This round seems to best the 6.8 SPC and the 5.56 NATO. Stopping power seems to be on par with 7.62 NATO but with better ballistics.
The cartridge produces mild recoil - slightly more than 5.56.
Sitting next to a 5.56 round:
6.5 Grendel / 5.56 NATO / 7.62 NATO / 7.62 NATO
123 S.Lapua / M262 / M80 / M118LR
.542 BC / 340 BC / .418 BC / .496 BC
2750fps / 2600fps / 2700fps / 2500fps Muzzle Velocity
1293ftlb / 1846ftlb / 2379ftlb / 2429ftlb Muzzle Energy
2102 / 1957 / 2051 / 1971 300m Velocity
1206 / 655 / 1373 / 1509 300m Energy
7.49” / 11.72” / 9.48” / 8.77” 10mph Wind Drift
1803 / 1521 / 1676 / 1661 500m Velocity
888 / 396 / 917 / 1072 500m Energy
-43.73 / -50.18 / -45.73 / -49.81 500m Drop in.
22.41 / 36.76 / 29.03 / 26.44 10mph Drift
1222 / 954 / 1063 / 1113 1000m Velocity
408 / 156 / 368 / 481 1000m Energy
-422.87 / -591.67 / -491.29 / -497.96 1000m Drop
107.83 / 182.73 / 144.55 / 127.31 1000m Drift
300 rounds ammunition weight:
6.5 Grendel w/123 S.Lapua – 11.5 lbs / 300 rnds
5.56 NATO M262 – 9.0 lbs / 300 rnds
7.62 NATO M80 – 13.8 lbs / 300 rnds
7.62 NATO M118LR – 15.0 lbs / 300 rnds
I think it would be a great replacement for the 5.56 NATO for military use. There is talk about adopting the 6.8 SPC but I think it would be a big mistake. The 6.5 Grendel tests out to be a better cartridge in all aspects so far. It also can be loaded to the same capacity as 6.8 SPC rounds in existing AR15 lower assemblies.
According to MSTN, the 6.8 is a better short range round and the 6.5 is a better long range round. The 6.5 is also said to be fussy.
Time will tell.
I saw info that said the 6.8 SPC was a better short range round than the 6.5 SPC. Ballistics and testing so far has shown the 6.5 Grendel better than the 6.8 SPC including short range tests.
I think there has been some confusion between a comparison that was made with a different 6.5 round than the Grendel.
From another forum on feeding rumor started due to stubby case:
Originally Posted by Sam Lord
1) I heard a legend that stubby cases have a greater reputation for malfunctions in semiauto and auto fire. Is this at all true or significantly severe in the case of the Grendel vs. the 6.8 SPC? I have heard that proper feed ramps can solve this completely, but are we sure?
Answer: The feeding issue of any cartridge has to do with the relationship of body diameter to neck / bullet diameter. Some "naysayers" have tried to relate the 6.5 Grendel to the short magnums like the .223 WSSM or .243 WSSM so lets look at those.
Typically, the magnums have a case head diameter around .532. In a .224 caliber with a .250 neck, that would equate to a .282 difference. In a .243 caliber with a .270 neck, a .262 difference. Now, lets look at the 6.5 Grendel with a .445 case head against a .295 neck, a difference of .150 - significantly less then any magnum. Even a .338 caliber magnum has a larger shoulder area then a 6.5 Grendel. Now, lets look at the battle proven 7.62 NATO with a .473 case head and .343 neck for a difference of .130 or .020" of less difference then the 6.5 Grendel.
In a nutshell, the magnums have a large shoulder area that can lead to problems in feeding that some call "stove piping". The math of Grendel does not show a shoulder area anywhere even close to that of magnums and so any performance problem relationship is not applicable.
As well, part of the engineering that went into the 6.5 Grendel was designing and testing proper magazine and feed ramps for the cartridge. The 6.5 Grendel has been tested in burst and full auto mode and performed like a clock (Alexander Arms is a licensed manufacturer of NFA weapons).
There is one main problem. The military spent millions developing the 6.8 rem spc and they have their contractors remington and berett behind it. There will never be a switch to the 6.5.
I like the 6.5Grendel too.
One thing that is bothering me though, is that Alexander Arms and Competition Shooting Sports don't seem to be keen on delivering barrel/bolt/mag combinations.
All they want to sell is complete upper assemblies, with all the goodies on them, for alot of money.
