As issues now stand, a 6.5 Creedmoor vs 30-06 showdown is, in essence, a title combat for right this moment’s greatest all-around big-game cartridge. The 6.5 Creedmoor was developed in 2007 for goal shooters by Hornady, lay dormant for various years, after which burst forth because the Cartridge of the Century, not less than thus far. The 30-06 was designed in 1906 by the Springfield Armory for troopers, quietly constructed up a head of steam for a decade, after which went nuts after World Warfare I when American troopers found what it might do. How in style the Creedmoor will proceed to be sooner or later we don’t but know. The 30-06 has stayed at, or very close to, the highest of the heap for a century, which is astonishing. How many individuals now drive Mannequin T Fords? The ’06 comes from that period. Alternatively, the Creedmoor’s rise has been so astonishing that we should now ask, which one is best?

The 6.5 Creedmoor, the Little Cartridge that May

The intelligent of us at Hornady dreamed this one up with two realities in thoughts: First, there should not numerous aggressive shooters in the US and by no means shall be as a result of it’s too troublesome and costly. Second, this small group of shooters is a gold mine simply the identical as a result of it’s members burn ammo by the ton. Between April and October of any given yr, a critical competitors rifleman will undergo extra rounds than the typical hunter does in a number of lifetimes.

So, they got down to create a brand new cartridge for these of us, decided that it should not kick loads, or value loads, or be a ache within the ass to reload. And that it should be very environment friendly at lengthy vary and really, very correct. The Creedmoor met all of those necessities, and the remainder is historical past. Hunters, who have been uninterested in having their brains crushed out by magnums, found it. They discovered what Scandinavians have identified since 1894 when the 6.5×55 Swede was launched, that small 6.5mm cartridges do exactly high quality on massive recreation. Since then, the Creedmoor’s recognition has grown like no different cartridge earlier than it.

The 30-06, “Enormous Cartridge” of Millennials

A diagram of the .30/06 Springfield case dimensions. Nosler

I say “large cartridge” of the millennials as a result of a few years again I used to be on the firing line capturing an ’06 and subsequent to me was a 20-something with an AR-15 who was watching my ammo as if it was a nest of saw-scaled vipers. “What’s that vast cartridge?” he requested, which gave me pause. We’ve come a protracted option to the place the 30-06 is taken into account large.

However the 30-06 is a handful, whereby lies its recognition. It has sufficient horsepower to deal with nearly any searching contingency you’ll be able to encounter. Nonetheless, as Sir Isaac Newton reminded us, each motion has an equal and reverse response, so the ’06 kicks, and in the event you’re used to an AR, it actually kicks. That stated, it’s stays a marvelously versatile big-game cartridge.

Associated: 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308 Wiinchester

Which Is Higher? Head-to-Head Comparability

To select a winner within the 6.5 Creedmoor vs 30-06 matchup, you want to take a detailed take a look at all of the components which may make one cartridge higher than one other. So, right here’s the breakdown:

6.5 Creedmoor vs 30-06: Recoil

Even case-hardened shooters who can take heaps and plenty of kick with out it affecting their accuracy don’t like getting bashed each time they pull the set off. Most likely the traditional case is Warren Web page, Area & Stream’s immortal capturing editor, who used a souped-up .375 as his heavy rifle as a substitute of a real heavy rifle of .40 caliber or extra. There was no harder shooter than Warren, however he hated kick, and made no bones about it.

The Creedmoor places out round 12 foot-pounds of recoil, which is instantly manageable by nearly everybody. The .30/06 will deal you about 20 foot-pounds, which is the utmost quantity of kick that the typical shooter can tolerate, however remains to be an issue for lots of people. You’ll be able to, if you want, put a muzzle brake in your ’06, after which surprise the place your listening to went swiftly.

Winner: The 6.5 Creedmoor

6.5 Creedmoor vs 30-06: Accuracy

photo of 6.5 Creedmoor accuracy
A pleasant 5-shot group with 6.5 Creedmoor searching ammo. Dave Hurteau

This one is straightforward. The 6.5 Creedmoor was designed for Excessive Energy competitors and, as a rule, you’re losing your time in any section of Excessive Energy until your rifle will produce ½-inch 20-shot teams. That’s very fancy capturing even on this exalted age. Hornady knew that until their cartridge would print teams the scale of fly poop, it could fail.

