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Sweet Spot For the 21st Century With Calibers Beating .308- Part 3, by Alpine Evader

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.

6.8 Magazines

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.

6.5 Creekmoor

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.

6.5 Grendel

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.

See Also:

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been part three of a four part entry for Round 73 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest [4]. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator [5] from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course [6] (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses [7], excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper [8]. 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),
  5. An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
  6. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees [9] in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  7. A $250 gift certificate good for any product [10] from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 [11] Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  8. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  9. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses [12].

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of [13] Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
  3. 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,
  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners [14], donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections [15], a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord [16] (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 [17] 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.

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Comments Disabled To "Sweet Spot For the 21st Century With Calibers Beating .308- Part 3, by Alpine Evader"

#1 Comment By Mike Andreotta On October 5, 2017 @ 1:28 pm

That was without a doubt one of the finest discussion/comparison of the various calibers available for the M-forgery platform. However, having said that, the discussion is aligned with the ability to reach out to >700m. In the Northeast of the lower 48 we are looking at much shorter ranges from a practical tactical perspective. I do intend to investigate making some mods to my platform to a 75gr 5.56 round and going heavy for a standard 308 round.

#2 Comment By Deplorable B Woodman On October 5, 2017 @ 2:01 pm

Very nice breakdown of cost vs benefits vs weight vs startup vs….
I can see why you wanted to wait until today to discuss my question of yesterday.

Bravo Zulu. Well done.

(I wonder how difficult this information would be to put into a 3D? 4D? graph/chart. hehehehehe)

#3 Comment By Alpine Evader On October 5, 2017 @ 4:50 pm

Mike Andreotta: “That was without a doubt one of the finest discussion/comparison of the various calibers available for the M-forgery platform. However, having said that, the discussion is aligned with the ability to reach out to >700m. In the Northeast of the lower 48 we are looking at much shorter ranges from a practical tactical perspective. I do intend to investigate making some mods to my platform to a 75gr 5.56 round and going heavy for a standard 308 round.”

– Thank you sir, I’m glad this helped and appreciate your praise. We will probably answer the tactical question of the 700m reach out in the final segment, however in the Northeast, at low altitude, I have no doubt that the .308 will be one of the best choices you can make. The next segment will go into some squad recommendations and fire team loadout recommendations and why these are critical at high elevation, but I think that Max Velocity, survivalblog contributor, has paralleled our group’s experimentation and provides excellent operational guidance. I know he’s got articles you could research today within this blog in the past year. Purely summarized, .308 is the Destroyer of all Worlds if you use multiple precision riflemen concentrating fire on MOUT cover (cinder block constructed buildings) and our group agrees with his findings – if you can tote that much weight.

– Mr. Andreotta, if I could be so bold as to comment on your particular application and the 21st century I do think that in the deep woods, AR platforms that shoot .300 Blackout will provide a better smash against branches and concealment factors (not hard cover, right?) with a very low cost of modification. It is a barrel, bolt, and some duct tape to mark the .300 magazines. Having a SHTF fire team loaded out with .300BLK and a DMR with .308 is a force to be reckoned with, particularly when special ammo types (API, Raufoss, etc.) have been developed for the .300BLK and survivalblog.com recently linked to a new small specialty ammo manufacturer who had this ammo available. The 5.56 is awesome for what it does and it’s lightweight and cheap, but if you’re using special ammo to make life terrifying for marauders, the .30 cross section allows for a lot more Tootsie in your Tootsie Pop. We started out requiring 5.56 and .300BLK barrels as a mandatory in our group while we tested 6.8. Having .300 BLK integrated simply means more lead downrange and devastating results within 200 – 300 yards. The drop, however, is inches more at 100 yards (like 4 inches I think I recall) but it is a crusher of a round. It stops hogs DRT (dead right there) and is preferred for most of the Texans I know who hunt hogs and don’t use 6.8.

