The future of firearms is not lead bullets. It’s directed energy weapons. Yes, just like Buck Rogers of the future. They will be more efficient and of variable power. We are just going to have to have the next Elon Musk of weapons come along to push us in that direction. Now that that’s out of the way on to the 5.56 killer, the 6.5mm Grendel round.

The firearms industry has been slow to evolve. It’s just out of the cave and has figured out how to rub two sticks together to make fire.

Most of the evolution has been like a West Virginia family reunion, ya hear me? While the banjos play on, most companies have just modified existing firearms platforms around archaic bullet designs.

It was only after 9/11 that we saw improvements with rounds like the .338 Lapua and now the 6.5mm Grendel which is slowly displacing the terribly designed 5.56 round.

Good, it’s about time.

What Is the 6.5mm Grendel All About?

The bullet, named after the monster in Beowulf, is a good middle ground between the 5.56 and the 7.62. It is also more accurate. In other words, the Grendel has a very good ballistic coefficient.

If you want to skip the physics lesson below, think of ballistic coefficient as an Uber rating. Higher means less drag but higher isn’t always better, as it depends on the application.

We need to understand the basics of how our round performs over distance. The point when the round retransition from supersonic to subsonic speed (usually when it starts to destabilize and tumble) is a good one to know in order to find out the effective range of the bullet.

So if bullets were music (they are to some of us), the 5.56 would be a Britney Spears song and the Grendel round would be more like Morning Dew by the Grateful dead… a lot longer.

EVERY rifle shooter should understand this, even if it’s Ranger-simple knowledge (sorry, Army, but you do have the lowest entry test standards).


  • BCPhysics = ballistic coefficient as used in physics and engineering
  • M = mass
  • A = the bullet’s cross-sectional area
  • Cd = drag coefficient
  • density
  •  = characteristic body length

Make sense? Head hurting? Skip to the video down low.

Brandon’s Sniper Reflections

While the future is not lead bullets it’s nice to see a round improvement over a platform improvement.

The 6.5mm Grendel looks like it’s gaining traction among police and military units outside the U.S. mostly. This is a good sign that it’s here to stay.

SOCOM wants to upgrade its M110 sniper rifle to fire deadlier 6.5mm rounds

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It’s a 5.56 killer for sure, and good riddance to that ineffective round invented by people that don’t shoot for a living…

Where is the Elon of the firearms industry? Bueller, Bueller…

Like Dirty Harry wisely says, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Well… I’d add this to those wise words. “A man’s got to know his rounds limitations also.”

Thanks for listening.