6.5 Grendel...reality from hype?


March 23, 2009, 09:30 PM
First let me say that I love my AR and find that 5.56 is a much better round than many seem to give it credit for. That said, I find myself pining a bit for something that can really reach out and touch from a nice, light platform. I have been entertaining the Grendel for just such a role.

All the marketing hype would have you believe this is a true 1,000 yard cartridge and tennis ball sized grouping at 600 yards. Sounds compelling. Also, the knockdown power is supposedly well suited to big game hunting and barrier penetration.

What's the real truth? Anyone actually own a Grendel? Is it all that it's made out to be? Are elk a possibility with this cartridge?

Please, someone sort out the hype from the reality for me.

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March 23, 2009, 09:36 PM
First off, i don't own a grendel. Other than that, MOST of what you hear is true. The ballistics that AA originally put out was way optimistic (1200yd+ supersonic range with a certain bullet type, IIRC the actual supersonic range was 950yd or so) but other than that..... Yes, it is a great hunting caliber, and very accurate.

March 23, 2009, 09:37 PM
Here is a link to a 6mmbr.com "Gun of The Week", about a bolt action 6.5G:

March 23, 2009, 10:18 PM
I built a 6.5 grendal last year and I love it. I zeroed my scope at 300 yards. I usually hold about a 1" group at 300. I'm not a great shot but I think the upper will out shoot me. The furthest I have shot with it is about 700 yards. Hit 2 liter bottles consistantly. This summer I have a place to go 1,000. When I do that I will post some results.

March 23, 2009, 10:43 PM
nice to know. i had this same questions too when i bought my ar. the 6.5 grendel was still new in the field so i got the .223/5.56 for the time being. it was between the 6.8 or the 6.5 for deer.

March 23, 2009, 11:13 PM
The only problem I have had is trying to get ammo for it. I have heard that an Italian company is going to start making it. That would put it to a total of 3 mfgs makingit. Alexander Arms Sells theirs for about $30 a box of 20. Granted AA has a higher quality round but if $ is a factor the wolf gold has worked good for me. The Wolf uses a large rifle primer and they are easy to find in my area vs. AA's small rifle mag. The 6.5 grendel has not taken off in my area yet, their is only one other that I know of in the area (I was the one that talked him in to buying a upper). The local gunshop does not carry it in stock, but he can order it or I order of the web. Forgot, Wolf you can find for $13.00 a box.

Hostile Amish
March 23, 2009, 11:45 PM
6.5 Gr is expensive and may not feed well in a converted rifle.

March 24, 2009, 12:08 AM
Haven't had any feed problems in mine. I use the soft point Wolf gold and I think if anything will cause a jam that would. 22LR isn't cheap anymore...

March 24, 2009, 12:58 PM
Is it true that AA waranty won't cover your Grendel rifle if you use Wolf ammo? :confused:

March 24, 2009, 01:10 PM
I think that is true that 6.5 Grendel is very acurate and can greatly increased the range of an AR15 platform without to extensive modifications to the platform.
What is hype is the 6.5 Grendel as a millitary cartridge. Specially some people trying to present it as the "Ultimate medium assault rifle cartridge".:scrutiny:

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
March 24, 2009, 01:20 PM
Here's the best "6.5 grendel", and it's very light:


Remind me again why we are limited to an AR15 type platform? :scrutiny: :)

March 24, 2009, 08:22 PM
I can't tell you for sure on the warranty I built mine with only a AA barrel and bolt, so it is not carried under any warranty. Most manufactures state it has to be factory loaded ammo.

March 24, 2009, 08:34 PM
The hype about the 6.5 grendal being "the ultimate medium assault rifle" is I think a little out there. It will never replace the 5.56 or the .308. The M16 platform with a 5.56 round has been the main battle rife for the US military for about 40 years. Refitting our military with anything else would not be easy or cheap. don't get me wrong the 6.5 gr. will do the job you need it to.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
March 25, 2009, 12:37 AM
If you've got yourself a registered MG lower, the grendel and/or 6.8 spc have quite a bit of merit. Otherwise, they're a theoretical/novelty/fun item.

