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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 stubborn .308 lobby, 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 [ED: mid 2020 prices now start at about $140 a round]. 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 try to get our hands on some 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 [ED: mid 2020 prices start at about $0.59 for steel cased].

.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.



This article was originally published in 2018.

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    • Mark Martin,

      I came to post something similar.

      While the 6.5mm Creedmoor is at least as good (if not better) as .308 Winchester for taking deer and smaller game (and humans in warfare), I do not see how 6.5mm Creedmoor would be better than .308 Winchester for elk-sized game. As the saying goes, “There is no replacement for displacement.”

    • I dropped a bull where he stood at 300yds with 140 grain Accubonds out of my 6.5. A bad hit is a bad hit regardless of caliber. There have been countless elk lost because of bad hits even from the “magical” 300WM and 7 Mag. In addition, countless caribou/reindeer have been taken with 6.5 caliber bullets in Europe over the past 100 years. Accuracy is everything and the 6.5 Creed is inherently more accurate than the 308, hands down.

      • I think you’re right; accuracy is everything (at least when it comes to hunting). So, with that in mind; .308 wins. Why, you may ask? Well, 6.5 Creedmore is definitely mechanically superior, so it certainly isn’t that; taken by itself, 6.5 Creedmore is better.
        But, when shooting a gun, there are more factors than the round itself; the gun, and, importantly, the shooter. And guess which round you can afford to shoot a whole lot more, and, therefore, get better with? Yep; .308. So, unless one is an absolute natural, who does not need significant practice, the .308 is better, because when you take it to the range you don’t have to have a sit and cry between each shot at the cash you just sent down range.
        Jeremy touches on it in the article, but, essentially, dismisses it. But range time, and, therefore, cost, really is king. Unless, of course, your ammo is provided by someone else, or you are rich enough that you can afford to spend more on ammo than you have willingness/desire to actually shoot.

        • @merp you can get Winchester 6.5 Creedmoor for about $15/box and there are more and more companies coming out with budget friendly load offerings. The savings on .308 over 6.5 Creed ammo (comparing apples to apples) are negligible. Especially when you compare the difference in ballistics.

        • Did you uhhhh… miss the part where he showed the comparable ammo is the same if not sometimes cheaper on the Creedmoor?

          Cheap surplus FMJ that barely groups on the target at 100yds isnt going to teach you anything meaningful as far as training goes. Did you flinch on that last shot? pull it funny? torquing the stock with your shooting hand? Any of the other 100s of bad habbits people have that they need to train out of? Was your wind call on? Who knows… a good group with M80 looks like a buckshot pattern, all you really know is whether or not the gun was at least pointed the right way.

          I keep some around for bore sighting new rifles or blowing off steam… bout all it’s good for.

          Im probably biased, but I primarily shoot my 6.5 Creedmoor… However, I do own a 308 because based on all the responses to these types of threads, I know theres going to be metric sh**load of it lying around once I’ve killed all the neckbeards LARPing around my neighborhood when SHTF… 😉

      • It encourages, at best, marginal shooters to take bad shots beyond their abilities, hence the wounded animals.

    • The Swedes do it all the time with the 6.5×55 Swedish cartridge. Actually, they hunt moose with it. The less powerful 6.5 Grendel has taken elk at 400 yds.

      • I was going to say the exact same thing.

        The Scandinavians have been taking large animals with the 6.5×55 Swede for 100 years or more. It works fine.

        What people should realize about terminal ballistics is this: Sectional density is what increases penetration.

        If I have a .308 150 grain bullet, and I have a 150 grain bullet in 6.5mm (.264 caliber), the bullet will have to be longer. The longer bullet with the same mass will have an increased sectional density, and will (at the same velocity) tend to penetrate more deeply.

        Now, there are many other factors that go into dropping a large animal. But I don’t think a 6.5mm bullet’s diameter will be one of those things. Consider how many elk have been taken with a 150 grain .270 Winchester round. The 6.5mm is 0.264″ and the .270 is actually 0.277. That’s 0.013″ larger? I don’t think that’s a whole lot of difference in bullet frontal area.

    • I think the hype for 6.5 CM is supported by the stats…for target shooting or perhaps sniping. But amidst all the hoopla and braggadocio from Team Creedmore regarding this magical laser-beam-trajectory cartridge that allows for 1000+ yd shots, no ethical hunter would ever be taking a shot beyond 400 yds. The loss of sufficient energy to mushroom a bullet at farther distances means perforation of the target animal instead of proper expansion and wound channel, resulting in a bleeding and hurting animal that will take longer to die than it otherwise should.

      Target practice? Sure, have fun with Creedmore. It’s great and arguably superior for punching pie tins beyond .308’s distance.

      Sniping? I’ll leave that to the military/LE experts, as that’s outside my wheelhouse.

      Hunting? Stick with .308 Win.

      • Haz, the farther the bullet goes, the more energy the 6.5CM has over the .308 Win. The .308 is the less forgiving, less powerful, less humane hunting caliber compared to the 6.5CM.

        • According to the links provided by the author and Hornady’s Ballistic calculator, they are even at 500 yards and the 6.5 gains energy over the .308 for every yard after that. If you are talking about the ethical taking of game, the farther out you go, the more advantage the 6.5 has.

        • And inside of 500 the .308 is more humane/has more energy, and 90%+ of hunters take their game well inside of that (usually ~<200yards).

          A match-grade .308Win load inside of 500 yards is extremely accurate, and if you have a good rifle/glass and know how to shoot at a semi-proficient level, making solid hits on vitals with it at that range is not that challenging at all…even with some cross-wind. So unless you're going for a hunt where you're shooting an animal from one mountain-top to another or something like that, I fail to see this vast "performance gap" between these two cartridges in the hunting realm.

          In target shooting, however, there is simply no comparison in performance, that is 100% to the 6.5 CM. That is, if you totally ignore the 3x throat/barrel wear on the 6.5CM than on a .308Win. One shouldn't ignore the logistical side of choosing a cartridge.

          Now let's talk about why we need to kick the Hornady's nest into mainstreaming the 7mm Creedmoor/GDC….

        • Anton, if we are talking about inside 200 yards, then nobody needs anything more than a single shot break open 30-30 with iron sights. And if their eyes are going bad, nothing more than a 4 power scope.
          But the argument isn’t about what’s good enough. The argument is about what is better.

        • jwtaylor,

          I heartily disagree. When I see braggarts on other forums talking about taking long range 1000+ yd shots at game with 6.5 CM, I simply do not trust any cartridge to have sufficient energy to mushroom and humanely kill. And as was mentioned above, there’s too much of a chance for the animal to move in the couple of seconds between a shooter’s decision intention to pull the trigger, his brain making his finger move enough to fire the gun, and the bullet to travel the distance to the target.

          I don’t believe in game hunting beyond 400 yards, and believe the best shots are within 200 yds. That’s still the distance of two football fields, FPS. Anyone (not saying you, just saying ‘anyone’) who insists on taking long range shots so they can have a great story to take home to his buddies at the risk of the animal’s humane death needs to re-think his purpose. If he can’t get closer than 400 yds, then maybe he needs to practice getting closer to game before ever choosing to actually hunt them.

