AR15 Cartridge open discussion

So, with all the cartridges available now for the AR15 other than .223 or 5.56 I thought it would be a good topic for discussion.

What I want is people that have direct experience to share them.  If you have hunted hogs with a 6.8 and a 300 Blackout for example..   How did they compare in the field?

I will be glad to start out the discussion.

I have been running a 6.8 SPC for 5-6 years for hunting, mainly hogs but I have shot a fair number of deer with it as well.

I was attracted to it because I wanted something with a little more punch than 5.56 but didn’t want to lug around a heavy AR10.

I looked hard at the 6.5 Grendel and I know it is a great round.  High BC bullets work very well for long range and I do think it is a MUCH better round for it than a 6.8.

However, you need to run a long barrel to get the velocity needed to realize it’s potential.  The 6.8 SPC is an extremely efficient cartridge and there is minimum gain going from say a 16 to  a 20″ barrel.

I have ran most of the bullets out there for the 6.8 and pretty much have settled on the 95G Barnes TTSX.  It has proven to be an extremely effective big hog stopper.  I have yet to have one go more than a few steps.  From 30ft to 400 yards, it works.  (though I personally use it more for like a 0-300 yard stalking gun)

My load of 29.5g of Reloader 10X gets 2850 FPS out of a 16″ barrel and delivers sub MOA accuracy.  I like that if I have a big hog jump out at 30 ft and I hit him in the shoulder he is going down, right there.  I can’t say the same thing about a 5.56.  Barnes bullets work as advertized, they expand instantly and provide razor sharp pedals not a mushroom as in a traditional cup and core bullet.  The bullet does massive damage and penetrates in a straight line.   Soft points, even bonded softpoints like a Nosler Accubond don’t act the same way.  There have been numerous reports of them coming apart on hogs up close and failing to get to the vitals.  Barnes almost always exit as well.

Now, for whitetail deer, the 110 Accubond is a great bullet and it flat out works.  But for hogs, I just trust the Barnes and there are quite a number of hog guides out there that feel the same way.  Is a 75g TAP 5.56 load a deadly load against a human?  Yes, but we aren’t built as tough as a hog.  Bullet placement trumps everything of course, and while I always go for a behind the ear shot on a pig, that doesn’t always end up happening as they move so much more than a deer.

I have been quite pleased with the terminal effectiveness on game with a 6.8 and am happy to continue to run one.

There are people that like the 300 blackout of course but I have also heard of people not being impressed with accuracy nor effective terminal performance of the subsonic rounds past 100 yards.

I personally don’t have any experience with the round other than shooting at a range so, I can’t honestly say how well it REALLY works.  I don’t personally put much faith in energy figures as shot placement and bullet construction play a FAR more important role in my opinion.

Please share your experiences.


3 Responses to AR15 Cartridge open discussion

  1. ILya says:

    I am not much of a hunter, so I mostly chimed in to disagree with you on one of the things you mentioned here. I have a lot of mileage with the 6.5 Grendel and I disagree with your assertion that it needs a long barrel to work well. That is simply incorrect. With a 123gr bullet and proper loads, it gets about 2650fps out of a 24″ barrel, 2600 out of a 20″ barrel, and 2475 or so out of a 16″ barrel. I’ve got a Grendel with a 18″ barrel and I can comfortably get about 2500fps out of. Either way, the whole idea about the Grendel is that it works quite well at moderate velocities due to aerodynamic bullets with high sectional density. The people I know who hunt with it seem quite impressed with how effective the little cartridge is.

    • ccoker says:

      Thanks Ilya..
      Appreciate your input.
      When I was considering both cartridges 5-6 years ago the consensus was it was best to run at least a 20 and preferably a 24″ barrel on the 6.5 Grendel.
      I am compiling data to put a chart together for the site with real data.

      What bullet are your running for range use?
      What are the most popular bullets for hunting for the 6.5 G right now?

      I don’t think you can really have an accurate picture without taking into consideration the bullet choices for a given caliber. If you want long range performance then high BC bullets are obviously crucial. Bullets designed for hunting are sometimes not the best for real long range use and conversely, while people do hunt with match grade bullets there is MUCH debate about the reliability on game. This has been beat to death on forums and so I won’t rehash it here. I personally think you need to use the right bullet for the task at hand. For a big heavy bone animal at close range that is a different need than thin skinned deer at 400 yards.

      I appreciate your input.

  2. 53gr says:

    Interesting you bring this up. I’m actually compiling data on the 5.45x39mm 7N6 cartridge.

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