Palmetto State Armory 6.5 Creedmoor AR-10 Rifle – Win this Rifle

Opinion

Palmetto State Armory's PA65 6.5mm Creedmoor Rifle with Vortex Strike Eagle scope.
Palmetto State Armory's PA65 6.5mm Creedmoor Rifle with Vortex Strike Eagle scope.

USA –-(Ammoland.com)- See this rifle? It’s going to belong to one of you very soon when we give it away.

The kind folks at Palmetto State Armory sent this one to us for testing and evaluation and agreed that it would be a great idea to give it away to a lucky Ammoland reader. Oh, to add some more jazz, the winner will also get the Burris P.E.P.R. quick-detach scope mount and Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50 scope shown here.

We’ll get into the details of the scope in a separate article, so here let’s take a closer look at the Palmetto State Armory PA-65 AR-10 6.5mm Creedmoor Rifle.  

Palmetto State Armory PA-65 AR-10 6.5mm Creedmoor Rifle ~ The Basics

Since the 6.5mm Creedmoor Cartridge is longer than the standard .223 Remington with a maximum cartridge length of 2.825 inches, it requires an AR-10 platform. The PA 65 AR10 features a 20-inch barrel that is a heavy profile and made of 416R Stainless Steel. It keeps its stainless “silver” coloring, so to me at least, it looks pretty darn spiffy with the black receiver, black furniture, and black A2 flash hider. The 6.5mm Creedmoor barrel is driven by a rifle-length gas system and features a 1:8-inch twist rate which is relatively standard for this caliber.

I like the 15-inch M-Lok handguard - a lot. It's slender, light, and easy to hold.
I like the 15-inch M-Lok handguard – a lot. It's slender, light, and easy to hold.

Both upper and lower receivers are 7075-T6 aluminum and are black anodize hard coated to MIL-8625 Type 3 class 2 standards. Up front, there’s a 15-inch PSA M-Lok rail. I like it. It’s lightweight and slender and feels good in the hand. It’s also filled with M-Lok holes at the three, six, and nine o’clock positions and lots of other ventilation cuts to allow rapid barrel cooling. There’s a rail extension on the rear that lengthens the receiver rail and a short rail segment up front in case you want to mount a backup iron sight. 

The bolt and carrier are Nitride treated for durability, slickness, and easier cleaning. The company also puts dual ejectors in the bolt to facilitate more positive ejection. I’ve not been able to see any observable difference in performance between standard and dual ejectors, but it’s there if you care.  

The trigger group is made of Nickel Boron treated steel so it's lighter and smoother than standard mil-spec. It's about a $100 upgrade separately.
The trigger group is made of Nickel Boron treated steel so it's lighter and smoother than standard mil-spec. It's about a $100 upgrade separately.

Trigger

This rifle includes Palmetto’s Nickel Boron trigger group. Naturally smoother and slicker than regular steel components, the trigger is crisper and a bit lighter than a standard mil-spec model. Its two-stage operation has a short take-up with just over a pound of pressure followed by short and constant travel that breaks with right around four (4) pounds of pressure. I could classify this trigger as somewhere between a mil-spec and match trigger. It’s a noticeable improvement over mil-spec but still has enough weight and take-up for safe service and defensive use. 

There's a short rail segment on the front of the handguard for back-up iron sights on the Palmetto State Armory PA-65 AR-10 6.5mm Creedmoor Rifle.
There's a short rail segment on the front of the handguard for back-up iron sights on the Palmetto State Armory PA-65 AR-10 6.5mm Creedmoor Rifle.

Magpul Furniture

The rifle includes a 20-round P-Mag, Magpul MOE pistol grip, and Magpul MOE Stock. The pistol grip is black and features the MOE grip surfacing. You can use Magpul Storage Core gear in there to carry spare stuff or some emergency beef jerky if you like. The MOE Stock sports a nice and fat comb area for a good cheek weld, dual water-resistant compartment for spare batteries, parts, or snacks, and sling swivel and loop attachment points. It also has a rubber buttpad so when you lean your rifle against the wall; it won’t go sliding out from under you.

You'll also get a Magpul MOE buttstock and pistol grip with this rifle.
You'll also get a Magpul MOE buttstock and pistol grip with this rifle.

Velocity

If you’re the lucky winner, I wanted you to know in some detail what you’re getting, so I set up a chronograph 15 feet from the muzzle and proceeded to shoot lots of ammo. OK, so maybe I didn’t really have to, but it was a great excuse to spend some quality time with this rifle. 

I tested this PA 65 with a variety of 6.5mm Creedmoor match ammo.
I tested this PA 65 with a variety of 6.5mm Creedmoor match ammo.

On the day I tested velocity, it was somewhat warm here in the Lowcountry of South Carolina at 85 degrees. We’re also barely 20 feet above sea level, at least at the range where I was shooting. If you live at a higher altitude or will be shooting in colder conditions, your velocity may clock in a bit different than the results shown here. Also, I fired multiple shots and calculated averages to get the numbers shown below.  

AmmoAverage Velocity

(feet per second)

Sig Sauer OTM 6.5mm Creedmoor 140 grain2,471
Hornady Precision Hunter ELD-X 6.5mm Creedmoor 143 grain2,566
Hornady Match ELD 6.5mm Creedmoor 147 grain2,617
Hornady Match ELD 6.5mm Creedmoor 140 grain2,593

Accuracy

As the trigger is more of a service model than a target trigger, and because it has a four-pound weight, I elected to fire 100-yard groups with a best five of six model. I figured that the extra shot would help rule out shooter error.

