A lot of arguments can be made for using both of these cartridges, and while you will find many giving high praise to the 6.5 CM, we still think the .243 Win has a lot going for it. Some might think of the as new vs. old school, but we don’t see it from that angle. To us, it’s two cartridges that both have the ability to do amazing things in the right hands.
There is quite a lot of overlap in the shooting applications of these cartridges, and it’s easy to get off track and start thinking about which cartridge is the all around best between the two. But like all of our cartridge comparisons, we are not here to eventually label one cartridge as king over the other. We simply want to look at the numbers and let them lead us to which cartridge is better suited for certain applications.
A Brief History
Some might not be very interested where these cartridges come from, but we think having a little background on the cartridges up for discussion helps you understand why they were introduced and their importance to hunters and competitive shooters alike. While short and abridged, there are countless
While still off the radar for a lot of sportsmen, the 6.5 Creedmoor is has been on the scene for quite some time now. Albeit, not to the extent of some of the more popular hunting and range rounds. Still, it has been around long enough for us to begin to fully understand its capabilities and its limitations.
The 6.5 CM was introduced to the shooting world in 2008 and filled the void of other 6mm rounds that were needing extremely high pressures to get the long range performance wanted. The design of the 6.5 Creedmoor allowed for a long and slender bullet to be used in the casing without taking up room in the casing that could be reserved for more powder. More importantly, the streamlined bullet would not need as much force behind it to get it to behave accurately at long ranges. The precision shooter’s dream.
The 6.5 CM is rapidly becoming one of the favorite cartridges for long range competition shooting. Its popularity has not nearly taken off in the hunting world, but we have seen a lot better hunting rounds come onto the market, and hunters, who by trade defend their familial hunting round to the grave, are beginning to see the advantages the cartridge.
Unlike the 6.5 CM, the .243 Win has a much deeper history. Introduced to the shooting world in 1955, the .243 or “baby brother of the .308”, is a necked down version of the .308 Win. At the time, this cartridge offered a cartridge that filled a large niche in the hunting world.
What this cartridge offered was a long range hunting round that was able to take lighter bullets that were more suitable for target shooting and varmint hunting. While an excellent range and varmint round, it is also a known deer killer, though as we will see, these rounds are only suitable for much shorter ranges. Still, it shows you the versatility of the .243 Win.
The .243 was and still is a popular round in the United States, and its emergence into the shooting gave hunters a very versatile round that could be used in a variety of hunting situations. There is a range of bullet weight options for the .243 Win. These can range from 55 to 115gr, though most hunting cartridges top out at the 100gr weight.
.243 vs 6.5 Creedmoor Specs
|6.5 CM||.243 Win|
|Parent Casing||.30 TC||.308 Win|
|Max Pressure (SAAMI)||62,000psi||60,000psi|
From these cartridge specs, we see some interesting similarities between the two. The 6.5 CM accepts a slightly larger caliber bullet than the .243 Win and has a slightly longer overall cartridge length. Both are also able to hold a similar amount of powder.
What is unique about the 6.5 CM is how shallow the bullet sets in the casing when compared to the .243. This is a big advantage for several reasons and is also why a lot of shooters who hand load their brass really like this cartridge. It frees up a lot of space in the casing for extra powder, that is usually just left free with most factory loads.
The 6.5 Creedmoor can take heavier bullets than the .243 Win. Still, both cartridges are not too far off in their dimensions. It will be interesting to see how these small differences influence their ballistic and other performance categories.
To do this, we have selected five rounds from each cartridge that encompass a range of bullet weights as well as popular factory loads for both hunting and range shooting. We do like to mention that this selection is only a small sample size for what is available on the market, but for clarity and length purposes, we have to narrow down to only ten selections which are listed below.
