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Itching for a new hunting upper

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mountain_man, Nov 20, 2022.

  1. mountain_man

    mountain_man Member

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    I've been kicking around the idea of getting a hunting appropriate upper for an AR, in something other than 556. Knowing Black Friday is coming soon I figured that there may be some deals floating around, but I'm not really sure what caliber to go with. I hunt woods in the mountains of the south east, so shots would be close, however there are a few openings that could give at most 150 yards across a clear cut spot. The only thing in our woods are deer and black bear. The bear aren't huge by any means. Usually 250 or less and they are rarely seen, but if it's season and I have the tags I wouldn't shy away if the opportunity presented itself. Kind of been thinking about a 350 legend or a 450 bushmaster. Heck I wouldn't shy away from a 6.5 Grendel either. I've found more 450 options than 350. Obviously the 450 is in another power class and I know that, I'm just unsure of which direction to go. Any thoughts?
     
    rabid wombat likes this.
  2. holl

    holl Member

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    Bear Creek Arsenal has been running black Friday deals all week on uppers. I purchased a 6.5 grendel right side charging, 18 inch stainless heavy barrel on Wednesday for under $300 shipped. I wanted a little more power for deer hunting.
     
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  3. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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  4. Ranger99

    Ranger99 Member

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    I don't have an AR at all, but wouldn't
    mind having one to hunt with.
    My buddy and his youngest son hunt
    with them successfully.
    Buddy has a 7.62X39, and the son
    uses a 6.8SPC.
    Cousin has a Ruger of whatever their
    AR is called, and uses 223 softpoint
    ammo the same as he has since the
    middle 1980's
    All the people I know that hunt with
    their ARs are successful

    Good Luck
     
  5. Eagle103

    Eagle103 Member

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    6.5 Grendel will do the job for you.
     
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  6. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

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    I like the 6.5 Grendel for what you describe.
     
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  7. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

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    450 BM, at the yardages you are talking it is an absolute hammer. 250gr @ 2,200fps
     
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  8. mongoslow

    mongoslow Member

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    I went 350 with the Ruger MPR and a Sig Sauer Whiskey 3 2-7×32 scope love it 20221020_182858.jpg
     
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  9. KansasTrapper77

    KansasTrapper77 Member

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    Today (11/21/22) Midway has a CMNG 6MM Arc upper for $499. That’d probably rock. Just shy of a .243 Win out of a AR15 platform.
     
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  10. holl

    holl Member

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    My BCA 6.5 grendel upper showed up today. Fast shipping, 3 days. Nice tight fit on my FN lower. I sure hope it shoots as good as it looks! 20221121_183903.jpg 20221121_184007.jpg 20221121_183843.jpg
     
  11. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Hard to go wrong with any of the "sixes" out there. 6arc, the 6.5s, and the 6.8s--which caliber is probably more down to what do you want to load for (or is locally available to buy).
    20" barrel in a freefloat will be a good starting point. Though a person could use a shorter freefloat tube to move the balance back a bit.

    Go to a long-frame, and your options increase with all the 51mm long cased ammo out there. But, most of those wind up a bit front heavy to me.

    A person could, possibly, plead a case for say .35rem, but barrels will be as common as the ammo like as not.
     
  12. mountain_man

    mountain_man Member

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    Kind of leaning towards a 6.5 grendel or 350 legend. The more I read about the bushmaster recoil I'm starting to shy away from it. I didn't but like beating myself up if I don't have to. Between a Grendel and a legend which would make a better woods cartridge? Would the larger diameter of the legend make much of a difference in effectiveness?
     
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  13. mongoslow

    mongoslow Member

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    I shot a racoon on a tree trunk the other day with the 350 ,loaded with the hornady 170gr interlock, shot through the racoon and blew the top 20ft+/- of tree off, was about 4" in diameter at the point of impact. I guess you could say it's a brush buster lol
    20221110_161737.jpg
     
  14. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

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    Either will work. However, in my opinion, the Grendel is far and away the better cartridge. It was designed to get optimal performance from an AR platform, whereas the 350 Legend was designed to get best performance from a straight walled cartridge. Unless you're restricted to the latter, why limit yourself? Some data from Hornady's website:

    External ballistics for Hornady's 6.5 Grendel 123 grain SST
    65grendel.jpg

    External ballistics for Hornady's 350 Legend 170 grain InterLock
    350legend.jpg

    Even making allowance for the longer test barrel, the Grendel is going to hit with more energy and less drop from just beyond the muzzle out to a much longer effective range. The 350 Legend is a fine cartridge given its self-imposed limitations (straight wall). But it is limited nonetheless.

