6.5 Creedmoor vs .308 Winchester… No Contest

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner

I’m sorry to break it to you, but sharp, sleek, and fast 6.5 Creedmoor is not a “hipster caliber.” It’s here to stay, and that’s because it’s better than the old glue horse we call .308 Winchester / 7.62mm NATO in every single way. Almost.

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner

There you have it, dull old .308 on the left. Vastly superior 6.5 Creed on the right.

Take that lazy, rounded corner, 20-degree .308 shoulder and sharpen it up, give it a 30-degree angle, neck it down a little more, and you have the 6.5 Creedmoor. It was released by Hornady in 2007, a few months after .30 Thompson Center, which is technically the 6.5 CM’s parent case (the .30 TC being a sharper-shouldered .308, designed for a higher pressure rating).

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner

Capable of being fired from the same magazines through the same firearms as the sad .308/7.62 NATO, the 6.5’s main advantage comes from its use of longer, more aerodynamic 0.264″ diameter bullets. A higher ballistic coefficient means the projectile slows down less during flight and is affected less by the wind. At the same time, a lighter projectile means significantly less felt recoil and easier spotting of your own shots.

But how much of an advantage is this, really? I’m glad you asked.

The Story Version:

Hit percentage. It’s all about hit percentage.

While bullet drop is easy enough to calculate for a given target distance, the at least 30% flatter trajectory of 6.5 gives you far more room for error in your range estimations. Compared to a typical .308, a typical 6.5 round also reduces the effect of a crosswind on the bullet’s path by at least 40%; the practical value of which cannot be overstated. These two factors alone massively extend your ability to hit the target or to take an ethical shot on an animal.

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner

I’ve heard a lot of “.308 is better inside 800 yards” from the .308 lobby (followed by a pause for some mouth breathing), but that just isn’t the case. Even at only 300 yards, in a 10 mph crosswind you’d have to hold off 7.2 inches with .308 Winchester whereas when shooting 6.5 Creedmoor, you’ll only hold 4.7 inches. If you’re shooting at a 10-inch diameter target (e.g. the vital zone of a deer) and neglect to hold for wind, you’ll miss well wide with the .308 but still hit with the 6.5.

While porky .308 is about 250 ft-lbs of energy more powerful at the muzzle, a match 6.5 CM load has already surpassed a match .308 load’s retained energy after only 160 yards of flight. At 1,000 yards it can have twice the kinetic energy. Even within that short distance where .308 pushes more ft-lbs, the higher sectional density of the 6.5 projectile — the same reason it’s so aerodynamic — often results in improved penetration in game. We’ll have to do some testing, though, to see if a deer or elk at point blank range can tell the difference between 2,400 ft-lbs and 2,650 ft-lbs.

Bottom line for hunters: a 6.5 Creedmoor can take the same game as .308 and do it just as well as .308 at close ranges. But past a couple hundred yards, there’s simply no contest; 6.5 flat-out dominates. And as the range increases, so does the brutal domination.

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner

Because USSOCOM (U.S. Special Operations Command) found that, as compared to flat-footed .308 (specifically M118LR, the military’s best long-range .308 load), 6.5 Creedmoor doubles snipers’ hit probability at 1,000 meters, increases effective range by at least a third, increases energy on target by 50%, reduces the effect of wind by 40%, and has at least 30% less recoil, they will begin converting their .308 Win MK110A1 and Mk20 rifles to 6.5 CM in 2019 (see here and here). A process that requires nothing more than a new barrel, by the way.

You, too, can and will benefit from all of these improvements whether you’re shooting 100 yards or 1,000. Or 1,400. Or whether you’re shooting steel targets, paper targets, or four-legged targets. Or shooting at your old, worthless .308 rifles. Better in every way! Almost . . .

The availability of cheap plinking or “battle” ammo in .308 is the exception to the 6.5 Creedmoor’s would-be shutout. That just isn’t a thing in Creedmoor land. It’s a precision rifle caliber and whether it’s hunting ammo, target ammo, or long range ammo, it’s all match grade kind of stuff. Expect to spend $0.95 per round and up. Then again, Sellier & Bellot recently released a 6.5 Creedmoor load that runs about $0.60 to $0.65 per round and is getting generally very positive reviews. We’ll get our hands on some soon for a thorough test.

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner

Of course, match grade and hunting .308 from quality manufacturers generally costs the same as the 6.5 CM equivalents. Often more (see above). If you’re seeking accuracy and/or hunting with quality ammo and don’t plan on going out and dumping rounds downrange, there’s no cost savings to be had with .308.

Then again, if you’re shooting a semi-auto and think of it as more of a short range battle rifle and want to train a lot, have fun blasting away with it, and/or are happy as long as you’re at least “minute of bad guy,” then you can get into steel-cased .308 for about $0.32 and up.

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner

At the end of the day, I understand the continued appeal of .308 in a semi-auto “battle rifle.” I don’t understand why anyone would still buy a .308 bolt gun or semi-auto sniper system (SASS) type rifle, though. The 6.5 round simply does everything far better. Choosing the .308 Winchester dumpster fire over 6.5 Creedmoor in a rifle that will shoot primarily high quality ammo is a mistake.

I know you called 6.5 a hipster fad — there’s a small chance (~100%) that I did, too — and it’s hard to eat your own words, but it’s time to man up and neck down.

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner

The Numbers Version:

Less drop, less wind drift, and more retained velocity and energy for a longer effective range. But how much so? I’m glad you asked.

Let’s go ahead and look not at your average .308 projectile, but at one of the most modern, slipperiest bullet options available and compare it directly to the exact same bullet design in 6.5 CM.

For this, we’ll use Hornady’s ELD-X projectiles loaded in Hornady’s Precision Hunter ammo. That’s a 178 grain .308 Winchester and a 143 grain 6.5 Creedmoor.

• At 1,000 yards, the .308 drops 372.1 inches. The 6.5 drops 319.8 inches. That’s over 16% more drop with the .308.
• At 1,000 yards with a 10 mph, full-value (perpendicular to bullet travel) crosswind, the .308 drifts 77.6 inches off course. The 6.5 drifts 62.6 inches. That’s 24% more wind drift from the .308.
• At 1,000 yards, the .308 is still trucking along at 1,287.2 fps. But the 6.5 is doing 1,492.7 fps.
• While the .308 goes transonic at about 1,100 yards, the 6.5 doesn’t get into that slipping-out-of-supersonic-and-becoming-unstable territory for another 200 yards still. Predictable accuracy out to at least 1,300.

Now, that’s one of the very best case scenarios on the commercial market for .308 Winchester. But you can easily do better in 6.5 Creedmoor (and you’re likely to do much worse in .308).

For instance, sticking with Hornady here (they created the caliber, after all), their 147 grain ELD Match 6.5 CM load, at 1,000 yards, has dropped 304.2 inches, has drifted 54 inches in that same 10 mph crosswind, and is still doing 1,597 fps. It doesn’t go transonic until about 1,425 yards.

On the other hand, if we look at a typical .308 target load that’s shooting the gold standard 168 grain Sierra MatchKing BTHP projectile, you’ll be dealing with 430.6 inches of drop and 106.3 inches of wind drift in those same conditions. Velocity at 1,000 yards is, oh darn, we’re subsonic at 1,071.8 fps. In fact, the bullet went transonic at about 900 yards.

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner Bullet Drop Velocity

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner Bullet Drop Velocity

In the 1,000-yard match-up between the 168 grain SMK .308 and the 147 grain ELD Match 6.5, the .308 drops 41.6% more, drifts 96.9% more (twice as much! — 8.86 feet vs 4.5 feet), and goes transonic at just 63.2% of the distance as the 6.5. And it recoils with 30% more force, making it harder to spot your own impacts and less pleasurable to shoot. This 6.5 is going almost 50% faster at 1,000 yards and has 94.2% more kinetic energy than this .308. Effective range of the 6.5 is 58% farther. No contest.

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner Bullet Drop Velocity

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner Bullet Drop Velocity

Zooming in on those graphs to show a 500-yard maximum reduces the cavernous, performance-shaming difference between these calibers to something just slightly less embarrassing. Still, and I repeat, choosing .308 Winchester over 6.5 Creedmoor in a rifle that will shoot primarily high quality ammo is a mistake.

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner

Hang on, sorry, not done yet! One final note worth mentioning is that modern bullet designs like the ELD-X have given .308 Winchester a huge boost in the impressive ballistic coefficient game. Not to 6.5 levels, mind you, but vastly improved over even very good designs like the Sierra MatchKing used as an example load for some of the calculations above.

But — and it’s a big but — your .308 rifle very well may not shoot modern, low drag projectiles accurately. Especially the extra low drag type with a secant ogive. While 6.5 Creedmoors are often chambered and designed with long, sleek ELD/VLD projectiles in mind, few .308s are. As an example, my CZ 557 Urban Counter Sniper hates factory secant ogive rounds, shows a strong dislike for hybrids, and doesn’t even much care for the extra long tangent ogive of Federal’s fantastic Gold Medal Berger with 185 grain Berger Juggernauts seen above. Good ol’ traditional tangent ogives for that traditionally-chambered .308 rifle, indeed.

Which, on the .308 short bus, is more often the case than not. So closing this ballistic gap is much harder than just upping one’s ammo game. Rolling your own, of course, can help by controlling bullet seating depth, as those VLDs usually like to be up against the rifling lands when chambered.

Or you could just shoot 6.5 Creedmoor instead. Nothing says #Winning like sub-half-minute accuracy from factory ammo that’s supersonic past 1,400 yards, wanders half as much in the wind, hits harder, penetrates better, and does it all with less recoil.

And if everything above still hasn’t convinced you, I’ll leave you with some photos of .308 being super creepy…

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner

.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor No Contest Winner
* A note on .260 Remington:

This is also .308 necked down to .264 caliber, but .260 Rem retains the same shoulder profile and its resultant longer case length. Ballistics of .260 Remington and 6.5 Creedmoor are typically about identical. The 6.5 CM is rated for a higher maximum pressure but .260 Rem has slightly (1.9%) more powder capacity. Ultimately, it’s easier to get a few FPS more velocity out of the .260 as it’s easier and safer to use extra case capacity than to push the max pressure boundary. However, if you compare commercial loads using the same projectile, velocities are usually identical or dang close (usually within 50 fps or about 2% spread or less, with .260 typically but not always taking the slight lead. Example: .260 Rem SST vs. 6.5 CM SST).

In the USSOCOM testing, .260 and 6.5 went head-to-head and were found to perform identically in every aspect from reliability in a semi-auto to accuracy and ballistics. Crushing the incumbent .308, of course, which smells of old fish. However, 6.5 Creedmoor was still the clear winner for a handful of reasons, including vastly larger commercial market and manufacturer adoption plus the important ability to load longer projectiles within a cartridge overall length that still fits in an SR-25/.308 magazine.

Either way, though, both the .260 and 6.5 will blow the Velcro clean off a .308 shooter’s shoes at 1,400 yards.

comments

  1. avatar MICHAEL A CROGNALE says:

    Was it really necessary to refer to 308 shooters as mouth breathing, dense, dullards? It wasn’t funny the first time you insulted us. It’s less funny as the article droned on. Not even for comic effect.

    1. avatar DoomGuy says:

      Must be a hipster thing.

    2. avatar Mitch says:

      You sound like a humorless crybaby. I bet you’re alot of fun at parties…

    3. avatar Rob says:

      It made me smile. Hopefully all 308 mouth breathers will realize their antiquated rigs are junk and sell them to me for pennies on the dollar.

      1. avatar Matty 9 says:

        Second!

        1. avatar Psyguy says:

          I wouldn’t want to sell antiquated junk to anyone. Besides the bullets just bounce off people/animals… right?

          Just melt them down and re purpose the metal/wood and post the videos 🙂

    4. avatar Hunter427 says:

      The US military just compared 6.5 cr.to 260 rem with down range ballistic. 260 was hands down better So someone got payed off. For the US military to go with 6.5

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        Negative. See my .260 note at the bottom of the article and follow the link in the USSOCOM section to soldier systems. The military correctly found that the rounds were effectively ballistically identical though, yes, the capability exists to squeeze ever so slightly more velocity from the .260. But, due to the FAR larger adoption of 6.5 and its better ability to fit into .308 magazines (esp. semi-auto ones) because of the shorter case so the neck is farther down and longer, higher BC bullets can be loaded to shorter case overall lengths, it won out.

        1. avatar mike oregon says:

          Dude, you know that facts in context really piss off people whose minds are already made up.

        2. avatar C4sir says:

          7.62×39 is the master caliber. More things defeated by it compared to Creedmoor and 308

    5. You can be insulted only by those you respect.
      It is good to know you respect Jeremy S.

      I appreciate and enjoy well executed satire and sarcasm, even when it’s directed at me. Sometimes my first reaction is to get huffy, but that never lasts very long.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        🙂 Glad you realize it’s all in jest. The best part is that there are two .308s in my safe and zero 6.5 CMs haha. But I’m buying the 6.5 CM The Fix by Q that’s here on loan now and we’re building a custom 6.5 with Alamo Precision Rifles. The bottom line here is that I’ll never buy another .308 again unless it’s a battle rifle like a CETME or something else that I’d plan to run junk ammo through. At this point, with factory ammo availability and pricing, there’s simply no way in hell I’d buy a .308 bolt gun or precision semi-auto instead of a 6.5.

        1. avatar mike oregon says:

          Have you looked at the Ar10 from Stag arms? I picked up a left hand version 24″bbl in 6.5 Creedmoor. It actually exceeded my expectations for accuracy, very heavy but a sub M.O.A. shooter. I’ve shot a 2 3/4″ group at 600 yards. Before anyone calls foul I have the score card from the N.R.A. hi-power match.

        2. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          Ok Jeremy S.

          Now you have me pondering things. How about an article for a budget starter rifle in 6.5 for those of us that might consider something new? Your writing style seems to work pretty well.

          Signed
          – Old 308 Fudd who might be convinced to change his fuddish ways.

        3. avatar Doug Haner says:

          Are there any off the shelf, or even parts to build one yourself, quality LEFTEYED (hand dominance does not matter when shooting, it’s all in the eyes) 6.5 Creedmoor bolt guns available?

          I refuse to buy a righthanded bolt gun.

