6.5 Grendel AR...Likes/Dislikes..??

Thread starter #1
I’m looking at picking up another Upper in 6.5 Grendel. I’m looking for something with more umph than a 5.56 to hunt with and use for SD purposes, if I ever need something that will reach out beyond 300-400 yards. I Really do not like the size and weight of A.R. 10 rifles… So going to stay with traditional A.R. 15. 7.62 x 39 is also appealing, but really,really falls off after 200/250 yards. Thoughts on the 6.5 Grendel..?? Ballistics +ballistic coefficient are good & supposedly so is the penetration! Drawbacks,other than ammo is more expensive than 5.56?
 
I think it would depend on what range you intend on using it for hunting ? I entertained the idea of the 6.5grendel before putting my last one together, but ammo isn't all that cheap for it, at least not suitable ammo for hunting, and target ammo is still more expensive than 7.62x39, I won't be using an AR for hunting at ranges past 100-125yds or so, if I've got further shots than that I'll use a bolt gun in .308 or .243, I went with the 7.62x39 as I already had a few thousand rounds of that ammo, and even with the current ammo shortage most stores still have ammo for it in stock. Both the 762 and the 6.5 require specific mags, as well as the 6.8 does, so there isn't any benefit in that department of one to another, the 6.8 has the advantage in velocity, but ammo choices are more limited I believe with that cartridge

the 6.5 will be flat shooting no doubt, with good velocity, I would base it on how much you intend on actually shooting it, versus the cost and availability of ammo
 
Thread starter #4
Interesting that the 6.8 is recommended over the Grendel. Not planning on high volume shooting. It’ll be a mid range hunting rifle,that will also wear a Thermal at most times. I just like the idea of a Semi-auto 6mm-6.5mm with 400 yd capability...but in the smaller AR15. It will be used for Hogs & Coyotes,at night...more than anything else! Personally...I’ve yet to pick up an AR10 that I didn’t feel was 11-12lbs+ fully loaded...which sukcs when you walk 4-5-600yds(one way) like I do sometimes. I’ll agree...7.62x39 is hands down the economical/smart choice..if shots are within 200yds..it just drops like a rock after that.
 
Interesting that the 6.8 is recommended over the Grendel. Not planning on high volume shooting. It’ll be a mid range hunting rifle,that will also wear a Thermal at most times. I just like the idea of a Semi-auto 6mm-6.5mm with 400 yd capability...but in the smaller AR15. It will be used for Hogs & Coyotes,at night...more than anything else! Personally...I’ve yet to pick up an AR10 that I didn’t feel was 11-12lbs+ fully loaded...which sukcs when you walk 4-5-600yds(one way) like I do sometimes. I’ll agree...7.62x39 is hands down the economical/smart choice..if shots are within 200yds..it just drops like a rock after that.
Guy on youtube, a.amantine does a lot of hog hunting out in Texas, his favorite rifle and one he uses more than others is a 7.62x39, not sure what distances he usually shoots them at, but he's always hunting at night, using thermals for the most part, he uses it cause of the cheap ammo, and he hunts them on a regular basis so he goes through a good bit of ammo.
 
Interesting that the 6.8 is recommended over the Grendel. Not planning on high volume shooting. It’ll be a mid range hunting rifle,that will also wear a Thermal at most times. I just like the idea of a Semi-auto 6mm-6.5mm with 400 yd capability...but in the smaller AR15. It will be used for Hogs & Coyotes,at night...more than anything else! Personally...I’ve yet to pick up an AR10 that I didn’t feel was 11-12lbs+ fully loaded...which sukcs when you walk 4-5-600yds(one way) like I do sometimes. I’ll agree...7.62x39 is hands down the economical/smart choice..if shots are within 200yds..it just drops like a rock after that.
I recommend the 6.8 over the 6.5 because it has a ton of hunting bullet choices, the 6.5 doesn't, plus the 90grn gold dot/fusion bullet in a 6.8 will open at lower velocities than any thing you can load in a Grendel case. A Grendel is not a 400 yd hunting rifle, even 400yds is pushing it for a 6.8. Handloads in a 6.8 make it no contest if you reload since SSA isn't around anymore. The Grendel is fine for punching paper and it does a better job at longer ranges for that purpose, but hunting is what keeps the 6.8 relevant. The only other advantage the Grendel has is steel case ammo for blasting, but when palmetto state has surplus xm68gd on sale it's the same price as Grendel steel case for a round perfectly suited to hunting with a 6.8.
 
