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Old August 30, 2008, 03:52 PM   #1
petru
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The real truth about the new 6.5 Creedmoor v/s the .308

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One of the big topics in the Gun rags is the new 6.5 Creedmoore cartridge. It's the usual yada, yada, yada. It's the latest and greatest so go out and buy one right away.

Lets look at the truth about the new cartridge (something you will not find in the gun rags).

Is it an accurate cartridge, yes. It has the potential (with modifications) to the rifle for shooting consistent ½ inch groups. But will an off the shelf rifle do it. Most likely it will not without modifications. More on this later.

Is it better than the .308. For all practical purposes, no. This statement you will never see in the gun rags.

The 6.5 Creedmoore development came about because Dave Tubb, a famous high power rifle shooter was looking for an accurate, efficient cartridge with low recoil which results in the low fatigue factor when shooting the national match course. This he achieved. But should the average guy scrape out his match grade .308 rifle for the newer 6.5 Creedmoore. I would say no unless your bank account is unlimited, as your gain in accuracy is hardly worth discussing. In my own testing the difference was barely noticeable between the match grade .308 and the Creedmoore. Recoil was slightly less with the 6.5.

Now here is the real draw back, and one that is not discussed in the Gun Rags. The barrel life with the 6.5 Creedmoore is a scant 4,000 rounds. Sounds like a lot of barrel life to the once a year hunter but to the target shooter as you are talking about less than a 2 year barrel life. The .308 will go at least 6,000 and if given good care can go as long as 8,000 rounds. This is from my experience and the experience of some of my fellow shooters that I have competed with.

As a matter of fact if I decide to someday get an AR in a 6.5 caliber is will not be in the expensive to buy 6.5 Creedmoore case but it would be in the .260 Remington caliber as I can make all the brass I want out of .308 cases which is much cheaper than buying the super expensive 6.5 Creedmoore cases. The .260 also has more powder capacity if I want to go to the heavier bullets. It must be remembered that the Creedmoore was designed to shoot the 120 grain and 140 grain pills not the heavier 160 grain bullets. Which by the way there is a very big lack of in the match grade bullets for sale by the bullet making companies. This of course is a very big mistake as the heavier slugs, even though they travel a bit slower would be better in the wind but the recoil would also be more of a factor.

With my various .308 match guns, given that you have a scope of 20 power or higher, a match grade trigger that goes off in the ounces, not the pounds and you are using match grade ammo will consistently shoot just a hair over ½ inch for 5 shots at 100 yards. The 6.5 calibers will consistently shoot ½ inch under the same conditions. But it will not do it with a stock AR15 gun with their very bad triggers. A match trigger (in the ounces) is a must for either the 6.5 or .308 calibers. This hardly justifies scrapping out any expensive match grade .308 rifle you may already own. Again this fair comparison will never been discussed in any gun rags. It is there job to sell new guns not give a fair analysis of any new cartridge or firearm that has recently come on the market.

Now we come to another problem in the AR guns. The trigger. Although Jewel makes an outstanding trigger for the AR .223 frame guns, it does not for the larger frame 6.5 Creedmoore gun. A quick call to the Jewell factor gave me the response that a person could install their trigger in the large frame AR15 but they would not guarantee it would not occasionally misfire. A friend of mine will soon do some testing on a .308 AR with the Jewel trigger to see if how many, if any misfires he gets.

Another call to a different trigger manufacturer by the name of Geissele stated that his trigger will work in the large frame AR guns. But here is the rub. My friend purchases the trigger and he was not impressed with it as much as the supper quality Jewel trigger.

One think I almost forgot to mention and that is that the Creedmoore cartridge is straighter and not as tapered as the .260 Remington. Gun-smithing 101 will tell you that a tapered cartridge has a tendency to feed better and extract better especially when the chamber is very dirty. Again the .260 Remington is the better cartridge.

