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  1. #1

    Contradicting feedback on the 6.5Grendel for hunting

    I have been receiving a lot of contradicting feed back on how well the 6.5 stacks up as a hunting round for deer, antelope and elk. I am very interested in investing in an Alexander Arms 6.5 Grendel but i just don't know enough about it yet. Someone take me to school please!

  2. #2
    hm2 clark
    Welcome. I have 2 dedicated 6.5 Grendel bolt action deer rifles. Taken maybe 25 Southern deer at range 30-300 yards. Non have gone farther then 10 feet after being hit. I have trophy hunted deer the last 2 years with the 6.5 Grendel-no luck in that yet. I have taken small bear with the 6.5 Grendel- bang thump. I havent hunted elk with anything. I have an AR I hunt hogs with; maybe a couple hundred; some boars aproaching 300 pounds NONE have run more than 15 feet. I also plink at cans armidillos rabits coons skunks nutria coyotes gaters crows . It works every time the first time and with very little fuss. What kind of contradicting feed back have you heard?

  3. #3
    The 6.5 MM bore diameter is the minimum caliber I see as a true big game caliber, and in my opinion is the best bore diameter for North America big game hunting. This is because long for caliber bullets can be used that provide unequaled penetration with mild recoil. If the AR is your choice then the 6.5 Grendel is the best choice for an all around big game caliber in that platform, especially as the range extends beyond 300 yards.
    If you will use the rifle under 200 yards then there are plenty of choices that are equally good. But as the range extends the others fall out of favor.
    I'm a fan of the 6.5 caliber so you should know that. But you should also know how I became a fan, it was after encountering the 6.5x55 in the field, not by reading, although knowledgeable hunters have since reinforced my opinions. My first encounter was in the Brooks Range of Alaska guiding Northern European hunters for Dall Sheep, Caribou, Moose and Grizzly Bears. My thoughts at the time were that a .375 H&H was just right for the bears and moose and would do okay for the others. But as I was exposed to more and more kills with the 6.5, I became a convert. I could not distinguish the difference between a well placed 300 grain .375 or a 140 grain .264 bullet on the bears or moose. And the 6.5 truly outperformed the .375 on caribou and distant dall sheep.
    At this point you might be thinking that the 6.5 Grendel is not a 6.5x55 and you would be correct, but the difference is minimal.
    Since those early days in which I was first exposed to the 6.5 caliber I have taken over 200 head of North American big game and guided or accompanied others while taking yet another similar number of big game animals. As I have observed many combinations of caliber, bullet construction, shot placement, shot distance, shooter skill, and shooter discipline, I have become more firmly convinced that the 6.5 caliber is superior, especially so when considering the ease of shooting the caliber well.
    Just so you know that I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is here are a couple of pics of animals I have taken with the 6.5 bore diameter. This was with a larger capacity case but, I can assure you the results would be the same had it been the 6.5 Grendel.
    The first is a Boone and Crocket Bighorn taken in Arizona and the second is a Boone and Crocket Stone's sheep taken in British columbia which completed my grand slam of north american wild sheep #1042. I tell you these things not to brag but to let you understand that I have some experience to back my assertions. Also, I own several .257 cal, .277 cal, 30 cal, .338 cal and .375 cal mags I could have chosen but instead chose the 6.5 mm bore.

    I have a lot of others.
    Last edited by stokesrj; 02-07-2012 at 01:17 AM.

  4. #4
    where do you get your information Reaper1?

  5. #5
    Moderator bwaites's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    NRA Member, SAF Member Central Washington State
    The only place I've seen contradicting evidence is from the 6.8 proponents. It's laughable. The 6.5 has better sectional density, which equates to better penetration in most cases, along with bullets with better ballistic coefficients, which allow better velocity downrange, and yet they cling to their stubborn argument based on high muzzle velocities. Look at the actual numbers, and the Grendel is significantly superior anywhere past 300 yards, and comparable inside that, where both have plenty of energy for any North American hoofed game.

    The Grendel wouldn't be my first choice for elk at distance, but for normal range hunting shots, I'd have no problems using it. Mark Larue used a Barnes TSX and dropped one at 400+ yards a couple years ago. That's longer than I would attempt, but it piled up just a couple yards from where it was hit, so it was obviously up to the task.

    Thousands (maybe millions!) of Moose have dropped to the 6.5x55, and the traditional loads for it are very comparable to the energies that Grendel loads produce now.
    ”You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt

  6. #6
    Chieftain Drifter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    North Carolina
    With the right bullet placed in the right spot, I consider the 6.5 Grendel to be a good deer cartridge out to ~400 yards, and even further in skilled hands in the right circumstances. In the AR-15 platform, it's perhaps the best choice.

