Bolt-Action 6.5mm Grendel Rifles?


October 1, 2007, 01:19 AM
Recently, I have read numerous articles about the 6.5mm Grendel cartridge, a proposed replacement for the current 5.56mm round currently used by U.S. forces. While these articles primarily discuss the 6.5 as a military round, they do not mention bolt-action varmint rifles for this cartridge. Do such rifles now exist? I realize some AR-15s have been produced for this cartridge, but I am not aware of any other civilian rifles chambered for the Grendel. Is the law of supply and demand keeping firearms manufacturers from producing other rifles for this round? Thanks.


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October 1, 2007, 01:28 AM
Look at Alexander Arms I believe that they take the CZ527 in 7.62x39 and rebarrel it to 6.5 Grendel.

October 1, 2007, 01:30 AM
I think it's more a matter of the 6.5 Grendel being a cartridge specifically designed for autoloaders. The main reason for it's dimensions are so that it can fit in the magwells of existing military rifles. Basically, you can take an AR15, replace the upper receiver and fire a cartridge that is in many ways superior to the 5.56.

If you're going to use a bolt action however you're not limited by the dimensions of an AR15 magwell and you can get better performance from literally dozens of cartridges. Since the 6.5 Grendel hasn't been adopted by anybody yet and is still somewhat of a specialty cartridge I don't think there has been much demand for it in bolt actions.

October 1, 2007, 01:51 AM

All that you say is true of the 6mm PPC and 22 PPC and who knows how many other very accurate but not barn-burner carts yet bolt guns can be had in those calibers. I'm not saying the 6.5 G is not accurate in the AR platform but we won't have the whole picture on that round till it's availablle in bolt action rifles of better than average quality and people have a chance to experiment and push the envelope.

The fact that the 6.5 G has not been picked up by any of the bolt gun makers is a head scratcher for many of us. It's a shame it didn't come out in a bolt action rifles first. I think it would be more popular.



October 1, 2007, 02:10 AM
Elmer, you are correct that the Grendel was designed for the AR-15/M-16 platform, but I am curious if any other rifle designs have been chambered for it. True, other varmint rounds exist, but I would like to see a bolt-action rifle for this round. The CZ rifle that Yosemite refers to seems like a speciality item to me but I may be mistaken on this matter. Perhaps that ironclad law of supply and demand is restricting civilian Grendel offerings.


October 1, 2007, 02:44 AM
I imagine a huge part of it is the 6.5 is really second seat the 6.8SPC. I am really not sure why the 6.5 has such a following. The 6.8 SPC has some advantages, the factory loading has a higher muzzle velocity, and the 6.8, since it's the same as the 270 winchester, has a better bullet selection. And it seems remington and hornady have invested heavily in making ammunition available in this cartridge, as well as at least one bolt action rifle. Realistically, the 6.8 SPC produces 270 winchester velocities from a short action. Personally, that still wows me.

There is really no reason why you couldn't build a bolt action in this caliber. Personally, I would build off a savage 110 short-action. Just put a 7.62/PPC bolt head on it, use an action of .223 length. The barreling and everything is pretty easy to do yourself on the savage actions. Combine that with a savage barrel, and you have a match winner, if the cartridge will do it.

October 1, 2007, 06:30 AM

The Grendel is a good cartridge, no doubt.... but in a bolt gun there are just too many other BETTER choices in the 6.5 caliber to make a specialty cartridge like the Grendel a good proposition for a production chambering. It was designed primarily to fit in the AR platform after all.....

However.... if you just HAVE to have one.... do what every target shooter who ever wanted a better rifle has always done. Have a barrel made and installed on your favorite turnbolt action. Very easy to do.....

Best regards,

October 1, 2007, 06:35 AM
I read an article a few months ago saying that two US companies were seriously looking into making bolt action rifles for the Grendel, but it didn't say who. I have no doubt this is coming because not everyone considers more power better. The .260 Rem is a great 6.5 but the Grendel will have a market as many want less recoil. I would expect cz to offer the Grendel from the factory before long.

October 1, 2007, 08:18 AM
The Grendel is a neat, but proprietary, cartridge. That means you gotta pay Alexander Arms for the reamer and other similar things, which bump costs quite a little bit. If this setup appeals to you, just build a 6.5 PPC. The Grendel shoulder is forward of the PPC, and thus holds a scosh more powder, but the ballistics should be nearly the same, and the cost quite a bit less for the reamer etc. Unlike the Grendel, you gotta buy custom dies, but they are available, and in combination with the PPC body die, you could drop bushings into the Redding die to get you to where you want to be, brass-wise.

There are other options.

