.264 LBC-AR: A Grendel clone

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Les Baer Custom has cloned the 6.5mm Grendel and named their creation the .264 LBC-AR. So why would Les Baer, who were well known for producing quality licensed 6.5mm Grendel AR-15 rifles, start competing with Alexander Arms? Let me tell you why.

Back in the late 90s Arne Brennan developed a 6.5mm wildcat cartridge based on the 6mm PPC (a cartridge with a well earned reputation as a highly accurate benchrest cartridge). This first generation cartridge spawned a stable of almost identical and, in fact, compatible cartridges. These include the 6.5mm PPCX, 6.5mm BPC and 6.5mm CSS.

.264 LBC-AR (123 gr.) Sierra Match King (left), 123 gr. Hornady A-Max (right)

Bill Alexander then worked with Arne Brennan to develop a finetuned version of his cartridge for the AR-15 platform. The result was the 6.5mm Grendel. Bill’s company, Alexander Arms, trademarked the name and so no firearm company can use the Grendel name without paying royalties to AA. This is significantly different to the vast majority of cartridges, such as the .223 Rem. or .375 H&H, which do not require royalties.

Back in 2006 the majority stake in Alexander Arms was bought by investment Venturecross Capital. Bill Alexander now owns just 31% of Alexander Arms. An industry source tells me that a couple of years ago Les Baer had an altercation with the new owner of AA. Because of this, Les and his legal team researched the trademark claims and concluded that AA only owned the name, not the cartridge design.

Les then cloned the 6.5mm Grendel and named it the.264 LBC-AR. The LBC-AR differs slightly from the Grendel in that it has a .295 neck (as used by the 6.5mm CSS) and a 1 degree throat angle (as used by the 6.5mm PPCX).

LBC’s Ultimate M4 Flattop Model in .264 LBC-AR ($2240)

I contacted Les Baer Custom and they confirmed that the .264 LBC-AR and 6.5mm Grendel are fully compatible. It was telling in their communications with me that they fastidiously avoided actually using the word “Grendel”. I have not doubt that their legal team is not going to give AA any excuse to take them to court!

.264 LBC-AR

The current .264 LBC-AR on the market is loaded by Black Hills using brass made by Hornady. Hornady is apparently developing a SuperPerformance load for the .264.

The 6.5mm Grendel has a large following. Many would like to see it adopted as by the US Military for the next-generation carbine. Each new commercially produced clone of the 6.5mm Grendel makes it that much harder for AA to profit from the military adoption of a 6.5mm PPC-derived cartridge. It will be interesting to hear what AA think of the LBC-AR. I ask them for a comment but they declined to reply to my request. I have it on good authority that the LBC-AR is not be the mystery 6.5mm cartridge that the Remington / Bushmaster ACR will chamber, my money still is on a necked down version of the .30 RAR.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Vin

    Hey Steve, not to notpick, but i think it’s actually Les Baer :}

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Vin, that is not nitpicking!!! Thanks very much. Pretty embarrassing ;)

  • http://www.predatorwild.com Heath

    I just recently bought a barrel chambered in the 264 for a rifle I am building on a set of Black Rain Ordnance upper and lower. This is going to be my first CNC’ed AR and I am pretty excited to use it this fall on coyotes and deer.

    Anything which has the Grendel name on it is expensive, especially the brass! I wonder how the slowing down of gun sales will affect the success of the 264 LBC-AR. I wish them well.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Heath, I remember the Black Rain receivers you bought. Please send pics when you have completed you .264 build!

  • SpudGun

    The .264 LBC-AR is just too much of a mouthful, so I am now going to refer to this cartridge as the ’6.5 Lezzer’ – not politically correct but certainly easier to say and remember then the official series of numbers and letters.

    When cartridges have designations longer then my PIN number, I have a tendency to write them off as wildcatted niche products.

    Big question, will the 6.5 Lezzer work in the same platforms as 6.5 Greedy?

  • SpudGun

    So that my nicknames for things doesn’t get too confusing – 6.5 Greedy = 6.5 Grendel.

  • Zach

    This is a good development in my view. While I’m not convinced that the 6.5G/264 LBC is really the best compromise to fit within an AR magwell, it would be nice to see it have a chance to really be developed with healthy competition and not continue to be stifled by what are apparently draconian licensing terms for the “official” “Grendel” iteration.

  • B Woodman

    Sooooo.
    Does this mean that I can get one of these “caliber” AR rifles + ammo for less now?

  • Raymond

    Just curious, does anyone know if this royalty situation is the same for other new AR platform rounds like the 6.8 SPC and .458 SOCOM, .450 Bushmaster, etc?

  • Komrad

    This sort of thing makes me mad. Not making the new cartridge, that’s great. Not being able to say it’s chambered in 6.5mm Grendel is just dumb. What ever happened to fair use?

  • Bryan S

    So… will the 2 chamber safely in all rifles made for either cartridge?

  • Clint1911

    I like to see innovators being rewarded for their ideas, and thus would like to see Bill Alexander AND Arne Brennan well compensated for this design if the military uses it.

    But the crap that Venturecross Capital is pulling is beyond belief! Wanting profit is good, wanting profit at the expense of others is bad, and wanting profit where you sabotage yourself AND deny other people options is just plain wrong.

