Best 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo For Hunting Elk & Deer [2022]

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.

Since the 6.5 Creedmoor started off as a target shooting cartridge, there is quite a bit of 6.5 Creedmoor rifle ammo out there that’s much better suited for competitive shooting than for hunting.

While they are very accurate and are certainly capable of killing big game animals, I don’t recommend using ammo lines like the Federal Gold Medal, Hornady American Gunner, Hornady Match, Sig Sauer Elite Performance, or Winchester Match for hunting. The same goes for bullets like the Berger Hybrid Target, Hornady ELD Match, and Sierra MatchKing or for open tip match (OTM) and boat tailed hollow point (BTHP) style bullets in general.

All that stuff is great for long range shooting, but they aren’t designed for optimum terminal performance on big game animals.

For that reason, it’s best to stick with 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition specifically designed for hunting.

Fortunately, the major ammunition manufacturers produce multiple varieties of 6.5 Creedmoor ammo 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.

Before we get started, I want to briefly talk about using the 6.5 Creedmoor for elk hunting. Feel free to skip this section if you’re not interested in using the cartridge on elk.

6.5 Creedmoor For Elk

With quality 140+ grain bullets and good shot placement, you can absolutely use the 6.5 Creedmoor for elk hunting. The 6.5 Creedmoor doesn’t have lots of excess energy, so it’s best to only take broadside or slightly quartering shots at ranges under 250 yards on elk.

Can you kill elk with the 6.5 Creedmoor? Sure! Lots of people do each year.

There is no reason you can’t use the 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting elk, moose, or other 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.

That said, don’t confuse the 6.5 Creedmoor with a heavy hitting magnum either.

Yes, Scandinavian hunters have been using the 125 year old 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser, which is a virtual ballistic twin to the 6.5 Creedmoor, for hunting moose and caribou for well over a century. However, Scandinavian hunters shoot virtually all of those moose at ranges under 100 yards.

The 6.5 Swede also produces the best results on moose with relatively heavy, round nosed 156 and 160 grain bullets. It’s possible to use those heavy for caliber bullets in the 6.5 Creedmoor, but the overall design of the cartridge is not well suited for bullets that long and heavy.

The 140 grain class bullets that work best in the 6.5 Creedmoor simply don’t penetrate as well as those heavier bullets the 6.5 Swede used to develop its reputation for outstanding penetration. Under certain circumstances (like a steep quartering to angle) a shot from a 6.5 Creedmoor might not punch through the shoulder blade to reach the vitals of a big bull elk.

With all that in mind, yes, the 6.5 Creedmoor will get the job done on elk with good shot placement. However, your margin of error will be a little smaller and you should definitely be more careful about which shots you do (and don’t) take when using the cartridge.

The 6.5 Creedmoor is not a 400+ yard elk cartridge and you should only use it on elk or moose at shot angles that minimize the distance it will have to penetrate to reach the vitals.

Don’t try to stretch it out beyond 250 yards or so on elk and try your best to only shoot elk that are broadside or slightly quartering. It’s also extremely important to use high quality, controlled expansion bullets that are designed for deep, straight line penetration (which we’ll talk more about in a minute).

If you do those things, then the 6.5 Creedmoor will probably work great on your elk hunt.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get started talking about some of the best 6.5 Creedmoor hunting ammo options.

Note: some of the links below are affiliate links. This means I will earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase. 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.

Update July 2021: Ammo supplies finally look like they’re starting to recover. We still have a long way to go and selection is still nowhere near where it was back in 2019, but things are a lot better now than they were even 6 months ago.

Click the link below if you just want to quickly check what ammo is in-stock and ready to ship so you can hit the range and get ready for hunting season.


Winchester Deer Season XP 125gr

While the 6.5 Creed is a somewhat controversial elk hunting choice, it’s an outstanding cartridge for deer sized game.

