Best 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo for Hunting Whitetail Deer

Susan Fernandez November 11 2021

Creedmoor 6.5 is a name that every hunter knows today. It was developed in 2007 by Hornady and was launched on the market in 2008. The round created massive waves in the hunting community due to its low recoil and impressive designs. Creedmoor has various bullet designs, and if you want to hunt a whitetail deer, you have a huge list of options to choose from.

The history of Creedmoor is quite interesting. First, the development of this cartridge was dedicated to the Gunsmoke TV show and its main hero Matt Dillon who used a lever-action rifle chambered in .30-30 Winchester. The creators wanted to create a modern version of it with improved ballistic specs at long range.

But are you still wondering, which will be the best 6.5 Creedmoor ammo for hunting whitetail deer? If you want a short answer, it should be the jacketed slugs like Nosler Accubond and Hornady Eld-X. These cartridges hold enough power and penetrating force to put a whitetail deer down efficiently.

If any other options are available (depending on the weight and design), why did we choose the round mentioned above? If you want to choose some other bullets that fit your setup perfectly, we will have to dive deeper into the mechanics to make everything easier for you.

6.5 Creedmoor Ammo Factory Ammo and Hand Loaders

When a bullet makes contact with the prey, it expands and deforms, transferring all its energy to the target, and in this way, it takes the game down. So apparently, when choosing ammo, the cartridge, caliber, and the game you want to take down, all play an important role.

6.5 Creedmoor is a complete package when it comes to hunting whitetail deer. People looking for factory-manufactured ammo should go for jacketed bullets because of improved velocity, efficient flight, and controlled expansion on contact. A fine example of such ammo is Hornady’s super performance. If you use this ammo with Hornady’s super shock tip, then it will become even deadlier. You can get these bullets at about $55.

Hunters who want to bring their game a notch higher select Precision Hunter (Hornady’s premium-level factory ammo). These rounds are loaded with 143-grain ELD-X bullets and enjoy a good reputation in the hunting community. With improved ballistic constant, velocity, and penetration they make whitetail deer an easy target. Each will cost you around $50.

Hunters who find these rounds expensive and want something more affordable can look for other brands like Winchester and Herter. They might not use bullets with better ballistic constant, but you can easily take a whitetail deer down in the range of 150 yards with your 6.5 Creedmoor. 

If you are a hand loader, then you have endless choices. You can easily create the ammunition that suits your setup the best and have optimal power and accuracy.

Creedmoor bullets:

With this caliber, you can choose from different types of ammunition that you might want for hunting deer or other game animals. There's FMJ, SP, and HP - each has its pros and cons:

  • FMJ (Full metal jacket) - This bullet doesn't expand when it hits an object because it doesn't have any grooves on its surface. It is considered to be the most accurate one in Creedmoor, which makes it suitable for long-range shooting.
  • SP (Soft point) - This bullet is designed to expand upon impact with an object. It has grooves on its surface that lead to fragmentation when hitting soft tissues inside the game where the shot was made. The result is high weight retention and a deeper wound cavity. This cartridge can be used for hunting deer at short ranges up to 100 yards.
  • HP (Hollowpoint) - This type of ammunition is very similar to SP but differs in two main points: bullet-design and velocity. When shot from a gun, this bullet penetrates through objects while mushroomed, resulting in great destruction of tissue causing fast blood loss and reliable tracking of the shot. It is recommended for use at close and medium ranges while hunting deer.

For hunters who go after a game like a deer, precision matters most. They need bullets that hit their target accurately so they can bag their game as fast as possible.

In a nutshell, 6.5 Creedmoor is a very accurate and reliable cartridge suitable for hunting whitetail deer. It doesn't lose too much power when it goes long distances, but on the other hand, there's no significant damage made by the bullet either.

Some hunters recommend using .260 Remington instead of 6.5 Creedmoor because they say that .260 has more range and penetration capabilities while remaining precise on short ranges too (if not more precise). In practice, this post's author doesn't believe that there's all that much difference between these cartridges in terms of their practical capabilities.

However, if you look at ballistic charts of both rounds, you see that 6.5 Creedmoor is a bit more powerful and has better ballistics.

6.5 Creedmoor Against Whitetail Deer

On the hunting forums, the discussion that “can 6.5 Creedmoor takedown large-bodied animals like elk” has occurred repeatedly. We all know the answer that yes it can put an elk down under very strict conditions. So here you can think that if 6.5 Creedmoor will be enough to take a whitetail deer down?

The answer is yes! Since whitetail deers do not have a bone density similar to an elk, you can efficiently put them down with 6.5 Creedmoor ammo. But there are still some limitations, for example, you should make sure to avoid the front shoulder and shoot the slug from a good angle. Also, make sure to fire in the range of 300 yards.

Here is the top five best ammo for whitetails with 6.5 Creedmoor caliber:

  1. Federal Fusion - 150 gr JSP InterLock (box of 20)   
  2. Hornady ELD-X Precision Hunter (20ct)   
  3. Remington Premier AccuTip Boat Tail (20ct)   
  4. Winchester Ballistic Silvertip (20ct)   
  5. Nosler Trophy Grade AccuBond Long Range (20ct)   

Tips for hunting

Before the hunt, you should practice shooting at different distances so that when you are in the field all your shots will be accurate. You can go with 100 yards, but 200 and 300 are also good options to work on accuracy. Use a tripod or bipod for stability while shooting because it is important that your aim is steady before pulling the trigger.

Peculiarities of deer hunting are that your success will depend on the proper shot placement. No matter what you are using, if that bullet doesn't hit the vital organs, there's no blood trail to track. So it's very important to know where to shoot this animal for a clean kill.

In general, the guidelines for a clean kill are:

  • shoot at a 90 degrees angle behind the shoulder. If you aim just a little up from this point it will result in a hit to the spine and your deer will immediately fall down - that's where bullet placement is critical. You have to be accurate.
  • if this doesn't work, try shooting 2 inches below heart level which should go straight through the lungs as well as down into the deer's belly. This shot will cause vital damage and you'll see blood once your prey hits the ground!

Other good spots to hit whitetail deer are neck or head because those two areas can also produce deadly results despite how much practice you had with shooting before going hunting.

Before heading into the woods in pursuit of your prey, make sure you have plenty of ammunition with you so you won't run out when in need. You should also have some tools like knives and flashlights with extra batteries because you don't know how much time is gonna take track of your game after taking a successful shot.

Last word

6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has an excellent accuracy at longer distances which makes it suitable for hunting deer at medium ranges up to 400 yards provided you use proper bullet.

The cartridge is accurate up to 500 yards, so if you are planning on shooting at deer from a long distance, this caliber might be something of interest to you. Having the capability of being used for both hunting big game and competition shooting makes it a very popular choice among hunters.

And now that you know which best 6.5 Creedmoor ammo for hunting whitetail deer I recommend, go ahead give them a try! Shoot responsibly and good luck with your hunt!