The Excellent ELD-X

Hornady’s low drag, expanding bullet ‘delivers accuracy both at the bench and in the hunting fields.’

Story by Phil Massaro Photos by Massaro Media Group

The rain had just subsided, though the streams were too swollen to cross. In spite of the fact that temperatures had risen significantly – the previous morning was in the low single digits – the runoff created a natural barrier between us and the mule deer buck we had just glassed on the hillside at over 1,000 yards.
So, with Plan A foiled, we regrouped and planted the seeds of what would become Plan B: glass the innumerable coulees, gullies and canyons in a frantic manner until we found a buck. Well-armed with both superior firepower and a positive mental attitude, we sallied forth, in spite of wet feet and rumbling bellies indicating the proximity to lunchtime.
My hunting partner Mike Mattly and I were discussing the finer points of magnum cartridges and domestic beer as we approached the first canyon we were to glass, when a pair of mule deer bucks – who obviously disagreed with my take on Coors Light – jumped out of their beds to find better conversation.
“On the left, he’s the one you want,” Mattly curtly stated. The rifle came quickly to shoulder, but a running mule deer will bounce more than run, so the shot wasn’t exactly a slam-dunk. Even through the recoil I could hear the bullet strike flesh, and Mattly’s congratulations assured the buck had gone down.
Mule deer bucks can be tough, but the 143-grain Hornady ELD-X bullet was tougher and, in spite of having almost 200 yards to slow down, worked perfectly. It was my first mule deer, and my first time in the field with the ELD-X, though it wouldn’t be the last for either one.

The 6.5mm 143-grain ELD-X is a
perfect choice for all the 6.5 cartridges,
from the Creedmoor to the 6.5-284
Norma up through the 6.5 PRC.
The .30-caliber Hornady
at 200 grains will give
great performance in the .30-
06 Springfield and the .300
magnums alike. (HORNADY)
ELD-X IS AN acronym for the “Extremely Low Drag – eXpanding” bullet. The ELD-X is, to the eye, just another polymer-tipped boattail bullet. But once you pop the hood, there is a bit more going on, including some points that make it a great choice for the hunter. The 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition – from Black Hills Ammunition – we had on that mule deer hunt shot very well, and on the South Dakota prairie it made a great choice to deal with the definite possibility of a longer shot or a shot in a very windy condition, or worse: both.
While we have the choice of a good many bullets, the ELD-X is among the finest for these situations. Let’s take a look at the design concepts, and at the eye-opening discoveries that led to its existence.

The .300 Remington Ultra Magnum in Hornady’s Precision Hunter line of loaded cartridges, with the 212-grain ELD-X bullet.
With a good rifle, like this Kimber Open Country in 6.5 Creedmoor, a 143-grain Hornady ELD-X will make a solid choice for nearly all game suitable for the cartridge.
Hornady, which is one of America’s most cherished bullet companies and has its roots in the post-World War II component bullet industry, is no stranger to bullet development. With founder Joyce Hornady pairing with Vernon Speer to use spent .22 Long Rifle cases to make bullet jackets – commodities, you see, were a rarity and handloaders didn’t have a lot to choose from – the company has a long history of interesting, effective and innovative designs. Their InterLock jacketed softpoint, which has long been a favorite of mine, remains a sound choice for any of the cervids, providing there is a sensible sectional density figure. The copper jacket is set into the lead core via a cannelure, and certainly moderates expansion, but even the spitzer boattail designs are limited in the ballistic coefficient department, based primarily on the shape of the exposed lead nose. Now Hornady isn’t the first company to put a pointed polymer tip on a bullet – that distinction belongs to Nosler, with their Ballistic Tip bullet – but they did follow suit, including their signature red tip on such bullets as the SST (Super Shock Tip), GMX (Gilding Metal eXpanding) and the InterBond bullet, with its copper jacket bonded to the lead core. It was during long-range bullet testing, using Doppler radar technology, that the ballisticians at Hornady made a startling discovery.

