Wolf 6.5 Grendel Ammo Review: Good for Plinking
There’s nothing better than heading to the range, opening up your 6.5 Grendel rifle case, and punching some holes in paper targets or listening to the joy-inducing clang of bullets impacting steel.
Although the 6.5 Grendel was designed to increase the stopping power and effective range of the AR-15 carbine, ammo is generally more expensive as the caliber hasn’t gained the popularity seen in rounds like the 300 Blackout or 6.8 SPC.
But don’t worry! If you love shooting 6.5mm bullets (like I do) and are hankering for some inexpensive ammo for plinking, Wolf Ammunition has what you’re looking for.
However, some shooters worry about pulling the trigger on steel-cased ammo for their beloved Grendel rifle and worry that it might damage their long-range precision rig.
If that’s you, then you found the right article! In this Wolf 6.5 Grendel ammo review, I’ll dig into the ballistics and performance of Wolf Military Classic and Wolf Gold 6.5 Grendel loads so you can make the decision if Wolf is right for you.
If you’re already sold on the idea of cheap plinking ammo for your 6.5 Grendel rifle, check out this 500 rds of bulk Wolf 6.5 Grendel ammo we have in stock right now. However, if you want to learn more before you make a purchase, keep reading, and I’ll explain what this ammo is best for and if it’s safe for your AR.
Wolf Performance Ammunition, or WPA for short, is a large ammunition manufacturer known for producing low-cost steel-cased ammo for shooters across the USA and Europe. They offer a full line of rimfire, shotshell, handgun, and rifle ammo at a cost most shooters can afford.
Although many shooters believe (incorrectly) that WPA is a Russian company, this couldn’t be further from the truth. This misconception often stems from the fact that Wolf ammo was produced at the Tula ammo factory in Russia from 2005 to 2009.
During this time, Tulammo and Wolf were essentially identical, as they were loaded with the same bullets and made at the same factory.
However, in 2009 Wolf cut ties with the Tula ammo plant and currently has manufacturing facilities across many NATO nations in the European Union and has its headquarters located in Placentia, California.
Another misconception about Wolf ammo is that it uses a lacquer coating on all their cases. This stems from old surplus Russian ammo made during the Cold War. These rounds used corrosive primers and a lacquer coating to ensure proper feeding into and out of the rifle chamber.
WPA uses a proprietary polymer they call their Polyformance coating. This coating ensures that the steel cases have a lower chance of getting stuck in the chamber of your rifle or handgun during loading or firing. However, on their 6.5 Grendel ammo, they use their proprietary Combat Coating.
Wolf offers three different ammo steel-cased ammo lines: Wolf Performance, Wolf Polyformance, and Wolf Military Classic. The company has also recently introduced Wolf Gold premium ammunition. These cartridges are loaded in brass cases that are Boxer-primed, making them perfect for reloading.
Wolf 6.5 Grendel ammunition is offered in their Wolf Military Classic and Wolf Gold ammo lines. Wolf Military Classic, which is by far the most common 6.5 Grendel Wolf ammo available, comes loaded with a 100-grain bi-metal jacket, and has a reported muzzle velocity of 2,690 fps.
When starting this Wolf 6.5 Grendel ammo review, I found that it’s important to understand that there are two classes of Wolf ammo to consider: Wolf Military Classic and Wolf Gold.
Below you’ll find my detailed review of each and hopefully understand why I prefer Wolf Gold over Military Classic, primarily due to their choice of bullet and the intended purpose of the 6.5 Grendel rifle cartridge. Let’s start with Wolf Military Classic.
To be honest, I find Wolf Military Classic 100-grain FMJ ammo to be somewhat of a paradox. You have a cartridge in the 6.5 Grendel that was built for accuracy and increasing the stopping power of the AR-15. And then Wolf Ammunition offers a steel-cased bi-metal jacketed bullet for it. It just doesn’t make sense.
The 6.5 Grendel was designed by Alexander Arms as a high-speed, low-drag type round firing an extremely aerodynamic 6.5mm bullet. In some ways, it’s a smaller version of the 6.5 Creedmoor built for the AR-15.
