Choosing cartridges is as important as getting good guns, but without the proper research, you may end up buying the wrong one for your needs. To help you avoid wasting your hard-earned money, we’ve pitted two top-notch rounds in the market against each other – the 6.5 Creedmoor vs 7mm-08 Remington.
6.5 Creedmoor Advantages
7mm-08 Remington Advantages
Features of Both Cartridges
When we talk about the history of the 6.5 Creedmoor vs 7mm 08 Remington, the latter has been used by many more hunters because it was introduced in 1980. Meanwhile, the 6.5 Creedmoor has only been in existence since 2007.
Digging into the roots of the 7mm-08, everything started with a 7mm/308 Winchester cartridge in the wildcat category. This round was necked down to have .284 or 7mm bullets. After that, it stayed in the wildcat category until Remington started using it two decades later.
Thus, the 7mm 08 Remington was born. When used in a 0.308 round, it has a polarity that almost reaches the 0.243 Winchester. Although in second place, you wouldn’t have any problems hunting deer or small game with this.
On the other hand, the 6.5 Creedmoor was released by Hornady in 2007. It can be considered as a descendant of the .308 Winchester because it came as a modification of the 3.0 Thompson center (which is related to the 308 Winchester).
The 3.0 Thompson Center was the result of Hornady’s development of a round with the 308 Winchester’s length and the 30-60 Springfield’s strength. However, these development efforts were to no avail because the 3.0 Thompson didn’t receive much of a good reception in the market.
With the 3.0 Thompson a flop, Hornady decided to reinvent and created the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. So, with both rounds being related to the .308 Winchester, it’s inevitable for them to have similarities.
From appearances alone, there are noticeable differences between the 6.5 Creedmoor and the 7mm 08 Remington. The 7mm 08 is smaller in size and has less body taper. It’s also shorter than the 6.5 and it has a 30-degree shoulder.
Although both have a rimless bottleneck case type, the advantage in design goes to the 7mm 08. Its shorter case type makes it easy to fit in short action firearms. If you’re a deer hunter who likes to carry compact rifles, the 7mm 08 would fit you better.
Let’s look at the 6.5 Creedmoor vs 7mm 08 Remington when it comes to accuracy. For the 6.5, the 1:8 rifle ratio performs excellently even with heavy bullets. If you still opt to use lightweight bullets, remember to pick good ammunition for increased versatility.
A 140-grain bullet of a Creedmoor cartridge has a muzzle velocity of 2700 fps, which works great if you’re taking down deer at 400 yards. With these numbers, it’s no surprise that the 6.5 Creedmoor is popular among deer hunting folk.
On the other hand, the 7mm 08 Remington has proven its own performance for many all-around hunters. With factory loads, the 7mm 08 Remington has no problem hitting targets when in the hands of a capable marksman.
Alternatively, we also compared two lethal cartridges, the Grendel and the 6.8 SPC.
Both the 6.5 Creedmoor and the 7mm 08 Remington have pretty low recoils compared to most hunting cartridges. In our experience, they are comfortable to shoot and the operation was pretty smooth.
But since we’re doing a 6.5 Creedmoor vs 7mm 08 battle, the winner for this round is the Creedmoor. The difference is more discernible when comparing 6.5 Creedmoor against the 6.5 PRC.
In 7-pound rifles, the 6.5 Creedmoor gives you 16 f-p recoil. In comparison, the 7mm 08 Remington puts out a slightly higher recoil at 17.18 f-p in the same 7-pound rifle.
This puts the 6.5 in the lead because the lighter recoil makes it easier to shoot and easier to control. For recoil-sensitive shooters or small-framed people, having a lighter recoil is ideal because it gives less kickback.
As such, you will be able to focus on the aim and hit targets better. And because there would be less stress and fatigue, you can also practice for a longer period of time.
Still, we can’t really put the 7mm 08 completely aside. It’s comfortable to shoot even if it’s a tiny bit heavier than the 6.5 Creedmoor. It’s more compatible with 140-grain bullets and above, though, so if you use lighter grain bullets, your accuracy might be affected.
See how the 6.5 Grendel and 224 Valkyrie perform here.
When it comes to performance on the field, the 6.5 Creedmoor and the 7mm 08 Remington are both widely-used by many hunters. They do have pretty similar characteristics, but there are differences that could make or break a hunter’s kill.
