Every hunter dreams of the day when that buck of a lifetime steps into view. The passion is so intense that hunters will spend countless hours on the stand and hundreds of dollars on gear hoping that the round in the chamber will be the Magic Bullet that finally bags the big one! Then after the hunt, they spend just as many hours around the campfire debating which caliber is best. So is there such thing as a magic bullet? One that will better your odds of bagging that trophy buck this year?
Enter the 6.5 MM Magic Bullet
Since its release in 2007, the 6.5 Creedmoor (CM) has become one of the most popular cartridges in decades. And why many may think the 6.5 CM is the greatest thing since rifled barrels, the 6.5 MM bullet (.264 caliber projectile) has been around almost as long as smokeless powder. The 6.5×55 Swedish has been in production since 1894 . Modern firearms chambered for the 6.5×55 are very capable deer and elk cartridge. In fact, Hornady offers a 140grain SST load in 6.5×55 that is just ballistically shy of a 150 grain .308 Win load at the muzzle, but overtakes the .308 round both in velocity and energy by 200 yards. By 300 yards the 6.5×55 overtakes the 150 grain 30-06. At 500 yards the 128 year old 6.5×55 round has just about overtaken the 150 grain 300 Win Mag. So what makes the 6.5 MM bullets so magical?
Ballistic Coefficient (BC) is the measure of a bullet’s relative ability to overcome air resistance. Essentially “long skinny” bullets are less effected by wind resistance and wind drift, resulting in better ballistics and accuracy over longer ranges. With modern bullets, almost every centerfire cartridge over .22 caliber is adequate for deer sized game out to 100-150 yards. But hunters often choose larger calibers like the .308 Win, 30-06 Springfield, or 7mm Rem Mag just in case that trophy buck steps out at 300 yards.
So Why the 6.5?
The popularity of the 6.5 CM, the 6.5 PRC and the recently announced 6.5 Weatherby RPM are taking advantage of the .264 BC and chambering rifles that are shorter, lighter, and have less recoil than the larger calibers or magnum rounds. Hunters no longer have to settle for heavier recoiling rounds like the 30-06 or 300 Win Mag to bag that buck at longer ranges. These modern “magic bullets” offer great options for medium game such as, Antelope, Whitetail and Mule Deer to larger game animals including Elk and Moose. While they may seem like “light rounds” for hunting some of the larger game animals, they actually outperform their weight class. Yeah, I know, it is hard to believe, but that is why they call it MAGIC!