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Old September 6, 2017, 08:20 PM   #1
Mobuck
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6.5 Grendel worthwhile???

Since I have a couple of extra bare uppers, I've been trying to decide what or if I want to add another cartridge to my AR stable.
I'd about talked myself into a 6.5G but after looking at some ballistics charts, I'm not sure it's really worth adding another ammo type. It's just doesn't seem to have an advantage over the 6.8 that I already have. The factory charts look similar until I noticed that the 6.5 G was listed from a 20" and the 6.8 from a 16".
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Old September 6, 2017, 08:43 PM   #2
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I had this same dilemma, posted the question here. After some back and forth between the experienced users, I settled on 6.8. However, this was based on my hunting past to where I kept my shots fairly close range. I got the impression that 6.5 has the advantage in longer ranges from the experts here.
I also don't really feel qualified to respond because I haven't even fired the 6.8 yet. I shifted hobbies and shooting opportunities are scarce; I don't shoot as often since I moved from my native state of Texas.
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Old September 6, 2017, 09:10 PM   #3
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The 6.8 has worked well for me as a medium range deer round using 90 grain bonded bullets. Low recoil and responds well to the muffler. I'm not really interested in "longer range" as I use bolt action rifles for ranges over 200 yards.
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Old September 7, 2017, 03:58 AM   #4
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watching

I'll be watching this thread, as the Grendel has caught my attention as a a more suitable medium game cartridge for the AR than the .223, at least in my book. The big bore AR's certainly are enough gun, and entirely adequate at woods ranges where whitetails get shot, but feeding a big bore looks costly, and then there's the recoil.....tolerable I read, but not lending itself to lots of shooting.

On paper, and in my limited investigation, the Grendel seems ideal as "the" sporting round for medium game in a standard frame AR.......I don't see why it hasn't caught on or is promoted more heavily.
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Old September 7, 2017, 05:39 AM   #5
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I also looked at this and went 6.8

Within normal hunting ranges 0-350yds, The 6.8 and 6.5 are similar ballistically. The 6.5 shines at distances further out

The 6.5 also seems to need a longer barrel to wring out the speed needed to go further.

Both are great cartridges
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Old September 7, 2017, 06:20 AM   #6
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"The big bore AR's certainly are enough gun, and entirely adequate at woods ranges where whitetails get shot,"

I simply don't see the advantage unless you're intent on hammering BIG hogs. At "woods ranges", the 6.8 is totally adequate for deer w/o the recoil of a "big bore".
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Old September 7, 2017, 08:20 AM   #7
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As for 6.5 vs 6.8 yea, probably not much difference if you already had one. I am not always so practical. If I did not have either (6.5/6.8) the 6.5 seems to be the popular bore of the day. I would go 6.5 just to try and pick the long term winner. I am often wrong, though.

I think the 6.5 is a now or will be successful. it is currently offered in bolt actions by CZ and (oh man I forget) sorry. Any way two major players.

To wander a bit OT for a paragraph, the 450 Bushmaster is doing very well due to the hunting regulations in some states. Ruger offers two model bolt actions and the No 1. The Ruger American version is the least expensive and seems to be selling, even around here where there are no special states to use it. Price matters.

Where are the ar's that inspired these rounds? I would like to see some low price guns for the average guy who just wants to play around. I payed up for a 458 socom and I am not going to go that route in todays market for any of the above.

Anderson just had a big sale, but; I was not ready for that. I think they support the 6.5 with parts. Maybe 6.8 also?

In the local shops, just about all I ever see are the 223 version of the AR. The other stuff seems to be a very small market. Maybe the popularity will be drive by bolt action guns. And in that case, the 6.5g has an edge. I think.
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Old September 7, 2017, 10:46 AM   #8
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The 6.5 creedmoor already has far more momentum than 6.5 grendel ever had. It seems to be a popular build for the ar10 platform and also for bolt action, so I suspect anyone looking 6.5 will go creedmoor and not grendel.

300 blackout seems to have taken over the secondary AR15 market.
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Old September 7, 2017, 11:41 AM   #9
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To expand on what Fourbore said. Depends on the state for hunting purposes. In some states a rifle is legal if the cartridge is straight wall. So a 450 Bushmaster or 50 Beowulf is good to go, while and bottleneck cartridge is not legal.

