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Image by Keith Misner

the hunter's lane:
6.5 Grendel AR-15 hunting rifles
[converting your ar-15] 


About The 6.5 Grendel:

The 6.5 Grendel is a high-accuracy cartridge designed for use with the AR-15 platform. This design is the product of almost two years of continued development by Bill Alexander, of Alexander Arms, and Janne Pohjoispää, an engineer working for Lapua.


Grendel ammunition takes inspiration from the .220 Russian cartridge — a necked-down 7.62x39mm casing made to fit a 5.6mm bullet. This parent case is shorter than .223 but has a larger diameter. This added volume packs more in powder per round to deliver longer shots with better ballistic coefficients than standard 5.56mm NATO rounds.


The 6.5 Grendel is a compact, efficient little cartridge tailored specifically for AR-15 platform rifles, but its mild recoil and surprisingly efficient ballistic performance make it ideal for recoil-sensitive shooters needing a hunting rifle for deer-sized game.


You can build an AR-15 for hunting around the 6.5 Grendel. It would have longer range and better terminal ballistics than a 5.56mm AR. And it would be a true modern sporting rifle. Converting your AR-15 to shoot 6.5 Grendel is easy and something you can do at home. You'll need to modify your rifle by swapping in a 6.5 Grendel barrel and compatible bolt, and you'll need to use different magazines.


The 6.5 Grendel was designed with the semi-automatic in mind, and provides a solid medium range hunting rifle for AR users. The 6.5 Grendel has a longer effective range than the 5.56 NATO without adding a ton of weight. AR-15 style rifles fitted with the 6.5 Grendel can be used to hunt deer, feral hogs, and other medium to large game.

AR-15 Camo Deer Pic.jpg
Image by Keith Misner


The Benefits of Using 6.5 Grendel:

Converting your AR-15 to shoot 6.5 Grendel is easy and something you can do at home. You'll need to modify your rifle by swapping in a 6.5 Grendel barrel and compatible bolt, and you'll need to use different magazines. In addition to fast and simple conversion, 6.5 Grendel offers multiple benefits on the range or in the field, including:

  • Higher velocity: The 6.5 Grendel provides an improvement in case volume over rounds like the .223 Remington or the .300 Blackout, giving it plenty of potential for speed. Furthermore, the inherently accurate design of 6.5 bullets means that velocity is retained over greater distances, giving the Grendel a lower drop rate than long-time favorites like the .308 Winchester.

  • Greater accuracy: These cartridges are specifically engineered for accurate shooting at 200 to 800 yards. With a 20-inch 6.5 Grendel barrel, some patience and time to develop your skills, you can use these cartridges to hit metal targets as far out as 1,000 yards — with precision — using your AR-15.

  • Excellent price: If you already have an AR-15, you only need to gather a few components. Grendel conversion parts are affordable and much less expensive than purchasing a new .308. The ammunition is also affordable, typically costing less than .308 and coming in at right around the same price as .223.

  • Better recoil: Any time you can reduce recoil, it's a win. Recoil puts wear on your body and makes it harder to keep your rifle on target. Compared to rifles chambered in .308, a 6.5 in an AR platform produces significantly less recoil, allowing for faster reset and more-accurate follow-up shots.

  • Overall weight: With a 6.5 Grendel barrel and bolt conversion for your rifle, you can take advantage of one of the top advantages of the AR platform — lightweight design. Rifles built to fire these cartridges often weigh significantly less than a typical .308. The ammunition weighs less too, making these builds easier to carry, aim and fire.

  • Ethical hunting: The design of the 6.5 Grendel cartridge allows bullets to better retain velocity while traveling, meaning they deliver more force on-target. This increased lethality on impact makes a 6.5 Grendel hunting rifle an ideal choice for varmints and game up to a full-size deer. The accuracy, weight and recoil all contribute to make these rifles a hunter's best friend.

AR-15 Hunter Pic.jpg
Image by Keith Misner


How To Convert Your AR-15 to 6.5 Grendel:

When you start looking at ARs and AR parts, it can be very intimidating. Relax. Once you break things down, and learn the basics, the intimidation will fade. In addition, you’ll start to learn what you want from your AR, and start to customize your rifle however you’d like it. The AR-15 is the most versatile and customizable platform on the market, and everyone should know the basic anatomy and benefits. Let’s dive into the parts that make up a complete AR-15.

This helpful guide from explains the basics of piecing together your perfect 6.5 Grendel AR-15 hunting rifle. It is VERY important to note that some AR-15 parts are NOT legal in certain states. Be sure to educate yourself on what is legal in the place or places you intend to use your 6.5 Grendel AR-15 before you build or buy.

To View Guide, Click This Link: [The 6.5 Grendel AR-15 Build Guide]

6.5 grendel full build kit.jpg
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