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Dumping .308 for 6.5 Grendel?

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  • Dumping .308 for 6.5 Grendel?

    Ok,
    So I've been (slowly) working on an Aero M5 build. However I've been thinking alot about the 6.5 Grendel, and I think LRRP's posts on Arf may have pushed me over.
    I'm weighing pros and cons, and I'm now having a hard time justifying the .308.

    To me, the biggest Grendel pros...
    - AR15 sized. HUGE bonus as there's tons of manufacturers and parts out there that are built to an established and accepted spec. I don't have to worry about a bunch of different makers all making parts that are incompatible with other makers since there's not really an industry standard spec...at least not equivalent to the AR15/M16.
    - Ballistics. Not that I need it, but from everything I've read, the Grendel ballistics are as good if not better than the .308 (at least the 168 or 175), but better when you consider it does it in a smaller, lighter, and less recoiling package.
    - Cost. I don't reload, and from just casual internet surfing, it looks like Grendel match ammo costs less than match .308
    - Ammo Availability. It seems to be getting more popular and available.

    Grendel cons
    - Confusion between makers and their designations of Grendel I, Grendel II, etc. and the ensuing confusion with .136", .125". However, it seems to me that if you stick with known barrel makers that use SAAMI spec Grendel chambers you should be fine. Right?
    - Ammo Availability. Unlikely to find it in my local B&M store. However, the only time I buy ammo at a store anymore is when I go to Cabela's to visit my folks in PA. Otherwise, I order just about anything I could want for better prices online.


    .308 pros
    - High quality parts are everywhere. Even if you do happen to get some parts that don't fit or are incompatible, you'll still be able to find what you need.
    - Ammo is everywhere. You can go into just about any backwater sporting goods/hardware store and find .308

    .308 cons
    - No real industry standard. .308 ARs have a HUGE variance in parts from different manufacturers.
    - Heavy. Not that I'm going to be humping the rifle around, but it does usually end up being a heavy bitch.
    - Expensive. Parts/ammo cost more.

    So, am I crazy for thinking of selling my .308 stuff and just going with the Grendel? What are your thoughts? At this point a gasser in 6.5 creedmoor doesn't interest me as much since (from what I've read) they can be a bit more "fussy" than the .308.

  • #26


    I like the AR-15 platform. I picked up a used Alexander Arms Overwatch 6.5 Grendel w/ 24" barrel last summer. Added a PRS stock and Wilson Combat Drop-in Trigger.

    1st range day ... laser bore sighting at 25 yds,
    (2) 3-shot groups at 100 yds ... AA 123gr Lapua Scenars ... sub-moa
    (1) 5-shot group AA 123gr Lapua Scenars at 200 yds ... center mass ... .625 moa
    (1) 5-shot group Hornady 123gr Amax Match at 200 yds... center mass ... .5-moa
    10-shots Hornady 123gr Amax Match at 200 yds... headshots ... just to be a dick

    I'd buy the gun
    Last edited by merlinactual; 04-01-2017, 08:27 PM.

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    • #27
      My expirience: I had been using the 5.56 for head shots on hogs, or quartering shots to the vitals but lacked confidence in my 77gr smks busting a shoulder (actually upper leg for the heart). My 308 would do the trick but was way too heavy for my kind of hunting which involves around 4 miles of walking. I built up a light weight 6.5 Grendel and have not looked back. It doues everything the other two did in in most cases better.

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      • #28
        I think it comes down to the OP's planned use. Are you planning on using it in a match? For a range plinker? Run the .308 and shoot cheap ammo all day. Dog hunting? 6.5 will get the job done at the same ranges of the .308, and with less weight. Deer hunting? Lighter weight is a nice plus, unless you simply want a slightly bigger hole. Is it anything that your bolt guns can't accomplish or is this simply a "want"? The hard part is you can't go wrong with either one.

        I originally built a Grendel so I could plink 5.56 all day and then pull two pins and be able to hit dogs at range with confidence. I never got a chance to push it at range, and recently sold it. A heavy .223 pill will any job I need done within 400 yards. If I have the need to reach out farther or hit harder, it is obviously not a plinking situation so I will grab the bolt gun and hit what needs hit. Then I can go back to bulk ammo plinking. If I do build another semi in the future, it will most likely be a short and light Grendel.

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        • #29
          I have one .308 and a 6.5 G.. Wouldn't trade either in, I say keep them both!

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          • #30
            I think the 6.5 Grendel is the all-time sleeper of the AR-15 world.



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            • #31
              Purely from a ballistics standpoint, the Grendel will always be a little behind a 308 with equal length barrels. I had a 24", then sold it for a 16" which is now cut down to 12.5". At 12.5" it still shoots factory 123 Amax at 2350, which is all I need for hunting out to 300 or so. I didn't lose much velocity SBR'ing it, and it pretty much made my 300 BLK SBR obsolete. While I have a place for a 6.5 Grendel because it maximizes the AR15 platform, there are better choices in the AR10 platform. 6.5 Creedmoor would be my first choice.

