The Federal Non-Typical 140 Grain 6.5mm Creedmoor with soft point projectiles is the sixth 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.
I broke the testing protocol I had previously shot as I didn’t pick up this ammo at the same time I picked up the other ones. In fact, I hadn’t originally planned on testing this ammo. However, I found it for less than $17.00 at a local Academy store when shopping for some other stuff with my wife and youngest kid. I did try to keep the testing methodology as close to the original. Here is the modified protocol: shoot a group of 4 shots at 100 yards, let the barrel cool for at least 15 minutes, and repeat until the 20 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 @ $16.95|
(It’s available at Lucky Gunner for $20.50)
Here are the results what I got:
- Best Group: 0.945 inches
- Worst Group: 2.0715 inches
- Average Group: 1.3281 inches
- Standard Deviation: ±0.4425 inches
With an average group size just about 1.3 MOA (minute of angle) or 1.3″ at 100 yards, I personally would be comfortable using this ammunition for hunting medium game (~50 to ~300 lbs) out to 500 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 1.8″, 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 3.6″ at 200 yards, 5.4″ at 300 yards, 7.2″ at 400 yards, and 9″ at 500 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.
Overall, there was nothing really memorable about this ammunition except perhaps the whitetail deer specific marketing on the box. In terms of performance when put up against the other ammo I tested, the results were in bottom half. Hence, it won’t be my preferred factory load for this rifle.
As with all of my results so far, you mileage may very when used in your rifle.