Tag Archives: aero precision

Aero Precision M4E1 6.5 Grendel

The 6.5 Meme

You may have seen the popular meme about some of the more popular 6.5 cartridges, in this meme there are some satirical characterizations about the owners of these most popular 6.5mm cartridges. The 6.5 Grendel character is represented by a kooky and eccentric looking fellow you may not want to approach in the truck stop parking lot. I always laughed a bit a this meme, but today I find myself with that same wide eyed stare…

Today we are looking at a 6.5 Grendel rifle made from an Aero Precision M4A1 lower and a 22″ Grendel Hunter upper receiver. The Upper features a 22-inch 8 twist barrel with a threaded muzzle pitched 5/8-24 and of course chambered in 6.5 Grendel. The Grendel is a bit of an oddity in that it uses a cartridge case that uses a bolt face between the very common 223 Remington, and the 308 Winchester. There are only a few common cartridges that use this sized case, such as the 224 Valkyrie and the 6mm ARC. The Grendel allows you to shoot 6.5 (.264) caliber bullets from a small frame AR-15 type rifle, which can vastly change the utility of your AR-15. I have heard of people using the Grendel for hunting animals as big as Rocky Mountain elk, and having used bullets of the same size and velocity I can see why. The only difference I’ve noticed (apart from the 6.5 Grendel barrel) between this and other AR-15 rifles is the use of a different magazine. The Grendel magazines use a different follower, and I had a few laying around from my 6mm ARC project so they got put to good use.
The barrel is a fluted stainless one with a low profile gas block installed, and since it was threaded I fully intended on installing a suppressor to see how the rifle performed as a host.

After getting the rifle home, I set it on my bench and started looking for suitable accessories for the rifle. First and foremost it was going to need a good scope, for that I decided on installing my US Optics FDN17X, it seemed like a good match to the anticipated shooting for the Grendel. I also installed an MLok Harris bipod mount to the handguard so that I could install a bipod to shoot supported. I also grabbed my Yankee Hill Machine Nitro N20 suppressor to see how the rifle shot suppressed.


6.5 Grendel ammunition isn’t as common as most, so I knew going in I was going to have to improvise. I had a bunch of 6.5 Grendel brass already, yes I am unashamedly one of those range creeps that is always digging through brass piles. But I haven’t bought brass in years so I’ll happily take the troll title.
I have a broad selection of .264 bullets, but it seems that Grendel loads are frequently in the 100-120 grain category. So I decided I would load up some PRVI 120 grain BTHP bullets with some Hodgdon Benchmark in Hornady brass. While I claim no expertise in the dark art of handloading, I managed to get them together without any explosions or injury. So together with the outfitted rifle and my fresh loaded ammo, I headed into the hills to see how the rifle shot.

On the Range with the Aero Precision 6.5 Grendel

With a fresh target hung at one hundred yards, I laid behind the rifle to get it zeroed. I had already bore-sighted it before I left the house, so it was ready to put on paper. After the first few shots I made some adjustments to the scope, and fired a group to see how it patterned. My grouping wasn’t terrible, a five shot average of one MOA is at least somewhere to start from. It’s certainly possible the rifle didn’t care for my handloads, and had I been shooting some Hornady Match it might have shot under a half inch. I shot several boxes worth of ammunition through the rifle, and to be honest I can see why so many people like this little cartridge. The recoil is very mild for starters, and I can’t imagine it would be much worse even shooting 140 grain bullets.
It was even better when I added my suppressor to the rifle. I was able to stretch the rifle out to about five hundred yards where I found it still quite easy to hit targets the size of a deer’s vitals.

Pros and Cons

Everybody has their preferences, and I surely have mine so I’ll tell you what I would do with this rifle if I had a magic wand. First I think I’d cut the barrel down a bit, it seems cumbersomely long to me. The long length of the barrel also makes it very front heavy, which if your shooting from a bipod isn’t a big deal but it can be for an offhand shooter.
The Grendel is one of those cartridges where I wouldn’t expect to be blasting one shot rapidly after another, so the ten round magazine is more than enough for my purposes but you may want more if you are a high volume kind of shooter. Continue Reading Here…


Aero Precision X15 5.56 carbine

There is something to be said about a rifle that is near perfectly balanced and maneuverable. Today I am here to share with you one of those rifles, an AR-15 that just feels perfect in my hands. Built from an Aero Precision X15 lower receiver and mated with a lightweight eighteen-inch upper and barrel.

What makes a perfect carbine?
Obviously, that varies for most of us, but I’ll tell you what I think this carbine is perfect for. The lightweight barrel and handguard assembly make this rifle very balanced, and it has a very effective muzzle brake as well to help reduce any recoil or muzzle rise.
A fairly minimalist Magpul MOE SL-K buttstock also helps keep the weight down but still offers all the agility and modularity I’d want for shooting on the move. The trigger in this rifle is nothing extraordinary, but it breaks clean enough to shoot accurately.

On top of the rifle is a Vortex Crossfire II 1-4 LPVO, I know some of you are gonna disagree with me here but I like this scope for this gun. Apart from a good color combination, I think the 1-4 power is great for a rifle intended to shoot n’ scoot.
Any kind of shooting scenario where you expect to be rapidly moving and engaging targets from fairly close distances would be a great. That could be a two or three gun competition or a car lot in Wisconsin, but you’d find yourself pretty well equipped with a little carbine like this.
Your idea of a perfect carbine might be a little different than mine, I have no issue with that as ten years from now we may have swapped opinions.

Good Parts

Good parts make a good rifle, and while the X15 receiver from Aero may not be the greatest or best of all time but it is still a good place to start. The barrel in this rifle appears to be a Faxon gunner eighteen-inch barrel, it is nitride finished with a nickel teflon coated barrel extension and 5R rifled. Sounds like a winner, but we would see for sure on the range. The handguard is an MLok carbine length from AT3 Tactical, it’s pretty minimalist, and comfortable to hold.

The first time I took this rifle to the range I wanted to basically just prove it out and make sure everything worked together. I was quickly pleased to see that everything was in order and needed no additional attention, it was ready to burn up some ammo.
I ran several magazines through the rifle and I found it to be very controllable, the light recoil was further reduced by the brake making target acquisition quick and easy. I was also impressed that the light weight made it much easier to hold the rifle on target, not just hold it but to hold it still. Something I am not used to due to the heavy guns I usually shoot.
My daughter had come along and wanted to give the rifle a try herself. She too found the rifle comfortable to maneuver and shoot, which further credits the rifle’s handling.
I did put the rifle across some sandbags to see how it patterned. For a proper accuracy test I would have liked to put a better rifle scope on the gun, and perhaps shoot some better ammunition than I had on hand. The Crossfire II scope did work well enough for my purposes however, I didn’t have much trouble hitting what I was aiming at. The best group I came up with during my testing was a 2 MOA pattern, not exactly match-grade shooting but I’m sure I could have improved on that with a little more refined aiming and magnification. Continue Reading Here…