– One final suggestion on the 75 grain bullets – test some barrels you have available right now, and see whether you can get a cheap success by standardizing the barrels along the findings within your peer group / operations team. I would hazard a guess that the low cost of the bullets is the best upgrade, but you might find that you have a winner right in your collection right now, meaning your upgrade is simply to buy cheaper ammunition and to stop worrying about picking up the brass… 😉

Deplorable B Woodman: “Very nice breakdown of cost vs benefits vs weight vs startup vs….
I can see why you wanted to wait until today to discuss my question of yesterday. Bravo Zulu. Well done. (I wonder how difficult this information would be to put into a 3D? 4D? graph/chart. Hehehehehe)

– Thank you for the kind words! I might add that since I wrote this and submitted it, I have found a resource for sorting out the bullet weight by cartridge (I’m pleased to say that my math was pretty close when verified, by the way). Nathaniel F writes for The Firearm Blog and has his own personal blog at 186,000 Revolutions Per Minute. He updates an Excel spreadsheet which I modified to average and multiply rounds for different magazine configurations (5 magazines loaded with 20 rounds, 10 magazines with 25 rounds, etc.). While I’ll be sending the PDF of my results to HJL for inclusion (or an image file, whichever he decides is best) you can replicate my findings by looking for ‘Nathaniel Fitch’ and ‘How much does your ammo weigh’ at ‘186,000 Revolutions Per Minute’. I am not an expert in pivot tables although I know that those who master the arcane black arts of Excel can rule without the One Ring… What I did was create an .xls that did the math to the side and then posted it into an updating image which I could then copy into a Word Doc. Because MSoFT isn’t the most privacy-centric organization I hesitate to send the actual .xls, but I will make the methods and sources available… I can send the images over to HJL along with the PDF and see what he thinks – I do want to keep OPSEC in mind.

– Here’s something to keep in mind. We’re going to have to have interoperability on some level or another if we’re looking at the ten-year prep. If we have all of our eggs in one basket (home, homestead, etc.) it doesn’t make sense. If we use cache philosophy it’s a massive amount of work to relocate portions of our hard-earned post-tax earnings we spent on ammo… yet we might be passing those evasion routes and cache locations down to our children, or our children’s children. That’s why this matters; it’s environmental and it’s technological, and geography based.

RSR: [update on good source for analysis on Vegas]

– Background and why that issue is relevant to this article series, because it is. Looking at the persecution / bushwhacking of conservatives in 2017, I’d say we’re smack dab in the middle of the soft reset, and Europe is teetering into the hard reset with Catalonia and Spain. We should all agree that over the past few years survivalist / prepping / P&R has become more mainstream. It’s something that I can describe in a future article series concerning how people think, but it’s not necessary if you can process this capsulated version. My research shows that we’re seeing a huge divide in our country between those who are capable of recognizing a threat and those who are not. Google ‘Red Brain, Blue Brain’ and get acquainted with the functions of the amygdala to start your research off, then google “r/K Theory and Stefan Molyneaux / Bill Whittle” for the true red pill, ‘ahah!’ moment. Round that off by googling ‘Human and Nature Dynamics (HANDY) for a look at NASA’s commissioned collapse study.

Yeah, this is rocket science, it’s real, and it’s here now either as a ‘Soft Reset’ or a ‘Hard Reset’.

– If this shooter is thought of as an r-selected rabbit, shooting himself instead of facing off with the cops makes a little more sense. However, an r-selected rabbit should have simply picked the exit strategy and walked away, flying off to join up with the girlfriend like the ending of the Batman trilogy when Alfred saw Wayne and Catwoman near his table. That’s the plan, and it would have worked… There’s strange stuff going on, but in the mind science of the amygdala, it’s all predictable. Trump’s cabinet choices are K-selected to the ultra max and dismantling the free resources decisions made for the past 25 to 30 years, but the ‘Soft Reset’ is well into play. Simplest, Occam’s Razor explanation is that this rich rabbit decided that conservatives were too much of an existential threat to his existence. Not unlike the recent church shooting, not unlike the DC baseball field shooting. Do you see the pattern here? The theory is that r-selected know they cannot win against K-selected, so they backstab and commit crimes of opportunity – or plan out massive narcissistic shooting sprees.

Think of it another way. In Chicago every month, r-selected ambushes take place and take the lives of fifty to sixty human beings. Every MONTH the Las Vegas shooting results take place. Smart conservatives long ago left Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, and many other urban places. They’re either moving to Texas or they’re retiring and moving to rural areas.

– What this means is that we as survivalists, futurists, or just plain old school Americans are going to have more density in our retreat areas. We’re going to run into recently arrived K-selected types with whom we will inevitably work out operating agreements with, or simply avoid based on our threat recognition.

