6.8 Spc


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TX65
January 3, 2004, 11:40 PM
Many people have inquired for a comparison of the 6.5 Grendel vs the 6.8 Remington SPC. The following is a comparison of the 6.5 Grendel with a 108 grain Lapua Scenar bullet vs the 6.8 Rem SPC with a 115 match bullet. Both bullets are of similar design and construction from equal length barrels. Comparison is based on the format of data as presented by Remington for the 6.8 SPC based on velocity, terminal energy, short range trajectory and long range trajectory. Conclusions are left to the reader.

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Gabe
January 3, 2004, 11:55 PM
Why did they use the Lapua instead of the 123 grain SMK for the Grendel test?

In any case the 6.8 is designed for CQB out of carbine barrels, match shooting was not a design criterion.

TX65
January 4, 2004, 12:06 AM
The data for the 6.8 Rem SPC is as published by Remington at http://www.remington.com. Remington chose to use a 24 inch barrel for their data publication. Therefore, the data was presented with both cartridges off a 24 inch barrel. Both the 6.5 Grendel and 6.8 Rem SPC exhibit similar velocity when fired from shorter barrels (16 inch = 2650 fps).

The 6.5mm 108 Lapua and the 6.8mm 115 Sierra are both bullets of match HPBT design to give as close of a comparison as possible.

The 6.5 mm Lapua 123 Scenar could also be projected into a comparison if desired with it's .547 ballistic coefficient vs. the 6.8mm 115 Sierra with it's .340 ballistic coefficient. Also, since Lapua is manufacturing the 6.5 Grendel brass for Alexander Arms, it would be appropriate to use their factory match bullet rather then a Sierra.

Sierra does not offer a 123 Matchking (Only a 107,120,140,142 and 155 Matchking in 6.5mm)

Lee F
January 4, 2004, 01:08 AM
TX65,
Help me out here. It looks like sometime during 2004 uppers for AR's will be hitting the market in both of these calibers. Correct so far? It also appears that we are going to have a 6mm Remington verses .243 Winchester situation? Am I off track in believing that in the long term only one of these cartridges will make it? From everything I've read the Grendel is ballistically superior, but the buying public isn't often concerned with the facts (see above example).

I would like to believe that the better cartridge would "make it" but also wonder if the fact that Remington loads one and Lapua the other won't be one of the primary deciding factors. One thing is for sure, one of my AR's will be wearing an upper in these calibers. Thanks for any insights.

TX65
January 4, 2004, 01:27 AM
Hi Lee,

Alexander Arms has already been accepting orders from distributors and dealers for 6.5 Grendel Rifles and Uppers with first deliveries set for late February / early March following the SHOT show. At the same time, brass, loaded ammo, reloading dies and magazines will be shipping.

As a testament to Alexander Arms, the 50 Beowulf has had thousands of rifles / uppers produced for what is clearly a close quarters maximum power round. The 6.5 Grendel has much greater versitility for target shooters, hunters and professionals requring high accuracy and performance in the AR15 platform.

The initial release of the 6.5 Grendel will be for the AR15, but other rifle types are to come.

For what it is worth, the PPC has been around for 27 years with brass never being made by Winchester or Remington and yet, the PPC owns almost ever Benchrest world record to this day. Lapua has a long history and they have staying power in the global market, not to mention, they make probably what is considered by many to be the finest production brass available.

Badger Arms
January 4, 2004, 04:38 AM
Look, I like the idea but I don't see that there is any functional difference between the two. I'd prefer a 6mm, but it looks like 6.5 or 6.8 is the way it's going. I'd have to vote for the 6.5 if I had to, but I'd like a longer case with more case taper myself. Preferably so long you couldn't fit it into an M4 carbine... DRAT, that'd mean a new gun too! :uhoh:

JWH
January 4, 2004, 11:00 AM
Do you have a similar chart comparing the 6.5 in 123gr Lapua Scenar with the 6.8 in 115gr SMK?

John

TX65
January 4, 2004, 11:14 AM
As requested, here is the comparison for the 6.5mm Lapua 123 vs 6.8 Sierra 115. Again this would be for production ammunution in a production rifle, NOT a match rifle with handloads.

Match rifles with tighter throats and higher pressure loading levels return higher levels of performance.

MLC
January 4, 2004, 12:18 PM
Gabe:
I thought the 6.8 was designed to enhance lethality from CQB out to looong shots since the 5.56 wasn't cutting the mustard.
Ignoring all AWB 2004 ramifications, Does the 6.5 Grendel feed in a standard AR magazine,does it require new followers?
I'm sold on the concept but I need my rifle to have a reliable food source.

TX65
January 4, 2004, 12:37 PM
MLC,

The 6.5 Grendel feeds very reliably from AR15 magazines. The production magazines have the feed lips formed in the original stamping for the dimensions of the Grendel case (benefit a manufacturer has), but in my 3 + years of shooting the 6.5 PPC in an AR15 (thousands of rounds), my magazines were nothing more then standard 223 magazines with minor tuning of the feed lips. The minor tuning I did do took no more than a couple of minutes per magazine.

One of the benefits of what Alexander Arms has done is they have improved the entire system for the Grendel cartridge. As far as the rifle, all parts are standard AR15 .223 Remington except for the bolt assembly, barrel extension and of course the barrel.

A complete upper with 24 inch stainless steel barrel, composite free float hand guard, extended scope rail and a magazine will cost less then $1,000.00 from an Alexander Arms dealer. Additional uppers and complete rifles with shorter barrels will be forthcoming in 2004 as well.

Of course, whether someone is wanting a 6.5 Grendel or 6.8 SPC, the new production formed magazines for both cartridges are limited to 10 rounds for civilian sale given current laws. Military and Law Enforcement are able to get high capacity magazines.

