More people are using the 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting than ever before. Here are a few great brands of 6.5 Creedmoor ammo that should serve you well next time you hit the woods.
Originally designed for long range competitive target shooting, the 6.5 Creedmoor performed so well in that role that it was just a matter of time before the cartridge caught on in the hunting community. Known for its exceptional accuracy, flat trajectory, low recoil, high energy retention at long range, and really good terminal performance, more and more hunters are using the 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting elk, deer, feral hogs, pronghorn, and other species of big game these days. For that reason, the major ammunition manufacturers produce multiple varieties of 6.5 Creedmoor ammo specifically designed for hunting big game. So, regardless of what or where you’re hunting, you’ll probably find something that will work well for you on the list below of the best 6.5 Creedmoor ammo for hunting.
If you’re planning on taking your 6.5 Creedmoor deer hunting, then the you should certainly consider using Federal’s 140gr Fusion Soft Point load. First off, this particular load is one of the least expensive 6.5 Creedmoor ammo choices out there that’s appropriate for hunting. Fortunately, just because the ammo is reasonably priced doesn’t mean that it’s low quality.
The Federal Fusion Soft Points have a jacket that’s molecularly bonded to the core to prevent component separation. This helps ensure high weight retention and deep penetration. Though Federal designed the Fusion line of ammunition specifically for deer hunting, it will also work really well for just about any other species of thin-skinned game. So, regardless of whether you want to take your 6.5 Creedmoor antelope hunting, mule deer hunting, or whitetail hunting, you can count on this load to get the job done.
- Bullet Type: Soft Point
- Bullet Weight: 140 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient: 0.439
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,750 feet per second
Browning’s 129gr BXR is another great load to use in your 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting deer. It normally retails for a little more than the Federal Fusion 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, but it’s also pretty reasonably priced. However, the Browning BXR ammunition uses a lighter bullet with a higher ballistic coefficient that’s fired at a higher velocity. So, this particular load has a slightly flatter trajectory, making it a better choice for longer range shots than the Federal Fusion 6.5 Creedmoor ammo.
Designed for rapid expansion on thin-skinned game, the the Browning BXR 6.5 Creedmoor ammo is great for whitetail, blacktail, mule deer and pronghorn hunting.
- Bullet Type: BXR Rapid Expansion Matrix Tip
- Bullet Weight: 129 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient: 0.557
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,850 feet per second
Available at: Cabela’s
If you want to use the 6.5 Creedmoor for elk hunting, then Hornady’s Precision Hunter 143gr ELD-X 6.5 Creedmoor ammo is probably your best choice. Why? First, these are among the heaviest bullets with the highest sectional density that you’ll find for the 6.5 Creedmoor. Second, the ELD-X bullets have a very high ballistic coefficient. Third, these bullets are designed for reiable, but controlled expansion over a very wide range of impact velocities.
Add it all up and you’ve got a bullet that’s quite accurate in most rifles, has a very flat trajectory, retains velocity (and kinetic energy) even better than virtually any other 6.5 Creedmoor hunting ammo, and will penetrate deep enough to reach the vitals of really big animals like elk at reasonable shooting ranges and angles.
On paper, using the 6.5 Creedmoor for elk may seem like a bad idea, but it’s certainly possible if you use a good quality bullet like the 143gr ELD-X and place your shots properly. Heck, Scandinavian hunters have been using the 6.5×55, which is a virtual ballistic twin to the 6.5 Creedmoor, for hunting moose and caribou for well over a century. With that in mind, there is no reason you couldn’t use the 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting elk, moose, or other absolutely massive animals. If you punch a hole through their heart and/or lungs with a quality 6.5mm expanding bullet, the animal will never know the difference.
- Bullet Type: Extremely Low Drag – Expanding (ELD-X)
- Bullet Weight: 143 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient: 0.625
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,700 feet per second
Naturally, Barnes produces a couple different kinds of 6.5 Creedmoor ammo featuring their legendary copper X-Bullet. In particular, the 127gr VOR-TX LR load is a really good choice for a person who wants to use the 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting big game at longer ranges. For that reason, the LRX-BT utilizes an aerodynamic bullet with a high ballistic coefficient to obtain a relatively flat trajectory.
Additionally, the LRX-BT is optimized for rapid expansion, high weight retention, and deep penetration, making these bullets excellent choices for hunters after game like deer, black bear, and elk. It’s also 100% copper, which makes the VOR-TX an ideal brand of 6.5 Creedmoor hunting ammo for use in states like California that prohibit the use of lead bullets.
- Bullet Type: Long Range Hunting Boat Tail (LRX-BT)
- Bullet Weight: 127 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient: 0.468
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,825 feet per second
If you want a high velocity, flat shooting load to use in your 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting the widest possible variety of big game, then it’s really tough to go wrong with Hornady’s Superformance 120gr GMX ammunition. Not only does Hornady’s Superformance line of 6.5 Creedmoor ammo give you a higher muzzle velocity than any other brand of factory loaded 6.5 Creedmoor hunting ammo, but it also uses the outstanding GMX bullet. Made of a monolithic copper alloy (so it’s legal to use in California) it’s designed for reliable expansion, deep penetration, and maximum weight retention, making it suitable for use in the 6.5 Creedmoor for elk as well as smaller animals like deer.
Hornady produces a similar variant of 6.5 Creedmoor ammo in their Full Boar line. It also uses the 120gr GMX bullet, but it’s loaded to a slightly lower velocity and is designed for optimum reliability in semi-automatic rifles. As you can probably tell by the name, Hornady markets the Full Boar ammo towards hunters who want to use the 6.5 Creedmoor for hogs. It will absolutely work in that role, but it’s not limited to just hog hunting either. In fact, both the Full Boar and Superformance lines of 6.5 Creedmoor ammo will work extremely well for hunting deer, feral hogs, antelope, elk, and most species of African plains game.
- Bullet Type: GMX
- Bullet Weight: 120 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient: 0.450
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,925 feet per second (Full Boar) & 3,050 feet per second (Superformance)
Available at: 1-800 Guns And Ammo (Superformance), Brownells (Full Boar & Superformace), Cabela’s (Superformance), Lucky Gunner (Full Boar & Superformance) & Natchez Shooters Supplies (Full Boar & Superformance)