Love It or Hate it: Hunting with 6.5 Creedmoor
You can really start a lot of interesting debates on social media, around the campfire, outdoor forums, wherever it may be about the 6.5 Creedmoor. There’s a very love it or hate it type feeling about this cartridge. But to me, when you pair the 6.5 Creedmoor with the right ammo and the right situation, it’s a deadly combination.
Just like most of the calibers out there, if you use the right bullets in the right conditions, you’re going to find success with it. So those people that don’t like 6.5 Creedmoor a lot of times (I think probably more often than not) they’re using the wrong bullet when it comes to bullet selection.
Do Your Research!
I recommend to a lot of people, that if you’ve got a rifle and want to know what ammo performs the best with your rifle, grab four or five different boxes of ammo (with four or five different bullet weights) from different companies, and go shoot it. At the end of the day, I think what you’ll find is which bullet your rifle performs best with. When you do that and spend the time on the range, it’s going to make you a better shooter and hunter, because you understand and now know what your gun is going to do. I think that pays off a lot.
When you look at the 6.5 Creedmoor, there are a tremendous amount of bullets available that are designed for long-range target shooting out there. There are probably fewer bullets designed for that cartridge when it comes to hunting. But there are some really good bullets out there that I advocate using that we’ve found and used in the field with tremendous success.
Just like any cartridge, any round, anything out there, there are limitations. The 6.5 Creedmoor (shooting the right ammo), I think it’s perfect for a lot of your light, thin-skinned big game animals like African antelope, whitetail deer, etc. It’s going to be right at the lower end of cartridges I would probably pick for elk but I mean, we’ve seen it in action on elk hunts before in which it performed flawlessly and knocked them down. But once again, I think it’s just kind of right there at that threshold.
Which Brand of 6.5 Creedmoor We Chose
So when it came time for me to kind of settle on a bullet that I liked we shot a lot of different ones, I read a lot, looked at a lot of different things, and that Hornady 143 grain ELD-X round really seemed to be the one that we got the best results out of it. I mean, we began to get immediate knockdowns, animals dropping right there. It performed in the African forest very well and a lot of our hunts that we were doing over there. I mean, it was one shot, one kill type round. However, when you talk to a lot of professional hunters, they’re going to talk about the 6.5 Creedmoor is maybe not good enough for wildebeest and animals like that. But I have seen it knock down a wildebeest (it took a couple shots) and do its job and wildebeest are notorious for taking multiple rounds in those types of hunting situations. So you just got to study, learn, and make those decisions for yourself personally, for where you’re hunting, and the situation that you’re dealing with. Ultimately you got to put that bullet where it matters, to find the ultimate success.
I think in the end, the 6.5 Creedmoor is an excellent whitetail deer hunting round. I think if you’re making good shots and you’re using the right kind of bullets, you’re really going to be pleased with it. I also think it’s a phenomenal long-range target shooting rifle. I think it’s far better than a .308 Winchester based on the data and based on the things that I’ve seen out there. So when I look at the 6.5 Creedmoor, the haters are gonna hate. But I promise you when you’ve seen it in action on quite a few of our hunts out there it is flat out hammering them (the deer) when we put the bullet where we’re supposed to.