Handloads: 6.5 mm Grendel

posted on March 29, 2019
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The 6.5 mm Grendel cartridge only looks small. Instead of burning copious charges of propellant, the Grendel lets its slender 0.264"-diameter bullets do the heavy-lifting of producing flat trajectories. And those weighing around 120 grs. provide the best balance of weight and velocity. The Hornady 123-gr. SST’s high 0.510 G1 ballistic coefficient compensates quite well even at the relatively slow muzzle velocity of 2480 f.p.s. The SSTs drop only 2.5" more at 300 yds. than Hornady 150-gr. InterLock SP bullets fired at 2750 f.p.s. from a .308 Win. with nearly 40 percent less propellant.

CFE 223 propellant is a perfect match for the Grendel shooting SST bullets. It greatly reduces copper fouling in barrels and meters precisely from a powder measure. CFE 223 dropped from a measure directly into Grendel cases produced an extreme spread of velocity of 27 f.p.s. for 10 shots. A cleaner barrel and faster reloading are both good qualities, because the mild-mannered 6.5 mm Grendel is meant to be shot—a lot.

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