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308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor

When it comes to long-range shooting and hunting, choosing the right caliber is crucial. Two popular options for hunters and long-range shooters are the .308 Winchester (308) and the 6.5 Creedmoor. Both are widely used and have their own strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we will compare the 308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor and determine which is the better hunting round.

The Basics: 308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s take a look at the basics of these two calibers.

308 Winchester

The .308 Winchester, also known as the 7.62x51mm NATO, was introduced in 1952 and quickly became a popular choice for hunters and military snipers. It is a rimless, bottlenecked rifle cartridge that is known for its accuracy, versatility, and availability.

Photo by: Jay Rembert

6.5 Creedmoor

The 6.5 Creedmoor was introduced in 2007 by Hornady and has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. It is a necked-down version of the .308 Winchester, meaning it has a smaller bullet diameter of 6.5mm. It was designed specifically for long-range shooting and has become a favorite among competitive shooters and hunters alike.

Accuracy: 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308

When it comes to accuracy, the 6.5 Creedmoor has a slight advantage over the 308. The 6.5 Creedmoor has a flatter trajectory and less wind drift, making it easier to hit targets at longer ranges. This is due to its smaller bullet diameter and higher ballistic coefficient.

However, the 308 is no slouch when it comes to accuracy. It is a proven round that has been used by military snipers for decades. With the right rifle and ammunition, the 308 can also achieve impressive accuracy at long ranges.

Energy: 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308

When it comes to energy, the 308 has the advantage. It has a larger bullet diameter and a higher muzzle energy, making it a better choice for hunting larger game. The 6.5 Creedmoor, on the other hand, has a smaller bullet and less energy, making it better suited for smaller game and varmint hunting.

Ballistics: 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308

The 6.5 Creedmoor has a flatter trajectory and less wind drift, as mentioned earlier. This is due to its higher ballistic coefficient, which is a measure of a bullet’s ability to overcome air resistance in flight. The 308, on the other hand, has a larger bullet diameter and more energy, giving it a slight advantage in terms of terminal ballistics.

Barrel Life: 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308

One of the main concerns for long-range shooters is barrel life. The 6.5 Creedmoor has a reputation for having a longer barrel life compared to the 308. This is due to its smaller powder charge and lower chamber pressure, which results in less wear and tear on the barrel.

However, with modern advancements in barrel technology, the difference in barrel life between the two calibers is not as significant as it used to be. With proper maintenance and care, both calibers can have a long barrel life.

Range: 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308

When it comes to range, the 6.5 Creedmoor has the advantage. It has a flatter trajectory and less wind drift, making it easier to hit targets at longer ranges. The 308, on the other hand, has a larger bullet and more energy, giving it a slight advantage in terms of maximum effective range.

Price: 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308

When it comes to price, the 308 has the advantage. It has been around for much longer and is more widely available, making it more affordable. The 6.5 Creedmoor, on the other hand, is a newer and more specialized round, which can make it more expensive.

However, with the increasing popularity of the 6.5 Creedmoor, the price difference between the two calibers is becoming less significant.

Real-World Performance: 308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor

To get a better understanding of how these two calibers perform in real-world hunting situations, let’s take a look at some examples.

Hunting Deer

Both the 308 and 6.5 Creedmoor are popular choices for hunting deer. The 308 has a larger bullet and more energy, making it a better choice for larger deer species. However, the 6.5 Creedmoor has a flatter trajectory and less recoil, making it easier to make accurate shots at longer ranges.

Hunting Elk

When it comes to hunting elk, the 308 has the advantage. It has a larger bullet and more energy, making it better suited for taking down these large animals. However, the 6.5 Creedmoor can still be an effective choice with proper shot placement and the right ammunition.

Hunting Varmints

For hunting varmints, the 6.5 Creedmoor is the clear winner. Its smaller bullet and higher velocity make it a better choice for taking down small game such as coyotes and prairie dogs.

300 Blackout vs 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308

Another popular caliber for hunting and long-range shooting is the 300 Blackout. Let’s take a quick look at how it compares to the 6.5 Creedmoor and 308.

300 Blackout

The 300 Blackout is a relatively new caliber that was designed for use in AR-15 rifles. It has gained popularity in recent years due to its versatility and compatibility with the AR-15 platform.

Comparison

The 300 Blackout has a smaller bullet diameter and less energy compared to the 308 and 6.5 Creedmoor. This makes it better suited for hunting smaller game and varmints, but not as effective for larger game or long-range shooting.

Conclusion

So, which is the better hunting round: 308 or 6.5 Creedmoor? The answer is, it depends. Both calibers have their own strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

If you are primarily hunting larger game and want a proven and versatile round, the 308 may be the better choice for you. However, if you are looking for a specialized long-range round with less recoil and a flatter trajectory, the 6.5 Creedmoor may be the better option.

Ultimately, the best way to determine which caliber is right for you is to try them out for yourself and see which one feels more comfortable and effective in your hands. Happy hunting!

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