It became evidentthat something was happening to the polymer tip in flight, as the ballistic coefficient was dropping off rapidly as the bullet began to show the effects of atmospheric drag. The tips were melting due to friction, and that was causing the BC values to drop off significantly. So, Hornady’s engineers set to work to develop a tip that would hold up during flight, maintaining its conformation in order to help preserve the ballistic coefficient figures.

The result of their efforts was the proprietary Heat Shield Tip, which would resist the effects of atmospheric drag throughout the bullet’s trajectory, and it was a game-changer. The ELD-X bullet uses the Hornady AMP bullet jacket – prized for its concentricity – and a secant ogive and boattail for match-grade accuracy, in addition to an internal InterLock ring on the interior of the jacket, which will help keep the jacket and core together during the violent terminal phase of expansion. It is the companion bullet to Hornady’s ELD Match – a wonderful target bullet – and is almost, if not equally, as accurate.

IN SPITE OF Hornady offering a wide selection of hunting bullets of all sorts of designs, from the toughest to the most frangible, they chose the traditional cup-and-core design for the ELD-X bullet, presumably to mirror the construction of the ELD Match. But where the ELD Match has only to reach the target in a consistent manner, with no care as to what happens once the steel is rung or the paper is punched, the ELD-X has the responsibility of destroying enough vital tissue to result in a clean, ethical kill. Quite possibly as much a result of the desire to attain the most advantageous BC values as it was a result of the need for a higher sectional density for reliable penetration, the ELD-X bullets are all on the heavy-for-caliber side of things.

There are two 6mm choices at 90 and 103 grains, a 110-grain .257-inch-diameter, that 143-grain 6.5mm that worked so well for me in South Dakota, a 145-grain .277-inch-diameter, three 7mm choices at 150, 162 and 175 grains, a quartet of .30s – 178, 200, 212 and 220 grains – and a pair of .338s at 230 and 270 grains. There are some stellar ballistic coefficients among this lineup, including the 175-grain 7mm, with a G1 BC of .689, and the 270-grain .338, with a G1 BC of .757; both of these will perform wonderfully at longer ranges. The 212-grain .308 – with a G1 BC of .673 – couples well with the larger magnum cases like the .300 RUM, .300 PRC, .300 Norma and .30-378 Weatherby Magnum. If you recover an ELD-X from your game animal, you will find a high level of weight retention, often in the high 80-percent range, which is typical of a heavy-for-caliber cup-and-core bullet with a decent jacket.

The 150-grain 7mm Hornady ELD-X is a good choice for the venerable 7x57mm Mauser, as it will handle a wide variety of big game animals.
Bulk Ammo In-Stock
While all these bullets are available in component form to the reloader, Hornady also offers a wide selection of loaded cartridges in their Precision Hunter line of ammunition. Loaded in their proprietary brass cases, the Precision Hunter ammo is wonderfully accurate and is utterly reliable. The ELD-X is also loaded by some of the smaller ammo companies, like the Black Hills Gold line that I hunted with, and it is also offered by Choice Ammunition.
I like the ELD-X as a general hunting bullet for the common species such as hogs, black bears, whitetail and mule deer, caribou, elk and even moose, if the caliber is large enough for the larger cervids. For the dangerous species like grizzly bears, I’d prefer a bonded-core or monometal design, but for the majority of species, the ELD-X will work just fine. I’m not able to testify whether the Heat Shield Tip holds together during flight or not, as every fired bullet I’ve been able to recover has been so badly deformed that it was impossible to ascertain what happened in flight. Nor am I able to determine what happens to other polymer tips. But I do know the Hornady ELD-X does what I need it to do: it delivers accuracy both at the bench and in the hunting fields, and delivers the terminal performance needed to ensure a quick, humane kill.

An upset Hornady ELD-X bullet; note the expansion at a minimum of twice original caliber dimension. (HORNADY)

The Hornady ELD-X
shown in section;
note the InterLock
AMP jacket, which will
help keep the jacket
and core together
during the bullet’s
terminal phase.

Bullet Cam from Vortex Hornady

Imagine being able to see your bullet hitting the target as it hits its target or maybe go off by a minute.

