Felt Recoil: A progression of purchases for the would-be deer and elk hunter. Enter the 6.5 Creedmoor

There are a number of questions to ask yourself as you make a rifle purchase, invariably felt recoil is a significant factor among many others. For young and female hunters and shooters, if it ain’t fun to shoot, the desire will wane in a few outings. The 6.5 Creedmoor is a real all around big game cartridge and is low in recoil and fun to shoot!

Historically, the BB gun and Pellet Rifle begin the progression and have no felt recoil, are fun to shoot, and take small game like squirrels.

Next is the .22 Long Rifle with very little recoil and fun to shoot and can take game up to Coyote.

The .223 is next and geared more for target and varmint/coyote and home defense and has a felt recoil of well under 10 ft-lbs making it easy and fun to shoot. Under strict circumstances it can be used on deer, but I do not recommend it as a deer rifle cartridge.

The .243/6mm is what I call a great starter first deer cartridge as its felt recoil with an 80 grain bullet is very tolerable, fun to shoot and accurate. You can shoot up to 110 grain bullets with a bit more felt recoil and kill deer out to 300 yards. The problem is that the purchase is another in a stepping stone effect toward a real big game rifle.

In 30 caliber a great starter rifle is the 30-30 for close hunting here in the Northeast under 100 yards as it has a low felt recoil but later gathers dust in my closet for more power. I do not consider the 30-30 a real all around big game rifle.

Enter the 6.5 Creedmoor, an outstanding target rifle and what I believe is a real big game hunting rifle cartridge with a low felt recoil of just over 10-12 ft-lbs. Shooting this rifle standing, a 12 to 14 yr old kid can shoot it and handle the low recoil and make a very fine long term Big Game investment and be used in the off season as a tack driving target rifle and varmint cartridge.

Handloading makes the 6.5 a best investment as you can load down to .243 like recoil and work up.

Next is the .270 Winchester which is a very fine hunting cartridge. But if you already own a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, you don’t need a .270 as the 6.5 replicates it already out to over 500 yards with a 140 grain bullet on deer and elk. Now if you already own a .270 and handload your ammo, then you will never purchase a 6.5 Creedmoor unless you are also a target shooter like me in the off season. The Creedmoor will shoot ultra tight groups that you can rarely shoot with the .270 Winchester and do it with much less recoil. The 6.5 Creedmoor in today’s hunting rifles can shoot holes in holes.

In any rifle you can add a new state-of-the-art recoil pad and cut 50% of the felt recoil. I highly advise that! Accuracy improves dramatically when shooters are comfortable with the felt recoil. In closing, I highly recommend the 6.5 Creedmoor in your favorite rifle for any hunter at ages 12 and over especially if you hand load. And I am a Nosler AccuBond and E-Tip fan too as they stay together in game.

Good Hunting!

© 2017

New Hampshire Rifleman Magazine winning Ruger, Hornady and Leupold Combination by Ed Hale

New Hampshire Rifleman’s winning combination is the Ruger American – Predator Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor winning Hornady bullet and winning Leupold VX-6 3-18x 44mm CDS scope.

The Rifle

The rifle that won my value driven pocket book is the Ruger American for under $400 dollars yet shoot sub-Minute of Angle at 100 yards as my Test Rifle. Not long ago it took a few thousand dollars to shoot groups like that. Adjustable Trigger, floating barrel and so much more that you have to read the spec sheet below. http://ruger.com/products/americanRiflePredator/specSheets/6973.html

In particular I have tested two of the rifles, one in 243 Winchester and the other in 6.5mm Creedmoor in the Predator series. Both shot sub MOA out of the box and both were in the $400 price range. Exceptional performance from these rifles was uncanny. I bought them both but later sold the .243 as recoil was similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor and it delivered more energy punch hands down. Wow! Accuracy? We got it!

The Cartridge

The 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge is just slightly smaller than the .308 Winchester yet with a 143 grain bullet at 1000 yards it beats the long standing military champ .308 or 7.62 NATO in both trajectory and wind deflection. As a first time 1000 yard shooter, I was able to break 8 inch balloons at 1000 yards. If you couple that with an Extremely Low Drag Bullet you have a fabulous combo for Target, as that was the original intent of the cartridge, but what about Hunting? The 6.5mm Creedmoor can handle a wider array of big game bullet weights than the 6mm/243 Winchester. I suspect the 6.5 will in time overshadow the 6mm at least as a big game hunting round as it delivers a bullet in the .270 Winchester class with the mild recoil of a 6mm. Of course bullet velocities are a bit slower. The .270 Winchester is still a faster bullet as is the 7mm Remington Magnum but at a higher cost of recoil as well.

The Bullet

Hornady Precision Hunter ELD-X™ in 143 grain with new Heat Shield™ Tips Patent Pending with AMP® Advanced Manufacturing Process. Mushroom design as low as 1800 fps and stays together out of the barrel. ACCURATE-DEADLY-DEPENDABLE

In testing by Hornady, the Hornady Precision Hunter ELD-X™ Extremely Low Drag Bullet has a very impressive G1 Ballistic Coefficient of .625/ G7 BC .315 for hunting at any distance within the delivered Energy Envelope for the game hunted such as 1000 ft-lb for deer 1500 ft-lb for Elk size game. Click the video below.


The Target


The Scope

Leupold VX-6 3-18x44mm Side Focus CDS see the VX-6 video below


The most expensive item was the scope. The VX-6 is unparalleled in quality and zoom and has dual erector springs that are vital in a far off hunt. This scope raises the bar in optical quality. You can spend more, but you will likely not get more dollar for dollar.  It is a scope for all time, near or far it is my best scope to date. It’s versatility, reliability was nearly unimaginable just a few years back.  Retail $850 to $1430 and worth every penny. Leupold Scopes are All American Made!

A perfect 10 combination for a big game hunter for deer, elk and African Plains game with low recoil. And my grandkids can shoot it!

Put a Ruger American-Predator Rifle Combo under your Christmas tree!

Good Hunting!

© 2016





Grandkids shoot .22 LR first time

Some children develop mentally at different rates. I have been evaluating the proper time to take them shooting as was their father. At the ages of 7 and 9 yrs old I took grandson Christian and granddaughter Aurora to my clubs shooting range but first we stopped to pick up ear muffs for noise protection, large targets that show bullet hits readily by turning yellow at the hit, and I gave each a pair of shooting glasses for eye protection. Shooting a .22 LR at a bench rest is a straight forward proposition with a rifle scope and cross-hairs.


We shot at 25 yards and they both were able to shoot bullseye’s so I move the target to 50 yards and they were able to hit the bullseye area very well. No kick!



Christian handled the shooting amazingly well for 7 years old. His attention to shooting was at 100%. Both had great fun and we followed the range rules for safety. Each of them shot 10 rounds of .22 LR ammo. They wanted Papa (me) to shoot too.



The groups were terrific and they want to come back again soon! Can’t complain about that. All in all I was very proud of them. Aurora turns 10 in October and she says she wants to learn to hunt. So we talk about the family hunting rules aside of pests and varmints. If you shoot and kill it, then you must clean it and eat it!”

They liked this better than watching TV! I have more grand-kids to take to the range so we will see more shooting from them. At the proper time Aurora will graduate to .243 Winchester after age 10. Christian will stay with .22 for a couple of years and must maintain interest. That is not hard…

I have a pump BB gun to shoot tin cans in the back yard and teach them how to shoot with iron sights, a key element in their training to shoot.

Have fun with your grand-kids too! Later! ©