TFB Review: Sellier & Bellot 6.5 Creedmoor Tactical – 1 USD each

    As the popularity of the 6.5 Creedmoor increases, we’re looking for accurate ammunition which doesn’t cost a fortune to shoot. In Europe the caliber is only starting to grow in popularity, so the volumes are low – prices sky high.

    Shooters want accurate ammunition, for free and we want it now!

    This test was done in Europe, the home market for Sellier & Bellot (Czech Republic), and as the local dealer showed me their new 6.5 Creedmoor I wanted to try it.

    To my knowledge, this is Sellier & Bellot’s first 6.5 Creedmoor, but there is a soft point available as well.

    For a box of thousand, you pay about a dollar per round.

    The box said “Tactical” (Hmmm….) and the bullet was FMJ. It came at a nice price. All these things added up to some kind of contradiction when it comes to long range accuracy.

    I was skeptical, to say the least. But I was hoping for the best.

    How did it go? Let’s walk through the setup, pricing, accuracy, Labradar readings and the conclusion.

    Setup

    The reference rifle is a Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor. The main use is the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) type of shooting and other Long Range applications.

    Apart from the trigger and some ergonomic modifications, the rifle is stock. The trigger is a Timney Two-Stage, which I will get for my own Ruger after testing it.

    The optics is the excellent Kahles 624i with MSR reticle (see pictures below) which sits firmly in a Spuhr ISMS SP-4006 mount.

    The bipod is from Atlas and the shooting bags from Wiebad. Great bags!

    The furthest this rifle has shot with confirmed hits is 1,100 meters on 0.5 mil sized steel (55 x 55 cm).

    This rifle is zeroed with the Hornady 120 A-Max. In Europe this ammunition is fairly expensive, so all 6.5 Creedmoor shooters are always looking for cheaper options. Do we want to compromise on accuracy? Certainly NO!

    6.5 CREEDMOOR PRICES

    Disclaimer: The price you pay for ammunition is always going to differ from what you or some other shooter is paying on somewhere else internationally. We will do our best to compare.

    For instance, the Hornady 140 Creedmoor is about 1.5 USD each in the US. (Source)

    In Europe, they are about 2.25-2.5 USD each, which makes sense due to shipping, higher VAT, dealer markups, currency fluctuations etc.

    This level of pricing (and differences) seems fairly representative for a lot of the 6.5 Creedmoors around, so when Sellier & Bellot all of a sudden appeared in the local shop we had to try it.

    The price for the S&B 6.5 Creedmoor 140 was around 1.5 USD each. For a box of 1,000 pcs you get down to just over a dollar (in Europe). Now we’re really interested!

    That’s acceptable – but only if the round can deliver the accuracy!

    ACCURACY 300 meters

    You’ve seen the setup we’re using. What you should know is that we shot a lot of rounds this day and all these three results have different shooters.

    The first picture – the rifle probably only had about 5-10 rounds in it for the day. First five shots with the S&B and this is what we get. Remember that the rifle is zeroed for the Hornady 120, so it’s only natural that the 140 gr bullet drops a little.  You can see the round at the bottom of the picture.

    The three first rounds are more or less 3 holes in one. After 4-5 rounds it starts to spread a little.

    Below: This is after shooting about 50-60 rounds of other ammunition. We try the S&B again. This is how I shot it. Reflection: the upgraded trigger is so much better than stock, I have to switch on my own Ruger.

    Below: Last try, just after the series above. A person who has very little experience with Long Range bolt-actions and NO experience with the Ruger Precision Rifle at all – these are his first 5 shots. Not bad.

    A few clicks up and one to the right and we would be there, more or less.

    So to conclude the accuracy test. Yes, the S&B 6.5 Creedmoor got it.

    Labradar: Sellier & Bellot 140 FMJ BT

    To get more data for the Strelok Ballistic calculator we run the S&B in the Labradar chronograph.

    S&B specify their 6.5 Creedmoor to 810 m/s. (2657,5 fps)

    We took the Labradar and tried 20 rounds. This ammunition is crazy, with an extreme spread of 7 m/s.

    The highest was 813 and the lowest was 806. The average was 809 m/s. (2654,2 fps)

    The temperature was about +5C.

