Help Choosing A Precision AR Caliber

Orange Dust

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Messages
1,622
Hey guys. I’m really wanting to build a precision ar on a small frame. I’m probably going to go with a aero precision upper, lower, and atlas one 15” rail. This will be my first precision AR and I need some help deciding on what caliber. I’ve been looking at .224 Valkyrie, 6.5 Grendel, and 22 nosler. This gun would probably be mostly for target shooting and maybe shooting the occasional Whitetail. Any input would be really helpful on deciding this. Other things I’m not really set on are barrel make, length and twist. Any additional info on this would be helpful too. Thanks guys.
I have an Odin Works 22 Nosler barrel that I put on a billet upper that I trued in a lathe. It is a true 1/2 Min gun that didn't costs much. It is also very close to that with Nosler 77gr factory loads. By very close, I's saying 90% of the time. On a good day when I'm not over coffeed out it will get down in the .2's with handloads. This is semi auto mag fed. Been thinking of forming some 6.8 cases and playing with a 6.8 bolt. I think the rebated rim is stupid, but it will shoot with most bolt guns. I have also been thinking of building another upper with an AR Performance barrel in one of their 6.5 or 6.8 wildcats with cavity back bullets for hunting deer, but just haven't gotten around to it. BTW the Odin barrel loves Hornady 68gr BTHP match bullets, and the Odin folks told me most all their barrels love this bullet.
 

DavidA

Active Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
27
Location
Annapolis, MD
For me I have a 6.5 Grendel. It can shoot target well and you can use it to hunt. I have two uppers almost identical. One 20" and one 24" . 20" for most practical hunting situations and a 24" barrel to go long. I gives me another 125 yds supersonic. Easy to load and you can shoot Practical hunting projectiles such as Berger 135 gr Hunter or 123 and 129 gr SST's or 130 Noslers. If you want to high volume plink you can get cheap Russian 100 gr ammo. Very versatile round
 

DavidA

Active Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
27
Location
Annapolis, MD
I have thought about the other 6.5 and 6 mm cartridges 6 mm Predator, etc but they just do not offer enough of an advantage in practical terms to justify them. The 6.8 SPC is a nice cartridge as well verry accurate, but the 6.5 Grendel is just better past 500 yds. Is what it is.
 

7Footer

Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2013
Messages
6
Location
Colorado
Believe it or not - I have gotten some of the best accuracy from an AR out of an 18" PSA 6.5 Grendel upper I bought on a whim. I am still working on load development, but I have had good luck with 130gr Berger Hybrids and 130gr ELDMs, both with CFE 223. Its definitely more expensive to shoot than the .223s I have, but bug holes are so satisfying. Also - in my state (Colorado) we can't shoot deer with anything smaller than 6mm, so if I ever had the itch to hunt with an AR - I could use the Grendel.
 

jgs8163

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
512
Location
Southern Arizona
I have 3 ar15 grendels. 18”, 20” and a 24”. With the 24” I shot a Coues whitetail at 450 yards. I wouldn’t push much more distance than that when hunting as it looses energy and bullet performance can be compromised. I’m working on some 100 grain loads with new brass now to see what type of performance I get at longer distance. Anyways, it’s a great caliber in the ar platform. It can be tricky to load for depending on the AR platform as my uppers are all match grade and if brass is out of spec they do not like feeding. Factory ammo or a handload with new brass I never have issues with. I’ve tried numerous different dies all with the same result. Sometimes the reloads work and sometimes they don’t feed after first shot. My hand loads all work perfect in Grendel bolt gun though. Good luck with what ever you choose.
 

Gord0

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
749
Location
Michigan
I have an 18" criterion barrel Grendel that I haven't had much time to play with, but shows great promise. Picked up 1000 107smk's for .13¢ a piece. That makes a pretty cheap, accurate, and fun plinker. Brass lasts forever as long as you have a brass catcher due to it being a low pressure load too. Used 120gr gold dots for my hunting load for whitetail this year, but unfortunately didn't get to test them out on one. I thought about doing a 6mm AR, but decided on the Grendel due to being able to get a good quality barrel for a decent price, and I like bigger bullets for whitetail here. (Pure personal preference)
 

raider1v1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Messages
201
Location
Missouri
i did a grendel from alexander arms. i am really happy with it. just stay away from that terrible PPU brass.
 

longtubeman

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Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
81
For target, and hunting use a 6.5 grendel in 1in8 twist on a 24" barrel.you can shoot almost anything to 500 yards.
 

rsmithsr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
318
Location
phoenix
it is a 308/large receiver in the ar world...not what he asked about.

I wouldn't count the 6.5 Creedmoor our of the discussion. There are a lot of factory offerings in 6.5CM and even more options if you are having the rifle built. It is a great round for shooting paper and a great round for shooting deer. I would think that would be ideal for your purposes.
 

rsmithsr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
318
Location
phoenix
not personal but 1/2 moa is nto precision in an ar. start talking 1/4 then we are in the ball park.

I have an Odin Works 22 Nosler barrel that I put on a billet upper that I trued in a lathe. It is a true 1/2 Min gun that didn't costs much. It is also very close to that with Nosler 77gr factory loads. By very close, I's saying 90% of the time. On a good day when I'm not over coffeed out it will get down in the .2's with handloads. This is semi auto mag fed. Been thinking of forming some 6.8 cases and playing with a 6.8 bolt. I think the rebated rim is stupid, but it will shoot with most bolt guns. I have also been thinking of building another upper with an AR Performance barrel in one of their 6.5 or 6.8 wildcats with cavity back bullets for hunting deer, but just haven't gotten around to it. BTW the Odin barrel loves Hornady 68gr BTHP match bullets, and the Odin folks told me most all their barrels love this bullet.
I have an Odin Works 22 Nosler barrel that I put on a billet upper that I trued in a lathe. It is a true 1/2 Min gun that didn't costs much. It is also very close to that with Nosler 77gr factory loads. By very close, I's saying 90% of the time. On a good day when I'm not over coffeed out it will get down in the .2's with handloads. This is semi auto mag fed. Been thinking of forming some 6.8 cases and playing with a 6.8 bolt. I think the rebated rim is stupid, but it will shoot with most bolt guns. I have also been thinking of building another upper with an AR Performance barrel in one of their 6.5 or 6.8 wildcats with cavity back bullets for hunting deer, but just haven't gotten around to it. BTW the Odin barrel loves Hornady 68gr BTHP match bullets, and the Odin folks told me most all their barrels love this bullet.
 

rsmithsr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
318
Location
phoenix
I think you can see the trend here, 223 for cheap target with a good bbl( not cheap) and the Grendel anything.
 

basinman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
174
Location
Butte La Rose, LA
20" 6.5 Grendel, 1 in 8 twist. I love mine and it shoots great. Works great on whitetail and hogs also. I load a 123 grain Hornady SST over H335 to just over 2500 fps.
 

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