Quick Tip: 6.8 SPC vs 6.5 Grendel

Quick Tip: 6.8 SPC vs 6.5 Grendel

Our roving Brownells Gun Tech, Caleb Savant, is back to conduct another “caliber comparison” for us. This time, it’s two AR-15 cartridges: the 6.5 Grendel and the 6.8 SPC (aka 6.8mm Remington SPC – “Special Purpose Cartridge”). The 6.5 Grendel has a high-ballistic coefficient .264″ bullet, while the 6.8 SPC has a larger-diameter .277″ bullet. Both have the same 2.26″ OAL as the AR-15’s standard .223 Remington / 5.56 NATO round. The big difference is the 6.5 Grendel’s faster velocity and flatter trajectory. With the same bullet weight, it’ll be about 100 fps faster than the 6.8 SPC. At a 100-yard zero, the 6.5 Grendel will drop about 8.5″ at 300 yards, while the 6.8 SPC will drop 10.5″ at the same range. The Grendel has about 200 ft-lbs. more energy both at the muzzle and downrange. The 6.8 is a bit better on close-in targets, while the 6.5 is better for reaching out to more distant targets. Caleb to favoring one of them….. Which is yours? Tell us in the comments below.

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50 Comments

  1. n2omike on January 26, 2023 at 1:36 am

    6.5 ballistics is with a 24" barrel length. 6.8 is with a 16". Presenter isn’t doing much fact checking… he’s reading apples to oranges ballistics. Using the SAME real life barrel length for both (20 inches and less) the 6.8 is faster… and is superior out to 400 yards… which is well beyond what you’d want to hunt with either of these calibers. Very disappointed in the Brownells Guy…

  2. Jason Thiele on January 26, 2023 at 1:37 am

    My argument for the 6.8 is the Six 8 LWRC. Not an argument with a rifle like that…

  3. NMhvac Tech on January 26, 2023 at 1:40 am

    How come you didn’t mention Barrel lengths?
    The 6.5 is recommended to be used in a 20in or longer barrel in order to get those muzzle velocity advantages.

    I will take the 6.5 also but with a 20 inch barrel.
    I think the 6.8 would be better suited to compare against the 300 blackout. Which both are designed for shorter length barrels

  4. MrJegjr on January 26, 2023 at 1:40 am

    I have both and mainly use for hunting. Most of my shots are less than 300 yards and swinging steel plate do not curb my hunger. I would question the velocity as it is posted to make sure the same barrel length is same. I can attest that shooting both, the 6.8 is easier to reload for and is more reliable. I like the 6.5 Grendel. But my reloads are finicky. Every thing has to be just right or will have functioning issues. Both are great to shoot out of the ar-15 (the barbie doll of Guns!)

  5. Jason Scott on January 26, 2023 at 1:40 am

    The lack of including all the pertinent details of each caliber by barrel length makes me want to not buy from you.

    The 6.5 Grendel Isn’t faster if the barrels are the same length. The 6.8 SPC is faster when comparing with the same length barrels.

    You have a responsibility because some people may consider you an authority in the industry, since you are representing Brownells.

  6. T Zero on January 26, 2023 at 1:43 am

    What about 6mm ARC?

  7. Bill Carlson on January 26, 2023 at 1:44 am

    Did the 6mm ARC DIE? ? ?

  8. Robert Dinicola on January 26, 2023 at 1:45 am

    I had both. Sold the 6.8 to a friend that fell in love with the numbers. I also built him a 6.5 upper. Now hes in love with the 300 blk upoer i built him.

  9. Kenneth Mitchell on January 26, 2023 at 1:45 am

    If budget minded. I believe 6.5 is the way to go. Some argue the 6.8 is better. To me, it still wouldn’t be good enough to justify the ammo price and scarcity.

  10. Inspired Art Photos on January 26, 2023 at 1:46 am

    Bolt strength. Much more likely to have lug failures with the Grendel and other cartridges that use the 220 Russian parent case. There is substantially more metal supporting the lugs on the 6.8 bolt which uses the 30 Remington as its parent case. My favorite AR gunsmith will not build a Grendel or 6mm ARC because of lug strength concerns. (White Oak Armament.) Have you ever reviewed the 6mm WOA round?

  11. sierraharvester on January 26, 2023 at 1:49 am

    Where did your numbers come from. I believe your 6.5G numbers come from a MUCH longer barrel than your 6.8 numbers.

  12. Steven Collier on January 26, 2023 at 1:50 am

    Seems the Army liked the 6.8 better. Wonder if it has to do with shorter barrel and making suppressors standard on the new standard issue rifles.
    Or, the typical corruption and someone is getting paid off.

  13. Jason Robertson on January 26, 2023 at 1:50 am

    I own both and prefer the 6.8 for hunting purposes.

  14. Gene Itzkowitz on January 26, 2023 at 1:51 am

    I understand that there is an 6.8 SPC ll that has substantially more power than the original 6.8 SPC. That might be a more interesting comparison.

