Berger 6.5 MM 130 Grain AR Hybrid OTM Tactical: Deadly And Accurate

Berger 6.5 MM 130 Grain AR Hybrid: Deadly Accuracy


As the sun rose on Wyoming’s 2015 pronghorn opener, conditions were ideal for testing Berger’s new 6.5 MM 130 grain AR Hybrid bullet.
Jessica's 867 yard Wyoming pronghorn

Jessica with her 2015 Wyoming antelope. 867 yards with a Berger 130 grain Hybrid.

With barely an hour of legal light behind us, we spotted our first animal. While Jessica settled in behind the 6.5-284, I called out the corrections needed for the 867 yard shot. As the shot broke, I watched the trace from the 130 grain AR Hybrid bear down on the antelope. With a perfect high-shoulder impact, the doe dropped in place. We went on to fill two more pronghorn tags with the 130 grain Hybrids. Impact velocities ranged from 1900 to 2400 feet per second. All three bullets expanded and exited the animals, leaving impressive wound channels. No follow-up shots were needed. Here’s a video of our 130 grain Hybrid field test.

Although it seems to work well, Berger didn’t design the 6.5 MM 130 grain AR Hybrid for long range hunting.

Berger’s targeted consumer is the precision rifle match shooter. A quick look at the statistics compiled by Precision Rifle Blog shows that 40 percent of the top 50 shooters in the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competed with 6.5MM caliber rifles in 2014. In 2015, that number rose to 47 percent. The majority of those shooters used Berger’s 140 grain Hybrid bullet. The Berger 6.5MM 140 grain Hybrid is a great bullet, but takes up a lot of space in cartridges feeding from a detachable magazine and doesn’t allow much leeway for seating depth.

The Berger 6.5MM 130 grain AR Hybrid was designed around the constraints of cartridge overall length (COAL) in detachable magazine-fed rifles.

The majority of PRS competitors use bolt action rifles that feed from high-capacity detachable magazines, such as Accuracy International’s 10-shot AI-3902. A quick measurement of one of my AI mags shows a maximum capacity (without modifications) of 2.890” inside the magazine body. To accommodate bullet nose deformities and ensure reliable feeding, 2.850” is generally accepted as the maximum cartridge overall length (COAL) of an AI magazine. Now let’s take a look at a popular PRS round, the 260 Remington.

130 grain AR Hybrid vs. 140 grain Hybrid

140 grain (l) vs. 130 grain (r)

Berger 6.5MM Hybrid Comparison

260 Remington. 130 gr. (top) vs. 140 gr. (bottom)

Seated at a COAL of 2.850”, the Berger 140 grain Hybrid protrudes into a 260 Remington case approximately .350” past the neck/shoulder junction. A big chunk of that is the bearing surface of the bullet, as the boat tail portion is only .197”. The 130 grain AR Hybrid is .113” shorter than the 140 Hybrid, which places the intersection of the boat tail and bearing surface close to the shoulder of the case.  That means more powder can fit in the case, and the position of the 130’s bearing surface in the neck allows more seating depth adjustment.

Cooper LR 52 6.5-284 with Berger 130 grain AR Hybrid

The 130 grain AR Hybrid shot very well in a variety of rifles, including this Cooper LR52 in 6.5-284.

The Berger 130 grain AR Hybrid shot very well in several different rifles.

For this review, I fired approximately 700 of the 130 grain Hybrids through my 260 Remington. I also tested them in a 6.5-284. Both rifles produced sub-.5 MOA groups with them, with some groups much smaller. The Hybrid design of the bullet, with the combination of a secant and tangent ogive, proved tolerant of a wide range of seating depths. I tested it to .130” off the lands in both rifles. I was able to drive the 130 Hybrids to 2950 fps from my 260 Remington with excellent accuracy and low extreme spread in velocity. With a G7 ballistic coefficient of .288, that offered me a one MOA elevation advantage over my 140 grain Hybrid load at 500 yards, while matching the wind correction of the heavier, higher B.C. bullet. The excellent wind resistance of the 140 grain Hybrid will eventually overcome the 130’s velocity advantage, but it takes its time doing it!

Two of my friends tested the 130 grain Hybrids in another 260 Remington and a 6.5×55 with similar results. These bullets were easy to get shooting well.

260 Remington with Berger 130 grain AR Hybrid

This is the load I settled on for hunting with my 260 Remington and the Berger 130 grain AR Hybrid.

The final stage of testing the Berger 130 grain AR Hybrids began in mid-November with Idaho’s whitetail rut.

