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6.5 Creedmoor Barrel Length & Muzzle Velocity

One of my closest friends has two 6.5 Creedmoor rifles made by Surgeon Rifles that he has tried a couple different barrel sizes on.  He started with a 26″ barrel, because that is what Surgeon typically used but lately we’ve been shooting in more practical/tactical long-range competitions where you have to carry the rifle for miles every day … so he wanted to lighten the load.  He was also planning to add a suppressor to his rifle, and a 26″ barrel + 9″ suppressor makes for a pretty long and cumbersome rifle.  He eventually rebarrelled to a 22″ barrel, which he loves.  Both of the barrels were big, heavy, Krieger #10 contours with 1:8 twists (and both rifles could shoot 10 shot groups under 1/2″ … mostly in one ragged hole).

6.5 Creedmoor Surgeon Rifle Schmidt & Bender Scope AICS Stock with Viperskins ThunderBeast 30P 1 Suppressor

6.5 Creedmoor Excerpt from Berger Bullets Reloading ManualHe mentioned that he’d searched online to see what barrel lengths people were using for the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge and get an idea for what kind of velocity he would be sacrificing, and saw a lot of debate … but not a lot of helpful information.  The new Berger Bullets Reloading Manual said you could expect a change of about 25 fps per inch (see excerpt image).  So he was expecting 100 fps loss, but that is not what happened.  So we thought it’d be helpful to share what he found.  He regularly shot each barrel length over an Oehler 35P chronograph, which is a professional grade chronograph and one of the most accurate ones made.  He kept really good documentation on the velocities, and here is what he found.

6.5 Creedmoor Barrel Length and Muzzle Velocity Diagram

6.5 Creedmoor with 26″ Barrel

This is the original configuration he tried, because it was the one Surgeon typically makes.  Here are the velocities he found:

  • 2805 fps – This was his muzzle velocity was out of a brand new barrel (without a suppressor attached)
  • 2860 fps – His barrel sped up a little as the barrel broke in, and this is what his muzzle velocity was after 1,200 rounds out of the 26″ barrel (again, this was without a suppressor attached).  This is the point where he rebarrelled, but he inspected the the barrel guys with a borescope with a professional gunsmith at Surgeon and based on the barrel wear they estimated this was about 1/2 way of the accurate barrel life.

6.5 Creedmoor with 22″ Barrel

  • 2760 fps – This was the 1st velocities recorded with the brand new 22″ barrel (without a suppressor attached).  He was ecstatic to see this, because he was expected more than 100 fps of velocity loss with 4″ less barrel, based on the estimates in Berger’s new reloading manual.
  • 2805 fps – This is what he is now getting after 800 rounds, with the barrel completely broken in and no suppressor attached.
  • 2833 fps – He has since started using a Thunder Beast 30P-1 suppressor with his 22″ barrel, and the added 9″ of length the suppressor adds has helped his muzzle velocity a little as well.

So ultimately, after he added the suppressor he only lost 27 fps with 4″ less barrel.  That essentially means he only has 2/10 more vertical adjustment of a mil at 1,000 yards, and wind drift is virtually identical.  In return he has a lighter, more maneuverable rifle … and he couldn’t be more happy with that trade.

About Cal

Cal Zant is the shooter/author behind PrecisionRifleBlog.com. Cal is a life-long learner, and loves to help others get into this sport he's so passionate about. His engineering background, unique data-driven approach, and ability to present technical and complex information in a unbiased and straight-forward fashion has quickly caught the attention of the industry. For more info on Cal, check out PrecisionRifleBlog.com/About.

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79 comments

  1. What barrel twist does your friend have on his surgeons?

    • He uses a 1:8 twist on all of his 6.5 Creedmoors. He honestly might go with a faster twist if Krieger offered one. One of the guys we really pay attention to is Todd Hodnett with Accuracy 1st, and he thinks overstabalization is a ridiculous concept. Here is a quote from Todd on the topic:

      “I am a fan of fast twist rates, so let’s look at this very important component. Here are some considerations: barrel length and twist rate, long VLD-type bullets, heavier VLD-type bullets and shorter barrels may require a faster twist. I have tested this on several occasions and found the same answer with each test. In my opinion, the Greenhill Formula is a little outdated. Even though it may work for some types of bullets and some types of shooting, I believe we need much faster twist rates for extended long-range shots. This gives us better-retained gyroscopic stability as the bullet is reaching transonic flight and into subsonic flight, thus, better grouping capabilities as well as less loss of BC due to loss of stability. I even had a 1:7.8-inch twist on a .308.” – Todd Hodnett (Sniper Magazine, May 2012)

      The only downside I’m aware of with going to a faster twist rate is that you will have more spin drift. “Faster spin rates will produce more gyroscopic drift because the nose ends up pointing farther to the side.” (View Source) However, the difference is usually very slight. For example, I ran the ballistics for a 6.5 Creedmoor with a 1:8 twist rate and the spin drift at 1200 yards was 10.5″. I changed the twist to 1:9 and the spin drift was 9.1″ at 1200 yards. If someone can shoot between those numbers at 1200 yards, I’d like to see it. So my thought process these days is to buy the fastest twist rate Krieger offers and go with it … especially if you are really pushing your gun beyond its supersonic range.

