Best 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle on the Market: My Buying Guide

Best 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle - Featured Image

This article will cover a topic that helps to prove the viability of success in a military test, as a marketing opportunity. Even if the military doesn’t adopt your technology, if you outperformed in the test it’s like printing money. Not that the 6.5 Creedmoor isn’t a fantastic round, of that, there is no doubt, but the value that the military trials had on the marketability of the 6.5 Creedmoor as a civilian round is incredible.

Finding the best 6.5 Creedmoor rifle isn’t going to be easy now, with all the options that exist on the market. There are names that got behind the cartridge that haven’t adopted a new cartridge in several decades for their platform.

But we can speak to this point: no matter which gun on this list you end up choosing, if you are using it for any task that the 6.5mm Creedmoor is adept at, you have gotten yourself a gem of a rifle.

The caliber is a fantastic load for several purposes not the least of which is realizing minimal recoil from the speed and trajectory normally associated with a .300 Winchester Magnum and getting a shot on target at obscene ranges for a small to intermediate caliber cartridge. More on this special cartridge and the candidates for the best 6.5 Creedmoor rifle as you read on.

Best 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles Comparison

Rifle

Weight (lbs)

Capacity

Barrel length

Length

Ruger Precision Rifle

10.7

10+1

24"

46.75"

Ruger American Predator Rifle

6.6

3+1

22"

42"

Savage Axis Rifle

6.5

4+1

22"

43.87"

Christensen Arms Ridgeline Rifle

6.25

4+1

24"

46"

Howa Chassis

9.6

4+1

24"

43"

DRD Tactical - Paratus P762

9.2

10+1

20"

37.75"

Smith & Wesson M&P 10

9.05

10+1

20"

39.5"

Springfield Armory M1A

11.4

10+1

22"

46.25"

POF P6.5 Edge SPR AR-15 Rifle

9.5

20+1

20"

39"

Why the 6.5 Creedmoor?

It’s faster, has a better trajectory, it sheds wind better and offers a total ballistic coefficient that blows some of the competitor rounds out of the water. The 6.5mm Creedmoor is just a better behaving round for those that need the legitimate long-range flat shooting it can offer: precision marksmen in the services (more on that below) are among those who need it.

While the cartridge has just started to undergo hardcore load development, the military is convinced the depth of potential is so great to have already made it a future implementation, even before the massive onslaught of loads hits the shooting market. The opportunity for load tweaking and long-range acrobatics is intense.

Currently, in a limited format, that seems to almost be in its infancy with the massive growth of the round in such a short amount of time, the 6.5mm Creedmoor can already achieve ranges of 2950-3050 Feet per second velocities in a 120 grain projectile with associated energy delivery of between 2400 and 2450 pound feet of energy at the muzzle.

Alternately, with a larger 143 grain bullet, the velocity is still between 2675 and 2725 feet per second at the bore and delivering between 2250 and 2300 or so ft. lbs. of energy at the bore.

These are compelling numbers given the other benefits of the round and the projectiles that will serve as the tip of the loads offered (among which are impressive grain weight variances and ballistic coefficients as well as excellent long-range stability).

Why the 6.5 Creedmoor now?

We alluded to it in the opening of this article: The Military test data from October 2017. This was a monumental victory for the platform and makers immediately took note and knew what to do. It wasn’t but a few months before the first offerings were on the market and hand in hand with the published results and a few other puff pieces, and the PR machine was humming for the round.

The thing is this, though: it’s not just a bunch of puff pieces, this is a legitimate performer. If the grain weight is sufficient for your needs, this is a serious candidate for your shooting dollars.

In the tests, were the tried and true intermediate caliber offering for the U.S. military, the .308 Winchester versus the .260 Remington and the 6.5mm Creedmoor.

Astoundingly, the 6.5 Creedmoor allowed for a doubling of hit rate probability at 1000m; and increased by 50% the effective range as well as shedding 30% more wind and giving substantially less recoil than the .308 Winchester, which is relatively mild anyways, but allows for a faster follow up host and more time on the rifle. That’s the short version, but needless to say, it was quite an impressive performer.

It’s been disclosed to the public that by mid-2019, the special operations snipers will be replacing the core components in their field issued semi auto rifles with the 6.5 Creedmoor barrels and associated hardware.


Ruger Precision Gen 3 Bolt Action Rifle

Ruger Precision Gen 3 Bolt-Action Rifle

Ruger has a spectacular option for those who want to squeeze out all of the native precision that the 6.5 Creedmoor is capable of without having to be into the $3000 range. The proven chassis design and the backing of a company like Ruger makes this an obvious choice for those who want something that is very adjustable and can hit what you want it to at extreme ranges. Paired with the great 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, you are getting a lot for the money, even if the money feels like it’s a lot.

Pros:

  • Great precision engineering and accuracy on target
  • Good brand to work with
  • Great innovation in the pipeline and a lot of innovation featured in this buildout

Cons:

  • Pricey

This is best for:

Legitimate long-range shooters who like the platform or for those who need the ultimate in precision from a proven chassis design.

Ruger American Predator Bolt Action Rifle

Ruger American Predator Bolt Action Rifle

It’s a simple and straightforward offering from Ruger, with the cartridge being the core focal point. The rifle will be capable of 1.5MOA accuracy with good factory loads and nicely made handloads, meaning you can get into the precision hunting game on the 6.5 Creedmoor platform for much less than you may have expected.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Proven quality
  • Great fit and finish for the cost

Cons:

  • Still needs to have a scope added

This is best for:

Those wanting a great way to get into the 6.5 Creedmoor game without paying an arm and a leg.

