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In another thread, it was basically stated by someone that they thought the popularity of the 6.8 was being held back somewhat by the lack of spec II ammo since all factory ammo still is rated for spec I but that this could be overcome by a reloader who could load to the newer/faster/better spec. Currently I use the 115 grain Federal Fusion load for deer hunting. It is rated at 2470 fps. So out of curiosity I looked on Hodgdon's website at their reloading data for the 6.8 SPC using 115 grain bullets to see how much faster I could reload a 115 grain bullet over the 2470 that Federal loads them at. Hodgdon's website does not differentiate between spec I and spec II. But looking at the 8 loads they listed for a 115 grain bullet for the 6.8 Remington SPC, Federal's 2470 velocity was greater than any of the starting loads listed except one at 2483. All of the max loads beat the 2470 velocity but not by as much as I thought they would. The fastest load was 2647 or 177 fps faster than the Federal factory load. Only one other load was above 2600 fps and the average speed of all 8 max loads was around 2555 fps or only 85 fps faster than the factory load. On top of that, based on reloading other calibers, max load almost never gives you the most accurate load. The most accurate load usually is slightly under the max load. So if you loaded to the most accurate load that average would be even less than 85 fps.

So my point of the above is to ask a couple of questions. First, is less than 100 fps (in most cases) difference between factory loads and reasonable reloads enough to seriously be a factor in influencing the popularity of the 6.8 SPC? If there were spec II factory loads, do you think the 6.8 would be more popular? Second, is there other data other than Hodgdon's that shows a bigger fps gain over factory?

For my purposes, deer hunting where most of my shots are 150 yards or less and only rarely might I get a shot at 300 yards, I don't think the factory load is all that lacking. The extra ~100 fps wouldn't amount to enough difference to make or break my deer taking ability. I realize that not everyone uses their 6.8 for deer hunting which is why I am asking these questions to get other people's perspective on spec I vs spec II vs reloads. Thanks.
 

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If you are satisfied with accuracy, especially with the potential 300yd shot, you are probably good to go with the factory ammo. Find that round in Xman's bullet testing thread and see what the minimum opening velocity is. From that you can figure your apprx max range.
 
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There is no "book" Spec2 loads. You will have to find the load data yourself, (search this forum for other members loads and start low). Keep in mind you can typically run pressures up to 58k in Spec2 chambers with handloads if you work them up carefully. If you look at hodgdon data they list pressures etc but they are for the saami chamber and are typically rated to 54k instead. Also check their barrel length used as what i found was 24" and i doubt you are running that long of a barrel.
 

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It really depends. I started hand loading for cost. Getting more velocity was a bonus. As an example I just did my first batch of 120 grains (cavity back) and was at 2450 average from a 16" Bison barrel. My 110's (S & B) are pushing 2770. Havent tried 90's yet, but the Federal AE is coming out about 2910.
 

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You asked me several questions at one time and it's a simple and complicated answer . First off the mistake Remington made a with the original 6.8 spc was not just not enough velocity , they had to little bullet jump and the twist rate was not optimum for the speed . Spec 2 is not reference to powder charge or cartridge change but chamber deminsion changes which allows for bullets to be loaded longer and longer bullets to be loaded with more powder . And yes for some people the extra 100 + feet per second is very important in their minds . For deer hunting 300 yards and under the difference between factory loads and hot loads out of a spec 2 barrel is not measurable . We have taken deer at 50 yards with 90 MSR out of 18" and at 200 yds out of 12.5 " and achieve pass through shots same damage same size hole . Same with 120 SST s . The extra umph would be usable if you wanted to stretch out to past 250 with the short ( 10"- 12.5 " ) barrels . For deer hunting if you don't reload you are good to go with factory . As matter of fact I can't load a hunting bullet for my 16" more accurate than 120 sst s . The fact that the only way to shoot cavity back bullets is to roll your own is the best reason to reload and I don't see any reason to need any other hunting bullet .


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You asked us several questions at one time and it's a simple and complicated answer . First off the mistake Remington made a with the original 6.8 spc was not just not enough velocity , they had to little bullet jump and the twist rate was not optimum for the speed . Spec 2 is not reference to powder charge or cartridge change but chamber deminsion changes which allows for bullets to be loaded longer and longer bullets to be loaded with more powder . And yes for some people the extra 100 + feet per second is very important in their minds . For deer hunting 300 yards and under the difference between factory loads and hot loads out of a spec 2 barrel is not measurable . We have taken deer at 50 yards with 90 MSR out of 18" and at 200 yds out of 12.5 " and achieve pass through shots same damage same size hole . Same with 120 SST s . The extra umph would be usable if you wanted to stretch out to past 250 with the short ( 10"- 12.5 " ) barrels . For deer hunting if you don't reload you are good to go with factory . As matter of fact I can't load a hunting bullet for my 16" more accurate than 120 sst s . The fact that the only way to shoot cavity back bullets is to roll your own is the best reason to reload and I don't see any reason to need any other hunting bullet .


