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View Full Version : 6.8SPC vs 6.5 Grendel Info needed


supermario
11-02-2009, 12:18 PM
I have read good things about both calibers, but does anybody on here have any experience with both or either caliber.

Which is better for long distance and which has more knockdown power. I was thinking of one to use for Deer/Varmint Hunting, i know, (use a bolt gun) but i like the fact you keep the AR platform compact and light. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Also from what i understand, these calibers are in between the 5.56 and 7.x63x39, is this correct? Oh one other thing, do any of these calibers come in non-lead for hunting in condor range..

Bug Splat
11-02-2009, 12:26 PM
6.5 is one hell of a accurate round. It also is a very flat shooting round and will retain the energy at longer distances. It does an amazing job at bucking the wind too. There are some that have feeding problems due to the long bullet and steep shoulders but there are those who have had no problems. There are a wide range of bullet types and weights in 6.5

6.8 will give you more close range energy due to the heavier projectile but drops off at longer ranges. Accuracy is IMO "acceptable" but no where close to the 6.5. The 6.8 technically should feed more smoothly. There are a limited number of bullet types and weights in 6.8.

wildcard
11-02-2009, 12:52 PM
6.5 Grendel is what you want.

6.5mm bullets are the same as .260" bullets. Naturally, that falls in between .223" and .308" bullets as far as diameters go. Offers ballistics similar to the .308 Winchester but with less power. It's more than enough for whatever you want it to do though.

supermario
11-02-2009, 12:54 PM
I just did my own online research and found that the 6.5creedmoor would be a much better round for hunting. But limited on ammo. I found this cool gunsandammo webpage that shows the ballistics for all calibers.. Looks like I will be sticking to my 30-06 and or 300winmag.
check it out, very informative
http://gunsandammomag.com/cs/Satellite/IMO_GA/Chart_C/AMMUNITION+BALLISTICS+FOR+.30-06

Bug Splat
11-02-2009, 1:28 PM
There are a bunch of 6.5 widecat rounds out there. If you are looking at the 6.5creedmoor you might as well look at the 260remington or the round I bought, 6.5-284 Norma. Now that is an impressive round! Its a laser beam but requires a long action to get the most out of it.

http://i573.photobucket.com/albums/ss171/bugsplat/65x284_2.jpg

BigBamBoo
11-02-2009, 1:35 PM
............

PEBKAC
11-02-2009, 1:54 PM
If I recall, 6.8 was designed to give good energy and velocity out of SBR due to shortfalls of the 5.56 in this area. If you don't need that, you probably should go 6.5...either way you will probably be reloading if you don't want to listen to your wallet scream. ;)

sholling
11-02-2009, 2:16 PM
The 6.5 is a match/target round while the 6.8 is a solid stopper from a 16" barrel. The 6.5 is expensive and hasn't really taken off. The 6.8 is starting to become common with many if not most AR15 manufacturer producing 6.8 SPC uppers (or soon will be) and/or complete rifles, and nearly everyone producing ammo. For reloading the 6.8 uses the same .277 bullet used by a .270 and there are a wide variety of offerings running from 85-115gr. Because the 6.8 works so well from a short barrel it's becoming more and more common for hunting - especially for hogs. Bottom line both are good for what they were designed to to but I see the 6.5 as being a boutique/niche round while the 6.8 is going mainstream.

supermario
11-02-2009, 3:00 PM
Nice group! I am still working (ok..really have not been out much with it) on a load for my 6.5-284.

I too would go with the 6.5 over the 6.8. Based on nothing more then the wide selection of 6.5 bullets.

Take care,Stan

Here is my 6.5-284:

http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/4565/dsc040551024x768.jpg (http://img26.imageshack.us/i/dsc040551024x768.jpg/)

Thats a nice rifle. Is that 6.5 Grendel? Or another custom 6.5 round? Sorry for newb question.

BigBamBoo
11-02-2009, 3:16 PM
...........

Jpach
11-02-2009, 3:28 PM
6.5 is one hell of a accurate round. It also is a very flat shooting round and will retain the energy at longer distances. It does an amazing job at bucking the wind too. There are some that have feeding problems due to the long bullet and steep shoulders but there are those who have had no problems. There are a wide range of bullet types and weights in 6.5

6.8 will give you more close range energy due to the heavier projectile but drops off at longer ranges. Accuracy is IMO "acceptable" but no where close to the 6.5. The 6.8 technically should feed more smoothly. There are a limited number of bullet types and weights in 6.8.

