Has the 6.5 Grendel Killed the 6.5 TCU?


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ugaarguy
September 16, 2010, 11:05 PM
I'm a T/C Contender owner, and have a 7-30 Waters T/C Custom Shop bbl. I've been reading about 7mm and 6.5 mm TCU; and how the lack of availability of 6.5mm / .264" diameter bullets at the time they were introduced, contrasted with a wide variety of readily available 7mm / .284" diameter bullets, caused the 7mm TCU to win out in popularity (and similarly the 7-30 Waters over the various 6.5-30 wildcats).

Let a couple (few?) decades elapse, during which Remington standardized 6.5-08 wildcat as the .260 Remington, and along comes Alexander Arms with their 6.5 Grendel. Now there are various widely available 6.5mm / .264" diameter bullets, and the old 6.5-.223 wildcats are given new life in the form of 6.5 Grendel.

So, it seems to me, that the 6.5 Grendel has killed the 6.5 TCU.

What say you THR? Thoughts on 6.5 Grendel v. TCU v. MPC v. other 6.5-.223 wildcats? Should the 6.5-30 get a second lease on life with the now excellent availability of 6.5mm / .284" diameter bullets, and new innovations like Hornady's flexible polymer tip bullets as seen in the LeveRevolution line?

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S. Hill
September 17, 2010, 10:38 AM
Wow, there are a lot of questions in that post!

Honestly, I thought that the TCU cartridges were already dead! I thought that they kicked the bucket with the demise of handgun metallic silhouette shooting. They were developed in an attempt to gain downrange power to knock the ram silhouettes over. The 7-30 Waters was developed for the same reason, because the .30 cal. bullets were ballistically inferior.

So, to your fundamental question, "Has the 6.5 Grendel Killed the 6.5 TCU?". I think it is like hitting a 95 year old man over the head with a lead pipe WHILE he is having a heart attack.

The first big advantage of the Grendel over the TCU cartridges is that it fits into AR-15 magazines and cycles through an assault rifle. The second big advantage is that you can buy factory ammunition, which you never could with the TCUs. These two things give the Grendel a market that the TCU cartridges never had. T/C isn't even offering Contender barrels for TCU chambering. (and I’m not sure that they ever did)

The next reason that the 6.5 and 7mm TCU cartridges are dead is because T/C came out with the Encore. You can now get a better (read "more powerful") cartridge in essentially the same package, shooting the 7mm-08 and .260 Rem. in a break-open pistol. You will find these cartridges on the shelf at almost all sporting goods stores.

And finally, it is my opinion that the 6.5-30 will always be a wildcat. Is anyone chambering for it? Polymer tipped bullet or not, I just don't see the market crying out for another small bore cartridge for their lever guns. Looking through my catalogs, I can hardly find listings for the 7-30 Waters.

So, while the 6.5 and 7mm TCU are great little cartridges, and the 7-30 Waters is okay, they will always be relegated to the bottom of the pile.

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