6.5 Grendel Bolt rifle

Discussion in 'Big Stuff -- 6.5mm, 7mm, 30 Cal' started by Ksmirk, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. Ksmirk

    Ksmirk

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    Well after a couple of days of searching and digging it doesn't seem like I have found what I've been looking for so thought I would just ask and hope. I have found AR load data everywhere but I was looking to build a rifle to save my 243 barrel and have a little fun shooting steel out to around 500-600 yards and thought the Grendel would be a good choice and wouldn't break the bank. I've got a Savage Mod 10 short action I was going to use as a donor and more than likely screw a Bartlein 1-8 guessing 24" but may have to go to 26" depending on what information I can come up with, I would like to shoot the Berger 130gr bullets..... why you ask? honestly I'm not sure!

    I know with going to a bolt rifle I can bump the pressure up a touch and as well can stretch the OAL a bit but haven't really found any information I'd put much trust in. I've read the 6.5 Grendel guide but sorta vague as it seemed mostly geared toward the AR platform. So I guess if there are any of you folks who are shooting the 6.5 Grendel in a bolt rifle if you would not mind offering a little of your load information so I could get a starting point (yes I will be backing off the loads! I'd rather not blow anything up) but what kinds of OAL are you running, powders, bullets, and if you would like to offer a couple of loads you can PM those to me as I'd hate to see someone load them in an AR.

    Thanks a mess fella's! I'm sure I'd get there on my own but if I can get a little data maybe it would save me a bit of time. Again thanks for your time and have a great evening! Later,

    Kirk
     
  2. Lone Hunter

    Lone Hunter

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    You might want to go look on this site and ask questions. I am waiting on a BHW 264LBC Barrel to put on an AR so I can't help with the loads. Perhaps someone on this forum can help you as it is about the Grendel. Good Luck
    http://www.65grendel.com/forum/
     
  3. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

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    Did that same thing about 12 years ago, had a new 30" Bartlein chambered for 6.5 Grendel for a new bolt action (Gilkes-Ross) I bought in 2005.

    Keep in mind if you shoot that rifle as a 243WIN now you might have issues with extraction as the Grendel case head is nominally smaller than 308-size case heads like your 243. Depending on the shape of your extractor it might work, or you might have issues with it pulling off of Grendel case rims.

    It worked OK in the G-R but ultimately I found the case capacity inadequate for anything above 120 grain bullets out at 600 yards & beyond. I had the Bartlein re-chambered to 260REM a few years later.

    Were I in your position I think I'd seriously consider chambering for 6.5x47 Lapua or 6.5 Creedmoor, both fully capable of pushing 140's to efficient velocities. 6.5 Grendel is a wonderful cartridge design but it has its limitations.
     
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  4. swd

    swd Gold $$ Contributor

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  5. Ksmirk

    Ksmirk

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    This won't be a switch barrel but stricktly a Grendel, .447" bolt. I appreciate the suggestions for a higher HP round and fully understand the thought behind them just looking for a short to mid range plinker. I shoot a lot by myself and most days the 223 even with 75's is a touch difficult to pick up hits past 300 and thinking the Grendel with its limitations will help me with wind calls as well as thump the plates with a bit more authority that I can detect.

    I had a 6mm Fat Rat that was an awesome round that I would do again if it weren't for the price of dies, I had a bum barrel that my targets looked like I was patterning buck shot over shooting for groups! I can deal with a half inch gun but 1 1/4" nope! but that's another story in itself.

    I guess in a nutshell I'd like to build something interesting and not be a cat, I've got my LR rifles and about to complete my ELR but finding out the limitations with my 223 so looking for a caliber on the lower end with a touch more thump. Thanks for the ideas fella's Later

    Kirk
     
  6. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

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    Then you may be satisfied with it!

    I'd start with the 105-108 grain bullets first then expand into 117-123 weight.

    Much beyond that, particularly with a shortish barrel, I think might disappoint out at 600 yds.

    Let us know how this turns out for you please. We like feedback that expands our collective knowledge.
     
  7. ASbobcat

    ASbobcat Silver $$ Contributor

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    +1 on 6.5x47L/Creedmoor and "Grendel LIMITATIONS".
     
  8. Ksmirk

    Ksmirk

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    Fellas I'm looking for info on the Grendel, the 6.5x47, 6x47, no way in hell I would own a fanboy 6.5 Creedmor I already have a 243 and 308 that I run to 1k and 1300 and just waiting on my stock to get here for my 300WM ELR that I'm hoping to push my ranges much further.

