6.5 Creedmoor Vs 308 Winchester

In Blog by Rich111 Comments

Occasionally we go over a topic here that we get repeated and continued interest in, like the 6.5 Creedmoor Vs 308 Winchester debate. We discussed this a bit in an article on the 6.5 Creedmoor as a good caliber for beginners. Now, due to continued interest in the 6.5 Creedmoor Vs 308 Winchester debate, we’re going to delve a little deeper into the ballistics side of this argument. I also plan to illustrate factory ammo price differences and availability. We’re probably even going to do a cost projection over the usable service life of the barrels and hopefully end the 6.5 Creedmoor Vs 308 Winchester debate, once and for all.

6.5 Creedmoor Vs 308 Winchester: DROP

I’m going to start with the ballistics side of the 6.5 Creedmoor Vs 308 Winchester debate. I can sum it up fairly easily, the 6.5 Creedmoor trounces the 308 Winchester. Period. End of discussion, it’s just a faster caliber with better ballistics. I ran some graphs using my Applied Ballistics phone app to illustrate this visually. Even if you take a light bullet, like the Sierra 155gr Palma and push it up over 2900fps, it still can’t compete.

I realize Palma shooters run these even faster, but this site is directed more at the tactical applications of precision shooting. Yes, in theory you could run a 30″ barrel and really rocket a light bullet and get close performance wise, but that’s a specialized application for a specific group of shooters. The vast majority of those interested in the 6.5 Creedmoor Vs 308 Winchester debate are recreational shooters, hunters, aspiring tactical marksman, law enforcement, etc.

6.5-Creedmoor-Vs-308-Winchester1.png

This graph shows the drop path for the three bullets and muzzle velocities I picked for the graph in 308 Winchester

As you can see from the graph, the 175gr Sierra approaches 400 inches of drop at 1000 yards, it’s lobbed more than 32ft in the air in order to connect after fighting gravity out to the target. The 178gr Hornady HPBT does better. The 155gr Sierra HPBT, because of it’s muzzle velocity, does the best at a little over 300 inches of drop. That’s still not that impressive, ballistically speaking when we’re having the whole 6.5 Creedmoor Vs 308 Winchester debate.

6.5-Creedmoor-Vs-308-Winchester.png

Here’s the path for my handloads using 123gr Lapua Scenars and a fairly common muzzle velocity for Hornady Factory 140gr AMAX

The differences in ballistics should already be jumping out at you. Both of the 6.5 Creedmoor loads make the journey to 1000 yards at or under 300 inches of drop. Only the 155gr Sierra HPBT in 308 Winchester could come close to this performance. Yet it still lost by more than a foot. In reality, though, your drop isn’t the big concern when shooting. Most ranges are square and the distances are known. Even in dynamic scenarios and field conditions, laser rangefinders these days make accurate ranging pretty easy. The real test of ballistics is the wind. Gravity is constant and the adjustments needed to overcome it don’t change every few seconds. The wind is another story.

6.5 Creedmoor Vs 308 Winchester: WIND

If you were holding onto any hope the money you bet on the 308 being victorious in the 6.5 Creedmoor Vs 308 Winchester matchup, prepare to have your hopes dashed. Please understand, the 308 is a fine cartridge, I have one and it’s great…but there’s really no contest here. If you have enough money to buy one rifle, make it a Creedmoor. The differences in wind drift are just laughable, and I’m going to show you right now.

6.5-Creedmoor-Vs-308-Winchester-drift1.png

This is the drift chart for the same loads in 308 Winchester, the best of the group is my handload at just under 90 inches of drift at 1000 yards

There you have the performance of the 308 Winchester at 1000 yards. This is for a 10mph full value wind. We’ve discussed using that as a baseline several times in our series on How To Read The Wind – The Ultimate Guide.  90″ of drift was the best performance, from my handloads. The more commonly found 175gr Sierra HPBT found in Federal Gold Medal Match ammunition needed more than 100″ of room to overcome the effects of a 10mph wind at 1000 yards. This means you’re aiming more than 8ft into the wind when shooting at a target placed 1000 yards away. It doesn’t sound that bad, right?

Drift chart for 6.5 Creedmoor with 140 AMAX and 123 Scenar

Drift chart for 6.5 Creedmoor with 140 AMAX and 123 Scenar

As you can see the 140gr AMAX commonly found in Hornady and Winchester match ammunition makes the same journey to 1000 yards but needs only 66″ of correction. My handloads with the lighter 123gr Scenar make the journey with about 76″ of correction. So at a minimum, you’re looking at around TWO FEET less drift at 1000 yards using the 6.5 Creedmoor. That may not sound like much in the grand scheme of things. Is 6ft off target that much less than 8ft off target. Well, its 25% better wind performance for starters.

The farther you have to hold off the target and into space, the more room for error you have to acknowledge. Remember, wind is changing constantly! If you’re engaging a 1 MOA plate that’s 10″ across at 1000 yards, do you want to do it with the caliber that needs 25% more wind correction? Or 25% less wind correction?