Actually, IIRC, the 6.5 G can shoot heavier bullets. I know that there is at least 123gr 6.5G rounds out there and I believe the 6.8 SPC stops at 115 gr.

After a long time of me ignorantly bashing the 6.8 SPC to hell, I found out that it is "better" if you want a shorter barrel. It has pretty good velocity out of a 16" barrel and is faster than the 6.5 G at that barrel length. HOWEVER, if you want to go long range and you dont mind the barrel length then the 6.5 G is the way to go as it actually benefits quite a bit from the longer barrel. The 6.8 SPC doesnt really gain much from longer barrels.

1988
11-02-2009, 3:41 PM
I'd take a 6.5G for versatility. A 14.5" barrel with 6.5G can be very good for CQB or short range hunting, and can reach out to 500-600 yard range at ease.

The availability of bullet type and weight is awesome. You can have the best match ammo or get some Wolf MPT for tactical or practice. You can save a lot more if you roll your own.

C.G.
11-02-2009, 5:03 PM
The 6.5 is expensive and hasn't really taken off.

I guess you haven't heard of Wolf 6.5 ammo (not that I would use it but it is cheap), appeared way sooner than cheaper ammo for 6.8. There are several vendors that sell 6.5 uppers or barrels, not just AA.

With heavier bullets becoming available for the 5.56 I don't think neither the 6.8 or 6.5 will become mainstream.

bomb_on_bus
11-02-2009, 5:57 PM
the 6.5-284 is built for targer shooting and has been setting all kinds of records.

when I get into reloading I will be all over this round!

rabagley
11-02-2009, 6:30 PM
Both are great rounds, but the 6.5 g has the edge in utility as either a distance target round or a great hunting round (but not really both at the same time).

There are simply more 6.5 bullets available for reloading, and with there such a long distance between the OAL and the case mouth on the 6.5 grendel, you can (but don't have to) choose bullets with really high BC's that just aren't an option for the 6.8 SPC, even when the bullets physically exist. As an example, there are factory loads for 6.5 Grendel with 147gr. Lapua Scenars as compared to the 6.8 SPC where the barrels won't stabilize anything heavier than 130gr (and that's at the edge of the envelope) while the heavy factory load is 115gr.

mike9909
11-02-2009, 7:35 PM
can anyone tell me who makes a good 6.5 upper and were i can get it?

rabagley
11-02-2009, 7:48 PM
Alexander Arms or Competition Shooting Sports both make fantastic Grendel uppers. I give the edge to CSS.

There's one important difference between the CSS and AA uppers: the chambers and bolts are different by about 0.012. If you ever need to replace the bolt, buy it from the same source, or at least, when you go to a knowledgeable gunsmith (read: Randall Rausch) tell him who made your barrel and bolt.

sholling
11-02-2009, 10:23 PM
I guess you haven't heard of Wolf 6.5 ammo (not that I would use it but it is cheap), appeared way sooner than cheaper ammo for 6.8. There are several vendors that sell 6.5 uppers or barrels, not just AA.
I don't even think about wolf except for my SKS. ;)

6.8 SPC (http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#6.8%20ammunition____-_1-2-4_8-16-32)
6.5 Grendel (http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#6.5%20grendel%20ammunition____-_1-2-4_8-16-32)

With heavier bullets becoming available for the 5.56 I don't think neither the 6.8 or 6.5 will become mainstream.
It depends on what you consider mainstream. The military will stay with 5.56 for the same reason they stayed with 30-06 - the cost to switch over. They have bazillions of 5.56 rounds socked away for an emergency (like WWIII). They might prefer a 77gr but in a pinch the zillion 55gr rounds that they have socked away will work. BTW have you read up on DocGKR's comparison of the terminal ballistics of US military 5.56 loadings?

For those that want a carbine length barrel these just isn't any way for a 5.56 to to reach the lethality of a 6.8 SPC out of a short barrel. Where the 6.8 has the potential of becoming mainstream is hunting. The small size and hitting power of a carbine length AR15 in 6.8 SPC is ideal for thick brush. Especially for dangerous game where a quick second or third shot may be needed. Chuck Hawks rates the cartridge as being an effective and humane deer cartridge out to roughly 270yds. About the same as he rates a 6.5 Grendel. That was before the change in chamber and rifling (http://www.ar15performance.com/6_8_facts___load_data) that adds roughly 100fps.

