At a Glance: 5 Best 6.5 Grendel Uppers For Your Next Build
- OUR TOP PICK: PSA 20″ Rifle-Length 6.5 Grendel 1:8 Stainless Steel 15″ Lightweight M-Lok Upper
- PSA 18″ rifle-length 6.5 Grendel 1:8 stainless steel 15″ lightweight M-LOK upper with BCG & CH
- BEST BUDGET OPTION: PSA 12″ carbine-length 6.5 Grendel 1/8 stainless steel 10″ lightweight m-lok upper – with BCG & CH
Comparison of The 5 Best 6.5 Grendel Uppers For Your Next Build
Our Top Pick
|PSA 20″ Rifle-Length 6.5 Grendel 1:8 Stainless Steel 15″ Lightweight M-Lok Upper||
||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|PSA 18″ rifle-length 6.5 Grendel 1:8 stainless steel 15″ lightweight M-LOK upper with BCG & CH||
||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|PSA 12″ carbine-length 6.5 Grendel 1/8 stainless steel 10″ lightweight m-lok upper – with BCG & CH||
||View Latest Price|
The 6.5 Grendel Upper Reciever is a perfect match for your AR-15 platform. You are missing out if you still do not have a 6.5 Grendel Upper and here is why.
This is a magazine-length cartridge designed for higher accuracy and lower recoil. The best 6.5 Grendel upper receivers allow you to use scopes, lasers, and other accessories without the need to make modifications.
With the market overflowing with options, shopping for the best 6.5 Grendel uppers can be hard. We did the heavy lifting for you and compiled a list of the best brands to help you with your decision.
Here Are The Top Grendel Uppers That Are Worth Your Money
Making a list to include your top choices is a must when you are about to splurge on a 6.5 Grendel upper. Focus on your real purpose and not be blind-sighted by the almost too perfect features and promises of some brands.
PSA 20″ Rifle-Length 6.5 Grendel 1:8 Stainless Steel 15″ Lightweight M-Lok Upper
This excellent shooting gun from Palmetto State Armory is what you need if you are keen on accuracy and excellent quality.
It comes with a 416 stainless steel barrel chambered in a 6.5 Grendel with a twist rate of 1:8. This 20″ rifle-length barrel is finished off with the brand’s 15-inches lightweight M-LOK attachment system that comes integrated with an M4 barrel extension and a rifle length gas system.
There is also an A2 flash hider and an adjustable gas block for added convenience.
The upper built will inspire confidence since it is forged with a 7075-T6 A3 AR that is engineered to MIL-SPECS and comes with an anodized coat. These uppers are all crafted in the US by a well-established mil-spec producer.
Free-floating rails stop the temperature from getting too high, which usually causes a slight discomfort when you are firing.
The bolts use a full-auto profile 9310 shot-peened steel bolt and gas key toughened to meet USGI specifications. Grade 8 screws securely fasten it, and the 8620 steel M-16 profile carrier is nitride treated.
- Compact and lightweight M-LOK lock system
- Free-float handrails
- Full auto-bolt
- Anodized finish
- Durable steel material
- Only available in black
- The charging handle is not for both hands
PSA 18″ rifle-length 6.5 Grendel 1:8 stainless steel 15″ lightweight M-LOK upper with BCG & CH
This upper receiver from Palmetto State Armory provides you with an 18-inch 416R steel barrel with a stainless-steel finish.
With an A2 birdcage muzzle and a twist rate of 1:8, you can’t go wrong, especially with its receiver built using industry-grade 7075 T6 aluminum.
This PSA 18-inch upper comes with A3 standard rails that offer a platform so you can fit and use other accessories like angled foregrips, optical sights, laser and tactical lights, and bipods for a more seamless shooting experience.
You also get a forward assist to give you peace of mind that your bolt is securely locked in place. After all, safety comes first.
This 6.5 Grendel complete upper with BCG has a lightweight M-LOK free-float system made with equally durable 7076 aircraft-grade aluminum. You don’t have to fret about the barrel heating up after hours of firing because the bolted steel boasts an anodized finishing coat.