WalkerTexasRanger
January 4, 2004, 02:35 PM
TX65,

To the best of your knowledge, will a "civillian" be able to look at the difference in the feed lips of the new 10 round clip (inculded with the purchase of a 6.5 Grendel upper) and be able to determine how and alter the feed lips on any of their current supply of AR mags? This is, OF COURSE, assuming that the modification does not effect the performance of the mag when loaded with .223. I.e. as long as the clip works with what is was made for, .223, one would not have "manufactured" any new high cap clips....

Thanks!!

TX65
January 4, 2004, 04:44 PM
WalkerTXRanger,

The key to tuning any magazine whether it be for the 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC or even .223 Remington is look at a magazine with a round loaded that does work and pay special attention to the position and angle of the cartridge.

Using that loaded working magazine as a model, take your other magazine and tune the feed lips to duplicate the angle and position of the cartridge to match your working magazine.

The regulation relating to magazines is they must continue to work in the RIFLE they were designed for. The best example that creates confusion for some people is as follows,

The Armalite AR10 uses modified M14 / M1A magazines which after modification work in the AR10. However, to remain legal, the magazine must continue to work in the M14/M1A rifle (the RIFLE they were designed for). If they don't continue to work in the M14 / M1A and only work in the AR10, they are no longer pre-ban M14 / M1A magazines, they are now new manufacture AR10 magazines and in violation of the law.

Back to the AR15, since you are working with an original pre-ban AR15 magazine and you are continuing to use it in an AR15 rifle, you are OK. It is important to remember that the AR15 has been produced for years in 7.62x39 as well as .223 Remington. I don't know where people get the idea the AR15 is an exclusive .223 Remington rifle.

Of course, when in doubt, a friendly phone call to your local BATF agent can set your mind at ease.

Lee F
January 4, 2004, 05:04 PM
TX65,
Thanks for the information. I think getting the most performance out of a platform is what's most important for me. The 6.5 Grendel seems to be the solution. Do you have links to sites with brass, dies, etc for sale? I've been to the Alexander Arms site already.

TX65
January 4, 2004, 05:06 PM
Hi Lee,

Just send me an email and I will be happy to direct you to a location when they begin accepting consumer orders. Right now, Distributors and Dealers are getting their stocking orders in place.

Lee F
January 5, 2004, 02:15 PM
I just compared the 6.8 SPC against the .243 and got a pleasant surprise.

http://www.remington.com/ammo/ballistics/centerfire/comp_ballistics_results.asp

Taking into account the larger bullet diameter this should make an excellent deer round at practical ranges. What I like most is .243 performance in the AR-15 frame. Why use a AR-10 for .243 if the AR-15 can duplicate it!

JShirley
January 5, 2004, 02:36 PM
Lee, this is already available in .243 WSSM in an AR package.

Lee F
January 5, 2004, 02:46 PM
JShirley,
Thanks for the heads up. Who makes a 243 WSSM Upper for the AR-15 frame? That's good news because all I knew about was the AR-10's configured that way.

Harry Tuttle
January 5, 2004, 06:02 PM
http://www.triplebreakproducts.com/images/Olympic/pcr8magloadedmagtop.jpg

http://www.triplebreakproducts.com/Olympic/pcr-8mag.htm
Based on the PCR-8 model the PCR-8 MAG will be available in all the new Winchester Super Short Magnum cartridges. We do this by manufacturing a proprietary barrel extension, bolt, bolt carrier and upper receiver. These parts are already manufactured in quantity but because of insurance requirements we are waiting on SAAMI approval for the cartridges before we go into production.

Andrew Wyatt
January 5, 2004, 06:16 PM
the 6.8 and 6.5 both provide greater magazine capacity and barrel life than the .243 WSSM.

As an aside, can a mini-14 be rebarrelled in 6.8?

JShirley
January 8, 2004, 01:28 PM
Lee,

Olympic Arms. It is true that mag capacity will be less, but I can already find .243 WSSM in my local gun store.
Ah- thanks, Harry.
John

MLC
January 12, 2004, 12:47 PM
This is the first I've seen from Remington on the 6.8 SPC:
Rem. match ammo (http://www.remington.com/ammo/centerfire/premier_match.htm)
They also have it listed in the ballistics section (http://www.remington.com/ammo/ballistics/ballistics.htm) .

salty
February 4, 2007, 12:29 PM
Check ASI out - they have been continually broadening their product selection over the past 3 years.

Bigfoot
February 4, 2007, 01:00 PM
Time travel can be fun.:) I liked the part where Arne said Sierra doesn't make a 123 SMK. Fast foreward three years and now they do make it, and it's a good un.

Lobotomy Boy
February 4, 2007, 02:01 PM
I've been kicking around the idea of a 6.8 upper for about a year, but the price of ammo keeps me from buying. I also worry that the caliber won't catch on and I will end up with an expensive orphan. The same is true of 6.5.

For me the likelihood of the caliber sticking around for the long haul is more important than the ballistics. If one or the other becomes more widely available, I'll choose that one.

BAT1
February 4, 2007, 04:32 PM
This round is very promising, as I love the AR platform. The 123 gr round has a B/C of .547. This upper from A/A will be my next buy. I love to hunt deer and and this is the round. The 6.8 is great to 200 yds, and can be belt fed for machine guns, [suppressing fire] but the 6.5 makes the ideal sniper/deer round. They are hitting water jugs at 800 yds with this round.

salty
November 6, 2007, 10:04 PM
The 115 gr. OTM in Remington case #34 CCI primer and 26.5 grains of Varget is a good starting load for those looking to break in a new barrel. Varget is very similar to H4895 and just a bit slower than H335.

