6.8mm Remington SPC

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6.8×43mm Remington SPC
6.8 SPC + 223.jpg
6.8 SPC (left), 5.56×45mm NATO (right)
Place of originUnited States
Production history
DesignerRemington Arms, USSOCOM
Parent case.30 Remington
Case typeRimless, bottlenecked
Bullet diameter0.277 in (7.0 mm)
Neck diameter0.306 in (7.8 mm)
Shoulder diameter0.402 in (10.2 mm)
Base diameter0.421 in (10.7 mm)
Rim diameter0.422 in (10.7 mm)
Rim thickness0.049 in (1.2 mm)
Case length1.667 in (42.3 mm)
Overall length2.260 in (57.4 mm)
Case capacity34.8–36.9 gr H2O (2.26–2.39 cm3)
Maximum pressure (C.I.P)58,700 psi (405 MPa)
Maximum pressure (SAAMI)55,000 psi (380 MPa)
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy
7.45 g (115 gr) Full Metal Jacket 2,575 ft/s (785 m/s) 1,694 ft⋅lbf (2,297 J)
7.78 g (120 gr) SST 2,460 ft/s (750 m/s) 1,612 ft⋅lbf (2,186 J)
7.1 g (110 gr) Sierra Pro Hunter 2,500 ft/s (760 m/s) 1,525 ft⋅lbf (2,068 J)
5.5 g (85 gr) Barnes TSX with "tactical" factory SSA load 3,070 ft/s (940 m/s) 1,780 ft⋅lbf (2,410 J)
Test barrel length: 410 millimetres (16 in) [1][2][3]
Source(s): [4]

The 6.8mm Remington Special Purpose Cartridge (6.8 SPC, 6.8 SPC II or 6.8×43mm) is a rimless bottlenecked intermediate rifle cartridge that was developed by Remington Arms in collaboration with members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit and United States Special Operations Command[5] to possibly replace the 5.56 NATO cartridge in Short Barreled Rifles (SBR) and Carbines. Based on the .30 Remington cartridge,[6] it is midway between the 5.56×45mm NATO and 7.62×51mm NATO in bore diameter. It uses the same diameter bullet (usually not the same weight) as the .270 Winchester hunting cartridge.


The 6.8mm SPC cartridge was designed to address the deficiencies of the terminal ballistics of the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge currently in service with the armed forces of all NATO-aligned countries.[7] The cartridge was the result of the Enhanced Rifle Cartridge Program. The 6.8 SPC (6.8×43mm) was initially developed by Master Sergeant Steve Holland and Chris Murray, a United States Army Marksmanship Unit gunsmith,[8] to offer superior downrange lethality over the 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington in an M16-pattern service rifle with minimal loss of magazine capacity and a negligible increase in recoil.[9]

The program started the design by using a .30 Remington case, which was modified in length to fit into magazines that would be accommodated by the magazine wells of the M16 family of rifles and carbines that are currently in service with the U.S. Armed Forces.[10]

In tests comparing various caliber bullets using a .30 Remington parent case, Holland and Murray determined that a 6.5 mm caliber projectile had the best accuracy and penetration, with historical data going back for decades of US Army exterior and terminal ballistic testing, but a 7 mm projectile had the best terminal performance. The combination of the cartridge case, powder load, and projectile easily outperformed the 7.62×39mm and 5.45×39mm Soviet cartridges, with the new cartridge's muzzle velocity proving to be about 61 m/s (200 ft/s) faster than the 7.62 x 39.[11]

