6.5 Creedmoor is a mild-recoiling, exceptionally flat-shooting, and accurate caliber that has gained popularity as an intermediate power cartridge suitable for long range applications.
While the 6.5mm bullet has been around for decades, the latest advancements in ammo design now offer a wide range of options to choose from. Each with its own specific set of applications.
This discussion will not only aim at understanding concepts related to this. But will also review the best 6.5 Creedmoor ammo available today.
Comparison of the Best 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo
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Factors to Consider Before Buying Ammo for Your Creedmoor Build
With a myriad of ammo choices available out there. You should keep an eye out for certain factors that’ll help you choose the best option according to your requirements.
This Section Written By:
Ankit Kumar is an engineer turned writer who specializes in topics related to firearms, gun safety and weapon tech. His passion towards enrolling in the Army drifted his interest towards light and heavy firearms. He’s a qualified competitive air rifle shooter and an avid nature lover. His other areas of expertise include survival, prepping and firearms/ammo storage. When he’s not writing, he’s either learning a new skill, trekking or enjoying a long drive.
6.5 Creedmoor bullets are available in weights ranging from 120 grains to 147 grains. Handloaders can also work with bullets as lightweight as 95 grains and heavy as 160 grains. Reloading this caliber is also quite favorable due to its long neck design that eliminates seating problems with longer bullets.
The 6.5 Creedmoor is mostly a supersonic cartridge that retains its high speed characteristics for longer distances than other comparable cartridges. However, custom subsonic ammo is also available from a few manufacturers. Plus it can also be hand loaded as such.
You must also take note that longer 6.5 bullets deliver better energy retention and resistance to wind deflection due to their high ballistic coefficient. Hence, rifles with 1:8” of twist rate or higher are more suitable for this caliber.
What Can You Hunt With It?
The 6.5 Creedmoor uses a .243” bullet and was specifically designed for long range competitive shooting. But the 6.5mm bullets have been used as an effective killing tool for both two and four-legged mammals on this planet (maybe others eventually).
As far as the bullet diameter and weights of the 6.5 Creedmoor are concerned, it's an effective deer cartridge, surely. It is also known to cause less destruction on smaller-sized game like coyotes, preserving the fur.
But can you hunt an elk or moose with it? You could, but only if you get the right shot placement. I definitely don’t recommend using it to tackle more dangerous big game though.
What Does Your Rifle Like?
From hollow points to boat tails, polymer-tipped bullets, and more. There’s a wide variety of ammo available out there. You can segregate and grade different types of ammunition depending upon the ballistics, weight, velocity, and other factors. But in the end, it’s your rifle that may like it or not.
Different rifles respond to different ammunition uniquely. So a good choice is to cycle a variety of ammo and check out for real if it suits your rifle or not.
Review of the Best 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo
The following are eight of the best 6.5 Creedmoor ammo cartridges that are currently available on the market. As you read through each review, it is important for you to review each unique feature carefully. It may give you a determination of whether or not it will fit your personal needs or preferences when finding your ideal ammo for your rifle.
If you see one that sticks out as one of your favorites, do a little deep digging to see what others have been saying before making a purchase yourself. With that said, let’s get started:
Sig Sauer 6.5 Creedmoor 140gr, 20 Rounds
Of course, we cannot leave out our Creedmoor enthusiasts who intend to buy their rounds on a budget. What better place to find the best cartridges you can afford than the ones by Sig Sauer? This excels in precision rifles and is loaded to get the most out of the caliber. At 140-grain, the Sig Sauer is an outstanding performer out to about 1,000 yards and beyond with a sleek .535 ballistic coefficient helping it cut the air with ease.
Sig Sauer has loaded its precision 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition, not only to excel in terms of distance, but it is also designed to produce a reduction in recoil. If you’re using a semi-auto Creedmoor rifle, chances are you’ll be looking for an excellent quality cartridge that will complement your rifle well.
In that regard, the Sig Sauer will obviously be one of the choices you’ll want to consider. This is priced at such a competitive amount, it’s probably one of the best choices for budget gun owners. So, if you’re a budget conscious Creedmoor owner looking for the best kind of ammo that you can afford, you might want to give the Sig Sauer cartridges a better look.
Just because you're on a budget, doesn't mean you have to look for cheap cartridges. You'll be surprised to see some high performing types on the market for a price that most can afford. The overall performance and accuracy, for the most part, will be worth a lot more than what you pay for. If that's what you're looking for in a Creedmoor cartridge, you should consider the Sig Sauer as a possible option.
Best for Hunting:
Norma - Match Ammo 6.5 Creedmoor 130gr
If you’re using your Creedmoor for hunting purposes, then you’ll obviously need a cartridge that is considered best for the purpose itself. As mentioned, most of the Creedmoor cartridges available are designed for hunting purposes. Of them all, the Norma is currently one of the best cartridges on the market.
This ammo is packed with optimal quality components. The first-rate, reloadable Norma brass is paired with their popular 103-grain Golden Target Hybrid Match hollow point tail bullet. This makes it one of the best cartridges designed for accuracy.