If you’re planning on taking your 6.5 Creedmoor deer hunting, then you should certainly consider using Winchester’s Deer Season XP line of ammunition. Designed specifically to compete with ammo like the Remington Core-Lokt and Hornady American Whitetail that were extremely popular with whitetail hunters, Winchester attempted to build an accurate and reasonably priced bullet that would produce a giant wound channel and minimize the distance a deer would run after being hit.

All things considered, Winchester was successful in that regard and the Deer Season XP line of ammunition has been very well received by deer hunters. It doesn’t matter if you use a Ruger, Tikka, Weatherby, or some other rifle, this is a solid ammunition choice to use in your 6.5 Creedmoor for deer hunting (or any other thin skinned game for that matter).

Finally, Winchester produces a very similar Deer Season XP load with a 125 grain copper Extreme Point that’s legal to use in California. For all intents and purposes, this particular is also a great choice for hunters who want to use their 6.5 Creedmoor for deer hunting, especially with the ongoing ammo shortage (links to each are below)..

  • Bullet Type: Extreme Point Polymer Tip
  • Bullet Weight: 125 grains
  • Ballistic Coefficient: 0.540
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,850 feet per second



Also Available At: Lucky Gunner

Barnes VOR-TX LR 127gr LRX BT

picture of Best 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo For Hunting Elk, Deer & Other Big Game barnes vor tx LR

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 a variety big game out to several hundred yards. The LRX BT is a little more aerodynamic than the regular Barnes TTSX bullet and it’s designed to expand at lower velocities.

Additionally, while the LRX BT is optimized for rapid expansion, it’s also a very tough bullet that will also deliver high weight retention and deep penetration. So, these bullets are excellent for hunting all manner of game like black bear, whitetail deer, mule deer, pronghorn, Himalayan Tahr, chamois, sheep, and mountain goat.

Even though it’s a a little lighter than I’d normally recommend for bigger game, the fact that the LRX BT is optimized for high weight retention and deep penetration also means that it will work really well on bigger game like elk.

In short, this is an outstanding load that will be effective for hunting an incredibly wide variety of game under all sorts of circumstances. If you wanted one single 6.5 Creedmoor load to hunt the largest possible variety of game, then this is the 6.5 Creedmoor ammo you’re looking for.

It’s also 100% copper, which makes the VOR-TX LR an ideal brand of 6.5 Creedmoor hunting ammo for use in states like California that that require the use of lead free bullets.

  • Bullet Type: Long Range Expanding Boat Tail (LRX BT)
  • Bullet Weight: 127 grains
  • Ballistic Coefficient: 0.468
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,825 feet per second


Also Available At: Brownells and Optics Planet

Hornady Precision Hunter 143gr ELD-X

Best 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo For Hunting elk, deer & Other Big Game hornady eld

The Hornady Precision Hunter line is an excellent all around choice for 6.5 Creedmoor hunting ammunition, especially for game like deer and pronghorn. That said, if you want to use the 6.5 Creedmoor for elk hunting, then Hornady’s Precision Hunter 143 grain ELD-X 6.5 Creedmoor ammo wouldn’t be my first choice (keep reading to learn what I recommend), but it’ still a good option.

These 143 grain bullets are among the heaviest projectiles with the highest sectional density that you’ll find for the 6.5 Creedmoor. Hornady ELD-X bullets have a very high ballistic coefficient and they’re designed for reliable, but somewhat 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, and retains velocity (and kinetic energy) even better than virtually any other 6.5 Creedmoor hunting ammo. That said, while they’re outstanding for deer sized game and even an immature bull or cow elk, they still expand a little more rapidly don’t penetrate as well as I’d like for really big bull elk.

  • Bullet Type: Extremely Low Drag – Expanding (ELD-X)
  • Bullet Weight: 143 grains
  • Ballistic Coefficient: 0.625
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,700 feet per second


Also Available At: Brownells

Nosler Trophy Grade 140gr PartitionBest 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo For Hunting Elk, Deer & Other Big Game nosler partition

The Nosler Partition is one of the best hunting bullets ever designed and remains one of the most popular bullets used by elk hunters in North America. Fortunately, Nosler recently started offering 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition as part of their Trophy Grade line with a 140 grain Partition bullet.

