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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so i am wanting to put together an ar for my son. 7 years old. i really drag my feet on the 22lr becasue of reliability. and never cared for it. so i was wondering about reduced power ar loads. would a reduced 6.8 work. i have an extra 6.8 barrel i could use. i have wondered about the wolverine. i like the bigger caliber of the 6.8 vs 223.

do you have any links to reduced power loads? how does one get started down this path. is it a bad idea for some reason? will it help at all or should i just consider a good quality 22lr.
 

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so i am wanting to put together an ar for my son. 7 years old. i really drag my feet on the 22lr becasue of reliability. and never cared for it. so i was wondering about reduced power ar loads. would a reduced 6.8 work. i have an extra 6.8 barrel i could use. i have wondered about the wolverine. i like the bigger caliber of the 6.8 vs 223.

do you have any links to reduced power loads? how does one get started down this path. is it a bad idea for some reason? will it help at all or should i just consider a good quality 22lr.
First of all, no reduced powered 6.8spc loading will be as soft shooting as a 22lr. If you reduce the load too much, it won't cycle the action properly.

That said, for a 7 year old? Um.... No, I wouldn't be starting off with an AR 6.8.

Stick to starting with a single shot 22lr like an old Winchester Model 340 if you can find one. They are cheap rifles, and perfect for small children to start off with. If he has already shot 22lr quite a bit, then maybe the 22lr AR for around $400-$500 is best. Lots of them out their.

I personally would start with a single shot, then maybe move up to a Ruger 10-22 or a Marlin. Why on Earth it needs to be a pricier AR version is beyond me. But hey, whatever floats your boat. Either that, or it sounds like Dad wants to play with it more than his son. :a21:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First of all, no reduced powered 6.8spc loading will be as soft shooting as a 22lr. If you reduce the load too much, it won't cycle the action properly.

That said, for a 7 year old? Um.... No, I wouldn't be starting off with an AR 6.8.

Stick to starting with a single shot 22lr like an old Winchester Model 340 if you can find one. They are cheap rifles, and perfect for small children to start off with. If he has already shot 22lr quite a bit, then maybe the 22lr AR for around $400-$500 is best. Lots of them out their.

I personally would start with a single shot, then maybe move up to a Ruger 10-22 or a Marlin. Why on Earth it needs to be an AR version is beyond me. But hey, whatever floats your boat.
he likes to build things. so that is part of the fun. also reloading your own ammo. i don't think you can with 22lr. he likes doing that as much as shooting. it is all a part of the experience. the AR's just have so much customizing, building, etc. . .
but yes i agree a full power 6.8 would be ridiculous. that is why i wondered about reduced loads.
 

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Get a 1:7 twist wolverine. Using 150 gr subs there is like no recoil. Then you can step up to 90 gr later. I have 2 kids. I can't keep them away from the wolverine.

Use a collapsible stock. You can collapse it down so it actually fits the kids. My 8 year old daughter has been shooting my wolverine for a year now. She's doing very well with it.

As for a 22. The s&w m&p is very nice if you want to stick with ar style.
 

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i say go ahead and build him an ar 68, it wont be long before you do anyway and then he is set and will most likely have forever. the 6.8 doesnt have much kick at all. factory loads or published spec 1 loads would be like reduced loads.
Fed. 90 GD's would be perfect.
a .243 has more recoil than 6.8, and .243 is considered perfect for kiddies.(that is till 6.8 and 277 wolvy came along)
http://www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm

or.
+1... 277 wolvy

I would stick with a 16" barrel and +1... collapsible buttstock

for starting, load 1 round at a time or cut off gas for single shot

before i built a 6.8 my 12 yr old daughter (at the time) shot and hunted with a 30'06 1st couple of years, never bothered her. wasnt ideal, but all i had at the time. i added some lead shot in stock for practice, took it out for hunting.
 

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I would skip the 6.8 in this scenario. Honestly, the 300 BLK is worth considering as it's a very soft shooting round and easy to reload for.
 

