Yesterday, in part two of this “sweet spot” series, I moved beyond telling about my high altitude survival group and our plans and I began telling about my loadout long-term results and recommendations. I’ll continue with this by recommending some ammo.
115 Grain 6.8 Ammo
You’ll find that 115 grain 6.8 SPC Sellier & Belliot (S&B) ammo just got undercut by 115 grain American Eagle; both are about $0.62 per round. 6.8 ball ammo will crush cinder blocks within 200 yards far more effectively than any 5.56 ammo. That’s true even if you include green-tip SLAP rounds out of either a short or long barreled rifle. Try it out yourself on a few cinder blocks and tell me I’m wrong.
I find that 6.8 SPC consistently provides about 50% more sectional density than the best 5.56mm semi-auto round. And within 300 yards, it drops CXP2 game up to black bear size with a single hit, consistently DRT (dear right there). You get better smackdown than 75 gr. 5.56mm and don’t have to buy new ammo carrying MOLLE gear. You get more power close with shorter barrels than 6.5 Grendel. If you’re going to have to go inside a house, 6.8 at 16” or below is your friend.
You do have to buy new magazines, unless you want to be limited to 15 rounds per mag in USGI and nine rounds per mag in Magpul’s 5.56mm magazines. I priced them today at $15 per magazine, and that’s not the proprietary Magpul 6.8 magazines. Those Six8 magazines work only in the LWRC Six8 rifles. But there is a reason Jordanian and Saudi special forces operators have gone to the Six8. This philosophy doesn’t mandate purchase of LWRC Six8, but it would work well.
120 Grain 6.8 Ammo
120 grain 6.8 SPC Hornady SST ammo has a ballistic coefficient design that keeps the round supersonic until 900 yards, depending on altitude and weather conditions. The 120 grain SST is usable in both .270 and 6.8 SPC without stability issues in either platform. It’s my go-to long distance round, due to DRT reported on forums as well as load data for reloading. The cost is sweet right now, at $0.80-$0.88 per round. This cost per round is why 6.5 Creedmoor isn’t leading the DMR list.
A well-scoped DMR can use 6.8 SPC out to 900 yards “effectively”, yet not as effective at range as the Creedmoor or a .308. However, this single bullet, available for both reloading as well as at low cost with proprietary powder from Hornady, pushes the engagement out realistically to 700 yards with a trained marksman. This provides a clear standoff engagement squad vs. squad against anyone with 5.56mm, including the 75 grain 5.56 DMRs.
Loadout For 6.8
Our recommended loadout for 6.8 is six magazines of American Eagle or S&B with four magazines Hornady 120 gr. SST. That’s about 13 lbs. for 10 magazines, 25 rounds per magazine, and a total of 250 rounds of ammo. Carry another two magazines and you’re up to 300 rounds and just under 15 lbs.
All-Purpose 308 Round
The 308/7.62x51mm 180 grain Super-X 308 Winchester/7.62 NATO 180 GR Power-Point is at about $0.48/round. It’s larger (bonded?) for killing things DRT, has a decent ballistic coefficient, and is cost effective vs 148 and 168 grain military ball ammunition. If you need an all-purpose round, this is pretty much it.
Barrier Destruction Preferred Ammo
The preferred ammo would be the AP rounds I’ve seen on sale at gun shows. Those are the ones with barrier destruction being the best case use for .308 battle rifles. However, these are expensive and hard-to-find rounds and possibly illegal, depending on where you live. Remember, .308 and 7.62×51 NATO can be shot out of a .308 rifle, but you must not shoot .308 out of a 7.62N barrel.
Loadout For .308
For your .308 loadout, go full Winchester Super-X. You’re looking at roughly 200 rounds that you can carry. It comes out to about 1.7 lbs. for every full PMAG 20- round magazine or 17 lbs for 200 rounds of ammo, but if you’re going against barriers, you better bring 300 rounds, which ups your hump load to a hulking 25 lbs. of ammo compared to 14 lbs. for 6.8 and 11 lbs for 5.56mm.
I haven’t done a ballistic comparison between 7.62 Nato and 6.5 Creedmoor in penetration, but math says they are comparable with FMJ rounds. Far and away Creedmoor has the best energy to recoil ratio of anything on the list. It offers a better shooting experience than 7.62N/.308 and has better terminal performance than the 6.8 SPC. Hands-down, it’s the best DMR platform.