The .260 Remington after becoming almost extinct in hunting rifles because of the lack of heavy bullets for it this round just may have risen like a Phoenix from its own ashes and have a new lease on life in target shooting. I think if the public and the ammo makers had been up on their history they would have realized that 6.5 cartridges like the 6.5 Rimmed Mannlicher and 6.5 Mannlicher-Schoenauer(rimless) were killing big game as big as elephants 100years ago and doing it with heavy 160 grain bullets a moderate velocities. Today with the "velocity is everything school of thought" any bullet traveling less than 3,000 fps is considered completely useless to all except the people have hunted all their lives with "classic cartridges" and know how good they really are.
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Old August 30, 2008, 04:39 PM   #2
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I might be combining your two posts, but I'm thinking about having an old K98 Mauser rebarreled in .308!
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Old August 30, 2008, 05:01 PM   #3
globemaster3
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Amazing Petru how you joined today and posted 3 publishing quality editorials with not so much as a hint of banter. Confirm you are not just copying this from some online gun journal and pasting here?
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Old August 30, 2008, 05:04 PM   #4
petru
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Thank you very, very much Globe master thats by far the highest compliment I have ever received in my life. I assure you it was not lifted from anyone else, its mine exclusively. When you been shooting and collecting for over 50 years you do learn a few things (mostly the hard way).
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Old August 30, 2008, 05:11 PM   #5
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I'm glad to be able to offer that as a compliment vs admonishment. You've got some of the best thought out, clearly written articles I've seen on here. Wish I could have relied on your writing style for my Masters graduate research proposal.
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Old August 30, 2008, 09:22 PM   #6
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Now here is the real draw back, and one that is not discussed in the Gun Rags. The barrel life with the 6.5 Creedmoore is a scant 4,000 rounds. Sounds like a lot of barrel life to the once a year hunter but to the target shooter as you are talking about less than a 2 year barrel life. The .308 will go at least 6,000 and if given good care can go as long as 8,000 rounds
I don't have a 6.5 Creedmore, heck I own .223, 308 and 30-06 match rifles.

However I have buds who do regularly shoot 6mm and 6.5 mm rifles in Highpower and Long range competition.

The typical "accuracy' life of a 6.5 mm is around 1500 rounds, I think the 6mm cartridge adds a couple hundred rounds on that.

A 308 barrel is good for 5000 rounds.

Barrels are not all the same, a barrel made from an exceptionally soft lot of steel will shoot out faster than one that is harder. So barrels will have a plus or minus factor.

You can still shoot perfect scores at 300 yards with barrels that won't group worth a darn at 600 yards.
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Old August 30, 2008, 09:27 PM   #7
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but I'm thinking about having an old K98 Mauser rebarreled in .308!
SACRILEGE!!!
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Old August 31, 2008, 09:49 AM   #8
petru
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However I have buds who do regularly shoot 6mm and 6.5 mm rifles in Highpower and Long range competition.

The typical "accuracy' life of a 6.5 mm is around 1500 rounds, I think the 6mm cartridge adds a couple hundred rounds on that.
If you are speaking of the 6.5-284 then I agree with you as it is known for very short barrel life.

On the other hand the 6.5 creedmoore, 6.5 Rem. will go 4,000 rounds. The smaller 6.5 Mannlicher and 6.5 Japanese will generally go much more than 4,000 rounds.

You do not mention which 6mm cartridge as there are many target variations of the 6mm bore size especiall in bench rest shooting.

Several friends of mine that have tried ..243 Winchesters have all told me that they got very low milage out of their barrels,some with as little as 2,000 rounds.
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Old August 31, 2008, 11:28 AM   #9
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Several friends of mine that have tried ..243 Winchesters have all told me that they got very low milage out of their barrels,some with as little as 2,000 rounds.
Hey petru, got a question for you. I have heard about the short barrel life issue with the .243. Another rumor I have heard is that the 6mm Remington gives superior barrel life because of the longer case neck. The reasoning being the erosive high pressure propellant gases don't come into contact with the barrel as quickly as the 243.

Any truth to this?
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Old August 31, 2008, 02:42 PM   #10
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Dezynko,It certainly can be done,to rebarrel a Mauser to .308.One caution,the action was designed for a certain case taper.The .308 is a little fatter at the shoulder.It doesn't stack and feed in the Mauser very well sometimes without modification.I would not count on it being just a rebarrel job.

Do you know about the Montana Rifleman action?
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Old August 31, 2008, 02:59 PM   #11
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Very nice article petru always makes me happy to read about how good the 6.5mm is lol. Since i will be proving my dad wrong with my .260 when it gets here, by killing a elk. Anyways nice article enjoyed reading it. Got a question to. Do you think the .260 will be around in 20 years, or is gaining more popularity?
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Old August 31, 2008, 03:27 PM   #12
petru
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I have heard that one of the problems with the .243 v/s the 6mm Remington was the throating in the .243 was different than the 6mm Rem. The .243 throating was supposedly changed sometime down the road after that to give it better barrel life. Weather this really had anything to do with the problem of throat wash out I cannot say for sure.