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My oldest made his first kill at 7 with a 243win and the youngest at 8 with my 16" barreled 68.
The reduced power load we used for 68 was 27.5 grains of Benchmark and a 120SST, he killed one sow with it and I took a 200 pound range boar with the same load.
They were both taught to shoot with a 22lr first then one round in the magazine at a time with both the AR and the 243.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
as always thanks for the advice and help everyone. Again I was wondering if anybody has a link to a post about reduced loads. I haven't been able to find much when I search for it.this could be on 6.8, Wolverine, or even 223 loads.I haven't been able to tap into this world of knowledge yet. Maybe it doesn't exist?
 

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as always thanks for the advice and help everyone. Again I was wondering if anybody has a link to a post about reduced loads. I haven't been able to find much when I search for it.this could be on 6.8, Wolverine, or even 223 loads.I haven't been able to tap into this world of knowledge yet. Maybe it doesn't exist?
For reduced loads consider the starting loads of all spec I data as such just don't be surprised if you experience some short stroking issues with the faster powders.
That is why I suggested using Benchmark as it will give milder velocities for the little ones but it has sufficient gas to reliably cycle the rifle and as a bonus it is generally a very accurate powder to tune loads with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
For reduced loads consider the starting loads of all spec I data as such just don't be surprised if you experience some short stroking issues with the faster powders.
That is why I suggested using Benchmark as it will give milder velocities for the little ones but it has sufficient gas to reliably cycle the rifle and as a bonus it is generally a very accurate powder to tune loads with.
okay thanks. Also I was wondering if you could use hand gun powder like they do for subs.
 

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okay thanks. Also I was wondering if you could use hand gun powder like they do for subs.
you might be able to experiment with 30-30 light load data for reloading --30-30 and 6.8 case size is similar-- but the 30-30 doesn't require the specific gas pressure at the gas port like a AR chassis does, so they may not cycle the carrier correctly

SR4759 is listed for the 30-30 as a reduced load powder-- it is a very slow/bulky pistol powder that might work well--- try calling IMR and speaking with a technician

https://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/H4895 Reduced Rifle Loads.pdf