Vortex and Hornady released a video of a new “bullet-cam” and it had many talking, whether they believed it or not.
Some new technology that would hypothetically change the hunting and filming game forever from Vortex and Hornady took the outdoor world by storm recently.
News like this would change the industry…if only it were true, lol.
Yes! April Fool!

An epic April Fool’s prank cooked up an incredibly cool product, outstanding visuals and dialogue, and some cool acting from employees.
Vortex and Hornady released the video that would seem to be a legit product launch with the production quality and subsequent buzz.

But, putting a camera on a bullet is virtually impossible, and some people on social media knew exactly what was going on. But some didn’t, and it was very funny.

If you saw it on the internet, its gotta be true. Right?


Watch how awesome this prank video turned out.
Conversation on FB

Video Transcription
Ian: Here at Vortex Optics, we strive to push the boundaries of the Sport Optics community. From high-powered binoculars to precision optic scopes, so that our customers can see clearly from all vantage points. When it comes to bullet impact, though, shooters have had to rely on traditional optics to determine accuracy from long distances. We were determined to provide an additional point of view, to improve precision and overall performance. With our expertise in research and development of optics, we reached out to Hornady to collaborate on a new product encompassing action-camera technology that before now was impossible to achieve. We are proud to anounce the revolutionary Vortex Hornady Bullet Cam.

When the guys at Vortex came to us with this idea, honestly, we thought they were crazy. But we decided to take a look at their data, and they were definitely onto something, so we immediately started on a prototype. When it comes to optical system design, accuracy and precision are absolutely essential. One of our initial concerns was flight path, and that the mass of our optical system had to be absolutely centered. After considerable testing and re-testing, we developed the brand-new G10-Drag model, which streamlines the trajectory for this new profile. In addition, we redesigned the propellant burn characteristics, as well as its densities. We’re confident, with or without the camera, this bullet technology is going to start a trend throughout the shooting community.

Operating a bullet-cam is incredibly intuitive. And it’s fun to use. After sinking a bullet with the VTXM, hit record, load the round as you usually would, and shoot. The live feed streams right to your device for instant viewing. Once the bullet cam hits a target, recording stops, and your clip is uploaded to the VTX cloud.

You can review your trajectory, even slowing it down frame by frame, so that you can see the impact, make a correction if necessary, or confirm your kill. With access to the VTX cloud from anywhere, you can share all your shots directly on your social media profiles. At only $99.99 for a box of ten, bullet-cam is completely affordable, and will make you a true pro.

Our goal at Vortex Optics is for shooters to have the most advanced tools in the industry to achieve the most accurate shots. And with this bullet, you’ll always know if you were way off, or dead-on. With the Vortex-Hornady bullet-cam, the force of Optics just got more forceful.

Sources: Vortex, Hornady

Bulk Ammo In-Stock

Rockin’ The Reptiles

Bond Arms Snake Slayer IV Derringer

Story and photographs by Tom Claycomb III

I’ve never classified a gun as a fun gun to shoot, but that’s how I would describe the double-barreled Bond Arms Snake Slayer IV derringer. Bond makes a variety of calibers and styles, but I decided to go with the IV due to the longer 4¼-inch barrel, which I had hoped would be a bit more accurate, have less recoil and tighter groups.

Bulk Ammo In-Stock

The Snake Slayer IV can handle .45 Long Colts and 2¾- and 3-inch .410s. I guess it was really designed as a concealed-carry gun, but I wanted to use it against snakes while fishing. It would also be good for shooting big halibut before you boat them. A .410 will do the job nicely and not ricochet.

PHOTO 2 IMGP5722-min
The first time I shot the Snake Slayer IV, my daughter Kolby joined me. Just as I set up a target, a ground squirrel ran out. I had a 2 ¾ ounce No.6 chambered and killed it at 20 feet.
Every time my daughter Kolby and I go fishing in Oregon, we see rattlesnakes. One year I heard her scream – a snake had jumped in the boat with us. On another trip on a river in Idaho, I saw six rattlesnakes and one of those floated right by me. That would have caused panic if it had tried to crawl up on the driest thing around, which was my head!

