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6.5 Creedmoor Ammo Muzzle Velocity

6.5 Creedmoor Ammo Test Part 4: Live-Fire Muzzle Velocity Details

This is the second article in this series covering the muzzle velocity data I collected. The last article covered how this data was collected, along with a summary and head-to-head comparison of all the 19 different types of match-grade factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammo that was included in this research. If you haven’t read that article yet, I’d suggest starting by reading it – but here is a quick summary:

I bought two boxes of 19 types of 6.5 Creedmoor ammo that were marketed as “match” or “target” grade. Each box was purchased 6 months apart from different distributors to get a spread of ammo lots. I fired a 10-shot string from each box in two different rifles: 1) a high-end, complete custom 6.5 Creedmoor bolt-action rifle, and 2) a new, 100% stock Ruger Precision Rifle. So the total sample size for each brand and type of ammo was 40 rounds. I was OCD and paranoid about every aspect that might skew the results, and I tried to control for those aspects in any way I could think of – including using 3 LabRadar Doppler Radars to measure the velocities.

Now let’s run through each brand and type of ammo:

Barnes Precision Match 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. OTM BT

Barnes Precision Match 6.5 Creedmoor 140gr OTM

The table below has all the stats for each of the 10-shot strings that I fired. These numbers are all in feet per second (fps).

RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,7035.3182,6952,713
Custom Surgeon22,69213.6412,6742,715
Surgeon Average2,6989.530  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,72615.5452,7002,745
Ruger Precision Rifle22,72716.0592,7052,764
RPR Average2,72715.852  

Then here are the averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, from both rifle and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 12.6 fps
  • Average ES = 41 fps
  • Average MV = 2,712 fps
  • Average MV Difference Between Lots = 5 fps

Note: For “Average MV Difference Between Lots” I calculated that by finding the difference between the average velocity for box #1 & #2 for each rifle and then averaged those differences together. That kept the muzzle velocity difference caused by barrel length or other rifle-specifics from skewing that data.

Then the chart below shows how each of the 40 shots for record for this type of ammo varied from the average muzzle velocity for each of the 10-shot strings.

Barnes 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo

One thing that is interesting about the Barnes match ammo results is that the average velocities for both lots of ammo were VERY similar. The velocity varied between the rifles, but remember the Custom Surgeon rifle had a 22” barrel and the RPR had a 24” barrel, so that’s expected. We’re just hoping the average of both lots was similar when shot from the same rifle, which it was here. You can see from the “Average MV Difference Between Lots” was just 5 fps, which was the lowest of any ammo tested! That means if you switch lots of ammo your ballistics may not change significantly, which is one of the things you typically have to manage and double-check with factory ammo. That is why often guys lay in a big supply of ammo when they’re shooting factory ammo, so they don’t have to change lots often. But at least for the two boxes that I tested, they were very similar even though they were purchased through different online distributors 6 months apart from each other.

Another interesting aspect of the Barnes match ammo was the muzzle velocity variance for box #1 out of the custom rifle seemed to show a lot less variance than all of the other 3 samples. I think that just shows why it’s important to have larger sample sizes. If we’d stopped after the first 10-shot string from the custom rifle, we’d walk away with the impression that this ammo had an SD of just 5.3 fps! Some of the best handloaders in the world strive for SD’s that low and often can’t coax that level of consistency from a load, so that would be unbelievable for factory ammo. Indeed, it is unbelievable – because it didn’t come close to being repeatable in any of the other strings. In fact, the other half of the ammo from that same exact box didn’t perform even close to that same level in the other rifle. The SD of that first 10-shot string was simply “luckier” than normal. I’m not saying it wasn’t representative of this Barnes ammo, because obviously, it happened in the real world, but over the long-haul, we shouldn’t expect the SD to be 5.3 fps – it’s much more likely to be close to the overall average of 12.6 fps. That’s just a reminder right off the bat as to why sample size is so important!

One pattern you can see and which will continue through most of the data is that the custom rifle had slightly lower SD’s than the Ruger Precision Rifle. That’s likely because it featured a custom Bartlein barrel, which might cost 5 times as much as the factory barrel Ruger outfits the RPR with. I’d suspect the bore of the custom barrel was much smoother with more uniform bore and groove dimensions, which likely accounts for the improvement in muzzle velocity consistency. Most of the other types of ammo didn’t have as exaggerated differences as this Barnes ammo (likely from the one tiny SD string), but the pattern is still present across much of the ammo tested.

Berger Match 6.5 Creedmoor 120 gr. Lapua Scenar-L

Berger Match 6.5 Creedmoor 120gr Lapua Scenar-L
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,9439.1252,9332,958
Custom Surgeon22,96112.8472,9392,986
Surgeon Average2,95211.036  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,95715.7532,9302,983
Ruger Precision Rifle22,9898.0252,9753,000
RPR Average2,97311.839  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 11.4 fps
  • Average ES = 38 fps
  • Average MV = 2,962 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 25 fps
Berger 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo 120 Scenar-L

The first thing I notice is the average SD was around 11 fps overall, which is impressive over a sample size this large! That puts this Berger Match 6.5 Creedmoor 120 gr. Lapua Scenar-L in the top 5 in terms of muzzle velocity consistency.

One interesting aspect of this ammo was one box seemed to do better in a rifle than the other, but it wasn’t the same box – which seems unusual. Box #1 did best in the custom rifle and box #2 did best in the RPR.

I did notice this particular ammo had an average difference of 25 fps between the two boxes of ammo. It showed that same pattern on both rifles. That points towards lot-to-lot variance, which you could mitigate by laying in a supply when you buy this ammo or you’d just need to double-check your velocities and adjust the MV in your firing solution whenever you switch lots. That isn’t the end of the world and might be worth it for the relatively low SD’s.

