Best 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles for Hunting – Ultimate Guide (2023)

What are the best 6.5 Creedmoor rifles for hunting in 2023?

Released in the 2007 for the precision shooting community, the 6.5 Creedmoor has also taken the hunting world by storm in recent years. In fact, 6.5 Creedmoor is now one of the most popular centerfire rifle cartridges in use today. Not surprisingly, many companies like Browning, Remington, Ruger, and Winchester produce a wide range of 6.5 Creedmoor rifles for hunting deer, feral hogs, pronghorn, black bear, elk, and other big game animals.

The sweet shooting and mild recoiling 6.5 Creedmoor was an almost instant hit among hunters and shooters in North America. Known for being relatively flat shooting, having great accuracy potential, and for moderate recoil, the 6.5 Creedmoor is an outstanding hunting cartridge that’s especially well suited for hunting deer sized game at short, medium, and even long range. 

However, not all 6.5 Creedmoor rifles are created equal and different situations require different characteristics in a rifle.

For instance, a heavier rifle with a longer barrel will work great for hunting whitetail deer or pronghorn in more open country that’s relatively flat or gently rolling. On the other hand, that same rifle would not be a lot of fun to carry up in the mountains hunting mule deer or elk.

Fortunately, there’s still a wide variety of 6.5 Creedmoor rifles well suited for most big game hunting situations. So, regardless of whether you’re planning on hunting caribou in Alaska, mule deer in Colorado, pronghorn in Wyoming, whitetail out east, or some other big game hunting adventure elsewhere in the world, there is pretty much guaranteed to be something for everyone on the list below of the best 6.5 Creedmoor rifles for hunting.

In this article, I’m going to show you the best 6.5 Creedmoor rifles for hunting deer, feral hogs, pronghorn, elk, and all sorts of other big game. I’ll also go over the pros and cons of each individual rifle and help you select the right one for your specific hunting situation.

Before we get started, here’s a disclaimer: some of the links below are affiliate links. This means I will earn a small commission if you make a purchase. This commission comes at no extra cost to you. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to create free content that’s useful to hunters like yourself. Thanks for your support.

It’s also important to realize the rifle is just a single part of the equation. Even the best rifle won’t be of much use without a high quality scope and without appropriate ammunition. Learn more about what I consider the best scope, ammunition, and sling options for the 6.5 Creedmoor at the links below.

Best 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo For Hunting Elk, Deer, & Other Big Game

9 Reasons The Leupold VX-5 HD Is A Great Hunting Scope

11 Reasons The Leupold VX-6 HD Is An Even Better Hunting Scope

Best Hunting Rifle Slings For 2023

Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s get started.

Ruger American Predator

picture of Best 6.5 creedmoor Rifles for Hunting ruger american predator

Ruger’s American rifle has gained a reputation for being one of the most reasonably priced centerfire hunting rifles available in the United States. There was once a time where calling something a “budget rifle” was just a polite way of saying it was junk.

Fortunately, things have changed and the Ruger American is a great all-around 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifle that’s also functional and well built.

The standard Ruger American rifle is a good overall rifle without a lot of bells and whistles. However, the Ruger American Predator has a couple of additional features the standard American lacks that I think are worth paying a little extra for.

Don’t worry, while the Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor is a great predator and varmint hunting rifle, it’s also an outstanding option for big game hunting.

First, the Predator rifle features a threaded barrel to accommodate a suppressor or a muzzle brake (which the standard model lacks). Next, American Predator models also have a heavier taper barrel, which slightly increases the overall weight of the rifle.

This rifle remains relativley lightweight though and tips the scales at just over 6 and a half pounds though. Finally, the Ruger American Predator has a one piece scope rail and a moss green synthetic stock.

It’s a little more expensive than the standard Ruger American, but those additional features are nice to have and help the shooter maximize the overall potential of the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge.

