One of the most commonly overlooked components of any firearm is the magazine. Despite this, it’s also the magazine that has one of the most direct impacts on the functionality of the weapon. That’s because if there’s anything wrong with your magazine, there’s going to be some functionality issues with your weapon as well.
Best Overall Pick: Elander AR-15 6.5 Grendel Stainless Steel Magazine
The Elander Stainless Steel magazines have a strong anti-resistant coating and stainless steel body and floorplate construction, in addition to a self-lubricating anti-tilt follower designed for fully reliable functioning out of your 6.5 Grendel AR.
Best Budget Pick: C-Products AR-15 6.5 Grendel Stainless Steel Black Magazine
The C-Products 6.5 Grendel Stainless Steel magazines are a solid choice for a budget magazine thanks to their stainless steel construction and robust anti-tilt followers.
Best Value Pick: D&H 6.5 Grendel Stainless Steel Magazine
The D&H 6.5 Grendel Stainless Steel magazines are tested by military inspectors for reliability and proper functioning before being sold on the market. The magazines themselves are built out of aluminum grade stainless steel and a hard coat anodized finishing for proper rust resistance.
Too many people are solely focused on the care and quality of their firearms without dedicating the same level attention to the magazines that are used to feed the ammunition into those firearms to begin with. Taking good care of and cleaning your magazines regularly is vitally important, as is making sure that you invest into buying high quality magazines in the first place.
The 6.5mm Grendel cartridge, while an excellent performer as we will soon see, is also not the most common round for the AR-15, and as a result quality magazines can sometimes be a little bit more of a challenge to find.
In this guide, we will dive into the best 6.5 Grendel magazines out on the market and what makes them solid options for your 6.5 Grendel AR. In addition, we’ll cover the merits of the 6.5 Grendel round, the importance of stocking up on quality magazines, the specific components of a 6.5 Grendel magazine, and then the buyer’s guide of qualities to look for in a magazine.
Why Go With The 6.5 Grendel?
The 6.5mm Grendel was designed to be an intermediate rifle cartridge for the AR-15 platform that would capable of precision shooting at very long distances. In addition to being used in the AR-15, the 6.5 Grendel is also used in AK-type rifles and bolt action rifles as well. Check out our article about the best 6.5 Grendel bolts.
An improved version of the 6.5mm PPC round, the 6.5 Grendel can deliver muzzle velocities of 2,500 feet per second when using a hundred and thirty grain bullets. The case head diameter is very similar to the 7.6239mm round, which is one reason why the round has also been adopted to AK type weapons.
The 6.5 can easily surpass the performance of the 5.56x45mm NATO and .223 Remington cartridges, which are the standard rounds for the AR-15. Proponents of the round argue that it is a solid compromise between the 5.56 and the larger .308 Winchester or 7.62x51mm rounds that are used in the larger AR-10 rifles. This is because the 6.5 can outperform the 5.56 round, but it’s still used in an AR-15 sized rifle. That being said, the 6.5 Grendel can still deliver more energy than the .308 Winchester can at longer ranges.
Overall, the 6.5 Grendel is an excellent long range round for the AR-15. But remember, that even if you are using a quality 6.5 Grendel rifle, you cannot expect to get fully reliable or functional performance out of the rifle. That’s where investing in several quality magazines comes in.
What Is The Importance of Stocking Up On Magazines To Begin With?
If you own a 6.5 Grendel rifle, or plan on buying one or building on, then it’s important for you to know the importance of stocking up on several quality magazines for your rifle.
A good rule of thumb is to always have at least six high quality magazines for every magazine fed weapon that you own. Of course, you may not ever plan on using or carrying six on you at once, but it’s still good to have several backups on hand just in case anything happens to your other magazines.
Anything can happen to magazines that causes their quality to decrease: the springs can wear out, the magazines can become damaged, or they could simply become lost. For these reasons, it’s always a good idea to have extras on hand. While you may think that you can just buy more whenever you want or need to, there could also always be a magazine and ammunition shortage like we saw back in 2013 when it was believed that major gun controls would be passed and the market drew up temporarily.