    6.5 Grendel is a little fella for sure but so are the PPC and BR rounds that people stretch the range on as well! my range has a 600 yard High Power and 500 meter silhouette range and my other rifles are rather boring.

    I appreciate you folks who have given me some solid advice/ opinions and I look forward to more but to the others I'm not looking for caliber advice. Later,

    Kirk
     
  9. ASbobcat

    ASbobcat Silver $$ Contributor

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    Kirk,

    If I may, I will share my personal Grendel experience. I, like many others, fell victim to the "hot new cartridge hype" when it first came out. I soon found that the weak link is the brass. If you cut a Grendel case in half and compare the case head to a Lapua BR or x47L, the difference is dramatic. I will PM you with a photo. AA had the Grendel brass designed to hold the maximum amount of powder, which resulted in a much thinner case head. After four firings with AA published loads, my brass was toast. This is fine if you are independently wealthy.
    For contrast, I run both my Lapua 6BR and 6.5x47L hot and cannot wear the brass out after more than 100 loads in each.
    Just another consideration you may wish to take into account,

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
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  10. JLT

    JLT Gold $$ Contributor

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    I don't shoot the Grendel in a bolt rifle, but I'll happily share some load information that you may or may not find useful . . .

    Firstly, I use Lapua brass and I find it to be of typical Lapua quality, that is to say, pretty stout stuff and very consistent. I felt a little funny about feeding a gas gun Lapua brass, but it was so much better than the others that I really didn't mind having the brass catcher attached all of the time. You won't have that problem in a bolt action.

    As for bullets, I've had very good to excellent results with the 107 gr. SMK and the now-defunct 123 gr. AMax. The 100 gr. AMax shot reasonably well, but was much more particular about powders. I've only recently started working with the new ELDs and it looks like they'll perform similarly to the 123 gr. AMax. Since I'm limited to 2.26" COAL, I haven't given anything heavier than 123 grains a look. Yet.

    I started my load work up with the 107 SMKs at 29.0 gr. of 8208 XBR lit by Tula SRM primers and I stayed right there. My 20" bull profile 1:8 twist piles them one on top of the other with regularity. I have plenty of room to push them faster, but I'm very satisfied with the accuracy. Velocity out of my 20" is 2,670.

    The 123 gr. AMax is very easy-going in my rifle and shoots very well with H335, BLC-2, 8208 XBR and Benchmark. AA2460 did pretty well, too, but was not as consistent as the other powders mentioned. I've settled on 29.1 gr. of H335 in front of a Tula SRM primer as the staple load for the 123, giving me an average velocity of 2,530-ish with very good accuracy. This is the load I use to ring the 6" gong at 600 and I've used it on whitetail with perfectly acceptable results.

    The 123 gr. ELDs, too soon to tell, but the few groups that I've shot are encouraging. They have less bearing surface than the AMax, so one should be able to push them a little faster with equal pressures.

    I recently finished a 6.5 Grendel build for a customer on a Howa 1500 barreled action and he's been having a ball with his load development. He's used some of my data as reference points and he reports velocities just under 2,700 with 123s out of his 24" barrel with his H335 work-up. He plans on trying Alliant 2000MR, AA2520 and CFE223 with the 130 grain Bergers and Normas in the near future. Velocity in the neighborhood of 2,700 fps with the Hornady 123s is nothing to sneeze at. I'm curious to see what he gets with the 130s.

    I like the Grendel quite a bit - a very well-mannered little round. I wish you the best of luck with your project.
     
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  11. Ksmirk

    Ksmirk

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    JLT thanks a mess! this information is what I was looking for. I know the Grendel is not going to be a hot rod by any means.... hell I have found myself shooting my 308 more than my 243 as it takes a touch more effort in the wind to hit those small plates out there so I can see the reason some like the hotter 6.5's as like the 243 those long plates are just easier to hit! heck I'm not even pushing the 243 and 105 Berger's that fast, 3009fps but they shoot well and granted I do my own barrel work and installs I'd rather not be purchasing another Bartlein here in the near future for the 243.

