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Bear Creek Arsenal shared this “Hunt With The Perfect Caliber” infographic with us and while, sure, it’s an obvious marketing effort to drive traffic to Bear Creek’s website (they make just about everything AR-15 related including, naturally, components for shooting all of the calibers seen in the graphic) I’m sharing it will y’all anyway.

After all, it’s a pretty clean, handy little infographic and I know I’m going to have fun debating its claims in the comments below and chiming in with calibers they didn’t include. What say you?

Click the following image to view it full-size:


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  1. You can hunt wild boar with 243 Winchester, but not a mountain lion?

    I like how 308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor have the exact same game listed, but in a different order.

    Question: Is there any reason to choose 6mm Creedmoor over 243 Win if you have neither one, but are interested in an intermediate caliber bolt action rifle?

    • Yes. The same reason why 6.5 CM beat .260 Rem/ 6.5-308. The shoulder position allows for longer bullets in a given mag well.

      That may not seem like a huge deal up front, but it does allow flexibility, down the line, as longer or heavier bullets take hold. That’s a big deal for the match shooter, but could benefit the hunter when/if lighter lead-alternative materials become required and you have to use a longer bullet to get to the weight you want.

      • … oh, and, Dan. Canx that bullshit new layout. It was garbage. I tired my usual check-in for a few days and couldn’t figure out what stories I hadn’t either read or scrolled past, and gave up. A friend happened to send me a link to a story this morning, which is how I realized TTAG was back to usable.

        Oh, and fire Michael Arnold. That guy’s a moron.

    • Dude,

      If you do not already have either one, I would lean toward .243 Winchester simply because ammunition is normally widely available. I have yet to see a box of 6mm Creedmore ammunition on the shelf at any local gun stores.

      • Thanks for the response. What’s pretty wild is, it was one of the few rifle calibers on the shelf at Academy a month or two ago. I never noticed it before, but I just started reading about it recently.

      • I have a very trustworthy .243 Win rifle that’s the #1 most accurate in my collection. At this time I see no need for me to go Creedmore.

        (cue the CM zealots to gasp and whisper about heresy…)

      • Dude,

        I might be about to contradict myself. Widespread ammunition availability during normal times is obviously a plus. That also means that caliber is popular and you could very well be unable to find any ammunition for that caliber during a panic — which seems to be happening way too often in the last 10 years.

        If you are still seeing 6mm Creedmoor on the shelves during this panic, that could actually be a plus in favor of 6mm Creedmoor.

        I suppose that you have to decide which is more important:
        1) During non-panic times: being able to purchase several varieties of .243 Winchester off the shelf at local gun stores everywhere and online. And having trouble finding multiple varieties of 6mm Creedmoor and possibly zero varieties at some local gun stores although being able to find all varieties online.
        — or —
        2) During panic times: no .243 Winchester ammunition on the shelf at any local gun store and limited availability even online. And finding some 6mm Creedmoor at some local gun stores and superior availability online.

      • Correction

        He was discussing 6.5, not 6. Interestingly, 6.5 is all that is available in my area. Saw 50 boxes today.

    • 6mm Creedmoor is an optimized 243win, if you have neither and are starting new, then get the Creedmoor, that’s a no brainer. If you have another 243, then stick with what you have.

      The Creedmoor case is optimized to run long/high BC bullets at standard magazine lengthe without seating the bullet too deep in the case (all of the original 308 offspring, 243, 260 etc, suffer from this one downside), and more importantly the rifles it is chambered in will be optimized to take advantage of these newer bullets. Most 243s have way to slow of a twist rate to shoot anything heavier than 100 soft points. Also in shorter barrels the performance is less impacted due to the optimized case design (low taper sharp shoulder). I am currently getting 2840 fps from a 16.5″ 6mm Creedmoor running 103gr ELD-X factory ammo. Thats only about 210fps off of the stated velocity on the box despite being 10-12″ shorter than most rifles the cartridge is typically chambered in.

