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  #1  
Old 10-23-2010, 08:42 AM
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Two in a row for the 97D


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After a slow deer season last year, things are hoppin' this year. Last Saturday I took a large-for-here doe with my Brown 97D 6.5 BRM -- not much of a challenge at 40 yards, in open hardwood forest. This morning I sat over a 40-acre clear-cut and at about 8:30 took a HUGE-for-here doe (140 lbs. field-dressed) at a paced 155 yards.

It is hard not to love this litttle surgically-precise deer-slayer. No pain in the arthritic shoulder, and no ringing ears, just a quickly-dead deer.
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2010, 04:57 PM
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Congrats on the harvest. 8)
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2010, 11:42 PM
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Congrats on taking 2 nice does. 140 lbs dressed is a good doe just about anywhere in the country, I wouldnt have guessed the south-eastern US would produce a doe like that.

Dont mean to hijack the thread but what kind of accuracy do you get from that 97D, what do you load in it for bullets, and how is the trigger? I only ask because I'm real close to calling them up on one in 6.5 BRM...just have an itch I cant scratch lately and I feel like that rifle would really help me,haha.
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2010, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by hillestadj View Post
Congrats on taking 2 nice does. 140 lbs dressed is a good doe just about anywhere in the country, I wouldnt have guessed the south-eastern US would produce a doe like that.

Dont mean to hijack the thread but what kind of accuracy do you get from that 97D, what do you load in it for bullets, and how is the trigger? I only ask because I'm real close to calling them up on one in 6.5 BRM...just have an itch I cant scratch lately and I feel like that rifle would really help me,haha.
I have been deer hunting for 44 years, and in that time I have killed only one other doe that equalled this one for size. Judging by her teeth, she was pushing 5 years old, ancient by deer standards, but she was in prime condition -- the fat pad on her rump was over an inch thick!

3-shot groups with this rifle/load combination run about 5/8" at 100 yards, 5-shots hover at around an inch. This has been typical with just about every bullet I have tried. These are loaded with Hornady Interlock 140 gr. bullets because those are what I could find when I went looking this time. I really prefer Sierra Game Kings; they are just as accurate, but seem to expand just a bit more at the moderate velocity of the 6.5 BRM. Doesn't seem to matter too much one way or another. Both penetrate like there's no tomorrow.

The trigger takes a bit of getting used to. I learned early on that this was one rifle with which I had best follow the rule of never placing my finger on the trigger until I am ready to shoot! It is absolutely crisp and breaks at 1.5 pounds.

All of this adds up to the rifle being a surgically precise deer-slaying tool. The 6.5 is no powerhouse -- my loads barely break 2,400 fps -- but combined with the accuracy and low recoil it offers, pinpoint bullet placement is a given, provided the shooter can hold off the effects of "buck fever".

A big plus is the rifle's compact size. With it's 24-inch bull barrel, it is 1/2" shorter than my Marlin 336 carbine; mounted with a compact 2-6X scope, it weighs only 1/4 pound more than the Marlin with its Lyman receiver sight. Much of the land I hunt on is steeply up-and-down and heavily wooded; with this rifle, I am not overly-burdened in the woods and am well-equipped for a fast, close shot, while at the same time I am prepared for a long shot when I encounter a field or powerline right-of-way.

Last edited by pisgah; 10-25-2010 at 06:02 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2010, 09:33 AM
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Thanks for the information pisgah, not too much floating around about these 97Ds except what you read on Brown's own site. I'd be more apt to use it as a pure fun/range gun than as a hunting rifle (got a full coral of those as it is) but I have no doubt it is up to the task of taking game and I'm sure at some point I'd have to spill some blood with it.

One other thing I'm wonder is did it take you a while to get used to the whole trigger group coming down when opening the breech? Also good is extraction? Does it kick the shell out quite a bit or do you tend to need to get in there with a finger nail?

Thanks again.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:01 AM
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>One other thing I'm wonder is did it take you a while to get used to the whole trigger group coming down when opening the breech? Also good is extraction? Does it kick the shell out quite a bit or do you tend to need to get in there with a finger nail?

No, the action is easy to get used to. One thing to keep in mind, though -- you must either pull the hammer back VERY slightly or push the trigger forward before opening in order to move the hammerblock back in to safe position and unlock the action for opening. The merest "bump" of the hammer or forward nudge of the trigger and the trigger springs forward in to "safe" position. You can force it open without doing this, but you risk damage to the action if you do.

The one thing that could be considered a weakness in the design is extraction. Yes, it will kick empty cases well clear when the lever is worked briskly; but these chambers are cut to absolute minimum specs. They are TIGHT! Make your load just a tad warm and you will start to see sticking. Actually, I regard this as a plus when working up loads with a new powder. I gradually increase the charge until I feel slight stickiness -- this comes well before the safety limit -- and then back down half a grain. This gives you a load that is safe and usually gives best accuracy with that particular powder, too. This cartridge, in spite of the name, is in no sense a magnum; rather, it is designed for heavy-for-caliber bullets at moderate velocity, which is the soul of Brown's philosphy on hunting effectiveness. All I can say is, it works.
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:05 PM
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Thanks again for clearing up those questions for me. The more I hear/read about these rifles the more I "need" one.

