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6.8 western rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Hoppy-tn, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Hoppy-tn

    Hoppy-tn Member

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    Thinking of buying one and was wondering if anyone has got to shoot and try one out yet?
     
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  2. CDP45

    CDP45 Member

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    I have never shot one but I notice Ammo is plentiful on the shelf at Sportsman WH. I’ve just started doing research on the caliber.
     
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  3. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Member

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    Ammo is everywhere because apparently the ammo was released well in advance of any rifle chambered to fire it!:rofl:
     
  4. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Might not be a bad thing when your trying to bring out a new rifle/cartridge. If folks SEE ammo available, especially now, they may be more inclined to take a longer look at a new chambering.
    Beats having the guns on the shelves and nothing to shoot out of them!
     
  5. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Member

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    True. But a calculated risk! When the local Bob Ward's was bone dry on ammo a few months ago there were two piles- .50 BMG and 6.8 Westerner. It sat there at least a couple months if not longer. In that time if they'd have loaded the primers and powder into 9mm or 5.56 they'd have sold it and made some money instead of sitting in inventory. But I'm a chef, not a sporting goods purchasing agent!:p
     
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  6. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Chefs way cooler anyway...Ill pass up a days shooting for a good meal........actually I HAVE passed up a days shooting for a good meal.....Spent my gun money on food too.....go figgure.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
  7. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    What’s so “western” about it?

    Another flavor of the week doomed to fail IMHO.
     
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  8. High Plains

    High Plains Member

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    This is simply a 270 Win with a sorter, fatter case and a barrel with a faster twist rate. It won’t make you a better hunter or plinker. It is simply another fish in the sea.
     
  9. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    That is the key. The old 270 was fine with hunting bullets up to 150 gr, but there were simply no good long range bullets for it. The 270 and 30-06 both are slipping fast in sales. Some new rifles introduced in recent years aren't even chambered for either of those old school classics.

    Someone is hoping a faster twist barrel will do for 27 caliber what it did for 26 caliber with the explosion in popularity of the 6.5 CM.

    Personally I'm not interested. There are options for 24, 26, 28, and 30 caliber rifles that will handle those types of bullets. If I want to shoot high BC bullets there are plenty of other, better options. But there are those guys who just want to be able to do the same thing with 25 and 27 caliber rifles.
     
  10. GAF

    GAF Member

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    The 30 06 and the 270 will be around long after some of the newer offerings become curiosities.
     
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  11. DocRock

    DocRock member

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    ‘06 has got everything covered. Varmints? 25-06. Antelope and deer? 270 Win. Larger deer and elk ? 280 and 30-06. Moose and big bear? 35 Whelen.

    But I don’t begrudge Winchester trying to sell new guns and ammo that don’t do anything existing guns and ammo do.
     
  12. Dale Alan

    Dale Alan member

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    Pure speculation, you have know way of knowing that.
     
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  13. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    I am curious to see how this one does!
     
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  14. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    LOL, yeah people buying any and everything now will have to go looking for something to shoot it in, after they realize they can’t sell it online for 3 or 4 times what they bought it for.
     
  15. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Good points. Shame to see the 270 Win and 30-06 disappear due to the lack of advertising. They are absolutely fine at realistic distances. These new cartridges, what I read, is unrealistic hype.

    I scanned some of the recent infomercial's in print on the 6.8 Western cartridge. As normal, the introduction of this cartridge was a well planned and coordinated advertizing campaign, and it is no accident that in print magazines were all saturated at the same time to create the maximum buzz affect. I scanned articles from the March 2021 American Rifleman and Guns and Ammo. Without a doubt every March gun magazine had an article, but I don’t get them all.

    It is obvious that the writers were briefed by Winchester to cover certain talking points. These coordinated advertising campaigns are planned for a long time. Marketing is heavily involved in the concept stage, well before any ink is put to paper, or a cutter applied to steel. These are the common talking points that the writers had to been told to address:

    We all know that long actions of the 270 Win are the spawn of the Devil and long actions can’t shoot straight and are too long. Which is why they are called long actions, to emphasis the point that being a half inch longer, they are too long and unwieldy. And this from the same people who promote six foot long tripods as a field accessory. I really doubt that extra half inch will be noticed by those who have bipods on the front of their rifles, and carry tripods as spares. These people will be tripping over their bipods and tripods and hooking them on everything , as well as their 60mm objective scopes.