      Here’s the thread I created for the rifle I am running for anyone else curious:

      Also before all the “bUt YOu cAN bUy iT at wALmArt” morons jump on this, 6mm Creedmoor is one of the ONLY intermediate rifle calibers I have seen in stock consistently anywhere I have looked (online, Cabelas, Academy, etc). Lapua, ADG, Pederson, and Starline all make brass for it too.

      Welcome to the future.

        • Completely agree… and I was pointing out that currently 6mm Creedmoor is WAY more available than 243win almost anywhere you look both in variety and quantity.

        • This too will pass just like all the other panics. Now we may be only able to buy one box a month when this is over….

          I will stay on the 243 bleacher as it is a little easier on barrels

      • You have to know your data and correct for anything past 2-300 yds with any rifle. I used to run a long range shoot in southern Utah. A guy with a 243 won more of the shoots than any other shooter. He got a 6.5 Creedmore and a competitor with a 243 beat him that year. My grendel can regularly get 8-1100 yd hits, lots of correction but hits and I wouldn’t shoot an animal that far away with it. The point is if you need a $10000 weapon to hit far out you aren’t a very good shot.

        • A thought on gun and ammo availability. If you ran out ammo or toilet paper or couldn’t find what you needed you need personally “own” being unprepared. Read the book “Extreme Ownership”

    • I have to say, had the option and I went 243. I hand-load though and can run the bullets out as long as I need to shoot the heavy stuff. 243 has more powder capacity anyway. In my opinion a fast twist 243 negates the need for 6Creed. If, you can find the right twist for the 100+ gr stuff.

    • My question too! Went to Cabelas in Indiana. Pathetic for a major retailer. No ammo of course. And no 2 point sling! They did have a few 20round AR mags though…glad I don’t hunt😏

  2. Can more than double the effective ranges of all the cartridges, just about shot placement, or even hitting the target first time and would require a lot of luck.

  3. They omitted .44 Magnum from their list — an egregious oversight.

    With proper bullet selection, full-power loads, and especially out of a rifle, I believe .44 Magnum can reliably and promptly drop any animal in North America with the exception of polar bears.

    I can tell you that .44 Magnum is devastating on white-tailed deer — my family has now taken seven large-bodied white-tailed deer. All shots were pass-throughs (no matter what angle) and all shots dropped the deer within eight seconds.

    • Absolutely! The .44 Magnum is my favorite cartridge actually, followed closely by the Venerable 30-06. The .44 is tough to beat for versatility.

      • No issues with .44 mag, it’s a great cartridge. But my fav for deer is .41 mag 210grn XTP in my BBSC. Max range on my property (where I hunt) is about 120yds due to thick woods, so don’t need some 800yd cartridge. Get meat for the table every year, including this year. 🙂

    • They are a company that makes AR’s, and there are no AR’s (that Im aware of) chambered in 44 mag. It would be an interesting design though, but would probably require a proprietary magazine.

  4. Could I really take any of those game out at 800yrds listed for the 5.6Creedmore humanely? And not have to track it for 8 hours?

    • This may start a commentary feud by others here, but master hunters have stated that Creedmore is excellent for punching paper targets or small prey out to 1000 yards, but lose sufficient velocity past 400 yds to reliably mushroom upon hitting solid flesh. The loss of kinetic enerby results in a pass-through (due to the sharp bullet profile) instead of a proper expansive wound channel that should debilitate and kill the prey.

      All the master hunters & reloaders I’ve ever read from have highly recommended the “humane” strategy of shooting prey no further than 400 yds max, preferably under 300 if possible, to maintain the Creedmore’s velocity at point of impact.


      • Using generally accepted guideline of 1000ft lbs of energy for light skinned medium game (deer, antelope, etc.), the Creedmoor is capable out to 700-800yds easily with the right bullet.