Sorry if Im going overboard with questions but I've got one more for you. Have you tried forming your own brass from 30-30 or do you just buy straight from Brown? Looking at the price of brass from him it doesnt appear to be too bad, but obviously it would get cheaper if you made it from say Winchester or Remington 30-30 brass - assuming it isnt too much of a hassle.

Thanks again pisgah.
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2010, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by hillestadj View Post
Thanks again for clearing up those questions for me. The more I hear/read about these rifles the more I "need" one.

Sorry if Im going overboard with questions but I've got one more for you. Have you tried forming your own brass from 30-30 or do you just buy straight from Brown? Looking at the price of brass from him it doesnt appear to be too bad, but obviously it would get cheaper if you made it from say Winchester or Remington 30-30 brass - assuming it isnt too much of a hassle.

Thanks again pisgah.
Haven't tried it with the 6.5 yet -- I got 250 cases from the friend I bought the rifle from. But it shouldn't be much of a chore. I had a .300 BRM for several years -- traded it to another friend who lusted after it, and I held him at bay until he finally acquired several guns I lusted after. Brass forming was a snap -- just fire .30-30 in the rifle, which gave very respectable accuracy, and voila! You had perfect .300 BRM brass! I assume it would be almost as easy with the 6.5 -- size the neck down, load, and fire.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:23 PM
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Alright pisgah, good to know. I would imagine one could get a 7-30 Waters FL resizing die and take it from 30-30 to 7-30 to 6.5 and fireform then trim it up...

At any rate I think I'll be joining the 97D club sometime after Christmas. I see they have 6.5 BRMs made and ready to sell right now (as of 10/15 anyway) which is tempting, but I'd better be smart about it and wait.

Thanks again for all the first hand information.
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  #10  
Old 11-02-2010, 10:46 AM
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I have one of Browns Encore barrels in 6.5 BRM. I posted about 60 or so loads on Ammoguide.com This cartridge is just what Pisgah says. I push the velocities in some loads a bit warmer because extraction is not so much a problem in the Encore. Accuracy is superb. 130 Gr Nos Accubond at 2550 fps goes into 1/2 -5/8" groups. Rarely do any loads exceed 1". I form all my brass from virgin 30-30 cases as browns pre-formed brass is .015" -.020" too short at the shoulder datum. His cases will stretch to the point of separation in fairly small number of loadings. I use a 7-30 waters die to step the shoulder then the 6.5 BRM die from Brown just enough to create a false shoulder for a "crush" fit. then cream of wheat fire -form. Some cases are still going strong at 20 + loading (re-anneal necks every 4-5 fireings) Hornady brass lasts the longest. I have a batch of Brown pre-fromed Rem brass and had to fire form all of it. This case should be headspaced on the shoulder not the rim. Also the chambers that brown cuts are 2.030" in length and the necks are way to short on the pre formed brass and are .040"- .050" short. If you trim to Browns specs you will be way short of optimum case length for proper neck tension. I trim cases to 2.020". short cases will also result in burning the neck area of the chamber prematurely. By forming brass from full length 30-30 you can trim to a properly sized case to match the chamber. Sinclair has a chamber length gage for less than 10 $. If you are interested in what loads I have used PM me and I will send. I have used 7 different powders and at least 12 different bullets all with excellent results. bullet weights from 100 to 150gr. Rl-17 & IMR 4007 being the best powders in my rifle.
Sorry I got carried away...
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  #11  
Old 11-02-2010, 11:43 AM
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No need to apologize...if you know what you're talking about, you won't find folks here complaining that you share good information.

How does this round compare with the 6.5JDJ? Larger rim, somewhat longer case, but at lower pressures? I get 2400fps out of a 120gr BT, from a 14" barrel. With a 24" barrel it would be closer to 2650fps, or with the 125gr Partition, just over 2600fps. Just curious how these two cartridges compare. Forming the 6.5JDJ is as simple as necking up and fire-forming.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:17 PM
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For all intents and purposes they are the same. The parent 30-30 cases for the BRM are a whole bunch easier to find than 225 Win, the parent case for thr JDJ Loading data would be almost interchangeable. They duplicate or improve upon the 6.5x55 swede with a lot less powder. I get up to 2700 fps with 120 gr Barnes ttsx. they shoot better at 2600+.(26"bbl). 100 gr sierras will be over 2800fps and safe pressures. It is an easy cartridge to load for and has been a dependable 1/2" -5/8" shooter. Doesn't beat you up at the bench either.
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