Frequently Asked Questions about Products
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from visitors like yourself. If you have a question that is not answered here, feel free to ask us and we will respond to you as soon as possible. These questions are listed in no particular order.
|Q1.||Will your upper receivers fit on my AR-15 lower receiver?|
|All of our upper receiver assemblies will fit on any mil-spec AR-15 lower receiver. No fitting or modifications are needed. If your lower receiver is made to standard AR-15 specifications, our upper receivers will drop right on.|
|Q2.||Will my mil-spec AR-15 upper receiver assembly work on your .50 Beowulf or 6.5 Grendel lower receiver?|
|Yes, it will work. Each and every upper and lower receiver that we produce is designed around standard AR-15 specifications and can be used interchangeably with other mil-spec uppers and lowers as long as those products also require standard AR-15 specifications.|
|Q3.||If I place an order with my credit card and the items are back-ordered, will my card be charged?|
|Alexander Arms will not charge your credit card until the item is ready to be shipped. Please see our Ordering FAQs page for more details about order processing and shipment.|
|Q4.||Will my .50 Beowulf® or 6.5 Grendel upper receiver require me to replace the buffer or buffer spring with something heavier or stronger?
|No, replacement of the buffer or buffer spring components is not required. Both the .50 Beowulf and 6.5 Grendel are designed to work specifically with mil-spec lower receiver assemblies containing mil-spec components. If non-standard components are used, function issues are likely to occur as a result.
|Q5.||My .50 Beowulf® has no ejection port cover. Did you forget to put it on?|
|No, we didn't forget it. The .50 Beowulf® was designed to not have an ejection port cover. Clearly, the port is much larger than a typical AR-15, so no, you cannot retrofit one. Trust us, you don't need it.|
|Q6.||Will the Beowulf® magazine feed .223 ammunition?|
|No, it will not.|
|Q7.||Can any .223 magazine feed .50 Beowulf® ammunition?|
|They can, but the feed lips need to be opened up to allow for the much larger cartridge and a special follower needs to be installed to allow for the single stack configuration of the Beowulf® cartridge. We do not sell springs or followers. However, we do sell complete .50 Beowulf magazines in our Online Store.|
|Q8.||How effective is the muzzle brake on the .50 Beowulf®?|
|They are extremely effective. Felt recoil is somewhat subjective, but we estimate at least a 30% and possibly up to 50% recoil reduction. Obviously, the muzzle blast noise is dramatically increased, but it makes the recoil feel more like a 20-gauge shotgun load. It is the single best option you can buy with the weapon.|
|Q9.||What is the diameter of .50 Beowulf® and 6.5 Grendel barrels?|
|.50 Beowulf® barrels are 0.980" diameter under the hand guard and have a gas block diameter of 0.906". They are set to balance well between the hands and have a responsive feel. The 24" 6.5 Grendel barrel is 0.890" under the hand guard and 0.830" in front of the gas block. The profile provides a good foundation for shooting from a rest or bipod as the center of gravity of the gun is just behind the front hand position, but, equally, the barrel is not overly heavy and carries well. The weight of this barrel will not flex the standard receiver. The 19.5" 6.5 Grendel barrel is not only shorter, but is also a different contour to suit the differing application. This barrel is 0.770" under the hand guards and moves the center of gravity backward to give a lighter handling and carrying rifle, but still capable from a bipod. The lightest 6.5 Grendel barrels are the Tactical series. These are 0.730" under the hand guards and are very light for fast responsive fire. Obviously, they are easy to carry, but, with the center of gravity near the rear hand, they are more of a challenge to shoot from a bipod or bags.|
|Q10.||Which gun is better for hunting and why?|
|It is very difficult to compare the .50 Beowulf® and the 6.5 Grendel when discussing hunting as they are very dissimilar guns and were built for very dissimilar hunting needs. Equally, hunting equipment is somewhat a personal choice, so it is only possible to give general advice. The .50 Beowulf® is particularly well-suited to close cover hunting where shots are not likely to exceed 200 yards, but it is imperative to anchor the game quickly. The heavy bullets from the Beowulf® are quite capable of breaking both shoulders of a moose, but the trajectory of the round will limit the range over which it can be used. Conversely, the 6.5 Grendel has the ability to operate from 0 to 1,000 yards with flat trajectories and bullets well-suited to deer and varmints. For general all round use the 6.5 Grendel is probably superior but it lacks the pure short range smashing power of the .50 Beowulf®.|
|Q11.||What are the differences in barrel lengths and what length is better for given circumstances?|
|This mainly refers to the 6.5 Grendel as the .50 Beowulf® is best in a 16" barrel. The two 6.5 Grendel barrels that are best suited for hunting are the 24" and 20" barrels. The shorter tactical barrels may be applied, but, beyond slightly lighter weight and handier silhouette, they have no advantage and give up velocity. However, they are superb choices for general shooting or a utility rifle. The 24" 6.5 Grendel is well-suited to most hunting applications and, if one can live with the longer barrel, it is the most versatile of the 6.5 Grendel barrels. Accuracy is superb and the rifle is capable out to 1,000 yards with the right ammunition. The balance of the gun assists stability in most position-shooting and it is excellent for use from a bipod. This one barrel can bridge across a range of shooting tasks including long-range varmint work. The 20" barrel 6.5 Grendel is both shorter and lighter than the 24" gun, which is a big consideration if the gun must be carried. While it gives up some stability from a bipod, it is just a versatile.|
|Q12.||What is the origin of the 6.5 Grendel cartridge?|
|The origin of the 6.5 Grendel may be traced back to the Soviet 7.62x39. This was modified for European competition, being necked down to form the 220 Russian. From here, Dr. Lou Palmisano and Ferris Pindel took the case and blew out the shoulder to create the 22 PPC and the 6mm PPC, which currently dominate bench rest competitions. In designing the 6.5 Grendel, the starting position was the PPC design, but it quickly became apparent that the caliber of the PPC was not as flexible as was needed. Early research with a wildcat 6.5 PPC also showed that the case lacked powder capacity, which, in turn, created pressure problems. The final 6.5 Grendel design draws on the PPC, but it is very much its own cartridge. The internal capacity was expanded by shifting the shoulder forward and the wall thicknesses in the neck and shoulder were increased to provide a more robust case capable of being fed within a semi-automatic rifle. Finally, the external taper of the case was adjusted for reliable feed in the magazine.|
|Q13.||What is the origin of the .50 Beowulf® cartridge?
