How 6.5 Creedmoor and Maxim Defense are Changing The Long Range Game

The 6.5 Creedmoor round has become quite a popular centerfire rifle cartridge commonly used for precision rifle shooting, hunting, and specific law enforcement and military mission sets.

6.5 Creedmoor is best known for its reduced recoil for a cartridge that is capable of hunting deer-sized game and used in long-range shooting competitions where a lighter recoil gives you a slight edge.

While the 6.5 Creedmoor saw initial strong support when it was released in 2007 by Hornady, it did not immediately become a commercial success like it is today. The round sat relatively stagnant on shelves for several years until it exploded back into the industry in 2016 and 2017.

The 6.5 Creedmoor is a very capable cartridge as long as you understand its limits.

So let’s dive into what makes 6.5 Creedmoor so great and how it compares to old-school 308 Winchester round.

How 6.5 Creedmoor and Maxim Defense are Changing The Long Range Game
A Maxim Defense MD:11 chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor ready to “go to work"

6.5 Creedmoor Ballistics

The 6.5 Creedmoor Ballistic Coefficients are some of the best for long distance shooting. The high ballistic coefficients of the 6.5 Creedmoor mean the bullets move through the air much more efficiently, which helps them maintain velocity, reduce drop, and buck the wind.

Less bullet drop and wind drift at distance translate to more margin of error if you misjudge the range estimation or wind call. Terminal ballistics are on par as the 6.5 Creedmoor packs an impressive velocity on target.

The following 6.5 Creedmoor ballistics chart is for Winchester Match 140gr BTHP.

Velocity (fps)Energy (Ft. Pounds)Bullet Drop (inches)Ballistic Coefficient (G1)Ballistic Coefficient (G2)
100 Yards255620300 0.590.296
200 Yards24071800-3.8 0.590.296
300 Yards22631592-13.7 0.590.296
400 Yards21231401-30.3 0.590.296
500 Yards19891230-40 0.590.296


How does the 6.5 Creedmoor compare to other similar loads such as 308 Winchester?

The 6.5 Creedmoor was designed to go toe-to-toe with the 308 Winchester in long-range competitions. The 308 Winchester is a very common caliber, so lets take a look at how the 6.5 Creedmoor holds up against the popular 308 NATO military round.

6.5 Creedmoor vs 308

When it comes to shooting out past 500 yards, the two calibers that cannot be ignored are 6.5 Creedmoor and 308 Winchester.

308 Winchester has been a go-to round in the long-range shooting community since its inception over 60 years ago. I’ve personally seen Marine Corps Snipers consistently and effectively engage targets at 1,000 yards with 308 Win, but nowadays the 6.5 Creedmoor simply outperforms it in almost every way at those distances.

Many die-hard old-school shooters refer to 308 Winchester as “Gods Caliber" and refer to the newer 6.5 Creedmoor as the “hipster cartridge".

Despite what they say, 6.5 Creedmoor is a natural progression in ballistics technology and a more modern cartridge with improved performance on many levels when you start reaching out to 800 yards and beyond.

6.5 Creedmoor vs 308 Ballistics

The 6.5 Creedmoor sees roughly 13" less wind drift at 1,000 yards in a 10 MPH crosswind than 308 Winchester. These are two of the most accurate rounds in existence for distance shooting. However, at extreme long-range, the edge goes to the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Not only does the 6.5 Creedmoor shoot flatter than 308 Winchester, but it also produces a lighter recoil, making it much easier to shoot for longer periods of time.

The following table shows two popular hunting rounds for 6.5 Creedmoor and 308 Winchester. Here is where they stand at the 500-yard mark.

AmmoVelocity (fps)Bullet Drop (inches)Wind Drift (5mph full value crosswind)Ballistic Coefficient (G7)
Berger Classic Hunter (135gr Hunter Hybrid Bullet) 6.5 Creedmoor195456.8 inches8.3 inches.303
Berger Classic Hunter (168gr Hunter Hybrid Bullet) 308 Winchester182460.5 inches10.4 inches.251

6.5 Creedmoor vs 308 for Hunting

6.5 Creedmoor is a very capable round for long-distance shooters, but the question still remains if it is capable to be used as a hunting round.

Let’s take a look at how 6.5 Creedmoor compares to 308 Winchester in hunting applications.

Deer Hunting

Many whitetail deer and comparably sized game have been killed with the 308 Winchester round that it’s hard to argue how great it is for hunting. It’s simply got more time on target than 6.5 Creedmoor.

However, 6.5 Creedmoor is so popular right now, that the number of deer-sized game that are being harvested with 6.5 Creedmoor is stacking up. Out to 700 yards and beyond, 6.5 Creedmoor will put down deer and antelope.

