What are The Differences Between 243 vs 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo?

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243 Vs. 6.5 Creedmoor: Which Is The Better Option?

Choosing a high-quality cartridge is surely a challenge among hundreds of ammo brands and products with different specs and sizes. Luckily, the invention of the 243 and 6.5 Creedmoor has made users’ decisions much easier.

Due to their pretty similar design and performance, it may be hard to decide which one is the best match for your needs. So, if you are still wavering between these two products, this 243 Vs 6.5 Creedmoor will be of great help.

Below this post, I will highlight the core differences between 243 vs 6.5 Creedmoor to help you pick the more suitable ammo.

What is .243 Winchester Ammo?

.243 Winchester ammo is a popular centerfire rifle cartridge that was introduced by Winchester in 1955. It’s based on a necked-down .308 Winchester case, meaning the case is the same diameter as the .308 Winchester, but the neck is smaller to accommodate the smaller bullet.

The .243 Winchester cartridge fires a .243-inch (6.2mm) diameter bullet and has become widely used for various shooting applications, including varmint hunting, target shooting, and deer hunting. The versatility and manageable recoil of the .243 Winchester make it a popular choice for both beginners and experienced shooters.

Bullet weights for .243 Winchester typically range from 55 grains to 115 grains, with the most common weights falling between 80 and 100 grains. The lighter bullets are suitable for varmint and small game hunting, while the heavier ones are more appropriate for deer and other medium-sized game.

The cartridge’s flat trajectory and excellent ballistics make it a popular choice for long-range shooting and hunting. The .243 Winchester also exhibits good accuracy and provides sufficient stopping power for hunting purposes when using appropriate bullet designs.

Overall, the .243 Winchester has remained a popular choice for hunters and target shooters alike due to its effectiveness, versatility, and availability of ammunition. It’s important to select the right bullet type and weight for your specific shooting needs, and always follow safe firearm practices and local hunting regulations when using .243 Winchester ammo.

What is 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo?

6.5 Creedmoor is a relatively new and highly popular centerfire rifle cartridge that was introduced by Hornady in 2007. It was designed specifically for precision shooting and has gained significant traction in the shooting sports community, particularly in long-range target shooting and hunting applications.

The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge is known for its exceptional ballistic performance and relatively mild recoil, making it a favorite among shooters of all skill levels. It has become particularly renowned for its accuracy, flat trajectory, and excellent long-range capabilities.

The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge fires a .264-inch (6.5mm) diameter bullet and is based on a modified .30 Thompson Center case. The cartridge design includes a relatively long and sleek bullet shape with a high ballistic coefficient (BC), which helps it maintain velocity and resist wind drift over longer distances.

Bullet weights for 6.5 Creedmoor typically range from 120 grains to 147 grains, with popular weights falling around 140 grains. The 6.5mm caliber bullets offer a good balance between trajectory, wind drift, and retained energy, making them effective for precision shooting and hunting medium to large game.

The 6.5 Creedmoor’s popularity has led to a wide selection of ammunition choices, including various bullet designs optimized for different purposes such as target shooting, hunting, and competition. The cartridge has found success in various shooting disciplines, including long-range target shooting, PRS (Precision Rifle Series) competitions, and hunting applications for deer, antelope, and other game.

Due to its excellent performance and widespread acceptance, 6.5 Creedmoor has gained a strong following in the firearms community, and many rifle manufacturers now offer rifles chambered in this cartridge. As with any firearm and ammunition, it’s crucial to use the appropriate load and bullet type for your intended shooting purposes and always follow safe shooting practices.

