Best 6.5 Creedmoor Hunting Rifles – 2021 Round-up

Jeff
| Last Updated January 2, 2021

The 6.5 Creedmoor is a very popular cartridge among long range shooters for its good ballistics and flat trajectory. Some call it the new .30-06 and some an all-purpose round. Those notions are debatable, but we’re not on this page for a wrangle.

This article will be reviewing the best 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifles available on the market today. 

Our Top Picks for Best 6.5 Creedmoor Hunting Rifles

  • Oversized bolt handle
  • Very affordable bolt action
  • Long barrel. Threaded muzzle
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  • Good safety and extras
  • Adjustable length of pull
  • Scout rifle for short range
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  • Rail with bubble level
  • Light and crisp trigger
  • Suits most body types
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Comparison of the Best 6.5 Creedmoor Hunting Rifles

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Aluminum bedded stock and 5R rifled barrel
  • Pre-installed 20 MOA top rail & 3 sling studs
  • Fully adjustable trigger and three-position safety
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  • Multiple scope and sling mounting configuration
  • Versatile rifle with many applications on the field
  • In-built bipod, retractable sights, and 2 stage mag
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  • Tough finish, extended handle and muzzle brake
  • Short action length, camo, and two Picatinny rails
  • Rated for extreme long range precision applications
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  • Adjustable for comb height and length of pull
  • Molded stock with integrated aluminum chassis
  • World-renowned Bergara barrel & Sako extractor
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What Can You Hunt With a 6.5 Creedmoor?

The 6.5 Creedmoor is a versatile hunting round. It is the slimmer and longer-shooting version of the 7.62 NATO and shows the lesser drop (-290.2 inches at 1000 yards) and better retention of energy (muzzle energy 2283 fpe, 140 gr Hornady ELD-X)  at long range. 

This bullet is good enough to hunt game of any size and at most hunting distances across the planet. The 6.5 Creedmoor are also known to bring down bears and work great with Whitetails, elks, and moose. However, right shot placement is very imperative with big games like elands and cape buffalo’s. 

How to Choose a 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle For Hunting 

Choosing the 6.5 Creedmoor rifle is similar to choosing a common hunting rifle. The features and characteristics. There are a few basics and some other frollies that have to be kept in mind when choosing a hunting rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. 

Lightweight and Ergonomic Design

As with all hunting rifles, a 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifle should have a well-balanced design and a weight between 7 to 9 pounds. Or it may be less/more depending upon where you are hunting. Whether plain woods or the mountains. However, if you're looking for a versatile rifle that can also be used for long range marksmanship. There’ll be a slight compromise on weight. 

The ergonomics of your rifle is also an important factor to consider. An all-weather stock will offer better protection against impervious weather. Plus, chances are it will also decrease the overall weight of the rifle if made from lightweight polymers. The one seemingly minuscule but important feature is to have a sling on your rifle. So carrying it is easy. 

Appropriate Barrel Length

Since the 6.5 Creedmoor has earned its reputation by being a flat-shooting long range bullet. A rifle with at least 20 inches of barrel length will do justice to its potential. The best barrel length to look for in such a rifle is 22 or 24 inches. So you can take those long range shots with confidence. 1:8 twist is more common and works well for 120 and 140-grain bullets. However, you may also opt for a 1:9 twist rate for better precision with heavier bullets. 

Quick Take | Best 6.5 Creedmoor Hunting Rifles

Just looking for the three best 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifles? Here they are:

  1. Savage 10T-SR Bolt-Action Rifle
  2. Steyr Arm Scout 6.5 Crd Bolt Action
  3. Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon

Review of the Best 6.5 Creedmoor Hunting Rifles

Ready to learn more about some of the best 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifles available? Here is all you need to know:

PROS

  • Exceptional value for money
  • Factory-installed aluminum Picatinny rail 
  • Oversized bolt handle for easy use with gloves
  • Fully adjustable trigger and three-position safety
  • Long 24 inch threaded barrel, beavertail forend, and 3 sling studs

CONS

  • Has a break-in period
  • A bit heavy and basic design

What Recent Buyers Report

The Savage 10T is a budget-friendly option against more expensive rifles from Savage and others. This is considered to be one of the best 6.5 Creedmoor precision rifles and users have been consistently hitting tight and precise groups at close and long range. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is the perfect example of simplicity with quality. The receiver has been pre-installed with a Picatinny rail to help you mount optics right out of the box. The stock is basic polymer but offers a glass bedded, free-floating barrel. Talking about the barrel, it is muzzle threaded to help you add devices. 

The forend has two swivel studs instead of one and the bolt handle is oversized and looks like a honey dipper. The three-position safety is a useful feature. Plus the adjustable trigger makes it suitable for hunting as well as competitions. 

Bottom Line 

The Savage 10T is by far the most affordable 6.5 Creedmoor rifle that can be trusted for long range precision applications. The design is pretty basic but ready to accept attachments. Make sure you carry a bipod though. The rifle weighs around 9.5 pounds. 