6.5 Creedmoor Vs 308 Winchester: AMMO

I want to touch on ammunition prices real quick. I’m going to list a couple places you can buy match grade ammunition online the day I post this article. I’m going to write whether they’re in stock or not, and the prices. You be the judge as to which caliber has ammunition more readily available and more competitively priced.

Federal

  • Midway USA
    • Federal Gold Medal Match 175gr HPBT
      • $25.99/20 – $1.30/rd – In Stock
      • $249.99/200 – $1.25/rd – Out of Stock
  • Mile High Shooting Accessories
    • Federal Gold Medal Match 175gr HPBT
      • $29.99/20 – $1.50/rd – In Stock

Hornady

  • Midway USA
    • Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor 140gr AMAX
      • $26.49/20 – $1.32/rnd – Out of Stock
  • Mile High Shooting Accessories
    • Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor 140gr AMAX
      • $26.99/20 – $1.34/rnd – In Stock
      • $260.00/200 – $1.30/rd – In Stock

Winchester

  • Midway USA
    • Winchester 6.5 Creedmoor 140gr AMAX
      • $26.99/20 – $1.35/rd – In Stock
      • $249.99/200 – $1.25/rd – In Stock
  • Mile High Shooting Accessories
    • Winchester 6.5 Creedmoor 140gr AMAX
      • $26.49/20 – $1.32/rd – In Stock

So there you have it, you can get any of this ammo these days. The 6.5 Creedmoor ammo is attainable for at or less than the cost of match grade 308 Winchester ammunition. Even if the prices were identical, do you want to pay the same amount of money for ammunition that performs 25% less effectively? There’s another thing here that people love to throw around as a basis for comparison. We’re going to deal with that briefly, next, before wrapping up the article, and hopefully the entire 6.5 Creedmoor Vs 308 Winchester debate.

6.5 Creedmoor Vs 308 Winchester: BARRELS

Ahh yes, barrel life. 308 Winchester will last 5000-10,000 rounds and the lowly 6.5 Creedmoor can only expect 2000-3000. I’m going to tell you right now, that’s a misleading concept. For starters I can pretty much guarantee you that those 308 barrels with 5000-10,000 rounds on them probably aren’t shooting 1 MOA or better anymore. When people say 2000-3000 rounds of 6.5 Creedmoor that’s what we’re talking about. The expected life at or under the 1 MOA mark. If you’re willing to shoot the rifling smooth in the barrel, you can go farther. If you’re only shooting minute of deer that may be entirely practical. So let us not confuse one set of accuracy expectations with another.

It Will Last Longer Than You Think

Second, shooting 2000 rounds takes a lot longer than you think. 1000 rounds per year is about 20 rounds EVERY week, or two outings a month shooting 40 rounds or better. Even then, it would take you two years of sustained shooting at that pace to even approach the point where a 6.5 Creedmoor might start to slip above the 1 MOA accuracy standard. Keep things in perspective. We’re talking about firing more than $2600 USD worth of ammunition before the barrel is potentially nearing the end of it’s service life. You can have a new barrel cut and chambered for around 600 bucks. The cost of the barrel pales in comparison to what you’re going to spend on the ammunition required to burn it out. So be realistic about how much you shoot, and how important barrel life really is to you.

Wrapping Up

There were some similarities between this article and the prior one but I wanted to rehash the topic and really drive home the differences in ballistic performance. I wanted to give you some up to date, non Sandy Hook pricing schedule, ammunition costs. Lastly, I wanted to point out how inconsequential barrel life really is in the grand scheme of costs. My hope is that new shooters looking at a Savage in Cabelas or a Ruger Precision Rifle will make a more educated caliber choice. Remember, the 6.5 Creedmoor Vs 308 Winchester debate isn’t really a debate. The Creedmoor is the superior caliber, that’s just the way it is.

I have nothing against 308s, but if a guy looking to get into Precision Rifle shooting asked what caliber he should consider…there’s really only one answer. The 6.5 Creedmoor will perform, as a rule of thumb, roughly 25% better in both drop and wind deflection than the 308 Winchester. Don’t set yourself up for failure, go with the caliber most likely to make your trips to the range a success! If you have any questions or comments to add, please drop them in the comments field below!

Owner and Proprietor of AccuracyTech, LLC. Rich is a Firearms Enthusiast, Precision Rifle Competitor, and Writer. He is committed to bringing readers quality reviews and articles related to the Precision Shooting Sports. If you have any questions for him, please use the contact form on the site.

Comments

  1. Great article. Now I think we have beat the 6.5CM vs. 308 debate to death.

    Can you please run the same analysts on 6.5CM vs. 7mm SAUM?

    Good stuff!

    -Lou

    1. Author

      I can work on it, what projectiles are you interested in having compared on the 7mm SAUM side? 162 Amax? High BC Berger Hybrid?

      1. I’m currently shooting a Berger 180gr Hybrid. I know Berger just came out with a 195 but I don’t think it can be pushed fast enough to realize the higher BC until you get past a mile.

        One issue I have with your analysis here is that I find that certain bullet/power combinations give good SD and grouping but it’s not always at the max velocities that your posting. I think including some additional information about these rifles and cartridges would help.

