Before you read any further I want you to understand who I am as a shooter. No, I’m not ex-military or law enforcement, although I would like to take a second to thank our military, law enforcement and first responders for all they do as it allows me to do what I enjoy. I’m just a guy who picked up a gun 6 years ago who enjoys target shooting. I’ve done several competitions and if I’m being honest, I’m an average, mid-pack shooter. I have reloaded ammunition in the past but I’m confident there are many out there that have forgotten more about reloading than I know. If you’re looking for a highly technical paper on the ballistic advantages of 6.5 Creedmoor versus 308 I’m sure you can find it, it’s just not in this blog. Instead, I am going to explain why I ended up buying my first bolt-action rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor instead of 308 Win.
Like you, I did a lot of research, for me it was talking to our customers who shoot long range. My biggest concerns were the following:
- I wanted to make sure 6.5 Creedmoor rounds would be readily available.
- The price of 6.5 Creedmoor rounds versus 308win rounds.
- 6.5 Creedmoor versus 308win ballistics.
- Recoil management
Availability. I’m not sure about you but it feels like there is a new caliber introduced daily (yes, I’m exaggerating), I was worried that 6.5 Creedmoor would be a fad and within a couple years would be difficult to find. Two factors alleviated this concern for me. First, virtually every rifle manufacturer is making 6.5 Creedmoor in both bolt-action and semi-auto. Second, in 2018 USSOCOM has adopted the 6.5 Creedmoor as their new precision rifle cartridge. As we know, once the military picks up on something its likely to stay (conversely, when they drop a caliber they can kill it just as quickly. Think .40 S&W). Additionally, a large percentage of the competition Precision Rifle Shooters have made the switch to 6.5 Creedmoor.
Price per Round. My next issue when comparing 6.5 CM v. 308win was the cost per round. Personally, I shoot a lot of 223 and 9mm because it’s (relatively) inexpensive to shoot and always available. What’s has always scared me off from some of the big boy rounds like 300win and 338 Lapua is the cost per round. When I go to the range or desert to shoot, I want to shoot. A LOT. At $2+ dollars per round for plinking ammo, it just limits the amount I can shoot and while reloading is always an option, when you have small children you quickly realize your free time to reload goes out the window. Thankfully, Sellier & Bellot makes some good 6.5 CM plinking ammo at a stellar cost! So that actually made it cheaper than plinking 308 ammo! Another concern gone!
Ballistics. I’m not going to belabor the finer points of the ballistic advantage of 6.5 Creedmoor over 308win so I will boil it down to this. If you’re shooting 500 yards and in you probably won’t notice much of a difference. If you want to go beyond 500 yards the 6.5 flies flatter longer. Furthermore, 6.5 was designed as a long-range bolt-action caliber whereas 308 was designed with semi-automatic rifles in mind.
Recoil Management. Call me what you will, but I just don’t enjoy recoil. Granted, what Falkor Defense has done with recoil management in large calibers like the 300 Win Mag. (Check out there Falkor Petra here) is astonishing. But I wanted a rifle that was going to be easy on my shoulder. Again, the 6.5 CM beats 300win hands down producing 39% less recoil than a 308win.
Ultimately, I went with the Ruger Precision 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.
For a rifle that can reach 1,600 yards (the CEO says so on the tag), this rifle was priced right. I splurged for a custom cerakote and put the Vortex Razor HD Gen II optic on the rifle. I feel like I could shoot this rifle all day as the recoil is minimal, the rifle is crazy accurate, it didn’t break my budget, and has proved to be a superior rifle for its intended purpose – which is to shoot at a mile. Yes, I am still working up to this. But don’t worry, I will post (read: brag) when I do accomplish this feat.