This was also the fastest muzzle velocity of any ammo tested. That shouldn’t be too much of a surprise since this was a 120 gr. bullet compared to the 130 or 140 gr. bullets most of this ammo was loaded with. However, I did also test Hornady’s Match 120 gr. ELD-M ammo and this Berger ammo was 112 fps faster! The Hornady 120 gr. ammo averaged 2,850 fps and this Berger ammo averaged 2,962 fps – so it’s considerably faster.

Berger Match 6.5 Creedmoor 130 gr. Hybrid OTM Tactical

Berger Match 6.5 Creedmoor 130gr OTM Hybrid
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,83111.4302,8132,843
Custom Surgeon22,7898.3262,7722,798
Surgeon Average2,8109.928  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,80512.7392,7862,825
Ruger Precision Rifle22,81710.2372,7972,834
RPR Average2,81111.438  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 10.6 fps
  • Average ES = 33 fps
  • Average MV = 2,810 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 15 fps
Berger 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo 130 Hybrid OTM Tactical

This Berger Match 130 gr. OTM Tactical ammo had one of the lowest SD’s and ES’s of any ammo tested, ranking 3rd overall in both categories. We continue to see the pattern that the custom rifle has slightly lower SD’s than the factory barrel on the RPR. The average across both strings shot from the custom Surgeon rifle was in the single digits at just 9.9 fps! The RPR wasn’t far behind, at just 11.4 fps. For factory ammo that is exceptional consistency!

The Berger 130 ammo had an average ES of just 33 fps over the 10-shot strings, which equate to 8.5 inches of vertical spread at 1,000 yards with this ammo. If your solution was on, that’d mean the slowest velocity would hit around 4” low and the fastest would hit around 4” high. If you’re new to this that might sound like a lot, but in real-world field conditions, we might not be able to hold a group that tight at 1,000 yards with all the variables that can come into play – so it is definitely adequate for all practical purposes.

This match-grade ammo also had one of the smallest differences in average muzzle velocity between lots at just 15 fps.

In terms of overall velocity, this ammo wasn’t fast or slow compared to other ammo that I tested that was loaded with a 130 gr. bullet. It was simply the middle of the road.

One last interesting note about this one is that the average for both barrels was within 1 fps of each other, which seemed unusual. The 24” RPR barrel was typically about 22 fps faster than the 22” custom barrel, although it did more than I expected for different types of ammo.

Berger Match 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. Hybrid Target

Berger Match 6.5 Creedmoor 140gr Hybrid Target
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,7518.8312,7372,768
Custom Surgeon22,78114.6452,7542,799
Surgeon Average2,76611.738  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,7708.8292,7582,787
Ruger Precision Rifle22,81312.2362,7972,833
RPR Average2,79210.533  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 11.1 fps
  • Average ES = 35 fps
  • Average MV = 2,779 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 36 fps
Berger 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo 140 Hybrid

This third type of Berger match ammo loaded with the 140 gr. Hybrid bullet also had one of the lowest SD’s and ES’s of any ammo tested, ranking 4th best overall in both categories.

Notice that the SD for box #1 was just 8.8 fps for both the custom rifle and the RPR! That is incredible. I wish I would have laid in a huge supply of that lot of ammo! 😉

The lot-to-lot variation for the average muzzle velocity was higher than the other types of Berger match ammo. The 120 gr. was 25 fps and the 130 gr. was just 15 fps, but this 140 gr. ammo averaged 36 fps, which was a little higher than the average across all of the ammo that was tested.

Black Hills 6.5 Creedmoor Hornady 147 gr. ELD-M

Black Hills 6.5 Creedmoor Hornady 147 gr. ELD-M
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,6649.3312,6502,681
Custom Surgeon22,69112.9372,6692,706
Surgeon Average2,67811.134  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,68211.6322,6642,696
Ruger Precision Rifle22,71125.2882,6752,763
RPR Average2,69718.460  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 14.8 fps
  • Average ES = 47 fps
  • Average MV = 2,687 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 28 fps
Black Hills 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo

Every Shot Counts: I want to make an important point that applies to other ammo as well. When you look at the shot-to-shot chart for the Black Hills ammo above it might be tempting to say, “If you just removed shot 31, it would have done a lot better.” While that is true, you can’t cherry-pick which data you want to keep or filter out. If we did that wouldn’t be good science or research – and it also isn’t the truth. The fact is shot 31 happened, so we can’t act like it didn’t. I’ve heard of shooters who “always throw out the first shot,” or throw out the highest and lowest velocities. If you just cleaned the barrel, then you can shoot some foulers that aren’t for record (like I did in this research project), but other than that every measurement should count. While filtering out some of the data might make you feel better about your numbers, that is skewing the data and you are just lying to yourself. For my research, every recorded shot counts.

Many shooters out there that have a high view of Black Hills ammo, which is why I included them in this research – even though the cost of this ammo was considerably higher than all of the other ammo tested. In fact, a box of Black Hills ammo was almost double the cost of the Hornady and Sig match-grade ammo.

I was pretty excited to try this ammo, but unfortunately, the performance didn’t seem to live up to the hype – at least when it comes to consistent muzzle velocity. The SD and ES ranked towards the bottom of the pack, at 13th out of 19. It did appear that the first box was more consistent than the second. The second box had pretty unacceptable performance, with an SD on the RPR of 25 fps and an ES of 88 fps over just 10 shots.

I did notice that the average muzzle velocity for this Black Hills ammo was relatively fast considering it is using a 147 gr. bullet. For comparison the Hornady Match 147 gr. ELD-M ammo had an average MV of 2,610 fps, so this Black Hills ammo ran 77 fps faster with the exact same bullet. It was even faster than several types of 140 gr. ammo, even though it is a 147 gr. bullet.