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              • #32
                308 is the Chevy 350 of the cartridge world and every needs 1 or 2.
                I built a Grendel with an 18" 5R AR15 Performance barrel and matching bolt. The Grendel is a very accurate midrange cartridge that is great for punching paper, ringing steel ,or hunting anything up to deer/ hig size game in a light weight package. What's not to like?

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                • #33
                  I have an 18" Grendel, and a 20" .260. Wish I would have gone with a 22" on both. .260 weighs 12 pounds loaded. Grendel 8 lbs. So when whatever I'm doing dictates beyond 700 yards, .260 comes out. You've mentioned a lack of ammo. For .260 both Prime 130's and Hornady 130 ELDM are what you need. Both great factory rounds, and will get you out to 1k no prob with better ballistics than .308. I have found that the .260 Hornady ELDM ammo is the SAME price as Black Hills Grendel loads. So consider what you want to do, and choose accordingly. If you do try hand loading then make sure you setup your large frame for the Flatline 121gr bullets from the beginning.. I hope to be testing that bullet in my .260 in the coming months. I'd like to extend range a bit more without buying a new barrel.

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                  • #34
                    If Kel-Tec would ever get their shit together and make the RDB in 6.5 grendel I'd be a buyer!!!

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                    • #35
                      Originally posted by sandwarrior View Post
                      I think at this point the only real advantage for the 6.5G is you get long range in a lighter package. We now have bullets in .308 diameter that will get you as far and nearly as high BC as the 6.5's. Pushing the high BC but light 6.5 bullets is less of an advantage now for the 6.5 Grendel. It's still an advantage though. So, if you want to jump up in performance, get a 6.5 Creed or .260 to boost performance over a .308.

                      That said, I very much like my Grendel. And have liked the ones I've owned. There is still really only one magazine company that builds reliable mags, C-Mag. None of the polymer magazine manufacturers offer them yet for the 6.5G/.264LBC/6.5Sport.

                      As noted, the only cartridge you can pick up at a mom and pop store is the .308. But, that is a lost cause if we ever hit a panic buy again. .308 was off the shelves for years. Making all things kind of equal. You have to reload if you want it. That means stocking up on components.
                      I really think Sand nails it on the head, if you're dead set on something smaller/lighter by all means go Grendel in the AR15 platform. But if weight isn't an issue go with an AR10 in 308, 260, 6.5 Creed, 6 Creed or 243. Seriously

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                      • #36
                        Hey just to give you an update, Kel tec is also coming out with an RDB in 308 win, and also may be selling barreled assembly and bolt for other cartridge conversions on the same rifle. How they got away with what is the actual firearm on the RDB is anyone's guess (it's the steel piece that's on top that's is just the top cover and it joins the front and bottom together) no working parts are mounted in it or to it????
                        SB
                        savage 110ba .338 lapua magnum
                        savage 10 bas/k .308 win.
                        savage 10 6.5 creedmoor
                        model 96 swede 6.5X55

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                        • #37
                          Old thread but this issue comes down to one thing for me and that's recoil.

                          For hunting or energy on steel it'd be 308. You can kill deer with grendel but I'd rather keep it under 400Y, for shooting steel with light recoil I'd pick the 6.5G.

                          Now with 224V coming shortly, used for steel at long range and normal hunting distances, I pick this.

                          Large frame AR's never grew on me. I tried a couple and didn't like the weight or the big ole BCG rocking the gun.

                          I have a 6mmFatRat that is a sweet shooter. As the saying goes, punches above it's weight, no factory ammo though.

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                          • #38
                            Went through same considerations. Have excellent but very heavy 308 precision rig (18lbs) that have used for many years, but got tired of humping weight around. 300BLK AR Pistol was getting heavy for night ops at 11lbs with accessories. Wanted to try and bridge the gap between the two. Considered 6.5 Grendel but in the end went with 6.5 Creedmoor. Beats my 308 hands down, and used F1 receiver and lightweight components (Faxon 16" bbl) for overall weight at 6.5 lbs for AR10 platform. With all the other shit I've put on it I'm humping 11.5lbs now but still much better and balances very well. Shooting factory Hornady Precision Hunter 143 ELDx at 2650fps (+/- 15fps) and couldn't be happier on steel to 600 and critters to 315 so far (only 85 rounds total). 1MOA less drop to 600 and 1/2 the wind (was shooting 165 Sierra HPBT at 2720fps, fairly light loads in 20" barrel).

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                            • #39


                              Dumping .308 for 6.5 Grendel ?

                              " NO "
                              Dumping 6.5 Grendel ! !

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