– My pastor in the retreat area we’ve selected listened to my elevator pitch about my personal concerns and he recommended that I look at the book ‘The Benedict Option’ by Rod Dreher who contributes to theamericanconservative.com. The urban cores of America are depopulating of conservatives and of Christians, it turns out, in a predictable manner. Who knew?

– In the next segment I talk about logistics, philosophy of operations, and fire team compositions. I would welcome any findings you discover in loadouts, caches, and training / organization which have worked for you. I really think that the key to our families surviving is core ethical alignment combined with hard work, and tempered with community security arrangements. I’m not perfect so I’m looking forward to the iron sharpening iron in the future.

#4 Comment By Deplorable B Woodman On October 5, 2017 @ 6:05 pm

AE,
I have copied and emailed today’s article to my home laptop, there was some interesting (to me) information about 6.8SPC magazines that I need to look at for my loadout. (reminds me—I need to pull out my AR and re-oil it. it’s been awhile)
Thank you very much for sharing your hard work to those (me) who are too busy still working for a wage-slave living and getting too old to traipse around over hill and dale.

#5 Comment By Alpine Evader On October 5, 2017 @ 10:00 pm

Deplorable B Woodman, you are very welcome. I’m hopeful that my concepts help. FWIW, I think that ASC 25-round magazines work well for the AR-15 6.8SPC, but I heard that Barrett 30-rounders are what the dotmil folks have preferred. As for oil, Mobil-1 works well in virtually all weather conditions I’ve tried it on my AR. It runs slick and I’ve not jammed anything since trying it out years ago.

Oh yeah, about using USGI magazines – if you’re going to do that, try them with the aftermarket Magpul followers (for 5.56 they come in three packs, same design) because metal magazines and the USGI green, black, or even anti-tilt tan followers tend to bind up a bit more frequently due to the proprietary slicker than owl spit on a doorknob Magpul plastic they use.

For our testing purposes we used ARPerformance.com 6.8 barrels – they don’t cost a bunch more than anywhere else, are made stateside by a small business that screams patriot, and they work every time. If you buy the bolt and bolt carrier group along with the barrel, they’ll index the headspace for you which saves a step.

We don’t hear much about Jordanian and Saudi special forces but they apparently bought 6.8 big time which is why the ammo costs plunged from a buck a round to 60 cents. I’m waiting for steel or aluminum cased ammo but that’s not happening any time soon, since Silver State Armory got bought in 2015.

Alpine Evader

#6 Comment By Robert, NC On October 5, 2017 @ 11:10 pm

I’m curious how magpul plastics held up through winter, mods for using artic gloves with your m4gery and did you have to use special lubricant for your rifles. I’m assuming you are dealing with temps well below -10 degrees fahrenheit.

Now for the craziest tip you ever heard: as long as you keep moving, jungle boots and thick wool socks work great in the cold. They keep moisture from building up in your boots, and won’t have an issue like gortex separating from heavy use. If they get soaked, they will dry off very quickly or you can just replace the socks. I picked jungle boots over combat boots every time. The down side, have a set of Mickey Mouse boots for when you are just hanging around.

If you try this take your normal boots with you. On your mountain angles I’m not sure how the lack of ankle support will effect you.

#7 Comment By Bwhntr62 On October 6, 2017 @ 1:16 am

Your study is comprehensive and thorough. Nicely done. However I posit that it is location specific to your area and potential tactical operating environment. I agree, having been a reloader for 35 years, that your ballistic choices make sense, but again for your area. My group is living in the south east WI area. Our longest shot to defend our various houses would maybe be 150 yards. Since we already all own various AR’s in both 5.56 and .308 to switch over to 6.8 would be a financial and logistical hardship. And sorry but .80/round is no deal in my mind. I can load match grade .308 ammo for about .40 round, and 69 or 75 grain 5.56 at slightly less. Federal American Eagle ( 5.56 55 gr ) is at Cabelas for about .35/38 cents a round.

Our main adversaries, in a WROL scenario, would be organized inner city gangs reaching out to the suburbs for food, gas, weapons or slaves. While these might be somewhat bold and troublesome, operating out of their environment and easily indentified, I feel we should be able to dissuade them fairly easily to get back, jack. Even using 5.56 and .308. Prep on brother. God bless going forward.