.308 for Destroying Hard Cover
However, if you’re looking at options for destroying hard cover, the .308 is more logistically sound on a cost and availability basis. The 6.5 Creedmoor is more logistically sound for everything up to a full-on SHTF Mad Max scenario. This includes shelf space availability through ammo crisis, cost, et cetera, because .308 goes just as fast as 5.56mm when people panic and buy stuff. The cost for the 120 grain SST Hornady cartridge along with the commonality of the .270 for that specific round is the second reason why 6.5 Creedmoor doesn’t make it on the list. You might as well have high ballistic coefficient ammo that costs $0.30 per bullet to reload your 6.8 brass or your .270 brass that makes up most of the shootable difference for long-range engagement.
Ammo Weight and Mag/Pouche Considerations
The weight of 129 grain 6.5 Creedmoor is one pound per 20 rounds of ammo. That’s 50% less than the 180 grain .308. 129 grain 6.5 Creedmoor costs $0.80 per round,which is the same as the 120 grain 6.8 SST. You could carry 300 rounds in 15 magazines at 17 lbs. That results in eight pounds you don’t have to hump. However, if you don’t already own the 7.62×51 PMAG magazines and the mag pouches MOLLE gear, you’re looking at about four hundred dollars ($400) per person, just to get to that point.
Creedmoor Outperforms and Costs The Same
Creedmoor outperforms the 6.8 and costs the same. It outperforms the .308 in everything but bashing down cinder blocks and costs nearly the same for match grade performance. Creedmoor is the best bang for the buck, when a group is starting from square one, based on weight of ammo, performance in the field, recoil for practice, and availability for ammo off the shelf in any given Wal-Mart during ammo shortages.
120 Grain SST 6.8 SPC Low-Cost Effective Long-Range Solution
However, since the 120 gr. SST 6.8 SPC offers a low-cost and effective long-range solution (better than Barnes on cost per projectile, reloaded), then it’s a moot point. You can harass at 600-800 yards with 120 gr. SST and might kill someone, just like you can harass with 75 gr. 5.56mm out to 700 yards and might kill someone.
The main differences between Grendel and 6.8 SPC have to do with locations and distances. The 6.8 SPC offers the shorter barrel for better vehicle and close weapon employment that will still reach out to 500-600 yards accurately. On the other hand, 6.5 Grendel is more of a standoff weapon past 700 yards.
Not listed here in my choices for ideal ammunition, 6.5 Grendel would also work, with a lower cost Tula ammunition available and with the same bolt, barrel, and magazine issue as the 6.8 SPC. Grendel doesn’t have the same ammo choices, but it has great low cost high range choices. You’re looking at $0.30 to $0.80 per round, and your $0.30 performance is twice as good as 6.8.
Grendel barrel lengths are 18” and 20″, sacrificing vehicle mounted mobility and lethality with shorter barrels that don’t exist. So if you’re in a car, you’re going to have issues wrestling it around vs. a SBR 5.56 or, even better, a SBR/pistol 6.8 SPC. Note: There are Grendel pistol barrels another group has tested and plans to implement as a group standard.
Note on CXP
“CXP stands for “Controlled eXpansion Performance… Federal lists usage numbers from 1 through 4 for rifle hunting ammunition…. CXP2 class game are generally light framed animals with relatively thin skin and light muscles and bones. These are primarily deer, antelope, sheep, goats, and black bear. They typically range from about 51 pounds to perhaps 300 pounds.” (direct quote from chuckhawks.com website, fair use)
Let’s put it this way: CXP2 is kinda like your typical marauder/bad actor you might encounter in bad times and makes for a good crossover from sportsman to security operator.
Tomorrow, I’ll talk about fire teams and our planning and training regimen as well as our desires for them.
- 1 – Sweet Spot For the 21st Century With Calibers Beating .308, by Alpine Evader
- 2 – Sweet Spot For the 21st Century With Calibers Beating .308, by Alpine Evader
- 4 – Sweet Spot For the 21st Century With Calibers Beating .308, by Alpine Evader
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part three of a four part entry for Round 73 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value), and
Round 73 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.