GunTech
November 7, 2007, 12:27 AM
The comparison of a 6.5 bullet with a 6.8 with 0.200 lower BC is not a very equitable comparison. I'd also like to know the source of the 6.5 Grendel velocity. I've owned/own riflkes in both calibers, and Alexander Arms published velocities -- well, I don't know how they are getting them with safe pressures.

Alexander Arms is pretty good at publishing tests that are hevily slanted to show the superiority of 6.5 to rounds like the 308. Of course they compare a 0.600 + BC bukllet with US military M80 ball - hardly and apples to apples comparison. If you load the 308 with the 155gn Lapua Scenar with a muzzle velocity of 2800 fps, the Grendel doesn't look nearly as impressive.

If you compare 6.5 Grendel to 6.8 SPC using similar bullets (for example hunting bullets) the difference isn't that dramatic, and only starts to matter at about 300 yards. Try the search function, I've posted the data previously.

Certainly when looking at the rounds for hunting, the Lapua Scenar or even SMK are not suitable for hunting by any stretch of the imagination.

As far as comparing 6.5 to 243, they aren't even close in apples to apples comparisons. If one looks at the best 6.5 bulet, probably the 144gn Lapua Scenar with a BC of 0.636, vs the best 0.243 bullet, probably the Berger 115gn VLD with a BC of 0.595, here's how they stack up from a 24 inch barrel.

At the muzzle, the 243 is going 2838fps vs. the 6.5 Grendel with a muzzle velocity of 2345fps - almost 500 fps difference.

Muzzle energy is respectively 2051 and 1758 ft-lbs for 243 and 6.5
At 300 yards its 1697 vs 1439. 243 has dropped 20.7 inches vs 30.4 for 6.5 G

At 1000 yards the 6.5 Grendel has 862 ft-lbs of energy and has dropped 402 inches. At the same distance, the 243 has 1037 ft-lbs of energy and has dropped 272 inches.

Not even close.

While the 6.5 Grendel is undoubtably a very good intermediate round, some seem to imbue it with magical properties. In reality, if you do a fair comparison, it's just a very good intermediate round.

When you look at claimed ballistics, look very carefully to see what is being compared.

Hauptmann
November 7, 2007, 01:03 AM
A very good post GunTech.

The 6.5 Grendel is high ballistic coefficient elogated target round that was only advertized as an alternative to the 5.56 NATO after it Bill Alexander saw that the 6.8 SPC was getting a lot of attention as a military cartridge replacement. So, out came the ballistic tables and with exaggerated data and apples to oranges comparisons. If you don't want to call it lying, it is certainly misleading.

The Firearms Institute tested the Grendel extensively and determined that it was inadequate "overall" as a military cartridge replacement for the 5.56. Several problems were cited such as the case shoulder and location which prevented it for being used in belt fed weapons, and made is less reliable in box magazines than the 5.56 or 6.8. However, the primary problem was in its terminal effects. With its elongated bullet profile it lacked the distal weight distribution necessary in a Hague compliant load to rapidly tumble in tissue which is necessary for shearing force to fragment. The target window for maximized terminal effects is 4" of penetration in which the bullet should reach is peak fragmentation. The 6.8 regularly begins its tumble cycle at 2" of penetration and reaches violent fragmentation at 4-5". The Grendel, with its elongated bullet, high stability due to even weight distribution, and high ballistic coefficient does not begin its tumble cycle until the 7" mark and does not fragment until it has reached 12-14" of penetration. That is THREE times the failure standard. Very similar results were displayed in the 6.5 Carcano which was used extensively in WWI. The bullet exited the body before it would tumble resulting in ice pick 6.5mm holes.

The only way to cause the Grendel to have a rapid tumble is to increase the weight of the bullet in the rear so that as the bullet loses spin stability it will turn over so that the heavier rear leads. You can do this by incorporating a hollow tip, but that is MUCH more expensive to manufacture and is not Hague Convention legal.

Another thing to consider is that in combat you are highly unlikely to engage an enemy effectely over 100 yards. The average distance for identifying friend or foe for someone with 20/20 vision is only 200 yards. The overwhelming majority of infantry combat of the 20th century and into the 21st century occured/occurs under 200 yards. Even in the trenches of WWI the average engagement range was under 200 yards. Combat is fast, confusing, involves cover, and no one stands still long enough for you to take careful aim unless you are a sniper. After that first shot, the game is on and rest assured that every foe in your field of vision is now behind cover and on the move. So, there is absoluted NO point in utilizing a cartridge that is maximized for ranges over 500m like the Grendel. Ranges over 500m are handled by special weapon teams like medium MGs, snipers, and company artillery.

You really won't encounter very many veterans that want a 800m weapon platform for general infantry combat use. Sure there are a few here and there, but the majority of them want a light weapon system maximized for ranges up to 200m.


If you are looking for a sporting cartridge, then the Grendel will work just fine. If you are wanting a service cartridge that hits harder than the 5.56, stick with the 6.8 SPC for ranges up to 300m and consider using 7.62 NATO for ranges beyond that.

648E
November 7, 2007, 01:58 AM
I found a good comparison for the 6.8 SPC...my beloved .257 Roberts. I had no idea the cartridges were so similar, though the 6.8 does win.

http://www.remington.com/products/ammunition/ballistics/comparative_ballistics_results.aspx?data=PRC68R4*R257

:)

Tony Williams
November 7, 2007, 03:22 AM
The only way to cause the Grendel to have a rapid tumble is to increase the weight of the bullet in the rear so that as the bullet loses spin stability it will turn over so that the heavier rear leads. You can do this by incorporating a hollow tip, but that is MUCH more expensive to manufacture and is not Hague Convention legal.
Or you can do what the British did with the .303" Mk VII Ball (the standard round in both world wars) and fill the front part of the jacket with light alloy rather than lead. Worked very well, apparently.