Quick 243 Vs 6.5 Creedmoor Comparison Table

Criteria .243 Winchester 6.5 Creedmoor
Cartridge Type Centerfire Rifle Centerfire Rifle
Bullet Diameter 0.243 inches (6.2mm) 0.264 inches (6.5mm)
Neck Diameter 0.276 inches (7.0mm) 0.290 inches (7.4mm)
Base Diameter 0.471 inches (11.96mm) 0.470 inches (11.94mm)
Case Length 2.045 inches (51.9mm) 1.920 inches (48.8mm)
Overall Length 2.710 inches (68.8mm) 2.825 inches (71.8mm)
Max Pressure 60,000 PSI (Copper Units) 62,000 PSI (Copper Units)
Bullet Weight Range 55 to 115 grains 120 to 147 grains
Typical Use Varmint, Deer, Antelope Deer, Antelope, Medium Game
Muzzle Velocity Varies with bullet weight Varies with bullet weight
Ballistic Coefficient (BC) Generally lower BC Generally higher BC
Recoil Light to Moderate Light to Moderate
Barrel Life Longer Longer
Availability Very Common Common

243 Vs 6.5 Creedmoor Recoil

I have conducted a real shooting test and concluded that the 6.5 Creedmoor rounds generate more recoil. Generally, they can produce 3-9 ft. lbs, while the 243 Win rounds barely exceed 10 ft. lbs.

The 6.5 Creedmoor might produce more recoil, but this cartridge type seems relatively lighter compared to other long-range hunting rounds. Experienced shooters won’t have any problem handling it.

Nevertheless, the 243’s much lighter recoil is surely an advantage. Suppose you are a newcomer to the shooting sport and have less experience.

In that case, the 243 cartridge is commonly suggested due to its lighter recoil.

6.5 Creedmoor Pellets
6.5 Creedmoor Pellets

243 Vs 6.5 Creedmoor Ballistics

Metric .243 Win. 6.5 Creedmoor
Bullet Weight 95 gr 129 gr
Muzzle Velocity 3100 fps 2820 fps
Muzzle Energy 2023 ft-lbs 2390 ft-lbs
Trajectory (at 200 yds) -1.1 in -0.8 in
Recoil Energy 8.3 ft-lbs 12.7 ft-lbs

Ballistics is one of the most critical factors to consider when looking for a rifle cartridge. A good shooter understands how a cartridge behaves after shooting.

This allows them to evaluate the shooting quality, regardless of whether they select the cartridge for hunting or competing purposes.

In this section, I will compare the two cartridges regarding several ballistic categories, such as the ballistics coefficient, the trajectory, and the energy each cartridge produces during the shooting period.

243 Vs 6.5 Creedmoor Velocity 

Metric .243 Win. 6.5 Creedmoor
Bullet Weight 95 gr 129 gr
Muzzle Velocity 3100 fps 2820 fps
Velocity (at 200 yds) 2360 fps 2520 fps
Velocity (at 500 yds) 1650 fps 1920 fps
Velocity (at 1000 yds) 1120 fps 1310 fps

Velocity indicates how fast the bullet travels when it leaves the barrel.

This factor significantly impacts other categories such as trajectory, recoil, and the bullet’s ability to destroy specific targets.

The cartridge with low and unstabilized velocity might decrease shooting accuracy significantly.

It is also more prone to environmental factors like air or wind, resulting in a bad shot with an improper twist rate.

In general, the 243 rounds have a higher velocity than the 6.5 Creedmoor rounds due to their lightweight bullets.

At longer shooting distances (300-400 yards), the velocity of the 6.5 Creedmoor has proven to be more stable. This makes a considerable improvement in accuracy and time at long-range shooting.

243 Pellets
243 Pellets

243 Vs 6.5 Creedmoor Energy

The muzzle energy decides how the bullets impact and cause damage.

As you may have known, different cartridges can store varying amounts of powder with different sizes of bullets.

The muzzle energy of a pellet is determined by its mass and acceleration, so shooters can add some extra force with more extensive and heavier bullets and send them downrange at fasten rates (more powder).

Therefore I can deduce that the 6.5 Creedmoor rounds produce higher energy than the 243 rounds.

At a distance of 500 yards, the 6.5 Creedmoor rounds can reach 1,000 ft. lb, while the 243 rounds drop 1,000 ft. lb of energy when it reaches 400 yards.

243 Vs 6.5 Creedmoor Ballistic Coefficient

Ballistic Coefficient refers to the ability of a pellet to resist environmental impedance.

With a higher ballistic coefficient, the pellet is more immune to air resistance or wind, thus giving a flatter trajectory.

If you go hunting or participate in outdoor shooting competitions, the Ballistic Coefficient is critical.

