A reader asked me to relay my experience with the 6.8 Special Purpose Cartridge, since I shot the high-power match at my club with the 6.8 upper.Â I bought the upper a few years ago at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous, because Uncle had brought it out on behalf of Ko-Tonics (who are no longer in business).
I shot a high-power match this weekend with it, since I had plenty of 6.8x43mm loaded up, and didn’t feel like loading up any 5.56.Â We had a Garand match first.Â Shot decently with that, with a 250 out of 300.Â Shot awful with the 6.8 AR, but that was my fault, not the gun or the cartridge.Â My impressions of 6.8:
- The recoil is heavier than 5.56x45mm, but it’s not nearly as much as a 7.62x51mm.Â On the loads I use, it only has about two more grains of powder than the 5.56 loads I make with the same powder.
- Shooting a match out to 200 yards, like we do at my club, there’s no perceptible difference between 5.56x45mm and 6.8x43mm.Â I think you’re probably at a disadvantage because of the heavier recoil of the 6.8x43mm.
- Shooting out to 400 yards, I can’t say I have much experience with the 6.8, but when I’ve had the opportunity to do it, the 6.8 seems to hit more reliably at that distance than 5.56x45mm.
- Past that distance, you’re really beyond what an intermediate cartridge is meant for without using specialized bullets and loads.Â High-power shooters that shoot a full 600 yard match use special loads and bullets that are too long to even be loaded into a magazine properly, which is fine for slow-fire stages.
- The 6.8 SPC round would be effective at hunting medium sized game, if that’s what you’re interested in.Â The bullet you use is identical to the .270 Winchester, although it’s not as powerful a round as would be used in deer hunting, but at distances you’d typically take a deer from, it would be effective.
I think 6.8SPC would make a good round for replacement of the 5.56×45, if the military ever decides to go the route of a larger caliber intermediate cartridge.Â I’m more skeptical of its utility in high-power competition, because I’m not sure what advantage it offers over 5.56.Â Keep in mind that my club only goes out to 200 yards, so others who might have more experience with longer range shooting might have a different impression.Â I can’t speak to it’s performance vs. 5.56x45mm out past that distance, because I just don’t have much experience with it.
If you’re interesting in getting yourself a 6.8 SPC upper, or making yourself a complete 6.8 AR, Bison armory is a good supplier.