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2,760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I intend for this to be a bit of a catalog of the ages, if you will, with no real greater goal than showing what we've had and perhaps where we're headed. We know that companies like Hornady and SSA have made multiple changes over the years, and sometimes it gets confusing as to whether a company crimps primers, or whether something is/was large primer or small primer brass. Like with any cartridge, the different headstamps come with pros and cons for the realoader, so as I work on this I'll be adding measurable data to the photos, such as case weights and capacities.

Feb/Mar 2015 update- For the headstamps that I have enough pieces too, I've added data under each photo, plus I have a data thread running here...http://68forums.com/forums/showthre...c-measurements&p=628999&viewfull=1#post628999

I started this collection in the spring of 2013 and I've been able to obtain samples of all the headstamps this cartridge has seen, except for the one remaining X below. Where appropriate, I've credited contributing members with their generous contributions.


"R-P 30 REM" (LRP, parent cartridge and first 6.8 loadings)
"R-P 6.8mm SPC" (LRP, likely pre commercial production, around 2004)X
"R-P 6.8mm REM SPC" (LRP, limited run for Barrett with staked primers- late 2004 to early 2005)((Thank you ARx3 & Aspp))
"R-P 6.8mm REM SPC" (LRP, with red sealant, first released in July 2005-current production)

"SSA 6.8 SPC" (First run & LRP, first available October 2005)
"6.8 SSA" (SRP, arcs around primer pocket, sometime around 2006) ((Thank you Samson))
"6.8SPC SSA" (SRP, arcs around pp, crimped primers variable, as early as March 2007, defunct as of Aug 2014)

LWRCI (mfg by SSA)
"LWRCI II 6.8" (SRP, limited production in 2011 for foreign demonstrations conducted by LWRCI, never mass produced or commercially available) ((Thank you WhiteRiver))


"6.8SPC SSA" (SRP, no arcs, smaller font. August 2014 after Nosler's purchase of SSA)
"Nosler 6.8mm REM SPC" (SRP, released Jan 2015)

Hornady (mfg by Hornady)
"HORNADY 6.8mm REM SPC" (FIRST 6.8 brass to use SRP, entered market spring 2006, crimped primers standard as of 2013, current production) ((Thank you Woodstock))

Hornady (mfg by Sellier & Bellott)

".HORNADY. 6,8mm SPC" (SRP, stamp touching outer edge)
".HORNADY. 6,8mm SPC" (SRP, stamped evenly between edge and pp, crimped primers standard as of 2013, current production)

Sellier & Bellot ((Huge thank you to mark6.8 for 10 of all three S&B headstamps!))
"S&B 6,8mm REM SPC" (LRP, introduced in 2008, slowly phased out by 2012/13)
"S&B 6,8mm REM SPC" (SRP, stamped on outer edge, as early as 2011, standard by 2013, done by late 2014)
"S&B 6,8mm REM SPC" (SRP, stamped evenly between edge and PP, November 2014, current production)

"FC 6.8 SPC" (SPR, first run, limited production, documented as early as July 2012)
"FC 6.8MM SPC" (SRP, all heavily crimped & sealed, current production)

SSA- "6.8 BARRETT" (SRP, long arcs around pp, early offering, 2007?)((Thank you CaptGrumpy & CHALK22))
US Armaments- "BARRETT 6.8SPC" (SRP, fall of 2009 only, rejected by Barrett for multiple QC issues)((Thank you mogunr))
SSA- "6.8 SPC BARRETT" (SRP, short arcs around pp, most recent offering)((Thank you lmfd20 & CHALK22))

Rumors of things to come
Prvi-Partizan - As of early 2016 this is in the pipeline and PPU says it should hit the shelves mid 2016 with 115gr HP and 115gr FMJ offerings. Fingers crossed!
PCP (From Mike @ PCP as of Jan 7, 2015- 6.8spc prototypes created, but not economically viable w/o US military adoption)

2,760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
The 30 Remington

I suppose you could say this here is what started it all. This particular photo is of virgin 30 Remington cartridges.

And here are some early converted once fired 30REM/6.8SPC cases.

Sample size: 100 pieces
Average weight: 119.024gr
High: 1120.78
Low: 117.18
H/L variance: 3.60
SD: 0.702
H2O Capacity: 35.19

Remington 6.8SPC

As Remington was there at the inception of the cartridge, they have been the longest running producer of 6.8 ammo. It appears that very early on, possible around 2004 they created the first dedicated 6.8 brass with a slightly different headstamp that what were are accustomed to today. The photo below is the only evidence I have of this headstamp.

