6.5 Creedmoor vs. 30-06 Cartridges: What Are the Main Differences?

6.5 Creedmoor vs. 30-06 Cartridges

When talking about serious hunting rounds, there are countless discussions about which are the best cartridges. And hunters often compare the 6.5 Creedmoor vs. 30-06 cartridges.

6.5 Creedmoor and 30-06 What does Springfield offer to hunters? How are they different? Which one is better?

In this article, we will compare these two cartridges in detail to try to answer the questions above. If you are interested in this topic, keep reading to see more!

6.5 Creedmoor vs. 30-06: The Main Differences


The 6.5 Creedmoor is smaller than the 30-06 physically.
The 6.5 Creedmoor is smaller than the 30-06 physically.

Both cartridges feature a rim diameter of .473-inches, and it’s the only thing in common between them.

The 30-06 is larger than the 6.5 physically. Its case is 2.49-inches long, while its maximum overall length is 3.34-inches. Those measurements with the 6.5 Creedmoor are 1.92-inches and 2.825-inches, respectively.

So it’s no surprise that the 30-06 cartridge is designed for long-length or standard action rifles, while its 6.5 Creedmoor counterpart is ideal for short action rifles.

The shoulder degree is also the difference between the two. The 30-06 features a 17.5-degree shoulder, while the 6.5 is steeper at 30 degrees.

Regarding pressure, the maximum pressure is 62,000 psi for the 6.5 and 60,000 psi for the 30-06.


Speed affects the accuracy and overall performance of one cartridge.

You can see a lot of overlap since many products have the same or similar velocities. For example, some 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges are faster than certain .30-06 rounds, and vice-versa.

If you are looking at these cartridges as similarly-sized bullets, you’ll notice that the .30-06 tends to be faster, significantly because of the extended case.

Barrel Life

The 6.5 cartridge wears out barrels more quickly than the .30-06 one. It depends on factors such as the exact ammunition used and the quality of the barrel.

For serious shooters, it can be a remarkable thing. Fortunately, for hunters, the typical barrel life of these cartridges is enough to last for a long time of hunting without any issue at all.

So, there is not a tremendous difference in the 30-06 and 6.5 Creedmoor barrel life as many hunters or shooters are concerned.


Both the cartridges we are talking about are not the most heavy-hitting, high-powered cartridges available today.

Most 6.5 cartridges will feature a bit lighter recoil. But the .30-06 still offers manageable recoil for most hunters and shooters as well.


Prices are typically comparable, but 30-06 cartridges can be a little cheaper.

You can get the cheapest .30-06 ammo at around $0.52 per round, while the Creedmoor 6.5 ammo is as low as approximately $0.57 each round.

The price difference is negligible, but the .30-06 will cost you less to shoot.


Both the 6.5 Creedmoor and .30-06 Springfield are popular centerfire rifle cartridges. The proof is that both continuously entered the top 10 of the most popular centerfire rifle cartridges in the US each year.

So, both of these cartridges are popular options in common use, and it is usually very easy to find for both.

Many larger ammunition manufacturers make an incredible variety of ammo for the 6.5 Creedmoor and  .30-06 Springfield, such as Berger, Browning,  Barnes, Hornady, HSM,  Federal Premium, Nosler, Remington, Norma, Sierra, Swift, Sig Sauer, and Winchester.

Hunting Game

The 30-06 cartridge is ideal for hunting deer, bears, elk, and many other games
The 30-06 cartridge is ideal for hunting deer, bears, elk, and many other games

The 30-06 ammo is ideal for hunting deer, bear, elk, hogs, and many games. Meanwhile, the 6.5 Creedmoor ammo works well for hunting elk and deer.


Various great rifles are manufactured in these cartridges. Both of them are amazingly common in bolt-action rifles.

The fact is that the most popular bolt-action hunting rifles are available in both the 6.5 Creedmoor and 30-06 bullets.

These cartridges are available in different versions of the Winchester Model 70 and Remington Model 700. It is also the case for the following guns.

  • Browning AB3
  • Christensen Arms Ridgeline
  • Browning X-Bolt
  • Ruger American
  • Mossberg Patriot
  • Savage Axis
  • Ruger Hawkeye
  • Savage 110
  • Tikka T3 and Tikka T3x
  • Winchester XPR
  • Weatherby Vanguard

Comparison Table

6.5 Creedmoor 30-06 Springfield
Released 2008 1906
Bullet Diameter .2644 inches .308 inches
Rim Diameter .473 inches .473 inches
Total Length 2.825 inches 3.34 inches
Case Length 1.92 inches 2.494 inches
General Bullet Size from 95 to 150 From 110 to 220 grains
Commonly used in Semiautomatic and bolt-action rifles Bolt-action rifles
Suitable hunting games Varmints, pronghorn, whitetails, feral hogs, black bears, mule deer, even larger animals like elk, and kudu. Elk, moose, and large animals like bears.

Which One Should You Choose?

You should analyze your needs before making a decision
You should analyze your needs before making a decision

30-06 and 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges are both effective for deer hunting and would be ideal for medium-sized hunting games.

In particular, the .30-06 cartridge is an excellent deer hunting cartridge and still one of North America’s most popular hunting cartridges.

The 6.5 cartridge is the preferred choice for many average hunters in North America who often hunt feral hogs and deer.

If you want an effective cartridge for long-range hunting games like pronghorn antelope or mule deer in open country where you have to take a shot at a couple of hundred yards, both 6.5 Creedmoor and 30-06 will work.

For caribou, elk, eland, moose, red stag, or kudu hunting, the 6.5 Creedmoor will help you get the job done.

The .30-06 cartridge is the better option for bigger hunting games as it shoots larger and sustains diameter ammo with more kinetic energy downrange.

If you’re a recoil-sensitive shooter and need a severe low recoil cartridge, the 6.5 cartridge is for you as it has significantly less recoil than the .30-06, especially in lighter rifles.

So the 6.5 Creedmoor is ideal for recoil shy or new hunters. It is also the perfect choice for children for deer hunting as it is less recoil and great for deer.


1. What Animals Are a 6.5 Creedmoor Good For?

The 6.5 Creedmoor works well on feral hogs, varmints, whitetails, pronghorn,  black bears, mule deer, and even on larger animals like elk,  kudu, and moose.

2. What Is The 30-06 Cartridge Good For?

The 30-06 is ideal for any deer hunting and is just fine for the largest mule and whitetail deer. It’s also perfect for black bears, elk, and moose.

The Bottom Line

The .30-06 and 6.5 Creedmoor are both excellent cartridges.

The 6.5 has certain benefits over its 30-06 counterpart in some elements, while the 30-06 cartridge is also doing well after more than a century since it appeared on the market.

While the difference between the 30-06 and the 6.5 Creedmoor is quite significant in some respects, they are ideal for many hunting tasks.

So you should carefully analyze your personal needs and preferences before making a final decision. Thanks for stopping by!

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