        I personally shoot a 143gr ELD-X out of my 6.5CM and based on the 1000ft lbs guideline with my handload MV of 2842 fps that gets me to 825yds. Based on Hornady’s recommended velocity of 1600fps to ensure full expansion on that specific bullet that threshold extends to 982yds for me (energy at that range is 813 ft lbs which is more than most 223/556 at the muzzle, so its not exactly going to bounce off the hide). Most importantly though, based on shooter skill, I can with almost boring reliability set up and get cold bore impacts on a 1.5MOA target at 850yds gong (which is pretty close to the size of a deer’s vitals) that I have set up at a spot I hunt frequently. This past weekend I shot a ~0.8MOA grouping, including a first round impact (the one that matters in hunting) that was only a couple inches off of dead center, on that gong in variable wind conditions (3-5MPH gusting to 7+). So I would have no ethical or moral qualms shooting a whitetail deer at that range with that gun in those conditions… expert approved or not.

        The biggest factor in any situation is overwhelmingly going to be based on shooter skill. If you cant hit a vital sized target consistently at the range you want to shoot then it wont matter if you are running a 22lr or a 338 Lapua.

        • That bottom paragraph should be at the top of your comment. Yes it can, can YOU as a shooter reliability, under stress, with maybe a less then ideal rest do that is a whole other topic. It’s harder then people think. Way harder. Some people can and that’s fine. If not, regardless of owning whatever magic cartridge you think you have, don’t be irresponsible and your good.

        • @Bcb… yes in hindsight I should have moved it up to the top. My initial goal in my response was to address the major premise of the OP which was that “experts” say the 6.5 Creedmoor runs out of gas at 300-400yds which is demonstrably not true by pointing out that nearly any properly constructed 6.5mm bullet in the 140gr+ class launched at SAAMI pressures will retain enough velocity and energy to be effective on game out to AT LEAST 700yds.

          That’s not my opinion, that’s basic physics.

      • I don’t know about long shot hunting. Seems to me that anyone who can drop a game animal at 500 to 1000 yards is undeniably an excellent shooter but anyone who drops that same animal at 50-100 yards is a by gawd Hunter!

        Me, if I gotta buy a bus ticket to get to get to the animal to field dress it and collect the meat, I’m probably gonna pass on the shot and keep hunting.

    • Epstein,

      Tex300BLK touched upon most of the relevant details. And he/she left out a critical aspect of long range shooting.

      Sure, he/she can reliably place shots on target into his/her gong at 825 yards with boring regularity. What he/she almost certainly cannot do is place shots on target with boring regularity when he/she:
      1) does not know the exact distance to the gong
      2) does not know the exact vertical angle to the gong
      3) does not know the exact (compass) bearing to the gong

      All three of those characteristics are almost guaranteed to occur when hunting a game animal and any of those three characteristics will cause you to miss your target.

      If you think your prey is 740 yards away and is actually 770 yards away — an easy error to commit afield — you will likely totally miss your prey.

      If your sight line to your prey is at a vertical angle of 10 degrees, you could easily miss your prey entirely at 800 yards.

      If your prey is north of you and you sighted your scope with your gong due south of you (or vice versa), you could easily hit well over 12 inches left/right of your point of aim, due to Coriolis effect, at 800 yards.

      So, while any given caliber/bullet combination may have enough mass and velocity at impact to kill a game animal in short order, all but the most skilled and practiced of shooters will likely miss their game animal entirely on shots past 500 yards or so.

      • Shooting North vs shooting South makes no change to coriolis effect. In the northern hemisphere both cause you to miss to the right. But not by as much as you’ve described (would be about 1.3 inches at 800 yards with 6.5 CM). See:

        That 10 degree slope is only a 3 inch difference at 800 yards (shooting decent 6.5 CM).

        Thankfully most decent, modern rangefinders take care of distance as well as slope, and some also do compass heading (or your phone’s ballistic app does that).

