The 6.5mm Creedmoor rifle has been around for several years. Based on current trends it would seem that the rifle cartridge has found a solid home among both hunters and target shooters alike. Here are some of the offerings in current production regarding this new and very popular rifle.
Ruger Precision Gen 3
Winchester XPR Hunter
Ruger American Bolt-Action Rifle
Savage Axis II XP
Bergara B-14 HMR
Browning X Bolt
Springfield Armory M1A 6.5 Creedmoor
Best 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles
1. Ruger Precision Gen 3 Bolt-Action Rifle
This Gen 3 Precision bolt-action gun is a variant on the chassis rifle in that it is all metal, floats its barrel completely off the hand guard, and is built totally by Ruger. In fact, you will find the manufacturer's logo all over the rifles because everything comes from their own plants and is their design.
As a generation 3 rifle, the manufacturer has made some changes. This rifle has the new M-Lok slot system on the free-floating hand guard. This guard retains a black nitride finish, as does the rest of the rifle. The barrel is a medium couture .75” at the muzzle, with 5/8-24 threads.
This rifle is muzzle-break installed and also set up for a suppressor in the event that is the direction the buyer wants to go.
The barrel on the Ruger precision rifle is a 24” cold hammer-forged 4140 chrome-moly steel with the new R-5 rifling (Russian design). Head spacing and chamber dimensions are produced with very tight specifications. I know this to be a fact as I have three of these riles in varied calibers/cartridges and all of them drive tacks all day long.
The barrels on these rifles can be replaced with ease via a good gunsmith with the correct wrenches.
The lower receiver on the Ruger Precision is built in two parts from 7075-T6 aluminum. This design makes use of two machined parts that are derived from aerospace-grade material.
The upper receiver is built as a one-piece precision CNC-machined block of metal that is of a 4140 chrome-moly material. This material will reduce any level of flex or distortion when firing rounds. As part of my own 338 Lapua, and 300 PRC rifles built by this manufacturer, I have found the actions to be exceptionally strong.
The bolt on this rifle is a three-lug design with a 70-degree throw, and has dual cocking cams on the full body smooth running bolt. The receiver retains a 20 MOA Weaver-style rail that adds elevation to the rifle in the event the shooter wants to stretch his or her maximum range.
The trigger on this rifle is adjustable from 2.25 to 5 pounds. Barrel twist 1 in 8. Stock Ruger Precision MSR folding, and adjustable. Overall length is 43.25/46.75 inches. Weight without sights is 10.7 pounds.
In terms of rifle for the price point, I don’t believe you can beat this Precision. Anything else in a long-range precision chassis rifle with this level of flexibility and design offerings will cost the shooter several thousand and change. Adding up the best scope for 6.5 creedmoor gives you more effective precision shots.
2. Winchester XPR Hunter Bolt-Action Rifle
The Winchester XPR is close to my heart because this is a rifle I reviewed when it first came out, and I have hunted with it for the past several years. I have given credit to the rifle for decking a trophy whitetail deer at 540 yards using the 6.5 Creedmoor round and a totally out-of-the-box stock rifle (Leupold sniper-grade optics).
This is the kind of work the $4000 chassis rifles do, but rest assured, this CNC-built sporter can deliver the mail, and do so at a working man's price tag.
This new rifle makes use of 21st century engineering and old school Model 70 Winchester core design. It retains a 24” button-rifled barrel with a target crown and will deliver outstanding accuracy for a pencil pipe sporter.
The MOA trigger system has no take up or excess travel whatsoever. The trigger is set at 3.5 pounds at the factory. Believe me, this is a smooth system as I have shot some outstanding groups when building hand loads for this rifle.
The one-piece bolt retains a three-lug locking system and the bolt size is massive compared to lightweight sporters in other brands. This is a solid design and it won’t shake loose from age or rounds downrange.
The bolt retains a surface treatment of nickel Teflon for a super smooth action motion and a tight lockup as well. The stock is synthetic and is designed with a good grip surface as well as proper ergonomics. The package is fast-handling in tight cover, or an easy hold for long shots when sliding up against the wheel of a big farm tractor.
3. Ruger American Bolt-Action Rifle
This American bolt-action is a no frills, basic rifle that will get the job done well. These rifles are the result of modern CNC machining and, to be quite honest, a receiver built for the American is not much if any different than that made for a $2000 rifle in some cases.