It couldn't have lasted very long at all, and doesn't appear to have ever entered the commercial market, as it was in January of 2005 that Barrett's M468 hit the market, with a special offer of 100 rounds of Remington ammo. That early ammo, which does not appear to have been an off the shelf item, was being produced with primers staked at three points rather than the red sealant we see today. These examples have been reloaded a number of times and show post-manufacturing tooling marks from a primer pocket uniformer.

These pictures show the staked primers still intact.
The pink color is from tarnishing and is not the red sealant with which we are now accustomed.

Even though it was in January of 2005 that Barrett was selling rifles and providing ammo, accounts indicate that it wasn't until July of 2005 that ANY commercial ammo was on store shelves, and when it was it was Remington ammo with Hornady 110gr HPBTs. From what I have found there haven't been any changes to Remington's brass since then.

Most reloaders suggest this brass can't be pushed as hard as some of the other brands, but at the same time, if reloaded below seeing pressure signs, life expectancy can be just as good.

Sample size: 100 pieces
Average weight: 117.796gr
High: 119.96
Low: 116.38
H/L variance: 3.580
SD: 0.655
H2O Capacity: 35.18

2,760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
To the best of my research, this is SSA's first run of 6.8SPC which hit the market in October of 2005.
It appears that production of this brass ended sometime in 2006 with the conversion to small primers.

Sample size: 100 pieces
Average weight: 109.158gr
High: 110.02
Low: 107.66
H/L variance: 2.36
SD: 0.499
H2O Capacity: 36.43

I'm not sure of the time frame for the following headstamp, but based on the location of the stamp on the outer edge I would guess it was introduced with the switch to SRP sometime in the area of mid to late 2006. (No evidence to go on with this though, just speculation based on the fact that Hornady was the first to use SRP in ealry 2006, and there are date stamped boxes indicating SSA was loading current headstamps as early as March 2007.)

The following photos are the last offerings from SSA. My personal earliest samples of these have been predated by a full year, and it now appears that these were on the market as early as March 2007 in the form of 115gr Fragmentation rounds loaded in the original blue boxes. That being the case, it's looking like a very narrow window for the brass shown above.

Primer crimping varied over the years.

Sample size: 101 pieces
Average weight: 115.926gr
High: 120.26
Low: 111.00
H/L variance: 9.26
SD: 1.263
H2O Capacity: 35.81



This brass was produced for LWRCI by SSA in 2011 for demonstration purposes to a foreign customer. As WhiteRiver states in post #70, this was loaded with 110gr Accubonds and 75gr carbide tipped AP bullets. This brass and these rounds were never actually shipped overseas and never mass produced.



It appears that as of August 2014, under the new ownership of Nosler, SSA's long standing headstamp is done.
For a very short time, virgin brass being ordered from SSA and from Nosler (Shooters Pro Shop) looked like this.

Sample size: 102 pieces
Average weight: 116.599gr
High: 118.30
Low: 114.40
H/L variance: 3.90
SD: 0.771
H20 Capacity: 35.73

At the turn of 2014/2015, SSA was effectively shut down. The website was changed over, and reportes were that employees were laid off. Initial indications during this time frame were that SSA would be a line of Nosler products.

In January of 2015 Nosler released it's own headstamp.
It remains to be seen if Nosler will continue the above SSA headstamp or if they were a limited run while Nosler got up and running.

Sample size: 101 pieces
Average weight: 115.034gr
High: 117.98
Low: 113.30
H/L variance: 4.68
SD: 0.837
H20 Capacity: 36.01

2,760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)

Reportedly, Hornady had been producing the 110gr HPBTWC for years for Remington while the 6.8 was being developed and tested. But when it came time for Hornady to start producing their ammo, they decided the SRP was the way to go and they stamped out the first 6.8SPC cartridges to use small rifle primers. This would have been after SSA and Remington already had their feet wet, and before SSA made the switch to SRPs. There were reports early on that Hornady subcontracted it's brass production to Sellier & Bellott, but I had never seen that substantiated until March 2014 when headstamps with and with out REM were showing up on shelves in the SST line. A quick phone call to Hornady by forum member Trapper458 and it was confirmed- S&B is subcontracted to supplement brass supplies for Hornady. The brass origins are noted with the photos below.

This is the brass that Hornady entered the market with in early 2006.
This brass is made by Hornady and has been produced from 2006 to present.
Note the small distinction of using "6.8" as opposed to "6,8"

Sample size: 101 pieces
Average weight: 125.67gr
High: 127.44
Low: 124.04
H/L variance: 3.40
SD: 0.699
H2O capacity: 34.67

In July of 2011 shooters started noticing this headstamp, with a lot of discussion of the fact that it was being produced without crimped primers.
It's now apparent that this was S&B's entry into brass production for Hornady. The lettering on the outside edge of the case head always threw me off, but its likely to have been located there as S&B was accustomed to making their own large primer brass for the 6.8spc, which would require the lettering to be further from center. Production of this stamping appears to have stopped sometime in 2012, which coincides nicely with S&B's switch to their own small primer brass in 2013.