The Ruger American does not come with an accuracy guarantee and you likely won’t be winning any shooting competitions with it. However, every single one of these rifles I’ve used has shot surprisingly well. This is especially true with the Ruger American Predator

All things considered, the Ruger American Predator is an outstanding 6.5 Creedmoor rifle for hunting a variety of big game, but especially whitetail deer and feral hogs. It will also work great on a high country mule deer hunt, for hunting black bear, or for pursuing pronghorn antelope in open country.

In fact, this is the rifle I’d recommend for a person looking for a 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifle that will work really well for most deer hunting situations without breaking the bank.

  • Length of Pull: 13.75″
  • Rifling Twist Rate: 1:8″
  • Threaded Barrel: Yes (5/8″-24)
  • Magazine Size: 4
  • Accuracy Guarantee: No
  • Left Handed Models Available: Yes
  • MSRP: $599


Also Available At: Cabela’s,, and Sportsman’s Warehouse

Browning X-Bolt Speed

picture of best 6.5 creedmoor rifles for hunting xbolt

The Browning X-Bolt Speed is an outstanding 6.5 Creedmoor rifle for hunters wanting a lightweight and easy to carry rifle that’s capable of great accuracy and has a reasonable price tag to boot. 

Browning X-Bolt rifles in general are well regarded by many in the hunting community for their nice trigger, good accuracy, and for their very short 60° bolt lift that’s incredibly fast to cycle.  

The X-Bolt Speed has all those characteristics along with a few other nice touches that set it apart from the rest of the pack like a composite stock with an Ovix camouflage pattern, a cerakote finish for corrosion resistance, a great recoil pad, and a 22” threaded barrel with a muzzle brake.

Tipping the scales at just under 6 and a half pounds, this rifle is also really lightweight and easy to carry. The 6.5 Creedmoor is a fairly light recoiling cartridge, even in a lightweight rifle like this. Additionally, the recoil pad and included muzzle brake will both further reduce perceived recoil for the user. That muzzle brake may also be removed and replaced with a thread protector (included) or a suppressor. 

The Browning X-Bolt does not come with a formal accuracy guarantee, but these rifles in general are known for being really accurate rifles right out of the box and 1 MOA groups with good quality ammo are not uncommon.

All in all, this is an outstanding 6.5 Creedmoor rifle with plenty of capability and a reasonable price tag. It should perform really well up in the mountains of Colorado pursuing mule deer or out on the open prairie of Wyoming in search of pronghorn where encounters with game at longer ranges are more common. 


Also Available At: Cabela’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse

Tikka T3x Lite

picture of Best 6.5 creedmoor Rifles for Hunting xpr

Made in Finland, the Tikka Tx3 Lite is another really well designed, extremely functional rifle. These rifles have an excellent reputation for accuracy, durability, and reliability under really demanding conditions.

I wouldn’t say they’re the absolute best 6.5 Creedmoor rifles available, but they’re still really darn good and are an outstanding value. I’d describe the Tikka T3x Lite as a no frills, reasonably priced, and very functional hunting rifle.

The Tikka also has an adjustable trigger. It’s also available in a left-handed version. So once again, the Tikka T3x Lite is a great choice for a southpaw looking for a great left handed 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.

These rifles are a cut above the Ruger American, Savage Axis, and Winchester XPR, but not quite on the level of something like the Browning X-Bolt or the Ruger Hawkeye.

I really like the Tikka T3x Lite and this is where I’d steer a hunter wanting a great mid-tier 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifle that’s available at a reasonable price.

  • M15x1 thread pattern).


Also Available At: Cabela’s and

Ruger Precision Rifle

picture of Best 6.5 creedmoor Rifles for Hunting ruger precision rifle

The folks at Sturm, Ruger & Co designed the Ruger Precision Rifle specifically for people who wanted to enter the long-range precision shooting shooting world without dropping a considerable amount of money to get started. The Ruger Precision Rifle is a high end rifle that delivers outstanding accuracy straight out of the box and costs considerably less than many of the other rifles commonly used in the long range precision shooting world.