This is an outstanding choice for 6.5 Creedmoor hunting ammunition suitable for everything from deer all the way up to elk and even moose.

If you want to use the 6.5 Creedmoor for elk hunting, then Nosler’s Trophy Grade 140 grain Partition 6.5 Creedmoor ammo is your best option out of all the choices on this list.


First, these are among the heaviest bullets with the highest sectional density that you’ll find for the 6.5 Creedmoor. Second, these bullets are designed for rapid, yet controlled expansion over a very wide range of impact velocities. After all, the Nosler Partition was among the first controlled expansion bullets ever designed and it’s still one of the best (if not THE best) available.

The 143gr ELD-X is a good bullet, but especially at shorter ranges, this load featuring the 140 grain Partition is better than virtually any other 6.5 Creedmoor hunting ammo for hunting large game. It’s really hard to beat the Nosler Partition when looking for a bullet that you can rely upon to penetrate deep enough to reach the vitals of really big animals like elk and moose.

With those things in mind, this is my #1 recommended 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition for hunters after REALLY big game like elk and moose at short range if this ammo shoots well in your elk rifle.

Additionally, the Partition offers very rapid expansion, which, combined with the deep penetrating characteristics of the bullet, makes for devastating terminal performance on game like whitetail deer, mule deer, pronghorn, and black bear.

  • Bullet Type: Partition
  • Bullet Weight: 140 grains
  • Ballistic Coefficient: 0.490
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,600 feet per second


Also Available At: Natchez Shooter Supplies and Palmetto State Armory

Nosler Trophy Grade Long Range 142gr AccuBond Long Range

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

The 142 grain Nosler AccuBond Long Range is another good competitor to the Hornady 143 grain ELD-X. While the Hornady bullet is more established and has a great reputation itself, the 142 grain AccuBond bullet might come out ahead in the long run for many hunters.

This is especially true for those who want a better constructed bullet that’s better suited for use on larger game like elk. The 142 grain AccuBond Long Range is almost as heavy, has virtually the same sectional density, and has exactly the same ballistic coefficient as the 143 grain ELD-X.

However, the AccuBond Long Range is a bonded bullet, so it’s a little more durable and well-constructed than the ELD-X. Like the Partition, the AccuBond Long Range still offers very rapid expansion. The AccuBond Long Range isn’t quite as durable as the Partition, but it’s still a tough, deep penetrating bullet.

If it shoots well in your rifle, the 142 grain Nosler AccuBond Long Range is a GREAT load to hunt all manner of game with: these bullets will absolutely hammer deer and pronghorn at virtually any reasonable range, plus they’ll still hold together and penetrate deep enough to reach the vitals animals like elk and moose.

With those things in mind, this is my #2 recommended 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition for hunting elk (after the 140 grain Nosler Partition).

  • Bullet Type: AccuBond Long Range
  • Bullet Weight: 142 grains
  • Ballistic Coefficient: 0.625
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,600 feet per second


Also Available At: Natchez Shooter Supplies and Palmetto State Armory

Hornady Superformance 120gr GMX

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

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 6.5 Creedmoor 120 grain 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 lead free and legal to use in California) it’s a tougher bullet than the Hornady SST. Designed for reliable expansion, deep penetration, maximum weight retention, and a relatively flat trajectory, the 120 grain GMX is suitable for use in the 6.5 Creedmoor for elk, smaller animals like deer, and animals that sometimes require longer range shots like pronghorn, mountain goat, sheep, tahr, and chamois.

All things considered, the Superformance line 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: 3,050 feet per second


Also Available At: Lucky Gunner

Federal Fusion 140gr

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

Federal’s 140gr Fusion Soft Point load is another excellent option to consider if you’re planning on taking your 6.5 Creedmoor deer hunting. 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


Remington Core-Lokt 140gr

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

The Remington Core Lokt has been around for a long time and hunters have successfully used this line of ammunition to take virtually every species of North American big game. Remington now offers the Core Lokt in 6.5 Creedmoor.

