When it comes to hunting games and shooting competitions, the rifle plays the key role in hitting and taking down the target. If the target and weapon are not correct, you can lose the game as well as your target. For competition shooting, professional shooters agreed on the point that both the 6.5 Creedmoor and 308 Winchester are fantastic cartridges. The .308 Winchester has been in the market since long before Creedmoor took birth and has gained a well-deserved reputation in hunting games as a highly effective cartridge. Meanwhile, so many hunters admire the capabilities of 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting which is comparatively very new but has left a great mark on the hunting world.
So, the question arises what is the difference between these two deadly hunting cartridges. In terms of compression both the 6.5 Creedmoor and the .308 Winchester are perfect for hunting and shooting, both are extremely accurate, both are mild rounds, both are fine like wine and both are extremely popular. So, it would be hard to give more numbers one on another. In this article, we will discuss the detailed history of both the 6.5 Creedmoor and the .308 Winchester and pros and cons of both, and details about the situation where they can be used properly so every individual can choose which one of these two amazing cartridges is better for them in a particular situation.
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History of the 6.5 Creedmoor and the .308 Winchester
After world war II .308 Winchester took birth when leaders of the American military decided to bring the change and wanted to replace the M-1 Garand rifle and .30-06 Springfield cartridge. Despite an amazing performance of both the M-1 Garand rifle and .30-06 Springfield cartridge, the American military wanted to bring the change and want something which can be capable of automatic fires and have a detectable magazine like The StG-44 or AK-47. After years of testing, research, and development, the American Army switched to an M-14 rifle from M-1 Garand. Meanwhile, the Winchester observed the great interest and potential in civilian of commercial success in shooting and hunting and introduced .308 Winchester which was very similar to 7.62*51mm. The .308 Winchester was able to do everything which the .30-06 Springfield was able to do with 180-grain bullets.
The .308 Winchester cartridge gained popularity gradually in shooters and hunters as they realized the cartridge’s efficiency, accuracy, and power. After the popularity of the .308 Winchester cartridge for many decades, the 6.5 Creedmoor was introduced in 2007 by Dennis DeMille and Ballistician Dave Emary for Hornady. Since then, it has been called the most promising long-range caliber.
It has been marked as the top seller in the USA for the past few years. The Creedmoor became very popular and its users increased quickly due to its long-distance easy shooting caliber. Creedmoor evokes the memories of the historic competition of long-range rifles. The 6.5 Creedmoor cm was purposely developed for long-distance easy shooting caliber. Dave Emary made a list of criteria which has to be in long-range cartridges after discussion with so many professional shooters. He comes up with the idea that the following are the characteristics that have to be in a long-range cartridge.
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After doing the complete research and analysis Emary concluded developing something which can meet the above-mentioned demands of shooters. Soon after he and DeMille decided to choose 6.5mm as the caliber. The 6.5 Creedmoor was very accurate, had minimal recoil, and used high ballistic coefficient bullets which can retain energy exceptionally well and resist wind drift. Due to all the great features, this cartridge gained great success in shooters and hunters and successfully made its place in the mainstream community of hunting.
Cartridge Size of the 6.5 Creedmoor and the .308 Winchester
In terms of sizes, both cartridges have almost the same external dimensions since they both tend to be used for shooting in short action rifles. The 6.5 Creedmoor contains a little bit longer length than .308 Winchester which is 2.81 vs 2.825, it has a sharper angle shoulder and a little less tapered case as compared to .308 Winchester which helps it to use long and High BC (ballistic coefficient) bullets without capacity case sacrifice. and the .308 Winchester contains the length of 1.92 vs 2.015. both have the same rim diameter of .473 and both contain a similar quantity of powder.
The .308 Winchester vs the 6.5 Creedmoor
As compared to .308 Winchester the 6.5 Creedmoor shoots high aerodynamic bullets in small diameters. It also has less recoil, less wind drift, and a flatter trajectory than .308 Winchester. However, .308 Winchester contains high energy downrange due to its more frontal surface than the 6.5 Creedmoor. With less recoil, less wind drift, and flatter trajectory the 6.5 Creedmoor takes the definite marks than .308 Winchester at hunting ranges.
These qualities make the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge more wind estimate forgiving as compared to .308 Winchester. The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge helps to maximize the abilities of shooting also to hunters it gives maximum effective range. However, the .308 Winchester as compared to 6.5 Creedmoor contains more downrange energy which makes it better on the frontal surface area. They both have different advantages but despite all those both cartridges contain the same qualities such as both are very accurate, they both hit very hard in hundreds of yards, both have flat shooting, and both are great for hunting the no elk, deer or pronghorn would go far.
