.223 or 6.8spc for ar?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by futureranger, Sep 21, 2008.

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  1. futureranger

    futureranger Member

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    I am in a college ROTC program and we qualified with the M16-A2’s yesterday. I qualified expert marksman and I want to get a AR-15 of my personal use. I have been shooting all my life so im not that much of a newbie. i was looking at either 6.8spc or plain jane 5.56. My logic for both is with 6.8spc I can hunt, but 5.56 is cheaper, its what I will be using in the army and its stuff for it is everywhere. Does anyone have both or like one better? Thanks for the help. also is a 16" any better than 20"?
     
  2. Jimmie

    Jimmie Member

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    Start with .223. You'll have other calibers before you're done (and 6.8 may not be one of them when you learn what else is out there). If you want the shorty look or it's for HD, get the 16". Otherwise get the 20" for a little better ballistics. Get a 1:9 twist or faster so you can use the heavier bullets.
     
  3. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    There is another caliber option that gives you ample power and bullet weight for hunting whilst also providing an ample supply of ammo that's even cheaper than 223/5.56

    7.62x39mm

    Of course my saying this comes as NO surprise to my fellow THR'ers
     
  4. DeadHorrorFan

    DeadHorrorFan Member

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    I'd recommend starting with something in 5.56x45 (.223). There are all sorts of ammunition available for them from steel cased Russian plinking ammo to Black Hills Match Grade.

    The 6.8 is a relatively new cartridge, and while it's been taking off fairly well, there just isn't as much out there in the way of ammunition and custom parts, even though all of the accessories you might be inclined to load onto the ever present rails of an M4gery or an AR will of course work on a gun chambered in 6.8 SPC. If you reload, it will of course alleviate some of the cost of 6.8, but if you're looking to get a gun that is going to be spending some time at the range, and you're on a budget, 6.8 SPC isn't cheap to play around with.
     
  5. futureranger

    futureranger Member

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    thanks a lot of the help, can i put a 6.8 upper on a 5.56 lower if i wanted to switch out later or do i need to get two separate rifles?
     
  6. BattleChimp Potemkin

    BattleChimp Potemkin Member

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    This is going to go down hill REALLY QUICK!

    Not to thread jack:
    We had a guy at our range a few months ago that was giving a basic class to a bunch of kids going into the Naval Academy. They shot some ARs with the .22 kits and loved it (I even donated my 20" A2 for the heck of it). But he moved onto handguns. He pulled out two Government models and began a 30min tirade about how stupid the military is for not staying with it, terminal ballistics, yada yada yada. Then the kids shot them, but were VERY BORED with this old guy's opinion (believe me, it was ALL opinion, he didnt cite ONE fact). But realistically, these kids are going to be issued what they are issued, not issued what they want based on an civilian's opinion. I thought it VERY unnecessary to give these young guys and gals a pistol into with the WRONG type and caliber of handgun (even after I offered my Beretta 92 and ammo for the kids).

    Back to the show:
    You can have a 5.56 lower with a 6.8 upper. Just change out the uppers (PLUS BOLTS, two completely separate uppers and bolts). The 6.8 is a pretty warmed up .223. Want some excitement and a damn good hunting round: Check out the 6.5 Grendel. Better ballistics than .308 (theoretically) at VERY long ranges due to better BC.
     
  7. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Member

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    Yes, the lowers for 6.8SPC uppers and 5.56 uppers are the same.

    6.8SPC and 6.5 Grendel, however, are kind of boutique calibers. You aren't likely to find either at your local gun store, so you are more than likely to be mailordering in bulk for your ammo purchases.

    There are only a couple of guys in my area that have 6.8 uppers, and they don't shoot their rifles. Nobody here runs 6.5.

    At least one of these calibers is predicted to die out. Keep that in mind. I'd love for one of these calibers to become widely accepted, but until it does through a large military or police purchase (think of the .40S&W case), I'd hold off.

    Now, stuff like a .308 upper is what requires a different lower, due to the length of the cartridge.

    Get either a 16" or 20" AR-15 in 5.56, flattop upper, with a 1/7 twist to shoot the heaviest/longest bullets (you will easily shoot the lighter bullets). 1/9 twist makes no sense...1/12 twist is too slow. You will likely be using 55grn FMJ for most of your plinking, but it's nice to be able to use the heavier ammo (like 75 and 77 grn rounds).

    I like LMT, Charles Daly, CMMG, and S&W for ARs. I do NOT recommend buying the cheapest AR you can buy. Buy once, cry once. Most of the cheaper brands are assembled with little attention to QC, or made of cheaper materials. Some of the more well known brands have prices that you could have bought better for nearly the same cost.

    www.m4carbine.net
    is a good reference site for all things AR. It's not huge and overwhelming, and the members are people who use ARs heavily.

    I'd stick with 5.56mm for your first AR. And, I'd make a .22LR conversion kit or dedicated upper the next caliber I got for it.

    Oh, and Magpul PMAGS rule over all other mags.
     
  8. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    Another +1 on starting with a 5.56mm AR. If you're looking at commissioning and full time or reserve component service, you'll be best served (in my opinion) by working on mastering the AR as a fighting rifle/carbine to begin with, and, as you noted, 5.56mm ammo, magazines, and most anything else caliber specific is going to be cheaper than 6.8 Rem SPC or any of the other alternatives out there.

    My recommendation would be get a decent quality AR and a basic rig for it -- a decent quality lower (Rock River, Bushmaster, etc.) married up to a quality upper, like Lewis Machine and Tool, is a pretty good entry-level approach that will get you a carbine you can plink with at the range all the way up to running it hard in classes or competition.