Additionally, the 9310 steel bolt has an impressive full-auto profile known for its toughness, flexibility, and longevity. The receiver is gas-key hardened just like the other uppers of the same brand and meets all standard prerequisites of the USGI.
- Lightweight M-LOK rail system
- Comes with A3 standard rails
- Use of industry-grade steel and aluminum
- Incorporated forward assist
- Variable gas-block
- Anodized coated bolts
- The charging handle is not ambidextrous
PSA 12″ carbine-length 6.5 Grendel 1/8 stainless steel 10″ lightweight m-lok upper – with BCG & CH
This 12-inch barrel housed in the 6.5 Grendel, from the trusted Palmetto State Armory will soon be your favorite carbine. Wondering why?
As a shooter, you need accuracy, recoil control, and power, and this carbine gives you all three.
Pegged as the most versatile among all the PSA uppers with a twist rate of 1:8, this can be your new hunting rifle, especially if you are looking to replace your traditional bolt-action gun. You can also use this during shooting competitions.
The A2 barrel is made of 416R steel finished with stainless steel, which enhances its durability.
The broader but shorter casing makes room for the gun powder for boosted power. This will also provide you with a better range because of its longer length. Thanks to its free-floating M-LOK rail mechanism, you have room and the perfect fit for additional accessories like scopes, lasers, and lights to improve your shooting without it absorbing the shock.
This is best for hunting in dense forest areas where you won’t typically make shots more extended than a distance of 300 yards. With its low profile and adjustable gas block and a receiver crafted from forged 7075 T6 and the lower receiver in 7075 T6 aluminum, you know you are getting your money’s worth.
- Free-floating M-LOK rail mechanism
- Comes with an A2 barrel made of 416R steel
- Use of industry-grade steel and aluminum
- Adjustable gas-block
- 5-position adjustment
- Free-float fore grip is too thin
- Barrel gets a little hot after continuous firing
Radical Firearms 24″ 6.5 Grendel Type II 1:9 Rifle Length Medium Complete Upper – 15″ M-LOK MHR Gen3 Rail
You can’t get a better deal than the Radical Firearms 24-inches Grendel Complete Upper Receiver. This is your next drop-in answer for your next AR build.
With a law-enforcement quality grade, you can be sure that you are investing your money in an excellent product. You also get a lifetime warranty on purchase.
Expect nothing but outstanding performance within a fair budget with this MIL-SPEC upper receiver. It comes with an M-LOK Hybrid Railing system that gives you one of the most generous 1.8-inches inner diameter that is compatible with most suppressors on the market.
You will also be impressed with the lightning cuts along the rail that reduce the weight and cools it down. The barrel is built of 416R Stainless Steel with a twist rate of 1:9.
With its anti-rotation tabs, solid anodized finish, and non-rotating QD sling mounts, this upper receiver can keep up with your demands during your shooting escapades.
- Law-enforcement quality grade
- Lifetime warranty
- Comes with an M-LOK hybrid railing system
- Rails that help with the weight and cool down
- Comes with non-rotating QD sling mounts and anti-rotation tabs
- The product can expose you to harmful chemicals known to cause cancer and harm the reproductive system.
M4E1 Threaded 18″ 6.5 Grendel Complete Upper Receiver
One of the points of pride of Aero Precision is their superb engineering and manufacturing, and their M4E1 Threaded 18″ 6.5 Grendel Complete Upper Receiver is an epitome of their fine quality.
The company applies its background and skills in aircraft machining and high-precision parts, to their grendels too, so expect nothing short of perfection.
This 18-inches barrel is made of pure steel finished with stainless steel. It is set with a twist rate of 1:8 with additional feed ramps and an A2 style birdcage flash hider.
Its gas block is set to low-profile with a rifle-length gas tube. This design prevents the rail from floating too high, thus lining up with the upper receiver.
Meanwhile, the brand’s upper receiver has improved forging with precise cuts. Its Picatinny rails are lined up with their more developed series handguards. Upon purchase, you also receive a dust cover and a forward assist that you can easily install in your upper receiver.