- 6.5 CM Hornady ELD Match 120gr
- 6.5 CM Hornady ELD Match 147gr
- 6.5 CM Nosler Match Grade Custom Bullet Tip 140gr
- 6.5 CM Winchester Expedition Big Game Long Range 142gr
- 6.5 CM Nosler Ballistic Tip 140gr
- 243 Winchester Super-X Power Point 100gr
- 243 Hornady Superformance Varmint V-Max 58gr
- 243 Remington Core-Lokt PSP 100gr
- 243 Federal Vital-Shok Nosler Ballistic Tip 95gr
- 243 Nosler Varmageddon FB Tipped 55gr
Another brief topic we want to address before moving on is the data we are looking at. These are factory loads, and the performance data we are looking at comes from the manufacturer’s website and well trusted and accurate ballistic performance calculators. While this is fine for comparing specific rounds, it doesn’t mean that the numbers are set in stone.
Shooting these rounds from your personal platform might result in slightly slower velocities or different trajectories when compared to this data or another shooter. It’s a common occurrence, and unless you have access to all of the cartridges, firearms chambered for them, and the instruments to take measurements, computer generated data is the best source of comparison and will be consistent from round to round. What we are saying is that the differences in performance here will translate to differences in performance for you when using the same firearms.
While recoil is a category that does warrant inspection, we assume that like us, most hunters and marksmen with a deal of experience are more concerned with other areas of comparison. Still, recoil can be daunting for newcomers to the sport and might play a role in the decision-making process.
For this reason, we are going to spend a little time discussing it in the context of the 6.5 Creedmoor vs 243. Right off the bat, we will come and say that there are many more cartridges with much fiercer recoil than these two that we are comparing. Still, some might be interested in how these two stack up to one another.
We used a ballistics calculator to generate the recoil energy (ft.lbs) generated from firing each of the ten factory loads that we have chosen for comparison. Quite a few factors can influence the recoil such as bullet weight, the amount of powder, as well as the firearm weight. For comparison, we have kept the firearm weight constant for each round and have picked a conservative powder charge for each cartridge that remained constant.
We should also note that the recoil energy is different from the “felt recoil” or kick that you feel when firing. Though, the amount of recoil energy that is generated should translate to the amount of felt recoil.
So, let’s take a look at the recoil energy generated from the ten factory loads.
From this graph, we see that the 6.5 CM rounds have anywhere from 3-9 more ft.lbs of energy than the .243 Win rounds. It’s pretty obvious that the 6.5 CM rounds generate more recoil, but we have to put it into perspective. The amount of recoil that the 6.5 CM rounds are generating are relatively light compared to other hunting and long range rounds.
The .243 rounds generate considerably less recoil, which is expected for rounds using lighter bullets with similar powder loads. These rounds barely surpass the 10ft.lbs marks and is a characteristic that makes this cartridge one of the more popular for young sportsmen.
While the .243 rounds present less recoil, both it and the 6.5 CM can be easily handled by most shooters.
For anyone looking to decide between two cartridges, the ballistics are going to be their main source of comparison. Regardless of whether you are choosing a cartridge for hunting purposes or competing, understanding how your cartridge behaves once shot is critical to successful shooting.
In this section, we will take a look at several ballistic categories including the velocity, the ballistic coefficients, as well as the short and long range trajectory of the two cartridges we are comparing. These categories will help us determine which applications each cartridge is better suited for.
The velocity is a key performance characteristic when it comes to comparing cartridges or just understanding your round of choice. Velocity is not a characteristic that sits apart from other categories; it actually has a major influence on just about all of them. It influences recoil, it influences trajectory, and it even influences stopping power of the bullet. Just by knowing the velocity of the bullet and how well it maintains its speeds along its flight path can tell you a lot about the terminal ballistics.
Velocity can even be associated with accuracy. If the bullet is stabilized well and has high velocities, it is less likely to be affected by environmental factors that often pull bullets off course. With that being said, you can have a hot round, with the wrong twist rate and a bad shot, and now the velocity doesn’t make a lick of difference.