    Because the cartridge in the AR-15 platform is so accurate, coupled with mild blast and recoil, it tends to get shot often for sheer pleasure. That enjoyment can translate to both increased confidence and shooting skills so that, when taken afield, it's lethality seems to surpass logic.

    I'm not the first to say it, but most hunters using magnums for deer would be far better off with a milder cartridge in which they could learn to place shots more precisely.

  7. #7
    do a search on youtube for video's on 6.5, and 6.8 shooting long range, see what has more.

  8. #8
    Scroll through the hunting section on this forum. There are some beautiful pictures of plenty of game taken with 6.5 Grendels "the caliber that is only good for killing paper..ha ha". Run the ballistics on a 6.8 SPC hunting bullet of your choice, then run the same maker's bullet in .264" in the closest weight to the .277 out of a 6.8, and see how they match up, even with a 16" Grendel vs. a 16" 6.8. They are academically close out to 250yds, maybe 275, from where the Grendel will out-gas it all day long. Also, within those ranges, do you want a 120gr NBT stacked within .264" for penetration, or a .277" 120gr that is going slower past 100yds with more wind drift? Higher sectional density will cut through bone better, and the bullets open up the same, provided they have the minimum impact speed expansion threshold.

    The Grendel extends the minimum expansion threshold when you start looking at 300yds shots and further. The short, fat .277 pills start losing gas really quick after 275yds. Can you hot-rod a 6.8 SPC in a bolt gun? Yes, as you can with a Grendel, but you don't need to hot-rod the Grendel in an AR to get it to do what you want within 400yds, for medium game. Here are the projectiles to choose from:

    Projectiles: I have plenty of hunting and target projectiles to choose from with the Grendel-more than enough to work with in even an above-average shoot schedule. Hunting & TGT projectiles include:

    85gr Sierra Varminter
    90gr Speer TNT
    95gr VMAX

    100gr Lapua FMJ
    100gr Lapua FMJ Cutting Edge
    100gr Sierra Varminter
    100gr Nosler Partition Flat-Base

    100gr Lapua Scenar
    100gr AMAX
    100gr Hornady SP
    100gr Berger

    100gr NBT
    100gr Barnes TTSX
    100gr Barnes Tipped TAC-TX

    107gr SMK
    108gr Scenar

    120gr Norma FMJ
    120gr Remington Core-Lokt
    120gr Swift A-Frame
    120gr NBT
    120gr Speer Hot Cor
    120gr Sierra Pro-Hunter
    120gr SMK
    120gr Berger

    123gr SMK
    123gr AMAX
    123gr Scenar
    123gr Nosler Custom Competition

    125gr Nosler Partition
    129gr SST
    129gr Interbond
    129gr Interlock Spire Point
    130gr VLD
    130gr Swift Scirocco

    I kept it at 130gr and under, since the longer bullets take up a lot of case capacity, even though guys have used them without issue. Most shooters will not be loading 140gr VLD's, let's be honest, at least not in an AR-15. Given this list, I still hear that the 6.8 SPC has more projectiles available for it, and that the Grendel is limited on choice of projectiles to select from. There are plenty of even 120gr bullets and custom bullets from GS, North Fork, etc., that I didn't even include. I frequently see the picture entitled: "6.8 SPC Bullets" with 34 projectiles depicted, to include the Elite Ammunition Brass solids, 4 solids from GC Customs, a 120gr Barnes Solid that doesn't look like it would fit in mag COAL, and even 2 130gr pills that are meant for the .270 Winchester, that would never fit in a 6.8 case in the AR, unless you went past the ogive into the neck.
    Last edited by LRRPF52; 02-19-2012 at 06:45 PM.

  9. #9
    A little off topic but I went o the range with a friend who shoots the Quigly Down Under rifles in competition the other day to sight in my new Viper PST. He made a comment that his buddies have stated that AR's are not accurate. He said that they needed to see his friend (me) shoot my Grendel and then say AR's are not accurate, lol. This was my first year hunting with my grendel and I dropped two in their tracks at a about 100 yards. I am going to go down to the range in Ithaca this year and shoot at some turkey and pig metal targets. It is a 600 yrd range I believe. Charley is a Marine Veteran and one heck of a shooter so he will be of great benefit in helpiing me with long range skills.

  10. #10
    Thanks for the info. Several sources I have talked to say that the 6.5 Grendel would be nothing better than a coyote round. Others, like yourself, are saying that it is a great deer rifle. I am a huge fan of the AR platform and have a strong interest in this particular round.

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