Attempting to resolve between the 6.8 Western, 270 Winchester Brief Magnum, and 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges? Right here’s what you have to find out about them.
I believe many hunters would agree that the 270 Winchester Brief Magnum and 6.5 Creedmoor are each good cartridges for searching sure huge recreation species. Nonetheless, the 6.8 Western is far newer and isn’t almost as properly understood by the vast majority of sportsmen. All provide sure benefits to hunters, however there are some vital variations between the 270 WSM vs 6.8 Western vs 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges you have to be conscious of earlier than buying a brand new rifle.
Sadly, as is the case with many issues involving the brand new cartridges just like the 6.8 Western (and even the 6.5 Creedmoor), a number of hunters are very skeptical of the necessity for a brand new cartridge. In truth, that’s very true when evaluating the older 270 WSM to the brand new 6.8 Western. As you’ll be taught right here shortly, these two cartridges are extraordinarily comparable and the 270 WSM even outperforms the newer 6.8 Western in some areas.
On the identical time, the variations between the 6.8 Western vs 6.5 Creedmoor are undoubtedly larger in lots of areas. The 6.5 Creedmoor performs surprisingly properly in comparison with the newer, larger, and extra highly effective 6.8 Western in some areas although.
On this article, I’m going to do an in depth comparability of the 6.8 Western vs 6.5 Creedmoor vs 270 WSM with a purpose to flesh out the variations between these cartridges so you may make an knowledgeable determination on which one will work greatest for you.
Earlier than we get began, I’ve a few administrative observe:
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Moreover, I recorded a whole podcast episode on this actual topic. If you happen to’d reasonably hear than learn, click on the suitable hyperlink beneath to take heed to this episode in your most popular podcasting service.
6.8 Western vs 270 WSM vs 6.5 Creedmoor Podcast
Historical past Of The 270 WSM, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 6.8 Western
As a way to correctly talk about the historical past of those cartridges, we have to talk about just a little terminology.
Lots of the hottest centerfire rifle cartridges in america, just like the .270 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, and 300 Winchester Magnum (all of which have an general size 3.34″), require using what is usually known as a “normal motion” or “long-action” rifle.
Nonetheless, different cartridges, just like the 7mm-08 Remington and .308 Winchester (which have general lengths of two.8″ and a pair of.81″ respectively), are a couple of half inch shorter and can due to this fact match into what’s generally generally known as a “short-action” rifle.
These aren’t the one broad classes of rifle actions. For instance, so known as “magnum actions” are even longer than normal actions. Nonetheless, normal/lengthy actions and brief actions are two of the commonest and are most related to the dialogue of the 270 WSM, 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.8 Western cartridges.
Effectively, benchrest shooters found a few years in the past they might acquire a small, however particular benefit in accuracy through the use of brief, stubby cartridges.
Moreover, when in comparison with an in any other case similar rifle chambered in a protracted motion cartridge, a brief motion rifle might be a tiny bit shorter and lighter. So, not solely is it doable to shave some size and weight off a rifle whereas retaining the identical size barrel, however shorter actions additionally give the shooter a bonus from a shorter bolt throw (and a correspondingly quicker biking time) in addition to a tiny benefit in accuracy on account of their stiffer motion.
With this in thoughts, designers at Winchester Repeating Arms elected to construct a line of cartridges that might slot in a brief size motion with the objective of attaining comparable efficiency to common normal size cartridges.
Mainly, their acknowledged objective was to present shooters and hunters all the advantages of a brief motion cartridge (just like the .308 Winchester pictured beneath on the left) with primarily the identical exterior ballistics as comparable normal size cartridges (just like the .270 Winchester cartridge within the photograph beneath on the correct).
The trendy “magnum period” started in earnest with the introduction of the 7mm Remington Magnum and .300 Winchester Magnum cartridges throughout the Sixties. Each cartridges use instances derived from the lengthy, belted .375 H&H Magnum.
Nonetheless, the Winchester Brief Magnum cartridges all use a a lot fatter case with no belt that extra intently resembles the case utilized by the outdated .404 Jeffery in addition to the later Winchester Tremendous Brief Magnum (WSSM) line of cartridges.
The WSM instances all have a .535″ rebated rim that’s appropriate with a regular magnum dimension bolt face. Nonetheless, their .555″ case diameter is bigger than these utilized by the 7mm Rem Magazine and .300 Win Magazine (.513″) in addition to the .270 Winchester (.470″). Moreover, the Winchester Brief Magnum Cartridges all have a case with very minimal taper and a 35 diploma shoulder.
Taken collectively, these elements all maximize the case capability of the WSM cartridges, though their general size of two.86″ remains to be brief sufficient to slot in the preferred short-action rifle fashions.
Proponents of the WSM cartridges additionally argue that this ends in a shorter and wider powder column that’s extra shortly ignited by the primer and burns extra evenly than a comparable quantity of powder in an extended and extra slim column. In idea, this ends in improved accuracy for the shorter case.
Winchester made an enormous splash with the .300 Winchester Brief Magnum in 2001 and adopted up with the .270 Winchester Brief Magnum cartridge in 2002.
Just like the case with the opposite WSM cartridges, the 270 Winchester Brief Magnum was designed and marketed particularly as brief motion various to an especially common and efficient normal size cartridge: the .270 Winchester.
