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Old March 8, 2009, 11:22 AM   #1
alberich
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6.8 SPC vs. 5.56NATO/.223 Rem vs. 7.62x39(AK round) vs. 7.62NATO/.308 Win

This is mainly about effectivity of the ammo, with generic consistency as a secondary point of interest.
Anyone here, hunters, LEOs, soldiers, who would compare the effectivity of the ammo? I'm interested mainly in your opinions on 6.8.
I hear a lot of criticism concerning the effectivity of 5.56 ammo so I want to learn more. 6.8 looks promising.
TY in advance.
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Old March 8, 2009, 11:40 AM   #2
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I've got a 6.8 and I love it. It's reported to be very effective on hogs, deer, and even effective on elk. I'm sure it'd be very effective as a military round, too. You can load a larger bullet at the same or higher velocities as 5.56. Its drawback is a relatively low BC when compared to 6.5 Grendel, for example. It uses fast powders and was designed for short barrels. The .mil is looking at it. Unfortunately the 5.56 is good enough for right now, so they're in no rush to spend the money to replace every M4/M16 upper and magazine in the force. I wish they would - that'd mean lots of cheap 5.56 mags flooding the market!

There's an 85gr TSX at 3200 fps. And the "standard" hunting round is the 110gr Sierra ProHunter at 2700fps. You get more penetration out of the 6.8 than the 5.56 and more energy at longer ranges.

Its long term prospect will be excellent if a .mil adopts it. If they don't, it'll probably hang around, but will never approach .223 or .308 popularity.

Some eye candy:
http://cardinalarmory.com/cardarm-pc....asp?idpage=11
http://www.ssarmory.com/success.aspx

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Old March 8, 2009, 11:46 AM   #3
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It's been asked and answered many times...and the answer is...there is no answer. Do a search and you'll get 1000's of posts. It is as easy to answer as whether you like blonds or brunettes or redheads.

First question is...effectivity for what? Target shooting? Hunting? Military? You'll get wildly different answers based on what application you're asking about. If you're talking about stopping something with heart/lungs etc (2 or 4 legged) then...

5.56 is fine if you understand it's range / velocity limitations. Lower recoil and you can carry more ammo. Rifle platform can be smaller / lighter (unless you load it up with ninja gadgets)

7.62x39 / 6.8 SPC -- is roughly .30-30 terminal ballistics which has probably put down more deer/150 lb mammals than any other cartridge (at least in the Americas). Will have greater recoil and weight than 5.56

308/7.62 NATO -- will have greater effective range and ability to punch through cover. You pay for it with greater recoil and weight (both ammo and rifle).

If you can pick softpoint / expanding ammo for your application, you'll be more versatile / effective than if you are stuck with FMJ.

In the end, I don't want to be shot with any of them. All will turn a pretty good day into a bad one. Me? I have several examples of each and pick the one that best fits the application.

And now we start another pointless debate on the merits "the best" cartridges...

Here's my 6.8 SPC that I built around a WOA 1:11 SPR barrel



Here's some 5.56 and 7.62 (both commie and NATO rifles) in my collection









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Old March 8, 2009, 12:21 PM   #4
alberich
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Quote:
First question is...effectivity for what?
Effectivity to make a guy who was hit with it, one bullet in torso, stop fighting immediatelly. I read that in Mogadishu and Iraq the 5.56 ammo failed to do that, unlike 7.62.

And by the way, I love your collection. Namely that Sig 550, G3 and M1a *droll*
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Old March 8, 2009, 01:32 PM   #5
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I think...no matter what the internet mall ninjas try to tell you...that SHOT PLACEMENT is way more important than caliber in terms of stopping an individual meant to do you harm.

There are plenty of reports of 7.62x51 not stopping on first shot. Hit them in things that leak alot or short out the electrical system and you'll get the attacker to stop. I'd rather hit with a 5.56 in the CNS or heart than get a gut shot with a 308.

I can't speak of actual military usage...I have not had combat experience. I have shot MANY 110-170 lb mammals (read that as hunting) and a well-placed shot in the boiler room is much better than a 477 NITROmagunumthumperBOOMER outside of the kill zone.
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Old March 8, 2009, 01:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Effectivity to make a guy who was hit with it, one bullet in torso, stop fighting immediatelly. I read that in Mogadishu and Iraq the 5.56 ammo failed to do that, unlike 7.62.
All the rounds you list can accomplish 1 shot stops, and all can fail at stopping an assailant altogether.

5.56x45 and 7.62x51 are different animals though, and used differently today.

