6.5 Creedmoor VS 6.5 PRC – Key Features Compared

6.5 PRC VS 6.5 Creedmoor
Alfred Mendoza

Hunters, shooters and gun lovers all want the same thing when it comes to choosing a specific caliber. We want something that combines accuracy with power and ballistic efficiency with a modest price tag. Thankfully, the 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC affordably offer both.

Our experts extensively tested both calibers to help make your decision between the two as easy as possible. Let’s get to it.



6.5 PRC

This cartridge is excellent for long-range shooting and fits perfectly in short-action receivers. Built to minimize bullet drop and wind drift at extended ranges, it has a flatter trajectory and retains more energy.




This cartridge produces a relatively mild recoil, which makes it more comfortable to shoot. Because the 6.5 PRC uses the same diameter barrel as the 6.5 Creedmoor but burns more powder, the 6.5 Creedmoor barrel will last longer. 

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The 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC are both fantastic calibers. Hornady Manufacturing Company developed the 6.5 Creedmoor for competition and long-range shooting back in 2007. For that level of accuracy, you need bullets that have a high ballistic coefficient (BC), meaning they will retain their velocity even at long distances.   

The 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge (PRC), on the other hand, was developed in 2013 by George Gardner and designed specifically for competitive shooters in the Precision Rifles Series (PRS). During competition, shooters must quickly engage targets at various ranges (past 1,000 yards). By giving shooters an effective caliber that worked well in short-action rifles, the shorter bolt throw would increase speed and the shorter barrel barrel length would improve accuracy due to their stiffer action.

The 6.5 PRC was developed as an upgrade of the 6.5 Creedmoor, as our experts found in both velocity and long-range accuracy. Keep reading to see if the 6.5 PRC vs. 6.5 Creedmoor debate is worth the hype.

Alternatively, you can also check out the best scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor here

Ballistics Comparison

The 6.5 PRC factory load fires both a 143-grain and 147-grain bullet 250 fps (feet-per-second) faster than the 6.5 Creedmoor using bullets of the same grain. The ballistics of a standard 6.5 PRC 143-grain round is 2,960 fps and the slightly heavier 147-grain round is 2910 fps. Although Gardner originally hoped for something closer to 3,200 fps, maximum hand loads published by Hornady will reach of a velocity of 3,150 fps.

Still very impressive for a cartridge that size.

As for the 6.5 Creedmoor, it actually has four different bullet weights to choose from: 120-grain, 140-grain, 143-grain and 147-grain. Velocity ranges widely between 3,020 fps (120-grain) to 2,680 fps (147-grain).

Ballistics Comparison

Performance of both is optimized with a relatively fast barrel twist rate of 1:8” (which means the rifling will spin the bullet one revolution in eight inches of the barrel). This twist rate ensures a stable flight path to achieve maximum ballistic coefficiency of those big, heavy bullets.

Winner: 6.5 PRC

Terminal Performance

Performance-wise, the 6.5 PRC showed a slight advantage over the 6.5 Creedmoor in our tests. Over 500 yards, the 6.5 PRC showed less wind drift which is a huge benefit if you’re judging accuracy. And because it’s a short-action cartridge, it loads quicker than the 6.5 Creedmoor resulting in faster second shots.

Winner: 6.5 PRC

Barrel Life of 6.5 PRC and 6.5 Creedmoor

Although the two cartridges use the exact same diameter barrel, the expected barrel life of the 6.5 PRC is generally shorter than the 6.5 Creedmoor. Why? Because the 6.5 PRC burns more gun powder in the barrel than the 6.5 Creedmoor does in the same distance. Factors like barrel and ammunition quality play a role here, too. Research shows the typical 6.5 PRC barrel will wear down somewhere between 1,500—2,000 rounds. This is a concern for serious target shooters who throw a lot of lead downrange but for the average hunter who pulls the trigger not nearly as often, it’s not an issue.

Winner: 6.5 Creedmoor


The 6.5 PRC and 6.5 Creedmoor are designed for long-range shooting. That’s why both use massive bullets to hit their targets at extreme distances. The 6.5 PRC cartridges is often preferred in competition shoots due to their accuracy past 1,000 yards. Again, pushing a 147-grain bullet 3,150 fps will do that.

