I have 3 children and all are involved in shooting and hunting at some point during their lives. Two older girls and Eley who’s now 10. All of them have grown up around guns and started shooting at an early age..albeit some earlier then others depending on maturity and interest levels. Owning a gunsmithing business has given me an opportunity to see, handle and use many different rifles over the years. And along with that the opportunity to find out what works and doesn’t when it comes to youth. As a firearms instructor I’ve seen the struggles that smaller framed adults have had and these struggles are similar to out youth.
Weight and Length of Pull are the two biggest obstacles to overcome. Youth just don’t have the upper body strength to hold up heavy rifles…and the adult length pull on them puts their head out of position for proper sight alignment. How many have seen the buttstock tucked under the armpit and the head craned over to even remotely see the sights. It endures bad form and your shooting form is the foundation of accurate shooting.
The Grendal in a AR platform has these two things going for it. Lightweight 16”-18” uppers with some of the newer ultralight rails can really bring the weight down to a minimum. This will reduce arm fatigue and a better ability to hold the gun steadier for a longer period of time. The addition of a collapsible stock eliminates the length of pull issue altogether. And as they grow…the stock can be extended another notch to match.
The quick ability to switch out optics is another plus. For familiarity and those starting out…a red dot with nonsensitive eye relief allows them to focus on gun handling skills and safety, while not being over critical of head position in order to put the sights on the target. Low power 1-4x would be a legitimate jump up from the Red Dot when the time was right to start concentrating on shot placement with higher powered optics.
The Grendel has one more advantage or a standard AR-15 in .223/5.56…and that’s better ballistics and bullet weight for hunting. Recoil is still mild yet the 6.5 has a clear advantage to the .223/5.56 when it comes to hunting. This isn’t to start an argument that the .223/5.56 can’t be used or shouldn’t be used…but to point out there is a better option. The 6.5’s higher sectional density, heavier bullet weight, great ballistic trajectory all add up to a more reliable light skinned medium sized game getter. Those would include deer, antelope, coyotes, and wild boar sized animals. The additional weight and sectional density of the 6.5’s will help provide a margin of error in shot placement. We as adults can talk all we want about shot placement, shot placement..but when your not the one controlling the gun and…. the one who is….is new to hunting and prone to “buck fever”…shot placement may not end up being ideal.