6.8 SPC Ballistics

6.8 SPC ballistics

6.8 SPC Ballistic data with a ballistic chart detailing velocity, energy and drop data for the most popular loads in the caliber.

6.8 SPC offers a lot ballistically to hunters and tactical shooters in the United States. When the 5.56 isn’t enough and the .308 is too much you might look to the 6.8 Remington SPC.

6.8 SPC’s highlights include:

  • 6.8 SPC delivers about 44 percent more energy out of an M4 carbine than the 5.56. Its bullet can weigh more than twice as much as comparable 5.56 loads.
  • Designed from the ground up for a carbine, the 6.8 SPC performs admirably out of barrels shorter than 16 inches. For every inch a barrel provides after 16, the 6.8 SPC gains between 25 and 35 fps muzzle velocity. Past 22 to 24 inches, the benefit to muzzle velocity becomes negligible.
  • Its innate compatibility with popular black rifles has made the 6.8 SPC increasingly popular with hunters. The round’s stopping power is well suited for taking deer and hogs within 300 yards.

6.8 SPC Ballistics Chart

Velocity (Feet Per Second)Energy (ft-lbs.)Bullet Drop (inches)Ballistic CoefficientSect. Density
BarrelMuzzle100 yds.200 yds.300 yds.400 yds.500 yds.Muzzle100 yds.200 yds.300 yds.400 yds.500 yds.Muzzle100 yds.200 yds.300 yds.400 yds.500 yds.G1G7Sect. Density
Remington 115 Grain UMC24"262523292053179715651759138510768256250.214
Federal 115 Grain TMJ24"2675244222212012181516331827152312601034841681-1.52.20-9.2-27-55.80.3850.1950.214
Hornady 110 Grain BTHP24"257023322107189516971517161313281084877703562-1.52.50-10.3-30.3-62.50.360.205
Hornady 120 Grain SST16"246022502050186216851522161213491120923756617-2.42.20-10.5-31.1-640.40.2020.223
Hornady 110 Grain V-MAX16"255023192100189317001524158813131077875706567-2.42.50-10.4-30.6-62.80.370.1860.205
Hornady 110 Grain V-MAX16"255023192100189317001524158813131077875706567-2.42.50-10.4-30.6-62.80.370.186
Federal Fusion 115 Grain SP16"247022482037183816541485155812901059862699563-1.52.70-11-32.7-66.80.3780.190.214
Sellier & Bellot 110 Grain FMJ16"25562279201917791560136815961269996773595457-1.50-5.2-19-43.9-83.20.3070.1550.205
Hornady 100 Grain GMX24"25502276201817791562137114441150904703542417-1.52.60-11.2-33.5-700.2740.1380.186
Prvi Partizan 115 Grain HP24"2624231220171755--175813651039786---1.51.3-3.5-18.9--N/AN/AN/A

What 6.8 SPC Offers Ballistically

Prvi Partizan 6.8 Remington SPC ammo at the shooting range

The military and Remington developed 6.8 SPC to enhance the lethality of the 5.56 while mitigating the increased recoil and loss of magazine capacity that a more powerful round typically carries with it. The developers of the round modified a 30 Remington case to be compatible with U.S. Armed Forces M16 rifles, and gave it a 6.5mm bullet with superior accuracy and penetrative ability.

6.8 SPC ammunition is specifically designed to compensate for the dip in performance that coincides when a 5.56 is fired from a shorter barreled M4 carbine. It succeeds at this, as it delivers over 40 percent more energy at 110 to 325 yards than a 5.56 out of the same carbine.

In a side by side comparison to the 5.56×45, the 6.8 SPC’s energy advantage during close-quarters combat becomes apparent:

Parent case .30 Remington
Case typeRimless, bottlenecked
Bullet diameter0.277"
Neck diameter 0.298"
Shoulder diameter 0.402"
Base diameter 0.421"
Rim diameter 0.422"
Rim thickness 0.049"
Case length 1.667"
Overall length 2.260"
Case capacity34.8-36.9 gr H2O
Maximum pressure (SAAMI)55,000 psi

The 6.8 SPC does not surpass the muzzle velocity and energy of the 7.62×51. But, its lesser recoil makes it easier to control than the larger round during rapid fire. Its lighter weight makes it easier to carry more ammunition.

Data on the 6.8 SPC’s efficacy for combat are limited. At this point, its use has been pretty much limited to Special Operations. Reports of its utility during urban combat have generally been favorable, while those of its suitability for longer distance combat have not.

The civilian market has access to new rifles chambered for 6.8 SPC, as well as the individual parts requisite for conversion. As such the 6.8 SPC has proven itself perfectly capable of hunting medium-sized game. Several rifle manufacturers offer the round with bullets optimized for hunting. It’s more than a self-defense solution!

Other 6.8 SPC REM Attributes

  • Conversion of an AR-15 from 223/5.56 to 6.8 SPC requires no tools and mere seconds when you purchase a complete upper assembly.
  • In spite of its close quarters energy advantage over the 5.56, the military and law enforcement haven’t massively adopted the 6.8 SPC.
  • A barrel with a 1:11 rate of twist is standard for 6.8 SPC, although barrels ranging from 1:12 to 1:7 are available.
  • Up to seven different chamberings for the 6.8 SPC are available from different manufacturers, each with varying impacts on the round’s ballistic performance.


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