In this article, we’re going to take a look into why the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has become one of the most potent long-range cartridge choices on the market.
These cartridges have been around for a while now, since being introduced over a decade ago. And the main purpose of this cartridge was and still is, for long-range targeting and shooting.
However, for all you hunters out there, this is a very viable cartridge option. This is because you can easily use them with short-action rifles!
So whether you’re a hunter, a target shooter, or a combat specialist – here’s our guide to the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge…
The 6.5 Creedmoor Foundations
The evidence suggests this cartridge was made because of many competition shooters not having a commercial-style cartridge they could rely on for long-range targeting.
Other cartridges would not perform in the same way when used with different rifle types. So it seems inevitable that someone would develop a cartridge that offered a much more all-round consistency.
Hornady finally developed and then released the 6.5 Creedmoor in 2008. After a slow uptake initially, with the increase in inexpensive long-range shooting rifles, the 6.5 Creedmoor has become an ever more popular and logical choice for a whole spectrum of shooting needs.
A Unique & Well-balanced Design
There are a number of design features that make 6.5 Creedmoor stand out from the crowd!
First off, it’s designed to use less powder. Yet it performs just as well as many other similar size cartridges available on the market today. With less powder, you get a lower recoil with the 6.5 Creedmoor. This, in turn, means you can achieve good repeated accuracy in long-range targeting.
The bullets used inside the 6.5 cartridges have a very high ballistic coefficient. With their amazing ballistics, the bullets can travel accurately and rapidly, with less effect from wind resistance and the force of gravity.
Additionally, these rounds are very easy to reload, which used to be a problem with the non-commercial rounds that competitive shooters used in the past.
6.5 Creedmoor’s unique design allows you to achieve incredibly high velocities. Much more so than other cartridge options in the 6mm or 6.5mm calibers.
With a high-velocity round like this, you’ll be able to take out targets from a longer distance. So you can see why the 6.5 Creedmoor appeals to hunters as well as target shooters.
As well, all you hunters out there will want a round that can fit into your preferred type of hunting rifle. The 6.5 has been designed to fit a multitude of short-action rifles which are a common choice for hunting.
Hunting with this round has been proven to be highly effective. With many now opting for the precision and ease of use that 6.5 Creedmoor offers.
Because this Creedmoor offers a very flat movement over a long distance and maintains its high velocity, it can deal with much larger and thicker-skinned animals. No wonder it has become quite popular not only in America but in big game hunting circles around the world.
Plus, with the lower recoil, you’re more likely to get back on target quicker and make your clean shot!
The closest competitor in recent years for the 6.5 Creedmoor has to be .260 Remington cartridge.
The US Army actually decided to take on the 6.5 Creedmoor over the .260 Remington as their preferred choice of round in 2023. Although, apart from the lower recoil, there’s not that much to distinguish these two cartridges in terms of performance.
The US military’s choice did come down to a lower recoil with the 6.5 Creedmoor, but they also thought there was a greater potential for the development of the 6.5 Creedmoor over the .260 Remington rounds.
Previous to the introduction of the 6.5 Creedmoor there was the .308 Winchester round, which was considered for a long time the best choice for accurate long-range shooting. However, Creedmoor offers a lower recoil than the .308, and it can maintain more velocity. So the 6.5 Creedmoor has consequently started to gain more popularity over the Winchester round.
The 6.5 Grendel is also another option that could stand up to the 6.5 Creedmoor. But in actuality, the Creedmoor performs far better in terms of speed. The only benefit to the Grendel is that it is a low-pressure cartridge, so your barrel life should be longer.
Are There Any Cons?
One of the main issues that seems to pop-up is the effect of the 6.5 Creedmoor on barrel life. Ultimately, the barrel life will differ in longevity depending on different types of shooters, what equipment they’re using, and how often they are shooting.
It has been said that the 6.5 Creedmoor can achieve anywhere between 3-5,000 rounds before a barrel needs replacing. While with other cartridge options, you may get more barrel life on average.
So now we’ve looked at many aspects of the 6.5 Creedmoor round, let’s remind ourselves of some of its top features…
- Lower recoil than its competitors.
- Uses less powder than its competitors.
- It’s an incredibly high-velocity round.
- The ballistic capabilities are exceptional.
- You can reload the rounds very easily.
- It will fit numerous short-action rifles.
- It’s made for long-range targeting.
- Suitable for hunting big game and varmint.