    These fools (seeming) are letting their “wants” get in the way of a fine idea being popularized. Unless you are sony, “Going Propriety” does not work (and if you are sony is does not work often). In a competitive gun and ammo market this is suicide for a fledgling cartridge.

    Worst of all, this nonsense reduces the chance the US military will adopt the 6.5 design. This denies possibly the best choice for a new military caliber and THAT makes all of this copyright crap moot. It is better to have part of something than all of nothing!

    So they get no money, we get no long-range-low-recoil AR cartridge for our military and no surplus for the civves. Epic Fail: when your failure affects everyone around you.

  • http://www.debunkers.org/ SPQR

    I can see why Les Baer wants to avoid litigation, but I think that a trademark on the designation of a cartridge would not be very effective given the doctrines of nominative fair use and other defenses to infringement. It is really not a valid use of trademark law to try to prevent others from producing compatible, competing, ammunition.

    And hopefully everyone knows that you can’t use trademark law to protect the dimensions of the round.

  • root

    This is good.

    6.5×39 or similar should get a chance to thrive and prove its worth.

    Now that 6.5 greedy is not the only game in town maybe folks like bushmaster and pof will make 6.5 rifles.

    http://www.65grendel.com/gallery/65G_Energy_105.gif

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      root, Bushmaster may or may not introduce a 6.5, but I am afraid it won’t be the LBC-AR (politics, so I am told, between Remington and Hornady)

  • Allen

    Model 1 Sales carries AR-15 kits/uppers/barrels in 6.5 Grendel under the pseudonym “6.5 sporter”, and have been for quite some time now. The licensing of this cartridges’ name is a big reason why it hasn’t really blown up like the 6.8SPC.

  • http://www.predatorwild.com Heath

    Any word if anyone will be making some of the 264 LBC magazines?

  • Pinzgauer

    I think you guys may be overstating things a bit. I’m not sure I’d call AA licensing terms “draconian” when it results in less than a $25-50 increase in the cost of a rifle! And includes all the engineering around bolt design, throat, etc.

    Licensed Mags are currently $9-12 depending on where you buy them. Hornady grendel brass is very close in price to the same brass in 6.8, and the loaded ammo is looking similar. Brass cased Wolf Grendel (PP) was less then 5.56 sold at the same time!

    So the idea that licensing the grendel is highway robbery is not accurate! The high price of Lapua & AA brass is probably more due to supply/demand than licensing.

    And in return for using a real Grendel you get a rifle that unlike the 6.8SPC, you know the exact chamber dimensions, all grendel ammo works and is built to the same spec, etc.

    The AA terms are far more than protecting intellectual property…. it also has to do with not compromising the design of the cartridge. And the forums see regular postings of folks using clones with the throat angle or similar changed, and have problems. Not insurmountable, but problems that people using an official grendel are not seeing.

    I’ve not confirmed this, but much of the controversy seems to center around bolts…. The tendency of the clones is to use 7.62×39 bolts. AA has a completely different design that licensed mfg’s use that from all appearances is stronger and has less issues. This seems to be born out in the forums as well. Since the Grendel is near AR-15 limits in terms of bolt thrust, this is a big deal.

    I’m sure the LBC is a nice rifle. And it appears they did not try to “improve” the cartridge, just find a way around licensing. That’s good in one aspect as the Grendel is already fairly well optimized. Most “improvements” just aren’t.

    But it’s also a bit sad, as whenever the sporting arms industry starts undercutting or gouging either one we all lose. I believe there is both justification to trademark the Grendel and that consumers see some protection from AA’s fight to keep the standard pure. And that Bill Alexander does deserve something for his efforts to standardize, promote, and produce the Grendel.

  • Bill

    Wow, lots of poor information in the replies.

    Someone call some of the many licensed Grendel builders and actually ask if THEY feel that the licensing fee for the Grendel name is burdensome. I HAVE talked with them, and not one said anything about the fee being a problem.

    Sabre, Hornady, Satern barrels, Templar Consulting, Precision Firearms, Wolf, or any of the die makers like Lee, Hornady, Redding, etc. Ask them if paying the royalty is an issue?

    In fact, even ask Les Baer exactly how much HE paid in royalties!

    It’s interesting, and probably misleading, at least, that Les Baer is saying that any Grendel ammo can be used in his chamber. Is he sure? Has he tested the rounds with appropriate pressure measurement in his barrels and chambers? Has he tested the Black Hills loads in a Grendel chamber?

    There are subtle differences in the chambers, but anyone in this game with any depth at all recognizes that subtle changes can equal BIG pressure differentials.

    No, not THE Bill Alexander, either!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Bill, the LBC-AR rounds are loaded to lower pressure than the Grendal. I have read on forums about problems with to high pressure Grendal ammo.

      Remember, Grendel is just a trademark!

  • Bill

    One other point. Les Baer makes a big deal out of the fact that their load is optimized for their chamber, a matched chamber/custom load so to speak. What happens when the AMAX 123 is in short supply?

    Will that chamber shoot as well as the Grendel chamber when it comes to different bullets? Doubtful, else why optimize it for the AMAX123?