      • read your artical about the 22 inch barrel creedmoor with great interest.I have a 26 inch Shaw barrel on mine and it don’t shoot worth a darn, main bullet I USE IS 123GR a max.TRIED several powders as well as OAL’S….Do you suppose I might benifit by a shorter barrel..Or just get a different barrel? Thank you..

      • John, I’m not sure. I would bet it has more to do with the barrel than the length, but you never know. There wouldn’t be much harm in cutting it off and seeing what happens. Shaw in an upgrade over most factory barrels, but they can still be hit or miss in my experience. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

        Thanks,
        Cal

  2. Thanks for your reply. I’m planning on having a surgeon scalpel built over the winter and was wondering if I should go with a 8″ twist or a 8.5″. or if it even matters. I thinking has been to go with the 8, and after reading your post, I’m thinking of sticking with a 8″ twist over an 8.5. How much do tighter twists affect muzzle velocity? Any insight on that? How much slower will an 8 be over an 8.5″. Thanks.

    • I really don’t know if twist has a measurable impact on velocity. Although theoretically its possible, it seems unlikely. But honestly that’s just my opinion. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

      If someone else has some insight on this, please chime in.

  3. I recently gave my wife [ who has won 1st place at the Texas Trophy Hunters Extravaganza ] a Lady Savage 6.5 Creedmore and I worried about the shorter barrel. I think I will have a suppressor installed and see if that doesn’t help her MV.
    CRaTXn cratxn@me.com

    • You should try it out. You’ll probably recover a little muzzle velocity. It is effectively extending the barrel, although most suppressors are 30 caliber and not 6.5mm … so it isn’t exactly the same as a longer barrel.

      From what I’ve heard the 6.5 Creedmoor was originally designed for a shorter barrel. One of the lead guys on that project has even said that 22 inches is the ideal barrel length for a 6.5 Creedmoor … he was very adamant on that point. Not 24″ or even 23″ … 22.0″. My friend now has a few 6.5 Creedmoor barrels. He has two rifles chambered on Surgeon Actions (one pictured here and the other in a McMillan A5, but he prefers the AICS). He also has a few barrels in his safe that are already chambered. All of them are 22″ … he couldn’t be more happy with his choice to go shorter.

  4. Just pointing out, that Berger was actually kinda spot on. They say 25 fps loss per inch from a 24 inch barrel. So that could be accurate if you make the assumption that there will not be much significant gains from 24″ to 26″

    • Our barrel change was 26″ to 22″ (not 24″). So that is 4 inches of difference at 25fps/inch, which should equate to 100fps. We experienced 55fps. That’s the point I was making. None of my results were for a 24″ barrel. I think that’s where you got confused.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  5. I just had a 6.5 Creedmoor built on a &00 action with a 1-7 Douglas barrel. Developing loads right now. So far I am getting good groups with with Cutting Edge MT bullets with IMR 4350. Would appreciate and recommendations.

    • Hey Dane, thanks for sharing! The guys I know shooting 6.5 Creedmoor all use the Hornady 140gr AMAX Match Ammo. They publish that load on the box (one of the things the cartridge designer insisted on). The specs on the box say it is 41.5gr of H4350 and a Fed 210M primer. But Hornady’s 9th Ed Reloading Manual says the max load for H4350 is 40.9gr … So that is a hot load. But it seems to group well for everyone I’ve seen shoot it.

      Thanks again,
      Cal

  6. All it tells me is that its a well written article with nice pictures.
    At best its anecdotal evidence from two data points, not anything better than a forum post that says “I had one barrel that did this, and another that did that”…

    • Okay … I guess thanks for the compliment on the pictures?

      First, I’m not just some guy on a forum. If you’ve read many articles on my blog, you can tell I’m more detailed, data-driven, and transparent than the average keyboard jockey. Second, I use professional gear to collect the data (an Oehler 35p chronograph) and it’s based on a large sample size (at least 300 shots over a chronograph with 4 different barrels).

      Ultimately, I’m just trying to post some data so that people have something to go on and can learn from my experience, without having to try it themselves. I guess if this isn’t detailed enough for you, start your own website and try to do better. I’d love to see more guys put in the time I do to help other shooters. Be sure to send me a link.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Cal,
        Pay NO ATTENTION to Steve and people like him…. I am in the silent minority (I don’t think I’ve actually posted any comments on your blog in the past), but have read every single article on this site multiple times…. and I find your work to be invaluable and very well done…. a huge help for me (and so many other long range enthusiasts) in helping me with my current build, and with long range precision shooting in general.
        As for you, Steve, I also eagerly await your FREE website created, financed, and written with your thousands of hours of selfless labor, blood, sweat and tears…… Really dude? C’mon and have some respect rather than casting stones…. put up or shut up, brother.

      • Thanks for all of the good info. I am looking at having my Tikka CTR 260 re barreled to a 6.5 Creedmoor and was researching what barrel length to go to. The reason for the change is because with the 260 I have to seat the long high bc bullets deep into the case to get them to feed through the magazine. Right now I am getting 2,784 fps with the 140 gr Amax and 43.5 gr. of H4350. I am hoping that with the 6.5 CM that I’ll be able to seat the heavier bullets out further.

