Best 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo: Loads for Hunting, Plinking, and Long Range Shooting

An uptick of gun club memberships and gun sales in the last decade has brought a lot of attention to the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge for all your rifle shooting experiences. Designed to be a powerful ammo option without the heaviness and long range accuracy issues of comparable choices, the 6.5 CM packs an aerodynamic, powerful punch. 

Whether you use a bolt action or semi-auto rifle (or both) when shooting, there is a 6.5 CM cartridge for you. Perfect for hunting, plinking, and long range competition, once you start using this round, you may never go back. This guide explains the history of this round, and the best 6.5 Creedmoor ammo you can buy for your needs. 

Here’s A Quick Look of Our 7 Best 6.5 Creedmoor Ammos

Top Plinking Ammo

Top Hunting Ammo

Top Match-Grade Ammo

The 6.5 Creedmoor Becomes Reality

The idea of the 6.5 Creedmoor was born after a frustrating day on the range, when velocity and weight just wasn’t making the shooting experience a comfortable one. Brainstorming up a dream round that included length for rapid firing, a light recoil, and reload ease were some of the details included in the list. This idea began to take shape, and within a year, the prototypes of the 6.5 CM were being tried out. 

Winneconne, WI - 7 February 2018: A box of Hornady ammunition in 6.5 creedmoor on an isolated background.

Introduced to the public by Hornady in 2007, by 2008 it had garnered enough attention by competitive shooters to fast track it towards one of the best setting long-distance rounds available. Today it continues to be a popular choice for a wide range of shooting experiences, and works equally well in both bolt action and semi-auto rifle builds. 

Created to outperform the .308, it lends itself amazingly well to provide the same trajectory of a .300 Win Mag, but with only 40% of the recoil- making it a fun, comfortable round to shoot for long periods of time. Plus, its overall design has made it incredibly accurate at 800+ yards, with an accuracy that doubles at 1000 yards when compared, side by side, with a 7.62 NATO. 

That get your attention? It should, as there are few caliber rounds of this nature that will give you even comparable results, and none that are much fun to shoot. 

6.5 Creedmoor Ballistics

Flying bullet with red tongues of flame on a dark background. Bullet in flame

The ballistics of a bullet are defined as the components of velocity, acceleration, and the force of gravity over a set distance. Calculating these provides you the idea of the trajectory of a bullet, and the better the trajectory, the more likely your accuracy and power will be. 

To put this into perspective, let’s compare the 6.5 to other popular rifle rounds. A .308 Win takes approximately 1.7 seconds (ignoring wind) to hit a 1000 yard target. A 6.5 CM can do it in Approximately 1.5 seconds, and with 4 times the force. It even outperforms the .30-06 in many trials, and has pushed this one time favorite back to a close second in recent ammunition sales (however, it is still one of my all time favorites despite the recoil). 

Speaking of recoil, you can’t beat the design of the 6.5 CM cartridge to reduce recoil. It literally was designed over the discomfort of recoil, which can be rather uncomfortable after shooting your way through a high caliber magazine of ammunition. The 6.5 CM lessons this impact, as explained above, making it a much more comfortable option when you are going to pop off more than a few rounds. 

What You Use A 6.5 CM With

Cartridges ranked with red tip on a dark wooden background

Now, you can’t just load up your existing rifles with the 6.5 CM round, not unless you want to sacrifice your weapon and possibly your overall health. There is an excellent selection of bolt-action, semi-auto, and even hybrid rifle builds you can utilize with a 6.5 CM round to take care of all your shooting sport needs. Just be sure to find yourself the perfect match before endeavoring to make the 6.5 CM your favorite round. 

Bullet Types To Consider

Just like any other ammunition, you have choices to make concerning the make of your bullet. The design and weight of a 6.5 CM vary depending on your needs, and range anywhere from 97 grain to 147. All are considered a precision rifle round, but you certainly don’t need an expensive choice when you plan on shooting through an entire box plinking with friends. 

Polymer Tipped

Polymer tipped ammo is some of the most advanced you can buy. It has enhanced terminal performance, streamlined ballistics, and is heat resistant- to mention a few benefits. They are available in 90 grain to 142 and offer amazing precision over 1000 yards. 

Boat Tail Hollow Point 

Boat Tail Hollow Point (BTHP) tips are awesome for long-distance, competitive shooting. It can also be called an open-tip match- or OTM, and has a streamlined backside for small groupings downrange. Weights are generally between 120 and 140. 

Soft Point

The 9mm caliber cartridge on wooden background

Soft points, or SP ammo is a go to for hunting option and falls between 120 and 140 grain weights. 

Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) is a go-to option for all shooting sports and is a budget friendly choice as well. They generally weigh around 140 grains. 

ELD-X 

ELD-X ammo stands for Extremely Low Drag- eXpanding for incredible range performance and high velocity impact up to 400 yards- making it a perfect hunting option. This is a patented style created by Hornady. 

Top 7 of the 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo Reviews

We’ve sifted through some of the best rounds for your 6.5 CM builds and provided the most powerful and popular picks for each shooting experience.There are literally NO complaints concerning these options as we have sifted through the go-to choices to provide you the best selection possible. Take a look at these options to help narrow down which choices fit your shooting experience needs.