  15. Jim Jungle on January 26, 2023 at 1:51 am

    6.5 ballistics are good, but for hand loading, it is prone to overpressure more easily. The 6.5 AR bolt and extractor have less material, making them weaker. The 6.8 has better ballistics than 223 / 5.56, isn’t as prone to overpressure and the 6.8 AR bolt and extractor are stronger than the 6.5 AR parts, because they aren’t as thin. For practical use, I say 6.8 is a step up from 5.56 and the AR parts should hold up better and hand loading seems more flexible.

  16. fire hunterz on January 26, 2023 at 1:51 am

    Anything 6mm is better than the 5.56, which imo is a mistake adopted worldwide.

  17. mg42 cwby on January 26, 2023 at 1:51 am

    Great video

  18. thatoneguy454c on January 26, 2023 at 1:52 am

    I do believe that if you fired both of them out of a 16 inch barrel the 6.8 special is going to have a higher muzzle velocity. However the 6.5 Grendel has a higher ballistic coefficient and sectional density so it will retain its velocity further. For inside of about 300 yd I would prefer to have the 6.8, but anything past that and I think the 6.5 Grendel is going to start having a serious advantage

  19. Taylor Engler on January 26, 2023 at 1:52 am

    been looking to add one of these to my collection and hunt with would love to know the numbers on the same barrel length gun but what im hearing 6.8 spc is superior inside 400 yards and i dont shoot past 300 and i cant find grendel ammo but can find SPC

  20. strappednotclapped on January 26, 2023 at 1:53 am

    So which would you recommend over the other for deer?

  21. brad on January 26, 2023 at 1:53 am

    This video was made a while back but a big benefit of the 6.8 is that you can buy it lol. 6.5 Grendel seems to be out of stock everywhere with exception of $2+/round type sites

  22. Mike Strunk on January 26, 2023 at 1:56 am

    6.8 was intended for short 14.5" barrels…..6.5 for longer barrels.

  23. ElderGuy729 on January 26, 2023 at 1:57 am

    Big fan of the Grendel!

  24. bill jensen on January 26, 2023 at 1:58 am

    Are they the same BCG or different BCG

  25. M&G Wood on January 26, 2023 at 2:02 am

    Ok thanks

  26. jim jab on January 26, 2023 at 2:02 am

    But if I say I am running a six8, that’s a cool factor. Running a 6.5 grendal…Grendel…. sounds like your a geezer

  27. john marken on January 26, 2023 at 2:04 am

    nonsense on the velocity without discussing which barrel. From a 20"-24" the muzzle velocity is the same between the two. But the 6.8 spc was made to perform well out of a 16" barrel wherease the 6.5 kind of sucks using that. Terminal effect, the 6.8 is better at any range. Neither are effective beyond 300 yards but the 6.5 out of a 20" barrel will have less drop, so good for bench paper target punching. You give folks the wrong idea with such vids

  28. Shane's Cats and Cannabis farm🎶 on January 26, 2023 at 2:05 am

    It comes down to range…

    Close: 6.8 SPC 85 grain

    Medium: 6.5 Grendel 120 grain

    Long: 6.5 Creedmoor 120 grain

    For all purpose I’d say 6.5 Grendel is the best..

  29. 2020DieselJLU Jeep on January 26, 2023 at 2:06 am

    6.8 looks better lol

  30. Inspired Art Photos on January 26, 2023 at 2:07 am

    Bolt strength. Much more likely to have lug failures with the Grendel and other cartridges that use the 220 Russian parent case. There is substantially more metal supporting the lugs on the 6.8 bolt which uses the 30 Remington as its parent case. My favorite AR gunsmith will not build a Grendel or 6mm ARC because of lug strength concerns. (White Oak Armament.) Have you ever reviewed the 6mm WOA round?

  31. Grant Ubl on January 26, 2023 at 2:08 am

    6.8 SPC vs. 6.5 Grendel

    Now, shoot them both out of a 16″ barrel for hunting and let’s see what you come up with. You won’t like the result.

  32. Edward Lance on January 26, 2023 at 2:08 am

    Using similar bullet weights and same barrel lengths, they are not significantly different. The 6.5G will win out at longer range because for the same bullet weight, the .264" Grendel bullet has better BC than the 6.8 bullet and will carry more velocity past a certain distance.

    Same argument for the newer 6mm ARC vs 6.5G. Inside 500-ish yards the 6.5G has a slight, albeit statically insignificant advantage, but the 6 ARC takes the edge out at distance. 6 ARC will stay supersonic a couple hundred yards further than the 6.5 G.

    In terms of hunting, the 6.8, 6.5 G, and the 6 ARC are all going to perform similarly out to reasonable hunting distances (300ish yards). If your goal is ringing steel or punching paper at the cartridge’s ragged edges, the 6 ARC wins for furthest, followed by 6.5 G, then 6.8 SPC.

  33. Russell Mayne on January 26, 2023 at 2:09 am

    6.8 is great for pigs.

