I’m with you. I don’t believe there a 1 and done solution when it comes to rifle calibers, but we can get close. In Vietnam I carried the standard M-16, lightweight, fast and could carry allot of ammo without having to carry allot of weight. It worked very well for the conditions and terrain we were in.
For the last 20 years I’ve been doing deer and hog hunts for Vets here on the ranch and like any other hunt the campfire conversation can get deep. These boys were fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan where conditions and terrain were much different. The distance at which these battles took place was extended and instead of having to shoot through elephant grass and dense foliage they spent a majority of their time trying to shoot through doors windows and walls. Allot of complaints about the 5.56’s inability to penetrate even the simplest of dirt/adobe style walls. The older M-14 was brought into play with units far more than I was aware of but that required a much heavier, longer weapon and limiting the amount of ammo. The 7.62 had the brute power to punch holes through walls.
The general agreement by most was a rifle built off the AR-15 style rifle but In a larger caliber that could still stay in the Mag restrictions of the AR-15 design thus keep overall size and weight down. The 6.5 Grendel has been brought up many times, too many to ignore. The 120 grain FMJBT gives you 2700 fps with almost 2,000 ft-lbs of energy. Now that’s for a 24 inch barrel and these numbers will change with reduced barrel lengths. When we compare it to the 5.56x45 NATO we see a 62 grain FMJBT at 2830 ft/s with 1,325 ft-lbs from a 20 inch barrel. The 5,56 gives up allot of horsepower to the Grendel. The only downsize from this conversion is a lower Mag capacity and about a 30 percent increase in felt recoil. This leaves them with a weapon far superior in both downrange ballistic’s and enough energy to punch through most walls.
I have been hunting for several years using the 6.5x47 Lapua out of my Rem700.
So I picked the 6.5Grendel for my first AR. I chose the 24in barrel. I have been using 130gr Bergers in my Lapua and will be using the same bullet weight in the Grendel.
I do not feel that the somewhat lower velocity from the Grendel will be an issue for hunting.
I see that the Army has been experimenting with the 6.5USA. It appears to be a knockoff of the Lapua.