With careful shooting, I got good 100-yard groups with this rifle. The Hornady 140-grain Match ELD performed extremely well compared to others.
With careful shooting, I got good 100-yard groups with this rifle. The Hornady 140-grain Match ELD performed exceptionally well compared to others.

I did try something a bit unusual because I just happened to have five hand-loaded rounds tipped with Hornady 140-grain Match ELD bullets. I initially loaded these for a bolt gun, so the overall length is a bit long for AR-10 magazines. That doesn’t mean you can’t shoot them in the Palmetto State Armory PA65. You just have to load them singly through the ejection port. As you’ll see by the group results below, the PA65 seemed to like those slightly longer cartridges quite a bit. 

AmmoFive-shot Group Size

(100 Yards)

Sig Sauer OTM 6.5mm Creedmoor 140 grain1.27”
Hornady Precision Hunter ELD-X 6.5mm Creedmoor 143 grain1.12”
Hornady Match ELD 6.5mm Creedmoor 147 grain2.03”
Hornady Match ELD 6.5mm Creedmoor 140 grain0.96
Handload (long cartridge)0.69

Based on this outing compared to the first time I fired groups, the rifle appears to like bullets in the 140-grain range a bit better. While I’ve gotten some respectable groups with the Hornady 147-grain match ammo, they’ve been more erratic. 

Some of my bolt rifle handholds performed very well, but due to longer overall length, had to be loaded individually.
Some of my bolt rifle handholds performed very well, but due to longer overall length, had to be loaded individually.

Usually, the rifle alone retails for $799.99 to $1,149.99 depending on Palmetto State Armory’s current deal. However, with a bit of luck, you can get this one for absolutely nothing. Be sure to enter on our giveaway page!  

Palmetto State Armory PA-65 AR-10 Specifications:

  • Barrel Length: 20”
  • Barrel Material: 416R Stainless Steel
  • Barrel Profile: Heavy
  • Chamber: 6.5 Creedmoor
  • Twist Rate: 1 in 8”
  • Extension: M4
  • Gas System: Rifle-length
  • Gas Block Type: Low profile .750”
  • Upper Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum
  • Receiver Style: PA10 Flat top with feedramps
  • Receiver Finish: Hardcoat Anodized
  • Forward Assist: Yes
  • Dust Cover: Yes
  • Handguard Type: Free Float
  • Handguard Style: PSA  Lightweight M-Lok Free Float
  • Handguard Length: 15”
  • Bolt Steel: 9310, Nitride treated with Double Ejector
  • Bolt Carrier Steel: 8620, Nitride treated
  • Staked gas key: Yes
  • Lower Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum
  • Receiver Finish: Hardcoat Anodized
  • Fire Control Group: 2-Stage Nickel Boron Trigger Assembly
  • Buffer Tube: 7075 T6 Aluminum
  • Adjustment: 6-position telescoping stock
  • Stock: Magpul MOE, Black
  • Grip: Magpul MIAD, Black
  • Magazine: 20 Round PMAG

Tom McHale
Tom McHale

About

Tom McHale is the author of the Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

  • 37 thoughts on “Palmetto State Armory 6.5 Creedmoor AR-10 Rifle – Win this Rifle

    1. Thank you very much for the opportunity to win such an amazing rifle!! I’ve been trying to pull together the funds to buy an AR10 based rifle, but just isn’t in the cards for me at this time- but I’d definitely be buying some other caliber uppers if I had this rifle to take advantage of the versitility of these great platforms!!
      Good luck to everyone, but God I’d be super happy to actually won something like this!

    2. Bout time to replace my old Marlin 35 cal.
      Looks like a real class A outfit.
      I’ve never won anything in my life so expect a big surprise.

    3. Beautiful rifle… spent 20 years in the Army and never owned my own rifle. I have 2 sons that want me to buy a rifle and teach them how to shoot. Best of luck to everyone that entered and happy shooting to the one that wins.

    4. Would definitely enjoy winning this rifle and if I did, ROAD TRIP to Texas to, first, visit my daughter and her family. Then second, do some serious ferral hog hunting and donate the meat to a food bank. Win, Win all around!

    5. Appears to be, and reads to be a very well built rifle. And built right here in my home state. I admit I’ve never fired a rifle quite this powerful. I am sure I could get accustomed to it if I won it. Some lucky guy or gal will be thrilled to have this rifle in their possession !!

      1. @Hugh, The Palmetto is the state tree of South Carolina. Palmetto State Armory has store fronts and ranges at the following locations:
        Beaufort/Ridgeland – Store & Range
        Columbia – I-26/Fernandina – Store & Range
        Columbia – Magnolia – Store
        Greenville – Store & Range
        Mt. Pleasant – Store
        Summerville – Store & Range
        Swansea – Palmetto Outdoors Shooting Facility
        Can’t say enough positive good things about this business and their employees.

    6. Help a guy save the lap dogs and cats of Southwest lower Michigan! That gun is a coyotes worst nightmare and legal for use on Private land after dark in the smart coyote state.

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