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Is 6.5 Grendel "Dead"??

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Darin Jordan, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Darin Jordan

    Darin Jordan Renton, WA New Member

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    I am wanting to build an AR-15 platform for Deer Hunting, and was seriously considering the 6.5 Grendel. Would like something that will work out to 500 yards or so, not that I intend to actually shoot at that range, but I'd like the option if I wanted to.

    The 6.5 Grendel seems to fit the bill, but it appears that availability of ammo may be questionable.

    I may get setup to handload at some point, but for now, I want something that I can purchase ammo for.

    Am I chasing a "dead" caliber, or is there going to continue to be support for this cartridge?? I'm waiting on the barrel/bolt at this point, but have everything else to assemble the entire gun. If there is a better option out there, now is the time to figure that out.

    Thanks,
    Darin
    Renton, WA
     
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  2. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Nothing is dead if you reload.
     
  3. Morpheus

    Morpheus Columbia Gorge Anyway, back on the farm.

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    My guess is there will always be a few specialty outfits you can buy it from, but the promise of it replacing the 5.56 like people thought it would has died.

    I think it is in the same boat as the 6.8 SPC round.
     
  4. Solomon

    Solomon Vancouver Active Member

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    As far as I can tell, it has as big of a following as ever and still growing.

    It is however a niche cartridge... and that is unlikely to change.
     
  5. Darin Jordan

    Darin Jordan Renton, WA New Member

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    Interesting... I noticed last night on Midway USA that EVERYTHING related the the 6.5 Grendel has changed status from Backorder OK, to NO Backorder. I guess that support has dried up.

    The 6.8SPC seems to have some manufacturers support in the ammo department at least. It was announced that Hornady was releasing a new SST load for the 6.5 Grendel, but I can't seem to find those either.

    Hmmmmm.... Maybe I'd be better off doing a 300 AAC BLK or ???

    I really liked the ballistics of the Grendel for what I wanted to do...
     
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  6. Darin Jordan

    Darin Jordan Renton, WA New Member

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    I called Hornady this morning and confirmed that they don't forsee stopping the supply of their new SST ammo for the 6.5 Grendel... As long as that's available, I think I'll be in good shape. I'm going to let my Midway order for the barrel setup stand and see if it actually gets shipped.

    LMT, on the other hand, accepted my order for a new bolt carrier last month, and they were IN STOCK when I placed the order, but are now saying JULY... Grrrrr.... I hate it when companies do that... putting off the individual buyers in favor of larger ones...
     
  7. del_and_bones

    del_and_bones Anchorage, AK Physics Pirate

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    Everything black rifle and black handgun (namely magazines, barrels, uppers) went from Backorder OK to No Backorder in the last couple days. It's due to demand for EVERYTHING, not lack of support.

    6.5 is a SAAMI cartridge and is popular, like Solomon said, it has a growing following. Wolf is producing brass cased ammo for it and they show no signs of stopping.
     
  8. mortar maggot

    mortar maggot western wa Active Member

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    It will stick around, it will never be as popular as 5.56.

    6.5 Grendel, 458 SOCOM, 450 Bushmaster, and many other EBR cartridges were hard to find before Dec. 15 Now everything is gone.

    6.8 SPC is probably second most popular in an EBR and you usually had to search to find it.

    Take up reloading and you will be truly set.
     
  9. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    If supplies and the laws ever return to normal the 6.5 Grendel is my next AR project. Until then I suspect you will have to work at getting supplies and parts.
     
  10. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    If I was ever go to with a black gun it would be a 6.5 Grendel. Only I would rebarrel to 6mm as soon as I could. The 6.5 Grendel is based on the .220 Russian case and the 6PPC design regarding powder to caliber ratio. A guy at 4 Corners had one and it was the only AR style rifle I ever witnessed capable of 1/4 MOA groups. It would not always hold that tight of a group because of the design of the stock and the inability to get it to track perfectly on the bags, but it was very close.
     
  11. Silver Fox

    Silver Fox Puyallup, WA Well-Known Member

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    The Russians paid Bill Alexander off to release his stronghold on it. I foresee in the near future Russian made AK's in 6.5x39.

    Just sayin'

    SF-
     
  12. Grendel65

    Grendel65 Central Washington Member

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    That is quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever heard about the Grendel, and I've heard a lot!!

    Bill Alexander owned the Trademark to the Grendel name, nothing else. If the Russians wanted to build a 6.5x39, they could have and would have a long time ago! They produce BILLIONS of 7.62x39 rounds, necking the case down is stupid simple.

    Alexander released the trademark so that Hornady and the other members of SAAMI could produce ammunition and rifles.

    A fair number of them are doing so or are in the process, including Colt, who announced a Grendel late last year.

    Alexander Arms produces ammunition, and Bill Alexander himself just announced that they currently have a fair amount of ammo awaiting shipment, and invited customers to call.

    Hornady produces ammo, and Precision Firearms produces ammo as well. Wolf makes two different loadings, and is about to release a steel case load.

    It would appear that the Grendel is alive and healthy!

    steelcase3.jpg
     
  13. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    It's not dead, like Arafat, it's in stable condition.
     
