6.5 Creedmoor Ammo

6.5 Creedmoor Ammo, The 12 Best Long Range Hunting Options

For hunters looking to reach out and bag big bucks at long range, the 6.5 Creedmoor has almost become a staple. Love it or hate it, it's hard to deny the Creedmoor as one of the most popular centerfire rifle rounds of the last 20 years. We've already talked extensively about the ballistics of the 6.5 Creedmoor, and how it stacks up to other popular rounds like the .308 Winchester. We've also given our top picks for the most affordable rifles chambered for this controversial cartridge. Today, we are going to look exclusively at factory rifle ammunition. We'll give a few picks suited for target shooting and getting your rifle dialed in before the season. However, most of our focus will be on the best options for hunters. These rounds will help you take out varmints and big game animals consistently at long range, helping to fill the freezer quickly this season.

Hornady American Whitetail

6.5 Creedmoor Ammo

Sportsman's Warehouse

We'll start things off with this 129-grain bullet option. Hornady has become a trusted name for hunters seeking quality factory options and the American Whitetail is no exception. This rifle ammo features Hornady's signature InterLock raised ring on the inside of the jacket that helps keep the bullet core and jacket together upon striking the target. This ring helps give the bullets better expansion and makes for better wound channels. Hornady says to expect a 2,820-fps muzzle velocity out of a 24-inch barrel and 2,277-foot pounds of energy delivered to the target. We just like how these bullets fly in the air. Hornady gives it zero drop at 200 yards, and only -7.7 at 300. The rounds are still doing 2,232-fps at that range and are hitting with 1,427-foot pounds of energy, allowing you to reach out and drop game at a distance.

Federal Premium Terminal Ascent

These match grade, polymer tip, bonded lead core rounds have a high ballistic coefficient that makes them extremely accurate. These 130-grain rounds feature a copper shank. Federal Premium's "AccuChannel" groove technology and that "Slipstream" polymer tip helps reduce drag at longer ranges. It shows in the trajectory too. Federal Premium puts the drop at zero for 200 yards, and -7.5 at 300. These rounds are doing 2,800 fps at the muzzle, and 2,464-fps at 200 yards. You're looking at about 1,752-foot pounds of energy at that distance. Federal Premium designed these rounds to expand a bit faster than similar designs. These rounds aren't cheap, but if you're going on that hunt of a lifetime for a tough-to-draw area, this is a great choice.

Fiocchi Field Dynamics

6.5 Creedmoor Ammo

Sportsman's Warehouse

The Fiocchi brand is a great option for shooters who are trying to keep things affordable. Each box goes for about $35 at most retailers. That means you can readily practice with the same rounds you hunt with without worrying about breaking the bank. These are 129-grain pointed soft point (PSP) bullets and you can expect a muzzle velocity of approximately 2,820-fps from most firearms. These rounds are still doing 2,420-fps at 200 yards, and 2,233-fps at 300 yards. These rounds aren't as great on trajectory as some of the others on this list, but you're still getting zero drop at 100, and -3.6 at 200 yards, which will make it effective for many hunting scenarios.

Sig Sauer Elite Match Grade

We know the Sig Sauer name is better known for their handgun offerings, but they've built some stellar jacketed hollow points for hunting here. These 120-grain bullets are lead free, which makes them a great choice for public lands with lead bans. Sig Sauer uses premium primers for these rounds and nickel-plated brass casings. Expect a muzzle velocity of 2,825-fps and a muzzle energy of 2,126-foot pounds of energy from these rounds. As far as a premium hunting ammo goes, these are also rather affordable. They usually go for around $40 a box. However, we've also seen them on sale for as low as $30.

Nosler AccuBond Trophy Grade

A slightly heavier offering of Creedmoor ammo, we like these 140-grain cartridges for most deer hunting scenarios. These rounds feature a white polymer tip and a boat tail base. Both help result in a nice, controlled expansion and deep wound channels upon striking the animal. Nosler says to expect muzzle velocities of 2,650-fps, and a muzzle energy of 2,183-foot pounds. Nosler says you can expect zero drop depending on whether you zero your rifle at 100 or 200 yards. The only real downside to these rounds is the price tag. You're looking at about $78 for a box of 20 rds. We recommend these for those special, once-in-a-lifetime hunts.

