Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Deer Hunting => Topic started by: 1972Pinto on June 24, 2019, 02:03:07 PM

Title: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: 1972Pinto on June 24, 2019, 02:03:07 PM
Hello everyone, Iíve recently really got into the AR scene and I would really like to harvest a deer with my AR this Year. Right now I have the standard 5.56 upper but I would like to invest in a larger caliber. My typical hunting ranges are between 25-400 yards. Iím comfortable shooting offhand out to about 200 yards and prone out to the 400 mark. According to the numbers it should be more than adequate, however I would like to ask if any of you have had any personal experience hunting with the Grendel before I invest in a new upper. Thank you!
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: linxx77 on June 24, 2019, 02:17:44 PM
I'm curious to learn more about the 6.5 as well. I had always heard that the rounds are expensive, and I don't reload. I went with 300 blackout this year, and I can't wait to test it out. I've shot all my deer with a .308, and I was looking for something a bit different. Hope it goes well for  you!
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: lamrith on June 24, 2019, 02:23:44 PM
It's plenty for deer.  Just below 308win energy 0-400yrds and better than 308win 400yrds+ and it shoots flatter with much lower recoil.  Great caliber for younger or smaller shooters.

Hit up the 65grendel forums,.  Lots of great info there and tons of people hunting with them with zero issue.  Def a good caliber to be reloading fro as ammo is not cheap, last I looked sales for the Amax was in the $1/rnd range.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Alchase on June 24, 2019, 02:27:02 PM
6.5 Grendel ammo is not really any more expensive than any good hunting round. Basspro has it for $20 box, Same price I paid for V-max.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Karl Blanchard on June 24, 2019, 02:36:46 PM
I've been playing with the grendel for my daughter. It's nice because I can run a  .223 upper on th same lower as she will hunt with and then swap over to the grendel once she is really confident in the weapon. So far I've played with 123 eldm, and 120gr ballistic tips. The BT have held MOA in 3 different seating depths using 27gr of TAC on my last trip out. I think moa is about as good as this barrel is gonna do
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Alchase on June 24, 2019, 02:42:02 PM
I've been playing with the grendel for my daughter. It's nice because I can run a  .223 upper on th same lower as she will hunt with and then swap over to the grendel once she is really confident in the weapon. So far I've played with 123 eldm, and 120gr ballistic tips. The BT have held MOA in 3 different seating depths using 27gr of TAC on my last trip out. I think moa is about as good as this barrel is gonna do

How do you like the ELDMs?

I shot a couple hundred .223 V-MAX and ELDMs on Saturday. Did not get to stretch the range out to see a difference.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: pianoman9701 on June 24, 2019, 03:02:53 PM
It's plenty for deer.  Just below 308win energy 0-400yrds and better than 308win 400yrds+ and it shoots flatter with much lower recoil.  Great caliber for younger or smaller shooters.

Hit up the 65grendel forums,.  Lots of great info there and tons of people hunting with them with zero issue.  Def a good caliber to be reloading fro as ammo is not cheap, last I looked sales for the Amax was in the $1/rnd range.

The Wolf steel casing is about $0.65/rnd. It shoots a little dirty but performs surprisingly well. I haven't noticed a big difference 300 yds and under. Over that, it might be my eyes or the ammo - no way to discern.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: X-Force on June 24, 2019, 03:09:00 PM
I've been playing with the grendel for my daughter. It's nice because I can run a  .223 upper on th same lower as she will hunt with and then swap over to the grendel once she is really confident in the weapon. So far I've played with 123 eldm, and 120gr ballistic tips. The BT have held MOA in 3 different seating depths using 27gr of TAC on my last trip out. I think moa is about as good as this barrel is gonna do

Awesome. I have been thinking the same for my daughter. What barrel length are you running?
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: trophyhunt on June 24, 2019, 03:19:30 PM
My buddy and I shot his 6.5 at 750 and 950 yards this past spring, we hit our target which were rocks about 2'x 2'. I was impressed, nice two stage trigger, it has me thinking! 
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Karl Blanchard on June 24, 2019, 03:27:10 PM
I've been playing with the grendel for my daughter. It's nice because I can run a  .223 upper on th same lower as she will hunt with and then swap over to the grendel once she is really confident in the weapon. So far I've played with 123 eldm, and 120gr ballistic tips. The BT have held MOA in 3 different seating depths using 27gr of TAC on my last trip out. I think moa is about as good as this barrel is gonna do

