6.5 Grendel vs 308 Winchester are two popular gun cartridges used in long-range aiming. The structure and characteristics of the two have many similarities, so not all shooters have enough knowledge and experience to distinguish the two.
So, this article is for you if you are a newbie and struggling with them. We cover various issues in total, from weight, balance, distance, and accuracy, so you understand the superiority of each.
Overview Of 6.5 Grendel Ammo
This one is known for its versatility of long-range aiming. When it first appeared, it had a rough time winning consumer approval. In the late 20th century, the 6.5 ammunition offered potential advantages in hunting or combat.
Before 6.5 Grendel, the AR-15 and 223 Remington cartridges were standard application devices in common hunting targets.
However, it is not the top choice from experts. They wanted an outstanding product that worked well on the AK platform. With many opponents, the 6.5 is hunted and appreciated by gunners after testing.
Overview Of 308 Winchester Ammo
The Winchester company released the 308 Winchester in 1952. It can be that this is an improved product from the version, 30-06 Springfield, after World War II.
A controversy arose when the US military decided to use the 308 Winchester to replace the older versions. They claim the 0.308 cartridge is more efficient than the 30-06.
Currently, the 308 Winchester is growing in popularity with many novice hunters because of its versatility and ease of use.
The Similarities Between 6.5 Grendel Vs .308 Winchester
|Similarity||6.5 Grendel||.308 Winchester|
|Bullet Diameter||6.5mm (.264″)||7.62mm (.308″)|
|Cartridge Type||Rimless, Bottleneck||Rimless, Bottleneck|
|Versatility||Versatile for hunting and target shooting||Versatile for hunting and target shooting|
|Long-Range Performance||Excellent ballistic performance and accuracy||Excellent ballistic performance and accuracy|
|Available Rifles||Available from various firearm manufacturers||Available from various firearm manufacturers|
|Magazine Compatibility||Some AR-15-style rifles can be converted to 6.5 Grendel||Not typically convertible to .308 Winchester|
|Reloading Components||Ample selection of bullets, brass, and reloading data||Ample selection of bullets, brass, and reloading data|
The Differences Between 6.5 Grendel Vs .308 Winchester
Let’s take a look at some of the differences in the process of distinguishing 6.5 Grendel and 308 Winchester.
In terms of length, the 6.5 Grendel is shorter than the 308 Winchester. Specifically, 6.5 has an overall length of 2.26 inches, which is a fair number for AR-15 rifle forms. Moreover, the original purpose of the production of 6.5 Grendel was also directed to applying this rifle form. The 308 Winchesters, on the other hand, are approximately 2.81 inches larger in total size, which forces them to adapt to a more extensive form of the rifle.
The flat surface area of the two is also not the same. In essence, 308 is more extensive than 6.5, so the rim diameter on 308 cartridges is about 36% larger than the others. The ammo weight of a 308 Winchester typically ranges from 110-180 grains. Its advantage is creating severe damage and high speed, thereby making hunting productivity more effective. In contrast, 6.5 Grendel has slightly fewer bullets, familiar from 110-140 seeds. It helps a lot during carrying.
In simple terms, the ballistic parameter is how the bullet travels through the air. It affects speed, wind power, and trajectory. The higher the ballistic coefficient, the better the ability to travel is. In terms of performance, depending on the estimated load of the bullet per gram, they have different operating speeds.
Specifically, for every 90g of Speer TNT of 6.5 Grendel, there is an energy level of 1,658 ft/lbs/ For the 308 Winchester, for every 150g (10g) Nosler tip, the displayed energy level will be equivalent to 2,648 ft-lbs (3,590J). Regarding speed, the 6.5 Grendel produces rates ranging from 2,580 fps. 308 Winchester is significantly faster because of its explosive power and larger size.
Grendel shows an advantage at greater distances because of his ability to maintain speed even over a distance of 400-500 yards. However, the 308 still has to be defended as the ruler moves effectively even when deflecting the wind.
In shooting, accuracy is the deciding factor in all matters. In this respect, we cannot judge which is superior because both are accurate in high ballistic speed. 6.5 Grendel has a low recoil that minimizes the chance of bullets hitting each other. With a small gun primer, it improves consistency and accuracy. 308 moves well in the environment, including the ability to deflect wind. The large bullet diameter increases the contact surfaces, improving the accuracy.
In terms of popularity, the 308 Winchester dominates in cartridge consumption. Many manufacturers are concentrating and distributing this line of ammunition around the world. You can easily find 308 at any weapon store. In contrast, 6.5 Grendel is much more scarce because the stock at distribution stores is relatively low.
The 6.5 Grendel uses a 0.264-inch cartridge, usually with the magazine of the M16, M14, Ruger American Ranch, and Predator rifles. Meanwhile, the 308 Winchester comes with the 0.308 calibers in the AR10 and M1A sports rifles.
In addition, the versatile design of this ammunition is compatible with a wide range of rifles, from the Mossberg Patriot and Browning X-Bolt to the Nosler M48, Savage Axis, and Weatherby Vanguard.