Savage Axis Bolt-Action Rifle

Savage Axis Bolt-Action Rifle

It’s almost hard to believe that you can get into the next great precision shooting trend for such a low price of entry. The one drawback is that you aren’t going to get the full ¾ MOA potential of the cartridge and the bolt action platform that this should be able to achieve – but hey, you aren’t paying very much either.

The benefits of this combination far outweigh the drawbacks, especially if you are buying this for a deer gun.

Pros:

  • Serious value for the money
  • Great combination for a pittance
  • Proven results, even if it is not the most accurate rifle in the world

Cons:

  • Not the finest rifle in existence from a fit and finish perspective despite serious value for the money

This is best for:

Budget adopters who want to know what this amazing new cartridge is all about.

​Christensen Arms Ridgeline Bolt-Action Rifles

Christensen Arms Ridgeline Bolt-Action Rifles

Great build quality harmonizes with innovative barrel design and the next best thing in the rifle cartridge category to make a gun that has the potential to be your next favorite hunting rig. This is a lightweight, lower recoiling rifle that promises excellent performance given the caliber and the build quality fit and finish.

Pros:

  • Great barrel concept
  • Great integration of components
  • Tight accuracy potential – especially given the caliber

Cons:

  • Expensive

This is best for:

Heavy duty hunting scenarios where weight is important too.

Howa Chassis

Howa Chassis

The trend to move towards a monolithic stock design makes sense even if it does feel overblown because so many have come to the market as imitators rather than innovators. That’s not a jab at Howa, it’s a reflection on the industry as a whole. Regardless of whether you like the monolithic chassis designs for the standard bolt action deliverables, this is actually quite a good rifle for the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Pros:

  • Simple
  • Very adjustable
  • Precision build for good accuracy potential

Cons:

  • Pricey for a simple chassis upgrade – though it DOES look great!

This is best for:

Someone who wants the ultimate in precision shooting adjustability and doesn’t have a problem dropping $1k to get a tactical bolt action that only slightly outperforms the base model for less than half as much.

DRD Tactical - Paratus P762

DRD Tactical - Paratus P762

A very cool concept that has yet to truly take off, probably because the steep cost of entry for the platform and the relatively small number of units in the hands of actual day-to-day shooters. This is the transformer of modern military style rifles. Combined with the long-range accuracy and terminal ballistics of the potent 6.5 Creedmoor, maybe this gun begins takes off for those who have to travel for competitions or for law enforcement use by mobile precision shooters.

Pros:

  • Easy to disassemble and reassemble
  • Nice build quality
  • Innovative design

Cons:

  • Still a niche product compared to the majorly distributed firearms we see on mainstream market
  • May be an answer to a question no one was asking – the jury is still out on that

This is best for:

The early adopter of innovative technology or those who have a legitimate need for a fold-up quick disassembly/assembly firearm with long range potential. Oh, and for hired assassins.

Smith & Wesson M&P 10

SMITH & WESSON - M&P 10

This is the most obvious configuration of a 6.5mm Creedmoor given the propensity for AR clones to adopt the newest thing. The round is reliable for use in semi-autos and bolt actions and the inherent accuracy means you can get great results out of a moderately well put together gun even.

That isn’t a knock on S&W, but rather a round of applause for the great benefits of the 6.5 Creedmoor on the different existing platforms for shooters in the mainstream.

Pros:

  • Obvious muscle memory and control locations for most shooters

Cons:

  • Not at the peak of accuracy for the load

This is best for:

Those who want to get into the cartridge to test it out without having to learn a new design/platform.

Springfield Armory M1A

Springfield Armory M1A

We think it is clear that this rifle is strictly in the civilian domain now, but it is a very well thought out long-range precision rifle for competitions and offers significant benefits over the other guns that all look the same, especially when it comes to recoil reduction and lack of muzzle rise. The build quality is exceptional, and the customer service and factory aspects are dialed in.

If you have problems with this gun, it can be fixed easily by the factory who stands by and takes care of their products.

Pros:

  • Great balance
  • Heavy duty build
  • Excellent accuracy for a semi-auto out of the factory

Cons:

  • Physically a bit heavy
  • Can be pricey

This is best for:

National Match type shooting competitions; long range precision shooting where you can remain stationary.


POF P6.5 Edge SPR AR-15 Semi-Automatic Rifle

POF P6.5 Edge SPR AR-15

The POF rifles are excellent quality; and paired with the crazy flat shooting 6.5 Creedmoor, this can be a beast for long range precision shooting. The great design details and the familiar layout for most mainstream shooters means that this is an excellent choice for the shooter who likes the platform already but wants to reach out further with better ballistics without getting too far away from the original design and size.

Pros:

  • Tight accuracy potential
  • Great build quality
  • Reliable and proven technology

Cons:

  • Not actually the military’s choice for precision semi-auto rifle in the caliber even though it’s a nice rifle

This is best for:

For those who want a legitimate Military experience, this is pretty close to what you’re getting in the military field issued precision semi-automatic rifles.

Conclusion

In all, the 6.5 Creedmoor represents some of the best quick innovation he market has seen in decades; likely due to the well-placed performance in the well-publicized military competition. Either the folks developing the round had excellent marketing people, or the market was just due for a great “innovation”. The market has eaten it up and the military has even drunk the Kool-Aid. But that may not be a bd thing, given the capabilities of the round.

We like the 6.5 Creedmoor and we feel that all the guns on this list are solid choices if you find yourself in the crosshairs of the use case we tagged to each gun in the “THIS IS BEST FOR” component of each mini-review. With that information, you can find a perfect fit for your needs int his exciting new 6.5mm Creedmoor platform.

5/5 (1 Review)

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