While in town, I originally thought to carry my Slayer with .45 Long Colts, but then I tested the new Winchester PDX-1 shells. Wow, they’re bad – in a good way! They have four discs and 16 BBs. They would stop a bad guy in his tracks. I shot various loads through the gun, and the first time I used the PDX-1 it made my jaw drop. It was noticeably devastating.

Snake SlayerBond SSIV
The Snake Slayer IV can interchange 20 barrels for a range of 25 different calibers.
The first rattle out of the box with a .45 Long Colt, I managed a 2½-inch group at 10 and 15 feet using Hornady’s 185-grain Critical Defense ammo. That would be more than enough to stop a bad guy – that’s a big bullet! But, like I said before, my main use for this gun would be to shoot snakes, and after shooting a .410 with No. 6 shot, I found that it had a wicked pattern, so I’m pretty confident it would work as a self-protection load as well.

When I took my Slayer out for some extensive shooting, I managed a 4-inch group at 15 feet, but I’m not renowned for being a great pistol shot. I then shot groups of two out of the same barrel and managed 2-inch groups, so there is a little variation between barrels, as you would imagine. Not a big factor, though, because it’s a short-range weapon.
I need to point out that the gun is diverse because you can interchange 20 different barrels, or 25 different calibers with one base unit. That has to make these one of the most versatile guns on the market.

It is a heavy, nice-looking and well-made duty pistol designed to last for generations. I also love that it has an equally nice and heavy-duty leather holster that is form-fitted with a latch to hold the gun securely.

Bond Arms has transformed the lowly derringer into a linebacker. AmSJ

PHOTO 1 IMGP5858-min
While fishing, a watersnake swam within a foot of me. This is why I carry the Snake Slayer IV. IT can readily be used as a great concealed-carry gun too.

Things you should Know about Ammo

People who enjoy eating venison need to bone up on bullets, if they haven’t already done so. The bullet makes the connection. The projectile launched from a rifle or handgun is the critical element, the one thing that separates wild-meat eaters from people who buy it at the market.
And there are five things one should understand about bullets.

  1. Boattails are best. With but a few exceptions that apply to taking large, dangerous game primarily on the African continent, the spire-pointed boattail bullet is the best choice for Western hunters, especially those hunting open country. This projectile is superbly
    aerodynamic; that is, the bullet shape with the tapered base has the highest ballistic coefficient – the ability to cut through the air and hit the target – and is favored especially by long-range shooters who,
    like myself, reload their own ammunition.

    I’ve shot some nice bucks at long range, all with boattail bullets. Before those shots were fired, I spent time at the range making sure they went where they were supposed to.
    According to my Speer loading manual, the boattail design was originally intended for the .30-caliber machine gun bullet to give it a longer
    effective range. Hunters were quick to pick up on that a century ago, and they’ve made the most of it.

