Gun Digest

6 Top Performing 6.5 Grendel Ammo Choices (2022)

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Updated 3/12/2022

Whether you’re sniping swine or looking to go the distance with your AR-15, these 6.5 Grendel Ammo options are sweet shooters.

What Are The Top 6.5 Grendel Ammo Options:

Given recent ammunition developments, the 6.5 Grendel has gotten the red-headed stepchild treatment as of late. A shame, given if you’re in the market for a practical and high-performing AR-15, you can’t do much better than this brainchild of Bill Alexander and Janne Pohjoispää. It slays game with the wild abandon of a rogue tiger and performs at distances that surpass a majority of marksmens’ skills. In short, the 6.5 Grendel's ballistics are the complete package when it comes to a chambering for America’s favorite rifle.

Whatever your firearms passion, to get the most out of your Grendel you need to feed it right. A task that’s become more difficult in recent years. With the rise of the 6.5 Creedmoor and .224 Valkyrie, the market for 6.5 Grendel ammo isn’t as bustling as it was not long ago. Yet, you needn’t fret. Whether you’re pumping your trigger finger at a steel plate or a pesky porker, there are solid options to make your Grendel an absolute monster.

Learn More About The 6.5 Grendel:

6.5 Grendel Ammo Options For Hunting

Hornady Custom 123-grain SST

In a certain respect, the Hornady Custom line is what took the company beyond just a reloading components manufacturer. And it doesn’t fail the 6.5 Grendel. Topped with Hornady’s 123-grain Super Shock Tip (SST) bullets, the ammo proves flat shooting and devastating on target.

The bullet itself endows the 6.5 Grendel ammo with much of these attributes. Its polymer tip not only improves its ballistic coefficient (an impressive .510 in the G1 model) but also initiates and ensures excellent expansion. At 400-yards—most game is taken there or in—the round delivers an impressive 1,028 ft-lbs of energy on target, making it ideal for skittish game such as pronghorn. It’ll also do a number on whitetails and hogs if that’s more your speed.

Muzzle Velocity (fps): 2,580
Muzzle Energy (ft-lbs): 1,818
Velocity 500 Yards (fps): 1,796
Energy 500 Yards (ft-lbs): 881
Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .510
Trajectory at 500 yards (200-yd zero): -51.3 inches
MSRP: $25.99 box of 20

Underwood 110-grain Controlled Chaos

You needn’t live where lead-free ammo is the law of the land to reap the benefits of Underwood’s 6.5 Grendel hunting option. The 110-grain Controlled Chaos performs no matter what neck of the woods you hail.

Perhaps one of the best varmint options on the list, the solid-copper round was specifically made for this job at the request of animal control agencies and outdoes other frangible ammunition in nearly every conceivable way. What makes it a dandy is explosive terminal ballistics.

Essentially designed to radiate out fragments once it reaches a particular depth, the bullet creates multiple wound cavities, as well as an extremely large temporary one. The results are nearly instantaneous, dropping running dogs and hogs in their paw and hoof prints. Given it’s designed to break up in the animal, it’s not only an excellent choice for culling, but also collecting fur-bearers, given it does less damage to the pelt.

Muzzle Velocity (fps): 2,800 fps
Muzzle Energy (ft-lbs): 1,915 ft-lbs
Velocity 500 Yards (fps): 1,788
Energy 500 Yards (ft-lbs): 781
Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .405
Trajectory at 500 yards (200-yd zero): -48.21
MSRP: $35.50 box of 20

Nosler Trophy Grade 129-grain AccuBond

There are some standbys when it comes to hunting ammunition. Nosler AccuBond is at the top of the heap.

Renowned for exceptional expansion and the toughness of a welded joint the bullet makes the Trophy Grade among the most turned to for fill tags.
And as for the 6.5 Grendel, it’s a superb choice if you’re looking for a certified medium to large game round.

