Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Took the Plunge – 6.8mm Remington SPC

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the (relatively) new 6.8 mm Remington SPC (Special Purpose Cartridge). The cartridge was developed to address ballistic deficiencies in the standard 5.56 NATO cartridge in widespread use in both military and civilian applications. I’ll be the first to admit that while I was excited by the prospect of a new cartridge for the AR platform, I was wary as not only was the cartridge in its infancy, but the barrels, chambers, bolts and magazines to support the new cartridge were as well. As you can see below the size of the 5.56 and 6.8mm cartridges are similar (6.8mm is on the bottom).

Over the past few years, the ballistic performance of the round has been improved, but that has also necessitated improvements in the AR platform as well. Many early 6.8mm uppers do not perform well, or do not perform well with the most current version of the 6.8mm cartridge. At this point, however, the specs seem to be stabilizing, and there is a growing community adopting the cartridge.

The 6.8mm forum (link above) has generated a really good spreadsheet that has many tips for individuals just getting into the cartridge. I’d seen several ads and had initially ordered an upper from a company I’d seen frequently in Shotgun News. They were out of stock, and I ultimately canceled that order because the company’s upper got a failing rating on the 6.8 forums rating system based on twist rate, grooves, barrel rating, feed ramps, thread size, and gas port location. I ended up getting an upper from AR15 Performance as all of their uppers received highest marks. Bison Armory, Titan Arms, and the new uppers from Noveske are also all “A” rated.

The photo above is of my rig. I haven’t had a chance to sight it in yet as it just arrived right before I headed out on a hunting trip (and proceeded to get sick – but that’s another story!). Can’t wait to get it out and see how it performs. I’m going to take my time breaking in the barrel and sighting it in.

Until next time!!!

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