What ties these rifles together is the 6.5 Creedmoor chambering, which was named — if not designed for — the famed Creedmoor Cup rifle competition. The Creedmoor Cup is a three-day event consisting of 16 different matches with a total of 240 shots fired standing, seated, and prone at distances of 200 yards, 300 yards, and 600 yards. The essence of the 6.5 Creedmoor round is a 6.5mm (0.264-inch diameter) bullet launched with approximately the same velocity and relatively flat trajectory of the 300 Winchester Magnum, but with considerably less recoil. This is important because, unlike hunters, competitive shooters need to be able to withstand the recoil of hundreds of rounds during matches and practice.
Not every maker is currently producing 6.5 Creedmoor, but based solely on available choices, Hornady Manufacturing is the most prolific. Our test rounds were Hornady’s 129-grain SST Superformance hunting load, plus Hornady’s 140-gain A-Max, and 120-grain A-Max Match rounds. We also tried handloading equivalent ammunition consisting of once-fired Hornady brass and 140-grain Hornady A-Max bullets to learn more about the cartridge. However we were limited in overall cartridge length to suit the detachable magazines of the Ruger Precision Rifle.