The 6.5 Creedmoor is indeed a great long distance precision cartridge with low recoil, and while it’s developed a lot of hype, its no unicorn, and its certainly not alone in its ballistic abilities.
There is certainly nothing wrong with the 6.5 Creedmoor, but while it was introduced in 2007, other common caliber cartridges perform with as good or better ballistics, including one introduced 82 years early. Yep, Jack O'Connor's favorite, mine also, the venerable 270 Winchester, introduced in 1925.
The ballistics of commercially available ammo for comparison, are in the table below.
|6.5 Creedmoor||270 Winchester|
|ELD-X 143gr, .625 BC, Muzzle Vel. 2700 FPS||Berger 140gr, .528 BC, Muzzle Vel. 2950 FPS|
The 6.5 Creedmoor depends on a precision platform with a longer barrel to get the long range performance that the 270 Winchester can achieve in a 22” barrel. 6.5 Creedmoor fan boys are probably going to cry foul, because that isn’t an apples to apples comparison, so lets make a better one.
The 6.5 PRC bullet is identical to the 6.5 Creedmoor bullet, but the 6.5 PRC, introduced in 2018, pushes the same 143 grain bullet 250 feet per second faster, and is able to do it in either the same length or shorter barrel.
For most big game hunting, I would say its less than practical to tote around a precision rifle with a longer barrel, when the same energies are achieved in a scout, or standard length hunting rifle chambered in 270, 308, or 6.5 PRC.
If the goal is to be the king of the range in the 6.5 caliber, the 6.5 PRC provides superior ballistics in a similar platform. Other cartridges in the 6.5 caliber can also outperform the Creedmoor, including the .264 Win Mag, 6.5-300 Wby. Magnum, .26 Nosler, etc.
Is the 6.5 Creedmoor the Ultimate Cartridge?
No its not, but its certainly a great one, and one that seems to live up to at least some of the hype within the 6.5 family of cartridges. But again, its not alone, many other cartridges use the 6.5 caliber bullet.