What is unique is this receiver’s handguard. It comes in black and tan, which is refreshing because of the all-black options that most competitors offer. It also removes as many rails and windows as possible to reduce the overall weight.
Indexing grooves at its noon position and built-in sling sockets allow for added grip.
- Built-in sling sockets
- Seamless rails
- Two-color options
- Compact and lightweight design
- Made of high-quality materials
- The charging handle and bolt carrier needs to be purchased separately
Buyer’s Guide to the 6.5 Grendel Upper
Here are some key factors to consider when shopping for a 6.5 Grendel upper to help you focus on making a great purchase.
You mustn’t settle for whatever is available or whatever is first offered to you. You have to know exactly what you want and why you want it. Sure, picking a new Grendel upper is a little intimidating, but these are the factors you pay attention to:
Coating and Material
The material used on the upper receiver is critical because it directly impacts its accuracy, appearance, and overall durability. Many shooters though offer varying opinions about the best material to use for the upper receiver.
Note that the material used also influences how your rifle fires since it also affects how the barrel reacts to the vibrations. So far, stainless steel seems to be a common and top choice, with the material proven and tested in different circumstances. You can also consider getting a Grendel upper made of blue steel, carbon fiber, nickel, stainless steel, and titanium.
It is best to look for a material that is also coated with chemicals to prevent and protect it from harsh water and corrosion. One of the commonly used coatings is chrome because of its proven contribution to durability.
Twist and Twist Rate
This is also an essential element when shopping for your next upper receiver.
The twist rate is the spin rate of the bullet inside the rifle barrel as it goes out from your gun’s muzzle. Quick or twist spins allow more range.
In contrast to a slow twist rate, you can expect the bullets not to be pushed as far, and since a 6.5 Grendel falls under the long-range cartridge criteria, the recommended twist rate is one spin for every 8 inches or 1:8.
This is the technique used to groove the barrel.
Grooving plays a significant role in the bullet’s twist. Many gun enthusiasts claim that the grooves should be shallow to make a substantial change, while some – based on experience – say that it enhances the barrel and makes it more superior.
With so many options to try, it all depends on your purpose, needs, and personal preference. You can try the three most typical rifling configurations: broach, button, and cut.
The length is also a deciding factor when buying your next best 6.5 Grendel upper.
What is the best barrel length for 6.5 Grendel?
The rule of thumb is that long-range shooting needs a more extended barrel because this produces tons of energy once the firing pin hits the primer. This increases the velocity and the energy of the bullet.
The 6.5 Grendel is intended to fire at 300 to 400 yards, but I still recommend you get a longer barrel. But not that long that carrying it would pose a problem, and you end up compromising your short-range target precision.
For a standard AR-15, the barrel is usually 14.5 to 16-inches long, so opt for a longer barrel if you are concerned about long-range shooting.
Always go for products that are well established when it comes to durability. This is an investment and should serve its purpose for a long time. Look for one that gives you support, warranty, and a long lifespan.
Price and Budget
Gun accessories and key components like the barrel can put a big dent in your budget. I, therefore, recommend that you create a budget for your purchase and stick to it. Research the various options available in the market and compare prices both online and offline, so you get a good quality barrel that is well within your budget.
Find the best grendel 6.5 barrel for your budget in our review here.
With a large number of brands and manufacturers in the market today, you don’t need to go for the most expensive barrels on the market because many players will give you excellent products at extremely competitive prices. You need to invest time and effort to shop around.
What Are The Benefits Of An M-Lok Rail?
The need to attach accessories on a gun or at least any weapon platform rose sometime in the 1970s. The intention was to provide gun operators the advantage of connecting and using different equipment with a broader selection of weapons depending on their current mission or circumstance.
Almost all AR-15 and AR-10 carbine or patterned rifles are outfitted from the factory or easily modified to use their various accessories. The choice will be either to use the M-LOK attachment system or the Picatinny rails.
Most gun users are familiar and more comfortable with Picatinny, but here are some advantages of the M-LOK system.
