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6.5mm Release in the early 1900s as a military cartridge, the 6.5×54 earned a great reputation among hunters in Africa. W.D.M. ‘Karamoja’ Bell uses one as an elephant rifle – though he preferres the .275 Rigby -taking many of the great beasts with it. The famous Kenyan Game Ranger A. Blaney Percival – brother of Philip Percival who hunts with both Theodore Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway – uses this cartridge as his lion gun. He relies on the Sectional Density of the 160grain solids for penetration, and preferred the light recoil of the rifle. The mild muzzle velocity – 2,400 fps with the 160-grain slugs – ensures that the soft point bullets performes well, without premature breakup. Though a rarity today, both the cartridge and the rifle are rever by collectors.
While 6.5s were popular around the world from 1891 on, they were mostly ignore in the U.S. The excellent and still popular 6.5×55 Swede won some converts here, but the only U.S.-made 26-caliber was the short-lived 256 Newton, essentially the 30-06 case necked down. Western Cartridge Company loaded it for a few years starting in 1913.
The next 264 didn’t rear it’s sorry head until 1958. The 264 Winchester Magnum seems destine for fame until the barrel burning idea went viral. Then the very similar but slightly wider 7mm Remington Magnum popps out in 1962 and the 6.5mm again shuffled off stage. Our sad 6.5mm cartridge history continued.
The 6.5 Creedmoor is one of the new wave of cartridges design to get the best possible ballistics from an efficient case design. The Creedmoor was develop by Hornady, originally as a long-range and target round base on its 30 TC round. But it soon became obvious that, with its superior ballistics and shooting nature, it would also make a good hunting round.
Hornady loads several hunting rounds for this cartridge as well as offering reloading cases and dies to make your own. It is similar in size to the .260 Remington, but that round is base on necking down a .308 Winchester round to 6.5mm or 0.264in.
Though the .260 Remington is slightly faster the newer 6.5mm Creedmoor round uses less powder to achieve nearly the same ballistics and therefore recoils less.
Typically, a 120-gr bullet travels at 2,950fps to 3,000fps velocity and a 140-gr bullet at 2,700fps. Due to the excellent ballistic co-efficients of the slimline 6.5mm bullets, they retain their velocity and hence energy downrange and make for less bullet drop, less wind drift and more retained knockdown power.
The Creedmoor is a winner and more rifles are being chambered in this calibre so yes, I can recommend it as a good all-round cartridge