Furthermore, 6.5 Grendel magazines are not the most common types of magazines for the AR platform in general, and they can be a lot more difficult to find than 5.56 or 7.62x51mm magazines. If the market ever does dry up, manufacturers will have to pump many more magazines from the factories at a fast rate to keep up with demand and making 5.56 or 7.62 magazines will simply be a bigger priority for them than 6.5 Grendel or other calibers that aren’t as common.
The point: if you buy or build a 6.5 Grendel rifle, buy several high quality magazines now while you can.
What Are The Components of a 6.5 Grendel Magazine?
In order to understand what to look for in a magazine for your 6.5 Grendel rifle, or any other rifle for that matter, you first need to fully understand the parts and components that each magazine consists of.
The follower is the piece inside of the magazine that the ammunition rests on. The follower is held up with a spring, and whenever rounds are loaded into the magazine, pressure is put on the spring. The follower is always pushing upwards as a result of the spring tension.
As was just noted above, the spring is the piece that is always pushing the follower up in order to feed rounds into the weapon. A high quality spring and follower are absolutely critical to the functionality of a magazine; without them, the magazine wouldn’t even be a magazine at all.
The floor plate is the bottom piece of a magazine that is connected to the spring, which again is designed to force the follower upwards at all times. In order to disassemble a magazine for cleaning, you will need to remove the floor plate, which will take the spring and floor plate out with it.
The body of the magazine is what you see and feel when you look at and hold a magazine and is the piece that is inserted into the rifle. The magazine body is also the part of the magazine that is going to be abused the most from outside elements, so it needs to be highly durable and functional.
Buyer’s Guide To Finding The Best 6.5 Grendel Magazines
These are the most important factors to consider when looking for a new magazine for your 6.5 Grendel AR-15 rifle or carbine:
Use Actual 6.5 Grendel Magazines
The 6.5 Grendel cartridge is designed to be used with existing 5.56 lower receiver. All you need to do in order to convert the rifle from a 5.56 to a 6.5 is to replace the upper receiver from a 5.56 receiver to a 6.5 one and we also have an article about 6.5 grendel barrels.
Since you will be using a 5.56 lower receiver for your 6.5 Grendel AR-15, you may think that you can use 5.56 magazines just by loading 6.5 Grendel rounds into it…and indeed you can!
However, not all 5.56 magazines will work reliably with 6.5 Grendel rounds even though the 6.5s will technically fit in just fine. Often times polymer 5.56 magazines will jam consistently when loaded with 6.5 rounds while metal STANAG-type magazines will be more reliable.
However, in order to ensure true proper functioning with a 6.5 Grendel rifle, your best bet will be to just use magazines that are built specifically for the 6.5 Grendel round and that can still be inserted into a 5.56 lower receiver. Each of the three magazines that we will analyze later in this article are all designed specifically for the 6.5 Grendel round, and will not work with 5.56 rounds.
Durable Magazine Body
As we discussed previously, the body of the magazine is the component that is the most vulnerable to abuse. Durable polymer, stainless steel, and aircraft grade aluminum represent your best bets for a 6.5 Grendel magazine, with aluminum and steel generally being more desirable. The three magazines that we will take a look at in a bit are each built out of either aluminum or stainless steel.
Yes, steel magazines are heavier than polymer magazines, but the trade-off is superior durability and longevity.
Heavy Duty Spring
Remember that the spring is what pushes the follower upwards in order to feed individual rounds from the magazine into the rifle. For the 6.5 Grendel rounds with their larger diameter than the 5.56, a heavy duty spring will be fully necessary in order to ensure proper feeding.
An anti-tilt follower will ensure that the rifle does not jam when rounds are loaded from the magazine into the weapon. Yes, a heavy duty spring is necessary in order to push that follower upwards, but the anti-tilt design specifically is also necessary for proper feeding, especially on the last round.
Rust Resistant Coating
A truly well-built magazine will be coated or finished in a protective material that can resist moisture, humidity, rain, and snow. This will protect the magazine from rust and corrosion in order to promote longevity. It doesn’t matter whether the magazine is built out of steel or aluminum already to ensure durability: the magazine also needs a rust resistant coating or finish to further protect it against rust. This is especially necessary if you will be using your rifle out in inclement or rainy weather. Few things will cost a magazine or gun to rust as much as rain and humidity will.
