Building a 6.5 Grendel Bolt Action


Well-Known Member
Nov 19, 2012
Southern Ohio
I‘ve been using a 6.5 Grendel on the AR platform to shoot hogs when I travel to Texas. As with my other 6.5 rounds (6.5 PRC & Creedmoor) Ive grown to like the little round. Considering building a Grendel on the bolt action platform for hogs, and varmint hunting. Id like a lightweight carry rig. Thoughts on the build or do I just buy a Ruger American and move on?
I’m in the same boat as you. I intend to build a custom rifle off an origin action with 18” barrel and carbon fiber stock. Should be a great plinking fun
i bought an American predator in 6.5 Grendel i bought it kind of as a dual purpose rifle. I wanted something light weight for coyote hunting and something low recoil for short range fun. I'm currently working up a load using 108 gr lapuas with Starline brass and using h335 for powder and cci primers. so far, the predator has shown some good accuracy. don't have it quite dialed in yet but once the weather warms up it should be good. The advantage the Ruger has over the Howa is the Ruger uses 6.5 ar mags where the Howa uses its own proprietary mag
I just finished a 243 LBC (6mm Grendel) on a Howa mini. I just started loading a few rounds so no accuracy reports yet, but it made a cool little package.

Howa barreled action was my starting point, but it turned into a bit of a money pit (my fault) since I wanted to do 6mm. Then I didn’t like the plastic trigger guard a mag it came with…..but it’s been fun. Let’s hope it shoots!
I had a 6.5 CM several years ago in the Predator and it shot great. Just bought a Predator in 223 to use as a start to build a new cartridge but also use the 223 barrel to Ackley and have a switch barrel. It shot 3/4" or less with everything I tried in its original form and then I punched the barrel to 223 AI and fireforming it shoots outstanding.

I am a believer that a cheap or a expensive rifle doesn't determine accuracy but more so maybe fit and finish, quality of materials and sometimes consistency. Maybe accuracy is guided more by the company practices and equipment they use to make their products consistent and predictable. I think Ruger has gotten that down fairly well, wouldn't hesitate to buy another Predator. The Howa seems to be similar but I believe the rifles tend to run heavier. Both would work great.

I also would like to do a Origin action, good barrel stock and trigger but keep landing in the $2K plus range with me doing the work, The Ruger cost $469 and I have another $25 in epoxy and paint then time. I don't count reamers or dies as I could have left it as 223 and you have to have dies anyway. I'm starting to love this little Ruger and it shoots very well not even began working up loads yet. Predator isn't a bad choice.


You make several good points and those that Ive also been thinking about. Honestly, it might be the best way to go by simply picking up a Ruger Predator (over the shorter ranch version??)
I’ll use this rifle dual purpose. Hogs when I throw the thermal on it and varmints at other times.
Id really like to throw a Criterion or Proof barrel on an origin, but by the time you buy a stock, bottom metal and trigger as you said, it’s real money. I think sometimes it ”the hunt” to pull all the parts together lol
Still in study mode but leaning towards a Ruger ……
I'm actually starting the same project for my boys rifle right now. Thought about the Howa or Ruger off the shelf but decided to build one since its a bit of an affliction of mine...might as well pass that along to him.

Impact Precision makes an ARC/Grendel bolt face action and Hawkins M5 Hunter mags will run the ARC/Grendel case. I picked up a Bartlein 8 twist barrel and a Manners EH1 off their site this weekend. Will likely settle on barrel length somewhere around 18" to run with a can to knock recoil down.

Dad is going to play around with it for a bit once its up and running and then have the LOP cut down with Manners adj spacer system so we can adjust it as he grows. About the time he outgrows it, it should fit for my younger least that was the logic I used on the wife.