  2. Check your factory loads online. Nonreloaders can find out plenty about factory ammunition on the internet. Every manufacturer has a website. Look up the cartridge, check the ballistics and match them up with your anticipated needs.
  3. Always zero your rifle using the same ammunition with which you plan to hunt. Doing target work with 165-grain bullets and then hunting with 200-grainers wouldn’t be my first choice.
    The trajectory will change – and with it, the point of impact. At longer ranges, this could become critical. Know your bullet’s ballistics. Most
    people are amazed at how much a bullet will drop at long range. For example, a 180-grain .30-caliber boattail bullet fired from a .30-06 rifle that leaves the muzzle at 2,750 feet per second if sighted in at
    100 yards will drop just over 30 inches at 400 yards. If you’re shooting at a buck at that range with a rifle zeroed at 100 yards, you’ll be shooting at the ground around his feet.
    The best place to find out about ballistics is in the rear of a reloading manual. Even if you don’t load your own ammunition, a manual is a good investment for the serious hunter. One shot may be all you get. Make the most of it.
  4. Polymer or lead? I’ve taken nice bucks with Speer boattails that have an exposed lead tip, and nice ones using Nosler Ballistic Tip and AccuBond bullets with polymer tips. My brother head-shot a buck on the Snake River last fall (hell of a shot, IMHO!) using a Hornady 165-grain bullet in his Ruger bolt-action chambered for .308 Winchester. That round came from my loading bench and we zeroed his rifle at 200 yards.
    Both bullet types are terrific, but when one uses lead-point projectiles, look them over closely before leaving camp to see whether the lead may be deformed from previous insertion into the chamber.
    As for polymer tips, I’ve seen them come out, though rarely. On the plus
    side, that tip doesn’t get dinged from being rechambered.
  5. Go with blunts in the brush. There’s an exception to every rule, and brush country hunting where shots might be 150 yards or less is the environment for blunt-nose bullets, especially if one is using a lever-action rifle with a tubular magazine.
    The only pointed pill I’d use in a levergun is Hornady’s LEVERevolution
    with its FTX or MonoFlex bullets For close-in timber hunting, a .30-
    30 Winchester or .308 Marlin Express loaded with the Hornady ammunition
    is formidable for coastal blacktails or Northeast Washington whitetails.
    I’ve taken blacktails with roundnose jacketed bullets from a .32 Special or a .300 Savage at 150 yards or less. Both guns were zeroed to put a bullet 2 inches high at 100 yards. A bullet that lands an inch or so from where it is aimed is still going to deliver the goods, even if you hit a bone.

Zero your rifle with the same ammo you’ll be heading afield with, as trajectories are different between loads, and which at longer ranges can be quite marked. (DAVE WORKMAN)

SPEAKING OF BULLETS, Federal Premium Ammunition this summer announced its Gold Medal Berger, featuring a boattail bullet for flat trajectories and long-range accuracy. Four loads are available initially, a .223 Remington with a 73-grain Berger boattail target bullet, a 6.5 Grendel and a 6.5 Creedmoor, both with 130-grain Berger
Hybrid bullets and a .308 Winchester with a 185-grain Berger Juggernaut projectile.
And since we’re on the topic, just in time for fall hunting, Federal has
introduced the new Hi-Bird shotshell designed to put birds in the bag.
Hi-Bird shells feature lead shot. They’ll bring down doves, pigeons, pheasants, grouse and other upland game birds. There are five 12-gauge loads, all 2¾-inchers, featuring either 11⁄8-ounce loads of No. 6, 7 ½ or 8 shot, or a 1¼-ounce payload of No. 6 or 7½ shot.
The shell features a specialized two piece SoftCell wad that helps reduce perceived recoil and delivers better long range patterns.

Article by Dave Workman

Bullet Caliber – Whats best for Deer Hunting?

In one of the many survey conducted online this one is by Brad Smith an outdoorsman and writer.
The question was asked on Social Media of what is the best rifle caliber for hunting deer.
Supposed you were a newbie and was in the market, the following information may be helpful to you. You can obviously ask the folks running the gun stores and ranges.
The following answers comprises from many different levels of hunters/gun enthusiasts, take it with a grain of salt, this is from the internet poll.
Here are those popular calibers for deer hunting that was mentioned:

  • .243
  • .270
  • .30-30
  • .308

There were other type of calibers but the above calibers repeatedly came up in the conversation.
Reasons varied among hunters and gun enthusiasts, but heres a more thorough explanation of each calibers strengths.

the .243 shines when you want to take a deer from any range up to 300 yards while doing minimal damage to the meat.

The .270 takes the lead when it comes to shooting longer range with more knockdown power.

The .30-30 is a great all around deer round, but lacks when it comes to longer-range, open-field settings.

the .308 does the most damage to the meat (pending shot placement), but you also get the most bang for your buck.

The One to Get
If there was a round for you to choose, look into the .270.
Many gun enthusiasts talk about this as an all-time favorite.
The affordability is a good price point and the availability for a high-quality bullets are great.
The .270 can be used on a variety of games in North America.
The ammo is effective from 500 yards out and some consider as the best rifle caliber out there for deer.

What do all you think?

