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Why would possibly a hunter be considering 6.5 Grendel vs 308 Winchester? The 2 cartridges, in any case, are very totally different, primarily representing two separate energy ranges. Nicely, the obvious cause for the 308 Winchester vs 6.5 Grendel debate is that if a hunter can’t determine between a standard bolt-action rifle or an AR-15. Certain, each cartridges might be had in bolt- and semi-automatic rifles, however from a searching standpoint, each additionally characterize a finest, or close to finest, general-purpose possibility in every platform. Right here’s how the 6.5 Grendel and 308 stack up head-to-head.

6.5 Grendel vs 308 Winchester: Fundamental Ballistic Comparability

We’ll get into the finer particulars of how these two cartridges evaluate from an exterior and terminal ballistics standpoint, however if you happen to simply need a snapshot, right here it’s. As you’ll be able to see from the chart under, the cartridges have related muzzle velocity, however the 308 carries considerably extra power from the beginning. Trajectory, too, is all however an identical out to 400 yards. However once more, if you happen to’re on the lookout for sufficient power to do harm at that distance, the 308 has the clear edge.

Richard Mann

The 308 Winchester

Now, let’s step again and have a look at every cartridge individually. This 308 Winchester has a army heritage, and like all American army cartridges, it is extremely standard. Winchester launched it within the Nineteen Fifties and it has grown in reputation ever since. It’ll simply match the unique ballistics of the 30-06 Springfield cartridge, do it with a shorter case, and do it in rifles with a shorter motion. It gained fame with army and police snipers and is definitely one in all, if not one of the best, general-purpose rifle cartridges presently out there. All of that is why Jeff Cooper chosen the 308 Winchester for his idea general-purpose rifle often called the Scout Rifle.

Two boxes of 308 Winchester ammo, plus three loose cartridges on a white background
The 308 Winchester is likely one of the most versatile of all centerfire rifle cartridges for large sport searching. Richard Mann

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufactures Institute (SAAMI) initially specified a 1 in 12 twist charge for 308 Winchester rifles, however with the arrival of longer and heavier bullets with greater ballistic coefficients, most trendy 308 Winchester rifles have the quicker 1 in 10 twist to stabilize these projectiles. It was once that any time a brand new rifle was launched, its first chambering was the 30-06. That’s not the case anymore; the 308 Winchester has now eclipsed the 30-06 in reputation. Utilizing bullet weights ranging in from 130- to 180-grains, I’ve killed extra big-game animals with the 308 Winchester than every other cartridge. It’s as integral to American tradition as mustard is to a scorching canine.

The 6.5 Grendel

Two boxes of 6.5 Grendel ammo, plus several loose cartridges on a white background
The 6.5 Grendel is likely one of the finest AR15 suitable cartridges for large sport searching and lengthy vary capturing. Richard Mann

Designed from the 7.62×39/220 Russian cartridge case, the 6.5 Grendel was supposed to be a low recoiling however ballistically environment friendly rifle cartridge for the AR-15. The Grendel languished with largely a cult-like following from its conception in 2003 till it was legitimized by SAAMI about seven years later. Since main firearms and ammunition manufactures is not going to construct weapons and ammo for non-SAAMI authorised cartridges, it wasn’t till a couple of dozen years in the past that the 6.5 Grendel actually discovered its legs and a strong following with hunters and shooters.

In the present day the 6.5 Grendel is not only a preferred cartridge within the AR-15, it has discovered a house in a wide range of bolt-action rifles. In each platforms, it has quite a lot of attraction due to its mixture of an excellent ballistic efficiency and low recoil. Although the 6.5 Grendel is barely ballistically inferior to the 6mm ARC cartridge, it is likely one of the finest big-game cartridges for the AR-15. Many hunters favor it to the 6mm ARC as a result of extra ammunition choices and the heavier bullets which can be out there. It’s also standard for whacking metal at prolonged vary and there are a couple of dozen, high quality, manufacturing facility hundreds to select from, with bullet weights starting from 90 to 123 grains.