    The big talking point about the cartridge is the bullet. The 6.8 was designed to fire a heavy bullet, but I promise, at the velocities they are hyping, your barrel life will be 1000 rounds or less. They don’t address that, and probably don’t need to, because the buyers of these cartridges and guns won’t shoot more than two boxes of ammunition through the things.

    It was heavily emphasized that the 6.8 WSM and SUAM’s are all garbage because their twist rates are too slow to shoot the heavy bullets that the 6.8 Western shoots. It is so sad, for when the WSM’s and SUAM’s were introduced, they were the end of history. Now it seems, just a few years on, the end of history got punted out a little further.

    By the way, ever noticed how advertising is designed to make you unhappy? What you have now is garbage. Yesterday it may have been the best that ever was, but today, it is old hat, obsolete, totally what the in crowd are using. And of course, that makes you unhappy because you have to have the latest, the greatest, the most cutting edge, the most fashionable. I am going to tell you, you will never be happy in the consumerist society. What comes out tomorrow will always be better than what you have now. Your life is essentially pointless in a consumerist society. This is because after your existence on earth, you will not be able to buy those even more wonderful products, that would have made your miserable life just so much better, and so, will miss out on all those great product experiences that happened post life. Ergo, you live an empty, pointless, meaningless existence.

    I am upset they are selling this round as a super long range hunting bullet. They claim the bullet is so aerodynamic , it will expand at ranges that are unethical for the 270 Win and similar ilk. As if shooting at animals at 700 yards is not unethical in itself, as the shooter is more likely to hit the animal in the butt, than in a vital spot. And when the animal runs off, with a non incapacitating wound, it will die a suffering death, if not eaten alive by coyotes and wolves. By the way, finding a spot 700 yards away is a real trick. I have spent about a 15 minutes trying to find where a squirrel fell out of a tree, and I was only 30-40 yards away when I shot it. I could not move through the woods in a straight line, there were too many obstructions and scrub brush, and as I moved through the woods, the appearance of the tree, with the changing light, was different from different angles. And I had to go back to the starting point in an attempt to fix the location of the tree from which the squirrel fell. I did find it, but that was a lesson. It is easy to get disoriented in the woods, especially as the sun angle and brightness changes, and then the appearance of that rock or tree that you fixed as being near the game, changes appearance and shape, as you walk up on it. My area, there is no such thing as a 700 yard shot, unless it is along power line clearings, or across a farm’s field. And in the daylight, the animals are in the woods. A 30-30 will do quite well in most of the eastern half of the United States.

    dUyRl2S.jpg

    The hunting parties described in one article, one deer taken at 344 yards, one bull elk 402 yards, one mule deer 432 yards. None of the writers shot anything in the field at the 700 yard lethality distances they were claiming. All the shots were well within 270 Win range. Seven hundred yard capability is nice and all, but a 700 yard clear and unobstructed shot at an animal, is rare, even out West.

    All the writers claimed the 270 Win has too much freebore and evil SAAMI won’t let the gun industry tighten up the chamber with different reamers. Scapegoating SAAMI is common, but SAMMI is a voluntary organization, does not have law enforcement powers, and so, the manufacturer’s can do whatever they want. If the 270 Win has too much free bore, then a simple reamer configuration change would fix that.

    There are unrealistic claims of accuracy and bullet movement at huge distances. This is the exact quote from one article

    Likewise in terms of wind deflection, 6.8 mm is knocked only 13.2 inches off its pat at 500 yards, by a 10 mph full value cross wind, which the 270 Win, and 270 WSM defect 14.5 and 14 inches, respectively, from the same 90 degree winds.

    Five inches at 500 yards is one MOA, 0.8 inches is one fifth of a MOA. So the big difference between the 6.8 Western and those horrible cartridges is 1/5 MOA at distance. Who the heck can hold fifth MOA at 500 yards with a hunting rifle? Especially on the first shot. And, this is the more important issue, who gets to hunt in a vacuum? This sort of comparison works, because readers don’t actually shoot at distance, and don’t have the slightest idea how much the wind moves the bullet, and how awful their wind estimating abilities are. I have a wind meter in front of me when I am shooting Smallbore Prone. And I can tell you, I cannot tell the difference between a 5 mph wind and a 10 mph wind. Especially as wind is never a constant. When it blows, it increases and decreases quickly. When it is really windy the wind meter will shoot up from 10 to 15, and on bad days, 20 mph in a fraction of a second. And something else, the wind in front of the firing point has little or nothing to do with the wind speed and direction downrange. Those who dream of 700 yard shots, have not been educated that wind speed and direction changes frequently and chaotically downrange.

