Federal Premium began shipping its new 6.5 Creedmoor Fusion Soft-Point hunting ammunition late last fall, which is why many hunters simply didn’t realize this new ammo—designed specifically for deer hunting—was available. I had a chance to use the ammunition on a late season deer hunt last year, and then, more recently, during several range sessions. Here are five things you need to know.
1. 6.5 Creedmoor has long been the darling of long-range, competitive shooters, but of late it's found a home in the hunting community. And for good reason. Accurate at long ranges and flat shooting, the 6.5 Creedmoor can be a devastating hunting round—especially when loaded with hunting-specific bullets like Federal’s 140-grain Fusion. The bullet has a molecularly fused copper jacket and pressure-formed core, which together provide deep penetration and great expansion, while retaining nearly 90 percent of its original weight.
2. I killed a whitetail buck on my hunt, but it wasn’t much of a test for the ammo: 25 yards away with a neck shot. More telling was the buck fellow outdoor writer Eric Conn harvested. His shot was at 120 yards, broadside, and produced a through-and-through shot that anchored the 150-pound buck where he stood. The Fusion bullet entered the rib cage over the heart-lung area, and blew a nearly half-dollar sized hole through the far ribs. Check it out in the photo embedded below.
3. The new 6.5 Creedmoor Fusion Soft-Point round is accurate. I tried it out during three different range sessions, using a Savage Model 11 Lightweight Hunter, and topped with a Bushnell LRHSi Elite 4.5-18x44mm scope. I had no trouble pegging three- and four-shot groups right at .70-inches. The Lightweight Hunter’s pencil-profile barrel heats up fast, though, and my fifth shot always spread the group out to 1.25 inches or better. Had I had some patience and let the barrel cool for ten minutes after shot No. 3? I believe I could’ve put five shots comfortably into SUB-MOA territory.
4. The recoil of this round is fairly mild. It struck me as a little stouter than a .243 Win., but definitely lighter than a .308 Win., even in the Savage 11 Lightweight Hunter—which weighs in at just 5.5 pounds unloaded.
5. Federal rates the muzzle velocity of the round at 2750 feet per second with a 24-inch barrel. My rifle had a 20-inch barrel. Using my PACT Professional XP Chronograph from Brownells, with the muzzle approximately six feet away, 10 rounds of Fusion clocked in at an average of 2507 fps; standard deviation was just 16 fps. With that kind of velocity, and SUB-MOA accuracy at 100 yards, Federal’s 6.5 Creedmoor Fusion should be a deer killer out to 300 yards and beyond.