        • JWTaylor: “Anton, if we are talking about inside 200 yards, then nobody needs anything more than a single shot break open 30-30 with iron sights. And if their eyes are going bad, nothing more than a 4 power scope.
          But the argument isn’t about what’s good enough. The argument is about what is better.”

          Ok then, you and I can go for a nice long hunting hike in grizzly country and you can carry a single shot break open action. Or even your 5 plus1 bolt action 6.5 Creedmoor.

          I, on the other hand will carry my semi-auto .308 M1A Socom 16 with a 20 plus 1 magazine.

          Heaven forbid, but if a grizzly charges, you can show me how much better your 5 plus 1 bolt action 6.5 Creedmoor is inside of 200 yds in that circumstance.

      • @I Haz A Question — 100% agree. Long range hunting should NOT be a thing. The animal gets a vote, and lifting their head or moving at longer ranges (which they have time to do with the bullet flight time) can easily turn a good shot into a bad shot. That, and most people who think they can hit at 400+ yards can’t reliably hit at 400+ yards…

    • I know a marijuana Bootleggers’ who claims that 300 Blackout is a great caliber for hunting elk. This is the same firearms expert who testified under oath that you can’t shoot slugs through a shotgun with a full choke barrel. “The barrel will explode, just like what happens to Elmer Fudd when Buggs Bunny sticks a carrot into the muzzle.

      My own preference is for the .50 BMG cartridge. I once bashed an elk at 950 meters with it. I was even able to sit my own misses.

    • How about .270? I know someone who has been taking elk successfully for over 30 years with this round. I really don’t think an elk will notice the 0.044 difference between .264 and .308, all other things being equal. Which they aren’t since the 6.5 will hit at a higher velocity with greater penetration than the .308 with the same weight expanding projectile.

      • Exactly. Elk (and larger) game has been taken for many decades with the .270 Winchester with a 150 grain bullet. Lots of game has been taken with a 130 grain bullet, but IMO, the old-fashioned bullet designs in 130 are too frangible.

    • Then you clearly missed the point of this article.

      Unless you shoot that Elk at 0-159yds, the 6.5 Creedmoor hits that elk with more energy than a .308. So, if you would shoot an elk past 160 with a .308, you should be able to shoot it with a 6.5 creed.

      This is the same “stopping power” farce that leads people to believe they should carry a .45 because its bullets are bigger.

      • cg, comparing handgun calibers to rifle calibers and drawing conclusions about either is a fool’s errand.

      • The 160 yard changeover is incorrect. It’s closer to ~460-580 yards (depending on loads, weights, barrel lengths, etc.).

        I would *LOVE* to see the math where a peak 6.5 CM hunting load overtakes a peak .308 WIN hunting load at 160 yards. The article shows the math (line graphs) for drop and wind drift between the two, but not energy at range.

        Because either my math sucks, or you’re mistaking “% of retained initial retained energy” with actual overall kinetic energy. These are not the same thing. The article makes the distinction that the 160yrd marker denotes the “retained” energy, but doesn’t mean the .308Win is overall lower energy at that point.

        …the more you know!

        • But the article does make it clear, even with extremely skilled shooters, you are more likely to hit your target in the first place with the 6.5 than the 308.
          Retained energy, or even muzzle energy, don’t matter if you miss.

        • Anton Solomyr
          “Because either my math sucks, or you’re mistaking ‘% of retained initial retained energy’ with actual overall kinetic energy. These are not the same thing. The article makes the distinction that the 160yrd marker denotes the ‘retained’ energy, but doesn’t mean the .308Win is overall lower energy at that point.”

          The quote is “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.” He’s clearly talking about the actual retained energy, not the percentage of original energy.

        • The more you know indeed. Energy kills precisely ZERO animals every year. The factors that determine killing efficiency are 1. Shot Placement 2. Shot placement 3. Shot placement 4) Penetration (higher SD). Put a raw egg in ballistic gelatin and place a round 2″ from it in any hunting caliber rifle, the egg will not even crack despite the theatrical explosive temporary cavity you see. Putting a bullet through the central nervous system, or something that bleeds fast and in great volume is what kills. At ANY range, the 6.5CM is more accurate (Less recoil makes better shooting) and its greater SD means it will penetrate further. I am not a 6.5CM fanboy, not a 308 fanboy. But the “retained energy” fallacy so many fall into is just false. Hit a bull elk with 100% of the 170 foot pounds of energy from a bow, and if well placed will drop like a ton of bricks. Because 1) Shot placement and 2) Penetration. No energy magic required.

    • Do you really think .04″ larger diameter entrance hole will make that much of a difference? He’s already shown how ballistics all favor the 6.5C. The .04″ larger diameter is all that the 308 has to offer here. Of course they both have their imitations.. neither is a long range elk cartridge.

    • I kind of agree. And the reason can be found in the article. If at 1000 yards the CM of 120gr has twice the kinetic energy of an 185gr 308, it has only 25% more momentum. At 500 yards the 308 has more momentum. I suspect that it also does more damage as it it going slower giving it more time to transfer momentum into the target. Kinetic energy is not the key factor, momentum is the measure of how hard it hits. Obviously at close range where both projectiles have not lost measurable energy the recoil is a clear indication of how hard the bullet is going to hit. That’s momentum. Not kinetic energy.
      This from a creedmoor ‘lover’

  1. Jesus Christ, was this written by a 13 year-old?

    I expect the trash talking in the comments section, not the damn article.

    • I have been reading Jeremy for a long time. I don’t think these strident articles are mean spirited.

    • The sarcasm and digs toward the .308 does read as if a 13 yr old authored the article as another reader observed. An otherwise good technical article was turned into unprofessional self absorbed rant about his favorite round and that shooters that stick with the .308 are stuck in the mud dense fudds.

      We are neither dense nor fudds.

      My working rifles and ammo stockpiles are in NATO calibers for reasons of cost and availability. They do what I need them to do. When the balloon goes up it wont be a 6.5 Creedmore headed dowrange towards the communists.

      • You are correct! it will not be the 6.5 CM going downrange towards the commies, It will be the new 6.8 x 51. Because the DoD is dropping both outdated NATO rounds for front line fighters. Bye-Bye 308 (7.62×51) and 5.56. Hello cartridge between the 6.5CM and .270! Because higher SD (penetration) and precision are what kills, not retained or kinetic energy.

    • I think it’s to try and prime the slinging of poo in the comments section.

      Not sure that’s a good thing…

    • Yeah,
      I thought it was ridiculous too.

      This juvenile mentality seems to be prevalent in the gun community as well as “gun journalism”, which is very off-putting.

  2. I own both calibers. They do different things. But sheesh! Hating on an inanimate object? Get a life!

    • Now I’m gonna go look that up.
      I’m not a benchrester, but I do look for better accuracy, a bullets efficiency, weight of the rifle, and a few other parameters.

