One of the hottest new rifle cartridges to hit the market is the 6.5 Creedmoor. While you may have heard about this new caliber, you may not know why or how it became so popular. Shortly after WWII, the military began transitioning from the M1 Garand chambered in 30-06 to the M14 chambered in 7.62 NATO or .308 Winchester. While the short action .308 may have an edge when it comes to accuracy and lower recoil, the long action 30-06 has more stopping power due to the higher velocities generated from the larger case capacity. In 2007 Thompson Center Arms teamed up with Hornaday to create a .308 length short action .30 caliber round that would perform as well as the long action 30-06. And it worked! The .30 TC is a short action case that delivers the energy and speed of the .30-06. However, consumer acceptance was low, and the round has remained on the sidelines. Enter the 6.5 Creedmoor. The round was developed in 2005 by Dave Emary, senior ballistician at Hornady, for long-range shooting, by necking down the soon to be released 30 T/C. In 2007, the 6.5 Creedmoor was officially launched by Hornady at the SHOT Show and has carved out an ever-increasing slice of both the long-range shooting and hunting markets. The ballistics on the 6.5 Creedmoor are so impressive that the military decided to take a look at incorporating it into service rifle. In October 2017, U.S. Special Operations tested the 7.62 NATO (.308 Win), The .260 Remington which is the .308 Win necked down to 6.5 MM, and the 6.5 Creedmoor. They found that 6.5 Creedmoor performed the best, doubling hit probability at 1,000 meters, increasing effective range by nearly half, reducing wind drift by a third and had less recoil than .308. There are now plans by Special Forces to adopt and field the 6.5 Creedmoor for special operations snipers in their semiautomatic sniper rifles. The Department of Homeland Security also decided to adopt the round.

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