The 308 comes with a recoil of 20 ft-lbs, while this parameter of the Grendel 6.5 is only 9 ft. This difference is mainly due to the amount of powder inside, and the 308’s ammo weight is much larger.
The lower recoil has made sales of the 6.5 version much better in recent years. This advantage maximizes the ability to shoot accurately for hunters, especially beginners. The efficiency is also significantly increased.
Both have roughly the same muzzle velocity. However, in terms of energy at the muzzle, the 308 will be slightly superior. In this test, the 308 Federal will hit the barrel at about 2,600 fps, slightly larger than the 6.5 Grendel’s 2,580 fps.
The difference over 20fps is not a big deal for a target up close. But the effect will be noticeable with subjects at a distance. In terms of muzzle power, the 308 shows its superior strength with 2,627 foot-pounds. So, at 1,818 ft-lbs, the 6.5 version is almost wholly weaker.
Flat cartridges often offer a long orbital range to compensate for their powerful metabolic energy. It can provide the distinct advantage of high accuracy against very distant targets. With its aerodynamic design, the 6.5mm Grendel gives a drop of about -414″, while the 308’s trajectory is slightly more curved, equivalent to -407 inches.
Thus, there was a difference in the orbits of the two in theory, although it could not be clearly distinguished in practice.
|6.5 Grendel||308 Winchester|
|Size||Total length||2,26 – 6,5 Grenald||2,81 Winchester|
|Rim Diameter||.438 inch (11,2 mm)||.473 inch (12,01 mm)|
|Ammo weight||90-130 Grains||110-180 Grains|
|Bullet diameter||.264 inch (6,71 mm)||.308 inch (7,8mm)|
|Maximum pressure||52.000 psi||62.000 psi|
|Ballistics||From 2,580 fps
Rifles M16 or M14
|Have a higher speed|
|Accuracy||Having low recoil increases accuracy||Move well in the direction of the wind|
|Ammo||Higher demand but goods are scarce||High popularity with a large supply|
|Rifles||M16 or M14||Sports Rifle AR10, M1A and many others|
6.5 Grendel Vs .308 Winchester: Which One Is For You?
The intended use of the user will decide all. Both products are not inferior in quality, and both differ only in size, weight, and performance.
Performance comparisons within 200 yards are equal for both. However, if you force us to choose, the 308 Winchester will be the right product for long-range hunting trips.
The 308 can move long, has less deflection, and has destructive solid power. This line of bullets will help you trounce large prey. If you require more accuracy, we recommend users choose 6.5 Grendel.
Within 400 yards, you will be surprised by the mobility of the projectile. In short, both are suitable depending on the situation and ability of the gunner to use.
Some Questions about 6.5 Grendel and .308 Winchester
What is the origin of the 6.5 Grendel?
- The 6.5 Grendel was developed in the early 2000s by Bill Alexander of Alexander Arms. It’s based on the .220 Russian case, which is itself derived from the 7.62x39mm cartridge.
What is the typical bullet size for the 6.5 Grendel?
- The 6.5 Grendel typically uses 6.5mm bullets, which are known for their high sectional density and ballistic coefficient. Bullet weights can vary, but common choices include 120, 123, and 129 grains.
What is the effective range of the 6.5 Grendel?
- The 6.5 Grendel is known for its flat trajectory and good long-range performance. It’s effective out to distances of around 800 to 1,000 yards, depending on factors like the rifle, bullet choice, and shooter skill.
Is the 6.5 Grendel suitable for hunting?
- Yes, the 6.5 Grendel is a popular choice for hunting medium-sized game, such as deer and hogs, due to its accuracy and relatively low recoil.
What is the typical bullet size for the .308 Winchester?
- The .308 Winchester typically uses .308-inch (7.62mm) bullets. Common bullet weights range from 150 grains to 180 grains, with various options in between.
What is the effective range of the .308 Winchester?
- The .308 Winchester is effective at shorter to medium ranges, typically out to around 600 to 800 yards, depending on the specific load and rifle used.
Is the .308 Winchester suitable for hunting?
- Yes, the .308 Winchester is a popular choice for hunting a wide range of game, including deer, elk, and larger animals. It offers good stopping power and accuracy.
How does the recoil of the .308 Winchester compare to the 6.5 Grendel?
- Generally, the .308 Winchester produces more recoil than the 6.5 Grendel due to its larger case capacity and heavier bullets. However, recoil can vary depending on factors like rifle weight and configuration.
Which cartridge is better for long-range shooting, the 6.5 Grendel or .308 Winchester?
- The 6.5 Grendel is often considered superior for long-range shooting due to its flatter trajectory, higher ballistic coefficient, and lower wind drift. However, the .308 Winchester can still perform well at extended ranges, and the choice between the two depends on specific preferences and requirements.
Hopefully, with the complete comparison above, you will know how to distinguish 6.5 Grendel vs 308 Winchester. You can choose the most suitable version for your hunting trip. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. We will respond to you as soon as possible.
Shelly Jark Drakny is a retired SF weapons sergeant (E-5 or above) with a military occupational specialty (MOS) code 18B. He served 24 years in the military, including assignments in SF, Infantry, and Special Forces.