Both cartridges use a tapered case but differ in several significant ways. The 6.5 PRC is slightly longer in terms of both case length and overall length. It also has a larger rim diameter than the 6.5 Creedmoor which makes sense; the 6.5 PRC has considerably more case capacity than the 6.5 Creedmoor and has a higher SAMMI maximum pressure rating [1].


Both calibers are exceptionally accurate. However, our testing showed the 6.5 PRC was more precise at several different distances (300, 400 and 500 yards). Because of its higher velocity, the 6.5 PRC delivers up to 400-ft.lbs. more energy than the 6.5 Creedmoor. This means the bullet dropped less over a specific distance, and that directly translates to accuracy.

Winner: 6.5 PRC

For other hunting ammo options, take a look at 30-06 and 7mm


The 6.5 Creedmoor is known for having a mild recoil compared to the 6.5 PRC. Something called the “Free Recoil Energy” rating measures the kinetic energy transferred from the stock to a shooter’s shoulder. The 6.5 PRC produces, on average, 16.27-ft.lbs. of recoil energy (slightly less than the recoil of a .308 Winchester or .270 Winchester). In comparison, the 6.5 Creedmoor produces 11.83-ft.lbs. of recoil energy.

Even the most skilled shooters must contend with recoil and there’s still debate whether recoil has any meaningful effect on accuracy. That said, with all factors being equal, the 6.5 Creedmoor has less kick than the 6.5 PRC. By our tests, that felt recoil was fairly significant.

Winner: 6.5 Creedmoor



The price you’ll pay for a 20-round box of ammunition will depend on the type of bullet and the retailer’s price. As of February 2023, a typical 20-round box of Hornady 143-grain 6.5 PRC will cost you roughly $56 before tax. The same box of 6.5 Creedmoor? Just under $48. We’re talking a difference of less than $10 per box, but we all know that can add up if you pull a lot of triggers over the course of a month.

Winner: 6.5 Creedmoor


Without question, the 6.5 PRC has a significant advantage over the 6.5 Creedmoor when it comes to velocity. We’re talking about the speed of the bullet at the moment it leaves the barrel. The PRC delivers anywhere from 300 to 400-ft.lbs. more than the Creedmoor at any given range. This one isn’t even really close.

Winner: 6.5 PRC

We also compared the velocity of the 350 Legend vs. the 300 Blackout.

SO WHICH IS BETTER? tHE 6.5 PRC or 6.5 creedmoor?

Every cartridge has its place and the 6.5 Creedmoor is a proven winner. That said, our experts recommend the 6.5 PRC as being the best overall cartridge of the two. It’s an upgrade of the Creedmoor in accuracy, velocity and overall performance.

We Recommend

6.5 PRC

4 thoughts on “6.5 Creedmoor VS 6.5 PRC – Key Features Compared”

  1. This reminds me of the .30-06 vs. .308 debate, but it’s the opposite now (favoring the more powerful and flatter shooting round). If we were talking pistols, 6.5 PRC vs. 6.5 Creedmoor would be the equivalent of .357 SIG vs. 9mm.

  2. That said, why stop at 6.5 PRC? If you want more velocity, you might as well go for the even newer 6.5 RPM. Right? My thoughts personally: .308 was good enough for a long time, so why is the softer shooting more powerful [beyond 500 yards] 6.5 Creedmoor all of the sudden the red headed step child? I say 6.5 Creedmoor is still king. Most of us are not going to be shooting beyond the potential of this softer shooting round, and it’s still a significant improvement long range over the successful .308 Winchester. There are faster flatter shooting rounds than the ones mentioned herein, but at some point you need to draw a line. I draw it at 6.5 Creedmoor.

  3. I was very happy to find this website. I want to to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every bit of it and I have you book-marked to check out new stuff on your web site.

  4. I’m a recent convert to the 6.5 Creedmore and am trying to find detail on the 6.5 vs. 6.5 PRC; having based my firearms on NATO approved calibers only.
    Based on the cartridge dimensional charts I’ve been able to locate, the 6.5CM & the 6.5 PRC aren’t interchangeable; 6.5 PRC can not be used in a 6.5 CM and vice-versa?

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