It’s a concept you should always have in the back of your mind when comparing cartridges. You can have all the data in the world, but having a bad rifle pairing and an inexperienced shooter will negate all the performance characteristics in a heartbeat.
Let’s take a look at our ten selected rounds and see if anything stands out to us when we compare the velocities of these rounds.
We compiled this data from the manufacturer’s website. We are looking at the velocity (ft/s) from the muzzle out to 100 yards.
Right out of the muzzle, the .243 rounds show a significantly higher amount of velocity. Remember that the .243 rounds are using much lighter bullet weights than the 6.5 CM rounds but have very similar powder charges. You might have also noticed that the .243 rounds tend to bleed off velocity at a much higher rate than the 6.5 CM rounds.
At the 100 and 200 mark, we still see the .243 round showing higher overall velocities than the majority of the 6.5 Cm rounds, though the 120 gr Hornady Match 6.5 CM round matches the velocity of the three .243 rounds.
At the 300 and 400 yard mark, more of the 6.5 CM rounds begin to even out with the bleeding .243 Win rounds.
As we get out to the 500-yard mark, the two lightweight .243 rounds have bled off a tremendous amount of velocity and are now lower than three of the 6.5 CM rounds.
While there are high velocity and low-velocity rounds for each cartridge, both of them exhibit transonic speeds out to 500 yards. The 6.5 CM rounds tend to maintain their velocity better than the .243 rounds, and by the 300-yard mark, the 6.5 CM tend to exhibit similar or even higher velocities than the much lighter .243 bullets.
The ballistic coefficient is usually two things in the minds of marksmen; it is a valuable number that is given a lot of thought, or it is unknown to the user and pushed aside. If you are one of the latter, you should reconsider the stock that you put into the ballistic coefficient of your rounds.
The ballistic coefficient is derived from an equation that includes input variables from specific cartridge specifications. The physics and math behind the ballistic coefficient and its implications, while interesting, is not something we are going to attempt to convey in this article, but we do urge you to check it out.
In the simplest explanation possible, the ballistic coefficient gives you an idea of how well a bullet is streamlined. The higher the BC, the better the bullet can cut through the wind, meaning it resists drag and wind drift much more efficiently than a bullet with a lower BC. SO, for long range shooting where wind might be more of a factor, a better ballistic coefficient is something you might be looking for. Even for hunting, where windy conditions are sometimes a factor, having a bullet with a high ballistic coefficient is going to aid in long range shots.
We gathered the BCs for all ten of the rounds used in this comparison and placed them in a bar graph.
It’s obvious here how these two cartridges stack up against each other. The 6.5 Creedmoor rounds exhibit significantly higher BCs than the .243 with all of them coming in over a BC of .486 with two of them at an incredible .697 and .719. The .243 rounds fall between .243 and .378.
And we are aware that we are only looking at five rounds for each cartridge. There are .243 rounds out there loaded with bullets with much better BCs than some of the rounds we are looking at here. Though the case, the 6.5 CM rounds are going to show better BCs than the .243 rounds.
This is a large enough difference between the two cartridge types to bring about changes in how these rounds would perform in the field. We will come back to this topic several times in the next few sections.
As with any comparison of two cartridges, the trajectory of their flight path is always a hot topic. Maybe even more so when considering one of the more popular long distant, precision cartridges at the moment, the 6.5 Creedmoor. The performance of the .243 is nothing to scoff at, but its use in long distance shooting has fallen off with the advent of newer cartridges.
Even so, it’s important to look at how flat these two cartridges shoot in the field. While we will take a look at the long range trajectory, we will also take a look at the short range trajectory. The .243 is a much more popular hunting round, though more options for the 6.5 CM is giving it a chance in the hunting community as well. Because of this, we will also look at a shorter range trajectory covering distances more attuned to hunting small to medium sized game.
So, for the short range trajectory, we are looking at the bullet drop (inches) from the 50 yards out to 300 yards with the firearm zeroed in at 100 yards.