Copper Creek 6.5 Creedmoor Berger 140 gr. Hybrid

Copper Creek 6.5 Creedmoor Berger 140 gr. Hybrid
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,72713.7402,7052,745
Custom Surgeon22,74911.0282,7342,762
Surgeon Average2,73812.334  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,74917.2562,7222,778
Ruger Precision Rifle22,78012.6422,7562,798
RPR Average2,76514.949  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 13.6 fps
  • Average ES = 42 fps
  • Average MV = 2,751 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 27 fps
Copper Creek 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo Berger 140 Hybrid

I want to start by saying that Copper Creek allows you to specify the brand of brass you’d like them to use, and I picked Hornady brass for this test. They also offer Lapua and Starline brass, and I wouldn’t be surprised if those might produce slightly different results.

With that said, this Copper Creek ammo performed about the middle of the road relative to the other ammo tested – it wasn’t the best but also wasn’t the worst – in just about every aspect. Because of that, there doesn’t seem to be much to say about it.

Copper Creek 6.5 Creedmoor Berger 144 gr. Long Range Hybrid

Copper Creek 6.5 Creedmoor Berger 144 gr. Long Range Hybrid
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,6849.5322,6692,701
Custom Surgeon22,6355.4182,6272,645
Surgeon Average2,6607.525  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,66919.6672,6502,717
Ruger Precision Rifle22,66314.8512,6382,689
RPR Average2,66617.259  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 12.3 fps
  • Average ES = 42 fps
  • Average MV = 2,663 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 27 fps
Copper Creek 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo Berger 144 LR Hybrid

Again, I chose to have Copper Creek load this ammo using Hornady brass, but this one had the new Berger 144 gr. Long-Range Hybrid bullet. At the time I started buying ammo for this test Copper Creek was the only company selling loaded ammo with that new bullet, which is one of the advantages Copper Creek is able to offer customers. They typically offer new bullets in loaded ammo before it’s even available from the manufacturer in factory-loaded ammo.

Honestly, the performance for this ammo in terms of muzzle velocity is extremely similar to the other Copper Creek load tested. In fact, it has the same exact ES and velocity difference between loads. The average SD is pretty similar too. However, how each one arrived at that average was very different. For this load the SD on the custom rifle was DRASTICALLY lower than the RPR. I’m not sure what to say about that, other than it’s interesting. I won’t even try to guess what that might be a result of, but it seemed to be present for both boxes with the custom rifle SD being almost 10 fps less in both cases.

Federal Premium Gold Medal 6.5 Creedmoor Berger 130 gr. Hybrid OTM

Federal Premium Gold Medal 6.5 Creedmoor Berger 130 gr. Hybrid OTM
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,81414.8472,7942,841
Custom Surgeon22,84511.9332,8292,862
Surgeon Average2,83013.340  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,81215.4482,7852,833
Ruger Precision Rifle22,90113.6412,8802,921
RPR Average2,85614.545  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 13.9 fps
  • Average ES = 42 fps
  • Average MV = 2,843 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 60 fps
Federal 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo Berger 130 Hybrid

Well, the first thing that stuck out to be about the Federal Premium 130 Hybrid ammo is there was a ton of variance between the two boxes of ammo, with box #2 being 60 fps faster on average. That was the 2nd largest variance of any ammo that I tested. Having said that, the SD’s and ES’s were fairly consistent among both boxes and rifles. It wasn’t super-impressive but was basically middle of the road in terms of MV consistency compared to the other types of ammo.

One other interesting note was that this was the fastest velocity of any 130 gr. ammo tested, by almost 30 fps.

Federal Premium Gold Medal 6.5 Creedmoor Sierra 140 gr. MatchKing

Federal Premium Gold Medal 6.5 Creedmoor Sierra 140 gr. MatchKing
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,6764.4132,6692,682
Custom Surgeon22,69512.8402,6792,719
Surgeon Average2,6868.627  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,6418.5272,6272,654
Ruger Precision Rifle22,7128.8322,6982,730
RPR Average2,6778.730  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 8.6 fps
  • Average ES = 28 fps
  • Average MV = 2,681 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 45 fps
Federal 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo 140 SMK

This Federal Premium 140 gr. SMK ammo had the most consistent velocity of any ammo tested. It had both the lowest SD (8.6 fps) and the lowest ES (28 fps).

Box #1 on the custom rifle had an SD of 4.4 fps over 10 shots! The average for all four 10-shot strings was just 8.6 fps – which I’ll just say shocked me. That is great performance even for handloads, so to find factory ammo that is that consistent over a sample of 40 shots is outstanding. Well done, Federal! Very impressive!

The average 10-shot ES was just 28 fps, which obviously would mean minimal vertical stringing. I ran the ballistics for this specific ammo, and that equates to about 8.6 inches of difference in vertical drop at 1,000 yards between the fastest shot and the slowest shot. That is excellent and you’d likely never miss a target at a PRS or NRL-style precision rifle match for velocity reasons.

There was still a considerable amount of variance between the two boxes of ammo in terms of average muzzle velocity, at 45 fps – but again that is manageable. You would simply need to double-check your velocity by firing over a LabRadar or MagnetoSpeed any time you switch between lots and make sure you update your ballistic solver accordingly.

Hornady Match 6.5 Creedmoor 120 gr. ELD-M

Hornady Match 6.5 Creedmoor 120 gr. ELD-M
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,84014.0472,8262,873
Custom Surgeon22,84414.0482,8112,859
Surgeon Average2,84214.048  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,84413.8422,8252,867
Ruger Precision Rifle22,8718.9292,8522,881
RPR Average2,85811.436  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 12.7 fps
  • Average ES = 42 fps
  • Average MV = 2,850 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 15 fps
Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo 120 ELDM

This Hornady Match ammo with the 120 gr. ELD-M bullet had about average performance among this group. The SD was 12.7 fps, which was just better than the 13.9 fps average across all ammo tested.

