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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

6.5 Creedmoor (using Sierra bullets)

Author: Brian Pearce / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Feb 03 2021

After Hornady engineers Dave Emary and Dennis DeMille designed the .30 TC cartridge in 2007, the case was then necked down to create the 6.5 Creedmoor in 2008. It is an outstanding target cartridge that was designed specifically for NRA High Power and long-range competitions, where it quickly earned an outstanding reputation. Factory loads are advertised to push a 120-grain GMX bullet at 3,050 fps, a 129-grain bullet at 2,950 fps or a 140-grain A-MAX at 2,710 fps, all of which produce relatively mild muzzle report and moderate recoil. Handloaders have an unusually broad selection of bullet choices designed for competition and hunting, most of which have unusually high ballistic coefficients.

The parent case is the .308 Winchester with the shoulder moved back and with a 30-degree angle. Overall cartridge length is 2.800 inches, making it suitable for .308-length actions. Although the Creedmoor case has a slightly reduced powder capacity compared to the .260 Remington that is also based on the .308 Winchester necked down, due to having the same overall cartridge length, along with 30-degree shoulder, actual usable powder capacity is similar. The Creedmoor’s design allows bullets to be seated out to accommodate different throat lengths and maximize accuracy while staying within magazine limits. Regardless, it is an efficient cartridge, as most maximum loads only require around 38.0 to 45.0 grains of powder. This results in extremely consistent shot-to-shot velocities, and barrel life is expected to be long.

The 6.5 Creedmoor thrives on the same medium to slow burn rate powders as the .30-06 Springfield, so powder selection is broad. In developing loads with Sierra bullets, Hodgdon Varget, H-4350, H-4895, Hybrid 100V, H-4831, SUPERFORMANCE, Alliant RL-15, RL-16, RL-17 and RL-19, IMR-8208 XBR, IMR-48959, IMR-4451 Enduron, Ramshot, Big Game and several others provided a good combination of acceptable accuracy and respectable velocities with appropriate bullets. Maximum loads should be approached with caution, as pressures rose sharply with loads that exceeded the accompanying data. The Creedmoor is one of the least finicky, easy-to-handload cartridges ever developed.