The 6.8mm Remington SPC was designed to perform better in short barreled CQB rifles after diminished performance from the 5.56 NATO when the M16A2 was changed from the rifle configuration to the current M4 carbine. The 6.8 SPC delivers 44% more energy than the 5.56mm NATO (M4 configuration) at 100–300 metres (330–980 ft). The 6.8mm SPC is not the ballistic equal of the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge, but it has less recoil, has been said to be more controllable in rapid fire, and is lighter, allowing operators to carry more ammunition than would otherwise be possible with the larger caliber round. The 6.8 mm generates around 2,385 J (1,759 ft⋅lbf) of muzzle energy with a 7.5-gram (115 gr) bullet. In comparison, the 5.56×45mm round (which the 6.8 is designed to replace) generates around 1,796 J (1,325 ft⋅lbf) with a 4.0 g (62 gr) bullet, giving the 6.8 mm a terminal ballistic advantage over the 5.56 mm of 588 J (434 ft⋅lbf). One of the enigmatic features of this cartridge is its being designed for a short barrel carbine length rifle than the standard rifle length is (usually 41 cm (16 in)). The round only gains about 7.6–10.7 m/s (25–35 ft/s) for every 25 mm of barrel length past the standard 410-millimetre (16 in) barrel (all else being equal) up to barrel's length around 560–610 mm (22–24 in) with no gain or loss in accuracy. It also does well in rifles with less than 410 mm (16 in) barrels. In recent developments (the period 2008-2012) the performance of the 6.8 SPC has been increased by approximately 61 to 91 m/s (200 to 300 ft/s) by the work of ammunition manufacturer Silver State Armory LLC (SSA) and a few custom rifle builders using and designing the correct chamber and barrel specifications. The 6.8mm Remington SPC cartridge weighs depending on the manufacturer and load between 16.8 and 17.6 grams (259 and 272 gr). Also, more recently, LWRC, Magpul and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) introduced a new AR-15 designed for the 6.8 SPC which allows for a proprietary 6.8 Magpul P-mags and an overall cartridge length of 5.9 centimetres (2.32 in). The personal defense weapon (PDW) known as the "Six8" is SPC II w 1:250 millimetres (10 in) twist and is able to use all current 6.8 SPC factory ammunition.[12] See Gold Dot below for ATK's part.

Muzzle velocity from a 610-millimetre (24 in) barrel[edit]

7.1-gram (110 gr) Nosler Accubond 870 m/s (2,840 ft/s) - Silver State Armory (SSA)
7.5-gram (115 gr) OTM 850 m/s (2,800 ft/s) - Remington Premier Match
5.5-gram (85 gr) Nosler E-Tip 940 m/s (3,100 ft/s) - SSA
5.8-gram (90 gr) Nosler BSB 910 m/s (2,980 ft/s) - SSA
7.1-gram (110 gr) Hornady BTHP TAP 820 m/s (2,700 ft/s) - Hornady Law Enforcement "tactical" factory load
7.5-gram (115 gr) OTM (FMJ) 831 m/s (2,725 ft/s) - SSA
7.5-gram (115 gr) Boat tail hollow point (BTHP) 850 m/s (2,800 ft/s)
7.5-gram (115 gr) Sierra Match King (SMK) 850 m/s (2,800 ft/s)
7.1-gram (110 gr) Hornady V-MAX 850 m/s (2,800 ft/s)
7.1-gram (110 gr) SCHP 850 m/s (2,800 ft/s) - SSA "combat" factory load
7.1-gram (110 gr) BTHP OTM & Barnes TSX 840 m/s (2,750 ft/s) - Wilson "combat" factory load
5.5-gram (85 gr) Barnes TSX 970 m/s (3,180 ft/s) - SSA "tactical" factory load
5.8-gram (90 gr) Speer Gold Dot 930 m/s (3,050 ft/s) - Federal(ATK) "tac/mil" load


Muzzle velocity from a 510-millimetre (20 in) barrel[edit]

7.1-gram (110 gr) Nosler Accubond 850 m/s (2,800 ft/s)- Silver State Armory (SSA)
7.5-gram (115 gr) OTM 820 m/s (2,700 ft/s)- Remington Premier Match
6.2-gram (95 gr) Barnes TTSX 880 m/s (2,880 ft/s) - Doubletap
5.8-gram (90 gr) Bonded Defense JSP 910 m/s (2,980 ft/s) - Doubletap
6.5-gram (100 gr) Nosler Accubond 855 m/s (2,805 ft/s) - Doubletap
7.1-gram (110 gr) Nosler Accubond 830 m/s (2,710 ft/s) - Doubletap
7.5-gram (115 gr) Full metal jacket boat tail 806 m/s (2,645 ft/s) - Doubletap
5.8-gram (90 gr) Speer® TNT 910 m/s (2,980 ft/s)- SSA

Muzzle velocity from a 410-millimetre (16 in) barrel[edit]