REDUCED RECOIL LOADS
.22-250 Remington - 55 grain Speer SP bullet, 13.0 grains SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Remington case. COL 2.350". MV 2002 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.220 Swift - 55 grain Speer SP bullet, 13.5 grains SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Winchester case. COL 2.650". MV 2000 fps in 26" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.243 Winchester - 80 grain Rem. PSP bullet, 25.5 grains SR 4759 powder, Rem. 9 1/2 primer, Remington case. COL 2.640". MV 2710 fps in 24" test barrel. MAP 51,300 CUP. (Based on the IMR Smokeless Powder Reloader's Guide, April 2004.)
.243 Winchester - 100 grain Speer BT bullet, 29.0 grains H414 powder, Rem. CCI 250 primer, Winchester case. COL 2.635". MV 2270 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
6mm Remington - 100 grain Rem. PSP bullet, 23.5 grains SR 4759 powder, Rem. 9 1/2 primer, Remington case. COL 2.735". MV 2400 fps in 22" test barrel. MAP 51,600 CUP. (Based on the IMR Smokeless Powder Reloader's Guide, April 2004.)
.240 Weatherby Magnum - 90 grain Speer SP bullet, 20.0 grains of IMR 4198 powder, CCI 250 primer, Wby. case. COL 3.062". MV 1982 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.240 Weatherby Magnum - 105 grain Speer SP bullet, 22.0 grains of IMR 4198 powder, CCI 250 primer, Wby. case. COL 3.062". MV 2024 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.257 Roberts - 100 grain Speer SP bullet, 17.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Win. case. COL 2.770". MV 1945 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.257 Roberts - 120 grain Speer SP bullet, 19.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Win. case. COL 2.770". MV 2003 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.25-06 Remington - 120 grain Speer SP bullet, 21.0 grains SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Winchester case. COL 3.155". MV 1861 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.257 Weatherby Magnum - 100 grain Speer SP bullet, 22.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Wby. case. COL 3.150". MV 1975 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.260 Remington - 120 grain Speer SP bullet, 24.0 grains of XMP 5744 powder, CCI 200 primer, Remington case. COL 2.720". MV 2156 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.260 Remington - 120 grain Sierra SP bullet, 23.5 grains SR 4759 powder, Rem. 9 1/2 primer, Remington case. COL 2.780". MV 2280 fps in 24" test barrel. MAP 57,600 PSI. (Based on the IMR Smokeless Powder Reloader's Guide, April 2004.)
6.5x55 SE - 120 grain Speer SP bullet, 17.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Federal case. COL 3.000". MV 1911 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
6.5x55 SE - 140 grain Speer SP bullet, 17.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Federal case. COL 3.035". MV 1797 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
6.5mm Remington Magnum - 140 grain Speer SP bullet, 22.5 grains IMR 4198 powder, CCI 250 primer, Remington case. COL 2.790". MV 1792 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.264 Winchester Magnum - 120 grain Speer SP bullet, 23.0 grains IMR 4198 powder, CCI 250 primer, Winchester case. COL 3.300". MV 1932 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.270 Winchester - 130 grain Swift Scirocco bullet, 24.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI BR-2 primer, Federal case. COL 3.340". MV 2190 fps in 22" barrel. (From American Rifleman, Volume 161, No. 11)
.270 Winchester - 150 grain Speer SP bullet, 26.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Winchester case. COL 3.270". MV 1957 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.270 Weatherby Magnum - 130 grain Speer SP bullet, 28.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Wby. case. COL 3.250". MV 2021 fps in 26" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
7x57 Mauser - 145 grain Speer SP bullet, 22.0 grains SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Remington case. COL 2.800". MV 1842 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.280 Remington - 130 grain Speer SP bullet, 24.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.205". MV 2024 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
7mm Remington Magnum - 130 grain Speer SP bullet, 26.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.285". MV 2084 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
7mm Remington Magnum - 145 grain Speer SP bullet, 28.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.280". MV 2112 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
7mm Weatherby Magnum - 145 grain Speer SP bullet, 29.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.360". MV 1970 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.30-30 Winchester - 100 grain FP bullet, 15.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Winchester case. MV 1834 fps in 24" barrel. MAP 23,400 CUP. (Based on the Hodgdon Data Manual, 26th Edition.)
.30-30 Winchester - 150 grain FP bullet, 17.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Winchester case. COL 2.550". MV 1794 fps in 24" barrel. MAP 35,600 CUP. (Based on the Hodgdon Data Manual, 26th Edition.)