      Right now my hunting rifle is a savage in home rolled .300 wsm. Mostly because of weight.
      I get slightly better groups with a couple of custom rifles. But I’d rather lug a 10 pound rifle than one that weighs 15.

      • My go to rifle for deer now is my daughter’s Savage Axis II 7mm-08. Less than 7 pounds and recoil is almost non-existent. That gun shoots sub MOA.

      • Glad somebody else shoots .300 WSM. I, uh, acquired a Savage 110 in that caliber, and it hits hard and where I point it. Wish it was .300 Win-Mag and can’t see the utility of .300 WSM over .300 Win-Mag. And it’s not my go-to deer rifle by any means (that would still be 30-06 in a Browning Hell’s Canyon with a Leupy VX-5HD that surpases all), but I like having it and have no plans to get rid of it. Sometimes just get in the mood.
        I do like my .308 battle rifle and it shoots well for what it is.

        • I have one too. Buddy of mine gave me a deal on a savage left hand stainless that I couldn’t pass up. Had to by a luepold for it due to recoil and I’m still not satisfied with my groups just yet. It’s a beast.

        • I had trouble as well until I switched mounts to Talley one-piece and they locked down tight, never budged. The rifle came with a Nikon scope, which works well, but those mounts couldn’t handle the substantial recoil. The Talleys can. Every Savage I own is a shooter.

    • Wait till next year. There will be another magic caliber that will kill all game in a single shot, balance your checkbook, help your kids with their homework, and provide marriage counseling.

      So what happened with .350 Legend? Is it already forgotten in favor of 6.5 CM (or is it now the newer 6 CM, or maybe the even newer 6 PRC, or…)?

    • I think at one point in history last year TTAG crew debated the next bestest military round, and out of the available options at the time, many people picked the 6.5 Grendel… Well the 6mmArc is just very much like a Grendel+, doesn’t beat the 6.5CM but it exceeds .308/7.62Nato for sure. I’m very much looking forward to it… just not an early adopter.

  3. What a childishly written article.

    This author needs to grow the f*&k up.

    Compare and contrast is ok, but don’t do it like an immature child.

    • It was a clumsy attempt at humor from about two years ago.

      Lighten up, Frances…

      (I should know, I *excel* at clumsy humor! 😉 )

      • Slow news day for Dan & staff? Maybe this was just his way of subtly pulling our leg and priming the cannons of the comments section. I would be tempted to do it once in a blue moon.

      • It wasn’t funny two years ago, it’s not funny now. And enough with the mule comments…..

      • When reading this I was looking forward to the comments because I knew he was being somewhat facetious with the extra superiority of the CM.
        I was waiting for the humorous comments on the article.
        He dragged you around by your nose. I call that clever.

  4. If I was buying one or the other it would be .308. Ammo is plentiful. Cheap to reload. Barrel life is excellent. And since I don’t hunt and don’t live near any 1000 yard ranges the advantages to 6.5 are meaningless.

    • Setarip,

      Barrel life is excellent.

      Popular 6.5mm Creedmoor loadings have the same muzzle velocities as .308 Winchester. As far as I can tell, that would mean almost identical barrel durability, wouldn’t it?

      • It’s based on bore size, powder capacity, and pressures I believe. Think .22lr vs .223. The .223 barrel is significantly shorter than a .22lr. Pressures are more than double. Case capacity is many times more as well.

      • The 6.5s are getting into “overbore” territory where the case volume and bore area are at a ratio where throat erosion and barrel life are affected. The 6.5×55 was reckoned to have a barrel life of about 3500 rounds. By that time the throat ahead of the chamber would be eroded and shots would drop low.

        I’ve heard on here, from gunsmiths, and from users, barrel life of the 6.5 CM is a maximum of about 3000-3500 rounds and peak accuracy for about half that.

        A .308 would have a barrel life of about 7500- 10000 rounds. If you are set up for .308, shoot sub 400m on the range and up to 250m in the field, stick with .308. If you want to go 6.5 CM, then by all means do so.

  5. LOL….My bench rifle is a Savage .308 and will hold sub-moa if I do my job right. Would love to have a 6.5 but can’t justify it until I have a place to shoot farther.

    >308 is not going anywhere anytime soon, neither is 30.06, neither is 7.62×39

  6. Geez guys, it was meant to be different and funny, not everything has to be written the same way.

    You don’t have to always act your age…

  7. Slow News Day or just laziness. Retread from 2018 of a moot point. I would hope for something better considering the state of the firearms world today.

  8. LMAO.

    I’ll take the 6.5 Swede as I do not own a 308 or 6.5 “battle rifle”.

    I do have a 308 Ruger Scout – that is stupendous ….. love that rifle.

    It is way more accurate than I am and 150 yards is a long shot for me.

    My 308 runs on milspec ammo that I bought for 11 dollars/20 from Sgammo. Winchester 147 grain. Does everything I need doing. If I need to shoot at 1000 yards I’m going to a 300 Win Mag.

    The 6.5 Swede’s best feature is that it comes attached to one of slickest Mauser actions and can be fed by strippers.

    Always love Jeremy’s articles….he as much a smartass as I am…..

    • “Always love Jeremy’s articles….he as much a smartass as I am…..”

      “The densest objects in the universe…”

      *snicker* 😉

  9. Kinda hard to rechamber my FAL, Ishapore 2A, Garand, Mauser knock off to 6.5 for a more pricey round to get better accuracy past 800 meters just cause.

  10. That was funny! And, oh, so very true! My house immediately smelled better when I ditched my PTR 91 for my Savage 10 FCP… IN 6.5 CREEDMOOR! I was surprised that the author didn’t mention the likely improvement in your love life with this switch..

  11. 6.5C is nice and all but when it comes to parts and availability in SHTF which is literally upon us, I’ll keep my .308. I can’t afford a 6.5 anyway so the best weapon is the one I have.

  12. “Paging Gov. William J. Gov. William J. to the white Creedmoor phone, please… :)”

  13. 6.5’s have consistently been on the shelves around here at every store all year. Apparently there are few things chambered in it in this neck of the woods.

    I would imagine that most people won’t shoot much at or over 1k yards regardless of caliber. I’ve always seen .308 as an all around general purpose useful hunting and battlefield defense round. With 6.5’s being more of a niche round.

    In 2020, I don’t see much long range concern. The impression I get is most people are mainly looking at short range defense (under 50 yards).

  14. I hear what your saying….. but..

    I can still buy black tips in .30 cal. For reloading… mmm 6.5.. notsomuch…

  15. a subtle distinction via naked eye. the more i read about early swiss and/ or mauser rounds the more i think we’ve been suckin’ hind titty.

    not much difference at 200yds, or even 400.
    amazing how it took hundreds of years to tighten things up for the commercial market. i can’t imagine that this wasn’t knowledge to many studious minds for decades.

    happy creedmas.

