“Dangit… now I’ve got to add another cartridge to my ammunition stockpile!”
My review of the JP 6.5 Grendel
By: Chad L.
I didn’t know exactly what to expect with this cartridge, but hoped it would be a great alternative to the larger and heavier AR-10 platform; yet provide a more economical round with less recoil yet still formidable at long range.
As the range reports were so favorable from others testing the waters with this promising round, I decided it was best to contact JP rifles, who sent me a CTR-02™ upper with their cool howitzer themed JP Recoil Eliminator. I am previously a JP customer due to their incredible workmanship and accuracy, not too mention I love their adjustable gas blocks and triggers and they have a reputation for unsurpased customer service and fast shipping. So with the upper mounted on a completed lower assembly liberated from a match .223 upper with a JP trigger, and some purchased Hornady 123grn A-MAX rounds, I topped it off with a a spare scope (MIllet LRS-1) and headed out to Best of The West shooting sports in Liberty Hill, TX for a test drive.
I adjusted the gas system while zeroing it in just a few rounds and then the fun started. It was instantly obvious that the gun was accurate and flat shooting as head shots on the LaRue auto-reset targets at 250 yards were so close together that the paint splatter made it hard to see where the next round was going, so after 3 rounds I decided to move out to 500. Using the ballistics data I found online, I put 10MOA on the elevation knob, held center mass, and put one right on the LaRue’s forehead. A SWAG correction to 8.5MOA elevation put it dead center mass and then 3-4 follow up shots were in a small sub 3″ group. On a good day I’m a .5MOA shooter on paper at 100 yards and I always giggle when I get lucky and pull something like this off.
What’s even more interesting is that it really smacks the crud out of the steel at 500 yards, I mean you FEEL it impact.. hard to believe from such a small cartridge. And just to give you an idea what I am talking about here, compared to the 175grn SMK’s I shoot in my custom .308 it’s going 200fps faster at 500 yards with 90% of the energy, yet 10-15% less wind drift and bullet drop.. but the best part is that its cheaper to shoot than the .308 and has nearly HALF the felt recoil. Oh, and it’s a higher BC bullet so it even becomes more interesting at longer ranges.
The next berm at BOTW is 750 yards. They have a hanging gong, 2 more LaRue reactive targets and a large steel plate that looks to be about the size of a bedroom door. Pardon this pic but it’s through the scope of my Mk4 LR/T using my BlackBerry. I put in 24 minutes and hit the berm on top of the target, windage was dead on. I put in 22 and still went high, so I put in 19.5moa and hit one of the LaRue’s smack dead center.
(Pause for more giggles.)
So before I swung the muzzle over to the 1000 yard berm I decided to play with the gas system a bit to see if I could squeeze any more FPS out of the JP upper so I loaded 1 round at a time into the mag and bled it off until it would just barely lock back on the empty mag and the brass was in a nice little pile just over my right shoulder.The environmental conditions were perfect for shooting as it was 67 degrees with a winds gusting from 5-7 my from my 4 o-clock position.
Best of the West is a great place to practice 1000 yard shooting in the wind, becuase the berms are dry and there seems to be a near constant vortex and mirage is exaggerated there compared to other long-range targets I am used to. I was able to get dialed in with just around 33MOA elevation and engaged steel – a dream come true to me as I’ve always wanted a standard mag length cartridge that could do that from an existing stoner rifle… and now I’ve got it.
I will upgrade optics and swap out for a lighter trigger and test my skills again at 1000 yards with it and take some more pics and video of it next weekend hopefully.
Tell them TGR sent you!