    The whole point of the unique chamber in the Grendel is to make sure that lots of different bullets shoot well, so the shooter can shoot well with whatever he can get. The chamber in the Grendel is a service rifle type chamber, as long as the bullet measures 6.5mm and the length and weight is not off the charts for the powder load, it will shoot well. Its sort of like having a 4 door pickup truck, it does everything well, but a Corvette WILL blow it off the road in the twisty parts!

    Lots of Grendel guys get sub MOA groups from 4 or 5 different bullets.

    I have no axe to grind with Les Baer, they build incredible rifles and pistols, but realize that they are building a rifle to a VERY SPECIFIC purpose. You are never going to see an LBC issue rifle for anyone in the military or LE.

    IF you think Alexander Arms charges a lot, check out LBC’s prices!

  • Bill

    Steve,

    Lower pressure in what chamber?

    I’ve fired every factory load available, including Wolf, Black Hills (Les Baer), and Alexander Arms. They have all worked well, and I have somewhere approaching 5000 rounds down my current barrel, and my shooting buddy has half that, with no problems to speak of.

    Where have you read about high pressure Grendel ammo, from what reputable authors who have test barrels? Factory Grendel ammo?

    Lots of rumors and innuendo on the web, but is someone actually willing to put their name on these rumors, or is it all “I heard from a reliable source”, who is unwilling to be named?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Bill, I read about problems with over pressured 6.5 Grendel loads a forum where you in fact are a moderator.

      I am an impartial reporter. I believe everything I have stated is true. Alexander Arms did not respond to my request for information. If you would want to talk to Bill Alexander and ask him to contact me with his side of the story, I would appreciate that.

      Ultimately for 6.5 Grendel enthusiasts like you, this is a good move. It will mean more guns, magazine and barrels on the market.

  • http://www.predatorwild.com Heath

    The great thing about Capitalism is that competition ends up getting a better product out there for us (me) to buy. And when enough people are making the parts they’ll be readily available and the price will come down. I welcome all of those things.

  • Bill

    Steve,

    Are you discussing FACTORY overpressure rounds vs. handloaded overpressure rounds?

    If you are discussing factory loads, I have heard the same whispers. Unfortunately, no one is willing to step up and take responsibility for actually having performed those tests. Thus, I have to completely discount the belief that they were actually done, or if done, that the actual findings were accurate. People who do good tests are generally willing to take credit and, more importantly, responsibility!

    If someone did tests and found loads that were overpressure, and DIDN’T warn the public, they would be liable for withholding information in the event that those rounds caused damage, even if the loads were not their own. That is knowledge of a dangerous situation without informing the proper people. It would be beneath contempt to not inform the public if the results were what has been rumored.

    That said, if the rounds were actually overpressured, there should be large numbers of rifles with issues; broken bolts, etc. The fact that there are not wide reports of failures also leads one to the conclusion that the tests were never actually done, or that the results, for whatever reason, were incorrect.

    Finally, look at the factory load data for the Grendel here:
    http://www.alexanderarms.com/Alexander_Arms_Factory_Reloading_Data.xls

    and compare it with the work done by Hodgdon:
    http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp

    When you compare the common loads at each site, you will find that the velocities for powder loads are within just a few feet of each other. That implies that the pressure measurements would also be similar, and since Hodgdon actually posts their pressures, you can see the max loads are within the specs. Most of Bill Alexanders loads were published several years before the Hodgdon work was posted, with the exception of the newer bullets like the TSX.

    Why would AA then build their own factory ammo to go outside those specifications? Why would they risk everything to pick up a few extra feet per second?

    The answer is simple, they don’t.

    If two different pressure breeches are achieving such close results, you have to believe that AA is actually building their ammo to very close tolerances and that they are VERY aware of where those tolerances are.

    Finally, Alexander Arms is busy, and trying to do business and defend your business practices on the internet is less than profitable. I know Bill is actually out of town this week, so I’m not surprised he hasn’t responded. He probably wouldn’t respond anyway, since it doesn’t really matter what he says, there will always be those with another point of view about the situation. (The old adage, “A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still” applies, I suppose)

    You have a great blog, one I have been reading for some time, and I appreciate the effort to get good information out there, it is needed in these times.

    Your posts are informative, and I have found many items that I would never have known were out there if I hadn’t seen them here.

    I appreciate your impartiality, and you do a good job with the information you are given.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Bill, thanks for the info and for your kind words about he blog. As you will have noticed, I did not mention overpressure problems in the actual blog post.

      I contact AA quite a long time ago. I wanted both sides of the story.

  • Bill

    There really aren’t two sides to the story. AA is a business with multiple partners and investors. Like most, it went through many growing pains. Like most, some of those were difficult, messy, and at times perhaps even ugly.

    AA won’t air dirty linen, (good for them from my viewpoint, since we seem to have more dirty linen than anyone has a need for!). They don’t want to hurt themselves, other firearms businesses, or anyone else for that matter.

    Really, they would just like to work hard, turn out good rifles with some innovative features, and get along. Unfortunately, the firearms business doesn’t seem to be of that nature.

    I firmly believe the business doesn’t need gun grabbers to kill it, it is doing a fine job all on its own!

