The 6.5 Creedmoor centerfire rifle cartridge was introduced by Hornady in 2007. It has taken a few years to catch on, but it has taken off like wildfire.
Earlier in 2016, I had the distinct privilege of being able to test one of Savage Arms’ offerings in the 6.5 Creedmoor — the Model 10 BA Stealth. While hitting a mark at 1,000 yards and beyond is often a sought-after benchmark for rifle shooters, today it has become almost commonplace.
I will have to admit, though, that the 6.5 Creedmoor has made that distance and beyond seem almost too easy. Don’t get me wrong; you have to do your part, especially if you have those nasty crosswinds. With relatively high sectional density and ballistic coefficient, 6.5 mm bullets, in general, are known for their success in rifle competitions. For some loads, the 6.5 mm Creedmoor is capable of duplicating the muzzle velocity or trajectory of the 300 Winchester Magnum with only minimal felt recoil. Along with its success as a competition and target cartridge, the 6.5 Creedmoor is exploding in popularity in the hunting and tactical markets.
The primary features of the Savage 10 BA Stealth in 6.5 are:
Factory blue-printed Savage Action.
- Monolithic aluminum chassis machined from solid billet.
- M-LOK forend.
- One-piece EGW scope rail.
- Fab Defense GLR-SHOCK six-position buttstock with adjustable cheek piece.
- A 5/8 x 24 threaded muzzle with protector.
- Detachable 10-round box magazine.
- Savage AccuTrigger.
The first day I had the Savage 10 BA Stealth on a long-distance range, I was hitting steel out to 1,000 yards. Admittedly I had the use of good ammo, American Eagle 140gr OTM (open tip match), a great optic — a Bushnell Elite Tactical LRS 6-24x first focal plane scope — and I made use of a good ballistics table. There seems to be quite the discussion on the gun blogs of the effective range of this cartridge, from as little as 400 yards and out to 1,200-plus yards. Suffice it to say with the right ammo, 400 yards is child’s play with 6.5, and in the hands of a good rifleman, 1,000 yards-plus is attainable for many.
There is a wide selection of good factory ammo and volumes of data for reloaders. Muzzle velocities for the 6.5 are in the 2700 to 3200 fps range, depending on bullet weight and load.
With the aforementioned Savage Stealth in 6.5 Creedmoor (Savage offers the Stealth in 308 Winchester, also) I personally took a mule deer in New Mexico this past November during legal deer season. Using Federal Fusion 140 grain soft point, I made a 327-yard uphill, one-shot kill and the deer never moved. I say this while holding the greatest respect to the animal and only to point out that the 6.5 Creedmoor is, in fact, a very suitable cartridge for the hunting environment.
If you’re looking for an ultra-flat shooting cartridge with mild recoil and want to challenge yourself at the 1,000-plus yard mark, the 6.5 Creedmoor is worthy of consideration. And I’m still enjoying the venison sausage in case anyone is wondering!