        For example my 7mm Rem Mag likes a Berger 180gr with IMR 7977 at a medium powder load (64.25gr @ 2750fps, SD:5, ES:13, MOA:.4). But I’ve been told that it should like Retumbo at 2950fps. I haven’t been able to test this yet.

        Is it possible to get some pet load data on the cartridges you have shot? Barrel length, bullet, powder, and what velocities gave the best results of best SD and group size?

        If you choose a 6.5CM but can’t get a good group and SD at anything faster than 3000fps with a Berger 140 is it better that my 7mm IMR 7977 load? Is it better than the expected 2950fps load with Retumbo?

        Maybe putting these numbers into the Applied Ballistics “WAZ” program could lead us to figuring out which one has a better hit percentage at 400,800,1200,1600, yards with 5/10mph wind.

        1. Author

          I tried to provide a mix of examples in that regard. The factory ammo speeds are somewhat typical, though perhaps best case scenario, velocities people have reported. I’d prefer to look at the best case when comparing performance for a reason.

          If you make a comparison, and even with best case numbers projected by a computer you find one caliber emerging as the clear winner…then you know in the real world the differences will potentially be even more profound.

          The 123gr Scenar load in 6.5 is for my AR10 with a 22″ Krieger barrel. It will produce half MOA groups or better but being a gas gun, you have to be really on top of the fundamentals to make it happen. The SD was 7fps using H4350 and CCI Br2 primers.

          The 178gr Hornady HPBT load is for my 308 with a 22″ Rock Creek barrel. I get right around 2700fps with that rifle, suppressed, and it also will do half MOA. SD on that load is 7fps.

          I’m looking into getting my hands on a copy of Applied Ballistics Analytics to run WEZ analysis scenarios for future articles. It isn’t a cheap investment, though!

  2. That’s awesome information. I like to know the velocity, SD, and group size. I think it helps me with the expectations for a caliber / cartridge. The WEZ tool is great. I look forward to seeing what you put together.

  3. Hi Rich,
    I’m new to the Creedmoor, but looking forward to some great shooting. I looked the 140gn Amax as the the go to bullet and bought a couple of hundred, but have since hedged my bets by getting 150 Nosler 123gn Custom Comps. The rifle will be a Howa heavy barrelled action and walnut thumbhole stock from a local stock maker here in Australia. Your article was great and bore out all the research I did on the cartridge. My scope by the way will be a Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50.
    Cheers,
    John

    1. Author

      Sounds like you’re off to a great start, John! You’ll have to post a picture when you get it put together!

  4. Question about the 6.5 Creed velocity (2850 FPS) used in the comparison articles. Hornady Match 140 A-MAX ammo list 2700 FPS out of a 24″ barrel. I hand load and run the 140 A-MAX and 140 Berger VLD at 2700 to 2750 FPS in my 26″ factory 6.5 Creed barrel. Isn’t 2850 FPS for 6.5 Creed pretty optimistic, especially for the majority of shooters and especially factory ammo?

    1. Author

      I’ve seen several people reporting muzzle velocities between 2800 and 2850 with factory ammo, and certainly people push handloads harder.

      It certainly doesn’t match your experience, for sure. Every barrel is different. I know a guy shooting a DTA and he gets 2950 out 140s but that’s certainly not typical either.

      I can run another chart using 2800 or 2750 if you’re looking for a closer comparison for your rifle, just let me know. At the end of the day every gun is different and no chart or projection will fit for everyone.

  5. Thanks that was a good read I bought my Ruger Percision in a 308 but after reading this article I went ahead and bought me a CBI barrel 6.5 Creedmore and in 22in heavy barrel.
    I have not shot it nor have I placed the new 6.5 barrel on it yet. I’m from around four Bragg and there are not too many places to shoot long-distance on the civilian side.

    1. Author

      Make sure you read Don’s articles on Ruger upgrades, the barrel is really on there and you’ll need some special tools to swap it

  6. Thank you for the very interesting article. I did some long distance shooting back in 1968 while in the USMC with .308/7.62. I am becoming very interested in trying it again now (for fun) and I believe that I will try the 6.5 Creedmore. Thank you again for posting your article…it helped.

  7. Really impressed with the article! Looking into long range shooting, after learning with a high performance .223, was looking into .308, but you’ve clearly changed my mind! Wondering what recommendations you had for a sub MOA rifle, savage? Remington? Tikka? Also, with handloading, what would be your best recommendation for powders, bullet grain, and so on? I realize every rifle shoots differently, but it would be nice to have a good starting point. Thanks a lot!

    1. Author

      These days I think if you can find a Ruger Precision Rifle that’s a hard rifle to pass by and start with something else. You can purchase it in 6.5 Creedmoor, there is a huge amount of aftermarket support for them, and you will probably get better accuracy out of the box than a Remington. You can purchase a Remington SPS cheaper, but accuracy is probably not going to be what you want it to be. You can put some money into a Remington and make it a really tight shooting rifle, but by the time you do you’ve probably spent more than you would have on the Ruger. So that’s my advice. Make some calls and start searching around, use Gunbroker if you have to, and try to get your hands on one.

