Got to bloody my 6.5 Grendel.

1Shot

Handloader
Dec 5, 2008
1,435
4
In the winter/spring of 2017-18 I decided to purchase a complete 20" upper from Bear Creek Arsenal because it was cheep that I could swap out with a Bushmaster A2 223. Well I got what I paid for. It shot like a shotgun, patterns not groups. After playing email, which they never responded to, and phone tag, which they did not return my calls, I finally got to talk to a person to send me a pick up ticket to return the upper to have it re-barreled because the crown on the first one looked like it had been done with a side grinder.

While I was putting up with this I decided to just jump in with both feet and build me a 6.5 Grendel from scratch. I got a deal on Anderson stripped lowers, purchase 3 at a time and basically get 2 at a great price and the third one free. I used an Anderson upper. I put quality parts in it and used a POF drop in 3.5 lb trigger. I went with an 18" Oden Works mid length gas barrel combo that came with bolt carrier group and tunable gas block. I used a Kaw Valley muzzle device that projects muzzle blast and sound down range and it works. I used a 15" STNGR forearm tube and a collapsible but stock. I put a Primary Arms 1-8 with ACSS reticle scope on using a Burrs mount and added a Caldwell brass catcher. This makes a light and maneuverable rifle.

In the mean time the BCA upper came back and I built it a lower just like the one mention above and it shot much better but not still what I wanted. With some trial and era hand loading and after abut 100 rounds through the bore it settled down and would shoot sub MOA with either 120 Sierra Pro Hunter or Speer Gold Dot. I decided to use the Gold Dot in the BCA.

The Oden Works barrel shot good with almost everything used except any form of the Hornady 123 SST bullet either factory or handloads. It shot the 120 Sierra PH and Speer Gold Dot very good so decided to go with the 120 Sierra PH in it.

Last deer season I swapped off and on days with the two rifles. Turned out the second day I killed a doe deer with the BCA 20" with the Gold Dot and it did AWESOME. It turned out that the area of east NC where I had been taking my vacation to go hunt for 30 years had been hit hard by black tongue disease and this one deer was the only one I saw in 2 1/2 weeks.

Little did I know that this would also be the last year that I would be going there to hunt. My hunting buddy who was 83 years old because of health problems would not be able to hunt any more and I could not justify the cost of the lease by myself and where I parked my camper was no longer available.

This year I joined some other fellows in a lease in east TN close to my house. Hunting season weather has been ruff. Bow season we had record heat and deer did not move in daylight. I had a previous commitment that took me out of town for 3/4 of muzzle loader season when the rut is actually going on. Only got to hunt 3 afternoons and killed a doe on the last day the last 5 minutes of light.

When rifle season came I strictly was going to hunt with my Oden Works 18" AR. The weather has not been great either. At between 3600 and 4000 feet elevation the wind has blown gale force lots of days and we have had lots of rain and some snow which has hampered the hunting greatly. But there have been some good days. I saw deer but no bucks. On the day after Christmas I got to hunt the afternoon. I decided after looking at the weather forecast that this day and the next was going to be most likely the last days I was going to be able to hunt with the projected weather and work with season ending 1/5/20. I decided I needed some meat so if it was brown it was going down.