      • Hey, Gary. I like the 6.5 Creedmoor cartidge a lot and personally just built a precision rifle based on it a few months ago … but I’m not sure it’ll help with the problem you described. The published COAL for the 260 Rem is 2.8 inches, and the 6.5 Creedmoor is also 2.8 inches. If you’re looking for extra room to seat 140gr bullets out as the throat erodes and still maintain mag length, the 6.5 Creedmoor may offer a little more room … but it’d be slight if any. One alternative is the new Berger 130gr Hybrid bullets, which Bryan Litz designed for this EXACT purpose. You can read more about those here: New Berger 6.5mm Bullet for PRS Shooters

        I personally just bought 2000 of those 130gr Berger Hybrids, because I want to try them out. You should run the ballistics for them. The 140gr has a slight wind drift advantage at 1000 yards, but they’re virtually identical inside of that. The 130gr definitely shoots flatter, which can be an advantage in some applications. This bullet was released mid-2015, and there were already a few pros using it by the end of the year. It has a lot of potential. The BC is lower than the 140gr Hybrid, but you should run the ballistics for yourself before you dismiss it. It’s very compelling, and it will help you with that magazine length issue.

        Best of luck to you!

        Thanks,
        Cal

      • Cal,
        Thanks for the great info. My Tikka CTR is at the Smith’s getting re barreled to a 6.5 Creedmoor. One of the biggest reasons for the switch that I didn’t mention before is the availability of great quality factory ammo from Hornady. Even though I reload, I wanted to have a good selection in case I get lazy. I’ve decided to split the difference on barrel length and go with a 24″ 1 in 8″ twist Krieger. Thanks again for all of the good info and for responding to my post.

      • You bet, Gary. I’ve been at the 1st Annual Applied Ballistics Seminar in Michigan the past few days, and talked to a lot of really smart industry guys. I struck up a conversation with a group of guys there last night, and asked what rifle they thought would be the lowest cost entry point for a sub-MOA rifle at 1000 yards. One of them suggested a Tikka in 6.5 Creemdmoor. So it sounds like you’re on the right track! Best of luck to you.

        Thanks,
        Cal

      • Cal,

        Thanks again for the great info and for responding to my questions. I’m looking forward to getting my rifle back to see how well it shoots. I went with a 24″ 1 in 8″ Krieger Light Palma.

      • Awesome, Gary. Glad it was helpful. Best of luck!

        Thanks,
        Cal

    • Don’t like his post…. Than don’t comment! Extremely helpful post and has answered multiple question I had….. I’m now going to cut 8″ off my 6.5 (currently 30″ barrel)
      I built a target rifle to get into the sport in 6.5 got a Krieger barrel fitting to a savage tac10 action and sitting in a MDT chassis system… Nice gun and shoots well but not well enough to compete…. I have wonder if my barrel length and choice was a bad idea… So under the axe it will go…. I will try and get back here and let you know how it goes…

      • Thanks, Mick. I personally just built a new 6.5 Creedmoor. It left Surgeon Rifles on Friday, and should be here on Thursday. I’m super-excited to get it in. I bought 2 extra barrels for it that are already chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor for that action. So there are 3 barrels total. Guess what size every single one of those are? 22″. That’s about as strong of a vote of confidence I can give this. I cast my vote with my own wallet! I’m not saying that a 24″ or 26″ barrel is the wrong choice. Obviously there are a lot of amazing shooters running those length barrels (mostly 26″, see the data).

        I’d love to hear what you think about it after you’ve used it for a little while. Please keep us in the loop!

        Thanks,
        Cal

    • Hi Cal. After reading that comment from Steve I had to post you a quick thankyou. Im reasonably new to shooting and have only taken it up as a hobby in the last couple of years although I wish Id started sooner. Your site has been a well of information and unlike alot of other sites Ive looked at your posts and articles are refreshingly intelligent and helpful and Its great you have the patience to listen to people who have a fraction of your knowledge and experience. I have recently had a Stiller action and Mcmillan stock arrive here in New Zealand and am close to saving enough to get it all put together. You guys are so lucky with the amount of options and availability of gear over there. Anyway My last decision is 6 or 6.5 creedmore. I know I cant really go wrong either way but Id like to know what I can expect for barrel life from the 6mm as thats the one Im leaning towards. There seems to be alot of different opinions from 6-700 rounds up to 2000 plus. Bearing in mind I dont need bench rest accuracy so could possibly get more rounds through it than alot of guys would find acceptable , what could I expect from the 6mm creedmore?

      • Thanks, Brett. I’m glad you’ve found this stuff helpful. I’d expect you to get 1600 to 2200 rounds of accurate barrel life out of a 6mm Creedmoor. It depends a lot based on how you shoot it. If you fire long strings and let the barrel really heat up, you’d have even less barrel life. If you let the barrel cool between shots, you might get even more. And what I’ve often found is that it’s not precision that drops off … it’s muzzle velocity. My 6XC has 2100 rounds on it, and it is VERY similar to the 6mm Creedmoor. The precision is still sub-1/2 MOA, but I’ve lost over 100 fps in muzzle velocity and it seems to be dropping pretty quickly at this point. So I’m rebarreling. I don’t let my barrel cool after every shot, but I don’t let it get stupid-hot either. In my experience, a 6.5 Creedmoor provides around 600-800 rounds more of barrel life.

