flyangler

US Army Eyeing the 6.5 Creedmor vs the 7.62?

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Often it is the military's choice in hardware or ammo that works it’s way into the civilian market, rarely the other way around. Well, as civilian long distance precision shooters have honed their hobbies, we seem to be seeing a reverse idea flow. The 7.62/308 has been the standard anti-personnel sniper round for the US military for several decades.

 

Whether bolt action systems based on the Remington 700 or Winchester 70, or AR platforms like the SR25, the 7.62 has been the round of choice from 300-1,000 years. While the 300 Win Mag, 338 Lapua and even 50BMG are used when appropriate, the 7.62 has been the workhorse. 

 

Now it seems the increasing civilian usage of the 6.5 Creedmor might lead to its usage by the Army. From Popular Mechanics:

 

Higher Velocity Sniper Round

On the sniper rifle front, according to Army Times, U.S. Special Operations Command is switching from the current 7.62x51-millimeter round—also known as .308 Winchester—to the relatively new 6.5-millimeter Creedmoor round. Introduced by ammunition maker Hornady in 2007, the round caught on with commercial precision rifle shooters due to superior long range ballistic performance over the 7.62x51 round. 

 

 

 

As this article in NRA Shooting Illustrated demonstrates, the 6.5 Creedmoor travels at a higher velocity than the 7.62. At 1,000 yards, a 6.5 Creedmoor round requires less correction for bullet drop (gravity) and for wind than the 7.62 round. This reduces the margin for error for long range shots, especially when calculating the effects of wind. 

 

Velocity is also important in another sense: bullets slowing from supersonic to subsonic speeds begin to act unpredictably, so it’s important to have a round with as high velocity as possible. At 1,000 yards, the 6.5 round will arrive at its target still traveling at 1,400 feet per second, well above the speed of sound, while the 7.62 round will arrive at 1,150 feet per second, “just past the cusp of the transonic window”. 

 

The new 6.5 Creedmoor round is fairly easy to adopt on existing rifles—typically, 7.62-millimeter rifles just require a barrel swap to take advantage of the new round. The updated sniper rifles should also be externally identical to non-updated rifles, and magazines will hold the same number of rounds. 

 

Edited by tomkaz

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6.5 Manlicher schoenauer and 6/5 Jap and 6.5 Carcano and 6/5x55 swede and 6.5 x 75 mauser...

 

Same thing at higher pressure in modern arms.   

 

There's little to NOT like about the 6.5's, not because the diameter but because of the twist & excellent projectiles.   

 

Aside from a wee bit of neck length and teensy bore difference, this all could have been the 250 savage with better bullets.

 

Cool though.  

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Interesting thread

 

Wasn't the US interested in a 6 mm instead of a 5.56 at one point in standard issue weapon, because of lack of accuracy and terminal energy ?

 

1 hour ago, 55555s said:

6.5 Manlicher schoenauer and 6/5 Jap and 6.5 Carcano and 6/5x55 swede and 6.5 x 75 mauser...

 

Same thing at higher pressure in modern arms.   

 

There's little to NOT like about the 6.5's, not because the diameter but because of the twist & excellent projectiles.   

 

Aside from a wee bit of neck length and teensy bore difference, this all could have been the 250 savage with better bullets.

 

Cool though.  

When I used to guide whitetail hunting , I freaked out when I saw sports shooting 250 Savage...Probably not because of caliber, but probably because  of the rifles shooting it...

 

^..^

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7 mins ago, snapper1 said:

Interesting thread

 

 

When I used to guide whitetail hunting , I freaked out when I saw sports shooting 250 Savage...Probably not because of caliber, but probably because  of the rifles shooting it...

 

^..^

 

MOdel 99 !?!??!?!?  Classy levergun!

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The 5.56, as you likely know, started as a varmint round. Stoner first offered the AR10 to the military who thought the 7.62 too big for the post 1960 battlefield and soldier. They compromised ballistic performance for cost and load-out factors. 

 

The SpecOps community toyed with the 6.8SPC as a step up from 5.56. I have a Noveske 6.8 upper paired with a Surefire dedicated 6.8 can and it is an interesting combo. But the SEALs never made a major more to 6.8 because it offered little operational benefit at the combat ranges of the SEALs. Also, no one was able to make a subsonic 6.8 round that worked for really quiet operation. 