Designed by necking down a .30-06 case to make use of .277″ as a substitute of .308″ bullets, the unique .270 Winchester load shot a 130 grain bullet at roughly 3,140 toes per second (2,846 ft-lbs of power). Initially launched with the Winchester Mannequin 54 rifle, the cartridge developed a well-deserved repute for effectiveness on thin-skinned recreation over time.
The cartridge understandably developed a big and devoted following throughout the course of the twentieth Century and the .270 caliber turned eternally linked to the Winchester model.
Although nowhere close to as common because the 270 Winchester, the 270 WSM was additionally properly acquired by the searching group.
Because it had a barely bigger case capability, the 270 WSM shot the identical diameter and weight bullets because the outdated 270 Winchester 200-300fps quicker. Moreover, it achieved that degree of efficiency in a a lot shorter package deal that slot in a brief motion rifle.
Whereas that extra velocity resulted in a flatter trajectory, extra resistance to wind drift, and extra retained power at longer ranges, Winchester used the identical 1:10″ rifling twist price because the 270 Winchester.
This twist price labored extraordinarily properly for the 130gr-150gr bullet weight vary the 270 and 270 WSM cartridges had been initially developed for.
These bullets are extraordinarily efficient for a lot of searching purposes, however they don’t fairly provide the type of the prolonged efficiency an increasing number of hunters and shooters are in search of as of late. Shooters and hunters have began to put a a lot increased emphasis on lengthy, heavy, and aerodynamic projectiles in recent times with the rise in reputation of lengthy vary capturing.
We’ll speak extra about this in a second, however the level right here is to understand that the 270 WSM undoubtedly provided improved efficiency over the 270 Winchester and did so in a brief motion rifle, however that rifling twist price hamstrung the cartridge to a sure diploma.
Effectively, shooters within the twenty first Century lamented the comparatively few decisions for top BC searching bullets obtainable in .277″ caliber.
In response, the assorted ammunition producers have labored to fulfill that demand with choices utilizing modern, low drag bullets. The Nosler AccuBond Lengthy Vary, the Barnes LRX, the Hornady ELD-X, and the assorted Berger bullets are all nice examples of extraordinarily aerodynamic searching projectiles which have actually taken off in recent times.
Sadly, these slower rifling twist charges utilized by the .270 Winchester and 270 WSM hampered growth of lengthy, heavy, low-drag bullets in .277″ caliber.
For instance, there are a number of totally different searching bullet choices obtainable in 6.5mm, 7mm, and .30 caliber with a G1 ballistic coefficient over .600 just like the 143gr ELD-X in 6.5mm (.625 BC), the 168gr VLD Looking in 7mm (.618 BC), and the 210gr AccuBond Lengthy Vary in .30 caliber (.661 BC).
Comparable bullets in .277″ caliber embrace the 145gr ELD-X (.536 BC), 150gr VLD Looking (.518 BC), and the 150gr AccuBond Lengthy Vary (.591 BC).
True, hunters utilizing customized rifles with a quicker twist price can use a number of the very heavy and intensely aerodynamic 277″ caliber bullets which might be obtainable as of late just like the 170gr Berger Excessive Outer Limits (EOL) with a .662 BC. These heavy bullets merely weren’t an choice for hunters who don’t handload and who use manufacturing facility manufacturing rifles although.
That modified in 2020 when Nosler rolled out their new 27 Nosler cartridge.
Designed from the start to make use of the brand new .277″ caliber 165gr AccuBond Lengthy Vary (.620 BC), 27 Nosler rifles used a quicker 1:8.5″ rifling twist price and took the efficiency of the .277″ caliber to the following degree by permitting for using extraordinarily excessive BC bullets in a .277″ caliber cartridge.
The Nosler cartridges are true fireplace respiration magnums that fireside bullets with increased ballistic coefficients at very quick velocities, however they’re nonetheless pretty area of interest choices and are primarily obtainable in customized rifle builds (with a handful of exceptions).
This growth set issues in movement for the following domino to fall although.
That domino fell on 15 January 2021 when Browning and Winchester introduced the discharge of the brand new 6.8 Western cartridge. Also called the 6.8 Winchester Western, the announcement of the brand new spherical took some without warning.
As a substitute of simply revamping an older cartridge to make use of heavier bullets, designers at Winchester and Browning determined from the very starting to construct a objective constructed cartridge that can outperform the outdated .270 Winchester and 270 WSM.
Mainly, they needed a brand new .277″ cartridge that provided magnum efficiency with very excessive BC bullets that will additionally slot in a brief motion rifle.
Right here’s what Winchester’s lead engineer for the 6.8 Western, Kyle Masinelli, needed to say:
We needed to get into the untapped potential of bullets above the .264 caliber. We solely needed bullets with G1 BCs above .600 and our objective was to beat the .300 Winchester Magnum’s 180-grain AccuBond’s power supply at 500 yards.
To that finish, they borrowed a web page out of the playbook utilized in different profitable cartridge releases just like the 6.5 PRC. Related in look to the 270 WSM and 6.5 PRC, the 6.8 Western has an general size of two.955″ and makes use of a beltless case that’s 2.02″ lengthy, .535″ in diameter on the base, and has a 35 diploma shoulder.