        • Jeremy,

          First and foremost, my comment refers to unwitting shooters who are not aware of errors that different shooting angles and Coriolis effect can cause, are hunting in uneven terrain, do not have expensive equipment (and no range finder), and have no practical training/experience/skill shooting past 100 or maybe 200 yards. It goes without saying that hunters with extensive education, training, practice, skill, and expensive equipment (rifles, scopes, and range finders) could very well be almost guaranteed to put accurate shots on a game animal at unknown ranges out to 900 yards in uneven terrain.

          You are correct in a technical sense that Coriolis effect produces the same error at a given location whether shooting north or south (e.g. the bullet will hit the same distance west of the barrel’s bore axis). In practice it would cause significant errors at long ranges to the unwitting shooter.

          Remember, we are talking about an unwitting shooter who is unaware of Coriolis effect which causes a target to move east during the time it takes the bullet to arrive on target. If that shooter sets windage on his/her scope at 100 yards where Coriolis effect is negligible, then his/her shots would hit west of point-of-aim at 850 yards. And those shots would hit the same distance west whether he/she is shooting due north or due south.

          Now what happens if that unwitting shooter sets windage on his/her scope at 850 yards aiming at a gong due north? He/she has unwittingly corrected for Coriolis effect when shooting north. In other words his/her scope will be aimed east (to the right) of the barrel’s bore axis. When he/she turns south, the scope will still be aimed to the right of the bore axis which is now west of his/her bore axis. In that situation the shooter’s rifle and scope will double Coriolis effect error.

          How much error does Coriolis effect introduce at 850 yards? I did not query a ballistics calculator. I was estimating from memory. I remember (perhaps incorrectly) a source indicating that Coriolis effect introduces about a 2-inch error at 400 yards when shooting due north/south at middle latitudes. And I estimated that error would increase to about 6-inches at 850 yards. Finally, if the unwitting shooter had unknowingly compensated for that much error at 850 yards when shooting due north, he/she would experience 12-inches of error when shooting due south at a target 850 yards away — at middle latitudes. (When shooting due south in that scenario, the shooter’s bullet would hit 12-inches to the east of where the shooter was aiming when he/she pulled the trigger — assuming the Coriolis effect error was 6-inches at that distance.)

          As for elevation angle errors, I did not query a ballistics calculator. Such errors will become significant at some point.

        • Doh! I transposed east/west and left/right in my comment this morning — which I am going to blame on typing before consuming morning caffeine.

          Just goes to show the potential complications of Coriolis effect — even when you have some awareness of it!

      • A modern rangefinder will tell you the exact distance to the target as well as the angle and the angle and distance correction. There is no guesswork and no error.

  5. What. No .30-30, .45-70, .30-06, 7mm, or pistol calibers such as .357mag, .41mag, or .44mag? That “zeroinfographic” is useless.

    • I’m pretty sure the chart only includes calibers that are commonly chambered in AR15s and AR10s, which the company who made the chart also makes for sale. The chart is intended to inform one as to which of their AR uppers you should buy if you want to hunt this or that game. It’s not intended to be a comprehensive chart of chamberings in general.

      • No kidding. Gee, I didn’t know that (sarc). But when Biden and company ban the ‘evil black rifle’, I’ll still be puttin’ meat on the table. 😉 🙂

  6. For my AR-10, I might get a 20″ 6.5CM upper to swap out with my 18″ .308 upper. I love .308, but can see the long-range accuracy benefits of the Creedmoor.

    • If your shooting past 600 yards the minute accuracy difference are insignificant at best, especially on moving game. I’ll take the heavier hitting bullet for the win.

    • Hunting, unless in extreme circumstances, should be done under 300m. If you are set up for .308 and shoot at less than 600m, stick with .308. It is easier on barrels with 3x the life of a 6.5CM barrel.

    • Had a rat problem a few years ago.
      .22 cal Marauder PCP air rifle, IOR 4x scope, Crow Magnum hollow points.
      From the standing off hand, 15yrds, took the top of the rats head off and all the grey matter with it.
      No kidding, I could see into the skull and there was no brain to be found . . . kinda like a Demorat.
      See what I did there?