  16. Ok, you want battle rifle? It’s going to be .308 and that’s okay. It pretty much has to be. Then the author asks why you would choose a bolt gun in .308. In a word; logistics. Especially in today’s ammunition short world. Two of my primary hunting rifles are .308. So the thousands of rds of ammo stockpiled for my HK-91 and M-1 (rebarreled) will feed them also. I’ll concede 6.5 C is ballisticly superior at long range. Remember though, just because you can make an 800 yard shot doesn’t me you should. Slightest error and you have a gut shot animal. The longest shot I have ever attempted was 430 yards. Then only because the deer was already crippled. Looked like a car vs deer thing. One shot and down. With a .308. Also, I have to agree with several of the previous commentators. The author may have been factually correct, but his style of writing was juvenile. As were the graphics.

    • Well yeah….he’s funny as shit if you dint take it too seriously.

      I’m pretty sure Jeremy S. Doesnt take it too seriously.

      Now if it were 45 vs 9mm………….😉

      • I’m down, but 9mm v. 10mm v. 7.62 Tok v. .357 Sig v. .45 v. 45 GAP v. .45 Super v. .45 SMC v. Rowland is where it’s at. All else in the ignore pile, balanced perspectives are key.

        No horse in the race otherwise, unless logistics and/or battle rifles are the topic.

        • Of that group I’d say the Tok is best. Never know when you might need to perforate a steel pot …. or a washing machine…… and anything behind it.

          What say you? 🧐

        • Penned a PASGT with a CZ-52, through & through once upon a time. Good ’nuff imho. I’m a fan, of both it & .30 Mauser too. All for the Rowland conversion on an FNX Tactical for the simple reasons of cap & power once all this Rona Run craziness subsides. Fervent wish is that someone would do the same for a high cap Tok.

          Then there’s these Sterling Mk.6’s bits I’ve been sitting on for about 5 1/2 forever’s, that I’m going to convert to Tokarev whenever I have the time and inclination to build her. To many projects, never enough time. Always. :p

    • “Slightest error and you have a gut shot animal.”
      This is the argument for the 6.5 over the . 308. At any range, it is more forgiving for wind and distance errors.

      • jwt, you know what I meant. I was talking about reasonable hunting distances. I said 800 yards because of all the long range hype today. 300 yards is reasonable. 400 outside. Humanly taking animal is not ringing steel. You said you were a medic. My average buck weighs 175-190 lbs. Odd one 200+. Now. Two bucks are taken at 250 yards. Same weight. Same point of impact. Same bullet. One is .308. The other is 6.5 CM. Neither bullet is recovered. Looking at the wounds; could you tell which is which? If so you are very good. The best I was able to get from an ME at autopsy was that it was probably a small caliber centerfire rifle. It was a medium caliber centerfire rifle etc. Handgun calibers? It was a large caliber handgun. .44/.45 caliber. It was a medium caliber handgun. .38/.357, 9mm, etc. Jeff Cooper said it best. New calibers are so they can sell new rifles.

        • I knew what you meant, but look again at Jeremy’s data. The 6.5 makes a difference in wind at any range, and makes a real difference even at common iron sight hunting ranges. The example given was 300 yards. Let’s take a look at the Hornady rounds provided in Jeremy’s article. At 300 yards, which we both seem to agree is ethical hunting range for a competent shooter, the .308 has 7.9″ of windage, the 6.5 just 4.6. If you really want to get a clean shot at that heart, that’s a real difference. You don’t need to push out past 600 yards for the difference to be real.
          The 6.5 is the more ethical, more humane caliber, even at shorter ranges.

    • “How does the 6.5 do in terms of barrel life?”

      As I understand it, not as well as .308, but not as abysmal as some of those super-hot rounds out there.

      The harder you push on the pill, the more friction tends to tear up your barrel…

      • Plus, more superheated gases constricted into that tiny tube. I think that’s the main culprit in throat erosion and shorter barrel life for the fat-case/small-caliber rounds.

        • Yep, just ask us .22-250 shooters. I got a borescope for Christmas last year, and took a peek at the throat of my varmint rifle. It looked like 10 miles of gravel road, and nearly caused me to go shopping for a replacement. But, I remembered how it still kills groundhogs out as far away as I can see them, and I put the scope away. I decided to let the groundhogs tell me when it’s time to retool.

          As for regularly buying new gewgaws, it seems to me that the only folks who really benefit are guys like Jerry Miculek, and the salesmen who get to buy a bigger boat. But, that’s capitalism, and I’m a businessman, so I’m not going to knock it too much. I’m not convinced that trading over/up to a 6.5CM would significantly benefit the average .308 shooter, but this is the U.S. of A. and I just bought myself a Romanian Tokarev from Brownell’s, just because I wanted one and I could get one.

          I hope you enjoy shooting your 6.5CMs, and are able to derive a real benefit from them.

    • North of 2,000 rounds through a 6.5 Creedmoor barrel and you’ll be looking at 8″ groups at 500 yds.

      • “North of 2,000 rounds through a 6.5 Creedmoor barrel and you’ll be looking at 8″ groups at 500 yds.”

        That’s bs. Do you have a rifle chambered in 6.5 CM? I have a Accuracy International AX with a Dave Tooley chambered 6.5 CM Bartlein barrel with just shy of 3000 rds. Minimum velocity loss and accuracy still 1/2 to 3/4 moa at 500 metres. Barrel life is obviously not as good as .308 Win but much better than some here seem to believe.

  17. OK, you’ve made your point; I concede that 6.5CM is better than 308. If I hadn’t bought my 700 in 308 back when I did, I’d go with the 6.5. But I did and I’m not looking to replace or rebarrel.

  18. I resisted for a bit, and now have a 20″ 6.5 CM AR-10 and a Bergara HMR Pro as well. I still like 16-20″ .308s in bolts and ARs, and 20-24″ 6.5s.

  19. Well if nothing else at least I can get my .308 ammunition pretty much anywhere, unlike 6.5 Creedmoor

  20. Sorry but when SMOD* comes, those of us using 308 win, .30-06 and common military calibers will have ammo. Fancy esoteric rifles in niche calibers will not.

    *Sweet Meteor of Destruction

    • Unless they get hit by the meteor ….. or the plasma burst that precedes impact.

      Just sayin…..

      • Yeah, it is. I know a lot of hunters and riflemen. One recently bought a 6.5 C. One. He took it to the range and came home bragging. I said, “Good! When can I buy that Hill Country .270, the Kimber Montana .308 and the McMillan .308. He replied, with a stammer in his voice, “Well, I’d never sell them. That 6.5 shoots well, but not any better or worse than the others. Besides, I might not be able to buy 6.5 in Mom & Pop’s Emporium and breakfast bar in Outlaw, You name the state, USA.” But to each his own.

        • The three rounds you can find in many a gas station or store here in the mountain west are:

          – .30-06 (not .308)
          – .270 Winchester
          – 7mm RemMag.

          After that, everything is a crapshoot (pardon the pun).