Although the 270 WSM cartridge has an general size of two.86″ and suits neatly into the normal definition of a brief motion cartridge, the 6.8 Western exceeds these requirements by a hair with a most cartridge general size (COAL) of two.955″. Even so, the 6.8 Western will feed reliably from brief motion AICS-pattern field magazines which might be so widespread with fashionable rifles.
Along with lengthening the COAL of the 6.8 Western, designers at Winchester moved the cartridge shoulder again barely and decreased the case size in comparison with the 270 WSM. Just like what designers at Hornady did with the 300 PRC, this resulted in just a little bit more room for the bullet outdoors the case (often known as head peak).
This facilitated using lengthy, heavy-for-caliber bullets with out requiring them to be seated too deeply into the case that they intrude into the powder column.
These longer bullets additionally required a quicker rifling twist price for correct stabilization in flight. So, designers at Winchester and Browning designed the 6.8 Western to be used in rifles with a 1:7.5″ or 1:8″ rifling twist price (1:8″ is SAAMI normal).
The top result’s a brief and useful .277 caliber cartridge that delivers spectacular ballistics that evaluate very favorably to some famous lengthy range-cartridges.
You’ll be able to be taught extra in regards to the 6.8 Western and the way the brand new caliber compares to different cartridges just like the 6.5 PRC, 270 Winchester, 7mm Remington Magnum, and 28 Nosler within the articles beneath:
Now let’s shift gears for a minute and speak in regards to the growth of the 6.5 Creedmoor.
Dave Emary of Hornady Manufacturing and Dennis DeMille of Creedmoor Sports activities noticed a chance to construct a brand new cartridge for top energy rifle competitors capturing within the early 2000s.
Particularly, they needed to construct a really perfect lengthy vary capturing cartridge that would slot in a brief motion rifle and was nonetheless simply as correct because the .308 Winchester at lengthy distance. Nonetheless, the catch was they needed the brand new cartridge to have much less recoil, much less wind drift, and a flatter trajectory.
By modifying a .30 Thompson Heart (.30 TC) case to shoot .264″ bullets, they efficiently constructed a cartridge optimized to be used with 4350 class propellants with a comparatively massive case capability that might additionally accommodate lengthy, heavy, excessive ballistic coefficient (BC) bullets with out intruding into the powder column.
Named the 6.5 Creedmoor (generally misspelled Creedmoore or Creedmore) in honor of the Creedmoor Matches and designed to be used with a comparatively quick 1:8″ rifling twist price, Emary and DeMille had been fairly profitable of their objective of constructing the perfect competitors capturing cartridge with a comparatively flat trajectory.
A typical 6.5 Creedmoor load shoots a 140-grain bullet at about 2,700 fps (2,266 ft-lbs). So, the 6.5 Creedmoor doesn’t have eye popping ballistics, however it is vitally correct, makes use of excessive BC bullets that retain power and resist wind drift exceptionally properly, and has reasonable recoil.
For these causes, the cartridge has seen quite a lot of success within the palms of competitors shooters and lately made the soar into the mainstream searching group. The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has grow to be extraordinarily common amongst hunters and shooters who recognize the delicate recoil and nice prolonged vary efficiency of the cartridge in recent times as properly.
If you happen to’d wish to be taught extra about how the 6.5 Creedmoor compares to the .308 Winchester in additional element, learn the article beneath:
6.8 Western vs 270 Winchester Brief Magnum vs 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge Sizes
You’ll be able to see similarities and variations between the 6.8 Western, 270 WSM, and the 6.5 Creedmoor within the photographs beneath.
First, the 6.5 Creedmoor makes use of .264″ bullets whereas the 6.8 Western and .270 Winchester Brief Magnum use .277″ bullets.
Moreover, all of them use totally different weight bullets.
Whereas the 6.5 Creedmoor can use lighter 120gr, 127gr, and 130gr bullets, it’s mostly used with 140gr, 143gr, or 147gr bullets.
The 270 Winchester Brief Magnum most frequently makes use of bullets within the 110-150 grain vary, with 130 grain, 150 grain, and to a lesser extent, 140 grain bullets being the commonest.
Lastly, the 6.8 Western can use the identical lighter weight 130-grain and 150-grain bullets because the .270 Winchester Brief Magnum, but it surely’s optimized for 165 grain, 170 grain, and 175 grain bullets.
Every little thing else being equal, the heavier .277″ bullets utilized by the 6.8 Western have the next ballistic coefficient and the next sectional density than the lighter bullets of the identical diameter from the 270 WSM. We’ll dive extra into the nuts and bolts of precisely what this implies in sensible phrases for these cartridges later on this article.
All three cartridges are comparable in general size.
Although the 6.8 Western has a most cartridge general size (COAL) of two.955″ that exceeds the normal definition of a short-action rifle cartridge of two.86″ lengthy by a hair, the cartridge will feed reliably from brief motion AICS-pattern field magazines which might be so widespread with fashionable rifles.
The 6.5 Creedmoor and 270 WSM are a tiny bit shorter with most general lengths of two.825″ and a pair of.86″ respectively.
