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Mar 25th, 2012
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Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results #7266880 08/25/18 02:54 AM
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DoubleNaughtSpy invited me to hunt with him in North Texas this week, our last few hunts had been oh-fers (zero) on hogs and I was relating to DNS that after a couple of weeks of not seeing a hog in my sights I was beginning to forget what they look like grin

A couple hours into the hunt DNS had us tracking a pig on a property that has what he calls "disruptive cattle". As we got past the gate he stated we can chance going past the cows or try skirting the lone pig upwind. Albeit neither was the optimal approach we decided on taking our chances with the wind. We began to get within the kill zone (under 200 yards) and we both observed a change in the hogs behavior. Unlike some that I've seen bolt off this boar began walking briskly but stopping to look our direction for brief moments. We got on the sticks and with recorders running we sought to deliver a message to Mr. Hog. There was a slight delay as DNS attempted to find suitable ground to keep his shooting sticks even - it actually worked to our benefit as I was watching the hog who at this time decided to stop and vacate his bowels. Once his demonstration was nearly complete I began to hear the audible sounds of a countdown from DNS. Our trigger finger(s) punched this hogs ticket for a one way trip to DRT-ville and just like that I was back on the scoreboard for August! banana

Upon approach to the dead pig, we briefly reviewed the two bullet holes and I recall thinking that perhaps DNS' 90 grain TNT was the bottom entry hole and mine was the top. I thought this because his video illustrations of the 90 grain TNT load have shown it to be quite a lethal pill that does some very significant damage to tissue and muscle and with a slight bit of it poking out of the entry I assumed it to be his shot. This was the first hog that I've been able to plant a Maker TREX 85 grain bullet into so it isn't as though I've seen what it is capable of. Meanwhile the disruptive cattle had taken notice of our white light (headlamps) and I took a look through the thermal spotter and they were literally running at us and closing in fast. I didn't want to find out how they earned their reputation so I made comment to DNS that we should leave the slicing and dicing for later and go get the truck.

The necropsy of the boar showed the top wound tract to open after a few inches of penetration while the bottom wound tract seemed to open up to two fingers width within the first two inches. When we flipped the hog over and recovered the bullets I was shocked to find that the bottom shot was the Maker TREX. It did a fine job of obliterating the vital organs and damaging surrounding bones and muscles. DNS' TNT bullet retained 50% of it's weight after having severed the spine of the 150+ lb boar which is significant performance from a light weight projectile. The TNT is traveling 2800 FPS at the muzzle and the Maker is clocking 3000 FPS. I'm roughly calculating that this boar absorbed over 2800 ft/lbs of energy combined from our tandem shots.

As we continued our hunt we spotted a coyote that was initially within the kill zone but by the time I got my rig situated and the recorder switched on the yote was on high alert in response to DNS' lip squeaking. This is not the first yote that has responded negatively on this particular property to lip squeaking which makes it a challenge to get them down. What poses an even greater challenge is when I flipped my safety from NO-GO to GO the detent decided to make a really obvious click as it engaged the recess within the safety body. I wouldn't say it echoed but it certainly sent chills down Mr. Coyote's spine as he widened the distance between us and him. We didn't take a shot due to cattle in the vicinity who could have been bedded down in the woods and of course I did my best to quietly move the safety from fire to safe but it proved to be ineffective in righting the initial wrong - I may try a dab of grease to see if that slows the catapult-forward tendency of this particular safety.

So we moved to the next property and I spotted some heat signatures behind the cattle that seemed to be frolicking "playing grab@[censored]" with one another so I asked DNS to verify the thermal signatures with his higher magnification spotter. He believed they were pigs and we began a healthy 400+ yard stalk. Once we were well within the kill zone with a couple of cross fences between us and the swine sounder we selected our targets and began the countdown. For this particular shot sequence I had preloaded the magazine with 3 Maker TREX (85 gr) and the rest of the magazine was Speer GoldDot 120 grain @ 2450 FPS. I mention this because I would need 5 shots in total to bring down the boar. My first shot was jerked low and right from where I intended to place it and while I maintained a decent visual picture of the boar as the interplay of chaos ensued (pigs on the run) I didn't seem to nail him solid until about shot 5 or 6. Meanwhile DNS's initial sow was dead right there and he hit at least one other pig that ran off into the woods. I then asked what we needed to do with the hogs on this particular property and DNS said we need to take them away - I MIGHT have shot a smaller pig had I asked the question earlier but thankfully DNS is prepared for anything and had a game cart in the back of his truck - 400+ yards away.... We managed and the landowner has two, maybe three less, ground tillers to worry about trespassing on his lot.