          And if more shooters actually paid attention to eye dominance we’d have a lot more left guns available.
          Until then I’ll stick with .308. As I KNOW that a .308 round sighted with my left eye will outperform a 6.5 sighted from my right.

        4. avatar Mark N. says:

          Try Savage. They usually make everything they sell in lefty versions (eventually anyway), and they have come out with a 6.5 CM. They have just come out with a rifle called the Storm with a 22″ stainless barrel, with accu-trigger and accu-stock for under $1K as I recall. If it isn’t in left now, it will be. I know they also have rifles with 24″ barrels, but those are at a higher price point.

        5. avatar Doug Haner says:

          The Storm is not available in lefty AND 6.5.

          The Axis is, but I’m not a base model type of guy in anything.

          The 10/110 BA Stealth IS available in lefty and 6.5. That’s more my speed.

          I’ve looked before but couldn’t find anything. I should be more diligent in keeping up with new offerings.

          Thankyou for solving one issue. Got any tips on how to get a rifle into the safe without my wife knowing?

        6. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Manse and Doug, as 6.5 CM requires no changes to a .308 rifle at all other than the barrel, many manufacturers that make .308s are already offering those same rifles in 6.5 CM. Not only bolt guns but MSRs and other semis, too.

          For budget oriented bolt guns there’s Savage, Ruger (American Predator, for instance), Winchester (XPR), Browning, Mossberg, Howa, Thompson/Center, even Weatherby and others. Or, if you already own a .308 rifle with a barrel that can be swapped without too much difficulty/expense, you could have it re-barreled. For semis at a good price there’s a lot in the AR10 world from Palmetto State to Savage to Aero, Stag, S&W, CMMG, and many others.

          For left hand there’s Savage and basically any other bolt gun manufacturer that does a left hand action. If they’re doing a left hand .308 you can almost certainly get a left hand 6.5. Or buy a LH action and barrel it, since the barrel doesn’t care what ‘handed’ the action is.

        7. avatar Doug Haner says:

          That makes sense. So if I ever get around to it I could build a 700 actioned, lefty, McMillan stocked, custom 6.5 bolt gun?

          Or I could convert my Sage chassied M1a from .308 to 6.5 with just a barrel swap? I’ve found that lefty bolts, while listed on manufacturers websites are somewhat difficult to find in real life despite the caliber. LGS, big boxes, hell even vendors at gunshows look at me like I’m speaking a foreign language. The last big gun show I attended in Denver had literally one Tikka lefty bolt, don’t remember what caliber but it looked heavily used and didn’t interest me. I literally talked to every single vendor there.

          This is why I only have semis right now.

        8. avatar William C. Montgomery says:

          Last time I was at a Cabala’s they had several left-hand Tikka’s. In fact, I think those were the only left-hand bolts they had in inventory. I recently purchased a left-hand Ruger American Rifle Predator. The only left-hand RAR Predator they make is chambered for 6.5 CM. Availability is spotty, so I did an inventory watch through Gallery of Guns. I like the rifle quite well, although I would much prefer a wood stock. Sooner or later (maybe late summer) I plan to replace the plastic stock with a Boyd’s Left-hand Prairie Hunter.

        9. avatar Howdy1 says:

          You do you. Let they do them.

        10. avatar fieldrig says:

          Jeremy, your points concerning the merits of 6.5 Creedmoor are well taken. I heartily agree that the Creedmoor is superior either for long range target shooting or for western hunting as long as it’s on deer-sized game. The problem with your logic is that rifles are used for more than just long-range precision shooting. I can think of several hunting scenarios where I’d much rather have a .30, whether it be a .308 or .30-06, than I would a 6.5. Bullets don’t kill by energy. They kill by destroying tissue. While the 6.5 no doubt has a much longer point blank range than the .308, and bleeds its energy slower due to a high b.c., it also is substantially lighter, with quite a bit less frontal area to open the animal. Yes, I’m sure it’s a good penetrator due to it’s b.c., but I’m not convinced that it’s suited to the role of putting down larger game like elk or bear efficiently and effectively. These are roles the .308 and .30-06 have excelled at for years, especially at short to medium ranges, where the vast majority of responsible hunters take their game. Just some food for thought.

        11. avatar Wzrd says:

          I’ve been gathering parts for my second AR10 build & was planning to stay with .308. I really didn’t want to stock another caliber but now you have me second guessing that position. Luckily I haven’t bought a barrel yet.
          I wasn’t really interested in 6.5 CM so I’ve yet to do any research, but you’re telling me CM is like the .300 BLK of AR10s, in the way that I can use all standard .308 parts minus only the bbl? What length bbl is typical for CM? What’s the shortest bbl recommended?
          I was mulling over making this AR10 a 14.5” pinned .308 to run mostly suppressed. (I know it’s too short, .308 needs 18”+, blah, blah, blah). I really would like to keep it short. I do have plans to do a future precision bolt gun build so maybe I’d be better served to wait & make that the CM? Any recommendations for chassis or action type?
          Anyway, thanks for the informative article. But I’m not going to thank you for possibly causing me to stock a new caliber. At least not until after I’ve shot it.

        12. I’ll take the 7mm Reminton Magnum, thank you.

    6. avatar DK says:

      Don’t get too offended. Jeremy even said that he doubted the 6.5 Creedmoor at first. He’s making fun of himself here just as much as you.

      Maybe it’s a generational thing, but I realized he was being sarcastic and enjoyed it. I haven’t had the time to read many TTAG articles lately, but this one kept me interested. Thanks, Jeremy.

    7. avatar TIMOTHY J MAGILL says:

      I’d like to see the comparison of the 6.5 Needmore to the 6mm rem.!!! That would be a more correct comparison than a 30 caliber to a 20ish caliber.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        I’ve read that the popularity of the 6.5 CM among long range competition shooters has faded, and they are all now going to 6mm for an even flatter trajectory and greater range out beyond 1500 meters.

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          That is true for the “chase the new hot cheerleader at school” crowd. Next year they will be on to something newer. I think 6.5C will stay around for the reasons discussed.

        2. avatar Terry O. Allen says:

          Here today, gone tomorrow.

    8. avatar New Continental Army says:

      6.5 creedmore is still a fad round. SOCOM will switch to something else as soon as a new hot round enters the scene and it will die. .308 will live on as long as there are guns. Don’t believe me? Just watch. In 10 years 6.5 creedmore will be about as common as 25-06 and .51 beck. I’ll bet all you 6.5 soy bois 100 rounds of premium .308 on it.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        SOCOM isn’t betting on ________ for a premium rifle cartridge. They are betting there will ALWAYS be lots of 7.62×51 NATO laying around in belts/cans on EVERY US battlefield. Is this a good reason? Same rational McArthur used in selecting an obsolete round for the M1 Garand.

        (Correct answer is NO. It is not the correct answer for the the US military. It is a correct answer for concerned US citizens).

    9. avatar Arc says:

      The biggest problem with 6.5 Creedmoor is: Its not surplus. If SHTF, I can’t get this ammo, and unless I have it stocked up, the rifle is basically a club. Black tips are still available for .308 as well.

      1. avatar Big E says:

        Sure, but you can have both. I have a 6.8spc AR that is an absolute laser and I use as my primary hunting rifle. I only have a handful of magazines and maybe 60 rounds for it at any given time. It’s just not a volume round for me. Same with my .243, .270 & .30-30, .30-06, etc.

        On the other hand I have a LOT of .308 and don’t feel the need to “replace” it with whatever boutique round I might acquire.

    10. avatar little horn says:

      typical narcissist control freak. they will try to beat you into submission and if you still don’t agree, well then you are not only wrong but stupid as well.

      if it dominates so well, why not let the results speak for themselves and save what little integrity you may have had with your readers that you are wanting to convert.

      I am actually one of those. .308 has just been the “go-to” round for MANY things so naturally thats whay people are going initially be interested in, like i was. but then realize how fast 7.62 drops and MAYBE thats a big deal for them, maybe it isn’t.

    11. avatar Ropy saliva says:

      “Lighten up, Francis!”

    12. avatar Bob Jones says:

      No. It was funny the first time and it only got funnier as the article droned on. Your response made it funnier still. Overall, a stellar piece of comedic genius. 👍

  2. avatar James Earl Hoffa says:

    Except for the fact that 6.5 Creedmoor is never going to be found at a local hardware store in Tennessee when your deer hunting. You will find 308 Winchester and various bullets and cartridge powder levels at any Walmart hardware store or little local gun shop. You will not find 6.5 Creedmoor anywhere except online or at a few high-end gun ranges for a ridiculous price. 308 is cheaper and found in more locations than you can shake a stick at. I like the 6.5 Creedmoor as far as a round and its capability but as far as practicality and use in the hunting community and even in the shooting community just too expensive and too hard to get ahold of it’s like trying to shoot 458 Socom all the time which I have one of those to, just expensive and hard to find ammo.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      I can find 6.5Creedmoor at every LGS around me, as well as Cabellas, Academy, all the big box sporting goods stores too.

    2. avatar CZ Rider says:

      My local walmart has a couple brands on the shelf pretty consistently. Then again, they also had 10ct boxes of .50 BMG for a while, so they may just be a bit… special…

      1. avatar JasonM says:

        I want to hang out with your neighbors.

    3. avatar Bloving says:

      Several flavors to choose from in my shop as well as rifles chambered for it in prices ranging from bargain Remington and Mossbergs to ready-to-compete rifles like the Ruger Precision.
      I can only see the availability becoming even better in the seasons to come – even out in the sticks. If your local general store in the Hill Country doesn’t have any 6.5 loads in stock, I’d say it’s because the guy who left ahead of you just bought the last box.
      🤠

    4. avatar Pelvicpunch says:

      The 3 Wal-Marts near me have it, hell even the Edwards BX has a few different loadings! As does Turners. And the LGS near me.
      Just saying.

    5. avatar Omer says:

      The hardware store, LGS, and basically any capitalist will stock and sell what sells. As the availability and popularity increases, the number of retailers selling the round will likely increase as well, and prices may also drop with time.

      1. avatar Matty 9 says:

        After Marine and Army snipers get spend a few years behine 6.5 rifles, and the next big war, new sniper records will come out, and surplus 6.5 will be available.

    6. avatar Montesa_VR says:

      I can buy all the 6.5 Creedmoor I want at my local WalMart or my local Fleet Farm store at very competitive prices. More available than 7-08 or .257 Roberts or similar good old low recoil alternatives. And the ammunition features high performance bullets, consistent accuracy and full power loads. Seems like a winner.

    7. avatar Dick Biddle says:

      Dear Mr. Hoffa,

      How did you get out from under of that bridge foundation or wherever they planted you?
      A fellow Teamster would like to know, just in case….

    8. avatar Anonymous says:

      I agree. I can get 308 win / 7.62 NATO brass anywhere for dirt cheap, by the bucket load.

      Until the military adopts 6.5 Creedmore. I’m not interested in it.

    9. avatar Ryan says:

      Simply not true. I’ve been finding it regularly and in ever increasing variety. You can get “cheap” hunting loads like American Whitetail and Remington Core-lock and I even bought a box of plinking ammo for $12.

      1. avatar Chuck Barnett says:

        I think that the 6.5 Creedmoor is a great cartridge, but I would rather use my 7mm Remington Mag for North American game.

  3. avatar Texheim says:

    I’m thinking this was written to illicit a response from a certain group of shooters.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Not really. I wanted to share the factual differences between the two calibers (wind drift being the really big one) and the silly stuff is just that. A bit of fun. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of math and who wants that? Plus it’s hard to look at numbers and get from them the takeaway that 6.5 CM doubles hit rates over .308 Win. Though I do hope everyone who’s triggered by this article can still bring themselves to objectively look at the numbers and the charts and realize just how much 6.5 provides over .308 for the same cost.

      I stand by the assertion that buying/building a gun with accuracy in mind in .308, today, is a mistake. There are better choices. And 6.5 CM is probably the #1 better choice due to the availability and cost of factory ammo. Buying a .308 at this point in time is making an irrational choice because we don’t like change and we’re invested in our previous decisions. If we’re objective, we would not still be building precision .308s.

      1. avatar Steve says:

        Seems that you enjoy talking crap showing ridiculous comparison photos and push the fact that everyone shoots 800 to 1100 yards. Here in New England the rarity is 400yds and 1000yds is maybe a powerline. Nice joke piece, feel like I just lost 20 minutes I’ll never get back. Facts are fine being an ass doesn’t gain you points. If your photos had portrayed even some of the loads I use it might have been of value. Seeing that I load match grade for about 50 cents and brass is dirt cheap. My 308 in New England does its job at the range that we have available. It doesn’t warrant wasting money on a rifle that isn’t any better and more expensive to shoot. Won’t waste my time again.

  4. avatar rocketscientist says:

    Great job finding the shortest, least pointy projectiles possible for your .308 comparison photos. Despite your attempts to degrade those of us who find .308 useful, very entertaining article.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Yeah, I swiped his “Densest objects in the Universe” graphic for later use…

      *snicker*

      1. avatar BLAMMO says:

        I’ll get a lot of use out of that. Anytime I need to point out someone who is being obtuse, I’ll just change the label on the last graphic, as applicable.

    2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      LOL. I absolutely did do that haha. BUT…threw .308 a bone by showing off that sexy Berger Juggernaut, too.

      That’s an interesting round as it’s specifically designed to maintain stability through transonic flight and into subsonic flight. So it stretches out your effective target shooting range by a huge amount while maintaining a fairly normal ogive shape. FAR more likely to work well in existing .308 rifles than the ELD/VLD stuff.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        That Juggernaut has performed well with every rifle I’ve reviewed. If I was going to buy .308s, and I’m certainly not (bitch, I reload), that’s the only round I’d buy.

  5. avatar Freeheel says:

    And a barrel life of 2,000 rounds for the 6.5 creedmore. No thanks

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      If you are pushing max loads on the 6.5s every time, expect something just over 2k. More conservative, and typically more accurate loads will get you over 3k.
      The 308 will definatley go over 5k though, even pushing the fast loads.