I don't need nor want a complete upper.
Come on guys!
Let's get those barrel/bolt/mag combos available.
We're willing to support your product, and you're not making the stuff we want.
We can get AR15 uppers and rail systems anywhere.
We need the barrels, bolts, and mags.
I have a 6.5 Grendel inbound as well.
I was under the impression that the military has spent very little if any money on the 6.8. I thought this was a collaboration between some specops folks that did this much on their own and Remington making some first run production cases. Anyone know the actual history?
My 2cent guess it's a good idea to have brass for reloading and factory ammo ready before they started throwing out uppers in mass. We have a good case study on the inverse right now in the 6.8. Grendel brass is now available and on the street. I'm expecting to see my upper within a week or two.
I am pretty sure anytime the military has someone develope something they spend millions. Come on do you think they spend their own money... nope. I am sure remington spent some money on it too if the military is getting ready to buy the stuff in those quantities. We will see though. Either way they were developed in house and the military owns the rights to it so they are going to go with that.
Did a little reading on this. Of course, events change over time and things may be in a state I am unaware of at this point.
This round was "developed" by or spec'd out by a small group of folks with 5th SFG. There is no large procurement process that was engaged. The idea of "millions" being spent on resizing the neck area of a previously existing cartridge is a tad overblown. There are people that do the same thing in the basements with a press, some custom dies or at most a fireforming barrel.
What has been done here is not rocket science by any stretch. Military personnel taking care of a requirement that they have defined and vetted is one thing and admirable. I don't like waiting on the system any more than anyone else. However, I see nothing in this that states that any large amount of money has been spent.
I'm also betting that the military owns no rights to anything. They are not normally in the business of researching and holding trademarks. I can see Remington bulking at that kind of arrangement.
The military has not spent any money on the 6.8 SPC or the 6.5 Grendel at this time (other than a few individual purchases of each).
The contract out for the new SOCOM rifle just changed the requirements: They are only looking at 5.56 in the light version.
The heavy version is open for alternative round designs to be submitted. Has to be competitive with 7.62 NATO to win here - the 6.5 Grendel may have a shot - the 6.8 SPC is a no-go when it comes to long range performance.
The latest update is requiring 1.0 MOA accuracy at 300 meters. The objective goal is 0.25 MOA accuracy at 300 meters. Previous goal was 0.5 MOA at 400 meters - may still be in effect. The 6.5 Grendel has been shown to provide better than 0.5 MOA at these ranges. The 6.8 SPC has not shown this level of accuracy.
Here is a fairly recent article:
p.s. I don't know how they will achieve the portion in bold without switching from 5.56.
6.5 Grendel could achieve this. 6.8 SPC wouldn't make the 500m cut.
If Alexander Arms sends in 4 rifles for testing, they could be looking at a fat contract! The Grendel would be the light and heavy varient in one package!
SOCOM Looking for Next-Generation Weapon
by Harold Kennedy
The U.S. Special Operations Command is looking for a next-generation assault rifle.
The command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., expects to award a contract for a Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle in November, according to SOCOM spokesman Chet Justice.
SCAR, as it already has become known, “will improve mission performance ... by providing [SOF] with a reliable and accurate rifle,” said Army Col. Tom Spellissy, program executive officer for special programs in SOCOM’s Joint Service Small Arms Program.
“This will be a weapon of maximized lethality, superior to the M4A1 [carbine] through versatility, fire control and target acquisition, both day and night, during [close quarters battle] and to ranges of 500 [meters],” he told NDIA’s 2003 Joint Services Small Arms Symposium and Exhibition in Kansas City, Mo.
SCAR is intended to replace several rifles currently used by special operations forces, including the 5.56 mm M4A1, MK11 and the pre-Vietnam-era M14, both of which fire 7.62 mm rounds, Spellissy said.
Many units that have been using M4A1s in Afghanistan and Iraq “have asked for heavier weapons, said Army Lt. Col. Mathew T. Clarke, program manager for individual weapons at the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.
“The M14 is the weapon du jour,” he said, because it fires a heavier, more lethal round than either the M4A1 or the M16. The M14, however, is an old weapon. The Army replaced it, as standard issue, with the M16 in the mid-1960s.
According to a pre-solicitation statement, issued in October, SCAR will be developed initially in two configurations—a light, 5.56 mm version and a heavy 7.62 mm one. Priority will be placed on the 5.56 variation. Both types will be capable of exchanging barrels and will be produced in standard, close-quarters combat and sniper variants.