It did have one of the lowest variations between boxes, at just 15 fps, which had it ranked  3rd best overall.

Another interesting note of the Hornady 120 gr. ammo was that it was barely faster than some of the 130 gr. ammo. For example, this 120 gr. ammo averaged 2,850 fps across both rifles where the Federal Premium 130 gr. Hybrid ammo averaged 2,843 fps. That’s just a 7 fps difference. The only other 120 gr. ammo that I tested was the Berger Match 120 gr. Scenar-L ammo and it was 112 fps faster than this Hornady 120 gr. ammo. Based on the MV trend by bullet weight, I’d suspect that the Berger 120 gr. ammo might be a little on the hot side and this Hornady 120 gr. ammo is a little on the slow side.

Hornady Match 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. ELD-M

Hornady Match 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. ELD-M
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,68516.8612,6632,724
Custom Surgeon22,64017.8712,6132,684
Surgeon Average2,66317.366  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,70813.4442,6792,723
Ruger Precision Rifle22,66211.8402,6372,677
RPR Average2,68512.642  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 15.0 fps
  • Average ES = 54 fps
  • Average MV = 2,674 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 46 fps
Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo 140 ELDM

I will say this one was a bit of a surprise for me, because the Hornady Match 140 gr. ELD-M seems to be one of the most popular choices – but unfortunately, it has an average SD of 15.0, which isn’t great. That had it ranked 14th of 19 in terms of muzzle velocity consistency. With an average ES of 54 fps over 10 shots, that is enough to cause about 16.8 inches of vertical stringing at 1,000 yards based on the ballistics of this ammo.

The average muzzle velocity difference between boxes was not good either. In fact, it was the 4th worst of the test. What’s interesting there is the 120 gr. and 147 gr. flavors of the Hornady Match ammo were tied for 3rd best in that category (both at 15 fps). So perhaps if we’d have tested more lots of ammo we’d see the average fall somewhere in between those and the 46 fps difference we found for the Hornady 140 gr. ELD-M match ammo.

Hornady Match 6.5 Creedmoor 147 gr. ELD-M

Hornady Match 6.5 Creedmoor 147 gr. ELD-M
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,65210.7382,6312,668
Custom Surgeon22,59813.5382,5812,619
Surgeon Average2,62512.138  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,58215.0452,5552,600
Ruger Precision Rifle22,60715.7472,5802,627
RPR Average2,59415.346  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 13.7 fps
  • Average ES = 42 fps
  • Average MV = 2,610 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 15 fps
Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo 147 ELDM

The Hornady 147 gr. ELD-M Match Ammo is another very popular choice for match ammo, but it performed about average in terms of muzzle velocity consistency. The average of all the ammo tested was a 13.9 fps SD, so this was right on top of it at 13.7 fps. And the SD of all the strings seemed to be not far off that, so at least they’re consistent in that way.

The 147 gr. match ammo had one of the lowest differences between average muzzle velocity between boxes of ammo. It was tied for 3rd lowest overall, along with the Hornady 120 gr. Match ammo.

This Hornady match ammo was the slowest muzzle velocity of all the ammo tested, but that’s somewhat expected since it was one of the heaviest bullets. The Black Hills match ammo was also loaded with a 147 gr. ELD-M bullet, but was running 77 fps faster.

Norma Match 6.5 Creedmoor 130 gr. Golden Target Hybrid HPBT

Norma Match 6.5 Creedmoor 130 gr. Golden Target Hybrid Hollow Point Boat Tail
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,79516.4502,7742,824
Custom Surgeon22,83014.4552,8102,865
Surgeon Average2,81215.453  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,79313.4392,7752,814
Ruger Precision Rifle22,84613.0362,8282,864
RPR Average2,81913.238  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 14.3 fps
  • Average ES = 45 fps
  • Average MV = 2,816 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 44 fps
Norma 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo

The Norma 6.5 Creedmoor ammo performed slightly below average when it comes to muzzle velocity consistency. It also was about middle of the road in terms of average velocity compared to other loads with 130 gr. bullets. There was an average muzzle velocity difference between lots of 44 fps, which was more than what most of these had.

Nosler Match Grade 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. Custom Competition Hollow Point Boat Tail

Nosler Match Grade 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. Custom Competition Hollow Point Boat Tail
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,54112.9392,5182,557
Custom Surgeon22,65922.8752,6142,689
Surgeon Average2,60017.857  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,56420.3692,5272,596
Ruger Precision Rifle22,68415.8532,6572,710
RPR Average2,62418.061  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 17.9 fps
  • Average ES = 59 fps
  • Average MV = 2,612 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 119 fps
Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo 140 Custom Competition

Well, that’s not good! The Nosler “Match Grade” 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. Custom Competition was one of the worst 3 in the test. The average SD of 17.9 fps and ES of almost 60 puts this pretty far outside of the range of what I’d consider “match grade.” I ran the ballistics for this specific ammo, and an ES of 59 fps would equate to 20.5 inches of vertical stringing at 1,000 yards.

There was also over 100 fps difference in average velocity between the boxes I tested! That was almost twice as much as the next worst lot-to-lot variation.

This Nosler “competition” ammo was the slowest of all the 140 gr. ammo that was tested.

Honestly, I wish there was something redeeming to say about this ammo – but there isn’t. Don’t buy it!

