16.5" to 20" hunting rifle 65/308

Vulture23

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Jan 3, 2019
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I know I want a Tikka CTR, and it will be suppressed, I'm leaning towards 6.5 Creedmoor, but not ruling out 308. and I'm not sure if I want to cut barrel to 16.5" for handiness or leave at 20" muzzle velocity.
Please give me your opinion on what you would recommend.
Deer, pigs. maybe elk one day.
 

JWHITE

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Aug 24, 2009
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16.5” is hard to beat for being handy while suppressed but what is 3.5”??? The caliber thing will be your biggest decision.

My go to rifle is a suppressed 16.5” 308 running a 168 at 2600fps. Never once wished I had more gun. My hunting ranges rarely see 400 yards. Most of my shots are inside of 300, just because of where I hunt.
 

rob.sfo

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May 6, 2018
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I recently went through the same decision making process...minus the suppressor, I live in CA. :( I ended up settling on a 16.5" 308. For hunting I prefer the shorter barrel, and on the 308 vs 6.5 decision I went 308 for a few specific reasons:
  1. Inside 500 yards, there's not much benefit with the 6.5 with external ballistics, and the 308 has a slide edge with terminal ballistics. Either would be fine though, so the next two points weighed more heavily:
  2. 308 makes a great do-it-all rifle for hunting and short/mid-range plinking, with much longer barrel life.
  3. I also have a 308 AR that I break out for pigs (and 3gun Heavy), using the same ammo for both has minor benefits.
  4. I don't need mid-range (800-1200ish) performance from this because it's a switch-caliber (DT SRS) so at some point I will also get a longer 6.5 variant probably 20-24" for ~1000 yard target shooting, and maybe a 338LM for when I eventually draw and elk tag and/or dipping my toes in ELR. Or just because. :)
So that's what went into my decision making process, but it doesn't mean it's right or wrong. I think you're good to go with either, just list out all the pros/cons and decide what is most important to you.

Sorry if this is stating the obvious, just thought I'd share.

Cheers,
Rob
 

jwhjwh54

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I know I want a Tikka CTR, and it will be suppressed, I'm leaning towards 6.5 Creedmoor, but not ruling out 308. and I'm not sure if I want to cut barrel to 16.5" for handiness or leave at 20" muzzle velocity.
Please give me your opinion on what you would recommend.
Deer, pigs. maybe elk one day.
I've have a Tikka CTR 6.5 with 16.5 barrel and a TBAC cb7 w/ Leupold vx5hd. Shoots 140 elm Great and I got a great load with 130 eld-m's to pick up a little fps. I take it out 1000 for fun but 500 and in I feel 100% fine with it.

The cut from 20" to 16.5 is totally worth it for me. I've only shot pigs with mine so far but they seem to drop in their tracks :)
 
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45.308

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There is no substitute for displacement. Average hunting range for me is approx. 300 yards and I would and do use 16.5" 308 not suppressed.
 

powdahound76

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I run a 20” ctr and a 22” T3 in .308.
Havent figured its worth the $ to cut em down for me.
I am running 2775 with 155’s out if the 20” CTR with Hornady black 155 amax.
Im working on a load with 150 Barnes TTSX with 2000MR for the 22” for deer this year.
 

alaskalanche

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I have a 16.5" 6.5cm and a 16.5" 308 both in lightweight setups (308 is 5.8 pounds scoped and 6.5 cm is 4.8 pounds scoped). There isn't anything I would hunt with one rifle I wouldn't hunt with the other. Luckily I don't think you can lose either way.
 

jwknutson17

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For elk I look at the ft.lbs of energy numbers at the max distance you would possibly take a shot. For reference... I had a 16 inch 308 shooting 178gr eldx pills and a 17 inch 6.5cm shooting 143gr eldx. At no point through 700 yards (max for me on those guns) would the 6.5 overcome the energy of the 308.

I hunt elk with magnums but if I was going to shoot an elk with rifles mentioned above with shorter barrels I pick the 308.
 

alaskalanche

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For elk I look at the ft.lbs of energy numbers at the max distance you would possibly take a shot. For reference... I had a 16 inch 308 shooting 178gr eldx pills and a 17 inch 6.5cm shooting 143gr eldx. At no point through 700 yards (max for me on those guns) would the 6.5 overcome the energy of the 308.

I hunt elk with magnums but if I was going to shoot an elk with rifles mentioned above with shorter barrels I pick the 308.
Whats the foot pound requirement to kill an elk??
 

jwknutson17

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Whats the foot pound requirement to kill an elk??
I'm saying I would pick the one with greater energy. Just about any bullet in the right place will kill game.

But you can shoot it with a 22lr if you feel so inclined. Some states have a minimum requirement. Others don't. I gave my opinion and others can do the same. I choose magnums and some guys on here are taking head shots with 223 SBRs. To each his own.
 
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alaskalanche

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I'm saying I would pick the one with greater energy. Just about any bullet in the right place will kill game.

But you can shoot it with a 22lr if you feel so inclined. Some states have a minimum requirement. Others don't. I gave my opinion and others can do the same. I choose magnums and some guys on here are taking head shots with 223 SBRs. To each his own.

I agree 100% about a bullet in the right place. I guess what I am saying I am more concerned with minimum velocity for a bullet to work (expand) than an arbitrary ft/lbs of energy. Being as both are more than capable for killing moose and grizzly bears up here (never even seen an elk killed so will defer to you on that) I think the 6.5 CM has an edge in that regard but not enough to really tip the table in either direction in reality. A 178 eldx at 2550 or a 147 at the same velocity are both gonna work just fine. Just go with what one feels is best....or just do what I did and get both in a shorty barrel that way you don't have to compromise :)
 

264win

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For suppressed use the 16” 308 would be and is my choice
With a 16” barrel the 6.5 gives up most of its practical ballistic advantages.
If your not going to suppress it or can deal with the length I would go with the 20” 6.5.
 

BoilerUP

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I had a 18” 6.5 Creedmoor, got 2640fps with a 140gr HPBT and 42.5gr H4350.

IMO a stub-nose Creedmoor gives up absolutely NOTHING to a similarly-barreled 308, with the exception of a few foot-pounds of energy no game animal will ever notice.
 

la angler

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I think you can't go wrong either length or caliber but my choice would be the 20 " 6.5
 

260284

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I have a 6.5 Creedmoor CTR with a 23.5" med palma Bartlein. I deer hunted with it suppressed the year I put the new barrel on,(was a 20" 260). I picked up a 20" CTR 6.5 take off barrel on here for a handier hunting setup. It headspaced like it came from the factory. It was 180-200 fps slower than the Bartlein, both suppressed, with my 140 ELD and 143 ELDX handloads. I ended up shooting a couple of deer with the 130 Prime ammo. Was getting 2750 fps with it. I have some 140 Accubonds and some 129 ABLR that I will see how they shoot before deer season this fall.