  14. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    6.5 what? I don't think it was ever "alive" by any means of the term. Still it is a pretty cool round, but you better take up reloading if you haven't already if you are considering this cartridge. There are plenty of SAAMI cartridges out there that flopped a few examples off the top of my head are:

    327 Federal
    45 GAP
    338 Federal
    300 RCM
    338 RCM
    223, 243, 25 WSSM
    7mm WSM
    325 WSM

    And these are just some of the failures in the last decade.
     
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  15. xacex

    xacex United States Member

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    Every AR part is out and put on no backorder at Midway right now, not just Grendel parts or reloading equipment. The Grendel has a better chance of surviving any type of ban based on being able to size down American boxer primed 7.62x39 brass, and commonly available bolts for the AR platform. The same can not be said for the 6.8 SPC II. Once the Grendel became a SAMMI cartridge last year the doors opened up to more manufactures supporting this round. I would still shoot it if it was only in a bolt action based on availability of brass to convert, and bullet selection.
     
  16. Silver Fox

    Silver Fox Puyallup, WA Well-Known Member

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    The question is still asked why did Bill Alexander relenguish his holding on the grendel? It was wolf ammo (ie the Russians) who paid him off. When I decide to care some more I will find the funniest thing you ever heard. In the meantime here is a little light reading as to the Russians building AK's in 6.5 Grendel: The Firearm Blog » 6.5mm Grendel now SAAMI cartridge. AK rifles chambered in 6.5mm coming soon.

    SF-
     
  17. Grendel65

    Grendel65 Central Washington Member

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    This is going to take more time than it is worth....

    Wolf is an American company that imports ammunition from companies that primarily are from Eastern Europe or Russia. They aren't a Russian company.

    The Russians couldn't care less about trademarks, they could very easily have flooded the market with 6.5x39 ammunition and told everyone it fit the Grendel, without having to even worry about the the trademark.

    The trademark was the only thing Bill Alexander owned. You can't patent a cartridge, its old technology, and changing calibers isn't sufficient to justify a patent.

    So the Russians would have gained NOTHING by paying Bill Alexander. There was no patent, and they could quite easily have simply built rifles and called them 6.5x39 and left it at that. Plenty of others did that.....the LBC .264 is the most widely known, but the 6.5 Sporter, 6.5 CSS, 6.5 SAOD were all Grendel like chambers that ran Grendel ammo.

    So, to answer your question....There were multiple reasons to relinquish his trademark, but the largest was that it had grown beyond what Alexander Arms could handle. They could not produce enough ammunition, and they needed a partner. Hornady made sense, and since they were a SAAMI member, they could present the cartridge to SAAMI. Acceptance by SAAMI allowed companies like Colt to consider manufacturing the rifles needed.

    It also allowed Bill Alexander to move on, and start developing other things, like an AR able to run the 17 HMR, and to manufacture AR's in 5.56 and .300 Blackout. In addition, he will soon be releasing a completely new rifle, a "from the ground up" rifle design that incorporates multiple ideas used in other rifles, but integrates them in ways not seen before. Prior to that, he was spending all his time trying to keep up with supplies, ammunition, etc. He is by nature an engineer and designer, and that's what he wants to do; make things!

    The Firearm Blog post is old, I read it when it first came out, and full of errors, which David Fortier tried to correct, by and large.

    Here's a pretty decent story on the Grendel written by David Fortier, who has been around almost since day 1.

    Article: A Modern Universal Cartridge? History, development and evolution of the 6.5mm Grendel - AR15.COM
     
  18. Grendel65

    Grendel65 Central Washington Member

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    How do you define "flop"? If that means you can't find ammo at WalMart, then I'll agree, but if it means you can't find ammo in places like Cabelas, Sportsmans Warehouse, Bass Pro, etc., or in smaller Mom and Pop places, I would respectfully disagree. I can find ammo for most of those at multiple places within an hours drive of my small hometown, and, in fact, can find ammo for some of them in town.

    I'm not sure you can say the RCM's flopped, they are just niche cartridges.

    The WSM's, especially the 7mm is definitely NOT a flop, I can find ammo for both in multiple stores in my area, and the 7mm WSM is the current favored cartridge for F Class shooters around the world. It's not the hunting cartridge people hope for, but its very successful.

    The WSSM's are niche cartridges, definitely, but are finding some success in AR15 rifles.

    The pistol cartridges are probably dead for all intents and purposes.

    The 338 Federal is a very interesting round, but with little industry support, so I would agree.
     
  19. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    The reason you can still find this ammo is because nobody is buying it. When whatever is left on the shelf finally sells out, I bet you a shiny quarter that the big stores with any sense at all will not be restocking their shelves with these calibers.
     
  20. Grendel65

    Grendel65 Central Washington Member

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    I watch the WSM ammo pretty close, since I have one. It turns over fairly quickly and I've never bought any, so someone else is.

    BUT....stores don't restock stuff that doesn't sell, and these boxes don't have wear and tear on them like boxes that have been on the shelf for too long, so someone is buying them.

    So flops, I don't think so, at least not most of them. Niche cartridges, definitely.

    But the subject here is the Grendel, and that ammo never stays in stock long at any of the places I watch that stock it, so I would have to believe that it is a growing market.