I’ve always considered the 260 Remington an ideal deer hunting round. I have two rifles chambered in it that I use for hunting. One is a 13 ½ pound tactical rifle, the other an eight pound sporter. My normal hunting load is a Berger 140 grain Hunting VLD at 2800 fps. That bullet has performed consistently on deer out to 600 yards. Based on our success in Wyoming, I had high confidence that the 130 Hybrids would work as well.

Jake Millard's 1st Whitetail

Jake’s 292-yard buck.

Jessica and Sam Millard with Jessica's 2015 Idaho Whitetai

Jessica’s 284-yard buck.

284 Yard Shot with a Berger 130 grain Hybrid

Both kids shot their bucks through the heart with the 130 grain Hybrid. Here the entry wound can be clearly seen. The bullet was fully expanded when it exited.

Both of my kids tagged whitetails with the 260 Remington/130 grain Hybrid combination. The distances were 284 and 292 yards, with impact velocities of around 2500 feet per second. Both shots were classic “in the crease” impacts, with the bullet entering soft tissue before expanding in the heart and exiting the chest cavity. Not surprisingly, both bucks ran about 40 yards before collapsing. I was a very proud dad! The 130 grain Hybrid performed much like the 140 grain HVLD, causing massive internal tissue damage and a reliable exit wound for tracking.

The Berger 6.5MM 130 Grain AR Hybrid offers a measurable advantage for handloaders of popular short-action cartridges such as the 260 Remington and 6.5 Creedmoor. With velocity potential in the 2900-3000 fps range, it provides a flat trajectory for mid to long range shooting. It also performs very well for hunting deer-sized animals. Berger did a good job with this bullet! Check out the video below for a better look at the field-testing.

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Sam

As an Idaho native, avid hunter, and long range shooter, Sam has written numerous articles and gear reviews for various online publications. Specializing in long range hunting in the mountains of northern Idaho, Sam founded Panhandle Precision as a way to continue sharing his passions.

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15 Comments

  • 270 Sender0
    March 1, 2016 at 22:53

    Another great read Sam, I can’t wait to try some of these

  • uffca.ca
    July 5, 2016 at 09:17

    Obviously the Berger AR Hybrid 130’s are fantastic, nobody is going to question that, but they are expensive at over $40 a box at most shops.

    • Hot Tuna
      March 16, 2017 at 16:37

      Go to Wal-Mart then and buy some loaded Winchester Power Points for $15 a box. I’m sure you’ll get the same results.

  • Brandon
    October 23, 2016 at 19:54

    Have you killed any more game with the 130 hybrids? Debating on using the hybrid 130 or 140. Or just sticking to my 130HVLD. Going to be using my 6.5 Creedmoor on a north Idaho whitetail hunt in the coming weeks.

    • Sam
      Sam Millard
      October 24, 2016 at 04:00

      We used the 260 Terminator/130 Hybrids on a depredation hunt in August. Three whitetail does from 186 to 535 yards. I’ll be using them in November.

  • David Matthews
    October 10, 2017 at 17:49

    Is the 130 AR hybrid the same bullet used in the new federal gold match that they say is a target round?

  • David Matthews
    October 10, 2017 at 17:51

    Sorry, forgot, in 6.5 creedmoor.

  • Rick Deng
    December 19, 2017 at 16:08

    Will 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge do better in the seating process? I want to feed with a magazine and also want the higher BC of the Hybrid bullet.

    • Rick Deng
      December 19, 2017 at 16:15

      Forgive me, I mean the 140gr Hybrid target and the similar length hunting bullets.

      • Sam
        Sam Millard
        December 19, 2017 at 17:07

        Only in the sense that the bullet’s boattail isn’t protruding into the case below the shoulder. The 260 Terminator and the previous 260 Remington had no problems running 140-class bullets at AI mag length. I’ve killed whitetails and antelope with the Berger 140 HVLD and Hornady 143 ELD-X with both chamberings at mag length. You most likely won’t see the MV of the 260 Rem in your 6.5×47, but I wouldn’t hesitate to try either of those bullets in it. I don’t think you’ll see much difference in terminal results, though. I have a review coming up on the 143 ELD-X.

  • John S Gash
    February 20, 2018 at 14:05

    hi Sam, i’m having a few probs seating my 140g Hybrid target Bergers, could you suggest a suitable seating die set up that doesn’t jam the bullet in the stem.
    Kind regards Stewart

    • Sam
      Sam Millard
      February 20, 2018 at 16:42

      The stem that comes in the Redding comp seater won’t bottom out on the tip of the 140 Hybrid. There is a VLD stem available for the Redding comp seater, too. It’s part #55746 for 260 Rem dies.

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