As mentioned above, the cartridges with higher weight have higher BC, so the winner is the 6.5 Creedmoor.

The measured 243’s Ballistic Coefficient is 0,343; while the figure for the 6.5 Creedmoor stands at 0.537. So there’s no doubt the 6.5 Creedmoor is the definite winner here.

243 Vs 6.5 Creedmoor Trajectory

Metric .243 Win. 6.5 Creedmoor
Bullet Weight 95 gr 129 gr
Muzzle Velocity 3100 fps 2820 fps
Trajectory (at 100 yds) -0.4 in -0.2 in
Trajectory (at 200 yds) -1.1 in -0.8 in
Trajectory (at 300 yds) -1.9 in -1.5 in
Trajectory (at 400 yds) -3.1 in -2.4 in
Trajectory (at 500 yds) -4.6 in -3.5 in

When prioritizing the trajectory in choosing a cartridge, the 6.5 Creedmoor will come to many experienced shooters’ minds. This cartridge possesses a more stable and flatter trajectory than the 243 rounds.

The shooting performance in the long-range shooting distance of the 243 rounds isn’t bad at all, but they are gradually replaced with more advent cartridge models.

Through real-life shooting, I have monitored that the two cartridges give a similar trajectory at a low distance (less than 200 yards, though the 6.5 Creedmoor dropped slightly more.

At longer shooting distances, the 243 still excels with a flatter trajectory. However, its lightweight makes the pellet more susceptible to windy conditions, which may affect its traveling trajectory.

Therefore the 6.5 Creedmoor gives higher stability, though it doesn’t feature a flat trajectory.

Outdoor Shooting
Outdoor Shooting

243 Vs 6.5 Creedmoor Stopping Power

The stopping power indicates how much damage a pellet can generate or its penetration capacity when hitting the target. Stopping power is a factor that every hunter should prioritize.

No hunter wants to go after an animal using a cartridge with low stopping power. The powerful cartridges can take down the target faster, thus saving more time and effort when hunting.

Whether it’s long-range or short-range shooting distance, the 6.5 Creedmoor still excels in terms of energy and power generated. At 500 yards, its measure of kinetic energy stands at 1162,6 ft. lbs, while the figure for 243 is only 692.15.

Things don’t change much at 100-yard shooting distance, with the kinetic energy measured of the 6.5 Creedmoor and 243 standing at 2269.8 ft. lbs and 1936.6, respectively.

For these reasons, the 6.5 Creedmoor is an ideal choice if your priority is penetration and power. It proved to be much more efficient in taking down large animals on hunting trips.

243 Vs 6.5 Creedmoor Price

The cost of the 6.5 Creedmoor ranges between $24.10 to $30.99, from the lowest to the highest version. Meanwhile, the 243 costs between $20.49 to $29.52, making it slightly more affordable.

If you need more in-depth comparisons between the 243 and 6.5 Creedmoor, consider watching the video below.

Final Verdict: Which One Should You Choose Between 243 Vs 6.5 Creedmoor?

These two cartridges have always been on the list of the highest-rated ammo, so there’s little to doubt about their quality and performance. They are both very prevalent options for adept and experienced gunners.

However, each cartridge is more suitable for a specific shooting purpose.

The 243 is ideal for shooting competitions where high accuracy is required. It gives a flatter trajectory and is also easier to handle with less recoil power.

On the other hand, the 6.5 Creedmoor gives you higher penetration capacity and kinetic energy. It’s the definite winner regarding power, which is an optimal option for shooting or home-defending.

So that’s everything you need to know when selecting between these two cartridges. Just go for the one that suits your needs. Thank you for your time!

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by

1 thought on “What are The Differences Between 243 vs 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo?”

  1. How about comparing a .243 bullet with a bc comparable to the 6.5?
    .35 bc vs .56 bc? Really?
    A 243 Win will push a 105-108 grain bullet with a bc of .55 to 3000 fps. Compare that at 1000 yards to the 140 grain 6.5.
    Steve Whidden regularly spanks the 6.5 boys at the 1000 yard Eimbledon with his 243 Win


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