    As a point of interest, off topic, but illustrative of the point, when was the last COMMERCIAL brass manufacturing machinery sold? With your contacts, maybe you can find out. Not to someone like ATK, or another agency like that, but to someone who JUST did commercial brass? (I don’t know the answer, but I sure would like to!) I’m betting, from my talks with people in the industry, that it hasn’t been for many years. Everyone seems to be updating, rebuilding, modifying, etc. because the machinery is now so expensive. How long can that last?

  • John

    Oh, so the 6.5 Grendel and this new .264 AR are the same? just more confusion if you ask me…

  • Al

    Ive only just now heard of the New .264 LBC AR and was just wondering what the MV and ME of this New Cartridge compared to the 6.5 Grendel is…Can anyone tell me? Thx for any and all help…

  • Bill

    Al,

    They are the same. The brass is the same, the loads are the same.

    The only difference is chamber configuration. The Grendel uses a proprietary compound throat, to allow virtually all bullets to shoot well, while the LBC is an attempt to tailor the chamber for a specific bullet.

    The Grendel was conceived as a hunting/service rifle, so lots of different bullets were envisioned, depending on the need. The LBC may or may not shoot well, depending on the bullet you want or need.

  • Al

    Thx Bill, for getting back with me ….

  • http://CincySensei,yahooblogs Brad Quinlan

    Hello Bill,
    I have never heard of a ‘compound throat’ to facilitate different bullets. Can this term be explained…a little? I do reload and understand ‘free-bore’ and bullet ogive. I just can’t get my head around the compound throat. I believe I read that Baer is using 1 degree less in throat angle. (?) So the compound throat does not have walls that are perpendicular to each other?
    Thank you in advance.
    Brad

  • http://CincySensei,yahooblogs Brad Quinlan

    One more item: so is the Baer throat TIGHTER by 1 degree, limiting use of shorter bullets/steeper ogives…which may increase pressures or result in less accuracy, if bullets other than Baer’s (Hornady) are used?

  • Mutt

    I think Brad hits it right on the nose. I ordered a Grendel barrel and bolt because I know they will function properly with any ammo that says Grendel on the box. I don’t know what the LBC will do with different ammos. But, from what little reloading experience I’ve accumulated, even as little as .010 difference in chamber dimensions can produce a pressure spike. I know I won’t get that using a Grendel with Grendel ammo. I’m not sure what I’ll get out of these “Clones”. I think we’ve seen enough of how “Clones” perform in the AR world. Quite honestly, I get a creepy feeling any time I hear anything produced which is considered a “Clone”. That term to me is a short way of saying “close to, but not the same”.

    From what I understand, the .264 LBC is a tighter more “match” like chamber specifically designed aroudn the 123 AMAX. I’m not looking for a rifle that is only good with ONE type of ammo. I want a rifle that will eat anything I put into it (that was made for it … I.E. Grendel). I don’t want a chamber that is going to jam any time I try to put a Wolf or a BlackHills down the tube. I think Bill has good intentions over at AA. He is trying to make something to a Standard. And keep the ammo made for it to the same standard. All the other knock offs are just leaching off the hard work of others.

    Mutt

  • http://www.AR15performance.com constructor

    Owning 3 Grendels in the past and now using a close modification of the 264 LBC chamber, the 264 chamber design with a 1.5 degree throat angle is much more accurate than the Grendels compound throat angle and easier to load for. I chambered a Pac Nor 8 twist 3 groove barrel in an AR and the first 5 shot group printed less than 1/2″ at 100yds using Black Hills 123gr SMK ammo(sold only by LB). That is tough to beat with any load, especially factory ammo. IMO the 1.5degree throat angle makes all the difference in the world.

  • starmetal

    What Bill (the one posting here who by the way is bwaites on the Grendel forum) isn’t telling you that the barrel he has those over 5000 rounds through is a 6.5 CSS barrel by Lothar Walther, but yet he is bashing Les.

  • Stan

    Constructor,

    Of course the fact that you happen to market that configuration wouldn’t have anything to do with your feelings about it, would it?

    Many people have reported half MOA accuracy with the standard Grendel chamber as well.

    Just like all rifles and calibers, they are sometimes individuals!!

    Bill

  • Bill

    There we go, fixed that Stan thing, don’t know why that happened.

    There you are Joe, wondered when you’d show up! Why do you use so many different names, BTW? OldJoe, JFA, starmetal, Tiger…maybe stick with one!

    Lets see, what does Lothar Walther have to do with Les Baer? I’m pretty sure that Les is more than capable of speaking for himself if he so desires. When did you become his voice?

    Bashing Les Baer? Hardly. From my post above….

    “I have no axe to grind with Les Baer, they build incredible rifles and pistols, but realize that they are building a rifle to a VERY SPECIFIC purpose. You are never going to see an LBC issue rifle for anyone in the military or LE.”

    That hardly sounds like bashing!!

  • starmetal

    Actually Bill starmetal is my very first handle that I’ve used for many many years on many forums (even ones that are firearm related) yahoo, etc.. So sometimes I like a change and decided to use it here. I’m being courteous here by telling you that. Sorry if so many names affect you.