#8 Comment By Alpine Evader On October 6, 2017 @ 8:51 pm

Robert,NC: “I’m curious how magpul plastics held up through winter, mods for using artic gloves with your m4gery and did you have to use special lubricant for your rifles. I’m assuming you are dealing with temps well below -10 degrees fahrenheit.”

— We’ve not had issues with my personal rifles with Mobil1 10w30. It’s cheap and everywhere, runs with our entire temperature range.
I just did a search and found three articles that also use Mobil1 in their AR’s:
[18]
[19]
[20]

–I don’t use Magpul magazines personally, I did try them with 9 to 10 rounds of 6.8SPC crammed into them but the gen2 consistently crammed harder than they needed to after they were stored in hot places. The feed lips swelled and it was nothing but consistent jamming. I get better luck out of the ASC mags for 6.8 or from metal surplus. I don’t use Magpul furniture on my rifles, and since the heat test didn’t work I figured I’d skip cold. Magpul used to be a Colorado company so I figure that they’ve sorted out cold pretty well, and with the Gen3 magazines, they don’t overdrive into the mag well like my Gen2’s… I do use the Magpul end ranger tabs but I use them funky and 90 degrees off what others use them for. Magpul Ranger Plates work well on the bottom in both hot and cold and seem to seal out a lot of the microfine dust we get near high desert, which keeps things rolling. I also like the Magpul followers; all ASC magazines I think are standardized on these as OEM according to my research and they even say ‘6.8’ on the tops.

Robert,NC:”Now for the craziest tip you ever heard…”

— Thanks, I’m curious to try this out – of course I would use a plan B but I often bring two pair of shoes (XC ski boots and waterproof slip-on hikers) when I’m actually in the snow, and I also use commercially available boots for most non-field tramping around.

I haven’t had a real moisture issue but then I’m using boots I bought 20 years ago made by Columbia or made by Karhu. The XC boots seem to be pretty well made and they’ve lasted almost 25 years. I’ve used all of them with snowshoes and with gaiters which probably help. I’m also limited a lot more than I was in my mid-20s about how fast or hard I go. The spare pair of shoes is so when I’m getting out of my tent to take a leak I can keep my feet relatively warm and dry, and they’re somewhat light.

I have tried desert boots while in the cold but my toes got colder than they did with GoreTex of the same brand, so I swapped them out. I recall being wet but warm in a layered test, and my remedy is to bring more spare socks and swap them out more readily. I also stuff shirts into my shoes when I bivvy to pull moisture out, and leave them next to the fire if we have one.

Bwhntr62: “My group is living in the south east WI area. Our longest shot to defend our various houses would maybe be 150 yards. Since we already all own various AR’s in both 5.56 and .308 to switch over to 6.8 would be a financial and logistical hardship…”

— Absolutely concur. I can’t think of places over a few thousand feet in elevation within 500 miles of your AO. 75 grain 5.56 will probably be the best bet if you’re not already using them.

Bwhntr62: “Our main adversaries, in a WROL scenario, would be organized inner city gangs reaching out to the suburbs for food, gas, weapons or slaves.”

–I think you nailed the precise reason we consider community survival so diligently. Nobody wants to hear about a missing kid, and if you found tracks leading in a certain direction, who’s going to go after the ones who snatched them…

This is precisely the use case that led to our outreach a few years ago into other survival / veteran communities. That’s an entire other topic but I appreciate you reminding people of what’s at stake here, and why just hunkering down at an isolated homestead might not operate as planned.

Thanks again for the interest!

#9 Comment By RSR On October 20, 2017 @ 8:47 pm

This popped up on Western Rifle Shooters after you posted your article. Worth the read: [21]

Covers a lot of the logistics, reliability, etc, issues with running non-standard calibers that seemed to be missed here… Mags, barrel life, bolts, etc, being of primary concern…

Running through your article:
-FMJs work just fine for barrier destruction. APIs are only needed for barrier penetration…
-6.5 creedmoor due to being smaller diameter and higher velocity should be expected to penetrate further through stuff like trees vs .308/7.62N, all other things being equal
-6.5 creedmoor would be excellent out of a lightweight/sporter bolt action; couple that w/ a 5.56 AR15 and you’d get an optimal cost, weight, and ammo load. Jonathan Hollerman’s EMP book (and maybe some others) cover this as well… I’d encourage you to run the numbers. They do add up positively for most scenarios.