The bullet recovery went south in a hurry as the 9 volt power supply gave up the ghost, it was as if we were thrown back into the dark ages - hunting for bullets by probing with sharp objects and fingers. My boar was shot up pretty bad, some of the bullets had pierced the guts so the smell was pretty intense. Neither of us are a fan of sifting through bile looking for bullets so we decided to stop the search at one Maker found. It opened from .264" to over .800" and appeared to travel at least 10 - 14 inches through hide/tissue/muscle. The wound tracts of these Maker TREXs is remarkable. I wish I had found the GoldDot but it was not to be. DNS' sow was littered with lead from the explosive TNT - much like many of the hogs he has dropped with this load.

The last hog spotted for the evening appeared to be a brute from 400+ yards away, I quickly found myself, talking to ... myself - as DNS started his stalk abruptly (he later informed that the hog appeared to be heading off the property - it was now or never). I was able to rejoin him about the midway mark and with the bright moon we tried to remain close to an opposing wood line until near the kill zone. We closed the distance and much like the first boar of the evening we place two nearly simultaneous shots on target and he went straight down. This time I went high and DNS went low and the Maker passed through the hog and was not recovered. The TNT was in there but at this stage in the evening with no metal detector and knowing that probably only the base was intact we didn't probe the wound too much. This hog was a nice spotted boar would didn't turn out to be a brute but rather a modest sub 200 lb'er.

I appreciate the opportunity to join DNS on this hunt - it was a safe and productive effort and if not for the game cart I might still be dragging my boar off the property that the sounder was located on...

Carpe Sus!



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Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: Pig_Popper] #7267128 08/25/18 03:36 PM
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Often when I see a long write-up I debate whether I to read it all. This was an enjoyable read. It's well written, interesting, entertaining, and informative. The video was, as usual, great. Thanks!

Yeah, that coyote had pretty good hearing.

Keep After 'Em!


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Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: Pig_Popper] #7267169 08/25/18 04:41 PM
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Me thinks that coyote has been hunted before.

Good write-up!


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Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: Pig_Popper] #7268995 08/27/18 06:47 PM
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Good video, good writeup.

Since bullet performance seems to be the subject here, I will go ahead and ask my question. I have a 6.5 Grendel upper that will be here later this week. I have several different 6.5 bullets left from other projects. The two bullets I will probably start with are some 120 AMAX, and some 100 NBT's (also have some 125 Partitions, some 130 Accubonds, and a few others). I am thinking that the 100 NBT with the solid base on it will be a good bullet. Should have decent speed yet still dig deep enough. Of course eventually I will have to order bullets, and at that point can get whatever I want.

Also, shooting them out of a 16" barrel, 1-8" 5R twist.

Anyways, just some good general insight into into bullets for the Grendel that work good would be appreciated.

Last edited by JTPinTX; 08/27/18 06:48 PM.
Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: JTPinTX] #7269181 08/27/18 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted By: JTPinTX


The two bullets I will probably start with are some 120 AMAX, and some 100 NBT's (also have some 125 Partitions, some 130 Accubonds, and a few others).

I am thinking that the 100 NBT with the solid base on it will be a good bullet. Should have decent speed yet still dig deep enough.

Also, shooting them out of a 16" barrel, 1-8" 5R twist.

Anyways, just some good general insight into into bullets for the Grendel that work good would be appreciated.



Thanks for the comment - welcome to the Grendel fun.

What length gas system does your 16" Grendel have and will you be running suppressed? More of a curiosity rather than a correlation to your question. I have found mid-length 16" rifles behave milder from a recoil standpoint than carbine gas length - I hope you avoided the Anderson Arms barrel....


About bullets, I wouldn't get to attached to the AMAX - I believe they were discontinued....


My buddy Dennis shoots pigs and other game with the 120 grain ballistic tips out of a 24" inch barrel and they do the job nicely.


The 100 NBT might be just the ticket for a 16" barrel to get velocity as high as possible.


The 90 grain GoldDot would also get a look if it were me.


The Maker bullet I'm testing right now (featured in the video above) was designed to open quickly and dump its energy inside the game - penetration is being watched carefully - but Paul at Maker says it was designed for CQB applications. There is a significant thread online for lead free projectiles and Grendel but with a 16" barrel I think the only one worth trying is the 85 grain due to the high velocity needed to open these mono metal pills.