    I have both (5.56 and 6.8 bolts and barrels for an MRP) and I do think 6.8 Rem SPC is a really good cartridge. Cost though means that the ratio of 5.56 to 6.8 I shoot is incredibly lopsided in favor of the 5.56.

    16" is a better all around barrel length for a fighting gun, in my (and lots of other people's) opinion. 20" gives you a bit more performance from the bullet itself, but not as much as a lot of internet venues would lead you to believe (i.e. the guys who split hairs to infinity about fragmentation velocity).

    Something else you might also want to look after getting an AR is getting some professional instruction on its use above and beyond what the military provides (which, depending on where you're going, can range from great to downright sorry). Practical skill at arms is simply something that all branches of the military, outside of the SOF community, having been playing catch up on since 9/11 and are still not quite there yet across the board.

    If you're in the Virginia area, you've got some pretty good options in your area, if you can spare the funds for a class ($400 + ammo is pretty typical for a two day course from most places these days).
     
  9. strat81

    strat81 Member

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    If you'll be hunting deer-size game with the 6.8 very often, then get it. Otherwise, get the .223.
     
  10. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    I have both and, as far as I'm concerned, the 6.8 is the way to go.
     
  11. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    6.8 is expensive. Even if you WILL be hunting deer with the thing, I suspect that the ammo price difference would pay for a second lower pretty quick, if you shoot a lot.

    BTW I LOVE my Model 1 Sales .22LR upper. THAT is a money saver, and for marksmanship practice, .22LR works just as well as .223 unless you have access to a range longer than 100 yards.
     
  12. futureranger

    futureranger Member

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    hey thanks a lot guys, i think i will start off with 5.56 hen move up if i see a need to. now its just a matter of what to get, i like stag and RRA from the reviews, i know this is a very personal subject ha.
     
  13. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Member

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    Why buy RRA when you can get better for about the same cost and less wait?

    Take a serious look at S&W and Charles Daly Defense ARs.

    Go to CMMGs website and gaze at their rifles and options (they have just about any config you could desire, and plenty of options for each, so you can get a rifle configured the way you want for a good price).
     
  14. bedlamite

    bedlamite Member

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    First, everyone needs a 5.56 AR. After that you can decide if you want/need another caliber. If you want to shoot at paper way out there, the Grendel is probably your best choice. If you want to use it to shoot at meat, the 6.8 SPC is the preferred choice, and there are a couple choices that will make a big difference in performance (Thanks for screwing up the SAAMI chamber specs Remington). If said meat thinks of you as lunch, you probably want 458 SOCOM or 50 Beowolf. I just finished building a 6.8 SPC.

    http://68forums.com/
    http://www.65grendel.com/forum/
     
  15. gvnwst

    gvnwst Member

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    RRA is a good choice, as is stag arms. Get whichever is more in your price range for what you want, and whichever has a lower wait time(RRA just landed a big gov'mnt contract, so they may be backed up)
     
  16. Rifleman 173

    Rifleman 173 Member

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    I'd start off with .223 and then later on get a 6.8 upper, magazines and ammo. Ammo for the .223 is a lot easier to obtain but the 6.8 seems to have better performance at close and intermediate ranges for cqb/personal defense. Later on, get another lower for the 6.8 and have TWO rifles to call on in troubled times.
     
  17. Mike128

    Mike128 Member

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    If you don't have a 223 start with that and go from there.

    I personally think the 6.8 spc will catch on. There are a lot of companies already chambering these in their uppers or plans of doing so. The new "tatical" rifles coming out all seem to have a 6.8 chambering in the works. On different forums that is one of the first questions asked, "will it come in the 6.8 spc?" One thing lacking is not enough people are loading ammo for it right now. Also, no large orders such as military and police.

    The major hang up the that they are working through final details to get the maximum speed out of the cartridge. Primer size, new chamber dimensions, twist, number of grooves, ect. Cardinal/Kotonic seems to have the best barrels with all the latest improvements that combined with Silver State combat loads adds almost 200fps over standard loadings.
     
  18. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    Definitely start with the 5.56. Its a great round for target shooting and defense. Id suggest the heavier rounds for defense like the 75 grain TAP. But dont worry, the light weight rounds work really well too.
     
  19. aspade

    aspade Member

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    If you don't roll your own, the cheapest 6.8 SPC I've seen online will run you around 85-90c per round.

    You can still find M193 under 40c.

    If you can swing an extra 500 bucks a case for practice ammo, go for it.
     
  20. rob_s

    rob_s Member

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    Another one strongly in favor of the 5.56 over the 6.8 for general purpose, and as mentioned you can always add a 6.8 upper later on.

    I'd second what was said above re: looking at the Charles Daly or S&W over the Stag or RRA. You'll get a better rifle for the same, or very slightly more, money.
     
  21. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    I think you made the right choice. I wrestled with the same thing, 6.5 grendel or 5.56x45 in an XCR - I'll be going with 5.56 first. Mags being the main reason.
     
  22. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    Shot placement is more important than caliber, and since price is better for the 5.56, you can practice more, and therefore make your shots count better...

    I vote for 5.56.
     
  23. futureranger

    futureranger Member

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    so i was looking online and where can i get a complete rifle with a 1/7" twist? everything i have seen is 1/9 besides DPMS's 1/8 i would like to be able to shoot lots of different bullet weights and i heard you cant over stabilize but you can under stabilize. Any opinions?
     
  24. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    You can have too much twist. A 1/7 wouldn't be good for light bullets with thin jackets.

    That said, I think a 1/8 is the best compromise.
     
  25. futureranger

    futureranger Member

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    can i build a upper myself? get all of the parts and just put the 1/8 barrel on the upper, or is that gunsmith work? the only problem with the stag 1/7 is they are the A2 upper not the A4, i want the rails
     
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