A mild .260 Rem loading from a 16" bbl in an AR10 platform is pushing a 6.5mm bullet faster than a hot 6.5 grendel loading from a 20" bbl in an AR15 platform. And it will be just as light or lighter, better balanced, and use cheaper-to-form brass (from .308), and feed better. :)

March 25, 2009, 12:43 AM
two liter bottles consistently at 700yrds equal excellent shot

March 25, 2009, 12:51 AM
I'm with the doc on this one. While the rem 260 is going to require the larger AR-10 or LR-308 rifle and will not fit the AR-15 platform the 260 is good medicine! From what I understand the 6.5 grendel needs a 20" or 24" bbl to reach its potential and a 16" bbl is going to be better suited for the 6.8spc.

March 25, 2009, 06:05 AM
It is true, the 6.5 grendel would not be the best choice in an Ar-10. It is however designed for the Ar-15 platform, so I guess it just depends on what you are looking for or can afford.

Will it shoot to 1000 yards? I haven't personally done it, but I have no doubt it will, many have done it. Keep in mind you would want a longer barrel, and it would still only be good for punching a hole in a piece of paper. There is no other cartridge that fits in an Ar-15 that will shoot as flat and as far as the Grendel. Again if you are talking about an Ar-10 or bolt action, it isn't the best choice.

As far as it being cheaper to form .260 out of .308 brass as compared to forming 6.5 grendel out of 7.62 x 39 brass there really isn't that much difference there depending on what kind of deals you can find.

Anyone that has had feed problems I am almost positive it has been mag related, and had nothing to do with the cartridge itself. C-products is currently the only manufacturer of mags for the Grendel, and they have made some pretty crappy ones.

The ones I have that will fit my lower I have had no problems with.

As far as hunting, anything you would feel comfortable using a 85 - 130 grain bullet on the Grendel would be well suited for.

Obtaining factory ammo is a problem right now, (as with a lot of things) I reload and would recommend the same if you are considering a Grendel at this time. Wolf has been coming and going, AA is non existent, and I haven't checked but Les Baer does sell Black Hills for the Grendel also.

March 25, 2009, 10:18 AM
There is no other cartridge that fits in an Ar-15 that will shoot as flat and as far as the Grendel

Actually.....there are quite a few. The 6mmBR(X), 6mmAR (Turbo[40 IMP]), 6mm Hagar, must i go on? What the grendel has though, is ft/lbs of energy, due to its heavier bullet. But more recoil because of such.

March 25, 2009, 03:50 PM
Yeah your right I wasn't even thinking about the 6mm's. I should have said commercially available or readily available.

I was talking between the .223 6.8spc 7.62x39 and 6.5. But like you stated there are always other options.

Good article here.

The rumor is there is going to be a major domestic ammo manufacture loading the Grendel soon also.

Float Pilot
March 25, 2009, 07:27 PM
I have been playing with the 6.8 SPC with experimental handloads and have now played around with a 6.5 Grendel as well.
While they are both interesting from a experimental handloader's point of view, niether is a potent hunting cartridge. Oh sure both have been used to hunt and take various game animals.

Both the 6.8spc and 6.5 Grendel have web sites devoted to lovers of those cartridges who have shot hogs, deer and all sorts of things with these rounds.

But both are hampered by the desire to place them into a standard M16/M4 receiver. The goal being to minimize the amount of modifications to rifles and field gear currently being used by the military.

The Grendel folks tend to like long barrels in order to squeeze more zap from their round,, while the 6.8 guys seem to like short barrels and think more along the lines of anti-personnel than long range hunting.

Besides being a handloader, I am also a meat hunter. I believe it would be rather unsportman like to use either of these marginal power rounds on large game.

The 260, 7-08 and 308 power range being pretty much the minimum for Alaskan hunting.

March 25, 2009, 08:49 PM
My experiences with the 6.5 Grendel was not that good. There is potential in the cartridge but it was a PITA.

AA Overwatch upper. Difficult as heck to find components to reload. Long waits from AA. Bought Wolf Gold to get cases...they wouldn't feed and turned the rifle into a single shot/hand feed. The cases bulged in the AA barrel and were unloadable.

