by David Crane
Anybody who’s been keeping abreast of small arms and ammo develpments in the USSOCOM arena should already be aware fo the 6.8x43mm SPC a.k.a. "6.8mm Remington SPC (Special Purpose Cartridge)" cartridge concept. The 6.8x43mm Special Purpose Cartridge (SPC) was conceived and designed with the help of members of the U.S. Army 5th Special Forces Group as a much better answer for urban warfare and CQB (Close Quarters Battle) than the 62gr 5.56x45mm NATO round, and a much better short and intermediate distance sniping round than the 77 gr. 5.56mm round that’s been utilized of late in the SPR (Special Purpose Rifle) by U.S. Spec-Ops personnel in the Middle East.
The 6.8x43mm SPC was designed for the M16 rifle/M4 Carbine (or SOPMOD CQB Subcarbine) weapons platform. All an operator needs to do in order to convert his M4 Carbine or SOPMOD CQB subcarbine is…
switch out his 5.56mm upper receiver and replace it with the 6.8x43mm SPC upper. It’s interesting that Barrett Rifles is currently manufacturing 6.8x43mm upper receivers for the military (specifically for SOCOM end users). As far as DefRev is aware, this is Barrett’s first foray into the AR-15/M16 platform weapons arena.
According to one of DefRev’s sources (as of about 8 months ago–that’s right, we sat on the info), the 6.8x43mm enjoys roughly the same trajectory as 7.62x51mm out to 600 yards. The 6.8x43mm round weighs 115gr. and has a velocity of 2750 to 2850 fps. It accomplishes all this through the use of a special propellant powder. By the way, you get all this performance with only a 2-round loss of magazine capacity. Not bad.
The same source also said (at that time) that Remington was set to produce 10 million rounds. 7 million will feature Hornady bullets, and 3 million will have a bonded bullet (not sure which manufacturer).
The following excerpts come from an interesting webpage, which is operated and maintained by Phil West:
"On 17th June 2003 I received an email from a Cris Murry:
"This is a reply to the guess work all the supposed smart people are doing on the 6.8x43mm. It would appear that our operational security is working real well. But here are a few bits for you guys to chew on. Its not made from a .25 Rem. case, or reforming .223 brass, how do I know, I designed it. It has nearly the same flight path as the 7.62x51mm M80 ball round out to 650 meters. Delivers approx 4 times the energy on target at 300 meters compared to a SS109 round. The gel block tests are awesome. It drops a 150-300 lbs feral hogs like an axe, also works great on whitetails.
My first choice was 7mm projectiles, but the users wanted something with a flatter trajectory, closer to the 5.56. Tested all calibers 6mm, 6.5mm, .25, 6.8 (.270 for Americans, oh actually the Chinese came up with the 6.8x63mm in the 1930s), didn’t do much testing in .30, because it would only be an American M43 cartridge. This was not a private endeavourer nor a fully sanctioned government project, just users and a gun builder making a better product for our guys on the ground, in harms way." "
"Many thanks to Stan Crist for forwarding the following Press Release from Remington.
"The 6.8mm Remington SPC is an intermediate length rifle cartridge based on the 30 Remington case. Designed to function in M4/M16 type rifles, the 6.8mm Remington SPC was specifically developed to provide increased reliability, incapacitation, and accuracy not only at close quarters combat distance, but ranges out to 500 meters.
The 6.8mm Remington SPC, (Special Purpose Cartridge) will be offered in three versions for 2004, including Remington’s new Premier® Match, line of ammunition. The 115 grain MatchKing® BTHP bullet will deliver a muzzle velocity of 2800 fps and 2002 ft-lbs of energy while providing low felt recoil and 1 MOA accuracy at 100 yards. The 6.8mm Remington SPC will also be available in both BTHP and Metal-Case 115 grain versions." "
DocGKR, a.k.a. Gary Roberts, a moderator from TacticalForums.com, started an informative thread on TF about the 6.8x43mm cartridge and Barrett "6.8mm Rem SPC" upper receiver. It contains a high res pic of the Barrett brochure for the 6.8mm Remington SPC upper. Just click on this link to read the thread. DefRev recommends it.
Just as an aside, DefRev’s source recently stated that the 6.8x43mm round is going to prove to be an extremely impressive medium-size game hunting cartridge. This source has already used the 6.8x43mm SPC to drop some deer impressively quickly.