Nosler Match Grade 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. RDF Hollow Point Boat Tail

Nosler Match Grade 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. RDF Hollow Point Boat Tail
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,64017.5522,6102,662
Custom Surgeon22,68212.3402,6562,696
Surgeon Average2,66114.946  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,64321.8792,6002,679
Ruger Precision Rifle22,68428.0992,6372,736
RPR Average2,66324.989  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 19.9 fps
  • Average ES = 68 fps
  • Average MV = 2,662 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 42 fps
Nosler 140 RDF Ammo

Well, Nosler isn’t going to like this one either. The Nosler “Match Grade” 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. RDF ammo had the 2nd worst SD of this test. It actually had the highest ES of the test, at 68 fps. I ran the ballistics for this specific ammo, and an ES of 68 would equate to 20.4 inches of vertical stringing at 1,000 yards.

Again, nothing about that is “match grade.” I’d suspect there is “standard” factory ammo that is cheaper and would out-perform this Nosler ammo in terms of MV consistency.

There was also a 42 fps difference in the average muzzle velocity between the lots I tested, which was also worse than the average.

Again, I wish there was something positive to say here – but I just don’t see anything positive in the velocity data I collected.

PRIME 6.5 Creedmoor Sierra 130 gr. MatchKing USA-Made

PRIME 6.5 Creedmoor Sierra 130 gr. MatchKing USA-Made
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,79216.6562,7712,827
Custom Surgeon22,79210.1332,7742,807
Surgeon Average2,79213.345  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,73619.4582,7092,767
Ruger Precision Rifle22,78514.7552,7592,814
RPR Average2,76017.057  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 15.2 fps
  • Average ES = 51 fps
  • Average MV = 2,776 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 25 fps
PRIME 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo

PRIME ammo is another very popular choice among precision shooters. But, when we’re looking at the muzzle velocity data collected, the ammo performed below average. The SD for the PRIME 6.5 Creedmoor ammo ranked 15th of 19, although it wasn’t by a wide margin. To fall another spot it would have had to have an SD that was almost 2 fps worst, but if it’d have had an SD that was that much better it would have ranked in the top half. There were 9 different types of ammo with an average SD between 12 and 15 fps, and this PRIME ammo fell on the lower end of that middle pack.

Another interesting note about this PRIME match ammo is that it was the slowest of the four types of ammo tested that had a 130 gr. bullet. In fact, the average MV of this ammo was even slower than Berger 140 gr. Hybrid match ammo, even though that is a heavier bullet.

Remington Premier Match 6.5 Creedmoor Barnes 140 gr. Open Tip Match

Remington Premier Match 6.5 Creedmoor Barnes 140 gr. Open Tip Match Ammo
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,67717.0592,6402,699
Custom Surgeon22,66725.5692,6392,708
Surgeon Average2,67221.364  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,66627.7772,6172,694
Ruger Precision Rifle22,69314.6472,6752,722
RPR Average2,68021.262  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 21.2 fps
  • Average ES = 63 fps
  • Average MV = 2,676 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 9 fps
Remington 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo

The Remington match ammo had the worst SD of any ammo tested. It was the only 6.5 Creedmoor “match” ammo that had an average SD over 20 fps, although the Nosler 140 RDF ammo was the 2nd worst at 19.9 fps – so it wasn’t far off 20. This ammo had an average SD over 20 fps and average ES over 60 fps for both the custom Surgeon rifle and the stock Ruger Precision Rifle, so it was consistently inconsistent.

This Remington 6.5 Creedmoor ammo had an average extreme spread of 63 fps over 10-shot strings, which would give you a vertical spread of 19.8 inches at 1,000 yards. With how inconsistent this muzzle velocity was, it shouldn’t be considered “match-grade,” regardless of how it performed on the other aspects of this test (like group size).

This Remington “Premiere Match” ammo has certainly been an extremist in this test so far, either falling at the very top or very bottom of most of the comparisons we’ve made so far. If you remember from the last article in this series, this Remington match ammo was one of the very best when it came to consistent overall length and bullet runout – but it was one of the very worst when it came to weight variation. That weight inconsistency appears to have manifested in the live-fire data as inconsistent muzzle velocity, which makes sense.

The only redeeming thing I can see about the muzzle velocity of the Remington ammo is that the average muzzle velocity of each box was very similar, with just a 9 fps difference. That was the 2nd lowest difference of all the ammo tested. Once again, it seems like this Remington ammo is always either at the very top or very bottom of our comparisons so far.

Sig Sauer Elite Performance Match 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. OTM

Sig Sauer Elite Performance Match 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. OTM
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,6607.7272,6472,674
Custom Surgeon22,6569.8342,6422,676
Surgeon Average2,6588.731  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,62311.0312,6042,635
Ruger Precision Rifle22,6727.7222,6632,685
RPR Average2,6489.427  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 9.1 fps
  • Average ES = 29 fps
  • Average MV = 2,653 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 23 fps
Sig 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo

With an average SD in the single-digits, at 9.1 fps, this Sig match ammo proved to have one of the most consistent muzzle velocities of all the match ammo that I tested. It ranked 2nd lowest for both average SD and ES. I’ll say again that any factory ammo that averages an SD in the single digits over four 10-shot strings is incredibly impressive.

The ES of just 29 fps means you’d only have 9.6 inches of vertical stringing at 1,000 yards due to muzzle velocity variation, based on the ballistics for this specific ammo. That is less than half what some of the other ammo tested would have, and is very respectable.

I can’t help but mention that back when I was buying all this ammo this Sig 6.5 Creedmoor Match ammo had the lowest cost per box of anything I purchased. In a time when you constantly hear, “You get what you pay for!”, I’m always excited when I come across something that is a top performer AND is the lowest cost. That means it’s a huge value! Now before we break out the champagne, we still need to see how well this ammo groups, but the muzzle velocity data is impressive. Well done, Sig.

