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Hornady Superformance 6.5 Creedmoor Review: Hotrod Hunting Rounds

Hornady Superformance 6.5 Creedmoor Review

If you feel the need for speed and enjoy squeezing every fps of muzzle velocity out of your 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rifle, then you should seriously consider Hornady Superformance ammunition this fall.

Boasting 100-200 fps increased muzzle velocity when compared to their competitors and devastating terminal ballistics, Hornady Superformance rifle ammunition is a cartridge that can easily harvest that trophy whitetail buck or bull elk that’s been teasing your trail cams during the off-season.

But is Hornady Superformance the real deal or simply marketing hype? In this in-depth ammo review, we will look at two Hornady products that have been making waves since their release and explain to you why their Superformance 6.5 Creedmoor ammo is an excellent choice for your bolt-action or semi-auto hunting rifle.

Hornady Superformance 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo Overview

Hornady has always been a big player when it comes to hunting ammo, with multiple lines available to suit your every varmint to big game hunting need. From their Hornady American Whitetail, Outfitter, and Hornady Precision Hunter loaded with the legendary ELD-X bullets, the company produces ammunition that not only brings down game with relative ease but also offers flawless performance in both bolt-action and semi-auto hunting rifles.

However, in 2010, Hornady took a new approach to producing hunting ammunition when they first released their Superformance line. Loaded with special progressive Hornady propellants, the Superformance line can push bullets approximately 100-200 fps faster than similar products from manufacturers like Winchester, Federal, and Nosler.

Higher muzzle velocity results in a flatter trajectory, which means Superformance ammo is slightly more forgiving when it comes to ranging mistakes. This results in more animals harvested cleanly and fewer wounded animals that disappear into the brush.

Hornady Superformance ammunition is loaded with some of the company’s best hunting bullets that you’ve likely read about here on Ammo.com or online hunting forums. For varmint hunting, you have the world-famous V-MAX and NTX bullets, while for medium to large game, there are options loaded with SST, CX, and InterLock bullets.

No matter if you’re hunting caribou in Alaska, black bear in the Rockies, or whitetail across the Midwest, Hornady Superformance 6.5 Creedmoor ammo will make sure you’re putting meat in the freezer and not telling stories of how you “almost bagged the trophy of a lifetime.”

Our Hornady Superformance 6.5 Creedmoor Review

6.5 Creedmoor ammo

If you’ve read any of my other content here on Ammo.com, you’ll know I’m a big Hornady fan. Their attention to quality control and accuracy is on par with many other match-grade ammo manufacturers, but Hornady can give it to you at a lower price point.

For their Superformance 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, I’ll admit that I’m very intrigued by their claims that their ammo can increase your muzzle velocity without increasing recoil or going over chamber pressure limits. Also, as a handloader, I’d love to know what propellants they are using to accomplish this feat of rifle ammunition sorcery.

However, the bullet type selection for both 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance rounds is extremely on point. I love the monolithic copper 120-grain CX bullet for a completely lead-free hunting option, and you simply can’t go wrong with a 129gr SST traveling at nearly 3,000 fps.

Now, I want to address one comment I hear a lot about the 6.5 Creedmoor. A lot of hunters question the efficacy of the 6.5 Creedmoor for big game hunting purposes, so let’s talk about it.

For varmints, coyotes, whitetail, mule deer, pronghorn, and even feral hogs, the 6.5 Creedmoor is an excellent choice and offers you a flat-shooting round that’s great for long-range shots. However, some hunters and handloaders profess that the 6.5 Creedmoor isn’t powerful enough for elk or black bear.

A lot is said about the Creedmoor being a target rifle cartridge and not a true hunting round. Although the 6.5 Creedmoor was initially developed for competitive shooting, this does not mean it is not also effective in the woods.

When it comes to hunting, shot placement trumps bullet type, in my experience. If you can put that bullet when it needs to go at a range where you have the kinetic energy needed for penetration, then it won’t matter if you’re shooting a 338 Winchester Magnum or a 223 Remington.