PROS

  • Retractable ghost ring iron sights
  • Exceptionally lightweight rifle. Only 6.6 pounds
  • Adjustable LOP and 5 sling mounting positions
  • Integrated folding bipod & extra mag storage in stock
  • The most feature-loaded and versatile rifle on this list
  • Two-stage magazine for extra safety. Plus 3 safety positions

CONS

  • Expensive for many buyers
  • Short barrel. Long range use is not very definitive

What Recent Buyers Report

The user reports for Steyr scout are clean as a crystal. The rifle is expensive but runs without a hitch. It is a tack driver within its effective range and offers too many tactical-handling options that a bolt action wouldn’t generally offer. The weight is just miraculous and those who use it swear on keeping it for life. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Including the Steyr Scout on this list was a tough decision. It is not an ideal hunting rifle by 6.5 Creedmoor’s standards. But it is the most versatile rifle on our list. Weighing a mere 6.6 pounds, the Scout is very easy to handle and is equipped with failsafe safety features. The extra mag storage is a good and useful feature too. 

The rifle allows you to position the scope and sling the way you like. The two-stage trigger can be adjusted to find values and is very crisp. Two great features are the built-in quick-deploy bipod and the retractable ghost ring sights. 

Bottom Line

The Steyr Scout is a versatile rifle that can be used for hunting, practice, and even SHTF. It offers a myriad of useful features and is a complete package in itself. All you need to add is a sling and a good rifle scope. A tad hard on the wallet, but worth two times more. 

PROS

  • Short action to suit different shooters
  • Long 26-inch threaded barrel and rifle weighs only 7.7 lbs
  • 20 MOA rail with bubble level supplied. Bipod rail installed
  • Urban camo ambush finish and cerakote coating in the action
  • Extended bolt handle, included muzzle brake and thread protector

CONS

  • Expensive for many buyers
  • Twist rate could’ve been higher to suit heavier pills

What Recent Buyers Report

The Browning X-bolt is a long range precision rifle, popular among buyers for its accuracy. The rifle is very safe and has a lightweight and crisp trigger with zero overtravel. The recoil management is great and exceptionally accurate over a long range. It is a bit long but the performance outweighs that.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The first reason is very clear. Dead on accuracy at short, medium, and especially long ranges. This rifle was designed to shoot extremely tight groups at long range, and that’s what it does. Despite its long barrel, the action and LOP are short enough for easy handling. This rifle gives you the confidence to shoot game animals from too far away for normal hunting distances.

The camo finish helps with hiding and the rails on top and bottom allow mounting a scope and bipod. The recoil is very manageable and the safety is prompt.

Bottom Line

Browning has a reputation for producing durable, accurate, and easy-to-adjust rifles. The X-bolt is a marksman's rifle that can be used for hunting or competitions over a long or extra-long range.

PROS

  • Sako style extractor and 2-lug action
  • Crisp and clean trigger set a 3 pounds
  • Stock is adjustable for cheek weld and LOP
  • Long 24-inch world-renowned barrel for hunting and match
  • Molded stock with integrated mini chassis and free-floating barrel

CONS

  • Slightly heavy for thick brush

What Recent Buyers Report

Users greatly appreciate the accuracy and adjustability of this rifle. However, most mention the weight to be slightly extra for this rifle to be carried on foot for long distances. It is a great rifle for long range hunting. Especially if you are traveling on horseback or an ATV. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Bergara B-14 features an exceptional world-class barrel that doesn’t wear out as soon as 6.5 Creedmoor barrels are expected. With that said, the build quality of this rifle is just great. You can adjust the stock to suit your taste and its ergonomics are perfect. 

The long 24-inch barrel allows extra long range precision shots for interested hunters, and the rifle itself is very easy to shoot. Some people didn’t like the weight for hunting trips. But remember, it is a hunting and match rifle. So it suits two purposes. 

Bottom Line

The Bergara B-14 HMR is an exceptionally affordable match and hunting rifle that offers amazing long range accuracy. The build quality is very durable and reliable. With the best part being its barrel. 

PROS

  • Reversible safety selector switch
  • Fully adjustable and folding AR-style stock
  • Accepts both AICS and Magpul magazines
  • 5R rifled 24-inch barrel with hybrid muzzle brake
  • Adjustable Ruger Marksman trigger & oversized bolt handle

CONS

  • Doesn’t have iron sights
  • Slightly heavy for some hunting uses (10.70 pounds)

What Recent Buyers Report

Ruger already has a large fan following, and the RPR is an exceptionally loved rifle by all its users. The rifle is deadly accurate and guarantees sub-MOA groups. The bolt is super smooth and you get the option to customize it to your tastes. The only thing a few users revealed was the slight rattling with full metal mags. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Ruger Precision Rifle gives you the feel of handling an AR-15. It offers you too much space for customization. The stock is telescopic, foldable, and can be removed/replaced if required. The skeletonized design and M-Lok floating handguard offer a good mix of weight reduction and accessory compatibility. 

The barrel is 24 inches, which is enough to take long range shots with confidence. The top Picatinny rail allows you to add optics and the rifle conforms to the highest accuracy standards under all shooting conditions. 

