6mm Speer 105 grain Round Nose
Anyone have any experience with 6mm Speer 105 gr RN, specifically 243 Win? Any loads and any experience on game?
I got one brand new box of bullets in a group of bullets purchased at an auction. I see they were discontinued some time ago.
Looks like they would be a good deer bullet, especially for the 150 yards and under shots.
I have tested these 105 RN's as well as the spitzers. The RN's seem to open up faster than the spitzers and there is no mechanism to keep the core locked into the jacket.
The 115 Barnes O's are much better in my testing. Very hard to find these days.
I've used a lot of them in 243 and 6mm, both the RNs and the spitzers. The RN is okay for close work, but I don't use it much. In both calibers both versions of the bullet need to be pushed pretty near max for the best accuracy. The RN is kind of an anachronism, being a little tender for close range high vel work while poorly shaped for long range shooting.
Originally Posted by Ozarks
More than you asked for, but I gotta say more. My 243 is a Ruger #1 with a 26" barrel, which coincidentally has a really long throat. I can seat that looooong spitzer all the way out so the base of the bullet is right at the base of the neck. Lots of extra powder capacity that way compared to standard factory length, even with other brands of 100 grainers. I'm not going to pass along any loads, because mine are well over book max yet show normal pressures. Seat the bullet deeper with my loads (if you can even do it) and I'm afraid you might have a bomb on your hands. I will say that both my rifles really like either 4831 or 4350 under the bullets, with the 6mm doing better with 4350 and only okay with 4831, while the 243 is reversed in its preferences. For conventional seating depths in a 243 I'd expect the 4350 to do a little better than 4831.
With the extra powder capacity and that 26" barrel my 243 easily pushes the spitzer over 3100 fps, and I gotta say it's about the best all around long range bullet in the caliber. It's one of the few that will reliably expand at 400 yards.
243 WIN a beginner or expert round for deer size game???
Thanks for the replies. That is very helpful information. BrownBear, enjoyed you saying more and always learn a lot from you and the other more Ďsperienced folks. I will say more too:
More specifically, I am planning on loading some of the Speer 105 gr RN for 243 Win for use in a Ruger M77 compact with 16.5Ē barrel. I want to see if it plants deer quicker than other 95 grain cup/core bullets. I donít have my range book with me, but my chrono shows it to lose more velocity than I would have thought. It is a flamethrower in low light, thatís for sure!
This is my sonsírifle that I got for him when he was nine I think, maybe younger. I got it due to the shorter length of pull and light weight and low recoil. Iíd never had or hunted with a 243, but read it is a good ďbeginners roundĒ. He was small in stature at first and I only loaded varmint bullets for practice with very light powder charges supplemented with Dacron type pillow stuffing. He practiced and became quite proficient with it.
He has hunted deer with it for at least the last five years. Killed at least one every year. Early on, I taught him to shoot broadside, center of mass in the lung area, and he always makes good lung shots.
The problem is last year was the first year he lost a deer, and it was a nice buck. He got one shot off (95 gr. Nosler CT BT) and drew blood and we eventually tracked it to where it laid down and then it jumped up and ran off into some thick stuff and we never could follow the trail after that. Bad shot placement? If so it was his first.
He lost some confidence then, first time in his life he lost an animal. Made mention about needing a bigger rifle (sounds like us old guys, huh?), but then later in the season killed a decent buck, but took two lung shots. First shot (95 grain Hornady SST) knocked it down and it jumped up and starting trotting off, then he hit it again in the lungs and it ran about 75 yards and expired. That helped to get his confidence back.
He has only hunted deer and varmints with the 243 using Dadís handloads. For deer, he has used 100 gr Horandy SP, 95 gr Horandy SST, and Nosler/Winchester CT Ballistic tips in 95 grain. They have all done what they are supposed to do, good results for cup and core bullets. Either pass through with fair size exit or bullet lodged against the far side hide. The 100 gr Hornady has had the best weight retention and less fragmentation that the others. I recovered one and it shed some jacket and a little lead and still weighed 70 some odd grains.
I work with two guys who exclusively use 243 Win on whitetail and axis deer for years and swear buy them. They donít handload and they purchase their bullets at the local discount store and buy whatever 100 grain Remington, Winchester, or Federal load is cheapest. They have 20 and 24 inch barrels so they get better velocity, and they usually harvest in the 75 to 250 yard range (but admit most are around 100 or less average). They are expert marksman and aim low enough to get the heart some or all of the time. Their deer either drop dead on the spot or run a short distance (less than 100 yds) and usually donít require a follow up shot. That is better than my sonís experience, but they have lower shot placement (heart hits or shock) and more velocity in their favor.