My issue is, other than target shooting at competitions, the Grendel or any 6.5 for that matter based on the x39 cartridge, has the question "what would I do with it?" tatooed all over it. The cost of bullets is much greater than for the 20's or 224" bullets. For varmint shooting, the 223 or the 204 is a better setup from a cost perspective. For antelope or deer a 6.5x39 would be adequate, perhaps. Anything larger prompts me to consider a 308, or a 6.5 Swede or the like.

It is an interesting cartridge, but the cost of rebarreling and the cost of components puts me off.

October 1, 2007, 08:42 AM
But I saw a powerpoint slide that proved that Grendel has such a good ballistic coefficient that it outguns any other cartridge up to .50 caliber. And really, past 300 meters, Grendel is superior to .50 cal too. That's why the Navy SEALs use it in the shoe guns, but no one talks about it because it's a secret I read on MySpace.

/Grendel Fanboy Mode :barf:

October 1, 2007, 08:54 AM
The Grendel is a good cartridge, no doubt.... but in a bolt gun there are just too many other BETTER choices in the 6.5 caliber to make a specialty cartridge like the Grendel a good proposition for a production chambering. It was designed primarily to fit in the AR platform after all.....

+1. When it comes to bolt action rifles, the 6.5x55, 6.5x47, and .260Rem are much better choices.


October 1, 2007, 09:25 AM

The 6.8 is very limited in bullets since you have you stay under about 115gn to keep the COAL under 2.260. The 6.5 Grendel however is designed to use just about any 6.5 bullet.

AA has authorized several smiths to do 6.5 Grendel conversions on turnbolt. The CZ-527 is an easy conversion because they already make a 7.52x39 variant so it's nothing more than a barrel swap.

Certainly there are better performing 6.5 catridges, but none that will fit in mini action the way the 6.5 grendel will. The 527 carbines weighs under 6 pounds. Show me a factory rifle in 260, 6.5 Swede or similar catridge that light.

Howard Roark
October 1, 2007, 12:10 PM
One can rent a 6.5 Grendel reamer from

I believe I would build a 6 or 6.5mmBR before I would a Grendel bolt gun.

When AA first came out with this they published some outlandish velocities. I talked to them at the SHOT show years ago and will try to find the old printout they had with projected velocities.

The 6mmAR and 6mmAR Turbo are both based on the Grendel and out perform it. 105/107s at 2800 fps is pretty good from a gas gun.

October 1, 2007, 01:02 PM
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder perhaps defining one caliber or chambering as "better" than another is an equally apt anology. Not every rifleman/marksman/reloader/hunter is willing to stop the process of experimentation and discovery based on what the other guys opinion of "better" is or isn't.:)

As others have pointed out the 6.5 G is a proprietary chambering. How AA manages that element of the equation will probably have more to do with whether the Grende has a place in the sun than it's performance. Right now I'd have to say their desire to realize a return on their development investment, and beyond that, a profit, stands a better than average chance in making the Grendel a short-lived proposition.


October 1, 2007, 01:08 PM
Certainly there are better performing 6.5 catridges, but none that will fit in mini action the way the 6.5 grendel will. The 527 carbines weighs under 6 pounds. Show me a factory rifle in 260, 6.5 Swede or similar catridge that light.

A $500 CZ 527 in 6.5G would make a good light deer gun. But at $500 for the gun and then another $400+ for a new barrel, chambering, installation, blueing, etc. I'd have an awful hard time even considering it over a Kimber 84.

Zak Smith
October 1, 2007, 03:50 PM
If you're going to 6.5mm and want a bolt gun, it may be easier to get one chambered in .260 Remington or 6.5x47 Lapua. The latter basically splits the difference between the Grendel and 260Rem in terms of case length, and it uses a 308 bolt head.

October 1, 2007, 04:01 PM

No doubt about it, $400 for the conversion is a little high. If CZ could be convinced to make a factory grendel, or 6.8 for that matter, I'd snap one up for the kids.

I've built a both a 6.8 and a 6.5G CZ-527, and the latter is much easier. Either would be trivial for CZ, and both are btter hunting rounds IMO than the 7.62x39.

We have enough supermagnums. I'm hoping the pendulum will swing the other way and we'll get some nice moderate rounds that will do the job without requiring a giant action or a stout shoulder.

October 1, 2007, 04:04 PM
It's a perfect size not only for AR's but for mini-Mausers such as CZ's. For a full size bolt gun it makes somewhat less sense, but could be fun. The market for mini-Mausers is pretty limited, unfortunately.

October 1, 2007, 04:06 PM
Zak, 6.5x47 still requires a full sized (short) action, and PMax is something like 62,000 psi IIRC. 6.8 or 6.5 grendel is idea for the mini-mausers or the smallest Sako action size, has 90% of the performance and would be idea for people like small women, children and people who like an extremely light rifles.