Top Plinking Ammo

When you don’t want to sacrifice quality, but also don’t want to spend top dollar on a full day of shooting, these are the choices you want. Efficient, accurate trajectories define these top picks and can keep you shooting all day without going broke. 

1. Sellier & Bellot – 6.5x55mm Swedish Mauser 140gr FMJ Ammo

Sellier & Bellot - 6.5x55mm Swedish Mauser 140gr FMJ Ammo
  • Style: Full Metal Jacket
  • Weight: 140 grain
  • Rounds: 20

Probably the best 6.5 CM ammo for plinking, the Sellier & Bellot Swedish Mauser has a 140 grain weight and is a full metal jacket style for accuracy and efficiency. Budget friendly for all day shooting, it has a muzzle velocity of 2,657 fps and energy of 2,194 ft-lb and provides a similar shooting experience as your hunting and competitive shots. 


2. Wolf – Military Classic Ammo 6.5mm Grendel 100gr FMJ

Wolf - Military Classic Ammo 6.5mm Grendel 100gr FMJ
  • Style: Full Metal Jacket
  • Weight: 100 grain
  • Rounds: 20, 500

Priced to save, buy in bulk for all day shooting and then some with their 500 round case. The Wolf Military Classic is a 100 grain weight and offers a bearden prime steel case and bimetal jacket. It has a muzzle velocity of 2620 fps and energy of 1676 ft/lbs. Economic and reliable, when you plan on a long day of fun this is a great choice. 


3. American Eagle – American Eagle Ammo 6.5mm Creedmoor 140gr OTM

American Eagle - American Eagle Ammo 6.5mm Creedmoor 140gr OTM
  • Style: Open Tip Match
  • Weight: 140 grain
  • Rounds: 20

Create tight groups downrange with the American Eagle 140 grain OTM. This plinking round has a Muzzle velocity of 2,900 fps and energy of 2,241 ft-lbs for powerful accuracy. It also is about as close as you can get to the rounds you’ll hunt or compete with, making your practice incredibly efficient. 

Top Hunting Ammo

The time and effort you put into hunting needs to be rewarded by a powerful, accurate shot when finally get your game within your sights. These choices are dependable and efficient even when your shot is far off. 

4. Hornady – Precision Hunter Ammo 6.5mm Creedmoor 143gr ELD-X

Hornady - Precision Hunter Ammo 6.5mm Creedmoor 143gr ELD-X
  • Style: ELD-X
  • Weight: 143 grain
  • Rounds: 20

The ELD-X round is a patented Hornady special that provides incredible power and accuracy for hunting. Clean burning with consistent capacity, this 143 grain weight choice doesn’t run down over long distances. It also has a Heat Shield tip, another Hornady special, for amazing expansion and weight retention. The muzzle velocity is 2,700 fps and energy is 2,315 ft-lbs.


5. Federal – Fusion Ammo 6.5mm Creedmoor 140gr SP

Federal - Fusion Ammo 6.5mm Creedmoor 140gr SP
  • Style: Soft Point
  • Weight: 140 Grain
  • Rounds: 20

Federal Fusion was actually the first rifle ammo designed specifically for deer hunting, and it continues to be a standard for hunters everywhere. It has the largest expansion and highest weight retention compared to competitive rounds. The design includes a molecularly-fused jacket and pressure-formed core to ensure deep terminal penetration, with a dependable soft-point, clean kill. It has a muzzle velocity of 2,750 fps, and energy of 2,351 ft-lbs. 

Top Match-Grade Ammo

Competitive shooting requires a dependable trajectory over long distances. These long-shot ammo options provide amazing accuracy and can help you keep your shots in a tight cluster even when sighting a 1400 yard target. 

6. Hornady – Match Ammo 6.5mm Creedmoor 120gr ELD Match

Hornady - Match Ammo 6.5mm Creedmoor 120gr ELD Match
  • Style: ELD-X
  • Weight: 120 grain
  • Rounds: 20

Once again, Hornady makes out top ammo lost for the 6.5 CM. This choice is specific for match rounds and provides a powerful 120 grain cartridge for constant charges and pressures to create a reputable accuracy. This is a fairly new round and was introduced in 2017, and since then it has gained an excellent reputation for long-range trajectory accuracy.  The muzzle velocity of 2,910 fps, and energy of 2,256 ft-lbs is blistering. Combined with their patented Extremely Low Drag design, it is hard to beat. 


7. Winchester Match 6.5 Creedmoor 140-grain BTHP

Winchester Match 6.5 Creedmoor 140-grain BTHP
  • Style: Boat Tail Hollow Point
  • Weight: 140 grain
  • Rounds: 20, 200

You can’t often beat the Winchester brand, and their 6.5 Creedmoor BTHP Match is no exception. This 140 grain option may seem like it is a bit bit heavier for long-distance shooting, but provides an incredible muzzle velocity of 2,710 fps and 2,283 ft-lbs. of energy. The streamlined backside provides incredible accuracy for small grouping far downrange to make it a top pick for competitive shooting. 

Conclusion

The popularity of the 6.5 Creedmoor surrounds it’s incredible velocity and accuracy for long distance shooting. Perhaps one of the best rifle caliber options ever, this fairly young choice has become one of the most popular for both hunters and competitive shooters. These top ammo picks help you determine which is best for plinking, hunting, and match shooting to make sure you show up with your best game no matter your shooting experience.

See the best reloading dies for the 6.5 Creedmoor here.