I just started working with this little round a few weeks ago. My cousin in Las Vegas, former Anchorage born and raised like myself, purchased a McMillan Alias rifle system chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.
He drove down to Phoenix for the weekend and we began the load work with 140gr SMK's, Hornady brass, CCI-BR2 primers and Hodgdon Hybrid 100V powder. We ended up with several 1/4" groups by the end of the weekend.
More recently a good friend and member of this forum came down from Indianapolis to shoot in a long range school taught by McMillan so I tagged along. McMillan had a guest instructor on the hunting side and tactical side of the range. I shot on the tactical side due to the 338LM platform I was shooting. I met this instructor last year but never connected with him after the class.
This time we talked about life outside of the range. It turns out our homes are only eight miles apart. We discussed the 6.5 Creedmoor. He mentioned he was getting the same rifle system in a few weeks to prep for a national sniper competition. He has won a few with a McMillan TAC 300WM in the past. This shooter is a former Army Ranger Sniper with multiple deployments and instructs three current teams as a civilian contractor to the Government. I told him it would be a pleasure to work up a load and transfer all the data to him. Currently he's planning to shoot production Hornady 140gr A-Max ammo.
He had shot eleven boxes of factory Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor in a TAC rifle platform so he gave me all the brass to prep. Since his Alias wasn't on hand yet I full length re-sized, trimmed, de-burred necks and flash holes, polished, ultra sonic cleaned and annealed all 220 pieces to restore virgin life and have a matched component to begin testing. Future loads will most likely be neck sized only.
We choose the new Berger Hybrid 140gr bullet due to it's very high BC. This will give him a higher percentage of hits with less drift in the extended range applications he intends to use them in. I would have preferred the H100V powder and CCI-BR2 primers that I had already used in my cousins rifle but we had a large quantity of H4350 and Fed 210M's on hand so we started with them.
The combination of 140gr Berger Hybrid, Hornady brass, Fed210M and H4350 worked out quite well. We had the new Alias shooting 1/4 MOA from prone with no slings or bags in one afternoon of testing. We tried 9 samples on our first trip to the range then ran home and made 6 adjustments. This load feeds from the detachable magazine, the results are below. Outside to outside measured .504", when subtracting the bullet diameter of .264" the groups is .240", quite impressive from prone with no shooter assisted aids.
By the way, the group in post #1 is a five shot group. Snipers name withheld as I haven't asked for his permission to post it yet. His exact recipe also withheld as he intends to compete with this load in a couple of weeks. Basic information with components used is in post #1 and easily made with a little testing.
Small correction to my cousins load in post #1, Winchester WLR primers were used instead of CCI BR2. I generally use BR2 in all Large Rifle non-magnum applications but he had a ton of WLR on hand.
My cousins load with the 140gr Sierra also shot 1/4 MOA. It is as follows:
Hornady brass trimmed to 1.915"
Bullet, Sierra 140gr SMKBT 0.526BC
Powder, Hodgdon Hybrid 100V 41.1gr
CBTO with (4-25) stony point tool, 2.264"
COAL ~ 2.732"
This is -0.020 off the lands in this rifle
Sierra has a much improved BC bullet in their new 142GR SMKBT. Lapua has also just released a high BC LR Scenar in 136gr. We were not able to acquire those bullets prior to testing. When I get my hands on those bullets I will share that data.
To date, I believe Berger has the highest BC 6.5mm bullet on the market.
Marshall, this is incredible work on your part. Having personally shot this particular cartridge on the same McMillan platform that you reference up to and including 1400 yard ranges I can only believe that with an expert shooter you have a winner. I would love to hear a field report about how the bullet/rifle combination performs in the upcoming match if this information becomes available to share publicly. Nice work all the way around. I guess I know what my next toy will be...
Yep, it's a sweet set up. I will eventually get around to building something utilizing this cartridge, it's so easy to tune. The optics where quite nice too. He's running the Leupold Mark 6 with a Horus reticle.
I will post his match results win, lose or draw. This will be the first match with this light cartridge.
By the way, those first shot hits you made out to 980 yards with the 7mm RM and your 160gr hand loads were awesome. All of that from a hunting rifle without fancy adjustable combs and tactical scopes.
Very cool write up, thanks for sharing! That sure is a funny looking round!