If you're just looking for a military assault rifle/LMG round, I agree that the 6.8mm looks fine. The advantage of the 6.5 (provided that you use a suitable, fast-tumbling bullet design) is that you can match the 6.8 in short-range effectiveness plus get close enough to the 7.62x51's long-range performance to replace that too - so you need only one family of weapons rather than two.

I accept that the case shape of the Grendel has been seriously constrained by the maximum length limit, and is not ideal for a military round. But when the next generation of small arms comes along, they will probably be using plastic cased or caseless telescoped ammo, and that will be the opportunity to consider one rifle/MG round with a calibre and ballistics similar to those of the Grendel.

Soybomb
November 7, 2007, 04:51 AM
Alexander Arms is pretty good at publishing tests that are hevily slanted to show the superiority of 6.5 to rounds like the 308.
Weren't several of their tests also with longer barreled bolt guns with the 6.5 loaded to higher pressures?

GunTech
November 7, 2007, 10:46 AM
AA published there comparison using a 24 inch barrel and velocities that could only be obtailed with very heavy - potentially dangerous - loads. While you can run pressures in excess of 62,000 PSI in a bolt gun, the AR-15/M16 is really limited to about 55,000 PSI. It's rather disengenuous to talk about the 6.5 Grendel in a 20 or 16 inch AR, and use figures from a 24 inch, high pressure bolt gun.

By contrast, most of the figures for the 6.8 were derived from 14.5 inch M4s and 16 inch bbl M16s and using FMJ ammunition - the same sort of condition one would encounter if the round was adopted for military use.

I am still waiting to see 6.5G performance with military type ball ammunition. I suspect the numbers will be rather disappointing.

6.5 Grendel is certainly a better round for target shooting, and has potention as a light hunting round as it outperforms 7.62x39 and weapons in that caliber can be easily converted.

But it is not a wonder round that can replace the 7.62x51. And I have yet to see 6.5 Grendel loaded in an factory firearm, or see ammunition on gun store shelves. By contrast, Ruger is now making the Mini-14 in 6.8, Remington offers a version of the 700, and ammo is on gunstore shelves.

Hauptmann
November 7, 2007, 11:14 AM
Or you can do what the British did with the .303" Mk VII Ball (the standard round in both world wars) and fill the front part of the jacket with light alloy rather than lead. Worked very well, apparently.

If you're just looking for a military assault rifle/LMG round, I agree that the 6.8mm looks fine. The advantage of the 6.5 (provided that you use a suitable, fast-tumbling bullet design) is that you can match the 6.8 in short-range effectiveness plus get close enough to the 7.62x51's long-range performance to replace that too - so you need only one family of weapons rather than two.

I accept that the case shape of the Grendel has been seriously constrained by the maximum length limit, and is not ideal for a military round. But when the next generation of small arms comes along, they will probably be using plastic cased or caseless telescoped ammo, and that will be the opportunity to consider one rifle/MG round with a calibre and ballistics similar to those of the Grendel.

According to Fackler's work, the .303 begins its tumble cycle between 4-5" of penetration. It reaches its peak terminal effects at 10" of penetration which is more than double the failure window. The .303 is also shorter relative to the bullet diameter than the Grendel which gives it a heavier rear regardless of the bullet construction material used. Even if the Grendel used a light alloy such as aluminum, it would still not be enough to allow the Grendel to begin its tumble cycle within the 2-3" mark. The Grendel bullet is just too long.

As far as caseless ammo goes, I'll believe it when I see it. The metallic cartridge has too many advantages to it that would be lost if caseless propellant is used. The metallic cartridge acts as a heat sink which takes heat away from the weapon during ejection, it protects the propellant more effectively in a hot chamber, it is more durable, it keeps the propellant more protected from the elements, and it swells and seals the chamber from escaping gases during ignition. All of these advantages would be lost for only the advantage of weight reduction.......likely not going to happen.

The only caseless ammo I see becoming a success would be gauss technology which can yield between 2-4 times the velocity of modern gun powders.

Tony Williams
November 7, 2007, 12:02 PM
As far as caseless ammo goes, I'll believe it when I see it. The metallic cartridge has too many advantages to it that would be lost if caseless propellant is used. The metallic cartridge acts as a heat sink which takes heat away from the weapon during ejection, it protects the propellant more effectively in a hot chamber, it is more durable, it keeps the propellant more protected from the elements, and it swells and seals the chamber from escaping gases during ignition. All of these advantages would be lost for only the advantage of weight reduction.......likely not going to happen.

Let me put it a different way - it is more likely to happen than the adoption of another metal-cased rifle/MG round. If the army were ever to propose a conventional replacement for the 5.56mm and/or 7.62mm (whether it's a 6.8mm, 6.5mm, whatever), they would never get it past the bean counters because they would never be able to show big enough advantages to justify the huge cost of a changeover.

The one thing which is likely to persuade the army that it's worth fighting for a new round would be if it also offered big weight advantages - that's why they started up the current LSAT programme, after all. And you won't get such weight advantages from conventional metal-cased ammo - you have to go to plastic cased (or, better, caseless) to get that. So IMO, it's either plastic-cased/caseless, or we're stuck with 5.56mm + 7.62mm until someone perfects the phaser...

GunTech
November 7, 2007, 01:00 PM
+1 Tony,

Given how little impact the infantry rifle actually has on combat casulries, the bean counters don't even see the rifle as an imporatant weapon - although the infantryman certainly does.