The only negative thing related to the muzzle velocity was that this Sig 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. OTM ammo was one of the slowest types of 140 gr. ammo tested. For comparison, the Berger Match 140 gr. Hybrid ammo had an average muzzle velocity of 2,779 fps, which is 126 fps faster. Of course, as I mentioned at the start of this article, for long-range work if you have to choose between consistent muzzle velocity or the fastest muzzle velocity you are typically better served when you pick consistency. To learn more about that read How Much Does Muzzle Velocity Matter and How Much Does SD Matter?

I will add here that it’s not that you should ALWAYS pick consistency over velocity, it’s that you should typically prioritize consistent muzzle velocity over maximum muzzle velocity – but obviously if you can get both, that’s ideal! So if the Berger Match 140 gr. Hybrid had an average SD of 11.1 fps and an average muzzle velocity of 2,779 and this Sig ammo had an average SD of 9.1 and an average muzzle velocity of 2,653 – which is better? What if one has tighter groups than the other, would it be “better”? What if one has a higher BC than the other, does that trump all this stuff? If you considered all those other factors, is there another one of these types of ammo that is best? I’m so glad you asked! There is an advanced ballistic analysis tool that I’m going to use in the final post of this series that considers all of those factors at the appropriate weights to calculate an overall hit probability at long range. It uses real-world, physics formulas to help us process all of these independent factors and know which ammo strikes the best balance when you consider all the factors and gives us the highest odds of connecting with our target at distance.

Winchester Match 6.5 Creedmoor Sierra 140 gr. MatchKing

Winchester Match 6.5 Creedmoor Sierra 140 gr. MatchKing
RifleBox #Avg. MVSDESMinMax
Custom Surgeon12,6958.2292,6812,710
Custom Surgeon22,73622.8712,7122,783
Surgeon Average2,71515.550  
Ruger Precision Rifle12,69516.0492,6702,719
Ruger Precision Rifle22,75221.0732,7262,799
RPR Average2,72318.561  

Averages over all four of the 10-shot strings, including both rifles and both boxes of ammo:

  • Average SD = 17.0 fps
  • Average ES = 56 fps
  • Average MV = 2,719 fps
  • Average MV Diff Between Lots = 49 fps
Winchester 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo

This Winchester match ammo is the final type of ammo in this test (at least alphabetically), and it was the 4th worst in terms of both average SD and ES of the 19 types of ammo that I collected data on. If you read the last article, you probably remember that when I weighed a full box of loaded rounds for all of these different types of ammo, the Winchester 6.5 Creedmoor ammo had the most variance in weight round-to-round. So it isn’t a surprise that this research data showed it was one of the worst in terms of muzzle velocity variance, too.

To put the ES of 56 fps in context, for this ammo that would result in about 17.4 inches of vertical stringing at 1,000 yards. It’s still possible to hit targets with that, but it can certainly be frustrating because often you miss high or low and adjust and then miss on the other side of the target. That’s why this is probably not consistent enough for long-range matches.

Another thing of note related to the Winchester 6.5CM ammo was it had almost 50 fps of difference between the average muzzle velocity in box #1 compared to box #2. That is a lot of change between two lots of ammo and it was the 3rd worst of the test in that aspect.

Coming Up Next: Group Size Analysis!

Through this research, I not only collected the muzzle velocity data, but I also carefully fired eight 5-shot groups with each type of ammo. Half of those were from the Ruger Precision Rifle and half were from the custom Surgeon rifle. The next article in this series will share all of that data. I feel like there were a few surprises in there, even after knowing all of this muzzle velocity performance. What if one of the worst types of ammo in terms of muzzle velocity consistency had some of the tightest groups? It’s pretty interesting stuff!

If you’d like to be the first to know when the next article is published, sign up to receive email notifications about new posts.

6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo Field Test Series

Here is the outline of all the articles in this series covering my 6.5 Creedmoor Match-Grade Ammo Field Test:

Also, if you want to get the most out of this series, I’d HIGHLY recommend that you read what I published right before this research, which was the “Statistics for Shooters” series. I actually wrote that 3-part series so that my readers would better understand a lot of this research that I’m presenting, and get more value from it. Here are those 3 articles:

  1. How To Predict The Future: Fundamentals of statistics for shooters
  2. Quantifying Muzzle Velocity ConsistencyGaining insight to minimize our shot-to-shot variation in velocity
  3. Quantifying Group Dispersion: Making better decisions when it comes to precision and how small our groups are

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. Cal has an engineering background, unique data-driven approach, and the ability to present technical information in an unbiased and straight-forward fashion. For more info, check out PrecisionRifleBlog.com/About.

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22 comments

  1. Interesting. Any idea why the Surgeon shows a lower StDEV? Not having raw data I have to swag it but think you have a p-value less than 0.05 there. Its curious as well that the RPR likes Box 2 about 75% of the time while the Surgeon is close to 50/50.

    lots of work to get there. thanks and nice job.

    • Hey, Paul. I suspect the Surgeon had a lower standard deviation because it had a custom Bartlein barrel that likely cost 5-10 times more than the factory barrel that comes on the Ruger Precision Rifle. The finish inside the barrel is likely much smoother with less tooling marks, and I’d also suspect the land and groove dimensions were much more uniform. Unfortunately, I don’t have the equipment to measure that kind of stuff, but that is what I’d suspect. In my experience, you will always get lower SD’s from a high-end barrel than from a factory barrel. I’ve been told by one industry insider that most factory rifle barrels cost $10. The barrels on some of the higher-end factory rifles might cost $75. I don’t know what Ruger’s barrel cost, but I’d suspect it is around those numbers. Now with steel prices up 40% right now, I’d expect those might be higher … but that was for the 5 years pre-COVID. Bartlein barrel blanks cost $370 today, and they were $355 back in January 2020 (pre-COVID). The truth is they have a lot tighter quality control than the manufacturers who make the factory barrels, which is why they shoot better – and that’s not just tighter groups, but slightly more consistent muzzle velocities as well.

