
 

hokiepride44

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First off, in my world a 6.5 is not an elk rifle. They will kill elk yes, there is no doubt. But there is less margin for errors than a larger rifle provide. If you feel you need to hunt elk with a 6.5, I would keep it under 500 yards and be very sure I could place the bullet center vitals. I would not take any quartering shots or ANY shoulder shots. Destroy the vitals they won't go far. Only get one lung, or break one shoulder and they can go for miles and miles. But if I were to go after elk with a 6.5, the Berger 156 would be the bullet I would choose.
Thank you so much. Also, thanks for all the information you put out there, it is very helpful. I’ll carry my 300WM with 215 Berger’s on my upcoming trip to Wyoming. It is a Christensen, shooting about 1/2 MOA. My PRC is also a Christensen, it is shooting the 156’s sub 1/2 MOA which is cool, but I wasn’t surprised about what you said.
 

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Started load workup on a 6.5x284
Savage action
Proof 28" 1:8
Initial testing at .025 off
VV N565
Fed 210M
Petersen brass

Did a pressure test

After slight pressure at upper end, decided to shoot OCW from 58.6-59.4 gr
58.8 and 59 was coming together so did a seating test at 58.9,
starting .010 off-.040 off
.010 was a clear winner here, although .040 was coming in but not as tight.
Shot .005 and .015 off to confirm .010 was in the right area.
I'm at 50 rounds at this point, will load 10 at 58.9--.010 off and confirm.

Muzzle velocities are fast in this barrel: Averaging 3149 for the intended load.(magneto speed)

Sorry about the order and rotation on first pic, I'll get better.
 

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oldno7

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This is my first Proof barrel,(usually Bartlein) I am surprised by the velocity as well but numbers are real.
I believe they are 4 groove, is that correct? Is 4 groove inherently faster than 5?
I wanted a bit more speed is why I went with 28" but dang......
 

oldno7

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Notes from seating depth test with 58.9gr VV565
 

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Broz

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This is my first Proof barrel,(usually Bartlein) I am surprised by the velocity as well but numbers are real.
I believe they are 4 groove, is that correct? Is 4 groove inherently faster than 5?
I wanted a bit more speed is why I went with 28" but dang......
I did read over that. So you are on point for 4" more barrel at 25 fps / inch.

I have seen no velocity difference in 4.5or 6 groove barrels. The only thing to watch is you will likely have issues with thin jacketed bullets like the A tips or ELD M's as the 4 groove inscripts the jackets wider and some times deeper
 

oldno7

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Thx, Jeff
I believe I'm pretty well settled on the 156 Berger,
Will hopefully get time in the next week to true the muzzle velocity at different ranges, that should validate or invalidate my numbers.
 

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My Prc is performing almost exactly the same as yours. It’s a 7.5 twist 24” proof and 59.3 grains of 565 gets me 3000-3010. It’s about .5 grains from pressure with the 156 Berger’s. I was actually surprised by this speed myself. Seating depth was the same too with .010 and .040 being the best groups. I hear guys have luck at around .080 off as well, but I haven’t tried that yet. My barrel did blow up an eld-m BTW, but the Berger’s have all held up perfectly fine.
 

magedon44

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Well it is clear the 156 gr Berger can shoot. There was a lot of mirage so I am not overly upset that the group was .25moa low. I will recheck a few times before my sheep hunt. The group was just under 2.5" at 1000 yards. Dialed 2.25 moa left. Obviously I needed another .25.

n9MrmqNm.jpg
what seating depth have you found the 156s to prefer?
 

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I seated my loads .01 off lands started at 40gr and went up to 42gr. 42 hard bolt lift using h4350 im not getting close to the velocity you guys are getting with the creedmoore. What are you guys doing to get 2700 fps?

Truthfully I never really paid much attention to double or single base. I got started with VV powders using N-570 in bigger magnums and it worked so well I started considering others. I more look at burn rate charts and how well a powder will fill the case. I prefer to run cases close to full when they max out. As soon as VV came out with N-565 I got some for the smaller cases like the 6.5 PRC and some others. The little faster burn rate than N-570 makes is a contender for some of my other needs. This is my first time using N-565 and it is doing a great job and I believe is producing more velocity that anything out there for the PRC with a heavy bullet like the 156 Berger.

N-570 has proven to be very temp stable for me and I am confident N-565 will be also.

Jeff
Bronz- what seating depth are you finding the 156s to prefer in the 6.5 prc?
 

SoTxShooter

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Don't want to derail the thread, but I want to echo what some of you guys are saying about your Proof barrels. Hornady advertises their factory 147 ELDM at 2,910. Not sure on barrel length on that, but let's assume 24 or 26.

I was verifying dope and out at distance, and everything was way. PM'd a guy I knew had the exact barrel I had, and he said his was fast. Got ahold of a chrono, and verified that I was getting 3,030 FPS out of a 24" barrel on the factory 147s.
 