    I remember at Camp Perry, taking my spotting scope and focusing at different distances on the range. I was just zooming in and out. Camp Perry has some of the clearest air I have ever seen, being next to Lake Erie. And I could see mirage at 300 yards, moving left to right, then mirage at 200 yards, moving right to left, and the mirage in front of the targets going any which way, sometimes boiling, or moving left to right, or right to left. I am sure all of the mirages were moving chaotically at the same time, but I only had one spotting scope. The fact of the matter is, wind varies in speed and direction all the way out. So claiming that one bullet will drift only 0.8 inches more at 500 yards, is maybe useful for target shooters, who get sighting shots, but useless for hunting, where the shooter gets one shot. I remember being squadded with a 1000 yard Wimbledon cup winner at a 1000 yard match, and he commenting on how happy he is, to hit the 44 inch black on the first sighting shot. We were shooting with irons, and prone with a sling, F Class shooters might be happy with a smaller offset first shot. I do think they would agree, hitting a pie pan at distance, first time, and every time, is impossible. A pie pan is about the lethal zone for the typical four footed game animal.

    I don’t trust claims of MOA accuracy beyond 300 yards. Accuracy claims require that the bullet acts predictably and linearly. I have learnt some things about bullet stability at distance. And what I have learned, you cannot assume your bullet is going to be stable at distance. You have to shoot it, at distance, to find out.

    This is an exceptionally good 300 yard group from my pre 64 M70 in 270 Win, with a new barrel. And glassbedded.

    8CvOtfU.jpg

    [​IMG]
    yhqoL5d.jpg

    Same load at 600 yards. Little bit of wind drift and a little bit of move due to me. And after I got the thing “zero’d at distance”. Clearly not a one fifth MOA group and not one where I am going to distinguish wind drift of 0.8 inches from aiming error. Or rifle and bullet error. Incidentally, the terrible groups I ain’t showing. .

    glW9y3a.jpg

    This by the way, is what happens when you shoot flat based bullets at those gun writer distances

    Loosey goosey out to 300 yards but mostly holding the ten ring

    V1m7Hqw.jpg
    [​IMG]

    But at 600 yards, tumbling

    ZBEjeNS.jpg

    When I read articles touting the wonderful capabilities of these bullets at long range, due to their lesser drop and retained velocity, none of those writers mentioned tumbling. Shooters assume bullets are ballistically stable, because no one is claiming different. But I have shot enough bullets, match, hunting, at CMP Talladega to see that bullets will lose ballistic stability when velocities drop at distance. It was a real big surprise to see 190 SMK’s doing this at range

    img.jpg

    MCS48ir.jpg

    looked good at 300 yards, what gives?

    zSAXCBn.jpg


    I thought pushing 190 SMK’s faster than 2500 fps would mean they would stay subsonic and stable all the way out to 1000 yards. Well, at that speed, they did not stay stable at 600 yards. My F Class friends are pushing their bullets all 200 to 300 fps faster than I, and not having tumbling issues with their 185 grain Bergers. Except when the barrel hits 800 rounds and the bullets start tumbling due to a worn out barrel. It used to be you could take a 308 barrel 4000 to 5000 rounds, but that was when out of an 88 round match, only 22 were fired long range. Now F Class shooters are pushing every round to the max, and barrel life is horrible. The thing is, you have to shoot your bullet at distance to establish a real zero, and to determine if the bullet is in fact stable at that distance, at the velocities the bullet reaches exiting from the barrel of your rifle.

    By the way, my 270 Win has a five round magazine capacity. The 6.8 Western is a three in the magazine. Less magazine capacity is not a selling point so its not discussed in the articles.