The heavy version will be designed to accommodate changing calibers from the standard 7.62x51 mm. The initial caliber change is projected to 7.62x39 mm.
The ergonomic and parts commonality of the two “is essential for training-time reduction, enhancing mission effectiveness and improving the SOF operator’s operational and emergency-procedure autonomic responses that are critical during high-stress situations,” the statement said.
“The SCAR system will be rugged, highly reliable, controllable in full automatic fire, corrosion proof ... capable of lubeless firing ... and capable of being operated and maintained by a single man,” according to the document.
Initially, the operator must be able to exchange the weapon’s barrels and caliber within 20 minutes, it said. The objective is for the operator to be able to make the switch within five minutes.
SCAR’s light version, with the stock collapsed, is to be no longer than 29.9 inches, or 33.6 inches, extended with standard barrel, it said. It is to weigh no more than 7.25 pounds unloaded.
The heavy version, folded, is to be no longer than currently available 7.62 mm battle rifles, or 30.3 inches. It is to weigh no more than 9 pounds.
SCAR is to be compatible with the Special Operations Peculiar Modification Kit components, using the standard Picatinny 1913 rail mounting system. It is envisioned to be available with a sling, bipod, forward handgrip, blank firing capability and operator’s manual, according to the pre-solicitation statement.
Contractors will be required to provide three samples of light SCARs with standard barrels, one close-quarters combat conversion and a technical approach for the weapon’s heavy variant.
After SOCOM evaluates the entries, it can award multiple contracts for follow-on test and evaluation. The contract will be an eight-year, firm-fixed price, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity type.
At a minimum, SOCOM expects to order 12 standard light units, one sniper variant and one heavy variant for testing. The maximum order would include 84,000 standard lights, 28,000 closer-quarter combat versions, 12,000 sniper types, 15,000 standard heavies, 7,000 heavy close-quarters combat conversions and 12,000 heavy sniper rifles.
Possible competitors for the SCAR contract are Heckler & Koch Defense Inc., of Sterling, Va.; Colt Defense LLC, of Hartford, Conn., and FN Manufacturing Inc., of Columbia, S.C. Colt designed the original M16 rifle and M4 carbines, and FN Manufacturing in 1988 won a contract to produce M16s for the Army.
SOCOM is interested in the modular design of the XM8 Lightweight Modular Weapon System that HK is developing for the Army, Clarke said. (related story p. 42) The XM8 could be configured to meet SOCOM’s specifications, he said.
For those companies interested in competing:
...or go to the link www.fbodaily.com/archive/2004/04-April/11-Apr-2004/FBO-00563510.htm
Try this link if you can't get in the other one: www2.eps.gov/servlet/Solicitation/R/ODA/USSOCOM/SOAL-KB/H92222-04-R-0001
FBO DAILY ISSUE OF APRIL 11, 2004 FBO #0867
10 -- SOF Combat Support Rifle (SCAR)
Other Defense Agencies, U.S. Special Operations Command, Headquarters Procurement Division
Point of Contact
John Pfender, Contract Specialist, Phone 812-854-5198, Fax 812-854-5095, - Susan Griffin, Contracting Officer, Phone 813-828-7411, Fax 813-828-7504,
For assistance with broken links contact the Point of Contact in this notice or the FBO Help Desk at 877-472-3779.
File Name: Amendment 0002 (all files) - SCAR H92222-04-R-0001
File Type: Zip Compression
File Name: RFP conformed copy through amendment 0002
File Type: Microsoft Word
File Name: All Files
File Type: Zip Compression
Note: If links are broken, refer to Point of Contact above or contact the FBO Help Desk at 877-472-3779.
SN00563510-W 20040411/040409212553 (fbodaily.com)
FedBizOpps.gov Link to This Notice
(may not be valid after Archive Date)
What if a dual core 6.5mm bullet were made (similar to 5.56mm SS109) with a steel penetrator core at the front and a heavier lead core at the rear?
Here are my theories:
The longer 6.5mm bullet would be even more unstable than the 5.56mm bullet in soft tissue due to the heavier rear portion in a longer bullet.
The longer 6.5mm bullet would be subject to more stress when tumbling allowing it to fragment at lower velocities than the 5.56mm bullet.
The higher BC 6.5mm bullet would retain velocity better to longer ranges and fragment at longer range than the 5.56mm bullet.
