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6.5 Creedmoor LE use and ballistics info. Login/Join 
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Hello to all. I was curious to see if anyone in forum land had any info on the use of 6.5 Creedmoor being used by LE agencies for marksman/sniper roles and if there is any testing/info for ballistics/barrier penetration?

Anything would be appreciated. Thanks!!
 
Posts: 3159 | Registered: January 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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.357fuzz,

You won't find departments running to the 6.5 Creedmoor for the simple reason that it's not needed. The .308 is already developed for LE use where the 6.5 is not. Go with what you know.
The real reason is that LE shootings are relatively short range affairs. Ranges where the .308/7.62mm SHINES.

I have a number of 6.5's, but when the feces hits the oscillator I reach for my 7.62 bolt gun and Nightforce ATACR optic.

Let's face it we all dream of making the 1,000 yard head shot, but there has never been one in the LE community. Only in the military.

Wes
 
Posts: 2204 | Location: Salem, OR | Registered: May 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Some thoughts.

I’ve been pondering the question of using the 6.5 Creedmoor for law enforcement sniping purposes for some time. My initial reaction to the decision by the Department of Homeland Security to switch from 308 Winchester to 6.5 was one of some skepticism, not because I believe the 6.5 is necessarily inferior to the 308 in the ways that matter (much), but because of the “Why?” factor. How is it superior?

I understand the long range ballistics advantage of the 6.5 over the 308, but that’s literally immaterial to what’s suitable and desirable for a law enforcement sniper cartridge. The information I have about LE sniper engagements is that the average distance is less than 100 yards and the longest recorded was under 200 yards. If long range accuracy isn’t the issue, then, what is? What are the other advantages and disadvantages of the two rounds?

If the 6.5 cartridge is a more precise round at longer ranges, then it will presumably be more precise at shorter ranges, but how much? Although I don’t shoot my TRG chambered for 6.5 as often as my Tikka and other rifles chambered for 308, I do seem to shoot it better and have had fewer unfortunate experiences due to shooter error in the training courses I’ve developed for myself. But is that because of the differences between the two rounds, or between the rifles? The one is much heavier, has a somewhat better trigger, and cost three times what I could replace the other for. I also found it to be totally unsuitable for any LE duty role.

On the other hand, most of the 308 ammunition suitable for LE sniper operations produce significantly more power than 6.5 loads that would fill the same roles. When I raised this issue in a thread here some time ago, it was met by incredulous ridicule. At least one poster pointed out that cartridges with ballistics similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor were used for hunting moose(!) in Scandinavia. I won’t go into all the reasons why that observation is not relevant to LE sniping requirements, but the main thing I’ll point out is that sometimes more power is better. Period. With proper bullet “placement” on a cooperative or at least unsuspecting target, any cartridge will do. With that or a similar thought and assumptions in mind, at one time various manufacturers marketed police “tactical” rifles chambered for 223 Remington. The FBI even issued them for a time; but no longer.

Let’s assume, however, that the 6.5 is plenty powerful enough and that the BG who is shot in the torso won’t notice the difference between 2400 and 2800 foot-pounds of projectile energy. My next, and primary, concern when I first started pondering the idea was about barrier penetration. Again, power matters but bullet construction matters more, and at that time it didn’t seem to me that there were 6.5 loads that would offer the same options as a number of 308 loads.
In researching the matter now, however, that seems to have changed somewhat.

At least one LE sniping authority and I agree that against unarmored and nonbarricaded targets the best bullet is one that expands rapidly and delivers its energy very quickly without excessive penetration. In particular, the one we both independently picked as our load of choice for LE sniping was the Hornady 308 Winchester 155 grain A-MAX TAP load. But thin jackets and explosive expansion aren’t always ideal. Sometimes the target will be behind commercial window glass, car windshields, or other barriers, and then what?

