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Old April 15, 2019, 03:26 PM   #1
hounddawg
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6.5 Grendel powder choice ?

I have been beating around the bush oin buying or building a non .223 AR for a year now and finally decided on a cartridge. Just ordered a pre built 6.5 Grendel upper from Sanders Armory, 20 inch barrel. I will be using 123 SMKs for paper punching 300 to 800. Anyone load for this or a similar combo and have a particular powder preference ? I am also looking at the Hornady ELDX bullets and might try and take a white tail with it

I have mostly various Hogdon powders available but would consider the RL line or even VV
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Old April 15, 2019, 04:38 PM   #2
CarJunkieLS1
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For 300 to 800 you want temp stable powder, and Varget and IMR 8208 are the powders you should be looking at.
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Old April 15, 2019, 05:17 PM   #3
Chuck Norris
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I use 223 CFE,and Tac. in my Grendle. CFE gave me the best results,30 grains under various 123 grain bullets.
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Old April 15, 2019, 05:39 PM   #4
hounddawg
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thanks guys. I have Varget, CFE 223, and TAC on the shelf. Nosler lists 8208 as the most accurate powder for their 123 CC's and I have about 200 of those on the shelf. Pretty sure the LGS had 8208 on the shelf last time I was in there. I also found half a box of 107 SMKs on the shelf which never shot worth a damn in my .260 bolt guns so they will get a test

The more I learn about this round the harder I am kicking my tail for not getting one sooner. With the long barrel life I can play with loads all I want and barrel swaps are cake
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Old April 15, 2019, 06:37 PM   #5
rg1
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I use AA2520 and it's accurate and I can duplicate Hornady factory velocity with it. I've read that it's not as temperature stable as some others but if it is I haven't seen great variations?
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Old April 15, 2019, 06:45 PM   #6
Chuck Norris
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The Nosler cc and Hornady Amax shoot the best out of my rifle,JSE 20 inch upper
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Old April 16, 2019, 02:11 PM   #7
Bfglowkey
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Welcome to the horde! The Grendel is a extremely fun and versatile round. When it comes to reloading or if you just want to learn more visit:

http://www.65grendel.com/forum/forum.php

The host site has a pair of books as well that are dedicated to the round and will give you a large variety of reloading options/recipes based on lessons learned. They have one of the books dedicated to the AR platform of loading and the other for Hunting ( and most of it can translate to bolt action)
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Old April 16, 2019, 03:14 PM   #8
hounddawg
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Thanks Bfglowkey, that looks to be the motherload right there

I don't know how I could have overlooked this cartridge for so long. I am extremely impressed with what I have read so far on it's accuracy at mid and long range and really excited about shooting it.
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Old April 16, 2019, 05:13 PM   #9
Bfglowkey
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This may rub the purests the wrong way but I replaced my main hunting gun with a Howa 1500 20" HB when Brownells was nearly giving them away. I have 3 different hunting loads and 2 target loads developed and working on my last "just because" 1k load. In the short few months I have had it: 3 deer, 1 red stag, 12 hogs ( 9 sow 3 boar) 2 aoudads and partridge in a pear tree.....every one of them insta-drop ranging from 65yds out to 410 yds per my spotter. The Nosler 129 ABLRs are finicky but worth the trouble! Lastly...a seriously overlooked bullet for 200yd and below...Hornady 129 Interlock. As long as you get it to 2200 FPS you will feel like your cheating.
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Old April 16, 2019, 07:30 PM   #10
Chuck Norris
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I carried my Grendel AR deer hunting last year,no kills yet.
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Old April 16, 2019, 10:07 PM   #11
Chaparral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hounddawg View Post
I have been beating around the bush oin buying or building a non .223 AR for a year now and finally decided on a cartridge. Just ordered a pre built 6.5 Grendel upper from Sanders Armory, 20 inch barrel. I will be using 123 SMKs for paper punching 300 to 800. Anyone load for this or a similar combo and have a particular powder preference ? I am also looking at the Hornady ELDX bullets and might try and take a white tail with it

I have mostly various Hogdon powders available but would consider the RL line or even VV
6.5 Grendel – CFE 223 – 30.0 gr – 2.247 COAL – Hornady 123 gr SST

This is my accuracy load for my Grendel. Quite accurate.
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Old April 16, 2019, 10:56 PM   #12
hounddawg
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Quote:
6.5 Grendel – CFE 223 – 30.0 gr – 2.247 COAL – Hornady 123 gr SST

This is my accuracy load for my Grendel. Quite accurate.
Thanks for the suggestion. It looks like the SST can be used as a hunting bullet also and the .51 BC is as good as the 123 SMK's and Nosler 123CC's. I might have to try a box of those.

Mind if I ask your barrel length and if you have ran it across the chrono? Mine is coming with a 20 inch 1/8 twist barrel
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Old April 18, 2019, 07:08 PM   #13
Chaparral
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Mine is identical to yours. No I do not own a chrono. I do believe the SST can be used for hunting, though I have never used my Grendel hunting. Maybe this year.
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Old April 18, 2019, 07:21 PM   #14
hounddawg
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called 5 different local gun stores today looking for a pound of 8208 XBR, fifth one had it but a that would mean a 50 mile round trip so I ordered a 8 pound jug from Grafs instead, 2 gallons of gas and two hours of frustration is worth $22 for shipping and Hazmat. I tried to buy local but it is what it is.