      If you’re going to load 6.5 Creedmoor I think Hodgdon H4350 is THE powder. If you are running a 26″ or so barrel I’d take a hard look at 140gr Berger Hybrids or if you want a little more velocity and a little less ballistic coefficient, the Berger AR Hybrid 130gr bullets. Welcome to the obsession!

    2. My entry level Creedmoor is a Howa heavy barrel and action. I purchased a thumbhole stock for it from a local stock maker simply because I like walnut stocks. My scope is a Vortex Viper 6-24×50 with a 20moa rail. I tried all sorts of loads and combinations and settled on H4350 or ADI 2209 as it’s known here with either a 130gn Berger VLD match or the 140gn model. I have brass from Hornady, Norma and Nosler, with the Nosler being the most consistent. My rifle has a 24inch barrel and will shoot under 2inches at 500yards. Not bad for a Howa, but they are known for having good barrels. After reading one of Rich’s posts I also tried 123gn Nosler Custom Comps and was impressed by one and one half inch groups at 300. I did us Varget for the lighter bullets.
      Cheers,
      John

  8. Rich, glad I found this site, helped me make up my mind on trying out the Savage 10 BA Stealth in 6.5 Creedmoor vs. the .308. It will have the 24″ bbl . Will have to put it through its paces with supplied factory fodder, if I decide to keep it, will then probably load for it. Your data tipped the scales….. If it works as well as I think, will probably sell my F-class AR. as it’s a tad heavy to tote after coyotes now

  9. I love my 6.5 Creedmoor. I did have a question though….. realistically I won’t shoot at an animal past 500-600 yards based on conditions. I just don’t feel comfortable. Too much room for error. I’m looking at purchasing another caliber so I can elk hunt because the 6.5 only shoots 143g or smaller. Would I be better off with a .308 and just limit myself to 500-600 yards? A 168g or 175g would help on the bigger animal. I don’t want a 300wm or 7mm. I want to stay away from big guns that kick the crap out of you. I run BallisticsARC and love it. I’m sure the 6.5 would probably work but based on charts would I be better off with 168g bullet @ 1100 lbs energy or 143g with 1300 lbs energy? This is at 500 yards.

  10. Hi Richard, I don’t consider the Creedmoor as a viable game getter at anything past 300yards. In fact that’s as far as I want to shoot game anyway. However, my favourite long range hunting cartridge remains the 270 Winchester. Mine is a Montana ASR with a 4-12 Vortex Diamondback. It loves 140gn SST’s and 4831sc. Chrono’ed them at 3,062fps.

      1. HI Rich, I reckon they are one of the best value for money scopes on the market mate, I have another one on my mod 70 Featherweight in 243W. That load in my 270 is not all that hot, at least as far as I can determine. I’m using CCI standard LR primers and there’s no sign of flattening or hard bolt lift. I only shoot 3 round groups in a hunting rifle because of lighter barrels, and I reckon that if you haven’t killed it with 3 shots it might be time to try something else. It gives me consistent .75″ groups at 100 and a bit over the inch at 200 where I have it sighted dead on.
        Cheers
        John

        1. Author

          Nice, John! Didn’t mean to imply it was a hot load, just that those 270s get bigger bullets movin’ moreso than some other calibers!

          1. No worries Rich, it was pretty devastating on the last Fallow deer I shot with it. I think I’ll save it for the bigger ones in future.

  11. I recently killed a muley in Wyoming at 491 yards with the creedmoor. 143g ELDX pass through double lung. I sold a .270 to purchase my 6.5. I am a big fan of the cartridge. It’s amazing! Just reading up on different cartridges and curious as to what my next purchase should be if I want to go bigger. Thanks for the info. I sure appreciate it. My father just bought a .300wm xbolt long range hunter so I guess I will just borrow his if I get a chance to go after big game.

  12. I just put all the info of the .270 Montana rifle into BallisticsARC and at 500yds your 140g SST is traveling at 2140fps and still has 1423lbs of energy. My 6.5 only has a muzzle velocity of 2742fps with 143g ELDX but is running 2059fps with 1345lbs energy at 500 yards. The creedmoor actually surpasses the .270 after about 700 yards even with 200 plus fps slower muzzle velocity. The creedmoor just produces almost the same performance with about half the recoil and in some cases (longer ranges) the 6.5 wins. I have a cheap set up and it’s a tack driver. Ruger American Predator with a Vortex HST 4x16x44 mil dot retical. BallisticsARC is awesome and worth every penny! Thanks and straight shooting!

    1. Hi Richard,
      I agree with you on the figures you’ve quoted there, and it’s probably one of the reasons the 270 never made it as a target cartridge. But for hunting use I prefer to keep my shots inside 300yards. Two main reasons; the further out you shoot game, the better chance of wounding and it getting away. Five hundred yards is giving the animal a pretty good head start on you, then there’s the other reason’ you have to go and drag it back. I like getting as close as possible.

      1. Yeah me too. I grew up hunting in places where my longest shot ever was 140yds. When I planned the Mule deer hunt everyone said to get good at longer ranges. They were right. I shot the one at 491 on the last day. It was harder than I thought it would be to get really close. Too wide open. Hopefully I never have to take another shot at that distance but it’s pretty cool knowing I can if I need to.