It's worth looking back at the ACR program of the 1980s. While there were some interesting developments, including the caseless G11, no rifle fielded showed significant improvements over the currently issued weapon (M16).

While caseless ammunition is still in developement (and has been since the mid 1950s), the new focus is on smart munitions as used by the XM-25 and XM-307. These 'smart' bursting weapons show significant improvement in hit probability over current 'linear' weapon systems, and allow targeting personnel in built up areas who are indoors or behind cover. This will be a significant factor in future couter-insurgency operations, which are likely to be the type of wars of the future.

Such bursting weapons offer advantages even over electromagneticly directed projectiles and even directed energy weapons, which are still basically linear, point target weapons.

The reality is that we have reached a plateau in small arms development. There's really no where to take the projectile throwing rifle except incrimental improvements. The next 'big thing' is likely to be a new class of weapons firing smart projectiles.

ElectroThermal or electromechanical weapons may have a future if body armor becomes common, as the best current state of the art body armor can defeat most armor piercing rounds. ET and EM guns have the potential to deliver extreme velocities that may be required in order to defeat the body armor of the future.

BoomerTG1
November 7, 2007, 09:51 PM
now the part about the tumbling and fragmenting is completely untrue about the grendel. take a look at the SMK pics. the norma round didn't do very well, thats true, but don't make such sweeping statements.

if the grendel duplicates the .308 with match bullets, i don't know yet i just received my grendel only a little while ago and haven't had a chance to take it out to ranges longer than 100 yards.

and when did the Firearms Institute test the grendel? link or anyway to verify it? not accusing you of anything, i'm just curious because if they did then i would be very interested in reading the report.

Hauptmann
November 7, 2007, 10:19 PM
Nope, don't have access to the report. Authorized personel like Gary Roberts who is a trusted member of the ballistics community does and he is willing to share some testing information.

The tumbling and fragmentation aspect of ANY bullet is governed by the law of physics. If you are referring to the testing pics I've seen using green dye, I have not seen any credible confirmation as to whether those tests were even done using standardized FBI protocals with tight controls on gel temperature and proper calibration. I have not seen anyone from the ballistics community sign off on the validity of those tests and they are not to be trusted.

If the Grendel had such great terminal effects in Hague compliant form, why hasn't AA does their own standardized testing and published the results. In fact, I have not see any reference from AA regarding terminal effects testing......probably because they know that it will make the Grendel look bad.

Bigfoot
November 7, 2007, 10:39 PM
I have no dog in this fight.

Here are the tests of the 123 grain Matchking Grendel load that Speer conducted, judge for yourself.

That's Speer the bullet manufacturer BTW.

Note that the 123 gr SMK is an open tipped match bullet. Just like the 6.8 SPC uses. The 77 gr SMK is also used in the Mk262 load for the 5.56, JAG and Hague approved.

Hauptmann
November 7, 2007, 10:57 PM
If it is indeed Speer, then yes they are credible. However, if you look at the peak terminal damage it is at 7", that is still almost TWICE the failure rate of the target window of 4". The 6.8 is capable of reaching maximum terminal effects at 4", the 5.56 usually at 5", and the 7.62 NATO at 5".

So, why exactly is there bragging about this?

BoomerTG1
November 7, 2007, 11:13 PM
those bullets can be classified as "open tip match" bullets, i thought they let that slide since there are reports of the sierra 77 gr being used in the current conflicts. not sure if that is true or not but if it is, then i would think the 6.5 OTM bullets would be legal too...

all the gel that i've seen that's been shot by 6.8 spc have also been with an OTM or a hunting bullet, like the Grendel. there are probably other tests out there that i am not aware of, if so, enlighten me

Bigfoot
November 7, 2007, 11:22 PM
Both cases hold about 35 grains water. Loaded to the same pressure and from the same barrel length they both reach just above 2600 fps with their 115-120 grain bullets. Bill Alexander is adamant about keeping pressures below 50,000 PSI in the Grendel.

The 6.8SPC 110 VMAX BC goes .370, the Hornady 115 OTM .34.

The 6.5G 123 SMKs BC is .510. This and the larger bullet choice is the only advantage here.

I agree that the 6.8 SPCs Hornady OTM bullet is oh so slightly better for defence. SMKs usually have a bit slower yaw cycle than Hornadys. The new Berger 120 gr 6.5mm OTM bullet might frag faster than the SMK with it's thinner J4 jacket. They market it as a hunting bullet on par with Ballistic Tips.

Still The 123 SMK is very impressive and I fear that we might be making too much of the difference. Apparently so does Gary Roberts as here is his quote on the 123 SMK load.

"Just in case anyone missed it, I will repeat myself: It appears that both 6.5 mm Grendel and 6.8 mm SPC offer similar outstanding terminal performance in 14.5-16” barrels that is FAR superior to any 5.56 mm loads. I'll be very happy with either one."

For the sake of comparison here are some of my favorite pics from Gary Roberts site.

Make mine a .308 but I'd feel confident holding either a 6.5 or 6.8.

Edit: The 6.8 SPC bullet in the first test photo is not the JAG approved OTM. Also note that Gary calls it an AMAX bullet. I've always laughed at this as any reloader can tell you that Hornady only makes a 110 VMAX. Apparently it's ok to shoot a bad guy with a tipped target bullet but not a tipped varmint bullet. See how both sides of the 6.8/6.5 debate shade things thier way a bit? :)

HorseSoldier
November 8, 2007, 03:20 AM
those bullets can be classified as "open tip match" bullets, i thought they let that slide since there are reports of the sierra 77 gr being used in the current conflicts. not sure if that is true or not but if it is, then i would think the 6.5 OTM bullets would be legal too...

