6.5 Grendel vs 6.5 Creedmoor

It’s fashionable to match cartridges towards one another. In some instances, the arguments are legitimate as a result of the cartridges in query are very related and compete to fill the identical roles. In different cases, they’re simply foolish. Since 2014, the 6.5 Creedmoor has risen to stardom at an unbelievable tempo. Not solely has it turn into the preferred of all of the 6.5mm cartridges, however it has additionally turn into one of the vital fashionable rifle cartridges of all time. Not solely that, however the Creedmoor has additionally given rise to different 6.5mm cartridges, some new and a few previous.

Just lately, shooters and hunters are starting to query if the 6.5 Creedmoor is the most effective 6.5mm cartridge for them. Its competitor—the 6.5 Grendel. In some methods the comparability is legitimate, however in some ways, it’s not. Whereas each cartridges can be utilized equally in some looking and sport capturing purposes, the 2 cartridges aren’t an apples-to-apples comparability. In some methods, it’s like evaluating a .223 Remington to a .22-250 Remington; each cartridges make the most of the identical diameter bullet however function in several energy bands.

In fact, the web and the sporting press are stuffed with articles by devotees of each cartridges and with the knowledge introduced in such a biased vogue, it may be exhausting for the common shooter or hunter to choose between the 2. Effectively, I’m right here to set the report straight. Here’s a deep dive into the historical past, comparability, and distinction between the 6.5 Grendel vs 6.5 Creedmoor.

The 6.5 Grendel

6.5 grendel
The 6.5 Grendel was launched as a proprietary cartridge nicely earlier than the 6.5 Creedmoor however didn’t turn into mainstream till it was SAAMI permitted. Richard Mann

Although it could come as a shock to many, the 6.5 Grendel has been round longer than the 6.5 Creedmoor. Invoice Alexander, of Alexander Arms, labored for a number of years to develop the 6.5 Grendel and launched it in 2003. The cartridge case is predicated on the 7.62x39mm Soviet cartridge which rose to fame within the AK 47. Alexander merely necked the 7.62x39mm cartridge case down to six.5mm and blew out the shoulder to remove its excessive taper. Then, Alexander did one thing that might damage his new cartridge greater than assist it—he trademarked the identify.

The trademark meant that different ammunition firms couldn’t produce ammunition for the 6.5 Grendel with out permission from Invoice Alexander. This resulted in most ammunition producers ignoring the cartridge. Usually, when a brand new cartridge is launched by a producer, it’s submitted to SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Producer’s Institute), for approval. SAAMI is a company that establishes the rules with which firearms and ammunition are produced. SAAMI just isn’t a authorities group, although it was created to behave as a governing physique to make sure the security of firearms and ammunition. SAAMI requirements are the rationale .30-30 Winchester ammunition from 1920 will work in a .30-30 rifle manufactured in 2020.

To the shock of many, the 6.5 Grendel discovered numerous curiosity despite the fact that it was not a SAAMI-approved cartridge. Between its introduction in 2003 and supreme SAAMI acceptance 9 years later, it had turn into type of a cult cartridge. It was nicely appreciated by many who wished to hunt or shoot at prolonged vary with the AR15 platform. With SAAMI acceptance, Invoice Alexander relinquished his federally registered trademark on the 6.5 Grendel, and it shortly went from an nearly unknown cartridge to a very talked-about one.

The ballistics of the 6.5 Grendel had been higher than simply about every other cartridge that was appropriate with the AR15 platform at the moment. With the flexibility to launch a 120-grain bullet to nearly 2600 fps, the Grendel far outclassed what different present AR15 cartridges, just like the .223 Remington or 6.8 SPC, had been able to from a downrange power standpoint. And, with the excessive ballistic coefficients related to 6.5mm bullets, not solely did the 6.5 Grendel hit tougher at longer distances, however it additionally shot flatter, extending the 6.5 Grendel’s efficient vary nicely on the opposite facet of 200 yards.

Very quickly, the 6.5 Grendel ammunition was being loaded by varied producers and the cartridge was being chambered in varied AR15s and even compact bolt-action rifles. In AR15s and compact bolt motion rifles, 6.5 Grendel barrel lengths ranged from 16 to twenty inches, offering tactical, sensible, and sporting variations of the rifles accessible on this chambering. Immediately, a significant on-line ammunition retailer provides greater than 15 completely different masses for the 6.5 Grendel. It isn’t the preferred 6.5mm cartridge, however it’s now mainstream.