Berger Extreme Outer Limits Elite Hunter

These cartridges utilize a jacketed hollow point boat tail bullet that includes a hybrid ogive to help it seamlessly cut through the wind. Berger says these 156-grain bullets won't start expanding until they've penetrated at least two to three inches. From there they open a massive wound channel that's either going to drop the animal on the spot or at least leave you a heavy trail to follow. Berger says to expect a muzzle velocity of 2,680-fps and energy of 2,488-foot pounds from at least a 26-inch barrel. Even at 300 yards, these rounds are still doing 2,299-fps and are hitting with 1,831-foot pounds of energy with only -7.84 inches of drop. Not bad at all for a heavier option. Expect to pay around $45 a box for these cartridges.

Hornady Superformance

Another Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor option, these are the cartridges to consider if you're trying to get the most speed possible out of this round. Hornady offers the Superformance in two variants. There's a 129-grain super shock tip (SST) bullet with a boattail, Interlock ring, mid-body cannelure, and Interlock ring. There's also a 120-grain one-piece copper alloy (CX) bullet with grooves. Expect a muzzle velocity of 3,050-fps from the 120-grain CX cartridges, and 2,479-foot pounds of muzzle energy. There drop is zero at 200 yards. The 129-grain SSTs are doing 2,950-fps at the muzzle and are hitting with 2,493-foot pounds of energy. The drop is zero at 200 yards. These rounds usually go for around $50 a box, but you can sometimes catch them on sale for less than that.

Winchester Deer Season XP

Winchester makes a couple different variants of these rounds. The Extreme Point version is a 125-grain bullet with a tapered jacket and an alloyed lead core with an expansion tip. Expect velocities of 2,850-fps at the muzzle and 2,254-foot pounds of energy. These bullets are still doing 2,682-fps at 100 yards and are hitting with 1,996-foot pounds of energy. The Copper Impact is a full metal jacket boat tail (FMJBT) with a large polymer tip. The copper versions are doing 2,850-fps at the muzzle, 2,626-fps at 100 yards. They have a muzzle energy of 2,254-foot pounds and a 100-yard energy of 1,928-foot pounds. These rounds usually go for around $40 a box, much less if there's a sale. It's hard to go wrong with either one for deer or medium-sized game like pronghorn antelope.

Hornady ELD Match

These cartridges are available in 140-grain and 147-grain variants. These cartridges use Hornady's extremely low drag match grade bullets with a heat shield tip technology. These cartridges were specifically designed for ranges out to 300 yards and beyond. The 140-grain versions are doing 2,285-fps at that distance and hitting with 1,622-foot pounds of energy. The 147-grain version is doing 2,323-fps at 300 yards with 1,761-foot pounds of energy. These are mainly used for competitive shooting, but they'll handle many hunting scenarios too. Most users praise how tightly these rounds group at longer ranges. These sell for around $40 a box at most major retailers and are usually consistently available even in shortages.

Barnes VOR-TX Long Range

6.5 Creedmoor Ammo

Sportsman's Warehouse

Another all-copper option that's perfect for public lands. Barnes ammunition utilizes 127-grain LRX BT bullets that are designed to mushroom into razor-sharp petals upon impact with a game animal. The result is a highly efficient round that can down deer and antelope quickly and humanely. Expect velocities of up to 2,850-fps at the muzzle, 2,285-fps at 300 yards. These rounds are hitting with about 1,473-foot pounds of energy at that distance. Barnes gives these rounds a trajectory of zero at 200 yards and -7.5 at 300. These go for about $50 a box, so they are strictly a hunting round. However, they are a fantastic option for anyone who is concerned about accuracy and fast kills.

Norma Whitetail

6.5 Creedmoor Ammo

Sportsman's Warehouse

At around $37 a box, this is another good budget option for filling the freezer with venison this fall. These 140-grain soft point bullets are designed specifically with rapid expansion and large wound channels in mind. They have a simple flat base with a thin jacket for optimal expansion upon hitting the animal. These do lose a little in range but make up for it in how they perform on deer. Expect 2,418-fps at 100 yards and 1,817-foot pounds of energy. They're still doing 2,192-fps at 200 yards and hitting with 1,494-foot pounds of energy while dropping only about four inches.

Sierra Gamechanger

This premium hunting ammunition is expensive but worth it because of the high ballistic coefficient and excellent expansion. Sierra offers a 130 and 140-grain options of these cartridges. They have a lead core covered with a copper jacket that's going to cause some serious damage and some fast, ethical harvests. Expect a muzzle velocity of 2,950-fps and an energy of 2,511-foot pounds for the 130-grain option. Their Creedmoor 140-grain option do about 2,700-fps at the muzzle and strike with about 2,265-foot pounds of energy. Expect to pay near $55 to $60 a box depending on the retailer, thus making this another option you'll want to use mostly for hunting purposes. This is a great option for that mule deer or pronghorn hunt you've been planning out of state for years now.

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