Based on shooting habits around the globe, the 6.5mm Creedmoor cartridge is recognized as one of the most potent cartridges for both deer hunting and long-range shooting.
And with its ability to deliver a powerful punch, the Hornady eld x round could take down the average whitetail with relative ease.
However, many people still stick with the Remington 7mm 08 cartridges while hunting for both deer and black bears. This is since they offer great propellant charge, case capacity, bullet choice, and precision, especially for the AR 10.
But when you put the 7mm 08 Remington vs. 6.5mm Creedmoor, which one would deliver more value when it comes to deer hunting and factory loads?
If you intend to be a deer hunter but don’t know which one you want when putting the 6.5 Creedmoor vs. 7mm 08 Remington, then you’ve come to the right place.
This article has everything that deer hunters need to remember about the rounds, cartridges, and sub moa.
Generally speaking, different people value different qualities, and therefore, people have conflicting opinions about the best one for deer hunting. So if you want to make the right call, check out the following information carefully.
- History of the Rounds: Overviews
- Overall Dimension of the Rounds
- Optimal Accuracy of the Rounds
- Benefits/Drawbacks of the Rounds
- Handloading: Choices of Bullets/Propellants
- Rifles Chambered in the Rounds
- Final Verdict: 6.5 Creedmoor vs. 7mm 08 Remington
History of the Rounds: Overviews
While assessing different cartridges and their sub moa, you could have a general idea about their characteristics if you do careful research.
Here are a couple of details that you should remember about cartridges when putting the 6.5 Creedmoor vs. 7mm 08 of Remington.
Sometime in 1958, a certain 7mm/308 Winchester wildcat round was developed. And as the name suggests, people made it simply by necking down one standard .308 Winchester cartridge to hold a .284 bullet (7mm bullets).
It would spend the next 20 years in the wildcat category of cartridges until Remington adopted the round and then released it to the public under the name: “7mm 08”.
Among .308-based hunting cartridges in use, which includes the .260 Remington cartridge, the 7mm 08 comes in second in terms of polarity.
The .243 Winchester is the one that remains in the top spot for cartridges, but with proper 7mm bullets, the Remington could tackle small to medium-sized games and long-range shots without difficulty for a deer hunter.
Introduced to the market by Hornady in 2007, the 6.5mm Creedmoor cartridges are a development of .30 Thompson Center which were also based on .308 Winchester cartridges.
At first, Hornady attempted to produce a round that possesses the length of .308 Winchester cartridge while boasting the strength of .30-06 Springfield. The result was .30 Thompson Center and it achieved the goal of the project. The only catch was that consumer acceptance was low so the round was sidelined.
Fortunately, Hornady recycled the design, necked down the round, and then put the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge into existence. These 6.5mm bullets from Creedmoor have become widely used ever since.
Overall Dimension of the Rounds
- Parent Case: .308 Winchester
- Case Type: Rimless, bottleneck
- Bullet: 7.2 mm
- Neck: 8.0 mm
- Base: 11.9 mm
- Parent Case: .30 Thompson Center
- Case Type: Rimless, bottleneck
- Bullet: 6.72 mm
- Neck: 7.49 mm
- Base: 11.95 mm
As both rounds are related to .308 Winchester in one way or another, it comes as no surprise that 7mm-08 Remington and 6.5 Creedmoor have similar profiles, except for sectional density.
Thanks to its humble body, the Remington cartridge fits in short action firearms which is well-appreciated by every deer hunter that carries lightweight, compact rifles.
Short action firearms like the Hornady Creedmoor cartridge let it run smoothly in AR magazines while packing long, lean grain bullets.
That being said, because of the short action design, the 7mm-08 Remington offers higher velocities while the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge holds an edge on both penetration power and sectional density. This is since the Creedmoor is a 6.5mm bullet.
Optimal Accuracy of the Rounds
Despite the fact that there are various issues that influence the precision on the field, the Remington cartridge generally gives a good account of itself. This is seen in the performance of the .260 Remington cartridges.
In the hand of trained shooters, Remington 7mm-08 should be able to nail prey time using factory loads. The average round of factory loads with a 140-grain bullet could deliver a muzzle velocity of 2,800 fps and energy of 2,400 ft.-lbs.