Another Hornady 308 Win TAP load is the “Heavy Barrier” that uses a 165 grain GMX bullet. The GMX is a monolithic gilding metal hollow point bullet that expands in tissue, but which does not fragment even through barrier materials and penetrates very deeply. At significantly lower velocity than the 155 A-MAX bullet it penetrates about 29 inches in bare gelatin as compared with the other’s less than 14 inches of penetration and heavy loss of weight.

It was loads like the “Heavy Barrier” that made me believe that the 308 Win was far superior to the 6.5 Creedmoor for law enforcement applications because at the time there was nothing similar for the latter cartridge. But that’s changed.

Although it’s not in Hornady’s TAP (Tactical Application Police) line, they do offer a 120 grain GMX “Superformance” load for the 6.5 Creedmoor. In the TAP line is also a 147 grain “ELD Match” load for 6.5, and in short, both loads seem to perform similarly to the comparable loads in 308 despite their lower weight, especially in the GMX. The one gelatin test video I found of the 6.5 GMX showed similar expansion in bare gelatin and its sectional density is virtually the same as the 308 GMX bullet.

There are also solid bullet loads produced by other manufacturers and Federal has a 6.5 “tipped bullet” offering similar to Hornady’s A-MAX or ELD bullets that’s part of their Premium Law Enforcement line.

So, what’s the point of all that? I believe that when we consider all the factors involved, the 308 Winchester is currently still a better choice as a cartridge for law enforcement DM or sniper applications than the 6.5 Creedmoor. With the intense interest in the latter and the rapid developments in ammunition and weapons for the round, though, that may change.

Added: Of course, none of that (well, hardly any) is what the OP asked, so apologies for the drift.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sigfreund,




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42686 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the info. I went to a Hornady sponsored ballistics test and they had some good info on the 6.5CM. I don’t see why it couldn’t be an acceptable cartridge for the LE sniper role. However, the 308 owns the game. Nothing wrong w/ the 308.

When I went to a sniper school I was amazed to watch, what was at that time the Gold standard of sniper rounds, the Federal Gold Match 168 trainer blow right through ballistics gel. Not good in crowds and such. Then the Hornady counterpart came up. That ballistic gel block blew a foot in the air and w/ the power dump broke the wood it was sitting on. The bullet stayed in the gel as well.

Just doing some pondering out loud about the 6.5CM. I don’t think it’s use is going to hurt a department any. But, unless you just got to have it I think you would be well served by the 308.
 
Posts: 3159 | Registered: January 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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At my local range not uncommon for various agencies to be there. Local Police, Sheriff, Highway Patrol and others from neighboring counties....

Two years ago two deputies were there shooting 6.5 Creedmoors, their duty rifles. They both told me they shot the 6.5CM better then their previous issued 308's. Less recoil, faster follow up shot. I appreciated their honesty.
 
Posts: 2870 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by offgrid:
Two years ago two deputies were there shooting 6.5 Creedmoors, their duty rifles. They both told me they shot the 6.5CM better then their previous issued 308's. Less recoil, faster follow up shot. I appreciated their honesty.

I did not know that regional LEOs had 6.5CM-chambered duty rifles. Yes, their honesty is admirable.

308 Win has been around a long time. Many individuals and organizations resist changing from what they are familiar with. And yes, 308 Win has plenty of kinetic energy to be a marksman/duty rifle. But almost certainly so does 260 Remy, 6.5CM, 6.5x47, 243 Win, 6CM, and 6x47 -- especially at the common LEO target distances. Type and weight of bullets certainly play a key roll.

I have thousands of rounds on virtually identical rifles chambered in 308 and 6.5 Creedmoor. There is noticeably less recoil with the 6.5CM. Webz charts list about 13 foot-pounds for an average 6.5 versus about 18 foot-pounds for an average 308. This results in a significant difference in keeping sights on target during the recoil cycle, getting the sights back on target after the recoil cycle, and maintaining accuracy from unstable shooting positions.

308 Win may never go away. However for certain applications, 6.5mm bore (and even 6mm bore) chamberings are a better choice.
 