7.1-gram (110 gr) Nosler Accubond 820 m/s (2,700 ft/s)- Silver State Armory (SSA)
7.5-gram (115 gr) OTM 800 m/s (2,625 ft/s)- Remington Premier Match
5.5-gram (85 gr) Barnes TSX 920 m/s (3,030 ft/s) - SSA
5.5-gram (85 gr) Nosler E-Tip 900 m/s (2,950 ft/s) - SSA
5.8-gram (90 gr) Nosler BSB 870 m/s (2,840 ft/s) - SSA
7.1-gram (110 gr) Hornady V-MAX 810 m/s (2,650 ft/s)
7.5-gram (115 gr) Sierra Match King (SMK) 810 m/s (2,650 ft/s)
7.5-gram (115 gr) OTM (FMJ) 785 m/s (2,575 ft/s) - SSA
5.5-gram (85 gr) Barnes TSX 940 m/s (3,070 ft/s) - SSA "tactical" factory load
5.8-gram (90 gr) Speer Gold Dot 880 m/s (2,900 ft/s)- Federal(ATK) "tac/mil" load
6.2-gram (95 gr) Barnes TTSX 790 m/s (2,600 ft/s) - Wilson Combat factory load[14]
7.1-gram (110 gr) SCHP 810 m/s (2,650 ft/s) - SSA "combat" factory load
7.1-gram (110 gr) Hornady BTHP TAP 780 m/s (2,550 ft/s) - Hornady Law Enforcement "tactical" factory load[15]
7.1-gram (110 gr) BTHP OTM & Barnes TSX 790 m/s (2,600 ft/s) - Wilson "combat" factory load[16]
9.1-gram (140 gr) Berger VLD 732 m/s (2,401 ft/s) - SSA factory load. (Discontinued)

Comparison to other military calibers[edit]

Cartridge Muzzle velocity 180 metres (200 yd) drop 180 metres (200 yd) velocity 370 metres (400 yd) drop 370 metres (400 yd) velocity
5.56×45mm 3.6 g (55 gr) M193 937 m/s (3,073 ft/s) 56 mm (2.2 in) 717 m/s (2,353 ft/s) 710 mm (27.8 in) 531 m/s (1,743 ft/s)
5.56×45mm 5.0 g (77 gr) OTM 817 m/s (2,679 ft/s) 84 mm (3.3 in) 675 m/s (2,216 ft/s) 830 mm (32.7 in) 550 m/s (1,810 ft/s)
6.8×43mm SPC 7.5 g (115 gr) SMK 810 m/s (2,650 ft/s) 89 mm (3.5 in) 653 m/s (2,143 ft/s) 900 mm (35.4 in) 511 m/s (1,677 ft/s)
6.8×43mm SPC 7.1 g (110 gr) V-MAX 810 m/s (2,650 ft/s) 84 mm (3.3 in) 673 m/s (2,208 ft/s) 790 mm (31.1 in) 552 m/s (1,811 ft/s)
7.62×39mm 700 m/s (2,300 ft/s) 84 mm (3.3 in) 545 m/s (1,787 ft/s) 1,370 mm (53.8 in) 404 m/s (1,324 ft/s)
7.62×51mm 10.9 g (168 gr) SMK 790 m/s (2,600 ft/s) 86 mm (3.4 in) 681 m/s (2,235 ft/s) 820 mm (32.3 in) 576 m/s (1,891 ft/s)

Typical trajectory information from carbines with drop and velocity calculated at sea level with a 91 metres (100 yd) zero.[17]

ATK Gold Dot[edit]

When the LWRC Six8 was being developed, Alliant Techsystems was contracted to develop a new 6.8×43 mm round for the weapon. Unlike smaller commercial firms, ATK is a large ammunition supplier that delivers products for the U.S. Army, so it has large resources and manufacturing capabilities at its disposal. Commercial cartridges varied in case capacity and thickness, but LWRC wanted a thick and durable case for military uses. A 90 gr (5.8 g) load was developed specifically for a high muzzle velocity and low felt recoil from the Six8's 8.5 in (220 mm) barrel. Effective range is over 300 yd (274 m) and the bullet still has enough energy to penetrate intermediate barriers. Three 90 gr loads were constructed for testing that included Gold Dot, Monolithic Hollow Point, and FMJ. The Gold Dot bullet was selected with a .035 in (0.89 mm) jacket and a bonded core. The propellant was designed for reduced muzzle flash stable performance at temperatures between -29.2 to 125.6 degrees F. Muzzle velocity averaged at a 200 ft/s (61 m/s) difference at the required temperature extremes from the 8.5 in barrel. From a 24 in (610 mm) barrel, the round produced a group of 1.56 in (40 mm) at 200 yd (183 m).[18]