The 6.5mm bullet should have a cannilure placed at the junction between core types to promote fragmenting at the lowest possible velocity.
Theories are just that. Real data is needed for evaluation of terminal effects.
What kind of velocities are real end-users getting with the 108gr and 123gr bullets from 16 and 18" 6.5 Grendel uppers?
Theory based on testing that led to the SS109.
We should see fragmentation at a lower velocity - but how much lower?
10fps or 300fps or...
Armed Forces Journal did a review of the Blackwater Shootout that was just released. They only had good things to say about the 6.5 Grendel.
Here are some exerpts:
"...The third round pitted LeMas' new 5.56 Hardened Armor Priority Penetrator (42 grains/3,850 fps) against a 1.575-inch panel; all rounds punched their way through the glass. Similarly, three shots from the Grendel made their way through...
..."Awesome power delivery," said another. To which one of his colleagues added: "Love the Beowulf!"
When AFJ's evaluators turned their attention to the Grendel, it was apparent immediately that they hadn't exhausted their superlatives.
"The Grendel is incredible," said one. "Alexander Arms should team with LeMas immediately."
"With my first shot, I hit the 500-yard target!" another noted. The 6.5mm is a "kick-ass round!"
"I'm very impressed with this new [6.5mm] caliber," another wrote. "It fills the gap between the 5.56 and the 7.62-by-51mm."
"Accurate as hell," opined another after shooting the 24-inch-barreled weapon. "Very little recoil; lightweight and easy to handle."
"Low recoil; super accurate; 100 percent hits on a 10-inch plate at 500 yards. The weapon is well-finished, with the requisite M1913 rails for all the bells and whistles. It's an odd caliber, but the gun is nicely executed and effective."
No negative comments were recorded about the 6.5mm Grendel...
...some influential folks at SoCom strongly back a 6.8 outcome.
There are many prospective spoilers, though, including a more lethal 5.56 (if LeMas' "Blended Metal" technology lives up to its manufacturer's claims during tests now underway at SoCom), and the 6.5 round that feeds the Grendel.
[The 6.5 Grendel] remains supersonic out to anywhere from 1,150 yards (100 gr) to 1,350 yards (144 gr). A 115-grain 6.8 Special Purpose Cartridge (SPC) reverts to subsonic flight at about 825 yards, he says. And at 900 yards, he claims, a 115-grain 6.8 projectile delivers about 300 foot-pounds of energy; a 108-grain 6.5 slug packs 500 foot pounds at the same distance."
just another bump for the 6.5. i'm getting the sinking feeling the better cartridge is gonna lose, however. seeing as i really don't see a huge surplus of 6.8 parts/ammo developing, i'm probably gonna get a grendel anyway. assuming it survives.....
Due to their compatability with existing AR parts it is likely that both the 6.5 Grendel and 6.8 SPC will survive (along with either/or the .50 Beowulf or the .499 Leitner Wise - these are just too similar for both to remain - probably will be the lesser costing of the two).
I'm just wondering if we'll see some more AR compatable rounds - the market is large due to the low cost customizing options.
I think the Grendel will be around for a long time, (at least I hope) for I have purchased and received one and have been shooting out to 600 yards (that’s the farthest in my area) and I can not believe the accuracy of it. My opinion is the 6.8 if it ever delivers has its place also not to put it down but it would be a fun plinking/rapid fire rifle, also very usable for hunting in wooded type areas for deer and so on.
Latest status on the 6.5 Grendel from Arne of Alexander Arms:
"So everyone knows,
The Match Rifles (28 Inch and A2 Versions) are built independantly of Alexander Arms by Competition Shooting Sports and Medesha Firearms (Alexander Arms does supply Grendel key components under a license agreement). As such, we run them in batches with the first batch now having been delivered to customers, including the US Army Marksmanship Unit, all over the country. As some who have ordered and are waiting on them know, Scott Medesha is at Camp Perry for the national matches and we will make the next deliveries of match rifles in late September, early October. We currently have availability of another 5 match rifles for the early autumn delivery. Our goal on the match rifles is to run a batch every month and to be able to deliver them on a continual basis in 4-8 weeks depending on demand.
Alexander Arms is currently shipping the 24 inch Grendel models which had distributor and loyal dealer orders being placed as early as November 2003. Those early orders were placed based on hearing of the prototype and Alexander Arms reputation for delivering the product that does what they say it will. Alexander Arms has progressed through the orders and is completing March and already starting on April orders.