Barrel life of .308 Winchester vs 6.5 Creedmoor
The 6.5 Creedmoor occurs faster throat erosion due to its slightly smaller barrel diameter as compared to .308 Winchester although both cartridges contain a similar case capacity in smaller space powder burning of the same amount would result in shorter barrel life. This explains that the wear of barrels would be faster in 6.5 Creedmoor as compared to .308 Winchester, this is a great concern for those who are serious target shooters. If we talk about it practically, we can conclude that there is no such big difference in barrel life in .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor as a lot of hunters are concerned.
In the United States of America, .308 Winchester is very popular and ranked as a best seller cartridge among professional shooters and hunters. It has maintained this first rank position for many years in the country. The 6.5 Creedmoor has no different qualities than the .308 Winchester but still has not got the same popularity as the .308 Winchester has in this country.
All big manufacturers of ammunition like Black Hill, Hornady, Norma, PPU Remington, Swift, Berger, Barnes, Federal Premium, HSM, Winchester, etc. produce high quality .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor are suitable for hunting. The availability and prices of .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor vary from region to region according to their popularity. The .308 Winchester is less expensive and much easier to find as compared to 6.5 Creedmoor. Components of reloading for both are available which makes customers hand loaded all the time. In terms of bullet diameter both .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor have similar properties as other 6.5mm and .30 caliber cartridges like 30 – 60 Springfield, 6.5*47mm Lapua, 300WSM, etc. so there are various .308 and .264 bullets available in different styles and weight.
Rifle selection for .308 Winchester vs 6.5 Creedmoor
There are massive ammunition choices in the market for .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges, there are several high-quality rifles manufactured in .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor. The .308 Winchester rifles are very common as compared to 6.5 Creedmoor which are rare. In Semi-automatic rifles like AR-10 and military rifles like FN-FAL .308 Winchester is pretty common meanwhile, in AR – 10 platforms the 6.5 Creedmoor. Since both .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor have similar qualities and the same short-action cartridges, rifles of similar models are very identical to each other. Even though it is very easy to get handguns in both .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor these days.
Winchester vs 6.5 Creedmoor: Which one to choose?
It’s a hard decision to make when it comes to choosing one among the .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor since they both have great qualities. They both are great for shooting and hunting thin-skinned and small & medium-sized animals due to their flat-shooting cartridges like fallow deer, pronghorn, mule deer, blacktail deer, whitetail deer, etc. although they both are great choices for hunting deer and small and medium-sized animals and other shooting games the .308 Winchester are also highly suitable for hunting big sized animals under suitable conditions. Choice of bullets at the right time and place matters a lot, if it is chosen well constructively with the placement of a proper shot, they will work like magic. The .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor are also great choices for hunting African species. It doesn’t matter if you are holding .308 Winchester or 6.5 Creedmoor, if your target is clear you can ace with any of these.
If you primarily hunt medium-sized animals like deer, black bear, or feral hogs within the range of 200 yards, both the .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor would be suitable for you and both will get the job done amazingly even if you want to go for 300 yards. Meanwhile, if you want to go for the cheapest option, go with .308 Winchester for deer hunting. When it comes to hunting pronghorn or mule deer which required many shots for hundred yards in open countries, both .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor would work but 6.5 Creedmoor would be the best decision to choose because of its flatter trajectory, less drift in the wind, and its energy of taking deer cleanly from 400 – 500 yards without any problem. When it comes to personal defense or the use of a semi-automatic rifle for hunting, go with .308 Winchester’s option because of its wider range of rifles than 6.5 Creedmoor.
If you are recoil sensitive and avoid this issue, you should go with the option of 6.5 Creedmoor because this cartridge is small framed and well suited for recoil sensitive hunters. Also, it can be a great gift for those who are new to hunting and shooting games and want to start with something great. If you are looking for something great for target shooting and cover long-range like 1,200 Yards, again choose the 6.5 Creedmoor for this purpose which steps ahead from .308 Winchester in this matter of long-range shooting.
If you want to use heavier bullets which are suitable for moose, kudu, red stag, elk, caribou hunting, straight up choose .308 Winchester because this one wins the game here due to its high energy of 200 yards and frontal surface area which makes these type of hunting a great deal. According to this research, both .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor are great for hunting and shooting, again it is your preference which one you choose according to the situation.
Both .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor are excellent, in certain areas differences are big among them and one is better than the other one. Choice of the best rifles depends on the need and comfort of a hunter, only he can decide which one is best for him despite all pros and cons. So, a hunter needs to choose the right weapon by good observation of circumstances, choice of bullets and a good grasp on skills also very important, so it is always very important to get the proper knowledge, skill, and rifles according to the need.