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Archive for the ‘Black Rifle’ Category

KP15 Rifles, Complete: Six Hundred Bones

Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

KE Arms is currently offering complete KP15 rifles for $599.95; that’s a KE15 forged flat top complete upper receiver atop a KP15 monolithic polymer lower receiver with a MilSpec fire control group and KP15-optimized parts. This complete KP15 offers four (4) choices of bolt carrier group and three (3) rail system options.

KP15 with 15 in. Delta-P MLOK Rail and Forward Assist Upper: 5.85 lbs, lighter with a shorter handguard selection. This configuration would normally retail for $899.95, but KE Arms is currently trying to reduce inventory to make way for new products. They’ll continue selling rifles in this configuration until they’re all gone.

BLUF: The KP15 is a superb and reliable lightweight rifle for an excellent price.

Upper

• Precision machined from 7075-T6 forgings to MilSpec standards.
• Available with a standard forward assist or slick side without forward assist.
• MilSpec Type III Hard Anodized
• Made to fit all M16/M4 rifles and carbines.
• Features a USGI Type T marked top, making it easy to remount your tactical accessories.
• Weight: 0.5lbs.

Lower

• KP15 Complete MilSpec FCG Polymer Receiver
• Flared magwell to make reloads under stress easier to perform.
• A1 Length 13 in. Length of Pull (LOP) Buttstock to fit a wide range of shooters
• MLOK Slots at the rear of stock for sling attach points or strap
• Holes at the front of the stock for QD socket inserts for more sling attachment options
• Improved grip for comfortable use
• ‘Winter’ Trigger Guard
• Standard or Trapdoor buttplate available

Barrel

• 16 in. 5.56mm stress-relieved 41V40 steel barrel
• 1:9 button-rifled
• Chrome-lined bore and chamber, and phosphate finish
• 750″ gas block with drilled gas port
• 1/2 x 28 muzzle thread
• Assembled with M4 feed ramp extension
• Designed for carbine length gas system

Danyela D’Angelo behind her KP15.

Charging Handle

Billet machined out of 7075 T-6 aluminum
 Mil 8625 Type III, Class 2 hard anodized
Includes a heavier spring for increased durability and longevity
Large latch for easy manipulation in times of stress.

Bolt Carrier Group Options

• M16 Black Nitride
• M16 Chrome Standard
• M16 Chrome with HMB Bolt
• Slick M16 Chrome with HMB Bolt

The KP15 does not come with magazines; KE Arms recommends Gen 3 PMAGs.

Rail System Options

• 12.5 in. Delta-P MLOK
• 12.5 in. Delta-R MLOK
• 15 in. Delta-R MLOK

Learn more about the KP15 rifle and other platforms online at KEarms.com.

Sons of Liberty Gun Works Announces Forward Controls Design AR-15 Ambidextrous Lower Receiver Collaboration

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

San Antonio, Texas (April 20, 2022) – LRF (Lower Receiver, Forward Controls Design) is a collaboration between Sons of Liberty Gunworks (SOLGW) and Forward Controls Design (FCD).

Machined from a solid block of 7075 aluminum, LRF is an ambidextrous AR15 lower receiver with built-in right side bolt release, designed to use our EMR-A (Enhanced Magazine Release, Ambidextrous), a Norgon Ambi-Catch will also work on the LRF.

Design of LRF was completed in 2019. Due to difficulties of Covid-19 induced lockdowns and subsequent buying frenzies of all things firearms related, production was continuously delayed. Neither SOLGW nor FCD are known to rush development or production, we had used this time to further refine the LRF.

LRF was designed with duty and defense users in mind. Its changes from TDP based lowers are based on ergonomics and better protection of magazine releases (both left and right side):

* EMR-A (Enhanced Magazine Release, Ambidextrous) fence on the left side.

* Taller than TDP spec magazine release fence on the right side to ensure TDP spec magazine release button stays below the fence.

* Countersunk take down pin hole on the left, when the user pushes the take down pin in from the left side, the pin can be pushed in further, with more protrusion on the right to pull from.

* Built in trigger guard with the same features as our TGF (Trigger guard, Forward Controls), more info: www.forwardcontrolsdesign.com/TGF-Trigger-Guard-Forward-Controls_p_178 TGF has more usable space forward of the trigger, not behind. It also has a “ramp” to facilitate magazine loading for users that use the rear spline of the magazine to index and “rock” the magazine into the mag well.

* Flared magazine well with a larger opening.

LRF’s changes are subtle and wholly functions based, a duty/defense firearm doesn’t concern itself with aesthetics, nor benefit from them. One will not find it decorated with lightening cuts/holes, or obnoxiously large logos.