.307 Winchester - 150 grain Speer FP bullet, 38.0 grains of H322 powder, CCI 200 primer, Win. case. COL 2.520". MV 2146 fps in 20" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.308 Winchester - 130 grain Speer HP bullet, 29.0 grains of IMR 4198 powder, CCI 200 primer, IMI case. COL 2.615". MV 2185 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.308 Winchester - 150 grain Speer RN bullet, 25.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, IMI case. COL 2.490". MV 1925 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.30-06 Springfield - 150 grain Speer SP bullet, 28.0 grains of XMP 5744 powder, CCI 200 primer, Win. case. COL 3.250". MV 2052 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.30-06 Springfield - 165 grain Speer SP bullet, 25.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Win. case. COL 3.250". MV 1941 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.308 Norma Magnum - 180 grain Speer RN bullet, 31.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Norma case. COL 3.220". MV 1918 fps in 24.5" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.300 Winchester Magnum - 150 grain Speer SP bullet, 28.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Win. case. COL 3.330". MV 2028 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.300 Winchester Magnum - 165 grain Speer SP bullet, 29.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Win. case. COL 3.340". MV 2000 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.300 Weatherby Magnum - 150 grain Speer SP bullet, 29.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.560". MV 1970 fps in 26" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.300 Weatherby Magnum - 180 grain Speer SP bullet, 35.0 grains of IMR 4198 powder, CCI 250 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.560". MV 1988 fps in 26" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.303 British - 150 grain Speer SP bullet, 25.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.075". MV 1925 fps in 25.25" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.303 British - 180 grain Speer RN bullet, 25.0 grains of IMR 4198 powder, CCI 200 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.075". MV 1839 fps in 25.25" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.32 Winchester Special - 170 grain Speer FP bullet, 18.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Win. case. COL 2.560". MV 1710 fps in 20" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
8x57 Mauser - 150 grain Speer SP bullet, 21.5 grains SR 4759 powder, WLR primer, Winchester case. COL 2.945". MV 1960 fps in 25" test barrel. MAP 37,000 CUP. (Based on the IMR Smokeless Powder Reloader's Guide, April 2004.)
.340 Weatherby Magnum - 200 grain Speer SP bullet, 33.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Wby. case. COL 3.560". MV 1970 fps in 26" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.35 Whelen - 280 grain Lyman #358009 cast lead bullet, 25.5 grains of SR 4759 powder, Rem. 9 1/2 primer, Rem. case. COL 3.040". MV 1654 fps in 24" barrel. MAP 25,300 cup. (Based on the Lyman 47th Reloading Handbook.)
.350 Remington Magnum - 180 grain Speer FP bullet, 28.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Rem. case. COL 2.800". MV 1926 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.350 Remington Magnum - 250 grain Speer SP bullet, 26.0 grains SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Remington case. COL 2.800". MV 1650 fps in 22" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.358 Norma Magnum - 180 grain Speer FP bullet, 32.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Norma case. COL 3.340". MV 2013 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
9.3x74R - 270 grain Speer Semi-SP bullet, 25.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, RWS case. COL 3.665". MV 1537 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.375 Winchester - 248 grain Lyman #375248 cast lead bullet, 20.0 grains of 2400 powder, WLR primer, Win. case. COL 2.450". MV 1595 fps in 20" barrel. (Based on the Lyman 47th Reloading Handbook.)
.375 H&H Magnum - 235 grain Speer SSP bullet, 30.0 grains SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Winchester case. COL 3.600". MV 1701 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.378 Weatherby Magnum - 249 grain Lyman #375248 cast lead bullet, 25.0 grains of Unique powder, Rem. 9 1/2 primer, Weatherby case. MV 1760 fps in 26" barrel. (Based on the Lyman 47th Reloading Handbook.)
.45-70 Government - 300 grain Hornady HP bullet, 25.5 grains SR 4759 powder, Federal 210 primer, Win. case. COL 2.550". MV 1300 fps in 29.5" barrel. (Based on the Hornady Handbook, Sixth Edition.)
.45-70 Government - 325 grain RCBS #82045 cast lead bullet, 26.0 grains SR 4759 powder, CCI 200 primer, Win. case. COL 2.463". MV 1314 fps in 26" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)
.458 Winchester Magnum - 385 grain Lyman #457124 cast lead bullet, 18.0 grains of Unique powder, WLR primer, Winchester case. COL 3.012". MV 1315 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Lyman 47th Reloading Handbook.)
.458 Winchester Magnum - 400 grain Speer Flat-SP bullet, 26.0 grains of SR 4759 powder, CCI 250 primer, Winchester case. COL 3.125". MV 1262 fps in 24" barrel. (Based on the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.)