    Please let me know what your customer comes up with the 130's as I would be rather interested! funny you mention powders as I shoot a mess of the AA2520, and RL15 which is almost the same burn rate but I found the CFE223 to get my AR's dirty rather quickly so I've steered away from it.... may be fine in a bolt rifle. Again thanks for the info and let me know when you find out from your customer. Later,

    Kirk
     
  12. Ksmirk

    Ksmirk

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    ASbobcat I'm not buying into the hot round hype, the Grendel is anything but a hot little round but it has it's place in the world of calibers and from the research I've done it seems to be a rather good fit for what I'm after which is a pretty decent bullet with decent BC at a moderate fps and a small powder charge. As for brass several folks I know have been forming 7.62x39 brass to Grendel with amazing results! so while I know the Lapua brass is the cats meow supposedly there are more economical ways to skin this cat and after all this is not going to be a bench rifle so if I can get 1/2-3/4" groups it'll be just fine for what I'm after.

    From my reading I don't think my expectations are set too high, I was looking for around 2500-2600fps and from the direction some have pointed me I think going with a 24" barrel I'll be rather close and go with a 26" there is a chance I could exceed my original expectations. The same velocity as I'm running 75gr BTHP's from the 223 but I would be running a higher BC bullet with more weight so the longer ranges should be a touch easier along with I should be able to hear the impacts much better.

    I do appreciate your opinions you have offered, thanks. Later,

    Kirk
     
  13. SG4247

    SG4247 Silver $$ Contributor

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    Kirk,

    I think this is a worthwhile endeavor. I own many (over 10) Grendel AR rifles. This includes a few Grendel cats too. So, I am a fan. I also shoot F-open in 6x47 and 6.5x47 Lapua also, so I am not your typical - cheaper than dirt - AR guy.

    My 75 year old father is a Grendel fan as well. He got twisted up one day, and decided to build a Grendel bolt gun. His was based on the Rem 700 action and was magazine fed! Worked great, he had me tweak a few mags for it, and he had to tune the extraction some. He immediately sold the rig to a yote hunter (who had to have it) within days of finishing the rifle, so I never even got a chance to shoot it. Accuracy was excellent but he never even had time to chrony it.

    As others have said, case capacity is an issue. But in a single shot bolt gun that is not constrained by a fixed mag length dimension, you can put more powder in the case.

    So, your Grendel bolt rifle free bore dimension would need to accomodate a COAL and bullet design that you prefer.

    Personally, I would use the 6.5mm 120 Berger target bullet seated at 80% of case neck length to determine an initial freebore needed. Then find a reamer to suit. I doubt the 130 class bullets will ever be truly satisfactory with this case. The 6.5mm 130 AR HYBRID from Berger might work, but the bullet is really too long for the Grendel case IMO.

    I regularly shoot the 120 Berger bullet at 600 yard steel gongs in AR Steel Plate competition from 20" - 22" AR barrels - with 1-8 twist with great success. I use CFE 223 powder for consistency, and cuss when I have to clean it. MV runs 2550 from a 20" tube. Generally, one match is about 100 rounds fired so Im cleaning and cussing every 100. A bolt gun would be much easier to clean! Other Grendel shooters that participate in this match use VhitaVuori, XBR8208, 2520 and RL15.

    Ive seen Grendel brass from Lapua, go twenty (20) firings from an AR, so no concerns there.

    Let me know if I can help, as i have tested hundreds of different Grendel loads, and continue to do so just for fun!

    Good luck! See you at the OKCGC!
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  14. JORTZ

    JORTZ Silver $$ Contributor

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    I too cant speak of a bolt gun but owned several ar grendels. With the accuracy i get from 2.26 oal i decided to single load them 15 thousands of the lands which was 3.03 oal and was amazed at the accuracy.
    I was using 28.5gr of 8208 xbr with cci mag primers.
    All that being said is why i just started buying parts to build a bolt gun now.
     
  15. Rtheurer

    Rtheurer

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    Have you looked at the new Howa Mini action in 6.5 Grendel? A guy at the club showed me his and I was actually kinda impressed with it. Little detachable magazine and a decent trigger even. I have not purchased a Factory rifle in quite a few years but I am seriously looking at getting one of the little Howa's. when the Barrel goes I will chamber a the next one in 6mm Fat Rat/Grinch/Turbo40.

    Neat little rifle.
     
  16. people

    people

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    Yes it is but it has a 5 round magazine.
     
