BARRETT 6.8 cal

msteen1

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Barrett Firearms’ M468 6.8 Remington SPC

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Boge Quinn & Jeff Quinn

April 5th, 2004





Barrett Firearms Manufacturing has been producing high quality semi-auto and bolt action rifles chambered for the .50 Browning Machine Gun cartridge for over twenty years. Their rifles are known worldwide, and are used by many units of the US military and our allies. Ronnie Barrett is also responsible for a great amount of interest by civilians in the sporting use of the .50 BMG cartridge. Barrett big fifty rifles are used by many long-range target shooters, and Barrett has become the leading producer of .50 BMG caliber rifles in the world.

Besides their constant production of .50 BMG rifles, Barrett is also working full time on several interesting projects for our military. They are developing a very high-tech sniper scope system that should totally eliminate guesswork and human error, and they have a twenty-millimeter rifle that defines the word "awesome". However, the subject of this article is their new AR-15 type rifle chambered for the equally new 6.8 Remington cartridge.

The 6.8 Remington SPC (Special Purpose Cartridge) was developed by Remington and the US military as a replacement for the 5.56mm NATO cartridge in specialized situations. The cartridge is based loosely on the .30 Remington case, and uses a 115 grain bullet of .277 inch diameter. One of the parameters of the design was that it must be compatible with the M4/M16 family of rifles, along with current squad automatic weapons and light machine guns, with minimal modifications. The specifications call for a bullet speed of 2650 feet per second from a sixteen and one-half inch barrel, delivering 1715 foot-pounds of energy, and a six hundred meter effective range. Basically, the US military wanted a round that was smaller than the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge, but delivered more terminal effect than the 5.56mm. The end result was the 6.8 SPC.

Inevitably, there has been comparisons between the 6.8 SPC and the 6.5 Grendel cartridges. The way I see it, there is plenty of room for both cartridges. The 6.8 SPC is purpose built for antipersonnel use at close to medium range, offering more punch than the 5.56 NATO. The 6.5 Grendel is built as a long-range cartridge for extreme accuracy, and does excellent duty as a hunting cartridge for deer and like-sized game.

The weapon for delivering the new cartridge is being manufactured by Barrett at their Murfreesboro, Tennessee facility. It is basically an AR15/M16/M4 rifle, with a few added features. Barrett calls the new rifle the M468, and is being built in both a civilian-legal model, and also in a close quarters battle (CQB) configuration.

I was recently afforded the opportunity to visit the Barrett facility to evaluate and fire both basic versions of this new weapon. Both of the rifles tested were of flattop upper receiver configuration with excellent A.R.M.S. folding backup sights. The sixteen inch barreled version was of semiautomatic operation, and employed Barrett’s two stage trigger, resulting in a very controllable trigger pull which measured a crisp three pounds and fourteen ounces on my Lyman digital scale. Both rifles wore the excellent A.R.M.S. integrated rail system that allows the easy mounting of accessories such as lights, lasers, bipods, and other such devices as the user deems necessary. Both rifles wore a muzzle brake, and are threaded just forward of the gas block for a sound suppressor. The sixteen inch version wore an A2 style buttstock, and the twelve inch barreled rifle had a collapsible CAR type buttstock, along with a Barrett sound suppressor.

Firing the full-auto twelve inch CQB rifle with the Barrett can attached proved to be a very controllable package. The can was very effective in reducing the sound signature from the short barrel, and the felt recoil was straight back and light. This would make for a great close range weapon for military or specialized law enforcement units. In fact, while we were visiting the Barrett factory, the leaders of a municipal SWAT team were there evaluating the M468 CQB rifle for their own needs. They seemed very impressed with the weapon, and the sound suppressor.

