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Thread: Hornady soft point or stt in 6.5x55

  1. #1

    Hornady soft point or stt in 6.5x55

    Hi everyone I'm currently shooting 140g soft point Hornady has anyone used the stt bullets in some weight as they appear to perform better I'm going to newzealand next year and want a bullet that will push out a bit further over there Ive got t balistic turret on the scope so can be dialed in I don't reload just off the shelf stuff?! Cheers

  2. #2
    Either will do well but for long range try the sst's for accuracy.

  3. #3
    I haven't used 6.5x55 but I have been in correspondence with the author of this site re .308 and I respect his knowledge and judgement. He is a New Zealander and his site is here, it is well worth a look

    Below is a direct lift from his site on handloading .He also gives a lot on factory loads and rifle history. Game weights refer to live weights, to convert to our weights allow about 30% for gralloch, head and lower leg removal.

    The Hornady range of 6.5mm projectiles include, the 95 grain V-Max, the 100 grain soft point, the rather new 120 grain A-Max, the 129 grain Interlock soft point, the 129 grain SST, the 129 grain InterBond, the 140 grain soft point Interlock, 140 grain SST, 140 grain A-Max, 140 grain BTHP Match and finally, the 160 grain round nose Interlock.

    Hornady’s 95 grain V-Max and 100 grain SP are both designed for varminting and like the lightweight Sierra bullets, can be used on light bodied medium game but results are far less emphatic or dramatic than heavier offerings, regardless of potentially high muzzle velocities.

    The 129 grain Interlock is an adequate lighter medium game bullet but like so many conventional bullets for the Swede, is fairly lack luster in killing. Kills out to moderate ranges tend to be fast, wounding is adequately broad , and the Interlock is relatively inexpensive to obtain. In theory, the higher speed obtainable with the 129 grain Interlock and its lower momentum has the potential to initiate broader wounding than, for example, the 140 grain Interlock. In practice, the lighter 129 grain grain Interlock shows no advantage.

    The 129 grain SST is immensely popular at present. This projectile produces explosive wounding and remains effective out to distances of around 500 yards or 2000fps, quite a feat for a stout jacketed projectile. BC is .485 while SD is .264. This is a good light medium game bullet, effective on body weights up to around 70 (154lb). The 129 grain SST can be pushed to work on larger animals but is not an optimal choice. The 129 grain InterBond is far more reliable in this regard. The 129 grain InterBond is suitable for light through to medium body weights of up to 90kg (200lb). On game heavier than 90kg, the power level of the Swede is the limiting factor as opposed to the InterBond bullet design. The InterBond can be used on game weighing as much as 150kg however kills are never as emphatic as such cartridges as the .270/.264 Win Mag which yield far greater velocities for broader wounding. The InterBond does its best work inside 180 yards (2600fps), can produce slightly delayed but nevertheless clean killing out to 300 yards (2400fps), gradually losing its ability to produce wide wounding thereafter.

    The Hornady 140 grain Interlock received a lot of bad press in earlier years for giving narrow wound channels and it has often been suggested that the 6.5mm Interlock is too stout and best suited to the .264 magnum. This could not be further from the truth. At close range, the Interlock sheds its frontal area very quickly as well as losing a great deal of weight (usually over 50%). In some instances, especially on stout or large bodied deer, the 140 grain Interlock disintegrates altogether. At 50 yards the Interlock lacks enough retained weight or SD to exit the ribcage of 70 to 90kg animals hit through the shoulder. At 200 yards the Interlock is limited by the power of the Swede and lacks the momentum required to penetrate the shield of a mature boar and reliably destroy the vitals. Instead, the 140 grain Interlock finds its strengths on light game, just like its competition, the 140 grain GameKing, ideal for game weighing between 15 and and 60kg (up to 130lb).

    Both the 129 and 140 grain Hornady SST projectiles have lifted the wounding performance of the Swede dramatically, to levels never seen before. Both of these projectiles are prone to jacket core separation and of the two, the 140 grain SST is at least, slightly more delayed in this action as well as producing potentially larger fragments if separation occurs. BC of the 140 grain SST is a very high .520.

