6.5mm Grendel Ammunition
History of 6.5mm Grendel Ammunition
The 6.5mm Grendel cartridge was introduced by Alexander Arms at the 2004 SHOT show by Alexander Arms. The concept was to create an intermediate caliber cartridge that would outperform the 5.56x45 round and be effective out to 800 yards. It also had to be able to run on the AR-15 platform, to include the double stack configuration of the magazines. The cartridge case is a “necked up” version of the 6mm PPC benchrest cartridge.
The 6.5mm Grendel has multiple uses due it its’ flexibility, accuracy and compatibility with the AR-15 platform. The cartridge has been reported to easily hold 4 inch, 3-shot groups at 600 yards. This performance makes it popular among varmint hunters. The ballistic coefficient of the Grendel helps the bullet retain its energy longer throughout its flight. This is something that is desirable among silhouette shooters and military users as well. The size and shape of the case, along with the excellent ballistic coefficient make the bullet carry its’ energy farther. Additionally, the cartridge requires less powder for the energy it generates as compared to similar cartridges, this generates less recoil and lengthens barrel life.
When considering the military/law enforcement markets, Alexander Arms makes a 125 grain, tungsten core bullet, armor piercing cartridge that is claimed to be able to penetrate a level III SAPI hard plate at 300 meters. Another point that is valuable to the potential military/law enforcement user is that the Grendel functions reliably when used in full auto and three shot burst capable rifles and can also be used in belt fed weapons if needed.
The ammunition is commercially available in bullet weights from 85-130 grains, velocities range from approximately 2500 to 2800 feet per second. In some loadings the bullet will still retain over 1000 foot pounds of energy at 600 yards. 6.5mm Grendel ammo is being made by Wolf Performance Ammo, Alexander Arms and Hornady. This makes the cartridge fairly easy to find and also keeps the price point reasonable when compared to similar cartridges.
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