Cheap bullets and not loading the way you're "supposed to"


Well-Known Member
I shot two deer yesterday morning, right here in the back part of the property where recovery would be relatively easy and where it's rolling and heavily wooded. SHot distances were maybe 40 yards, I watched both do a death run and saw where they fell. Niether was anything to write home about, but meat in the freezer. On the whole, a decent day, but truck broke rather catastrophically on the way to the processer and I need to coordinate getting it towed in this morning. I kept one deer to butcher out myself, mostly ground, I think.

Anyway, the point of the thread; I was using this Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor. This is the third season for it. I am a traditionalist, but a few years ago I got curious about both the cheap but good entry level bolt actions nowadays and also the 6.5 Creedmoor and have been impressed by both. I slapped a Leupold rifleman (3x9) on it, put together some handloads with some Hornady and Speer bullets I had around and it ripped ragged holes at 100 yards out of the box.

I didn't have a lot of 6.5 bullets and all I could find during the shortage then were some 140 grainers made by PPU which seem odd, the have a big exposed lead point with a small flat on the tip and are also boat tails. I had a few guys give me the warning, "I'd never use cheap, unknown bullets that would risk a hunt", stuff. Also when you talk to those "in the know" you simply MUST use a powder no faster burning than 4831 and some kind of streamlined cruise missile bullet then zero your rifle for like 10 million yards becaue, ya know, it's a 6.5 Creedmoor.

I looked at that mdium sized case, picked a powder that works in medium sized cases (IMR4320 because I have a bunch) had to interpolate data from IMR4064, which there wasn't much of either. BAsically tried 35 grains and my cheap bullets and it shot well, so that was the end of it.

It's worked like expected but these two yesterday left blood trails which would [ut the best broadheads to shame. The second trotted right past me in its death run and I could clearly see blood spurting out the entry hole like some kind of horror movie special effect.

An awful lot of "experts" would tell me I'm wasting the potential of the cartridge, so be it. I hunt woods from tree stands like a bow hunter, generally. A lot of the "Fudds" will bad mouth the Creedmoor, but it is what it is, a good, well thought out, medium powewr level cartridge that seems just about perfect for deer hunting. I just load it like a .308 or .300 Savage and hit the woods.

I've gotten lazt the past few years and just let that rifle do the work, I need to get back to using cast and I think a .30-30 or .35 Remington will be on the docket next year, maybe I'll give the .351 another go.


Well-Known Member
Kinda sounds like ta been listening ta yourself or those "fudds".

The Creed moore IS a fine medium hunting caliber. Nearly duplicating one of the finest in history the 6.5 Swede.
If its what you have USE IT! Have ya tried the 160g rn? Its a dandy inside 250 or so yards on game.

Now I love my 35's there is no doubt. Using cast bullets its also a dandy!

Sounds like the Creed is working just fine for ya. Dont listen to the commandos.



Well-Known Member
Truth be told, that rifle, scope, cartridge combo is as close as I'll come to the perfect all around deer rifle. Easy to shoot well, light, handles and points nicely, accurate, kicks a little harder than I'd have guessed with a load like that, but it is light. It's ugly and boring, but... Thinking of setting up with one in .22-250 with the exact same set up for varmints and such.

I got my oldest son a Remington Model 7 youth in .260 Remington when he was 11 or so. Always wondered why the .260 didn't catch on but the 7mm-08 ran away in popularity.

I'll say, for woods hunting, those cheap PPU bullets get it done. I shot one with that same combo at about 100 yards last year and had similar results. I probably have about three pounds of 4320 left, I'm considering just loading up the rest of the bullets I have from that purchase and not having to think about what I'm deer hunting with for many years.


Well-Known Member
Congratulations on the deer, sorry about your truck!
My Krag likes the PPU .308" 165gr sp, as accurate as I can be with iron sights. Grafs had a great deal on them and I'd definitely shoot a deer with them.
As far as the Creedmoor goes, I feel that it's about time that a 6.5 cartridge found success in the USA. AND with a sensible case size- go figure!

Jeff H

NW Ohio
I just have to wonder why so many people seem to think that the production of a good cup and core bullet is wizardry and requires one to pay a couple of bucks per bullet to get good performance.
The marketing geniuses and the untold number of gullible people who just have to have the latest, greatest, "better than yours" stuff are a dangerous combination.

It's gotten difficult to find many cup-'n-core bullets, like the old 160 grain RNs for the 6.5, which is a all I ever shot in the 6.5x55, and my brother still does, but they're running out.

A dear friend asked which 6.5 he should pick if he were to buy one today, already KNOWING that I would say "the 'Swede, but I said the "Creed'".

He was shocked at that. Brass is more available ad cheaper, there are scads of cheap rifles chambered for it, etc. I told him to just load it to pressures of the old Scandinavian and he'd have something almost as good, which is pretty darned good when you consider how good the 'Swede (any many others of the era) really are.

Good on you, sir for making good use of the marketing marvel.

The other day, I watched a young guy walk out of the woods and put a non-AR rifle in his truck, so I asked about it.

Me: "What rifle you carrying?"
Him: "450."
Me: "Ruger?"
Him: No, a 450."
Me: "No, I meant which rifle, like a Ruger American or whatever."
Him: "Oh, no, (chuckles) it's a 450."

THAT is who this stuff is being "sold" to - the target market. All the cool kids are shooting 450s, so that's all you need to know.