To your comments:
-Mixing 5.56 and .300 blk in a squad is asking for a Kaboom and out of service weapon(s). Should be avoided. Either/or for semi-auto ARs and I think 5.56 is the clear winner, near always… Go w/ .300 blk in a suppressed bolt if that’s a need…
-Mobil 1 works, but something like weaponshield would be best instead; engine oils are intended to function best at engine operating temps (close to 200*F) and have zero concern for toxicity beyond banned materials…
-6.8 — you’re really best set to buy an assembled rifle like LWRC w/ their improved bolt if you want to go that route. DIY builds for non-standard calibers is not the best route by which to ensure reliability.

#10 Comment By Alpine Evader On November 3, 2017 @ 5:42 am

RSR: This popped up on Western Rifle Shooters after you posted your article. Worth the read: [21] Covers a lot of the logistics, reliability, etc, issues with running non-standard calibers that seemed to be missed here… Mags, barrel life, bolts, etc, being of primary concern…
– Yep. I liked his article and had I the opportunity to sign in securely I would have commented and redirected him to this site. I liked a lot about what he said about the bolt faces. I don’t believe that applies to the 6.8SPCs we use any more than it does to 5.56mm (remember he said that he had a bolt face shear off in a 5.56 training exercise) but the 6.8SPC actually uses a beefier bolt fact than the 7.62S bolt face he showed. It is based on a .30 Remington parent cartridge and appears (at least to me) as a symmetric version of the 5.56 just larger all around. FWIW AR15performance.com actually sells stronger bolts which we use as standard equipment.
RSR: Running through your article:
FMJs work just fine for barrier destruction. APIs are only needed for barrier penetration…
6.5 creedmoor due to being smaller diameter and higher velocity should be expected to penetrate further through stuff like trees vs .308/7.62N, all other things being equal
6.5 creedmoor would be excellent out of a lightweight/sporter bolt action; couple that w/ a 5.56 AR15 and you’d get an optimal cost, weight, and ammo load. Jonathan Hollerman’s EMP book (and maybe some others) cover this as well… I’d encourage you to run the numbers. They do add up positively for most scenarios.
– I agree wholeheartedly. Our group has more .270s as bolt than other types so we went with that instead of 6.5CM. The 6.5CM with a long 24” barrel has nearly the same ballistics as the .270 Hornady SST rounds and the .300 Win-Mag. The lighter recoil of the 6.5CM make it the best choice if one were buying things from scratch – since we already own multiple .270s and .270 Win-Mags we’re set. The .270 bolt for us opens up the really cool prospect of using a single bullet (projectile not cartridge) for reloading purposes between the .270 and the 6.8SPC. That is pretty nicely covered.

RSR: To your comments: Mixing 5.56 and .300 blk in a squad is asking for a Kaboom and out of service weapon(s). Should be avoided. Either/or for semi-auto ARs and I think 5.56 is the clear winner, near always… Go w/ .300 blk in a suppressed bolt if that’s a need…
Mobil 1 works, but something like weaponshield would be best instead; engine oils are intended to function best at engine operating temps (close to 200*F) and have zero concern for toxicity beyond banned materials…
6.8 — you’re really best set to buy an assembled rifle like LWRC w/ their improved bolt if you want to go that route. DIY builds for non-standard calibers is not the best route by which to ensure reliability.
– I’m going to respectfully agree to disagree with most of these aside from the .300 blackout comment where you are absolutely right! That’s why we use 6.8SPC which will refuse to feed a 5.56mm bullet (ask me how I know) and a .223 will refuse to feed a 6.8SPC bullet. This is one of the reasons we did not adopt the 25-45 Sharps round instead.
– As far as buying an assembled LWRC Six8 – we agree to disagree. We have capable armorers in our group and I’m not convinced that the cost is worth the requirement to standardize on Magpul 6.8 magazines. I think the metal ASC magazines work just fine and we still use USGI mags filled with 15 rounds that work effectively if they have the Magpul followers that have some sort of slippery coating that make them less likely to jam up with the wider 6.8 cartridges.