Loaded to very typical 6.5 Creedmoor ballistics (140gr bullet at 2,700 fps), there isn’t anything fancy or special about this ammo. However, it works really well and it’s reasonably priced.

So, if you’re a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy who wants a reasonably priced and dependable load to use in your 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting deer, black bear, feral hogs and even elk, then the Remington’s 6.5 Creedmoor 140 grain Core Lokt will probably work really well for you.

  • Bullet Type: Pointed Soft Point
  • Bullet Weight: 140 grains
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,700 feet per second


Winchester Super X 129gr Power Point

If you’re a “meat and potatoes” type of hunter who just wants some reasonably priced 6.5 Creedmoor ammo to go deer hunting with, then you should definitely check out Winchester’s Super X line. This isn’t the latest or most advanced 6.5 Creedmoor ammo out there, but it still works really well for deer sized game.

Bottom line: this is some reasonably priced ammunition that will work great for game like deer and feral hogs at short to moderate range.

If that’s what you want, then pick up a couple of boxes, hit the range, and then get out hunting!

  • Bullet Type: Power Point
  • Bullet Weight: 129 grains
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,820 feet per second


Browning BXR 129gr

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

Browning’s 129gr BXR is a great load to use in your 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting deer. It’s also pretty reasonably priced, utilizes a lighter bullet with a higher ballistic coefficient, and is fired at a relatively high velocity. These factors combine to result in a relatively flat trajectory, making it a good 6.5 Creedmoor ammo choice for longer range shots on thin skinned game.

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


If you’d like to learn more about how the 6.5 Creedmoor stacks up to a few other popular hunting cartridges, read the articles below.

260 Remington vs 6.5 Creedmoor vs 6.5×55 Swede

6.5 Grendel vs 6.5 Creedmoor: Which 6.5 Is Right For You?

25-06 vs 6.5 Creedmoor vs 270 Winchester: The Results Might Surprise You

6.5 PRC: Ultimate Guide To What You Need To Know

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49 thoughts on “Best 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo For Hunting Elk & Deer [2022]”

    • The 143gr Hornady Precision Hunter ammo is probably the best choice for hunting moose and deer if you want to use the same ammo for both species.

  1. hi John I see ammo for all kinds of big game animals listed here. But none of them, do you claim to be good for black bear. Were I hunt here in New York I may come across a chance to take either a whitetail deer or hopefully a large black bear. Did you intentionally leave the black bear off your list or just forgot. I’m looking for something that if necessary could handle it. Or can I assume that whatever can down an elk or moose would be more than enough?

    Thank you

  2. I see remington now has it in 140gr. coreloc. I use coreloc in everything now, a truly great freezer filler. But again do you approve for Black bear.

    Thanks George

    • George,
      Thanks for your comments. Leaving black bear off the list was an unintentional oversight. Any ammo that will work on deer, elk, or moose will also probably work really well on black bear. The 140gr Remington Core-Lokt is another nice ammo choice.

  3. John,
    I hunt deer primarily in Texas and am looking for the best 6.5 hunting load. Also, your choice of 6.5 factory load for long range shooting.

    • Just about any of those loads will work fine on deer. The Winchester Deer Season XP and Remington Core Lokt are the two least expensive loads. For long range shooting, go with the Hornady Precision Hunter ELD-X. The ELD Match is also really accurate, but it’s not designed for hunting.

  4. I have used Sierra matching ammo for 18 year 168 grain in 308 Winchester caliber and have shot at least 25 deer some being mature bucks. Also killed many hogs with it also. Have never lost a animal using this bullet Sierra calls a target bullet. Try Sierra match king you will be amazed with the knock down power and they make for no tracking hunts.