Mk 262 5.56mm ammunition and M118LR 7.62x51 ammunition are both OTM. The legal justification for the use of either is that the format is employed for superior accuracy in sniping weapons, not to cause undue suffering or to enhance lethality, etc., which would violate the Hague convetions, etc etc etc. Using the same logic, 6.5 Grendel or 6.8 Rem SPC would be just as legal in OTM format.

Hauptmann
November 8, 2007, 10:49 AM
"Just in case anyone missed it, I will repeat myself: It appears that both 6.5 mm Grendel and 6.8 mm SPC offer similar outstanding terminal performance in 14.5-16” barrels that is FAR superior to any 5.56 mm loads. I'll be very happy with either one."

For the sake of comparison here are some of my favorite pics from Gary Roberts site.

Make mine a .308 but I'd feel confident holding either a 6.5 or 6.8.

Edit: The 6.8 SPC bullet in the first test photo is not the JAG approved OTM. Also note that Gary calls it an AMAX bullet. I've always laughed at this as any reloader can tell you that Hornady only makes a 110 VMAX. Apparently it's ok to shoot a bad guy with a tipped target bullet but not a tipped varmint bullet. See how both sides of the 6.8/6.5 debate shade things thier way a bit?

There are some things that I don't agree with Doc on. Such as the theory that the 7x46mm is the ultimate assault rifle cartridge, or that the Grendel is in the same realm as the 6.8 for common combat ranges. Roberts is highly credible and has the credentials to back them up, but like everything else in life not all experts agree with each other 100%. The Firearms Institute is the merging of many minds(not just Roberts) and their conclusions were as I stated earlier. If 3+4=7, and you are wanting the answer of 4, you don't ignore the fact that 3+4=7 and say that it is just as good as equaling 4. The standards were set, and the Grendel didn't come close enough to beat out the 6.8, the 5.56, or the 7.62 NATO in terminal effects.

The only criteria I can fathom that Roberts was talking about was barrier penetration were the 6.8 and Grendel are pretty much equal. In that regard, yes they are both indeed equal and BOTH are better alternatives to the 5.56. I suggest that you ask Roberts again what he meant by that. Terminal effects, barrier penetration, or both.

Funderb
November 9, 2007, 01:23 PM
Harry turtle:
Does that cartridge look as humourous to you as it does to me?
It makes me laugh.

but seriously, a cart. that shape has got to run into a feeding problem fairly often.

GunTech
November 9, 2007, 04:03 PM
I am alson not convinced that 7x46 is the ultimate caliber. Looking at the numbers, it looks like too much recoil for burst or automatic fire, and as far as penetration, the 6.5 bullets look to have the edge on pentration.

The biggest issue with the 6.5 is the lack of a good FMJ bullet. There's no reason why a well designed bullet with a deep canneleur and thin kacjet wouldn't perform similarly to M193 or M855 in tissue. My general complaints about 6.5 Grendel have to do with the lack of body taper and the steep shoulder. As long as you are stuffing a round into an M16 magazine, you aren't going to have huge gains over 5.56 without compromise somewhere else.

If you look at 6.8 and 6.5 Grendel with comparable bullets (i.e. similar weight and BC), there really isn't that much difference. 6.5 has a slight advantage, but it also has a slightly larger case. 6.5 Grendel does have more flexibility sinch it can be loaded with bullets from 80gn up throu 144gn, whereas the 6.8 only has a few bullets can be used, basically limited to 115gn or less.

The comparison of 6.5 Grendel to rounds like the 6.5 Carcano or 6.5 Mannlicher-Schoenauer are really Germain because the latter two used round nosed bullets which don't upset do to the uniform mass distribution. All modern spitzer type bullets have the center of gravity to the rear of the center of aerodynamic pressure, which cause non-expanding type bullets to flip over and go tail first through tissue.

The biggest strike against 6.5 Grendel is the lack of factory rifles, as well as the lack of ammunition. Now that Ruger has added 6.8 to the Mini-14 line, there's a chance for 6.8 to pick up a little steam. That is not to say that 6.8 has any real ballistic advantage over 6.5 Grendel - in fact the reverse is true. But Alexander Arms erred in trying to make 6.5 Grendel a propreitary round rather than submitting it to SAAMI.

Both round have a real potential outside of the custom AR-15, if only someone will manufacture an appropriately sized rifle. There's no point in a Model 700 or Model 7 in 6.8 when the same rifle can be chambered in 243 or 260. But a small rifle like the CZ-527 or Remington 799 in eithjer caliber would make a superb rifle for a youth, woman, or anyone who wants a super light rifle.

If CZ were to offer the 527 in either caliber, fitted with a synthetic stock and weighing around 5-5.5 pounds, I bet they could sell a few (and it would be easy to do).

BoomerTG1
November 9, 2007, 11:09 PM
i also would like to see a FMJ 6.5 bullet for the grendel. there is a 120 gr. norma FMJ but i haven't been able to find it anywhere.

doesn't the .308 not have much case taper either? it feeds fine

GunTech
November 9, 2007, 11:27 PM
About 20 minutes of a degree on the 308. The Grendel is around 16 minutes of a degrees, IIRC. Compare that to the (in)famous 7.62x39 with its 1.5 degree case taper and 16 degree shoulder. The design of the M43 probably plays a big part in the AK's reliability.

Bigfoot
November 11, 2007, 07:44 AM
I just read that Hornady is coming out with a 120 gr AMAX bullet that looks ready made for the 6.5G. Remember that the 155 AMAX is the best performer for the .308 and the 110 VMAX in 6.8SPC.

Tipped bullets are often the best soft tissue performers. For the 6.5G we have the 95 gr VMAX, the 100 gr Ballistic Tip, the 120 Ballistic Tip(which is a bit fragile for deer hunting even at 6.5G velocities) and the new 120 AMAX.