Sample size: 60 pieces
Average weight: 115.856gr
High: 118.08
Low: 114.50
H/L variance: 3.58
SD: 0.828
H2O capacity: 36.14

This is the most recent offering of Hornady brass, as produced by S&B, but as of 2013, Hornady reports that all loaded 6.8 ammo is again being made with crimped primers, as shown in the bottom photo.

Sample size: 101 pieces
Average weight: 115.667gr
High: 117.52
Low: 113.98
H/L variance: 3.54
SD: 0.732
H20 Capacity: 36.33

2,760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)

S&B entered the 6.8market in 2008 with the production of their own large primer brass, utilizing Hornady v-max bullets. They catered to the commercial market with the same PTS blue and yellow box they use today.
It appears that sometime in 2012 they tapped into the government/military market and began producing 110gr FMJ rounds in their green boxes. In this same time frame they started to make the switch to small primers, and its been reported that the green boxed FMJ ammo was being loaded in large and small primer brass, both in the same case. By 2013 consumers were seeing the PTS rounds being loaded in brass with small primers. As of late 2013, I'll go ahead and make the presumption that all S&B brass is being made for small primers.

Sample size: 72 pieces
Average weight: 115.243gr
High: 116.40
Low: 113.36
H/L variance: 3.04
SD: 0.779
H2O Capacity: 35.85

Sample size: 61 pieces
Average weight: 116.261gr
High: 117.42
Low: 114.30
H/L variance: 3.12
SD: 0.681
H2O Capacity: 36.08

I'm not sure how early this started showing up, but as of late November 2014 some of the newest shipments of FMJ green box ammo are now arriving with this headstamp. Now that they don't have to account for the large primers, they've brought the letters in and centered them between the edge and the primer pocket.

Sample size: 101 pieces
Average weight: 115.619gr
High: 116.66
Low: 113.80
H/L variance: 2.86
SD: 0.548
H2O Capacity: 36.22



In mid 2012 we saw photos of Federals entry into the 6.8spc market with their initial headstamp. However, there was no official acknowledgement of this from Federal, and if memory serves me correct there was actual denial of any 6.8 production lines. But in December of 2012 the gates opened and LWRC absolutely flooded the market with once fired FC brass from their Six8 function tests. The speculation was over and FC 6.8mm brass was in reloaders hands. Initial production didn't include "MM" on the headstamp, but sometime in early 2013 brass quickly started changing over to include the MM. By late 2013 "FC 6.8MM SPC" was the standard. All primers have been Federals own AR Match Primers, with AR stamped right into them. They have all been heavily crimped and sealed with amber sealant, as the vast majority of Federal's initial production have gone into contract fulfillment for overseas governments.

There are very strong initial indications that the first run of FC brass was held to extremely tight standards. Of the nine headstamps that I have completed data on, this brass is significantly more uniform from a case weight standpoint than anything else out there. My brass was sourced from about six different individuals, which is the largest pooling of resources I had to do for a single headstamp, yet the high/low spread over 86 cases is only 1.9 grains, with a SD of .373.

Sample size: 86 pieces
Average weight: 120.18gr
High: 121.16
Low: 119.26
H/L variance: 1.90
SD: 0.373
H2O Capacity: 35.47

Since late 2013, this has been Federal's standard headstamp.

Sample size: 101 pieces
Average weight: 120.385gr
High: 122.10
Low: 118.30
H/L variance: 3.80
SD: 0.656
H2O Capacity: 35.59

2,760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The only brass released under Barrett's authorization was made by SSA and is stamped with SSA's classic arcs ( ) on both side of BARRETT. There are two varieties of this SSA/BARRETT brass, both styles are shown below.

This is early production by SSA, likely in the 2007 time frame, as it is the same format of the brass that SSA was stamping for itself after the switch to small primers.

In October of 2009, there was large batch of brass that hit the market after it was rejected by Barrett. This brass was produced by a company called SSA Acquisitions dba US Armaments. There was no relation between this company and Silver State Armory, and Silver State Armory did not produce this brass. I've included a post made by a Barrett rep posted in September 2010 which explains the situation with this brass...
The questionable Barrett 6.8 brass was never released to the commercial market - the brass was rejected and the contract cancelled prior to full production, with remaining inventory to be melted down by the supplier.

Much to our surprise, some of this brass surfaced within the past 18 months. Once it was brought to our attention, we notified the distributor of the nature of the brass and they immediately pulled the product and refunded the customers.

While the Barrett name may be on this reject brass, this was never a Barrett product sold on the commercial market and should not be confused with current production ammunition. Barrett has never sold unfired or unprimed 6.8 brass.