Not surprisingly, the rifle is extremely popular among shooters. Also available in 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 308 Winchester, 300 Win Mag, 300 PRC, and 338 Lapua, the Ruger Precision Rifle is also one of the most accurate 6.5 Creedmoor rifles in mass production.

There are a lot of really accurate 6.5 Creedmoor rifles out there. However, the Ruger Precision Rifle is likely the most accurate mass produced 6.5 Creedmoor rifle straight out of the box because it incorporates so many accuracy improving features like 5R rifling, minimum bore and groove dimensions, minimum headspace, a centralized chamber, an externally adjustable Ruger Marksman trigger, a pistol grip, a Ruger Precision® Rifle Hybrid Muzzle Brake, and an in-line recoil path to provide maximum accuracy potential.

The downside to the Ruger Precision Rifle is that it’s pretty darn heavy at nearly 11 pounds unloaded. On one hand, that really heavy weight will result in less recoil. So, this is a great hunting rifle if you don’t have to carry it far. On the other hand, it won’t be fun at all to lug around for an extended distance, especially in rough terrain.

All things considered, the Ruger Precision Rifle is an outstanding 6.5 Creedmoor rifle for long range precision shooting as well as for hunting in situations where a very accurate rifle with the best possible extended range performance is valued over portability.

If that doesn’t sound like what you want, check out the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter (which is next on this list of the best 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifles), which provides many of the benefits of the Ruger Precision Rifle without being nearly as heavy.

  • Length of Pull: 12-15.5″
  • Rifling Twist Rate: 1:10″
  • Threaded Barrel: Yes (5/8″-24)
  • Magazine Size: 10
  • Accuracy Guarantee: No
  • Left Handed Models Available: No
  • MSRP: $1,879


Also Available At: Cabela’s,, and Sportsman’s Warehouse

Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter

picture of Best 6.5 creedmoor Rifles for Hunting ruger hawkeye

While the Ruger Precision Rifle absolutely excels in a target practice and/or long range shooting role, it’s too big and heavy for use in many hunting situations. With this in mind, Ruger designed the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in an effort to build a hunting rifle that still excels at extended range without being quite so heavy.

How did they do that?

First, the Long Range Hunter is built on Ruger’s legendary Hawkeye action with a Mauser-style, controlled-round-feed extractor and a fixed blade ejector for optimum reliability.

Next, the Hawkeye Long Range Hunter rifle has a 22-inch cold hammer-forged stainless steel barrel with a muzzle brake. The barrel uses a 5/8×24 thread pattern and hunters can remove the muzzle brake and replace it with a suppressor.

Additionally, Ruger advertises that the rifle uses 5R rifling, minimum bore and groove dimensions, minimum headspace, and a centralized chamber. These are features shared by the Ruger Precision Rifle to help improve accuracy potential, but are somewhat unique among hunting rifles.

Next, the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter uses an LC6 trigger, which is an outstanding trigger that’s highly regarded among hunters and shooters. The rifle also has a laminate target stock with a soft rubber recoil pad that may be adjusted for length of pull by adding or subtracting spacers that come with the rifle.

Finally, the rifle comes from the factory with a one piece 20 MOA Picatinny rail to help maximize the long range capabilities of the rifle. The rifle does also has traditional Ruger integral scope mounts machined directly into the receiver for those who do not want to use the rail.

Weighing in at just over 7 pounds, the end result is a very well-designed rifle that’s light enough for a hunter to carry in rough terrain that’s still capable of outstanding accuracy at longer range.

Yes, there are lighter 6.5 Creedmoor rifles out there. And yes, there are more accurate 6.5 Creedmoor rifles out there.

However, the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter sits in that sweet spot delivering outstanding combination of portability, accuracy, and good down range performance at a surprisingly reasonable price point.

