Gun Digest

Practical Overview Of 6.5 Creedmoor Ballistics

6.5 Creedmoor ballistics are a thing of beauty and make the cartridge more than simply a long-range flyer.

What makes the Creedmoor so ballistically talented:

Among small-bore cartridges with headline status these days, the 6.5 Creedmoor ranks among the most unlikely—and the most useful! It emerged from the house of Hornady in 2008, brainchild of senior ballistician Dave Emary, who tapped competitive shooters like Dennis DeMille for ideas on 1,000-yard cartridges. A long-range marksman himself, Emary necked the .30 T/C hull (another Hornady product), to .264. The compact case kept overall length within limits imposed by short actions. Dave applied powder technology from Hornady’s then-new Superformance Ammunition, to get blistering velocity.

The 6.5 Creedmoor is more than a flat-shooting, light-recoiling target cartridge. It’s also ideal for deer and antelope. Not long after it hit shelves, Todd Seyfert, at Magnum Research, shipped me a rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor on a long 700 action. Its carbon fiber barrel had a stainless core rifled by Kreiger. GreyBull Precision provided the stock and a 4.5-14x Leupold. Prone with a sling, I was soon hitting plates at 500 yards.

In New Mexico, my hunting partner called a coyote across a mesa. At 250 yards, the dog collapsed to the bite of my 129-grain SST. That rifle also toppled an elk with one shot at longer range than I’d ever before killed an elk. Civil, accurate, and potent, the 6.5 Creedmoor challenges the .270 Winchester at the muzzle.

Downrange, the high ballistic coefficients of the 6.5’s 129- and 140-grain bullets give it an edge. Truly versatile, the Creedmoor has more sauce than a 6.5×55. Its 1.92-inch case accommodates VLD bullets in short magazines better than does the superb, but under-sung, .260 Remington. Light recoil and efficient burn suit it to compact, featherweight hunting rifles. Pressure is 60,190 psi, standard rifling twist is 1:10.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in Wayne von Zwoll's book Mastering the Art of Long Range Shooting.

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