A tastefully small Cygnus is engraved on the right side of the LRF magazine well to denote FCD’s involvement in the project’s development, one can easily miss or overlook it, and that’s the point, we don’t intend the LRF to be a walking billboard. It’s designed and made for work, not for show.

Exclusive offering of the LRF will only be through our SOLGW Premier Dealer Network. Some of these online retailers will even have notifications available to let you know when they go live. Be sure to stay up to date with the latest new products coming out of SOLGW and FCD by visiting our websites, signing up for our email alerts, and following us on social media.

www.forwardcontrolsdesign.com www.sonsoflibertygw.com

Sons of Liberty Gun Works Announces Partnership with RSR Group

Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

San Antonio, Texas (April 11, 2022) – Sons of Liberty Gun Works, manufacturer of hard use AR-15s, is pleased to announce its newest distributor, RSR Group. RSR Group has become a top distributor in the shooting sports market and has been recognized for its commitment to the industry and its programs. Offering same-day shipping, competitive prices, and a broad inventory. RSR Group quickly became one of the leading forces in the shooting sports market and expanded its distribution network. With a state-of-the art, centralized distribution center in Fort Worth, Texas, RSR Group can quickly reach dealers and provide the same-day order processing their customers have come to expect.

Dealers interested in stocking Sons of Liberty Gun Works firearms, parts, and accessories through RSR Group can visit www.rsrgroup.com. For information about Sons of Liberty Gun Works, please visit our website at www.sonsoflibertygw.com

Primary Focus – Are You Really Shooting Past 300 Yards with an AR?

Saturday, February 5th, 2022

Perhaps the title of this article is a bit out of place considering many of the readers are already taking shots at three hundred yards or more with an AR. Even with an AR-15, that doesn’t lend itself as well to long range precision shooting as the AR-10 or cloned versions of the .308 AR, shooters are consistently taking shots past 300 yards with an AR.

In fact, with a simple change like a bolt-on, drop-in AR-15 conversion upper, one could even reasonably expect to get to under a minute of angle at 300 yards shooting a popular mainstream cartridge.

Perhaps a better explanation of what this article is about is how one could take any regular AR-15, or AR-10 and put it in a consistent 300 yard range for anything within the spectrum of being capable of using an AR platform to accomplish.

The concepts we want to explore at some level in this article are:

• Can you take consistent shots at three hundred yards with your run-of-the-mill AR?

• Can the AR compete broadly against other platforms shooting at more than 300 yards on a regular basis?

• Can the AR be built to be a real competitor, and can it have multivariate use cases at more than 300 yards, consistently?

• What are the limits of the current AR spectrum of rifles, out of factory?

• What are the limits of bespoke builds based on the AR spectrum of rifles when absolute attention is paid to long-range precision accuracy?

• What should you focus on when building, or buying an AR capable of taking difficult shots at longer ranges and turning them into routine, easy to take shots?

In this article we’d like to explore the concept of the AR moving past the hurdle of 300 + yards of range with any kind of capability, into a Brave new world for the AR platform. What follows is a more in-depth discussion about how you can get ultra consistent performance out of an AR platform, far beyond where most normal shooters are pushing the firearm.

Can you really make the argument that the AR platform is suitable for a consistent shot taking on targets that matter past 300 yards?

This point is pretty much settled in stone at this time, with the AR platform having been proven to be a success hunting game animals, and shooting in mainstream competitions, where the AR may not have been a factor in the previous decades. So, the answer is already existent: the AR certainly can shoot past 300 yards with accuracy and lethality in pretty much any configuration.

Where it really becomes an issue, and where there is a real world application here, that needs further discussion is when defining what are the parameters at the extreme end of the spectrum that constrain the AR platform from an accuracy or lethality perspective. And this is not just a discussion that starts and ends with the 5.56 or the .223. The AR-15 is much more than the original AR-15 that came out in the sixties.

Given the plethora of options, loads, optics and other add-on components that now is extant in the AR arena, what can the AR do in the realm past 300 yards?

From a hunting perspective:

We’ve all got a friend that has a mythical story of taking a trophy game animal across a ridge, past a Valley, that’s probably more than 850 yards, and who knows how much of the truth got stretched in that story.

From the perspective of the AR, certainly it’s capable of being built into a rifle that can shoot and reliably take large game animals at 850 yards. However, this tends to be at the outer limits of what’s capable with a multi receiver build, like the AR platform.

It is certainly not outside the realm of possibility to build an AR-15 that can shoot 650 yards or more, and dispatch a moderately sized game animal, or on the lowest end of the spectrum of the largest game animals.