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This is very interesting. I'm pretty positive I literally got the very last Hardened Arms 6.8 SPC II out the door before they went belly up. I don't remember if they made their own barrels, but it wouldn't surprise me if everything was machined with old worn-out tooling. I fully expected it to shoot crap, but It shoot outstanding percice. The "worst" it shoots is just over 1 MOA with 115 fusions. It has cycled everyone of the several hundred rounds I've shot through it with no hiccups. I don't reload anymore, so everything I shoot is factory loads. However, everything it shoot shows pressure signs with heavily cratered and flattened primers. I did run several rounds through my chronograph, from what I recall, all were inline with factory advertising. If anything, with handloads, I think I'd back loads down a bit.
 

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Pretty sure this wont be due to pressure, where is your brass landing? Any swipes on the brass?
Sorry, I wrote that late at night and forgot a whole sentence. LOL

All brass has swipe marks to some degree and everything but Hornady brass has a noticeable pressure ring. Most brass lands forward, 2 o'clock-ish but some brass (Hornady maybe?) Lands 4-5-ish. My hunting buddy has occasionally caught brass square in the face after it has ricocheted off the front of the blind when I sit to his left. Some SSA brass has cracked at the neck. However, I've read this is not uncommon anyway?

The firing pin hole is just less then .060". I swapped firing pins from another rifle and it makes no difference.
 

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Weird. Maybe H will have an idea or two. Maybe swap the barrel for a Bison or ARP. I have had 0 issues with any ammo I used, till I pushed too much pressure, then the primer blew out the pocket. Probably could increase COAL to run that load.
 

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Weird. Maybe H will have an idea or two. Maybe swap the barrel for a Bison or ARP. I have had 0 issues with any ammo I used, till I pushed too much pressure, then the primer blew out the pocket. Probably could increase COAL to run that load.
I'm not overly concerned with it only because it functions so well, but I'm definitely keeping an eye on the brass. The upper was really cheap, it's on a PSA lower I also, got for cheap, so when it stops working I won't cry. I'll just keep using Factory ammo until it doesn't work anymore. I'm actually a little curious to see what will break lol

I'd be a little embarrassed to waste H's time on this. I will take up some of his time with my next build I'm already gearing up for, APR is on the short list. I hope I can get something done by Nov 3.
 

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I'm not overly concerned with it only because it functions so well, but I'm definitely keeping an eye on the brass. The upper was really cheap, it's on a PSA lower I also, got for cheap, so when it stops working I won't cry. I'll just keep using Factory ammo until it doesn't work anymore. I'm actually a little curious to see what will break lol

I'd be a little embarrassed to waste H's time on this. I will take up some of his time with my next build I'm already gearing up for, APR is on the short list. I hope I can get something done by Nov 3.
Some Hornady brass is made by S&B and has more volume than others . That is probably why you get less pressure signs with them .

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So my point of the above is to ask a couple of questions. First, is less than 100 fps (in most cases) difference between factory loads and reasonable reloads enough to seriously be a factor in influencing the popularity of the 6.8 SPC? If there were spec II factory loads, do you think the 6.8 would be more popular? Second, is there other data other than Hodgdon's that shows a bigger fps gain over factory?

For my purposes, deer hunting where most of my shots are 150 yards or less and only rarely might I get a shot at 300 yards, I don't think the factory load is all that lacking. The extra ~100 fps wouldn't amount to enough difference to make or break my deer taking ability. I realize that not everyone uses their 6.8 for deer hunting which is why I am asking these questions to get other people's perspective on spec I vs spec II vs reloads. Thanks.
In my opinion, I don't think the lack of mainstream popularity for the 6.8 SPC II has much bearing on factory loads for the cartridge. I think other factors are at play. There is no major rifle manufacturer that has any love for it. No major manufacturer wants to produce rifles chamber in the cartridge. .270 caliber cartridges, in general, have never had love from major manufacturers. Without major manufacturers money for advertisement, cartridges just aren't successful. It is interesting to note that when a major manufacturer introduces a .270 caliber cartridge it is likely to be a success.

