The Federal Fusion 140 Grain 6.5mm Creedmoor with soft point projectiles is the fourth factory hunting load I’ve tested for shot group accuracy as I search for my preferred factory hunting load in the Battle of the 6.5 Creedmoor Factory Hunting Loads.
The testing protocol remains the same: shoot a group of 4 shots at 100 yards, let the barrel cool for at least 15 minutes, and repeat until the remaining 16 rounds of the ammo under test is depleted. Let’s take a look at the ammo specs and test results.
|Bullet Type||Soft Point|
|Bullet Weight||140 Grains|
|Ballistic Coefficient||0.439 G1|
|Advertised Muzzle Velocity||2750 FPS|
|Price Paid||20 Rounds @ $22.00|
The final group had an “extra hole” that was a result of me aiming the first shot of the first group of another hunting factory load. I’m certain of which one it was and as such it has been omitted from the last group size calculation.
Taking into account the first group during the initial test, here is what I got:
- Best Group: 0.518 inches
- Worst Group: 0.934 inches
- Average Group: 0.7246 inches
- Standard Deviation: ±0.172 inches
With an average group size just under 3/4 MOA (minute of angle) or 0.75″ at 100 yards, I personally would be comfortable using this ammunition for hunting medium game (~50 to ~300 lbs) out to 600 yards and big game (~300 to ~1,000 lbs) out to 400 yards with this rifle and ammunition. Let me explain why.
Given an average group size plus one standard deviation of roughly 0.9″, I have a very high confidence of getting a clean hit at 100 yards on a 10-inch “vital zone” target. That group size will grow linearly as the distance increases to roughly 1.8″ at 200 yards, 2.7″ at 300 yards, 3.6″ at 400 yards, 4.5″ at 500 yards, and 5.4″ at 600 yards. All of those group sizes at the different distances give me confidence I can accurately place a shot in the vital zone at those distances assuming I can compensate for drop and wind drift. My confidence does drop a bit beyond 200 yards because I have limited experience shooting a rifle beyond that, but that can be remedied with a some practice, taking some chronograph readings, and getting to know the true drop and drift data. Which I plan to do once I settle on my preferred factory load for this rifle.
In terms of penetration and energy, the ballistics based on the advertised velocity indicate adequate impact energy of 800+ ft-lbs for medium game at 600 yards and 1200+ ft-lbs at 400 yards. Additionally, the 140 grain 6.5mm projectile’s sectional density of 0.297 exceeds the desired sectional density of 0.200 for medium game and 0.250 for big game using a medium bore rifle. More information on matching the cartridge to the game can be found on the Chuck Hawks website.
I’m genuinely impressed by how this load performed in the hunting rifle. The groups shot with this factory load were smallest and most consistent in comparison to all the other loads I’ve tested so far with this rifle. Don’t take that as an endorsement of this being the best ammo or really good ammo. I think all the ammo I’ve tried is “good ammo”. But it’s specific to this rifle. Your mileage may vary with another rifle. Also keep in mind that the biggest variable in all of these tests is the shooter, me. It may just very well be that I had a really good day and quite a bit of luck to pull off these really tight and consistent groups.
While this ammo is currently the top contender for my hunting load selection, the ballistic coefficient (BC) leaves a little something to be desired. Out past 200 yards drop and wind really come into play. While this holds true for all the loads, a BC of 0.439 is a little below average compared to the other loads tested. The net result is I will need to make more adjustments to make precise shots at longer distances than compared to other loads with higher ballistic coefficients. However since I expect most of the shots I will typically take while hunting will be under 200 yards, I doubt this will play a large role in my preferred load selection.