And when I’m thinking about building a precision rifle, investing a lot of money on a match-grade barrel to milk all the accuracy possible from the Grendel, why in the world would I want to shoot a bi-metal bullet that’s going to damage my barrel over time?
Wolf Military Classic and all their steel case ammo is loaded with bi-metal FMJ bullets. These bullets have a traditional lead core, but the jacket material is steel covered with copper. Not only do most indoor ranges prohibit their use (due to the dangers of ricochets or damaging the bullet traps), but they will increase the amount of wear and tear on your barrel.
For an inexpensive round like the 223 Remington, the cost savings of cheap ammo can more than makeup for a barrel swap, but for a round like the 6.5 Grendel, this isn’t quite the case as Grendel barrels are typically more expensive than your run-of-the-mill 5.56 NATO barrel.
Furthermore, why would you want to go plinking with a precision rifle in the first place? When I think about plinking, I want low recoil and cheap ammo. That, to me, screams 223 Remington. Wolf also offers and is a great value if you don’t mind swapping out your barrel every few thousand rounds.
Listen, I love going out blasting just as much as the next red-blooded, 2A-loving American. There’s nothing I enjoy more than punching holes in paper or making tin cans dance from 100 yards. But if I want maximum accuracy from my rifle, I’m not going to run cheap ammo through it.
Instead, I want to shoot the good stuff! Ammunition the likes of Barnes Precision Match 123 grain OTM or Hornady Custom 123 gr SST for deer hunting or my own handloads, for that matter.
But if you are looking for something that’s great for handloads, then Wolf Gold is worth a look…That is if you can find it! Although incredibly difficult to find, Wolf Gold ammunition is loaded just like you’d expect from a company here in the USA, primarily being Boxer primed and loaded in brass cases.
This represents a major divergence from WPA’s previous steel-cased ammo lines but is still extremely affordable and reasonably accurate. If I had to pick between the two, Wolf Gold would be my preference for shooting through my 6.5 Grendel AR-15 primarily because it uses traditional jacket material and forsakes the bi-metal bullets.
It comes loaded with two different options, a 120-grain Multi-Purpose Tactical (MPT) BTHP. This load is designed for accuracy and long-range shooting. The second option is a 123-grain soft point (SP) bullet that is great for hunting.
Overall, I’m not a huge fan of the Wolf Military Classic 6.5 Grendel (though I love their 7.62x39). The bullet design just doesn’t make sense for a Grendel rifle, and I don’t feel the ammo savings really justifies the barrel replacement cost. On the other hand, Wolf Gold is a great option that can be had for a good price; it just has low accessibility due to low supply.
In general, 6.5 Grendel Wolf Military Classic ammo is ideal for plinking and target practice. Wolf Gold 6.5 Grendel is great for target shooting and hunting, plus it is reloadable.
Steel-cased Wolf ammo is not reloadable as it’s Berdan primed, and the steel cases will damage your reloading dies. Furthermore, this ammo is not extremely accurate, holding around 2-3 MOA for the Military Classic variety.
As much as we love ammo, we understand that no manufacturer is perfect. Here are some of the pros and cons of Wolf 6.5 Grendel ammunition you should be aware of.
- Easy to buy in bulk
- Wolf Gold cases are perfect for handloading
- Generally low accuracy
- Steel-cased Military Classic Wolf ammo is not reloadable
- Bi-metal bullets are not good for barrel life
Here are the cartridge specs for Wolf 6.5 Grendel ammunition.
Wolf 6.5 Grendel comes loaded in three different varieties. Below you’ll find our review of each so you can better understand which factory load best fits your shooting needs.
This Wolf Military Classic 100 grain FMJ steel-cased 6.5 Grendel ammunition is the easiest to find and least expensive of the bunch. If you’re looking for a low bullet weight, low recoil plinking load for your Grendel rifle, then this is the answer to your ammo prayers.