However, what a larger cartridge like a 300 Win Mag or 416 Ruger will give you a longer effective range on those dangerous or big game animals. Where a 6.5 Creedmoor will only give you kinetic energy for about 300 yards for an elk, a 300 Win Mag will give you around 500 yards.

I’m giving Hornady Superformance 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition a solid 4.5/5 stars as they offer exceptional accuracy, muzzle velocity, and kinetic energy to hunt the most common medium to large game animals in North America.

What’s It Best For?

300 Win Magnum ammo

Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance ammunition is best used for hunting medium to big game animals. Both the CX and SST bullets are designed for rapid expansion to create devastating wound channels that harvest game humanely and with minimal suffering to the animal.


Hornady Superformance ammo is generally not good for plinking or target practice due to their price. However, most hunters are not concerned with plunking down a few dollars per round since they will typically only go through one or two boxes of rifle ammo per season.

Furthermore, sometimes Hornady Superformance ammo is hard to come by. As it is so potent and loved by hunters, you’ll rarely find it lying around on store shelves for long. So, if you see some, make sure you grab it before it’s gone!

Pros and Cons

As much as we love ammo, we understand that no manufacturer is perfect. Here are some of the pros and cons of Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance ammunition you should be aware of.


  • Excellent terminal performance
  • High ballistic coefficient for long-range shots
  • Extremely accurate
  • Boasts increased muzzle velocity vs competitors
  • Low recoil


  • Expensive
  • Sometimes can be hard to find

Cartridge Specs

Below you’ll see a detailed spec chart for the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Hornady Superformance 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge Specifications

The 6.5 Creedmoor was released at SHOT Show 2007 in part due to a gripe session between legendary Service Rifle competitor Dennis DeMille, and Dave Emary, the senior ballistician for Hornady Ammunition at the time.

After a frustrating day at the 2005 Service Rifle National Matches, DeMille came to Emary with a wishlist of specs he wanted in a new long-range shooting round.

DeMille’s Wishlist was:

  • The cartridge must be able to fit into a magazine for the rapid-fire stages of competition
  • Less recoil than a 308 Winchester for better follow-up shots and shooter comfort during rapid fire
  • Flatter trajectory than a 308 with an accurate, high BC bullet
  • Good barrel life
  • Uses readily available reloading components so results can be duplicated
  • Reloading recipes printed on the box
  • Produced in quantities that could keep up with demand

Although there was no round at the time that met all of these specifications, Emary took DeMille’s list back to Hornady and got to work.

The 6.5 Creedmoor round was developed by necking down a 30 Thompson Center case to accept a 6.5mm or 0.264” bullet diameter.

In terms of bullet weight, the 6.5 Creedmoor can fire bullets between 95 and 153 grains, with the 120, 130, and 140-grain options being the most prevalent.

Although Emary wanted to name the round the 6.5 DeMille, the legendary shooter declined this honor and instead insisted that they use the name “Creedmoor” in honor of the Creedmoor Rifle Range in Long Island, New York, where the first National Matches were held.

Developed to fire high ballistic coefficient bullets and have considerably less felt recoil than larger long-range shooting calibers like the 300 Winchester Magnum, the 6.5 Creedmoor has become one of the few new cartridge success stories since the turn of the millennium.


223 Remington ammo

At the time of writing, there are only two factory loads available for Hornady Superformance 6.5 Creedmoor. Let’s take a look at both loads.

6.5 Creedmoor 120 grain CX Superformance

If you need to ensure that Bambi and his 12-point father end up in your freezer, then make sure you reach for Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor 120-grain CX Superformance ammunition.

At the heart of the round is Hornady’s CX (copper alloy eXpanding) hunting bullet. This monolithic copper alloy bullet is completely lead-free, offers devastating terminal performance, penetrates deep, and will have nearly 95% weight retention.