This rifle makes use of an adjustable trigger (Marksmen series), and will adjust from 3 to 5 pounds.
The stock is a sporter style that is light and fast-handling. This is a walking big game rifle in every respect. The 70-degree bolt is strong, and built to clear all scopes mounted over the receiver.
The rife uses the manufacturer's “Power Bedding”, which is a receiver block system that free-floats the barrel beyond the receiver ring. The barrel itself is hammer-forged and the rifles I have tested all illustrated solid accuracy from cold bore to a warm pipe.
The rifle uses a rotary magazine that fits flush with the bottom of the stock. Nothing hanging out to catch in your jacket, and a good solid resting bed for shooting over a backpack, for example, prone on a long shot. The scope-mounting system is a single Weaver-style rail, and that makes for quick easy scope-mounting without question.
With the stock-mounting sling swivel studs and a soft recoil pad that is not required for the 6mm Creedmoor as much as it is for a grabber grip on your shoulder when off hand shooting, the rifle is field-ready right out of the box.
4. Savage Axis II XP Bolt-Action Gray Rifle
Savage Axis II is another example of a rifle that is often sold as a rifle/scope package for deer hunters who don’t want to spend the farm on a rifle, but still want an accurate meat-hunting system at hand. What drives the high end rifle builders crazy is the Savage rifle shoot, and they shoot very well.
I covered a bench-rest 600-yard event some years ago when two guys showed up with heavy barreled 110 Savage action rifles. They walked away with the show. Need I say more? Is this rifle as good as those rifles of yesteryear, you're asking? Better, because they are now manufactured with state-of-the-art CNC equipment.
As a side note, this manufacturer has just been sold and the new owners have walked into a company with brand-new state-of-the-art CNC-machining equipment and other related manufacturing tooling. The new Savage rifles are better then ever as a result of this major change in owners.
This Axis retains a synthetic stock in a matt black finish. The barrel is carbon steel, as is the receiver. The manufacturer uses a barrel-to-receiver ring-system of their own design, and it works. The barrel itself has some proprietary elements involved. In effect, knowing how they get the accuracy is their little secret.
The Accu Trigger system on a Savage is also so good that it is copied by a number of rifle builders today. This trigger can be set for a very ultra light left off, or a deer hunter's level of about 3 pounds. Target or field, the trigger is flexible.
The rifle makes use of a slick smooth bolt slide and, at the receiver, a detachable box magazine. It is offered with sling studs, and a soft recoil pad that won’t slip at just about the time you're touching off that 300-yard shot.
5. Bergara B-14 HMR
The Bergara B-14 HMR is rather new to the American market, and it has been doing well among target and hunting level shooters alike.
The rifle is comparable to the Ruger Hawkeye, of which I shoot several, and buyers at times have a hard time sorting out the differences between the two. I know this from the calls and e-mails I get from shooters wanting to know more information when making a decision.
The Bergara is both a left- and a right-hand design. It features a mimi chassis molded frame that is installed in the over cover stock. Bedding is solid with this system, and the barrel remains free floating as a result of the installation.
This is a rifle for long-range shooting and, as such, the stock style and overall control feel is not sport class, but rather target grade, or very workable as a police sniper as well.
The rifle weighs in at 9.5 – 9.9 pounds, with an overall length of 40-47 inches depending on cartridge chamber and barrel length. The barrel is a number 6 taper and medium heavy, by my standards when selecting a longer-range rifle barrel. The muzzle is threaded with 5/8-24”, and a knurled thread protector is installed.
The stock, as previously discussed,is the HMR Molded model. The rifle mounts receiver scope bases that fit Remington Model 700s using 6-48 screws.
The rifle retains QD flush cup sling mounts and swivel mounts. The rear butt stock is fully adjustable (length of pull). I will say the rifle carries some features, such as the butt stock, that are found on rifles costing three times the asking price for this longer-range variant in a turn-bolt rifle.
6. Browning X Bolt
If you ever see a copy of my last of three long-range rifle books, the cover photo is of me shooting the Browning X Bolt Rifle. This is my rifle and yes chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. Mounting a Leupold M4 optical system, this rifle is deadly to 1400 yards at 3000 feet above sea level. I mean a tack driver.
The bottom line here is that the X Bolt rifle is a shooter's dream.
The Browning X Bolt Stalker is a lighter variant of my rifle and is designed for the deer-, elk-, or sheep-hunter in that the weight is reduced from that of the long-range models, and the surface treatment, being stock and barrel/receiver, uses the manufacturer's special Dura-Touch coating.
