Full disclosure. I am 100% a fan of the 6.5 Grendel. Ever since I built my first AR15 chambered in the Grendel, I have enjoyed it. It was the first rifle that I built that produced sub-MOA groups, and ballisticaly speaking on paper, the cartridge is a huge step up from the venerable 5.56 NATO. With that being said, is it still relevant in the gas gun world? Now that the 6.5 Creedmoor has effectively taken the crown as the long range, commercially available champ, and with availability getting better for the .224 Valkyrie, is there still a place for the 6.5 Grendel? My answer would be, "What do you want out of your rifle?"
A Short and Confusing History
Bill Alexander of Alexander Arms and Janne Pohjoispää originally developed the 6.5 Grendel back in 2003. The case is based off of the original .220 Russian as the parent case, which the 7.62x39mm also shares. This cartridge was designed to be a relatively flat shooting cartridge, which was optimized by using a 6.5mm projectile. The 6.5mm bullet has been a favorite of long range shooters for some time now. Its sectional density and ballistic coefficient lends itself to excel at longer ranges, whether punching paper or on game animals. In the beginning, Alexander Arms owned the trademark for the 6.5 Grendel. Once the trademark was lifted, SAAMI standardized the cartridge. This led to a few minor problems and bumps in the road for the cartridge.