Military Gets 6.5 Creedmoor

You’ve probably heard that the US military is replacing the M16/M4 and looking into new rifles and ammo.  (US Army and Marine Corp) Wondering why they’re looking into 6.5 Creedmoor in particular? No, its not because the Russians are out gunning us. Here’s the scoop.

There are a couple things you should know about 6.5 Creedmoor and today, we’ll put this round into sharper focus for you.  So let’s look at it in more detail so that you’ll see why it works for the military and why it could work for you.

Creedmoor Kicks Ass at Long Range

6.5mm Creedmore Cartridge
6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge

Right off the bat, the US Special Operations Command understood all the good things about this cartridge as an alternative to its existing ammo.
The cartridge was introduced in 2008 as one of the first and best cartridges for precision long range shooting.

At the time, there weren’t a lot of civilians shooting long range, but in recent years, the company has seen demand grow in the hunting industry, and grow as manufacturers continue to put out more affordable long range rifles.
Today, it is the go-to cartridge for many hunters and competitive shooters.

Long Distance Shooters
Long Distance Shooters Love Creedmoor

Precision long range shooting skill a learned trait which is an advantage to have in combat and the military seems to be catching onto Creedmoor’s awesome reputation and populatiry for shooting close and tight precision groups at 500 yards or more.

Having a bigger bullet means you’ll do bigger damage to your target, whether your target is a tango or a blood thirsty wild hog.  

Our brothers in arms go through enough shit.  The last thing they need is hellish recoil.
If there’s one thing you won’t get with 6.5 Creedmoor, is its crazy blowback.

US Military in Desert
These guys don’t need to be dealing with blowback.

6.5 Creedmoor is specially designed for low recoil rounds without compromising pinpoint accuracy.
Did you also know that it can go subsonic after 1,300 yards?

When it comes to tactical applications, this cartridge packs a serious wallop


6.5 Creedmoor vs.  .308 Winchester

There are some long range groups think that there aren’t any real differences between 6.5 Creedmoor and the long-established .308 Win.
But those people would be ill-informed.
The truth is, they are very similar, however there are some things in which they differ.

First there is the huge gap between the two when it comes to ballistics.  6.5 Creedmoor loads can reach a thousand yards with less than three hundred inches of drop with proper windage.  
This is true of just about any ammo, particularly Hornady 178 grain HPBT, that is used with a 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge.  
The .308 Win doesn’t compare to that kind of numbers.

6.5 Creedmore and .308 Winchester Cartridges Compared
The Cartridges Compared

Another area in which 6.5 Creedmoor often bests .308 Win is in its accessibility.  
A lot of .308 ammo is out of stock when you visit
the major online ammo dealers.
But if you run a search for Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr AMAX, they’re everywhere.

And thats the other thing that is very good news for the military and all of us: there are plenty of dealers – large and small – from which they could order 6.5 ammo in bulk.

Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor
Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor

Another argument that comes up is about barrel longevity, claiming that the 6.5 Creedmoor only last for 2-3,000 rounds whereas the .308 Win will be good for as many as 10,000 rounds.

This is simply bogus since it all depends on whether you’re shooting 1 MOA.
Theres just no way that the .308 could be reaching that mark at 10,000.

If you’re using it with a precision rifle or for seasonal deer shooting, you’re going to go long ways with your 6.5 Creedmoor, no if, and, or buts..about it, except the butt you put a bullet in.

And thats another thing.  Combat isn’t always what it looks like in movies and on TV.  For those that have served can tell you that there are many days where you don’t see much action and, even when you do, its not necessarily a rapid fire situation.
But Murphy’s law does exist when the shit hits the fan.

If you’re an active duty sniper (Marksman Observer), you’re gonna get a whole lot more life outta your 6.5 Creedmoor than you would with the .308.

Solving the Problem
What’s really crazy about the 6.5 versus .308 argument is the simple fact that 6.5 Creedmoor was specifically conceived to be a cartridge that would be superior to the wildcat cartridges of the day.
As the story goes at the Civilian Marksmanship Program 2007 National Matches at Camp Perry, Hornady engineer Dave Emary decided to remedy what he saw as a problem among competitive shooters.