FWIW I'm a fan of both cartridges. I just had to pick the one that fit my needs best. Now if we could just talk CZ into chambering their little 527 Carbine in 6.8 SPC. :D

k1dude
11-03-2009, 7:54 AM
IIRC, the 6.8 SPC is good out to about 300 yards. The 6.5 Grendel is good out to about 800 yards. Both shoot very well out of 16" barrels. The 6.5 Grendel is more accurate than the 6.8 SPC. The 6.8 supposedly has the ability to go through heavy walls like the 7.62 x 39. Evidently more so than the 6.5.

Another similar cartridge worth considering is the 6.5 MPC. The only problem is it's a wildcat.

Of the 3, I chose 6.5 Grendel. I have yet to buy an upper though. I'm still trying to decide on which upper. It may just depend on what's available since availability is so scarce. Ammo is very scarce too. Reloading is probably a good idea until availability improves again.

C.G.
11-03-2009, 6:02 PM
can anyone tell me who makes a good 6.5 upper and were i can get it?

Besides AA and CSS, you have

http://www.saternmachining.com/

http://www.proguns.com/lesbaer-65grendelsupervarmint.asp but I think they only sell complete rifles

http://sskindustries.com/6_5grendel.htm

http://www.sabredefence.com/commercial.php?focus=barrel

http://www.jprifles.com/1.2.2_JP15.php

http://jtdistributing.net/store/more_k_ckioc.html

http://www.accuracysystemsinc.com/ar15_conversion.php

I have an AA 24" upper, but JP rifles, Satern, Sabre Defence and Accuracy Systems would be the top choices.

C.G.
11-03-2009, 6:11 PM
I don't even think about wolf except for my SKS. ;)

6.8 SPC (http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#6.8%20ammunition____-_1-2-4_8-16-32)
6.5 Grendel (http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#6.5%20grendel%20ammunition____-_1-2-4_8-16-32)



From the above links 6.8 SPC ammo ranges from $20-$40 and Grendel 6.5 from $12-$35, which backs up my previous statement that Grendel is not all that expensive to shoot in comparison with the 6.8.

sholling
11-03-2009, 6:52 PM
From the above links 6.8 SPC ammo ranges from $20-$40 and Grendel 6.5 from $12-$35, which backs up my previous statement that Grendel is not all that expensive to shoot in comparison with the 6.8.
My point was the number of choices available. 9 factory loadings including 3 from Wolf vs 25ish.

Both are good at their intended uses and if your intended use is target/match shooting out of a 22" barrel then the 6.5 Grendel is clearly the better choice. They are both rated as humane for hunting up to roughly 270yds with rifle length barrels so I'd call that a draw. That's as far as I'm going to take a shot anyway. Where the 6.8 SPC pulls away is hitting power out of a 16" or shorter barrel. As I've said all along they are intended for different uses and shine brightest when used for their intended purpose. Pick accordingly.

C.G.
11-03-2009, 7:43 PM
My point was the number of choices available. 9 factory loadings including 3 from Wolf vs 25ish.


I realize that Midway doesn't carry it, but Les Baer and Black Hills also have factory loadings for the Grendel and perhaps others. I roll my own so I don't keep up with factory ammo.

Superbri
11-04-2009, 5:59 AM
Actually I'd be suprised if they had any 55gr. left. I tried ordering some several years ago while I was still in the Army as we had some A1's still that couldn't shoot the 62gr. bullets. I couldn't find any in the California armorys at the time.




I don't even think about wolf except for my SKS. ;)

6.8 SPC (http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#6.8%20ammunition____-_1-2-4_8-16-32)
6.5 Grendel (http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#6.5%20grendel%20ammunition____-_1-2-4_8-16-32)


It depends on what you consider mainstream. The military will stay with 5.56 for the same reason they stayed with 30-06 - the cost to switch over. They have bazillions of 5.56 rounds socked away for an emergency (like WWIII). They might prefer a 77gr but in a pinch the zillion 55gr rounds that they have socked away will work. BTW have you read up on DocGKR's comparison of the terminal ballistics of US military 5.56 loadings?