This can also be used for target practice or in competitive shooting. Either way, this is the kind of round you’ll need for your Creedmoor. Despite being a multi-purpose cartridge, this is proven to be the best option for hunters.
The Norma sticks out as one of the best thanks to its high-quality brass. Even though it is considered the best for hunting, this can even be used for target practice and competitive shooting. So, don't confuse it as being a "hunting only" cartridge. But, if you're looking for a good quality round that will help you land your next deer, elk, or any big game from long range, it won't hurt for you to give the Norma a shot.
Since it is pricey, you should consider digging a little deeper into this cartridge in particular before spending the money. The last thing you'd want is to spend a lot of money and be disappointed in the cartridge's performance.
Best From Hornady:
Hornady - Match Ammo 6.5mm Creedmoor 140gr
Earlier, we’ve reviewed a Creedmoor cartridge from the Hornady brand. However, if you’re looking for an alternative with the same brand name, then the Match Ammo 140-gr might be the best option for you.
They craft each 6.5mm Creedmoor 140-grain ELD Match cartridge under the most rigorous quality control routines to ensure proper bullet seating and even consistent charges and pressures to deliver optimal velocity and repeatable accuracy. This cartridge is loaded with Hornady’s latest extremely low drag match bullet with a heat shield polymer tip and additional design features for an unprecedented high ballistic coefficient and superb accuracy.
When you line up your crosshairs on the target, this cartridge is one variable you’ll have under control. In windy conditions, it will stay on the path and give you an accurate and precise shot.
If you’re looking for an alternative cartridge with the Hornady brand name, this is the best one of the bunch. This is a great cartridge if you want something that will give you perfect groups with every shot and great velocity no matter how bad the wind gets. The high ballistic coefficient is probably the one thing that makes the Hornady one of the best on the market.
Best for Elk:
Federal 6.5 Creedmoor 140gr, 20 Rounds
Next up, we return to the Federal brand to review the best Creedmoor cartridge for elk hunting. The innovative Federal Non-Typical Whitetail centerfire rifle ammunition provides hunters with excellent rifle ammo that is consistent and accurate.
An enhanced soft-point bullet with a concentric jacket is loaded inside. This cartridge will lethally wound any whitetail deer or elk, leaving behind large wound channels. For optimal ballistics, this Creedmoor cartridge is loaded with a 140-grain bullet.
Since you’ll be using a rifle that has an effective range of anywhere between 600 to 700 yards for hunting, you’ll want a good cartridge that can travel quite well at that distance. Plus, accuracy is always important when choosing a good Creedmoor cartridge.
The Federal fits the bill in this regard. Plus, they always manufacture their ammo under strict standards to ensure it is the best for their users.
5. Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor 140gr, 50rds
First up, we have the Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor 140-gr ammo. This is loaded with a 140-grain, match grade, hollow point bullet. This provides a versatile cartridge that functions well over many shooting applications, including small game hunting, varmint, and target shooting, as well as for self-defense.
These are made in the U.S.A. using superior components along with extensive knowledge of ballistics and the latest technology. this provides exceptional performance, precision, and accuracy.
If you’re looking for the best of the best in terms of Creedmoor ammo, you probably won’t find anything better than the Creedmoor. This is the best choice for any purpose you have for your rifle. Hunting, target shooting...it doesn’t matter.
The Hornady has proven itself to be well-deserving of the top spot on our list. As mentioned, we stated that there are some cartridges that have been designed for a sole intent and purpose. If you’re looking for something that can do it all, this is the ammo you want to use. You get 50 rounds in one box for a pretty decent price.
If you’re on a budget with a little bit of breathing room, you should further consider these as one of your options. With this cartridge, you’ll be getting a great deal of accuracy out it. That’s just one way to get the best out of your own Creedmoor rifle.
6. Federal Gold Match Berger 6.5 Creedmoor 130gr, 20rds
Next on the list is the Gold Match Berger 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge from Federal. Believe it or not, these are the most sought-after rounds for a Creedmoor rifle. In fact, they are one of the most preferred among competitive shooters (especially those competing on the Precision Rifle Series).
The new Gold Medal Berger in 6.5 Creedmoor features the new Berger Hybrid OTM bullet. This is optimized for use in loaded ammo with COAL constraints for magazine feeding. The combination of the hybrid seven degree Boat Tail and ogive design increases muzzle velocity because of lower drag and high sectional density.
To ensure the best performance using this design, this cartridge uses Federal brass, Gold Medal match primers, and specially formulated propellant. These adhere to Federal’s strictest requirements for pressure, accuracy, and velocity.
If you're a competitive shooter that uses a Creedmoor, you're probably going to want something like this as your kind of ammo. With that in mind, you'll want a cartridge that has tight groupings and can hit your targets with such superior precision and accuracy. If that's your cup of tea, then you would be hard-pressed to find anything like the Federal Gold Medal.