I decide with the SW very light wind now and then I would go to the SW side of the property so the wind would be in my favor as to direction deer would come from. This land is either straight up or straight down mostly. I rode my 4 wheeler about a mile and a half down an old logging path to get to the spot I wanted to hunt. I positioned my 4 wheeler at a spot in the logging path that was 70 yards from where three other old logging paths converged and where I could also see down a hollow a good ways that had a laurel thicket at the bottom that I knew deer held up in. I just sat on my 4 wheeler. I got to the spot at 1 p.m. and it was a beautiful day. Wood peckers and squirrels were doing there thing so the long sit was not boring. At 4:30 p.m. the sun went behind the little ridge to my west and it felt like the temp dropped 25* almost instantly so I had to slip my orange mesh vest off and put it on my field jacket so I could put it on doing this in slow motion so as not to make much movement or noise. At 4:50 p.m. down at the convergence of the 4 paths some movement catches my eye. I focus on this spot and then I see movement again and I see it is a deer's head and then the body starts to materialize. It is walking from one of the other paths heading to the convergence area. I slowly turn my scope up to 8 power and ease the rifle to my shoulder as I put the safety on fire. It is a doe deer about 120ish lb on the hoof. She gets to about 60 yards and turns broadside looking down into the hollow toward the laurel thicket. I take in a breath and let half out all the while starting my tight little circle movement of the aiming point in the scope centered on the front shoulder and then start my trigger squeeze and BOOM. The deer hits the ground like a ton of brick has fallen on her. She does a little back leg twitch and is dead. I fire up the 4 wheeler and go down to load her up. This is the first deer I have ever loaded on my 4 wheeler because this is the first year of usage. The other deer I killed was out in the field to where I could drive my truck to it. I do not field dress a deer unless I have to drag it a ways for weight reduction because it is not long after the kill until I have processed them. I pull the deer up on my 4 wheeler with it's head on the right side. I do not think about the blood that will pour out of it's mouth and nose and the muffler being right under her head. By the time I drove out to my truck blood had ran down and gotten on the muffler and it had fried to it making an awful mess. When I got to the house 30 minutes latter and started my processing I saw the damage done by the shot. I did a quick gutless process and did not go into the chest but could see that impact of the 120 Sierra PH was about 1 1/2 inch higher than I wanted. It hit the top quarter of the scapula and turned two vertebra into saw dust and then penetrated the offside scapula but did not exit the hide. I did not spend much time trying to find bullet parts. I know from using this bullet in my 6.5x55 that at this impact velocity with similar impact spot you will usually just find the jacket under the offside hide.
I am satisfied with the results but if I had to choose just one bullet I would choose the 120 Speer Gold Dot from what I saw of it's performance last year.

Took me about 2 hours the next morning to clean up the bloody mess on my 4 wheeler and trailer and truck before I could head back to hunt. Did not see anything the next afternoon, not even a squirrel or a bird. Weather and wind was the same as the day before. Weird.
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,304
564
Great account of the hunt buddy!

I have a 20" PSA 6.5 Grendel that has been very good with the Hornady 123 ELD M's that I have been shooting until I get my benches set back up. It is an accurate little devil. I will get a Geiselle trigger in it shortly and really be cooking with grease.

Congrats on the freezer filler and the report. Always great to hear your write ups!
 

hunter24605

Handloader
Apr 30, 2016
1,301
748
Great report and congrats!!...My brother got the Grendel bug and he's building one as we speak. Aero lower, DPMS slick side upper, Magpul grip & CTR stock, 20" Faxon gunner profile barrel and BCG, and Radical Firearms 15" free-float, VG6 Gamma brake, and a CMC 3.5lb match trigger. (I know because I worked up the parts list..LOL) I'll be sure to mention the gold dot. I really like the 150 gr gold dot in my AR10..Proved itself to be a real pig wacker for me this year!!
 

1Shot

Handloader
Dec 5, 2008
1,435
4
hunter24605 tell him IMR 8208 and a bit more than Speer data calls for but is safe in my rifle is what is the ticket for my rifle with the 120 Gold Dot. 20" BCA barrel average 2550 fps sub MOA accuracy and is a SMACK DOWN performer. I use Hornady cases and CCI 450s, 28.0 grs IMR 8208 COAL is 2.275 which will not work through Elander mags but does fine in ASC/ AR-Stoner mags. I also use a medium Lee Factory Crimp.
It also shoots great in my 18" Oden Works and does 2500 fps.
 

hunter24605

Handloader
Apr 30, 2016
1,301
748
1Shot":fvxtk24v said:
hunter24605 tell him IMR 8208 and a bit more than Speer data calls for but is safe in my rifle is what is the ticket for my rifle with the 120 Gold Dot. 20" BCA barrel average 2550 fps sub MOA accuracy and is a SMACK DOWN performer. I use Hornady cases and CCI 450s, 28.0 grs IMR 8208 COAL is 2.275 which will not work through Elander mags but does fine in ASC/ AR-Stoner mags. I also use a medium Lee Factory Crimp.
It also shoots great in my 18" Oden Works and does 2500 fps.

Got it, thanks!!! we've been on the hunt for 8208, but its as rare as unicorn feathers lately
 
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