        Hope this helps!
        Cal

  7. Excellent Article on a data starved cartridge! Definitely solidifies my Mega Maten 6.5CM 22″ JP barrel build. Would it be overreaching to ask what load was used? I’ll be thrilled if i can get an accurate load with that kinda heat behind it! Because Power Pro 2000MR shoots so well out of my .308 I’ll start there. Thanks and keep up the good work!

    • Hey, Will. These muzzle velocities are all for the Hornady 140gr AMax Match Loaded Ammo. They actually used to print the load data on the box, but I noticed the last couple cases didn’t have it printed on there anymore.

      The specs on the box used to say it is 41.5gr of H4350 and a Fed 210M primer. But Hornady’s 9th Ed Reloading Manual says the max load for H4350 is 40.9gr … So that is a hot load. And I knew a couple guys who tried to reproduce the muzzle velocity they got with the Hornady loaded ammo, and they couldn’t do it with 41.5 grains of H4350. It was about 50 fps slower when they followed that recipe with the same components. So… I guess that might be why they took the recipe off the box. They may not be using exactly those specs.

      I would start with H4350. About 70% of the pro shooters use H4350 (all using the 6.5 Creedmoor or similar sized cartridges). You can read more about that here: http://precisionrifleblog.com/2014/12/11/reloading-components/

      Hope this helps,
      Cal

      • HAD MY SAKO 85 REBARRELED INTO 6.5 CM WITH A 22″ KREIGER 1-8 TWIST.I DONT SHOOT MANY TARGETS USING ITMAINLY FOR FOR DEER STALKING AND VERMIN CONTROL.I USE 41.9 OF H4350 ACHIEVING A MV AVERAGE OF 2728 FPS.I FIND YOUR ARTICLES VERY INFORMATIVE AS THERE IS VERY LITTLE INFO FOR 6.5CM ON ANY OF THE ENGLISH WEBSITES.

      • Thanks for sharing the info, Geoff. Glad you find the content helpful.

        Thanks,
        Cal

  8. THANKS FOR GETTING BACK CAL I FORGOT TO MENTION IAM USING 140 SST.THE SUPPLIES OF RELOADING COMPONENTS ARE VERY LIMITED TO SAY THE LEAST OVER HERE.WHAT I WAS WANTING TO KNOW WAS USING 222-50 CASES WITH THE COW METHOD.WITH THEM BEING SLIGHTLY SHORTER THAN THE 6.5CM WOULD THIS AFFECT THE BALLISTIC PERFORMANCE IN ANYWAY.ALSO WOULD YOU RESIZE TO 6.5 PRIOR TO USING THE COW METHOD OR AFTER.

  9. CHEERS CAL I WOULDNT USAULLY BOTHER TRYING TO CONVERT DIFFERENT CASES INTO 6.5CM BUT SUPPLIES OVER HERE ARE VERY LIMITED TO SAY THE LEAST, AND GETTING VERY EXPENSIVE.WILL HAVE TO AWAIT FOR THE NEXT SHIPMENT TO THE SUPPLIERS.

  10. I’m going to order a 6.5 Creed barrel and was just wondering if the 22″ measurement in this post is total overall barrel length before mounting or if 22″ was the length from the end of the chamber/start of the rifling to the muzzle.

  11. good article, I am re-barreling my 260 rem prs rifle to 6.5 cm, also building a shorty truck gun in 6.5 creed, this gives me confidence in going 22 inch on the truck gun, I will stay at 24 for the prs rifle.

  12. Have you done, or know anyone who has done testing with a shorter barrel? 18-20″?

    I am looking more for a precision hunting rifle, not a 1000 yd shooter.

    • I have not ever seen or read about a 6.5 Creedmoor with a barrel shorter than 22″. At some point you’re velocity will really start dropping off more quickly, but I’m not sure where that is with a Creedmoor. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

      Thanks,
      Cal

    • just sticking my nose in look at sniper hide they show a 6.5CM with 18inch barrel shooting 1125yds
      Regards
      Derek

      • Yes, sir! Not surprising. It all comes down to personal preference. Most PRS shooters run 26″ 6.5 Creedmoor barrels. Me and a couple of my buddies (and I’m sure many more) run these 22″ barrel, but get slightly less muzzle velocity. You could probably go all the way down to 16″ if you really wanted to. At some point MV might start to decline more rapidly, but I’m not sure exactly where that point is. I can say a 22″ barrel feels a lot different in terms of balance and overall weight than a 26″ barrel. I’m sure that’s even more true for an 18″.

        Thanks for mentioning it. I hadn’t heard of people running 18″, but it doesn’t surprise me too much.

        Thanks,
        Cal

  13. Hi!

    For my next precision rifle set up i would to build a new 6.5 Creedmoor with a barrel length of 21 Inch and 1:7 twist. and i would your notice on this 6.5 Creed set up barrel ?..

    thank you

    • That’s cool, Norm. I’m not sure I understand your question: “and i would your notice on this 6.5 Creed set up barrel?” Can you clarify?

      Thanks,
      Cal

  14. Great post. I’m working on a 6.5 Creedmore and was thinking about a 26″ Bartlein barrel.
    I might change it to 22 or maybe 24 now.
    Cal, what stock is that?

