Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor 123-grain Match Ammo
- By Pete Moore
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- Last updated: 05/10/2023
When Hornady’s 6.5 Creedmoor first appeared in 2007, it was viewed with some cynicism by the shooting community. Initially designed as a calibre for various precision rifle disciplines, it soon became the ‘must have’ for target shooters and later on, hunters too.
The Creedmoor was designed from the ground up as an accurate and efficient cartridge. When Hornady asked me to do a test and review, there were no rifles yet in the UK, so they provided brass, chamber reamers, and reloading dies. I then asked Riflecraft to build me a 24”, semi-custom gun on a Howa 1500 action, and it proved a shooter.
Given its original use was target shooting, I’m going back to these roots with Lapua’s 123-grain Scenar, boat tail hollow point match (BTHP) product. Ironic, when you think about it, as their 6.5x47mm appeared in 2005 for the same purpose, and the spec for Hornady’s creation is similar at 6.5x48.8mm. This new kid has become, ‘the wonder kid’, and eclipsed the Lapua along with the .260 Rem and the 6.5x55 SE, plus is encroaching on the .308 Win, too.
Although I’m testing the 123-grain version here, Lapua also makes a 136-grain recipe. The main changes being slightly different ballistic coefficients (BCs) and muzzle velocities. The latter carries more speed and energy out to 1000 yards and is probably better suited to the more standard 1-8” twist used by most manufacturers. They now service hunters with the 140-grain, non-lead, Naturalis and their classic, lead-cored,156-grain Mega, so they’ve got you covered.
Lapua has an enviable reputation, not only in ammunition but in high-quality components, too. Their distinctive annealed brass is rated and in the case of the Creedmoor, it uses match-quality, small rifle (SR) primers, which are said to aid consistency. Ammo comes in 50-round cardboard boxes, individually packaged.
The Scenar is a sleek-looking projectile and Lapua quotes two BC figures - G1 0.527 and G7 0.263. The muzzle velocity is quoted at 2740 fps, which will easily take you out to 600 yards and well beyond. They favour a slower rifling twist of 1:8.5”.
With a SAAMI/CIP cartridge overall length (COL), the ammo is designed to reliably function and feed through any modern box magazine system. For the test, I used my Howa custom with its 1:8.5” twist and 24” barrel.
As can be seen in the results table, the velocity exceeds the factory figure by 54 fps and the ES is good, too. The accuracy speaks for itself. Fired cases showed quite flattened primers, which I have noted with similar loadings using SR primers. I think this is more a case of your rifle liking them, or not. It’s plain to see it’s an accurate and effective load but given the majority of Creedmoor rifles use a 1:8” twist, I’d opt for the 136-grain Scenar option.