Alternative to Hornady Black 6.5 Grendel


Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2019
My friends rifle (6.5 Grendel AR) will not shoot Hornady Black ammo with any consistency. I had the same problem with mine. I’ve been handloading 100 grain Nosler Ballistic tips over 8208 XBR with good success. He wants me to work up a load for his rifle (18” Satern 1-8 barrel) but I am having trouble finding 100 grain Nosler BTs. Does anyone have a bullet and load they would be willing to share that has been successful? This rifle will be used for hogs and predators, does not have to be fur friendly. Thanks in advance!
120 Speer Gold Dot or Sierra Pro Hunter with IMR 8208 are really accurate in both of my ARs. I use Hornady cases, CCI 450, and in my rifles with the 120 GD 28 grs IMR 8208 is MAX but is where it shoots for me. This is quite a bit over Speer's load data but work for me. With the Sierra PH 28.5 is max but where it shoots and this is a bit over Sierra data. The 120 Speer GD did AWESOME on the one deer I shot with it last year. I have not shot any of them but one fellow over on the Grendel web site that kills a BUNCH of hogs has been using the Speer 90 gr TNT and it has done surprisingly well on penetration and expansion.
Work up loads in your gun! These have proven safe in mine, and mine only! :)

2nd on the 120 Gold Dots......I've used 8208 alot, but in my Satern Barrel, my 120 gr Gold dot load is 28.5 grains of A2520 with Rem 7 1/2 shooting groups to date in my grendel, with the benefit of a great deer bullet. My kids have killed a couple deer with them so far, and they have exceeded my expectations!

BTW....Have you checked the throat length in your Satern Barrels? I have a couple, and have a couple more in the family......all of them were really short, it may be jamming bullets into the lands. I throated mine a bit deeper, and they shoot this isn't a total knock on Satern, just something to check.
No experience with 6.5s of any kind or handloading for semi-autos of any kind so take my input for what it is, just an educated guess.

I think the Sierra 107 Tipped Matchking would be the one to beat in this cartridge for this purpose. The massive poly tip should eliminate any concerns of penciling, the moderate slow velocity of the Grendel should eliminate any concerns of splash wounds.
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