Furthermore, it’s quite easy to build an AR-10, depending on the cartridge that can take a large game animal at 850 yards. Whether or not the shooter has the skill level to do so on a consistent basis, will be up to the shooter and their experience.

Certainly, these are at the limits of where the AR-15 and the component parts are currently on the market.

That isn’t to say that thousand-yard shots can be done or haven’t been taken, but to be consistent, and to be consistent with gamesmanship principles, especially when hunting an animal, it might not make sense to push the envelope past 650 yards unless you have absolute confidence that such a shot can be lethal, well-placed, and is a smart shot to take at that moment.

From a competition perspective:

For a 3-gun competition shooter, the realistic need to shoot up to 500 yards is even few and far between. Essentially, if you’ve built a gun that can handle 500 yards (which many out of the box factory rifles can handle, easily at minute of angle), you’ll be okay.

For a CMP sanctioned match, that is what most people know as “National Match Competitions” run by the Civilian Marksmanship Program with a lot of carryover into the military end of the spectrum. In these competitions, if you’ve built a gun that can handle 600 yd at a minute of angle, you’ll be more than prepared.

For the NRA’s competition “America’s Rifle Challenge”, for a level one match, anything that can shoot minute of angle at 100 yards is acceptable; and for a level two match, anything that can shoot at five hundred yards or closer at minute of angle is more than acceptable.

From a competition perspective, you’re going to be shooting at targets on average less than 350 yards away. Very rarely are you even looking at a 700 yd + shot. The sweet spot on the high end of the range spectrum is under 350 yards for the .223/5.56 – a shooter can compensate for beyond that quickly with a BDC type optic too.

From an anti-personnel or anti-materiel (or a general law enforcement) perspective:

Because a man sized target, and the threat level that a target like that might perpetuate, taking long distance shots on an AR platform, simply isn’t the best practice for law enforcement. This is especially true when the target has access to or is wielding a firearm or is in a hostage situation of any type. 

When law enforcement and military are utilizing an AR style rifle as an anti-personnel implementation, the range is reduced, and the projectile is increased in payload size.

This is to ensure a single shot kill. Most law enforcement agencies will not be shooting an AR style rifle at any distance more than 250 to 300 yards.

Even then, this is at the far end of the spectrum of where the liability concerns and difficulty in consistent shot placement become a factor. In today’s legal environment, law enforcement tried to avoid concerns like that.

Rather than trust a basic beat cop and their basic rifle in their basic Police cruiser to be able to take shots past say, two hundred yards, in a situation that may even be time-sensitive, a department would likely opt for a long-range precision marksman on staff to take that shot, and likely with a different platform of rifle.

Now, speaking in the real world, many law enforcement agencies utilize the AR-10, or even the AR-15 for moderate ranges, and even into the long-range precision marksman category. Not everything is done with Remington 700’s or Winchester 70’s, or Steyr bolt actions.

There was a period where Walther WA-2000’s and HK PSG-1’s were coveted pieces of hardware for departmental use, but those days are over.

Many intermediate-range firearms can be built out of the AR platform nowadays and offer substantially similar accuracy to these “Crown Jewel” type semi-automatic anti-personnel rifles of the past.

Larger teams and even smaller organizations generally default to bolt action highly accurate rifles to ensure they have most of the hardware equation taken care of and spend significant resources on training sharpshooters within their law enforcement agencies how to handle those rifles at longer distances.

From a depredation perspective:

Looking at the big business of killing hogs, coyotes, or other predatory animals nowadays, the AR has become a bit of a superstar in that realm. The ability to take animals at anywhere from 30 ft to 500 yd using the same cartridge, load, and hardware sets up an interesting scenario.

Looking at the landscape of the newer cartridges online in the AR realm, one can see plenty of fantastic options for depredation. We’ll explore a bit of that in the next segment regarding calibers and cartridge options.

Suffice it to say there are plenty of standout options for the AR platform that can generally achieve any goals a depredation-specific AR build has set out to accomplish.

From a multi-use perspective – specifically with regards to more versatile cartridge options:

First and foremost, the AR-15 utilizing the 223 Remington, or the 5.56 x 45 is already quite a versatile firearm.

But the argument gets much more interesting when you start talking about the available cartridges, especially those introduced in the last 5-10 years or so. When you look at the availability to the AR-15 of cartridges like the 6.5 Grendel, the .224 Valkyrie, the 6.8 SPC, the 300 Ham’r, and the .300 Blackout, you start to see a significantly versatile group of cartridges that combines well with one of the most versatile firearms in history.