    I noticed you haven’t admitted to your rifle being a 6.5 CSS….isn’t that something, “the competitors” rifle.

  • http://www.AR15performance.com constructor

    Well if a compound throat was the cats meow every benchrest shooter in the world would be using them but, they aren’t, that should say it all.
    I was surprised by the accuracy of the Black Hills SMK load.
    Had good accuracy with the 123 Amax and 95gr TTSX too but not as tight as the first 5 shot group of SMKs.

    BTW it’s a 1.5 degree throat, 1 minute 30 seconds is 1.5 degrees.

    Hey Mutt did Alexander design a new rifle or just clone an AR15?
    Would that be leaching? LOL Nice to see you guys again, hope you get the G site up, I stop by to read now and then.

  • Bill

    Starmetal, (Joe)

    The original blogger posted who I was months ago. You’re a VERY latecomer to the blog, and only here because you happened to see it on ARF.com, where you are being censured fairly regularly now it seems. You consistently try to distract by posting things that are completely irrelevant to the topic.

    I’ve never denied that I got a good LW barrel, they do make good barrels, and for the right rifle I might use another. I have no bad feelings toward LW, and Woody was a fine gentleman to me, explaining his side of the story apparently openly. Like my feelinds toward Les Baer, I hold no ill will towards LW. That LW and Alexander Arms had a disagreement is old news.

    Constructor, my only problem with your post is that you failed to point out that you are manufacturer, who has a vested interest in using the LBC chamber, since you are not a licensed 6.5 Grendel manufacturer. Your post makes it sound as if you are simply playing with Grendels, and have decided the LBC is a better chamber, without consideration of the fact that you make a living building rifles.

    As I pointed out many months ago, and as is documented above, I have no doubt the LBC chamber can be very accurate. LBC builds exquisite rifles and backs the accuracy with a guarantee. BUT…the chamber is designed specifically for one bullet. Others might work equally well, but when a chamber is designed for one bullet, the chances for that drop. Thats why people have rifles throated specifically for the bullet that they plan to use, correct?

    Regardless, this is a very old thread, that the two of you happened upon because someone ask a valid question on ARF.com. I don’t understand why you feel the need to pollute it months after the thread was posted.

  • starmetal

    You hit the nail on the head Harry. Same as if flash hiders or muzzle breaks were the cats meow the benchrest crowd would be using those too and they aren’t.

  • Bill

    Rules don’t allow muzzle brakes, too offensive to the guy next to you, plenty of guys would shoot them given the opportunity in F class, and I suspect in BR if given the chance.

  • starmetal

    Wrong again Bill…as usual for you. I’m not the only one getting edited on AR15.COM…..Your boy Dave Fortier got his posts deleted about Bill A and Janne from Lapua developing the 6.5 Grendel. Wonder why Bill? Untruth is why. You see Curlymaple posted more to the truth.

  • http://www.AR15performance.com constructor

    I am a manufacturer and as one I want to put out the most accurate best performing rifles I can, it would not be smart to offer a product that does not perform as well as others with the industry wide competition these days. Chambering 5-10 LBCs with big bolts every now and then is nothing compared to the number of 6BRXs we are building.
    This blog is about the 264LBC, IMO it has proven to be more accurate very quickly so those thinking about it need to know it is a good chamber design.
    If you look back to 1998 Arne Brennan (the true designer of a 6.5 in a PPC case) designed his 65PPC long before Alexander came around and it is very close to the 264 LBC but had a shorter leade in order to jamb VLDs. I have a copy of the original print dated 1998.
    Alexander has everyone thinking he designed a miracle cartridge, the Grendel is just a wildcat someone else designed long before Alexander came along, he just trademarked a name and started building them in quantity instead of high end custom competition rigs like Arne was building.

  • starmetal

    Harry,

    Scott Medesha was making blown forward 6 PPC’s over 15 years ago to be able to use 7.62×39 brass with less case forming steps in his custom built AR15′s.

    The rifle that Bill shot at Blackwater was a 6.5 PPC which Arne came up with.

    Hard to believe how Bill A. has the wool pulled over the eyes of bwaite and hanka.

  • Bill

    Wrong about what? Muzzle brakes are against the rules in F class, and in bench rest.

    Joe, you aren’t worth my time anymore, go ahead and go crawl back under your rock!

    I’m done responding to you, and suspect you will be banned here as well as virtually every board you were on.

  • starmetal

    Impressive post Bill, the true bwaites shows his true colors.

  • Brian

    I’m going to inject a little info about Les Baer into this reply session.
    I served in the USMC during the period when 1911′s were issued. So I love this platform. I didn’t want a full sized but a Commander length pistol. I had purchased a variety of 1911′s and finally decided that I would save my money and purchase a “premium” Les Baer.
    Well multiple problems later I found out that Mr. Baer builds commander length guns on government length frames.
    Not only do some of these guns have problems with reliability, Mr Baer refuses to acknowledge the problem, therefore you are stuck with an additional expense of sending your pistol off to a gunsmith to make it reliable.
    Don’t believe me? It’s all documented at m1911.org.
    So my take is that Mr. Baer is less than ethical, and finding out that he has taken this path surprises me not in the least.
    I can’t understand the outrage at Bill Alexander’s marketing path. I can only assume that each one of us, if we had developed a product, would want the proceeds which were due to us.
    You make your own choices, mine is that Mr. Baer will NEVER receive 1 penny from me in support of his company.