    2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      That is not accurate. When people say 6.5 Creed has a barrel life of 2,000 to 3,000 rounds they’re talking about end of life being when group sizes open up to where they deem barrel replacement necessary. For these shooters that’s usually as soon as it’s no longer a sub-1-MOA gun, and it’s usually a stainless steel barrel. With most .308s a barrel isn’t considered shot out until you’re exceeding 3 or 4 MOA or worse, and discussions of .308 barrel life are typically focused on chrome lined barrels. “Barrel life” is a very subjective term and it’s extremely difficult to compare apples to apples in cases like a 6.5 CM precision rifle caliber and a .308 battle caliber, which is how they’re viewed for this purpose.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        If we measure Barrel Life by throat erosion or by a similar percentage of accuracy loss under 1 minute of angle, the 6.5s get to around 3,000 and the 308s to around 5,000.

        1. avatar Austin Small says:

          but what kind of barrel are you measuring that on is it consistent with heavier barrels, is that with hand loads (where you may or may not be pushing the limits with your pressures) the barrel life issue is a completely BS argument as stated before its completely subjective and obviously if your a loyal to 308 you’ll find a reason why 6.5’s are useless. Keep in mind I have both a 308 and a 6.5 I love my 308 as much as my 6.5 but uses vary if I want to stretch way out to 1200 yards I’m going to break out the 6.5 if I’m hunting deer in a wooded area where my longest shot is 300 yards I’m going to take my 308 with BTHP’s (if I want to go past 1200 -1300 yards I’m leaving both in the safe and taking the. 338 lapua.) Bottom line both guns can be very reliable in capable hands

    3. avatar RONO says:

      Once I saw the pictures of 308 being creepy I knew I loved this article

  6. avatar Michael in AK says:

    Dude, you didn’t bash Glocks in this article, you need to up your game. How could you possibly write an article about rifle rounds without bashing Glocks? Sheesh!

    1. avatar Tactical Dad says:

      LOL The .308 is now the 40 S&W of the rifle world.

  7. avatar GPSrulz says:

    Hmmm… why does the .308 survive? First MIL-Surplus, I can’t find 6.5 Mil-surplus. Second, cartages live on for a long time, go to the local gun store and just look at the variety (dozens and dozens of out-dated cartages). Third, currently most firearms manufacturers’ entry-level systems aren’t in 6.5 (so you’re making a social economic snobbery judgement when you elude to “just buy 6.5”). Fourth, variety of firearms offered in .308 vs 6.5. Experienced shooters know about the 6.5, they just don’t want to do a full conversion immediately. If I remember correctly 30-06 is still one of, if not the most common, round. It takes time and resources to convert.

    1. avatar DesertDave says:

      .30 06 vs 6.5 Creedmoore from another article here on TAG:

      “If we take a look at the same round vs. the 140gr ELD in 6.5 Creedmor, the advantage of the old warhorse is even more pronounced: 29 percent more energy at 100 yards, 24 percent at 300, and 20 percent at 500. Around the 900 yard mark the 6.5 Creedmoor catches up to the “antiquated” .30-06. The .308 never does.”

      The ELDX .30 06 load is very close to the 6.5 load, love my .30 06!

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        I wrote that as a response to another article that claimed the .30-06 was crap compared to the 308. Still, to this day, the .30-06 is the king of cartridges.

        1. avatar Joe R. says:

          Just ask the people who rate wearable armor plates.

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          Show the AR10 mag/lower it will fit into.

      2. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        And the 06 has a large array of bullet designs and weights to enable it to be versatile.

        1. avatar Art out West says:

          That’s what I was thinking. For the lighter loads, .270 is better than 30-06. On the other hand, 30-06 gives you the flexibility of very heavy loads (and still does great with the lighter ones too).

          I only have a .270. I’d like to pick up a 30-06 (and a 6.5 Creedmore). I’ll probably skip the .308, unless I decide to buy a “battle rifle blaster”.

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          I cannot believe it was this far down in the comments before someone mentioned .270 Winchester.

          I imagine 6.5mm Creedmoor and .270 Winchester (7mm) yield virtually identical velocities, drop, and wind drift when comparing bullets with the same ballistic coefficients. And factory cartridges probably cost about the same price per round. At that point the advantage of 6.5mm Creedmoor is the fact that you can use it in .308 rifle platforms with nothing more than a barrel change.

          It sounds to me like 6.5mm Creedmoor is the optimum platform for medium game hunting and military sniping out to 800 yards or so.

          Nevertheless, I will stick with my .270 Winchester rifle for my medium game hunting and target shooting exploits.

        3. avatar ACP_armed says:

          uncommon,

          I’m going to pick a nit here. A .270 Winchester uses a .277 diameter bullet, 7mm is .284 diameter.

        4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          ACP_armed,

          My reference to .270 Winchester bullets being 7mm is due to the fact that 0.277 inches equals 7.04mm which I simply rounded down to 7mm.

    2. avatar Walt says:

      In 2017, the number one bolt action rifle sold was in 6.5 creedmoor. Every major manufacturer makes rifles in 6.5 creedmoor. Low end rifles like the savage axis, Mossberg patriot, and the ruger American are sold by the thousands.
      For medium game, the 6.5 bullets have been superior for well over a 100 years. More accurate and higher SD for penetration. 6.5×55 Swedish mauser came out about the same time as the Springfield in 30-06.

    3. avatar ToddC says:

      Except mil-surp 7.62 is NOT 308. It isn’t even close. Chamber pressure is more than 20% lower than 308. So shooting 308 in your beloved battle rifle isn’t safe. And shooting 7.62 NATO in your modern semi will not cycle.

      1. avatar Dennis says:

        Wow, my rifles are so confused then. They seem to shoot about anything. I suppose that is because the .308 is a hog and not the finicky 6.5….

        Yep I follow the 6.5 to keep in touch with more efficient rounds being developed. However, I cannot agree with your assessment. I’ve hunted with am M1A built by a master sergeant for the Army Shooting Team using hunting ammunition. I have an AR10 that fires the PMC Bronze, 147 grain .308, the Hornady Superformance GMX And Federal Gold !edal Match 168 grain with the Sierra Match King and all are same point of impact at 100. I have a Lilja barrel on an Armalite receiver set with Armalite’s SASS gas system sporting a YHM 7.62 can And all the rounds perform wonderfully. Of course greater range results in different performance in the various rounds. Out to 300 I am ringing an 8 inch plate as fast as I can press the trigger and the scope doesn’t leave the target and the cross hair barely moves, it doesn’t even make me blink…

        The M1A I have shot out to 1000 yds, iron sights, NM. She does jump a bit but the 10 has been tamed by design and slight modifications.

        I am privy to a site and do follow development in the 6.5. I see the folks asking about bullets and loads and it seems that the 6.5 has its following, and rightly so. I see quite a lot of comments on what the chamber likes or doesn’t like. Maybe because they are not settled on basic shooting skills… maybe not. But the work horse .308 diameter bullet still has awesome respect, at least in my book, with the results that I have found. It also feeds my 3006s, my .300 WSM amd my .300 WM. I like the versatility and the hit the .308 makes, the ammunition is easily obtainable.. perhaps the 6.5 will also provide components and become mainstream as the military continues to dump brass from their experiments, So for the now, I will keep my opinion and council

        Cheers

    4. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

      The .308 survives as many older cartridges do. Most of us will never shoot at the thousand yard ranges. If you want a rifle to hunt with and you already have a .308 why run out and buy a whole new rifle and have to support it for your occasional 300 or under yard shot?

      I have one center fire hunting rifle. A .243. It does all I need for that rifle to do at a good price. I will pass that rifle down to one of my grandkids. Who will ignore whatever the latest and greatest is and use that .243.

      I have no doubt that the 6.5 is a good, maybe even great, round. I just have no need to pony up the bucks to add it to my tool chest.

      Funny article. I liked it.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        The big assertion isn’t ‘go buy a new gun to replace your .308’ but that if you’re in the market for a new rifle anyway, there’s one reason to get a .308 over a 6.5 (you want to shoot cheap bulk ammo) and other than that it would basically be a poor choice.

      2. avatar Can Still see Dimes in Scope during Recoil says:

        Year before last, I shot a 240 lb. 10-point whitetail here in Kentucky with a 100 grain Power Point bullet in .243. The bullet itself penetrated the entire deer, though the jacket did get stuck behind the hide on opposite side. We really need so much less than we are told. But I also like supporting the gun industry and playing with rifles. So I have a .340 Weatherby, too. Hehehehe. Someone should run an article on that amazing cartridge.

  8. avatar TommyG says:

    Your discounting a couple of things. One is the 308 makes a bigger hole. Kinetic energy is not the only factor in knockdown power. If it was the 45-70 would not have killed all those buffalo. Put the two rounds into Hornady’s HITS calculator and you’ll see a different picture.
    Also barrel life. Bigger diameter bore allows the barrel to cool faster which leads to more shots through it before the throat goes.
    With the logic you are using I don’t see why you are wasting time with the 6.5 Creedmoor. You should go right to the 6mm Creedmoor as it has the same lighter bullet for same BC/SD characteristics over the 6.5 as the 6.5 has over the 308.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      that trail eventually leads us to the venerable .9mm improved ackley roberts benchrest nitro magnum.

    2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      I’ve shot a decent amount of 6mm Creedmoor and really enjoy shooting it a lot! I still believe 6.5 CM is a better cartridge for most uses, though, and more importantly for the purposes of this article it’s a much more appropriate alternative to .308 for many reasons. For instance, WAY more factory-loaded ammo options, lower ammo cost, much better barrel life, etc. If I reloaded and were choosing a target cartridge and had more self control over heating up my barrel too much or had a higher tolerance for getting new barrels I very well might choose 6mm CM over 6.5 CM. Though I have had experiences where seeing 6mm impacts on distant steel targets was highly difficult compared to seeing 6.5 impacts. That additional 40% in bullet mass makes a big difference for spotting hits (and misses).

  9. avatar johnny go lightly says:

    Thanks for a very funny article. Gotta good laugh out of it. The gun community is slowly destroying itself. All the sleeve tatted, wrap around sunglasses and 5.11 tactical pants folks can talk about 1000 yard shooting killing ppl in the sandbox. 99.9999% of the gun owners of America will never being shooting ppl at 1000 yds. 99.999% of all expended ammo in America is gonna be on a square range at 100 yds. All this article is masturbatory BS.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      I agree with all of what you say, none of the time.

      The whole world’s going precision the same way as +P ammo shouldn’t be fired in most old handguns. Long range is just part of it, and ultra-long-range is on the short horizon (note how many long-range records are pushing 2.5 miles [what that’s useful for, besides setting records, I don’t know] but that’s the tracks the train is on).

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      The vast majority of people won’t even go to the range. Most hunters take their rifles out when it’s time to hunt, aim them at deer, and shoot. Sometimes they hit them. It makes a lot of sense for them to choose a round that is more forgiving of their lack of preparation.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        No. “a round that is more forgiving of their lack of preparation.” is for closers.

        1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          And the non-closers get a set of steak knives.

        2. avatar Joe R. says:

          In the face. In London.

    3. avatar neiowa says:

      The majority of long range rifles are purchased for the same reason most AR-15s have been purchased since Nov 2008.

  10. avatar rdsii64 says:

    Is the 6.5 creedmore a better long range round than a .308? Yes it is. The catch is when it comes to barrel life, the 308 wins. With a common laser range finder, the trajectory advantage of the 6.5 isn’t so critical.
    Also, why is it that when we read these 6.5 creedmore vs 308 articles, they always compare the best 6.5 creedmore round to the worst 308 winchester round? Why didn’t you use the 185 grain Juggernaught or the 178 grain amax? Everybody knows the 168 grain SMK sucks at distance.
    Lastly, I can buy a Citerion hybrid profile chrome lined barrel that is guaranteed to shoot SubMOA for 20,000 rounds. I can get it in 308 but it doesn’t come in 6.5 creedmore. On paper the 6.5 creedmore is a better round but the 308 is no slouch either. For the time being, I’ll stick to 308.

    1. avatar Walt says:

      Laser range finders don’t help with the wind. Any one can learn to adj for drop. The wind is the hard part. It isn’t consistent. If you shoot at 100 yards in the woods, then none of this matters. If you shoot out west at much longer ranges, and very windy conditions, then ballistics is important. The 6.5 bullets have been getting it done for well over 100 years.

    2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      I used 178 grain ELD-X as the first .308 load in the numbers section! Maybe you missed that part? But I also reminded that ELD/VLD projectiles often don’t shoot accurately in many .308 rifles, which is an important note to consider.

      And, as mentioned right off the bat, range is easy to account for. Wind is the big deal here. Holding 25% to 50% less for wind is huge. Plus if you’re estimating range rather than measuring it or knowing it ahead of time, the flatter trajectory of 6.5 is far more forgiving. But it’s the wind, man, it’s the wind.

      1. avatar rdsii64 says:

        Evidently I missed that part. No worries. As you stated, no matter how you slice it, the wind is the great equalizer. The minute someone makes a chrome lined hand lapped barrel in 6.5 creedmore, I’ll be at the front of the line. I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for a barrel life.

  11. avatar Kevin (the other one) says:

    This article is the definition of a shitpost

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      It got you to read and comment on it, so it was a *success*…

      1. avatar Dave says:

        By that metric, clickbaiting is successful journalism. Time to choose a better metric.

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          I believe if y’all can get beyond your outrage, you’ll find the content of the article to be meaningful and substantive. And if you thought this was clickbait, you should have seen the original title of the post hahaha

        2. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

          Jeremy, I did see the original title (308 is short and fat and so are you IIRC). I’m not even much of a 308 guy but I was repelled by the humorless tone of the bashing in this article.

          Still, I made it to the density graphic before I decided you can FOAD with your article and your pet caliber.

        3. avatar Montesa_VR says:

          Best article I’ve seen on TTG in days. Funny, interesting, and substantive. Don’t get that combination very often.

        4. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          I’m still shocked that people legitimately take this personally and things like that ridiculous meme seriously. Do you have any idea how much .308 I shoot? And own. I don’t actually even own a 6.5 Creedmoor right now haha. We’re taking ourselves a mite seriously, eh?

        5. avatar Steve says:

          So calling people names and denigrating their choice of calibers is humor? All with bullshit photos? I actually read this and found it humorless attacking 308 owners. Wish there was a warning at the top that it’s a pathetic attempt at humor with little value in content. Won’t waste my time again.

  12. avatar Timothy says:

    I bought my bolt action in .308 because I also have an interest in some various “battle rifles”. I then picked up a G3 clone. I know that there are more advanced rounds than my old mare. But she still gets the job done, including hunting and for cheaper too. Everytime I think about getting a new rifle, I also consider doing so in a better cartridge, but I’m lazy and cheap and it’s easier to buy for the bullets I already have.

