The Showdown: 6.8 Western vs. 6.5 Creedmoor – Which Reigns Supreme?

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The Showdown: 6.8 Western vs. 6.5 Creedmoor – Which Reigns Supreme?

In the world of long-range shooting and hunting, cartridge selection is a critical factor. Cartridge selection significantly affects accuracy, range, and terminal performance. 

Among the popular choices, the 6.8 Western and 6.5 Creedmoor stand out as two exceptional cartridges. Each with its unique set of characteristics. 

This blog aims to provide a comprehensive comparison and ballistics analysis of these two cartridges. We’re here to help shooters and hunters make informed decisions based on their specific needs and preferences.

Cartridge Overview

In the world of firearms, a cartridge is a complete package containing all the essential components needed for shooting. It contains the bullet, propellant (gunpowder), and primer. 

Cartridges come in various calibers, each designed for specific purposes such as target shooting, hunting, or self-defense.

6.8 Western

The 6.8 Western is a new cartridge introduced in 2020 by Winchester and Browning. 

It was designed for long-range hunting applications, providing superior terminal performance and extended effective range. 

The cartridge is based on the .270 Winchester case, necked down to hold .277 caliber bullets.

6.5 Creedmoor

The 6.5 Creedmoor has been in the market since 2008 and has gained popularity due to its exceptional accuracy and moderate recoil. 

Developed by Hornady, this cartridge is based on the .308 Winchester case, necked down to accommodate .264 caliber bullets. It has been widely adopted for precision shooting and hunting.

Ballistics Comparison

Ballistics is the science that deals with the behavior and motion of projectiles, such as bullets fired from firearms.

When comparing the ballistics of different cartridges, various factors affect their performance and effectiveness.

Muzzle Velocity

The 6.8 Western offers higher muzzle velocities than the 6.5 Creedmoor. 

The more powder capacity and larger caliber of the 6.8 Western contribute to increased bullet speeds. This makes it more effective at longer distances.

Ballistic Coefficient

The 6.5 Creedmoor generally boasts better ballistic coefficients. This means its bullets have a more streamlined shape and experience less air resistance. 

This results in flatter trajectories and higher retained energy downrange, which is helpful for precision shooting.


The 6.5 Creedmoor has a reputation for having mild recoil. Making it a popular choice for shooters of all experience levels. 

In contrast, the 6.8 Western produces more recoil due to its increased powder capacity. Which may affect shooters who are sensitive to recoil.

Accuracy and Precision

Both cartridges have excellent accuracy potential. But the 6.5 Creedmoor has been praised for its inherent precision. 

Shooters have achieved exceptional results in long-range competitions and target shooting with this cartridge. 

The 6.8 Western is no slouch in the accuracy department and offers impressive precision, especially when using high-quality ammunition.

Terminal Performance

Regarding terminal performance in-game, the 6.8 Western has an advantage due to its larger caliber and increased muzzle velocity. 

It delivers more energy on target, which makes it effective for hunting medium to large-sized games at extended ranges. 

The 6.5 Creedmoor, while still a capable hunting cartridge, may have limitations on the size of the game it can take down at extended distances.

Ammunition Availability and Cost

The 6.5 Creedmoor enjoys widespread popularity, which results in a wide selection of factory ammunition options from various manufacturers. 

This also translates to competitive pricing, making it more budget-friendly than the relatively newer 6.8 Western, which might have a more limited selection and potentially higher cost per round.

Choose Your Weapon 

The 6.8 Western and 6.5 Creedmoor are exceptional cartridges with distinct strengths. 

The 6.8 Western excels in terminal performance and long-range hunting capabilities. 

The 6.5 Creedmoor shines in precision shooting and lower recoil. 

Shooters and hunters should carefully consider their intended applications and shooting preferences before deciding and getting in on the hunt

Ultimately, the best choice between these two cartridges depends on your specific needs, intended use, and personal shooting preferences. 

Whether you prioritize long-range hunting or precision shooting, the 6.8 Western and 6.5 Creedmoor have proven themselves top performers in their respective domains.

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