The 6.5 Creedmoor proves to be more effective for long-range shooting. Although it’s highly unlikely for you to shoot a target at 2000 yards, this cartridge would be reliable when the opportunity presents itself.
It can take on wind, gravity, or other obstacles that could harm the trajectory of your bullets. Speaking of which, the Creedmoor can also hold bigger bullets with no problem at all.
That said, Creedmoor is the perfect cartridge for deer hunting or other similar-sized game. (The 450 Bushmaster is also ideal vs the 458 SOCOM for this purpose.) If you’re into small game, there’s no problem with that too.
But if you’re on the hunt for animals bigger than deer, such as elk or moose, the 6.5 might fall short. You may want to go for another round if you’re aiming for a larger game.
As for the 7mm 08 Remington, it is indeed one of the favorites of many hunters. It’s actually great for all-around hunting, and it would also kill deer effortlessly. It has high-quality construction, penetrates well, and has minimal meat damage – giving you a clean shot.
Even if the 7mm 08 has a harder kick than the 6.5 Creedmoor, it’s still easy to use and many professional hunters prefer this one.
Plus, the 7mm 08 Remington is a highly accessible cartridge that’s readily available almost everywhere. It would be easy for you to find this ammo if you run out or if you’re stocking just in case.
Rifles Chambered in the Cartridge
Even if a cartridge performs well, hunters wouldn’t use it if it’s just chambered to a few rifles. That’s because you would have to make compromises which could affect the results of your hunt.
It comes as no surprise that the 6.5 Creedmoor is compatible with many hunting rifles today. As long as you’ve had some practice with your aim, you would get the results you want with this cartridge.
For the Creedmoor, a good bolt action rifle is ideal if you’re deer hunting, but there are also lever-action and semi-automatic rifles if you need to make one or two succeeding shots.
A number of great rifles for the 6.5 Creedmoor include the RISE Armament 1121XR Precision, Browning X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon Speed, Savage MSR 10 Hunter, and the Ruger Precision Rifle.
In comparison, the 7mm 08 comes from the American brand Remington, which produces amazing rifles for the round, such as the Remington Model 700. Numerous manufacturers of weapons also produce rifles that can use this cartridge, so you wouldn’t have a hard time finding a model that works.
That being said, you still have to take performance into consideration because not all firearms are made equal. A beginner shooter  can buy a basic rifle, but if you’re a professional marksman, you can get a higher-end model in a package with accessories.
Looking at Remington competitors, some great models for the 7mm 08 Remington include the Weatherby Vanguard Camilla, Savage 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP, and the SAKO 85 Finnlight ST. These can receive various modifications, so you can customize it according to your needs.
With all that said, the best cartridge for you will still depend on the species you intend to hunt. And according to our experts, the 6.5 Creedmoor is best for a deer hunter due to its high accuracy, low recoil, and long-range capabilities. However, this one does fall short when it comes to bigger animals.
For species like moose, elk, and other animals that are larger and tougher than deer, we must say that the 7mm 08 Remington is the better choice. That’s because it offers greater flexibility and works great when paired with 160-grain bullets. It works better in close range, though.
There’s more to learn—we also pitted the .45 ACP against the .40 SW here.
Conclusion: 6.5 Creedmoor or 7mm-08 Remington?
If you’re one who prefers customization over using factory loads, both the 6.5 Creedmoor and the 7mm 08 Remington are reliable cartridge options. Since they’re both related to the 308 Winchester, they have similar characteristics.
The best one would really depend on your needs, as each has its own advantages and drawbacks.
The 6.5 Creedmoor is the better choice if you need bullets that would penetrate the target better in long-range shooting. Its long and thin build shoots true, and it’s the preferred cartridge for deer hunters.
Furthermore, the less recoil makes this more comfortable to shoot. If you’re recoil-sensitive or if you’re a small-framed shooter, using this would be effortless and you can focus more on your target.
On the other hand, the 7mm 08 Remington is great for shooting at closer ranges. It has been, and still is, a favorite among many hunters because of its clean shot, fast velocity, and good balance.
Despite the slightly higher kickback compared to the 6.5, you would still find the 7mm 08 easy to use and control.