    • Hey, Fred. That is an AICS stock with Victor Company ViperSkins. It is a SWEET setup. That was a friends rifle in the photo, but I built one that is 100% identical to it just 3 months ago. I love it. I wrote a review about that setup that you might be interested in: AICS stock with Victor Company ViperSkins Review.

      I went 22″ on that rifle and I’ve been shooting the 140’s, but I just bought 3000 of the Berger 130 Hybrids that I plan to try out. I guess at 3000, I am more than trying out! Based on the initial ballistics I ran (holding energy at the muzzle to be the same as the 140), I’m expecting at least 100 fps increase in muzzle velocity over the 140s. The wind drift is virtually identical to 800 yards. At 1000 yards, the 140’s have 0.1 mil less wind drift. That is a pretty tiny difference. The drop on the 130 is very different. It is much flatter shooting, and very similar in wind deflection. It should also recoil slightly less. Those are enough things for me to give it a shot!

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Thanks Cal.
        130 Berger sounds great. All data appears to be same or better than 140, only question is the stabillity past 500 yards. You think 8″ twist is fast enough for 130?
        I just ordered a Defiance tactical action that will go on Bartlein 22″ HV. I will be doing the rest of work myself. Should be done by spring shooting season.

      • Sounds like a sweet setup, Fred! Yeah, I think an 8″ twist should be great. That is about the fastest twist available, at least without specifying something custom. It’s what I’m running in my 6.5 CM. I don’t think there should be any problem stabilizing that bullet. I used the Berger Twist Rate Stability Calculator to double-check, and that bullet would have an SG of 1.63 with a 1:8 twist at the velocities I’m expecting. An SG above 1.5 is ideal, so that sounds great to me.

        You never know until you get it out there! I’ve a new bullet I’m using out of my 7mm Rem Mag act funny this week past 1000 yards. The BC just drops rapidly between 1000 and 1400 yards. It’s consistent out to 1000 yards, but you have to tweak a ton to match the hits beyond that. It’s a 168gr Nosler Accubond LR, which has a stupid high BC … even higher than the 180gr Berger Hybrid. And that BC seems to be correct out to 1000, but not past that. It’s really funny. That also has a plastic ballistic tip, so maybe that thing is melting or deforming in flight and changing the BC. I don’t know. I bet it is just destabilizing and starting to pitch and yaw as the velocity drops. But, like I said … you never know until you get out there and shoot it!

        Thanks,
        Cal

  15. Cal,

    Any change in velocity or performance between bolt and AR setup? I plan on buying 22 or 26 Krieger barrel just not sure if I am going with the bolt or AR platform. I shoot both so I can go either way just wondering about performance. Plan on target and maybe hunting with it.

    • Ron, that’s a great question. I thought surely I had some chronograph readings somewhere, but couldn’t dig them up. You’ll lose a little muzzle velocity with the AR, but it’s not a lot. I think it’s less than 50 fps, but can’t remember exactly. It’s very little … virtually nothing. Check out this post: How Much Does Muzzle Velocity Matter? It shows the impact that muzzle velocity has on hit probability at long range. It’s not much. I literally have 10 22″ 6.5 Creedmoor barrels in my safe right now. I’m not saying it’s “the right choice” … there is no one “right” choice. I’m just asking you to take an objective look at how much it matters. In the days of laser rangefinders, it just doesn’t matter as much as it once did.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Thanks Cal, I am going with the 22 from Krieger. Just have to wait 6 months for the barrel. Thank you for your post, your data is top notch.

      • Excellent choice! But the wait is killer. It’s like a good gunsmith. You really want to wait for them, because they are busy for a reason. If a gunsmith can fit you right in, you probably don’t want to use him. 😉

        Thanks,
        Cal

  16. Hey Cal just wanted to say I appreciate all the work that went into your blog. It is quickly becoming my favorite stop for long range shooting.

    I am quickly becoming a 6.5C but even though I havnt shot one yet :) I live in AZ so today I’m going to go visit a little company named Surgeon for a tour and talk about a build. Again thanks for the blog!

    • Hey, Jake. I’m glad you have found the content helpful. I appreciate the encouragement.

      I personally own 2 custom rifles built by Surgeon, and they’re both exceptional. I wouldn’t hesitate to ask them to build another.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  17. Hey Cal where is the cheapest place to find these 130gr Hybrids?

    • I bought mine from EuroOptic.com, and it looks like they still have the lowest price. They currently only offer the Berger 130 Hybrids in boxes of 100 (they don’t have 500 count boxes yet). Looks like EuroOptic.com has them for $43.00, where MidwayUSA.com is $47.49, and Mile High is closer … but still a little more at $43.95.

      EuroOptic.com doesn’t always have the best deal, but I’ve found they do a lot of the time … so it’s usually where I start. I know a few of the guys there, and they’re just relentless at offering the lowest prices. They’re a high-volume, low-margin supplier like Amazon or Walmart, and they believe in “A little profit over a lot, is still a lot” principle. They don’t try to maximize their profit on a single transaction. I know they’re fighting with manufacturers pretty regularly about the manufacturer’s “Minimum Advertised Price” (aka MAP), which is essentially price fixing. They always want to offer stuff at prices that are lower than manufacturers prefer, so they’re always pushing them to allow them to sell things for less. How many distributors regularly engage in conflict like that on behalf of the customers? It’s a strange company!

