Why Is 6.5 Creedmoor Good for Long Range?

If you’re budget rifle builder shopping using online gun stores to configure the upper receiver and lower of your semi-automatic rifle to handle a caliber such as the 6.5 Creedmoor for good long-range shots then, you need to move into the AR10 or AR308 platform, which effectively handles a 6.5 Creedmoor round and will produce the long shot results you expect.  

6.5 Creedmoor rifle and spotting scope with prone shooter

The effective ranges of most standard AR rifle calibers hover between six and eight hundred yards, typically satisfying most hunters’ needs.

Still, when it comes to making an effective shot at distances of twelve or thirteen hundred yards, the best round to fire is the 6.5 Creedmoor straight-walled cartridge.

Whether you’re a big game hunter or a long-distance competition shooter, you’ll need a dependable and consistently accurate long shot, and that’s when the Creedmoor cartridge comes into play. 

Changing the Long-Distance Game

Since its inception over fourteen years ago, the Creedmoor 6.5 has broken the glass ceiling on accurate shots above a thousand yards. Why is the 6.5 Creedmoor one of the best?

Here are a few reasons this round is so good for long-range shots.

In 2008 Hornady challenged ballistic scientist Dave Emary and two-time NRA High-Power Rifle Champion Dennis DeMille to create an almost ballistically perfect bullet. Hornady wanted a shell with sufficient ballistic capability to buck crosswinds and the pulling effect of gravity known as bullet drop.

But Hornady’s wish list was a lot longer than these two features. The company also wanted this cartridge to deliver higher velocities than any 6mm or 6.5 round on the market.

Hornady also wanted a cartridge that fired with a lower pressure to protect the rifle’s chamber and the rifle’s barrel when fired.

Although the laundry list of features Hornady expected was enormous enough, Hornady also wanted the new cartridge to load quickly and without fuss and be compatible with AR-10 and short action rifles.

While the features Hornady expected to see in this creation were daunting, Dennis and Dave accepted the challenge.

With the help of Joseph Thielen, then assistant director of Hornady’s engineering department, the trio ultimately created a bullet with impressive ballistic alchemy that delivered superior performance and unique design that set the Creedmoor apart from all the others.

6.5 Creedmoor Ballistics

The Creedmoor round features a .308 Winchester case design, but there the similarity stops.

The case of the Creedmoor is shorter than the .308 Winchester, which provides an excellent fit in the chamber of most AR-10 or short bolt action rifles.

While the Creedmoor 6.5 is considered a straight wall cartridge bullet, it does have a minimal taper and an approximate thirty-degree shoulder.

The unique design creates terminal velocity in the payload because very little powder is displaced, meaning most of the power of the explosion is applied to send the projectile on its way.

As far as velocity goes, the Creedmoor round delivers remarkable performance on impact at a speed of almost two thousand feet per second at anywhere from one hundred to four hundred yards and a fantastic nineteen hundred feet per second at over five hundred yards.



6.5 Creedmoor Trajectory

Where the Creedmoor round shines isn’t necessarily at the ballistic table. Suppose you stack the Creedmoor 6.5 up against similar styles of ammunition, each firing 120-grain loads at a two hundred yard zero.

In that case, you may conclude that this ammo from Hornady might be another reinvention of the ammo wheel.

However, once you back away from the ballistic table, you’ll discover that from zero to five hundred yards, the Creedmoor demonstrates a much flatter trajectory and ballistic coefficient.

What this means to you is that the Creedmoor round manages its long-range precision using far less propellent to perform the same job than all the others.

Because the Creedmoor 6.5 doesn’t need so much gunpowder to hit the longer-range shots, it means you’ll experience less felt recoil, making a follow-up shot easier and quicker.

Economical and User Friendly

Logically because the Creedmoor 6.5 ammunition uses less propellant to produce amazing long-distance shots, the internal mechanisms of your rifle and barrel will wear far better than a round that dumps enormous amounts of blazing powder in the throat and bore of your rifle.

You’ll discover that your rifle requires less maintenance between use, and the rifle-friendly Creedmoor 6.5 is a better purchase when compared to many types of ammunition on the market for this one fact alone.

On top of it all, the Creedmoor 6.5 allows you to harness the best cutting-edge capabilities of any of the VLD or very low drag bullets on the market today.

Fame Wasn’t Immediate

With all these remarkable features, you’d think the Creedmoor became a household name for all the hunters and competitors the second it made it to market, but that’s not the case.

Aside from a few long-range hunters and competition shooters, few customers knew of the Hornady Creedmoor 6.5 cartridge in the beginning.

General recreational gun enthusiasts and hunters weren’t familiar with the ammunition and were skeptical of the features Hornady was promoting at the time.

When long-range shooting competition began to take hold at a fever pitch, competitors consistently bagged first prize with Creedmoor 6.5 ammunition.

It wasn’t until the introduction of the Creedmoor 6.5 round hunters and competitors alike took notice of the unparalleled accuracy the bullet provided without the need for an expensive customized rig.

6.5 Creedmoor is Gaining in Popularity

In only a manner of a few years, manufacturers were producing inexpensive 6.5 Creedmoor rifles and 6.5 medium to long range scopes offering customers a wide variety of sub-MOA performance past one or two hundred yards without the need of getting a loan from the bank.

Nowadays, the Creedmoor round fever hasn’t lessened for long-range hunters and competition shooters.

The Hornady Creedmoor 6.5 happens to be the second best-selling ammunition Hornady offers, only edged out by Hornady’s .223 Remington ammo.

If you need improved performance at targets or game well beyond the two or three-hundred-yard range, consider loading the magazines of your AR10 or .308AR rifle with the Creedmoor 6.5 round and prepare to be amazed at the proficiency and accuracy this ammo from Hornady provides.

About the Author Steve

I'm Steve & I've been handling firearms and hunting most of my life. I'm passionate about sharing what I've learnt with anyone who is interested, from beginners to seasoned marksmen and hunters. Riflescopely helps me do just that!