The 185 model which has been exclusively sold and distributed by Competition Shooting Sports will begin delivery later this month.
To all those who have them and are still waiting on them, your patience has been appreciated. The 6.5 Grendel is selling at a record rate that is indicative of long term success.
We're all impressed with the velocity 6.5 Grendel can attain from a 24" barrel. That's great for match / long range.
How about numbers from a 16" or 18" barrel?
I'm predicting the 108gr Secnar will be around 2477fps from a 16" and 2550fps from a 18".
It should be faster than that, here's what Arne of Competition Shooting Sports (not Alexander Arms) has said about the 123 gr factory load:
Check out the Blackwater article - I believe they were shooting an 18.5" barrel.
Lots of good comments, ideas and rabbit trails in this thread.
What I haven't seen is a comparison of magazine capacity/shape between the 6.8 and the Grendal. Do either stack and function in a std GI 30 rnd mag? Using 30 rounds as a standard, I'd have to wonder if the Grendal wouldn't end up looking like a banna and creating a problem with the standard AR-15 magazine well. I understand they are making 6.8 mags for the SOCOM guys that will accept and function with 5.56 ball and function in a std lower....
Both the 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel do not work well in existing AR magazines with ribbed sides. Some people have got five 6.8 SPC rounds to temporarily stay in a 30 round 5.56 magazine without popping out. Both new rounds have cases approximately the same diameter and they want to pop out of existing mags due to centering more in the magazine.
Both rounds use slightly modified magazines and you can fit 6.8 SPCs in a 6.5 Grendel magazine and vice-versa. 6.5 Grendel magazines have the same slight curvature as 5.56 magazines - the rounds rest against each other on the widest portion of the cases which is basically straight.
Suggestions are being taken at www.65grendel.com for magazine sizes desired when the AWB sunsets. Sugestions have been 20 rounds, 25 rounds, 30 rounds, and magazine that does not extend below the pistol grip with whatever it will hold.
For those interested, the 6.5 Grendel was tested by the FBI and Military using FBI test protocols (supposed to be 10 yard testing) for terminal ballistics at 20 and 500 yards.
The 6.5 Grendel passed all tests causing extraordinary gel-block damage.
Link to the full article at: FBI and Military Test Results
Here are some exerpts:
“Test Event 2: Heavy Clothing. The gelatin block is covered with four layers of clothing: One layer of cotton T-Shirt material (48 threads per inch); one layer of cotton shirt material (80 threads per inch); a 10-ounce down comforter in cambric shell cover (232 threads per inch); and one layer of 13 ounce cotton denim (50 threads per inch). This simulates typical cold weather wear. The block is shot at ten feet, measured from the muzzle to the front of the block.”
6.5 GRENDEL RESULTS, TEST 2: It was difficult to establish the onset of bullet yaw, but the yaw was fully established between 5 and 7 inches. The permanent cavity was difficult to establish because the round split the block from top to bottom. (Theoretically, this would invalidate the results and does not allow the extrapolation that with larger gelatin blocks the result will be a cavity of 8 inches or greater.) They couldn’t gather all the fragments, because the larger pieces exited the top rear of the block; the smaller fragments of the long bullet averaged about 30-40 grains. The fragments tended to stay in larger chunks, rather than becoming sand-like granules.
“Test Event 8: Automobile Glass at 20 yards. This event repeats Test Event 6 but at a range of 20 yards, measured from the muzzle to the front of the glass, and without the 15 degree offset. This shot is made from straight in front of the glass, simulating a shot at the driver of a car bearing down on the shooter.”
6.5 GRENDEL RESULTS, TEST 8: Again, the 6.5 Grendel passed this both at 20 yards and at 500 yards distance.
SUMMARY: The 144gr FMJBT Lapua exhibited both yaw and fragmenting, with the fragments tending to stay in larger pieces, making this almost a de facto triplex round. And the testers didn’t even want to touch the 123gr Lapua Scenar, which is a match bullet giving very aggressive fragmentation. I’m sure this won't be the last word in 6.5 Grendel testing.
What have these tests proved? That the 6.5 Grendel is an awesome gelatin killer! The work performed in this series simply indicates that the 6.5 Grendel is worth further examination. What is the future? The sponsoring agencies have valid data that they have personally witnessed and participated in for review against their requirements.
This deserves it's own thread in the ammo section.