Best Budget 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles: Affordable Match and Hunting Picks

A 6.5 Creedmoor platform delivers awesome accuracy and long distance energy. Created to handle high velocity rounds, this is an option that can be used across a wide range of shooting needs. Popular for competitive shooters and hunters, it also is a fun choice for an enjoyable day on the range. 

Adding to your firearm collection is never a cheap experience, but you can definitely find a more affordable choice if you take a little time to do your homework. We’ve compiled some of the best quality options below at a great price range to help save you the time and effort of narrowing down your choices. Take a look at these 6.5 creedmoor rifle reviews and find what you want, at a price you can handle.  

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

The 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle Explained

Different types of 6.5 creedmoor rifles in a marble background.

Created specifically for competitive long-range target shooting, the 6.5CM cartridge was first brought to life by one of the top ammunition manufacturers in the world. Hornady knows a thing or two about what firearm enthusiasts need and want, and the Creedmoor round quickly became a number one choice for both match-shooting and hunting after being introduced in 2007. 

When you want both velocity and accuracy in any shooting scenario, this is definitely a choice to take a closer look at- and with a similar trajectory of the ever popular .300 Win, it offers 40% less recoil. To highlight this even further, it outperforms both the .30-06 and .308 Win at 1000 yards, and at almost 2 tenths of a second at that. 

What is a 6.5 Creedmoor Best For?

What makes the 6.5 Creedmoor platform so popular is how versatile and dependable it is for a wide range of uses. SInce it was designed as a competitive match round, it obviously is highly sought after for that purpose. But it lends itself well to just about anything you want it for.

Long Range Competitive Shooting

Match competition frustrations were what helped influence the creation of the 6.5CM. Long target acquisition with a dependable trajectory and a comfortable recoil is an ideal option, and the Creedmoor delivers on all counts. It retains energy well, and has an awesome ballistic coefficient- which can be easily compared to your past favorite match rounds with a simple ballistic trajectory calculator


Powerful, accurate caliber options are a must for hunting. A fatal wound is a must when targeting in on any game, both for ethical purposes and convenience. The 6.5 CM is a good choice for varmints and medium-size game, such as deer or hogs, but might not be best for larger ungulates. Elk, for example, is a bit large and if you want to use the cartridge for them,  you want to stick to a shorter range target. However, as a quality pick for smaller long-distance targets, the 6.5CM is one of the best you can get your hands on- both for semi-auto and bolt action rifles. 

Target Shooting

Rifle sight aiming at target on firing range

Obviously, the above information supports the fact that for simple plinking and target practice – the 6.5CM is a fun option to take advantage of. This particular cartridge comes in a great range of weights you can use for various target shooting scenarios. Combined with the lower recoil it boasts, you can shoot more comfortably for longer as well. 

What to Consider When Buying a 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle

Obviously, this is a popular rifle platform for many good reasons, but when deciding which choice is best for you- you need to take into account various shooting preferences. Keep in mind the following when narrowing down your choices: 

Bolt Action vs Semi-Auto

Bolt action rifles are the go-to for competitive shooters and many hunters due to the inherent accuracy of the build. Parts are often considered more fitted to precision measurements, allowing the cartridge to chamber better and tighter. This can influence shooting accuracy.

Hunter on his rifle targeting a prey in the woods.

AR style semi-auto platforms have increasingly become more and more popular, and also more accurate compared to even 5 years ago. Compared to a bolt-action, they are certainly comparable, but many will argue not as accurate. Quite honestly, trying to find differences between the two are getting more and more difficult to discern- and your own decision should be based on personal preference. 

Intent and Purpose

You need to decide what purpose you have for your rifle prior to purchase. As mentioned, match shooters and hunters may prefer the traditional feel and action of a bolt action rifle and thus pick their favorite from this style of platform. The AR platform has gained ground in the last few years for both hunting and target shooting, so research into your top picks of any style for your needs should always be considered. 

Price Range

Price range is generally something most gun enthusiasts keep a close eye on since cost can determine quality in many cases. This article is focused on budget options, which is defined as the best quality for the price. You never want to look for a ‘cheap’ option as cheap often negates quality and won’t deliver a dependable, long-lasting choice. On that note, bolt action rifles are generally more affordable than AR style options.