Heavier than a majority of hunting rounds presently on the market, it puts a ton of energy on target. It particularly responds for close-in shots, both in terms of external and terminal ballistics. While it’s not appropriate for all North American large game, it certainly is fit for much of it. Trophy Grade most definitely makes your Grendel a game getter.

Muzzle Velocity (fps): 2,350
Muzzle Energy (ft-lbs): 1,582
Velocity 500 Yards (fps): 1,625
Energy 500 Yards (ft-lbs): 756
Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .530
Trajectory at 500 yards (200-yd zero): -64.4
MSRP: $35.50 box of 20

6.5 Grendel Trajectory Chart: Hunting Ammo

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6.5 Grendel Ammo Options For Precision Shooting

Hornady Black 123-grain ELD

Tailored for AR-15s, Hornady’s Black line not only shoots for downrange performance, but every other factor present in the rifle. “Fit, feed and function,” as the company puts it.

The 6.5 Grendel offering not only does all that, but also offers an interesting twist. It’s topped off with the company’s Extra Low Drag (ELD) Match bullet. In addition to a polymer ballistic tip, the projectile also features a long and streamlined secant ogive and boat tail. These give the projectile an excellent ballistic coefficient (.506 in the G1 model) and the ability to buck the wind. In short, the 6.5 Grendel ammo has the stuff to perform downrange.

Muzzle Velocity (fps): 2,580
Muzzle Energy (ft-lbs): 1,818
Velocity 500 Yards (fps): 1,790
Energy 500 Yards (ft-lbs): 876
Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .506
Trajectory at 500 yards (200-yd zero): -52.85
MSRP: 24.99 box of 20

Federal Premium 130-grain Gold Medal

Any edge you can get on a long shot you need to take. Federal gives you an incredible one with its 6.5 Grendel match ammo—Berger Extra Low Drag (ELD) bullets. A hybrid, the projectile is the best of both worlds: the superior aerodynamics of a secant ogive and the bearing surface of a tangent bullet to index the rifling. A design pioneered by Berger, the bullets are ideal for AR-15s, and perform admirably.

Versus a 10-mph crosswind, it drifts 20 inches at 500 yards and 98 at 1,000. Not bad given the factory loaded Grendel ammo isn’t noted for blistering velocities, in this case 2,400 fps at the muzzle. Certainly, pushing the 1,000-yard mark with the 6.5 Grendel is no easy task, but is made a magnitude easier with Federal Gold Medal.

Muzzle Velocity (fps): 2,400
Muzzle Energy (ft-lbs): 1,663
Velocity 500 Yards (fps): 1,711
Energy 500 Yards (ft-lbs): 846
Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .560
Trajectory at 500 yards (200-yd zero): -59.83
MSRP: $36.99 box of 20

Alexander Arms 123-grain Lapua Scenar

Given Alexander Arms is the birthplace of the 6.5 Grendel, the concern should have an idea of what fodder it performs off. Like most rifles, it does plenty well grazing on Lapua. Topped with the Finnish company’s hollow point, boat-tail Scenar bullets, the 123-grain Alexander offering has the goods to go the distance.

Loaded for a respectable velocity given the bullet weight—2,400 fps at the muzzle—the ammunition is excellent at enhancing shot-to-shot accuracy. The Grendel is already mild-mannered when it comes to recoil, even tamer with Alexander’s medicine. Additionally, an excellent ballistic coefficient—.527 in the G1 model—helps it perform nearly on par with heavier options. Overall, it checks all the boxes for precision 6.5 Grendel ammo.

Muzzle Velocity (fps): 2,400
Muzzle Energy (ft-lbs): 1,573
Velocity 500 Yards (fps): 1,673
Energy 500 Yards (ft-lbs): 765
Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .527
Trajectory at 500 yards (200-yd zero): -61.16
MSRP: $31.97 box of 20

6.5 Grendel Trajectory Chart: Precision Ammo

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