American Rifleman - September 2017 - 62

6.5 MM CREEDMOOR

BERGARA B-14 HMR

continued from p. 61

The selected loads both utilize heavyfor-caliber ELD-X bullets-143-gr.
for the 6.5 load and 178-gr. for the
.308. Introduced in 2015, the ELD-X,
Extremely Low Drag-eXpanding, bullets were designed to
possess very high ballistic coefficients, provide reliable expansion at all practical hunting ranges, and feature Hornady's new
Heat Shield Tip-an improvement over earlier polymer bullet
tips which, Doppler radar testing revealed, just couldn't stand
up to the heat of supersonic travel (January 2016, p. 66).
The comparison uses Hornady's published load data for
Precision Hunter ammunition, and the results (p. 61) were
generated by the company's Doppler radar-based 4 Degrees
Of Freedom (4 DOF) ballistic calculator. At first blush, the
data reveals two very good sporting loads that shoot very
flat for caliber and do a good job retaining lethal velocity
and energy beyond 400 yds.-well-beyond, considering the
ELD-X payload. But the real revelation comes around the
600-yd. mark, where the 6.5 Creedmoor is still handily outpacing the .308 Win., the energy gap has closed to less than
50 ft.-lbs. and the bullet's trajectory, how far it "drops" at
a given distance, turns decidedly in the 6.5's favor. Beyond
600 yds., it's not even a question, the 6.5 Creedmoor is the
superior load in terms of velocity, energy and trajectory-
there is nearly a 2½-ft. difference in drop at 800 yds.
If the cartridge's ballistic capabilities were not enough,
there was also the 6.5's huge advantage in shootability.
Remember Demille's original request for a cartridge with significantly less recoil than the .308 Win.? That challenge was
accepted and met in the 6.5 mm Creedmoor. Mark Gurney, an
engineer and product manager for Ruger reported, "In one
of our very first trips to FTW we had an M77 Varmint Target
rifle in 6.5, and the FTW guys were so amazed at how easily
anyone could get behind it and bang steel at 1,000 yds." For
those who don't know, FTW Ranch is a renowned precision
rifle marksmanship school, home to the Sportsman's AllWeather All-Terrain Marksmanship (SAAM) training course,
and anchored by a cadre of instructors who are not only
highly experienced shooters, in their capacity they also spot
for thousands of long-range rifle shots each year. The reason
they observed that "anyone" could ring steel at 1,000 yds. is
due, probably in equal parts, to the cartridge's own inherent accuracy, its excellent ballistic performance with a good
.264-cal. bullet, and it's soft-shooting nature which does
much to calm nerves, avoid flinches and generally promote
consistent, accurate shooting.

Accuracy And Accessibility

By 2013, when I first starting taking interest, the 6.5 mm
Creedmoor had earned accolades on the firing line and was
steadily gaining recognition as a sporting up and comer. At
the same time, within the hunting and firearm industry
there was a movement afoot that, I believe, greatly influenced the pace of adoption for the 6.5 Creedmoor-the
bargain bolt-gun boom. With Ruger's American Rifle leading
the charge, economically priced bolt-action rifles began
sweeping the market-a market, by the way, that was