      I don’t have a clue why box #2 in the RPR was better most of the time like you are saying. I haven’t actually looked at it, so I can’t confirm or deny if that’s true. My guess is that is just the natural variation that you might expect to see in real-world data. I doubt it’s a meaningful pattern. If I would have fired 100,000 rounds I would suspect you wouldn’t see anomalies like that (if it is true) – but ultimately I’m doing all this out-of-pocket in my spare time, so this was the most I was willing to donate to the cause in terms of time and money.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  2. Cal – this is great data, esp for those of us who don’t reload. I did my own test last year in 6mm Creedmoor with a few of these brands, firing 20 rounds each from one box. The Sig was easily the lowest SD of my test also withd an SD of 8.8. Berger 105 was awesome too at 11. Federal GM did not have the same performance though in the 6mm – 15 SD. And Hornady ELD M was 13. Winchester was the worst with an SD near 20.

    The grouping results will be interesting, because mine did not entirely match the SDs.

    Unfortunately, I have not been able to find Sig 6mm Creedmoor this year – and I constantly look. Berger can be found rarely, and Hornady a little more. It will be so nice when this shortage is over!

    • Wow, Dan. That’s very interesting. Your results weren’t identical, but they don’t seem far off from what I found. I think it’s not a stretch to assume that these results are likely comparable to what these companies produce for other cartridges. I don’t want to say that too strongly, but to a large degree this represents the quality of their loading process which likely doesn’t vary dramatically based on what cartridge it is. That certainly seems to prove true with how closely your results matched what I found, which is pretty interesting. Thanks for sharing that.

      And I will concur that the group size results don’t match the SD’s. That was an interesting fact that came out of this research too. I actually wasn’t sure how that would turn out. I wasn’t sure that was correlated, and it turns out that it isn’t – at least at short range. I do think if you are firing groups at 1,000 yards then muzzle velocity consistency starts playing into the size of the group much more than it does at 100 yards. At 100 yards, it might be more related to how consistently the bullet leaves the barrel – although muzzle velocity likely plays into that to some degree too. I think it will surprise people to see how different the group size results are from the ranking in this muzzle velocity aspect. I guess we’ll see what the reaction is soon because that’s the article I’m going to start writing this weekend and I hope to get it published over the next week or two.

      I agree on how crappy the shortage is. I am hunting some ammo, too. This too shall pass. But I’m certainly ready to be able to buy whatever ammo I want again. I have a couple of gift cards to local, big-box sporting goods stores and I realized that I pretty much just buy ammo with those. I walked around looking for something to buy, and ended up walking out of the store without anything … I guess I’ll just keep them until ammo comes back in stock!

      Thanks again for sharing your results!

      Thanks,
      Cal

  3. The community owes you a HUGE debt of gratitude for your work! Thank you!

  4. Humberto Claudino

    Cal
    Again congratulations on the article extremely rich in wonderful information.
    Interesting to note with the Ruger Precision Rifle presented a smaller SD with the second box of ammunition:
    -Berger Match 6.5 Creedmoor 120 gr. Lapua Scenar-L
    -Berger Match 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. Hybrid Target
    -Federal Premium Gold Medal 6.5 Creedmoor Sierra 140 gr. MatchKing
    -Nosler Match Grade 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. Custom Competition Hollow Point Boat Tail
    -Remington Premier Match 6.5 Creedmoor Barnes 140 gr. Open Tip Match
    -Sig Sauer Elite Performance Match 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. OTM
    -Winchester Match 6.5 Creedmoor Sierra 140 gr. MatchKing

    And as the Ruger Precision Rifle’s SD was smaller in both the first and second ammunition boxes:
    -Hornady Match 6.5 Creedmoor 120 gr. ELD-M
    -Hornady Match 6.5 Creedmoor 140 gr. ELD-M
    -Norma Match 6.5 Creedmoor 130 gr. Golden Target Hybrid HPBT

    Greetings from Brazil

  5. Hopefully you can also share how the three LabRadars compared.

    How did you manage barrel temperature, and fouling? Is there any merit to the claim that a change in powder or jacket chemistry will take several shots stabilize on a new equilibrium?

    • Hey, Eric. I have thought about doing a post after this series about the LabRadar’s themselves. I will say the short answer is that I’m a bigger fan of the LabRadar after this test than I even was before it. I personally think it’s one of the coolest and most helpful devices that has come out in a long time.

      And those are some good questions! As for barrel temperature, I would allow the barrel to cool completely down to ambient temperature before every 10-shot string for record. For fouling, I would fire 4 shots each time I cleaned the barrel before firing shots for record. I know some shooters believe that changing powder or bullets affects group size, but I don’t believe that had a meaningful impact on this test. I feel like that is one of those things that might be based on anecdotal evidence and parroted around the shooting community as “the unquestionable truth” but I don’t know of any rigorous, professional-grade research that has ever been done on the topic.

      If someone is aware of serious research on the topic, please share it with the rest of us. The fact is, that research would require a really significant sample size of strings of shots, and not just changing powders but testing over multiple types of powders but also testing over multiple powder charge weights to ensure you weren’t seeing nuances of particular loads. I haven’t done the planning or added it up, but I’d suspect it would easily take at least 1000 rounds and very carefully planned testing to draw meaningful conclusions.

      Another reader asked a similar question and even referenced Glen Zediker’s anecdotal evidence on the topic. I tried my best to explain more of my rationale in reply to that comment, so you might find that interesting. Here is a link directly to my reply to that comment.

      Again, great questions! Thanks for asking.

      Thanks,
      Cal

      • Cal, maybe just a bit off topic) the biggest difference I have noted with mixing powders at the range is in cleaning. One day I compared 4350’s (Hodgdon vs Accurate) in a 260 REM, and the durability of the ‘finish’ would interest DoD! The carbon fouling was still delivering black patches after the fifth sequence (4 wet patches/wet nylon brush scrub/wait 10 minutes/dry patch) of BoreTech Eliminator. That level of crud can’t be helping me deliver consistent performance, and convinced me to NEVER mix powders between cleanings again.