  • Length of Pull: 12.75-14.25″
  • Rifling Twist Rate: 1:10″
  • Threaded Barrel: Yes (5/8″-24)
  • Magazine Size: 5
  • Accuracy Guarantee: No
  • Left Handed Models Available: No
  • MSRP: $1,569


Bergara B-14 HMR Wilderness

picture of Best 6.5 creedmoor Rifles for Hunting bergara hmr

Bergara is known for producing extremely accurate rifles and very high quality barrels.

The B-14 HMR Wilderness combines those attributes with a high end, mini-chassis molded into the adjustable stock. HMR stands for Hunting and Match Rifle, which is a great description of the capabilities of this particular rifle.

The stock is has an adjustable comb to bring the shooter’s eye in perfect alignment with the scope and is also adjustable for length of pull via spacers in the stock to fit shooters of varying sizes. The stock also includes quick detach flush cups for a sling (and also has regular sling swivels).

The Wilderness Series of rifles use hand-painted camouflage stocks with increased texture and grip. Their actions and barrels are also have a Sniper Grey Cerakote® finish for protection from the elements in harsh weather. This rifle also has an excellent Bergara Performance Trigger and a 5 round AICS style detachable magazine.

The Bergara B-14 HMR Wilderness 6.5 Creedmoor rifle has a 24″ long #6 Bergara barrel with an omnidirectional and multi-ported muzzle brake to further reduce perceived recoil in the already sweet shooting cartridge.

Not surprisingly, this rifle is a real shooter and Bergara has a 1 MOA accuracy guarantee with these rifles. Longer barrels will often (though not always) deliver higher muzzle velocities. So that long, 24″ long barrel will also help maximize velocity and downrange performance from the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge as well.

The downside of this rifle is that it’s on the heavy side at 9.7 pounds.

It will be an outstanding shooting platform for long-range shooting, but won’t be a lot of fun to carry for really long distances in rough terrain. For that reason, those looking for an extremely lightweight 6.5 Creedmoor rifle for mountain hunting should probably look elsewhere.

This is an absolutely perfect 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifle for those hunting in more open and/or gently rolling terrain where a stable shooting platform and the best long range performance are more important than a lightweight and easy to carry rifle.

Get the Bergara if you want a great rifle with a long effective range. Go with something else if that’s not what you’re looking for.

  • Length of Pull: Adjustable from 12.25-14.5″
  • Rifling Twist Rate: 1:8″
  • Threaded Barrel: Yes, Omni Muzzle Brake included (5/8-24″ thread pattern).
  • Magazine Size: 5 Round AICS Detachable Magazine Provided
  • Accuracy Guarantee: Yes, 1 MOA with quality factory match grade ammunition
  • Left Handed Models Available: Yes, the standard Bergara B-14 HMR is available in a left handed model in 6.5 Creedmoor
  • MSRP: $1,299


Also Available At: Sportsman’s Warehouse

Savage Axis II

picture of Best 6.5 creedmoor Rifles for Hunting savage axis

The Axis II by Savage Arms is another one of the most reasonably priced 6.5 Creedmoor rifles currently available on the market today. While Savage had a somewhat checkered reputation at one point, their rifles are generally highly regarded these days.

In fact, some Savage rifles are capable of absolutely tack driving accuracy and are used by lots of hunters with lots of success each year.

The Axis II in 6.5 Creedmoor has a 4 round detachable box magazine, a black synthetic stock, and a user adjustable AccuTrigger (approximately a 2.5 to 6 pound trigger pull).

Additionally, the 22-inch barrel is a good balance of long enough for good performance with the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, but not so long that the rifle is unwieldy. In fact, the rifle is reasonably lightweight and is about as compact as possible for a rifle in that chambering.

Savage also makes an identical version of the Axis II for left handed shooters. So, this rifle is a great choice for someone looking for the best left handed 6.5 Creedmoor rifle. They also produce the Savage Axis II XP that’s otherwise identical, but comes from the factory with a Bushnell scope.

