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Discussion Starter #1
I've been enamoured with the 6.5 rounds for years, in all the different flavors, but always thought they've been under rated over the years.
I've no experience with the 6.5 Grendel Yet, and would like to know of Your experiences with it.
 
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JP22,

I have two, 6.5x57 (a necked down 8mm Mauser) rifle and a T/C Encore pistol 15" barrel Grendel.

As long as you stay in their intended original lanes, they are outstanding. It is when you try to shoot a 143gr ELD's in the Grendel with the wrong barrel twist, things just do not work out as you may have planned. However, a 123 gr to 130 gr bullet in the Grendel works very well. I am not hot rodding the cartridge and have found good accuracy and power out to 200 meters, the max distance I shoot with open sights. It knocks over 55# steel rams at 200 meters with ease.

Now, you combine the right bullet, the right barrel twist, and the right powder in a rifle, the 6.5 is real magic.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
JP22,

I have two, 6.5x57 (a necked down 8mm Mauser) rifle and a T/C Encore pistol 15" barrel Grendel.

As long as you stay in their intended original lanes, they are outstanding. It is when you try to shoot a 143gr ELD's in the Grendel with the wrong barrel twist, things just do not work out as you may have planned. However, a 123 gr to 130 gr bullet in the Grendel works very well. I am not hot rodding the cartridge and have found good accuracy and power out to 200 meters, the max distance I shoot with open sights. It knocks over 55# steel rams at 200 meters with ease.

Now, you combine the right bullet, the right barrel twist, and the right powder in a rifle, the 6.5 is real magic.
I dig the 6.5 because of quite a few things, but you nailed it there..... the right bullet, twist, etc.
I'm curious about the Grendel because it was Designed for the AR platform, and I'm finally wanting to build an AR rifle, and did I say I just dig the 6.5? I dig precision, and efficiency.
 
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I dig the 6.5 because of quite a few things, but you nailed it there..... the right bullet, twist, etc.
I'm curious about the Grendel because it was Designed for the AR platform, and I'm finally wanting to build an AR rifle, and did I say I just dig the 6.5? I dig precision, and efficiency.
JP22,

If you look at load data, Vihtavuori as an example, the Grendel is designed for 2,400-2,500 fps with the 120-123 gr bullet. Not what I would call a long range performer. You need 2,700+ with a good BC for longer range accuracy, let's say 600 yards.

As long as your sights are set for good accuracy at moderate ranges, the Grendel should be a good option on the AR platform.

I have been considering a wildcat .224 Grendel for an Unlimited IHMSA pistol build recently. I now need to find an XP-100 Remington action to start the project. Good smith's are fading fast and I want to get a good custom from a local I know before he retires.
 

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I have been shooting a 6.5 Grendel for several years now out of an AR platform with a 20" barrel. Most of the 120 grain type projectiles are still supersonic at 1100 yards which to me feels fairly long range, YMMV. I believe it is the most versatile round for an AR platform rifle. I have 5.56, 300 BLK, 6.8 SPC and the 6.5 Grendel to compare against each other with. Excellent round for the platform.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have been shooting a 6.5 Grendel for several years now out of an AR platform with a 20" barrel. Most of the 120 grain type projectiles are still supersonic at 1100 yards which to me feels fairly long range, YMMV. I believe it is the most versatile round for an AR platform rifle. I have 5.56, 300 BLK, 6.8 SPC and the 6.5 Grendel to compare against each other with. Excellent round for the platform.
Exactly the real use input I've been curious about...
 

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Im a big fan of the 6.5 grendel. Is it the end all, be all cartridge... NO.
Is it a really flat shooting, fast, inherently stable, long range caliber with very light and manageable recoil that almost anyone can handle with ease in any platform... YES.
You can get VERY impressive groups with off the shelf ammo. If you're a reloader, you can get SCARY accurate groups. Cost wise, it can kinda be in the "reloaders" caliber category as sometimes its not the easiest to find on the shelves. but it is there.