The deep hollow point is protected by Hornady’s Heat Shield Tip. This polymer tip not only protects the hollow point during loading but is also responsible for initiation expansion to create massive wound channels.

Hornady CX bullets are offered in their Outfitter, Custom, and Superformance lines of ammunition.

Loaded with Hornady’s stringent quality control, 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance ammunition can easily achieve MOA levels of accuracy (or better) from most hunting rifles right out of the box. All Superformance ammo is loaded in Hornady’s factory-new brass cases that are Boxer-primed, so they are perfect for reloading.

With an impressive muzzle velocity of 3,050 fps and a whopping 2,479 ft-lbs of muzzle energy, this round has a flat trajectory and can take down any medium-sized game animal you’ll cross paths with across the continental USA. With proper shot placement, you can even take down elk or black bear, but for big game, I’d prefer the next round we will discuss below.

6.5 Creedmoor 129 grain SST Superformance

If you’re planning on taking aim on large game like elk and black bear, then you want to reach for the 129gr SST.

Loaded with Hornady SST bullets (Super Shock Tip), these rounds are designed to deliver incredible amounts of impact shock and expand quickly to stop big game dead in their tracks. Upon impact, the polymer tip plunges into the lead core of the bullet like a wedge. The result is a lightning-fast and controlled expansion for wound channels that put down game quickly.

The lead core of the bullet is locked into place using Hornady’s exclusive Interlock ring. This ensures the lead core and jacket do not separate during expansion, greatly increasing weight retention and delivering more shock to the target.

The boattail profile and secant ogive design increase the bullet’s bearing surface and make it more aerodynamic. This increases both sectional density (penetration) and ballistic coefficient (wind resistance) for a high-speed, low-drag projectile.

Hornady SST bullets are loaded in the company’s Custom, Black, and Superformance lines of ammo.

For the 6.5 Creedmoor, the 129-grain SST leaves the muzzle at an impressive 2,950 fps and slaps big game hard with 2,493 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. This gives the round about 600 yards of effective range for whitetail or pronghorn and about 400 yards for elk.

Ballistics for Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance Ammo

Below we’ve compiled a ballistics table for all three different variations of Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance ammunition currently available on the market. Please note that muzzle velocities were calculated using a 24” barrel length.

Hornady Superformance 6.5 Creedmoor Ballistics

Parting Shots

If you can’t tell by now, I’m a pretty big fan of Hornady Superformance ammo. These rifle cartridges are excellent for hunting across the continental USA and are designed to minimize the suffering of whatever trophy game animal you have in your sights.

The added muzzle velocity offered by Superformance ammunition is a real benefit, as it gives you a slightly flatter trajectory, and your rounds hit just a little harder. And sometimes, that extra oomph is just what you need to get the job done.

Overall, I highly recommend Hornady Superformance ammo, especially in 6.5 Creedmoor, as this round thrives on muzzle velocity for long-range shots, and the CX and SST bullets are a match made in heaven.

If you are looking for some 6.5 Creedmoor hunting ammo, we have tons of it in stock and ready to ship to your door HERE, and I’ll look forward to seeing all of your trophy photos in my inbox this fall!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance ammo worth buying?

Yes, Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance ammo is a great choice if you plan on going medium to big game hunting. It is loaded with some of Hornady’s best hunting bullets that leave massive wound channels to harvest game quickly and with minimal suffering to the elk or whitetail in your sights.

What is the range of Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance ammo?

The effective range of 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance ammo is primarily defined by what you’re shooting at. For elk, your maximum effective range will be around 300 to 400 yards, while whitetail deer can easily be harvested out to around 600 yards.

Is Hornady Superformance good for hunting?

Yes, Hornady Superformance ammo is specifically designed with the needs of hunters in mind. Loaded with Hornady’s deadliest bullets like the SST, V-MAX, CS, and InterLock, Superformance ammo will create devastating wound channels that will put down game quickly and humanely.

Chris Dwulet
Written by
Chris Dwulet

Ammunition Reviews