For accuracy testing, we fired a sixteen inch barreled rifle at a range of one hundred meters. The rifle was mounted with a Swarovski target scope, and firing was done from a Lahti rifle rest. I was initially impressed with the design of the rest, but after using it, I greatly prefer my Target Shooting, Inc. Model 500 rifle rest. I can hold a gun much steadier with the model 500. The M468 proved capable of firing groups measuring one and one-quarter inches at the 100 meter mark, but I think that could be improved firing from a better rest. It could be that I just was not familiar with the Lahti rest, but I could just not hold the rifle consistently using that thing. At any rate, the accuracy of the M468 as demonstrated was very good, and will most likely improve as the ammunition is further developed. Functioning in both rifles was perfect, with the exception of one experimental lot of ammo that seemed a bit underpowered, and would sometimes fail to eject. Changing ammo lots corrected the problem immediately, and no further malfunctions occurred. The ammo chronographed at a speed of 2613 feet per second at a distance of twelve feet from the muzzle out of the sixteen inch barrel, which is right in line with advertised velocities.

The future of the 6.8 SPC as a military cartridge has not been finalized. However, at this time there are some specialized units of the US Army putting the M468 through some serious testing. Barrett Manufacturing is working closely with the military in developing this weapon. Barrett has for many years supplied the excellent Model 82A1 to the US military and our allies, and has the ability to supply the M468 as needed. In the meantime, the M468 is in production for civilian sales, and Barrett offers complete rifles, along with upper receiver units to fit most AR15 lower receivers. Depending upon bullet construction, the 6.8 SPC should make an excellent little carbine for hunting predators and whitetail deer at reasonably close range, in a rifle with semi-auto firepower, a weight of 7.3 pounds, and an overall length of only 33.5 inches. With the proper bullet, the M468 offers plenty of power for deer hunting, along with good accuracy and light recoil.

In the M468, I believe that Barrett has another winner on their hands. Check out the M468 and the entire lineup of Barrett rifles online at: www.barrettrifles.com.

Jeff Quinn


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B

Boondocksaint375

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I've been contemplating buying one for years now.....I just cant get myself to do it yet.
 

Polar Bear

They call me Mr Sunshine
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Can someone please explain to me why we have to be different? Why not just go with 7.62?
 

pardus

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Can someone please explain to me why we have to be different? Why not just go with 7.62?

That round is obsolete, Its big lmiting factor is that it is too powerful for rapid accurate fire, particulary in CQB/FIBUA, along with limited amount of ammo that can be carried due to size weight etc...

I really like the round but its time for something else.

The 5.56mm is too small, under powered and under ranged.
 
W

WillBrink

Guest
Can someone please explain to me why we have to be different? Why not just go with 7.62?

As I understand it, the 6.8 has similar ballistics to the 7.62 and allows more rounds to be carried, minimal recoil, and minimal changes to the AR platform, which I believe is a change in receiver. Never shot one, but those I have spoken to who have, were very impressed with it. I have also been told the 6.8 is optimized for short barrels, so you don’t get the big drop in terminal ballistics from M4 length barrels as you see with the 5.6. It’s also my understanding the 6.8 is being “field tested” with good results. That’s just rumor however….
 

pardus

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I think it will require an enormous effort of will to adopt any rifle that does not fire a 5.56mm round, the 5.56mm is NATO standard for one and the logistics system is set up for 5.56mm, the way generals and DOD/Pentagon beaurocrats fuck around, I wont be holding my breath for the adoption of this round.
I beleive that will be the deciding factor, money for a huge change over and politics... :2c:
 
B

Boondocksaint375

Guest
Well if they do, i hope they give the 5.56 surplus to me to shoot.
 
J

justshootit

Guest
i bought a barrett m468 last summer. i have seen pictures of one with the barrett suppressor on it, but when i call barrett they keep telling me they have not manfacturered one for the m468 yet. i want to buy one for mine. can anyone help me???
 

Polar Bear

They call me Mr Sunshine
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i bought a barrett m468 last summer. i have seen pictures of one with the barrett suppressor on it, but when i call barrett they keep telling me they have not manfacturered one for the m468 yet. i want to buy one for mine. can anyone help me???