6.5 Grendnel vs 308: Exterior and Terminal Ballistics

One of many main concerns with exterior ballistics is trajectory. Velocity and power matter, however collectively they’re extra of a terminal ballistics concern. Trajectory determines how a lot you’ll have to regulate your sights to get successful as the space to the goal will increase. Surprisingly, with most hundreds, the 308 Winchester and the 6.5 Grendel are practically an identical out to affordable searching ranges of say 400 yards. This surprises many hunters, particularly since out of the identical weight rifle, the 308 Winchester recoils with greater than twice the power. That additional power comes from heavier bullets and extra gunpowder. The place you actually see some great benefits of the 308 Winchester as a searching cartridge is in terminal ballistics. Let’s take one other have a look at the ballistics chart, once more.

Chart showing a ballistics comparison of the 6.5 Grendel vs 308 Winchester
Richard Mann

With terminal ballistics the story is a special, at the very least by way of power. On the muzzle, the 308 Winchester may have a couple of 40 p.c benefit in kinetic power. However as the space will increase, issues begin to degree out. Aside from excessive examples, velocities with each cartridges will fall under 2000 fps someplace between roughly 375 and 425 yards. Which means that relying on the bullet used, bullet upset/enlargement begins to change into iffy previous that distance. In fact, there’s a bit extra at play right here.

The quantity of bullet upsets determines wounding and tissue destruction, and that, mixed with bullet weight, influences penetration. That is the place the 308 Winchester has the clear benefit. Usually, the 308 Winchester will penetrate about 20 to 40 p.c deeper than the 6.5 Grendel, and the bullet will upset with a frontal diameter that’s about 10 to 30 bigger. That is substantial, typically, however for not for some particular searching conditions. The 6.5 Grendel will often push bullets to between 18 and 26 inches of penetration, with bullet upset of about 1.6 occasions unique diameter. Each cartridges, subsequently, are greater than enough for any deer at smart distance.

6.5 Grednel vs 308: Recoil

The author shoots a bolt-action rifle chambered in 308 Winchester for a bench rest.
Irrespective of how robust you suppose you might be, much less recoil often means higher precision. Richard Mann

Macho-man hunters act like recoil is a non-existent factor and never apt to confess which may have an effect on their capturing. Nevertheless it nearly definitely does. It doesn’t matter how a lot of a tricky man you might be, tougher kicking rifles are tougher to shoot with constant precision, interval. Now, the 308 Winchester will not be typically regarded as a hard-kicking rifle, but it surely’s a non-disputable incontrovertible fact that the 6.5 Grendel recoils with about half the power of the 308. Provided that each cartridges have related trajectories, if you happen to’re solely capturing paper and metal—or deer-size sport at reasonaly ranges—the lighter recoil of the 6.5 Grendel has quite a lot of attraction.

Rifle Compatibility

A Howa Carbon Stalker bolt-action rifle on a white background, available in 6.5 Grendel and 308
The Howa Carbon Stalker bolt-action rifle weighs 6 kilos, 5 ounces in 308 Win and simply 4 kilos, 14 ounces in 6.5 Grendel. Howa

Until you’re desiring to hunt bigger species of huge sport like elk and moose, rifle compatibility is perhaps crucial consideration between these two cartridges. Should you’re bolt-action rifles, a standard 308 Winchester rifle can weigh a half pound greater than some bolt-action rifles constructed on a mini motion for the 6.5 Grendel. That is much more exaggerated with semi-automatic AR-styled rifles. For instance, the Stag Arms Stag 15 Pursuit in 6.5 Grendel weighs a full 10 ounces lower than the corporate’s Stag 10 Pursuit in 308 Winchester. With different AR-10 and AR-15 comparisons the load differential might be much more. The underside line is that you’ll find a light-weight rifle chamber for both cartridge, however the Grendel is apt to be lighter.

6.5 Grendel vs 308: Selecting a Winner

As talked about, these cartridges occupy totally different energy ranges. The 308 Winchester will produce muzzle energies between 2000 and 3000 foot-pounds, and the 6.5 Grendel is a sub-2000 foot-pound cartridge. For hunters, which means at the very least from a ballistics standpoint, the 308 Winchester is healthier outfitted to deal with bigger sport. Because the trajectories of each cartridges are related, for the leisure shooter, the 6.5 Grendel has an incredible benefit resulting from its a lot lighter recoil and compatibility with lighter-weight rifles. Ammunition for the 6.5 Grendel additionally prices a bit much less. Ultimately, the 6.5 Grendel vs 308 boils all the way down to this: A deer hunter can’t go unsuitable with both, an elk hunter ought to most likely go for the 308, and for enjoyable within the solar, go along with the Grendel.

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