To identify actual Barrett 6.8 ammunition, the headstamp does have the ( ) lines between the '6.8' and 'BARRETT'. When held so the '6.8' is at 12 O'Clock, the BARRETT marking will be directly below and in the same plane of reference (the bottom of the letters are along the edge of the cartridge rim) (See MCA's post)

The rejected brass is marked '6.8 SPC' and 'BARRETT', however these markings are all stamped with the base of the characters aligned with the edge of the primer pocket. (See original post for photo)
This is the rejected brass...

This is the most recent Barrett brass and was made by SSA; it's of the exact same design as the current SSA brass.

2,760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Has anyone made any recent purchases of Hornady ammo or who can otherwise comment on my lineup of the brass in post #4? All my purchases of Hornady are from before "the great depletion" of 2013 so I can't tell what's most recent.

I've only been in the game sense early 2010, so I know there are a lot of you with more knowledge than me on these things; please make suggestions if you think my descriptions are wrong.

Anyone else have photos they could add of brass I'm missing? There were some good ones in the other thread discussing possible Hornady LRP brass, but I didn't want to go stealing those from their owners.

On a side note, I've located some of the most recent "R.P 30 REM" cartridges that I suspect would have been used for the first 6.8 so I hope to have those photographed and posted up in the next few weeks.

Super Moderator
12,266 Posts
I believe you have the Hornady in the correct order. I am pretty sure the brass stamped Hornady 6.8mm Rem SPS is no longer being produced. My neighbor bought about 600 rounds of 120 SST and it is the stamp like the last one in post 4, with the writing stamped more towards the center instead of the outside edge.

2,760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks to those who've posted and those of you who have sent PMs with info and offerings!
I'm updating pictures and timelines in the original posts so things are being updated even though this isn't coming up under "New Posts".

Again, please feel free to add your own photos or info; I can't imagine I've hit on everything produced so far.

311 Posts
Every time I open a box of ammo now I find myself looking at the head stamp first. It's like that song that gets stuck in you're head. Thanks fer that! LOL

I opened a few boxes of Federal Fusion last night purchased from PSA when they first offered it months ago and found both markings in the same box. I've shot 10 boxes of it over the summer and never noticed. They must have been changing over forming dies right around the time of production for this lot. Same thing with the S&B being two different primers as shown in post #12. Both in the same box....weird.

48 Posts
I had bought some Hornady ammo around last christmas-february from PSA and cabelas at the time, and they were still the 6.8mm Rem SPC, but when I got a couple more boxes of the 120 SSTs less than a month ago, they were the current 6.8mm spc version. The newer brass also seems to have more of a rose hue to it as well.

311 Posts

2,760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Nswish, are these the BARRETT's you speak of?
I thought this link might be of interest to you. Says they are manufactured by SSA around the 2009 timeframe???
Upon reading the description on Surplus Ammo & Arms site it should be noted that the ammo they are selling has been "manufactured for SAA" which does NOT mean "manufactured by SSA" I have no first hand knowledge of the product SAA is selling but, you're correct, the picture they show is of the brass which was rejected by Barrett (see post #6) and the time frame SAA quotes does put it in the correct window for the rejected brass. Again, this is all based on the research I've been doing; as it pertains to this particular brass, I have no first hand experience. If they offered a smaller quantity I grab some to see what it's all about, but I just can't justify a bulk box of this time of year.

SAA 6.8 SPC 115 Grain Hollow Point Boat Tail- 500 Rounds, Factory NEW, Bulk.

Quality, Reliability, & Dependable Performance. Manufactured in the USA for Surplus Ammo & Arms, this ammunition is an excellent value with unparalleled quality.

  • Caliber: 6.8 SPC
  • Bullet Weight: 115 Grains
  • Bullet Style: Hollow Point Boat Tail
  • Boxer Primed
  • Reloadable Brass Cases
  • Made in the USA; Manufactured for SAA

311 Posts
Upon reading the description on Surplus Ammo & Arms site it should be noted that the ammo they are selling has been "manufactured for SAA" which does NOT mean "manufactured by SSA" I have no first hand knowledge of the product SAA is selling but, you're correct, the picture they show is of the brass which was rejected by Barrett (see post #6) and the time frame SAA quotes does put it in the correct window for the rejected brass. Again, this is all based on the research I've been doing; as it pertains to this particular brass, I have no first hand experience. If they offered a smaller quantity I grab some to see what it's all about, but I just can't justify a bulk box of this time of year.
Great catch N on the "manufactured for SSA"! I'm not sure Surplus Ammo should use the SSA branding in their ad.

8,939 Posts
The last 6.8 I bought from SAA was actually SSA. This was December 2012.

2,760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Here's some vintage additions to the 6.8SPC lineage for all you history buffs out there! :a08:

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