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6.5 Grendel with 123gr ELD or Scenar vs. 223 Rem with 73gr ELD

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Looking into an AR-15 gas gun trainer to start to learn wind calls and dope for an eventual foray into PRS.  Not interested in going with an AR-10 platform or a real chassis bolt action at this time.  

 

Ignoring energy, because I know the Grendel will carry significantly more energy....

 

Is there really much ballistic advantage to the Grendel from either a 20 or 24 inch barrel compared to the 73gr ELD from a 24 inch 223?

 

With real world velocity, I see them being pretty similar out to about 800ish where the Grendel does stay above the transonic range for another 100 yards or so.

 

 

I know the Grendel will make calling hits on steel easier, and fly slightly better in the wind.  But with the 73gr bullet and if I am  uninterested in energy, it seems like for precision trainer I could get along fine with a 24" 223.

 

Ancillary benefit is I could use my existing 5.56 rated silencer with the 223, but obviously not with the 6.5.  That is not a primary concern though.

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As long as you're ignoring energy you have the right idea. My brother has a JP in 6.5G and I built a 223 AR just to see what it could do to 1000. The 223 with a hot 73 ELD load shoots flatter with less drift than the factory 123 Amax load. Spotting hits at 800 is no problem with the 223 but it gets significantly harder after that. Plus you have the benefits of less powder, free brass and cheaper bullets with the 223, which equates to more shooting, and thats the most important part of getting more gooder. If you can get your barrel to shoot the 75 ELD's (mine wouldn't) you open the gap quite a bit wider between them.

Edited by TonytheTiger

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I forgot to mention the takeaway of my long range AR project. If I did it all over again I would go straight to a bolt gun. If you want to shoot PRS Gas Gun division ignore all this but if your thinking about real big boy PRS just go bolt gun from the start. From prone I can shoot fantastic groups with that rifle and make hits reliably on 1.5 moa targets out to 900 yards so far in favorable weather. But it all goes to hell when I try to shoot positional stuff. I'm not sure if its the lock time, the torque of the hammer swinging or just that an AR trigger will never be as good as a bolt guns but in order to shoot an AR accurately I have to have a stranglehold on the rifle, and thats just not possible in many weird positions. I know a couple PRS shooters and they've all adopted the free recoil shooting technique, try that with a gas gun and see what happens. I've been shooting bolt guns a bit lately and it literally feels like cheating how much easier it is to make solid hits from positions other than prone compared to an AR. But if you really want to maximize the AR15 platform for long range skip 223 or 6.5G and look into one of the 6mm Grendel variants.

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Thank you very much for all this info.  

 

I am taking it all in.

 

 

So far the only thing I have spent money on is a monolithic upper so I am not very far down this rabbit hole at all.

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For a trainer, get a 223.  Much cheaper. I practice my positional shooting with a 223 to avoid using up barrel life in my Creedmoor. 

Ive been shooting a Grendel for the last year and a half in local and regional long range matches. Beyond 600 it outpaces the 223 quickly. Energy on target is no comparison, and I have no trouble getting hits called out to 1K. The Grendel's Achilles heel is bolt wear. I've broken two extractors and it seems  this is a common problem that shows up about 1 K rounds. 

 

 

Edited by LSnSC

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I shoot PRS/PRS-style matches, bolt, gas-gun and rimfire and DMR.

For the gas-gun and DMR matches which go out to 800 yards, I use an 18" 5.56 AR  and run 69TMKs at 2800 fps. In those matches, the majority of competitors use .223 ARs. I have not felt that 6.5 Grendel or even 6.5 Creedmoor platforms to have a significant advantage over mine. It seems to me that whatever slight edge the larger cartridges have in the 600-800 yard distances are offset by the heavier weight, and slower recovery time between shots. If you can't spot your misses, you can't correct. As LSnSC indicated, PRS is positional shooting, mostly in less than ideal positions and a heavier gun is slower to put into play.

The OP's key phrases "trainer" and "eventual foray into PRS" indicate the .223 as the better platform. Cheaper ammo allows more practice and easy transition to PRS via the gas-gun/DMR route.

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223 is no slouch. The 2016 winner of the mason dixon sniper series (mid atlantic PRS series) skunked everyone with a gas gun in 223.

 

up against guys with sponsors and full machine shops. 

 

Its very much the indian and not the bow.

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Comparing 20" velocities in both 6.5G and .223 (with a sufficiently heavy 69-77gr) I found no point to the 6.5G UNLESS you are looking for energy. My 20" with an adjustable gas block and suppressor launches bullets in that weight from 2850-2960fps, accounting for less drop than the heavy 6.5G loads I looked at. Wind difference at 10MPH full value was minimal as well, maybe .2 MIL. As you're not looking for energy, there is no benefit to 6.5G IMO.

 

.223 will teach you about wind for sure, especially out at 600yd or further. I've found having enough magnification and spotting misses to be the problem, especially around 800yd when using the 'typical' tactical style scope with ~10-12x magnification.

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Well I just pulled the trigger on a Viper PST Gen2 3-15 MRAD FFP to go on my monolithic upper.  

 

I had totally ruled out 6.5 Grendel and 22 Nosler, and was leaning towards a JP barrel in 223, and now the 224 Valkyrie is making waves.

 

If I stick with 223 my expense will be way lower as I have a ton of components and I'm already reloading for it, and it will keep me in the Gas Gun Light Tactical division.  

 

But the 224 Valkyrie (or the 22 Grendel or 6mm Grendel, argh, decisions), will give me trajectory that is near-peer with 6.5 Creedmoor out of a small frame gun.  

 

For the near term I plan to pull scope/mount from my 3-gun rifle and swap on the PST just to have fun and learn the optic a bit. 

 

I need to weigh cost/benefit on quality 223 components vs. 224V components.  I do have a bunch of powder that is on the slow side for 223 that may work well for 224V.  It was bought for 30-06 and a 200 Swift varmint rifle that just don't see enough range time to come close to using what I have.

 

I am 100% certain that I will get a lot more range time with a 223 Wylde which is probably the prudent direction.  As you guys have pointed out, it's the Indian, not the arrow.

 

 

 

It's all for fun.  :)

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Iv heard 73 eld and 8208 with nammo brass you can get them up to 2900 out of a 20 in 223

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That's moving if that's a gas gun. I shoot 75gr ELD-Ms over 25.1gr of Varget at 3000fps from my 26" bolt gun.

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