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#3294801 - 02/22/22 07:15 PM 6.5 grendel bullet selection for coyotes
Aaawolfe1 Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/28/20
Posts: 8
Loc: LA
I built a 6.5 grendel a few years ago on a ar platform. It is running a 18Ē ballistic advantage barrel and shoots great. I originally started hunting hogs with it and was using hornady 123gr bthp bullets. It performed great on hogs! I dropped about 80% of them in their tracks when I placed good shots in them.

I started getting into coyote hunting the last 1-2 years ago and used the same ammo. It seemed as if I was missing them couldnít hardly kill one most of them would run off. When reviewing my shots on the thermal scope afterwards they looked good but a lot of the coyotes would look unfazed after shooting them so I thought I was having issues with the scope losing zero. I checked and rechecked zero, made sure scope wasnít changing the reticle zero settings, unmounted my scope lapped in the rings and remounted it with locktite. I was still doing pretty good with hogs but having trouble with coyotes. I then assumed it was an issue with the scope height/zeroing range on my scope with it shooting higher than the point of aim at certain closer distances and low further out. Thinking that hogs up closer weíre hitting and coyotes further out were shooting under them/they were further range than I initially thought. I played with the zeroing range and got it where it wouldnít shoot above the point of aim unless super close.

Last year I finally got my tax stamp in on a silencer. With it silenced I was hearing the thump from hits and realized I have been hitting the coyotes all along. Those 123gr bullets were just punching a hole straight thru and not expanding. I decided to try and run some 90gr bullets to see if the increased velocity and expansion of varmint bullets would help me be more effective. With the state of ammo shortage I was unable to find any 90gr bullets in stock. I finally got some federal 90gr tnt rounds about a month ago.

The first outing with the 90gr bullets I shot one broadside 150yds out a little low and behind the shoulder. He took 3 steps then rolled up in the ground. He then jumped up and kept running. Went another 100yrds out of sight never recovered. I shot a second one that night 85 yrds perfect broadside shot in vitals he was noticeably hurt and took off running. Ran 30yrds got him to stop then I shot him a second time and he dropped. Neither of those two bullets exited. After this hunt I was a little unsure of the new bullets but still optimistic.

Went out last weekend several nights. First coyote was about 100yrds perfect broadside shot thru vitals he ran 3 steps and dropped dead. The bullet exited out the opposite side of the coyote.
Second coyote about 100 yards facing at me. I squeezed one off and hit in the front chest about 1in to right of his right shoulder he did the death spin then took off running. Upon reviewing video his left shoulder was dislocated and didnít look like the bullet exited. I aimed a few inches in front of his nose as he ran off and hit him in the left shoulder he did a somersault and went down for about 30sec I turned off the recording. He the jumps back up and takes off running straight away from me I shoot him to the right side of his butt he goes down then starts the death spin again I shoot a 4th time hit him in the guts he tries to run off again dragging his hind end I shoot him in the head he finally goes down and stays down. At this point Iím thinking that these new bullets suck. I get out to the coyote and he is all torn up from the 5 shots I put on him.
I get on a 3rd coyote 125yards out standing broadside to me. I shoot him thru what looks like the vitals on the video. He does the death spin then takes off running I shoot him a second time on the same side maybe a little lower on the vitals he goes down. He jumps back up after 5sec then runs into the woods never recovered.

I am feeling frustrated with this caliber. I have done well with it shooting hogs and as a deer hunter I have always been accurate and deadly with my 270 couldnít tell you the last time I had a deer get away. With the 123gr they didnít even appear as if they were hit when running off but with the 90gr I am at least seeing them do the death spin and they are noticeably hurt when running away. Looking for any advice on if this is the best bullet for coyotes in yalls experience or is there something better that is factory loaded. Those that are having good luck with this bullet/caliber where are you aiming for to drop them in their tracks? Some of my shots have been low more in the heart area but I would think this would still drop them especially with the explosive nature of the 90gr bullets. Do I need to aim more for the upper half of the coyote instead of directly in the middle of the vital zone? I know a lot of people use the 6.5g and have had a lot of success on coyotes hopefully I can find some too. Any advice would be appreciated. I still have a lot of these bullets left and plan to keep experimenting with them before I hang this gun up as a coyote rifle and just use it in hog hunts.