At the 200 yard mark, 100 yards past the zero setting, we do see some differences between the two cartridges. The much lighter .243 rounds are showing close to 2” less bullet drop, though all the rounds all fall within the -4.6 to -1.4 range. The heavier .243 bullets are much more similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor rounds at this range.
As the bullets move out to the 300-yard range, we still see the 55 and 58gr .243 bullets show a much flatter trajectory with less than 10” of bullet drop at this point. Besides these two rounds, we still see the other .243 Win rounds showing a flatter trajectory than the majority of the 6.5 CM rounds. The 6.5 Hornady Match rounds and the Winchester Big Game round performs quite well and clusters within a three-inch range with the other heavier .243 rounds. The Nosler 6.5 CM rounds show nearly two inches more bullet drop than the next steepest rounds.
For the long range trajectory we are still looking at the bullet drop of the rounds, but from 50 yards out to 700. While long range precision shooters might be looking for information at longer ranges, with factory loads, this range is about as much as you are going to get. For hunting, it well beyond the point where you should realistically, be taking shots at game.
While the two lightweight .243 varmint rounds from Hornady show the flattest trajectory of the entire group, remember we are only talking about trajectory at this point, which is only a fraction of what goes into making a round accurate. These two rounds also show the flattest trajectory throughout the 700-yard range, so for the remainder of the comparison, when we mention .243 rounds we are excluding these two.
At the 300 and 400 yard mark, all of the rounds, both 6.5 CM and .243 Win are clustered tightly together within a 3-4” window with no one cartridge showing a flatter trajectory than the other. As the bullets move out to the 500 mark, we begin to see a little more separation with maybe an extra inch of bullet drop for the .243 rounds compared to the 6.5 CM.
At 600 yards, we see three 6.5CM rounds, the two Hornady match and the Winchester Big Game, as well as the .243 Federal Nosler Ballistic Tip round, stick around the 70-inch drop range while the remaining rounds begin to drop much more rapidly. This same trend continues out to the 700-yard mark where the four rounds we just mentioned hang around the 110” drop mark while the rest fall below the 130” mark. Just to bring back for comparison, the two lightweight .243 rounds have bullet drops at the 700-yard mark of 93 and 94″.
What we see is that there are rounds for each cartridge that shows flatter trajectories than other rounds. While the averages might point towards the .243 having the flatter long range trajectory, we have to remember what we stated earlier, that this is simply the trajectory and not a look at overall accuracy of these rounds. While the lightweight .243 rounds might show flat trajectory, that weight and poor BC might not make them as functional at these ranges as a heavier .243 or .6.5 round with better BCs.
While some might look at the amount of drop with these rounds out past 400 yards and wonder how we could consider these long range cartridges, you have to remember that we are working with factory loads, which often cut back on the maximum amount of powder that is loaded. For hand loaders, the trajectory for both of these rounds can be stretched out much flatter than what is shown here.
While stopping power might not be high on the list of concerns for competitive shooters, it is invaluable to the hunter. The ability of your round to effectively kill your target quickly is a matter of great importance for several reasons. The biggest reason is that no hunter worth their salt wants to go after an animal and not have the ability to put them down and risking injury. They also want to put it down quickly, so a night is not spent tracking it in the dark and cold.
There is not really a single number that we can turn to when it comes to comparing the stopping power a cartridge brings along with. There are a few components that go into the stopping or knockdown power of a round such as bullet design, bullet penetration, and the energy or force that is carried by the bullet down range. We will take a look at the latter two components for this section.
While the 6.5 CM is not as popular a hunting round as we predict it will be in the next few years, there are a lot more hunting options for this cartridge and we have selected a few of them for comparing to the .243 Win rounds.