Moreover, the 270 WSM has the longest case size of the three at 2.1″, whereas the 6.8 Western and 6.5 Creedmoor are just a little shorter with 2.02″ and 1.92″ lengthy instances respectively.
This all is sensible because the 270 Winchester Brief Magnum, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 6.8 Western are all thought-about brief motion cartridges.
The 6.5 Creedmoor has a .473″ rim diameter whereas the 270 WSM and 6.8 Western have bigger .535″ rim diameters.
Moreover, the 6.5 Creedmoor has a 30 diploma shoulder angle whereas the 270 WSM and 6.8 Western every have a steeper 35 diploma shoulder angle.
Not surprisingly, the 6.5 Creedmoor has the smallest case capability of the three. Whereas the 6.8 Western and 270 Winchester Brief Magnum have very comparable case capacities, the 270 WSM really has just a little bit extra case capability because it’s just a little longer.
The 6.8 Western and 270 WSM are additionally loaded to the next stress than the 6.5 Creedmoor (65,000psi vs 62,000psi).
Be aware: whereas the powder capability figures listed beneath do give a superb indication of the variations between the 2 cartridges, actual case capacities range barely based on the model of brass used.
270 WSM vs 6.5 Creedmoor vs 6.8 Western Ballistics
As you’ll be able to most likely think about, the variations within the exterior dimensions of those cartridges additionally translate into some vital variations of their ballistic efficiency. That is illustrated within the desk beneath evaluating Winchester Expedition Huge Sport Lengthy Vary, Winchester Ballistic Silvertip, and Nosler Trophy Grande Lengthy Vary manufacturing facility ammunition.
Particularly, the 6.8 Western hundreds are from the Winchester Expedition Huge Sport Lengthy Vary and Winchester Ballistic Silvertip Line and use 165gr AccuBond Lengthy Vary (.620 BC) and 170gr Ballistic Silvertip (.563 BC) bullets.
The 270 WSM hundreds are from the Nosler Trophy Grade Lengthy Vary and Winchester Ballistic Silvertip traces and use 150gr Nosler AccuBond Lengthy Vary (.591 BC), 150gr Ballistic Silvertip (.496 BC), and 130gr Ballistic Silvertip (.432 BC) bullets.
The 6.5 Creedmoor hundreds are from the Winchester Expedition Huge Sport Lengthy Vary and Winchester Ballistic Silvertip Line and use 142gr AccuBond Lengthy Vary (.625 BC) and 140gr Ballistic Silvertip (.509 BC) bullets.
Regardless that these manufacturing facility hundreds are from two totally different corporations, that is nonetheless an “apples to apples” comparability as a result of all these hundreds all use bullets which might be just about similar. The Winchester Expedition Huge Sport Lengthy Vary manufacturing facility hundreds use Nosler bullets which have the identical BC and are in any other case identically constructed because the bullets utilized in Nosler Trophy Grade Lengthy Vary manufacturing facility hundreds.
All seven hundreds used a 200 yard zero.
As you’ll be able to see, all three 27Winchester Brief Magnum hundreds have a flatter trajectory than each 6.8 Western hundreds. The distinction between them is small they usually’re solely separated by a few inches at 500 yards, however the 270 WSM has a particular edge right here.
Regardless that the 6.8 Western makes use of extra aerodynamic bullets, the 270 WSM has the sting on this space as a result of these 270 WSM hundreds have a quicker muzzle velocity (80-355fps relying on the precise load).
Then again, the 6.8 Western has the sting with retained kinetic power. That 150gr 270 WSM Ballistic Silvertip load really has a tiny bit extra muzzle power (owing to its increased muzzle velocity), however the 165gr 6.8 Western load surpasses it inside 100 yards. Since that 6.8 Western load makes use of a extra aerodynamic bullet, that hole grows in favor of the 6.8 Western as vary will increase.
The 270 WSM load capturing the 150gr AccuBond Lengthy Vary has nearly precisely the identical quantity of kinetic power because the 6.8 Western Ballistic SilverTip load at 500 yards. Except for that, the 6.8 Western has the sting.
That benefit ranges from 6% to 31% extra power at 500 yards.
So, the 270 WSM and 6.8 Western are extraordinarily comparable in these areas. Particularly when evaluating these AccuBond Lengthy Vary hundreds, the 6.8 Western has a small benefit in kinetic power whereas the 270 WSM has the benefit in trajectory.
On the identical time, each the 270 WSM and 6.8 Western handily surpass the 6.5 Creedmoor in efficiency with each trajectory and retained power. Each 6.5 Creedmoor hundreds have between 6″ and 15″ extra bullet drop and 9-67% much less kinetic power than the 6.8 Western and 270 WSM at 500 yards.
Certainly, the 165gr ABLR load from the 6.8 Western has extra power at 300 yards than both 6.5 Creedmoor load has on the muzzle.
That shouldn’t be too stunning although. In any case, the 270 WSM and 6.8 Western are brief motion magnum cartridges whereas the 6.5 Creedmoor is a candy capturing goal spherical that’s additionally appropriate for searching.
The chart beneath compares how a lot a ten mile per hour crosswind impacts those self same 6.8 Western, 270 WSM, and 6.5 Creedmoor hundreds out to 500 yards.