5.56 is optimal for shorter range and lightly armored targets; the round is designed and effective for this use and the guns are typically light and short. Most loads in this round do not punch through cover that well, but in CQB this is an asset.

7.62x39 is similar to 5.56 except add a bit more ability to punch through cover.

7.62x51 is optimal for longer shots and punching through cover or light armor. The guns that chamber it are necessarily heavier and typically longer. The round can be overpenetrative and cause collateral damage at close range lightly armored targets.

I can't speak to 6.8, but my guess is that it performs similarly to 7.62x39
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Old March 8, 2009, 02:14 PM   #7
alberich
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Quote:
I think...no matter what the internet mall ninjas try to tell you...that SHOT PLACEMENT is way more important than caliber in terms of stopping an individual meant to do you harm.
I agree fully, but in a combat situation one aims for a center of mass and is glad if he hits. That's why I'm talking about torso hits. But the tales about Somalis and Iraquis shot several times by expert marksmen armed with 5.56 guns and still fighting make me nervous. Would 5.56 deliver the same hydrostatic shock as 7.62? Hunters say that the game drops when shot with .308 but frequently walks away when shot with .223.
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Old March 8, 2009, 02:37 PM   #8
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Within 150 yards and with a light enough round, the 5.56 is extremely effective in effectively stopping an enemy. You will hear horror stories about every round failing to drop a man hyped up on narcotics and adrenalin. However, there are always the counterstories which suggest a miracle bullet. If you dig deep, you will hear of stories which date back to Vietnam, in which marines light up huts with Viet Cong in them, and when they see what's inside, it's scraps of what used to be people. As a civilian, you can get fragmenting rounds, hollow points, soft tips, hell... you can get incendiary rounds.

Here are some ballistic tests:







So as you can see, the most lethal is the .308- but that round is another story completely. The guns which chamber this round are heavy, expensive to own and shoot, and overkill for short ranges. The most versatile round which you are asking of is the 5.56 IMHO.

Sorry, but I don't know much about the 6.8 SPC.
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Old March 8, 2009, 03:37 PM   #9
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Shot placement rules and is far more important than caliber. If you hit them in the right spot, caliber shouldn't be that big of a factor, unless penetration is an issue (which it shouldn't be among these calibers)
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Old March 8, 2009, 04:18 PM   #10
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Way to broad of a question.

It is all based on what you wish you use the weapon for and what each persons opinion is. i have a 6.8 .223 and .308 in ar-15 frames and i've shot deer with the 6.8 and the .308 and both had the same effect... dead deer. I've haven't shot anything bigger then a large beaver with the .223 or 5.56 whatever you want to call it as i reload. and that was instant death also. So it each is where you place the bullet. Cuz a .22 LR to the heart is going to be a faster death then a .50 BMG to the hand
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Old March 8, 2009, 04:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Would 5.56 deliver the same hydrostatic shock as 7.62?
Destruction of tissue is what stops/kills. Don't place your faith in hydrostatic shock.

Quote:
Hunters say that the game drops when shot with .308 but frequently walks away when shot with .223.
Sorry, but that is way too vague of a comment. I've shot game with a 308 and it walks (or runs) away. Was the .223 used with good shot placement? Did they shoot through heavy bone expecting that it was going to punch through like a heavy caliber? Were they trying to shoot a very "thick" animal....e.g., elk...that a light caliber isn't appropriate for?

Does the .308 have more "punch"? Yes. But it comes at a price...in skill, weight and ammo capacity. If you can accept those limitations, then by all means, use it (in fact, my go-to gun when the feces hits the air propulsion device is that Para FAL up there in the pics).

Quote:
Cuz a .22 LR to the heart is going to be a faster death then a .50 BMG to the hand
That comment is the winner...
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Old March 8, 2009, 05:41 PM   #12
alberich
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Thanks a lot for all the info. If anyone else can share his or her experience with 6.8 please do.
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Old March 8, 2009, 06:34 PM   #13
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Bear in mind that each has it's place. I own rifles in each caliber. Now I can't speak from combat experience (I have none) but I can from a ballistics point of view. I like them all. The 5.56 NATO is a nice flat shooting very accurate round when fired from an accurate rifle. But it really needs 20" of barrel to reach its full potential. I'm not saying they won't do the job, just that 5.56 out of a 14-16" barrel is sub optimum.

That's where the 6.8 SPC comes in. It was conceived to offer excellent ballistics out of 14-16" barrel. And it has good enough terminal ballistics from a 16" barrel to impress Doc. Roberts, and that's enough to impress me. He has my respect.