      1. avatar Vernon S says:

        Jeremy, could you be any more of a douchebag?

  13. avatar Joe R. says:

    Looks like we have 6.5 Creedmore running scared. If ya gotta sell it that hard, it must have herpes.

    .308 WIN makes for a much better subsonic round [and 6.5 CREED WILL NEVER GET THERE], so. . . versatility.

    When 6.5 Creedmore becomes a NATO round, I’ll think about it.

    Like they say at SCOTUS, “It may look like 6.5 Creedmore is here to stay, but we don’t have to bake a cake for it.”

    Sorry, I’m just in a mood today.

    1. avatar Walt says:

      You might want to look up the 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser. It’s been around for well over 100 years.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        Don’t stick up for them Walt. If you like your 6.5 “Swish-Mo”, you can keep your 6.5 Swish-Mo.

        As for me and my house, we will serve-up .308 NATOs.

        ; P

  14. avatar Lew says:

    That’s it….I am dropping off this ole dusty fn fal and sig 716 dmr at the Goodwill donation center today….these dern bullets weigh alot so I may need to make two trips

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      I’d be happy to save you the trip.

  15. avatar Greg says:

    .308 was never the first choice for the military.
    It was all about logistics. Easier for a marksmen to get rounds from the machine gunners. Than fly out a non-standard round.
    Anyone who ever served knows how resupplies get fucked up.

  16. avatar Big Al says:

    Ferrari’s are great, but a Ford will still go the distance.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      And a JEEP will pull you out of the mud.

    2. avatar rdsii64 says:

      If I had that kind of money I’ll take a Ford GT over a Ferrari any day and twice on Sunday. Especially the Gen 1 because it looks closer to the original.

  17. avatar some_guy says:

    6.5CM looks good on paper, but .308 is much easier on my wallet. Especially when sourcing bulk ammo and inexpensive bullets for reloading.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Naw man. If you shot your wallet with either it would blow it into the next county, fer sherr.

  18. avatar Yo Dog says:

    Until the 6.5 Creed gets the availability of low-cost mil-loads (like all the commercially packaged M80 ball out there: German MEN, CBC, PPU, PMC, etc.), and since I take almost all of my shots inside of 600m, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a boutique caliber for me.

    And if you don’t know how to make hits in a 10mph crosswind for 300m shooting a 7.62NATO, go back to the couch. It still hits harder inside of 800m, and all your wind-drift charts are not going to change physics.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Funny, I was shooting with a seal sniper just this weekend. We were shooting off a barricade at a one MOA Target at 300 meters, in a swirling 10 mile an hour wind. It was a challenging shot for everyone shooting including him. I was pretty grateful for a slick bullet.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        The progs still get REALLY mad when you kill seals. Especially the little pups. Loose lips sink….

        1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

          I heard a billy club works well.

    2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      The issue is not identifying the correct hold for a 10 mph crosswind. It’s correctly identifying the speed and direction of the wind and banking on it staying consistent. In your ballistic app, getting the solution is easy. In real life, wind is rarely constant in speed or direction and identifying those factors along the path of the bullet is extremely hard if not impossible. A projectile that’s affected half as much by the wind doubles your likelihood of making a hit in the wind.

      Like JWT pointed out above, you don’t have to be shooting “long range” to suffer serious consequences of wind.

  19. avatar MIO says:

    This whole thing made me laugh. It’s America so why not have BOTH!!
    Or like me, neither, cause I’ve got others that do better at suiting my needs.
    SOCOM uh huh for those that served you all know the military aint always the best at making choices, like camo that isn’t, dehydrated pork chops, changing the nomenclature of a MOS for no reason and green tip ammo, so my panties will stay on.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      You can have both. Nowhere in the article does the author state that the .308 is going away. He just provided some pretty solid evidence that, when it comes to ballistics, the 6.5Creedmoor is clearly superior.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        The author made some pretty ridiculous photos and threw some absurd insults, to be fair haha

        1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

          I thought it was pretty funny.

          Some folks look for excuses to be outraged.

  20. avatar John McNair says:

    Trying to portray the .308 as some fat, lazy cartridge is laughable. With the right bullet and load the .308 is just as good if not better in some circumstances than the 6.5. You’re just a schill for some manufacturer trying to get their foot in the door. I’ve shot my trusty Rem 40x for thirty years and it has performed in every way that I asked. To trade it in for marginal performance on your word…Well, I’m still laughing !

  21. avatar Joseph Constable says:

    theuntruthaboutguns.com

  22. avatar Ralph says:

    That settles it! The next time I shoot a white-tail over half a mile away uphill in a 20 mph cross-wind during a solar eclipse, I’m using 6.5 Creed.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Jeremy makes a pretty solid case that at 300 yards the difference in not just academic. A 300 yard shot on a white tail is pretty common, at least around me. With Jeremy’s 10mph wind example at that range, one is a recovered animal, the other is likely not.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        And they don’t even print a tag or define a season for a “not”. Although “not(s)” are poached all year.

        Cheapest damn thing to taxidermy though.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Ha!

      2. avatar Ralph says:

        “A 300 yard shot on a white tail is pretty common, at least around me.”

        A 300 yard shot around me would require shooting over state lines.

        Okay, that’s a (slight) exaggeration, but most shots in the NE are 100 yards more or less, and the most popular rifle calibers for white-tails are .30-30 in lever guns and .243 Win in bolt guns. The venerable .308 is considered a buffalo gun and the 6.5 Creedmoor is gaining popularity only with target shooters. I don’t know anyone who hunts over a 6.5 Creed rifle, but then again, I don’t know everybody.

        We are especially hamstrung in MA because we’re limited to hunting deer in the state with shotguns. The drivel excuse our elected officials offer us is that slugs won’t travel as far as bullets, which minimizes collateral damage. Please don’t tell them about the capability of rifled slug guns or they’ll outlaw them, too.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          The same is true in some Midwestern states, although some are coming into the modern age. Illinois is, I think, a shotgun only state, and Indiana was but now allows straight-walled cartridges. Out west, ranges for elk and antelope are often 300 yards or more.

        2. avatar Doug Haner says:

          Pronghorn.

          There are no wild antelopes in North America.

  23. avatar Matt o says:

    308 has legacy, I can’t imagine it becoming unavailable and it has been good enough for years. 6.5C is a great round and I would be very tempted by it if I was looking for a long range setup, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table, there are probably a dozen other rounds that do essentially the same thing but failed to make a major impact on the market. If 6.5 gets adopted or the market continues to expand, great. However 308 isn’t going anywhere.

  24. avatar Smiling says:

    This wins “most entertaining article of the year” in my book. Great feature for a Friday. Lots of smiles on this end. Thanks.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      as the ladies say, #(pound)metoo.
      very enjoyable from a presentation standpoint, moreso due to some of the bunched panty responses. thankyou from a 20.5″ .308 barrel nut shooter.
      before i got to the end i started wondering about .260.
      now i’m thinking .243 vs. 6mm…

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        There’s a larger difference in powder capacity between .243 and 6mm than there is between .260 and 6.5, which gives .243 a larger potential velocity advantage. However, it’s even more affected by the location of the neck so cartridge overall length becomes a problem for .243 when you’re trying to load the really long, really high-BC projectiles. Not in all bolt guns, mind you, but in SR-25/AR-10 magazines there’s a distinct advantage to 6mm CM if you want to run super high BC bullets and still fit the rounds inside the magazine. Also, there are WAY more factory ammo options in .243 than 6mm, which is the opposite of how .260 and 6.5 compare. So, while I give the easy nod to 6.5 CM in that shootout (as did USSOCOM), in the .243 vs 6mm category I find the answer much more difficult. They both have specific advantages that may or may not matter to you at all depending on what kind of gun you’re shooting and whether you want to buy factory ammo or load your own, etc etc

        1. avatar TommyG says:

          You know you can get a 243 chamber cut with a longer lead/twist to solve the long heavy bullet problem. You can do it in any cartridge. The 243 winchester standard chamber is designed so you can shoot light varmint bullets up to 100 grains well. However there is one champion long range shooter who has one national championships with the 243 winchester – he just reams the throat so the longer bullets can fit and uses a faster twist rate.

        2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Magazine. The issue mentioned in which 6mm has an advantage is fitting in an SR-25/AR-10 magazine (and some bolt gun box mags like AICS style).

  25. avatar Ironhead says:

    What a joke. Yeah the 6.5 creedmore has its advantages, but there is one place it doesnt, and wont for a long time.
    In a shtf situation, you will be able to find 5.56 and .308. As well as 7.62×39. Good luck finding 6.5 creedmore or 300 blackout. Its just not out there in numbers enough to be viable in that situation.
    The same reason i would take a rifle that takes ar or ak mags over anything else. You will be able to find them.
    And no im not a .308 fanboy, i am saving up for an rpr in 6.5 creedmore. I have 2 rifles in .308 and 3 in 5.56.
    But i want to try something different. So 6.5 it is.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      I both agree and disagree with you on that crisis scenario ammo availability thing.

      In actual TEOTWAWKI SHTF scenario, yes, you’re far more likely to stumble upon .308 in garages and abandoned homes and whatnot. In retail places known to sell ammo? I doubt it. You’d have to get there first, ‘cuz .308 is going to disappear fast. As we’ve seen…

      In the sort of ammo scares that we’ve seen over the past decade+, I think you’re wrong. When 9mm, .22 LR, 5.56, .308, and 7.62×39 became scarce and were selling for 5x (or more) their normal prices online and shelves nationwide were completely empty of them for months and months, it was precisely the less common calibers like .357 SIG, 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 WM and other hunting calibers, and even .40 S&W, etc. that were always available. The calibers that stores stock deep and wide were GONE. The demand for stuff you think of as having limited demand right now didn’t change much, if at all. Especially calibers not seen as threatened by assault weapons bans and calibers not common in “battle rifles.” Like precision rifle calibers. Like 6.5 Creedmoor.

      1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

        Agreed. The only reason I bought a 9×19 was that old ammo availability in a crisis trope.

        The only thing on the shelves after sandy hook was the odd hunting rounds and .40 S&W. Apparently a lot of people claim to love the .40 but it was passed over during the crisis.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          The same was true out here on the west coast, except that it lasted from the time Obama was elected to the time he left office. Plenty of shotgun ammo and .40 cal, but all the other pistol cartridges were gone gone gone. I remember a box of .45 HSTs going for $50. That’s when I started buying from Freedom Munitions for all my practice ammo, because it was reasonably priced and came to my door. (At least until California stopped that practice as well.)

        2. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

          How well I know, Mark. I still live in the bay area.

  26. avatar Old Region Fan says:

    Should I throw out all that deer meat because it was downed by a .308 ? I guess I must of just been lucky for….well…….a lot of shots.

  27. avatar Emfourty Gasmask says:

    Will we see 6.5CM milsurp in our life?

    Serious question haha. SOCOM alone might drive the price of it down.

  28. avatar Darkstar says:

    I don’t understand why people get butt hurt when somebody says or writes something that is contrary to their caliber choice. I found the article to be humorous and entertaining. Hey, .308 is great in a lot of ways. So is the Creedmoor. If you want to shoot out to 1,000 yds or greater it’s a superior choice. In my experience (have shot and hand loaded 6.5 for a couple years) it just works. Yeah OK it’s expensive but understand that people that like long distance shooting won’t flinch at the cost. I have a lot of customers that drop a lot of money on high end rifles (that they re-barrel 2-3 times a season). They buy serious high end scopes, and spend a lot on matches, so 1-2 bucks a round isn’t that big a deal. I wish I had that kind of shooting budget ( It does SUCK to order in and play with all that stuff that I can’t afford.) Does that mean I hate .308? Nope. Cheaper ammo is a plus and it’s fun blasting steel at more moderate ranges with that stuff. You really want butt hurt? Start talking to the PRS guys about 6.5 and they’ll tell you you’re an idiot for using it. 6mm creed, 6mm Dasher, 6XC etc, etc is the way to go and on and on…….So don’t worry about what someone says about your caliber choice. It’s your choice, have at it and have fun. Don’t take it personal.

  29. avatar No one of consequence says:

    Jeremy: I generally like your writing and have been enjoying this series on calibers and rounds. That being said…

    A little snark can add some humor and chuckles to an article. This one crosses over into the “not funny / trying too hard to be clever” end of the spectrum very, very quickly, to the point where it wasn’t worth the irritation to continue reading. In fact, it reminded me of when I (briefly) dated a girl who always had to be the most clever person in the room, and usually just came off as nasty and mean instead.

    1. avatar Connie says:

      My thoughts exactly. A little light humor makes for a good read, but the middle school style put-downs made this article a annoying to read.

  30. avatar Joe R. says:

    How does the 6.5 Creedmore stand up (in “snappiness”) to the vaunted .40 S&W?

    Snappiness is happiness.

  31. avatar Fanta Sea says:

    This is quite possibly the single worst article I’ve ever read on TTAG. You’ve couched what could be useful information in the middle of an absolute sea of stupidity.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      I firmly disagree. Most of the stupidity is in the form of single words in front of “.308” that poke fun at it (like “porky .308”), and if you can see beyond those then nearly every paragraph after the intro is substantive and fact-based and presents relevant, useful, objective comparison information.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        +

        We can still hate you for sayin it though. Bein’ right don’t protect you from hate.

        .308’rs UNITE ! ! !

  32. avatar pwrserge says:

    Meh… just as I said in the .308 vs .223 flame war… If you’re taking shots past 300 meters as anything other than target shooting, you done goofed. For hunting: get closer, take the more ethical shot. For combat: get a radio.

    Unless you’re either a competitive PR shooter or a super-ninja-delta-seal-ranger-team-22 tactical operator operating tactically, the difference literally won’t matter. Except in your wallet.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      What’s wrong with target shooting?

      A big takeaway here is that 6.5 effectively doubles your ethical shot range! That’s the main point of the article here — hit percentage. What’s ethical with a .308 is not the same as what’s ethical with a 6.5. Halve your necessary wind hold and flatten out your trajectory and, as USSOCOM found in their testing, you’re twice as likely to hit.

