6.5 Creedmoor Ballistics

6.5 Creedmoor Ballistics

A look at muzzle velocity, trajectory, coefficient and more ballistic data for some of the most popular 6.5 Creedmoor loads in the United States.

Equipped with bullets with high ballistic coefficients, the 6.5 Creedmoor (6.5 CM) offers shooters fast downrange velocities, improved wind drift resistance, and little drop compared to many other rifle calibers. It is ideal for long-distance shooting. Let’s explore some of the specifics with this look at 6.5 Creedmoor ballistics.

In this article, we’re discussing 6.5 Creedmoor ammo – not to be confused with the 6mm Creedmoor. The 6mm version is a necked-down version of the 6.5 CM with a .243” bullet instead of the 6.5 CM’s .264″.

Although originally introduced for target shooting, the 6.5 CM’s long-range accuracy, high sectional density, and ability to inflict great energy upon impact suit it for hunting medium-sized game as well.

6.5 Creedmoor Ballistic Chart

Ammo Velocity (Feet per Second) Energy (Ft. Pounds) Bullet Drop (Inches) Ballistic Coefficient
 Barrel LengthMuzzle100 yds.200 yds.300 yds.400 yds.500 yds.Muzzle100 yds.200 yds.300 yds.400 yds. 500 yds.Muzzle100 yds.200 yds.300 yds.400 yds.500 yds.(G1)(G7)Sect. Density
Black Hills - 143 Gr. ELX24270025572419228521562030231520761858165814751308-1.51.90-7.9-22.4-44.40.6370.320.293
Federal MatchKing - 140 Gr. BTHP24267525092350219620481905222419571716149913031128-20-8.4-23.9-47.50.5430.2730.286
Sellier & Bellot - 140 Gr. FMJ242,6572,4762,3072,1492,003-2,2021,9111,6591,4401,250--0-3.7-14-31.8-0.5180.260.287
140 Ballistic Tip (Nosler)2426502477231021501997-21831907165914371240--1.50-4.2-14.9-33.1-0.5180.260.287
Hornady American Gunner - 140 Gr. BTHP24269025362388224521061972224920001773156613791209-1.520-8.1-23-45.80.5890.2960.287
Winchester Super-X - 129 Gr. 129 Power Pt.24282022770.263
Black Hills - 147 Gr. ELD Match24270023800.301
Barnes VOR-TX - 120 Gr. TTSX2429102685247022662071188722571921162613681143949-1.51.70-7.4-21.5-43.80.4190.2110.245
Hornady Match - 147 Gr. ELD24269525672443232322062092237021511948176115871428-1.51.90-7.7-21.9-43.20.7130.3580.301
Federal Non-Typical - 140 Gr. SP24275025462350216319851816235120141717145512251025-1.90-8.3-24-48.40.4460.2240.286
Sellier & Bellot - 140 Gr. SP2426572419220120031823-22021824151112511037--0-4-15.2-35.1-0.3960.1990.287
Federal Gold Medal - 130 Gr. OTM24287527092550239622472104238621191877165714571277-1.60-6.9-20-400.5690.2860.265
Winchester Match - 140 Gr. BTHP24271025562407226321231989228320301800159214011230-0.10-3.8-13.7-30.3-0.590.2960.286

6.5 Creedmoor Ballistic Profile

Hornady Precision 6.5 Creedmoor ammo

The 6.5 CM’s metric name makes it sound exotic, but it was in fact developed in partnership by Hornady and Creedmoor Sports of Nebraska and Alabama, respectively. The cartridge was designed from its onset to offer several characteristics that would optimize it for long-distance target shooting and competition, including:

  • Magazine length
  • Lighter recoil than 308 Win
  • Flat trajectory
  • High ballistic coefficient
  • Long barrel life
  • Easy to handload
  • Suitability for mass production

Origins of the Cartridge

The designers based their new round on the 6.5 Carcano and the 30 Thompson Center, taking the approximate bullet diameter of the former and necking down the case of the latter. Hornady introduced the 6.5 CM in 2007. Its exceptional accuracy indeed earned it a following in the target shooting world as intended. The 6.5 CM’s developers did not foresee their cartridge becoming as popular as it has for deer hunting, however.

The 6.5 CM has a .264” bullet, commonly available in weights ranging from 120 to 147 grains. That alone makes it similar to many other popular deer hunting rounds, but its recoil is noticeably less powerful. Hunters appreciate the 6.5 CM’s high ballistic coefficient, which easily reaches .510, as well as its long bullet which conveys a corresponding high sectional density.

In essence, sectional density rates how well a bullet’s mass is distributed to overcome resistance along that axis. Imagine a nail — high sectional density when its tip points toward a board, low sectional density otherwise. The 6.5 CM’s nail-like bullet’s weight is distributed in such a way that promotes deep penetration within soft tissue, a requisite for lethal terminal performance.

The 6.5 CM delivers significantly less bullet drop than the 308 Win beginning at 500 yards, and is also less susceptible to wind deflection.

Other 6.5 CDMR Attributes

  • Relatively small propellant charge causes slower wear of the barrel
  • Short-action cartridge permits a stiffer, lighter, and faster cycling short-action rifle
  • Long case neck keeps bullet outside of propellant space
  • Increasingly popular, many rifles and ammo types available

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