personally, the 223 in an AR chassis is the epitome of a reduced load, if your shooter cant handle the recoil from a 223AR chassis, then I feel they are not ready for center fire yet

My kids started with my heavy bench rest 20" barrel 223 colt (11 pounds) when they were 6YO---- the heavy weight helps reduce the recoil even further--- then when they were comfortable shooting it at the range with sand bags I moved them to a lightweight carbine in 233, then 6.8, then larger center fire bolt guns--- always proceed with caution and start with only 1 round in mag with semi auto and new shooters until they understand the safety aspects --- tech them to shot with both eyes open too
 

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I would skip the 6.8 in this scenario. Honestly, the 300 BLK is worth considering as it's a very soft shooting round and easy to reload for.
There aren't many good hunting bullets for the 300 BO. I built one just to test .308 rounds at low speed with the right spin/stabilization. IMO you are better off with good hunting bullets in the .223. The 300 BO does well subsonic but for supersonic loads, stick with the .223.

THM covered a lot of reduced loads. I suppose you want your kids to learn on a bolt gun. H4895 is another good powder for reduced loads. That is what I used to down load to low velocities for testing before I got the .300 BO. Simple instructions from Hodgdon. Any cartridge they list H4895 for, you can download to 60% case capacity. I've actually gone lower than that but pack tissue in the case to keep the powder up against the primer. You could start them off with a .243, buy an extra stock and cut it to fit so they can grow into it.
 

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Another reason to be cautious with a 300 BO. The 300 BO rounds fit in a 5.56 chamber and has disastrous results when fired. If you get one, make sure you build it to be significantly different than your other ARs.
 

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There aren't many good hunting bullets for the 300 BO. I built one just to test .308 rounds at low speed with the right spin/stabilization. IMO you are better off with good hunting bullets in the .223. The 300 BO does well subsonic but for supersonic loads, stick with the .223.

THM covered a lot of reduced loads. I suppose you want your kids to learn on a bolt gun. H4895 is another good powder for reduced loads. That is what I used to down load to low velocities for testing before I got the .300 BO. Simple instructions from Hodgdon. Any cartridge they list H4895 for, you can download to 60% case capacity. I've actually gone lower than that but pack tissue in the case to keep the powder up against the primer. You could start them off with a .243, buy an extra stock and cut it to fit so they can grow into it.
I wasn't sure if the OP was looking for a hunting rifle or not. I'm active on this forum so I'm obviously in the 6.8 camp for hunting, although I wouldn't worry with a Barnes TAC-TX round in 300 BLK to take a whitetail within a reasonable range. For plinking, the 300 is a lot of fun. I mentally treat the 300 BLK as a magnum pistol caliber which allows it to exceed my expectations. :)

But the OP was pretty clear that's he's not looking for alternative caliber advice, just load data, and I can't help there as I am bound by the shackles of factory ammunition right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks for all the advice. it is a great starting place. i am considering other calibers. it would just be easiest to stay with the 6.8 since it is what i have. but might find it necessary to change to find what i am looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
it seems that the wolverine would be a great alternative as it is a 6.8 bullet which i have lots of, with easy to get parts (223 cases, bolts, etc). from my understanding there is nothing the the blackout can do that the wolverine wont do better. it sounds pretty good. and definitely reduced recoil.
 

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it seems that the wolverine would be a great alternative as it is a 6.8 bullet which i have lots of, with easy to get parts (223 cases, bolts, etc). from my understanding there is nothing the the blackout can do that the wolverine wont do better. it sounds pretty good. and definitely reduced recoil.
You obviously make your own decisions but the load I suggested when I was letting my youngest boy shoot it at the range to get used to it shot a ten shot group.
When we retrieved the target one of the range officers looked at me and commented what a good shot I was and of course I had to clarify it was the boy that shot the 10 shot .875" group not me and he said you have the makings of a fine Marine there someday dad.
 

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XLR8, you just brought back memories of teaching my son. I would work on him for better breath and trigger control. Guess I held the bar pretty high and thought he should be doing better. Then when we went to pick him up after a week of Scout Camp, I found out I had set the bar too high. At the awards ceremony he won ever rifle and shotgun award they had. He now out shoots me, especially with the pistol.
 

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I didn't realize that there was already published H4895 load data for the 6.8mm. Just get some H4895 and you just reduced your loads to the level of the Wolverine. But then you wouldn't have an excuse to build a new rifle.

http://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/H4895 Reduced Rifle Loads.pdf

Starting reduced load for 6.8 with h4895 is 17.5
This load full functions in my 6.8 with 135 gr cast and is very mild recoil....
 
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