  7. Bear Creek Arsenal also makes threaded handgun barrels for several different handguns.
    I bought mine two years ago for the Glock 17 and 19 in 9mm and they work great. And at a great specials price. I can now shoot lead or bullets that the original Glock barrels don’t like and save money if I choose too.

  8. I’ve got a BCA 300BLK side-charging upper on my AR pistol. Love it.
    The side charging handle adds a bit of effort to the field strip, but adds a free .25oz to the buffer weight (effectively).

    • I was happy with my BCA 300 BO upper but my 458 upper doesn’t like Steinel ammo. Underwood runs fine. I think the Steinel had insufficient crimp from the factory. Accuracy is fine.

  9. Well, you have to be a kid with a handful of .22 Shorts and a single shot rifle. What you do is find a shady spot where the quail run in the dry sandy washes, grasses overhanging the wash. You pop their little birdie heads off with your well placed shots. Always taking the last bird in the line.

    There are sort of rules to this approach. You have to do it a long, long time back. You cannot do it today. You have to not know that a shotgun is required and shooting the little birdie heads off is frowned upon in this here establishment (where you live). It helps to not own a shotgun anyway, or even understand why would you ever let them critters take wing when you do perfectly fine popping their little birdie heads off with your single shot 22?

    You have to be under age to know any better and be generally ill informed of things like laws and bird hunting regulations.

    In other words, a kid.

  10. What marketing garbage! I’ll just give one example: 7.62×39 and 300 Blackout for antelope. Neither one of these cartridges has inherent accuracy or terminal ballistics at average open plains distances. Is there a “Footnote” I missed saying for “Canned Hunts only”. Didn’t anyone think “Would a experienced Hunter actually consider us (BCA) as hunting caliber experts? Nope. Would a novice hunter consider us as hunting caliber experts? Probably not and would have read/been advised from numerous sources before they stumble across BCA’s “marketing”. Pretty lame, spank the ad person and try again.

  11. If you’re using a Bear Creek AR you’re not going to be able to hit any of these animals, so it’s kind of pointless.

  12. You seem to have bypassed the 30-06, how come. Additionally, with modern projectiles and propellants the 7 x 57 MM Mauser and the 6.5 x 55 MM Mauser remain worth a serious look.

  13. Won’t be buying anything from BCA anytime soon. Bought their 458 complete upper. Had feeding issues. Bought five different 458 mags that supposedly fixed the feeding issues. No luck. I bought the side charging version. I told them he issues. Should them videos of misfeeds. Should them pictures. Ended up having to send it back to them. They sent me the rear charging version back. They ran out of the side charging one. Again, same issues. Sent back again for the third time. It finally worked..after four months. Their QA/QC sucks.

  14. i have 3 bca uppers that all run like a top:
    18 in fluted mid length gas .223 wylde that shoots less than 1 moa to 300 yards with factory match ammo its the backbone of my budget mk12 spr clone build
    16 inch 7.62×39 thats shoots 35 cents a round tula just over 1 moa to 100 yards and just under 2 moa to 200 and less than 3 moa to 300
    10.5 inch 7.62×39 thats not quite as accurate as the 16 inch but i attribute that to the 10.5 having a 2 moa red dot on it vs a 1-4x lpvo and having not quite as good a trigger on it but its still totally 10 inch steel plate capable at 300
    the 18 was 400 the 16 was 360 the 10.5 was 230
    all prices including shipping and all were in my hands within 7 days of placing the order
    they all shipped with nitrided bolt carrier groups with the trick angled flats and a plain jane charging handle
    the 18 had a gen 1 quad rail on it the 16 and the 10.5 both had pretty decent mlok rails
    if i ever see a 10.5 350 legend upper on their website i will not hesitate for a moment to buy it…


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