Piggybacking on the success of the cartridges that fit within the ecosystem of the AR-15, one might also look at the long-range capabilities that come from using the AR-10 or .308 Winchester platform of the AR. This system allows you to get into cartridges like the .308, of course, which is here to stay, and has significant ballistic advantages over smaller cartridges, and the 6.5 Creedmoor. Some builds utilizing the 6.5 Creedmoor can push 1000 yd + capabilities on game targets, shooting sub minute of angle, easily.

What variables are most important when trying to improve consistency and ballistics past three hundred yards on a rifle like the AR-15?

From a component perspective, one of the most important parts you’ll want to emphasize to get past 300 yards routinely, will be your barrel, and how that matches from a twist rate and length perspective to the actual load you’ve settled on for the specific task you’re trying to accomplish.

You can also design this aspect from a different perspective: instead of settling on a specific load, look at the capabilities of the barrel length and the twist rate and then dial in a load to ensure that you have the maximum performance out of the barrel.

All things considered, the largest Improvement in overall capabilities is going to be the cartridge in which you will be shooting, paired with the most robust and finely tuned barrel you can find for the cartridge that you choose to use.

This does not mean that you can discount barrel mounting stability and the importance of trying to lock-in the stability and monolithic nature of the barrel connection to the firearm. These are necessary features that must be paid attention to.

A significant trigger upgrade can also do wonders in keeping you consistently on target. But an even bigger variable may be your optics and how they factor into your ability to get on and stay on target., especially when you need to compensate for bullet drop or on-the-fly windage concerns.

Additionally, mating a high tolerance upper receiver to a high tolerance lower receiver, or buying a matched set that prioritizes tight tolerances and is built to mate together for the long term, can also improve overall strategic accurizing methodologies.

Balancing the rifle can also be incredibly important, especially if you’re shooting something like a bespoke 26 inch 6.5 Creedmoor barrel, which will cause the front end of the AR to get incredibly heavy, while the back end remains considerably lighter.

Having the correct systems in place to improve balance, including things like a bipod, an improved buffer system, or a significantly adjustable buttstock and pistol grip, will be important. Matching the right forend or other furniture will also help to build a more “monolithic” rifle in general.

Did we completely overlook the AR-10 and substantially similar cloned 308 pattern semi-automatic AR rifles?

While we only spoke briefly about the 6.5 Creedmoor, it has become the poster child for modern-day AR accuracy. This goes without saying, that the larger, more robust .308 Winchester based AR-10 platform is already more suitable to a more accurate firearm build.

The inherent accuracy bonuses of using a round like the 6.5 Creedmoor, and the component parts that come along with such an inherently accurate cartridge, only improve the platform further. And as touched upon earlier, it is a proven concept, that a cartridge can have one of the biggest impacts on accuracy of all the variables within the accuracy equation.

While this discussion was initially built around the idea of pushing the limits of accuracy, and usability beyond what was a normal envelope of performance for the AR-15, it would be ridiculous not to include the AR-10, and the 6.5 Creedmoor.

That is also not to mention the .308 Winchester, which offers double or triple the long-range capabilities of the .223/5.56 cartridge.

When you look at the capabilities of such a compact and lightweight firearm as the AR-15 however, it is a little more difficult to achieve huge range capabilities, while also having ballistic superiority to comparative marketable options in the size range.

All that said, it’s important to understand how much impact the newer, more ballistically viable loads can have on pushing the AR-15 beyond its normal limits.

Before we even started discussing the topic in this article, it was probably already a foregone conclusion that anyone who didn’t understand that the AR-15 was capable of shooting on a regular basis, past three hundred yards, was being a little unfair to such a versatile rifle. But it should also not be discounted, that most shooters generally are never going to take a shot beyond 300 yards with an AR-15.

In fact, most readers of this article are maybe just now, for the first time, exploring the idea of shooting for long-range precision with an AR-15.

Again, this is not to say that the AR-15 should forever be pigeon-holed into something that only utilizes the .223 Remington or the 5.56 x 45 and must stay within the 350 to 400 yd extended range of those cartridges.

With the introduction of cartridges like the .224 Valkyrie and the 6.5 Grendel, and even the 6.8 SPC, the .300 Blackout, and the .300 Ham’r, the AR-15 has become something of a jack of all trades. A rifle that’s capable of shooting in a native capacity out of a bone stock rifle with a drop-in conversion on the upper end, out past 450 yd and significantly further – even out into the 650 yard territory without many changes to the original configuration.

