6.5 PRC vs 6.5 Creedmoor

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Outdoor Life.

The 6.5 Creedmoor is a cartridge of great debate. Mention it among different groups of shooters, grab some popcorn, and wait; someone is going to get triggered. However, mention the 6.5 PRC in a group of shooters and the response will be different. The 6.5 PRC is loved by hunters.

Well, I’m sorry if I offend any 6.5 PRC fans out there, but that’s a dumb reaction.

He goes on to give a very good breakdown of the ballistic performance of each cartridge, and then ends with this.

Things change significantly when the PRC barrel is a 20-inch although the match load is still nearly 100 fps faster. But the hunting loads take a big hit, with velocities nearly the same as the 24-inch Creedmoor barrel. This being the case, energy on target will be the same. In other words, the 20-inch PRC is no more effective than the 6.5 Creedmoor. Yes, you benefit from a shorter rifle, but you also gain more recoil.

[ … ]

With four inches less barrel, the 6.5 PRC is basically a 6.5 Creedmoor with more recoil.

A 24″ barrel is front heavy anyway. I wouldn’t carry it.

So basically, you gain the ability to shorten the rifle barrel length and equal the performance of the 6.5 Creedmoor, and gain recoil.

No thanks.


Comments

  1. On April 11, 2024 at 1:34 am, Georgiaboy61 said:

    The 6.5 PRC was created, if Hornady’s PR is at all accurate, to serve the needs of two possible segments of the market: Long-range hunters, such as elk hunters who might want to take a 300-yard shot across a canyon or the like, and LR precision shooters, such as those who engage in the PRS (precision rifle series).

    Regarding mountain hunters, those after elk and other species in rugged terrain, the 6.5 PRC is something of a solution in search of a problem, because hunters have had 6.5 Win-Mag for years, not to mention 7mm Rem-Mag and the various iterations of 6.8mm/.277-caliber as well.

    Hornady claims the PRC is a more-efficient cartridge than its competitors, thanks to more-pronounced shoulder, and longer neck – which allows seating of long, high-BC/high-SD projectiles without using up as much space for propellant as in older designs. These changes, in tandem with the faster twist rates on 6.5 PRC rifles than some competitors, allow the hunter to use heavy-for-caliber high BC bullets more effectively than in barrels with slower twist rates.

    Whether any of this matters to the typical elk or other hunter is an open question. Only the individual will know whether or not these new features will be enough to induce him to purchase one of these rifles rather than use his grand-dad’s 270 or 6.5 Win-Mag instead.

    The 6.5 PRC offers some attractive advantages to competitive LR target shooters, but again, are they enough to justify the cost of another rifle, when 6.5 Creedmoor does most of what it will do, and with less felt-recoil?

    Since many rifles in 6.5 CM already have fast twist rates in the 1:8.5 or 1:8 range, which is the same as many rifles in 6.5 PRC, what precisely is gained, other than maybe 150-200 fps extra MV? That fancy new 6.5 PRC can’t shoot heavy higher-BC bullets than its standard cousin, so why bother?

    And in PRS competition, extra recoil can cause you to miss shots or not to score as highly as you might have done otherwise or using a less-potent cartridge. A lot of the guys in that community are looking for less recoil and not more, for that very reason.

  2. On April 11, 2024 at 9:03 am, Ken said:

    I am glad to pass on the drama. Somehow, my 1909 Argie 06 is still taking down game, not by me but my nephew (how did I get so old?). My son in laws don’t hunt. So it went to my sister’s son. Took his third mulie last season. Plans on elk next season. He still has 60 year old Outdoor Life and Field and Stream magazines I got from my Dad’s brother. Likes to re read them while sitting in front of the fireplace on cold nights. Kid’s a keeper.

  3. On April 11, 2024 at 1:30 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    Meant to say .264 Win-Mag when I wrote 6.5 Win-Mag… more or less the same thing, but a slight correction….

  4. On April 11, 2024 at 9:29 pm, X said:

    Pah.

    6.5×55 Swedish for the win…

  5. On April 12, 2024 at 12:55 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    @X

    The 6.5×55 has been getting it done for 130 years! That’s a tough track record to beat…

    Because of all of the vintage surplus M98 bolt-actions out there chambered for 6.5 Swedish, the reloading data for the 6.5×55 is generally pretty tame, but if you are using the cartridge in a modern rifle made with high-quality steel and rated for hunting ammunition, you can load 6.5×55 considerably hotter than that, or just buy off-the-shelf loads. At its true potential, it slots in somewhere in-between 6.5CM and 6.5PRC. There’s really not a lot that these newer ‘wonder cartridges’ can do that the old Swede can’t….

    Conventional wisdom says that it is too mild for taking large game, but the 6.5x55mm has been used in Scandinavia for well over a century to take game as large as moose, reindeer and bear, typically when loaded with 160-grain round-nose slugs. The excellent sectional density of the round allows it to punch well above its weight.