Posts: 6671 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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FWIW, yesterday I tested a couple of Hornady GMX loads, the 6.5 Creedmoor 120 grain “Superformance,” and the 308 Winchester 165 grain “Heavy Barrier” TAP.

From a 20 inch barrel, the muzzle velocity of five shots of the 308 load averaged 2674 fps for 2619 foot-pounds of kinetic energy; 10 shots of the 6.5 load from 26 inches averaged 3020 fps for 2430 ft-lb KE. The sectional densities of the two GMX bullets are virtually identical: 0.248 for 165 .30, and 0.246 for 120 0.264.

Based solely on bullet energy I would expect the 308 load to be a somewhat better penetrator, but I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot through a windshield with the 6.5 GMX bullet if it were necessary. In my testing, a 125 grain 357 SIG Gold Dot bullet punched through a windshield with no deviation from the point of aim. And considering how well 55 grain M193 bullets perforated a 1976 pickup’s bed walls, I cannot imagine that the 6.5 GMX wouldn’t be perfectly satisfactory.

Group sizes of the two GMX loads were similar, about 1 MOA. The 6.5 might have been a bit more precise, but that’s hard to tell due to the small sample sizes.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42686 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
FWIW, yesterday I tested a couple of Hornady GMX loads, the 6.5 Creedmoor 120 grain “Superformance,” and the 308 Winchester 165 grain “Heavy Barrier” TAP.

From a 20 inch barrel, the muzzle velocity of five shots of the 308 load averaged 2674 fps for 2619 foot-pounds of kinetic energy; 10 shots of the 6.5 load from 26 inches averaged 3020 fps for 2430 ft-lb KE. The sectional densities of the two GMX bullets are virtually identical: 0.248 for 165 .30, and 0.246 for 120 0.264.

Based solely on bullet energy I would expect the 308 load to be a somewhat better penetrator, but I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot through a windshield with the 6.5 GMX bullet if it were necessary. In my testing, a 125 grain 357 SIG Gold Dot bullet punched through a windshield with no deviation from the point of aim. And considering how well 55 grain M193 bullets perforated a 1976 pickup’s bed walls, I cannot imagine that the 6.5 GMX wouldn’t be perfectly satisfactory.

Group sizes of the two GMX loads were similar, about 1 MOA. The 6.5 might have been a bit more precise, but that’s hard to tell due to the small sample sizes.


https://www.speer.com/bullets/...et/19-264120GDB.html
 
Posts: 2870 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Speer Gold Dot bullets are definitely good for penetration, but although there is a 0.264 120 grain bullet listed, I couldn’t find any 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition loaded with GD bullets. And it’s interesting that they have evidently reduced their overall line. I see only one 308 Win load with GD bullet, 150 grains, but at one time they offered a heavier bullet load as well (168? don’t recall exactly without looking at my stash).




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42686 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A bit more about 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition.

My most recent acquisition was a Tikka T3x TAC A1 rifle chambered for 6.5 to replace the TRG-22. As many reviewers have found with their rifles, Hornady 140 and 147 grain ELD loads perform well. In a recent bench session each load produced two successive sub-MOA five shot groups in the 0.6-0.7 inch range at 100 yards, thereby satisfying Tikka’s precision claim for the gun.

The 120 grain “Superformance” GMX load, however, continued to disappoint. Although two five-shot groups are very small samples and don’t demonstrate how good the load might perform for other shooters with other rifles, they did demonstrate how bad they could be for me. The centers of the two groups with respect to the point of aim differed by a full inch at 100 yards and their precision was not as good as the ELD loads’. One GMX five-shot group measured about 1.1" center to center and four shots of the other group measured about the same. A fifth shot of the second group, however, opened it up to over 2 inches.