Hog Hunting

The 308 Winchester has been a long-time favorite of hog hunters due to the fact that it will put down an overly aggressive hog fast. With more and more AR platforms now chambered in 308 Winchester, makes it a very popular round to use.

However, rifle manufacturers have been increasing their production of AR-style rifles chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. What makes the 6.5 Creedmoor so great is that it’s a short action round perfect for the AR platform. The big-game-sized projectile and lower felt recoil have been causing a surge in the purchase of 6.5 Creedmoor chambered rifles.

Elk Hunting

Here’s where the battle between 6.5 Creedmoor and 308 Winchester gets ugly; ethically harvesting Elk.

The combined velocity and energy out to 700 yards is plenty enough to ethically harvest an Elk. The other side of that equation is that you do your part as the shooter and put the bullet where it’s supposed to go.

Here’s proof that 6.5 Creedmoor is certainly viable for elk hunting.

Best 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle | Maxim Defense MD:11

Want an AR-style 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle that will crush some of the highest-end bolt action rifles?

Want to give yourself every possible advantage shooting at 1000 yards?

If you answered yes to those questions, we’ve got one hell of a rifle for you.

Maxim Defense MD:11

at Maxim Defense
Prices accurate at time of writing

The Maxim Defense MD:11 is one of the absolute best 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles on the market now. This battle rifle will produce dinner-plate groups at 1,000 yards if you do your part.

Maxim Defense Industries launched its Direct Impingement large frame MD:11 series made on the SR-25 cut pattern.

This large frame rifle is available in 6.5 Creedmoor or 308 Winchester, utilizing 18" Proof Research carbon fiber or stainless-steel barrels keeping the weight at just 9lbs.

The MD:11 comes with a carbine buffer system and B5 Sop-mod stock and utilizes the Geissele SSA-E trigger. Both calibers are available in Urban, Arid, and Black.

How 6.5 Creedmoor and Maxim Defense are Changing The Long Range Game
Offered in both .308 Winchester or 6.5 Creedmoor with an 18" precision barrel made by PROOF Research, Inc. as well as a B5 stock and Geissele Automatics Llc trigger out of the box!

Maxim Defense MD:11 Features

  • A2 style Flash Hider
  • Military-grade materials
  • 18" Proof Carbon fiber or Stainless-steel barrel
  • Geissele SSA-E trigger
  • Ambidextrous charging handle, selector, and magazine release
  • B5 Sop-Mod carbine length stock
  • Fully floated barrel

Maxim Defense MD:11 Specs

  • Manufacturer: Maxim Defense Industries
  • Model: MD11
  • Action: Direct Impingement
  • Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor and 308 Winchester
  • Overall Length (in inches): 37"
  • Barrel Length (in inches): 18"
  • Upper/Lower Construction: Billet 7075-T6 Receiver Set
  • Ambi Controls: Selector, Magazine Release, Charging Handle
  • Weight, w/ empty 20 RND magazine, no accessories: 9lbs
  • Handguard Length (in inches): 15.5"
  • Handguard Acc. Attachment: M1913/M-Lok
  • Trigger Pull Weight: 2.9 – 3.8 lbs.

Best 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo That’s Available

Winchester Match Ammunition

Winchester Match 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr BTHP

at Natchez Shooters Supply
Prices accurate at time of writing

Berger Target Rifle Ammunition

Berger Target Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor 153.5gr LRHT

at Natchez Shooters Supply
Prices accurate at time of writing

Barnes VOR-TX Rifle Ammunition

Barnes VOR-TX 6.5 Creedmoor 120gr TTSX-BT

at Natchez Shooters Supply
Prices accurate at time of writing

Wrapping It Up!

The 6.5 Creedmoor is a superior cartridge nowadays when compared to 308 Winchester, but that doesn’t mean you need to sell your 308 and move to a 6.5 Creedmoor.

The nice thing bout the Maxim Defense MD:11 is that you can have it in either caliber, so if you’ve already invested in a lot of 308 ammo, you can continue to run with that.

6.5 Creedmoor can ethically harvest any large game animal just as effectively as the 308 Winchester and is an excellent choice for your next hunting rifle.

Simply put, if you’re not shooting out past 800 yards, then either caliber will work just fine. But if you plan on going 800 yards and beyond, then we highly recommend moving to the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge.

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Table of Contents

  • 6.5 Creedmoor Ballistics
  • 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308
  • 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308 Ballistics
  • 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308 for Hunting
  • Deer Hunting
  • Hog Hunting
  • Elk Hunting
  • Best 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle | Maxim Defense MD:11
  • Maxim Defense MD:11 Features
  • Maxim Defense MD:11 Specs
  • Best 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo That’s Available
  • Winchester Match Ammunition
  • Berger Target Rifle Ammunition
  • Barnes VOR-TX Rifle Ammunition
  • Wrapping It Up!

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