That is a kind of areas the place the 6.8 Western shines.
As you’ll be able to see, whereas that 150gr 270 WSM ABLR load is true there with the 165gr ABLR from the 6.8 Western, each 6.8 Western hundreds provide higher resistance to wind deflection than the opposite 270 WSM hundreds and the 6.5 Creedmoor Ballistic Silvertip load.
Curiously, the extraordinarily aerodynamic 6.5 Creedmoor ABLR load primarily duplicates the efficiency of the 170gr 6.8 Western Ballistic Silvertip load and likewise edges each of the 270 WSM Ballistic Silvertip hundreds.
All issues thought-about, the 6.8 Western ABLR has a bonus over the 270 WSM and the 6.5 Creedmoor by way of wind deflection at 500 yards.
The small print range relying on the precise load, but it surely varies from .3-4.4″ (2-33%) much less wind deflection for the 6.8 Western vs the 270 WSM and 1.1-6″ (9-45%) much less wind deflection for the 6.8 Western vs 6.5 Creedmoor.
The variations are after all smaller at shorter vary.
Now let’s discuss recoil.
The desk beneath compares the recoil produced by handloads that approximate the efficiency of the manufacturing facility hundreds above firing the Nosler AccuBond Lengthy Vary for every cartridge when fired from similar 7 pound rifles.
Felt recoil will range from shooter to shooter and rifle to rifle, however free recoil power remains to be a helpful strategy to evaluate cartridges.
That is the place issues will get particularly fascinating.
First, the 6.5 Creedmoor actually runs away with issues right here. Whereas it undoubtedly lags behind the others by way of trajectory, kinetic power, and wind deflection (although much less so with wind deflection), it additionally has fairly a bit much less recoil than the 6.8 Western and 270 WSM.
Now, that 6.8 Western 165gr ABLR load performs very well, but it surely additionally produces about 17% extra recoil than the 270 WSM 150gr ABLR load.
It’s because it’s utilizing extra powder to push a heavier bullet.
Now, even the 6.8 Western doesn’t have a ridiculous quantity of recoil. The recoil produced by this specific load is certainly greater than the 6.5 Creedmoor and 270 WSM, but it surely’s additionally not so extreme that it’s not possible to shoot.
Certainly the 6.8 Western nonetheless recoils lower than the 300 Win Magazine and the 7mm Rem Magazine.
The recoil of the 6.8 Western might be additional mitigated to a sure extent with using a suppressor, muzzle brake, or a superb recoil pad. So the additional recoil of the cartridge isn’t essentially a deal breaker for many individuals.
It’s nonetheless value contemplating although and this is a bonus in favor of the 6.5 Creedmoor and 270 WSM.
Don’t underestimate the impression that recoil has on the power of an individual to shoot precisely both. Some folks do deal with recoil higher than others, however all different issues being equal, they may completely shoot extra precisely with a milder recoiling cartridge.
Moreover, there are a few different elements which might be additionally value discussing within the 6.8 Western vs 6.5 Creedmoor vs 270 WSM debate.
First, the 270 WSM and 6.8 Western use bigger diameter bullets than the 6.5 Creedmoor.
Particularly, the bigger diameter .277″ bullets utilized by these cartridges have about 10% extra frontal floor space (often known as cross sectional space) than the .264″ bullets utilized by the 6.5 Creedmoor (.0603 vs .0547 sq. inches). All different issues being equal, a much bigger bullet will make a much bigger gap, trigger extra tissue injury, and end in extra blood loss.
It is a small benefit in favor of the 6.8 Western and 270 WSM.
Particularly when mixed with the truth that the 2 cartridges carry extra kinetic power downrange, these bigger diameter bullets may also be useful when searching huge recreation.
Then again, as we coated earlier, these longer, heavy for caliber .277″ bullets the 6.8 Western is optimized for have the next ballistic coefficient than the commonest bullets used within the 270 WSM. The 6.5 Creedmoor is not any slouch on this space both although.
There’s a little bit of overlap right here although.
As an illustration, the .277″ 165gr AccuBond Lengthy Vary utilized by the 6.8 Western has a BC of .620. This undoubtedly increased than the 150gr AccuBond Lengthy Vary utilized by the 270 WSM, which has a BC of .591.
Then again, the .264″ 142gr AccuBond Lengthy Vary utilized by the 6.5 Creedmoor has a BC of .625. The identical goes for the 143gr Hornady ELD-X.
Whereas these variations are certainly small in favor of the 6.8 Western over the 270 WSM and the 6.5 Creedmoor over the 6.8 Western, they’re nonetheless value contemplating as a result of these barely extra aerodynamic projectiles don’t decelerate as quick and are extra proof against wind drift.
These bullets even have a comparatively excessive sectional density (SD).
Sectional density (SD) is a measure of the ratio of the diameter of a projectile to its mass. All different issues equal, a heavier projectile of a given caliber might be longer and due to this fact have the next sectional density and consequently penetrate deeper than projectiles with a decrease mass and sectional density.
130 grain, 150 grain, 165 grain, and 170 grain .277″ bullets have sectional densities of .242, .279, .307, and .317 respectively. On the identical time, 130 grain, 140 grain, 142 grain, and 143 grain .264″ bullets have sectional densities of .266, .287, .291, and .293.
