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Thread: 6.8 X 43

  1. #1

    6.8 X 43

    Any body used one? Saw a program a few months back and it looked very interesting! Tested on metal targets with a 5.56 and 7.62 for comparison. Only the 6.8 knocked the plate over.

    This was on future weapons.

  2. #2
    You're referring to the 6.8SPC. It's not designed for hunting. It's basically a .270 calibre round driven at a slower speed for military applications. I'm not sure why you'd want to go down that road. Better to stick with tried and trusted cartridges.

    I've tried an M4 variant (416) in 6.8SPC and it gives a lot more punch than the 5.45 or 5.56. But it is an assault rifle cartridge and not one designed or probably suitable for stalking, though I think the 115gr bullet would meet the min criteria.

    That said sometimes in woodland or scrub a punchy short cartridge (assuming it meets the minimum requirements) would be great, but I think Frax mentioned a good solution to that in a capable lever action round.

  3. #3
    Thats the one, but you say its not suitable for stalking being a military round. How many military rounds do we now use!

    Come on with a good bullet I think this would be an excellent round.

  4. #4
    The 6.8spc is capable of pretty useful velocity with a bullet like the .277 110gr Vmax, 2700-2800 fps I think.

    Based on the .30Rem round, same case length as a 223 but larger diameter, designed to be an easy upgrade in M16 / M4 battle rifles.

    I have read of a few people in the states rebarreling rifles such as CZ527's and Model 7 Remmies to this round.

    I would have thought is would make an excellent woodland round for Roe and up to Fallow size deer.

  5. #5
    I'm just saying that if you're going to go for a 6.8mm/.270" cartridge why not just go for a .270 Winchester or one of the 7mm/.284" rounds like 7mm-08. Then you have the option of loading down to 6.8SPC speeds and the versatility of a full power hunting cartridge. Actually when you think about it .277" is closer to a true 7mm(.280") than .284". I actually like the 6.8SPC, but much prefer the 6.5x39 Grendell and if you look into the ballistics and energy carry you will see why.

    Also the velocity of the milspec 6.8SPC Matchking rounds we tested was almost a full 200fps below the advertised velocity of 2650fps so I am dubious of the claim that they hold M262 5.56mm trajectory. The Grendell is proven to be more accurate than the 6.8SPC and many of the SF guys prefer it. The Grendell can hold 0.5MOA out to 400m whereas the 6.8SPC comes in at just under 1MOA out to 250m, also the Grendell offers you a greater selection of bullet weights - from 108 / 110 to 144gr if I remember - and better sectional density and a BC of over 0.5 (the M262 5.56mm and M118 7.62 rounds give .36 and .49 respectively so it has a better ballistic coefficient than even the specialist sniper rounds). The Grendell holds velocity better and is less prone to yaw and tumbling, though there is a trade off in that some of the most accurate rounds need to start of yawed and be allowed to settle in flight - one reason why the Mannlicher SSG had been known to be more precise at 300m and beyond than at 100m, but that only comes in with long for calibre rounds and the 6.5 in 123gr and above gives that in heaps.

    Of course the 6.8SPC will do the job and if that's your preference all well and good. I just think you'd be limiting yourself to a narrow velocity and bullet weight band when other cartridges of the same(ish) calibre offer more options. And I would wait to see which of the new cartridges wins the main contracts.

    The 6.8SPC cartridge itself is designed specifically to fit the 'black rifle' AR15 / M4 / HK416 platform. And the ballistics are 'supposed to' match the specialist heavy 77gr 5.56 rounds so that the current line of intensifier and CQB sights can be used. I find that claim hard to follow. I know that the 6.5G and the 6.8SPC are in active use right now and being field evaluated. And there is a real battle between the arms companies like Knight's Armament on this who, just to confuse things further, are working up their own proprietory cartridge in 6x35mm. Blackwater back the 6.5G and rate it highly and they have a lot of influence in DC. Also the Germans are looking at 6.5G for the next generation of semi-auto sniper systems (SASS).

    But back to the point - is the 6.8SPC up to the job of killing deer? Of course it is. Is it accurate? Yes. But are there better options out there? Yes; the Grendell being one and there are at least another 3 cartridges under development for the same application.

    You might want to look into the new .300 and .338 Ruger Compact Magnums (RCM). I haven't handled them yet, but they look very interesting. Something else to consider.

    Here are a few comparison ballistic charts between 5.56, 6.8SPC and 6.5G. New cartridges are an interesting subject. Apologies about talking shop. If you need load data for 6.8SPC I can send you the latest tests.

    Whatever you choose good luck.


  6. #6
    Forgot to mention that the 1st 3 charts refer to 16" barrels and the last 3 10" barrels. I am sure with a 20" barrel and Varget or 4895 you can get even more out of the cartridge.

    The force against the 6.5G is that for LMGs the 6.8SPC gives better extraction. 6.5G is a better cartridge, but in the automatic fire role the 6.8SPC is easier to build a receiver around. For deer or precision target work 6.5G would be a better option. Just my opinion.

    All the best.

  7. #7
    Craig, very interesting post.
    Any info on barrel life between these? I presume a big factor when looking for a military round.

  8. #8
    All SASS barrels and chambers should be spec'd as chrome-lined / -plated to give much longer barrel life. Much easier to clean also. You won't need to worry about barrel life in the M110 for example unless sustained semi-auto fire. But for a hunting rifle barrel life depends on your load and the quality of the factory or custom barrel.

    I would think that between the two the 6.8SPc would give better barrel life for all the reasons why it is less exciting than the 6.5G.

  9. #9
    It's just a guide, but I have a spreadsheet I use to roughly estimate barrel life. Based on 29 to 30gr of 2230 or H335 with 3700 to 3900 KJ/Kg (powder heat potential)you should get around 6650 rounds of serviceable barrel life for 6.8SPC. My guess is you'd get more than that, perhaps 7000rds or above.

  10. #10
    Mauser66, interesting stuff.

    While I have nnoo doubt the 6.8spc, or the Grendell for that matter will get the job done, I would be firmly in the camp of sticking with the tried and proven 308 or 30/06 based rounds.

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