.308 Winchester vs 6.5 Creedmoor

.308 Winchester vs 6.5 Creedmoor

When it comes to selecting a rifle cartridge for hunting, long-range shooting, or self-defense,

the .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges are two of the most popular options around right

now. When it comes to long range shooting and hunting, these two popular cartridges cannot be

ignored. Through history, the .308 Winchester (7.62 NATO) round has been a staple in the long-range

target shooting community over 60 years, but the 6.5 Creedmoor has many advantages to be a great

adversary. In this comparison, we’ll explore the differences between the .308 and 6.5 Creedmoor

cartridges to help you make an informed decision when choosing a caliber for your rifle.  In order to

understand where both calibers came from and their intended uses, we need to look back to their

respective origins. Break out your spotted scopes and bipods for this long-range day comparison!


.308 Winchester History


The introduction of the .308 Winchester was in 1952 by Winchester when the U.S. Military started to

develop a replacement for the famous 30-06 Springfield cartridge. The honorable 30-06 Springfield

had served through both World wars, but the U.S. Military wanted to create a new cartridge was that

lighter and more suitable for fully automatic rifles. After testing new powder technology and case

design, the new 7.62x51mm NATO rifle round was born. This round achieved identical ballistic

performance as the 30-06 Springfield with a shorter case length (63mm vs 51mm) and lower weight.

The U.S. Army officially adopted the 7.62×51 NATO round in 1958 and has served ever since. Seeing

the potential of the cartridge in the civilian market, Winchester wanted to adapt the new rifle round to

its Model 70 bolt action rifle. This quickly transitioned from the 7.62x51mm NATO to the .308


Since then, the .308 Winchester has become the most popular and used big game hunting round in

the world. The .308 round weights ranging between 120 to 180 grains with FMJ & JHP options. With

the .308 Winchester being a huge upgrade from the 30-06 Springfield round, it has a lower recoil,

weighs less, fits short action rifles, has an overall lower pressure and has a slight advantage when it

comes to accuracy.


PMC & Vairog .308 Winchester ammo
PMC & Vairog .308 Winchester ammo


Need .308 Winchester ammo? Here at True Shot, we have a great variety of .308 Winchester

options from different manufacturers.


6.5 Creedmoor Origins


The development of the 6.5 Creedmoor began at around 2005 during the National Matches in Camp

Perry, Ohio. Out of many inventions and innovations in history, the birth of the 6.5 Creedmoor came

out of frustration. That frustration came from a Service Rifle competitor and former US Marine,

Dennis Demille.

Many of the competitive shooters from the National Matches were using the wildcat 6XC round.

There wasn’t any data record for this round when it came to reloading. On top of that, the round was

causing many blown out primers and breaking extractors. At the time, Demille was working for the

company that was the main distributor of the wildcat 6XC round. Competitors would come to him

with the listed problems that we just listed off. Demille eagerly wanted to fix these problems and

vanish the complains he was frequently getting.

At the time, Demille had a great connection with Hornady’s Senior ballistician, Dave Emary. Demille

gave Emary a specific list that included all of the specs Demille wanted to tackle for this new round.

Emary took Demille’s list back to Hornady and got to work.


Sierra GameChanger 6.5 Creedmoor ammo
Sierra GameChanger 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo


Emary produced the new round and wanted to call it 6.5 Demille but Demille wanted nothing with

that. Demille recommended the name “Creedmoor” in honoring of the Creedmoor Rifle Range in Long

Island, New York where the first National Matches were held.

Boom! So, in 2007, Hornady unveiled their new 6.5 Creedmoor ammo at SHOT Show in Las Vegas,


The 6.5 Creedmoor is loaded in a variety of bullet weights that is split between two categories. The

Light weight category, which ranges from 127 to 135 grain, and the Heavy Weight category, which is

loaded with 140 to 147 grain bullets. It was designed specifically for long-range target shooting and

has since gained a strong following among precision shooters.


Need 6.5 Creedmoor ammo? Here at True Shot, we have a great variety of 6.5 Creedmoor

options from different manufacturers.


.308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor: Which is Better?


Now that history class is over for these two cartridges, let’s see how they truly stack up against each


Size Does Matter

One of the most significant differences between the two cartridges is the size of the projectile being

fired. The .308 Winchester is logically comprised of a .308” diameter projectile, while the 6.5

Creedmoor fires a .264” diameter projectile. The smaller 6.5mm projectile has a higher sectional

density, which means it retains its velocity and energy at range better than the .308. This leads to a

flatter trajectory, less wind drift, and more energy on target at extended ranges.