So, the 6.8 Western has a particular edge in sectional density in comparison with the 270 WSM and a barely smaller benefit over 6.5 Creedmoor with essentially the most generally obtainable searching bullets in manufacturing facility hundreds. On the identical time, the heavy for caliber 140-143gr .264″ bullets have a particular edge over the 130-150gr bullets utilized by the 270 WSM in sectional density.
So, the excessive SD bullets utilized by the 6.5 Creedmoor help with penetration to assist the cartridge “punch above its weight” in a fashion just like the 7x57mm or 9.3x62mm Mauser cartridges.
The identical is certainly true for the 6.8 Western as properly.
What about 6.8 Western vs 6.5 Creedmoor vs 270 WSM accuracy?
All three are definitely able to excellent accuracy (typically sub-MOA) in the correct palms and in good rifles.
It’s actually exhausting to select a winner right here.
On one hand, sure 270 WSM hundreds have nice ballistics on paper, which will help the shooter battle environmental circumstances and successfully place rounds on course.
Then again, the on paper ballistic efficiency 6.8 Western lags just a bit behind the 270 WSM by way of trajectory whereas additionally having extra recoil, but it surely additionally performs a tiny bit higher within the wind.
Moreover, the 6.5 Creedmoor was particularly designed as a contest capturing cartridge. On the identical time, because it makes use of .264″ bullets, there’s a larger collection of excessive BC and excessive SD match grade searching bullets obtainable for the cartridge.
Lastly, 6.8 Western and 6.5 Creedmoor each have a smaller freebore diameter than the .270 WSM.
Freebore is the sleek portion of a rifle barrel closest to the cartridge. Having a extra comfortable freebore diameter means there’s much less room for the bullet to yaw upon firing earlier than participating the rifling. This may additionally assist improve accuracy.
The 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.8 Western have a minuscule .0001″ of freebore diameter in comparison with .0003″ for the 270 WSM.
Sure, the 270 WSM has actually 3x as a lot area across the bullet when a cartridge is chambered. The tight freebore of the 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.8 Western retains the bullet straight previous to engraving the rifling, which reinforces accuracy.
That’s to not say the 270 WSM isn’t able to nice accuracy (as a result of it definitely might be).
Nonetheless, that’s one other potential benefit the 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.8 Western have right here.
So like I mentioned, it’s robust to select a winner right here. My first inclination could be to rank the 6.5 Creedmoor first, adopted by the 6.8 Western, after which lastly the 270 WSM.
Nonetheless, the main points will range on the precise rifle, ammunition, and shooter in query.
So the place will we stand with these cartridges?
6.8 Western vs 6.5 Creedmoor
The 6.8 Western fires bigger diameter and heavier bullets at a quicker velocity than the 6.5 Creedmoor. This interprets into the 6.8 Western having a flatter trajectory, extra resistance to wind drift, and extra retained kinetic power downrange, however extra recoil than the 6.5 Creedmoor.
6.8 Western vs 270 WSM
Each cartridges fireplace the identical diameter bullets, however the 6.8 Western is able to firing heavier and extra aerodynamic bullets. Nonetheless, 270 WSM manufacturing facility hundreds usually have a quicker muzzle velocity. So, the 270 WSM has a flatter trajectory and fewer recoil, however the 6.8 Western retains extra power at longer vary and has extra resistance to wind drift.
6.5 Creedmoor vs 270 WSM
The 270 WSM fires bigger diameter and heavier bullets at a considerably quicker velocity than the 6.5 Creedmoor. The 270 WSM recoils greater than typical 6.5 Creedmoor hundreds, however may also have extra retained kinetic power, a flatter trajectory, and extra resistance to wind drift.
270 WSM vs 6.8 Western vs 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo
The 6.5 Creedmoor particularly is an especially common centerfire rifle cartridge. In truth, it’s some of the common cartridges in use in North America.
For that motive (throughout regular instances) ammo is often best to search out for the 6.5 Creedmoor. On the whole, 6.5 Creedmoor ammo is usually the least costly of the three as properly.
The large ammunition producers like Barnes, Berger, Browning, Federal Premium, Hornady, HSM, Nosler, Remington, Sierra, Sig Sauer, Swift, and Winchester all produce an unimaginable number of ammo for the 6.5 Creedmoor in most of their actually common traces of ammo.
This consists of nearly all the things from “plain Jane” ammo just like the Remington Core Lokt and Winchester Tremendous X traces to extra specialised ammo just like the Hornady Precision Hunter and Federal Terminal Ascent Traces.
Whereas I wouldn’t say it’s precisely uncommon, the 270 WSM is essentially the most tough to search out proper now.
As of early 2022, 270 WSM is out there in a superb variety of loadings from many of the huge corporations like Barnes, Browning, Federal, Hornady, Nosler, Remington, and Winchester. A lot of the common ammo traces can be found as properly.
With all that mentioned, it has been pretty tough to return by throughout the ongoing 2020-2022 ammo scarcity.
