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Published Apr 18, 2023 1:00 PM
The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge may be polarizing in the gun community, but its popularity cannot be denied. With more makes and models available from gunmakers than ever before, it can be hard to determine exactly which 6.5 Creedmoor rifle is the best.
However, there’s a reason why people use different rifles for different purposes, even if they’re in the same caliber. Depending on how you intend to use them, these are some of the best 6.5 Creedmoor rifles available in 2023.
How We Picked the Best 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles
From budget rifles to precision long-range competition rifles that cost more than my first car, I’ve been fortunate enough to shoot a lot of different 6.5 Creedmoor rifles over the years. I’ve learned that sometimes less is more and have been pleasantly surprised, while I’ve also certainly experienced guns where “you get what you pay for” applies—at both ends of the spectrum.
When it comes down to picking the guns on this list, the following criteria was used:
- Build Quality: What materials went into making the rifle and how does that translate into the finished gun? Does it handle like you’d expect for what it is, or does the action feel like it is full of sand? Is it built like a tank or does it need to be babied? Build quality will make or break a rifle.
- Intended Use: If it’s a precision long-range rifle, what kind of adjustments does the stock have and how is it bedded? If it’s a hunting rifle, is it light enough for long treks in the woods? How you’ll use the rifle will help determine what aspects should be focused on when making a final selection.
- Cost: Does this rifle provide a good value for the money? Am I getting what you would expect, or more, at a given price point?
Best 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: Seekins Precision Havak Pro Hunter PH2
- Hand-bedded barreled actions
- 5/8×24 threaded barrel
- 90-degree bolt throw
- Uses 5-round Magpul PMAGs
- Threaded barrel makes it easy to add a brake or suppressor
- Comes with a Timney trigger that can be adjusted from 2.5 to 5 pounds
- Unique spiral fluting on barrel may not be appealing to all shooters
With a crisp adjustable trigger from Timney, sub-7-pound weight, carbon composite stock, and threaded barrel, the Seekins Precision Havak Pro Hunter PH2 rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor is a great rifle for both hunters and competitive shooters who want to do both things well with just one gun. The stock comes in multiple colors and the barreled actions are hand-bedded for optimum performance. If you want one 6.5 Creedmoor rifle to do it all, the Seekins Precision Havak Pro Hunter PH2 is the rifle you need.
Best Budget: CVA Cascade 6.5 Creedmoor Bolt-Action Rifle
- Available with standard or short barrels for use in blinds or with suppressors
- 4140 carbon steel barrel available blued or FDE Cerakote
- Fiberglass-reinforced synthetic stock
- Price point is hard to beat for what you get
- Compatible with all Savage 110 AccuTrigger two piece scope mounts
- Available in 10 different calibers in case you want to expand beyond 6.5 Creedmoor
- Not as many model variations as other brands on the market
The CASCADE is CVA’s first ever bolt-action centerfire rifle, and you can often find it at retailers for less than $600. It’s hard to beat the quality you get from the CVA CASCADE in 6.5 Creedmoor, which is often considered to be a “Bergara on a budget,” since the two are sister companies. The series features a threaded muzzle, making it ready for whatever muzzle device you want to use. The bolt design incorporates a 70° throw for smooth and fast operation, plus generous scope clearance. The synthetic stock is fiberglass reinforced and has a SoftTouch finish, while the buttstock has adjustable length of pull by way of a removable spacer – making it an ideal gun for still-growing youths, small-statured adults, or even the full-sized hunter who wants to shorten the stock to accommodate heavy winter clothing.