  • starmetal

    Brain,

    Just as the M1911 forum says nobody makes a 1911 that didn’t ever have a problem. One of the main things to know about a new gun is that it needs to be broken in properly….and includes oiling properly and maintenance in addition to the proper ammo. I build 1911s and there are so many things that can affect their proper functioning. Type of ammo, whether the bullet is jacketed or lead and what style it is, seating depth, type of powder, the magazine is a huge culprit, recoil springs, type of lubes and where applied, how you grip the pistol…..the list goes on. I know Les and I can’t believe that they would refuse to correct a problem. Another thing on that….it depends a lot on how a customer approaches a vendor…..I mean if when he first answers the phone and you start off with an attack of accusations and are angry, I wouldn’t want to deal with you either.

    Les makes a fine product or he wouldn’t be in business. Apparently you have a burr under you saddle about him and his company.

  • Brian

    Starmetal
    First off the name is Brian not Brain. Second off yeah I am not happy with Mr. Baer building commander length guns on government lenth frames. YOU don’t have to believe me. As I said it is DOCUMENTED……at m1911.org. Go to the Les Baer forum and look at the sticky’s at the top. Read the one about Commanche pistols.
    If you build 1911′s then you KNOW you don’t match commander top ends to government frames. The Specs are different.
    This has nothing to do with any of the reasons you mentioned for malfunctions.
    I could be rude and say something equally ignorant to you such as Gee you must be in Love with Les to defend him so quickly without bothering to read the freely available information….but I wont do that.
    Cheers
    Brian

  • starmetal

    Brian,

    First is was a typing error on your name. I was so unfortunate that switching two letters would make it appear as insult. That was not my intention at all.

    Yes there are some subtle differences between the slides besides being shortened, but it can be done. How do you think the shortening of the 1911 came along…Colt making shortened slides for everyone? No.

    I wouldn’t say I was in love with Les Baer. I know most the guys in this business including some of the older ones. Happen to know Jimmy Clark Jr pretty well also. You have anything to say bad about him? I haven’t heard Les’s side of the story but I’m betting it’s different then yours.

    You need to chill out.

  • Brian

    Starmetal why do you keep making inflamatory statements?
    First the comment about not want to deal with an irate customer then the bait about Jim Clark Jr.
    I take it from your reply you never bothered to read the posts from the sticky on m1911.org. I can only offer to lead you to the information giving the other side of the story.
    It seems if you were genuinely interested in learning the truth, instead of blindly defending, you would have already read the offered information. If I was an isolated incident then I would agree with you in that it was a burr under my saddle.
    However, and it keeps coming back to this, the posts will show you this is not an isolated incident.
    Furthermore the issue is not with the slide dimension, it is the frame dimensions.
    Again well documented on the m1911.org Les Baer forum Commanche sticky, top of the page. If you care to read this information then I will be willing to continue this conversation with you.

  • starmetal

    Brian,

    I went to the website and could find nothing on a Commanche sticky. I did see where you’re not allowed to post anything negative about a product on that forum. What threads were about the Commanche were high 90 some percent positive. Then there is a thread that it’s discontinued. Point me in the right direction instead of just saying Les Baer forum on the 1911 forum top of the page sticky. Give me the link.

    Find anything inflammatory in this post?????????

  • Brian

    Starmetal
    Here’s the link. http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=76359

  • starmetal

    Brian,

    Okay I read the thread. Funny I couldn’t find it, but I will retry that. I saved it though.

    I see what is being talked about. What I can’t understand is why Les’s pistols are all the same in consistency. I also don’t understand why Les won’t address the issue even if it is only a discussion as to why he has the Comanche set up as he does.

    I will say this: There are some knowledgeable people and some idiots on that thread for sure. Some I’ll call keyboard gunsmiths. If you don’t have the proper tools to do something right, you don’t do it, or you take it to a professional. For example chucking a part in a 1/4 inch drill and using a file certainly isn’t the correct way to do it. I can’t understand why anyone would build a Commander style 1911 and not shorten the appropriate areas and deepen the recoil guide tunnel. That just does not make sense. I’m not buying the talk on that thread about Les not doing them as a money saving factor because they don’t take that much time to do and most that stuff is programed in CNC setups. I have a Colt Combat Commander Gold Cup stainless which is one of 1000 made. I have done my tuning to it and it’s a very accurate reliable pistol. Yes it will slingshot, but here’s what I want to point out on it. The breech face does not come back far enough even to expose the disconnector. The ejector does have the extended nose on it, but not like the earlier ones that protruded into the magazine. I hated those.

    All in all I get the gist of what you are talking about. Myself and another good friend that is a pistol smith in Oklahoma never send out a 1911 without having test fired it for perfect function and reliability. That’s more then just a magazine full too.

    Let me add something about what some people think of as the “Wonderful Great Kimber”. I’ve seen lots of problems on those too, but get this. A good friend of mine bought one and the barrel muzzle didn’t even have a crown on it. How does stuff like that get out the door.