        1. Hi Richard, I think that there are times when you have no other option but to shoot at long range, especially in mountainous country like New Zealand or your Rockies. In this case you must be prepared for it and know exactly what you and your rifle is capable of. Nothing you don’t already know of course.
          I guess this is where plenty of range time is invaluable.
          Cheers,
          John

  13. I know I’m a little slow, like 2 yrs in responding to the 6.5 vs 308 comparison. But I do agree there’s no comparison! 6.5 is much better in ballistics! The only thing I feel that would keep me from getting the 6.5 is availability of ammo in a store in a emergency situation. 308 availability in quantities is easier to get in the AR platform. And 1,000 yd shooting is a rare situation unless your in the military or a crazy bench shooter. I say that because I know some bench rest shooters that are a little different! Thanks for your articles!

    1. Author

      Looked at it a bunch before I built my 6.5 Creedmoor. I haven’t done a comparison article but if it’s something people want to see it’s not hard to put together. Went with the Creedmoor for the factory ammo options over the 7mm08

  14. Hi

    I have a bit of a dilemma.

    I’ll live in a state that allows hunting with semiautomatic rifles and suppressors, so I’m looking at AR-10 format rifles for hunting. Typical local hunts will include whitetail deer, and hog. The forest here is rather thick and the longest shooting range within a 1hr drive is 600 yards.

    I have two rifles I’m looking at differ in their barrels:

    AR-10 18″ 1:10 .308 Barrel
    AR-10 22″ 1:8 6.5CM Barrel

    Both are about 9lb with an empty mag and without a scope. The price for each is about the same as well.

    I figured I’d use either 150gr for the .308 or 129gr for the 6.5CM since I hunt CXP2 game.

    My main question is which would you pick? Is there even a performance difference between the two in my usage scenario?

    1. Author

      I’d go with the Creedmoor, the ballistics are better than 308 and you don’t want to miss or wound an animal.

  15. How does the creedmore compare in penatration or hard targets, say, if it was for shtf, or shooting through cover? I am a week or 2 away from my next rifle purchase, have been looking at a recon g2 in 308, however this discussion has peaked my interest, and i found a 6.5 creedmore nib for half the msrp! Im a decent shooter, but getting to the point where i dont think 1000 yd shot is viable for me, and would likely disengage at that distance in a survival situation if possible, or get closer in a hunting situation, if possible. I see that the creedmore out preforms, is there a situation or area where the 308 would be a better round for the job? Great article, thanks for the info. Im an old marine machine gunner, but pretty handy with the smaller 5.56, so i really want to step up to something more immediatly devastating at 600yds.

    1. Author

      If you’re worried about two legged quarry for whatever reason, more energy in target is better. I’m not a big hunter but I have friends who do and often hear 1000ft/lbs as a rule of thumb for energy.

      Both 308 and 6.5 Creedmoor exceed that at 500yds but the 308 has more mass, and therefore, more energy at that distance. Keep in mind when considering your SHTF scenarios the likely limiting factor will be target identification.

      A war zone is easier, everybody “over there” is a bad guy. Something big happens at home and you can’t just shoot at anybody with a gun at 500yds. That’s a whole other can of worms and not really my specialty.

  16. Very good point rich. Im not a huge hunter either, rather just want the capability if the situation arises. I have one other question that our fellow enthusiest may be able to assist. Im deciding between a dpms g2 recon in 308, or a primary arms mk2 mod1 in creedmore. Both are about the same price, within 200 bucks, the creedmore retails for a good bit more and comes nib, 308 has approx. 80 rounds through it and comes with geissele trigger upgrade. Im working on a 1500$ budget, so at 1000 and 1200, both are great deals i think. Is this a hands down creedmore? The creedmore is a long stroke piston platform, 308 is di.would this sway your choice one way or the other? Thanks again for your opinion and ballistics facts. Im new to the longer range game, having only had 5.56 and 7.62×39 experience, so any knowledge and opinion is well appreciated and reguarded.

    1. Author

      You’re adding more moving parts with a piston driven AR. Moving parts make it harder to shoot accurately. I’ve heard piston is more reliable, but less accurate at distance but couldn’t speak to group sizes as my AR10 is DI. I’m not sure what the Seekins Precision AR10s are running but maybe give them a look.

  17. ** correction**
    Pws or primary weapon systems. Not the before mentioned primary arms.

    1. Author

      You can’t really do it, John, you can link to it but that’s it. That’s more of a Forum/Discussion feature.

      1. No worries Rich, the Howa is going to get re-barrelled to 6mm BR. And I have a Savage 12 LRP on order in 6.5 Creedmoor. The Savage will be getting a Nightforce 12-42×54 Precision Bench rest scope.

  18. For those of you interested, the BallisticsARC app has changed the game for me. It’s so user friendly and has taught me a ton. I am not affiliated with the company whatsoever. I speak as a happy customer. It is the best $15 I have ever spent as far as shooting goes. It’s definitely worth looking into. It’s made by geoballistics.

    Those of you talking about bullets. My CM loves the 143g Hornady ELD-X. It also shoots the 140g amax great. I shoot these a lot just because I bought a whole bunch of them right when I bought my rifle, but once they run out it will be ELDX only. Cheers.