The 224 Valkyrie, for instance, probably shoots well beyond 650 yards given the right wind conditions. The 6.5 Grendel would be a fine round to use when you have difficulty shooting out past six hundred yards where the Grendel is still quite comfortable. If you need to get past that point you can move into the AR-10 platform and access the .308, or the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Even without getting into the AR-10 spectrum, you could still utilize the 6.5 Grendel or the 6.8 SPC out past the usable strategic range of mainstream mil-spec 7.62 x 51mm ammunition under ideal conditions.

Considering this is available on a smaller, lighter weight and easier to wield, lower recoiling AR-15 platform, instead of utilizing the .308 Winchester, or the 7.62 x51mm on the larger platform, there are a lot of options for the AR-15 to go past 300 yards.

Let’s draw some conclusions about shooting past 300 yards with an AR

Given the plethora of rounds, and the ability to customize the AR, one is not stuck within the relatively short-range provided by the original caliber of the AR-15. Given the ability to hop up into the next class level of AR, with the AR-10, the shooter now also has access to a nearly 1,000 yd firearm, out of factory, without much accuracy-tweaking necessary.

Part of the problem with many shooters never pushing the limits of their AR, is that many ranges don’t offer sufficient long-range shooting capabilities, and public lands don’t offer the clean environment full of safety considerations for them to shoot their rifle past the 300 yard mark.

Perhaps it was a little disingenuous to peg the .223 and a 5.56 x45 into a corner that establishes a mere 300 or 350 yard range as the extended operational range of the cartridge.

But, for the purposes of this discussion we believed it opened up the concept that one need not settle for arbitrary ranges, when one can custom build or custom-tailor a factory rifle built on an AR platform, to shoot far beyond, and even double or triple the average range of mainstream loads with mainstream factory battle rifles in the AR-15 platform.

Hopefully, with a bit of research and a little bit of effort, everyone who has read this article to this point, we’ll have the impetus to push their own personal comfort zone past the 300 or 350 yd range with the AR-15.

It may help push readers to contemplate building something capable of shooting double or even triple the range, with around the same “near minute of angle accuracy” that most factory rifles are coming to market with.

Given the high customizability of the AR-15 platform, building a one-off version of a highly competent and highly accurate, moderate to long range precision rifle is within the grasp of most users reading this article.

Primary Focus is a weekly feature from Primary Arms that covers various firearms related subjects.

An Ambidextrous 80% AR-15 Lower Receiver

Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

Garden Grove, CA., (December 8th, 2021) – 80 PERCENT ARMS, the leading producer of 80% lowers, 80% lower jigs, and 80% pistol frames, debuts the latest in their line of AR-15 receivers you can build at home: an all-new ambidextrous 80% AR-15 lower receiver.

This premium ambi lower brings new bold and functional styling to 80% lowers. A freshly contoured design with a host of features gives fresh aesthetics with new functions to the 80% builder space. We’ve included the ability to drop the bolt from the right side of the receiver, aiding in speed reloads and getting the shooter back on the gun faster.

80% Arms has incorporated several other features to improve shootability of the lower receiver as well. A trigger pre-travel take-up tension screw has been included to improve the pull on triggers that may have excessive pre-travel by providing upwards tension on the rear of the trigger unit.

Additionally, a receiver tension screw is included with the receiver, allowing for tension to be placed on the rear takedown pin lug of an upper receiver, removing slop or movement between receivers where the aftermarket match may not be as precise as desired.

Because even the little things matter, 80% Arms has threaded the rear takedown pin spring hole, to make installation of the lower parts kit (especially the backplate), a breeze.

Finally, the rearward safety selector stop has been abbreviated to allow easier manipulation of the safety selector when hands are wet or slippery by allowing more thumb engagement on the safety selector lever.

The 80% ambi lower is the latest in a rapidly expanding catalog of premium 80% receivers offered by 80% Arms. It’s available online at www.80percentarms.com, and ships directly to your door.

Primary Focus – Can 6.5 Grendel Get You Where You Want to Be in an AR Drop in Receiver?

Saturday, November 27th, 2021

What’s all the hype about with the 6.5 Grendel?

The 6.5 Grendel doesn’t fit next to the 6.5 Creedmoor in a side-by-side comparison, despite similar concepts and similar naming structure. Sure, they shoot the same diameter bullet – and very accurately at that, but that’s about where the similarities end. So, what’s all the hype?

Simply put, you can do more with your AR-15 rifle than you could before with a much easier conversion, that doesn’t get you outside of the realm of the effectiveness for the AR platform, and you can do it while driving tacks out to 750 yards and maybe then some.