Awesome. I have been thinking the same for my daughter. What barrel length are you running?
the 6 position stock is nice for her short little arms, though she hit a growth spurt and is just about able to comfortably shoulder the ruger American. I went with an 18" because I wanted the total package to be manageable with both weight and length.  It's not lightening fast at 2,475fps but it's intended purpose is deer inside 300 yards so not much concern about the speed.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Karl Blanchard on June 24, 2019, 03:28:32 PM
I've been playing with the grendel for my daughter. It's nice because I can run a  .223 upper on th same lower as she will hunt with and then swap over to the grendel once she is really confident in the weapon. So far I've played with 123 eldm, and 120gr ballistic tips. The BT have held MOA in 3 different seating depths using 27gr of TAC on my last trip out. I think moa is about as good as this barrel is gonna do

How do you like the ELDMs?

I shot a couple hundred .223 V-MAX and ELDMs on Saturday. Did not get to stretch the range out to see a difference.
ruling is still out as I ran out of them before I got new powder. I've got another box coming, along with a box of 100gr m's
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: carpsniperg2 on June 24, 2019, 04:33:53 PM
I have killed several big game animals with the 6.5G. Own several rifles chambered in it.
It is a very solid choice with light recoil and most are very accurate and lots of bullet choices. The 123sst has been my go to in the Grendel for hunting. I have shot about a dz different bullets and mine all seem to really like 123 bullets with the twist rates I run. For big game hunting the 100-123 probably be the better choice over some of the lighter options on the market.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Karl Blanchard on June 24, 2019, 05:08:59 PM
I'm gonna end up running 130gr Berger AR hybrids in mine just to annoy Carp  :chuckle:
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: yorketransport on June 24, 2019, 05:42:07 PM
The Grendel will absolutely work for deer at appropriate ranges. I consider it a 300 yard deer cartridge with most bullets but I know it will work beyond that. My little CZ 527 in 6.5 Grendel accounted for 4 deer in 3 states a few years back after getting passed around like the village bicycle among a couple of HuntWA members, including the long forgotten Jay_sharkbait.

I used the 130gr Accubond but something in the 120-123gr range is probably a better fit.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Goshawk on June 24, 2019, 09:30:21 PM
It's plenty for deer.  Just below 308win energy 0-400yrds and better than 308win 400yrds+ and it shoots flatter with much lower recoil.  Great caliber for younger or smaller shooters. Hit up the 65grendel forums,.  Lots of great info there and tons of people hunting with them with zero issue.  Def a good caliber to be reloading fro as ammo is not cheap, last I looked sales for the Amax was in the $1/rnd range.

I keep hearing these high stakes claims, but have yet to figure out the loading that makes the slow 6.5 Grendel somehow better than a mid range 308.
Since we're talking hunting, let's use Nosler ballistics and look at them both sighted in at 200 yards. This is straight from the Nosler website and Sterlock Calculator.

Take the 129 grain Accubond Long Range (.530BC) 6.5 Grendel load at a maxium of 2500fps out of a 24" test barrel (not a short AR15 gas operated system) you get the following ballistics.
Muzzle is 2507fps.
200 yards you're at 2,200 fps at 1387 ft lbs of energy.
400 yards you're at 1,919 fps at 1054 ft lbs of energy, at 27.4" low.
850 yards you're at 1,371 fps at 538 ft lbs of energy, at 248" low.

The 168 grain Accubond Long Range (.525BC) in the 308 Winchester at a maximum of 2910fps again out of a 24" test barrel, you get the following ballistics.
Muzzle is 2910fps.
200 yards you're at 2,500 fps at 2,463 ft lbs of energy.
400 yards you're at 2,255 fps at 1,897 ft lbs of energy, at 19.7" low.
850 yards you're at 1,640 fps at 1,003 ft lbs of energy, at 178" low.

While the 6.5 Grendel is the weakest and slowest of any of the commercial 6.5 rounds it is plenty for deer and such sized game in a low recoiling round. A much better choice than say the 300 Whisper for distance beyond 100 yards. 

What the 6.5 Grendel is not, is superior in flight or energy to the 308 Winchester when loaded to equal pressures out of the same length of barrel. Less mass traveling at a slower speed under similar BC's does not magically increase energy.

