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Travis Chrystal Family and the 6.5mm BRM Model 97D Rifle

Target from 503 Yards    October 2006 - Using a load of 38 grains of VV N-160, CCI large rifle primer and Sierra GameKing 140 grain bullets I went to the range and shot groups from 100yds to 500yds to establish my drop table. (I tried many loads but this was the best)
  Attached you'll see the 500yd target - 3 shot group that was 2 inches center to center. I verified the range with a Bushnell rangefinder as 503yds. I was using a Swift mil-dot scope (not sure of model) holding dead on with the bottom mil-dot. The rifle was heavily sandbagged on an empty cable spool for a rest.
  It seems to shoot better from a dirty bore with the groups settling in after 5 or so rounds - once I clean and let it sit overnight with wipe out bore foam and running patches until perfectly white the first 5 rounds are all over. Is this typical? (Yes... "Fouling Shots" DO settle in the accuracy.)
  So far this year this gun has taken 2 antelope, 3 deer and 3 elk. Pictures of one of the elk that my wife took are attached (not shown here) - my friend took the other with a 270WSM.
  This rifle is light to carry, very very light recoil and really performs. You'll have an order for another one as soon as my son reaches hunting age here in Wyoming.
   I forgot to add that none of the deer or antelope took a step and dropped in their tracks, one elk dropped in its tracks and the other elk went less then 50 yards. Its my belief that Winchester is producing the short magnums in an effort to sell powder - this 6.5 is all you need from prairie dogs to elk.
  My dad and I have always been fans of the "smaller" .270 & .280 calibers for everything from antelope to elk which is "too light" by most peoples standards. With the new WSM's being the hot item to have the 6.5 seemed like a step backwards when I ordered it last year. I reload for a buddy that shoots a 270 WSM and working up a load and sighting in is just flat painful after 20 rounds - not to mention the amount of powder that goes through the hopper.
  It's almost fair to say that both elk dropped in their tracks. The one pictured that my wife shot literally fell on the log she was standing on. The elk I shot went 50 yds but only because I was in heavy heavy timber on a sever slope that was close to 70 deg... I think momentum carried her downhill until she slid into a tree.
Travis's Wife and Children Travis with Children and Antelope
Travis with Mule Deer and 97D Rifle
  October 2007 - This year I tried 2 different loads - the first being a 140 Hornady AMAX on top of 38 grains of VV N160 and the 2nd being a 140 grain Berger VLD match bullet on top of 38 grains of VV N160. I didn't group it at 500 this year and instead busted cinder blocks as its a little more exciting then paper targets and I know when I hit. The Berger is a flatter shooting bullet but as far as performance goes I still haven't decided - none of these animals took more then 5 steps with high shoulder shots (preference). As always the gun is a pleasure to shoot with almost zero felt recoil - you will have an order for a 2nd one in 6.5 for my son shortly.
   2007 was another great hunting season using your Model 97D in 6.5BRM. This year my wife and I took a total of 6 antelope, 4 deer and one elk. The antelope ranged from 200 yds out to 389. I took one deer at 397 and the Elk at 75. I have an excellent load worked up for up to 500yds and really wanted to take some game at that range but it just didn't play out. This year my load was 38 grains of VVN160 and Hornady 140 grain A-Max bullets or 140 Grain Berger VLD's - the Berger is a bit flatter shooting.  - Travis Chrystal, October 2007
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