Top 7 Budget 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles Review

The following rifle picks are considered some of the best by both consumers and gun enthusiast reviewers. These are popular options for long distance sighting and are used exclusively for both hunting and match shooting competitions. A note on our list: there are A LOT of really great 6.5 CM platforms available, and many companies design various models based around the 6.5 CM to help you find the perfect fit and feel. If you like what you are seeing, but want something slightly different, you might want to explore what else they offer. 

1. Weatherby Vanguard .6.5-300 Mag Bolt Action Rifle

  • Type: Bolt Action
  • Capacity: 3+1
  • Barrel Length: 28”
  • Weight: 7.15 lb
  • Total Length: 48.5”

The Weatherby Vanguard bolt action is designed for lightweight comfort with a right-side palm swell and a textured grip and forearm area for dependability. A match quality, 2 stage trigger provides you complete control, and the 1:8 twist in a 28 inch barrel ensures excellent velocity and energy. Durable and rugged, it boasts a 1-piece machine bolt body and fully enclosed bolt sleeve.

The First Lite Fusion Camo design showcases a “cracklature” of shapes and colors based on nature inspired disruptions. This makes it a good option for hunting and provides a way to ensure you blend in no matter where you are. The magazine capacity provides a 3+1 load so you stay well within state restrictions during hunting season. 


  • Formed for comfort shooting
  • Dependable accuracy and power
  • Camo finish saves on having to apply your own


  • Mag capacity isn’t ideal for range days

Best For:

Designed for hunting, this is an option that can handle heavy use without sacrificing quality or accuracy. The 7.15 lb weight unloaded allows you to carry it with ease.

2. Savage Arms – Axis 22in 6.5 Creedmoor

  • Type: Bolt Action
  • Capacity: 4+1
  • Barrel Length: 22”
  • Total Length: 43.87”

Savage Arms is well known for their affordable firearms that provide both quality and long-lasting durability. Their Axis Series offers an excellent price point and is considered a go-to for beginning hunters as well as a dependable backup option for those who always want to be prepared. 

The removable box magazine holds 4+1 and the synthetic stock combined with a 22 inch forged barrel provides a lightweight option. Accurate and smooth loading, it is a choice option for many who are on a tight budget, or for smaller framed shooters who need a comfortable size and weight to shoot.


  • Lightweight and easy to shoot
  • Dependable choice to have on hand at all times
  • Smooth Feeding


  • May not want to use as your primary gun

Best For:

Beginning hunters and those who want a dependable, quality backup will appreciate all these series has to offer.

3. Ruger – Ruger® American Rifle Hunter

  • Type: Bolt Action
  • Capacity: 5+1
  • Barrel Length: 20”
  • Weight: 9.2 lbs
  • Total Length: 41.25” – 43.25”

Rugar is a long standing brand name you can’t go wrong with. The American Rifle Hunter is available in the 6.5 Creedmoor or 308 Winchester, and offers a Magpul-Enhanced hunter’s polymer stock for an enhanced, customizable shooting platform for a wider variety of shooting needs. Budget friendly, you can adjust the length-of-pull, comb height, and take advantage of the enhanced ergonomics of the fit. 

The 20 inch barrel length lends itself well to the 9.2 lb weight for easy portability and in any shooting scenario. It also comes with a removable 5 round magazine, giving you a total of 6 rounds – making this bolt action option a more popular one on the range. Plus, the hybrid muzzle brake reduces recoil for a more comfortable shooting experience. 


  • Easy to adjust stock
  • Great balance
  • Dependable accuracy


  • May take some time to adjust to your best fit

Best For:

The adjustability of this stock makes it ideal for different shooting scenarios and your own personal comfort.

4. Browning X-bolt Hell’s Canyon 6.5 Creedmoor Bolt Action Rifle

  • Type: Bolt Action
  • Capacity: 4+1
  • Barrel Length: 26”
  • Weight: 7.7 lbs
  • Total Length: 46”

Browning is another popular brand name that has been around for a long time. Their X-Bolt series builds on past rifle series to introduce various improvements to create one of the best options for the price. The 3 lever feather trigger has a clean pull without creep, and an included Pachmayr decelerator recoil pad helps deflect recoil. Browning provides free-floating by bedding the front and rear of the action for stability and accuracy as well. 

A bolt unlock button works with the top-tang safety for checking and unloading the chamber. And the Tungsten Cerakote finish keeps corrosion away. A 20 MOA rail with bubble level comes standard, plus it is already drilled and tapped for scope mounts. It offers a 1:7 twist with a 26 inch barrel, and only weighs 7.7 lbs. 


