AR 15 in 6.5? Any info pros cons and experances.


May 23, 2010, 09:17 PM
I have my AR in 5.56. I am now looking to build one in 6.5 cal. Just looking for anyone out there that may have one. I would like any ballistic charts that anyone may have. I have also read 6.5 shoots flatter and hits harder than a 7.62. Just wondering if anyone can conferm that.

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May 23, 2010, 11:46 PM
6.5 grendal is a good round, if you reload. I prefer 6.8spc but opinions vary.
6.5G is basically a necked down 7.62x39.

6.5G has a similar trajetory to 5.56 with more energy.

IMO 6.5G has superior ballistics beyond 300m compared to the 6.8, but I am mostly using my rifle in 6.8spc for hunting. As commercial hunting ammo is available, and it is legal in my state.

Do some reading before making a decision. 6.8spc has gone through some changes (spcII), and 6.5G is basically a wildcat.


May 24, 2010, 12:12 AM
Will you be buying factory ammo? Go check out the price.
Will you be reloading? Go check out the price of brass.
Along with 500 Beo and that .450 cartridge, I wonder if 6.5 and 6.8 are among the most expensive calibers commonly available on the AR platform.

May 24, 2010, 02:29 AM
6.5 is the most appealing round other than 5.56 in the AR15 platform IMO. My brother built one in 6.5 last year and his wife took an Elk with it. Great rifle.

If you reload, I highly recommend it.

Taurus 617 CCW
May 24, 2010, 08:52 AM
The only downside to the 6.5 is the price and availability of ammunition. Good shooter with great velocity. Definitely has more punch than a 6.8.

May 24, 2010, 08:55 AM
The 6.8 is in my opinion not even an option. It pales in comparison to other choices.

The 6.5 is the best long range ar cartridge that has come down the pike so far.

The only thing holding me back, is a little more industry support.

May 24, 2010, 09:29 AM
I own a 20" 6.5 grendel. The upside to the grendel is that it was designed to shoot a wide range of bullets. It can shoot 90 grain bullets all the way up to 140 grain bullets and it can shoot them all very well. Right now the consensus is that 120-123 grain match bullets shoot best out of the grendel but there are plenty of other choices. The following link has some charts that I came up with. Before you read it though you should know that I don't normally get so animated when talking about guns. I was just getting annoyed at some people claiming that the 6.8 easily beats the grendel in performance from a 16" barrel because of its higher velocity. Its also worth noting that the bullets I compare are both match bullets. Hunting bullets may very well be a different matter as both cartridges will have lower BCs.

May 24, 2010, 09:38 AM
What is the cost of 6.5 Grendal brass? When I got into the 6.8SPC the brass was about half of the cost of the 6.5, and that was way too high. I would like to have a 6.5 Grendal, but it gets expensive feeding an AR in the 6.5/6.8 or bigger calibers.

May 24, 2010, 09:51 AM
"6.5 shoots flatter and hits harder than 7.62" in an internet myth. The 6.5 simply doesn't carry enough foot pounds of force as far with a 130gr bullet compared to a 7.62 (.308) with a 168gr. Our Boys In SWAsia have been getting hits out to a mile with it.

Industry support for the 6.5 has been helped with the introduction of the .264LBC. If anything, that highlights the whole problem. Now there is a competing name that has doubled the choices, but the result is still about 10% of the market the 6.8 enjoys. That is because the 6.5 is a long distance target round developed from the PPC design. It's a range gun caliber, it does hold the 600m record. Sure, it can be used to shoot animals, but most users didn't get it for that.

Another consideration is that optimizing the gun for it's best use means barrel lengths at least 20" or more. It's not a carbine round, and when used in 14.5 to 16" barrels, it loses enough velocity that the long distance use suffers. High ballistic coefficient bullets need long distances to pay their way, that's their point. Shooting them from a short barrel close in the majority of the time is like shooting squirrels in the woodlands with a .22-250. You can do it, most would suggest something else a lot cheaper.

Surf the forum that is set up for the discussion on 6.5 and see if the qualities of the caliber are what you want, especially what the majority of the users actually do with it. There are lots of anectdotal reports over the years of hunters using small calibers for major game, but the ethical ones seem to prefer 7mm and bigger in cases over 50mm. An elk can be shot with a .22, but facing down a 1500 pound animal makes most hunters choose something bigger - especially if other elk predators are around to take it away. I don't put much credence in small caliber kills. .22's are the poacher's favorite.

Match the caliber to what you plan to do. 6.5 is a nice long range small caliber varmint round, maybe the best prairie dog shooter yet devised. If most of the shots made are under 300m like the majority of shooters and hunters, there are a lot of other calibers to choose from. In the AR, they are all wildcats, and that makes them more expensive to build and feed than 5.56. It's not a cheap proposition.

May 24, 2010, 09:59 AM
As a Neanderthal, I am still shooting 308 or .223. across the course.

However my space age friends are shooting the 6.5 Grendel and doing outstandingly .

Last dinner, after a match, we were talking guns (duh!) and I found that the 6.5 Grendel (Turbo?) that my bud was shooting came with two bolts. And one bolt of his had already cracked a lug.

I got the idea that the 6.5 Grendel and the 6.8 cartridge use the .223 AR bolt, just the bolt face is opened up.

I you remember about bolt design you know that the bolt is sized for the load, which is calculated on the surface area of the base (or the inside base) of the cartridge times maximum breech pressure. Since the area of a circle is pie times radius squared. You increase the radius by one, less say from one to 2, you have increased the load by the square, which would be four. A 6.5 Grendel has a larger base than a .223. While I have a 6.5 Grendel on my desk, I am not going to measure the thing .

But the fact of the matter whenever you have an existing design, and you shoe horn a larger case into it, it is not unreasonable to expect lugs to crack.

May 24, 2010, 10:16 AM
Both suppliers of 6.5 sell superbolts of better material. They seem to be universally recommended. They run about $100 apiece.

Wildcat calibers seem to soak up a few more dollars to get the returns over the long haul, there's no free lunch.

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