Cartridge was finicky with over 20 loads tried. I finally gave up...the reality didn't live up to the hype for me. Too much trouble trying to get and "accurate" cartridge to be accurate.

Bulit a 6.8 SPC upper. It is not a tack driver but it is perfectly adequate accuracy wise and has more punch than the 5.56.

March 25, 2009, 10:13 PM
it has about 2x the power of a week .223 and has better ballistics. not a super weapon, but better than any other .25 cal i have shot.

March 25, 2009, 10:14 PM
wait? i thought you had to use at .30 cal or bigger to kill a deer by law.

March 26, 2009, 12:34 AM
Are elk a possibility with this cartridge?

I'm not sure if anyone's answered this for you. I have been wanting a 6.5 Grendel since I first heard about them. I'd envisioned a very similar cartridge, a necked-down 7.62x39, as a single cartridge capable of replacing both light and medium/gpmgs, as well as sniper platforms and general issue rifles.

HOWEVER, I would prefer something a little heavier for elk, unless you are going to use a long barrel, bolt action, and handloads. If you're not going to do all three, something like a .270, .30-06, or 7mm Remington Magnum with good bullets would seem a better choice.


March 26, 2009, 10:19 AM
Depending on the range your shooting the 6.5 Grendel is actually more "powerful" than the .308 due to is higher BC. The 6.5 shoots flatter and bucks the wind better than both the .308 and the 5.56.

5.56mm Mk262 77gr: BC = 0.362
7.62mm M852 168gr: BC = 0.462
7.62mm M118LR 175gr: BC = 0.496
6.5mm Grendel 123gr: BC = 0.510

March 26, 2009, 11:09 AM

I'll answer your question about taking elk with both the 6.5G and 6.8 SPC.

Mark LaRue, president of LaRue Tactical (http://stores.homestead.com/Laruetactical/StoreFront.bok) took an elk at a very long distance. Here is a link to that thread on TOS:


Harrison (Constructor) over at 68forums.com killed an elk at another long distance. Here is a link to that thread on TOS:


While both of these guys killed an elk at these distances, both are extremely good shots that practice daily. They also used premium bullets. That is what I believe the key to making a clean kill. Know your rifle, load/use the best bullet, place the shot on the mark. If you can't do ALL THREE, then don't try to take an elk or larger animal. There is also those that have taken large black bear with the 6.8 SPC and I'm sure that there are some in the 6.5G camp that have done that also.

I'm in the camp of knowing and using the best bullets for the game I'm after. I also know my limits of shooting accurately. If I feel that there is any doubt of being able to hit the mark, I won't take the shot.

Now for long range target shooting, the 6.5G is on paper the better round for punching paper. It can be loaded with premium bullets with higher BC (for those that only read/care about such things) and shoot little holes in paper at long distances. With that said, if you want a 'Target' rifle to shoot little holes in paper, it likely won't work too well (if you are truly serious about LR shooting) as a 'Hunting' rifle. Can they both be made to work together....yes, but it is more on your part, not the rifles. And if you are serious about LR shooting, you will tune your rifle for that discipline and not hunting.

The 6.8 SPC with the newer bullets can be made to shoot just as accurately as the 6.5G at LR matches. You see, it's not the bullet, but the shooter that makes the shot. The 6.8 will probably drop more and drift a little more, but those things can be accounted for if the SHOOTER does his part.

What I and others are getting at is both the 6.5G and 6.8 SPC are very good rounds for hunting animals of medium size (ie, deer, hogs, etc.) and can be used for killing larger animals with the caveat of proper bullet and proper placement. They both can be made super accurate for LR competition, usually with special barrels and bullets.

Please go to their respective sites:




and read, read, read, and read some more.....ask questions and enjoy which ever choice you get for either hunting or LR competition or both. There have been too many arguments here and on other sites about which round is 'BEST' but, really, either will be best with you when you decide which one you are going to go with. Just remember that there are a lot of people out there on the two sites that have years experience with either cartridge and can answer any and all your questions.

BTW, you will have to register at either site to get on the forums, but that is only to keep out the spammers/porn people and you don't want that anyway.

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