For those that want a carbine length barrel these just isn't any way for a 5.56 to to reach the lethality of a 6.8 SPC out of a short barrel. Where the 6.8 has the potential of becoming mainstream is hunting. The small size and hitting power of a carbine length AR15 in 6.8 SPC is ideal for thick brush. Especially for dangerous game where a quick second or third shot may be needed. Chuck Hawks rates the cartridge as being an effective and humane deer cartridge out to roughly 270yds. About the same as he rates a 6.5 Grendel. That was before the change in chamber and rifling (http://www.ar15performance.com/6_8_facts___load_data) that adds roughly 100fps.

FWIW I'm a fan of both cartridges. I just had to pick the one that fit my needs best. Now if we could just talk CZ into chambering their little 527 Carbine in 6.8 SPC. :D

k1dude
11-04-2009, 9:16 AM
Where the 6.8 SPC pulls away is hitting power out of a 16" or shorter barrel. As I've said all along they are intended for different uses and shine brightest when used for their intended purpose. Pick accordingly.

That statement isn't true. There is very little difference between the 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel out of a shorter barrel. Here are the energy stats out of a 14.5" barrel for both rounds.

Cartridge...Bullet....0...100..300 500 800 1000 yds.

6.8x43mm 115gr 1596 1282 803 489 271 215
6.5x38mm 110gr 1508 1293 936 664 396 297

At 100 yards, there's less than a 1% difference in energy between the two cartridges. But at 300 yards and above, the 6.5 Grendel pulls away and it's no contest.

http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/gunstuff/12_fa02.pdf

Jpach
11-06-2009, 5:05 PM
That statement isn't true. There is very little difference between the 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel out of a shorter barrel. Here are the energy stats out of a 14.5" barrel for both rounds.

Cartridge...Bullet....0...100..300 500 800 1000 yds.

6.8x43mm 115gr 1596 1282 803 489 271 215
6.5x38mm 110gr 1508 1293 936 664 396 297

At 100 yards, there's less than a 1% difference in energy between the two cartridges. But at 300 yards and above, the 6.5 Grendel pulls away and it's no contest.

http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/gunstuff/12_fa02.pdf

VERY interesting. And a very good find indeed

The DRis
11-06-2009, 5:30 PM
In my brief reading the 6.8SPC and 6.5G both had excellent penetration and stopping power at close range. And the 6.5 preformed better at longer range. I want a 6.5 bad, just waiting for the stuff to become cheaper. I don't reload, yet.

Bug Splat
11-06-2009, 5:38 PM
I have been looking at replacing my shotout 5.56 barrel in one of my CMMG rifles. I'm now going to convert that AR to the 6.5G. I'm just so impressed with the round and the 6.5 bullet all together. The the fact that this round can match and surpass the long range performance of the 308 is what sealed the deal. If I can find a load that uses the same amazing 140gr Berger Hunting VLD's and H4350 I will have an amazing combo with my 6.5-284. Also being able to buy wolf for plunking and guest shooters for $12 a box is an added bonus.

3GunFunShooter
11-06-2009, 6:42 PM
Daniel Horner of the AMU, shot a 6.5 Grendel necked up to 30 cal. In the AR Platform
Won the tactical division, at the 3 gun nationals. It made Major, 320 PF. They call it the "Gremlin"

sholling
11-06-2009, 9:48 PM
That statement isn't true. There is very little difference between the 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel out of a shorter barrel. Here are the energy stats out of a 14.5" barrel for both rounds.

Cartridge...Bullet....0...100..300 500 800 1000 yds.

6.8x43mm 115gr 1596 1282 803 489 271 215
6.5x38mm 110gr 1508 1293 936 664 396 297

At 100 yards, there's less than a 1% difference in energy between the two cartridges. But at 300 yards and above, the 6.5 Grendel pulls away and it's no contest.

http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/gunstuff/12_fa02.pdf
I'll stand corrected.

Desert_AIP
11-06-2009, 11:40 PM
That statement isn't true. There is very little difference between the 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel out of a shorter barrel. Here are the energy stats out of a 14.5" barrel for both rounds.

Cartridge...Bullet....0...100..300 500 800 1000 yds.

