6.5mm Grendel: From wildcat to crowd pleaser
By Jacki Billings
The 6.5 Grendel produces flatter trajectories and reduced recoil for AR-15 shooters. (Photo: Hornady)
Though the Creedmoors have dominated the long range shooting arena, the 6.5mm Grendel has enjoyed quiet success on the fronts of medium range shooting. Chambered for the AR-15 platform, the Grendel often doesn’t show its hand, but rather quietly gathers loyal followers faithful to its power packing punch on an intermediate cartridge platform.
The 6.5mm Grendel began like many rifle calibers do, first entering the shooting scene as a wildcat cartridge. Developed by Arne Brennan and Bill Alexander, the intermediate cartridge aimed to give AR-15 shooters more range.
“I was looking for something with more legs, something you could hunt whitetails with,” Alexander told J. Guthrie of Shooting Times.
Interested in developing a true do-it-all caliber for the AR-15 platform, Alexander set to work in 2003 sculpting what would later become known as the 6.5 Grendel. Built on the shoulders of the 6.5mm PPC cartridge, the 6.5mm Grendel features the same 30-degree shoulder angle as the 6.5mm PPC but boasts a shorter neck while offering an increased neck thickness. The 6.5mm Grendel also delivers a small primer and flash hole.
Hornady sponsored the Grendel’s submission to SAAMI in 2011. (Photo: Hornady)