6.5 Creedmoor for long range hunting

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6.5 Creedmoor for long range hunting

Post by stokesrj » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:54 pm

I want to start an honest discussion about the virtues and drawbacks of the 6.5 creedmoor for use at long range. For the purpose of this conversation lets define long range as 500-1000 yards. My personal field experience with 6.5 caliber rifles leads me to believe that the 6.5 Creedmoor is entirely adequate for antelope, mule deer, and whitetail deer out to 600 yards assuming an appropriate bullet is used. I'm not sure about beyond 600 yards but I have to pause and think.

Nathan Forster in New Zealand who has much more experience than I, started his business because of his personal disappointment with the 6.5X55 at long range. This is contrary to my personal observations but I respect Nathan greatly. He seems to be one of the few people in the world with the experience and ability to observe and draw valid conclusions from his observations.

I'm not talking about the ability to hit the vitals of a big game animal at range, I'm assuming you know how to do that. There is no doubt the 6.5 creedmoor is capable in that regard. I can do it, hit the lungs of a deer at 1,000 yards with my 6.5 Creedmoor barrel on my R8. And, if I can, so can many others. Rather, in this discussion I am more concerned with terminal performance. The ability to kill quickly without undue suffering from the target animal. I've seen too many long deaths in my hunting career and don't want to see another animal die slowly. It literally breaks my heart and makes me feel physically ill.

I am aware that I can move to the various magnums and extend my range, I've done that, but I'm not keen on all that comes with magnums, muzzle blast, recoil, and additional debris that are ejected into the sight path when braked. I much prefer the mild mannered 6.5 Creedmoor and similar cartridges, (260 Rem., 6.5X47 Lapua, 6.5X55 and even 6.5X57R) they are all deadly out to 600 yards. But Nathan makes the argument that the 168 grain A-max or ELD-M simply caries more payload and kill more quickly because it produces a wider wound and therefore more margin for error in shot placement. That's hard for me to accept because so far I can't tell any difference. The 6.5mm 140 grain A-max/ElD-M seems to kill as quickly as the .308 168 A-Max/ELD-M to me. Perhaps I just don't have the number of marginal hits under my belt that Nathan does.

I'm curious if any of you have valid field experience that can be shared. So far, with my field experience, I can tell no difference between the mid range 6.5 calibers and the mid range .308 calibers (308 Win and 30-06). To me they produce the exact same results.

Robert J Stokes

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Re: 6.5 Creedmoor for long range hunting

Post by Discogodfather » Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:30 pm

I don't hunt so I have no knowledge in that regards but I collect C&R. 6.5 Swede was always a controversial subject in the military historical world because of the perceived drawbacks to terminal performance at long ranges. The idea was accuracy improved but the ability to humanely kill (which was the intent of the cartridge for warfare) was not adequate. The fact that the swedes never went to war also made it seem as if the caliber was untested. Plenty of 6.5's in battle of course, including the Japanese and Italian versions. Both saw heavy combat with no real reports it was not adequate. Paul Mauser felt something in the 6.5-7mm range was really ideal.

There is also another school of thought amongst some ballasticians that the reason 6.5 and 6mm cartridges have exploded in the tactical world is because people want the high BC's they provide, longer slimmer bullets compared to the 7 and 8mm counterparts. As long as the bullet stays supersonic, the 6mm calibers display excellent properties. When they transition to trans-sonic their performance is downright shameful. They destabilize much worse than shorter, fatter bullets. The same short and fat bullets don't perform as well in super or sub sonic, but they shine in Trans-sonic.

So it's a difficult question that shows that there is no magic bullet, literally. If tactical shooters continue to push outwards they encounter the trans-sonic problem, and there are companies and ballastic designers that are starting to look at heavier, shorter, and fatter bullets that carry plenty of power and can perform trans-sonically. Might be the next evolution for long range target and hunting. I saw this interesting video on the subject from the owner of TROM, a US based company trying to promote 6mm alternatives.


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Re: 6.5 Creedmoor for long range hunting

Post by Ringo » Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:52 pm

Many deer (and other critters) have been taken with .308 caliber bullets out of cartridges with modest velocity. Think of a round-nose 30-30 bullet at 100-125 yards. If you deliver sufficient energy on target, with a bullet designed for the impact velocity, I don't think it makes a lick of difference what the range is. As always, bullet placement is in play.
Ringo, formerly rodell
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Re: 6.5 Creedmoor for long range hunting

Post by Corjack » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:54 pm

I can not comment on this subject without pissing somebody off, so I just won't say anything.
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Re: 6.5 Creedmoor for long range hunting

Post by mchughcb » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:00 pm

Lol Ron some people are like a pubic hair on a toilet just waiting to be pissed off. Fire away!

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Re: 6.5 Creedmoor for long range hunting

Post by SPEEDY » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:31 am

Never let it be said that I have never been shy about pissing anybody off.

Now I've shot a ton of goats out to 1000m max, most in the 600-800m range and they are very comparable to a whitetail deer so it should count.
I started with a 260rem and it did the job fine, I liked the 129gn SST necked out so far I had to single load it, that was out to about 700m but it gave me the bug, so I went tactical and built a Remington M700 in a heavy barrel based on an M40A1 only with a bipod and detachable magazine (the single loading got to me) and I attached it out to 1000m.
Now there were plenty of kills and lots of misses working things out but all that matters is hits and kills.
Now the longest shots with the 260rem were at 800m but I avoided them but what matters is a 129gn SST from a 260rem or a 165gn Nosler BT from a 308win were identical, a hit in the chest or neck bought them down, a badly read wind and a gut shot from either resulted in usually 3-5 more shots trying to hit a goat that was definitely upset and paper ballistics and all the various ballistics programs didn't make any real world difference.
The truth be told at the same ranges a 250gn Lapua scenar from a 338 Lapua got exactly the same results, on bigger game the Lapua definitely has a big edge but on a 130lb animinal I'm stuffed if I could tell the difference until you went up and looked at entry and exit holes.

The point being if you choose the right pill and put it 8n the right place then a 6.5 will kill just fine out that far, are their better bigger magnums well of course there are, but if you can shoot a Creedmoor better then you can a 300win mag then a 140gn from the 6.5 in the chest will beat 200gn .30 cal in the gut.
But either in the vitals will have the same result.
I'm soft and I don't care. :dance:

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