You aren’t going to win any benchrest competitions with the 6.5 Grendel, but then, you weren’t going to be competitive at those ranges and with those specifications in a semi-auto sporting rifle either. The Grendel is very interesting for those who want significantly better accuracy; good recoil profile that compares favorably with the .223 as well as range that nearly triples the on-target range of the native offering.

Yes, the ammunition is going to cost you more, and the components aren’t as “mainstream” as the native cartridge/caliber choices, but you get near drop-in ease of implementation, with “almost unbelievable” improvements in accuracy and range.

What’s the hype about the 6.5 Grendel you ask? It’s a better offering than standard AR folks have had for shooting accurately to 750 yards than ever before, without one off-builds. And it is affordable. You’re taking a gun that is capable of MOA under some pretty exacting specifications which require significant tweaking at minimum to get there and making it a native ½ minute semi-auto for about the price of a decent bolt action rifle in additional costs. 

You can’t do that with a 6.5 Creedmoor affordably, and you cannot expect too much more from a platform that routinely catches flack when it shows up to longer range competitions. You may be able to find full factory builds on sale for half that of the Creedmoor – and that means you can be shooting a lot of intermediate range 6.5’s well before you match that price tag – and you can usually get an upper or a whole rifle faster than the larger 6.5.

Is it genuinely competing with the 6.5 Creedmoor and other strategically long range cartridges in the “6mm class”

No, the 6.5 Grendel isn’t competitive with the “6mm’s” generally speaking, but it’s not designed to be competitive with those rounds either. It was built to deliver exceptional accuracy and it does that, but it was designed to do that in a shorter, lighter, semi-automatic rifle, like the AR-15. It has a special purpose, but that special purpose isn’t 850+ yards, per se. It’s also a lot more approachable for AR-15 purists, because it drops into the normal platform, instead of the larger .308 AR style variant.

Just looking at a 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge vs. a 6.5 Grendel almost tells the tale of what to expect from the different offerings, but it’s a nuanced story with a lot of very cool features on both sides. You kind of just have to align with one or the other, or both, in separate configurations – especially if you are dropping either cartridge onto the backbone of the AR platform. They are very different beasts, and both are definitely beasts in their own right.

To say that a 6.5 Grendel is going to compete with benchrest cartridge offerings that have been punching 5-shot one-hole targets for decades is sort of ridiculous – it’s designed and built to fire reliably out of a basic AR-15 setup, with a bolt/carrier/barrel change. You’ll need a magazine too, but they aren’t typically hard to find. And that’s kind of the beauty of the Grendel in 6.5 – it’s approachable, can actually be found occasionally on the market instead of being a myth, and it doesn’t try to be something it isn’t.

If you want to shoot $3-4 a round ammo there are plenty of benchrest cartridges that will put you there. If you want to shoot a 6.5 Creedmoor on benchrest, you aren’t really opting for an AR anyways. So yeah – they do different things.

Bolt guns are the real domain for one hole targets that need to be in that one hole configuration all the time.

The cool thing about the 6.5 Grendel is that out to regular distances for range work, it’s going to get you really close to that desirable one-hole target, and you are probably less than 1k out of pocket on a decent upper receiver build, or less than $1500 on a dedicated factory rifle on the intermediate to high end. Sometimes you can find the kits or rifles at half those respective prices too – so yeah – it’s approachable for high end accuracy out of an AR.

If you’re talking about paper targets, the 6.5 Grendel is good to go to 750 yards and the 6.5 Creedmoor is good to twice that, but the Creedmoor won’t achieve those numbers out of a 20” or 22” barrel on an AR. In the field you can expect out of a typical AR configuration for the respective builds, about 650+ yards on the 6.5 Grendel and about 850+ yards on the Creedmoor, with both requiring a well dialed optic and some adjustment at those extreme distances to take a deer-sized animal at that range.

Ideally, you’re shooting a 6.5 Grendel out of a 20 or a 24 inch barrel from the AR, and you’re getting the most out of a 6.5 Creedmoor at a 24”+ barrel, with a 26” or 28” barrel being optimal for the 6.5 Creedmoor. Note: 24” Grendel barrels are basically a myth for the AR – super hard to find unless bespoke.

In the field hunting for deer, it almost makes more sense to be using the 6.5 Grendel unless you like the 6.5 Creedmoor so much you don’t mind carrying an AR that is 12+ pounds and has worse accuracy than the cheaper, lighter bolt action in the same caliber (Creedmoor). If you’re hunting for deer at greater than 650 yards with an AR, you may not be taking appropriate shots, even with a tack driver like the 6.5 class.