      FWIW, my first shot on a four-legged animal since moving to Texas was a hog at 375 yards. With a .308. There was a very stiff wind coming across a small lake and the pig was on the far side. Distance I had from a rangefinder. The wind I estimated myself. I held like 5″ in front of the pig’s nose to hit it in the shoulder. Did I think, at the time, “I wish I was shooting 6.5 Creedmoor?” Yes. I actually did. Because I would have held on the pig’s neck and if I over- or under-estimated the wind it would have been a good kill shot either way. If this was a deer or some other non-pest animal, I would not have taken the shot with the .308. But I would have taken it with a 6.5. In this scenario, halving the wind effect would have made all the difference in the world to me. This is much more than an academic exercise.

      And the .308 hunting rounds in that gun cost a few cents more than the same loads in 6.5 CM. Your wallet is lying to you.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        See my exchange with Taylor below… Where I’ve lived for most of my life, hunting is generally done at ranges of 200 yards or less.

        There’s nothing wrong with target shooting, but from what I’ve read, the 6.5CM is a very nice specialty round if you need something capable of stretching its legs. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that it is an objectively better round for that specialist application. I just rarely get the chance to take a shot beyond 200 yards, so for me, it’s largely a wash. (I would suspect that few shooters ever take their rifles beyond the 300 yard mark simply due to lack of easy access to appropriate ranges.)

        The ammo cost issue, however, is not trivial. I don’t consider myself truly proficient with any firearm until I’ve put a thousand rounds down the pipe to get used to the feel of the thing. For AR-15 platforms, that means a case of m193 for ~$300. (I rarely shoot steel anymore as the accuracy tends to be garbage which makes practice less useful.) For my .308 guns that means a case of m80 ball surplus for ~$400.

        What does 1000 rounds of el’cheapo 6.5CM cost? $600? That’s a $200 difference from .308 and double the cost of 5.56.

        For the hunter who might throw 100 rounds down the pipe in a year it may be a minor difference. For a recreational shooter focusing on tactical and medium range competitions, the costs add up. I’m not made of money, so I can’t afford to practice with mk262 or Gold Metal Match. Why would I invest in a gun where even the mid-end ammo is in the same price range?

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          So if I’m understanding this correctly, you have no experience with or occasion to shoot or hunt beyond 200 yards yet are comfortable asserting repeatedly that it’s unethical for others to do so? And calibers that provide improved capability for longer ranges have no value in general because you yourself do not live somewhere that allows you to take advantage of that? Gotcha.

          BTW, I’d still choose 6.5 over .308 inside 200 yards anyway. Given the option, that is. No, in that case I would not go out and buy a new gun if I already owned a .308! But if I were buying one anyway…6.5.

          BTW #2, it’s not a speciality round. As I tried to describe in this article, it does literally everything better than .308 except for, as you (and I, in the article) mentioned, there’s no cheap bulk ammo.

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          Plenty of experience and occasion. I regularly shoot out to 600 yards, just not enough to call myself a proficient long range marksman. (To me, that is long range.) A man has to know his limitations and the limitations of his gear. Fixing one will not fix the other.

        3. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          That’s not necessarily true! Example: if you’re capable of reading the wind within 75% of what it’s actually doing, you might find yourself missing half the time at 500 yards with .308 and none of the time with 6.5. Again I reiterate that the takeaway here is that the flatter, straighter shooting caliber extends your existing abilities and can lessen the effect of some of your own limitations (e.g. estimating wind, estimating distance, flinching from recoil, etc).

  33. avatar Idaho T says:

    This is one of the funniest articles I have read on TTAG. All of the butthurt in the comments only makes it that much better. If you cannot recognize and acknowledge a superior product when you see one, or even worse, get angry when it’s attributes are listed in a humorous fashion at the expense of a sacred cow, then you are in danger of becoming, or probably already are, an anachronistic Fudd. Some people take themselves waaay too seriously.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      It’s less that than the fact that new calibers rarely bring anything revolutionary to the table. Last time we had a significant development in cartridge technology was when intermediate cartridges became a thing.

      All this gushing over minor tweaks to an existing performance envelope down in the minutia that maybe 1 in 100 shooters will actually have the skills to see the difference? Meh.

      1. avatar Walt says:

        6.5 isn’t a new caliber. 6.5×55 Swedish mauser been around for over 100 years. 264 win mag has been around for over 50 years. I could name another 20 …

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          And there were issues with both of them.

          For the 6.5×55 (which has a rep as a very accurate/precise round in Scandinavian target shooting circles), there’s the issue that the case head diameter is a tad too large for “standard” bolt faces here in the US.

          For the .264 WinMag – there’s a round that has made gunsmiths pull out their hair for years. It is a round that takes a nearly endless amount of fiddling and experimentation to find a load that prints a good group. I don’t know why, but every .264 I’ve seen has had an owner who was complaining about it.

        2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          “…maybe 1 in 100 shooters will actually have the skills to see the difference”

          Disagree completely! Again, that’s the whole point of the article here. You have to be twice as skilled to make hits in any sort of wind with .308 than with 6.5 Creedmoor. Plus it has 30% less recoil, which is a huge help in particular for those with less experience and skill. Heck, if you don’t know about holding for distance and wind at all and just put the crosshair on the target and pull the trigger, you’re WAY more likely to make hits with 6.5 CM. I think you’re looking at this completely backwards — the difference matters even more at lower skill levels.

  34. avatar William S. Preston, Esq. says:

    That this many readers thought this article was a gutbuster seems to indicate a large portion of TTAG’s readership is 12 years old.

    I’d say don’t quit your day job, but it’s unlikely that you didn’t get paid for this.

    1. avatar Idaho T says:

      The fact that you are unable to use proper grammar in your internet jabs indicates to me that perhaps you didn’t attend school after the age of twelve. If you are going to equate a good sense of humor to juvenile maturity, I will feel free to draw the conclusion that your incorrect sentence structure is due to benighted ignorance. See how that works? Don’t go making stupid comments online, it makes you look bad.

    2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      “nothing from nothing leaves nothing,” billy. didn’t realize your last name was swafford.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        ^middle^ (duh).

  35. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Great write up Jeremy.
    Plenty of chuckles over here.
    I’ve got more than 1 rifle in both calibers.
    I’ll pickup the sixfive for hunting before the oheight just Incase it might be a long shot.
    Now that I have more than 500 rounds through the Ruger precision in sixfive, I’ll be using it on deer this fall.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Maybe it’s just my inner tactitard talking… but how are people taking ethical shots at deer at 300+ yards? Last time I went hiking and saw deer, I could’t draw a line of sight beyond MAYBE 100 yards.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Because you’re in a very different place. My typical shot at deer is between 400 and 500 yards. Why is that? Because I have a big field behind my house and the beginning of the field is 400 yards in the end of the field is 500 yards.
        And that is how much of the hunting in my area is done if it is not under a feeder. From the tops of hills, to inside of large fields.
        On my West Texas sheep hunts, the average shot is between 300 and 500 yards. And there is a lot of stalking to get you that close.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          Wow… Yeah… I’m more used to heavily forested areas. In my neck of the woods, you can rarely even SEE the deer until it’s practically in handgun range. One of the reasons I haven’t gone hunting in years. I sound like a 4×4 moving through woods.

        2. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Your version is generally more fun.

  36. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    ‘While porky .308 is about 250 ft-lbs of energy more powerful at the muzzle, a match 6.5 CM load has already surpassed a match .308 load’s retained energy after only 160 yards of flight.’

    This how far I got before calling bullshit. If the pictures are any indication, you’re comparing a high BC bullet in 6.5 vs one that has such a wide meplat it looks more like a .30-30 bullet than a .308. Given similar bullet designs it will that about 600 yards to catch up.

    The .260 is a better round than the Creedmoor anyway.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      In that particular scenario it’s a 168 grain SMK HPBT in .308 and an ELD/VLD in 6.5. Keep in mind that’s a typical match .308 load and a typical match 6.5 load. I did not go with some slug of a soft point hunting round in .308 for that.

      Later in the article you’ll find ballistic comparisons between a 178 grain ELD-X .308 to a 140 grain ELD-X 6.5. I tried to round things out by showing typical loads as well as exceptional loads for both calibers. I didn’t even bother to do a soft point .308 against a typical 6.5.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        First, who cares how much energy a match bullet hits the paper with?

        Second, in virtually every hunting load the .308 hits harder at 500 yards than the corresponding load in 6.5 Creedmoor. For instance;

        Hornady Superformance
        6.5 – 129gr SST = 1214ft/lbs vs. .308 – 165gr SST = 1328ft/lbs
        Hornady American Whitetail
        6.5 – 129gr Interlock = 1018ft/lbs vs. .308 – 165gr. Interlock = 1150ft/lbs
        Federal Fusion
        6.5 – 140gr = 1025ft/lbs vs. .308 – 180gr. = 1296ft/lbs
        Federal Premium Trophy Copper
        6.5 – 120gr = 1082ft/lbs vs. .308 – 150gr = 1234ft/lbs
        Federal Premium Nosler Accubond
        6.5 – 140gr = 1134ft/lbs vs. .308 – 165gr = 1238ft/lbs

        Any objective analysis reveals that it takes 600+ yards for the Creedmoor to catch up to the .308 in energy. Cherry picking loads is deceptive, obliterates your credibility and makes people like me stop reading further.

        1. avatar Pickle man says:

          This.

          I’m open to using 6.5 CM for hunting when I see more examples of dead large game animals taken with it at 300-500 yards. My understanding is that the long range paper punching Berger style bullets blow up when hitting bone like a shoulder blade. So again, I want data on how the newer 6.5 CM hunting loads like Federal Premium Ballistic Tip perform.

          Until then, I’ll stick with the excellent terminal performance of my .308

      2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Also on the .260, it’s case is thicker at the neck which would lengthen case life. Anyone serious about long range shooting is going to reload and without a discernible performance advantage this alone IMHO would give the .260 the edge. That and since it came first there was no reason to split the market with a hyped up copycat.

      3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        OK, I went back and read your ELDx comparison. Yes, the Creedmoor IS a better 1000 yard tool than .308 (as is the .308’s little brother the .260), nobody is doubting that. What the .308 brings to the table is more wallop and any reasonable range for hunting AND the ability to be an entry level tool for 1000 yard shooting.

  37. avatar Jim says:

    I could be incorrect, but I think something was overlooked in the article: barrel length. As the length of barrel I am willing to deal with in a given situation decreases, so does the comparative advantage of the 6.5.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Why?

    2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      It’s not as big a deal as most people think. Going from 24″ to 16″ is like a 180 fps difference in the heavier 6.5 Creedmoor loads. Average velocity loss per inch is like 14.5 fps whereas with .308 it’s over 20 fps.

      Check out this testing for lots of good data:

      https://rifleshooter.com/2016/02/6-5-creedmoor-effect-of-barrel-length-on-velocity-cutting-up-a-creedmoor/

      https://rifleshooter.com/2014/12/308-winchester-7-62x51mm-nato-barrel-length-versus-velocity-28-to-16-5/

  38. avatar Kountryboy says:

    I am glad the 6.5 Creedmoor is doing well. What it has over the other 6.5’s is that it is at least being supported by the ammunition and firearms manufacturers. It’s reputation as an accurate, effective, light-recoiling round helped make my decision easier as to what caliber to get for my grandkids. So far all three of my grandkids have a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, and I think they will be able to hunt with them and enjoy them for many years to come. Just my $.02.

  39. avatar Darkstar says:

    I think the next article should compare the .224 Valkyrie to the 6.5 Creed, with the 6.5 Creed being the .308. Watch the heads explode.

    1. avatar Walt says:

      The 224 valkarie with a 90gr smk has a lower BC and SD than a 6.5 in 143 eld. I have 6.5 Grendel’s necked down to 224 and 6mm. The 103 eld in 6mm is real fun. Have to load all my own ammo though. No commercial yet.

  40. avatar jsallison says:

    Feh, .45-70 forever! And get offa my lawn!

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Get with the times, you old fart. .30-30 is where it’s at.

      1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

        I like both. Does that make me a Transammosexual?

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          LOL!

          Yes, if you identify as one you are one.

        2. avatar Ralph says:

          Congratulations. You can use any Target toilet.

  41. avatar Richard Taylor says:

    The 6.5 Creedmore will do nothing that can’t be done with a 260rem or 6.5 swede and at normal hunting ranges the 308 with its heavier bullets will hit harder than the flavor of the day will.

  42. avatar Jim says:

    These articles crack me up! Give it up already most people don’t care about the 6.5 CM they are always coming out with something new like the 22 nosler and 224 valkyrie which fit into the smaller lighter AR15 platform and performance is better. Just because the military adopted the crapmore doesn’t mean it’s the ultimate round just means they kissed more ass to make it happen. Enjoy what you already own and shoot and dont buy into all this sales and marketing crap! Have fun.

  43. avatar Howard says:

    So I guess us .309 Win. Mag. People are mouth breathers too? Nah…..knuckle daggers maybe, but not mouth breathers…

  44. avatar Howard says:

    Bloody phone….meant .300 Win Mag, and knuckle draggers….LOL apologies to the board!

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      What do you have against knuckle daggers?

  45. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    I’m not going to comment on the style of the article, only the length. The same thing could be said in many fewer words, and that’s coming from someone with verbosity issues myself.

    Look, the issue of the 6.5CM vs. most anything else comes down to being designed, from the get-go, to use high-Bc pills. The .308 was not, the .243 was not, the .260 was not. The Lapua 6.5×47 was – and it was/is the main competition for the 6.5CM.

    In order to use the new VLD bullet designs in a .308-length action/magazine, you need to move the shoulder back, so that you can seat the VLD bullets with their base no deeper into the case than the bottom of the neck (or else pressures start to climb). This, the .30 TC and 6.5CM do. Stand them up side-by-side with the .308 and look at where the base of the neck is. It’s that simple.

    The 7.62×51/.308 was designed to use 175gr pills as about the longest bullet that could be loaded with the base of the pill no deeper than the base of the neck. By the time you’re using the best .30 cal VLD pills (which are over 200 grains – like 210’s to 230’s), you’re deep-seating the bullets. Now you need to start giving up powder in order to keep pressures from spiking.