    • I have no doubt that you’ve killed a number of big game animals using Sierra MatchKing bullets (and I’m sure they shoot very accurately for you), but I highly recommend against the practice, especially when using the smaller 6.5mm MatchKing bullets. The MatchKing is a great bullet for target and competition shooting, but it’s not designed for consistent performance on big game animals. Like you have noted, it will absolutely take down deer with excellent shot placement, but even the manufacturer specifically recommends against using them for hunting.
      To quote Sierra: “While they are recognized around the world for record-setting accuracy, MatchKing® and Tipped MatchKing® bullets are not recommended for most hunting applications.”
      As ethical hunters, we owe it to ourselves and the animals to use ammunition specifically designed for the task, not target or military surplus ammunition that might do the job in a pinch if everything works out perfectly.

  5. I just purchased a 6.5 an I use it strictly for deer hogs an sometimes coyotes from 25 yards to 200 I am looking toward the hornady eldx what is your thoughts

    • The ELD-X will probably work really in those situations. To be quite honest with you, all of the ammo recommended in this article will work really well on hogs, coyotes, and deer inside 200 yards. The ELD-X really shines when you’re trying to take longer range shots.

  6. Hello John,
    I also like the 6.5 creed or very much. I have been loading the Hornady 140:grain bullets with Hodgdons 4340 powder and Federal 210 M primers with great groupings at 100:yards. I am now placing 6 rounds in 3/4” pretty well. I do spend a lot of time on case prep, but it has shown to be wort it. I like Speecd Goat hunting here in Idaho so common shots are at least 200 yds. I enjoyed you post…. Thanks
    Larry in Idaho

  7. I saw the Hornady Whitetail mentioned above. My son dropped a 100lb boar in its tracks this spring using them. The shot was about 50 yards.

  8. Looking for the best copper 6.5 ammo for hog and deer hunting in CA, as we are not allowed to use lead-based ammo for hunting. I’ve heard great things about Hornady 120gr GMX. Wondering if Federal’s 120gr vital shok trophy copper tipped boat tail works well? Or any other you copper ammo you recommend?

  9. Hello John,

    Just stumbled across your article. Great information and I appreciate it. Read through your recommendations and I have a better understanding of factory ammo available for the 6.5, but want to confirm your opinion. I’m looking for the best option in long range hunting ammo, has to be no lead and capable of hunting wide variety of animals from elk to coyotes. The bullet needs to be effective not only at close ranges, but longer ranges (500 yards+) as well.

  10. can a carcano be adapted to shoot 6.5 creedmoor bullets ? rifle is in excellent shape ,bore is very good , bolt action is smooth .needs minor altrations for sights & scope mounts any help is great .

    • That’s a very good question. I’m not 100% sure, but I’m leaning towards no. The 6.5 Carcano is about 1/4 longer overall and has a smaller rim diameter than the 6.5 Creedmoor. Most Carcano rifles are also designed to shoot .267″ instead of .264″ bullets. It might be possible to do so, but my initial thoughts are that making that conversion would be more trouble than it’s worth.

  11. Hi and thanks for an interesting article!
    I am about to start hunting, primarily wild boar. Do you think the Hornady ELD-X 143 grain precision hunter would be effective?

  12. Hi John!
    I just stumbled over your site and this topic couldn’t be more timely as I just picked up a 6.5 Creedmoor yesterday.
    I see where you’re very fond of the 143 grain ELD-X which is also convenient considering I grabbed a box of those when I got the rifle.
    My question is this will be a good bullet weight for extremely close shots on whitetails or should I go with something lighter?
    Here in South Georgia I may find myself with a deer literally at the base of the tree in the deep woods in the morning and then 300 yards across a peanut field in the evening.
    Your thoughts?

    • Chuck,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Check out that 127gr Barnes VOR-TX load as well. It will work great at close range, but it’s another good choice for shots out past a couple hundred yards.

  13. John; enjoyed your article on the 6.5 .
    You answer my questions before I asked them.
    The other one I have is what’s your opinion on the perfect mid range load in 6.5 Creedmoor?