I now consider the 243 Winchester to be minimally adequate for deer size game in the hands of someone who is experienced and a good marksman and willing to pick the shots carefully. It is an awesome varmint round, and can serve dual purpose roles on the farm and ranch.
I donít consider it the best ďfirst caliberĒ for youth and women for deer size game. If I had it to do over, I would start with something closer to 7mm-08 and load it light for learning and low recoil, and kick it up for the game season. 260 Rem and 7x57 would be fine choices too for that first deer rifle.
All of this after many years and many deer myself of using a .30 caliber much of the time and with lung shots the deer fold up like a cheap card table or go a few feet at most. When skinning them the internal damage does not appear much different between the 243 Win lung shot and a 30-06 lung shot, for example. But the -06 lung shot puts them down quicker and rarely a follow up shot required. Something to be said for 50 or more percent bullet weight (100 to 150 gr) and thus energy increase!
Bottom line is Iíd like him to get rid of the 243 Winchester for deer size game and upsize the caliber and I think he would not have to use a 2nd follow up shot and the deer will drop in a few yards or less.
He likes the 243 and still has good confidence and wants to use it, so I am going to try the Speer RN 105 grain and see if that makes a difference. Where he hunts all of his shots have been less than 100 yards.
My experience with both the 243 and 6mm spans over 40 years, including two kids who grew up shooting them and a wife who still does. I can't begin to guess how many deer have fallen to those guns. And so help me, I can't remember losing a single one. If I had to guess, I'm sad to say that your son might have had a little buck fever with that nice buck and just landed it wrong. No finger pointing, because we all get it now and then. Heck, that's why we hunt, and once the thrill is gone it's time to quit. I'm betting that with his confidence back he'll do just fine. And those 105s inside 100 will be dandy.
If he's thinking of moving up, you list three of my top choices for the purpose (260, 7-08 and 7x57). I've got 257 Roberts and 250 Savage rifles too, but neither is a huge step up from the 243/6mm class. Sentiment and fact in our household point to the 7x57, just cuzz we seem to hang onto those while letting the 7-08s and 260s come and go. 6.5x55 is right there with the 260 as a top performer in my eyes, BTW.
I need to have five 7x57's just to stay even with the board. Every time I buy one my wife, one of my daughters, or my son-in-law takes it over. They all love it for deer, especially with the Hornady 139 spire or Nosler 140. Seems to kill as fast as an 06 with lots less perceived recoil. Yet you can push it to max with 160 grain Nosler partitions and it's a dandy moose and elk round. Kills those just as reliably, too.
One more BTW- I'm now shopping for another Savage 99 in 250. My wife started shooting mine last year, and darned if she isn't calling that one "hers" too!
[quote=BrownBear;345743]My experience with both the 243 and 6mm spans over 40 years, including two kids who grew up shooting them and a wife who still does. I can't begin to guess how many deer have fallen to those guns. And so help me, I can't remember losing a single one. If I had to guess, I'm sad to say that your son might have had a little buck fever with that nice buck and just landed it wrong.
If I was a bettin' man I'd say you're right, he probably hit a bit far too the rear. Your family, and my son, and many others do prove 6mm is adequate for deer if you put the bullet in the kill zone.
He enjoys carrying the Ruger 243 in the whitetail woods and the last three years he's used an -06 for mule deer and elk, so its not like he doesn't have a choice.
I will let you know how the Speer 105 gr RN performs if he gets to put a round downrange during season. Thanks again, it is always great to hear about the experiences of others.
Do that! I'm always looking to learn from experience rather than theory.
Originally Posted by Ozarks
Somewhere in this mess of a house I have an old Handloader magazine which has a great article on bullet testing the 6mm's. When I find it I'll post.
From memory he tested at high and low velocity and he loved the 115 Barnes RN Originals and so I bought a bunch which I am still using. The Partitions also got high marks.
I seem to remember that the 105 Speers were a bit of a disappointment shedding a lot of weight. I have never found the Speer Hotcore feature to help with weight retention myself. On deer size game it wouldn't matter much though and the Speer bullet should give quick kills as it expands so well.
Terminal Performance of 6mm Bullets
Found it..an article by Tom Smith in 1991 in Handloader #154. Wet telephone directories were used, which in my experience are a bit harder than wet newsprint. 32 bullets from 85-115 grains were tested at 100 and 200 yd impact velocities from a 26" 6mm Rem.