I started out building myself a 24 inch barreled AR and was immediately impressed with the accuracy I was getting, I made a 12.5" pistol ar for fun, and its still awesome to shoot with and still crazy accurate. then I built a bolt action, 24" barrel setup and it is a tack driver. If i miss, its MY fault. that thing is a laser beam. I have shot it a LOT at 1000 yards and beyond, It has absolutely no problem getting there.
(I know for a fact that it will zip right thru both sides of an empty propane tank at 1235 yards)

I find it to be an extremely popular caliber to use when helping and introducing beginners to longer range rifles (extremely fast, flat shooter that is inherently stable) so they can get the feel and their confidence goes WAY up. From there, they generally go to the 6.5 Creedmoor or 270.. then bigger and bigger later...
I wont start beginners out on a 30-06 or 308 or 300win mag until they tell me they're ready to step it up..

It is deadly on small game at rather long distances.. it will destroy a coyote at 600 yards.
 

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My Grendel is in a bolt gun but I love it. I had a pile of 120gr nosler ballistic tips and H4895 so I worked up a load. Best accuracy was at 2520fps, 27.2grs in Hornady brass. It’s produced numerous 10 shot groups under 1” and the 6” diameter steel is not safe at 400yds and 600yds. I need to take it out to 800 to see how I do.


I don’t think it’s the cartridge to rule them all but I’m sure glad I have one.
 

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flatsneck and Bearcat 74 bring up some very good points. I have not sent one factory round through my rifle; only my own reloads. When I got the Grendel I could not find any factory ammunition anywhere in my area, but I knew that going in and was prepared, just got another set of dies, some brass etc.

I am loading the 120 grain projectiles into the 2500 fps range and have excellent accuracy throughout. Then you will hit a unicorn load which is just scary accurate. I do ladder loading, playing with small adjustments in both OAL and powder charge, and try to find the node that is just right. I have used AR Comp, Hogdon H322, IMR 8208, Accurate 2520 all with excellent results. I hear Leverevolution also works well but have not tried it yet.

The recoil is very mild, as is the muzzle blast, one of those loads you can shoot all day and enjoy. Hunting wise the 120 Grain Sivertip is my choice for deer size game, but I generally use a lever action rifle when I head to the hills.
 

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Quick Comparison of Popular 6.5mm Rifle Cartridges