 

Instead you got better chamberings in 5.56 like the 72 and 77 grain variants which gave them enough performance enhancement to keep everyone happy. 

 

The 300BLK was also thought as another contender which has not taken off within the military. More civilian acceptance than the 6.8 but that did not mean much to the military apparently. 

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4 hours ago, Whopper Bubba said:

The military switched to the 308 because it worked better in fully automatics than the 06. They modified the 300 Savage to the 308 for the same reason.

Not many people are aware that the .30-06 was the standard US military clambering from 1906 through its replacement by the 5.56 and 7.62 in the 1980s. The WW2 standard M1 and BAR were chambered in 30-06 for example. Not sure which of the MGs however. The M16 and M14 started the transition to the newer chamberings. 

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Easier to carry 800-900 rounds of 5.56 compared to the .308 or 30/06.  

I think as far as special operations go a good amount of their work is close quarters stuff. Neighborhood stuff. Less than 100 yards. No real benefit there in my humble opinion. These guys are super accurate. 6.5 may be a beefier gun , little more recoil. Muzzle jump may be a factor or may not. The 6.5 starts to shine when you start going beyond the 300-400 mark. It really is a super cartridge ballistically. If I get a bolt gun it will be the Ruger American in 6.5. Friend has one and it's insanely accurate with factory ammo. Our problem is our local range is only 300 yards. 

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3 hours ago, LBI SurfRat said:

Easier to carry 800-900 rounds of 5.56 compared to the .308 or 30/06.  

I think as far as special operations go a good amount of their work is close quarters stuff. Neighborhood stuff. Less than 100 yards. No real benefit there in my humble opinion. These guys are super accurate. 6.5 may be a beefier gun , little more recoil. Muzzle jump may be a factor or may not. The 6.5 starts to shine when you start going beyond the 300-400 mark. It really is a super cartridge ballistically. If I get a bolt gun it will be the Ruger American in 6.5. Friend has one and it's insanely accurate with factory ammo. Our problem is our local range is only 300 yards. 

Yes, weight considerations were a big issue, particularly as they were issuing every man in the field a select-fire rifle. As the early days in Vietnam showed, “spray and pray” was way too common making load-out a big deal.

 

The article points out the 6.5 as a sniper system replacement for the 7.62. There are several manufacturers who are offering AR-platforms chambered in the 6.5 as well as a range of bolt cutters. 

 

I don’t have a centerfire Ruger American but I do have the Ruger American Rimfire and it is a stupidly fun rifle for the money. It shares the same mags as the 10/22 which i have more than a few of. I bought the model with the threaded barrel and it is soooo much fun to shoot suppressed. Sub-sonic 22LR is nearly “Hollywood quiet” because there is no action noise as there is with the 10/22 or any auto-loader. Load it with 22 longs or shorts and it is silent, actual spitting makes more noise. 

 

I keep telling myself I want to build a precision rifle which has always been considered a 308 on a Rem700. It hasn’t happened yet so I too could call an audible on that if I ever get around to it. 

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Now that the .mil is taking a hard look at 6.5 Creedmoor, I will go ahead and do the build I've been contemplating.  It gets raves for accuracy at long range.

 

HOWEVER

 

The snipers I've talked to say that it still doesn't beat the .300 Winchester Magnum for downrange energy dump.

 

.300 Blackout isn't going to be used by the .mil because even with supersonic rounds, it's a 100 yard gun.  I just happen to love it because it's a hoot to reload.  

 

One ODA was using the 6.8 SPC for hits in Iraq.  However, they were the only one.  The enemy picked up on this quickly, saving the brass ... which basically painted the ODA with an identifiable signature.  So they dumped the round (even though it is fantastic).  Same reason why CAG dropped the .40 S&W and went back to 9mm.

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13 hours ago, snapper1 said:

Interesting thread

 

Wasn't the US interested in a 6 mm instead of a 5.56 at one point in standard issue weapon, because of lack of accuracy and terminal energy ?

