Early in the 21st century, Hornady shouldered the task of designing all the new cartridges worth designing. At least, it seemed so. Remarkably, from the .17 HMR to the .375 Ruger, all earned accolades. Among the most useful appeared in 2009. The 6.5 Creedmoor came from senior ballistician Dave Emary, who tapped competitive shooters for ideas on 1,000-yard cartridges. An accomplished marksman himself, Emary necked the .30 T/C hull (another Hornady round) to .264. The compact case kept overall length within limits imposed by short actions. Dave used powder technology from Hornady's Superformance Ammunition to get blistering velocity.
The 6.5 Creedmoor is more than a flat-shooting, light-recoiling target cartridge. It's ideal for deer and antelope. Last fall, Todd Seyfert at Magnum Research sent me a rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor on a long 700 action. Its carbon-fiber barrel had a stainless core rifled by Kreiger. GreyBull Precision provided the stock and a 4.5-14X Leupold. Prone with a sling, I was soon hitting plates at 500 yards. In New Mexico, my hunting partner, John Burns, called a coyote across a mesa. At 250 yards, the dog collapsed to the bite of my 129-grain SST. That rifle also accounted for an elk, one shot through both lungs at longer range than I'd ever shot an elk. Civil, accurate, potent. What more do you want?
Out of the gate, the 6.5 Creedmoor nips at the heels of the .270 Winchester. Downrange, the lead changes, thanks to the high ballistic coefficients of the 6.5's 129- and 140-grain bullets. Truly versatile, the Creedmoor has more sauce than a 6.5x55 and can handle long VLD bullets better than the superb, but undersung .260 Remington. Light recoil and efficient burn suit it to compact, featherweight rifles.