The Federal Power-Shok 140 Grain 6.5mm Creedmoor with soft point projectiles is the fifth 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 @ $19.00|
The first group shot during this round had one round that would not fully chamber. By that I mean, that I was not able to completely close the bolt. This is the first time I’ve had this sort of problem with any sort of factory rifle loads ever. This experience gives me very little confidence in this factory load as it was the first time I’ve ever purchased and fired this load. While this may be a little unfair as I’m sure all factory ammunition is subject to some manufacturing defects, it’s enough for me to eliminate it from being selected as my preferred load for this rifle. However, even without the defect the ammunition did not perform well as other loads did in this rifle.
Taking into account the first group during the initial test, here is what I got:
- Best Group: 1.1805 inches
- Worst Group: 2.8385 inches
- Average Group: 1.6987 inches
- Standard Deviation: ±0.6723 inches
With an average group size just under 1.2 MOA (minute of angle) or 1.2″ at 100 yards, I personally would be comfortable using this ammunition for hunting medium game (~50 to ~300 lbs) out to 400 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 2.4″, 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 4.8″ at 200 yards, 7.2″ at 300 yards, and 9.6″ at 400 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.
As I’ve stated this ammunition’s performance was sub par in my rifle. While that performance may have been a result of my shooting skills, I achieved better results with several other tested factory loads. In fact, this load is priced very competitively against the Sellier & Bellot ammo which yielded notably smaller and more consistent shot groups during a prior test.
As with all of my results so far, you mileage may very when used in your rifle.