Chart created with Ammoguide’s Visual Comparison Tool. Visit Ammoguide.com to learn more.
by Eben Brown, EABCO.com, (E. Arthur Brown Co. Inc.)
The current popularity of 6.5mm cartridges in the USA has been a long time in coming. I won’t go into my opinions on why it took so long to catch on. The important thing is that it finally HAS caught on and we’re now so fortunate to have a wide selection of 6.5mm cartridges to choose from!
6.5mm Grendel – Developed by Alexander Arms for the AR15 and military M4 family of rifles. The Grendel fits the dimensional and functional requirements of these rifles while delivering better lethality and downrange performance. There are now similar cartridges from other rifle companies. We chamber for the Les Baer “264 LBC-AR”. Designed for velocities of 2400-2500 fps with 123gr bullets, it shoots the 140-grainers at about 2000 fps (for comparison purposes).
6.5mm BRM – Developed by E. Arthur Brown Company to give “Big Game Performance to Small Framed Rifles” — namely our Model 97D Rifle, TC Contender, and TC Encore. Velocities of 2400-2500 fps with 140gr bullets puts it just under the original 6.5×55 Swede performance.
6.5mm x 47 Lapua – Developed by Lapua specifically for international 300m shooting competitions (with some interest in long-range benchrest as well). Case capacity, body taper, shoulder angle, and small rifle primer are all features requested by top international shooters. You can expect velocities of 2500-2600+ with 140 gr bullets.
6.5mm Creedmoor – Developed by Hornady and Creedmoor Sports, the 6.5mm Creedmoor is designed for efficiency and function. Its shape reaches high velocities while maintaining standard .308 Winchester pressures and its overall length fits well with .308 Win length magazines. You can expect velocities of 2600-2700+ fps with 140gr bullets.
.260 Remington – Developed by Remington to compete with the 6.5mmx55 Swedish Mauser that was (finally) gaining popularity in 1996. By necking down the 7mm-08 Remington to 6.5mm (.264 cal), the .260 Remington was created. It fit the same short-action [receivers] that fit .308 Win, .243 Win, 7mm-08 Rem, etc. You can expect velocities of 2600-2700 fps with 140gr bullets in the 260 .Remington.
[Editor’s Note: In the .260 Rem, try the Lapua 120gr Scenar-Ls and/or Berger 130gr VLDs for great accuracy and impressive speeds well over 2900 fps.]
6.5mm x 55 Swedish Mauser – This was the cartridge that started the 6.5mm craze in the USA. It is famous for having mild recoil, deadly lethality on even the biggest game animals, and superb accuracy potential. Original ballistics were in the 2500 fps range with 140gr bullets. Nowadays handloaders get 2600-2700+ fps.
[Editor’s Note: Tor from Scandinavia offers this bit of 6.5x55mm history: “Contrary to common belief, the 6.5×55 was not developed by Mauser, but was constructed by a joint Norwegian and Swedish military commission in 1891 and introduced as the standard military cartridge in both countries in 1894. Sweden chose to use the cartridge in a Mauser-based rifle, while Norway used the cartridge in the Krag rifles. This led to two different cartridges the 6.5×55 Krag and 6.5×55 Mauser — the only real difference being safe operating pressure.”]
6.5-284 Norma — This comes from necking the .284 Winchester down to .264 caliber. Norma standardized it for commercial ammo sales. The 6.5mm-284 was very popular for F-Class competition and High Power at 1,000 yards. However, many F-Class competitors have switched to the straight .284 Win for improved barrel life. 6.5-284 velocities run 3000-3100+ fps with 140gr bullets.
.264 Winchester Magnum – Developed by Winchester back in 1959, the .264 Win Mag never really caught on and may have delayed the ultimate acceptance of 6.5mm cartridges by US shooters (in my opinion). It missed the whole point and original advantage of 6.5 mm cartridges.

Quick Comparison of Popular 6.5mm Rifle Cartridges « Daily Bulletin




Not many differences among these cartridges. The newer ones are the darlings of the gun rag writers, whose job it is to help sell new rifles by making a fuss about new calibers.

Excepting for the "magnums" in this list, the 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser will everything that the others will, and has been doing so for over 100 years. And yes, there are at least 5 more 6.5mm calibers that aren't included here.

A few of the 6.5's have been designed for shorter cases to allow them to work with the Black Rifle platform and that's reasonable if someone wants to use that rifle, but other than that, there's no ballistic advantage.

Hunting? Any of these will be effective for North American game excepting the large bears. The 6.5x55mm is commonly used in Scandinavia for moose, and it is effective for their hunting style, which involves driven moose often shot at fairly short range. (Not intending to be critical here, just stating my understanding.)

None of the cartridges above was specifically designed to be a target round, excepting for the AR platform. Best potential accuracy is obtained by short, fat cases pushing bullets at 3000 fps or beyond. This seems to have something to do the maximizing accuracy by minimizing the case's internal surface area.

This is the 6mm Lapua Bench Rest, as an example. This could be necked up to 6.5mm very easily.




All this to say that I'm not ready to get rid of my Marlins nor my 7x57 Mauser, nor my .308 Win just yet. They will still do the job for me. I wouldn't sell my 30-06 either, but I've never owned one. And sure, it's a lot of fun to experiment with new rifles and new calibers, but I don't need another cartridge to reload for, nor another rifle right now.

However, I'm happy for all of you who do. Enjoy.

Good luck. Stay safe.



 
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