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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been considering having an upper for my AR built around the new proposed 6.8x43 round, but have heard second hand "through the grapevine" (John Farnam) that the military project has bogged down, and that other cartiridges are being investigated, or at least that plans haven't been going forward as hoped.

I've seen what's posted on Tactical Forums and the info at http://www.angelfire.com/art/enchanter/bullet.html#68n2

Anybody know more about this?

Barrett has already begun offering 6.8mm uppers, and I think that a 115gr 6.8mm bullet at 2800 fps or so from an 18-20" barrel sounds like a worthy improvement to ANY 5.56 ballistics you could cite.
Remington is the only major maker producing the 6.8mm cartridges at present, AFAIK.

Bigger hole, better penetration, longer useful range, same platform (AR configuration, and still using existing supplies of AR lowers), all from a round which can still be carried in relatively large numbers easily by a single infantryman, all seem to me to be GOOD attributes for a modern military "portable rifle" cartridge.

Anybody know any current details?
 

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If the stuff about the new HK M8 is true then I figure the caliber change for the M16/M4 is DOA. It was a good idea that will not see its full potential. Just like the 10mm of the 80's something better is made (6.8), but something inferior is chosen (new rifle same caliber). :rolleyes:
 

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The email reply I received from Remington regarding the availability of the 6.8mm SPC was oddly unhelpful and vague.

Basically, Remington stated that the 6.8 SPC would be commercially available after military contracts were filled.

That a was bunch of help thanks alot Remington:rolleyes:.

Hopefully another ammunition company will pick up the ball and get this ammo on the market.
 

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Barrett has already begun offering 6.8mm uppers, and I think that a 115gr 6.8mm bullet at 2800 fps or so from an 18-20" barrel sounds like a worthy improvement to ANY 5.56 ballistics you could cite.
Alexander Arms also has its 6.5 Grendal AR15 which has superior ballistics to the 6.8 and can pick off targets as far away as 1400 yards.

"To accomplish this effecitive range, the 6.5 Grendel uses bullets with very high ballistic coefficents such as the Lapua 123 Scenar which has a .547 BC and a very efficent drag profile. In comparison, the 6.8RemSPC uses a 115 grain bullet with a .352 BC."

Click here for REAL ONE video information on the 6.5 GRENDAL

Though "Potential lethality is directly proportional to the size of the wound and the damage to the target. 5.56mm Ball creates 6" diameter wounds in center of mass shots at 150 yards." Neither the 6.8, 6.5, or 7.62 NATO produce 6" wounds. The light rifle and light recoil of 5.56mm improves hit potential. Flat trajectory (high velocity) improves hit potential. There has yet to be any real reason for the army to justify going with a bigger caliber, and no proof of a bigger caliber making any real difference at typical combat ranges
 

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The advantage of the new 6.8mm round is said to be that it yaws and fragments sooner, at lower velocities, and out to further distances in 16" barrels (out to 300 yards even).
 

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I really think that this obsession with "fragmentation" is misguided. Of course it is the still the underpinning for the latest fashion and therefore unlikely to go away until "the time is right".

In order to have a universally standard cartridge (i.e. one that is utilized in a range of individual weapons) good bullet sectional density and a high ballistic coeffencients are paramount.

High sectional density is what helps bullets penetrate; and coupled with weight, drill through field obstacles, heavy clothing, other worn gear - and still smash and fragment heavy bone.

High ballistic coefficients keep velocities higher downrange - and thus extend effective range, and make hitting at longer ranges just alittle easier. The 6.5mm to 7mm range of bullets is about as good as it gets in sub-.30 calibers in this regard.

In the absence of a return to the 7.62x51, it strikes me that in the 6.5s and 6.8mm's we have some brains at work in the right direction. But I do wonder why they do not just go with the 6.5x51mm - the .260 Remington.
 

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LAK said:

In the absence of a return to the 7.62x51, it strikes me that in the 6.5s and 6.8mm's we have some brains at work in the right direction. But I do wonder why they do not just go with the 6.5x51mm - the .260 Remington.
The new cartridge had to fit in the existing M4 platform.
 

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LAK said:
I really think that this obsession with "fragmentation" is misguided. Of course it is the still the underpinning for the latest fashion and therefore unlikely to go away until "the time is right".
It hurts people more with a lighter bullet than they would be with a bigger bullet without overpenetrating.

I think its a result of the blurring of the line between the Police and Military also, since normally for the Military the more penetration the better.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for your reply variablebinary, but I can't get your link to work.
I'd be interested in learning more about the 6.5 Grendel (reference to Beowulf, I assume?).
Is the ammo being commercially made, or is it only a wildcat round?
 

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Thanks for your reply variablebinary, but I can't get your link to work. I'd be interested in learning more about the 6.5 Grendel (reference to Beowulf, I assume?).
Is the ammo being commercially made, or is it only a wildcat round?
You need Real One to watch the video. Here is a direct link to the page with plenty of info. The purpose of the 6.5 is to extend the effective range of the AR15 platform, while also improving knockdown power at short ranges, though I still maintain there is little reason to retire the 5.56 since it will still make nastier wounds at typical combat ranges.

Launching a 120-grain slug at 2,600 fps is for sure going to pass right through the target, wasting most of it's energy. 5.56 transfers more energy to the target, tumbles, and fragments, which is why the in 150 yard typical combat range kill zone 5.56 turns the targets insides into Spaghetti O's

6.5 Grendal
 

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variablebinary said:
Launching a 120-grain slug at 2,600 fps is for sure going to pass right through the target, wasting most of it's energy.
Not if the bullet has a light jacket and blows up.
 

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Mus,

Exactly; making a bullet that will fall apart at about any velocity is just a matter of tweaking the jacket profile/thickness. Nothing more.

However, in the military context having a bullet that falls apart at the expense of substantial penetration is not the way to go on a battlefield.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The 6.5 Grendel sounds interesting and certainly effective, but basically I'm not willing to commit funds to building a rifle (or AR15 upper) platform for a round not available in commercial production, since I'm just a private citizen with interests in target shooting, personal/home defense and plinking.
(That is, I'm not a hobbyist load developer nor a SWAT or military sniper team member, for whom such alternative rounds would have distinct interest or usefulness and application irrespective of commercial availability.)

Also, I don't reload, and it's therefore reasonably important to me that the round be commercially available at a not-too-prohibitive bulk price, for sake of practice at the range.

The same consideration applies to the 6.8x43, of course.

If the development of the proposed military replacement cartridge and corresponding AR upper has stagnated, I suppose I'll just have to stick with the 5.56x45 for now!

Thanks to all who responded.
 

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Sawbones

Theres a company that makes the .50 Beowolf, and I'd be willing to bet it is the same one that makes the 6.5 grendel.
 
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