    One more thing. It sounds too, after reading that thread, that many who had problems and got them fixed, really loved their Baer pistol. You don’t seem to have that same attitude, why?

  • Brian

    Starmetal
    I know its a long thread. Pay particular attention to 1911 Tuners posts. He is by far one of the more knowledgable people on the forum. Former USMC Quantico Marsmanship Unit Gunsmith.
    A lot of people are on that forum to learn. I have seen several that have become very knowledgable about the workings, physics etc etc of the 1911. Mostly under the tutelage of 1911Tuner and a few others.
    I can see the viewpoint of cost savings. After all you are only manufacturing and inventorying one frame. I think even the recoil plug is a govt model.
    Why am I upset. Because I saved long and hard for that pistol.
    Because I believe in everything being proper and right.
    There’s a few things in life I won’t tolerate. Mr. Baer has crossed the line on at least three of these.
    After all, you were a staunch supporter in your initial posts….how did you feel when you found out what I was saying is true?
    Do you have a website?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Brian & Starmetal: the comment policy states that discussions must be on topic. This blog is not a general discussion forum. 1911 pistols discussions must be taken elsewhere.

  • starmetal

    Brian,

    I don’t know what to think. Les is a pretty sharp guy and as you probably know he use to race cars too. There’s lots of precision work to be done on engines too and many of the gunsmiths I know started in the automotive field. I also know that Les is arrogant, but arrogant or not, that shouldn’t affect his business attitude. If I made something that someone isn’t happy with I will do my all I can to make it right.

    I don’t think that how someone has acted would affect whether or not if I used their product if that product was good or if it could be corrected to be good. After all I’m not happy with what the Germans, Japanese, and Russians have done in the past wars, but I still love and use the firearms they made.

    No I don’t have a website….don’t want the hassle.

    BTW I can’t see why the Comanche can’t run from the factory correctly when I’ve made up 30 Luger’s on 1911 that run fine. If I can do that Les can do the Comanche right.

  • Tyler

    wow… this was maybe an overload of info. I’m about to spend 1300 for a saturn barrel 22″ bull barrel fluted in 6.5 grendel full upper and vltor upper and daniel defense m16 bolt, some aa brass and redding dies… my point is this is a lot of money for me and now i’m reading all this junk about 264 lbc and 7.62×39 bolts or brass. SHEESH! someone help me out. So if i buy this upper could i shoot les’s ammo in it? If i did would it be bad that their is a difference in throat/neck (or something)? basically, can someone simplify the talk on this blog? I want a 6.5 (i gues grendel) because the balistics seem awesome… long range fun or short range hunt…

    so, if I buy this 6.5 grendel do i need to be careful reloading (beyond normal concern)?

  • starmetal

    Tyler,

    I think you should hold off in my opinion. There’s has been some very important things going on in industry. Hornady submitted the 6.5 Grendel to SAAMI to become a SAAMI spec cartridge. One of their requirements was for Bill Alexander to release the trademark. He wouldn’t or hasn’t done it. Now it won’t be SAAMI spec. Now this is speculation what I’m about to say. Hornady isn’t happy about this. They MAY quit making 6.5 Grendel ammo for AA. I don’t think Lapua is going to renew their contract to supply AA with brass so AA wouldn’t be able to load their factory ammo with the Lapua cases. About all that would be left is Wolf and Wolf certainly isn’t the quality of Hornady or AA ammo.

    Now the only difference in the bolts are AA’s bolt is recessed .011 inch. AA claims this was an engineering move for some idea that it helped the bolt from breaking lugs. You can believe that if you want, the real story is out there. Anyways the 7.62×39 bolts can be had made of the new 9310 alloy just like AA bolt.

    Now on the other hand if AA released the trademark and the cartridge became SAAMI spec (it may be too late now to do all this) then anyone that makes an AR 15 more then likely will chamber their rifles for it and you could possibly see a while range of different manufacturers making it from low line quality to top notch quality.
    You’re hard earned money so decide wisely how you want to spend it.

    Personally I’d hold on to my money or if you wanted a top of the line AR in 6.5 caliber I’d get the Les Baer even though I think they are “too” expensive.

  • Mike

    So to ask the question again in a different way:
    Can commercial .264 LBC-AR rounds be safely shot from a 6.5 Grendel chamber?
    And
    Can commercial 6.5 Grendel rounds(any bullet) be safely shot from a .264 LBC-AR chamber?
    Thanks

    Mike

  • starmetal

    Mike,

    Yes on both. There’s basically nothing different in the ammo. Just different loadings is about all. Actually there are only little subtle changes between the chambers too. Yes it is perfectly safe to interchange those two rounds.