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Old March 8, 2009, 08:08 PM   #14
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FWIW, Remington screwed the pooch in regards to the 6.8spc. They messed up the chamber drawings when they submitted it to SAAMI, and their ammo is anemic and notoriously inaccurate. Fortunately, DPMS and Model 1 Sales are the only manufacturers still clinging to the SAAMI chamber, all others have changed to either the SPC2 or the DMR chamber, and SSA and Hornady have stepped up in the ammo department.

Info on the 6.8 SPC:
http://demigodllc.com/articles/6.8-m...-arms-carbine/
http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2008Intl/Roberts.pdf
http://www.yuntaa.com/FileManager/Do...4400144FB7B71E
http://68forums.com
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Old March 9, 2009, 06:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Effectivity to make a guy who was hit with it, one bullet in torso, stop fighting immediatelly. I read that in Mogadishu and Iraq the 5.56 ammo failed to do that, unlike 7.62.
Don't know about Iraq, but in Moagadishu when the Rangers got hit I think they were quiet effective with the 5.56 ammo. You can only carry so much ammunition and they had far more targets than most had ammunition for. I have never used my M-16A2 or M4 in a combat situation but I'm positive that a properly placed shot will ruin the day of any target.

My dad fought with 1st Cav in Viet Nam, and he said that sometimes they came across enemies so hopped up on drugs that they would take a whole mag and still run by. I don't know how much drug use is out there by the Iraq insurgents, and if I remember right it was a problem in Somalia. So I'm not sure a 7.62 will stop a drugged out combatant any better.
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Old March 9, 2009, 08:59 AM   #16
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One of my buddies was Delta in Mogadishu. he says that the 223 worked just fine if you did your part. that being said, we both carry 308 AR's.
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Old March 9, 2009, 09:50 AM   #17
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more on the 6.8 SPC

I should add... the 6.8 SPC is a really fun round to shoot. gives you a better feeling of power then the 5.56mm but is still rather light on the recoil. love carrying it on deer drives. the 16" barrel and adjustable stock was very nice in the woods. and very quick to get sights on target
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Old March 10, 2009, 11:41 PM   #18
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I've done alot of reading on the 6.8spc and really like the idea. From what I've learned though, it's a repackage of the old .276 Pedersen or .280 British rounds. However, it's in a much shorter case to fit into the current M-16 magazine wells and is supposedly controllable in full-auto fire.
It would've been ideal if it was adopted by the military and ammo was abundant, but as it's just been kinda sitting in limbo and still relatively expensive, I can't invest in it.
I even considered selling off every other rifle I had to fund a XCR rifle in that caliber as my be-all-end-all rifle.
But as I don't shoot full auto in my firearms I believe my M1A can do all the 6.8spc can do and much more.
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Old August 6, 2009, 12:47 PM   #19
Mike Brosch
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I have been shot at and:

I didn't like it. Mostly because of all the crap that wasn't bullets but hit me and hurt like hell. Based on that experience I prefer heavy bullets because they keep the bad guys heads down and inspire descretionary redirection. (re: run away) The 5.56 poodle shooter is a wonderful firearm for girls who get tired easily. The M-14 is a battle rifle. The 6.8 SPC is a fine compromise and I prey it is adopted soon.
One question I do have: What is overkill?
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Old August 6, 2009, 02:07 PM   #20
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I've seen 12 gauge slugs fail to drop deer on the spot. The only sure 1-shot stop is a hit to the spine or the brain, I don't care what caliber you are talking about.
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Old August 6, 2009, 02:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
I think...no matter what the internet mall ninjas try to tell you...that SHOT PLACEMENT is way more important than caliber in terms of stopping an individual meant to do you harm.
Were the developers of the 6.8 SPC "mall ninjas"? I've never heard special ops people called that before. They developed the 6.8 SPC because 5.56 wasn't doing the job out of a 14-16" barreled carbine.

Let's be realistic. Shot placement is a wonderful thing but sometimes the man trying to kill you won't hold still long enough to let you aim carefully and some of them even have the nerve to shoot at you while you're taking careful and deliberate aim. Now I realize that some of us are too manly to duck and risk poor shot placement but some do. How rude of the bad guys to shoot while we're trying to aim.
/Rant

6.8 isn't the be all and end all of cartridges but it is a big improvement over 5.56 when both are fired from a carbine.
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Old August 6, 2009, 02:36 PM   #22
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A FMJ 30 caliber will only have a slightly better stopping ability than a 5.56 in my opinion.