      • Very interesting, Scott. I can’t say that I found any significant or unusual fouling in my testing. Honestly, it was very little fouling since I’d only fired 34 rounds between cleaning. It actually made it feel like overkill to me, because there was so little fouling. Were you testing longer strings when you noticed the excessive fouling?

        Thanks,
        Cal

  6. Thanks again for a great experiment. A few years ago I realized I could not beat some factory loads with my handloads. I set out to improve them. This gives me a benchmark for comparison.

    You are doing more significant testing than just about anything else in the public sphere. I appreciate the processes and amount of work you have been putting into all of this. I look forward the the WEZ conclusion that I think is upcoming.

    I hope you can find a way to monotize this and recover the cost, or that you have some oil money. I’d love to see these continue.

    • Hey, Ryan. That’s right. I thought above that as well. I think a lot of us could use this as a benchmark for how we’d need our handloads to perform to truly be better than the factory ammo options. Getting into the single-digits in average SD across 40 shots is tougher than a lot of people think! As I mentioned before, I can almost guarantee that is better performance than what most reloaders are producing.

      And I appreciate the encouragement about the significance of this research. It is quite the undertaking, so I can understand why there aren’t more people doing it this way. But I find it not just interesting, but enjoyable. I like helping people, I like testing stuff to see what the truth is, and I like teaching and organizing information – so it isn’t work to me. I’m passionate about it.

      I do monetize the website in some small ways, but it’s not a lot. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll even break even on this one. Maybe it will over the long haul if this starts to get higher on the Google organic search for 6.5 Creedmoor ammo. Right now I’m making some crazy investments into some research tools that will be a game-changer moving forward. I’m not ready to share the details of that yet, but I am VERY excited about it. I think it’ll allow me to do a lot of the smaller research projects that I’ve been thinking about for a while. I think we’ll all learn a lot through the process.

      Fortunately, I make a good living in a completely different industry (president of a large homebuilding company in Texas), so I don’t need this for my provision. It’s all just fun for me. There might be a day that I decide to stop doing it, but I still enjoy it at this point. My family and the homebuilding company are more important to me, so there are seasons where I don’t have time and I might stop posting for a while, but it seems like I always come back to it when that season is over. I think I actually need an outlet for research and technical writing because I enjoy it so much and get fulfillment out of it.

      Again, I appreciate the kind words. Thanks for taking the time to drop the comment.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  7. Cal,

    I appreciate and thoroughly enjoy all of your work, and this series (including the pre-statistics series) is one of your best. There are may things the community can learn from your research. Can’t wait for the next two parts.

    Lee

  8. Anthony Wasley

    Dear Cal Great research work as usual. A Doppler radar setup would be a nice research tool!
    I have 200 rounds of Berger 6.5 Creedmoor 153.5 Gr Long Range Hybrid Target Ammunition. Would you have any thoughts as to how they would stack up against the others tested? My Range has been closed due to Covid concerns.

    • Thanks, Anthony. I wish that Berger ammo would have been out when I first started buying ammo for this test, but it was released a little later. I would suspect it’s loaded using the same processes and QA as the Berger rounds that I tested. It also probably has the same Lapua brass, which certainly helps with consistency. All 3 types of Berger ammo performed EXTREMELY similar, so I’d expect that ammo to be similar as well.

      That sucks your range is still closed due to COVID. You should move to Texas! If we can find any ammo we’re shooting it up! 😉

      Thanks,
      Cal

  9. Christian Franke

    Hi Cal,
    coming back to my comment for article 2 (or 3?) in this series, that dpeneding on the rifle group size might very well differ noticeably :-). You ask “What if one of the worst types of ammo in terms of muzzle velocity consistency had some of the tightest groups?”. Although you already know the result, now what if this happens but it’s only the case for the RPR (or the Surgeon)?
    Thanks for the effort!

    • Great question, Christian! It’s true that some of the ammo shot better in one rifle or the other, although most of them were relatively similar. Honestly, something like that is exactly why I publish all the data and not just the overall ratings or a summary of the data. I want to present all the research data I collected in the field and leave it up to the reader to decide how it applies to them. If someone owned a Ruger Precision Rifle, then I would probably put more weight on those results.

      For my scoring/ranking in the overview in the final post, I plan to use the average muzzle velocity SD and average group sizes over both rifles to calculate the overall hit probability at a couple of long-range targets. I believe using the averages over both rifles would better represent what someone might experience in their rifle, although of course “your mileage may vary.” My bet is that if someone tried the top 5 types of ammo that ranked best in hit probability for the two rifles I tested, then they’ll find one of those performs great in their rifle. I would say it’s extremely unlikely (maybe close to impossible) that if something was ranked in the bottom 5 in my test that the same ammo would be the best in someone else’s rifle. Ultimately, I still think you need to try this stuff in your rifle to really know what your performance would be – but I am hoping to help guys narrow it down to a few “good bets” for what might help them connect with more targets at long-range – and avoid some of the ones that aren’t truly “match-grade”.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  10. I tested some federal premium in 300 WSM and found their SD to be extremely low (Terminal Edge TSR). I then purchased a second lot and was surprised to see SD balloon to mid teens.

    • Hey, Juan. I appreciate you sharing, and hate that happened to you. That same thing has happened to me, as well. Unfortunately, that is the risk with factory ammo sometimes. I think magnums might be especially variable. It seems like minor changes in components or powder charge weight in a magnum can have a larger effect than with mid-sized cartridges like the Creedmoor, at least in my experience.

      Thanks,
      Cal