The performance of the GMX load could, admittedly, have been due to shooter skill (or lack thereof) even though I had no problem with the other loads. But considering how the same ammunition performed when fired during a different session with a different rifle, I’d advise anyone who is considering the GMX load for its penetration capability to test it thoroughly before relying on it for serious purposes.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42686 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I *think* we just purchased a Creedmore at work. I've been out of the long rifle game for so long that I don't know what those guys are doing these days. They are far and away from a 700PSS 24 inch with a Leopold 4.5x14 mildot that it isn't funny.
They are running suppressors with optics that look a ton more complicated (I know, they aren't or they wouldn't be using them). I'll ask around the next time I see one of them.




www.opspectraining.com

"It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it works out for them"



 
Posts: 34498 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jljones:
I'll ask around the next time I see one of them.


If you’re asking and they don’t mind, I’d be curious to know what scope(s) they’re using as well.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42686 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
quote:
Originally posted by jljones:
I'll ask around the next time I see one of them.


If you’re asking and they don’t mind, I’d be curious to know what scope(s) they’re using as well.


Will do.




www.opspectraining.com

"It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it works out for them"



 
Posts: 34498 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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To keep this going, I just discovered today that the 140 grain 6.5mm Gold Dot bullet is available in a factory load in the guise of the Federal Fusion line. If I can find a box without being raped on shipping, I’ll probably test it at some point. One review I read indicated it was capable of good precision.

https://www.federalpremium.com...le/11-F65CRDFS1.html




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42686 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by sigfreund:
The 120 grain “Superformance” GMX load, however, continued to disappoint.

My brother in law gave me a box of the 120 GMX ammo for Christmas one year. I was not impressed with its accuracy. I shot two 5-shot groups at 100-yard paper, and 10 shots at steel.

My notes show the 100-yard groups measured 1-1/4" and 1-1/2". The ammo printed 3 rounds right on top of each other, then 2 other rounds in various locations. Performance on distant steel was...bad. I will not use GMX bullets on close-ish steel, as the bullet really dings up AR500.

Accuracy issues could be the result of:
- The GMX bullet. I have minimal experience with the GMX bullet.
- The high MV of the Superformance load. Superformance ammo rarely performs well in any of my rifles -- across multiple calibers and platforms. I think the ammo is loaded to hot to be accurate. Furthermore, unless the temps are chilly, I see pressure signs with almost every Superformance loads I've shot.
- The combination of a not-so-accurate bullet and a way-too-hot load.
 
Posts: 6671 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by sigfreund:
To keep this going, I just discovered today that the 140 grain 6.5mm Gold Dot bullet is available in a factory load in the guise of the Federal Fusion line.

Fusion ammo has been accurate in my rifles, across multiple calibers and platforms.
 
Posts: 6671 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good, useful comments, fritz. Your experience with the GMX Superformance loads tend to confirm that mine were at least partly due to the ammunition.

I have ordered a couple of boxes of the Fusion and am looking forward to trying it.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42686 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I received the Federal 140 grain Fusion bullet load and had a chance to fire one test group with it today. With the vertical stringing (shooter?) it ran a hair over 1 minute of angle (1.051" at 100 yards), but no extreme outliers like with the Hornady GMX load. A sample size of one doesn’t prove anything, of course, but I believe it’s worthy of further testing for LE sniping purposes. I’ve been planning to test some of these loads through automotive windshield glass, and perhaps I’ll get to that before long.






“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42686 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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To follow up about the Federal 140 grain Fusion load, I fired three more five-shot groups at 100 yards, and my results were not much different from what I described above.

Four shots of the first group went into about 0.8 inch, but the first shot fired made the overall size about 1.6". The second group was generally more open at 1.6" as well. The last group was the best at 0.8" for all five shots. It therefore seems to me that the Fusion load is more precise than the Hornady GMX, but is still subject to significant inconsistency.

Time was when a 1.5 MOA group with a typical rifle and hunting ammunition would have been considered to be perfectly respectable, and an LE sniper requiring good barrier penetration might be content with the same precision. To reiterate my earlier comment, though, I believe that these barrier loads should be thoroughly tested before relying on them for critical purposes. It may be that nothing better for barrier penetration is currently available and “good enough” is what must be accepted. At the very least, though, we should be confident that we know what good enough is.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42686 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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