Best 6.5 Grendel Barrels – Which Will Complete Your Build?

| Last Updated: June 2, 2021

A barrel is certainly the most important part of a rifle, and it has to be designed with utter precision. If it was not for the innovation in rifle barrel manufacturing, today’s rifles wouldn’t shoot any better than a musket. The 6.5 Grendel is not just a layman’s ammunition. It has been designed for short to long-range precision shooting and to reduce the recoil of a rifle. To achieve this, the barrel must be designed in harmony with its features.

Here, we’ll discuss the benefits of investing in a new barrel for your 6.5 Grendel, along with the aspects you must consider before buying one. We’ll also take a note of the major and minor differences in different barrels, so you can get every point straight. To wrap things up, we have also handpicked and reviewed the best 6.5 Grendel barrels on the market, making this article a full and comprehensive guide for you.

Note: Please check permitted barrel/rifle length according to your state laws, before upgrading.

Comparison of the Best 6.5 Grendel Barrels 

  • Mid-Length Heavy Contour Barrel for Rugged Shooting
  • Fluted Barrel for Lightweight and Better Cooling
  • 5R Rifling Prevents Bullet Distortion
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  • 18-Inch Barrel With Mid-length Gas System
  • Hybrid Contour and Threaded Muzzle for Accessories
  • Aesthetically Pleasing Stainless Steel Finish
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  • Long Barrel Good for Long Range Shooting
  • Features 11 Degree Target Crown
  • 5R Rifled and Includes Matched Type II Bolt
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  • 20-Inch Barrel Good for Overall Use
  • 1:8 Twist Rate for Accuracy With Multiple Ammo
  • Threaded muzzle with 5/8x24 TPI Thread Pitch
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  • Stainless Steel Inner Core Sleeved in Roll-Wrapped Carbon Fiber
  • The Carbon Fiber Jacket Further Enhances Cooling
  • Works Only With a Rifle-Length Gas Tube
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Are All 6.5 Grendel Barrels the Same?

Absolutely, not. Just like every AR-15 looks identical from the outside, but each has different modifications, so do the 6.5 Grendel barrels. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll talk about the differences among the barrels mentioned in this very article.

The very first difference among barrels is the gas length system. Some barrels use the full-length gas system while some use carbine length. However, the choice of a gas system also depends directly upon the length of the barrel, which for this matter is also a differentiating factor. The length of the barrel directly determines the range you’ll be shooting at. Longer barrels for long range and vice versa.

6.5 Grendel (Source)

Another difference in different barrels is the weight. It is affected by the material used to manufacture the barrel, its contour, and fluting (also affecting the heat dissipation capability).

The material used in manufacturing a barrel also plays an important role over a long period of time. Plus, having some sort of corrosion-resistant coating on the inside and outside also helps.

Perks of Investing in a Quality Barrel for Your 6.5 Grendel

If you’ve bought an entirely new custom 6.5 Grendel AR-15, just the grendel upper, or simply in the market for a new barrel, try to go for the best barrel available, without considering the price. There are several astounding perks of choosing a top-of-the-line barrel for your 6.5 Grendel. Here are a few:

Accuracy: 6.5 Grendel is a low-recoil and brutally accurate caliber, especially over long ranges. It’s what it was designed for. Upgrading to an excellent barrel will improve the overall accuracy of your rifle by compensating for factors like stiffness, heat, and barrel whip.

Recurring Costs: A barrel is most likely to chip-off to the extent of replacement after 10-20 thousand rounds, depending upon the rate of fire and level of maintenance. Top-of-the-line barrels tend to have a longer life with consistent performance. So they can actually double the time of replacement.  

Weight/ Profile: A good barrel is more than just a bored steel rod. A good barrel features an appropriate weight (due to material and fluting) depending upon its length and intended use, which inevitably affects the overall shooting performance.