The differences in projectile size and weight also affect the cartridges’ recoil characteristics.

The 6.5 Creedmoor generates less recoil than the .308 Winchester, making it easier to shoot

accurately, especially in rapid-fire situations where follow-up shots are crucial. This lower recoil also

makes it a great choice for hunters who want a cartridge that’s easy to shoot and won’t cause

excessive damage to the meat. Another important consideration is the availability and cost of



.308 Win & 6.5 Creedmoor
.308 Winchester & 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge



Availability & Pricing

The .308 Winchester is without a doubt, one of the most widely used cartridges in the world because

of its versatility, so ammunition is relatively abundant and inexpensive. The 6.5 Creedmoor is also

becoming more widely available and popular amongst shooters, but it’s still not as common as the

.308 Winchester however, meaning that 6.5 Creedmoor can be a bit pricy depending on where you

look and what type of round you buy.


When it comes to accuracy, there is no doubt that these two have proven their points for long range

target shooting. However, with lower recoil, the 6.5 Creedmoor will give most shooters netter overall

accuracy results out of the box with 1 / 2 MOA and 3/4 MOA grouping being easy attainable. The

winner is 6.5 Creedmoor by a slight margin.

Long Range Performance

There is no question these two rounds are capable of doing very well at long range shooting.

However, everyone seems to be running to the 6.5 Creedmoor for long range solutions for a reason.

The 6.5 Creedmoor outperforms the .308 Win. and it does it in spades.

Through range tests and ballistic reports, the 6.5 Creedmoor is more affective and accurate then the

.308 Win round in every category past 500 yards. 175 grain .308 Winchester loadings are typically

coming close to the edge of being transonic at 1,000 yards, while the 6.5 Creedmoor is still well above

the supersonic FPS that is needed to maintain the accuracy it produces at the range.

Terminal Ballistics

When it comes to terminal ballistics, both cartridges are capable of taking down large game

animals, but the 6.5 Creedmoor has a slight edge in terms of long-range performance due its

previously mentioned sectional density.

The smaller, more aerodynamic bullet of the 6.5 Creedmoor retains its energy better at longer

distances, making it a more effective choice for hunting past 300 yards. To provide some data to

compare the two in terms of aerodynamics and performance, a Sierra 6.5 Creedmoor 140 grain TGK

has a muzzle velocity of 2700 fps, 2265 ft-lbs. of energy, and a ballistic coefficient of .563.

The equivalent .308 round (Sierra .308 Winchester 165 grain TGK) has a muzzle velocity of 2680 fps,

2631 ft-lbs. of energy, and a ballistic coefficient of .517. With that being said, the .308 Winchester, due

to its larger diameter, is still a great hunting round with more energy out the muzzle and can still

outperform the 6.5 Creedmoor in certain instances when range isn’t as relevant.


When it comes to reloading these cartridges, both calibers are readily available and easy to find. Both

have a wide variety of bullet and powder options to choose from to dial in your ideal handload for

your favorite long-distance rifle.


.308 Winchester vs 6.5 Creedmoor: Which one Should I get?


There is no doubt both the .308 Winchester and the 6.5 Creedmoor are excellent cartridges which

both have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. If you’re looking for a versatile, all-purpose

cartridge that’s widely available and relatively inexpensive, the .308 Winchester is a great choice. The

.308 Winchester is going to serve most shooters needs without any issues. It is a tried and tested

design that will not fail you when the moment arises. However, if you’re looking for a cartridge that’s

optimized for long-range shooting, has less recoil, and retains energy better at longer distances, the

6.5 Creedmoor is the way to go.


.308 Winchester & 6.5 Creedmoor Comparison
.308 Winchester & 6.5 Creedmoor Comparison



At the end, ultimately these rounds will not disappoint you, but if you’re in the market for a new short

action rifle and you’re looking to do some precision shooting, then you need to give the 6.5

Creedmoor a shot. You’re not going to be disappointed in the sub-MOA results down range.

Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor available

to purchase. Please visit our website at trueshotammo.wpengine.com, call us at (888) 736-6587 or, you

can email us at [email protected] for more rifle ammo options.


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