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Hook & Barrel
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Three Ready-To-Hunt 6.5 Creedmoor Bergara Rifles

The 6.5 Creedmoor has swiftly risen to prominence in the firearms world, earning a reputation as a top performer among shooters, hunters, and long-range enthusiasts alike.

This relatively young cartridge has captivated the attention of firearms enthusiasts worldwide, thanks to its exceptional ballistic performance, manageable recoil, and inherent accuracy. To truly appreciate its popularity, it’s essential to delve into the history and technical aspects that have propelled the 6.5 Creedmoor to the forefront of shooting sports.

Bergara Wilderness Terrain Rifle
The author has done some extensive testing and fieldwork with Bergara rifles. Shown is the Bergara B-14 Wilderness Terrain rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.

How The 6.5 Creedmoor Came To Be

Originating in the early 2000s, the 6.5 Creedmoor was developed by Hornady Manufacturing, a renowned ammunition manufacturer. 

Inspired by the long-range competitive shooting community’s demand for a cartridge with superior accuracy and trajectory, Hornady sought to create a round that would excel in precision shooting disciplines like F-Class, PRS, and long-range target shooting.

The name “Creedmoor” pays homage to the Creedmoor Rifle Range in Queens, New York, a historic shooting venue renowned for its role in the development of competitive marksmanship. This choice of name reflects the cartridge’s intended purpose—to dominate in long-range shooting competitions.

Hornady Precision Hunter 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition
Hornady led the way in the development of 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition.

6.5 Creedmoor Ballistics

At the heart of the 6.5 Creedmoor’s success lies its ballistics. The cartridge features a sleek, aerodynamic projectile with a diameter of 6.5 millimeters, optimized for long-range accuracy and minimal wind drift. Its moderate recoil makes it comfortable to shoot for extended periods, allowing shooters to maintain their focus and consistency shot after shot.

One of the key factors contributing to the 6.5 Creedmoor’s exceptional performance is its efficient case design. Based on the .30 Thompson Center case necked down to accept 6.5mm bullets, the cartridge boasts a balanced powder capacity-to-bore diameter ratio, optimizing burn efficiency and velocity while minimizing recoil. This efficient design translates to consistent, predictable trajectories, even at extended ranges.

Bergara Crest rifle with inset of 6.5 Creedmoor, 6 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC

6.5 Creedmoor Vs. .260 Remington

The Creedmoor is very similar to the .260 Remington, which is based on the .308 Winchester. Going back a little more than a decade, the Creedmoor surpassed the .260 Remington in popularity among serious long-range competitors.

The 6.5 Creedmoor’s Versatility Factor

Another factor driving the 6.5 Creedmoor’s popularity is its versatility. Whether used for competitive shooting, hunting, or tactical applications, the cartridge delivers impressive performance across the board. Its flat trajectory and high ballistic coefficient make it well-suited for engaging targets at long distances, while its terminal ballistics ensure reliable expansion and penetration on game animals.

The availability of quality ammunition and firearms chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor has contributed to its widespread adoption. Numerous rifle manufacturers offer models chambered in this cartridge, catering to shooters of all preferences and budgets. Additionally, ammunition manufacturers produce a variety of loads tailored to different shooting disciplines and hunting scenarios, further enhancing the cartridge’s appeal.

Federal Terminal Ascent, Winchester Ballistic Silvertip, Black Hills, and Winchester 6.5 Creedmoor Deer Season XP

In recent years, the 6.5 Creedmoor has gained recognition not only in the civilian market but also among military and law enforcement agencies. Its combination of long-range accuracy, mild recoil, and terminal performance has led to its adoption for specialized applications where precision and effectiveness are paramount.

Bergara’s Hunt- & Shoot-Ready Rifles

Beyond its technical attributes, the 6.5 Creedmoor has forged a vibrant community of enthusiasts who appreciate its capabilities. This writer was a slow adopter of the 6.5 Creedmoor, but I have since become a staunch supporter. Bergara offers several rifles chambered for this cartridge, and I’ve tested and hunted with a few.

Bergara B-14 Wilderness Terrain

Bergara has earned a reputation for building good rifle barrels, and the B-14 Wilderness (several variants available) benefits from this expertise. The test rifle was chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. It looked good, handled well, and shot accurately. A real pleasure to shoot. Bolt throw was smooth, and it was easy to adjust the comb height to bring the shooter’s eye level with the scope.

Bergara B-14 Wilderness Terrain in 6.5 Creedmoor

Internally, Bergara incorporates a molded mini-chassis to stiffen the connection of the action to the stock. It’s got a few bells and whistles, such as flush cup sling mounts and a swivel mount for a bipod. It also runs AICS-pattern magazines. The magazine release is a paddle type that can be reached by the trigger finger—a real plus. Accuracy was sub-MOA at 100 yards.

Bergara B-14 Squared Crest

Bergara’s B-14 Squared Series Crest rifle with a steel barrel tips the scales at 6.9 pounds and offers a sub-MOA guarantee. To help shave ounces, the Crest wears a No. 5 fluted barrel in 20- or 22-inch versions, depending on caliber. An Omni muzzle brake helps tame recoil. The fire control system consists of an adjustable Bergara Performance Trigger. Shaving more weight, the stock is 100 percent carbon fiber, and it wears a complimentary Sniper Grey Cerakote finish on metal parts.

Bergara B-14 Squared Crest rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor

Bergara Ridge Carbon Wilderness

Bergara’s Wilderness Series Ridge Carbon is one of the lightest hunting rifles offered by the company. At 6.4 pounds, it should be a handy backwoods rifle. And, with a $1,599 suggested retail and a sub-MOA guarantee, it should sell well, too.

This rifle’s light weight is owed in part to a No. 6 carbon fiber barrel, which ranges from 20 to 24 inches. The muzzle is threaded 5/8-24 TPI and wears an Omni brake. The magazine is a hinged floor plate design, and various models offer a 3- or 4-round capacity. An adjustable Bergara Performance trigger adds to this rifle’s performance features.

Bergara Ridge Carbon Wilderness rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor

Long Live The 6.5 Creedmoor

In conclusion, the 6.5 Creedmoor stands as a testament to innovation and excellence in firearms design. From its humble origins to its widespread acclaim, this cartridge has proven itself as a top performer in the world of shooting sports. With its exceptional ballistics, versatility, and dedicated following, the 6.5 Creedmoor is sure to remain a dominant force on the range and in the field for years to come.

Bergara B-14 HMR Carbon Wilderness Bolt-Action Rifle Review
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