Dave Emary
The Man Himself

As Emary saw it, people were trying to push their cartridges to the limit, attempting to defy the laws of physics by brainstorming methods by which to get their cartridges to perform at levels that weren’t made to.  Problems would then crop up as a result of these jeri-rigging formulas.

In Emary’s own words, “People were having a lot of problems with functioning the 6mms.  They were running these things at very high pressures to try to get the performance they need to compete.”
“Our solution was to go to a 6.5, firing a lot higher BC bullet, and not have to push it as hard to get what they wanted.”

Dave Emary in the Hornady Workshop
Dave Emary in the Hornady Workshop

Emary and his team solved this problem by taking existing .264 cartridges and altering the specs, giving the cartridge the capacity for long-ogive, high-ballistic rounds.
Lo and behold the 6.5 was born, a short-action rifle cartridge capable of insane performance.

Make Your Hunting Experience a Good One

Like I said earlier, this cartridge isn’t just a slam dunk for the military should they end up choosing it over the others they’ve been testing.
Its also a damn good option for almost any civilian hunter or gun enthusiast.

If you didn’t hear the news: USSOCOM has adopted the 6.5 CM as their new Precision Rifle cartridge. It was a close call between the 260 Remington and the 6.5 Creedmoor, but the 6.5 CM won the day due to the military’s belief that the 6.5 CM has more room for innovation for the future.

Many target shooters have taken to the Ruger Precision Rifleand my targets gets shredded to pieces.  The results are always incredible.  At long range, many are saying the the CM leave 2.8 inches at five hundred yards.

Ruger Precision Rifle

Ruger Precision Rifle

But the advantages for game hunters is where this one really shines.  Its got a sick muzzle velocity due to its extra powder space and its able to accommodate a wealth of different medium-burning rifle powders.

If you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t automatically think of long-range shooting when it comes to big game.  After all, ethical hunting requires limiting your range to as short as possible to ensure a clean kill. 

That being said, it should also stand to reason that if 6.5 Creedmoor can take out a target at 500 yards, its going to take care of business at 100 yards with no problem.

Long Range Hunting
If you can kill it from this far away, then you can kill it from just about anywhere in between.

From personal experience, I’ve seen how this can perform in a close quarters situations and I was every bit as impressed as I was when I hunted with the .308.
The round went right where I wanted it to and I bagged a deer without a rechamber.  Like I said: clean humane kill.

Why 6.5 Creedmoor is Awesome for Target Shooting

Better grouping and more affordable ammo makes the 6.5 Creedmoor a no-brainer for those who camp out a lot at the firing range.

Holes in Target from a 6.5 Creedmoor
Holes in Target from a 6.5 Creedmoor

When we take into account the rising cost of ammo in the last few years and the scrutiny that many firearm and ammo companies have faced, 6.5 ammo maintains a reasonable price point and remains readily available.

Bulk Ammo Storage
And cheaper when you buy in bulk. so stock up.

And when it comes to high-end ballistics, you can’t beat these suckers.  The BC numbers on these bad boys are awe-inspiring (approximately .610 G1 at 140 grain).  If you’re looking to impress, you really can’t go wrong with the 6.5’s remarkable 1,400 fps at 1,000 yards(!).

Best 6.5 CM Ammo

If you want the very best from this cartridge, you’ll have to get into reloading. You can start with our Beginner’s Guide To Reloading But if you’re not into that, then you’ll need something you can pick up at the store.


If you’re on the range to have fun, you don’t want to spend a fortune. But this also isn’t the kind of caliber that you buy cheap, crappy ammo for – you’ll want something that shoots consistent and for a fair price.

Sellier & Bellot is what you’re looking for, from 9mm to 6.5CM they make a good product for a good price.

Sellier & Bellot 6.5 Creedmoor 140g FMJBT - 20 Rounds

Sellier & Bellot 6.5 Creedmoor 140g FMJBT – 20 Rounds

Match Grade Long-Range Target

Of course, once you’re ready to really stretch your legs and see what this bad boy can do – it’s time to get out the good stuff!