  34. Dave West on January 26, 2023 at 2:10 am

    I choose the 6.8 because of I want to use a 16 barrel- and it look better on paper for short barrels

  35. Tyler Barnes on January 26, 2023 at 2:12 am

    Your ballistics are incorrect in terms of velocity. 6.8 is actually faster fired out of the same length barrels. Manufacturers use 16” barrel for 6.8. They use 24” for the 6.5. Big difference. 6.8 ftw

  36. Jim edick on January 26, 2023 at 2:13 am

    Once I saw the Hornady poster on the wall behind this guy, I knew this was going to be a biased review. After all, the 6.5 Grendel has been promoted very hard by Hornady. They LOVE using the 6.5 Grendel velocities out of the 24” barrel vs the 6.8 spc out of the 16” barrel.

    Fact is, they are both fantastic rounds for what they do. 6.8 shines with shorter barrels compared to the 6.5, the exact opposite happens with the longer barrels where the 6.5 really shines. I just wish they’d call it for what it is and stop the deceiving numbers. Inside 350 yards, both will do the job equally. Anything beyond is unethical. BOTH lose too much energy for ethical kills.

  37. Mystery Meat on January 26, 2023 at 2:15 am

    I bought my LMT as a 20" 224 Valkyrie.  With their quick-change barrel system I installed 16" 6.8 spc and can swap the two without changing the bolt.  Personally I’m having a hard time justifying going over to the Grendel esp with reported feed issues in mags over 10 rounds.  Then again I want to see more data on the feed problem.  Might be only rumor.  If so, I still won’t go Grendel.

  38. Small City Homesteaders on January 26, 2023 at 2:17 am

    LOVE my grendel. Shoot .6" groups at 100 with my handloads all day. Stay inside of 2" at 600 yards and slaps the steel plenty hard….i wouldn’t wanna be standing out there i tell ya.

  39. Casey Lyons on January 26, 2023 at 2:19 am

    Little late here but the real question now is cost afficiency the 6.5 grendal is twice or more the cost of the 6.8 on the cheep ammo

  40. Shane's Cats and Cannabis farm🎶 on January 26, 2023 at 2:20 am

    I say 6.5 grendel is a better all purpose but Id say for close range the 6.8 is better… Long range Id say 6.5 Creedmoor…

  41. Dean Bamber on January 26, 2023 at 2:22 am

    I loved the 6.* and the 3.8 Lapua mag..my first long shot. 1 mile.

  42. Taz Daddy on January 26, 2023 at 2:22 am

    Decided to do 2 builds in 6.5 grendel. One for my son, and one for me. His is his 21st birthday present, and mine is for my 50th. Both of us just had our birthdays this year, and the builds are still going. Lol! Money’s tight these days and my boys in veterinary school. Money is waaaay tight. Anyway, thanks for the info on the cartridge.

  43. Jason Scott on January 26, 2023 at 2:23 am

    You should do your homework before you do videos. The 6.8 will get it’s published fps from the average AR platform, even in carbine length. The 6.5 will not unless the barrel is 24 inches long. Who carries around an AR with a 24” barrel? The grendel will lose 200 fps from it’s advertised specifications and the 6.8 will not lose any. Come on man!

  44. Jason Scott on January 26, 2023 at 2:26 am

    6.5 Grendel is finicky with feeding from magazines.

    6.8 SPC is as reliable as 223.

  45. Jeremy P on January 26, 2023 at 2:26 am

    This aged well ….. comparing 16” 6.8 and 24” 6.5…… come on. You gonna run a 24” on an ar?

  46. MegaAppleshit on January 26, 2023 at 2:27 am

    How’s barrel life on these cartridges? I like my 300 Blackout, but the 6.8 was a close competitor. I’m sure my Blackout will last practically forever, but I’m kinda curious about the other alternative AR cartridges. 6mm ARC, 6.8 SPC, and the 6.5 Grendal all seem like good options.

  47. mark broad on January 26, 2023 at 2:30 am

    Wouldn’t the 6.5 grendel have a quicker barrel burnout? Life expectancy

  48. Anno Domini on January 26, 2023 at 2:31 am

    In 2015, I shot a small spike buck using a frontal shot at 30 yards, directly into the chest, with a Hornady V-Max in 6.8 SPC. The deer seemed only slightly distressed as it trotted towards me and I took a sidelong shot just behind the shoulder at 5 yards as it passed me. Only then did it drop to the ground and died when I walked up to it. I did find the first bullet in its chest and it was perfectly mushroomed out to 5/8" diameter. The second bullet passed through the rib cage and out the other side. I decided to go back to my .308 WIN after this. Unfortunately, I built 2 AR-15s for this cartridge before I shot this deer.

  49. Evgeni Krieger on January 26, 2023 at 2:31 am

    has anyone tried to put 6.5 mm bullet into 6.8 spc’s case?

  50. Dean Bamber on January 26, 2023 at 2:31 am

    I had a rob arms 6.8 SPC grate deer gun

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