    Some professional hunters in Africa recommend it for use on plains (thin-skinned) game, for the same reasons.

  6. On April 13, 2024 at 8:47 am, MN Steel said:

    Those were the days, when the wife looked at you crazy because shipping was twice what you paid for the product…

    https://forum.cartridgecollectors.org/t/6-5×55-ammo-available-posted-for-info-only-no-need-to-reply/38983

    Never seen this deal on anything else in the last decade or so, and won’t again until sone of the gun-preppers are willing to trade spam cans for cans of spam….

  7. On April 13, 2024 at 10:27 am, Ned said:

    Seems popular to use a short barrel and then hang a can on the front, for a rifle that now weighs more on the front than a rifle with a longer tube.

  8. On April 13, 2024 at 4:19 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    @Ned

    Re: “Seems popular to use a short barrel and then hang a can on the front, for a rifle that now weighs more on the front than a rifle with a longer tube.”

    Off-topic, but isn’t that precisely what the army did with its fancy new wonder-rifle, the XM7 “next-generation” rifle in 6.8x51mm? If my info is correct, stock/OEM barrel length is 13 inches, with a permanently affixed suppressor.

    I get it that the army wants a system capable of handling ceramic body armor now appearing up in the hands of our would-be adversaries, but was this project really the best way to go about achieving that goal? I’d argue not… and here’s why…

    In order to meet the high performance bar set by the requirements for 6.8×51 cartridge, and working with such a short barrel, Sig-Sauer had to innovate to create new and as-yet largely untested (in the real world and combat, I mean) ammunition technology involving the use of hybrid case technology. Specifically, they are using a three-part case composed of a steel case head, brass body and lock ring or washer.

    The case is dimensionally similar to 7.62x51mm (.308 in Imperial units), but necked down to accept a .278-caliber bullet.

    The concerning part is that since the barrel of the rifle is limited to such a short length by the requirement, Sig had to pump up chamber pressure to 80,000 psi, which is roughly 25% higher than the existing 7.62x51mm NATO M80 Ball round now STANAG for NATO, which is at 60191 psi max pressure.

    Higher operating pressure means higher temperatures, greater velocity of moving parts, and accelerated wear, not to mention increased risk of malfunction or breakdown in the field. And that’s just the rifle itself, and not its experimental ammunition. Now, SIG is known as a top company, one that knows its stuff, but the fact of the matter is that this cartridge has not been tested under real-world field and combat conditions. Yes, I am sure that SIG put the prototypes in development through rigorous testing, but that’s not the same as real-world use.

    Wouldn’t it have been easier and cheaper to use a somewhat longer barrel and allow removal of the suppressor as with current systems now in use? That way, the overall length of the weapon + can would be custom-tailored to the needs of the mission, and the overall length could be reduced for transport, use in confined spaces, etc.

    And did the Pentagon/DOD even bother to test the performance of garden-variety M80 AP (armor-piercing) ammunition against the new ceramic body armor? If memory serves, few armor kits offer protection against tungsten carbine penetration. Why spend hard-earned taxpayer dollars when an off-the-shelf solution would work as well?

    But of course, that doesn’t get flag-officers promoted or appointed to defense contractor boards when they retire, or grease the palms and fatten the wallets of big defense firms, now does it?

    There’s more: The army has been testing alternatives to the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge and the weapons which fire it – for many years now, so far without success. The M-16/M-4 series of assault rifles/carbines have now been in service for sixty years, not withstanding continued argument inside/outside the military that the cartridge is not adequate for its current missions.

    So, what does the DOD/Pentagon do? Do they replace the M-16 and 5.56x45mm with a more updated and modern alternative, such as 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel, or 6mm ARC – which would require simply the purchasing of new uppers and perhaps magazines? No, the army and DOD run off in another direction and instead create a new battle rifle, which is what the SIG MCX actually is.

    Man, these guys give me a headache, the way they think!

  9. On April 14, 2024 at 9:15 am, Ned said:

    GB61- 100%. Incidentally, I never had problems hunting in the timber with either a 24 or 26 inch tube. I just didn’t realise at the time how backward I was.

    We tried to get as much power as was practical in our elk hunting rifles in a usable platform. My 7mmUM was still light with a medium weight 26″ tube.

    I always chuckled when I saw a guy who was 50 lbs overweight with a lightweight rifle.

    I can understand a can on a bullpup. A barrel that close to one’s face is likely a menace.

    Still chaps my hide that military has cans on everthing they shoot now, and I’d have to pay a tax and beg government permission for that bit of safety gear.

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You are currently reading "6.5 PRC vs 6.5 Creedmoor", entry #36579 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Ammunition,Firearms,Guns and was published April 10th, 2024 by Herschel Smith.

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