Barrel length Muzzle velocity Muzzle energy
220 mm (8.5 in) 750 m/s (2,450 ft/s) 1,626 J (1,199 ft⋅lb)
410 mm (16 in) 880 m/s (2,900 ft/s) 2,280 J (1,680 ft⋅lb)
610 mm (24 in) 930 m/s (3,050 ft/s) 2,519 J (1,858 ft⋅lb)


Military and law enforcement adoption[edit]

By late 2004 the 6.8×43mm SPC was said to be performing well in the field against enemy combatants in special operations.[7] However the cartridge was not used by conventional US military personnel. It was not adopted for widespread use due to resistance from officials.[19] The 6.8 SPC was designed for better terminal effectiveness at the shorter ranges of urban combat experienced in Iraq. When fighting in Afghanistan began to intensify, engagements began taking place at greater distances, where the 6.8 SPC begins to falter. Experiments suggested that the comparatively short 6.8 mm bullets became ineffective at longer ranges.[20] In 2007, both the U.S. SOCOM and the U.S. Marine Corps decided not to field weapons chambered in 6.8 mm due to logistical and cost issues.[21] An unnamed LWRC representative said in January 2014 that the US military is once again taking a look at the 6.8 SPCII after all the commercial development in the last 10 years.[22]

While there are many rumors of evaluations of the cartridge by several major federal and local law enforcement agencies, the US Drug Enforcement Administration has allowed individual agents to purchase the M6A2 D-DEA - which uses the 6.8mm Remington SPC - as an authorized alternative to their duty weapon. In 2010 the Jordanian state-owned arms manufacturer KADDB announced that they would be producing 6.8 mm rifles and carbines for the Jordanian Army.[23] There is also a contract between LWRC, Magpul, Alliant Techsystems and the Saudi Royal Guard for around 36,000 Six8 PDWs and an undisclosed amount of ATK/Federal XD68GD (90gr Gold Dot "training" ammo) and proprietary Magpul 6.8 Pmags specifically for the LWRC Six8. The 6.8 is also being produced for a squad automatic weapon (SAW) by U.S. Machine Gun Armory. The MGA SAW is fully compatible with the United States Department of Defense model designations: M249 and MK46.

Current chamberings[edit]

There are several different chambers for the 6.8 SPC which yield different results. They are:

  • Original Murray 6.8×43 ERC developed in 2002
  • The Remington SAAMI submitted specifications. It was supposed to have a 1.3 mm (0.050 in) freebore, 45° cone angle, 7.1 mm (0.278 in) ⌀ freebore. The reamers and PTG prints had an 80° neck to freebore cone angle, which was a result of a mistake in the reamer drawing submitted, and was never corrected by the reamer maker or Remington during the process of tooling up for the testing protocols that eventually drove the SAAMI submission.
  • SPC II is the current standard chamber used by most barrel manufactures. It has been said to be very close to the original Enhanced Rifle Cartridge Program chamber. It has a 2.5 mm (0.100 in) freebore, 45° cone angle, 7.1 mm (0.278 in) ⌀ freebore, and 7.84 mm (0.3085 in) neck.[needs update]
  • Murray DMR chamber, which was meant to address improved accuracy expectations for the ERC Special Purpose Rifle Program in SOCOM.
  • 6.8 ARP created by AR Performance. It has a 2.4 mm (0.095 in) freebore, 45° cone angle, and a 7.05 mm (0.2775 in) ⌀ freebore, and 7.84 to 7.85 mm (0.3085 to 0.309 in) neck.
  • Noveske Mod 1 designed by Noveske Rifleworks LLC. It has been said to have a 2.5 mm (0.100 in) freebore.
  • Bison Armory 6.8 Bison, introduced December 2017, which decreases the freebore of the 6.8 SPC II chamber to1.8 mm (0.072 in).