The energy that is carried by the bullet is a large factor in the rounds stopping power. You might wonder how this could be used to compare cartridges if the energy is associated with the bullet. As we know, different cartridges can take different sized bullets and can hold different amounts of powder. F=(m)(a), basic physics. If the cartridge can be fitted with larger and heavier bullets and send them downrange at increased speeds (more powder) than they should carry extra force with them.
This energy is transferred to the target on impact and can cause massive damage to the surrounding tissues and organs. This transfer is also affected by how the bullet reacts on impact, such as expansion which also relies on velocity, but we will leave that topic for another time. The amount of energy that is needed to cleanly take down an animal is debatable and it also depends on the animal involved. Most consider 1,000ft.lb of force to be safe for dropping a deer cleanly and closer to 1,500ft.lb for elk, though less can take down both with a proper bullet and a well-placed shot that can expand and penetrate to the vital organs in the chest cavity. Still, when selecting a cartridge, you be mindful of what you are hunting and what type of bullet energies and ranges you should be looking out for.
Let’s take a look at our ten selections for this article. We are looking at the bullet energy (ft.lbs) and are monitoring it from the muzzle out to 500 yards.
From this data, it is clear that the 6.5 Cm rounds carry a much higher energy from the muzzle than the .243 rounds. This trend continues from the muzzle out to 500 yards with a clear cut advantage for the 6.5 CM rounds regarding bullet energy. You will also notice that the 6.5 CM rounds all carry over 1,000 ft.lb of energy throughout the entire 500 yards. All of the .243 rounds, on the other hand, fall below 1,000ft.lb of energy at the 400-yard mark.
Penetration is another component to a bullet’s stopping power. The bullet must be able to penetrate deep enough into the tissue to reach and disrupt vital organs. More penetration does not mean you have a bullet with more stopping power. You also have to think about the type of game you are hunting. A bull moose is going to require more penetration than a whitetail deer. Remember that penetration is only a small part of the overall stopping power equation, but an important one nonetheless.
There are several components that go into a bullet’s potential penetration characteristics including velocity, the caliber of the bullet, the weight of the bullet, and the bullet’s design. The caliber of the bullet, as well as its weight, can be used to determine a bullet’s sectional density (SD).
While tests such as ballistics gels provide an excellent model for penetration, taking into account bullet design, we do not have that option here, but we can use the SD.
The sectional density correlates with the amount of penetration a bullet will have on target and since we are not looking at bullet types and designs in this article is a good standard for comparison of the two cartridges and the rounds we have selected for each.
A higher sectional density means deeper penetration. As an example, let’s take two different bullets of the same design traveling at the same velocity. Both bullets weigh 100gr, but one has a diameter of .300” while the other has a diameter of .200”. The sectional density of the .200” round is going to be higher and it should penetrate deeper than the .300” round. This is because the energy driving the bullet is localized to a smaller area effectively pushing it further with lesser resistance than a larger diameter bullet would impose. That’s the simplest way of thinking about SD and penetration.
Of course, we are simply looking at one component of penetration. In real world applications, you most certainly have to take into account the design of the bullet as well as the velocities that are behind the bullet at the point of impact. With that in mind, we still think looking at the sectional densities in a vacuum is a viable way to compare the penetration of the two cartridges. In the long run, you most definitely have to take other factors into account.
We calculated the sectional densities of the ten rounds we have been using for comparison and compiled them here.
When we look at the SDs for the various rounds, we do see a trend towards the 6.5 CM cartridge rounds having higher SDs and subsequently, more potential penetration. This would be true even when not taking the lightweight .243 rounds that show very low sectional densities, though, for their purpose, they don’t need that much penetration.
We would expect this difference in SDs even though the 6.5CM has a slightly wider diameter than the .243 bullet. The extra weight of the bullets for the 6.5 CM cartridge helps elevate their sectional densities. Of course, there are heavier .243 rounds out there that would come with higher sectional densities, but when you adjust one specification when dealing with cartridges, you are always influencing other characteristics. This is one reason why handloading is popular for both long range precision shooters and hunters alike; you can load a bullet that gives you the exact performance specs you are looking for.