What’s a realistic expectation of all things equal with off the shelf components and an off the shelf or simple maker’s build?

You can get to ½ MOA all day long. But that may not even be the goal. What’s probably even more interesting, is that the 6.5 Grendel makes a compelling case as the gateway drug to the precision long range shooting world to allow casuals the opportunity to test the waters and see if they like it before they commit 15 weeks of pay to dip their toes in the long range precision game.

You get to test if you like tromping out 750 yards to get a target after only a handful of shots.

You get to test if you like adjusting windage for slight shifts in crosswind activity on the regular, so you don’t ruin that pretty target out there at 750 yards.

You get to find out if you mind only shooting $40 worth of ammunition on a range trip because you take 2-3 minutes or more playing around with the notepad and the settings and your bench configuration at the range between each shot.

You get to see what it’s like to not ALWAYS have a flyer on your AR target.

Here are the numbers for a basic comparison:

6.5 Grendel approximate average performance based on typical grain weights:

90 grain bullet; ~2875 fps velocity; ~1650 ft. lbs. of energy

120 grain bullet; ~2700 fps velocity; ~1950 ft. lbs. of energy

123 grain bullet; ~2675 fps velocity; ~1910 ft. lbs. of energy

130 grain bullet; ~2500 fps velocity; ~1810 ft. lbs. of energy

Note: shorter barrels than 24” are going to see some reduction in velocity and may see larger standard deviations.

6.5 Creedmoor approximate average performance based on typical grain weights:

120 grain bullet; ~3075 fps velocity; ~2450 ft. lbs. of energy

143 grain bullet; ~2750 fps velocity; ~2250 ft. lbs. of energy

Note: these are out of a 28 inch barrel, with a 26 or 28” barrel being optimal for the Cartridge; the average length of Creedmoor barrels for the AR308 platform is probably in the 20-22 inch range, so you can expect these velocities and the ultimate range of the projectile to take big hits.

The 6mm PPC that the original case for the Grendel was designed from, is a powerhouse in history, and the 6mm’s and 6.5mm classes are brilliant when it comes to delivering on target for accuracy. Ultimately, they are a great way to send a projectile on a man sized target or a deer sized target. That’s why the AR market has adapted to them so well. The terminal ballistics on both of the 6.5’s are excellent for hunting, and suitable for some military use cases. And the extended range on both the Grendel and the Creedmoor, while totally serving different goals, are incredible.

What can you expect? A very capable cartridge with a very nice range of activities with off-the-shelf ammunition that doesn’t cost more than $2 a round usually. The price probably has a bit of a kicker during times of low ammunition volumes, but it isn’t detrimental to the type of shooting that 6.5 shooters and hunters are doing. It’s a safe place to be for someone who wants more than a decent accuracy upgrade to their favorite rifle platform (the AR, obviously) and doesn’t want to be too far into the weeds for the privilege of it.

What was the original intent of the 6.5 Grendel

The original intent is touched upon up further in this article, but here’s a more in-depth exploration to help clarify how the 6.5 Grendel, despite being a bit less popular with the precision shooter crowd in the AR world, has outperformed its original intent in many observer’s minds.

Basically, the designer (Bill Alexander) wanted to outperform the .223 Remington and 5.56×45, with a longer effective range and that could be used in the normal OAL/magazine constraints of the AR. Pairing with Lapua Ballistics expert Janne Pohjoispaa and Arne Brennan, a competitive shooter, Alexander, who owns Alexander Arms, launched the product at a blackwater facility where it was more accurate than the .308 at intermediate distances and still had supersonic velocity at 1200 yards.

So, if anything you might gather from those statements – it should be that it was meant to be used in a military rifle, for use in battle. And meant to be better than the .223/5.56 and the fact that recoil is half that of the .308 and intermediate distance accuracy is better, it seems like it delivered on design parameters.

Has the 6.5 Grendel lived up to the hype?

It seems obvious by the sold out products in the space, and the demand for ammunition that it has gained more than a few fans or followers. But the basic performance promises of the cartridge make it very interesting for those who want to deer hunt with their AR out further; or want a flatter shooting, better terminal performance round for warfighting or defensive purposes.

It’s not the 1200 yard gun the Creedmoor can be with a long barrel and a bolt action. But is it the better option for those who value the numbers and want the familiarity and approachability of the AR?

It hasn’t won a contract yet for U.S. military adoption. The 6.8SPC hasn’t either, thanks to the cost prohibitive nature of swapping out a decades old relationship with the 5.56×45. Interestingly the 6.5 Grendel is being developed in a Zastava rifle that looks to be adopted eventually by the Serbian military forces.