        • Dyspeptic, all three of those calibers are in my rifle battery. Thanks for reinforcing my point on ammo availability. As a aside my late Uncle Steve lived in Ft. Collins after WWII until he passed. During the 50s, 60s and 70s he took some real trophies. With a Savage 99. In .308. Worked then. Works now.

  21. Dan Zimmerman,

    Something’s going wonky with the site today. All comments are being posted in the “first tier” column, even the replies. Not seeing the usual branched format. Is happening on all pages, and regardless of which browser I try. Is this something on the TTAG server side?

  22. .308 is fat and stupid, and so are you!

    I think that was the original title of the article, but it was deemed inflammatory and edited out — probably a good decision, considering how many people were triggered by the article as-is. It actually presents a rock-solid case for ballistic performance — and has fun with it. It’s one of my favorite articles, and I don’t even care about 6.5 Creedmoor or .308 (I’m still rocking .30-30 Winchester). This is the essence of TTAG (or used to be), and it’s why I keep reading here instead of joining some lame-ass traditional gun forum.

    So many people with absolutely zero sense of humor…

    • Also, it’s evident that “liberals” aren’t the only group capable of being emotionally triggered by facts.

      • Story needs a non-binary trigger warning. Kinda like a LGBTQ Studies Department at a religious university.

  23. What really matters is ACTUAL hunting/engagement range, the bullet ‘s velocity performance range vs impact velocity, the bullets damage potential, the distances you can practice at and consistently/accurately hit at. The 308 wins in all categories that matter. Everything else is just pretty colors.

  24. This article has moved me to help the community. I’ll be doing a no questions asked drop off for those inferior 308 rifles and ammo. Pm me and I can provide more information to those who need to rid themselves of their inferior gear, free of charge!

  25. I’ve been a 308 shooter for over 20 years. That said, I really like just about everything about the 6.5 Creedmoor. I will switch when it comes time to rebarrel, but I won’t go make a special purchase just to get one. To the folks saying you can’t find 6.5 Creedmoor everywhere: last time I was at Wally World there were twice as many SPOTS on the shelf for 6.5 as there were for 308. Also, they actually had some 6.5CM on the shelf where the other spots were empty, and have been for months. Times are changing fellas. The ammo-availability argument no longer holds water. I’m a reloader, so I’m certain to continue rolling my own, but for the off-the-shelfers, there isn’t a lot of deterrent on the ammo-availability side of this conversation. I haven’t seen anyone mention 6.5 PRC, but for my purposes, I will still be going with a 6.5 CM when the time comes.

    • Wal mart ain’t everywhere. Where I hunt in SC it’s 50 miles to the nearest one. One way. Other places it can be further. Besides, when Wal mart quit selling handgun, .223/7.62X39 ammo most contributors here swore to never give them another dime for anything.

      • Iz to buy can of cheap spray paint and write Fxck YOu on the side of Walmart building? Then painted BLM underneath , no trouble comes to u. The Bureau of Land Management carry’s weight

  26. Um, yeah, well, okay then, so how’s it coming on developing a .308 Creedmore?

    (as in 7.62mm NATOCREED)

    Seems to me that’d solve this debate a darn sight more definitively than some silly memes.

  27. No doubt, 6.5 is a “better” round, but I don’t own any 6.5s because I know my 308’s through and through. I know their effective ranges and drops by heart. I use both a POF revolution and a Tikka T3x For hunting and they both eat 150g Hornady American Whitetail and will print .85 or under if I do my job, which makes ammo selection super easy for me. Also, when I went to Bass Pro for ammo, I could find my hunting ammo when there wasn’t a box of 6.5 to be seen. Then again I also love 1911’s and Colt SAAs, so maybe I just can’t learn to get with the program. Oh well.

  28. So…a lot like a 6.5 Swede in a modern rifle, but more efficiently packaged? Well, that’s good then.

      • Only took 100 years or so to catch up.

        I’ll keep the Swede ……. and the gin-u-wine mauser action… glass on glass.

        May not be more accurate but it is most pleasing to use.

        Folks here arguing about 1st world issues. Target shooting has no repercussions (other than losing). I’d never take a game shot at more than 200 yards and have taken few over 100. Not what I’m about.

        I take most deer with a handgun cartridge and have never had to trail one. If I use any of the cartidges mentioned here, it wont make a dimes worth 9f difference.

        Fun to hear the banter though.

        • I take 30-40 deer a year. Probably half of those are between 400-500 yards. That’s because my feeder is in a field, of which the close side is 400 yards from my back porch, and the far side is 500. It’s not really hunting. It is better defined as “aggressive shopping.”

        • @JWT “aggressive shopping.”

          Now that there is funny, and you sir, owe me a fine Blue Mountain coffee. No skimping either, I don’t drink that scorched Starbucks garbage. Want a cup? 😀

  29. If I owned no guns (which maybe I don’t), and was truly starting with a black sheet, you might have something with the 6.5. But, with the .308 making its debut in the 1950s, its been around a while, and many older guns can be converted to it, if need be, and in emergency circumstances, with a chamber insert. .308 is standard issue throughout the civilized and uncivilized world, meaning, long after 6.5mm is a footnote, there will be crates of .308 stashed in caves.

    Also, understanding the difference between match and MG grade, I would rather be able to shoot MG grade in a sniper rifle and vice versa, than have a specialized caliber for each. Ask the WWII Japanese how having what, 3 7.7 rounds and 2 or 3 6.5mm rounds worked for them, or even the Italians with their 6.5 and 7.35, had to abandon the 7.35.

    A 6.5mm gunwith only 308 ammo is useless.

  30. “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.”

    EXCEPT….308 Winchester / 7.62mm NATO is widely available, worldwide…
    Nice try, but no dice…

  31. Not only is 6.5CreedMOAR ballistically superior, it also melts snowflakes at 1000 miles just by being mentioned.

  32. Remember how SNL would put out a sketch now and then where you got the joke in the first five seconds, didn’t think it was very funny, and then you realize that one crappy joke is about to go on for eight more minutes?

    This article is like one of those sketches.

    • That pretty much nails it.

      Eh, I guess TTAG needed a filler.

      Hey, TTAG – How about closing out each day with an over-night open thread, nearly anything goes (except vaxx crap)?

      Kinda like how does weekends?

      It would make a handy place for folks to throw out questions others could help with…

  33. My now deceased father often said to my brother and me as we were growing up that the most valuable thing he learned after he enlisted in the Army in 1938 was that anyone starting an argument did so because that’s what they wanted to do……..and that getting into it with them was a waste of time, effort, and oxygen. They had already lost the fight by trying to convince you to adopt their position, and the silliest thing you could do was to play along with them. Then he would grin and say “Unless there’s a case of beer in it you can make off with.”

    • Gene. Smack him with a e tool, grab the beer and run like a striped assed ape.

      Only small unit tactic I remember.

      • “Only small unit tactic I remember.”

        Besides check the nads frequently for leeches? 🙂

        Found a neat video clip of the explosion in Beirut, earlier. Count the seconds between the explosion and how loud the *boom* was that many miles away. Impressive recording, clean sound :

        The Drive has more :

        • “Claimed”

          Actually, who knows yet?