The 30-06 got here of age when the usual for searching rifles with iron sights was 3 inches at 100 yards, and minute of angle teams from a big-game rifle have been nearly exceptional. It was, and is, an correct cartridge, however its pedigree is nothing like that of the Creedmoor.

Winner: The 6.5 Creedmoor.

6.5 Creedmoor vs 30-06: Value, Selection, and Availability of Ammo

MidwayUSA, which is my bellwether for an important many issues, lists 94 manufacturers and types of Creedmoor ammo on the market. Contemplating the relative youth and unique nature of the spherical, that is astonishing. Nonetheless, the 30-06, which has been with us endlessly, lists 122. However on the third hand, much more of the Creedmoor ammo is definitely accessible in comparison with ’06. Costs are related, besides premium 30-06 appears to value greater than premium Creedmoor. So far as native availability, wherever you go, somebody goes to have 30-06 ammo. The identical can’t be stated for the Creedmoor.

Winner: The 30-06, however by the slimmest of margins.

6.5 Creedmoor vs 30-06: Effectiveness on Recreation

The author with a caribou taken with a 6.5 Creedmoor
F&S capturing editor took this caribou a 6.5 Creedmoor. Richard Mann

In a time when everybody disagrees about every part, virtually everybody agrees that the most effective bullet weight for the Creedmoor is 140 grains. It’s possible you’ll, in the event you should, go all the way down to 120 grains, however you’ll acquire nothing. One-forty is it. That weight works very effectively on nearly each big-game species you’ll be able to anticipate to hunt, and it advantages from the marvelous bullets that we now have. After I hunted moose in Sweden with a .338, the Swedes, who have been armed with 7x57s and 6.5x55s, checked out me pityingly.

The 30-06, then again, does greatest with 180-grain bullets, and it’ll handily digest 200-grain slugs, which put it in a completely completely different league from the Creedmoor. Have a look at it this manner: The Creedmoor is as high quality a caribou cartridge as I can consider, but when I have been searching caribou in grizzly nation the place the bears suppose a rifle shot is a dinner bell, I’d depart the Creedmoor within the closet and take a 30-06.

Winner: A tie, aside from actually massive animals, the place the nod goes to the 30-06.

6.5 Creedmoor vs 30-06: Barrel Life

A few of that is guesswork, as I’ve by no means burned out a Creedmoor barrel. Nonetheless, folks I do know who shoot them in competitors say that first-class accuracy goes after 2,000 to 2,500 rounds. For a searching rifle, I’d say 3,000 on the minimal. By comparability, the 30-06 rifles I’ve burned out have lasted about 5,000 rounds. You can nonetheless hunt with them, however their first-class accuracy was gone.

The Winner: The 30-06.

6.5 Creedmoor vs 30-06: Ease of Handloading

The 30-06 would most likely shoot adequately in the event you fed it rock salt and nails. It has no quirks or peculiarities. The Creedmoor was designed with the data that the general public who used it could handload it, and so it has a gentle disposition and no oddities.

The Winner: A tie.

6.5 Creedmoor vs 30-06: Efficiency at Lengthy Vary

The 6.5 Creedmoor was designed to carry out at ranges of 200 to 1,200 yards. Hornady selected that caliber as a result of 6.5 bullets may be made heavy for his or her diameter, and with out utilizing a ton of powder, can preserve their velocity over lengthy distances.

Springfield Armory envisioned the 30-06 as a 500-yard cartridge at most, and but in Vietnam, snipers like Marine legend Carlos Hathcock routinely hit with it at ranges over 800 yards with rifles and scopes that have been relics of World Warfare II.

Winner: The 6.5 Creedmoor.

And the Winner Is… 

Hand loading 6.5 Creedmoor ammo into a magazine.
The reality is, most hunters would do higher loading up with the 6.5 Creedmoor. Federal Premium Ammunition

I can harldy imagine I’m saying this, however for the typical hunter, for nearly any type of searching, the 6.5 Creedmoor will serve you higher. The much less you flinch, the higher you shoot. The higher you shoot, the sooner the animals drop.

Learn Subsequent: The Finest 6.5 Creedmoor Looking Masses

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