For barrior penetration premiums and bonded bullets work well. In 6.5mm there is the 100 Partition, 125 Partition, 120 TSX, 130 Interbond, 130 Accubond, 130 Scirocco, and the 140 Partition.

Both cartridges appear to be civilian only at least in the near time frame and the 6.5G has a huge advantage in civilian bullets. Bullet construction isn't voodoo anymore. I doubt that there will be a too-long-of-neck problem in gel tests using a tipped bullet in the 6.5G.

BoomerTG1
November 11, 2007, 12:45 PM
i think that there is also a 110 grain banded solid made by barnes

24kshooter
November 14, 2007, 09:18 AM
I view the 6.8 as a replacement for my 7.62 x 39 's as a primary CQB defense rifle and as an alternative to my 5.56 Nato for walk around (16" carbine) varmit hunting. The more I shoot the round the more I enjoys it's multipurpose role. Easy to shoot and reload for. The 6.5 Grendel IMO is outstanding as a long range varmit, bench or mid range big game cartridge but is in a different catagory than the mid-power role traditionally filled by the X 39.

Grendelizer
November 14, 2007, 01:36 PM
The 6.5 Grendel IMO is outstanding as a long range varmit, bench or mid range big game cartridge but is in a different catagory than the mid-power role traditionally filled by the X 39.

What is your rationale for saying this?

Are you saying the 6.5 Grendel can't do what the 7.62x39 can do?

John

GunTech
November 14, 2007, 01:55 PM
When using hunting bullets, there really isn't much difference between 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel - Grendel has a slight advantage thanks to a wider range of bullets. However, it's hard to find 6.5 Grendel ammo at your local gun shop.

woof
November 14, 2007, 02:15 PM
I'm curious also. The above question was whether you were saying the Grendel (or the 6.8) couldn't do what x39 can. Seems to me either would be equally as effective on deer and more versatile beyond that, yes?

Bigfoot
November 14, 2007, 09:18 PM
Bullet update, Nosler will offer a .277 110 gr Accubond next year.

The 6.8 SPC just got a little better.

SDDL-UP
November 15, 2007, 12:33 AM
GunTech,

The data I've seen on the 7x46 looks a little hot also. I think the 7x46 may be close to the ultimate combat round but think a 139gr. bullet at between 2550 and 2600 FPS. They could offer special purpose rounds similar to M118, pushing a 150gr. boat tail to say 2650 in a 24" barrel bolt action. Maybe?

I like to see all these options being discussed.

GunTech
November 15, 2007, 10:30 AM
My concern is recoil. A fast 7mm looks great, but may end up being uncontrollable for burst or auto fire. Keep in mind that the 7.62 Russian is a 123gn bullet at about 2400 fps.

I played around with 6.5x45 (6.5 is right between 223 and 308) but went with a 100gn FMJ at 3000 fps. for LR applications, the 123gn match has an exceptional BC (510) and heavier bullets in the 130-144 gn weight exceed 0.600 by a good piece. To get equivalent BC in a 7mm, you have to go to 168gns.

SDDL-UP
November 15, 2007, 02:23 PM
Guntech,

A different means to the same end. What is telling in these discussions is the utter lack of people advocating a smaller caliber. Why no 20 cal. Super Streak at 3,500 FPS? Because most people realize that there are benefits to be had with larger calibers, mostly .264, .277, and .284.

Do I think we could adopt one caliber for everything? No. I think a lot of things will remain 7.62x51 for a long, long, time. We COULD adopt a new cartridge that replaces the 5.56 and 7.62 for infantry rifles and even infantry portable belt feds, but I think different loadings would be beneficial. Tactical long range stuff is special stuff anyway so no reason it couldn't be a 6.5 or 7mm loaded with a different bullet to a slightly higher velocity. No reason we couldn't have a dedicated load for the belt feds too, something that you could use in an infantry rifle but would be a little hotter than regular stuff.

The primary concern is performance of the infantry rifle and especially the M4 carbine. The fix is in going to a larger caliber with more power, while still being somewhat controllable in three round burst. Using bullets with a high BC will allow fexibility of the cartridge, but for distance it will likely be a special round anyway. I guess I'm trying to say that getting maximum BC in the "standard" rifle isn't going to be a priority.

GunTech
November 15, 2007, 07:33 PM
Agreed. The 100gn 6.5 at 3000 that I mentioned actually has a fairly low BC, but it obviously has more energy than the current M855, better BC and better sectional density for improved penetration. I would reserve the 123 or 139gn high BC bullet for DMR.

This whole topic came up earlier and was dissected in detail. You might search old posts.

To get back to 6.8, it seems an interesting intermediate cartridge and may stick around for a while thanks to Ruger's new Mini-14. I think 6.5 Grendel is destined to remain a specialty cartridge unless some big time maker adopts it. These cartridges are similar to the redoubtable 257 Roberts, but advertising money and mindshare seem to favor the magnums. Too bad, because either could make a nice little mountain rifle. If Remington were to chamber their 799 mini-mauser in 6.8, or CZ their 527 in 6.8 or 6.5 Grendel, theyt could create a nice little market for a sub 6 lbs easy to pack deer rifle.

salty
December 1, 2007, 01:10 PM
Fast forward the thread almost a year - we now find 6.5 and 6.8 complete rifles and single uppers are available from a variety of sources. Ammunition and reloading supplies are available. Several animals have been harvested by both calibers and at least the 6.8 is being used in sandy locals. All in all a good year for both of these midcaliber newcomers.