    The 6.5CM is merely going where benchrest shooters have been going for years. Look at the 6mm wildcat rounds that the BR folks use – square powder stacks, longer necks, shoulders shoved waaay back, so they can have a VLD bullet hanging way out of the case. I’m talking rounds like the 6BR, 6 Dasher, 6XC, etc. These design ideas have been racking up impressive precision gains for decades. It’s long past time that the commercial cartridge companies noticed this and started doing something with the accumulated information and proven ideas. The 6.5CM isn’t the first cartridge to do this – it is merely the first cartridge to do this that has really caught on commercially. Guys have been loaded VLD 6mm pills into small cases with pushed-back shoulders for decades – with fantastic results.

    Folks, remember that the US military has NEVER chosen a cartridge to be optimum, or even based on science. NEVER. EVER. There has been an institutional bias inside the Army Ordnance small arms group for years and years against “small” bullets. You could see this going clear back to the switch from .50-70 to .45-70, and then from the heavy .45 bullets to the 405 grain bullet that became standard. All you veterans currently reading this – think about what would be left of your shoulders if you’d been going into battle with a .45-70 lobbing 405’s downrange, never mind the 535’s or heavier bullets. If you’ve never shot a Trapdoor carbine with 405’s – you need to do so. It will make you appreciate every weapon we’ve fielded since. You will hug a 1903 Springfield like it was your long-lost girlfriend after you’ve put 20+ rounds in quick succession through a Trapdoor.

    Then when we went to the .30-40 Krag, there was much discussion about lighter bullets, and much push-back about getting too light. I mean, look at the .45-70! We pushed back against the 405’s, but finally relented when so many men were complaining about the recoil in the Trapdoor carbines with the heavy bullets. (Sissies)

    So the Krag got a huge, lead, round-nosed bullet with a ballistic arc like a rainbow. When we went to the .30-03, they were still obsessed with heavy, round-nosed bullets over 200 grains and, again, a ballistic arc like a rainbow.

    It was only the aftermath of the Battle at San Juan Hill, coupled with people noticing how rapidly Mauser was selling the 7×57 (and then the new 8×57) rounds that taught the US Army a lesson about the efficacy of Spitzer bullets – and that one little wrinkle of history is why we got the .30-06, which was still, everyone knew, non-optimal.

    By the1920’s, the competition for the round in the Garand was more along the lines of the 6.5CM than most people really understand. The 276 Pedersen was a much slicker round than the ’06, and it was designed for higher-Bc bullets.

    We ended up keeping the ’06 purely out of economics and logistics.

    When the .308 was adopted, the Germans and Brits had entries into the contest of “what should the new NATO round be?” that looked a lot more like the 6.5CM than not. The US Ordnance brass was not, absolutely not, going to tolerate a sub-.30 cal round. Real men shoot .30 caliber rifles, goddamn it! And so the US crammed the .308/7.62×51 down NATO’s throat.

    When the M14 project turned to a bust, we ended up going with the new 5.56 round… purely because it was part-n-parcel of the M16 project. The political fallout inside NATO of doing this, only a few years after cramming the .308 down their throats, was intense.

    All of this could have been avoided if we had gone with the 6.5×55, which was, in fact, designed to launch high-Bc bullets. That was over 100 years ago. The math hasn’t changed, folks. Physics is physics.

    The United States will do the Right Thing[tm] – but only after we’ve exhausted all other options.

    1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

      When I was younger H&R was making replica Springfield carbines. They were light and handy. And you noticed the recoil. And that was when factory .45-70 was pretty sedate to account for all the real trapdoors still in use.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      DG, this was a great comment. You crushed it!

    3. avatar neiowa says:

      May 2018 Guns & Ammo has a pretty good piece (for them) by Beckstrand on the .224 Valkyrie (Federal) development.. Is on the same track for long range work but for the AR15 lower/mag. G&A article compares the parallel thought process, development, and performance with 6.5mm Creedmore.

      Perhaps for next Friday Jeremy S. would prepare a similar piece comparing the Valkyrie to the .30-30 or some similar totem.

      I just checked Cabelas.com – for same Hornady type ammo. .308 and 6.5mm Creed identical price.

    4. avatar Aono says:

      A real thing I just did: set out to write just that, and then luckily searched the page for “gunsmith” first. I do think the tone of the article was right on point though – after all it’s exactly the 30 caliber mafia that are and have ever been the mouth-breathers (at least in the post-war era).

      I like the 224Valk as well. What would be extremely beneficial for both 224Valk and 6.5CM is for Hornady to finally ELD their GMX line. Call it GLX or GLD-X or whatever. The 120GMX 6.5CM Superformance at 3k is, to people like me – who equally value the terminally penetrating performance AND the lack of lead splashed into their dinner – THE best all around factory medium hunting cartridge in existence. 2k impact velocity/1k+ impact energy at 500yds, shooting MPBR out to 3-350, is an amazingly balanced combination of case capacity for bullet performance and, in my mind, puts 6.5CM squarely on par with 270 Win.

      But it could be so much better with a better form factor. The 224 Valk has nothing like the 120GMX yet, but could make do with the 70TSX. Right now the best handloaded copper options for both are boutique Cutting Edge MTH bullets. Both cartridges lend themselves mightily to copper bullets precisely because they were designed for long length projectiles.

      If you wish to maximize your impact velocity downrange within a minimum given energy, .243 loses out to .264 inside of 2.8″ magazines, and might easily lose out to .224 fed from 2.3″ magazines.

      …so I suppose we’ll see SOCOM adopt a 2.5″ .243 Dasher around 2060.

    5. avatar William C. Montgomery says:

      And you complain about the length of Jeremy’s article? Lol…

  46. avatar Gustavo giggle says:

    Good info in the article…but harsh lol. The .308 was the standard for accuracy until the 6.5. Now 6.5 is better hands down but it takes a while for the industry and consumer to catch up. A little harsh on the .308 still.

  47. avatar Swarf says:

    Hilarious and extremely informative article, Jeremy. The very first comment couldn’t have been better, either.

    I don’t have a dog in this fight as all my rifle caliber guns are in the decidedly-your-grandfather’s-calibers of 30-06, 7.62x54r and 7.62×39. 😆

  48. avatar Steve says:

    Regarding the USSOCOM testing – I like the 6.5CM though I was kinda rooting for the .260 for the potentially better semi-auto feeding (maybe it won’t matter). I’m definitely hoping we get a 6.5 NATO regardless.

    One detail that isn’t mentioned so much is barrel length – given the reduction to bore size, I think you’ll end up with a longer rifle at a full powder burn length – in a .308/7.62×51, the ideal barrel length is right around 20″ based on both testing and internal ballistics software I use for reloading. This of course doesn’t stop rifle variants being made below this ideal length (13″ bbl Mk 17 for example), but coming from a position of efficiency (and coming from an engineer), the .260/6.5mm cartridges will likely lengthen this ideal length (range) out a bit.

    Keep in mind when you’re dealing with a cylinder (i.e. the bore), a slight change in diameter (.308 to .260), has a VERY large effect on the volume. Ideally the bullet is leaving the muzzle at the exact time the gas reaches it’s peak point of expansion. Leave early and you get a fireball (which is a waste of powder); leave late and the bullet will actually decelerate *before* it even leaves the barrel.

    Minor detail, sure… but I might model some of these 6.5 bullet weights to see how optimized this system actually is that USSOCOM has been testing. Since they’ve released the muzzle velocity + bullet weight chart + test rifle images, it’s easy enough to back-calculate the missing data and plug it in!

  49. avatar Joe R. says:

    Soon they’ll be making laser-guided rounds that can’t miss, printing a “single ragged hole”, with a specialty follow on gas-check-tape-dispenser that tapes up the ragged edges of the hole. Wut Phun that’ll be, hunh?

    People will go back to the .308’s just for sport. Don’t kick them outta the safe for eatin crackers yet.

  50. avatar Danny338 says:

    I liked the article, maybe I’ll look into to getting a 6.5CM barrel for my mrad. Not that I’m going to trade my .308 barrel or anything, but the 6.5 is an interesting round. I would like to see more on the .30 TC. Perhaps you could write an article on it and give us more than a Wikipedia link, Jeremy. I am one of those people that think anything less than .30 caliber is for sissies, even though I have an ar in 5.56. ;^)

    1. avatar Danny338 says:

      After reading through the links on the wikipedia page on the .30 TC, I see why that is all the info Jeremy gave us. There just isn’t much point to the cartridge.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        Yeah, I’ve never actually encountered it and it seems like the vaguest possible potential maybe upgrade to .308. I think its claim to fame is the fact that it’s technically the 6.5 CM’s parent case haha.

  51. avatar Paul says:

    I’ll wait for the 7.62 creedmoor.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Already been done and is the parent case for the Creedmoor. It’s called the .308TC and was a spectacular flop, which considering the .260 had already existed for a decade prior, should have been the fate of the Creedmoor.

  52. avatar lava shark says:

    Is TTAG so arrogant that they think insulting a large percentage of visitors is a good policy? Or are they so desperate for views that they have have to employ a click-bait whore like little Jeremy here to generate traffic?

    And don’t hide beside the facts and math of the respective calibers, either. If you’ve got a case to be made that a 10 year old cartridge has made advancements over a 60 year old cartridge just state the case. Well, duh! It would more surprising if there were no improvements.

    Such a pissy attitude, or the humor of an insecure child. If you went on your little rant in a bar or a range you’d end up getting punched, even by the people who agree with your facts.

    Instead of “calibers for beginners” you ought to try a new series, “writing for beginners”

    1. avatar Jason says:

      For a guy with the handle of lava shark you sure lack a sense of humor.

      1. avatar lava shark says:

        Humor is hard, insults are easy. He wanted to spice up a straightforward article on 308 vs 6.5 cm and did it with snide insults. I expect articles insulting and dividing gun owners from the New York Times , not TTAG. Caliber wars are endless. Why start off with attacking half the community with lazy writing? There are people out there now coming for all our guns, is it a good idea to attack a guns web site’s readers?

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          You *actually* feel attacked by this?

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          It’s June. Not a good month for snowflakes in North America.

  53. avatar Jason says:

    Good article. I own weapons in both calibers but man, I love my Tikka TAC-A1 chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. About the only thing the article didn’t touch on is the longer barrel lengths required in 6.5 to get optimal muzzle velocity being 4″ longer than with .308.

    I just need to settle on a shorter lighter-weight rifle than my TAC-A1 for “normal” shooting sessions where I don’t want to drag 15 lbs of rifle and scope out.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      I don’t agree with that barrel length comment at all. The difference is 6.5 shooters have tended to value max velocity more than compact size and weight, so most rifles have been made with longer barrels. While the .308 cartridge’s velocities are benefited and harmed by barrel length in the exact same way as 6.5, the.308 market is more interested in compromising velocity to achieve shorter length and lighter weight. I posted links in a comment above from a couple great articles that tested velocity from multiple loads as barrels were cut down from 27″ to 16″. .308 actually lost more velocity than 6.5.

  54. avatar New Continental Army says:

    Nope. All jokes aside, the most popular rounds today will remain the most popular until kenetic weapons are replaced with energy weapons. The US military will be using an M16 derivative with 5.56, and .308 out of MGs until guns are no longer hand held weapons. I garuntee it. I’ve lived through so many “this is the new hot round that’s going to change warfare and dominate the market, so buy now!” periods I could build a house with the ads. It’s all a sales pitch. Somebody prove me wrong, please.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      .50 “anti material” rifle; .338 Lapua sniper.

  55. avatar egghead says:

    Im not gonna run out and just sell my savage 308, but i might re-barrel it.

  56. avatar lava shark says:

    Jeremy S.-

    I didn’t see a reply tab, so I’ll respond here.

    *actually* attacked no, not so much as insulted. I added the last lines while the edit window was closing and was rushed.

    Like you I have a few 308s. I’ve acknowledged 6.5 cm is the new hotness. Hell, maybe it will be the standard infantry caliber after 20 years of mind-boggling expensive pentagon studies, around which time directed energy weapons will then come around and replace it.

    I actually don’t care about the caliber wars among civilian shooters. I do know that snide lazy insults to generate clicks do nothing for the reputation of you or TTAG. But if you’d rather go all Samantha Bee or Kathy Griffin on your own readers go ahead. You can call your readers dense mouth breathers as you please. Some will see it as funny and others as an insult. What purpose does it serve? What need of yours does it fulfill?

  57. avatar Sledgecrowbar says:

    .308 was an improvement on .30-06 once powder chemistry and understanding of tactics got better. 6.5 is a further improvement on .308 in that it uses a ballistically superior diameter and steeper shoulder angle within the magazine fitment and bolt face of .308. Until the whole military adopts it as the main GPMG cartridge as .308 is now, though, it will never be as plentiful, so you may as well get good at shooting with .308 for half the price and then swap just the barrel to 6.5 once you learn how to shoot well at 1000 yards, where 6.5 is actually worth the price increase. Inside of that, it won’t be worth the premium until it drops in price by almost half. Also, for people who enjoy .308 simply because it’s a great cartridge with the largest industry support of any cartridge, remember that .30-06 is still quite popular. 308 isn’t about to fade any time soon.

    I like that we have reached a milestone with cartridge technology by introducing (and popularizing, so it actually will survive) a 6.5 sized for the most common bolt action magazine size, it shows that we are not stagnating like the AR accessory community seemed to be doing for a few years.

  58. avatar Joe R. says:

    DVD / Blue-Ray ?

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Beta/VHS.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        laserdisc

  59. avatar Rimfire says:

    Ward, weren’t you a little rough on the Beaver? I still love me some 7.62 also!

  60. avatar Wood says:

    That newfangled smokeless powder is just a passing fad.

    Long live the .38-55!

  61. avatar Craig in IA says:

    All well and good but I already own (among my .308s) a nice Steyr SSG 69 w set triggers, an M1-A match and a Steyr Scout. Not rebarrelling them to 6.5 Creedmor anytime soon and they’re serving my purposes very well, shooting as good as I can hold them. And there’s the real question- not how well does your rifle shoot, but how well can you shoot it? IME, most people with good equipment don’t even come close to needing what they have if one considers how well they can shoot it.

  62. avatar NoTimeForCrapWriting says:

    Good Lord. Drop the attitude, passive aggressive style of writing. You write like a millenial fresh out of college. And boil this thing down by 50% and I’d try to read the rest of it. Know your audience.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Passive aggressive? I thought it was more like normal aggressive.

  63. avatar Dr. Gringo says:

    Why did TTAG pull the article also posted on the same date with the data about how the .260 Rem is superior to the 6.5 Creed?

    It has since been pulled down. Too much inflammatory journalism for one date?