          To me it kinda smells like a gunrunning ship had an ‘Oops’, or Israel made sure someone’s munitions didn’t get delivered as ordered.

          Because Beirut has a well-deserved reputation for ‘accommodating’ such shipments.

          Fireworks may have been the cover story…

        • My first thought too. It was Specialist, Ammonium Nitrate is/was being reported by the BBC this a.m. Container ship that had been seized a while back was in port, full of it, crew had abandoned the ship at some point well prior to, article wasn’t clear on the details.

          Port owners, or officials in whatever serves as their port authority were under house arrest according to what I read. Looks like gross negligence is in play.

  34. soo, here’s the question..(maybe a good article idea too)

    If one is on the fence…like I am…what should I be looking for in a 6.5 CM? Besides the basics for all there a brand to avoid, I’m not naming way.

    I am a Savage fan but is there better to be had at a reasonable price starting out?

    One can read all the forums one wants, but because of past conversations here I tend to use this board as the ‘go to’.

      • In the last 15-20 years I’ve only known one person to have trouble with a factory new Savage. Any company can produce a bad example. Savage made good on the problem in a very short period of time. Customer service was excellent.

        I currently don’t own a Savage. I have in the past. I would not hesitate to buy a new one if it met my needs.

  35. Feh. .338 Lapua, baby. For when the møøse you’re hunting is wearing body armor. And is in an adjacent zip code.

  36. What? Me shoot a rifle at a target a thousand yards away. Where and in what lifetime? I can’t even see anything a thousand yards away. I’ll stick with my .44 mag carbine at 200 yards or less. Just saying…

    • OH yes lets go with a round with horrible ballistics and pair it with budget night vision. Ill bet you own a Rock Island 1911 too.

  37. Dan….somethings is seriously messed-up with the comments.

    Replies are disconnected from the comments….no indentation.

    How are people gonna know who we’re making fun of?

    • “How are people gonna know who we’re making fun of?”

      A standard *snicker* just ain’t gonna cut it. That got a *Guffaw* outta me.

      I doff my smelly, sweaty hat to you, kind sir! 🙂

  38. Oh, what could have been – if only we had adopted the 6.5×55 Swede instead of the .30-06.

    Imagine where the 6.5×55 would be if it had been America’s standard cartridge 100+ years ago. The amount of development, refinement, obsessive testing and effort poured into the .30-06 -> .308 -> something else progression would have resulted in a 6.5 master cartridge by now, probably pushing a super-low-drag 150 grain projectile.

    In hindsight, I think we now agree that small arms development is too important to be left in the hands of government bureaucrats and rent-seeking military contractors. Imagine what could be if we could prevent the DOD from pouring money down small-arms ratholes. Right now, the military pinheads are spouting nonsense about “overmatch” requirements in small arms – most of which could be met on paper by going back to a 1903A3 rifle with a scope on it.

    The 6.5CM isn’t so much a brilliant new ballistic development – it is simply a refinement of a number of ideas in the 6.5 to 7mm bullet spectrum. They’ve moved the shoulder back, lengthened the neck, so allow longer bullets to be used. The .308/7.62 NATO could have done that, but they standardized on a 147 to 150 grain bullet as “the” bullet weight/size, and having done that, they maximized case capacity by moving the shoulder forward of where it would ideally be if we wanted to use 210 to 230 grain VLD bullets in a .30 rifle.

    All of this goes back to what I’ve said before here at TTAG about how to create an “ideal” cartridge: Pick the bullet you want to launch FIRST. Don’t worry about the case yet. Pick the bullet or bullet spectrum you want to launch. Then choose the arm you want to use it in.

    These two factors will determine the case size/length/neck length/etc.

    If you choose the case first, you’ve just decided to accept whatever bullets can fit – not what you’d ideally like to send downrange.

    • What makes a 6.5 to 7mm projectile so desirable to shooters?

      Is it something in the ratio of cross-sectional density of the copper-jacketed lead ‘pill’ and the bore diameter chosen?

      • They move through the air very well, while still providing enough mass in a preferred sectional density to damage tissue. Very simply, they are just big enough to hurt, and slippery.

      • They’re in a “sweet spot” in the ballistic range of bullet diameters and weights where you can get some very high Bc’s in bullets that aren’t so long you can’t fit them into a standard case with a standard throat in the rifle’s chamber, and don’t weigh so much that your shoulder starts to feel the pain.

        You can get high Bc bullets in the .30 bullet lines – but to exceed the Bc’s available in 6.5 at 140 to 150 grains, you’re up to about 230 grains in the .30, and now in all cases for all chamberings of some .30 round, you’re stuffing that bullet increasingly down below the neck, and possibly below the shoulder of the .30 cartridge case.

        You can get high Bc’s in any bullet size. Whether you can do that and get something you want to shoot is a whole ‘nuther issue. In the 6.5 to 7mm range, we’re talking of bullets from 135 to 180 grains or so, and they can have very, very good Bc’s.

  39. Not sure about this article for hunting Elk. I used Hornady’s online Ballistic calculator and compared two Barnes Bullets in .308 and 6.5. It appears at hunting ranges under 400 yards the .308 and 6.5 drop and drift the same however the .308 has much more energy than the 6.5. (at 300yds 1824 ft-lb v 1492 ft-lb) The B.C.’s were almost identical .42 (.308) and .468 (6.5).

    So how is the 6.5 better than the .308 at hunting ranges? Unless you are within 150yds but that limits your options.

    For long range out to 1000+yds sure but hunting Elk, not sure I would trust it especially on a shoulder shot.

    • A bullet of the same mass in a smaller diameter will have a higher sectional density, and therefore better penetration (in theory).

      • Big chunks of lead is what they use to kill mean black cows and yellows kitty cats in Africa.

        • 1. At closer ranges.
          2. With solid bullets designed NOT to expand.
          3. And still, the smaller diameter bullets penetrate better.

    • 7mm is a NAZI caliber, nobody wants to use a NAZI caliber,,,,,,screeeeeach,,,,,(With modern components and advanced powders the 9 mm is just as good as a .45)

    • With this, I agree. I just wish you could find a 7mm-08 equiavlent to the M80 ball in pricing and availability.


  40. As a beginner considering percision shooting without breaking the bank and not having a 6.5 CM or 308 win rifle, 6.5 CM was the clear choice for me. Match grade ammo and rifles, same model different caliber, were almost the same in price. Suposedly for a CM barrel, after shooting 4K rounds accuracy drops. But before that happens, I will have decided to persue this as new hobby or not. I settled on a Ruger American Hunter 6.5 CM due to good reviews, $700 price tag and youtube videos of amateurs hitting targets 1 mile away.

    • No that’s an actual very popular competition caliber. And so is the .243SLR, which is the .243 with a Creedmoorish shoulder. I took a couple dozen white tail with one last season.

    • “But is it better than the 6.5mm Carcano?”