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#3294804 - 02/22/22 07:35 PM Re: 6.5 grendel bullet selection for coyotes [Re: Aaawolfe1]
6mm06 Offline
PM senior

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 8845
Loc: USA

Originally Posted By: Aaawolfe1
I am feeling frustrated with this caliber. Looking for any advice on if this is the best bullet for coyotes in yalls experience or is there something better that is factory loaded.


I had similar problems with my Grendel. I handload so I was able to try different bullets. Started with a 100 gr. Sierra HP. Too many runners, rolling and flopping about so I then switched to the 90 gr. TNT. Same thing. No coyotes made it out of the field, but I just didnít like the performance of either bullet. I then tried the 90 gr. Nosler Varmageddon, and Bingo. That bullet drops them on the spot. Not sure if factory ammo with that bullet is available or not. The bullets for reloading are scarce as henís teeth. If you can find some loads, that will make your Grendel shine.

Below are some examples of the three bullets:

100 gr. Sierra HP
https://youtu.be/wiKkP2bAxKM



90 gr. Speer TNT
https://youtu.be/pNDdG8j3g3g

https://youtu.be/Wd1Ey7f7lQE



Nosler 90 gr. Varmageddon
https://youtu.be/wCY3TUDQVPk

https://youtu.be/cwGGMA4SoVs



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#3294811 - 02/22/22 08:25 PM Re: 6.5 grendel bullet selection for coyotes [Re: Aaawolfe1]
baitpile Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 02/06/15
Posts: 657
Loc: IA
Great comparison videos 06! Good stuff!
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#3294820 - 02/22/22 10:15 PM Re: 6.5 grendel bullet selection for coyotes [Re: Aaawolfe1]
Hellgate Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 618
Loc: Orygun
I just bought some 6.5mm 95 gr V-max from MidSouthshooters supply.com (still in stock). The V-max and Varmageddons are built the same with thin skins and pointy noses made to open immediately upon impact. It sounds like you are hitting them too far back and going through the chest. If you miss a rib going in you could be pencilling through without a lot of expansion. The 6.5 mm bullets are long and punch deep. Aim right through the shoulders and hit some bones. You are not shooting coyotes for the meat. The TNT ought to work too. Hogs (never shot one) are probably much more dense and your bullets for them are appropriate but the coyotes are much softer critters so use softer bullets and you'll see the difference.


Edited by Hellgate (02/22/22 10:24 PM)
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#3294821 - 02/22/22 10:26 PM Re: 6.5 grendel bullet selection for coyotes [Re: Aaawolfe1]
yotesniper13 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 452
Loc: The Beef State
I'm shooting the Federal 90 gr TNT rounds in my 16" suppressed Grendel. Most shots in the vitals or near are DRT. I get a few spinners but haven't lost a coyote yet. I'm interested in trying the Varmegeddons but I cannot locate any. I do have some 95 gr V max but I have not worked up a load with them to try yet. I'll probably finish out this season with the TNT's and test some new loads for next season.

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#3294825 - 02/23/22 12:06 AM Re: 6.5 grendel bullet selection for coyotes [Re: Aaawolfe1]
Shooter222 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/06/20
Posts: 203
Loc: Michigan
- I agree with 6mm- I believe him and I were fighting same issues about same time period .

I found the same issue using 123gr hp bullets from hornady. Almost every coyote shot was a spinner and runner .. very frustrating!

I switched to 100gr Nosler plastic tipped. It helped tremendously, but still around 25% spun then ran off.