6.8x43mm 115gr 1596 1282 803 489 271 215
6.5x38mm 110gr 1508 1293 936 664 396 297

At 100 yards, there's less than a 1% difference in energy between the two cartridges. But at 300 yards and above, the 6.5 Grendel pulls away and it's no contest.

http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/gunstuff/12_fa02.pdf

Those are VERY OLD stats for 6.8 SPC.
I don't think we've really seen that performance from the 6.5 out of short barrels either.
The case design has a lot to do with the 6.8's short barrel performance.
It's very efficient with transferring energy.
Most of the velocity of the round is generated in the first 8-10" of barrel.
The neck down PPC style case of the Grendel restricts the outflow of gasses somewhat. That is why longer barrel are preferred for the Grendel.

aermotor
11-29-2009, 6:20 PM
IIRC, the 6.8 SPC is good out to about 300 yards. The 6.5 Grendel is good out to about 800 yards. Both shoot very well out of 16" barrels. The 6.5 Grendel is more accurate than the 6.8 SPC. The 6.8 supposedly has the ability to go through heavy walls like the 7.62 x 39. Evidently more so than the 6.5.

What do you mean when you say "good" in referring to their yardage? (6.8 good to 300 6.5 good to 800) If 5.56 is easily good to 400+ yards, the 6.8 has to at least be a few hundred more than that doesn't it?

wash
11-29-2009, 7:25 PM
6.5 Grendel might be accurate out to 800 yards because of a high B.C. bullet.

6.8 SPC's velocity falls off faster but it is accurate, Bill Wilson just shot a 5.5" group at 500 yards. I think that was out of a 16" barrel but it could have been 18".

5.56 can group well out far but what are the terminal effects?

6.8 SPC with the right barrel and ammo is a good pig killer out to 300 yards. A pig is a lot tougher than a man.

Grendel might be more accurate at longer distance but how much energy is left?

So what's more important to you, 500+ yard accuracy or more knock down power inside of 300 yards?

Each has it's place, 6.5 Grendel does have more bullets but 6.8 SPC has a bunch of nice bullets and surely more to come. There will be brass case 6.8 SPC for $13.99 a box in a couple months (SSA), I think that compares nicely to Wolf 6.5 Grendel.

thmpr
11-29-2009, 7:56 PM
Both are great cartridges... two different roles.

Brass and bullets are plentiful.

jaymz
11-29-2009, 9:12 PM
:beatdeadhorse5:

ar15barrels
11-29-2009, 9:20 PM
6.8 SPC (http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#6.8%20ammunition____-_1-2-4_8-16-32)
6.5 Grendel (http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#6.5%20grendel%20ammunition____-_1-2-4_8-16-32)

If you modify those searches to only show "available/in-stock", there's 9 options for 6.8 ammo that you can purchase today.
There are NO options for 6.5 ammo that you can buy today.

I'm just saying...

jjperl
11-29-2009, 9:21 PM
Personally, I'm going with the 6.8 spc for my next build. I generally don't need to shoot anything out past 300 yds, so it suits my needs just fine. Plus the energy up close is pretty amazing.

On top of not needing to go past 300 yds, reliability is a key issue to me. The shape of the 6.8 spc cartridge looks as though it will cycle more efficiently than the 6.5G in a semi-auto rifle. That's just my opinion though.

ar15barrels
11-29-2009, 9:24 PM
The case design has a lot to do with the 6.8's short barrel performance.
It's very efficient with transferring energy.

Let's not forget that the 6.8 feeds more reliably too due to it's gentler shoulder angle and more tapered case body which is much more similar to a 5.56 than the 6.5 case with it's sharp shoulder and blown-out case body.

Desert_AIP
11-30-2009, 5:57 AM
Let's not forget that the 6.8 feeds more reliably too due to it's gentler shoulder angle and more tapered case body which is much more similar to a 5.56 than the 6.5 case with it's sharp shoulder and blown-out case body.

I read a similar statement from DocGKR a while back, but couldn't remember the technical details as to why.
Thanks Randall!

ar15barrels
11-30-2009, 7:08 AM
I read a similar statement from DocGKR a while back, but couldn't remember the technical details as to why.
Thanks Randall!

AA recommends ramping the barrel and receiver more than M4 feedramps to improve feeding.