The 308 cartridges have worked well for various hunters over the years. The .308 Winchester has been around for a long time and earned a well-deserved reputation as an effective cartridge for many games.
However, the recent strong development of 6.5 Creedmoor has left hunters and gunsmiths, even the oddball ones. So, 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308 Winchester: which is better? We believe that 6.5 Creedmoor and the .308 Winchester are excellent cartridges, but knowing their differences will allow you to choose the suitable one.
Something about 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo
The 6.5 Creedmoor is a popular rifle cartridge (also known as a round or ammunition) designed for long-range shooting and precision shooting sports. It was developed in 2007 by Hornady, a well-known ammunition manufacturer in the United States. The cartridge has gained significant popularity among hunters, target shooters, and competitive shooters due to its excellent ballistic performance and relatively mild recoil.
|Bullet Diameter||0.264 inches (6.5mm)|
|Case Length||1.920 inches (49.02mm)|
|Overall Cartridge Length||2.825 inches (71.76mm)|
|Shoulder Angle||30 degrees|
|Neck Diameter||0.295 inches (7.49mm)|
|Base Diameter||0.470 inches (11.94mm)|
|Rim Diameter||0.473 inches (12.01mm)|
|Maximum Pressure (SAAMI)||62,000 psi (or 430 MPa)|
|Bullet Weight Range||Typically 95 to 160 grains|
|Typical Muzzle Velocity||Varies based on bullet weight and load, but commonly ranges from 2,600 to 2,900 fps (feet per second)|
Something about .308 Winchester Ammo
The .308 Winchester often referred to simply as .308, is a popular rifle cartridge commonly used in both hunting and target shooting. It was introduced in 1952 by Winchester, a well-known firearms and ammunition manufacturer. The .308 Winchester is based on the .30-06 Springfield cartridge case but has a shorter case length, making it more versatile for use in shorter-action rifles.
|Bullet Diameter||0.308 inches (7.62mm)|
|Case Length||2.015 inches (51.18mm)|
|Overall Length||2.8 inches (71.12mm)|
|Rim Diameter||0.473 inches (12.01mm)|
|Shoulder Angle||20 degrees|
|Base Diameter||0.470 inches (11.94mm)|
|Maximum Pressure||62,000 psi (SAAMI Max)|
|Typical Bullet Weights||150 grains to 180 grains|
Detailed Comparison 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308 Winchester
|Parameter||The 308 Winchester||The 6.5 Creedmoor|
|Maximum Overall Length||2,81″||2,825″|
|Case Capacity||53,5gr H2O||52,5gr H2O|
1. Cartridge Sizes
Both 308 and 6.5 CM cartridges are used in short-action rifles. That’s why they have similar external dimensions.
The case length of the .308 is a bit longer than 6.5 (2.015″ and 1.92″), but the overall length is shorter (2.81″ and 2.825″). The 6.5 cartridge features a sharper shoulder angle and is slightly less tapered than its .308 counterpart.
Both cartridges feature a .473″ rim diameter, allowing them to hold the same amount of powder and have the same maximum average pressure of 62,000psi.
Grain weight of the ammo that the 308 and 6.5 CM fire is probably the most significant difference between the two types.
6.5 CM was initially designed for competition shooting at long ranges, so it utilizes longer and sustained bullets.
The grain weight range for the Creedmoor cartridge is quite vast, from 90 to 160 grain. Here are the standard grain weights for 6.5 CM:
- 143 Grain
- 140 Grain
- 129 Grain
- 120 Grain
The less recoil you have, the better you shoot. The recoil results from many different factors and is partly related to the cartridge you are using.
The factor that most significantly affects the recoil you get is your gun. So it would be incorrect to compare the recoil between two cartridges directly if you don’t have the same firearm with a different chamber.
According to skilled hunters, 6.5 CM tends to be less recoil across the board.
4. Barrel Life
The 6.5 and the 308 have the same case capacity, but throat erosion tends to occur faster for 6.5 cartridges as it utilizes a smaller barrel.
Exactly how fast barrel erosion occurs will depend on a few factors, such as the barrel quality and the exact ammunition used.
It can be a significant problem with serious target shooters. But fortunately, the average lifespan of a 6.5 Creedmoor barrel ranges from 2,000 to 3,000 rounds, more than enough for it to last for several years.
So when it comes to the barrel life, there is no difference between the two.
5. Power & Range
The .308 and 6.5 CM give you an effective range of up to 1,000 meters or more. But 6.5 CM rounds tend to outperform.
The 6.5 CM ring has less recoil and allows you to double your hit probability at a distance of one kilometer. It also has about 30% more power on targets in the one-kilometer range.
6. Ammunition Selection
The 308 cartridge is popular in the shooting and hunting world in the United States. It even entered the list of best-selling cartridges in this country.