Performance: Using a good barrel allows you space to make relevant upgrades with your changing needs, such as a pre-threaded muzzle for compatibility with compensators and brakes.

Aesthetics: This really might not sound like a perk, but some top-of-the-class barrels are extremely beautiful. It helps whether you like to show off at the range, or just like owning sassy items.

Aspects to Consider When Purchasing a New 6.5 Grendel Barrel

Once you have learned the benefits of upgrading your 6.5 Grendel Barrel, you must also learn about the important aspects to consider when purchasing one. Let’s evaluate these one by one.

Length: The very first aspect to be taken into consideration is the length. The length of not just the barrel, but also of the gas tube. If you buy a 16-inch barrel, you have to get a gas tube that's the right length. If your intention is to use your rifle for long range shooting, you should go for a longer barrel, such as 20+ inches, as the longer barrel gives gasses more room to expand. Which will then propel the bullet to longer distances.

Twist Rate/Rifling: The twist rate refers to the number of inches the bullet travels to take one full rotation. Twist rate is the measure of the stability of the barrel. Heavier bullets tend to have a lower ratio as compared to lighter ones. For example, a 1:9 barrel twist is optimum for a bullet weighing up to 160 grains, whereas a 1:12 twist rate is good for an 80-grain bullet.

Contour/Fluting: You might notice some barrels featuring textures and contours over their surface. This removal of extra material is known as fluting. A fluted barrel is lighter in weight and offers better cooling for a prolonged period of shooting. If it's not for heavy and long-range barrels over 20 inches in length, you must consider buying a fluted barrel.

Review of the Best 6.5 Grendel Barrels

Based on the benefits of upgrading your 6.5 Grendel barrel, and the considerations for doing it, we have handpicked and compiled the best 6.5 Grendel barrels on the market.

Best Overall:
Faxon Firearms - AR-15 Barrels 6.5 Grendel Heavy Profile


  • Fluted barrel
  • Accessory ready
  • High-quality construction
  • Properly coated on both sides


  • None

Somehow Faxon is on the top of the list every time and everywhere AR barrels are concerned. Maybe it is their background in aerospace design that gives them the knowledge to manufacture with such precision. This heavy profile barrel has been made using high-grade 416R stainless steel, featuring a nitride finish on the outside, as well as inside.

It is available in a couple of different lengths. The 18” barrel has a mid-length gas port, whereas the 20” barrel has a rifle-length gas tube. The barrel features a 1:8 twist rate, which is enough to stabilize the heaviest bullet you're ever going to fire from your 6.5 Grendel rifle.

The muzzle is threaded to accept muzzle brakes/compensator/flash-hiders on the go. Plus, the barrel has been fluted to reduce the weight and promote quick cooling as you burn through your ammunition without a halt. The black finish and contour make it look aesthetically pleasing as well.

Bottom Line

The Faxon Firearms barrel is the best choice to upgrade your 6.5 Grendel rifle. It is lightweight, has a fluted contour, and a stable twist rate. Plus, the nitride coating will make sure it lasts a long time.

 Criterion Barrels Inc - AR-15 Barrels 6.5 Grendel Hybrid


  • Hybrid contour
  • Threaded muzzle
  • Gas system choice
  • Optimum twist rate


  • Comparatively heavy

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the new users say that this barrel was quick and easy to install. But what really took the cake was the ability to boost their rifle’s accuracy after a short break-in period with this barrel. Overall, the new users had no complaints about the quality and cleaning was easy and quick most of the time.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a hybrid barrel that can handle the long-range and super accurate 6.5 Grendel rounds. So it can be useful in any application where long-range shooting is the norm. That could range from hunting or casual target shooting. You’d be quite impressed with the overall performance of your rifle even if it means just upgrading the barrel and nothing else.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are using an AR-15 rifle that will be perfect for multiple purposes, this barrel will be a great option. Especially if you are looking for something that will last you a long period of time. You won’t have to worry about switching out barrels every so often because of poor quality.