I had a Grendel upper years ago. Constantly searching for my brass got really old. Old enough that I got sick of it and sold it off. I have a bolt rifle for longer range usage.
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Old September 7, 2017, 12:04 PM   #10
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More about the ease of finding ammo and/or brass. Midway lists 9 types of 6.5 Grendel ammo. 31 for the Creedmoor.
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Old September 7, 2017, 12:48 PM   #11
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problem

The Creedmoor certainly has a bigger support net, is being heavily pushed, and has a bolt rifle following helping its popularity as well. But the Creedmor needs the AR10 receiver as a launcher, and AR10's are noteably bigger and heavier than AR15's.

One of the great attributes of the AR15, in the carbine version, is it is relatively light and handy, if one doesn't get too carried away with uber barrels and multi accessories. Given the popularity of the 6.5 bore dia these days, you'd think the Grendel, in a tidy AR15 package, would be very popular with those wanting more cartridge for medium game hunting.

After rereading all posts, several have advised that they went with the 6.8 instead. Why is this? I thought the 6.8 SPC was well behind the 6.5 Gren in popularity, and support.
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Old September 7, 2017, 01:09 PM   #12
rickyrick
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I went 6.8 because really had no need for 6.5. The 6.8 rifle parts were cheaper. There was also what I call the "Walmart Factor", every time I bought ammunition at Walmart, 6.8 was always on the shelf. I already have a 308 rifle if that power is needed. I wanted a lightweight carbine and found a decent priced government style barrel for it.
I don't have to reload 6.8 at the moment. I have always planned on reloading, but always gets postponed. It fit my intended use.
6.8 was all the rage a few years back, seems to be enough stuff out there for them.
I have two bolts, because I ordered one for it from Stag, then PSA had a special selling their 6.8 spc complete premium BCG for 59$.. so I had to get that, lol

Really as others have said, doesn't seem to be much performance differences in the range I had intended to use it, so I went with the most convenient total package to assemble.
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Old September 7, 2017, 03:55 PM   #13
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Well actually steel 100gr 6.5gr shows up at 22.5 cpr or more on ammoseek...steel case. 223 starts at 20.4 cpr steel. Not a huge difference really. Brass...well the gap is dramatically wider.

With cheap 5.56 builds being available for under 400usd, how much can grendel builds be done for?
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Old September 7, 2017, 05:10 PM   #14
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I've built several grendels and 6.8 spcs.--the 6.8 is great, the grendel is better when you need performance after 250 yds or so. The grendel is a bit "touchier" than the 6.8 and thus demands better precision in both assembly and reloads IMO. Both cases serve as the basis for numerous wildcats--the grendel having an advantage in being able to seat longer/higher SD bullets longer without encroaching as much on powder capacity and/or the bullet ogive not fitting the neck
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Old September 7, 2017, 05:11 PM   #15
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Does anybody have any experience with the 6.5 Grendel using the Steel cased Wolf ammo? I have been debating this as well and since I already have a 5.56mm and a 300BO I was looking at 6.5 Grendel or 450 Bushmaster.

If the gun is reliable with the cheaper steel cased ammo that would sway me to the 6.5G. Use the cheap stuff for plinking and such, and hand load brass cased for hunting and etc.

I have heard there may some issues with the steel cased though, anyone have first hand experience?

OP, sorry if I am hijacking, I favor the Grendel over the 6.8.
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Old September 7, 2017, 05:15 PM   #16
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One important thing most ballistic charts don't typically show.. is the effect of cross winds.

Without looking up the 6.8 v. 6.5 myself... I'd still bet you'd see some valuable improvement there.
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Old September 7, 2017, 05:53 PM   #17
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I keep picking up Grendel brass thinking I'll build one up but can't seem to find a reason. I have two 6.8's, a 16" CAR and a 20" flattop. They are very accurate and extremely easy to load. I use the 40 cal shell plate on my Dillon and the 223 powder funnel and that works fine in a redneck sort of way. Anyway, my .260 runs circles around a Grendel for longer range.
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Old September 7, 2017, 08:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Mobuck wrote:
It's just doesn't seem to have an advantage over the 6.8 that I already have.
Yes, the 6.5 Grendel and the 6.8 SPC occupy pretty much the same ballistic niche.
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Old September 8, 2017, 08:14 AM   #19
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Same thought here. Was thinking about building a 6.5 Grendel but already have three 6.8 ARs. But I do plan to convert my .308 AR10 to a 6.5 Creedmoor once AR15 Performance gets the barrels in stock.
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Old September 8, 2017, 09:05 AM   #20
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I have been hunting extensively with 6.5 Grendel for the last 3 years or so. I am a big fan of the caliber, but not a fanboy.