    There is no doubt the 6.8 Western will be an accurate cartridge, its performance at range is totally dependent on the bullets du jour, and what bullets come tomorrow, well who knows. You can be assured that the next iteration of super long range cartridges and guns is on the drawing boards, and when they come out, the marketers will tell you to toss your latest thunderstick and cartridge on the ash heap of history. Something that must be done for anyone who buys the cartridge du jour, is to buy a lot of brass. Bullets stay around longer than brass. It took years, I think about seven, before I was able to get new 257 Roberts brass. And that is an old established cartridge. With the cartridge du jour, you run the very real risk of it not having any staying power, and then, you will be waiting ten years or more between brass production runs.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  16. High Plains

    High Plains Member

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    Very well stated.
    Plus, using such an array of cartridges you can go up or down in case size, such as a 257 Roberts instead of a 25-06 Rem, and still be well within the reasonable abilities of a good enough bullet weight to do the job. I buddy of mine used a number of 243 Wins for many years and his deer were no less dead than if he used a much larger caliber bullet.
    I will be the last one to promote one rifle for all things in the Lower 48 states. With the ammo shortage I think it could be hard for a one rifle guy to get by. Also, I think a lot of people on this forum are reloader so the impact across the calibers is less. My 2 cents worth.
     
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  17. twarr1

    twarr1 Member

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    6.8 Western is another fix for a problem that doesn't exist. As somebody else mentioned, the 6.8 Western, like most new products, was created in the Marketing Department.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
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  18. Rubone

    Rubone Member

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    And of course there is the newest of the new, the .27 Nosler, hard on the heels of the 6.8 Western to entice you in that direction...
     
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  19. Nature Boy
    • Contributing Member

    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    6.8 Western looks looks a hellava lot like a 270 WSM, which hasn’t really set the world on fire. I wonder what their strategy is here

    80AFBA76-CE73-479D-B5C2-C2FB18C6DE0B.jpeg
     
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  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    From the Mar 2021 Guns and Ammo article: The 6.8 Western is optimized for bullets weighing 165 to 175 grs"

    As for the 270 WSM, the March 2021 American Rifleman article states: "most loads do offer a bit more velocity and energy at the muzzle compared to .270 Win, but its bullet weights remained unchanged, and Winchester still saw the opportunity to push the .277 caliber's performance even further"

    and

    "Identical dimensionally in most respects, the .270 WSM and the 6.8 mm Western cartridges both measure .535 in diameter at the case head and .555 across just forward of the extractor groove, and both have 0.2765" long necks. They also share the same 35 degree 0.16" long shoulder. But by moving that should 0.08" further back on the new cartridge, and by decreasing its overall case length by the same figure, Winchester was able to create significantly more space for bullet protrusion.....


    So, they designed an entire new cartridge around a new set of heavier 277 bullet weights. So, is 0.08 difference in shoulder length and a change in barrel twist going to keep this cartridge viable and make it popular? . What about the next iteration of heavy .277 bullets? What we are seeing, in my opinion, is infinitesimal differences in cartridges, with the claimed advantages only evidenced at distances that not even the hunting teams, created for the articles, were able to engage. The hunting team for the Guns and Ammo article, would have been equally satisfied with the kills they made if they had used a 270 Win, 270 WSM, or a 270 Weatherby.

    I am going to say, very few shooters have the skills to hit anything at the "over the horizon" distances that this cartridge is supposed to allow, and there are very few shooting situations where this is going to happen.
     
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  21. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Shorter, fatter, faster twist. Checks all the “new improved” boxes.

    Meh, I’ll keep my two .270’s... I’m just finally after nearly 5 decades a .30/06 fan, warming up to the .270wcf. Maybe in another 10yrs, I’ll be ready for something else.
    If, I’m still able to hunt...
     
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  22. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Member

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    I expect that the marketing dept is hoping that 6.8 Western is catchier than than .270 WMS.
     
  23. Jerry M

    Jerry M Member

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    The shorter case allows a longer, more ballisticly efficient, bullet to be used while allowing the cartridge to fit in a short action. Think about the difference in length between a .260 Remington and a 6.5 Creedmoore. Faster twist (6.8/.277) barrels are used (and needed) for the longer bullets that have been designed in the last few years. Specifically for long range hunting.
    It's new, might catch on, might not.

    Good Luck
     
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  24. Nature Boy
    • Contributing Member

    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    Yes, exactly what the WSM cartridge family was intended to do. So the the 6.8 Western is fractionally shorter and fatter. Is that where the magic is now?
     
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  25. GAF

    GAF Member

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    I suppose that may be true, but there is a long line of cartridges that were suppose to put the 30 06 out of business.
    I have yet to see that happen. I would guess that has not happened because most people who own rifles have a 30 06 or two.
    I suspect there are millions of 30 06 rifles out there and they don't wear out very fast.

    I predict there will be many more different cartridges in the future that will not outlast the 30 06.
     
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