    Also in my opinion, one shouldn't rely on any cartridge to "bust brush." Take a clear shot or don't take the shot.

    ETA: Here's the Hornady 123 grain SST from a 20-inch barrel (thanks to QuickLOAD and JBM Ballistics):
    65grendel20b.jpg

    If you subscribe to the rule of 1,000 foot pounds of energy for deer sized game, the Grendel will get it done to 350 yards compared to the Legend’s 150.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2022
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  15. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Though 99.5% of the time I take a bolt action in 7mm-08, the AR upper that I do have setup for hunting if I wanted to is in .300 Blackout. That said, if I were to do it over again I think I'd lean more towards 6.5 Grendel. It just seems a more balanced whitetail cartridge with a bit more range - its still going to be a bit limited compared to most other traditional cartridges, but within 200-250 yards it should work just fine (whereas for the .300 Blackout is more of a 100-150 yard cartridge).

    And by that I mean basically MPBR - most people don't want to worry about adjusting turrets or holdover so for the average hunter I assume that whatever you can hit with a spot-on hold is optimal range for the cartridge. They can both go a little further if you're willing to account for drop.
     
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  16. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    For 150 yard hunting, 450 bushmaster all the way. My personal hunting AR is a 358 yeti.
     
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  17. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

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    I really need to get a barrel, bolt and set of dies from MDWS for the 358 Yeti.
     
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  18. Bartojc

    Bartojc Member

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    \
    It's really not bad. I was concerned as well, but now after owning one and shooting a couple, all in an AR, they are not bad at all. The reason the 450 and the 350 are so popular is because a lot of states have restrictions for use of only straight walled cartridges in certain areas. Primarily why I own a 450. If you do not have such restrictions I'd say any of the 6.somethings would do the trick. There are plenty of hunting 6.5 Grendels out there. I'd own a Grendel if I could use it everywhere.

    -Jeff
     
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  19. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    458 SOCOM?
     
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  20. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Although I am pretty fond of this one, I am considering selling it to get a 45 v-rap or 444 deer slayer from MDWS. I haven't quite convinced myself yet. Brass is easier to make for the yeti, but more bullets availible for the v-rap or 444. The yeti is considerably better in drift and trajectory at like 200+ yards, but the chances of me actually getting a 200 yard shot in the area I hunt are practically nonexistent. Decisions, decisions...
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2022
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  21. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

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    Where are you seeing the 45 v-rap and 444 DS? I’m not seeing those on their website.

    I love big bore performance under 200 yards on game, my 450 bushmaster is a hammer at those distances. I’ve been using the Hornady Black 250gr ammo to get brass on white tail and it’s bang flop.

    I’ll be working up a makers 425gr subsonic load for my Ruger GSR to use for next year.
     
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  22. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    They are not on the website but they both have some discussion on the MDWS forum. They will make either if you email them. The 45 v-rap is a 45 raptor chambered in an AR15, which is just a rimless 460 smith and wesson. Basically a 450 bushmaster on steroids. If I get one I intend to use 300-320 grain WFN cast bullets.

    The 444 DS is a 45 raptor case run into a 444 marlin sizing die. That would work well for me because I already have 444 marlin bullets and dies.

    Then again I already have a 444 marlin that I like to hunt with so I'm having a hard time coming up with a compelling reason why I also need to own what is essentially a semi auto 444 marlin carbine. My father in law keeps saying he wants to go to texas to hunt pigs, and I feel like that is probably the only opportunity I would actually use the yeti for where I might get to stretch its legs a bit. Deer and bear hunting here is a 75 yard game 95% of the time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2022
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  23. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

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    @mountain_man, we want to know what you decide ... and pics, of course.
     
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  24. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    If you decide to do the 444, we need to do a group buy here on the high road. I'd like one too...
     
  25. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Right now I'm leaning toward selling my 358 yeti and getting a 45 vrap
     
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