I bought one for my first AR, since I wanted something I can hunt with and feel good about heavier bullet choices. I only pulled the trigger on one big-bodied Monroe county 9 pt that went bang-flop, so not a lot I can add. It was just as dead as with my 30-06, but it would have been with most any other caliber with the same shot. There are minute differences between a lot of calibers we won't notice, if we can hit the target.

I would go with whatever I could get the best deal on now, if there is such a thing as a deal on a gun right not. I have since added a 7.62X39, which is probably what I would pick, if I could only pick one. I am not going to shoot at 400 yds. My 22lr upper gets more range time for fun right now. I will hunt mostly with 45-70 and ML this year.
 
The availability of the cheap ammo is why the 7.62x39 was my choice, I already had quite a lot as food for an AK and a SKS, but fmj's, european hp's, and even cheap soft points are readily available many places, if I just had to have premium ammo a few companies make that as well. but I can go out and run through 100rd of the fmj's and I'm out maybe $25.
 
6.8 here as well. For strictly a hunting rig 6.8 is a better choice when comparing ballistics and selection of hunting bullets.

90 or 115gr Fusions can be easily found or if you reload Speer Gold Dots (what's used in Fusions) can be had cheap and with SPC II and especially with ARP chambers you can really up its ballistics.

The downside is the lack of cheap uppers. PSA sometimes has them but they go fast. I built mine with an AR15Performance (ARP) barrel. Built the way I wanted it's in the $700 range, it can be done cheaper but it's the way I wanted it. I get 7/8" groups with factory 115gr Fusions and 5/8" with cheap S&B fmj. I'm just hoping that when I start loading for it I can actually improve on those results.
 
6.8 here as well. For strictly a hunting rig 6.8 is a better choice when comparing ballistics and selection of hunting bullets.

90 or 115gr Fusions can be easily found or if you reload Speer Gold Dots (what's used in Fusions) can be had cheap and with SPC II and especially with ARP chambers you can really up its ballistics.

The downside is the lack of cheap uppers. PSA sometimes has them but they go fast. I built mine with an AR15Performance (ARP) barrel. Built the way I wanted it's in the $700 range, it can be done cheaper but it's the way I wanted it. I get 7/8" groups with factory 115gr Fusions and 5/8" with cheap S&B fmj. I'm just hoping that when I start loading for it I can actually improve on those results.
Don't be surprised if it shoots .5in groups with Handloads, Harrison is a bit of an abrasive personality but he makes some sweet shooting barrels. I need to swap mine over to my new frontier receivers so I can use my Magpul mags.
 
6.5 G hunter here. I’ve got to say, I’m pretty shocked by the opinions of this thread. Here are some alternate facts to consider:

6.5 G is about *** for tat with 6.8 SPC for hunting, however it is an issued military caliber for some of our European cousins, so it’s here to stay, and it’s cheaper per round than SPC if you just want to stock up for NFAC or zombie situations. IMHO, the 6.8 is on the popularity decline already. There was talk that the US military was headed that way, but it turned out to be a different animal.

I disagree with the Valkyrie doing anything better than Grendel for hunting. It might hit a steel plate at 1000 yards slightly better, but at this point it excites no one.

Not really a fact, but as a hunter the 6.5 G is the smartest move you can make in an AR 15 period! I’ve killed big deer with it, many friends have as well, and all the neighborhood farm boys are eating the hogs up with thermal Grendels around here. They all started with other calibers and end with Grendel. You won’t be disappointed.
 
