November 7th, 2007

NEW 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge from Hornady

Hornady has announced a new, 6.5mm cartridge designed for Across-the-Course and High Power shooters, and 3-gun competitors. (We think the new round may also prove very popular with hunters and tactical shooters.) Dubbed the 6.5 Creedmoor, the cartridge is smaller than a .260 Remington (.308-size case) but larger than the 6.5×47 Lapua. Measuring 1.920″ from base to mouth, 6.5 Creedmoor brass features a 30° shoulder and minimal body taper. Case capacity is “right around 53.0 grains of H20″ according to Hornady. The 6.5 Creedmoor uses a large rifle primer and large flash hole.

Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor

Hornady says its 6.5 Creedmoor is designed to operate at “standard” .308 Winchester pressures, for increased “barrel and case life”. The 6.5 Creedmoor factory ammo is loaded to “under 60,000 psi” according to Hornady engineers. That’s quite a bit less than the 62,000 psi SAAMI max pressure limit for the .308 Winchester, or the 63,090 rated max psi of the 6.5×47 Lapua. Compared to max-loaded 6XC or 6.5×47 cases, the lower-pressure 6.5 Creedmoor should, theoretically, provide good barrel life. Dennis DeMille, who has been testing the factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, reports that the factory ammo is “not on the ragged edge at all–pressures are ‘sensible’, with excellent reliability as a result.”

6.5 Creedmoor Loaded Ammo Specifications

Bullet COAL (max) Powder Grains Primer Velocity PSI
120gr Amax 2.820″ H4350 43.5 LrgR 3020 fps under
140gr Amax 2.820″ H4350 41.2 LrgR 2820 fps under

The new cartridge looks speedy on paper. Hornady claims its factory-loaded 6.5 Creedmoor ammo will deliver 3,020 fps with the 120gr Amax and 2,820 fps with the 140gr Amax from a 28″ barrel. Those velocities are at the extreme high end of what we’ve seen a 6.5×47 Lapua deliver with 123gr and 139gr Scenars. In the 6.5×47, with handloads, it’s more realistic to expect 2950 fps with the 123-grainer, and about 2800 with the 139. Lapua’s factory-loaded 6.5×47 rounds are considerably slower. So, it appears the 6.5 Creedmoor will enjoy a slight velocity edge over 6.5×47 handloads, and a sizeable speed advantage over Lapua 6.5×47 factory ammo (with similar bullet weights).

BALLISTICS: 6.5 Creedmoor vs. .308 Win vs. .223 REM

Background of Cartridge
The new cartridge was conceptualized by Dave Emary, Hornady’s Senior Ballistician, and Dennis DeMille, General Manager of Creedmoor® Sports and two-time NRA National High Power Rifle Champion. Dave and Dennis wanted to provide factory-loaded ammo that would be 100% competitive with any High Power chambering, including the 6XC and 6.5×47 Lapua. The 6.5 Creedmoor was purpose-built for match rifles, including the Tubb 2000 and DPMS/Panther Arms LR Series. Its case is shorter than the 260 Remington, so you can load even the longest bullets into .308-Win length magazines. Pushing a 120gr Amax at 3000+ fps, the 6.5 Creedmoor offers a nice, flat trajectory plus good wind-bucking ability. Dennis Demille has used the prototype cartridge for many months now in a Tubb 2000 rifle. He says, the load is “moderate and very reliable. There have been no issues with stiff bolt lift or primer cratering.” The factory ammo runs “under 60,000 psi” according to Emary, and uses Hodgdon H4350 powder–43.5 grains with the 120 Amax and 41.2 grains with the 140 Amax.

Loaded 6.5 Creedmoor ammo is slated for release in January or February 2008 “at the latest”, according to Dave Emary. Ammo should be priced about $22 per box of 20 rounds, roughly the same as Hornady .308 Win match ammo. Brass, produced by Hornady in the USA, should be available by late spring. The new 120gr Amax bullet should be released very early next year.

DOWNLOAD 6.5 Creedmoor Illustrated Brochure

6.5 Creedmoor Specs

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