As far as the 6.5 being around for another 20 years it will for sure be around in Europe as it has always been a very popular bullet diameter. The Swede's regularly shoot Moose with it.

I once shot some factory Swedish ammo out of my 96 military Swede gun and it was loaded so hot I was afraid the gun was going to come apart but the Swedes use this stuff all the time. I guess this dispels the myth that small ring Mauser actions will not take high pressure loads.

The Europeans have also used and still use other 6.5 calibers besides the 6.5x55. One of the very good ones is the 6.5x57 which is almost unheard of here in the U.S. The rimmed 6.5 Mannlicher and the rimless 6.5 Mannlicher are also used.

If your interested in a great read in the year 1900 Agnes Herbert and her cousin hunted Africa, and Russia all alone with no men and also Alaska (with their boyfriends in Alaska) using the 6.5 rimmed Mannlicher. She wrote three books one for each continent she hunted on. The description of the life of the indigenous people she encountered is worth the read alone not to mention the hair raising animal charges that almost killed her in Russia (a bear) and the animals that almost got her in Africa. In those days of the 1900's two young beautiful women traveling alone and of all things hunting alone was almost unheard of. To say they raised a few eyebrows in their day is an understatement.

There is one true story in the Alaskan book about Marital infidelity that is so hilarious it made me almost fall off my chair with laughter. My how little people have changed in 100 years. The story could have been written for a soap opera today.

The Alaskan book written by Herbert is quite easy to find but the other two are very rare. I found it very interesting when she mentioned how many Russians were living in Alaska in this time period.
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Old August 31, 2008, 08:24 PM   #13
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Plural

I believe the "meese" is the correct plural.
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Old September 2, 2008, 12:53 PM   #14
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If I was making a semi-custom, high accuracy rifle, then I'd be looking at the 6.5x47 Lapua. Not only can you get Lapua brass for it, the case uses a small rifle primer fro better consistancy.




-tINY

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Old September 7, 2008, 12:03 AM   #15
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The Creedmor doesn't do anything that a 260, a 6.5x47 lapua, or a 6.5x55 doesn't already do. It's just so stylish to introduce a proprietary cartridge right now. And I think most people buy a 6.5 because they're tired of lobbing in 308s, not because they're Fudds looking for an 8000 round barrel life. It doesn't bother the long range guys I know a bit to replace a barrel at 3-4000 rounds.

Build it on a Savage, and when you shoot the barrel out (which I dream of!), you spend $300 on a new match barrel, and put it on yourself in 30 minutes, in the garage.
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Old September 7, 2008, 08:30 AM   #16
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I know, I know!

But Darren007, this rifle had been "bubbaized" when I bought it. I mainly bought it for the action anyway. The military stock had been chopped down and re-shaped, the original sights are gone, and the barrel is nearly shot out. I'm a big .308 fan, so why not make something nice out of the old girl instead of letting it sit on some pawn shop gun rack collecting dust, with the chance that some knucklehead that doesn't appreciate what it is use it as a "truck gun". I will never be worth much like it is, even if I tried to restore it to it's original battle configuration.


HiBC, I've not heard of the Montana Rifleman action, so I'll look it up.
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Old September 7, 2008, 11:29 AM   #17
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I think Hornady would have done better to have brought out a premium grade .260 Rem. with really good brass. The only thing I have heard against the .260 was dodgy Remington brass which requires a lot of sorting and preparation... or necking down .308 Lapua.

I think the 6.5 Creedmoor will be a dead end for them, like the .30 TC and .308 Marlin Express. Advantages which only appear in magazine articles don't last well.

One story on barrel life, I saw a LR shooter who said his .308 was shooting well the last time out at 4600 rounds fired have complete failure trying to stretch it to 4700. It would not stay on the six foot backer at 1000 yards.
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Old December 18, 2008, 04:36 PM   #18
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First time here, I saw this blog on google and wanted to add my side of the story.
6.5 creedmoor vs 308 is no comparison when it comes to cheating the wind even a 300 win mag doesn't stand a chance.