      Probably more than you wanted to know, but I thought I’d share a little insider info there. Best of luck to you.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  18. Hey Cal I noticed you love the 22″ barrel for the 6.5 Creedmoor. As I mention before I am in the market for one and am contemplating barrel length.

    From what I have read from your posts there is really no reason to go with a longer barrel or am I missing something? I plan on mainly shooting from a bench or prone position, As well as eventually pushing the limits as far as range goes.

    I really just wanted to assure myself to go with the 22″ vs the 24″. Any help there is greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • Hey, Jake. There neither of those would be “the wrong” decision. I prefer 22″, but that is just a personal preference. You will likely get a little more velocity out of a 24″ barrel, but in the day and age of the digital rangefinder, I’m just not sure that matters as much as it once did. And it is usually a pretty minimal difference anyway. Now the difference from 22″ to 26″ might be more noticable, but then again is it worth the extra weight. I don’t think see, but it comes down to the individual. I typically run brakes in competitions, but have suppressors on them in other scenarios. I bought the new 6.5mm TBAC Ultra-7 suppressor, and I’m just waiting on forms to clear. With that super-lightweight 7″ suppressor, I may run a suppressor even more often … especially on a 22″ barrel. With a 6.5 suppressor, I may gain back any muzzle velocity I lost … plus more. I’m hoping it could effectively be similar to an integral suppressor.

      Todd Hodnett suggested once that you should either go with a short and stiff barrel, or a big 30″ barrel to capture all the muzzle velocity you could. He preferred the short and fat barrels on mid-sized cartridges like the 308 (similar size to a 6.5 Creedmoor), and the big long barrel on something like a 338 Lapua Mag. The way I remember it, he thought anywhere in between was no-man’s land. That may be an overly dogmatic view, but Todd’s words carry a lot of weight in my ears (and a lot of other’s too). The benchrest guys are extremist, and in a recent book, entitled The Book of Rifle Accuracy, Benchrest Hall of Famer Tony Boyer suggests heavy barrels in the 20-23″ range.

      I’m not saying that is obviously the right choice. I am fully aware that the overwhelming majority of the top PRS shooters run 26″ barrels. I was the one who conducted the survey and made all the charts of the results. So I’m intimately familiar with that data. But one guy in the top 10 was using a 20″ barrel, so I’m not sure it matters as much as some might think. When I look at the benefits of the longer barrel, and look at the small difference in ballistics … I’m just not convinced it’s much of a differentiator for me. Like I said, it comes down to personal preference. The safe bet is probably to go 24″, which is what many people do. I like the 22″. Right now I have 7 barrels chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor in my gun safe … and every single one of them is 22″. So I voted with my own wallet! 😉

      Once again, there isn’t a wrong choice. It is just a couple ounces difference and a few fps in muzzle velocity. So don’t stress out. I say that, because I’m also a guy who completely stresses out over little details like that! So it’s like one recovering alcoholic talking to another. 😉 One thing you might do is go 24″ and you can always cut it down to 22″ if you wanted to later. That would cost some gunsmithing time, but it’s easier to cut it down than it is to stretch it!

      Best of luck to you!
      Cal

  19. What a great response thanks! If you don’t mind me asking what contour of barrel do you prefer for a 22″?

    • I was in the MTU camp, but I’ve moved to Heavy Palma (not fluted). It seems like right balance of weight and precision for the style of shooting I do. It all comes down to personal preference. Medium Palma, Heavy Palma, MTU, Remington Varmint … Any of those is an excellent choice for a precision rifle. Medium Palma is definitely the lightest I’d consider for one of my rifles. With a 22″ barrel, you can go a little heavier contour because you’re already trimming weight with the shorter length. I like the balance of a 22″ heavy Palma.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Cal,
        I’ve really enjoyed reading this blog. Thank you for all the information. Could you tell me how much your Krieger barrels weigh after you cut the heavy Palma down to 22″? I’m about to start a Creedmoor build with a Krieger just can’t decide what contour/length to go with. Going to use it for a mix of target shooting (out to a 1000 yards maybe more later, still just a rookie when it comes to this distance stuff) and also for deer, maybe elk, coyotes and rock chucks. Do you think the heavy Palma would be too heavy for this? I’m debating on going 22,24 or 26…I’ll be outfitting mine with the TBAC Ultra 9 6.5mm can. I’d love to see a review on your ultra 7 once you get it in your hands. Thanks for all the info and feeding the obsession.

      • You are looking at around 4.2 lbs. I think it provides a nice balance, honestly. It’s heavy, but there isn’t a ton of weight way out there, so the rifle still handles well. The weight actually increase the inertia, which helps you shoot better. Wade Stuteville (overall champion of the 2012 Precision Rifle Series) and I were talking about barrels one day, and he told me “I don’t think it’s that heavy barrels necessarily shoot better, as much as I shoot better with heavy barrels.” That sounds simple, but it’s profound. He felt like the increased weight and balance of the rifle with a heavy barrel helped him be steadier and made it easier for him to stay on target. I agree.

