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#3279741 - 07/29/21 03:17 PM 6.5 grendel hunting ammo
MISportsman Online
Predator Master

Registered: 04/19/19
Posts: 78
Loc: Michigan
I'm going on a fallow deer hunt in December and am thinking of using my 6.5 grendel ar. The only ammo I have for it is the hornady black 123gr eld-m. I have been searching for hunting ammo and all I can find is either the sst or ballistic tip from Alexander arms. I am afraid of meat damage with either of those and the hunt will be for a meat doe... Does anyone have any on game experience with any of these choices or know where I can order any better options?

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#3279744 - 07/29/21 04:24 PM Re: 6.5 grendel hunting ammo [Re: MISportsman]
Plant.One Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 02/12/15
Posts: 4685
Loc: Oakland County, MI
personally my grendel hates the 123gr sst. but loves the 123gr eld-m. so thats what i hunt with. whitetail i mean. not just critters.


now just because the eld-m isnt marketed as a hunting bullet doesnt mean it wont function as one. the eld-m(amax) has taken a LOT of game over the years. Hornady has said many times in the past that the AMAX was a more than suitable bullet for thin skinned game (ie: stuff up to whitetail deer).


check the gel results. look like a beautiful mushroom to me.

trick being - just like any other performance engineered modern bullet - just make sure your shot placement is good. heart/lung, behind the shoulder where all you're gonna damage is some organ meat and a few ounces between the ribs - sure way to minimize meat loss.. sure if you blow one thru a tough shoulder socket, etc you might get a result you're not looking for in meat loss - but you'll find the same thing with a traditional cup and core bullet too. an exit thru the opposite shoulder after going thru the first one is going to cost you a bunch of meat loss.

the big reason there's a "dont hunt with match bullets" thing is because of the Sierra SMK - which absolutely is a horrible choice for a hunting bullet by all accounts- including Sierra's. But just because that applies to a specific sierra bullet - doesnt mean it applies to *ALL* match bullets. berger addresses that in their snippet below.

match bullets are those that are just built to a higher tolerance when it comes to things like jacket thickness consistency, etc. yes sometimes and in some instances that will preculde it being a poor medium to large game bullet, but not always.


just as an example - the berger hunter is just their old VLD match bullet - after much testing they rebranded to hunting becuase it was already being used as such. even though it was the same successful match bullet that had been used for years and years. they openly admit it. they just choose to market it differently.

https://bergerbullets.com/history-of-the-match-grade-berger-hunting-vld/
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All reloading info shared is based on my experiences in my guns. Follow safe reloading practice and work up loads from published minimum data.
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#3279751 - 07/29/21 06:11 PM Re: 6.5 grendel hunting ammo [Re: MISportsman]
jetman Online
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 1575
Loc: almost Canada
Bolt or AR?
MY GD ( 12 years old third season for deer)just got a 20" Howa mini action.
We started with 130 Gr Berger It was NOT a good combo for her rifle, There, not "Hunting" bullets anyway.
We tried 120 Barnes Triple-Shock X (TSX) Bullets Shoots very good but we tried 123 SSTs. MUCH better now she is at 1/2" groups. We zeroed it an inch high at 100 yards.
We use the SST in our AR also with great performance on deer with a 16" barrel. I'm quite sure in the Howa it will be the same.
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#3279767 - 07/29/21 10:31 PM Re: 6.5 grendel hunting ammo [Re: MISportsman]
MISportsman Online
Predator Master

Registered: 04/19/19
Posts: 78
Loc: Michigan
It's a 20" ar, and it shoot the hornady black 123 gr eldm beautifully, but that's all I've tried in it.


Edited by MISportsman (07/30/21 06:38 PM)

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#3279941 - 08/02/21 02:48 PM Re: 6.5 grendel hunting ammo [Re: jetman]
Plant.One Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 02/12/15
Posts: 4685
Loc: Oakland County, MI
Originally Posted By: jetman
Bolt or AR?



when it comes to hunting.... the platform a specific bullet is shot out of - other than maybe a consideration for twist rate and MV variance due to barrel length or caliber anyway - isnt going to change anything on what happens when metal meets meat. thats not how terminal performance of a bullet works. especially when we're discussing modern engineered performance projectiles.

the result you get on impact is going to be primarily related to bullet construction, impact velocity, rpm, and shot placement.

prefect example: .308 diameter 165gr sst. engineered impact velocity range approx 1800 fps - 2700 fps. (it might be 1800 - 2900fps, i dont have the exact data from hornady in front me of me.. but thats close enough for our example) fired from an approx. 2700 fps mv caliber (ie 308 or 30-06) (impact velocity @ 100 yds ~2500 fps) will expand as expected on impact, mushroom out nicely and exit the body of a deer with a majority of its weight retained - exactly like we would a traditional cup and core SP bullet - even when making impact with a shoulder socket. meat will achieve room temperature if the shooter did their part.

however throw that same bullet in a 300 wetherby mag at ~3300 fps mv (impact 3125 fps @ 75 yds), catch the shoulder of a big whitetail at 75 yds and you're more likely to experience a splash and have the bullet come apart. its moving at the upper end of its engineered range at impact to operate as intended and will have a higher chance to perform more like a thin skinned varmint bullet at those impact velocity's.





this all of course is a completely different conversation of the accuracy performance expectation of a peticular platform (bolt gun, vs ar, vs non-ar semi auto, etc)

accuracy also may or may not be an entirely different discussion on the platform dependency - but thats going to have as much to do with the barrel than it will the platform itself in many instances, especailly when it comes to production grade rifles. and if we start to discuss match barrel offerings vs production... that can totally skew opposite of traditional thinking regarding accuracy on platforms.

ie: an ar with a $400+ match grade barrel is likely to perform accuracy wise better than a $400 production/rack grade bolt gun. just like a bolt gun with a premium match grade barrel is going to out perform a complete $600 ar rack grade rifle.

how well the shooter does with a specific platform of course will have some play in that (lets say ar vs bolt) but i dont know if i'd be willing to qualify that as a platform issue as much as a shooter ability issue.


TL:DR - if its accurate out of your gun and suitable choice for the caliber's mv, stuff it thru something furry and made of meat at the right spot and you'll get your dinner to the table smile

hth
_________________________
All reloading info shared is based on my experiences in my guns. Follow safe reloading practice and work up loads from published minimum data.
This disclaimer will self destruct in 10 seconds.


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#3281428 - 09/03/21 01:37 PM Re: 6.5 grendel hunting ammo [Re: MISportsman]
MISportsman Online
Predator Master

Registered: 04/19/19
Posts: 78
Loc: Michigan
I actually found some federal fusions in a lgs! Now I have those and the hornady black to choose from for my fallow deer hunt. I would think maybe the fusions might be the better option???

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#3281439 - 09/03/21 06:18 PM Re: 6.5 grendel hunting ammo [Re: MISportsman]
jetman Online
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 1575
Loc: almost Canada
See how they shoot before you decide.
Our two grendels are very picky in the bullets they like.


Edited by jetman (09/03/21 06:18 PM)
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#3283491 - 10/13/21 10:52 PM Re: 6.5 grendel hunting ammo [Re: MISportsman]
obaro Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 09/14/04
Posts: 1567
Loc: Monument kansas
My daughters and I have killed literally tons of deer and antelope with 123 Amax bullets out of our Grendel, out to 400 yards. Have been 100% satisfied with bullet performance on all of them. Most are pass throughs, but the bullets we have recovered have all been classic mushrooms.

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