Choosing a high-quality cartridge is surely a challenge among hundreds of ammo brands and products with different specs and sizes. Luckily, the invention of the 243 and 6.5 Creedmoor has made users’ decisions much easier.

Due to their pretty similar design and performance, it may be hard to decide which one is the best match for your needs. So, if you are still wavering between these two products, this 243 Vs. 6.5 Creedmoor will be of great help.

Below this post, I will highlight the core differences between 243 vs 6.5 Creedmoor to help you pick the more suitable ammo.

243 Vs. 6.5 Creedmoor: What Are The Differences? 

Let’s begin this comparison by first looking at some core differences between these two cartridges’ sizes and specs.

Comparison Table

Features 243 6.5
Bullet Diameter 0.264 inches 0243 inches
Parent Casing 0.30 TC 0.308 Win
Neck Diameter 0.2950 inches 0.276 inches
Case Length 1.92 inches 2.045 inches
Case Capacity 52.5 gr 53-54.8 gr
Overall Length 2.825 inches 2.7098 inches
Max Pressure 62,000 psi 60.000 psi


I have conducted a real shooting test and concluded that the 6.5 Creedmoor rounds generate more recoil. Generally, they can produce 3-9 ft. lbs, while the 243 Win rounds barely exceed 10 ft. lbs.

The 6.5 Creedmoor might produce more recoil, but this cartridge type seems relatively lighter compared to other long-range hunting rounds. Experienced shooters won’t have any problem handling it.

Nevertheless, the 243’s much lighter recoil is surely an advantage. Suppose you are a newcomer to the shooting sport and have less experience.

In that case, the 243 cartridge is commonly suggested due to its lighter recoil.

6.5 Creedmoor Pellets
6.5 Creedmoor Pellets


Ballistics is one of the most critical factors to consider when looking for a rifle cartridge. A good shooter understands how a cartridge behaves after shooting.

This allows them to evaluate the shooting quality, regardless of whether they select the cartridge for hunting or competing purposes.

In this section, I will compare the two cartridges regarding several ballistic categories, such as the ballistics coefficient, the trajectory, and the energy each cartridge produces during the shooting period.


Velocity indicates how fast the bullet travels when it leaves the barrel.

This factor significantly impacts other categories such as trajectory, recoil, and the bullet’s ability to destroy specific targets.

The cartridge with low and unstabilized velocity might decrease shooting accuracy significantly.

It is also more prone to environmental factors like air or wind, resulting in a bad shot with an improper twist rate.

In general, the 243 rounds have a higher velocity than the 6.5 Creedmoor rounds due to their lightweight bullets.

At longer shooting distances (300-400 yards), the velocity of the 6.5 Creedmoor has proven to be more stable. This makes a considerable improvement in accuracy and time at long-range shooting.

243 Pellets
243 Pellets


The muzzle energy decides how the bullets impact and cause damage.

As you may have known, different cartridges can store varying amounts of powder with different sizes of bullets.

The muzzle energy of a pellet is determined by its mass and acceleration, so shooters can add some extra force with more extensive and heavier bullets and send them downrange at fasten rates (more powder).

Therefore I can deduce that the 6.5 Creedmoor rounds produce higher energy than the 243 rounds.

At a distance of 500 yards, the 6.5 Creedmoor rounds can reach 1,000 ft. lb, while the 243 rounds drop 1,000 ft. lb of energy when it reaches 400 yards.

Ballistic Coefficient

Ballistic Coefficient refers to the ability of a pellet to resist environmental impedance.

With a higher ballistic coefficient, the pellet is more immune to air resistance or wind, thus giving a flatter trajectory.

If you go hunting or participate in outdoor shooting competitions, the Ballistic Coefficient is critical.

As mentioned above, the cartridges with higher weight have higher BC, so the winner is the 6.5 Creedmoor.

The measured 243’s Ballistic Coefficient is 0,343; while the figure for the 6.5 Creedmoor stands at 0.537. So there’s no doubt the 6.5 Creedmoor is the definite winner here.


When prioritizing the trajectory in choosing a cartridge, the 6.5 Creedmoor will come to many experienced shooters’ minds. This cartridge possesses a more stable and flatter trajectory than the 243 rounds.

The shooting performance in the long-range shooting distance of the 243 rounds isn’t bad at all, but they are gradually replaced with more advent cartridge models.

Through real-life shooting, I have monitored that the two cartridges give a similar trajectory at a low distance (less than 200 yards, though the 6.5 Creedmoor dropped slightly more.

At longer shooting distances, the 243 still excels with a flatter trajectory. However, its lightweight makes the pellet more susceptible to windy conditions, which may affect its traveling trajectory.

Therefore the 6.5 Creedmoor gives higher stability, though it doesn’t feature a flat trajectory.

Outdoor Shooting
Outdoor Shooting

Stopping Power

The stopping power indicates how much damage a pellet can generate or its penetration capacity when hitting the target. Stopping power is a factor that every hunter should prioritize.

No hunter wants to go after an animal using a cartridge with low stopping power. The powerful cartridges can take down the target faster, thus saving more time and effort when hunting.

Whether it’s long-range or short-range shooting distance, the 6.5 Creedmoor still excels in terms of energy and power generated. At 500 yards, its measure of kinetic energy stands at 1162,6 ft. lbs, while the figure for 243 is only 692.15.

Things don’t change much at 100-yard shooting distance, with the kinetic energy measured of the 6.5 Creedmoor and 243 standing at 2269.8 ft. lbs and 1936.6, respectively.

For these reasons, the 6.5 Creedmoor is an ideal choice if your priority is penetration and power. It proved to be much more efficient in taking down large animals on hunting trips.


The cost of the 6.5 Creedmoor ranges between $24.10 to $30.99, from the lowest to the highest version. Meanwhile, the 243 costs between $20.49 to $29.52, making it slightly more affordable.

If you need more in-depth comparisons between the 243 and 6.5 Creedmoor, consider watching the video below.

Final Verdict: Which One Should You Choose Between 243 Vs. 6.5 Creedmoor?

These two cartridges have always been on the list of the highest-rated ammo, so there’s little to doubt about their quality and performance. They are both very prevalent options for adept and experienced gunners.

However, each cartridge is more suitable for a specific shooting purpose.

The 243 is ideal for shooting competitions where high accuracy is required. It gives a flatter trajectory and is also easier to handle with less recoil power.

On the other hand, the 6.5 Creedmoor gives you higher penetration capacity and kinetic energy. It’s the definite winner regarding power, which is an optimal option for shooting or home-defending.

So that’s everything you need to know when selecting between these two cartridges. Just go for the one that suits your needs. Thank you for your time!

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