28 Nosler vs 6.5 Creedmoor: Differences & Which Should You Use

28 Nosler vs 6.5 Creedmor

The 28 Nosler and 6.5 Creedmoor are both known as high-performance cartridges. They can both achieve 800-yard+ ranges and can hunt medium to large game.

However, they differ quite significantly – the 28 Nosler is more powerful, while the 6.5 Creedmoor offers better precision.

So, should you choose the 28 Nosler or the 6.5 Creedmoor? Let’s find out.

What Is The 28 Nosler?

The 28 Nosler is a modern, high-performance rifle cartridge specifically designed for long-range shooting and big game hunting.

With a .284-inch bullet diameter, it supports a wide range of bullet weights, from 120 to 195 grains, and is capable of achieving high muzzle velocities over 3,000 feet per second.

This capability is enhanced by its beltless, rebated-rim centerfire bottleneck design, which provides greater powder capacity and superior case alignment for long-range performance​.

What’s The History Of The 28 Nosler Cartridge?

Introduced in 2015 by Nosler, the 28 Nosler was developed from the 26 Nosler, regarded as the “World’s Most Powerful 6.5mm commercial cartridge”.

The 28 Nosler, with a .284-inch diameter bullet, was designed to maximize velocity, accuracy, and energy efficiency. Utilizing a modified 404 Jeffery casing, it fits a standard 30-06 action length and has a rifling twist rate optimized for long, high ballistic coefficient bullets.

This design allows the 28 Nosler to propel lighter bullets at speeds significantly faster than the 7mm Remington Magnum​.

What Is The 6.5 Creedmoor?

The 6.5mm Creedmoor, often abbreviated as 6.5 CM or 6.5 CRDMR, is a centerfire rifle cartridge introduced in 2007 by Hornady.

It was developed as a necked-down modification of the .30 Thompson Center case. The 6.5mm Creedmoor is renowned for its long-range target shooting capabilities, though many people, myself included, use it to hunt medium-sized game.

It is known for its high sectional density and ballistic coefficients, making it highly successful in rifle competitions and often outperforming other centerfire rifle cartridges.

Despite achieving a slower muzzle velocity than longer cartridges, its design allows it to be chambered in short-action rifles, making it versatile for various shooting applications​.

What’s The History Of The 6.5 Creedmoor?

The 6.5mm Creedmoor, introduced in 2007, was designed with a focus on long-range target shooting.

Developed by Hornady’s senior ballistics scientist, Dave Emary, in collaboration with Dennis DeMille of Creedmoor Sports, the cartridge pairs a sensible case volume-to-bore area ratio with ample space for loading long, slender projectiles.

This design ensures good aerodynamic efficiency and external ballistic performance. Thanks to its clever design and good ballistics, the 6.5 hunting cartridge has also been applauded for ensuring a longer barrel life.

What’s The Differences Between 28 Nosler & 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridges?

There are five main differences between the 28 Nosler and 6.5 Creedmoor.

  1. Ballistic Comparison
  2. Use Case Comparison
  3. Recoil Comparison
  4. Shooting Range
  5. Cost & Availability

1. Ballistic Comparison

In the ballistic comparison between the 28 Nosler and the 6.5 Creedmoor, the 28 Nosler exhibits a significant advantage in terms of both muzzle velocity and kinetic energy.

The 28 Nosler was observed to be faster by approximately 300-400 feet per second (fps) across various loads compared to the 6.5 Creedmoor.

For instance, the 175-grain load for the 28 Nosler delivers a muzzle energy of 3,794 foot-pounds, which is considerably higher than the 6.5 Creedmoor’s 143-grain, which has a muzzle energy of 2,315 foot-pounds. This represents about a 64% difference in muzzle energy in favor of the 28 Nosler.

Also, the 28 Nosler offers a flatter trajectory, especially noticeable at longer distances. While both cartridges were within a similar range at 400 yards, the disparity in their performance becomes quite significant at 800 yards​.

2. Use Case Comparison

The .28 Nosler, with its high kinetic energy and large bullet diameter, produces higher stopping power, making it suited for hunting large game like elk, moose, and caribou.

In contrast, the highly accurate 6.5 Creedmoor is more appropriate for medium-sized game such as whitetail and mule deer.

The long-range shooting capability also makes it more suited for hunting at longer ranges and competition precision rifle shooting – I limit my hunting range to 500 yards and range shooting to around 800 yards, depending on the wind and elevation.

Furthermore, the 6.5 Creedmoor’s lower recoil makes it also better suited if you are a beginner.

3. Recoil Comparison

The 6.5 Creedmoor has significantly less recoil than the 28 Nosler.