62

SEPTEMBER 2017

RUGER PRECISION RIFLE

already quite lively due to the country's political climate. At
the time, my fellow editors and I had a running joke when
addressing pricier firearms, "For that price I could just buy
three Ruger Americans." It was a great time for the costconscious American consumer, and an excellent opportunity
for shooters to try new cartridges with minimal investment. Such an environment should have been a boon to
the 6.5 Creedmoor but, unfortunately, that chambering was
not among the initial offerings. That was soon to change.
In 2014 Ruger released the Predator line of American rifles,
which included a 6.5 Creedmoor option, and in 2015 the
Ruger Precision Rifle made its debut (August 2015, p. 50). An
affordable, range-ready, fully adjustable chassis-type rifle,
the Precision was not only offered in a 6.5 variant at launch,
that chambering was the headlining act. The effect these
two introductions had on the life cycle of the 6.5 Creedmoor
cannot be overstated. The Ruger Precision was a hugely successful product launch that provided American shooters an
affordable entry point into the world of long-range precision
shooting and competition-a world, of course, dominated by
the 6.5 Creedmoor. And for shooters who wanted to parlay
the cartridge's performance into a hunting application, the
American Predator, too, offered affordable accessibility.
The past two years have seen an unprecedented explosion of 6.5 Creedmoor-related products. Offerings from
every major manufacturer of ammunition and firearms
are represented, and every conceivable price point and
configuration is covered. And though the chassis rifle craze
has cooled just a bit, a new class of hybrid, adjustable rifles
is emerging. Guns such as Bergara's B-14 HMR (Hunting
and Match Rifle) blend precision-oriented technology with
traditional hunting aesthetics to achieve a "best of both
worlds" solution for the range and field. And according to
my industry contacts, the 6.5 mm Creedmoor is the most
popular option for these new guns.
It's funny, when I first decided to write this article,
almost two years ago, I intended to include a catalog of
companies building product for the 6.5 Creedmoor. Now,
everybody has skin in the 6.5 game, and the list of non-participants would probably be shorter. Conveniently, though,
the near-universal adoption lends credence to a phrase that
came to mind more than a year ago, as I planned to commemorate my favorite cartridge's decennial anniversary-the
6.5 mm Creedmoor truly is "An overnight success, 10 years
in the making."

These Hornady 143-gr. ELD-X bullets were recovered from game by
the safari's skinners, but no specific data was recorded.
AMERICAN RIFLEMAN


http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201601/index.php#/68 http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201508/index.php#/52

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - September 2017

Contents
American Rifleman - September 2017 - CW1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - CW2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Contents
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 3
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 4
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 5
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 6
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 7
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 8
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 9
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 10
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 11
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 12
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 13
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 14
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 15
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 16
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 17
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 18
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 19
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 20
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 21
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 22
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 23
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 24
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 25
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 26
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 27
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 28
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 29
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 30
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 31
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 32
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 33
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 34
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 35
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 36
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 37
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 38
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 39
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 40
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 41
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 42
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 43
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 44
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 45
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 46
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 47
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 48
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 49
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 50
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 51
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 52
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 53
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 54
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 55
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 56
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 57
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 58
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 59
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 60
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 61
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 62
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 63
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 64
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 65
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 66
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 67
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 68
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 69
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 70
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 71
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 72
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 73
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 74
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 75
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 76
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 77
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 78
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 79
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 80
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 81
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 82
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 83
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 84
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 85
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 86
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 87
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 88
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 89
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 90
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 91
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 92
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 93
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 94
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 95
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 96
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 97
American Rifleman - September 2017 - C1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - C2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - E1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - E2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - MW1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - MW2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - S1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - S2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - SW1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - SW2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - W1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - W2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 100
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 101
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 102
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 103
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 104
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 105
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 106
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 107
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 108
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 109
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 110
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 111
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 112
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 113
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 114
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover3
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201912
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201911
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201908
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201907
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201906
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201905
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201904
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201903
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201902
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201901
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201812
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201811
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201809
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201808
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201807
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201806
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201805
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201804
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201803
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201802
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201801
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201712
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201707
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201706
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201705
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201704
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201703
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201702
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201701
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201608r
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201606
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201605
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201604
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201603
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201602
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201601
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201507
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201505
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201504
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201503
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201502
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201501
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201407
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201406
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201405
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201404
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201403
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201402
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201401
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201308
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201307
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201306
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201305
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201303
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201302
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201301
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201210
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201208
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201207
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201206
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201205
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201204
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201203
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201202
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201201
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201108
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201107
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201106
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201105
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201104
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201103
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201101
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201012
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201011
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201010
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201009
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201008
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201007
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201006
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201005_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201004
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201003
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201002
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_201001
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_200912
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_200911
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_200910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_200909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_200908
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nra/ar_200907
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com