I ran out of 100gr Nosler bullets and couldnít find any - after months looking around I came across 95gr vmax bullets- they are also plastic tipped. At the same time I switched to these I realized I was shooting too far back due to being raised as a ďdeer hunterĒ .

Between the 95gr vmax bullets and switching my aiming point to matching vertical crosshair line with front leg line - i have only had a very few runners since . Head on shots have all been DRT. The few runners from broadside I blame on myself shanking the shot.

There is a coyote aim point picture floating around here somewhere- seeing that picture is what made me start shooting forward farther on coyote .

My thoughts are for a lighter bullet with plastic tip. Very explosive combo..





Edited by Shooter222 (02/23/22 12:23 AM)

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#3294830 - 02/23/22 08:26 AM Re: 6.5 grendel bullet selection for coyotes [Re: Aaawolfe1]
ToddNE Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 334
Loc: Nebraska
I shoot 123gr SST in my grendel and have great luck

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#3294869 - 02/23/22 06:22 PM Re: 6.5 grendel bullet selection for coyotes [Re: Aaawolfe1]
Aaawolfe1 Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/28/20
Posts: 8
Loc: LA
Looks like a good improvement switching to the 90gr varmingeddon. I will have to see if I can locate any of those to try out. Too bad there isnít any factory ammo in the vmax 95gr Iím not currently set up to reload for the grendel. I will try to move my aim point further to the front of the coyote maybe will help me out. Yes hogs are much thicker skinned then coyotes. With the hornady 123gr bthp I am still getting over 50% of my rounds punching thru the other side but when they do pass thru it is making a naaasty exit would and dropping most in their tracks. The pass throughs on coyotes werenít nearly as big or devastating.

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#3294871 - 02/23/22 06:38 PM Re: 6.5 grendel bullet selection for coyotes [Re: Aaawolfe1]
Aaawolfe1 Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/28/20
Posts: 8
Loc: LA
Is this the anatomy pictures you were referring to?

http://www.predatormastersforums.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2242415&an=

Yep I believe you were on to something hellgate and shooter 222 a lot of my shots have been more in the liver area. I will move my aim point to even with the front legs and see if my results improve.

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#3294885 - 02/23/22 08:52 PM Re: 6.5 grendel bullet selection for coyotes [Re: Aaawolfe1]
6mm06 Offline
PM senior

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 8845
Loc: USA

Hitting just behind the front leg seems to drop them pretty good, with the right bullet.

Here is another example of a coyote dropping on the spot, hit behind the front leg. I used a tiny 25 gr. HP bullet from a .17 Remington.

Kill shot comes at about the 2:35 mark, but some good footage if you want to watch the entire 3 minutes or so.

https://youtu.be/fjT1h3hbYB8




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#3294893 - 02/23/22 11:21 PM Re: 6.5 grendel bullet selection for coyotes [Re: 6mm06]
duck Offline
New Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 23
Loc: indiana
can,t find them but 95 gr. vmax is how i spell dead.

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#3294895 - 02/23/22 11:59 PM Re: 6.5 grendel bullet selection for coyotes [Re: Aaawolfe1]
204 AR Offline
PM senior

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 5884
Loc: Nebraska
Midsouth has the 95's, but I don't think anyone loads them in ammo. It's pretty limited in that caliber. 123 amax would do the job fine if you can find them.
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#3294969 - 02/25/22 12:08 AM Re: 6.5 grendel bullet selection for coyotes [Re: Aaawolfe1]
Shooter222 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/06/20
Posts: 203
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Aaawolfe1
Is this the anatomy pictures you were referring to?

http://www.predatormastersforums.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2242415&an=

Yep I believe you were on to something hellgate and shooter 222 a lot of my shots have been more in the liver area. I will move my aim point to even with the front legs and see if my results improve.



Yes, thatís the anatomy pik.

Iíve had great luck shooting them facing me as well.

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