Best for Hunting: Winchester Model 70
- One-piece bottom metal with stainless steel floorplate
- Use the “pre-64” controlled round feed action design
- 3-position safety allows safe loading and unloading
- Available in 11 different variations in 6.5 Creedmoor
- Popular Featherwight and Super Grade models still available
- Available in traditional “blue and wood” as well as modern “composite and stainless” variations
- No longer a US-made product: made in Portugal by Browning for Winchester
Introduced in 1936, Winchester’s Model 70 has developed a cult following in the hunting and collecting community. The current production guns feature the “pre-64” controlled round feed action design, meaning that there’s no reason to avoid the model because of changes that were made a half-century ago. Whether you want a luxury model Super Grade with ebony accents and Grade V/VI walnut or a modern hunting rifle featuring Cerakote finish and a synthetic stock, there’s a Model 70 in 6.5 Creedmoor to fit your needs somewhere in the 11 different model variations. Plus, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get one of the best factory-produced bolt-action rifles available today.
Best Lightweight: Bergara B-14 Ridge Carbon Wilderness
- Equipped with a threaded 22” barrel and muzzle brake
- Hinged floorplate magazine holds 4 rounds
- Uses a two-lug bolt, sliding plate extractor, and a coned bolt nose and breech
- Quality and performance of a Bergara rifle is hard to beat in a lightweight package such as this
- Muzzle brake can easily swap for a suppressor
- Cerakote finish provides optimum protection in harsh weather
- Only one barrel length to choose from in 6.5 Creedmoor
Bergara’s Ridge Carbon Wilderness rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor is designed for the serious backcountry hunter who knows that ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain. Sporting a proprietary-blended carbon fiber barrel, these rifles come in at just 6.5 pounds. The barrels come threaded and include a muzzle brake, but you can easily swap it out for a suppressor. Like all Bergara rifles, the Ridge Carbon Wilderness also comes with a sub-MOA guarantee, so you can be certain that when you only have one shot on the hunt of a lifetime, your 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge will perform at its absolute best in this lightweight rifle.
Best Precision: Tikka T3x TACT A1
- Double stage trigger
- Modular synthetic stock
- M-LOK and QD forend attachment options
- Trigger weight is adjustable for the precise shooter-preferred break
- Left-handed models are available
- Chassis is compatible with a wide variety of readily-available AR products
- For what it offers, the gun is a bargain, but that price may still be too much for some people
The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge really shines at long-distance ranges, whether that’s for hunting or tactical situations. Regardless of which one you use it for, the Tikka T3x TACT A1 rifle is the ultimate 6.5 Creedmoor rifle for precision shooting. With an adjustable buttpad, cheek riser, and pistol grip angle, there’s no reason for a shooter not to feel like the T3x TACT A1 rifle isn’t an absolute extension of their body. Also available in left-handed configurations, every shooter can be confident that they are able to make precision shots with this 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.
What to Consider When Choosing a 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle
Obviously, the final decision is up to you, but if you decide that your next gun purchase is going to be a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, then here are some of the things you should think about before parting with your hard-earned money:
How are you planning on using the rifle? Will it be on a backcountry hunt or mainly for stationary range shooting? While there are plenty of options out there that fill both of those needs, there’s a reason that specialty rifles exist and why you wouldn’t use a benchrest competition rifle on a backcountry hunt.
Price isn’t always indicative of quality. There are plenty of overpriced pieces of junk on the market and there are equal numbers of underpriced overperformers. Figure out your budget and then focus on use and features. This will allow you to find exactly what you need at a price you can accord.
Is a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle worth it?
This depends on your intended use and preferences. Note that determining the best rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor is an entirely subjective decision. With that said, any of the 6.5 Creedmoor rifles on this list would be a great choice, and there are plenty of others that didn’t make the list that are comparable as well.
Is 6.5 Creedmoor better than .308 Winchester?
If you’re looking specifically at the numbers, then yes, 6.5 Creedmoor is better than .308 Winchester. Of course, nothing is ever that cut and dry and it will all depend on what you consider to be the most important determining factors.
What is the effective range of a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle?
With the right load and rifle, the 6.5 Creedmoor is effective out to 1,000 yards or more. This means ethical hunting shots can easily take place at 500+ yards so long as the shooter is capable.
Final Thoughts on the Best 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles
The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge is here to stay whether you like it or not. If you’re ready to jump on the 6.5 Creedmoor rifle bandwagon, check out one of these top options.
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