        The 6.5 Creedmoor is a great round for what you described. I’m usually not a believer in a “one cartridge to rule them all” approach, but the 6.5 Creedmoor is ideal for targets 1200 yards or less, and also carries enough energy to take deer size game at 800 yards or less (or course most guys should never shoot an animal that far, unless they can hit a 10″ plate at that distance first shot EVERY time). You could take elk with it, although I’d prefer a bigger cartridge. Personally I like the 7mm Rem Mag for such occasions. It has amazing ballistics and carries the ideal amount of energy for elk-sized game. But I’ve heard of guys taking elk with the 6.5 Creedmoor, so you could do it if you limit your range and ensure your shots are placed really well. I just think it’s better at deer-sized game and under.

        Personally, I’d go with a 22″ Heavy Palma (not fluted). Especially if you are going to put a can on the end. Think about it, if you had a 26″ barrel and 9″ can on the end of it … are you really going to go hunting with a barrel that has an effective length of 35″? That sounds cumbersome to me. You’d probably have to carry it muzzle up, and that barrel would be sticking way up over your head as your walking like a flag. So I’d go with a shorter barrel. You really aren’t giving up much muzzle velocity, and in the day and age of the digital rangefinder … it just doesn’t matter. Really fast, flat-shooting cartridges used to be very important when you didn’t know your range. But even when hunting, I always have a rangefinder on me. When I find a spot to watch, I will even range several landmarks and memorize their distances so if an animal walks out quickly I will have a good idea on the range relative to those landmarks. 10+ years ago, we were guessing at ranges … so we needed flat-shooting cartridges, because honestly we suck at guessing the range. But today is a different world, with the help of affordable and compact laser rangefinders. I actually like mine to be integrated with my binos, so I can get a range as soon as I spot the animal. At that point, does it matter if I dial 3.4 mils or 3.6 mils? That’s the only difference muzzle velocity is going to give you.

        Hope this helps!

        Thanks,
        Cal

      • Cal,
        I truly appreciate the response and it definitely helps me in making my decision. It is guys like you that make me love this sport. I’ve been hunting all my life but most of my shooting has been shotguns, 22lr and a 270 a few times a year to assure zero and then take a deer or elk. I’ve shot all of my elk with a 130 gr 270 Win. I think the Creedmoor should do fine for elk at close distances but the 7mm mag has always entrigued me as an everything else round. The 270 and 223 are fine out to 5-600 yards but it’s time to step it up and get something truly designed for long range.
        Hope to see a blog about your Ultra 7 when it gets out of its mandatory jail sentence. I know the waiting is the worst part. The guys out at ThunderBeast seem to be stand up guys and a some good shooters to boot. again thanks for the specs on the weight and I appreciate your opinion on the length. I just have to get over that whole longer is better idea. I guess my only concern for the 22″ is that I can always shorten a barrel from 24 to 22. Have you had good luck with your Kriegers?

        Thanks again

      • Thanks, Brandon! There are lots of good guys in this sport. I’ve met a ton of them. I think if you’re looking to grow a sport, one of the most critical aspects is how you treat new people. I hope the precision rifle world is welcoming people with open arms. I love seeing it grow! That attracts more manufacturers, makes matches more accessible in different areas, and helps mature the training and resources … so we all win. Plus, I just like seeing other people find the same level of enjoyment I have shooting precision rifles. It is a lot of fun!

        And I can’t wait for the Ultra-7. It should be any day now. I agree about the guys at TBAC. They can be a little rough around the edges at times, but they’re outstanding shooters and I think they’re currently positioned with the best product on the market. With the new Ultra series of suppressors, I’m not sure there is a close 2nd. They’re super-light, compact, available in 22 caliber, 6.5mm, 30 caliber, and 338 caliber … and the performance is best-in-class. The price isn’t fun, but that’s the same for the high-end rifles and scopes we use too. If you want the best, it comes with a price tag … no getting around that.

        And don’t get hung up between a 24″ and 22″ … there isn’t much difference. Go 24″ if it makes you feel more comfortable. That certainly isn’t the wrong choice.

        I have had great luck with Kriegers, and I’ve had great luck with Bartleins as well. Both are excellent, top-shelf barrels. I’ve also heard excellent comments about Hawk Hill Customs barrels. I think my next barrel will likely come from those guys. They make a contour named a Marksman Contour, which is a shade lighter than a Heavy Palma. Here is what I wrote about it in the recent post on PRS barrels:

        Marksman Contour – This contour was developed by Hawk Hill Custom for the precision rifle matches. They feel like “it is it is a perfect balance of weight to barrel length.” It is between a Medium and Heavy Palma, and a little closer to heavy than medium. It is 1.25” for 3” then has a palma contour down to 0.87” at 28”. That barrel weighs approximately 5.3 lbs at 28”.

        I’m not sure I will go with that over a Heavy Palma … but I’m at least entertaining the idea. It’s not much of a difference, honestly … so it may not have any measurable impact. This is probably an example of me thinking about stuff too hard! Dang it, that is hard to quit doing! 😉

        Thanks,
        Cal

  20. Haha! Great reply thanks! Curious what contour are your 22″ barrels? Do you see an issue running a Remington Varmint contour at this length?