This is definitely not a high end custom rifle and it lacks a lot of the bells and whistles other, more expensive rifles have. However, the Savage Axis II is another very functional rifle that will work well for someone with a smaller budget who wants a good 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifle for deer hunting and/or for a first rifle.


Also Available At: Cabela’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse

Winchester XPR

picture of Best 6.5 creedmoor Rifles for Hunting winchester xpr

Similar in general concept to the Ruger American and Savage Axis, the Winchester XPR is a budget or entry rifle offering from Winchester Repeating Arms. So, the Winchester XPR is not a fancy rifle by any stretch of the imagination.

There’s nothing wrong with this rifle, but it probably won’t deliver accuracy or reliability quite on par with a more expensive 6.5 Creedmoor rifle. Even so, this is a nice value rifle option and is an especially good option for a hunter just getting started. This is also a nice rifle for someone who wants to deer hunt with the 6.5 Creedmoor where most shots will be inside 300 yards. Same goes for game like pronghorn and feral hogs.

I’m not at all trying to trash it either. This is a very basic 6.5 Creedmoor rifle that will work great for hunters without specialized needs and won’t break the bank either.


Also Available At: and Cabela’s

Henry Long Ranger

picture of best 6.5 creedmoor rifles for hunting henry long ranger

Looking for a 6.5 Creedmoor semi-auto rifle? Henry’s Long Ranger is probably the best hunting rifle for those who want a lever gun instead of a bolt action rifle in this chambering.

Henry went a different direction from the traditional way of doing things with the Long Ranger. Instead of using a tubular magazine mounted under the barrel, the Long Ranger utilizes a detachable box magazine that enables the use of most centerfire cartridges and hunters are no longer restricted to using round or flat nosed bullets.

It’s available either with iron sights or drilled and tapped for a scope. While most lever-action rifles are not quite as accurate as bolt-action rifles, Henry rifles in general have a great reputation for accuracy. In fact, all the Henry rifles I’ve owned have been real shooters.

You probably won’t get Ruger Precision Rifle levels of accuracy with the Henry Long Ranger, but it’s still really darn accurate. Their tag line for the rifle is “bolt action performance with the speed of a lever action” and this rifle definitely seems to live up to the marketing and this rifle will work fine on game like deer, feral hogs, and black bears.

If you’re the sort of person who thinks lever action rifles are cool and you want to hunt with one, then the Henry Long Ranger in 6.5 Creedmoor is an excellent option.

  • Length of Pull: 14″
  • Rifling Twist Rate: 1:8″
  • Threaded Barrel: No
  • Magazine Size: 4
  • Accuracy Guarantee: No
  • Left Handed Models Available: No
  • MSRP: $1,195


Also Available At:, MidwayUSA, & Sportsman’s Warehouse

S&W M&P 10

picture of best 6.5 creedmoor rifles for hunting S&w

Looking for a 6.5 Creedmoor semi-auto rifle? The 6.5 Creedmoor isn’t quite as popular in semi-automatic rifles as cartridges like the 223 Remington and 308 Winchester, but it’s still somewhat common and there are some good semi-auto 6.5 Creedmoor rifle options. In addition to a couple different models of the Springfield M-1A, the 6.5 Creedmoor is an option in larger framed AR-10 style rifles. Of these, the S&W M&P 10 is a good choice for those who want an autoloading instead of a bolt action rifle.

The Performance Center M&P 10 6.5 Creedmoor is basically an upgraded version of the standard Smith & Wesson M&P10 rifle. Loaded up with Magpul furniture, a full length rail system, a two-stage match trigger, and a 20″ carbon steel barrel, the M&P 10 in 6.5 Creedmoor packs a bunch of features into a relatively compact package.

This rifle tips the scales at just over 9 pounds unloaded and without a scope. So, it’s a little on the heavy side, but it also has a reputation for really good accuracy as well. It comes with a standard 10 round magazine, but can use larger 20 or even 25 round magazines as well.