  • Lightweight and well balanced
  • Offers excellent accuracy
  • Easy to modify


  • Trigger plating wears with time

Best For:

This is a great quality pick that comes out on top. The overall design is made for comfort and dependable, long-term use.

5. Thompson Center Compass II 6.5 Creedmoor Bolt Action Rifle

  • Type: Bolt Action
  • Capacity: 5+1
  • Barrel Length: 21.625”
  • Weight: 7 lbs
  • Total Length: 41”

Owned by Smith & Wesson, Thompson/Center Arms offers a surprisingly affordable, high quality option that you can shoot right off the gun store floor. The adjustable trigger, 3-lug bolt, and 3-position safety are all popular features, and a 21.6 inch barrel/synthetic stock combo lends itself well to the 7 lb, lightweight feel. 

Perfect for use as a dependable backup rifle, new shooters, or packing into the mountains (or elsewhere), this is a good all around option that provides a 5+1 chamber load for safety and convenience. 


  • Well balanced
  • Incredible dependable and will shoot just about anything
  • Easy to carry and pack


  • Recoil can be a bit strong

Best For:

This lightweight choice is popular and great when you need a dependable choice without breaking the4 bank. Plus, at 7 lbs, you simply cannot get much more lightweight.

6. Bergara – B14 Hunter 6.5 Creedmoor

  • Type: Bolt Action
  • Capacity: 4+1
  • Barrel Length: 22”
  • Weight: 7.05 lbs
  • Total Length: 41.5”

Hailing from Spain, the Bergara brand is a dependable choice and their B14 Hunter Series offers a Do-It-All design without sacrificing quality. This is a quality, high performing platform that lends itself well when compared to more highly priced options. A polymer stock with steel pillar to provide a solid bedding system makes it a durable option, plus it is already drilled and tapped for scopes. 

The bolt feature offers a coned bolt nose and breech for smooth operation, and comes with a sliding plate extractor. The no.3 barrel taper and 1:8 twist over a 22 inch barrel length provides an accurate velocity and energy from the muzzle each and every time. It also weighs in at 7.05 lbs, allowing it to fall into the category of some of the lightest weight options available.


  • Well balanced and lightweight without sacrificing recoil
  • Accurate and comfortable to shoot
  • Great price point


  • Not a threaded barrel

Best For:

This is an excellent, top quality choice for the cost. It is built for heavy, comfortable use, and provides a dependable shot every time you pull the trigger.

7. PSA Gen3 Pa65 20″ Rifle-length 6.5 Creedmoor

  • Type: Semi-Auto
  • Capacity: Comes with a 20 round PMAG
  • Barrel Length: 20”
  • Weight: 9.5lbs
  • Total Length: Adjustable

We can’t ignore that some decent, affordable AR-10 6.5 Creedmoor platforms exist. Our favorite is Palmetto State Armory’s Gen3 that has so much going for it, it almost needs a separate article. The awesome price point cannot be beat, and highlights everything that was awesome about their PA-65 platform and added to it for an entirely new shooting experience. To start, the 20 inch, dimpled 416R Stainless barrel has 1:8 twist and works well with the 5 position adjustable click switch gas block to create the perfect scenario. 

Anti slip and anti rotation handguards are a great choice along side the 6-position telescoping stock to create a comfortable, solid shooting position. Alongside the reduced recoil, this is a joy to shoot indeed. The 2 stage trigger has a 4.5 lb pull for complete control that is still easy and smooth to work. 


  • Incredibly smooth with low recoil
  • Awesome adjustable and control
  • Comfortable and accurate


  • A little on the heavy side for the design

Best For:

There is truly so much more that can be said about this gun, but it offers one of the most affordable, highest quality you can buy.


The Creedmoor is a popular option, and although the bolt action design is a more affordable and often popular choice for hunting and long-distance shooting, our last top pick obviously highlights that you shouldn’t discount an AR platform. 

These are all amazing options for the money,  with a ton of great reviews- and each offers benefits you need to consider when looking for the perfect choice for your needs. Everything from beginning hunters to match shots can be taken advantage of, and the brands are tried and true choices you cannot go wrong with. 

We’d love to hear which is your favorite, or answer any questions you may have about them. And, as always, please share!