Right now I am looking to find someone to make a carbon stock for one of my CZs to see if I can get it under 5 pounds.

October 1, 2007, 04:37 PM
+1 on what guntech said about the pendulum swinging the other way. For the vast majority of the US population, deer are the largest game they will ever hunt. For the young, the female and the over 45, there is much to be said for rifles that don't weigh over 8 pounds, don't need a pound of glass on them, and don't push back so hard. I think more and more people are (perhaps secretly) falling in love with handy little rifles that are very competent - like the cz 527 carbine and the Marlin 1894c. My personal wish is for a levergun (like the 1894) in a .25-6.5 caliber. Anyway, it only makes sense for cz to add either the 6.5 or 6.8. Maybe they are just waiting to decide which.

Zak Smith
October 1, 2007, 04:39 PM

You're right-- but if the poster just wants a low-recoil 6.5mm cartridge, those will be easier to get built than a Grendel.


October 1, 2007, 05:13 PM
For the vast majority of the US population, deer are the largest game they will ever hunt.

Most folks who shoot deer around here, shoot hogs too. So, I disagree.

October 1, 2007, 05:23 PM
Never hunted hogs. Do you think the few hundred fps between a Grendel and say, a 6.5x55 really makes that much difference to a hog? Anyway, I still think by far most hunters will never hunt anything larger than deer. But I agree, If I thought I was gonna run into one of those ugly tusky muthas I'd want a .450 Marlin! :)

October 1, 2007, 05:49 PM
Yes, other 6.5mm cartridges exist that are better hunting and target rounds than the Grendel. This point has been made by several members that have far more experience with these rounds than do I. But my point is the Grendel should be available in other formats than the AR. Call this a personal preference issue.

Incidentally, I realize that it is difficult to discuss the Grendel without comparing it to its rival, the 6.8mm Remington. I suppose this is a natural tendency. At least, I have done this on numerous occasions.


Howard Roark
October 1, 2007, 05:51 PM

A Grendel or even better a 6mmBR on a XP100 action. Now that would make an interesting 600 yard shooter. I need to keep a lookout for an action. I've got an old Baker prone stock that has been calling me to put it back in action...

Jimmy Newman
October 1, 2007, 06:07 PM
I'm not sure that I'd even mention 6.8SPC and .270 in the same sentence... Hornady's 6.8SPC load is 110gr at 2550fps. The lightest .270 they even load is a 130gr, and it's at 3060fps. That's 20% heavier and 20% faster.

Ballistically, I find myself more interested in the 6.5 Grendel... but since I'm not going to have an AR for quite some time, it's kind of a moot point (I'm very happy with 7mm-08 for my bolt gun).

October 1, 2007, 07:34 PM
I agree that there are better 6.5mm cartridges for bolt rifles but... if you've got the brass, bullets, and dies...why not?

October 1, 2007, 08:53 PM
I have a 6.8 bolt gun and it is lots of fun. I would not pick it for a deer rifle, but if that is what I had when the deer appeared I would take a shot under the right situation.

The 6.5 Grendel needs some pretty specific bullets to make it magic numbers (w/in a few 100 fps of the sweede or .260). I am not sure if these are the best bullets to use for deer. Without these special bullets the 6.5 is really no special proformer.

A much better deal in my minds eye would be a Remington M-7 or a Kimber 84 in .260. This seems like a more sensible minimum for deer, rather than something that starts out short to begin with.


October 1, 2007, 10:11 PM
Of course if this thread had begun with the statement that the .357 or .223 is not adequate for deer then scores of posters would be leaping to its defense. I think in anybody's book the x39 or grendel or 6.8 are fine for deer in competent hands. And if the hands are not competent moving up to a .308 or .260 won't help a bit.

October 1, 2007, 11:23 PM
A Swede will push a 140 at 2900fps. Can the Grendel do that?

The 30-30 is within a few hundred fps of the 06.

October 1, 2007, 11:32 PM
Any gun/rifle that gets people out shooting is a good gun. I think that folks should shoot/use what soots them best and not worry too much on other folks opinions.

If you are shooting a 6.5G, then you are probably not a novice.

You know your skill level and the limits of the round, so go and have fun hunting.

Post some pixs of your buck and enjoy the rifle.

So I guess at this point I will just shut up.

Have a good one,


October 1, 2007, 11:44 PM
Where I hunt, we mostly shoot white tail (they taste better IMO). Shots range from 25 yards to 400, typicallly. If you limit yourself, 7.6x39 would be fine, and something like 6.5g even better thanks to a flatter trajectory.

The Swede, loaded to commercial pressures, should do about 2750 from a 24 inch tube with 140s. The grendel will toss the same bullet at about 2400. No doubt the Swede wins hands down.

But the Swede requires a long action.

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