Here is some ballistic data for comparison.
6.5 creedmoor or 260 Rem bolt action with 30 inch barrel f-class rig.
308 palma rifle 30 inch barrel.
300 win mag with 28 inch barrel bench rest rig.
none of these are factory rifles.
All are safe loads either at or below chamber pressure max recommendations.
The ballistic data was taken from eskimo joe.com/-jbm.
70 degrees 70 percent humidity 10 mph wind sea level 29.92 in of mercury for barometric pressure.

lets start off with the big boomer the 300 win mag, shooting 210 grain berger vld at 2800 fps.
drop at 600 yards is 78.6 inches or 12.5 moa, drift is 20.4 inches or 3.3 moa
drop at 1000 yards is 294 inches or 28.1 moa drift is 63.9 inches or 6.1 moa

now to the 308 shooting palma required 155 grain bullet and I'll use berger since it has the highest bc value and since this is a palma rifle the speed is 2900 fps.
drop at 600 yards is 80.1 inches or 12.8 moa, drift is 27.1 inches or 4.3 moa
drop at 1000 yards is 323.1 inches or 30.9 moa, drift is 88.3 inches or 8.4moa


now the 6.5 mm bullet. either a 260 or creedmoor both have been about the same on the line.
this is a 6.5 mm 140 grain vld berger bullet traveling at 2900 fps.
drop at 600 yards 72.9 inches or 11.6 moa drift is 19.9 inches or 3.2 moa
drop at 1000 yards is 274.4 inches or 26.2 moa drift is 62.2 inches or 5.9 moa


Now add another 50 or 100 fps and you'll be shooting a 6.5 x 284 and the ballistics are even better but barrel life is now the same as the 300 win mag.

Now I will admit if you are shooting a gas gun it will be back down to the ballistics of the other two calibers.

Barrel life for the creedmoor or 260 is around 4000 competitive rounds maybe 5000 depending on how hot the loads were and cleaning regimen.

That's pretty close to the 308 barrel life.

now I have shot a lot of 30 cals in 300 saum, 300 win mag, 30-338, 30-06, 308, and I have shot some 284 cals in 7mmsaum (actually necked down 300 saum to 7mm to get long necks) I have shot the 6.5 x 284, I have shot the 6mm's mainly 6mmbr and 243, even 223's.
the creedmoor may just be my favorite as far as barrel life, low recoil, cost per round (including barrel cost) and the high bc slippery in the wind.
I use 7mm-08 winchester brass with no issues.
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Old December 19, 2008, 08:20 AM   #19
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Actually, the Creedmore will do one thing the 260 won't. The dimensions of the cartridge allow one to seat a 140 without the base of the bullet extending below the neck/shoulder junction and still feed from a standard 308 length box magazine. There is some indication that this should increase accuracy.

Zak Smith did a good writeup of the Creedmore.
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Old December 19, 2008, 09:02 AM   #20
Jim Watson
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Quote:
I use 7mm-08 winchester brass with no issues.
Is that to form Creedmoor or .260?
I guess it would work for either, though.
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Old December 20, 2008, 09:57 PM   #21
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You have to trim to length after sizing cause it will be way long, (it is usually somewhere around the 2.040 range so I trim back to the 1.915 which is 5 thousands under my chamber case length) but I consider that normal case prep and I don't get the dreaded donut like with lapua brass.
A slight fire form is necessary and that will make the shoulders crisp and you may still need to trim. I also anneal after a few reloadings.
The no issues was meaning no primer pocket problems like some have with the softer Hornady brass, but I have heard Hornady has rectified the problem.

I had thought of designing a longer creedmoor with the same taper and to have the shoulder at 1.5598 like the 308 parent case, but with a case length of 2.035 like the 260, change the shoulder angle to 35 degrees like the 284 case, you wouldn't gain any powder capacity over the 260 but it should be a little more efficient than the 260, and possibly get you closer to the velocites of the 6.5 x 284. Plus I shoot a single shot bolt action so I am not worried about magazine length.
Maybe next project down the road.
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Old December 21, 2008, 12:24 AM   #22
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Petru, while I agree with everything you say, 100%, I have to ask, "So what?"

The Creedmoore is being marketed as an across the course target cartridge. As such, it is highly specialized, and one would not be put off at any of the "drawbacks" that you outline. Most shooters I know that are putting $2,500+ into a target rifle aren't going to worry about setting the barrel back and rechambering in a couple of years. And most competitors I know are not hung up on a long action AR platform.