Only the rifles chambered with the newer specified chamber (6.8mm Spec II, Noveske Mod 1, 6.8 ARP, and 6.8 Bison chambers) can safely use the higher pressure military/tactical and near max-maximum handloaded ammunition. Those rifles using the original SAAMI specs can only safely be used with the standard commercial cartridge pressure (specified by SAAMI).

Semiautomatic action[edit]

The first major manufacturer to offer a 6.8mm Remington SPC-chambered version of the AR-15 was Barrett Firearms Company, offering the Barrett M468 and later the REC7. By 2007, most major manufacturers of AR-15-type rifles for the civilian gun market were offering rifles in this caliber. Dedicated AR upper receiver assemblies chambered for the round are produced by a number of smaller firms, including Daniel Defense. Ruger Firearms no longer produces a 6.8 mm for their Ruger SR-556 piston-driven AR-15 variant.[24] The Stag Arms hunter and tactical models utilize the newer chamber (SPC II) and specified twist rates to accommodate higher pressure loadings, as well as upper receivers in left-handed configurations. Rock River Arms has an LAR-6.8 X Series rifle and uppers. Microtech Small Arms Research offers their version of the Steyr AUG in 6.8. Robinson Armament Co. offers the XCR-L in 6.8, which can be easily converted between 6.8, 5.56, and 7.62×39. Bushmaster delivered a 6.8 SPC II conversion kit to the market as of October 2018. Ruger Firearms chambered their Mini-14 ranch rifle in this round for several years; however, it has been discontinued.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Silver State Armory specializes in 6.8 SPC Ammunition, 115gr OTM, and custom brass cases - 6.8 Ammunition, 6.8 SPC Ammunition, SSarmory.com, SilverStateArmory.com". Ssarmory.com. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  2. ^ "Hornady Manufacturing Company :: Ammunition :: Rifle :: Choose by Caliber :: 6.8mm SPC :: 6.8mm SPC 120 GR SST®". Hornady.com. Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  3. ^ "6.8 SPC 110 grain Sierra Pro Hunter Ammunition, 20 rounds/box., SilverStateArmory.com". Ssarmory.com. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Not a private endeavor or fully sanctioned government project
  6. ^ "30 Rem". Chuckhawks.com. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  7. ^ a b John Pike. "5.56-mm Cartridges". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-04. Retrieved 2015-03-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "6.8 mm SPC Cartridge History & Development. Hornady's Ammunition. The Stag Carbine". Demigodllc.com. 2006-07-31. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  10. ^ Paul, Gary (2011-01-04). "The 6.8mm Remington SPC". Rifleshootermag.com. Archived from the original on 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  11. ^ "6.8 mm SPC Cartridge History & Development. Hornady's Ammunition. The Stag Carbine". Demigodllc.com. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  12. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2014-02-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "DTIC.mil". Archived from the original on 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  14. ^ http://shopwilsoncombat.com/68-SPC/products/409/
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2012-05-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "110 gr. Hornady BTHP, 2600 FPS - 16" Barrel-Wilson Combat". Shopwilsoncombat.com. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  17. ^ "6.8mm SPC article". Demigodllc.com. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  18. ^ LWRCI UCIW SIX8 Review - Shotgunnews.com, 9 November 2012
  19. ^ Another 7.62mm Bullet For M-16s - Strategypage.com, 8 January 2012
  20. ^ The 6.5×40 Cartridge: Longer Reach for the M4 & M16 - SAdefensejournal.com, 26 March 2014
  21. ^ Dan Lamothe. "Corps to pass on Army upgrades to M4". Army Times Publishing Company. Archived from the original on 2010-09-25. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  22. ^ "LWRC: 6.8 SPC is the New 300 Blackout". Archived from the original on 2014-11-10. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  23. ^ "LWRC rifles to be license-produced in Jordan". Thefirearmblog.com. 2010-05-13. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  24. ^ "Information on the 6.8 SPC Mini". Ruger-firearms.com. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  25. ^ The 6.5 MPC cartridge by SSK developed by J.D. Jones at SSK Industries | Article on DefenseReview.com

External links[edit]