I hope like heck this gun likes 8208 but it seems to be the powder of choice for the 123 Sierra, and Hornady bullet and Nosler rated it as the most accurate powder for their 123's so I think I am on safe territory. I called the manufacturer today and asked what they recommended and he said he uses 8208 in his loads with the 120 and 123 bullets

The upper and the cases arrived today and this weekend I will stuff the 35 leftover 107 SMKs with a mild load of TAC or RL10x for the barrel break in and try and another 15 with 123's and Varget just to round it up to 50. I also ordered another Wilson trimmer. No used ones on Ebay so I came off the credit card for a new one. I set one up permanently for each cartridge I am loading. I trim after every firing for consistency

I have not did any accuracy load development on a gas gun in years, I think this make a fun summer project

edit @ Chaparral I am going to modify those barrel break loads to the CFE223 and a 123 bullet. I have about a half pound on the shelf, thanks for reminding me
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Old April 18, 2019, 09:07 PM   #15
mehavey
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Well . . . the 120 Berger likes it.



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Old April 18, 2019, 10:47 PM   #16
hounddawg
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that's the kind of groups I am looking for
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Old April 19, 2019, 05:01 AM   #17
Bfglowkey
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That's the kind of groups we are all looking for lol!

FYI. Varget is not the best powder in the Grendel for the most part. I know it seems weird but it consistently underperforms compared to the others in most categories. XBR is very solid, especially in gas guns and AR COMP is probably the jack of all trades winner. Good velocities, good accuracy good stability and good metering. It is usually in the upper middle and upper end of the spectrum in all things across all bullets 107 and above. Have not tried in the little 90s.
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Old April 19, 2019, 05:43 AM   #18
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I shoot hogs regularly with a Grendel, using Hornady 123 SSt's. I had a large supply of factory ammo, and it is getting close to being depleted...but I have stocked up on CFE223 and Hornady 123 SST bullets to use in the near future. I don't think you can go wrong with that combination. I use the same bullets in my 6.5 Creedmores and have shot numerous hogs and deer with excellent results. I love the accuracy and performance of those bullets.
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Old April 19, 2019, 06:59 AM   #19
CarJunkieLS1
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My 20" Grendel it's shooting 27.3 grains of 8208 and a 123 SST. Rifle is very very accurate and I've killed my one and only buck with it. Shot was 30ish yards and he ran about 75 bleeding the entire way. Bullet exited and blood was easy to follow.
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Old April 19, 2019, 11:10 PM   #20
GeauxTide
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CFE223

Hornady X recommends it and I can verify that 30gr under a 123SST in Hornady Brass give .3" 5 shot groups in my Sanders Armory 5R Barrel. Does it for me.
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Old April 20, 2019, 03:22 AM   #21
1100 tac
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CFE223, 8208XBR, AR Comp, Leverevolution, H335, are all good powders in the Grendel, depending on the bullet used. I use CCI 450's with ball powders and GM205MAR's with others.

The 123 SST has not had the greatest reputation for accuracy lately, but some rifles still like it.

I have three "favorite bullets" for my Grendel's, 120 Gold Dot, 129 ABLR, 120 Ballistic Tip-Hunting and I am working on 120 Pro-Hunter as I get time.

You may find that on the first firing, your cases shoulder datum grows what seems to be an excessive amount, don't sweat it, SAAMI min. chamber is 1.220 to .350 datum, but most factory cases run about 1.205 (Lapua)-1.210 (Hornady) as measured with the Hornady comparator tool. Some chambers are shorter than SAAMI spec.
Just set the shoulder back .003 for your fired cases, and rock on. A set of Redding Shell holders is very helpful here. Good cases last a long time and won't need much trimming once they are fire formed to your chamber. I use Lapua and Starline.

Be careful watching for "pressure signs", about the time they show up, you are already somewhat over pressure. 52000 MAP. If you see ejector swipes, definitely back down a little. Worst case is a broken bolt, that doesn't happen very much. Unless it's really pushed.

Just some "fun facts to know and tell" specific to the 6.5 Grendel.

The Grendel is a highly accurate cartridge that has amazing game taking capability, but there is a little more of a learning curve to hand loading for it.

I don't even get out the .308 700 or the '86 Win. 45- 70 much anymore to hunt with.

Place your shots and chow down.
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Old April 20, 2019, 06:19 AM   #22
Mobuck
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".every one of them insta-drop ranging from 65yds out to 410 yds per my spotter. "

And all that with a cartridge that can barely manage 2500 fps with a tailwind? What was Roy Weatherby thinking?
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Old April 20, 2019, 07:54 AM   #23
hounddawg
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just me but I would call 300 yards max on using the rifle for white tail hunting, not because of the accuracy issue but because of the energy factor

edit just a update on the project

just loaded 80 rounds for initial barrel break in and testing. The 8208 won't be here till end of next week so I decided to use TAC for the initial break in. Nosler load data shows 26.5 TAC with the 123 as the most Accurate/Western powders web data shows 28.5 max so I should be well withing safe pressures for the break in. I will be doing 10 rounds cleaning after each round while doing a pressure check workup using 2 rounds each at 25.5, 25.8, 26.1, 26.4, and 26.7. Then 5 sets of 3 rounds using 26.5 gns of TAC with a cleaning after every round, followed by as many 5 round sets with cleaning till I stop seeing copper. I will probably shoot them over the chrono just to see if the barrel tightens up in the first 80, more out of curiosity sake than anything. I will not be using either that bullet/powder combo after the break in. When I have some once fired brass and 8208 I will do a target load workup using 123 SMK's and 8208.

A new Magpull Gen 3 buttstock is on the way for the Rock River lower and the upper will get new optics in the form of a Sig Sauer BDX-R1 4.5 to 14X scope and rangefinder combo and a Warne one piece 20MOA mount. I currently have a red dot mounted on the upper that will be used for the break in. The Sig is more of a hunting than a target scope but we will see what happens. I can always put it on a hunting rifle build or give it to my son in law for one of his rifles if I decide I need more magnification for target use
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Last edited by hounddawg; April 20, 2019 at 12:06 PM.
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