  19. Rich. I have a comparison question for you, and I would like to hear your honest opinion. Would you put a 6.5cm GAP custom (Surgeon) bolt action up against a Desert Tech SRS A-1 in the same caliber? Primary application 50% hunting 50% target. Price is about the same.

    1. Author

      I’d lean towards the DTA, Chris, because you can swap calibers with that system so it’s a touch more versatile for the money.

      As far as accuracy, I’m sure they both shoot better than either of us!

  20. Thanks, concur, I have screwed up more shots that I care to admit. I just stumbled across ed this site. Seams a lot more friendly than some of the others. Good god ask a question like that elsewhere and they would have labeled me the village idiot.

    1. Author

      Well, this site is all about helping each other out and sharing information. Questions are welcome!

  21. Hi Rich,
    Great article. As someone stated above, I’d like to see a 7mm-08 vs 6.5 CM comparison.
    Im about to pull the trigger on a barrel for my ar10 and lm on the fence about these calibers. The only thing holding me back from the 7mm-08 is the OAL in an ar10 mag. Id like to know what bullets could be loaded to mag leangth that could beat the CM. It may only be able to take a 168. Hornady just came out with a 150 eldx for the 7mm that might be a contender. Thoughts?

    1. Author

      My guess is the Creedmoor wins, at least in a short action and loaded to mag length. Getting a bigger bullet moving at even the same speed with roughly the same case capacity is difficult.

      I would have to do some research ahead of a comparison article with those two cartridges.

      1. No AR for me my new one is a Savage LRP 6.5 with a Nightforce Precision BR scope. The previous 6.5 is being re-barrelled to 6BR. I’ll use the 6BR out to 300 and the Creedmoor past that. I have my doubts if I’ll have another 308.

  22. hi
    i was just wondering what the recoil differences were like between the 308 and the 6.5

    1. Author

      The 6.5 is a touch lighter but it’s not a huge difference. If recoil is an issue for you start looking at muzzle brakes, that makes a much bigger difference than a smaller caliber.

      1. Rich. I have been trying to wrap my mind around the various differences between the 7.62 & 6.5 CM. I understand sectional density, bullet drop, wind bucking ability, velocity etc. Tell me if i’m interpreting the meaning of energy correctly. In a hunting application, say at around 300 yds. If a 7.62 delivers more energy than a 6.5cm does that mean the 308 has more of a terminal effect say on a 300 boar hog. Or should think of it as, the 6.5 will?
        Chris

        1. Author

          Energy is just what it sounds like, it’s how much punch is delivered to the target at that distance with that bullet and set of conditions. Higher energy hits harder, lower energy hits softer.

          Depending on the distance, speed of the bullet, weight of the bullet, etc. it’s possible a smaller bullet could deliver more energy at a closer range if it’s making up for the weight deficit in velocity.

  23. I’m looking to buy the Ruger precision rifle. I’m just wondering what round 308 or 6.5 has the best stopping power at 600 yards or less.

      1. Personally I wouldn’t depend on either of them to stop much at that range. Putting holes in paper is one thing but bringing down animal with any sort of certainty is not really either cartridges strong point. Let’s say you wound the animal at that range and you have to follow it up. It has a 600yard head start on you. So unless you want to shoot varmints and / or you no other option than to shoot at that sort of distance better to get something that will deliver a greater dose of energy at that range.
        John

  24. Hmmm…..clearly the cartridge is superior…..so is a .50 bmg. The actual advantage of 7.62/.308 is commonality, cost, availability, and knowledge of the round. I can reload match grade rounds for .85 cents…..simple plinking rounds .50 cents. Simply a much cheaper gun to shoot plus much cheaper rounds……i do believe you…..the 6.5 is superior….just to practical….. This is a similar situation to 300 winmag, 50 bmg, 338 lapua, etc. Better rounds…..just not common….and not practical to the normal shooter.

  25. So the 6.5 is a better caliber at long ranges. Is it available in the AR platform like the AR 10 in .308?

  26. It’s probably worth mentioning that the US Army is seriously considering replacing the 7.62 NATO family weapons AND 5.56 NATO with the 6.5 CR based on some of the very information here. Incidentally, 6.5 is a caliber. 6.5 Creedmoor is a cartridge.

  27. Thanks, Rich. A very well written article, without a lot of excessive rubbish. Concise and to the point. I am a .308 Winchester fan, but have been looking at the 6.5 CM for a little better long range ballistics. You sold me, and did so with information, and not self indulgent propaganda. Kudos, brother.

  28. Hi Rich,

    I’ve been in the market to purchase a Remington 700 SPS .308 (left handed) and drop it into an XLR Evolution chassis, but all of a sudden I’m kinda swaying towards the Ruger Precision Rifle in a 6.5Cm, however, I don’t know if the buttstock has an ambidextrous design (because I’m left-handed)…..do you happen to know this?

    Also – on the topic of a Ruger Precision Rifle – do you recommend it? This is going to be my first .308 (or 6.5CM) as I currently shoot a CZ .22LR, and thought it was time to step it up a few notches (I ONLY DO TARGER SHOOTING)

    I am really confused on caliber and rifle selection…please help 🙂 Really would appreciate any help and advice.