    • A Remington Varmint contour would be great. I like running pretty heavy barrels, personally. I typically go Heavy Palma or MTU. I don’t flute my barrels anymore. I actually am working on a huge barrel test that will be including in Bryan Litz’s next book later this year. I’ll also publish it here on the blog after the book is released. I tested a bunch of countours, some fluted, a couple types of carbon fiber barrels, and the StraightJacket Barrel System. Can’t wait to share the results with you guys.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  21. One more question.. Do you have a preference on the 4 groove or 5R rifling? Which do you use? I’m leaning towards the 5R mostly because it seems like the one thing people agree on is they are easier to get clean.
    Thanks again

    • Brandon, I typically go 5R. I haven’t done any research into whether that matters or not. It’d likely take a huge sample size to see any differences that were statistically significant. You obviously have read about the benefits. People claim the rounded corners of the rifling on the 5R rifling cause it to foul less, and maybe even not scar bullet jackets as badly to promote more consistent drag. Once, again … it’d be hard to prove any measurable difference, because I’d bet the improvement is so slight that it would “be in the noise”. You’d likely see as much of a variation barrel to barrel on identical barrels, as you might between a 5R and 4 groove barrel. But I still go 5R, because of that “theoretical” advantage. I’m not sure they are a lot easier to clean. Maybe … but it’s not life-changing! 😉

      I’ve heard people say 3 groove barrels produce higher velocities, but I’m not sure that is the case or not. As Dan Lilja has said “we reduced the number of grooves to 3 but kept the ratio of land to groove width the same (ie. the lands are twice as wide in a 3 groove barrel as compared to a 6 groove)” … so it’s not like there are drastic differences in pressures.

      Rifling is an interesting science, and I think we need to do more studies into it. In fact, you got me thinking now … 😉 There goes 6 months of my time!

      Thanks,
      Cal

  22. considering between a Gap #6 or #7 contour for a 6.5 build. I do not compete in long range but do shoot it a bit and likely will compete in the future. I am thinking of keeping this gun short and lighter for hunting and have a TB Ultra 7 can about 4 mo into ATF process. I know the obvious answer of which contour to use might be #6 for weight purposes but any argument to go with the #7 contour in this build? Thanks for your thoughts.

    • I prefer heavier barrels, but I’m sure either of them would be amazing performers in a GA Precision rifle. They’re some of the best in the industry.

      I did just complete a pretty in-depth barrel study that will be published in Bryan Litz’s next book (Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting Volume 2). I plan to share those results on the blog shortly after the book is published, but I can tell you I really like heavy barrels … and I have a lot of data on different types of barrels. 😉 And all my tests were with a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle (virtually identical to the rifle in the photo at the top of this post). So the results seem pretty pertinent. I’ve heard very few people regret going to a heavy barrel, but I have heard people regret going too light. Just food for thought. Like I said, neither would be the wrong choice. It’s not like you’re considering a pencil-thin barrel.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Thanks very much. Message received will check with barrel availability but agreed that I did not want to go with a thin profile. Appreciate the feedback

  23. Hi Cal
    Just bought a RPR in a 308 cal
    I called criterion barrels and talked to them for a while, I can otder a 6.5 barrel and length, after reading everything you put out, would you then recommend the 22in with a 1-9 or 1-10 twist instead of the standard 1-8
    I’m just getting into all this and I’m really not sure at all.
    Thanks for any help

    • Hey, Gerald. I just built a 6.5 Creedmoor and ordered 10 different barrels for it to do a barrel test that will be published in Bryan Litz’s next book, which be released in a couple months. I thought long and and hard about the ideal twist rate for those barrels, because I wanted the test to be as perfect as possible … but I also plan to shoot those barrels for years to come, and I want them to be right! I bought thousands of dollars of barrels, so I don’t want to be stuck with the wrong twist rate!

      So I personally ended up going with 1:8 twist on all of my 6.5 barrels. I plan to use the heavy-for-caliber 130gr and 140gr bullets, and that twist rate will produce ideal stability for those weight bullets. If you don’t have adequate stability, you won’t get the full benefit of high-BC, low-drag bullets. Essentially they will start to wobble in the air and have an effective drag that is higher than if they were flying in a tight spiral. I always use a twist rate calculator to determine the ideal twist for the bullet and muzzle velocity I plan to use. And 1:8 is mathematically the “right” choice for long-range shooting using those heavy-for-caliber 6.5 bullets at the velocities these mid-sized cartridges are launching them.

      And yes … I bought all of those barrels in 22″, because that is what I personally prefer. But that doesn’t mean it is the “right” answer. That is a personal preference thing, and comes down to application and trade off between weight, maneuverability, and desired ballistic performance. In my view, you don’t seem to loose much muzzle velocity going from 26″ to 22″ for that cartridge, and if you have good dope and a good rangefinder … does it really matter if you need to dial 6.7 mils or 6.9 mils? I can hit the target at will with either setup. I wouldn’t have more hits with a longer barrel (at least not with that cartridge), so why add the extra weight? A shorter barrel will also have less barrel vibration, which is why many benchrest shooters go with a 21″ or 22″ barrel. But, that is just my opinion. I’m not saying 22″ barrels is the right choice for everyone. Lots of awesome shooters who know more than me use 24″ or 26″ barrels on their 6.5 Creedmoors. I think it just comes down to personal preference on the length.

      Hope that helps!
      Cal