The 6.5 Creedmoor

6.5 creedmoor
The 6.5 Creedmoor was permitted by SAAMI in 2008, however it took it half a decade to start to search out its reputation. Richard Mann

It looks like now everybody desires a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle. Apparently, when the 6.5 Creedmoor was launched in 2008, hardly anybody wished one. Some mistakenly imagine the 6.5 Creedmoor discovered its reputation due to the wonderful advertising and marketing technique utilized by Hornady after they launched the cartridge. In fact, and by most metrics, the introduction of the 6.5 Creedmoor and the associated advertising and marketing was a failure. It wasn’t till the discharge of the film American Sniper in 2014—six years after the introduction of the 6.5 Creedmoor—when everybody determined they wanted to turn into a long-range marksman, that the 6.5 Creedmoor discovered its reputation. What shooters then found was that, in comparison with the opposite fashionable long-range cartridges of the time, the 6.5 Creedmoor provided the most effective stability of downrange ballistics and recoil.

For readability, the 6.5 Creedmoor is commonly referred to as the 6.5mm Creedmoor. That identify is inaccurate. It’s certainly a cartridge that fires a 6.5mm bullet, which simply as with the 6.5 Grendel, equates to a bullet diameter of 0.264-inch. However, the precise and true identify of the cartridge, per SAAMI specs is, “6.5 Creedmoor.”

Relying on the load and barrel size, the 6.5 Creedmoor will launch a 120-grain bullet to about 3000 fps. What’s the greatest barrel size for a 6.5 Creedmoor? One thing between 22 and 24 inches is customary, however you’ll find 6.5 Creedmoor rifles with shorter and longer barrels. Nonetheless, marketed ballistics for the cartridge is nearly all the time listed with a 24-inch barrel. This offers the 6.5 Creedmoor a few 400 fps (16%) velocity benefit over the 6.5 Grendel. That is potential as a result of it’s loaded to 62,000 psi versus Grendel’s 52,000 psi, and since the 6.6 Creedmoor case will maintain far more powder. 

The “Creed,” as it’s typically referred to as, is similar to the .260 Remington, which does have a slight velocity benefit. Nonetheless, the Creed’s benefit over the .260 Remington is its SAAMI specified twist price of 1 flip in 8 inches for barrel rifling and ammunition compatibility.

The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge case was primarily based on the now-defunct and by no means fashionable .30 TC cartridge case, which could be very related in dimension to the .308 Winchester. The first distinction between the .30 TC and the .308 Winchester case is size. The .30 TC’s case is a bit shorter, and when necked down to six.5mm, it might work with the longer and sleeker 6.5mm bullets, however nonetheless match contained in the journal field of short-action bolt-action rifles, or inside {a magazine} that may match inside an AR10.

6.5 Grendel vs 6.5 Creedmoor

Ballistic Comparability

The commonest technique of comparability between cartridges is with exterior ballistics. Exterior ballistics account for downrange velocity, power, and trajectory. If we examine top-of-the-line manufacturing facility 6.5 Grendel masses with top-of-the-line 6.5 Creedmoor manufacturing facility masses, we will obtain an excellent grasp of what these variations are. To do that, let’s begin with velocity.

Velocity Comparability

The most effective 6.5 Grendel manufacturing facility masses is the Hornady Black, 123-grain, ELD-Match load, with a muzzle velocity of 2580 fps. The most effective 6.5 Creedmoor masses is the Hornady 140-grain, ELD-Match load with a muzzle velocity of 2710 fps. As you’ll be able to see under, on account of its larger muzzle velocity, and the upper BC of the 140-grain bullet, the 6.5 Creedmoor nonetheless has a velocity benefit of 277 fps at 500 yards.

Cartridge Muzzle 100 yards 200 yards 300 yards 400 yards 500 yards
6.5 Grendel 2580 2410 2247 2090 1940 1746
6.5 Creedmoor 2710 2564 2422 2285 2152 2023
6.5 Grendel vs 6.5 Creedmoor velocity comparability.

Power Comparability

Kinetic Power is one other consideration of exterior ballistics and is commonly thought to supply an expression of the flexibility of a cartridge to kill sport animals. In actuality, kinetic power doesn’t precisely categorical a cartridge’s or bullet’s means to kill, that’s extra an expression of shot placement and bullet building. Nonetheless, kinetic power is a typical comparability. And once more, evaluating the identical masses, the 6.5 Creedmoor has the benefit on the muzzle and all the best way out to 500 yards and past.

Cartridge Muzzle 100 yards 200 yards 300 yards 400 yards 500 yards
6.5 Grendel 1818 1586 1379 1193 1028 881
6.5 Creedmoor 2283 2043 1823 1622 1439 1273
6.5 Grendel vs 6.5 Creedmoor power comparability.