  14. Hi John, Great article, thank you for the information. I purchased a Howa 1500 a few months back. I would suggest testing what your rifle likes. After sighting in and testing, my Howa preferred the 140 grain over the 120 grain ammo. Both did really well, just the 140 grain had a tighter group. I’ll test your hunting suggestions next. I have knocked down a few elk with Core-Lokt 30.06 in the past so I am leaning towards that. Wanted a 6.5 Creedmoor because I’m flinching with my mule kicking 30.06

  15. Has anyone used remingtons new barns bullet copper solid ammo 120 I think it’s xtp or hog ammo and what other game will it work on

  16. Hi John- Thanks for the article. Specifically for elk hunting, what are your thoughts on the ELD-X vs Barnes VOR-TX (speed, penetration, etc)

    • Hi Jerome.
      I really like the Barnes VOR-TX and use it for almost all of my hunting. When it comes to penetration and weight retention, the Barnes bullets beat the ELD-X hands down. Especially at shorter ranges, the Barnes bullet is the way to go (in my opinion anyway) on big game like elk.

  17. I’ve hunted the last 10r 12yrs with federal power shok without any loses in Whitetails using 150gr in 308 & 180gr in 3006 I’ve changed to the 6.5 creedmoor can’t find them in the power shok but wen I do I’ll get enough to do a re zero now I got to start the season with 6.5 with winchester 125gr extreme point hope it don’t let me down till I can settle on a cartridge for the little rifle

    • Thanks for your comment. I think that Winchester ammo you’re trying out will work great for you. Good luck on your hunt and let me know how things go!

      • Unfortunately, my Tikka really didn’t like Barnes LR. In fact, of several factory rounds it liked it the least. I shot 3 boxes through it, but no dice. Switched back to ELDX and tightened right back up. They dropped a buck easily at a couple hundred yards, but I want to use it for elk mostly. Might try the Nosler when ammo is findable again… I do use the Trophy grade accubond in all my other guns and the performance on elk is amazing.

  18. What do you think about the new Federal terminal ascent 130 grain bullets, supposedly good at close range and even better at long range (claim of opening up better at lower velocities at longer ranges than competitors)? Does Federal plan to come out with a 140 grain terminal ascent bullet for reloading?

    • Hi Jim. Those Federal Terminal Ascent bullets are also a good choice for both shorter and longer range situations. I talked to one of the guys I know at Federal and he stated that they have no plans to offer any other bullet weights for the Terminal Ascent in 6.5 Creedmoor.
      Hope this helps!

  19. If you are in to reloading your hunting ammo to achieve the most accuracy from your rifle and enjoy shooting various bullets at a lower cost (as I am), Berger offers a 156 grain EOL Hunting bullets for the 6.5 Creedmoor as well. Its a great round!

  20. Hi John – I have a new Weatherby Mark V 6.5CM and this was my first season shooting it. I’m a very new whitetail deer hunter, so shot placement is not perfect. Most of the shots on our property will be under 200 yards – 300 max. I shot two 8 points this year using Winchester XP 125gr – with virtually no blood trail at all either time. 1st one was a perfect shoulder shot, heart exploded, but still no blood trail at all. Didn’t recover the 2nd, although he dropped instantly, laid on his back, struggled to get up and fell multiple times – appeared to have a shoulder hit. In spite of his struggle in the field, there was absolutely no blood trail. A couple of single drops identified very deep in the woods. Dogs finally jumped him up much deeper in the woods hours later, but still lost the track in thick brush. Is there a better round for closer range shots (that are likely to be imperfect) that would expand more quickly and at least give us a chance at tracking? Thanks

    • Hi Christie. I’m sorry to hear about the issues you were having on those deer. Try out the 120gr Barnes TTSX or the 140gr Remington Core Lokt loads also listed in the article. Either one should deliver the sort of performance you’re looking for.
      Hope this helps!

        • Hi Shane. The 6.5 Creedmoor load in Winchester’s Expedition Big Game Long Range line uses the exact same 142gr Nosler AccuBond Long Range bullet used in the ammo I recommend from Nosler’s Trophy Grade Long Range line. So, that’s good stuff. I’d say it’s an excellent all-around load and would tie with the Nosler Trophy Grade Long Range offering for my #2 recommendation for use on bigger game like elk behind the 140gr Nosler Partition.
          Hope this helps!


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