6.5 Grendel Factory Load Data Project – 20″

Testing the performance of common factory ammo in 6.5 Grendel

20″ Grendel Hunter

To see the data on lengths other than the 20″, follow their respective links: 16″ 18″ & 22″ (Lengths without links are not completed). This information is free to use and share. It is intended to be insightful and to provide 6.5 Grendel shooters a starting place when considering what their rifle can do. It’s not all inclusive or definitive by any means. Just one more tool in your tool box. You can read more about the idea for this project here.

Ammo Tested

The data below was collected over multiple range sessions using several different 20″ barrels. The muzzle velocities were measured while the velocities at various ranges and the energies were calculated using bullet manufacturer provided ballistic coefficients.

These numbers are specific to my equipment and conditions. The results someone else gets would of course vary depending on their equipment and conditions.

  • Barrel – 20″ / 416R SS / 1-8 5R
  • Temperatures Averaged 69 degrees F
  • Barometric Pressures ~ 29.84″ Hg

*Numbers in RED denote the distance and velocity at which the load drops to approximately 1,000 LB of energy. The idea here being that 1,000 LB of energy is widely considered to be the number needed to harvest medium sized game ethically. For this reason, I calculated this for the two purpose made hunting loads. Again, this isn’t meant to be definitive. It’s just a tool that you can choose to use or leave in the box.

Hornady Custom – 123 gr SST
Federal – 120 gr Fusion
Hornady Black – 123 gr ELD-M
Hornady American Gunner – 123 gr BTHP
Federal American Eagle – 90 gr TNT JHP
Federal Gold Medal Berger – 130 gr Hybrid OTM
Federal American Eagle – 120 gr OTM
Defender – 107 TMK
Wolf Steel – 100 gr FMJ


  1. Clark Grendel

    Cost wise handloaded ammo has very little advantage over factory ammo. But look at the huge variations in velocities with each load! Shooting paper at 100yds you’ll never know the difference, past 200yds you will.
    Velocity extreme spreads less than 20fps is good, single digits spreads will show it’s worth past 500yds.
    20” 5R 8twist Rockcreek
    123gr MK 2475 – 2480 FPS
    Sub 1/2 moa to 800yds

  2. Thank you for this. Is there any chance of updating this to include Fort Scott Munitions Tumble Upon Impact Solid Copper 123 grain?

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