      Only when stored in an ammo box covered with “Fine Corinthian leather” sold to you by a Spaniard who was once paid to hang around with a midget… 😉

  41. Awesome how the author compares a flat nose .308WIN to a BTHP 6.5 as if they are apples to apples.
    What an idiot. Clearly he has no knowledge of reloading, ballistics, or even shooting.

    Someone, take away is firearms and his card.

    • If you actually read the article, he compared the best precision .308 rounds available to the exact same rounds for the 6.5 CM and still found the 6.5 outperformed the .308 in every category.

      • Where most hunters and shooters actually shoot – inside 300 yards the 308 has the advantage and when you factor in ammo cost, availiability, and barrel life and bullet drop in that range

        It’s great for the creedmoor if you’re armed forces sniper shooting a baddy 800 yards out but we have to be real here- Most men don’t shoot that far out with regularity to warrant the cost. It’s a pipe dream. It’s a bragging rights for the weekend shooter who may not have the skill. Anyone regularly shooting hog, elk and deer half a mile out or more? Nope. 1/3 of a mile is probably just over 500 yards and most deer hits are 100 too 200 yards!!! The end ..

      • They post this “stuff” because they know it’s inflammatory and will get comments. I dont know why I took the bait.

  42. For cast bullet shooting- 308 for the win. The creed has too fast a twist.

    For barrel life, 308 for the win. Probably double the life of the creed. With cast boolits a factor of 10.

    How ’bout try longer ELD than the 178 in the 308. Maybe a 200 or 208? You will find retained energy is better than the creed at point blank ranges and that the point blank ranges of each will be much closer together.

    More bullet types in 30 caliber than 6.5 by FAR. 308 for the win.

    Next line up- 6.5 creed vs 280 Remington. If you really want high BC you need to look at 7mm.

    And if you want to self spot the creed is till too much recoil. The pros use 6mm.

    • yep if the point is it should be adopted by the military, there are other things to consider like barrel life, powder efficiency, etc. it’s an industrial thing.

  43. I got three rifles in 308 and I’m happy with all of them and the caliber.
    If you don’t own a rifle maybe 6.5cm is the way to go.

  44. For a retread,I like the fact the 6. 5 costs $140 a round.
    The 6.5 Creedmoor may be better, but not enough to buy a new rifle. 308 is fine for the common man.
    Maybe 6.5 will be shown its place by 277 sig fury?

  45. I mean ok…. 6.5 Creedmoor is better for competition long range…. thats cool. If that is all you do get a 6.5. 300WinMag will do well too but not as pleasant to shoot. Now if you build systems of personal protection you might want to consider a more common/compatible round. I stack 308 DEEP cuz I can use it in a dozen rifles. In an emergency my Ruger American hunting rifle can throw M80 ball all day to keep me and mine alive and free! Adding 6.5 IMO is like adding 10mm. Sure its “better” than 9mm…. but I don’t need it and I don’t/wont have many 10mm firearms. Esp compared to 9mm.

    • yup. as if the only use for .308 is 1200 yard ninja shots. plenty good inside of 300 yards and if you want a battle rifle it needs to start with a “3”.

  46. well there’s one reason to stick with .308:

    don’t want to hang with a bunch of assholes. the author has steered me away from it.

  47. I always theorized that the caliber of choice for the bush wars was .308 because of resistance to deflection by branches and underbrush. if true, I wonder how 6.5 would compare in that regard.

  48. This is great and all, in fact I loved my 6.5 barrel…until I smoked it out in 2613 rounds, in a single year of competition…something this article never mentions is barrel life. 308’s typically get a barrel life of 6-10,000 rounds depending on firing schedule. So I spun my 20″ 1/10 Bartlein barrel on my AI AT, and went to work.

    I started shooting Tac division in PRS, and found it far more fun to shoot than Open division. Heavier recoil, and more wind reading is just the ticket to becoming a better long range shooter. I’ve seen other guys jump down to lower recoiling cartridges like the 6BR, and you know what? They keep getting worse with time, because they get lazy with recoil management and wind calls.

  49. “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…”

    Say what now?

    • They both use the exact same magazines and bolt-faces, so clearly that makes the 6.5CM better than the .308Win. Duh.

  50. 308 and the 168 bthp is still and will be a benchmark round for precision work, that isnt going to change anytime soon with the advent of better rounds. 6.5 diameter is the point of the x/y graph where data intersects and make sense from an efficient and effective standpoint. I wrote a white paper from AFSOC WEPTAC to SOCOM and AMC in 2004 for the advent of a 6.5 round worked with JD Jones and NAVSPECWARCOM, Accuflite, and SPAWAR. The development of the 6.8 round derailed the progress, so 16 years later it is good to see good ideas are still kicking around the halls of SOCOM.

    Not talking about hunting, Talking about precision work, 6.5 has it hands down. Yep, some will go with 338, 416 or 50 bmg, great, those are different platforms, comparing apples and oranges.

    Another, not so well discussed benefit of the high bc 6.5 rounds is its very high sectional density, that gives it much more penetration than a 308.

    My point, recently i watched a test on ar 500 steel of everything from a .22 to a 338, there was no 6.5 used but follow me here, the only round that penetrated the steel was a high bc, high sd .243 round. The high sd and high velocity made that possible over a 338, 30-06, 7mm mag, 308. The same goes for and even more the 6.5.

    Btw the .350 legend may not be widely adopted, but it has a definite role for some like me that like .35 cal rounds. I dont care if it becomes the next fad, it has a place in my hunting arsenal hunting hogs with an AR platform where i dont want a shoulder crusher, but still get a heavier round in that platform especially now that my shoulder has been replaced and the other shoulder operated on just so I can wipe my arse.

    I will still start out beginning precision rifle shooters on the 308 after they learn the basics it is up to them to decide the platform and round they choose to develop. I am slowly transitioning to 6.5 cm myself for all the benefits cited. Cheap, less recoil, less drop, etc…. i tried to develop a precision base around the 260 years ago but it is not as accurate in my experience, is more expensive than 6.5 cm, and has a little bit more recoil than the 6.5 cm.

    Calibers are like aholes, there are enough to go around, choose what you feel is best for you. For military applications in a medium caliber platform like the scar heavy, the 6.5 cm is a boon over the 308 hands down. Now, when we figure out how to get some retired generals who stand to make money off of this deal, maybe we can then switch in the military. Outside of special ops the supply chain issue is a huge challenge. I dont expect a switch anytime soon.

  51. Know yourself, your rifle, the weather and all the other factors before making the shot. The debate is silliness. The only way to do this is by actually getting out and doing. You can read and stat to to death but it’s meaningless because of the numerous factors.
    Went out during the covid lockdown, drove 2 hrs and shot at the 4-500 yd range on some public land. 300 win mag, 30-06, 223/556 in a 16 and 10″ and a G26 9mm. The results were enlightening and hits were accomplished in in a wind. I do this regularly at varied ranges and I hunt deer at these ranges and beyond but I also turn down a lot of shot because I know my gear. The wind commonly blows 30-50mph and I won’t take 600yd shots even on a record buck. Now in battle I’ll chance it because even misses can produce results. Those results are a mixed bag you weigh beforehand though.

