My Debate Between 6.5CM and 6.5 Swede

6.5 Creedmoor is all the rage with the cool kids. It fits in short actions. It fits in standard AI style magazines and it seems to fit in AR’s (I say seems on the last example since I don’t personally have any time on any 6.5 AR).

So…all the companies started making 6.5 short action rifles. Great, right?

6.5 Creedmoor Ammunition by Hornady

Here’s the problem, the cool kids are not staying in the same place. They are messing with 6mm bullets big time for competition reasons. So…where does that leave 6.5CM 10 years from now? Like 40 S&W? As a bastard chambering?

Here’s why I think about such things for me. We already have a 6.5×55 Swede Sniper in the armory. It’s a long action obviously. But my Blasers aren’t long/short action sensitive. It’s the same bolt throw for 338LM down to 223.

Top to bottom: SA-7 “Grail”, RPG-7, CZ K98 Mauser, M41b Swede Sniper

So looking at what’s available ammo wise, the x55 Swede has all kinds of factory loadings for it. Match. Crazy fancy-match. Light bullets. Hollow points. Ball. Hunting. Cheap and expensive. And if I want to load for it, the case capacity and modern actions enable some serious FPS numbers. With all this, I just can’t personally justify getting into a 6.5CM instead of a 6.5 Swede.

Closing thought: 6.5×55 Swede is over 100 years old and is a major 6.5 standard. World wide, it’s THE 6.5 standard.

6.5×55 Swede PPU Ammunition

But if the American PRS / cool kids leave CM behind for a new, fancy 6mm chambering? What happens to the CM market over time?

Oh…as for 6mm. I’ve settled on 243. It’s a smoke show performer in my rifles. Pun intended for the barrel burner crowd.

So here I sit, as the more “tactical douche” guy around here, and I’m pretty solidly committed to Fudd calibers like 243, 300wm, 308, and likely will go 6.5 Swede over 6.5cm.
What the hell is wrong with me!?!?



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Marky Mark

Marky Mark

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Writer for Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

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  • Jeffrey Scott Boyer

    Not a damn thing. There is a shit ton of data, loadings and anecdotal evidence of the superior ballistics and sectional density of the 6.5 swede. I love it so much I have a 1916 M96 and I bought a Tika brand new in 6.5. Both rifles shoot better then I do. And I keep pestering NEMO arms to chamber one of their 30-06 size AR-10 in 6.5×55. Just think a 20 round semi auto chambered in a proven performer. A modern Ab 42 if you will.

    • That is a neat idea. The Swede just makes more sense for me me. I understand others want the short action, but I bypass it.

      I’m still looking for a 42 at a decent price myself. ANOTHER reason for the 6.5×55 that I forgot to include in my calculus!!!


  • Scott Mayer

    Of all the things I could list wrong with you, Marky, liking the Swede isn’t one of them. 😉

    • Ha!

      A bone almost fell out of my closet right there, didn’t it?!?


  • Matt

    There is quite honestly very few people in the competition circuits that are “leaving” the 6.5 caliber guns for 6 caliber guns. In fact most are doing the opposite. The 6.5s leave a better chance to see impacts at beyond 1000yards including misses. The 6.5 anything is here to stay because of ballistic coefficients. Same goes for the 6mms. The 6.5 may be a better cartridge for most everything. But in competition efficient cartridges win before faster less efficient ones.

    • The competition guys ran to the 6.5CM. And the masses followed. Now the vanguard of the competition guys are playing with 6mm’s precisely because they want less recoil which translates to seeing hits and misses on first shot.

      If they ALL leave 6.5CM, the masses of competitors WILL follow. Then the story will be the same story it always is.

      “You can shoot X caliber, but you won’t be competitive unless you shoot Y”.

      At that position point, the 6.5 game is up.


      • Matt

        It seems youre simply out to just attack the 6.5 creed in this article. Before the competitions discovered high speeds with high BCs and low recoil they were shooting 308s, 300wm, etc. Then bullet technology picked up and a few calibers got a significant boost. The 260s and such started showing up. Less recoil better ballistics etc. People have been using 6.5mm bullets for a long time. You cant act like world records weren’t set before the year 2000 with calibers in the 6.5mm variety.

        My point being is that youre targeting one cartridge for nothing. The 260 is a 50fps faster 6.5CM. Heres my proof of people not really leaving the 6.5s or 6s. The creedmoor included.

        • You are mistaken.

          1. The name of this article is 6.5CM VS 6.5 Swede. Not hate on 6 or 6.5.

          2. I mention the Swede is over 100 years old and is an international standard.

          3. When I say Blaser doesn’t matter for long or short action I am saying I am not limited by 6.5×55 or 6.5-284 being long action. Meaning…if I was running a model 70 action, I would be looking hard at 6.5CM since it’s a short action.

          4. One of the appeals of 6.5CM for the commercial market is the perception it’s a common chambering. The PRS kids made it so. The very stats you state show a significant number of PRS shooters NOT shooting 6.5 Creedmoor. I didn’t say 6.5 or 6. Big difference.