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6.8 SPC Remington Special Purpose Cartridge | What you want to know

Posted by Jose Rueda on

The 6.8 mm Remington Special Purpose Cartridge (aka 6.8 SPC, 6.8 SPC II & 6.8×43mm) is a rifle cartridge that was developed by Remington Arms in collaboration with members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, United States Special Operations Command to boost the power level in the M4 carbine in order to address the perceived problems associated with the use of the 5.56x45 mm NATO cartridge in a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) or 16" Carbine. SEE OUR COMPLETE 6.8 SPC UPPER HERE


Stopping Power Much?

Like 300 AAC Blackout, the 6.8 SPC ammo was developed in response to complaints about stopping power of the 5.56 mm cartridge, especially when used with shorter barrel rifles. It splits the difference (more or less) between 5.56 mm and .308 while still allowing larger capacity due to case size and lighter weight. As a rough example, think of a standard size AR magazine holding 25 rounds of 6.8 SPC instead of 30 rounds of 5.56 mm. This is a very good trade off for the extra stopping power you will get from each cartridge. The energy of the “standard” 6.8 SPC 115 grain projectile traveling at 2,640 feet per second is 1,785 foot-pounds – significantly more than the 1,281 foot-pounds of a 55 grain .223 Remington bullet moving at 3,240 feet per second. Below are a few comparisons

  • 5.56x45mm SS109 62-grain: 3,100 fps, 1,303 foot-pounds
  • .300 AAC Blackout 125-grain: 2,215 fps, 1,361 foot-pounds
  • .308 Winchester, 150-grain: 2,850 fps, 2,704 foot-pounds
  • .30-30 Winchester, 150 grain: 2,300 fps, 1,761 foot-pounds
  • 7.62x39mm (Soviet), 123 grain: 2,435 fps, 1,619 foot-pounds
  • .270 Winchester, 130 grain: 3,160 fps, 2,881 foot-pounds

Hunting and Defense?

The 6.8 SPC is constantly growing and thriving in the hunting community. We are even seeing plinking ammo (S&B 110gr FMJ $13.50 a box of 20) and long range ammo (Berger 140gr VLD loaded through Silver State Ammunition, still supersonic at 1000 yards) hitting the shelves. Since the 6.8 SPC has made a name for itself as one of the go to AR15 hunting rounds with its one shot DRT (dead right there) knock down power and the introduction of various hunting projectiles by some of the biggest names in hunting (Barnes, Berger, Nosler, Federal, Sierra, etc..) the only place I can see this round going from a Premium Hunting Round, is back to its roots as an alternative combat round. Several overseas military contracts are currently being filled as of SHOT Show 2015, the DEA is currently using the 6.8 SPC with the Hornady ammunition and various local law enforcement agencies are adopting it. What would kick it in the butt for the general population would be a more affordable plinking ammo. While the S&B at $13.50 a box is a huge improvement over years past it still has a ways to come down to be more price competitive for everyday use.

Bottom Line...

When customers discuss purchasing a 6.8 SPC chambered upper or rifle... We explain that it’s a great self-defense round, it’s a phenomenal hunting round and its performance out of a 16" barrel is arguably second to none in the AR15 platform! It is not cost effective or designed to be a plinking rifle, it will not fill that role as long as the ammunition is still somewhat high when comparing it to the standard 5.56 plinking ammunition. However a complete 6.8 SPC II upper will just slap right on your normal 5.56 lower and you’re ready to rock, just have to add 6.8 specific magazines!

See our 6.8 SPC Upper kit for sale Complete with BCG/Charging Handle/Magazine/Mag Holster

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