    Joe

  • Mike

    Starmetal/Joe,
    Thanks for the clarification. I have been considering the LBC AR chamber, will use it in my next AR type platform, and wanted to be sure I could try Grendel ammo safely to see what it likes the best. I have had two guns go bang in the wrong direction(one case rupture and one failure to lock properly during firing) and it is not an experience I would like to have again. Thanks

    Mike

  • Eric Lewis

    I purchased a 6.5 Grendel from Les Baer. A few weeks after receiving the rifle, and before I had a chance to shoot it, I got a personal phone call from Les asking me to return the bolt (He must have contacted my dealer who gave him my phone number). Les indicated that there had been some problems with a small batch of the bolts – apparently lugs were breaking. About two weeks later I had the new bolt and thought little of the incident. However, I then learned that my “Grendel” was no longer being made and that LB had switched to the .264 LBC-AR. I called the LBC and was informed that I could use his .264 loads in my “Grendel.” (I also have a few boxes of “Grendel” ammunition sold to me by LBC.) Two questions: Does my “Grendel” stamped Les Baer have the Grendel chamber or the .264 LBC chamber? What is the difference between the bolt that Les recalled and the one I now have? I have not fired the rifle, but am looking forward to taking it to the range this Spring.

  • starmetal

    Eric,

    If your rifle is marked as a 6.5 Grendel you have the Grendel chamber. The only difference between the two chambers is that the Grendel chamber has the compound throat and the 264 LBC has a single angle throat. The Grendel chamber has the .300 neck whereas the 264 LBC has a .295 neck. Other then those two things the same.

    Not sure what and if anything changed on the bolt. When Les was making the Grendel he got bolts from AA. When he quit them and started on his own rifle he purchased the bolts. At any rate I’m pretty sure both bolts have the recessed face.

    For more complete answers and lots of other good stuff come over to our new forum and sign up: http://www.beyond556.com/bboard/forum.php

  • Eric

    starmetal,

    Thanks. My LBC rifle is stamped “Grendel.” I bought it shortly before Les Baer switched to the .264 LBC. I have found dealing with Les Baer quite pleasant. In this case, and a situation that I had with a 1911 several years ago, he took personal interest in rectifying the problem and was always willing to talk with me directly.

    I live near Radford, VA and many years ago talked briefly with two gentlemen (I suspect one was Mr. Alexander) testing what would eventually become the .500 Beowulf. As the muzzle blast from the bench next to me was clearly not your average AR, I couldn’t resist enquiring. I thought the concept a little odd at the time, but about a year or two later I saw the final product, which I bought, at my local gun store. I am partial to both AA and Les Baer, and I’ve been thinking about purchasing an AA upper in 6.5 Grendel. I like the idea of buying a product made ‘down the street’ so to speak. Needless to say, I’ve found the whole AA vs. Les Baer discussion quite interesting even though the technical analysis sometimes surpasses my limited understanding.

    I’ll check out your new forum!

    Eric

  • Starmetal

    *Important Notice*

    Satern received the 60 day notification on April 1st, 2011 from Alexander Arms, that our licensing agreement which we signed January 5, 2010 (which was for 10 years) will be terminated as of May 30th, 2011. This was through no fault of our own.

    Terms of the new agreement offered were different and as of today we have decided not to sign that agreement. So after an almost 5 year run we will no longer be manufacturing Grendel(R) and/or Beowulf(R) cut rifled barrels.

    According to our existing agreement, Satern Custom Machining, Inc. has until May 30th, 2011 to accept orders for existing cut rifled Grendel(R) barrels. We have every intention of finishing our existing orders and all orders placed (within reason and at our discretion) on or before May 30th, 2011. Feel free to call or email with your barrel requests. If it fits within the parameters of our remaining ability to manufacture and deliver your order we will certainly accommodate that.

    We would like to express our appreciation to our Grendel(R) and Beowulf(R) customers. It has been a pleasure to serve you for five years. Our policy has always been diversification. We will continue to manufacture superb cut rifled barrels in a variety of calibers and configurations. We look forward to continuing to meet your cut rifled barrel needs.

    Respectfully,

    Deb and Steve Satern

    FYI: Liberty Barrels, Inc. also has declined to sign the new licensing agreement presented by Alexander Arms.

    Eric, Liberty’s President, has assured me that I will have some great deals on Beowulf(R) and Grendel(R) button rifled barrels to offer you!

    Welcome to Satern Custom Machining!

  • Larry

    I’m looking at having a AR-10 or the DPMS LR re-barreled to shoot 7mm BR.
    I think this is a great cartridge for a conversion. I’ve been shooting it in a XP-100 for years. For matches and hunting both, with a large variety of bullet to load it with, it makes it a good caliber for this.

  • http://www.weather.com Chareles

    Okay, for those who purchased the Les Bauer 6.5 when it came out and called it the Grendel then the question’s are these.

    1. The Black Hills Ammo sold then by L.B. for the 6.5 is Safe ?

    2. Did L. B. recall All Bolts that had a problem ?

    3. What Ammo is being Sold now for the orginal L.B. 6.5. that is safe ?

    4. Was there a recall ?

    5. Read Here that the new 6.5./.264 ammo is Safe/Okay for use in the orginal L.B. 6.5. that is a correct ?

    6. As for Accuracy what is the actual diferences.

    7. Was Les exchanging old barrels or bolts on request ?

  • bevohill

    Wow. Just read all the threads about the Les Baer .264, very informative. I have been thinking about purchasing a Baer AR. I own a Baer SRP commander with a few hundred rounds through it with white box Win. ammo. Very accurate no malfunctions, so the talk about that was welcome info. too. Thanks.