I don't see the Creedmoore eating into the 308 market, or any other market. OTOH, there is a good deal of knowledge that can come out of a new cartridge that is more efficient than than the 308 Win.

Now, I love the 260 Rem. Is it truly a "better" cartridge? In many respects, it is. But maybe not as an across the course target cartridge. Time will tell.

Oh, and I think your point about less tapered cases and dirty chambers is more of an indictment of direct gas impingement platforms than "improved" case design. Most turnbolt target rifles are rarely affected by dirty chambers.

One of the great things I love about America is the choices we have.
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Old January 8, 2009, 11:15 PM   #23
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wow, what an ignorant statement about the creedmoor. The real fact when it comes to maximizing ballistics in a short action is that the 6.5 smashes on the .308. Not only does the creedmoor have less drop, it has less wind drift, and more energy at extended ranges with less recoil. It has the edge on the .308 hands down, and does the .260 rem, 6.5x47L. The VLD type bullets in the 6.5 140grn class have a higher BC than anything the 308 can push. There are also many, many great bullets available in 6.5, Berger vlds, SMK's, A-Max, Scenars, in 120 to 142grns all have high BC and slip through the wind. As for cost, last I checked, Hornady 6.5 creedmoor ammo is cheaper than good 308 match ammo. As for the creed vs the 260, well it could go either way here as far a ballistics. Both are nearly identical. The creed is a tad shorter in over all length will less case capacity, but that will allow you to seat longer heavy bullets into a short action without the bullet intruding into the case. The creedmoor also has a stronger case design than the .260 with a sharper 30 degree shoulder. On the other hand the .260 might feed better out of a magazine because it does have more body taper. As for killing power, the 6.5 has proven it's self for over 100 years in Europe. The 6.5x55 has killed many Moose and done it well. Thin, heavy bullets with high SD's penetrate a long way. I can't understand why Americans don't like 6.5s?
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Old January 9, 2009, 12:13 AM   #24
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.


The 6.5 Creedmoor is a specialty cartridge for guys looking for more X's
across the course and at 1000.

i.e. pros and top competitors fighting the wind, mirage, and various mental/body
fatigues.

If you are not shooting master scores, you don't need to go there.

It was developed by David Emary and Dennis DeMille.

G. David Tubb shoots the 6XC the last time I looked. This is another
specialty cartridge designed to shoot a 115 grain 6mm VLD type bullet.
He says this is the ideal across-the-course cartridge.

These guys focus on performance. If they can come up with something
that will give them an edge they will do it. G. David Tubb is a NO
compromises type guy. Same with DeMille. Of course, either one
could beat me with a gun chambered for 30-30.

If you want history of 6.5 Creedmoor go here --

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDtu_sM7Pow


If you want to read about the 6XC go here --

http://www.6mmbr.com/6XC.html

.
.

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Old January 9, 2009, 12:27 AM   #25
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Today with the "velocity is everything school of thought" any bullet traveling less than 3,000 fps is considered completely useless to all except the people have hunted all their lives with "classic cartridges" and know how good they really are.
Um, somebody needs to talk with some high power shooter. Its not about velocity, its about accuracy. Velocity is not Accuracy.

Take the standard 80 SMK 223 load in service rifle, used at 600-1000 yards in an AR, Vel is between 2600 & 2700 fps.

In the 308, the round used in service rifles (Match) is 2550 FPS. The ISU 300 meter rifle in 308 is loaded to about 2200 fps. The army determined a while back that was the accurate speed range for the ISU.

As far as Mr Tubbs 6.5, it works, regardless of any of our opinions Mr Tubbs knows what he's doing when it comes to highpower and long range shooting.
I dont own a 6.5 Creedmore, but I've seen um shoot. If one is serious about target shooting, it would be worth a look see.

What we shouldnt do, is condemn ones choice of a rifle/round just because we like something else.

If you dont like a certain round, then state why, based on your experience with that round and/or rifle.

Regardless, Tubbs 6.5 works. Hard to dispute that. Like I said, I dont own one, and don't see getting one in the future. I'll stick to the service rifle for my highpower, and that limits me to the 223 and 308. I'll be long gone before the Army comes up with an new service round that DCM will allow in Service Rifle Matches. Which is fine, I'm finding the 223 works in highpower and 1000 yard matche.
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