One of perhaps the most fascinating things to watch in the industry is the movement towards and away from various calibers. In recent memory, the 6.Xmm craze for the AR-15 comes to mind with the battle originally being between 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel. While the 6.8 initially took the lead, it has largely fizzled with the 6.5 Grendel gaining steam – perhaps augmented by the rise in its bigger brother – the 6.5 Creedmoor.
While interesting, the bleeding edge of calibers belongs to the Precision Rifle Series of matches, which have pushed the bolt action system forward in the civilian market at a breakneck pace. Similarly, the precision crowd has embraced the 6.Xmm craze with the 6.5 Creedmoor being a previous favorite. However, the trend now seems to be away from the 6.5 (at least for the top professionals – 6.5 Creedmoor is gaining quickly in the overall civilian market).
While the production division has the 6.5 Creedmoor and .243 Winchester taking top spots, the Open class (perhaps the most competitive division) shows a trend away from 6.5mm to the smaller 6mm loads. The 6×47 Lapua, 6XC, and 6mm Creedmoor taking top spots and the majority of shooters between the three.