Bottom Line

This 6.5 Grendel AR-15 barrel from Criterion Barrels features a sturdy stainless steel construction, that is rustproof. The barrel has a hybrid contour and is available in a stainless steel and black finish. The 5/8-24 TPI threaded muzzle is compatible with most aftermarket brakes and suppressors designed for 6.5 Grendel and similar calibers.

The manufacturer also offers you an option to choose between a mid-length or rifle-length gas system according to your choice. The barrel has a 1:8 twist, so you can shoot heavy grain projectiles over a long distance with sheer accuracy.

Bottom Line

This hybrid barrel is a good mix of strength and durability, along with an optimum twist rate. Hence, making it useful for hunting and mid-range precision shooting. The barrel is comparatively heavy compared to its counterparts, but it will still help you with countering muzzle jump.

3. Brownells - AR-15 6.5 Grendel Barrels Stainless Steel 24"


  • Optimal twist rate
  • Includes matched bolt
  • Good for long range shooting
  • Magnetic particle inspected for quality


  • Heavy
  • Fitting required

What Recent Buyers Report

This is perfect for new users who were looking for a barrel that would give their shots a bit more of a boost in velocity but also looking for a bump up in accuracy as well. After installation and a short break-in period, the barrel worked like a charm for most users. One user said that he was long-suffering in looking for a barrel that delivered the perfect kill shot. And he got just that with this barrel. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Made from high-quality stainless steel, this barrel is a lightweight but very tough customer. Just because it’s super sturdy it doesn’t mean that it will be heavy. Plus, it can be easy to clean and maintain once you have fired off so many shots. And the better you take care of it, the longer it will last. If you want a barrel that won’t give you grief in the cleaning and maintenance end of things (and still deliver accurate shots from various distances), this could be the barrel that fits you best. 

This 6.5 Grendel Barrel from Brownells is 24 inches long and is intended to be used for very long range shooting (800+ yards). The barrel is constructed from 416-R stainless-steel and tapered to a medium profile with a threaded muzzle and an 11-degree target crown.

The barrel is a bit on the heavy side, but that’s how you’ll get consistent groups over long range. The 1:8 twist rate of the barrel is optimum to propel projectiles of any weights over long distances accurately.

The package also includes a matched Type II bolt so you don’t have to find one separately. Each of these barrels is magnetic particle inspected before leaving the facility, so you can rest assured of the quality.

Who Will Use This Most

For a barrel at this length, it’s more apt to become the favorite for varmint and big game hunters. If you want something that will deliver fast and accurate kill shots, this barrel might not be something to underestimate. You’ll be surprised by how far and fast your shots will go the moment you pull the trigger. And let’s not forget, this will happen with every shot you fire. 

Bottom Line

The Brownells AR-15 6.5 Grendel 24 inch Stainless Steel barrel could be the odds-on favorite for you or any hunter that is looking for the best barrel for their hunting rifles. The 6.5 Grendel is accurate, but if you want to add a little speed to it then this could be the barrel that’s right up your alley. The longer the barrel, the better the velocity. 

The barrel has an optimal twist rate to handle different grains, plus the package includes a matched type II bolt so there are no compatibility issues. Good for competitions and long range hunting.

Best for the Money:
 Brownells - AR-15 6.5 Grendel Barrels Stainless Steel 20"


  • 1:8 twist rate
  • Solid construction
  • Inspected for quality
  • Includes matched bolt
  • Rifle-length gas system
  • Easy to clean and maintain


  • Heavy (but helps in getting consistent groups)

What Recent Buyers Report

According to new users, this barrel was quick to install and was accurate and precise right out of the box. About two-thirds of the new users were hunters that were looking for a simple to install, super durable barrel that would deliver on the promise. One user said he was not disappointed in this barrel in the slightest and it delivered precise, tight shooting groups when he was varmint hunting the first couple of times he used it. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This barrel from Brownells is just a shortened version of the one mentioned above. It is a 20-inch long barrel good for competitions, target practice, and hunting. The barrel is constructed from 416-R stainless-steel bar stock and tapered to a medium profile with a .750-inch gas journal that fits a wide variety of shooting needs.