As shooting distances in deer hunting rarely exceed 400 yards (they usually stay within 150 yards), the Remington cartridge is more than enough because of its factory loads.
Due to both the excellent rifle ratio and rifling twist of 1:8, the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge often generates good results even if you pair it with heavy bullets. However, most hunters prefer to use commercial ammunition with lightweight grain bullets as they tend to focus on versatility and flexibility.
Normally, the Creedmoor cartridge with a 140-grain bullet achieves a muzzle velocity of 2,700+ fps and it remains in the supersonic range out to roughly 1,150 yards. In most of the case, such a performance of a 140-grain bullet is sufficient for you to take out deer in usual shooting distances.
Benefits/Drawbacks of the Rounds
Although it hit hard, the Remington cartridge is rather pleasant to shoot thanks to the reasonable recoil energy after every shot because it has less body taper. In case you don’t want to end up with a sore shoulder after hunting, it’s strongly recommended that you select 7mm-08 Remington bullets.
Additionally, the availability of the round is superb, regardless of where you are. This means that you can secure ammunition at most gun stores with relative ease.
As some of the world’s niftiest compact rifles are chambered in 7mm-08 Remington bullets, the round fares well against dense vegetation.
On the downside, 7mm-08 Remington bullets only come in a limited number of configurations. This is why you don’t have as many choices as other rounds.
Nonetheless, the straightforward nature of the Remington cartridge could get the job done even if you don’t know how to use it yet.
Capable of shooting game at extended distances, 6.5 Creedmoor bullets perform admirably for long-range shooting without meat damage.
Skilled shooters could take down deer as far as 2,000 meters when using the Hornady Creedmoor cartridge. But of course, opportunities for such shots seldom come by in typical settings.
In any case, any bullet from a pack of 6.5 Creedmoor bullets successfully resists the effects of gravity, wind, and other factors. This is especially noticeable when the path results in a flat trajectory.
Even though the length of the 6.5 Creedmoor case is comparable to .308 Winchester, it can accommodate long-range shooting better and without much difficulty.
As for any drawbacks, the 6.5 Creedmoor bullets excel at putting the average deer to sleep. But when it comes to elk, moose, and other animals, it might seem lackluster.
While a well-aimed shot should be enough to shoot game, consider using another round if you intend to go after big animals. 6.5 Creedmoor bullets should be able to take care of other outdoor animals smaller than deer though.
Handloading: Choices of Bullets/Propellants
While certain shooters mostly use factory-loaded ammunition, there are others that prefer to shoot rounds tailored to their own preferences, similar to that of Chuck Hawks.
That’s why if you’re putting 7mm-08 Remington bullets against 6.5 Creedmoor bullets, it’s important to take a look at the round handloading characteristics.
Important Note: Since 7mm-08 Remington is, in essence, a resized .308 Winchester, some people wonder if they could assemble good hand-loaded rounds using Winchester cases.
The short answer is yes, it’s possible. But the operation is not worth the tremendous effort that it requires.
You would be able to purchase inexpensive 7mm-08 Remington brasses in any average sporting goods store. So why bother wasting your time to make some?
In addition to that, common issues like uniformity and an uneven neck would be tough obstacles for you to overcome.
Because 7mm-08 Remington is based on .308 Winchester, every powder that works well in the Winchester round should have the same performance in the Remington cartridge.
H4895, IMR4350, and Varget are some of the best all-around propellants on the market for hand-loaded 7mm-08 Remington rounds and cartridges.
One thing that hunters must keep in mind is that while the Remington cartridge has less recoil, it still adds up over time. So if you’re new to deer hunting and want to practice, remember to use fewer recoil loads.
Regarding the bullet, a 7mm-08 Remington could deliver a wide range of bullet types. It can use almost anything from lightweight 120 to heavy-hitting 175 grain with relative ease.
For a deer rifle, shooters like to keep the bullet weight heavy so a 140-grain bullet will keep it from cutting into the capacity of the powder.
However, feel free to use whatever bullet you like as long as you are certain that it suit your demands. To guarantee penetration, consider using a controlled-expansion bullet so that once you nail your prey, it can down right away (Barnes Triple-Shock X is a great option).