Bottom Line 

The RPR is a renowned precision rifle used by pro marksmen for competitions and target practice. The rifle will fare well for hunting uses and holds 11 rounds at max. But make sure you always carry a bipod and start lifting weights, since the rifle is heavy. 

Pros and Cons of Hunting With a 6.5 Creedmoor

To make this review more balanced, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of hunting with a 6.5 Creedmoor bullet. 

Pros

Better Effect at Long Range

The 6.5 Creedmoor is a very effective game round when shooting at distances beyond 300 yards. Since the bullet has better ballistics at longer range. Plus, energy retention is great. The bullet can bring down the biggest game roaming across North America. 

It is also a great round to take down the wounded game at significantly longer distances. That is when things go beyond 400/500 yards. Plus, the 6.5 Creedmoor has less recoil than the .308. 

Easy and Effective to Reload

These cartridges are very suitable for reloading and perform well after that. It’s not like those other calibers that degrade in performance after being reloaded. The sharper shoulder angle and slightly less tapered case than the .308 also help the bullet with accuracy. 

Cons

Pricier and With Lesser Options

Comparing it with a .308, the 6.5 Creedmoor is going to cost you a tad more. However, the difference between match-grade cartridges can be a mere cent or two. But the 6.5 Creedmoor is not very readily available and has lesser options for ammo and rifle choices. Additionally, the 7.62 NATO is available in cheap surplus options. But the 6.5 Creedmoor is not yet there in terms of widespread use.

Shorter Barrel Life

The 6.5 Creedmoor uses smaller bore barrels due to its size. Which creates extra wear on the rifling and brings the life expectancy of the barrel to about 2,000 - 3,000 rounds. While not a big problem for hunters. Target shooters will find themselves replacing barrels on their rifles in shorter periods. 

How Does The 6.5 Creedmoor Compare For Hunting? 

This article would be incomplete without comparing the 6.5 Creedmoor with some very popular and effective hunting rounds used today. The comparison will include .308, .260 Rem, 30-06, and 6.5 Grendel.  

6.5 Creedmoor vs 308

The 6.5 Creedmoor uses a lighter bullet compared to the .308. This compromise on weight improves the trajectory and energy retention at longer ranges. But the .308 is better at ranges under 300 yards for games of all sizes. It is more powerful and creates a bigger wound cavity. But if things go beyond 300 or 400 yards, the 6.5 is your answer. 

6.5 Creedmoor vs 260 Remington 

The 260 Remington holds slightly more powder, whereas the 6.5 Creedmoor is loaded for higher pressures and has better ballistics. The .260 rifles are mostly rifled with a 1:8 twist rate which may make stabilization difficult for bullets heavier than 143 grains. The .260 Rem is a sweet but ignored bullet that is only suitable for the game up to the size of big deer or even elks. The 6.5 Creedmoor on the other hand is a long range hunting load. 

6.5 Creedmoor vs 30-06 

The 30-06 has been and will always be the most reliable and legendary hunting cartridge. It packs a lot more energy at close ranges and is capable of hunting the biggest game animals found even in the African plains. The 6.5 Creedmoor certainly cannot claim to do that (and it’s also illegal in some cases). However, the major difference is again, shooting distance, case size, and a flatter trajectory. 

6.5 Grendel vs 6.5 Creedmoor 

Both these cartridges differ in size. The 6.5 Grendel is a lighter round but with similar ballistics. It is a great bullet for deer-sized game and everything smaller than that. The 6.5 Creedmoor is more popular and versatile in terms of hunting or even competitions. 

Conclusion

The 6.5 Creedmoor is a new but fairly popular cartridge for its flat shooting trajectory and long range efficiency. It is a great round for hunting almost every game found across North America. From up close or at a distant range. A good rifle chambered in this caliber must support its long range potential and be customizable enough to suit personal taste. 

People Also Ask

Check out this compact but comprehensive FAQ section that’ll answer your doubts about the 6.5 Creedmoor, its potential, and how you should use it. 

What is a 6.5 Creedmoor?

The 6.5 Creedmoor (6.5 x 48 mm) is a centerfire rifle cartridge introduced by Hornady on the market in 2007. It is based upon the famous 7.62 NATO bullets and is known for its flatter shooting trajectory. 

What Caliber is 6.5 Creedmoor?

The 6.5 Creedmoor uses a .264 inch diameter bullet, the same size as the 264 Remington and comparable to the .260 Rem bullets. It uses a .30 Thompson Center case (slightly shorter than the .308) and operates at a maximum pressure of 62,000 psi. 

Is 6.5 Creedmoor Good For Long Range Hunting?

Yes. This caliber was indeed designed for long range hunting and offers a flatter trajectory at long distances. It will work out to 1,200 yards (or maybe a tad more) and experiences lesser drift and drop compared to similar bullets. 

What Distance Should You Zero a 6.5 Creedmoor?

It depends on what range you’re expecting to shoot at. Most people will zero their rifles at 100 yards. But if you plan on utilizing the flat long range shooting capabilities of your rifle. You can zero it at 200 yards. 

Jeff

My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at admin@biggamelogic.com. Read more about Big Game Logic.