The 3 Best 6.5 Grendel Magazines For 2020
Now that we have covered what to look for in a 6.5 Grendel magazine and the merits of the 6.5 Grendel to begin with, here are our choices for the top three best 6.5 Grendel magazines for 2020:
C-Products AR-15 6.5 Grendel Stainless Steel Black Magazine
The C-Products AR-15 6.5 Grendel Stainless Steel Black Magazine is a very durable and rust resistant magazine, being built out of stainless steel. It also features an anti-tilt follower to ensure proper feeding of each round, and the stainless steel, high grade spring beneath that follower will last for a long time.
C-Products makes this magazine in a variety of different capacity sizes, including five, ten, twenty, and twenty eight round versions. Out of these, the twenty eight round version is definitely the most expensive, but the five and ten round magazine versions are considerably cheaper and the best choices if you’re looking for more budget priced magazines for your 6.5 Grendel AR-15.
The biggest negative to the C-Products is that adjusting the springs in the magazine can be difficult., but the trade-off is that they are designed to last. The anti-glare matte black finish on the magazine is not the most pretty, but it will do a great job of keeping the sun’s reflections at bay and ensuring that rust and corrosion won’t be major issues.
The C-Products 6.5 Grendel magazine represents a solid choice for a 6.5 Grendel magazine that is not all hat expensive. This is a durable aftermarket magazine that will feed properly, is easy to clean, and will be equally adept for hunting as it is for precision shooting from the bench.
- Rust and corrosion proof finish
- Very easy to disassemble for cleaning purposes
- Durable stainless steel build
- Comes with anti-tilt follower
- Easy to feed the 6.5 Grendel rounds
- Adjusting can be difficult
Elander AR-15 6.5 Grendel Stainless Steel Magazine
The Elander AR-16 6.5 Grendel Stainless Steel magazine is designed to ensure fully reliable feeding in your 6.5 AR-15 thanks to its self-lubricating anti-tilt follower and durable stainless steel body magazine and floorplate.
Elander also heat treats each of these magazines for even better durability, and a hefty magazine spring enables the larger diameter 6.5 Grendel rounds to be fed reliably as well. The stainless steel floor plate helps to contain this spring.
Available with four, ten, seventeen, or twenty four round capacities, each magazine has also been coated with a special material that can resist more than ninety six hours of salt spray without rusting or corroding.
Overall, the E-Lander stainless steel 6.5 Grendel magazine is an excellent choice for the 6.5 Grendel rifle thanks to its stainless steel body construction, anti-corrosive coating, and self-lubricating anti-tilt follower to ensure proper feeding.
- Glare resistant matte black finishing
- Very anti-corrosion resistant coating
- Durable stainless steel body and floorplate
- Anti-tilt follower
- More expensive than other 6.5 Grendel magazines
D&H 6.5 Grendel Stainless Steel Magazine
D&H Tactical has been in the business of manufacturing stainless steel magazines for over thirty years, so it’s safe to say that they know how to make a magazine. Their magazines are selectively fired through fully automatic and semi-automatic weapons to confirm function, and these tests are fun by military inspectors.
These 6.5 Grendel magazines specifically are built out of high quality stainless steel, with heat treatment and hard coat anodizing completed on the outside of the rifle for maximum rust and corrosion resistance.
The biggest downside to these magazines is that only ten round versions are available, so if you’re looking for larger capacity magazines you’ll need to look for other options.
Overall, the D&H Tactical magazines are a great value for a 6.5 Grendel magazine. Even though only ten round magazines are available, each magazine is built out of high quality aircraft grade aluminum and has been further hard coat anodized and heat treated to ensure maximum rust and corrosion resistance.
- Built out of aircraft grade aluminum
- Heat treated and hard coat anodized for maximum corrosion resistant
- Finished magazines are test fired to ensure proper feeding and reliability
- Only ten round magazines are available
Wrapping It Up
The 6.5 Grendel is a solid round for the AR-15 if you want to get excellent long range performance for your rifle but remember that you need quality magazines in order to ensure proper function as well. The magazines that we have covered in this article are each among the very best that the market has to offer you.
Featured image by RobinHoodie5