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Ammo for either caliber is here to stay, the 6.5 is nothing but 7.62x39 brass so it is available. The 6.8 isn't going anywhere since Federal has military contracts to produce the ammo for Jordan and the Saudis on top of Valkyrie and 22 nosler using essentially the same brass. There's enough hog hunters in Texas to keep 6.8 on the shelves anyway. The question is when does federal release a 6mm version of the Valkyrie to compete with the 6mm arc. The Grendel is not any cheaper unless you get steel case, xm68gd is 7.99 a box when PSA has it in stock, online ammo for either caliber can be had for less than $20 a box for hunting ammo when there isn't a pandemic.
 
You've also got to step up to a 20" barrel in 6.5G to match the 6.8 with a 16" barrel under 400 yards. Beyond 400 the 6.5G pulls away, neither is good for hunting past 400 yds and if you're into punching paper past that there's better calibers available for that too.

For normal hunting 200 yards and less either will kill deer with no problem. The 6.8 performs best in 12"-16" barrels while numbers you'll see 6.5G folks always mentioning are with 20"-22" barrels.

But again under 200 yards where 95% of kills take place a 16" barrel of either caliber will work. The 6.8 will just do better with that same 16" barrel the closer you get to 400 yards.

After 400 yards neither caliber has the energy for hunting bullets to expand as they should.
 
I did some research into the 6.8 last year, as my son was leaning towards that caliber for a build, I found barrel availability was somewhat limited, with only a few manufacturers making barrels in 6.8, ballistically on paper it beats out the Grendel, but it doesn't seem to have ever reached the popularity the Grendel has, Originally designed for use in the military, but didn't catch on due to cost and other issues. I don't ever see it being any more popular than it is now, as its been out at least 16yrs now, the Grendel seems to have surpassed it in popularity, probably because of the 6.5 having a better long range reputation, I wouldn't mind having either caliber, I just think the Grendel ammo is more readily available
 
Thread starter #15
How about projectiles for either caliber,should I decide to handload for it? 6.5 has been around a long time & I’d think there’d be a wide variety of projectiles out there. Other than the SPC are there other,common 6.8 caliber rifles? I haven’t looked into it, but that’s definitely a consideration.
 
I have a 7.62x39 that I built for woods hunting, and I love it. It is a great 150-yard deer rifle, but worthless past that. I would think that the 6.5 would be a good choice for longer range. Why not get both? Takes about five seconds to change an upper.
 
6.8 = .270 caliber

Most using the 6.8 use 90 to 120 gr and there are a lot of choices for hunting bullets.

The problem it has with 130 gr and up bullets is their length cutting into a limited case capacity.

If you reload, check out ar15performance.com as there are several wildcats that you may be interested in.

.270 MSR - one of the most powerful ar15 calibers and good for longer range deer and elk.

TAC 30 (30 HERRETT) - supposed to have the for the best all out terminal performance on hogs and deer out to 300yds.

TAC 6 - a 6mm (.243) in a necked down 6.8 case that can use 55-105 gr bullets from varmits to deer and long range paper punching.
 
If you do decide to Handload the 6.8 has more dedicated 277 bullets for reloading that are built for lower velocities and will expand at lower velocities, the dedicated Barnes and federal components make great hunting loads, thats the reason the Grendel isn't as good for hunting because the 6.5mm components are designed for higher velocity rounds that you can't hit. Cavity back bullets makes dedicated 6.8 bullets for higher grain bullets with a cavity that allows for more case capacity, I don't know if they ever came out with the 6.5 version. The 270msr is definitely an intriguing round and would be excellent for hunting, nothing in an ar15 is going to beat it. The only disadvantage is not being able to buy ammo of the shelf for it. I also understand why you would be investigating these rounds, the only reason I have an ar10 receiver was because of the 2016 election and after building a rifle with a 16in barrel, that ar10 is still a bit hefty to tote around.
 
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