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The Long Range AR - 6.5 Grendel
Articles by Henning Wallgren and Tom Pfeiffer

Reloading
Reloading for accuracy

If you are familiar with long range rifle loading, these pages probably won't provide you much new information. This page are meant for anyone new to reloading for the accurate rifle and does not particular relate to the 6.5 Grendel, though there are some very useful information regarding the Grendel.


The nice thing is that you can reload this cartridge
on a Dillon RL-1050, just like you do for your .223
and you don't need a Super-1050.

However, for development testing
we used a single stage press (right).





Case preparation

Time spent making sure your cases are uniform will ensure a higher level of accuracy.
The Grendel case is made by Lapua which is already a great starting point.

If you are shooting virgin brass you can jump
to "Final case prep", otherwise you should follow
these steps.

All new cases should be tumbled.
I buy corn media cheap for $25 for 40lbs
from Denver Bullet. Add some Brasso and let it
run for 15 minutes before you add the cases.

A case separator of some sort is necessary.

We do recommend to use fired brass for optimal
accuracy. Form-fitting the cases to your chamber
will greatly improve your accuracy.


Measure the cases. The Grendel max case length
is 1.526". This one need to be trimmed.


This was obviously a low pressure load,
not causing the case to stretch.

Trim cases to length.

Alexander Arms recommends
min length 1.520" and max length 1.526".

We found several new cases measure as short as
1.512" so we trimmed the long ones to 1.515"
to create some form of uniformity.

Over time, the minimum length should be 1.520".

We recommend getting a camfer tool and
a small primer pocket cleaning tool from Sinclair.


Cleaning out the primer pocket with a Sinclair tool.


Camfer the inside of the case to make sure the
bullet doesn't get shaved.


Camfer the outside of the case.


Final case prep

The cases are now ready, the last thing you need
is to lube them before they are run through
the resizer die.


Selecting powder

Alexander Arms have a reloading chart which provides a great starting point.

My first load was one our Alexander Arms' recommended loads:
30.6 grains of Accurate 2520 behind a 120 Sierra Match King and CCI 450 primer.
In my rifle it only shot a 1" group @ 100yds.
Accurate 2520 is a ball powders which is dirty so we switched quickly to extruded powders.

More info on powders will be available in the 6.5 Grendel reloading data section.


A good selection of powers is nice when you are
working up loads.  That way you don't have to run
to the store all the time.


Pay attention the burning rates when trying other
powders.  Different companies lists the powders in
different orders - go figure.

Dirty powder = dirty chamber =
diarty cases = reduced accuracy

Vihtavuori burns clean, keeping the chamber
and throat clean.

Selecting a bullet

Depends on what you are trying to achieve. I have two goals for my Grendel.

My primary purpose is to have a very accurate long-range semi-automatic rifle.
I am using this rifle to compete in the International Tactical Rifleman's Championship.
For this purpose I want a bullet with a good BC, heavy enough to withstand difficult wind conditions
and easy enough to spot a hit on a steel plate 500 yards away.
For this purpose a 123 grain bullet, travelling 2600 fps is my choice.
Power factor of my long range load is just around 310 (bullet weight x velocity)

If you are going to use the Grendel for shooting major power factor in practical rifle competition,
you need - as per current rules of August 2006 - to make a minimum power factor of 320.
These loads are definitely stout, but you can achieve it. You can either shoot a140 grain bullet
at 2350 fps which would be safe. It might be possible to push a 123 or 129 grain bullet fast enough
to make major, but I haven't gone there yet. Bill Alexander warns you might blow a bolt doings so.
I will probably find out soon the way this rifle is coming to good use.

I'll probably use it for varmint hunting before long, in which case I'll probably shoot aHornady 95gr V-Max bullet around 3,000 fps. It's a very safe load with a power factor of 285.



Some of the available bullets for 6.5mm.
From left to right:

Clinch River 147gr VLD
Sierra 123gr Match King
Sierra 120gr Match King
Lapua 108gr Scenar Moly
Lapua 100gr Scenar
Hornady 95gr V-Max
Hornady 129gr SST
Hornady 140gr SST
Hornady 140gr A-Max


Think primers isn't that important?  Well, check out these results.

Tom have done extensive research on accuracy and Federal F205 have performed time after time.
Take a look at these results with his Sako HM .17MK V.

In the Grendel I started out with CCI 450 and after seeing these results,
I decided to trust my friend and switched to Federal 205.