The 6.5 CM for the past several years has been heralded as one of the most accurate rounds available and we have come across countless forums of users rising it high above the older .243 Win round, but does anything we have looked already point to this same conclusion?
If we look back at the comparison we made for the velocities; we saw that the .243 Win rounds showed average velocities that were higher than the 6.5 CM rounds at shorter yard markers. As the yardage increased, we saw the .243 rounds begin to lose quite a bit of velocity while the 6.5 CM rounds maintained their rate and eventually we had several 6.5 CM rounds with higher velocities than the .243 rounds at the 400 and 500-yard range. Regarding accuracy, you might have better success with the 6.5 rounds that maintained a better velocity at these ranges. But as the data showed, there were also 6.5 CM rounds that showed a pretty significant drop in velocity compared to some of the .243 rounds even out at further distances.
If we bring in the ballistic coefficients, the 6.5CM rounds widen their advantage in accuracy. The increased BCs make the 6.5 CM rounds much more resistant to wind drift and drag which is crucial for taking longer range shots.
If we take a look at the trajectories, we saw the .243 rounds have the slightest advantage over the 6.5 CM round at ranges less than 300 yards. And by slight, we are talking about an average of close to 1”. When we looked at the trajectories of these rounds at long range, we still saw some overlap between the two cartridges. The lightweight .243 varmint rounds showed the flattest trajectory all the way out to 700 yards, but if we take into account their weight and their low BCs, their accuracy would be even or less with the heavier .243 and 6.5 CM rounds. If we take those two rounds out of the equation, then we did see the match grade 6.5CM rounds give a flatter trajectory than the .243 and 6.5 CM hunting rounds. Though, this difference was only 5” from the best performing .243 round.
The recoil might play a role in accuracy, especially for younger or less experienced shooters, but for the majority, we don’t think the increased recoil energy generated by the 6.5 CM rounds are going to influence a single shot for most shooters. Especially with the highest amount of recoil energy being generated is less than 16ft.lbs.
In the end, it might just have to come down to you taking both to the range and seeing what you grow most comfortable and confident with. With very similar ballistic data between the two cartridges as a whole, it’s hard to pin down accuracy from data points. The 6.5 CM do generally have higher BCs and they have a lot more room to play around with the powder loads which might give them the advantage over the .243 rounds at long distances.
For hunting distances, say up to 300 yards, we don’t think there is a difference except for who is holding the gun.
Price & Availability
If you are making your decision based strictly on how easy it is going to be to find your ammunition of choice than the .243 Win is going to be your cartridge. While we don’t believe that’s the right way to go about making your choice, we can’t deny that the .243 Win is much more readily available than the 6.5 CM. You are also going to have a lot more options when it comes to specific rounds.
As far as price goes, it varies between rounds from cartridge to cartridge, as you can see below where we have listed some common retail prices for each round of ammunition we have been examining in this article. The average price for the 6.5CM cartridge is going to be a couple more dollars per box than the .243, but again, it really depends on the type of ammo you are looking for. In our opinion, it’s not enough of a difference to sway us on which way we would go. To us, it’s all about picking the cartridge that better fits your shooting needs.