The Hornady Creedmoor cartridge is compatible with propellants like H4350, IMR4350, and Reloader 17. So, if you have good cases, you should have no trouble manufacturing a hand-loaded 6.5 Creedmoor.
You can stick to recognized names to ensure quality but in any case, you need to remind yourself that brasses from different brands have different powder capacities.
It’s important to match the propellant to the case, especially if you intend to approach maximum pressure levels for premium performance. Needless to say, check on all fired cases thoroughly before use.
Regarding case capacity and the number of bullet choices, 6.5 Creedmoor is mainly designed for weights between 85 and 150 grain. That being said, the Hornady Creedmoor cartridge achieves its peak at the weight of approximately 120 grain.
Now, let’s talk about the ballistic coefficient. Some hunters prefer heavier grain bullets and cartridges because high bullet weights have excellent ballistic coefficients.
This is while others value the high velocity of light bullets. After all, light bullets go faster but heftier bullet weights retain velocity better because of penetration advantage.
Hornady, Nosler, and Sierra offer multiple bullet options for 6.5 Creedmoor to the public so you can choose one that matches your personal preferences.
Rifles Chambered in the Rounds
In addition to a round, many people also pay special attention to the number of rifles to use with them. To pick a round that is chambered in just a few firearms means that you have to make compromises.
So let’s check out how what’ll the verdict be when we put the 6.5 Creedmoor vs. 7mm 08 Remington in terms of their availability.
Thanks to its forgiving characteristics, an abundance of ammunition, and commendable accuracy, the 7mm-08 Remington is a popular choice for hunting rifles. Multiple weapon manufacturers release firearms that employ the round so you have a lot of models to choose from nowadays.
Of course, while some rifles are chambered in the same round, their performance on the field contains few similarities. That’s why you need to take your own taste into account if you want a sensible investment.
You could either buy a basic rifle or get a package that also offers accessories.
As 7mm-08 Remington comes from Remington, it’s obvious that this brand from North America delivers great rifles for the round. One example is the world-famous Remington Model 700.
In addition to that, other Remington competitors deliver quality models that use a round like Weatherby (Weatherby Vanguard Camilla), SAKO (SAKO Tikka T3), and Savage (Savage 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP).
These rifles are able to receive various modifications so it’s a breeze to customize them. The bolt-action mechanism performs well in the great outdoors but there are other actions.
The Hornady cartridge is one of the most successful rounds ever introduced. This is why it’s a natural outcome that many modern-day hunting rifles are chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.
Providing that you know how to steady your aim, 6.5 Creedmoor would be able to deliver results time and time again.
As hunters rarely have to discharge many shots at once, it’s a good idea to use a bolt action rifle while hunting deer. But if you want to make quick follow-up shots, there are several lever-action and semi-automatic rifles available.
For hunters that want something straightforward, check out the Ruger Precision Rifle, Savage Model 10 GRS, and Browning X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon Speed. These rifles have received favorable reviews from experienced hunters and gun experts in terms of field performance.
In case you want a quick-firing rifle, the RISE Armament 1121XR Precision Rifle, Springfield M1A, and Savage MSR 10 Hunter shall serve you well.
Keep in mind that just having the rifle is insufficient though. You must also know how to put it to good use.
Final Verdict: 6.5 Creedmoor vs. 7mm 08 Remington
There are a lot of criteria when it comes to deer hunting so it’s understandable that it’s hard to decide whether the Remington or the Hornady round is the superior choice.
Hence, it’s entirely up to you to determine which round you should use by comparing your shooting habits with the characteristics of the cartridges.
For deer hunters, it’s strongly recommended that you go after 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges. But if you expect to run into big games while hunting deer, then the 7mm-08 Remington is definitely your best bet.
Our verdict for this 6.5 Creedmoor vs. 7mm 08 Remington review is that they’re both highly capable bullets that pack a punch. So if you’re still trying to decide your own choice between the 6.5 Creedmoor vs. 7mm 08 Remington, then we’ll leave it up to your own preference.
FINAL TIP: If you’re interested in other guides, we have a Comparative Guide about the 38 Super vs. the 38 Special.
CHANGELOG: September 27, 2021 - Updated article images September 14, 2021 - Reviewed and updated article links, updated article title