The trusty 308 Winchester cartridge has been a staple of competitive shooters and hunters alike since the 50s. While the 6.5 Creedmoor only entered the market in 2007, where it languished on shelves for a decade.
That all changed in 2016/2017; since then, 6.5 Creedmoor has increased in popularity.
To find out why, let’s look at the differences between 6.5 Creedmoor ammo vs 308 Winchester.
The Big Shot
One of the most popular cartridges, the 308 Winchester, leaves little to be desired.
The famous 308 Winchester cartridge packs a punch and is perfect for big game, from bears to African antelope. But did you know that it started its illustrious career on the battlefield?
While the 30-06 served its purpose in semi-automatic rifles, it was too erratic when fired from a fully automatic weapon. This led the brains in the U.S military to look for something better.
They produced the 7.62X51 NATO, still used today in large-caliber military rifles and machine guns.
However, the real innovation came when the civilian market got hold of it. Winchester Repeating Arms took the 7.62X51 NATO and marketed it as the 308 Winchester.
While the 7.62X51 NATO didn’t last too long on the battlefield, being replaced by the 5.56X45 during the Vietnam War era, the 308 Winchester ammo stole the hearts of shooters young and old.
And the rest is history.
The 6.5 Creedmoor was invented by Dave Emary and Dennis DeMille DeMille was the vice-president of product development at Creedmoor Sports at Hornady, in 2007.
The cartridge was initially intended for long-range target shooting and came about due to frustrations at the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, in August 2005.
Dennis DeMille was ready to pack up and leave the competition because the 6XC ammo they were shooting with at the time had multiple failures caused by bullet makers’ inability to nail the load charts.
Dave Emary asked him to list all the things he wanted in the ultimate high-power, long-range competition cartridge.
The next day, DeMille presented the following seven requirements.
The hypothetical cartridge had to fit into a magazine for rapid-fire strings in competition; have light recoil; a flat trajectory; should extend barrel life; make use of readily available components, including powder, so that it could be easily duplicated; have the reloading chart listed on the box and be able to be produced in quantities sufficient to meet demand.
To cut a long story short, Dave Emary took that list back to Hornady and got to work. Then, two years later, at the 2007 SHOT show, the 6.5 Creedmoor debuted.
6.5 Creedmoor Ammo vs 308 Winchester
The .308 Winchester cartridge has a longer case length, but the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has a longer overall length.
The 6.5 Creedmoor ammo has a sharper shoulder angle and a less tapered case than the .308.
The cartridges have the same .473′′ rim diameter and can hold about the same amount of powder.
They both have a SAAMI maximum average pressure of 62,000psi.
The 6.5 Creedmoor shoots smaller diameter bullets than the .308 Winchester, which results in more aerodynamic bullets.
Therefore, the trajectory of the 6.5 Creedmoor is slightly flatter, with a little less wind drift and less recoil.
On the other hand, .308 has more downrange energy than Creedmoor and has a significant advantage in terms of frontal surface area.
The smaller size and lighter weight of the 6.5 Creedmoor may give hunters a slightly wider margin of error when aiming compared to the larger, heavier .308 Winchester.
It’s up to you, but if you’re still undecided about 6.5 Creedmoor ammo vs 308 Winchester, click for more tasty tidbits on calibers and loads.
The Final Say
While 308 Winchester has the provenance to back itself up, 6.5 Creedmoor has proven to be just as effective on the range and on the field.
The choice to shoot between 6.5 Creedmoor ammo vs 308 Winchester comes down to need and personal choice.
There’s no wrong answer, but there sure is a right one. Happy shooting, and make sure you read the rest of this section for more tips!