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      That was supposed to go up tomorrow. Scheduling mistake. But I also take great exception to the numbers in that article, which are complete BS.

  64. avatar Spencer Ivey says:

    So it may be in the enormous list of comments above. But how does 6.5 really compare to 300 win mag?

  65. avatar Charles says:

    Then again, the long action rounds (30-06, and particularly the 25-06) knock both of them into a cocked hat.

    I shoot .338L, and I don’t take shite from nobody. 🙂

    Charlie

    1. avatar Steve Bostic says:

      I love the comparison between these two cartridges. If you can in the future compare the 6.5CM to either the 6CM or 6mm Dasher. I would like to see the 105-107grn bullets vs the 147 or 143’s in the 6.5. Your graphs and charts show in simple easy to understand language the benefits of the higher BC bullets. I just wonder if using a 6mm bullet is there an advantage by going a touch smaller?
      PS I have two 6.5CM’s already.

  66. avatar A.T. Barr says:

    Why didn’t they compare the 6.5 CM to the Rem. .260?

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      I did at the end. That’s about all that’s worth saying on the subject. The ballistics in both cases are effectively identical. They shoot the same projectiles with only a 1.9% difference in powder capacity, for which the 6.5 gained better ability to fit long, high BC projectiles into a shorter overall length so they still fit in a magazine.

  67. avatar Gutshot says:

    Bah. Overthinking. At the end of the day, you’re just throwing rocks. Pick what works for you and quit trying to be hip with the latest and greatest. It’s a piece of lead, some powder and a primer. The launcher is a tube with a nail in it.

  68. avatar luigi says:

    well if you ask my nephew he’ll tell you the 308 is the best gun in that new forknight game he won’t shut the hell up about

    my back hurts

  69. avatar Accur81 says:

    I’ve got four .308s (not counting two 300 BLKs, .30-06, and .300 Win Mag) and found the article to be fun. The 6.5 has some great things going for it. If you want power inside of 200 yards, the .308 has more than the 6.5 – Hornady does make Superformance for .308 and 6.5. It’s a little unfair to compare max 6.5 loads at 2450 FPE to standard 2650 FPE .308. The .308 can hit 3000+ FPE out of 24″ and longer barrels, and is less sensitive to velocity loss out of short barrels. My longest-barreled .308 is 20″, good for about 2650 FPE and .6 MOA with Eagle Eye II running a 175 grain hybrid at about 2620 FPS. I don’t think a 26″ .308 makes a whole lot of sense, but that rig will run about 600 FPE more than a 6.5 with hot loads.

    With that said, the 6.5 clearly takes the .308 in long range shooting. My high-BC calibers are .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua. I still shoot old school .45-70, which has horrific BCs, but it’s a round which drops deer inside of 100 yards a whole lot harder than .308 or 6.5. I may get a 6.5 CM or two – it’s definitely a cool round.

    If the military / .gov adopts it, than the future is bright. Even preppers will start getting 6.5 – eventually.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      That was an average 6.5 load used for the numbers, not a hot one. And while you’d expect velocity to be more sensitive to barrel length because of the smaller bore diameter, that hasn’t played out in actuality. In some tests, like the great articles I linked to in a comment above where they progressively cut down 27″ barrels by an inch at a time and chronographed a couple/few loads at each barrel length, 6.5 CM actually loses less velocity per inch than .308 does.

      1. avatar Terry McIlvain says:

        None of this justifies your use of insult. You sir, are just another jackass, even though your information is correct.

  70. avatar GS says:

    Oh! Look! A shiny new cartridge and an article full of insults.
    And even more insults in the comments sections!
    Oh, I know, someone start a 1911 vs Glock fight!

    This article was about as entertaining and informative as a sham wow commercial.
    All the reasons you need this shiny new toy, with an added bonus of ELD bullets to make the wind whistle more.
    Your old rifle suddenly suffered -100 accuracy points because it isn’t 6.5 caliber.
    6.5 creed is just lipstick on the pig.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      It’s over a decade old. Maybe that’s shiny and new in the ammo world? But 6.5 projectiles have been used to great effect for hunting, military, and target shooting for over a century. All the Creedmoor did was package it into a case that works in an SR25/AR10 magazine.

      Silly insults aside, it takes nothing away from .308. No, .308 rifles have not lost 100 accuracy points because there are other calibers. Your rifle will shoot exactly as it always has. Obviously. But 6.5 is a better caliber in most ways so before you buy yet another .308 rifle, it may be worth checking the examples in the article and considering if another caliber could suit your needs better. Doubling hit percentage is not lipstick on a pig.

      1. avatar GS says:

        Shiny it seems because everyone is trumpeting it’s abilities from the walls.
        The 6.5 creed is lipstick on the pig.

        Alternative calibers that are better include 6.5×55 and .260 if you want to stay in the 6.5 class. After that, case capacity is king.
        And .260 will fit that .308 autoloader just as well.

        Want to improve your long range game? Time + training + practice = results

        As for ethical long range hunting – as someone who used to process game for other hunters, and stopped due to the absolute unethical carnage I had to work with, long range isn’t for everyone. Giving them a caliber and telling them it magically improves accuracy up to 33% is about as ethical as selling a 1970 AMC gremlin to a 2018 High school graduate.

  71. avatar Mike N says:

    Sacred cows make the best hamburger. I think you struck a nerve. I bet you think the Creedmore is better than the 270 Winchester too.
    .

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      They don’t fit in the same firearms so I don’t think it’s a relevant comparison.

  72. avatar Wally1 says:

    Greetings, for those of us that live in the real world, I can’t think of anyone I know or hunt with that has dropped any type of game any farther than about 300 yards. The 6.5 Creedmore is a fine cartridge, but hey, at 300 yards or closer the animal won’t know the difference. I live in bear country, 338 win mag or 45-70 for me. Really simple, easy to reload. Face it for competition shooting, 6.5 is great but in the real world, anyone taking a shot at an animal at 1,300 yards is not an ethical hunter or just an asshole. Just my .23 cents worth (adjusted for inflation).

  73. avatar Lon Loren says:

    The 30.06 was good in it,s day. People still like using it. The .762×51 was developed to use a shorter action than the 30.06 with similar ballistics. The bonus with military calibers is shooters come home from the military and want to keep shooting. Surplus ammo lowers the cost of shooting, making shooting more affordable. The military will always do what it can to keep the costs down. The Air Force is still flying the B 52.

    1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

      +1. Hell there is still a contingent out there that argues we should refurbish the old Iowa class Battleships. Honestly when they argue the cost per 16 in rifle shot vs modern missiles they make a decent argument.

  74. avatar Bigsky says:

    If you do not reload the 6.5 is a better choice. But if you reload and hunt the
    308 is by far a better choice (110-200+ grain bullets). Once 6.5 gets a larger variety of bullets then I may get one.

  75. avatar John J. McCarthy, Jr. says:

    So the 6.5 is the hipster version of the .260.

    I’m “impressed”.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Originally that’s what I thought. When 6.5 Creedmoor was relatively new, and by that I mean all the way up until about 2014 or 2015, I did not see any point to it since .260 already existed. I, too, thought it was all marketing and that only hipsters bought into it. However, once the caliber CRUSHED .260 in the availability and price of factory ammo, rifles, and barrels, .260 became the hipster caliber. It is, by far, the obscure, limited, and “I was into this before it was cool” caliber now for people who want artisan made shit that costs more and isn’t as popular. Hipsters don’t choose the mass-produced, most popular, most cost-effective thing. Which, incidentally, in the 6.5mm projectile world is freaking 6.5 Creedmoor. Calling it the hipster caliber when compared to .260 is completely wrong! Besides, everyone knows 6.5×47 Lapua is the real 6.5 hipster.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        The limiting factor for the .260 Remington for a long time was the crap quality of brass available. There was some really atrocious stuff out there in the market.

        Finally, in 2011 (if my memory serves), Lapua introduced match brass for the .260, and suddenly the .260 was worth playing with again. Norma and Peterson are also making match-grade brass for the .260 now.

        But by 2011, the 6.5CM was out as well as the 6.5×47.

        This is sorta like the cluster that surrounded the .280 Remington. If you want a cartridge to succeed, it’s probably best if you don’t have Remington bring it out. The .280 Remington is a fantastic hunting cartridge, a little bit better than either the .270 Winchester or the .30-06. But Remington bungled it so many times, most people look at you with a “Huh?!” if you tell them you have a rifle in .280 Rem. Same deal in .260. I know a fair bit about the cartridge – I’ve never seen a .260 come through my doors.

  76. avatar Ams says:

    So 147gr to 168gr…what abt comparing 147 to 147 and where does that leave us?

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Well 147 isn’t a normal bullet weight for .308. I chose 168 because it’s like the standard. Besides, for a given diameter bullet when you reduce the weight you reduce the sectional density and that hurts the aerodynamics (reduces the ballistic coefficient). So if you do the numbers with a 147 grain .308 it’ll be worse for the .308.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Uh, wut?

        147 grain FMJ is the standard bullet for the “M80” NATO-spec, ball ammunition. There are more rounds of 147gr 7.62 flung downrange all over the world than all other .308/7.62 rounds combined, I’ll wager.

        168gr is standard for match 7.62 ammo, with 175gr being the next most common match pill now. The 168gr .30 cal bullet has been the “standard” match bullet since the days of the .30-06. The standard pill in the .30-06 M2 ball was a 148 or 150gr Spitzer.

  77. avatar 300maghunter says:

    You guess can keep shooting paper with your 6.5 and I’ll keep filling my freezer with my .308

  78. avatar kenneth says:

    “the sad .308/7.62 NATO, the 6.5’s main advantage comes from its use of longer, more aerodynamic 0.264″ diameter bullets.”
    But is it actually so? Sierra bullets, highest BC .308, 230gr HPBT, BC .800. On the other hand: Sierra .264, 150 gr HPBT, BC .713! .800 is a higher ballistic coefficient than .713.
    OFC if you are comparing a round nose bullet in the .308 to a hollow point boattail in the .264 then the comparison here works, but if you stay in the same length to diameter ratio and bullet style, the story of the 6.5s ‘higher’ BC just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
    It’s just another myth.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      That isn’t a projectile that gets loaded in .308 Winchester though (it’s for magnum rounds like .300 WM or RUM, etc, that have room for a bullet that long). And even if you did the work necessary to come up with a barrel and a load in .308 Win that worked with that bullet I don’t think you could approach the velocities necessary to hit Sierra’s BC numbers, which are always stated in the highest possible velocity band instead of the average velocity band like most other manufacturers use. Those projectile examples you’re using are a .308 that’s like 37% heavier than a typical, match .308 (a 168 grain) and a 6.5 that’s like 7% heavier than a typical match projectile. If the 6.5 were 37% over typical weight it would be 192 grains.

  79. avatar haha says:

    this is the best article ive ever read on this site. Could you do another one about the 1911/45 ACP?

  80. avatar Datahut says:

    I love these articles and the comments, learn a lot. But I’ve been holding off buying the next expensive long range rifle, AR-10 and 15 until hear even more. Mainly because there seems to be new offerings I hear about by the month. Already in the last two months there’s the 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge and an ad in American Rifleman was pushing a new high pressure .223. I’m still trying to find out more about the .224 Valkyrie which American Rifleman gave a lot of seemingly unwarranted hype to and the less recent .22 Nosler. More information about any these new offering eagerly anticipated by the author and commentors on this article. Thanks.

  81. avatar Bill says:

    This article reads like it was written by a reasonable gun-guy and then edited by a petulant 14 year old trying to start a flame war.

  82. avatar jt says:

    Negligible performance difference out to the edge of ethical hunting distance. Dramatically fewer ammo choices, and little chance of finding it at grocery stores, etc. if needed while hunting in rural areas– never mind internationally.

    If you’re NOT hunting, then it’s a fine choice. If you are punching paper, there’s .260 Rem, and 6.5 Swede, and 6.5×47, and 100 similar wildcats. But there is a problem with all of the 6.5s– reduced barrel life compared to .308– something that is probably a serious consideration in adoption of a military cartridge. Hate to bring reality into this “discussion”, but there we are. Marginal performance benefit; double or triple the cost of barrels over the long haul.

    1. avatar William C. Montgomery says:

      Dramatically fewer ammo choices than the 308, yes. Dramatically more ammo choices than any of the other cartridges you named.

      One consideration that the military likes that didn’t get more than a passing mention in the main article, is that the 6.5 CM is a lot softer shooting than the 308. The cartridge was developed by precision shooter who would fire 200+ rounds in a competition and were getting beaten up by the 308. The lighter recoil of the 6.5 CM means military shooter would get less beaten up, have quicker follow up shots, and the cartridge would be more controllable at full auto rates of fire. It seems like the military would be willing to trade a few more barrel swaps to put more rounds on target.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        It extends what “ethical hunting distance” is in most conditions by at least 33%. Your ability to hit the the target with very high probability and sufficient energy for a clean kill is what defines an ethical hunting distance, and that changes based on conditions. For instance, cutting the effect of wind in half can double your ethical hunting distance if you’re dealing with unpredictable or hard-to-estimate wind (or just aren’t very good at reading the wind, etc).

        William, I mentioned the 30% lower recoil four times in the article and some of the specific benefits that provides the shooter at least twice. I did not mention fatigue, though, which you’re definitely right is a big factor if you’re shooting a lot and many competition shooters and teams (e.g. US Army Shooting Team) have a great deal of evidence showing how big a deal it is. For instance, team scores getting worse as a day of competition wears on and seeing that performance drop-off decrease dramatically after switching to a caliber that recoils less.

  83. avatar Doug Burton says:

    I can’t help but think that if you’re caught up in this conversation, you’re probably also the type to argue with your friends about the type of carbon fibre in your tennis racket or the latest research that went into the design of your high-tech golf clubs. In most cases, it’s a purely academic argument because you’re simply not good enough nor have the practical applicaton to truly appreciate the difference;

    So for you newly minted 6.5 fanboys out there, have fun paying a buck a round. Chances are that’s the only difference that you’ll actually see in real life.

  84. avatar cisco kid says:

    To the average recruit the caliber wars have no useful purpose.

    As a former NRA across the course rifle competitor few arm chair commandoes realize how much time and money goes into training a real rifleman. When on considers how little time and how little money is spent training the average recruit in the disciplines of rifle marksmanship it is not surprising that few can hit even man sized targets once the range is beyond 100 yards.