Not complaining. Not bashing the "Creed" or the "450." Just musing at how things can be established as being so much more than they are through a combination of trickery and willful ignorance.


Benevolent Overlord and site owner
Staff member
Cheap bullets have worked on deer for decades.

I use premium bullets only when a need arises. Target shooting, from an accurate rifle, or hunting when I spent money some cash to get there. Think Africa.

For years I loaded Hornady seconds, from setup, and never lost a deer.


Springfield, Oregon
I don't hunt. I use my 6.5 cm to try and shoot tiny pieces of steel and long distance. I really like the Hornady 140gr ELD-X bullets for this job.
As far as powder goes I have only ever used H4350. I'm sure there are others that would work well too.

Jeff H

NW Ohio

For years I loaded Hornady seconds, from setup, and never lost a deer.


TEN BUCKS for hundred Hornady, 160 grain RNs and I never could figure out what was supposed to be wrong with them.

Nosler partitions were as fancy as I ever got, but they got right proud of those things in the mid to late eighties and I stopped buying them.


Well-Known Member
I grew up shooting Sierra seconds @ 50cents a lb. Then in early 1980's the moved to midwest. Never used them for hunting, just plinking. Always felt with all the $$$$ spent on hunting gear and trip expenses, skimping on bullet cost is as dumb as you can get.


Active Member
I no longer hunt, but do like the 6.5's. When my oldest grandson in Alaska told me he was deer hunting with an AR in 223, I reminded him that he lives in the home of the big bears. I sent him my Sako 75 Finnlight in 6.5x55 and it quickly became his favorite. He also received a RockChucker & everything else he needed to load for it.

As I was only shooting targets with the Sako and had sent my Swede brass to my grandson, I replaced it with a Ruger Hawkeye 6.5 Creedmoor. Later traded the Ruger in on a Christensen Ridgeline which I really like.

It is nice to have the choices in cartridges, components, tools, etc that we have today. And as everyone on this forum knows, there are no "magic" cartridges.


Notorious member
Fiver explained to me one time why the .260 Remington never took off, part of it had to do with short-action rifles (.308-length) and not enough neck so there wasn't enough room for the longer bullets from which the 6.5mm caliber benefits. The Creedmoor has the shoulder pushed back to compensate for this, at the cost of a little powder capacity. The ideal length for the 6.5 case and cartridge with an appropriate bullet seems to be about halfway in-between what the long, '06 action and short action rifles take, in other words a MAUSER-length action, 54, 55, or 57mm case lengths. Seems Paul Mauser had all this figured out 125 years ago when smokeless powder was in its very infancy.


Active Member
I bought a Model 7 in .260 as soon as they were available, the stainless model with synthetic stock. A short and handy package for SE Alaska deer hunting. BUT I never could get it to group. I ended up getting a walnut takeoff stock from another Model 7 and glass bedded it, floated the barrel, tried pressure points, etc. I finally gave it up as a lost cause and traded it off. Fiver is right about the short-action rifles and the .260 class of cartridge.

Some years later I read that Remington's choice of twist for that cartridge/rifle combination was not optimum and that was the reason for lack of accuracy.

I'm in full agreement with Ian about the action length for those case lengths.

If I had it to do all over again, I'd just have a 6.5-06 made up. And that cartridge choice could open a whole new discussion.

Jeff H

NW Ohio
....The ideal length for the 6.5 case and cartridge with an appropriate bullet seems to be about halfway in-between what the long, '06 action and short action rifles take, in other words a MAUSER-length action....

Using a much younger brain, I always saw our "long action" as necessary to accommodate a 30 cal version of the 7x57, which we copied. We were stuck on the 30, so we got stuck with the so-called "long (not magnum) action" for that reason. This may well be flawed logic, but it was what made sense to me.

Nothing wrong with the '06 and its progeny, as it offers a "step-up" from the original lengths, if one is inclined to want, or is in a situation to need such a thing. Our so-called "short action" imposes certain limits, so we back shoulders up and increase pressure to get what we had over a hundred years ago.

Right or wrong, that's what I'd put together in my mind early on and never followed up on the actual history too much. It wasn't worth the effort when I could shoot what I wanted in a Mauser action without excess and without limitations. Actually, the '06 fit into those actions just fine.


Active Member. Uh/What
Marketing and selling new products is what keeps the doors open, lights on, people employed, and stuff for each of us to use and enjoy whether it be a 6.5 CM or a Swede, 450 BM, Marlin, or 458x2. I take my hat off to and admire the marketing gurus, in the long run we all benefit from it, even it we don't succumb it directly. So what if we do, I love giving my friend's 14yr old son, crap about shooting a 6.5 Whiz Bang (Creedmoor), it's design parameters as an across the coarse hi-power competition round has made it a very successful hunting round with the proper bullets. Doesn't mean it's not a good round, Dodge, Ford, Chevy, Prius....

I agree that some of the younger shooters sound like idiots to the older ones......... Hmmm, that kinda sounds familiar, what were you saying dad?


Well-Known Member

Love my 6.5/06. Built in early 90's before the 6.5 rage... I oped for a long barrel 26" and can propel 140's pushing 3100 fps.

Also took advantage of "std" action length when I built my 6mm Rem last summer. I had tge chamber throated and run cartridges to take best advantage seating the longest bullet to the base of the neck.