On average, the 6.5 produces 14 lbs of free recoil, while the 28 Nosler produces a shoulder-bruising 34 lbs of free recoil. However, you can reduce the felt recoil by using lighter loads, a heavier hunting rifle, a muzzle brake, and a better butt stock.

Overall, the favorable recoil of the 6.5 Creedmoor makes it more user-friendly, especially if you want to prioritize shot placement at extreme shooting distances.

4. Shooting Range

Both cartridges are designed for long-range hunting and shooting but differ in maximum effective ranges.

The 28 Nosler, utilizing a 175-grain bullet weight, has enough kinetic energy to ethically take down large game up to 800 yards, but with a bullet drop of -127″. Instead, I would recommend hunting with this cartridge up to 500 yards, then you’ll have 2250 ft-lbs of kinetic energy, 2544 fps velocity, and only -38″ of bullet drop.

For the 6.5 Creedmoor, the maximum effective range for hunting large game is 300 yards, and for hunting medium to small game, it is 500 yards.

So the 28 Nosler edges past the 6.5 Creedmoor in terms of shooting range.

5. Cost & Availability

The 6.5 Creedmoor offers a more economical and widely accessible option than the 28 Nosler.

For the 6.5 Creedmoor, inexpensive practice ammunition is priced at around $1.20 per round, while premium hunting ammunition costs between $2 and $3.50 per round.

On the other hand, the 28 Nosler is more expensive to shoot, with the least expensive ammo from Nosler running around $3 per round.

Hornady and Browning factory loads for the 28 Nosler are typically priced at about $4 per round, and the premium long-range ammo from Nosler can cost as much as $6 per round​​.

You might think the price per round and availability are insignificant when deciding between the cartridges, but trust me, when you need 10 rounds to sight in your rifle scope and rush to get the last pack of 28 Nosler rounds, it starts to play a pivotal role.

Which Cartridge Should You Choose: 28 Nosler vs 6.5 Creedmoor?

Choose the cartridge that appeals the most to your use case. If you’re hunting large game, choose the 28 Nosler. But if recoil, ammo availability, and price are deciding factors, then the 6.5 Creedmoor is better.

Which Is Better For Hunting: 28 Nosler or 6.5 Creedmoor?

The 28 Nosler is better for hunting as you can ethically hunt large game with heavier bullet weights. I usually hunt elk, caribou, and the odd moose with the 28 Nosler, and it works perfectly, leveraging that high power and ballistic advantage to efficiently take down 400-pound+ animals.

However, for deer hunting, it tends to be a bit overpowered.

Should You Use 6.5 Creedmoor or 28 Nosler For Deer Hunting?

Use the 6.5 Creedmoor for deer hunting. It can adeptly take down deer at distances over 500 yards while minimizing meat damage.

The 28 Nosler also works, but the heavier bullets’ high velocity and kinetic energy cause a lot of meat damage.

Should You Use 6.5 Creedmoor or 28 Nosler For Elk Hunting?

For elk hunting, use the 28 Nosler. Don’t get me wrong, the 6.5 Creedmoor can kill elk at 300 yards, but your shot placement needs to be accurate.

Picture this: do you really want to take a chance on an animal you’ve been stalking for the past two days? Use the 28 Nosler; at least you know you’ll be bagging that trophy.

Should You Use 28 Nosler or 6.5 Creedmoor For Moose Hunting?

For moose hunting, strictly use the 28 Nosler. The 6.5 Creedmoor can take down a moose when it’s a headshot or spine shot, but I’ve heard of too many cases where the shot placement was good, but the bullet didn’t have enough x-factor to ensure a clean kill.

If you’re an advocate of ethical hunting, use the 28 Nosler for moose hunting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Is More Popular: 6.5 Creedmoor or 28 Nosler?

The 6.5 Creedmoor is more popular than the 28 Nosler. This is because of its wide availability, lower cost, and versatility for various shooting applications.

Can The 28 Nosler And 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridges Be Used Interchangeably?

No, you cannot use these cartridges interchangeably. They have different case dimensions and ballistic properties, requiring specific rifles chambered for each.

The Bottom Line

The 28 Nosler and 6.5 Creedmoor caters to different shooting needs.

The 28 Nosler is ideal for long-range hunting of larger game, while the 6.5 Creedmoor is more versatile and user-friendly, suitable for a wide range of hunting and shooting activities.

Therefore, your choice should align with your specific hunting requirements, shooting style, and rifle compatibility.

About the author

Charles Neser

I'm a life long hunter & gun lover. Currently pursuing my Master's Degree (M.Sc.) in Animal Nutrition at University of the Free State.

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