Endless weapon accessories:
With more and more products entering the gun industry every year, you have many options to pick and choose from. Today, most accessories manufacturers lean towards M-LOK because it is more adaptable, budget-friendly, and an ultimate weight-saver.
Here are some of the accessories you can use with an M-LOK attachment system:
- Angled foregrips for offhand weapon solidity
- Back-up iron sights for secondary sighting alternative
- Optics that can are forward-mounted
- Flashlights for easy target identification
- Night vision for IR illumination and accurate target acquisition
Unlike the Picatinny rail system, the M-LOK has a slot instead of an external-facing rail to attach your weapon accessories. With an M-LOK, two (or more) internal levers can be inserted into space and secured with a hex wrench.
There are fewer chances of slips or accidents because removing the attached mounts and accessories requires the hex screw to be loosened about a quarter turn before you can slip the lever out.
You can’t blame loose mounting attachments anymore because the M-LOK secures your accessories.
Adding an accessory – no matter how small it is – to the front end of your rifle means additional weight. By principle, this would mean that you will need more force to keep it on target, especially if it is farther away from you.
You won’t have any problem with this because the M-LOK system weighs less than the Picatinny since they don’t require the additional mass of external rails.
The Picatinny is on the heftier side with its larger outside dimensions than an M-LOK system. Again, since there is no need for an external rail for attachments, you get a smaller overall diameter with an M-LOK.
Since there are no external rail add-ons, your weapon can have a smoother profile, especially when it comes to hand placements on handguards. The M-LOK gives you a natural and seamless ergonomic fit without adding bulk and weight to your gun.
The M-LOK rail system provides more freedom to manufacturers to develop new and innovative ideas because they are confident with the universal fit across all M-LOK handguards.
This also gives buyers and shoppers lesser hassle when procuring because there would be no additional needs for modifications. It is always going to be a perfect fit.
Do I Need A Forward Assist?
Although it would appear insignificant, it is always recommended for you to have one. A forward assist is a vital feature and a must-have on your upper receiver.
As a device, a forward assist comes as a button situated near the bolt closure. Once you hit this button, it pushes the bolt carrier forward, locking the bolt in place. To guarantee that the extractor is 100% clipped, you need to strike and not force the forward assist.
A forward assist can also come in handy when you are performing a stealth chamber check. Instead of letting the bolt move forward under complete spring tension, you can allow your bolt to go forward gently because the forward assist will be there to close the bolt fully. By doing so, there would only be a distinct but audible click and not a loud sound of a slamming bolt.
What Are the Advantages of a 6.5 Grendel Upper?
Before investing in a 6.5 Grendel upper, you need to know the advantages of the product. Else, there will be no reason at all for you to splurge on an item that holds no value to you. You need to ask yourself, “What’s in it for me?” especially as upper receivers are not cheap.
So here are the perks that you get from having a 6.5 Grendel upper:
Better Rifle Range
The 6.5 Grendel round combines a flat trajectory of 5.56 and a power of 7.2 cartridges, thus reducing the recoil while at the same offering you a flat course during long-range shooting. Overall, this increases the range of your rifle.
Everyone loves to save, and even a few bucks mean a lot. The best news is, you won’t need to allocate any money on buying a new rifle to use your 6.5 Grendel upper. The only adjustment that you need to do is to replace your upper receiver, and that’s it. You can work on your existing rifle and not worry about having to spend another several hundred dollars to a thousand for a new one.
Nobody likes complications, and when you need a new rifle, you need to invest time to shop around to get that perfect unit that can fit your Grendel. Aside from that, there’s also the paperwork that needs to be completed. Save yourself the hassle and upgrade your upper receiver. No modifications are required. Always say yes to more straightforward solutions.
Economics and Weight
Sporting a lighter weight compared to the .308 round is also economically cheaper. If you want to allocate more money to ammunition, this might be a good match.
Overall, any of these 6.5 Grendel upper receivers are a great buy but if you want nothing but the best, then the 20-inch rifle-length 6.5 Grendel from the reputed Palmetto State Armory is a smart buy and a great choice.