6.5 Creedmoor Calibre Review
- Tuesday, 10 September 2019
What is so great about the 6.5 Creedmoor? We look at the rise of the 6.5 Creedmoor and its suitability as a viable hunting calibre.
Listed as the 6.5mm Creedmoor by the ‘Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute’, as the 6,5 Creedmoor by the ‘Permanent International Commission for the Proof of Small Arms’ and also occasionally abbreviated to the 6.5 CM or 6.5 CRDMR, this cartridge is gathering momentum.
So, why has the 6.5 Creedmoor proven to be so popular?
Developed in partnership with Hornady and Creedmoor Sporting in 2007 as a modification of the existing 6.5 Carcano, which in turn was based on the .308 Winchester, the Creedmoor’s original intended application was for competition target shooters, although it is now gathering a considerable following amongst deer stalkers and large game hunters.
Accuracy comes in spades with this calibre, long-range shooter Ray Sanchez ones stated the 6.5mm Creedmoor was "boringly accurate at 1,000 yards” indeed the aim of the modification was to outperform the .308, which has been one of the most established competition and hunting rounds ever manufactured. The aspiration of the makers of the 6.5, has been to acheive a flatter trajectory with less recoil delivered in the form of a long, heavy, high ballistic coefficient (BC) bullet in a short action magazine.
(Above: We compare the 6.5 Creedmoor Caliber with long-standing favourite the .308 Winchester)
'Accuracy' and 'trajectory', both important factors however, for big game hunters and deer stalkers, retained long distance energy is also an important consideration, here the 6.5 CM also performs well, with a long heavy bullet producing an excellent ballistic coefficient that delivers substantial down range retained energy.
So how does it compare against other established favourites? As most of you will know, my favoured calibre for UK stalking is the .308, which was in fact the intended calibre which Hornady wished to topple, so for me a direct comparison of the ballistic performance of the two calibres is relevant and interesting, and to be frank, it seems that the pairing of Hornady and Creedmoor sporting may just have achieved their objective.
Not only does the 6.5 Creedmoor secure itself as a viable and indeed, potentially preferable calibre to the .308 for long range target shooting, it also acheives this for hunting purposes. This is because whilst the 6.5 CM delivers only very marginally less energy out to 200 yards than the .308, it is flatter shooting and importantly, especially for those that stalk in adverse weather conditions, the 6.5 also suffers less wind drift with the right choice of bullet and a 10mph crosswind causing the 6.5 bullet to drift approximately one inch less at 300 yards than the .308.
Finally, a call to my local gun shop, do they have any 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition in stock? Nope. Do they have any .308, .243, .270, .30-06, even 6.5 Swedish? I need not even ask, of course, they do. What is more, and this won’t be relevant to the average recreational deer stalker, the ammunition in stock is less expensive.
Dare I say, the 6.5 Creedmoor might just be one of the best calibres out there. ‘Shock horror’, it may even be marginally better than my beloved .308 Winchester! Indeed, were I to be making a fresh application for a firearm certificate, I find myself unable to depart from the pure logic that a lighter recoiling calibre, delivering similar energy, but with less bullet drop and less wind drift, is the better option, even if I am to have to extend my search for ammunition. However, is it worth the rigmarole of applying for a variation to my FAC? Well as a hunter who typically takes shots out to around 250 yards max (unless something has gone badly wrong) in moderate weather conditions, whilst the 6.5 Creedmoor is perhaps the superior round, it is for me, not significant enough to make the switch.
To read more about other alternative calibres for UK deer stalking follow this link: rifle-calibres or to read our editors top pick of caliber for UK Deer Stalking, read more here: what-is-the-best-calibre-for-deer-stalking-management-in-the-uk
Alternatively, you may be interested in some firearms training with one of our experienced CDS instructors at our superb estate just one hour from London near Horsham, West Sussex.