The 105 Speer RN penetrated 12" at 2870fps, retained 49.5% of it's weight and reduced to 200 yard impacts penetration remained at 12" and retained weight went up to 57%. Results were a bit better with the 105 grain RN than the SP likely because of reduced impact velocities.
The author felt that these bullets were, ..."adequate , but not exceptional", The main complaint was mundane weight retention. He judged the Hornady Spires in the same league and the Sierra's a step behind.
Somewhat better were the 100 grain Win PP with similar penetration but greater weight retention supporting a wider mushroom.
Kings of penetration were the 95 Grain Nosler Partition and 100 grain partitions. Both penetrated 15.5" at 100 yards and retained over 70% of their mass. The 100 grain Nosler pulled ahead of the 95 grainer at 200 yards. Neither had great mushroom width and the author worried about this leading to reduced killing power.
The author put 105 Barnes Originals in first place because of it's balance of penetration (13") Weight retention (49.6% at 100 yards and 81,4% at 200 yards) and cross sectional mushroom diameter (second only to the 115 Barnes and 50% greater than the Nosler's diameter)
Mr Smiths conclusions:
" For my money the 6mm bullet with the best combination of velocity, penetration and expansion is the 105 grain barnes (Original) SP. ....Either the 95 or 100 grain Nosler are almost as good and...have the greatest penetration..."
" For short range woods hunting situations the ...roundnose versions might have some applicability, but I am not convinced they offer anything over the 105 Barnes or the Noslers. On the one hand I would like to field test the 115 grain Barnes roundnose; on the other hand, I am inclined to think one shouls use a bigger caliber if there is a need for more bullet weight."
There you have it.
That all fits pretty well with my experience with the Barnes, testing and shooting game with 25 cal out of a 257 Roberts rather than a 6mm. The Barnes were 125 grains, heaviest available in that cal. They sure mushroom well, but due to shape and a little lower starting vels, they never shot as flat as the 115 Noslers. I really liked the old original Barnes, but don't have much regard for their newer stuff, at least for long range expansion. In my limited experience I've still had 2 that didn't expand at all way out there. Luckily I managed to follow up for a closer shot and recover the animal, but in both cases it required a long hike and some very serious tracking to finish the job. Bad tastes sometimes just won't go away.
I am in exactly the same boat. The X bullets when they first came out were not good expanders at long range. I found that killing power was poor. They seem to have been re-designed for better performance soon after but I haven't used them since. The Barnes O's spitzers with thick jackets didn't set the world on fire either for long range hunting. However, the round nose versions are pretty dang good. I like the 115 grain 6mm's the 250 grain .308's and the 300 grain 358's for bush hunting. The thinner jacketed Barnes O spitzers are also nice bullets. Truth to tell though I am so sold on Nosler Partitions that I won't be too broken hearted when my stash fails.
Originally Posted by BrownBear
For years my wife used a 223 for caribou. A while back we stumbled onto a Rem 600 in 6mm. Lovely little gun set up with a 4X mini Burris. We have used all sorts of bullets in these micro-calibers and I have to say that the Nosler partition is the bees knees for quick kills.
The author Tom Smith took points off the Partition because recovered bullets have a smaller diameter than many other types of bullets. In my experience the finished expansion diameter means nothing. The Partition is built very soft in the front half with a wonderfully tapered jacket. It expands very well even explosively at high velocity and creates a great first half wound channel. On light game this enhances the "lights out" effect of animals suseptable to shock.
About half way through the wound channel the front lead core of the bullet is abraded off and a smaller rear core with a slightly smaller copper mushroom penetrates deeply. The second half wound channel is narrower but still good.
In a way you get the best of two worlds, the first half shocking power of a cup and core bullet and the second half action of a Barnes X bullet.
I use to do a lot of bullet testing but now pretty much use Partitions almost exclusively from 60 grains in 223 to 300 grains in 450 Marlin.
223 60 grain Partition Good kills and penetration on eating size caribou (About 10 caribou in a 223 Micro-Medallion)
243 85 grain Partition... Similar penetration to above. Great fast kills on side shots. Significantly better wound channel than 223. (2 kills on caribou) Rem 600 in 6mm
243 100 grain Partition...Better penetration but less quick kills than above. Better all -round choice as penetrates well from all angles (4 kills on caribou) Rem 600 in 6mm
243 115 grain Barnes O... Penetration similar to 100 Partition, Wound channel also similar with perhaps less first hallf destruction and more second half. (Only 1 caribou) Rem 600 in 6mm.
Don't hate me but the 115 grain load gets carried in Moose season though so far with no results.
We might not have the voices for it, but we could still sing a dandy duet!
Originally Posted by North61