    Any help/advice is appreciated. Cheers, Dan

    1. Author

      Remington has models in 6.5CM now (better late than never) so don’t overlook that. I think the Ruger is a better buy. There are a host of articles on it that Don wrote.

      The Ruger is a better buy these days.

      1. I went for the Savage 12 LRP in the Creed and never looked back. I’m pretty sure the stock is ambidextrous and the rifle shoots great.
        John

        1. Hi John,

          Thanks for your input 🙂

          I’m deciding between the Remington 700 .308 and the Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5CM…

          Go the RPR?

          1. If I was going to decide between the RPR and the Remington I’d be choosing the Ruger. But I never been a big Remington fan.
            John

      1. I will look at it right now. Also – is the Ruger Precision Rifle a varmint barrel?

        1. Author

          I don’t know, buddy, not sure how they classify the factory contour of the rifle but you can always compare specs to known contours for an idea.

  29. Do you know if I can shoot the Ruger being LH? I definitely want a tactical rifle.
    So – you recommend the 6.5CM over the .308?

    As mentioned – this is my first powerful caliber

    Thanks for getting back to me so soon!

    Cheers,
    Dan

  30. Hello Rich.

    My son (13, almost 14) and I have always enjoyed marksmanship. He has a Marlin 60 22lr rifle and is a solid shot at 30 yards.

    I’ve been thinking of stepping up for fun and I saw a Ruger Precision rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor and the salesman @ Cabelas said it was a flatter, better performance round than the 308. Found this blog and feel compelled to buy the rifle in the 6.5 caliber.

    Do you feel it’s a good platform to get my son into and prepare him for competition shooting?

    Thanks,

    Pavel

    1. Author

      Absolutely, Pavel! There’s less recoil with the 6.5 Creedmoor and the ballistics will make for a more forgiving caliber. It’s an excellent first rifle!

    2. Hi Pavel,

      I ended up purchasing the Ruger Precision Rifle and decided to proceed with the 6.5CM, which this forum helped me decide. And, as mentioned, the 6.5CM has much better BC. I think It’s a good calibre for entry level and for less recoil.

      Dan

  31. Hi Rich,

    Quick question – can I put my .308 muzzle break on the 6.5CM barrel? I mean, apart from the fact that the thread pitch needs to be matched by getting the barrel cut and re-threaded….

    Please advise

    Dan

    1. Author

      Yup. Long as the caliber is bigger it’s fine. Obviously you wouldn’t want to go the other way, like a 6.5mm brake on a 308…

      1. I thought so, but wasn’t 100% sure. Thanks for confirming that, Rich 🙂

  32. I know you seem to push the Ruger but the Savage fcp Sr does it for 1/3 the cost and barrel replacement is done at home for less then 400.

  33. Thanks Rich for a great article. I had this decision before I bought my RPR. .308 v 6.5cm. I got the cm after alot of research. Should have found your site earlier, would have saved some sleepless nights. I have shot wild pigs out to 400 meters (Australia) with great success, in and out through the shoulders. Cheers Clive Dingle

  34. Both good rounds but I have to say it since no one else will… The 260 Rem is ballistically speaking identical to the 6.5 Creedmor and the brass supposedly will last longer (this comes from the guy at Snipers Hide). Odd that the 260 has been around for 20 years, yet the 6.5 is taking off like no tomorrow. Pure marketing genius by the guys at Hornady…. Would love to see a comparison of similar weight bullets, regardless of caliber. How about a heavy bullet in the 6.5 and a super light bullet in a 308? I think if that was done there would be many more similarities than differences, they all have there place.

    1. I got into long range shooting about 5 years ago and the .260 was the popular cartridge. I put a .260 together and have enjoyed it.

      I think Rich did a slight comparison of the heavy bullet 6.5 and light bullet .308. Basically at shorter distances the .308 will be best. But for longer distances the heavier bullet with higher BC will be best.

      Recently I bought a .308 for practice because I can buy Federal GMM with the 168gr Sierra Matchking bullet for $0.84 a round on gunbroker. I realize the original article was done a while ago and times have changed since then.

  35. What do you think about the new Bergara B14 BMP and B14 HMR?

    1. Author

      Heard good things but don’t have either myself. I’d lean towards the BMP because it’s unlikely to experience any bedding issues.

  36. Thank you for answer. Her in Norway the BMP cost around 1900 dollar and the Ruger 2400 dollar so its a difference

  37. Finally understood. If you want precision shooting between 500 and 1000 meters, thanks go with 6.5. If you shoot up to 500 meters go with a 308 and be happy!!!

  38. I have been shooting .308 for
    about 4 years. I didn’t know 6.5CM existed when I bought my .308. I would rebarrell tomorrow except I have enough supplies to reload about 2000 rnds of .308.

    However, I disagree with the cost of factory rounds for .308. I have been buying from Target Sports USA the entire time. The most I have ever paid for 168 GMM was $200 per case with 0 sales tax and free shipping by the case. 175 GMM is currently selling for $200 per case and 168 is about $180 so that’s $18 to $20 per box. ELD’s are superior but you can’t beat $18 a box for GMM.