    During WWII the Russian Military found out through observation of Russian Soldier’s in battle than those with bolt action rifles and even semi-auto rifles seldom fired their weapons but those that were issued sub-machine guns felt invincible and with a large drum magazine capacity put it to good use by spraying down the battlefield as one would do with a hose watering ones garden. The Russian Military found that true fire fights whether in the cities or country often took place at very close ranges usually well below 100 yards but even at such short ranges the marksmanship was so poor that enemy soldiers were often wounded rather than killed outright.

    These studies did not go unnoticed by the U.S. and it was one of the reasons at least in the beginning that the M16 was adopted and originally issued in full auto. An assault rifle was more powerful than the pistol caliber sub-guns used by the Russians in WWII but the assault rifle could still carry a large amount of ammo if the caliber was small. The smaller rifle caliber, much like the pistol sub guns was more controllable in full auto fire than assault rifles issued in full power caliber weapons. The Germans tried this too but their 8×57 full auto assault rifle was not the gun they were looking for either. I am speaking of the little known Fallschirmjägergewehr 42

    The bigger is better caliber wars are never ending even though down through history many militaries went to smaller and smaller rifle calibers. Even as far back as the early 1900’s the Savage .22 High Power using an 80 grain bullet was used to slay grizzly bears, one of the toughest carnivores on earth to bring down and keep it down. So much for the idea that bullet diameter is paramount to incapacitation. Professional African Big Game hunters proved that a myth also over 118 years ago as many used the 6.5mm over the big bore blasters of the day. I might add that before the coming of the .223 Remington the preferred caliber used by Eskimo’s was the .222 Remington and they killed not only caribou but polar bears as well with it.

    And remember the difference in diameter between the 9mm (.355) and the .45 acp (.451) actually less than 1/10 of an inch. I think now one should realized how asinine the theory of bigger bullet diameter means a more deadly caliber.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      And that little difference in diameter makes cross section area of 9mm over 38% smaller than .45’s. Meaning that unexpanded .45 destroys 38% more tissue than unexpanded 9mm if both bullets penetrate the same. If both bullets expand at the same ratio (and we keep the penetration equal – not likely, I know), the difference grows even larger.

      9mm is barely adequate.
      .45 steals your soul.
      I shoot .44 magnum. :-p

  85. avatar Duncan says:

    Glad to see that truth about guns has a great sense of humor with this mad hipsters rambling manifesto like diatribe for the desperate want to be faddish 6.5 Crudmoor. Thanks for the good laugh!

  86. avatar kap says:

    Not a Value article! does not compare apples to apples but Avocados too oranges! comparing a flat nosed bullet with a VLD sure stack’s the books in favor of a pre chosen caliber. the true test is provable terminal performance at distance! the 30-06 with VLD bullets puts the 6.5 on a back burner, 1200 + yard – Minute of Radius! ( used in military grouping)

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      None of the ballistic figures in the article use a flat nose .308. The worst .308 used is the 168 grain Sierra MatchKing and the best the Hornady ELD-X. SOCOM’s findings in their sniper testing is comparing 175 grain M118LR to three different 6.5 projectiles. The photos are mostly humorous, but if you read the text and go to the numbers version in particular you’ll see all of the ballistic data compared against multiple projectiles.

  87. avatar Fled says:

    What’s the barrel life? If it’s like .243 I’ll stick with .308 and dope…

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      The .243 is notoriously (at least among gunsmiths) “overbore.”

      “Overbore” is a situation where you’re trying to shove too much powder down too small a hole. The result is the leade area of your chamber (just forward of the case mouth) gets burned up – sometimes in as little as 1200 rounds (eg, 6.5×284).

      I haven’t looked at what 6.5CM barrel length is yet, but I’ll find out soon enough. I don’t think it will be as overbored as the .243, but a .308 Winchester probably is easier on barrels.

  88. avatar redmanrt says:

    .243 is better still. Flatter trajectory than Creedmore.

  89. avatar Tim says:

    Reading this makes my head hurt. Being an old fart I shoot what I feel comfy with. I pretty much hit what I want to. You young folks run around and buy what ever you want. Us old people like what we are used to and can probably out shoot most of you young folks. I grew up on a M-14. Then the M-16 came around. They all have their place and they all have done their duty. Any weapon is only as good as the person firing it. I’m old so I like a weapon that shoots good around 100 yards max. Just inputing what an average old fart thinks. Thanks

  90. avatar william sotak says:

    Sorry but this article is a collection of largely useless none reality based info! I am not a 6.5 Creedmoor basher, I own one and like it, for PAPER! The problem is there is generally accepted knowledge for hunting. It is accepted because it is proven and true. A 30 caliber 150 grain bullet traveling at 2600 feet per second plus will likely click off a deer in its tracks RIGHT NOW if the animal is at rest with a good shot and with a good bullet. A factory load like a Hornady SST does 3000 at the muzzle with a 150. You can simply click a deer off at 200 plus yards! As bullets get smaller the velocity needed goes up! The problem is the velocity of a Creedmoor is NOT likely to break much more than 2600 at the muzzle (needed for a 30), BUT this is NOT a 30. It’s a 26. So a smaller weaker bullet is God’s gift to ballistics??? The moment you step into the woods with a 6.5 Creedmoor you are upping your chances of needing to track that deer. YES a Creedmoor will kill a deer, BUT you are only talking about punching a hole, either the size of the expanded or not expanded depending on distance and NOT shocking the animal or inducing a massive wound channel. You are hoping to hit a vital and have the animal die after a given time of bleeding and suffering. Then you have to play the game of exploding bullet on the shoulder, etc. with a 6.5. Especially if you try to get decent velocity by going lighter. Go with a hardy bullet? The hole is smaller if you miss bone. Have a nice hike during the deer torture session! Next many are getting into LD. Sorry, a 6.5 C likely will NOT expand below 2200 with many bullets. That leaves you with a 6.5 pinhole in the deer. Next, I am referencing the federal ballistic calculator right now. The 6.5 C does have a great BC but without magnum speed the advantage over a 308 in drop is neglectable. You have to be a dialer at a mere 300 with a 200 yard zero and a 200 yard zero is the best you can do. The 6.5 Creedmoor is a nice round for those who shun recoil and is a nice youth gun. If you are at the range and have a few minutes to dial between shots past 300 then it’s great fun. As far as ethical empathetic kills, borrow a big boy gun!

    1. avatar BUHL says:

      Yup – writer doesn’t mention energy at all. Check out the Nosler Trophy energy/ballistics 308/165 v. 6.5 /120 and I’ll take a 308 – esp inside 500Y

  91. avatar Last OfTheOldOnes says:

    My back yard is 200 yards long, and it abuts Marion federal forest. I need nothing longer than 200 yards, so I can shoot HEAVY stuff with the AR-10, and use the AR-15 for protection.
    And if I’m really worried about the zombies coming out of the woods, I’ll just change over to the 45-70 and a 405 grain Buffalo Bore cranking out at 2,000fps. I guarantee that there will not be much left standing…..

    In any case, I’m glad that the 6.5 is making people happy. How many, though, REALLY shoot 1,000+ yards….. Heck, I can’t even see that far. Besides, I don’t cotton none for them fancy skinny bullets. I like BIG, FAT, HEAVY things coming out of the barrel…..

  92. avatar Shalako Wray says:

    So why did the Marians go to the 300 winmag for there new sniper rifle and not the 6.5cm.

  93. avatar Vann Ray Cranford says:

    I Have Friends That Are Both Army And Marine Snipers Here In Eastern North Carolina. At Fort Bragg Army Snipers Have Used The .300 Win. Mag. For Quite A Few Decades For Different Missions. The Marines Have Always Be Known To Have Their Rifles Built By Their Own Armors. I Do Know That The CORPS Is Seriously Considering Going To The Win. Mag. Like The Army Has Used At Times. It Will Be Interesting To See How This Turns Out.

  94. avatar Rudolf says:

    .308 Alco is where I am putting my money on to revamp the .308..

    nice knowing you but we can’t be friends anymore..You go and enjoy your skinny jeans while it chokes your junk, and don’t forget to finish your coconut milk latte, you’ll need it.

  95. The .308 and 6.5 Creedmoor are both nice cartridges, but I prefer
    the 7mm Remington Magnum. It is superior in all respects, and
    there are more loads available.

  96. avatar sound awake says:

    last week i put 2 rounds out of a 6.5 creedmoor bolt gun in a one inch bullseye at 300 yards with the holes just barely touching

    it was some guys rifle at the range

    i asked him if the 6.5 creedmoor really recoils less than a .308

    he said see for yourself

    it in fact recoiled less than my sons .270 which is noticably less than my .308

    which is nice…

    and like i said i put 2 touching in the bullseye at 300 yards the first time i ever shot one

    and im no expert shooter either…no training…no classes…no military…no law enforcement

    i should probably build one

    one can be built with parts from palmetto state armory right now for like $700 without an optic

    1. I saw this comparison before between the 6.5 Creedmoor and the .308 Winchester.
      I really love both of those cartridges, but when I need power at the target, I really
      have to choose the 7mm Remington Magnum. It is superior to both of the afore
      mentioned cartridges. I realize that the recoil is a bit more stout than many women
      can tolerate, but my wife does not seem to complain about it. Happy Shooting.

  97. avatar Hoosier says:

    I loved this article! Very informative and very funny!!! Some of you guys who posted negative reviews due to the immature/snarky style of the writing have no sense of humor! Go breath a fart!!!

  98. avatar Matt says:

    Well, you could be in my postion as a relatively new rifle enthusiast who already purchased two .308’s (which haven’t even been shot) because you then bought a RPR in 6.5 Creedmoor. I admit, when I pinged steel @ 600 yards for the first time out, it addicted me right then and there. Maybe it’s like trading up a highschool senior girlfriend for Ms. College Creedmoor.

  99. avatar Enuf says:

    You know what? I’ve read a lot about the 6.5 Creedmoor but I quit reading this one as soon as I got to the insults. Why is it necessary to insult people? Insult fellow gun people over a cartridge selection, what the hell is that about?

    Besides, there’s a lot of people who got what they got, guns already paid for. Reloading gear and supplies already paid for. As much fun as it is to buy the newest and latest and greatest there are a lot of gun owners who don’t get to do that.

  100. i have several of both,, the creedmore is a hipster cartridge,,the 308 is still the better cartridge,for serious work,,,,,also noticed the pictures of the 308 ammo appear to be loaded with flat nose bullets,,was that to help distort its image ? meaning the little 6.5 has personal issues ? or the writer ?,

  101. avatar Johan van Heerden says:

    Come to africa and try hunting wildebeest or eland with 6.5 needmoor…i dare you.
    Firstly the land owner wont allow you and secondly if he does your in for a nasty surprise

  102. avatar Dan Han says:

    This is basically like reading an overly convoluted liberal news media article meant to confuse and dazzle you as to the writer’s expertise and knowledge thereby gaining your confidence and making you believe the article’s conclusions when it really is a poorly written piece without sound arguments or facts. I am a pretty smart guy and I read this article quickly twice and while you’ve made some points, mostly you’ve come up with a false set of criteria that YOU think makes a rifle caliber better or worse, and proceeded to check off your own list. It’s a straw man argument. The 6.5 creedmoor has its uses and its advantages but I’ll take my 308 any day.

    Also who says retained energy means its more effective at distance? The extreme example is a 5.56 vs a 44 magnum, I don’t care if the 5.56 retains ALL of its energy at 100 yards, it’s not gonna do anything better than the 44 magnum in stopping medium sized and up game. The 308 will penetrate barriers better, retain its KILLING power better at long range, less likely to get deflected by hitting light barriers like a windshield due to its weight, and its just more devastating at closer ranges. If I want a better long range cartridge, I’ll take a bolt in 7mm or 270 or 300 win mag.

    TTAG is like full of stupid hipster millenials writing bullshit. This is such a terrible site occupying great real estate (it’s name invites alot of newbies who are learning about guns to use this site for information to their disadvantage).

    1. avatar Kountryboy says:

      Wow, so much hate for a tongue-in-cheek article. I think it’s all good if it brings more folks in to the shooting sports. We shouldn’t be bashing each other just because someone is not in love with our favorite cartridge. I’ll shoot anything from a BB gun to a 45-70, depending on what I’m after, so I’m not all that set on any particular cartridge. I’m just a gun enthusiast that enjoys them all. We just need to lighten up some or folks are going to think we can’t get along.

  103. avatar John Wilson says:

    Funny I thought 308 shooters were thought of as knuckle dragers. The same things were said about the 30 06 when the 308 came out. Chevy vs Ford, Republicans vs Democrats, dog lovers vs cat lovers. The list goes on and on. What ever you like to shoot just keep shooting before they take that right away from us. As for me I’ll continue to shoot what ever I have or acquire.

  104. avatar Joshua says:

    Wow, after reading these comments, I’m afraid we have a lot of snowflakes in the 308 community. You guys come off a bit defensive. I like 308 I have shot it all of my life, but like he says in the article with the exception of cost the 6.5 is simply better. Don’t believe me? Borrow someone’s 6.5CM rifle and take it out and shoot it.

  105. avatar Gary says:

    Funny article. Being a 308 shooter, I didn’t realize so many were so humorless. Living in western NC we don’t get 300 yard shots at deer. We see flags going through the woods and brush at 100 mph. For this hunting my 444 marlin comes out and never have I had a deer get up from it.
    The 6.5 certainly sounds interesting, and only accurate rifles are interesting. I reload for all my guns, so it gives me pause to add another cartridge due to expense. Though I have never undertaken such a thing lightly, I certainly can’t see a dollar a round. Nor can I quite determine the itch to scratch, except for the eternal quest for accuracy. That is what brought me here to read about the 6.5 and the article satisfies. Thanks for that.

  106. avatar Sean says:

    How is the data used in this article so wrong? Plug the .308 178 gr ELD-X going 2600 fps vs. the .264 143 gr ELD-X going 2700 fps and check the drop and windage… at 1000yds the .308 drops 18 inches less and only drifts 8 inches more… at 1000 yards. The hype surrounding the 6.5 CM makes it seem like it’s some godly round that takes an average shooter and turns him/her into an unbeatable super sniper… I just don’t get it.

    1. How about a comparison between the 6.5 Creedmoor and the good old .270 Win. Let’s see how that would look.

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