Negative advertising works in America. Whenever there is even a general discussion on the 6.8SPC a 6.5G fan will come along and crap on it. Americans are more paper punches than hunters. Everybody wants to be a sniper. 6.5 G has a theoretical advantage at longer range. However how many shooters can even take advantage of any small gain? Let alone find a range to shoot that far. I think the 6.5G would have died out if it had not been for the popularity of the 6.5C.

I think 6.8 SPC shooters pick the cartridge-based on its merits and less on hype. 100fps more looks better printed on the side of a box, but at the majority of hunting shots, 200 yards or less, it doesn't make much difference. The extra 100fps is useful on shots from 300-500 yards, but realistically how often are those shots taken on deer, coyotes and hogs?
 

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I'm not overly concerned with it only because it functions so well, but I'm definitely keeping an eye on the brass. The upper was really cheap, it's on a PSA lower I also, got for cheap, so when it stops working I won't cry. I'll just keep using Factory ammo until it doesn't work anymore. I'm actually a little curious to see what will break lol

I'd be a little embarrassed to waste H's time on this. I will take up some of his time with my next build I'm already gearing up for, APR is on the short list. I hope I can get something done by Nov 3.
Sounds like an overgassed timing issue to me. AGB or a heavier buffer swap would likely help. The ejector swipes are from the bolt turning while the case is under too much pressure and expanded against the chamber walls not allowing it to turn with the bolt, thus giving a swipe. All due to trying to extract too soon. The AGB would help restrict gas and slow down the process until the case has less pressure on it, a heavier buffer would slow this down as well.
 

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In my experience with 4 ARP barrels, book data max loads are pretty close to starting loads when handloading. My 12.5” with can has two favorite loads:

1) 120 SST @ 2.3 for 2450 using 27.2 of AA2200

2) 110 AB @ 2.3 for 2550 using 28.2 of AA2200

I have shot the 110 load out of the 12.5” out to 820 yards on steel. 10 mils on the dot.
 

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In my experience with 4 ARP barrels, book data max loads are pretty close to starting loads when handloading. My 12.5” with can has two favorite loads:

1) 120 SST @ 2.3 for 2450 using 27.2 of AA2200

2) 110 AB @ 2.3 for 2550 using 28.2 of AA2200

I have shot the 110 load out of the 12.5” out to 820 yards on steel. 10 mils on the dot.
Guess I should start playing with my COAL. Im getting 2450 from 120s on a 16" with 27.2 Gr of AA2200. I could add a bit more powder though.
 

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This is very interesting. I'm pretty positive I literally got the very last Hardened Arms 6.8 SPC II out the door before they went belly up. I don't remember if they made their own barrels, but it wouldn't surprise me if everything was machined with old worn-out tooling. I fully expected it to shoot crap, but It shoot outstanding percice. The "worst" it shoots is just over 1 MOA with 115 fusions. It has cycled everyone of the several hundred rounds I've shot through it with no hiccups. I don't reload anymore, so everything I shoot is factory loads. However, everything it shoot shows pressure signs with heavily cratered and flattened primers. I did run several rounds through my chronograph, from what I recall, all were inline with factory advertising. If anything, with handloads, I think I'd back loads down a bit.
I bought a 16” Hardened Arms complete upper & bcg in 2016 and it has been a well spent $425. It holds accuracy well beyond my expectations. It was my entry AR for pigs/coyotes and (hopefully) deer solution, aside from my 7mag. Haven’t shot anything in my safe since. No brass bulging or scars since the first round. It works better now than ever since I changed to an adjustable gas block and am shooting suppressed. It still shoots sub MOA with a “low end” Flir pts233 at 100yds into a hand warmer (5 rounds straight within 15 seconds). Maybe it’s really a pretty good combo, or maybe I miss lucky... A LOT.
 

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Sounds like an overgassed timing issue to me. AGB or a heavier buffer swap would likely help. The ejector swipes are from the bolt turning while the case is under too much pressure and expanded against the chamber walls not allowing it to turn with the bolt, thus giving a swipe. All due to trying to extract too soon. The AGB would help restrict gas and slow down the process until the case has less pressure on it, a heavier buffer would slow this down as well.
I was thinking it could definitely use a heavier buffer. It has the buffer that came with the PSA lower, most likely for a 5.56. I'm not sure if I can add any weight to it or just get something different. What buffer would you suggest?

I don't think I'll install an adjustable gas block only because I don't feel like taking this gun apart.
 
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