Do you remember checking this box? As of this post you only 24 hours left
I have 72 hours from now to introduce myself in the Introductions forum or my account will be deleted
 

msteen1

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i bought a barrett m468 last summer. i have seen pictures of one with the barrett suppressor on it, but when i call barrett they keep telling me they have not manfacturered one for the m468 yet. i want to buy one for mine. can anyone help me???

Thats bullshit its called the S468. Take a look & listen ( the rep will state the silencer model number between seconds 20 thru 24)
[youtube]bmiK_k0na6I[/youtube]
 

pardus

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justshootit, can you post us a pic of your rifle, i'd really like to see it.
 

PurduePara203

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I like the concept and everything I've heard about the round is good but it seems like it would take a helluva lot of convincing to go to a non NATO standard round. I hope they pull it off.
 
J

justshootit

Guest
i'm back!!!!!!!!!

my m468 is shooting better than ever. still trying to get a suppressor for it. barrett keeps telling me they are not producing one yet. thats bull shit!!!!!!!!!!!
 
8

8'Duece

Guest
my m468 is shooting better than ever. still trying to get a suppressor for it. barrett keeps telling me they are not producing one yet. thats bull shit!!!!!!!!!!!

HERE's one:http://www.uberarms.com/fa68k-bk.html

Here's the Surefire: http://www.surefire.com/maxexp/main/co_disp/displ/carfnbr/439/sesent/00

Both are 6.8x43 suppressors. Just what your looking for. I believe the Uberarms is the Surefire suppressor also.

Edit to add: Barret may have their own suppressor but Surefire suppressors are at the top of the "can" business. Barry Dueck is one hell of guy to have in this department for Surefire. I wouldn't hesitate to take anything Surefire into battle.
 
8

8'Duece

Guest
Silencer tests can be found here for the 6.8 SPC. This particular shooter was using the M42000 (Advanced Armament Corp) suppressor and noticed alot of POI shift both right and down with the suppressor fixed to the weapon. Most companies try desperatley and concentrate on sound signature reduction. Surefire concrentrated on all aspects of the suppressor design to which they have a suppressor that does not affect the barrel harmonics. Mostly due to their quick detach system and how it is married to the barrel.

With Surefire, there is no neglible shift of POI reported from their suppressors

HERE: http://www.silencertalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20553
 

Diamondback 2/2

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The 6.8SPC would be nice for some units, but it will never happen... The Army, Navy, USMC and USAF would all have to be on board. Then what do you do on NATO missions? What do you do when, we fight another big war? There are reasons for NATO rounds and there are reasons for keeping the 5.56...

We could get away from the M855 (green tip) and start using the MK262 Mod 1 (NM 77gr), that would give the performance that some are looking for.

However, I will stick to my guns. I like the 5.56 in M855 and MK262!:2c:
 
8

8'Duece

Guest
The 6.8SPC would be nice for some units, but it will never happen... The Army, Navy, USMC and USAF would all have to be on board. Then what do you do on NATO missions? What do you do when, we fight another big war? There are reasons for NATO rounds and there are reasons for keeping the 5.56...

We could get away from the M855 (green tip) and start using the MK262 Mod 1 (NM 77gr), that would give the performance that some are looking for.

However, I will stick to my guns. I like the 5.56 in M855 and MK262!:2c:

Same here.

The 6.8 SPC has it's lethality factor over the 5.56 NATO ammuniton. I'll take Mk262 BTHP 77 grain anyday of the week. If you can find it in the civillian market without a one year wait from Black Hills. :uhh:
 

P. Beck

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I think it was Ian Hogg that said that every study of military small arms calibers since the 1920's has concluded that what was needed was an intermediate caliber, between 6.5 and 7 mm . And in every case the conclusions have never been implemented.
 
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