    Annealing the 6.5mm SST (see 7mm Rem mag) does not seem to give any great improvement. For game weighing less than 80kg (180lb), the 140 grain SST, regardless of jacket core separation, gives deep, broad wounding. This is an excellent all-round bullet for the Swede when used on small to medium sized bodied deer species.

    For longer range hunting using the swede, no other bullet can compare to the performance produced by the Hornady 140 grain Amax. This bullet is best suited to lighter bodied deer under 80kg (180lb) and gives optimum results at impact velocities below 2600fps (beyond 75 yards) which allows the A-Max to shear into large fragments rather smaller, less lethal particles. Wounding caused by the Amax at ranges of between 300 and 400 yards is such that both exit wounds and bleeding from exit wounds can be easily observed through the hunter’s scope. The A-Max has a BC of .550 and produces wide wounding for clean, extremly fast killing out to 500 yards (2000fps), continuing to produce adequately wide wounding at 1800fps, out at the 600 yard mark.

    Hornady’s heaviest bullet is the 160 grain round nose Interlock. This is a soft, fast expanding bullet designed for woods hunting. Regardless of its high SD of .328, the Interlock is limited in performance and best used on light to medium weight animals if deep penetration for typical raking/woods shots is to be expected.

    Even if you disagree with his findings it is a more detailed site than most with a lot of rifle and cartridge information as well as long range shooting common in many areas of New Zealand.


  4. #4
    Cheers bob that's bang on I'll try n find out what's available out there and zero to that as not sure how u go abt taking ammo over with u

  5. #5
    Rifles are no problem so long as you don't stop off in OZ passing through is OK. Take your firearms cert with you and have a note of where you will stay/store your gun. Where you going to shoot? On DOC lands - its free!. When you arrive in NZ take your rifle to the Police station in the Airport, ask for a tourist Permit answer a few simple questions , most answers given above show your certificate passport and pay your 25$ or so for your permit. You can then buy any ammo you need. Do check out their regs though as they don't like certain types of rifle. Have fun


  6. #6
    i tried 180gr sst's and found they did so much damage on roe i stopped using them

  7. #7

    I've used the 140 grain SSTs in my 6.5x55.

    I couldn't get them to shoot well, but that's not to say that you wouldn't get them to work. However, they're very long for the caliber/weight and without having calculated stability, I suspect that they require more twist that the 1:8 normally recommended for a 140 grain 6.5mm bullet.

    In relation to terminal performance, I agree with Swarovski. The SSTs really expand quite violently. I've only shot roe with them and few of the roe I shot travelled after getting hit. That's fine to some extent, but there was more meat damage than necessary and the expansion was so rapid that I got my doubts about using them on bigger animals. I've switched to AccuBonds instead and they work well on fallow and red, at short and long distances. I haven't' shot any roe with them yet.

    Personally, I'd probably not recommend the 6.5mm SSTs for red or sika deer, but if you're shooting chamois or Thar out there, they'll probably be fine for hunting, but bear in mind the meat damage.

    If you have a good load for the soft points, why not stick with them? I haven't done the numbers, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is no significant difference in performance (drop, drift, energy) between the soft points and the SSTs at hunting distances (say, out to 300 meters).

    Finally, I've been hiking on New Zealand and it is an absolutely beautiful place. You're very fortunate to go hunting there. I'm sure you will have a great trip, and good luck!



  8. #8
    The soft points shot nice through my rifle good tight groups just thought the stt's give a better performance at distance want to go for some long shots over there on t goats, think we're after a broad spectrum of quarry can't wait!!!!

  9. #9
    FF, what do you call distance. Distance for NZ hunting is 400m to twice that. It takes more than a change in projectile to prepare you and your rifle for that type shooting and changing from a SP to a SST will not make much difference to trajectory and windage inside that range. Stick with what you know works and practice on your 200 - 350 m targets.

  10. #10
    Be over the moon with 500/600 clean shots shooting inch groups out to 350 with current bullets I'm no bullet geek but the ballistic tips seem to give a better performance at distance prob be best to change zero out a bit to gain a bit more ??!!

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