Pair of Grendels at the Range: Good News and Bad News

I took a 2 hour drive to go to my rifle range which really is just the closest BLM land you can shoot solid projectiles on.  Shot a few of my builds.  I really like to shoot my rifle builds and I do it pretty infrequently.   This time around I took a good number of rifles that I have never fired before.  I want to mention the tale of the two grendels I brought out.  I built the Grendel pistol just recently from a Liberty 7.5″ barrel from Satern Machine.  Before that I built a Model 1 Sales kit with an 18″ fluted barrel. To be honest from the quality of the parts I expected issues with the rifle build and hoped the pistol could just require some fine tuning of spring weights.

By two Grendels
My two Grendels

I started with the pistol.  I brought 200 rd of Hornady SST ammo for this trip.  I usual put 2 rounds in a gun the first time just to see what it does and it was perfect.  Ejected nicely dropping the brass up to 10 feet to my 2 o’ clock  position. No signs of bulged cases.  All looked great.  It then devoured the first 10 round mag with no issues shooting offhand at as 100yd 8″ steel plate.  I wasn’t trying to be a marksman but I did hit the plate a few times.  I found the Magnifier I had on it to be a pain with the eye relief and very narrow “Sweet Spot” my eye had to be to see through it well.  Just went to the red dot only and the second mag waspure heaven.  At this point I was thinking to myself this is the greatest weapon I have ever built.  Short and Handy,  easy to aim, packs a punch and has light recoil.  Thanks the the krinkov flash hider the muzzle blast was very mild as well, far less then an AK pistol I had shot before.

Mag 3 had a full battery lock, fail to extract.  After some serious tugging I got the bolt back and the shell popped out.  No obvious deformations on the case.   Got another right after that.  At that piont I field stripped the pistol and lubed it up nice and wet.  Tried a few more, but they all failed to extract.  🙁

So I went to the Grendel Rifle.  Model 1 sales calls these “6.5 Sporter” and that is what it says on the barrel.  These have a mixed reputation on the forums, some pretty bad.  I expected this guy to have issues.  But it did exactly what it was supposed to do, go bang every time!  The Leupold scope was near dead on and I nailed the 8″ plate every time I tried.  It was fun in rapid fire, but had a bit more reciol than a 5.56 in quick shots.  The only thing I didn’t like about my setup was the cheesy plastic magwell grip was interfering with reloading my puny 10rd mags and the muzzle break loosened.  Still a thoroughly fun rifle that seems pretty darn accurate!

Now I need to take a good look at the pistol and try to figure out what the issue is.  I was reading that on some Grendel barrels the throat may not be long enough causing the brass to hit the rifling.  Or is could be something as simple as the gas block moved.

Last thing I wanted to mention was I was shooting at an Action Target ar550 steel plate.  In the past 5.56  is a small smudge and .308 have left nice fat marks on it, but the grendel actually made small craters.  In the future I will not use steel targets for these guys.  Besides, I really mangled my targets legs when trying to shoot quickly.  I should grab a pic of some of the damage.

None the less, the 6.5 Grendel in the AR package seems like the coolest option out there.


3 Responses to Pair of Grendels at the Range: Good News and Bad News

  1. Avatar Rob McNaughton
    Rob McNaughton says:

    I should have mentioned this earlier. It was the gas block. It moved about an 1/8″. I made a little dimple in the barrel where the set screws hit it, and used some locktite. It runs fine now. I’m am now looking for replacements of both quadrails but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg.


  2. Just found your website, while researching my AR piston build. The Grendel is a good choice, like you said. Right in the middle. How’s the accuracy with the shorter barrel? That caliber is a good shooter with a bolt gun, way out to 600+. If you have a list of components, I would love to follow your footsteps. And perhaps take advantage of your knowledge. This being my first build, I want to do it right.

    • Avatar Rob McNaughton
      Rob McNaughton says:

      Hey vaga,
      I want to point out that the pistol 6.5 grendel has not been perfect. I think I am going to replace the foregrip ( too much wiggle) and replace the gasblock for something adjustable (I was getting failures to eject possibly from too little gas pressure). I put a lot of the details in the post
      It was a very easy build.

      As far as accuracy, I used it with just the reddot and was hitting an 8″ plate from standing 100 yrds away. So I don’t know how accurate it really is… Accurate enough for me. I only took it shooting twice so far. Overall Its not great as a firearm I would say. 🙁 On the other hand I was hitting withen 2″ at 200 yds with the 18″ grendel and it works every time.