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what seating depth have you found the 156s to prefer?
Seating depth preference is a myth. Seating depth is fine tuning the pressure curve of the firing sequence. I have less experience with the 156 as far as different rifles than Berger 180s and 215s but we are seeing the same patterns. Start at .010 off and work out to .050 off. Once you find the best depth try .005 either side. If you don't see what you like keep going farther off.
 

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what seating depth have you found the 156s to prefer?

Mine liked .080 off. Which is a slightly compressed load with 59gr n565. Good thing is, it fits the magazine too.


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RBanta66

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In Ryan's vlog for his 6.5 prc I believe he went with .025 off for his ladder. I used the same seating depth and started my ladder yesterday. Though I'm not finished I had 2 of 3 powder charges that shot less than 1/2 moa at 620yds and one was actually less than 1/4 moa. I will be finishing this test next week. I used .025 off to start and so far looking great. I'm running new Lapua brass, Br2 primers, N565 and of course the Berger 156. I shot powder charges 57.1, 57.4, 57.7 and I shot 58.0 as my sighters and dialed 10.25moa to start but sighters were 2moa low so came up 2moa for center target. Rifle was previously sighted in with factory Hornady Precision Hunter 143eldx at 1.5 high at 100yds. Though i wasn't worried about my left to right the rifle was dead center on target. Hope some of this info is helpful.
 

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I will be running .015 off in the newest rifle.
 

Ladd

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Anyone else exited for berger to release 156 factory loaded ammo this fall
That will be sweet. The 156 gr Berger EOL is a good bullet. I can't wait to hear how good the ammo shoots.
 

outdoorguy17

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I agree the Factory Berger 6.5PRC 156gr is very appealing! I shot the berger 6.5 creedmoor with 156gr and it was getting 2,700 fps with 5 shots into just over 1/2" at 100 yards. incredible accuracy for factory with very good velocity!
 

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Ok so I’ve read all 8 pages now and what a wealth of information. Thanks to all who stay up on it. I’m ready to start load development with a Christensen Ridgeline with 156’s, N565 and I’ve got 100 pieces of new Hornady brass. I see it seems to be a little soft but it’s what was available. I understand things will change after fire-forming to my chamber but here’s my question because I want to make sure I do this right:
After doing a pressure test, should I continue loading fresh brass? Or size and use the once fired brass? I know it would be better to size and use the once fired brass but at some point you’re going to have to use new brass again lol. I’ve only got about 30 rounds down the tube so far with factory Hornady 147 ELD-M ammo for break in purposes. It actually shoots it great too. The gun has not had the chamber reamer job done yet obviously so the more I re-size brass and reuse, it may become a problem. Thanks
 

RBanta66

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Ok so I’ve read all 8 pages now and what a wealth of information. Thanks to all who stay up on it. I’m ready to start load development with a Christensen Ridgeline with 156’s, N565 and I’ve got 100 pieces of new Hornady brass. I see it seems to be a little soft but it’s what was available. I understand things will change after fire-forming to my chamber but here’s my question because I want to make sure I do this right:
After doing a pressure test, should I continue loading fresh brass? Or size and use the once fired brass? I know it would be better to size and use the once fired brass but at some point you’re going to have to use new brass again lol. I’ve only got about 30 rounds down the tube so far with factory Hornady 147 ELD-M ammo for break in purposes. It actually shoots it great too. The gun has not had the chamber reamer job done yet obviously so the more I re-size brass and reuse, it may become a problem. Thanks


I'm on the process of this same test. I just followed Ryan's vlog for his 6.5prc. I started my test at 57.1gn N565 and have went upto 59.5gns with no signs of pressure. I had a very defined waterline with 58.6-58.9. Here's the link to my thread with photos of results. Ryan's Vlog made it very straight forward and simple. I am shooting 156 Bergers and using new Lapua brass, I currently only have 61 rounds down my barrel but results have been very accurate.

 

Huntfish

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So just measured my Ridgeline mag box and mine is also 3.040” like I believe Broz had. @Ladd, in another post long ago, I had asked how far off mag length to start to still feed from the mag and you had suggested starting .010” off. Does that still stand? It seems reading this thread, people are going quite a bit further to get it to feed.
 

Ladd

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So just measured my Ridgeline mag box and mine is also 3.040” like I believe Broz had. @Ladd, in another post long ago, I had asked how far off mag length to start to still feed from the mag and you had suggested starting .010” off. Does that still stand? It seems reading this thread, people are going quite a bit further to get it to feed.
I am starting at .010" off the mag COAL. In a 6.5 PRC I have feeding from a DBM this is holding true. It may vary.
 

Rexby4

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Has anyone tried the N568 with the 156’s or 140’s. I would be interested in your results.
 

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