These rounds fire their 100-grain full metal jacket bullets at a muzzle velocity of around 2,690 fps and have a muzzle energy of 1,607 ft-lbs. This steel case ammo is Berdan primed, so it’s extremely reliable but not reloadable.
Accuracy for these rounds is reported to be around 2-3 MOA, which is fine for short-range plinking but not the best choice for long-range target practice. However, this ammo is extremely inexpensive compared to new production Grendel ammo from companies like Winchester, Remington, Barnes, and Hornady. This is especially true when you buy bulk Wolf ammo, as 500 rds or more will get your cost per round below $1 at the time of writing, which is pretty good for Grendel ammo.
This rifle ammo is great for plinking and general target practice but should not be used for hunting as the FMJ bullet offers zero expansion, and the terminal ballistics are not that impressive.
Wolf Gold 6.5 Grendel ammo is designed to compete with larger ammunition manufacturers by offering high-quality brass-cased ammo at an affordable price. These Grendel loads are topped with what Wolf calls the 120-grain Multi-Purpose Tactical (MPT) BTHP bullet.
Essentially, this is match-grade ammo without having to pay the traditional $1+/round price tag. Like a Sierra MatchKing bullet, these 120-grain BTHPs are designed for long-range accuracy and excellent external ballistics.
With a muzzle velocity of 2,615 fps and muzzle energy of muzzle energy of 1,822 ft-lbs, this Wolf ammo can shoot out past 500 yards with an advertised accuracy of around 1 MOA.
If you want to go hunting with your 6.5 Grendel rifle and are on a budget, then the Wolf Gold 123 grain SP load will ensure you bring home that trophy buck you’ve been scouting during the off-season.
Loaded with a traditional soft point bullet, this load is designed for improved terminal ballistics to put down game quickly and ethically. The soft point bullet will deform and “mushroom” on impact, creating a wider wound channel to increase blood loss and penetrate deep enough to reach the internal organs.
This means more meat in the freezer and less tracking wounded animals through thick brush. These loads are perfect for whitetail deer, feral hogs, and varmint hunting and give you a lot further effective range than rounds like the 300 Blackout or 6.8 Remington SPC.
Below we’ve compiled ballistics tables for Wolf 6.5 Grendel ammunition currently available on the market. Please note that muzzle velocities listed might vary depending on your rifle barrel length.
Overall, this ammo is pretty meh in my book. I don’t like using steel case ammo in my precision rifles, and the bi-metal jacketed bullets are the last thing you want pounding on your expensive match-grade barrels.
If you have a 6.5 Grendel rifle just for plinking, then this ammo is perfectly fine and great value, as traditional Grendel ammo can be a little pricey. Otherwise, I’d stick to traditional brass case ammo and normal FMJs for plinking, as they won’t damage your barrel as quickly as bi-metal bullets will.
On the other hand, Wolf Gold ammunition is an interesting option, but my main issue is that it is so hard to find. I love the idea of cheap, brass-cased ammo for the 6.5 Grendel, as this is what has limited the cartridge’s acceptance. But sadly, Wolf has not yet been able to produce enough Grendel Gold ammo to really affect the overall popularity of the cartridge.
If you’re in need of some inexpensive 6.5 Grendel Wolf ammo, make sure to check out everything we have here at Ammo.com. We’ll get it shipped to your door quickly and discretely so you can be out on the range shooting ASAP!
Below are some questions we get asked a lot here at Ammo.com about Wolf Military Classic 7.62x39 ammunition.
Yes, if you are looking for inexpensive ammo for plinking and target practice, then it is perfectly good ammo. However, if you want high levels of accuracy, you’ll want to look elsewhere to rounds like Hornady Black 123 gr ELD-M or Barnes Precision Match 120 gr OTM.
The 6.5 Grendel cartridge is capable of excellent long-range accuracy out to 600 yards or more with proper loading. For Wolf 6.5 Grendel, 400 to 500 yards is about as far as I’d take it.
No, Wolf ammo uses non-corrosive Berdan primers for all their steel case 6.5 Grendel ammo and Boxer primers for their Wolf Gold ammo.
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