I've put two of these uppers together. One is an amazing 1/3 MOA tack driver with the 123SST line. The other is a 4MOA that jams 2 out of 5 rounds and is still waiting for me to either Gunbroker it off or send it back.  Both are of the same brand just different models. Oddly enough, the jammer is the bull barrel model and the tack driver is a lighter barrel; go figure.

Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Stein on June 24, 2019, 10:31:25 PM
I'm not sure you can find many rounds that are legal to hunt a deer with that aren't capable.  People shoot them successfully with everything between a self built bow and crew served hunting rifles that require two porters, a tripod and calculating the rotation of the earth before firing.

They really aren't hard to kill if you can find them and hit them with any sort of reasonable shot.  If you want to shoot one with a 6.5 AR rifle, go for it.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Bigshooter on June 24, 2019, 10:49:05 PM
The 6.5 swede and the 6.5 Grendel have very similar ballistics.  And the 6.5 swede has been used in Europe to kill a ton of moose.  I think the Grendel will do just fine on deer.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Alchase on June 25, 2019, 12:07:40 PM
Part of me thinks that in all these comparisons of .308 to 6.5 G being anywhere near each other, they are confusing the 6.5 G with the 6.5 CM.


 
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Karl Blanchard on June 25, 2019, 12:22:44 PM
Part of me thinks that in all these comparisons of .308 to 6.5 G being anywhere near each other, they are confusing the 6.5 G with the 6.5 CM.
I think often times that is the case. I'd also point out though that using 2,900fps for a .308 to compare the two isn't very realistic either lol.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: headshot5 on June 25, 2019, 12:35:59 PM
 :yeah:
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: carpsniperg2 on June 25, 2019, 05:00:35 PM
I'm gonna end up running 130gr Berger AR hybrids in mine just to annoy Carp  :chuckle:

Hahahaha oh that made me laugh. Good thing itís in a semi auto so you got lots of back up bullets to send  :chuckle:
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: carpsniperg2 on June 25, 2019, 05:05:33 PM
Here is a Japanese sika that met his match with my big game Grendel.
22Ē barrel 123sst about 100 yards.
Never seen so many chunks of heart and lungs in a blood trail. Tough little deer went about 50 yards.

I donít leave my pics on here so it will be gone after a bit but figured some Grendel love would help the idea.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Alchase on June 25, 2019, 05:16:59 PM
Loven that rifle!
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Goshawk on June 25, 2019, 05:51:10 PM
The 6.5 swede and the 6.5 Grendel have very similar ballistics.  And the 6.5 swede has been used in Europe to kill a ton of moose.  I think the Grendel will do just fine on deer.

Actually, the 6.5x55, or Swedish Mauser outpaces the Grendel by almost 200fps.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Goshawk on June 25, 2019, 05:53:10 PM
Part of me thinks that in all these comparisons of .308 to 6.5 G being anywhere near each other, they are confusing the 6.5 G with the 6.5 CM.
I think often times that is the case. I'd also point out though that using 2,900fps for a .308 to compare the two isn't very realistic either lol.

That's straight out of the Nosler Data, with a 24" barrel which by the way is always on line at no charge. Ditto Barnes Bullets.
A 18" Grendel is going to fare even worse considering the data was with a 24" barrel.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Goshawk on June 25, 2019, 05:58:03 PM
Part of me thinks that in all these comparisons of .308 to 6.5 G being anywhere near each other, they are confusing the 6.5 G with the 6.5 CM.

That makes sense.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Karl Blanchard on June 25, 2019, 07:04:20 PM
Part of me thinks that in all these comparisons of .308 to 6.5 G being anywhere near each other, they are confusing the 6.5 G with the 6.5 CM.
I think often times that is the case. I'd also point out though that using 2,900fps for a .308 to compare the two isn't very realistic either lol.