This big advantage to using a semi-auto is for the ability to take an almost instant follow-up shot. This characteristic, combined with a large magazine capacity and the the ability to mount a night vision or thermal optic on top, makes the M&P 10 a good rifle option for situations like feral hog hunting (especially at night) where that can be really useful.

Though it will work great out to 400-600 yards (potentially even farther), the M&P 10 is not designed for long range precision work. You’ll lose a bit of velocity by dropping down to a 20″ barrel instead of the more common 22″ or 24″ barrels, but that tradeoff is worth it in some situations. Instead, this semi-auto 6.5 Creedmoor rifle is best for hunters who want a rapid follow up shot on game at short to moderate range and it will work great in that role.

  • Rifling Twist Rate: 1:8″
  • Threaded Barrel: Yes
  • Magazine Size: 10
  • Accuracy Guarantee: No
  • Left Handed Models Available: No
  • MSRP: $2,095


Also Available At:, MidwayUSA, & Sportsman’s Warehouse

Are you considering purchasing a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle for elk hunting? Yes, you can hunt elk with that cartridge, but you need to be aware of a couple of things before you go down that road.

To that end, I recorded an entire podcast episode on elk hunting with the 6.5 Creedmoor with someone who has cleanly taken elk with the cartridge. Our discussion does a great job of covering the pros and cons of the 6.5 Creedmoor for elk hunting and anyone planning on going elk hunting in the future should definitely listen to this interview. 

Just click the appropriate link below to listen to this episode on your preferred podcasting service. Be sure to hit that “subscribe” or “follow” button if you like the show!

6.5 Creedmoor For Elk Hunting Podcast

Apple | Google | iHeart | Spotify

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7 thoughts on “Best 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles for Hunting – Ultimate Guide (2023)”

  1. Nowadays, some budget rifles shoot tight groups. However, they are made with low grade materials. Unless you absolutely can’t afford more , folks would be better served to save for higher grade rifles. At today’s prices that’s around $1300 – $1500 minimum.Maybe $1000 starting point.

    • This is not true. Have owned a few Palmetto State Armory guns I got super cheap by purchasing the upper/lower separately and can shoot sub MOA with their 6.5 PA-10 out to 500 yards with Sellier and Bellot 140 grain bulk ammo. Can also shoot sub MOA at 1-200 yards with their 556 CHF upper using milsurp CBC Magtech. The Palmetto EPT/polished triggers while not as amazing as say a Wilson Combat are pretty darn good too.

      A friend has a Savage Axis in 308 and that too shoots about 1MOA maybe better with Winchester soft point type hunting ammo although the bullets are a little light for the rifling rate of twist. I have read they can do better with match ammo but he is cheap and got that ammo inexpensively doesn’t want to spend the money.

      My point is that you’re wrong in your statements that guns under $1,000-1,500 won’t work well. Gone are the days when you had to spend big bucks and handload to get good accuracy or even ergonomics. Are the more expensive guns better? Yes, but the cheap guns are starting at a very high level already, way better than in the past and as you spend more money the point of diminishing return comes quick.

  2. Don’t overlook the Bergara B14 SP Special Purpose built with a 18 in barrel. excellent size for hunters who use barrel suppressors and hunt big game in 300 yards and under.

  3. Thanks vary useful information. I’m just a occasional hunter and like the lower priced options you presented. Thanks I’m between Ruger Predator & Savage Axis 2. any thoughts on that subject.

    • Of these two definately go with the predator. I have handeled the predator in .204 ruger and liked it a lot. I have handeled an axis in a gun store and thought it felt cheap. The stock is bad. I like savage. I have a varmint in .204 and a tactictal in 6.5mm. You might want to look at thompson compass, or a vanguard? Good luck also pick some up at a gun store even if you buy from the internet to feel what you are buying.


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