Although 6.5 Creedmoor has not yet achieved the same popularity due to its later release, it has also grown in popularity over time.
But will 6.5 CM become as widespread and famous as the .308 Winchester? Let time answer!
7. Availability and Price
The availability and price between the two may vary depending on the region, but ammo for both magazines is very common.
However, the .308 tends to be a bit easier to buy and cheaper than the 6.5 CM.
Most of the major bullet styles made for hunting are available in these cartridges.
- Berger VLD
- Barnes TTSX
- Hornady ELD-X
- Nosler AccuBond
- Ballistic Tip
- Remington Core Lokt
- Winchester Powerpoint.
8. Rifle Selection
In addition to a vast number of bullet options available in those cartridges, various good-quality rifles are made for the .308 Winchester and 6.5 CM cartridges.
The .308 rifles are more common, although 6.5 Creedmoor rifles are not uncommon. Here are some guns available for both cartridges:
- FTW Hunter
- Remington Model 700
- Nosler M48
- Browning X-Bolt
- Weatherby Vanguard
- Mossberg Patriot
- Savage Avis
9. Usage of Bullets
The 308 is one of the most common hunt bullets in existence. You can find them at every local ammo store to buy in bulk. You can also find them from online retailers like OpticsPlanet or Palmetto State Armory.
While the 6.5 CM is less common and more challenging to find than the 308 Winchester, it’s not tough. You can also find them at local stores or online retailers like OpticsPlanet and Palmetto State Armory.
6.5 Creedmoor vs 308: Which Is Right for You?
Both 308 Winchester and 6.5 CM cartridges work well for thin-skinned hunting games, such as mule deer, blacktail deer, fallow deer, and whitetail deer.
While these cartridges are ideal for hunting deer-sized games, they also work for bigger games under the right conditions.
They are suitable for hunting elk and moose at reasonable ranges. Also, these cartridges are good picks for hunting many species of African plains games.
Both work well for medium-sized hunting games like black bears, feral hogs, and deers within two hundred yards.
There’s not much difference between them in this case, but we recommend .308 if you prefer the easiest to find and cheapest ammo.
At longer distances, you should go with the 6.5 CM as it features a flatter trajectory, better wind resistance, and carries enough power over distances from 400 to 500.
If you prefer semi-automatic rifles for hunting or battle rifles for personal defense, you can’t go wrong with the .308 Winchester since various quality rifles are available for this cartridge.
Finally, the 6.5 CM is your best bet if you’re a recoil-sensitive shooter. It is ideal for new, recoil-shy, and small-framed hunters.
One good rifle chambered in the 6.5 CM is an excellent present for a shooter or hunter who is getting started.
FAQs about 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308 Winchester
Are there any advantages of the .308 Winchester over the 6.5 Creedmoor?
- The .308 Winchester may have an advantage when it comes to barrier penetration due to its heavier and larger-diameter bullets. This can be important in military and law enforcement applications.
What are the 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester cartridges?
- The 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester are two popular rifle cartridges used for hunting and precision shooting. They are known for their accuracy and versatility.
What is the primary difference between the 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester?
- The primary difference is the caliber and ballistic performance. The 6.5 Creedmoor has a 6.5mm bullet diameter, which is known for its long-range accuracy and minimal recoil. The .308 Winchester, on the other hand, has a larger .308-inch (7.62mm) bullet diameter and is known for its versatility and effectiveness at various ranges.
Which one has better long-range accuracy, the 6.5 Creedmoor or .308 Winchester?
- The 6.5 Creedmoor is generally considered to have better long-range accuracy due to its higher ballistic coefficient and lower recoil compared to the .308 Winchester. It tends to maintain supersonic velocities at longer distances.
Which cartridge has less recoil, the 6.5 Creedmoor or .308 Winchester?
- The 6.5 Creedmoor typically has less recoil than the .308 Winchester due to its smaller bullet diameter and more efficient ballistic performance. This makes it more comfortable for shooters, especially when firing multiple rounds.
Are 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester readily available and affordable?
- Both cartridges are widely available and have a variety of ammunition options. The cost of ammunition may vary depending on the brand and type, but both are generally affordable for most shooters.
The Bottom Line
Through this article, you have understood the difference between the 6.5 Creedmoor vs the 308 Winchester and choose something that works best for you. The .308 Winchester and 6.5 CM cartridges are both excellent. The difference between the two is quite significant in some respects, but one is not “better” than the other. As a hunter, you should carefully consider every aspect to make the final decision. Thanks for stopping by!
Shelly Jark Drakny is a retired SF weapons sergeant (E-5 or above) with a military occupational specialty (MOS) code 18B. He served 24 years in the military, including assignments in SF, Infantry, and Special Forces.