  17. Ksmirk

    Ksmirk

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    SG4247 I believe we shoot on the same range :) and I appreciate the offer and suggestions. This will be a repeater or at least that's the plan! going to do my best to modify a 308 mag so the little Grendel cases will feed but being a short action I've got plenty of room for the longest COL possible, I have access to a SAMMI Min. reamer and if all else fails and the throat is short I'll order out a throater from Manson and make it fit but this is going to be a bit in the making as I've got a mess tied up in my 300WM and still have a ways to go. I may bother you for some ideas on loads down the road thank you for the offer!

    JORTZ, I'm just not a great fan of the AR platform, built a 6mm Fat Rat couple years ago and while the barrel ended up being a turd that little round is really interesting! BUT with all the work that goes into forming the brass I sure didn't like it being thrown all over from the AR so the reason for the bolt gun idea plus it just seems like a interesting little round to give a try! all else fails there are several 6.5's I can re chamber too but from what I've read and been told I'm pretty sure when I get this completed it's going to be a fun little rifle.

    Rtheurer, I have seen that little rifle and it sorta reminds me of my CZ527 in 17Rem just not as pretty :) reason I'm going with the Savage action is that it's a true short action and I was wanting a repeater that I can load to longer OAL to gain a bit more room for powder with the heavier bullets as what I've read about the Howa and CZ the OAL is pretty much limited to normal Grendel specs.

    Guys this information is awesome! I greatly appreciate you taking the time to offer it to me. Later,

    Kirk
     
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  18. JLT

    JLT Gold $$ Contributor

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    Kirk,

    The snow has melted to the point where we can see the ground here in central NY (hoo-rah!) and activity at the range has picked up. I'm sure I'll have something to report on the 130s shortly.

    With the right chamber, you might be able to get your seating depth out to a point where you'll be able to get enough CFE in the case to clean up the burn a bit. 2000MR might be worth a look with the 123s and the 130s, too. That powder can produce some serious speed in small-to-mid capacity cases with heavier bullets.
     
  19. flatlander

    flatlander

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    I got all fired-up when I found out about the new Howa Mini actions available in 6.5 Grendel. Bought a CZ527 carbine in 7.62x39 a few years ago, only because I was looking for an action scaled/proportioned for the 6 RAT cartridge, and didn't want to spring for a Sako 6PPC, then part it out. I did a Krieger #4 sporter in 6 RAT for the 527, and it made a sleek little walking varmint rig. But the 527's Mauser-style claw extractor won't slip over the rim of a single-loaded round with 105s seated out too long to fit in the CZ magazine, so I started looking seriously at the Howa Mini.

    Even though the Sako action would still be my first choice, the Howa Mini is much more affordable AND available, so I bought several barreled actions. It took awhile to get aftermarket stocks for the Mini, but now Boyds does the inlet for it, and I have one of the 6.5 Grendel rifles in their ProVarmint w/adjustable cheekpiece. Haven't had it down to the range to check accuracy with Hornady BLACK 123gr ammo yet, but am looking forward to it. I pulled the OEM bbl from the 2nd Grendel Mini, and am nearly finished with a Bartlein 1-8tw 5R bbl in lt Palma contour for it. I turned the 1.250" shank down to 1.090" to be a better match with the receiver ring OD, and chambered it for 6 RAT. I left it at 24.5".

    McMillan initially wanted $500 to model for the Mini inlet, but when I checked back with them several months after making my first inquiry, they told me they'd received so many requests for the Mini inlet that they'd be happy to model it if I'd send them a bbl'd action. Since I had another Mini in 222, I sent it off to them, and in due time, received a Sako Varmint stock back with their typical excellent inlet completed for the Mini. The above mentioned 6 RAT is going into this stock, and I also have an order in with them for a Game Scout stock for the Mini. At this point in time, I have no actual shooting experience with the Mini actions, but have no reason to not expect good accuracy & reliable function. Right now, I'm torn between building an accurate yet lightweight 223 on the 222 Mini when I get it back from McMillans, or go with a 20 VarTarg on the same action.
     
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  20. chuckbuster243

    chuckbuster243

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    I have a savage model 10 chambered in 6.5 Grendel. The bolt face is from pt&g. I spec'd a reamer for optimum seating depth for 123's and a .295" neck. I use Lapua brass for match uses and fireform 7.62x39 for shooting prairie dogs and varmints. It likes being on the high end of the ar load range and shoots crazy accurate. IMR 8208 CCI primers and 123 nosler or amax will shoot knotholes at 200 in my rifle. I shoot short range and mid range f class with it with good success. Competes with the br for me. Matt
     

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