  52. I absolutely love me some shit talkin caliber comparisons. I own both and pretty much only shoot .22lr. Haven’t taken the 6.5 hunting. Mostly because I’m afraid over penetration could vaporize the forest. In reality it’s cause the .308 is the older gun so I don’t feel as bad about beating it up on a hunt.

  53. This article is a reprint and it’s meant to be tongue in cheek. The graphic with the densest objects in the universe is the funniest part.

  54. I still like 308 because I have 308 Ammo and rifles. I don’t want to get into a new caliber, I shoot 3gun heavy so for me I buy some match grade Ammo and cheap FMJ. For a hunting round I rather shoot 30-06 7mm-08 or 300 wsm than 6.5.

  55. I am not trying to argue the point that the 6.5Creedmoor is the superior long range caliber.
    But the numbers in this comparison are exaggerated. Picture says more than words: (and this is for lower 415MPa CIP pressures in the 308Win)

    To put things into perspective – the 6.5 is not some tiny miracle round:
    It is the larger cartridge by means of COAL, it uses the same amount of powder, it has significantly higher max pressure and “overbore” ratio, and still falls behind energywise for the biggest part of its effective range.
    Or all of it if you go for the really heavy .30cal stuff (which in turn will obviously drop some more, but is easier to compensate for than the wind drift that otherwise does hurt the 308 quite a bit).

  56. Why did they shorten then 308 case and not just neck it down to 6.5 mm as the did for the 308 to .243? Just curious. Regardless I’ll be staying with 308 Winchester and am currently trying to find the most accurate load for the Hornady 178 GR ELD-X using IMR 4064 vs the Sierra 175 GR HPBTMK. Any information would be appreciated.

  57. Energy isn’t the be all and end all of bullet power. There’s also momentum. Bullet weight times velocity. Therefore, at wherever in the trajectory the energy of the Creedmoor equals the .308, the .308 will still be more powerful. So, it will be better at taking down game when the bullets of each are producing the same energy. To add another element, there is the Taylor KO factor, which takes bullet diameter into account as well, albeit some or many hunters don’t believe in it.

    • You have to wonder why SOCOM moved away from the 6.5 Creedmoor after a lot of hoopla about its ability to hit at range easier than the 308. Could it be that real world terminal performance beat out the first round hit ability of the 6.5?

  58. This article wreaks of fanboyism.

    Just like the platform, the caliber is a tool, and choosing the right tool depends on the job.

    There’s alot of reasons to choose .308 in a bolt gun over 6.5.

    I recently purchased a Remington 700 in .308, and I did so for the following specific reasons.

    I prefer to choose common easy to find calibres, especially those used by military and law enforcement, such as the 308 nato, because if times ever got really bad, it wouldn’t be hard to find 308 from government operators, even being able to pull ammunition off a 240 belt.

    Having a bolt gun chambered in 308, the same as a battle rifle platform such as a SCAR-H, FL or AR10, is Very advantages, especially from a logistical and financial point if of view.

    Having a niche specific round like a 6.5 is great, but if you are needing to choose a calibre that can be used across multiple platforms, such as bolts, semi autos, and machine guns, as well as a calibre that will be commonly used by police and military, making it Highly likely to be accessible even in a SHTF scenario, the .308 has clear advantages.

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  60. If there is one lesson of the last year (COVID), it is that having access to ammo, even if it is slightly ballistically inferior, is vastly more important than 16% drop at 1,000 yards. I am a believer that 6.5CM is a technically better round, but the availability and lower price of .308 make it the winner for me.

  61. Creed, from the Latin ‘credo’, I believe.
    Moor, from the Latin, a Muslim native of north Africa.

    So we have ‘I believe Muslim’

  62. You know what round is really, really obsolete?
    The 30-30, yet it still takes a pretty respectable number of game every year.
    And like the 30-30 any gun store usually has .308 on hand. (Present times notwithstanding)


    • This past season I shot whitetail with both rounds, both shots were between 50 and 75 yards. I used a 150 grain Nosler on the 308 and 140 Eld in the 6.5. Both animals were high shoulder (nervous system) shots and both were dead right there. However, the 308 created a substantially larger wound. Anecdotal but true.

      I was quite disappointed in the 6.5 wound tract. Dont get me wrong, the critter died but had it been a high or low lung shot, Im not sure it would have been recovered. The 308 shot deer on the other hand looked like a hand grenade went off inside it. I also use 308 on black bear but would not use 6.5 after seeing the results on thin skinned game.

  64. Yada, yada, yada. Except the 2nd Amendment aint for hunting, and you can’t load M2AP into a 6.5CM case. If I need precision long distance shots, I’ll get me a bolt action 6.5; but for defeating enemy body armor inside 500 yards, I’ll stick with my .308 AR-10. One way or another, commies aren’t gonna drop themselves…

  65. the fallacy of the entire argument is this.
    a standard .308 has average BC.
    a standard 6.5C has better BC.
    if given the same BC … both perform the same.
    the down side is that a .30 caliber bullet,
    with the same BC as a 6.5 bullet will produce more recoil.
    it is all about recoil.

  66. The author mentions the availability of cheap .308 ammo in 2018. Now in Sept. 2021, I just purchased a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle and went to the shelves and there was no Creedmoor ammo, and they had two shelves of .308 ammo from various manufacturers. So it is not just the cheap .308 ammo but the fact that you may not be able to find 6.5 Creedmoor. I would have purchased the .308 if I had known that. A Creedmoor can’t blow away .308 competition if the gun is empty!


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  69. Inside where most guys will actually shoot in real world (400 yards) the heavier 308 has more power behind and the trajectory drop isn’t far off.

    The 308 is simply cheaper to shoot for a benefit most don’t need. There also is no cheap mil plinking ammo out there for the creedmore and tons of cheaper options for the 308. If you shoot alot you’ll be lucky to get 3000 rounds out of a creedmore barrel and you get 10k from the 308

  70. I am not an expert, just a boy with rifle.
    An obvious question is ‘why do we compare a 143grain bullet with 178 grain.
    Surely the 308 has rounds closer 6.5 creed.
    I’ve guided plenty of expert paper shooters with the latest and greatest calibres and often had to kill a wounded animal with my 25-06.
    I also ended up getting a trusty 308, one if the major factors pulling me away from the creedmore was it was almost impossible to get consumables here in Nz for the creedmore.

    I notice hunting nowadays is about walking a faceless animal at massive distances, which is amazing for ones ego, but a poorly placed shot is disrespectful to a majestic animal.
    Nothing better than hearing your quarry breathing and seeing it go down humanly.

  71. I believe a lot of the joy of hunting comes from the hunt itself and not the kill. The ability to get close to the animal to deliver a quick kill should be the goal of any hunter…as well as the confidence to turn down a shot you know you cannot make cleanly. You are spot on.

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