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Old June 19, 2021, 01:25 PM   #1
Join Date: March 16, 2019
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6.5 Grendel bolt gun build

I'm putting together a Howa mini action 6.5 Grendel for my son. It'll be used for whitetail, coyotes, and maybe hogs, all inside 150 yards. I've already decided on using Underwood 110gr Lehigh ammo. I'll be getting a flush bottom metal from either Jefferson Outdoors or Oregon Gunsmithing. And I haven't decided on the stock yet. I've had quality issues with Boyd's twice now.

I'm getting a barreled action from Brownells. But I can't decide on either the 20" #6 heavy barrel or 22" sporter barrel. Two inches doesn't matter for velocity, the case only holds 30-ish grains. That'll be a full burn either way. But would the accuracy increase enough to justify the additional weight of the heavy barrel? This will be a 12 year old carrying the gun around.

Thanks for the input.

Last edited by Andy1; June 19, 2021 at 01:45 PM.
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Old June 19, 2021, 01:35 PM   #2
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from my experience at that range the heavy barrel would only come into play after the 4th or 5th consecutive shot. If I were putting that rifle together I would go light and long. Probably see about 10 - 20 FPS more from the 22 incher
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Old June 19, 2021, 01:46 PM   #3
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Barrel length has no effect on accuracy as long as the load's tuned for it.
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Old June 19, 2021, 03:06 PM   #4
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Instead of trying to piece it together yourself, why not buy a complete rifle? Howa sells the mini actions in chassis, carbon fiber sporter stock, wood sporting stock, molded plastic stock, many available with detachable mags. THe chassis models have adjustable LOP, works pretty good for growing boys. They even have combo models that come already set up with a scope (Nikko Sterling scopes may not be top tier, but they're not bad).
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Old June 19, 2021, 10:42 PM   #5
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I've bought a Howa 1500 LA barreled action from brownell's--I think they have exclusivity on distributing them-- and I think it's very well made. Friend of mine keeps his freezer filled with venison year after year with an 18" barreled Grendel AR, and since you mentioned this is going to be a hunting rifle I would definitely go with the sporter barrel.
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Old June 19, 2021, 11:38 PM   #6
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I have read, but have no actual experience to reference, that a shorter barrel is easier to tune. The principle is the same as axel and wheel. The rim is covering much more area than the axel. So a longer barrel, not in tune, will deviate more than a shorter barrel with the same deviation. If, I'm all mixed up, someone will correct me.

I always wanted a heavy barreled, very accurate varmint type rifle, the heavier, the better. I bought one and paid well for it. It's 6.5x284, and I couldn't be happier.
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Old June 20, 2021, 05:11 PM   #7
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Don't get the heavy barrel. In my opinion, a heavy gun negates the benefits of the smaller cartridge.

For example, I have a CZ 527 carbine in 7.62x39 and I LOVE IT. So I figured I'd really like the CZ 527 American in 6.5 Grendel. I was wrong. The longer 26" barrel and added weight totally threw off the great balance and easy handling that made me love the 527 carbine in the first place.

So, for the build you're doing, I would definitely go with the lighter contour barrel. The Grendel has no real recoil anyways, so lighter is better.
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Old June 24, 2021, 08:22 AM   #8
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As a builder of this exact thing not 2 years ago I can tell you that the "Heavy Barrel" 20 inch is not heavy at all in terms of suitable for carrying on a hunting gun. I built the rifle with a Boyds At-One Pistol grip stock and it is a phenomenal hunting rifle all the way up to deer so far.
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Old June 24, 2021, 10:20 PM   #9
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For stocks I'd look at bell and carlson if you don't want to shell out for a chassis. Myself and countless other's have used their stocks with great effect over the years. You'd be quite happy with it I think especially with what some boyds stocks seem to cost now.
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Old June 25, 2021, 07:27 AM   #10
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Polinese is valid, B&C stocks offer great value. Chassis are hit or miss with folks, but if you like them the Onyx Chassis system is top notch for the money. I went with the Boyds At one since the Grendel Bolt is my "Borrow" hunting gun for family that come to try their luck on property and don't have or didn't bring their own rifle. I have plans for a 7.62x39 build and a 7mm08 next. Favoring the 7mm08 since it will likely serve as a backup Moose gun with heavier pill loads.
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Old June 26, 2021, 10:08 AM   #11
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I was going to say, "Why not just buy a complete rifle?" Looking for a Howa Mini in 6.5 Grendel only turned up American Flag chassis rifles, no sporters to be had anywhere I could find online. If you're buying bottom metal from Oregunsmithing ask them if they have a Pendelton stock for the mini? It'll probably be a much lighter stock than the B&C or Hogue.
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