Lobotomy Boy
December 1, 2007, 01:16 PM
So it looks like both calibers are here to stay? I've been holding out on getting a 6.8 upper until I was certain I wouldn't be buying an orphan.

salty
December 1, 2007, 02:03 PM
I enjoy both of the calibers and I believe they will both be around in the future as they have different capabilities. The 6.5 Grendel is more comparable to the 308 WIN as it has good ballistics, is very accurate and makes for a good choice for benchrest shooting and up to mid size big game animal and longe range varmit hunting. You get 308 level performance at long range in a milder recoiling rifle. The 6.8 SPC is a great alternative to using the AK/SKS 7.62x39 or AR 5.56 for a 300 yard and under CQB defensive application. In addition it is a replacement for your 223 REM or 243/ 6 mm as a closer range mid size game hunting / varmit shooting round. In terms of which to buy first - if you have a lower then a 6.8 SPC will cost you about $1000 and a Grendel about $1500 to get set up with the required upper, a few mags and additional reloading components. The 6.8 brass is cheaper by about 40% as is the upper. Unless you are a dedicated benchrest shooter I would buy the 6.8 first then a Grendel as funds allow.

Grendelizer
December 1, 2007, 06:45 PM
Salty, there are more 6.5 Grendel products than expensive, high-end competition rigs. Click here for Alexander Arms Website. (http://www.alexanderarms.com/siteshopper.htm?cat=15)

A Tactical 16 upper is $589. Wolf Ammunition 6.5 Grendel reloadable brass-cased is $10.77 per box of 20.

If you want to get into an intermediate caliber for the AR that is the cheapest to operate, get into 6.5 Grendel.

John

P.S. You're right that certain 6.5 Grendel match loads can meet or beat the ballistics of military 7.62 M80 and M118LR, but I don't understand why you pigeon-hole it as a long-range cartridge.

With the Black Hills Ammunition 6.5 Grendel 123 Sierra MatchKing load, it gives awesome terminal effects at short range. (This is a load that, additionally, out-shoots the 7.62 at long-range, so you get it all in one package! This loading, however, is NOT cheap.)

rbernie
December 1, 2007, 08:27 PM
I've been holding out on getting a 6.8 upper until I was certain I wouldn't be buying an orphan.At the end of the day, the 6.8SPC has:

factory loads provided by at least three different major ammo manufacturers (Hornady, Remington, and Silver State)
is offered in at least two different style of semiautomatic (AR and Mini)
is available factory chambered in bolt guns and single shot rifles
has AR barrels and complete uppers available from DPMS, Rock River and Bushmaster as well as from parts shops such as KoTonics, M1S (Shaw), WO, and others

For most of what people need to do inside of 300 yards, it's an entirely suitable yeoman chambering without the potential technical or supply-side warts of other alternatives.

cane
December 1, 2007, 09:50 PM
Ruger lists the 6.8 in a ranch rifle. Has anyone actually seen one?

kentucky_smith
December 1, 2007, 10:31 PM
I've had one of each (Grendel, SPC and a 7.62x39) lately. A DPMS AP4 kinda trumped them all though. Sold uppers and am back to just .223 and .308.

rbernie
December 2, 2007, 03:24 PM
Sold uppers and am back to just .223 and .308.I can't blame ya, but I do like my deer/hog rifles to weigh in under 8lbs, and I can't get my AR10s to do that. Until 223 becomes enough gun for hog and such, I'm sticking with the larger-diameter intermediate chamberings.

So far, I've tried 7.62x39 (which worked very well save for the lack of hi-cap mags) and the 6.8SPC (which is pretty much looking like the end of my search for a not-too-much 250-300 yard huntin' chambering).

GunTech
December 2, 2007, 07:00 PM
As noted earlier, someone is really missing the boat with 6.8 and 6.5 Grendel. Right now they are basically alternate loadings for AR-15s. It seems that Remington has dropped the 6.8 from it's bolt gun line up, and while Ruger has added 6.8 to the mini-14 rifles, I don't think demand will elevate either cartridge to the role of mainstream rifle round.

It too bad, because these rounds are as useful as the once popular 257 Roberts, and fill the same role. There is a definite place for these cartridges with compact and light rifles with actions designed for the 223 like the Sako, and Mini-Mausers.

In order for these cartridges to succeed, there needs to be rifles made for them.

asknight
December 3, 2007, 05:40 AM
It seems that Remington has dropped the 6.8 from it's bolt gun line up
Really (http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire_rifles/model_700/model_700_SPS_specs.asp)?

Just about every AR manufacturer worth their salt is making a 6.8 as well.
Hell, even Cooper Arms will make a Model 21 (http://www.cooperfirearms.com/actions.html) for ya! :D

JesseL
December 3, 2007, 02:06 PM
Just about every AR manufacturer worth their salt is making a 6.8 as well.

Does Remington have plans to offer their AR in 6.8?

asknight
December 3, 2007, 02:28 PM
JesseL, I'm not sure that Remington is an AR manufacturer worth their salt! That's not truly a Remington. It's a re-branded Bushmaster. Both companies are owned by Cerberus. Bushmaster does indeed have a 6.8SPC carbine and upper available.

The differences are that the Remington Predator is available with an 18" or 22" barrel, and the Bushmaster Predator only a 20".

JesseL
December 3, 2007, 02:35 PM
JesseL, that's not truly a Remington. It's a Bushmaster. Both companies are owned by Cerberus. Bushmaster does indeed have a 6.8SPC carbine and upper available.

I know.

I just thought that if Remington is going to enter the AR market (albeit through rebadged Bushmasters), it might make sense for them to push one as a deer/medium game rifle, rather than just going after the varmint market. A lot of deer hunters that have never heard of Bushmaster might just take notice of a new lightweight autoloading deer rifle from Remington.

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