The barrel has a 1:8 twist rate to let you shoot bullets of different weights (grains) with accuracy. The barrel comes with a matched Type II bolt, which saves you some money, and also protects you from the hassle of searching for one (if needed).

The barrel features a rifle-length gas system, which means that the projectile is ejected at a maximum velocity from the muzzle, hence reaching the maximum range.

Who Will Use This Most

If you want a barrel that will give you more of a boost in accuracy and a slight bump up in velocity, this might be your cup of coffee. All you need to do is install this and you’ll be in business. You might see an instant change in results compared to your old barrel. If that isn’t impressive enough, we don’t know what will be. 

Bottom Line

The Brownells AR-15 20-inch 6.5 Grendel Stainless Steel barrel is a solid, well-built barrel that will give your AR-15 rifle the best performance possible. You can turn your rifle into a sharp-shooting machine with just a few changes in accessories. The barrel is aptly priced, and the included bolt also justifies it.

5. Bsf Barrels - AR-15 Barrel Carbon Fiber 6.5 Grendel Rifle Gas System 1-8 Twist


  • Easy to install
  • Expedited cooling
  • Quality construction
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Performs exceptionally well at all ranges


  • Pricey(if price is a consideration)

What Recent Buyers Report

This barrel won over so many recent buyers because of its accuracy. And the shooting groups at 100 yards or more can prove it. They were more impressed when they were able to keep the barrel nice and cool despite the extended shooting sessions at the range. One user found out “the hard way” when he accidentally touched the barrel only to not burn himself. He also added that the barrel was lightweight and pretty darn sturdy for a heavy-hitting rifle like this. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This masterpiece from BSF features an 18-inch, match-grade inner barrel of double stress-relieved 416R stainless steel with a carbon fiber wrap on the outside, creating an air pocket in between. This allows quick cooling of the barrel as you shoot.

Additionally, the vents on the carbon fiber sleeve expedite the cooling process. Considering its cooling capabilities, the barrel is exceptional for competition shooting.

The barrel is easy to install and looks splendid due to the combination of chrome and black colors. Additionally, the barrel is also lightweight, but sturdy enough to compensate for muzzle jump and recoil while you shoot.

Who Will Use This Most

This could be the barrel for you if you are looking for something that is lightweight, high in quality, and designed for multiple purposes. In other words, you are looking for a barrel that might be the closest you can get to a do-it-all barrel that can handle shot after shot. If durability and reliability are two things you need in a barrel then this could be something worth considering. 

Bottom Line

The BSF Barrels AR-15 Carbon Fiber 6.5 Grendel Rifle Gas System Barrel might be the go-to option for any AR-15 shooter. The price of this barrel might concern you a bit, but is still the best choice for your 6.5 Grendel rifle. The combination of steel and carbon fiber make the cooling and harmonics of the barrel exceptionally good. The barrel is excellent for competitions and precision shooting.


A barrel affects the accuracy of your rifle over long and short distances. Choosing the right barrel could mean the difference between failure and success. Investing in a good barrel for your 6.5 Grendel rifle will complement the range and accuracy of the cartridge, and will prove to be a worthy and long-lasting investment for you. However, you must take factors like contour, weight, twist rate, and length into consideration before buying a barrel for your rifle. 

Ankit Kumar is an engineer turned writer who specializes in topics related to firearms, gun safety and weapon tech. His passion towards enrolling in the Army drifted his interest towards light and heavy firearms. He’s a qualified competitive air rifle shooter and an avid nature lover. His other areas of expertise include survival, prepping and firearms/ammo storage. When he’s not writing, he’s either learning a new skill, trekking or enjoying a long drive.

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