    Below: That’s about 30 USD worth of ammo in that string.

    It’s difficult to get closer. 20 rounds and the average was 809 m/s vs the quoted 810 m/s.

     

    The Reference Ammunition –

    Labradar: Hornady 120 A-Max

    To compare, Hornady specify their 6.5 Creedmoor 120 gr. A-Max to 886.9 m/s. (2910 fps)

    We took the Labradar and tried 45 rounds(!) The extreme spread was 20 m/s.

    The highest was 864 and the lowest was 844. The average was 854 m/s. (2801.8 fps)

    In the data (see below) it says that S&B’s reference was using a 55 cm barrel. The Ruger uses 61 cm. (24″)

    Note that this comparison is not to say the Hornady Creedmoor is a bad choice. The rifle is tuned to shoot the Hornady, but we’re looking for (a lot) cheaper alternatives.

    Below: That’s about 90 USD worth of ammo in that string. You’re welcome.

    It’s easy to see why the owner of the rifle has chosen this ammunition. His results with the Hornady 140 grain were not as good, so he chose the 120 A-Max instead.

    As you can see below, it is spot on at 300 meters – 50 out 50 points. This pattern is representative, it’s been repeated many times.

    I would say that the Hornady 120 gr A-Max is about as accurate as the Sellior & Bellot 6.5 Creedmoor 140.

    However, the S&B felt more accurate.

    OVERVIEW

    This is what the shooting range looks like in 24x magnification in the winter sun.

    We also shot some steel. This steel to the left is a 10 cm round plate. (3.9″ inch plate).

    The optic is Kahles 624i with MSR reticle. It’s really nice to have an open crosshair in the middle.

    Excellent optic and a very nice reticle.

    The picture is taken through an iPhone 7 and then cropped.

    I tried two rounds, one on each target and hit both times with the S&B 6.5 Creedmoor. The steel is at 312 meters.

    This is from a Schmidt & Bender 5-20 Ultra Short to compare. (P4L Fine) The crosshair will hide the target, not perfect for those tiny plates.

    Below: This is what the steel looks like. Note the splatter from the bullets, that really eats the wood.

    Yes, we did try other types of ammunition and we will get back later on. (Hint: Not all cheap ammunition works, not all expensive high-end ammunition works).

    SPECIFICATION: Sellier & Bellot –  6,5 CREEDMOOR FMJBT V341602 140 GRS

    Ballistics

    Distance m Muzzle 100 200 300 400
    Velocity m/s 810 753 694 642 594
    Energy J 2,985 2,580 2,191 1,877 1,608
    Distance m 50 100 200 300 400
    Points of impact cm -0.5 0.0 -12.5 -45.4 -102.1
    Points of impact MRD cm 1.4 3.8 -4.9 -34.0 -86.9

    Properties

    Bullet Type FMJBT
    Weight grs 140
    g 9.10
    Sectional Density lb/in² 0.287
    Material of jacket CuZn 10
    Number 2905
    Ballistic coefficient Calculation G1 0.548
    G7 0.275
    MRD m 168.0
    Cartridge Weight g 23.3
    Length mm 69.9
    Casings N/A
    Power Factor Estimated kgr·fps 372.0
    +P Ammunition No
    Barrel length cm 55
    Suggested use Range, Match/Competition
    Features Reliable Functioning, Non-expanding, No Barrel Leading, Accurate

     

    CONCLUSION

    What we were trying to find out is if “cheap” ammunition like the Sellier & Bellot 6.5 Creedmoor could be accurate enough to be used for training and in matches?

    Can we reduce the cost of shooting by almost a factor of 2 – 2.5 and still be as accurate?

    I can say that previous and similar long-range tests (in various calibers) have not been very successful, but this was a nice exception.

    Thanks to Kruttunnan for supplying ammunition for this test. The ammunition was paid for by the owner of the rifle.

    You can find the S&B homepage here: https://www.sellier-bellot.cz/en/

     

    If you find any errors, have comments and feedback please let us know in the comments below.

    What’s your experience with “cheap” 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition?

    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics, thermals and suppressors. TCCC Certified. Occasionaly seen in a 6×6 Bug Out Vehicle, always with a big smile.


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