Match grade ammo isn’t cheap, but it is amazing. Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Extremely Low Drag match bullet is outstanding for factory ammo. Your mileage may vary, but I’ve been getting half-MOA with this ammo.

Hornady Match 6.5 Creedmoor 120gn ELD Match - 20 Rounds

Hornady Match 6.5 Creedmoor 147gn ELD Match – 20 Rounds

Prices accurate at time of writing


When it comes to hunting ammo, you want great ammo. Not only for accuracy but also with a bullet that will expand and do a lot of damage to your target to ensure a clean, humane kill.

Hornady with their Super Shock Tip bullets gives that every time. A polymer tip gives you the ballistics of FMJ with the expansion and killing power of a hollow-point.

Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor 129 gr SST Polymer Tip - 20 Rounds

Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor 129 gr SST Polymer Tip – 20 Rounds

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best 6.5 CM Rifles

A cool cartridge is only as good as the weapon that throws it, just like a weapon that throws it is only as good as what it throws.

Hunting Rifle

For a budget hunting rifle, it’s hard to beat the Savage Arms 12 FV – not only is this a solid rifle out of the box, but it is at a price that is hard to beat. I commonly see this is the $370-$410 range. 

Savage Arms 12 FV

Savage Arms 12 FV

Prices accurate at time of writing

Long-Range Precision Target Rifle

I already said it, but when it comes to long-range target shooting the Ruger Precision Rifle is just too good to beat. For the price, the options, the aftermarket, and the out-of-the-box quality – you want this rifle.

Ruger Precision Rifle

Ruger Precision Rifle

Honorable Mention Rifle

A dedicated rifle for every role is the dream for many of us, but if you don’t have the room in your safe (or your budget) for that then you might want to consider a middle of the road do-it-all rifle.

The Tikka T3x is that rifle. Rugged, lightweight, smooth as butter action and outstanding trigger – a Tikka T3x is my go-to hunting rifle.

On the precision side, Tikka offers a 1 MOA from the factory guarantee and lives up to it!

Best Scopes for 6.5 CM Rifles

Once you have your ammo and rifle picked out,  you’ll want to invest in a quality scope.  Depending on what role your 6.5 Creedmoor will be filling you might want a couple of scopes!

For hunting, you’ll generally want something a little lower magnification, like this Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x.

Crossfire II 2-7x32 by Vortex

Crossfire II 2-7×32 by Vortex

But if you’re looking to do some real precision shooting, really put this cartridge to the test, then you’ll need something with a LOT more magnification: Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60x fills the bill!

Highest Magnification
Vortex Golden Eagle HD 15-60x52

Vortex Golden Eagle HD 15-60×52

Other Accessories

Another important thing to keep in mind when purchasing any cartridge is maintenance.  If you’re going to be participating in extended shooting sessions, you should always bring along the proper gear for cleaning your rifle and cartridge.  Maintenance will help you to sustain that pinpoint precision you’re hoping for.

I always take my J Dewey Rods’ Complete Bolt Action Rifle Cleaning Kit with me when I know I’m gonna spend all day at the range or out in the field.  The 6.5 kit costs around $30 and includes everything I need for proper upkeep.

J Dewey Rods

J Dewey Rods’ Complete Bolt Action Rifle Cleaning Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

You get a BAC Chamber Kit, a B-6.5 Bore brush, an M-22 Bore mop, a CH-308 Chamber brush and a 100 count of P-221 1 ½” Round Patches.

Closing Thoughts

So what’s the bottom line? Quite simply, 6.5 Creedmoor is a formidable cartridge for tactical and target shooting applications alike.  

At the end of the day, the battle between 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester will wage on, but I think it’s clear that 6.5 Creedmoor isn’t going anywhere.

If anything, it’s only going to continue to grow in popularity as more and more long range shooters embrace it.  

What about you! Did you get the 6.5 Creedmoor? Take any game this year with it? Do you agree with the military adopting it? Let us know in the comments!

Reviews by Megan Kriss, revised by ASJ Staff