Other alternatives to try are the Sierra 120 grain Pro Hunters and Prvi Partisan 120 grain BTHP.....


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Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: Pig_Popper] #7269198 08/27/18 09:31 PM
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Mid length gas system with a Satern barrel and adjustable gas block, Omega suppressor with a flat end cap.

Yes, the AMAX is discontinued, but have about 75 of them to shoot up. I always like Sierra bullets, and figured 120 Pro Hunter would be a good one. Of course, if you can catch the NBT's on over-run or 2nds at Shooters Pro Shops that is a pretty good deal. I have about 150 of the 100's to test out. I'm hoping the lighter weight will help keep the speed up. A friend of mine who shoots Grendel a lot says his favorite powder is 8208 XBR.

Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: Pig_Popper] #7275488 09/03/18 06:01 PM
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Another plus using the lighter bullets is they are less likely to go through possibly damaging property or livestock.

Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: rickt300] #7275550 09/03/18 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: rickt300
Another plus using the lighter bullets is they are less likely to go through possibly damaging property or livestock.


Very true but don't miss because it'll tear up a cow good !

Here are the 5 recoveries thus far with this lightweight all copper bullet. Average penetration is 10 -15 inches. I've yet to strike the main leg bone directly, one got into some bone last night and contorted the Maker a bit but the petals still opened and it looks much the same as the rest of them.



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Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: Pig_Popper] #7280370 09/08/18 01:39 AM
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Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: Pig_Popper] #7281058 09/08/18 09:55 PM
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It took me a bunch of hogs before I intentionally hit a hog in the humerus with the Speer TNT, LOL. Looks like the T-Rex is performing exactly how it is designed to perform, no more, no less, and does so consistently based on your sample of recovered bullets. I like the fact that the petals are not coming off. That differs from the very similar 105 gr. and 118 gr. Cavity Back Bullets that appears to frequently lose their petals.


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Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: Pig_Popper] #7299043 09/27/18 02:56 PM
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Been looking at bullets, studying things out some. Since I have a 16" barrel on my Grendel I would like to stay with lighter weight bullets to keep speed up. Anything under 120 grains, it looks like the 107 TMK wins the BC competition hands down. Claimed BC of .450, which I trust coming from Sierra. 120 NBT claims .458, but Nosler is kind of notorious for their BC numbers being high on the ballistic tips. To significantly beat the BC of the 107 TMK, you have to go to a 123 class bullet in the SST, ELD, or SMK.

A plain old SMK I don't know if I would trust on game at Grendel velocities. Might not open. But the TMK I have shot some (in other calibers) on coyotes and it did pretty good. The plastic tip seems to initiate expansion and start it opening up.

Anyone shot the 107 TMK on game, or have any ideas as to whether they think it would work good? I bet it shoots lights out. But that doesn't matter if it doesn't perform.

Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: Pig_Popper] #7300270 09/28/18 09:50 PM
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I couldnít get a decent group out of the 107gr TMK. Itís a really long bullet, 1.200Ē and I had to modify the seating stem in my Hornady die set because of the VLD-like nose length attributing to seating depth variance.

Once I got some loaded up accuracy was not acceptable given the cost and troubles cited above.

I was not alone in struggling to load this bullet in Grendel for a semi-auto rifle

http://www.65grendel.com/forum/showthread.php?15492-Sierra-107-TMK


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Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: Pig_Popper] #7303110 10/02/18 01:06 PM
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Good link, thanks for that. Sounds like as finicky bullet, but I guess that is to be expected with a BC that is head and shoulders above anything else in its weight class. Also appears from DNS test on pigs it didn't do too well on terminal performance. Looking like a pass for me with that bullet.

Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: Pig_Popper] #7306603 10/06/18 04:53 PM
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Great video! Iíve been taking a hard look at Grendels..


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Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: Pig_Popper] #7306609 10/06/18 05:11 PM
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excellent, videos and right up. Thanks for sharing.

Re: Hunting Hogs with light(er) weight 6.5 Grendel bullets - very good results [Re: HansETX] #7306744 10/06/18 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted By: HansETX
Great video! Iíve been taking a hard look at Grendels..


It would be the ballistic middle ground between your 5.56 and your 308

Weight wise it is like your 556

Hit wise more like your 308

up


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