That's straight out of the Nosler Data, with a 24" barrel which by the way is always on line at no charge. Ditto Barnes Bullets.
A 18" Grendel is going to fare even worse considering the data was with a 24" barrel.
I'm not disagreeing that the 308 is superior to the grendel in every way, im just saying very few people are loading the 308 to 114% case capacity. Most are running an imr4350 or similar and achieving 2600-2750.  I load for 4 different 308 from 18" barrels to 24". 2500 in the grendel with a 120-123 is a fair velocity. Like I said before, I'm getting 2475 with 27gr of tac and I didnt see pressure till 29 so I could achieve 2500 in my 18" barrel very easily.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: wheels on June 26, 2019, 07:32:01 AM
first deer rifle was a 6 so i would say yes
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: daddyelk on June 26, 2019, 07:50:03 AM
I'm looking forward to testing mine out. I just finished an aero precision grendel with a faxon barrel for my 9 year old daughter. We shot it last night with factory hornady 123 sst's just enough to get the gas block adjusted and zeroed.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Cervus on July 05, 2019, 10:03:21 PM
Iím a late addition to this thread, but Iíll weigh in since I love my Grendel. My husband built mine when I started hunting so that I had a low-recoil, lightweight rifle to learn with. Thus far Iíve spent a small fortune target shooting, and taken a mule deer doe (65 yards), mule deer buck (200 yards), and cow elk (240-265 yards) with it, all using 123 grain Hornady SSTs.

The single-shot damage to the buckís heart/lungs was devastating at 200 yards---based on that, I have no issues going out to 300 yards for deer with this caliber.

The cow elk at 240-265 yards was a different story. It took 3 well placed shots (1 liver-lung, 1 double lung, and 1 heart) before she went down. I recovered a fully expanded bullet from under her skin on the offside front shoulder (didnít pass through). Based on that experience, Iím limiting myself to 200 yards on elk, and only then with excellent shot placement opportunities.

Things that stand out for me about the Grendel:
1)   Super customizable on the AR platform which is awesome for small folks like me (hurray for pistol grips and adjustable LOP stocks). Also being able to break it in half and stuff it in a pack for the hike in/out is priceless.
2)   Recoil is minimal, especially w/ a recoil reducing stock and muzzle break. Great for learning and recoil-sensitive shooters--no flinching/or getting walloped.
3)   Shot placement is critical, especially past 200 yards. But shooting accurately is really helped by the mellow recoil.

Full disclosure: Iím building a second rifle (6.5 CM or 7mm08, TBD) for elk as I want something that shoots bigger bullets faster out to 350 yards. But for deer, I will bring my Grendel. Every time.
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: CAMPMEAT on July 05, 2019, 10:23:09 PM
I've got a Biggerhammer 6.5 Grendel in my passesion, nuff said !!
Title: Re: Is 6.5 Grendel enough for deer?
Post by: Dan-o on July 06, 2019, 07:43:55 AM
Iím a late addition to this thread, but Iíll weigh in since I love my Grendel. My husband built mine when I started hunting so that I had a low-recoil, lightweight rifle to learn with. Thus far Iíve spent a small fortune target shooting, and taken a mule deer doe (65 yards), mule deer buck (200 yards), and cow elk (240-265 yards) with it, all using 123 grain Hornady SSTs.

The single-shot damage to the buckís heart/lungs was devastating at 200 yards---based on that, I have no issues going out to 300 yards for deer with this caliber.

The cow elk at 240-265 yards was a different story. It took 3 well placed shots (1 liver-lung, 1 double lung, and 1 heart) before she went down. I recovered a fully expanded bullet from under her skin on the offside front shoulder (didnít pass through). Based on that experience, Iím limiting myself to 200 yards on elk, and only then with excellent shot placement opportunities.

Things that stand out for me about the Grendel:
1)   Super customizable on the AR platform which is awesome for small folks like me (hurray for pistol grips and adjustable LOP stocks). Also being able to break it in half and stuff it in a pack for the hike in/out is priceless.
2)   Recoil is minimal, especially w/ a recoil reducing stock and muzzle break. Great for learning and recoil-sensitive shooters--no flinching/or getting walloped.
3)   Shot placement is critical, especially past 200 yards. But shooting accurately is really helped by the mellow recoil.

Full disclosure: Iím building a second rifle (6.5 CM or 7mm08, TBD) for elk as I want something that shoots bigger bullets faster out to 350 yards. But for deer, I will bring my Grendel. Every time.

Real world experience is NOT allowed.
Stick to ballistic tables.

Seriously, I like your analysis and conclusions, based on actual experience.

I put a Grendel together 6ish months ago......    I wouldn't take it to E. Washington, just because I have rifles better suited to longer shots.
But I do kind of want to take it on a  walk, looking for a Blacktail.