 

When I used to guide whitetail hunting , I freaked out when I saw sports shooting 250 Savage...Probably not because of caliber, but probably because  of the rifles shooting it...

 

^..^

I've got a ruger m77 and a ruger m77RSI chambered for it.  We used to reload 120 grain sierra hollow point boat tails in it and it knocked the crap out of whitetails.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

31 mins ago, fishweewee said:

Now that the .mil is taking a hard look at 6.5 Creedmoor, I will go ahead and do the build I've been contemplating.  It gets raves for accuracy at long range.

 

HOWEVER

 

The snipers I've talked to say that it still doesn't beat the .300 Winchester Magnum for downrange energy dump.

 

.300 Blackout isn't going to be used by the .mil because even with supersonic rounds, it's a 100 yard gun.  I just happen to love it because it's a hoot to reload.  

 

One ODA was using the 6.8 SPC for hits in Iraq.  However, they were the only one.  The enemy picked up on this quickly, saving the brass ... which basically painted the ODA with an identifiable signature.  So they dumped the round (even though it is fantastic).  Same reason why CAG dropped the .40 S&W and went back to 9mm.

FWW, thanks for the insight. Interesting how the Delta teams can be so fluid in their gear choices. Yeah, tough to be stealthy if you are leaving a “calling card” behind.

 

But the round can shoot. My Noveske N4 with Afghan Upper, over two sessions of real measurement, shot around 0.5 MoA at 100 and 200 using SSA factory rounds with Sierra 110s. I don’t handload but I am confident it could get dialed in even tighter with some optimization. 

 

ETA: I don’t think anyone will deny the 300 Win Mag or the 338 Lapua are more effective rounds than the 6.5. As you likely know, most of the dedicated snipers travel with both a 7.62 and a 300 or 338 as part of their kit. Which they bring will depend on the mission profile. 

 

Military snipers are not like LE sharpshooters but the statistics from LE are instructive. While they all train to take that 100-300+ yard shot, the average LE sniper engagement is around 50 yards with 90% being inside of 100. The difference is the police sniper has only one platform to work with, the 308. I have a friend who is in that line of work and he has two 308s, a short 16” barrel and one with a 26” barrel, mission dependent. 

Edited by tomkaz

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42 mins ago, fishweewee said:

Now that the .mil is taking a hard look at 6.5 Creedmoor, I will go ahead and do the build I've been contemplating.  It gets raves for accuracy at long range.

 

HOWEVER

 

The snipers I've talked to say that it still doesn't beat the .300 Winchester Magnum for downrange energy dump.

 

.300 Blackout isn't going to be used by the .mil because even with supersonic rounds, it's a 100 yard gun.  I just happen to love it because it's a hoot to reload.  

 

One ODA was using the 6.8 SPC for hits in Iraq.  However, they were the only one.  The enemy picked up on this quickly, saving the brass ... which basically painted the ODA with an identifiable signature.  So they dumped the round (even though it is fantastic).  Same reason why CAG dropped the .40 S&W and went back to 9mm.

I've read the same about the snipers... using some big rounds. Real big. Lol. 

 

Is your build going to be an AR platform or bolt gun? 

I've got a multi Cal lower complete build sitting in my cabinet. Probably just stick with 5.56 upper because it's one less ammo to buy,  but some good buys out there on the blackout and other short action round uppers. 

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When switching from .45 ACP, some beancounter at Bragg figured the .40 S&W would be a better round for CAG in a Glock 22 because there was more kinetic energy per magazine than a Glock 17.   That was the rationale I was told from a CAG assaulter. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to be shot by a .40 S&W but 9mm does the job if you get your shot placement right.  There's no need for the extra recoil, snappiness, weight, and logistical complexity of having a .40 S&W.

 

Stateside, I agree that the most appropriate zero for most everyone - civilians and LEO's is about 100 yards.  That's the average length of the interior of Wal-Mart, by the way.  Unless you are out west elk/mulie/pronghorn sheep hunting, then by all means use something else.  Outside of the U.S. in places like Iraq, 300 yards is more appropriate.  

 

.308 has such a storied history and is such an awesome round, there's no need to LE snipers to retool with something else.

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