The 6.8SPC is an interesting cartridge to compare beside the 6.5 Grendel:

6.8SPC approximate average performance based on typical grain weights:

115 grain bullet; ~2575 fps velocity; ~1675 ft. lbs. of energy

120 grain bullet; ~2450 fps velocity; ~1600 ft. lbs. of energy

Note: this is out of a 16 inch barrel which aligns well with military use cases, generally.

Given the nature of the things you can do with the Grendel out of a standard AR, it’s pretty safe to assume that the cartridge and subsequent builds on that platform have lived up to the hype. 

Where is the sweet spot for the 6.5 Grendel?

Shooting out of a 20” barrel on the AR would be nearly ideal thanks to the increased stiffness of the barrel, and the fact that the only real gain is tighter standard deviation ranges and some velocity past 600 yards if using a larger barrel length. The original manufacturer itself (Alexander Arms) points to a preference of 20” and 24” barrel lengths.

If you are hunting or target shooting past 450 yards and out to about 700, you can be well served by the 20” barrel and some basic understandings of your optic and the characteristics and bullet drops for the cartridge you are shooting.

On an AR, this makes it even more approachable than it already was, relative to the 6.5 Creedmoor, which is great on the AR, but much better on a long barreled bolt action in both target use and field use going after bigger game.

Some final notes about the 6.5 Grendel in an AR build

It’s a winner. It’s affordable. It’s realistic. It’s not pushing the absolute limits of the AR platform for no reason, and it can really get you where you want to be on an upper receiver platform, which may not be the case for many other alternatives. 

The 6.5 Grendel, despite not being chosen for a military contract, is well within the appropriate performance ranges to be considered a better alternative for nearly everything compared to the 5.56/.223, except when you factor in the access to cheaper ammunition that comes from being the darling of the US Armed Forces since the late 60’s. If you are not shooting 30 rounds at a time, but instead, 1 every 30-40 seconds, the Grendel is a compelling offering out of the AR, especially when you like tight groups and want to squeeze something different out of the muzzle of your AR. 

If you need a dual purpose rig for target work and deer harvesting, the 6.5 Grendel does not disappoint.

Primary Focus is a weekly feature from Primary Arms that covers various firearms related subjects.

Brownells Unveils Exclusive New Rifle During Labor Day Event

Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

GRINNELL, Iowa (September 2, 2021) – Brownells is partnering with Foxtrot Mike Products for the Gen II FM-15 Zhukov, a new rifle design offered exclusively at Brownells and unveiled during the 2021 Labor Day event at Brownells.com

Chambered in 223 Wylde, the Gen II FM-15 Zhukov features an upper assembly with a self-contained recoil mechanism using nested springs, allowing the rifle to be fired with the stock folded.

The Gen II FM-15 also has a non-reciprocating charging handle located forward over the barrel, which can be changed to either side, and oriented either up or down depending on the shooter’s preference. 

The Zhukov version of the Gen II FM-15 comes complete with AK-47-style Zhukov furniture from Magpul. The lower accepts most standard AR-15 magazines, parts and triggers.

Listed as #100-043-206, the Gen II FM-15 Zhukov retails for $1,049.99 and will be available for pre-orders.

“Brownells is excited to be the source for this exclusive variant of the FM-15 with Magpul Zhukov folding stock,” said Brownells Director of Product Development Paul Levy.  “The Foxtrot Mike developed operating system and unique charging handle makes this rifle stand out from a functionality perspective, and provides users an addition to their collection.”

The Brownells Labor Day event landing page is live starting September 2, and the event will last through September 6.

In addition to the FM-15, Brownells will be offering other exclusive firearms, unique product bundles, deals on shipping, and an assortment of lower receivers and parts.

On Friday, Brownells will make available a wide range of Geissele products at special prices not seen in a long time.

To learn more about the FM-15 Zhukov and the other Brownells exclusives, visit the Brownells Labor Day Event page.

Get Your F15s from Centurion Arms

Friday, June 25th, 2021

Since it has been declared that the citizens need F-15 to defend themselves Centurion Arms has stepoed up to help people gear up to protect their families and loved ones from the tyrannical crime syndicate!!! Each F-15 comes with 3 selector options!! “no nuke” “nuke” and “full nuke” to give you a full range of defensive options against any storm troopers heading your way!!!!

They will also be donating a portion of each sale to an Ashli Babbitt fund. Ashli Babbitt was a 14-year air force veteran killed by capitol police officer Michael Leroy Byrd on January 6th 2021.

centurionarms.com/uppers-lowers/f15-5-56-forged-lower-receiver