Building a 6.5 Grendel for All Purpose Use Part 2

So I finally got out to the range to do some more work with the 6.5 Grendel now that I have it zeroed up and have put enough rounds through it to have the barrel properly seasoned. The ammo I used today on the range is American Eagle 120 Grain open tip match ammo. I wasn't sure about using this stuff because I tend to be a bit of snob when it comes to the equipment I use and they don't have a reputation for being top of the line ammo. After shooting this ammo on the range, I am left wondering how much other stuff I am missing out on in my life due to my being a snob? The ammo performed flawlessly! You can now put me in the "fan of American Eagle ammo" corner.

First things first, confirm zero. When I first built the gun and test fired it, I used my Vortex 2-10X35 and then switched to a Steiner M5x but that was just a little too much glass for this rifle. I put the Vortex back on the rifle and figured there would be a bit of zero shift, but low and behold, the zero was just about perfect and I landed this 5 round shot group right out of the gate.

If you don't count the cold bore shot just off to the left, that is a damn near 1/4 MOA 5 round group. I don't guess I could complain about that from even the most massaged, competition ready bolt guns. After confirming zero I headed over to the long range to shoot at 200, 300, and finally a steel silhouette at 600 yards.

The shot group opened up at 200 yards a little bit more then I would have like but still hovered around the 1 MOA range. After a couple of groups at that range, I moved it out to 300 yards and was surprised to see that the groups actually got a little bit tighter and where in the 1/2 to 3/4 MOA range.

Currently, I am running this rifle with a thread protector on the end of the barrel instead of the bore break that I bought with the Lilja barrel because I am waiting for my gunsmith to do a little work on it. When it got the muzzle break from Lilja, it had some burrs on the inner diameter and it was also a little bit on the small side and I was worryed about the round actually hitting on the way out. I don't know if the muzzle break is going to make much of a difference but I don't think it will be that noticeable. I can say, however, that the rifle runs very smooth without the break on it, even though it does have a little bit more kick then a standard M4. I have a feeling the once the break is installed, that the groups might actually tighten up just a bit, but only time will tell.

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