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.