  39. First I’d like to say I’m no expert at anything.. But it seems to me that if I was to shoot out long distance, say 1000 yards or so, I would want a heavy bullet. The test you made were with light bullets and the wind plays tough with them. Doesn’t seem like a fair test to me but again I’m no expert.. I believe the heaviest bullet you showed was 178g . Even that isn’t going to cut it going out to 1000 with wind as a major factor. Also were these hand loads or out of the box rounds? Something’s doesn’t sound right to me but I’m no expert. Thanks

    1. Author

      It’s a ballistics comparison, Ray, and I chose common bullet weights for the comparison. 178gr is on the upper end of weight for 308 Winchester. It’s based on a handload I use for 308 which performs better than factory ammunition. Same with the Creedmoor example.

      If you want to use something heavier in either caliber, have at it. The problem is your trajectory starts getting very steep. You might get a little extra windage out of it but it’s not worth the velocity loss. A steep trajectory is only going to work on a square range where distances are known.

      140gr is about max for the Creedmoor and 178gr is on the upper end for 308. Hope that helps.

  40. I’ve been researching a good rifle/calibre combination for most of this year and just a few days ago I found this site and particular thread. I have decided to buy a Ruger Precision in 6.5CM, and a Vortex Viper 6-24 x 50 FFP in MRAD with Vortex Tactical Matched Rings. I’ve already bought the scope, and will place the order for the RPR in the coming weeks. The information on this site has given me great confidence that I’ve made the right choices. I’ve been away from shooting for 40 years, and have just taken it back up again, reapplied for my license, (I’m in Australia), gone through a few safety courses and joined a club. I’m currently undergoing handgun training and will apply for handgun in six months time when I’ve served out the waiting period. However, my main interest is long range shooting, I’ll probably be shooting out to 1000 yards, not much longer as the ranges around here don’t get that long. I’d like to thank all those that have left posts, they’ve been highly illuminating and I’ll be regularly checking back in and probably sharing a few thoughts. One question i have is about the Coriolis Effect on long range shooting. I’ve done a little research and there seems to be numerous conflicting thoughts on this subject. Some say it has an effect, some say it does not. I’m currently undecided until I can experiment myself and draw a conclusion. What are peoples thoughts on this issue?

    1. Author

      It’s unlikely to be significant until you shoot in excess of 1000yds, some say even as far as 1500.

    2. There is a good youtube video that demonstrate it perfectly at 1000 yards but cant find it right now. The guy shoots 1000 yards in one direction then 1000 yards in the other. It almost seems like it was Long Range University or GunWerks. For their particular cartridge, it seems like the affect was appx. 4″ high or low depending on whether they were shooting due east or due west respectively. No affect north or south. It all depends on how long it takes your bullet to get to the target and where you located at the time you shoot.

    3. I lived in Aus for 3 years. Couldn’t handle the over impressive regs and the absolutely insane fascist government. As a gun owner for my entire adult life, I was shocked at the difficulty imposed by the Aussie Gov to get into the shooting sports. You guys gave up way too much when some “supposed wacko” snipered a bunch of innocents with his “handgun” with rifle accuracy. Best of luck, would love to have you here in America.

  41. Hi Rich, that Savage lrp is shooting up to expectations. I settled on a load of 42.5 grains of h4350 and a 140gn Berger vld target. So far my best group at 500m is 1.89inch. I’ be moving out to 1,000m pretty soon.
    John

  42. You say: “As you can see from the graph, the 175gr Sierra approaches 400 inches of drop at 1000 yards, it’s lobbed more than 32ft in the air in order to connect after fighting gravity out to the target.” NOT true.

    This is a common misconception by those who haven’t studied the physics of ballistics. It stems from the fact that if you have a 100yd zero and you aim at a 1000-yard target (without changing your scope) the bullet will impact about 33 feet low. That does NOT mean that your bullet will be lobbed 33 feet above the line of sight to the point of impact.

    In fact, when you adjust your scope zero from 100 yds to1000 yds in an attempt to hit the target, the bullet path reaches a peak of 143.1” above the light of sight. That’s only 12 feet, not “more than 32 feet”. This fact is easy to determine with any of the common ballistics apps.

  43. I noticed that there was no foot pounds of energy and also which one has the best bullet selection for reloading ?

  44. Hello, the name’s Rich D. Can you tell me how these two (6.5 and 7.62) stand up against the 7.62 x 54. Thanks

    1. Author

      I don’t know much about the 7.62×54 other than it’s an old cartridge originally for the Mosin. Given modern bullets and powders I’m going to say 308 Win and 6.5 Creed will thoroughly stomp it. Now if you start getting fancy and hand loading your own stuff that’s a whole other ballgame. Again, not really well versed in the x54 but there are probably more modern choices better suited for tactical rifle.

  45. Well written! Thanks for taking the time to “lay it all out.” I didn’t read through all the comments (hardly any, actually) and one thing for accuracy, regardless of caliber, that people seem to ignore is diet and exercise. A cup of coffee, a little chocolate, whatever you put in your body and your level of conditioning will have a noticeable impact downrange.

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