The color on the stock and receiver/barrel is a flat black in order to hold off glint in bright sunlight during a stalk on a high country goat, for example.
The receiver is drilled and tapped for scope bases. Browning offers the correct bases for the rifle through its dealers. The barrel on this rifle is free-floated and button-rifled. Also using a crown at the muzzle, the barrels are built to exacting tolerances.
When chambered, the task is done on an individual basis, and each chamber is hand-measured with extreme care. These rifles are built to shoot and, with the hands-on method of construction, they do just that.
The fully adjustable trigger meets the exacting standards of hunters and target shooters alike. The action length on the 6.5 is the short model, allowing for a quick short throw regarding the bolt's lock time.
7. Springfield Armory M1A 6.5 Creedmoor
With the dropping of the early M1 Grand rifle from military procurement, a new rifle came into existence. The rifle was the M-14 and the round used in the rifle was reduced from the 30-06 to the new, at the time, 7.62 NATO, better known as the 308 Winchester.
In time, and it was not that long to be sure, the rifle, built by Springfield Armory, was turned into the M1A. Now, after a well-scripted stint among target shooters, old school market hunters, as well as the general shooting population, the M1A has been offered in the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge.
Why this round? Because it outshoots the old 308 by at least 300 yards, is accurate to the letter, and produces much less felt recoil when on the line and shooting for a winning score. In short, this is a competition rifle more than it is a hunting rifle.
Getting down to basics, what is the M1A?
This rifle is patterned after the basic action of the M1 Grand of old, but in a much shorter action design because of the original 308 round. As the 6.5 Creedmoor falls right into this group of cartridges, it is a slam-dunk in terms of chambering the M1A for the Creedmoor round.
The M1A weighs in at a hefty 11.4 pounds empty. That makes is a pile of steel to haul around, but a dead-on hole driller when settled into a shooting jacket or bench-rest. The rifle stock is Pattern Archangel adjustable for both comb height and length of pull.
The rifle mounts a 22 inch stainless-steel National Match barrel, and this barrel retains a military-style muzzle break.
The sights on the rifle consist of a National Match front sight, and the same source in a fully adjustable rear sight. These rifles can be fitted with scope mounts designed just for the M1A scopes when glass sights are the call of the day.
Because this is a long-range target rifle, it has several options when a sling is installed with flush mounts (holes) on the sides and standard studs forward and aft.
When chambering the rifle, the air gauge system is used to measure exactness of the rifle's chamber. Accuracy is everything in this rifle, and the manufacturer has worked hard to keep the M1A running as a tight shooting match winning design.
Being the Gen 4 in the series of Match rifles, you can expect the latest technology when it comes to manufacturing. The rifle is not side-tracked in terms of its updated design features and techniques in building the rifle either.
8. Hawkeye Predator ( Author's Choice)
In terms of a rifle I shoot a great deal and own in two different calibers and chamberings, I have selected the Ruger Hawkeye in the Green Mounting laminated stock and set up as a long-range 6.5 Creedmoor varmint rifle.
This rifle is right in the middle of a target/precision rifle and a lightweight sporter. It weighs in at 8.1 pounds, but is balanced and very workable as a hunter's field rifle when on the move.
The manufacturer uses a non-rotating Mauser-type controlled round feed with a long extractor. This is typical Mauser design and many consider it the best rifle action design in the world. The fix blade ejector is positive functioning.
The cold hammer forged barrel results in extremely good accuracy. And stainless steel makes for a tough field-ready system both down the bore and on the exterior surfaces.
Scope mounts on this rifle are machined directly into the solid steel receiver. These mounts use Ruger rings that are provided with the rifle.
This rifle retains a two-stage trigger that is fully adjustable. My Hawkeye triggers are set up with a let off at 3 pounds. I like this weight for hunting and it does not effect accuracy in any way.
This Hawkeye is based on the M77 Ruger action that has been around since the first rifle the manufacturer ever produced. Bill Ruger founded the company in the 1960s. As you have guessed by now, I am a Ruger guy through and through.
As the 6.5 Creedmoor is such a very popular and fast-growing cartridge, there are many options when selecting a rifle for use with the new round. These are some but obviously not all. When selecting a rifle look for performance first, and price point second. With this cartridge your selected rife need not be the most expensive toy in the box.