At this instantaneous, the Winchester Expedition Huge Sport Lengthy Vary line loaded with 165gr Nosler AccuBond Lengthy Vary bullets, the Browning Lengthy Vary Professional Hunter line loaded with 175gr Sierra GameChanger bullets, the Winchester Ballistic SilverTip line loaded with 170gr Ballistic SilverTip bullets, and the Winchester Copper Affect line loaded with 162gr Copper Affect bullets are the one loaded ammo choices I’m conscious of for the 6.8 Western cartridge.
There’s a surprisingly good collection of manufacturing facility loaded 6.8 Western ammunition as of late. Right now, Browning and Winchester are the first sources of manufacturing facility 6.8 ammo, but it surely’s often not too exhausting to search out ammo for the cartridge as of early 2022.
Ammo availability can be often glorious on-line and the larger retailers usually have a wide variety of high quality manufacturing facility ammo for each cartridges as properly.
If you happen to’d wish to be taught extra about a number of the numerous searching ammunition decisions for the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, learn this text:
Handloaders will recognize the truth that reloading elements for all 3 cartridges obtainable and there’s an fairly good number of bullet decisions for every cartridge (particularly the 6.5 Creedmoor). So, you shouldn’t have any bother working up a superb customized load for both one should you wish to handload.
The 6.5 Creedmoor shoot the identical .264″ bullet dimension that’s additionally utilized by the 6.5 Grendel, 260 Remington, the 6.5×55 Swede, and the 264 Winchester Magnum (amongst others).
The 6.8 Western makes use of the identical .277″ bullet dimension because the .270 Winchester, the 6.8 Remington SPC, and the 270 Weatherby. Whereas these Winchester and Weatherby cartridges particularly use a slower rifling twist price than the 6.8 Western, the 6.8 Western cartridge will readily shoot these lighter 130-150gr bullets mostly utilized in these chamberings with out problem.
Bullets just like the Barnes LRX, TSX, and TTSX, the Berger VLD and Hybrid Hunter, the Hornady ELD-X, GMX, InterBond, InterLock, SST, and V-Max, the Nosler AccuBond, Ballistic Tip, E-Tip, and Partition, the Sierra GameChanger and GameKing, the Swift Scirocco and A-Body, (simply to call a couple of) are choices for if you wish to reload the 6.5 Creedmoor, the 270 WSM, and the 6.8 Western.
270 WSM vs 6.8 Western vs 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles
The rifle state of affairs with the 6.8 Western, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 270 WSM is just like the ammunition state of affairs.
Of the three, the 6.5 Creedmoor is the preferred and is extraordinarily widespread in bolt-action rifles. In truth, nearly each actually common bolt-action searching rifle in present manufacturing is out there in 6.5 Creedmoor
As an illustration, each the 6.5 Creedmoor is out there in a number of totally different variations of the Remington Mannequin 700 and Winchester Mannequin 70. The identical goes for the Browning X-Bolt, Kimber Hunter, Mossberg Patriot, Nosler M48, Ruger American, Ruger Hawkeye, Savage Axis, Savage 110, Tikka T3x, Weatherby Vanguard, and Winchester XPR.
Issues are just a little totally different with the 270 WSM although, which is primarily obtainable choices from Browning and Winchester just like the X-Bolt, AB3, Mannequin 70, and XPR. Savage additionally produces their 110 rifle in 270 WSM.
Right now, Browning and Winchester are the one main producers producing rifles in 6.8 Western.
Nonetheless, there’s a fairly good collection of 6.8 Western rifles obtainable from each corporations. As of early 2022, 6.8 Western rifles embrace 21 totally different variations of the Browning X-Bolt, 14 variations of the Winchester XPR, and 9 variations of the Winchester Mannequin 70 bolt motion rifles.
Throughout regular instances, the 6.5 Creedmoor is by far the commonest and best to search out. The identical goes with discovering 6.5 Creedmoor rifles which might be cheaper.
Nonetheless, as of early 2022, we’re nonetheless not residing in regular instances.
The 6.8 Western was first launched throughout the center of the large ammo scarcity in early 2021, which really meant that rifles in that chambering had been pretty simple to return by till the final couple months of the yr.
Most of these examples had been snapped up by November or December although.
As I write this text in Might of 2022, 6.5 Creedmoor rifles look like the commonest on vendor’s cabinets, adopted by the 6.8 Western after which the 270 WSM.
It’s additionally vital to understand that gun producers are likely to put longer barrels on rifles chambered in magnum cartridges on the whole. It’s because these cartridges want an extended barrel to successfully and effectively burn that bigger powder cost.
Barrel lengths do range relying on the producer and actual mannequin.
Nonetheless, the 6.8 Western is often obtainable in rifles with a 24″ barrel, although some fashions have 26″ barrels. A handful of fashions have shorter 22″, 20″ and even 16.5″ barrels in some instances (although these shorter barrels are considerably uncommon and are most typical on “suppressor prepared” fashions).
24″ barrels are fairly normal with the 270 WSM, although it’s doable to search out rifles with 22″ and even these 16.5″ barrels (as soon as once more, in “suppressor prepared” fashions).
Issues are just a little totally different with the 6.5 Creedmoor, which is most typical with a 22″ barrel. 24″ lengthy barrels aren’t uncommon although. Neither are 20″ and even shorter barrels.