Both rounds are not very efficient in transmitting their energy and momentum to a soft target. Both rounds can tumble if their is enough flesh but todays enemy fighters are usually small framed and lean with low water to tissue content, compared to American doughboys.
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Old August 6, 2009, 07:27 PM   #23
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6.8 or 6.5 are both going to be an improvement over 5.56 for hunting (I'm torn between the two...probably need to get one of each) but fer Pete's sake all three will kill anyone in your home dead as a doornail so don't obsess over it - you're not going to be "wrong" to get any of them. I love my 5.56 weapons just as much as anything else in the safe.

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Old August 27, 2009, 09:26 AM   #24
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A FMJ 30 caliber will only have a slightly better stopping ability than a 5.56 in my opinion.

I haven't observed that, so defer to the folks who went to the effort to create the 6.8 SPC - 5th SFG and USAMU. Those experts clearly thought that even a step up to a .270 sized cartridge and increased downrange delivery of force were worth the effort. Being able to deliver .30-30/7.62X39 terminal performance with 7.62X54 trajectories is worth the effort. Most conservation departments agree - up until recently, they simply disallowed 5.56 for hunting whitetail deer because of it's reduced lethality. It's allowed in MO now - because of the introduction of higher weight bullets in hunting ammunition - not because of any significant degree of improvement.

It's common knowledge in hunting to size the caliber to the game. The 5.56 is called poodle shooter precisely because all the similar cartridges in that category are for small game and varmints - not 150 pound animals. .270 and above are generally regarded as the baseline for whitetail, and .30 as a minimum for elk. Most advise a heavy .30-06 round just to start with, and prefer bigger.

Point being, a 5.56 is significantly different in lethality than a .30 - precisely what some report as the original intent in adopting the cartridge, to create more wounds and overstress the enemies' logistical support. That concept is one I don't believe works, and has been shown repeatedly over the last 30 years, 5.56 has marginal effectiveness in combat.

I'm not saying it doesn't work when you do your part - just that there are and have been lots of better calibers. Don't let the politics of bidding contracts confuse the appropriateness of caliber.
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Old August 27, 2009, 10:35 AM   #25
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OK I'll play, though this has been beat to death

Quote:
7.62x39 is similar to 5.56 except add a bit more ability to punch through cover.
Thats not quite true. Below is a picture of a test I did on my mild steal pistol target using SP 223 and 7.62 X 39. ( and ruger 204). Kind of hard to see but upon mesuring the holes, the 223 out penitrated the 7.62X39. The Ruger out penitrated them both. This was done with 55 grn bullets for the 223, 123 for the AK round, and 32 for the ruger. The 62 grn ball ammo would out do all of them.

I dont know about the 6.8, but I do use the 270 for Elk hunting, its not covered in the orginal post so I'll set it asside. Later this afternoon I'll dig out some 308s and see how it does compaired to the others.

OK first of all, like others have said, shot placement (which isnt always possible in combat, most of the time in Vietnam we didnt even see who we were shooting at, or who was shooting at us. The exception was in tunnels but that is a differant story also, I used a 1911a1.

But since shot placement is king we have to add accuracy to the game. 7.62 x 39 Ain't.

I put on high power clinics. To make it easier I conduct these clinics at 100 yard reduced targets. Lots of people show up using AKs & SKSs. They dont work, the cant even come close to the ARs using 223s, or the 308s (M1As) or '06 (M1s). After the clinic I let the AK & SKS shooters try my ARs and M1A. There scores go sky high compaired to the 7.62 X 39s.

Now people are gonna chime in and tell us how great their AKs and SKSs shoot. But one only has to look at Camp Perry or any other HP match and see how many AKs or SKSs on the line. I've been shooting HP since 1977 and can count the 7.62X39s in the winner circle on one hand and have 5 fingers left over.

I like the 308 Win, I've been shooting my M1A and NG m14s for over 30 years in matches, (over 40 years if you count my reg. army M14 shooting). but as much as I love the M1A, they cant compete with the newer ARs and the ammo for the same. Check out the Infantry School at the Bennign School for Boys. Its the ARs that was chosen for the New DM Rifle (Using 77 SMKs).
In the Service rifle matches, its the ARs that have taken over, look down the line at perry. M14s/ M1As have gone the route of the Doo Doo bird.

Even at 1000 yards ARs rule in service rifle. If you want a plinking rifle yeah the AKs and SKSs will work. But so does my Marlin '94 357, in fact it out preforms the SKSs and AKs I've shot up to 100 yards, and a heck of a lot cheaper to shoot with cast bullets.

We all have our pet rounds (mine is the 257 Rbts and 270 Win). but if we step up to Reality, the 223 is hear to stay, the 7.62X39 is left for third world countrys that cant afford real rifles and the 308 is left to sniper rifles and machine guns.

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