They hold their ammo to a high standard in terms of performance and want their users to feel the same way. If accuracy and performance are high on your list of what you're looking for in a cartridge, go with the Federal and you won't be disappointed.
Best for Long Range:
Nexus 6.5 Creedmoor 142gr, 20 Rnds
It's no secret that the Creedmoor is designed to be a leader in long-range cartridges. At some point, one of them may end up being the leader of the whole pack. In this regard, we're giving the Nexus 6.5 Creedmoor the nod for the best long-range cartridge.
If you want to use your Creedmoor for long-range hunting, target practice, or competition, you should give the Nexus a deeper look. The patented and unique "Nexus Method" produces ammunition to extremely precise tolerances, giving you better control over every facet of your activity. Every detail of this cartridge will exceed your expectations.
The quality is top-notch. The consistency is always top class. You'll have the best in control when it comes to handloading. You pick the target or purpose and you'll have a cartridge that will give you an excellent all-around performance. This uses highest-quality components like the 142-grain Sierra Match King projectile and is loaded using Nexus Ammo’s proprietary manufacturing process to exacting tolerance.
If you’re looking for cartridge strictly for long ranges, odds are you’re either a competitive shooter or a target shooter. Either way, there is nothing more exciting than hitting a target at a long range with a 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge that can get the job done on its own accord.
If you hold accuracy to a high standard especially at long ranges, you’ll want to grab yourself a box of these Nexus cartridges and take them out on the range. If you’re looking for the best in factory ammo, this will be your best choice.
Best From Winchester:
Winchester - 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo
Finally, we’ll be reviewing the best Creedmoor cartridge from the Winchester brand. This is the type of cartridge that you’ll need for the best in flat shooting with pinpoint accuracy. The Winchester uses the tough, deeply penetrating Accubond Long Range bullet for the best in performance on the biggest game, especially at longer distances.
This is perhaps one of the best rounds for hunting as it’s designed to penetrate thick hide and bone before finishing it off with some massive knockdown power. This is the ultimate performing hunting load that you can take with you while you’re hunting for big game or wherever your dream hunt takes you.
If you need an alternative option for the best cartridge for hunting, you'll definitely want to look at the Winchester as a possible option. For a bullet powerful enough to kill big game, you'd be crazy to pass up on something like this, especially when you're intending to hit your target from long range.
Is All Ammo The Same?
The short answer: no. One of the more distinct ways to prove that is the case is taking a look at the drop after a certain distance. While we’re on the subject of the Creedmoor, let’s see how a 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge stacks up versus a 308 Winchester cartridge.
At 1000 feet, a Creedmoor’s drop is much shorter when compared to a 308. While they both have similar cases, they are not entirely the same.
In comparison, the Creedmoor cartridges are much lighter than a 308. It is for this reason, that the ballistics are much different between the two. Another reason why not all ammo is the same is the way each is designed for a specific, intended purpose.
What is the Effective Range of a 6.5 Creedmoor?
The answer to this question is: it depends. It depends on the intent and purpose for using a rifle that is compatible with 6.5 Creedmoor ammo. If you intend to use it for target practice and competitive shooting, an effective range for the Creedmoor will be approximately 1000 yards. If you’re using a rifle for the purpose of hunting, then the effective range will be 600 yards.
So, what does this have to do with the ammo you will be using? There are different types of 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges designed to work for certain intents and purposes. For example, most of them are designed for hunters. These, of course, come in an abundant number. For that reason alone, it’s become a popular choice among hunters.
How to Choose 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo
You have to keep in mind that picking up a random version of 6.5 Creedmoor ammo will likely backfire on you at some point down the road. That’s because you didn’t take enough time to learn about its unique features and overall quality. You have to find the best ammo that will work well with your rifle rather than work against it. Here are some factors that past buyers have considered while they’ve purchased 6.5 Creedmoor ammo in the past:
One of the major factors in finding the best 6.5 Creedmoor ammo is the weight. The lighter the cartridge, the better it will serve you. In turn, it will also travel much faster compared to other types of ammo.
Intent and Purpose
Once again, your intent and purpose for using your Creedmoor rifle will also factor into your choice in finding the right ammo for your rifle. There are all kinds of Creedmoor cartridges that are solely used for the purpose of hunting. Meanwhile, you can find cartridges that can all work just as well for target hunting and competitive shooting purposes.
If you have purchased a Creedmoor rifle in the past or any of their ammo, there’s a good chance you’ll buy it again based on the name. Brand names like Hornady are often the top names in manufacturing ammo that is excellent in quality and performance.
However, if you’re new to the Creedmoor, this is probably the factor that you should take with a grain of salt.
Finding the best 6.5 Creedmoor ammo doesn't have to be a challenge. Unless you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll need to consider the factors that will influence you to make a decision on which type of cartridge to buy.
Whether it's for hunting, competitive shooting, or self-defense, there's a Creedmoor cartridge out there for any intended purpose you can think of. Take a good look at each one of the cartridges that has been reviewed and choose the one that fits you best.