All issues thought-about, rifles chambered in 270 WSM and 6.8 Western are typically barely longer, heavier, and extra unwieldy than rifles chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.
Having a shorter and lighter rifle is extra vital on some hunts than on others. So, simply preserve that in thoughts.
If you happen to’d wish to be taught extra about a number of the numerous searching rifle decisions for the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, learn this text:
6.8 Western vs 6.5 Creedmoor vs 270 WSM: Which Is Proper For You?
Do you primarily hunt medium sized recreation like whitetail deer, feral hogs, or black bear at ranges inside 200 yards? All three are extraordinarily efficient deer searching cartridges and can completely get the job finished on medium sized recreation should you do your half. There’s nothing incorrect with utilizing any of these cartridges on deer inside 200 yards, however that is the proper job for the 6.5 Creedmoor, which might be simpler on each your shoulder and your pockets than the opposite two.
If you happen to’re going to be searching in thick brush or within the tight confines of a deer stand, keep in mind what I simply talked about in regards to the dimension distinction with 6.5 Creedmoor vs 6.8 Western vs 270 Winchester Brief Magnum rifles. That additional couple of inches in general size of a rifle is usually a actual headache to cope with when making an attempt to shortly and quietly maneuver for a shot. Of those cartridges, the 6.5 Creedmoor is certainly the higher selection for a really compact rifle with a shorter barrel.
Are you in search of the cartridge higher suited to lengthy vary trying to find recreation like mule deer or pronghorn antelope in open nation the place you would possibly have to take a shot at a number of hundred yards? As soon as once more, they’ll all work very well on this position and conditions. Nonetheless, the 270 WSM and 6.8 Western undoubtedly begin to stand aside from the 6.5 Creedmoor right here. Particularly when utilizing these 165gr AccuBond Lengthy Vary bullets, the 6.8 Western carries extra power out to prolonged vary, however the 270 WSM is extraordinarily efficient on this position as properly.
I’d lean in the direction of the 6.8 Western in order for you the perfect resistance to wind drift, however the distinction between the 6.8 Western and 270 WSM is actually fairly small. All issues thought-about, I’d say the 270 WSM is definitely the perfect cartridge for this type of searching and completely excels on deer sized recreation in open nation.
Would you like a searching cartridge that’s properly suited to caribou, moose, elk, eland, kudu, or purple stag searching? Whereas it is going to work on larger recreation, I believe the 6.5 Creedmoor is on the sunshine facet for this type of searching. The 270 WSM will definitely work on this space, particularly if utilizing a properly constructed 150 grain bullet. Nonetheless, I believe the 6.8 Western is a more sensible choice right here as a result of it carries just a little extra kinetic power at prolonged vary and may use heavier (and doubtless higher penetrating bullets).
Are you particularly searching brown or grizzly bear? What should you hunt in Canada or Alaska and wish a heavy hitting cartridge simply in case you end up on the incorrect finish of a grizzly/brown bear assault? I don’t advocate any of those cartridges for really searching the large bears, although they may work in a pinch. Whereas I’d choose to hold one thing heavier like a .300 Win Magazine or a .338 Win Magazine in grizzly nation, I’d go together with the 6.8 Western because it makes use of bigger and heavier bullets than the 6.5 Creedmoor (and heavier bullets than the 270 WSM).
Are you delicate to recoil and in want of a severe low recoil cartridge? The 6.5 Creedmoor wins right here palms down and is certainly the lightest recoiling of the three with the 270 WSM edging the 6.8 Western out a bit on this space.
The 6.8 Western, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 270 Winchester Brief Magnum are all glorious rifle cartridges. Whereas the 6.8 Western is the newest taste of the week and does provide sure benefits over the 270 WSM in some points, there’s nonetheless not a darn factor incorrect with the 270 Winchester Brief Magazine both.
In some ways, the 6.8 Western is what the 270 WSM ought to have been from the start.
Likewise, whereas the 6.5 Creedmoor is a good selection for sure purposes, it’s clearly outclassed by the 270 WSM and 6.8 Western in lots of different areas, particularly for searching larger recreation and/or for longer vary searching conditions.
Although the variations between them (6.8 Western vs 6.5 Creedmoor vs 270 WSM) are pretty vital in sure respects, they’re all appropriate for a lot of searching duties.
So, rigorously analyze your potential wants earlier than making a call. Ultimately, a number of this determination comes down to private desire. So, select the one that you simply really feel most comfy with and it’ll most likely serve you properly afield. Good luck!
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The Lyman fiftieth Version (p183-184 and p199-200) and Hornady tenth Version (p317-322 and 356-359) reloading manuals had been used as references for the historical past of the cartridges. I obtained the information used to match the trajectory of the cartridges from Nosler, and Winchester (right here and right here). Information used to calculate recoil was obtained from the Nosler ninth version reloading handbook (p268-276 & p443-450). Case capability data for the 6.8 Western, 270 WSM, and 6.5 Creedmoor was obtained from Chuck Hawks (right here and right here) and The American Rifleman. Most stress and knowledge to match cartridge sizes for the 6.8 Western, 270 WSM, and 6.5 Creedmoor had been obtained from SAAMI (p23, p28, p39, and p86) and right here. I used ShootersCalculator.com to match trajectory and recoil for the cartridges.