When it comes to hunting (deer, hogs), I’ve started to prefer the 6.8 SPC as a platform. It’s got more than enough oomph to get the job done on any critter here in Texas, and using the AR-platform as a basis there’s lots of accessories and ability to have a platform that both myself and my children can use for hunting.
Trouble is… finding good ammo. Thankfully, things are improving in this area and there are a lot of good loads being developed and available. Still, where people are seeing the most growth in high-performance 6.8 ammo is in handloading. I do handload, but lately I haven’t had enough time to sit at the bench and crank out a load. I’ve wanted to come up with a good 6.8 load, especially once Barnes Bullets created their 95 grain TTSX bullet. Whereas other .277″ bullets were made for other cartridges and merely reused in 6.8 SPC because of the existing bullet diameter, the Barnes 95 grain TTSX was custom made for the 6.8 platform.
My understanding is Wilson Combat had a big hand in the development of the 95 grain TTSX bullet, and eventually found their own quality load recipe. Alas, the 95 grain TTSX was only available in component form, so you had to handload for it. Some attempts were made to make a commercial load, but results were disappointing.
Until Wilson Combat made their own load available.
I was stoked! Not just because of the bullet, but because they were reporting performance on par with handloaders, both in terms of velocity and accuracy. That’s great! I just don’t have the time to work up my own load, so I ordered a few boxes direct from Wilson.
Dialing in my rifle (shooting out of a Wilson Combat 6.8 upper, 16″ barrel), the accuracy was certainly acceptable, in the 1 MOA-ish range. I wouldn’t say the ammo is match-quality (tho it is high-quality), but it’s certainly more than adequate for hunting purposes. Once I got the rifle zeroed, it was into the field.
My daughter was able to harvest her first deer — a large fallow buck — with this rifle and ammo. On that same hunt I harvested a sika doe. A few weeks later both daughter and I took one whitetail deer each. Accuracy was obviously spot on. Moreso tho was looking at the animal afterwards, during cleaning. In a word, devatstating. The power and ability of that 95 grain TTSX is just amazing. I’m looking forward to what it will do against large hogs; reports are that it will function just fine, even on the largest Texas feral hog. I also would like to see how well it performs at longer distances; I believe this load should function well because the TTSX should open up down to about 1600 fps and with as much velocity as this factory load gets, it should function out to 300 yards, maybe slightly more depending upon the game.
The only downsides to the ammo? Cost and availability. Wilson doesn’t create this ammo at the rate of a billion rounds per day. When I first ordered it, it was out of stock and took me a couple months to get it. So, be aware of that when you buy — if you want to try the ammo out, buy it well in advance of your need for it. And of course, being high-quality ammo, it is expensive.
I am looking forward to more success with this rifle and this ammo. I’m very curious to continue seeing what it will do and how it performs. So far, so good.
By: John C. Daub
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