Trajectory Comparability

The ultimate, and one of the vital in contrast elements of exterior ballistics is trajectory. Trajectory offers with how far a bullet will fall under the road of sight at particular distances. Each the Grendel and the Creed are partly fashionable as a result of they ship higher trajectories than different cartridges of an identical measurement however that recoil tougher. Simply as with velocity and power, when evaluating the most effective masses, the 6.5 Creedmoor has a transparent benefit on the subject of trajectory.

Cartridge Muzzle 100 yards 200 yards 300 yards 400 yards 500 yards
6.5 Grendel -2.4 2.3 0 -9.2 -26.4 -52.8
6.5 Creedmoor -1.5 1.9 0 -7.8 -22.3 -44.4
6.5 Grendel vs 6.5 Creedmoor trajectory comparability.

These exterior ballistic comparisons would appear to counsel that the 6.5 Creedmoor is clearly the higher cartridge. And, if in actual fact, all you care about is velocity, power, and trajectory, it’s. Nonetheless, if exterior ballistics had been the one factor that mattered, the 6.5 PRC cartridge is clearly higher than the 6.5 Grendel or the 6.5 Creedmoor. To actually examine the Creed and the Grendel, one ought to take a look at these cartridges relating to how they’ll carry out on the particular duties hunters and shooters will doubtless use them for.

6.5 grendel and 6.5 creedmoor
The 6.5 Grendel (left), with the 6.5 Creedmoor (proper). Richard Mann

Predator Searching

Although predators are generally shot at nice distances, it’s extra frequent they’re referred to as in shut, or a minimum of inside 300 yards. At these distances the 6.5 Creedmoor doesn’t have sufficient of an exterior ballistic benefit to matter, nor will it kill a coyote any faster than a 6.5 Grendel. Right here the benefit most likely goes to the Grendel. It is because the 6.5 Grendel might be had in a lighter rifle or an AR15 that may also provide quicker follow-up pictures. Until your looking will ceaselessly require pictures on the opposite facet of 500 yards, the Grendel could be your best option of those two 6.5s.

Learn Subsequent: The .308 vs .30-06

Deer Sized Recreation

For deer-sized sport, the identical argument may very well be made for the Grendel. It’s going to handily dispatch deer out to 300 yards, and it’ll do it with a lighter-weight rifle. In actual fact, when you’ve got an AR15 chambered for the .223 Remington, you’ll be able to flip it right into a 6.5 Grendel by merely switching to a unique higher. However right here there’s one other ingredient that must be considered and that’s terminal ballistics. Given an identical broadside shot with a well-constructed bullet, a 6.5 Creedmoor won’t kill a deer any deader than a 6.5 Grendel. Nonetheless, as a result of the 6.5 Creedmoor can fireplace heavier bullets with higher penetration potential, it’s a higher possibility if lower than perfect pictures could be taken, or if the vary goes to increase past 300 yards. To some extent, reloading the 6.5 Grendel can improve its effectiveness past that of manufacturing facility ammo, however it should by no means hit as exhausting because the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Massive Recreation

Are you able to successfully use a 6.5 Grendel on sport bigger than deer? For positive. Nonetheless, it’s most likely greatest regulated for sport weighing lower than 400 kilos or so. With Grendel ammo, the heaviest weight bullet is often 123 grains. With the 6.5 Creedmoor, there are bullets which might be 16% heavier and particularly designed for deep penetration. In relation to the 6.5 Creedmoor for looking, particularly massive sport, it’s not the most effective of the 6.5mm rifle cartridges, however it’s higher than the 6.5 Grendel.

Lengthy Vary Capturing

By trying on the trajectory desk additionally it is clear that the 6.5 Creedmoor is superior to the 6.5 Grendel on the subject of capturing at distance. Nonetheless, out to 450 yards, there’s not likely sufficient distinction to considerably hinder a talented long-range marksman, and the 6.5 Grendel recoils sustainably lower than a 6.5 Creedmoor. That may matter after a protracted day on the vary. And too, if you wish to shoot long-range with an AR15, the 6.5 Creedmoor just isn’t an possibility. Alternatively, by at this time’s requirements, 450 yards just isn’t actually long-range, and past that distance, the 6.5 Creedmoor is indubitably the higher selection.

The Winner?

In relation to the 6.5 Grendel vs 6.5 Creedmoor, you can not actually choose a winner till you might have stipulated what particular duties are start in contrast. No query, the 6.5 Creedmoor is the extra highly effective cartridge, however energy is just one consideration. To pick out the most effective cartridge, you will need to make comparisons primarily based on what you need to do with the cartridges in query. Having essentially the most highly effective cartridge doesn’t all the time imply you might have the most effective cartridge.

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