The 6.5 Grendel was something of a builder's gun for a long period of time. People like to build their own and make their own ammo - for them it is wonderful. There is the whole www.65grendel.com dedicated to this. The cartridge resided in this realm, just above being a wildcat, for seemingly years, but with a large fan base. Grendel has a very loyal following and there are now a variety of commercial cartridges made for it. Federal even came online recently with 3 offerings and promises of more in the future. The reason I originally went with Grendel over the 6.8 was the higher sectional density of the bullet. Coming from a .308, I figured the extra sectional density was better for penetration than less sectional density. I wanted more penetration and not less. In hindsight, the logic was good, but the difference inconsequential for my intended game - hogs.

I am told that if you reload, there are more bullet choices for the 6.5 Grendel than 6.8. 6.5 has been around in various capacities for a long time and is a popular caliber diameter. If you don't reload, then your choices are more limited, no doubt.

6.8 spc is very comparable at typical hunting distances in regards to performance. You have a LOT more choices of manufacturers and a LOT more choices for commercial ammunition, but ammo prices do not seem to be appreciably lower. Getting the same bullet for the two calibers come up with comparable pricing.

If you want more power, then go with a 6.5 Creedmore. Of course the 6.5 Creedmore has more power than a Grendel. They may be the same diameter bullet, but they are a completely different cartridge. Grendel is in an AR15 platform. Creedmore is in an AR10 platform. Bigger cartridge, bigger gun.

If you already have a 6.8, I can't really see a reason to have a Grendel and vice versa for typical hunting (inside 200 yards, or 300 for that matter). They overlap considerably in performance. However, I hunt with a bunch of folks who own one and have also bought the other. I don't know why.
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Old September 8, 2017, 09:29 AM   #21
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If I had a 6.8, I would not consider the 6.5G for hunting.
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Old September 8, 2017, 09:55 AM   #22
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I picked the Grendel because I'm a 6.5 Loony, having a 260 and a 6.5-06. I already had a supply of 120 and 129 bullets, but the 123SST caught my eye. My first and only load of 30.0gr of CFE223 over WMR in Hornady brass was astonishing. 5 Shots in .3" at 2450. I'm using a AA Overwatch upper cut to 20" on an Anderson receiver. I've never been a 277 fan because I'm also a 7mm guy.
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Old September 8, 2017, 08:32 PM   #23
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I couldn't resist a sale price I saw today so have a Bear Creek 6.5G upper on the way. Have no intention of reloading so hope it shoots decent with Wolf steel case. Maybe we'll knock off a deer or two with it this fall and then make a decision. Even slightly used it should resell for close to my initial price.
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Old September 9, 2017, 02:07 AM   #24
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I've read those Bear Creek barrels are rack grade quality. The Grendel is a accurate round. Wolf Steel Case ammo will likely be 1.5 MOA. Not a problem for a plinking and blasting AR with cheap barrel. But I wouldn't shoot that ammo out of any barrel I cared about. Junk and dirty ammo IMO. Not as bad as the bimetal Russian ammo. But not much better.
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Old September 9, 2017, 05:05 AM   #25
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I've shot and reloaded for both for years--really good loads in 6.8 come very close if not equal to what the grendel can do at closer ranges--those that mostly occur within "conventional hunting ranges." However, at 250 yds or so the inherent efficiency of the 6.5 bullet starts pulling away from the 6.8 appropriate .277. This does make a difference at delivering accuracy and energy at longer ranges, even if those advantages are narrowly defined by the inherent limitations of how much powder can be stuffed in the cases. When hunting with a light weight AR I almost always grab the 6.8 before the grendel, mostly because I'm just not likely to get a clear shot above 100 yds in the woods I hunt. Since I reload for all my weapons, any new caliber is a fun new exploration for me, and as most of you know I don't need much of an excuse to try out a new AR build.

Quote:
123SST caught my eye. My first and only load of 30.0gr of CFE223 over WMR in Hornady brass was astonishing
Interesting, I've tried that but didn't get results quite that good--maybe I'll need to take a second look. CFE 223 is one of those powders heavily favored in many articles I've read--but I've yet to come up with a CFE223 recipe that isn't bested by a different powder.
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