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7MM-08 Rem vs 6.5 Creedmoor

Ballistics Performance Comparison of 7MM-08 Rem vs 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridges

The 7mm-08 Remington and the 6.5 Creedmoor are both tried and true deer hunting cartridges, but there are key differences between them that may make one a better fit for any given hunter. The 7mm-08 Remington will shoot flatter over longer distances, while the 6.5 Creedmoor supplies a low recoil that can help you shoot more accurately. This guide will break down key components of each caliber so you can decide which best suits your hunting style and goals.

7mm-08 Rem vs 6.5 Creedmoor

The following ballistics tables show a side by side comparison of the 7MM-08 Rem vs 6.5 Creedmoor based on bullet weight and various performance metrics including velocity, energy, usage and recoil.

7MM-08 Rem 139 gr vs 6.5 Creedmoor 143 gr Cartridge Comparison Table.

(Note: Bullet grain selected based on most popular hunting usage.)
7MM-08 Remington 6.5 Creedmoor
Bullet Velocity (Muzzle) 2,850 ft/s 2,700 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 100 yds 2,661 ft/s 2,556 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 200 yds 2,480 ft/s 2,417 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 300 yds 2,306 ft/s 2,282 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 400 yds 2,139 ft/s 2,151 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 500 yds 1,980 ft/s 2,025 ft/s
Bullet Energy (Muzzle) 2,507 ft⋅lb 2,315 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 100 yds 2,186 ft⋅lb 2,075 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 200 yds 1,899 ft⋅lb 1,855 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 300 yds 1,642 ft⋅lb 1,654 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 400 yds 1,413 ft⋅lb 1,470 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 500 yds 1,209 ft⋅lb 1,302 ft⋅lb
Usage @ 0 yds Toughest Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 100 yds Toughest Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 200 yds Large Game Large Game
Usage @ 300 yds Large Game Large Game
Usage @ 400 yds Medium Game Large Game
Usage @ 500 yds Medium Game Medium Game
Recoil Energy 12.6 9.1
Recoil Velocity 10.1 8.2
Recoil Score* 2.59 2.23
*Cartridge ballistics, usage and recoil figures taken from Sportsman's Warehouse rifle ballistics and rifle recoil tables. Recoil score based on weighted average of recoil energy and recoil velocity normalized between 1 and 10.

Velocity

If you’re looking to race these two calibers, you have to analyze their speeds at different distances, as the winner does not stay the same. Right out of the muzzle, the 7mm-08 has a lead of 150 ft/s – not a huge difference, but certainly not nothing. However, that advantage has narrowed to just 24 ft/s at 300 yards – and from there on out, the Creedmoor takes the lead. We see the 6.5 Creedmoor with a small advantage of 12 ft/s at 400 yards, which it widens to 45 ft/s by the time we reach 500 yards.

Energy

The 7mm-08 Remington and the 6.5 Creedmoor are very well-matched calibers in terms of energy. The 7mm-08 is leaving the muzzle with an extra 192 ft-lbs of energy over the Creedmoor. However, thanks to the 6.5 Creedmoor’s aerodynamic bullets, it does start to take the lead over longer distances. At 300 yards, the Creedmoor has snuck ahead by 12 ft-lbs, and by 400 yards, its advantage has grown to 52 ft-lbs. These differences are largely negligible, and will vary depending on the weight of the bullet used.

Trajectory

Thanks to its increased energy out of the gate, the 7mm-08 will fly a bit flatter than the 6.5 Creedmoor. For 140 grain bullets zeroed at 200 yards, you’ll see an 8.6” drop on the Creedmoor at 300 yards, compared to a 7.5” drop on the 7mm-08. The difference gets larger at longer distances: by the time we reach 500 yards, we see a 49.6” drop on the Creedmoor compared to a 43.7” drop on the 7mm-08.

The calibers are extremely well-matched in susceptibility to wind drift, which measures the bullet’s stray when faced with a 10mph crosswind. At 100 yards, a 140 grain 7mm-08 and a 140 grain 6.5 Creedmoor will both drift 0.7”. At 300 yards, the 7mm-08 will drift 6.4” compared to the Creedmoor’s 6.6”; and at 500 yards, the 7mm-08 will drift 19.0”, compared to the Creedmoor’s 19.7”.

Recoil

We’ve seen that these calibers are very evenly matched when it comes to energy and velocity, though the 7mm-08 has the advantage in trajectory. However, when it comes to recoil, we see a big difference in these calibers in favor of the 6.5 Creedmoor. The 6.5 Creedmoor has a reputation as a mild-shooting cartridge, and let’s just say the 7mm-08 does not have that reputation. Remember, recoil can affect your accuracy as a shooter, which is vital to ensure a clean, ethical kill.

Versatility

These calibers have been tried and tested for deer and other medium game, and you can’t go wrong with either one. Many hunters consider them on the lighter side for larger game such as elk, though they have certainly been used to take elk and more. Thanks to its increased energy, the 6.5 Creedmoor can take larger game at slightly longer distances than the 7mm-08 – however, you’ll need to correct more for bullet drop at these distances. The 6.5 Creedmoor also comes in a wider range of bullet weights, which could make it a better choice for hunters looking to target smaller game as well.

Price & Availability

Both of these cartridges are very popular. This means it is very easy to find ammunition for them, as most major retails will have several options available. The 6.5 Creedmoor is just a bit more popular and thus easier to shop for. Handloaders can also find reloading components with some ease, as there are plenty of choices in bullets and other necessities. Price will vary on the manufacturer and sales outlet, but both rounds can generally be found fairly inexpensively.

Size Comparison

Both the 7mm-08 Remington and the 6.5 Creedmoor use a rimless bottlenecked case, with a rim diameter of .473”. They are similar in size, but the bullets themselves are different diameters: .284” for the 7mm-08, compared to .264” for the 6.5 Creedmoor. This extra bullet in the 7mm-08 can make a significant difference in stopping power. The 6.5 Creedmoor’s case is a bit shorter, but it still has a greater capacity because the case of the 7mm-08 has a flatter shoulder. This means the Creedmoor can be loaded to a higher pressure. Bullet size is a major difference between these cartridges: the 7mm-08 is usually used with 120-160 grain bullets, while the 6.5 Creedmoor has a wider range of 95-160 grain bullets.

Rifle Type

Both the 7mm-08 Remington and the 6.5 Creedmoor are specifically designed to be chambered in short-action rifles. This means that you can get a lighter, smaller rifle, which makes a big difference if you intend to trek across the backcountry for many miles. They are typically chambered in bolt action rifles. Since the 6.5 Creedmoor is just a bit more popular, you will likely find a wider selection of 6.5 Creedmoor rifles.

Which Caliber is Best?

The best choice of caliber ultimately depends on what your hunting goals are, and what your skills are. If shooting a flat trajectory over longer distances is important to you, and you appreciate the extra oomph offered by a larger bullet, the 7mm-08 Remington has the advantage. However, if you are not shooting at distances where the flatter trajectory makes a difference, or you want to shoot with less toll on your shoulder or your accuracy due to recoil, the 6.5 Creedmoor just might be the way to go.

Disclaimer: Sportsman's Warehouse assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions of the information on this page. Although we strive to provide the most accurate information as we can the information contained in this page is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.