|6.5 CM Hornady ELD Match 120gr||$24.10 (20 Rounds)|
|6.5 CM Hornady ELD Match 147gr||$25.99 (20 Rounds)|
|6.5 CM Nosler Match Grade Custom Bullet Tip 140gr||$40.99 (20 Rounds)|
|6.5 CM Winchester Expedition Big Game Long Range 142gr||$36.99 (20 Rounds)|
|6.5 CM Nosler Ballistic Tip 140gr||$30.99 (20 Rounds)|
|243 Winchester Super-X Power Point 100gr||$20.49 (20 Rounds)|
|243 Hornady Superformance Varmint V-Max 58gr||$23.99 (20 Rounds)|
|243 Remington Core-Lokt PSP 100gr||$17.99 (20 Rounds)|
|243 Federal Vital-Shok Nosler Ballistic Tip 95gr||$29.79 (20 Rounds)|
|243 Nosler Varmageddon FB Tipped 55gr||$29.52 (20 Rounds)|
When it comes to precision shooting, especially at ranges out to 500+ yards, both of these rounds have the potential to be highly accurate. For factory loads, most of them are just hot enough to get out to 1,000-yard targets effectively and consistently. Now, with some tinkering, both of them have the velocities as well as the trajectories to be viable rounds. Where the 6.5 CM gains an advantage is with its bullet. The increases BC of these bullets as well as how they sit in the casing allows them to quickly become hot and accurate rounds. For extreme long distance competitors, they are likely going to fancy the 6.5 CM over the .243. And that’s not a knock on the .243 at all. We saw the trajectories. In the right hands, the .243 could be used to do some amazing things.
In the hunting world, the .243 is well established for varmint hunting up to whitetail deer, within an acceptable range and this versatility, as well as its performance, has made it popular. It’s low recoil also makes it a great starting cartridge for young sportsman into the hunting world. And it’s still a great cartridge for any age hunter and has the ballistic performance and the ability to drop deer within 200 yards. Sometimes it’s nice to travel a little lighter in weight and recoil.
While the 6.5 CM was brought into existence with long range shooting in mind, more geared towards competition, there are several manufacturers now putting out hunting rounds for this cartridge and we think that the 6.5 CM will see a rapid rise in popularity in the hunting world. The biggest advantage it would have over the .243 in hunting is the increased stopping power of the round. With it, you can get a little more range on medium sized game than you would be able to with the .243.
Before we wrap up this article, we took a look at the 10 rounds covered and selected our favorite ammo for specific purposes. With the two cartridges we are dealing with, we are going to pick our favorite hunting and range round. Like we have stated before, this is only our opinion and is our choice from the ten rounds we have been examining rather than our choice of all ammunition that is available.
Top Hunting Round
For the .243, we are big advocates of the Federal Vital-Shok Nosler Ballistic Tip 95gr. The Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet is one of our favorites for deer sized game. This cartridge provides incredible trajectories with only 3” of bullet drop at 200 yards. More importantly, this round maintains the velocities to cause sufficient penetration and expansion and it carries more than enough stopping power out to 300 yards which is excellent for a .243 hunting round at this weight.
For the 6.5 CM, we would go with the Winchester Expedition Big Game Long Range 142gr round. It features tremendous ballistic properties that are highly similar to the match grade 6.5 CM ammunition and even surpassed them with its incredible .719 BC. The bullet energy with this round is also incredible with nearly 1,500ft.lb still associated with the bullet at 500 yards. This energy, with the velocity, and controlled expansion bullet gives you a big game round with extended range.
Top Target Round
Though we really like the flat trajectory of the lightweight varmint rounds for Hornady, the lightness and poor BC makes these rounds prone to getting pushed around by the wind, especially when getting out to the 500 and beyond range. For long range shooting with the 6.5 CM Hornady ELD Match 147gr. The incredible ballistic coefficient and trajectories make this one of the best factory loads for long range shooting. It maintains velocity incredibly well and is going to remain supersonic out to 1,000 yards. We also like the heavier bullet weight than the 120gr version of the round and think that the increased weight helps stabilize the bullet more in flight.
Conclusion: 6.5 Creedmoor vs .243 Winchester
The 6.5 CM is considered by many to be the darling of the moment type cartridge, but all of the data that we have looked at points to it being a cartridge that is here to stay. But not to be cast to the side is the old, versatile, and still highly effective .243 Win cartridge.
The .243 and the 6.5 Creedmoor have the capacity to be highly effective in the field, and we hope that this article has pointed out the advantages for both cartridges and provides you unbiased information to make the best decision for yourself and your shooting needs.