Your deer rifle--why'd you choose .243 or 6.5 CM?

dutch_henry

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
253
Location
Vermont
For those of you who hunt with a .243 or 6.5CM, why'd you go one way versus the other? I know both are capable and well up to the task. Still, I'm curious to hear what you went with and why. Any limitations or regrets?

Here are my parameters if it helps:
-Primary use is eastern whitetails in woodland and fields. So mostly I care about performance with bullet weights ~85 grains and higher.
-Flat-shooting relative to my 30 calibers.
-Both calibers have decent availability for factory ammo. And tons of options if I ever start hand loading again.
-Manageable recoil for when my son starts shooting.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
2,762
Location
Western Iowa
The .243 will be faster, flatter shooting, and have less recoil than than the 6.5 Creed. It is also better for predator hunting than the 6.5 Creed.

You didn't mention it, but the 6 Creed has more or less the same performance as the .243, but the case is more efficient and rifles have fast twist barrels deisgned for the highest BC 6mm bullets (115). If you get back into reloading it makes more sense to go the 6 Creed versus the .243 due to case life, efficiency, high BC bullets, etc...

The 6.5 Creed can shoot heavier bullets, but you'll never notice any difference in terminal performance between a .243, 6 Creed, or 6.5 Creed, at common hunting distances out east.
 

TreeDog

FNG
Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
77
Location
NW MT
I currently hunt with a 6.5CM because I wanted something that had less recoil than my similar weight 308 and excellent factory ammo that is easy to find. That being said, I killed a pile of deer with a .243 and think it's an excellent cartridge. Killing wise they are equal. I see more 6.5 ammo locally so that would sway my decision. Also 6 CM would be a great choice.
 

jzeblaz

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Messages
259
Location
Santa Rosa, CA
I read your post as 6CM which is why I clicked it, but then say the comments on the 6.5. I'm thinking about these two as well, but leaning more 6CM or 6.5CM as I have neither, but want something light recoiling for new hunters/shooters.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
2,217
I read your post as 6CM which is why I clicked it, but then say the comments on the 6.5. I'm thinking about these two as well, but leaning more 6CM or 6.5CM as I have neither, but want something light recoiling for new hunters/shooters.
I have both. The 6mm has less recoil and with the 108gr eldm is lethal on everything from moose to coyotes.
 

KenLee

WKR
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
1,620
Location
South Carolina
I started buying 243s thirty years ago for kids. They don't disappoint. Then bought some baby 7s for kids/females and set them up with 120 gr.
Lately I've bought a few 6.5 creedmoor because you can find better deals on youth/compact 6.5s.
The 6.5 creed and 7mm-08 shooting 120gr are the same actual felt recoil. I'd still choose the 7mm-08 if all dollar signs were the same.
120 gr NBT 7mm-08 is awesome
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
7,915
I like the 6 creedmoor/243 just for the lower recoil and flatter shooting. Both are more than adequate. 243 will have better ammo availability on the shelf than the 6 but there's usually better deals to be had online than on the shelf anyway so I rarely buy ammo for full price in person.

Edit to answer the OP more - I wanted a short barrel for suppressor. The 6.5s are pretty slow once you get below 20" barrels, 6s make up some of that. I also see no reason to shoot something with more recoil than is necessary to cleanly kill your intended game.
 
Last edited:

CBB1

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
266
Location
NC
To go along with this thread, what would be the choice between 6cm and a 8” twist .243? The rifle will be cut to 16.5” for a suppressor.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

hiker270

WKR
Joined
Nov 5, 2022
Messages
408
I'm gonna go with the 6.5 Creedmoor only because of the availability of ammo. All of the caliber's mentioned will do the job and realistically the 6.5 Creedmoor has very little recoil and can be used effectively on larger game at reasonable distances.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
2,762
Location
Western Iowa
To go along with this thread, what would be the choice between 6cm and a 8” twist .243? The rifle will be cut to 16.5” for a suppressor.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
If not reloading, .243 will have better selection on the shelf. If you reload, 6 creed. Performance is virtually the same with both.
 

jzeblaz

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Messages
259
Location
Santa Rosa, CA
I started buying 243s thirty years ago for kids. They don't disappoint. Then bought some baby 7s for kids/females and set them up with 120 gr.
Lately I've bought a few 6.5 creedmoor because you can find better deals on youth/compact 6.5s.
The 6.5 creed and 7mm-08 shooting 120gr are the same actual felt recoil. I'd still choose the 7mm-08 if all dollar signs were the same.
120 gr NBT 7mm-08 is awesome
I set my nephew (13) up with a 7-08 with 120 Hammer Hunters this fall. Worked beautifully on the bench and in the field. I'd guess a 108 ELD would be even milder, but I'm not sure it's enough to worry about.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
7,915
If not reloading, .243 will have better selection on the shelf. If you reload, 6 creed. Performance is virtually the same with both.

I’d argue the opposite. 6 creed has factory ammo with better bullets than 243 does. May not be flush on the shelves but I’ve now had 5 different good options of factory 6 creed ammo and not paid more than $30/box. Just bought offline. The only real benefit to 243 imo is more rifle options are chambered in it.
 

Unckebob

WKR
Joined
Aug 21, 2022
Messages
851
The 6.5CM starts with a larger diameter, ends with a wider diameter, and has more mass.
 

SC HUNTER

FNG
Joined
Jun 9, 2022
Messages
89
My main rifle as of late is a Bergara in 6.5 creedmoor and I've killed 18 deer with it so far I think. I like the rifle and like the caliber for deer here in Georgia. I've got 2 243's in the safe and have killed a bunch of deer with that cartridge and never felt undergunned.

If I had to pick a 6.5 or 243 I'd go with the 6.5 because it throws a little bit heavier bullet. I'd also pick a 7mm08 over the others as I think that is the perfect cartridge for deer in the Southeastern US and I've killed more deer and pigs with my 708 than I have with my other rifles.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
4,588
Location
Colorado
I’d argue the opposite. 6 creed has factory ammo with better bullets than 243 does. May not be flush on the shelves but I’ve now had 5 different good options of factory 6 creed ammo and not paid more than $30/box. Just bought offline. The only real benefit to 243 imo is more rifle options are chambered in it.
Yea I agree. I actually see better ammo on the shelves in 6 cm than I do .243
 

TaperPin

WKR
Joined
Jul 12, 2023
Messages
1,525
A 6mm of some kind is probably what I’d go with - low recoil, great coyote gun, reaches way out, just a very popular choice historically because it works well.

As much as I like the 243, Hornady does such a good job of marketing their new cartridges, the 6 Creedmoor is headed to replace the 243 and be as popular as the 6.5 creed. In factory guns, the Creedmoor has the advantage of more accurate chamber dimensions. In a custom gun with custom reamer you’d never be able to tell them apart.
 
Top