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What would it take for you to adopt one of the AR variant's?

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by crenca, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. crenca


    May 14, 2009
    The terminal ballistic limitations of the 5.56 are well known. While it is satisfactory for many applications, it does have it's limits (please, I don't want this thread to turn into a debate about 5.56).

    The alternative AR rounds (the 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel, and 7.62x39 being the big 3) each bring a set of ballistic advantages (and disadvantages - please, I don't what this to turn into a 6.8v6.5G flame) while also being significant improvements to 5.56 terminal ballistics.

    As I see it, the reason these alternatives have not caught on is equipment reliability and cost. Now that the equipment reliability is becoming less and less of a factor (mags being somewhat of a lagger) cost is, IMO what is holding them back.

    Question: What would it take for you to adopt one of the variant AR rounds? Also, if you are .mil or .gov, what do you think it would take for your agency to adopt one of the variant calibers?
  2. Hef

    Hef Stop Obammunism

    Sep 12, 2004
    Hilton Head, SC
    The 6.8SPC appeals to me, but without having widespread availability of ammo and parts, and without the government issuing 6.8SPC rifles as broadly as the 5.56, I would be hesitant to look at that rifle as anything more than a novelty.

  3. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

    Jan 20, 2004
    Alaska, again (for now)
    I own a 6.8. But its a niche rifle. I wouldn't really consider it anything the 5.56 is not. If I grab it, I'm not shooting at anything I wouldn't already use a 5.56 on. While its slightly more powerful, its not even remotely a medium bore round. So its still limited to game roughly the same size as what 5.56 will take with a good shot. You could argue that its extra energy and heavier bullet will help for less than good shots, but I still wouldn't take it after large game. Its got a flatter trajectory, but thats about it.

    The 6.5 is rather neat as well, but falls into the same category as the 6.8. While its got better ballistics, I still wouldn't shoot it at anything larger than deer or hogs. Both of which I would happily engage with a 5.56 or 6.8. Again, flatter trajectory but not much better in terms of use.

    The 7.62x39, I don't consider a step up, but rather a step back. They tend to produce small entrance and exit holes using FMJ ammo, and have poorer ballistic propertys than any of the other 3 rounds, even when using aftermarket ammo. It does have the advantage of firing a full sized round. But its extremely limited by the cartridge shooting it. I have no use for a 30-30 even in a semi auto. If I wanted to hunt deer with an AR though, this or the 6.8 would probably be my choice.

    I would also add you should consider the 5.45x39 as a fourth major one, now that S&W sells an upper for it, because as cheap as the ammo is, I'm looking at getting an upper and a few cans of ammo for a rainy day.
  4. internal


    Feb 9, 2006
    I agree.

    I'd be all over 6.8 if it was as accessible as 5.56 in both parts and ammo esp when talking about SBR's.

    For now I'm willing to take a less powerful round as a trade off too this.

    I apply this same line of thinking when the piston vs. DI debate comes up for AR's.

    I also feel that 7.62x39 in an AR isn't a step forward even if there was a widely used reliable solution.
  5. PlasticGuy


    Jul 10, 2000
    No matter what, I wouldn't adopt an AR15. It's dated technology that will soon be on its way out. Too many people and organizations are becoming dissatisfied with it, and I'm one of them.

    As for the cartridge, It would take significant LE or Military adoption to get me to buy into it. That doesn't necessarily mean adoption as the primary cartridge of the US Military, but it does mean that it takes on some significant portion of the LE or Military market. Until then, it's just another wildcat.
  6. RMTactical

    RMTactical CLM

    Oct 7, 2000
    Behind an AR-15
    I would take any of them if the military adopted it. Just because of the availability that we'd have because of that.

    That said, the 6.5 Grendel appeals most to me.
  7. furioso2112


    Dec 12, 2007
    Parts interchangeabilty, including mags, and same-priced ammo (or better). There is nothing I am likely to encounter that I wouldn't feel confident one-shot killing with 5.56. That includes all game up to and including Elk, Moose, Bear. No elephants, but I am not likely to encounter elephants. I prefer base of skull shots - knock out the brain stem and the body drops, no fuss. IF I miss, I am more likely to miss the animal completely (than I would be with a heart and lung shot) and not have to chase the game through the woods. I already KNOW plenty of others agree and disagree with this pattern of thought, but I am not likely to be convinced that another view is better. Perhaps equal, but convincing me that there is a BETTER thought process would be difficult.

    A lot of people around me are in the huge-round body shot/bullet trajectory won't get displaced by brush thought pattern. Last season, I saw a deer shot in the heart with a .300 WinMag run for well over 50 yards (less than 100 for sure, but as sure over 50). Upon harvesting the animal, its heart was completly obliterated. Disintegrated and vaporized. Just a pool of blood where the heart would normally be, and it still ran on adrenaline or whatever. Believe it or not - it's not on film, no way to prove it otherwise, but I saw it and know it. Countless officers have recounted tales to me of shooting BGs who were "dead on their feet" but continued to run/shoot back. I'm a brain-stem/head-shot guy.
  8. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005
    I'm actually planning a 6.8 SPC upper build. Like others have mentioned,
    I am concerned about parts, mag and ammo availability. However, this
    upper will primarily be for deer and hog hunting.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  9. phxfa


    Jan 3, 2009
    Mag availability is excellent, Barrett and C-products have both worked perfect in my 6.8 platforms, SSA has ammo readily available and if you buy in bulk as I do, its relatively inexpensive, ($14.00 per 20) I am saving my brass though unlike 5.56
  10. GLShooter


    Jan 3, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Variants are a spice of life. I adopt them when I feel that I can get something new to try and make it work at least as well as the old tried and true equipment. The challenge is part of the chase.

    My variants a this time are: 20 Tactical, 6X45, 6 PPC and 25 WSSM. That encompasses plenty of territory for me without going up to the AR 10 size lowers.

  11. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

    May 27, 1999
    Oh, USA
    I never thought I would want an AR after I got out of the service, but simply put while there are better rifles and better cartridges; as a weapons system for this time and place it is the best option IMHO.
  12. jjtroutbum

    jjtroutbum Armedflyfishing

    Jan 23, 2008
    St. Louis Mo
    This caliber has crossed my mind for this very reason but too many other things on my want list like a mid length pistol in 556 :supergrin:
  13. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

    Jun 25, 2004
    Amarillo, Tx
    Mid length pistol? Like, with a 16" barrel?
  14. Jon_R


    May 3, 2009
    Central Florida
    I would consider a .50 Beowolf. Not for practical reasons. :)

    If I am going to do something different I want it to be different. If it will be close then I don't want to add a new caliber to my collection.

    I have ARs in .223/5.56 and 9MM now in different lengths and configs.
  15. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

    Jun 14, 2005
    12 mags and 3 cases of ammo.
  16. jjtroutbum

    jjtroutbum Armedflyfishing

    Jan 23, 2008
    St. Louis Mo

    closer to 10.5 ;)