|The .50 Beowulf® is the original big bore caliber for the AR style rifle. Its parentage is from the 50AE, which IMI introduced for the Desert Eagle pistol, but, as is obvious from its external appearance, this is a somewhat removed relation. From the ground up, the .50 Beowulf® is simply the biggest cartridge that can be fed reliably through an AR style mechanism without massive internal changes. The case length is set to allow the use of near standard magazines without having to use filler blocks and the volume allows the cartridge to work at very modest pressures, which is essential for such a large cartridge to be safe in the AR chassis.|
|Q14.||To what is the recoil of the .50 Beowulf® most similar?|
|.50 Beowulf® recoil can best be described as similar to a light 12-gauge shotgun load. With the addition of the muzzle brake, the recoil is reduced between 30% and 50%, depending upon the shooter's perception.|
|Q15.||Can I use a collapsible butt stock on any Alexander Arms® lowers?|
|Any good quality, collapsible stock may be used on both the .50 Beowulf® and the 6.5 Grendel. The buffer should be the carbine type, which is externally-identical to the rifle buffer, but shorter. This buffer and spring is included with the stock. Some people choose to fit heavier buffers to slightly reduce the felt recoil, these being either the H1 type, which has a mix of steel and tungsten weights, or the H2 type, which has all tungsten weights, but the function of the gun must be checked to ensure that it is cycling fully. The heavy buffers designed for 9mm guns should not be used.|
|Q16.||At what distance do the .50 Beowulf® and 6.5 Grendel perform most accurately?|
|The accuracy of any gun is a function of the velocity, the barrel twist rate, and the bullet. The .50 Beowulf® is not optimized for accuracy, but will typically report 1-inch to 1.5-inch groups or better at 100 yards. Good hand-loads will shrink these groups, but the .50 Beowulf® is simply not a bench rifle. The 6.5 Grendel is capable of superb accuracy and the barrels are set up to capitalize on this ability at ranges of 200 yards and greater with bullets in the 90-grain to 130-grain class.|
|Q17.||Will 6.5 Grendel or .50 Beowulf cartridges feed from a .223 magazine?|
|6.5 Grendel and .50 Beowulf cartridges will not feed properly or reliably from .223 magazines. Magazines for these cartridges are proprietary and can be purchased in our Online Store.|
|Q18.||What is the twist rate on the 20" and 24" 6.5 Grendel barrels?|
|The twist rate for the 6.5 Grendel 20" and 24" barrels is 1 turn in 9 inches. The twist rate for the 6.5 caliber must be carefully matched to the application for the best results, and one should note that we do not refer to 100 yard accuracy. This is because the ideal twist for such a range would not work well at longer ranges with heavier bullets.|
|Q19.||What is the twist rate on the 12" and 16.5" .50 Beowulf® barrel?|
|The twist rate for both the 12" and 16" .50 Beowulf® barrels is 1 turn in 20 inches. The twist was chosen to allow the widest possible selection of bullet types and loads to be fired from the gun, even loads that are sub-sonic.|
|Q20.||Can I purchase a 24-inch .50 Beowulf® barrel?|
|A 24-inch .50 Beowulf® barrel cannot be purchased. We have sold these in the past, but velocity gains are minimal for the cartridge with barrels longer than 16 inches, so the barrel was discontinued. For reference and posterity, please review our ballistics chart here.|
|Q21.||Do you have a barrel break-in procedure?|
|The break-in of a barrel is one of the most discussed subjects we see. Our goal in any barrel break-in is to get the unit to the stage where it shoots without copper fouling and with only the minimum of carbon fouling. When and if the barrel can achieve this, the best accuracy will be produced.|
|Q22.||Can Alexander Arms® ship upper receivers to California?|
|Upper receivers can be shipped directly to customers in all states. We do our best to uphold state and local laws applicable to assemblies before shipment. However, a customer must be aware that it is the customer's responsibility to ensure that you are purchasing a product that is legal to possess where you are located.|
|Q23.||Can a complete upper receiver be ordered directly from you without an FFL license?|
|Yes, upper receivers can be ordered and shipped directly to retail customers. Only complete rifles and lower receivers need to be shipped directly to Federal Firearms Licensed dealers.|
|Q24.||How long will I wait on my order for an upper receiver to be shipped?
|Production lead times are affected by back-orders from our vendors and other factors that are out of our control. Please call us to learn more of our lead times.
|Q25.||Can I purchase one of your factory assemblies without a particular component, such as the handguard?
|No, we do not sell incomplete factory assemblies. All assemblies produced by us are sold as complete, fully-functional products. No exceptions can be made for this.