6.8 Western

Alibiiv

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I looked through 11 pages of replies and didn't see anything from me so figured I'd put my .02c worth in here. I like the .270 caliber, shoot a .270 Ackley Improved and impressed with the ballistics. For me I built the rifle to deer hunt, so....130s and 150s work just fine for the 1-10 twist barrel and also for the type of hunting that I use it for. The rifle is a Ruger 77 with a 26 inch Lilja barrel, getting around 3300+pfs with 150s. Sort of like a .270WSM on a low dose of steroids; and...this load is not too easy on brass. The barrel was contoured from the factory barrel, so 2 shots touching the third about an 1 inch away at 300 yards is pretty much the norm for me "on a good day"; pretty much a 3 shot hunting gun.

Now on the 6.8 Western, from what I have read it is a good cartridge hurling heavy 6.8 caliber bullets with some impressive numbers, but...it is still a "new" cartridge. I question just how popular it will be in a couple of years when the newest and latest comes out? Yup it flings heavy bullets for caliber due to barrel twist, but that's nothing spectacular if one wants to build a rifle. So my concern is that if that cartridge doesn't take off, are components going to be available??? If I were totally interested in hurling heavy .270 bullets at long distances, I would either build a rifle in .270 WSM with a slower twist barrel. The .270 WSM has been around since 2002, and....I don't see that round going away any too soon. And....that's my .02c worth. Good luck on whatever you decide.
 

.300 Dakota

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Moss Point, MS
I looked through 11 pages of replies and didn't see anything from me so figured I'd put my .02c worth in here. I like the .270 caliber, shoot a .270 Ackley Improved and impressed with the ballistics. For me I built the rifle to deer hunt, so....130s and 150s work just fine for the 1-10 twist barrel and also for the type of hunting that I use it for. The rifle is a Ruger 77 with a 26 inch Lilja barrel, getting around 3300+pfs with 150s. Sort of like a .270WSM on a low dose of steroids; and...this load is not too easy on brass. The barrel was contoured from the factory barrel, so 2 shots touching the third about an 1 inch away at 300 yards is pretty much the norm for me "on a good day"; pretty much a 3 shot hunting gun.

Now on the 6.8 Western, from what I have read it is a good cartridge hurling heavy 6.8 caliber bullets with some impressive numbers, but...it is still a "new" cartridge. I question just how popular it will be in a couple of years when the newest and latest comes out? Yup it flings heavy bullets for caliber due to barrel twist, but that's nothing spectacular if one wants to build a rifle. So my concern is that if that cartridge doesn't take off, are components going to be available??? If I were totally interested in hurling heavy .270 bullets at long distances, I would either build a rifle in .270 WSM with a slower twist barrel. The .270 WSM has been around since 2002, and....I don't see that round going away any too soon. And....that's my .02c worth. Good luck on whatever you decide.
I'm afraid you're right. Winchester brass is crap for the most part, and like the WSSMs, that's the only brand you're probably going to see. .277 is probably the LEAST popular of calibers besides .257s, 8mms, and bigger stuff. The Western doesn't do anything that a 6.5, 7mm, or big .30 can't do better already. While it's a neat cartridge, and I'd love to have one, I see the best hope for the cartridge being as a wildcat to challenge the 6.5 PRC or even extend the capability of the .257 genre. The .270 WSM or even .270 Wby would be better of given the appropriate length throat and rate of twist. With a 1:7 or 8 twist in a .270, you're going to pretty much limit yourself to shooting only the ultra-heavyweight bullets for that caliber. Just buy a 7 Mag and stick a 180gr Berger in it.

FWIW, I do want to grab some brass to hang on to for a wildcat in the years ahead. Once it is fire formed, the Winchester brass will be as straight as any. Just my $0.02, also.
 

StanleyActual

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Idaho
I appreciate the innovation of new cartridge designs. Folks knock the 6.5CM and the 6.5PRC. Yes, 260 Rem had been around along time, but good luck finding factory ammo. Hornady stepped in and developed a 6.5 cartridge and then stocked the shelves with components and ammo.

6.5PRC .Yeah. 6.5x284 was already here but again. good luck finding factory ammo.
It doesn’t exist. Hornady stepped in and developed a 6.5 Cartridge that mimics the ballistics of that 6.5x284 and then started pushing components a and ammo.

you can knock Hornady but the fact is, they they did fill some necessary gaps in regards to QUALITY factory ammunition availablility when no one else was. There loss, Hornadys / our gain


As far as the 6.8 Western is concerned, I can plainly see the gap they tried to fill. 270’s and 270wsm’s are running 1:10T and can’t take advantage of the heavy high BC bullets unless a barrel swap is made with a tighter twist. 270wsm factory ammo is **** near non-existent. In comes the 6.8 Western 1:8.5T now enabling 270 guys to run those heavier bullets to distance AND factory ammunition / rifles are readily available.

I don’t think the purpose of these cartridges. (6.5CM, 6.5PRC and 6.8 Western and others( was necessarily to out perform the .260’s, 6.5x284’s and 270 WSM’s. I believe theyre designed to perform “closely” but more than that that it’s about accessibility and availability of factory ammunition.

Wonderful, all those other cartridges may “slightly” out perform these new ones but only if your building your rifles and hand loading your ammo
 

tknuts103

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Aug 23, 2021
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64
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Minneapolis
I appreciate the innovation of new cartridge designs. Folks knock the 6.5CM and the 6.5PRC. Yes, 260 Rem had been around along time, but good luck finding factory ammo. Hornady stepped in and developed a 6.5 cartridge and then stocked the shelves with components and ammo.

6.5PRC .Yeah. 6.5x284 was already here but again. good luck finding factory ammo.
It doesn’t exist. Hornady stepped in and developed a 6.5 Cartridge that mimics the ballistics of that 6.5x284 and then started pushing components a and ammo.

you can knock Hornady but the fact is, they they did fill some necessary gaps in regards to QUALITY factory ammunition availablility when no one else was. There loss, Hornadys / our gain


As far as the 6.8 Western is concerned, I can plainly see the gap they tried to fill. 270’s and 270wsm’s are running 1:10T and can’t take advantage of the heavy high BC bullets unless a barrel swap is made with a tighter twist. 270wsm factory ammo is **** near non-existent. In comes the 6.8 Western 1:8.5T now enabling 270 guys to run those heavier bullets to distance AND factory ammunition / rifles are readily available.

I don’t think the purpose of these cartridges. (6.5CM, 6.5PRC and 6.8 Western and others( was necessarily to out perform the .260’s, 6.5x284’s and 270 WSM’s. I believe theyre designed to perform “closely” but more than that that it’s about accessibility and availability of factory ammunition.

Wonderful, all those other cartridges may “slightly” out perform these new ones but only if your building your rifles and hand loading your ammo
I agree with you that all of these cartridges could be hard to find. Definitely a risk I took while buying the rifle. My plan was to start reloading the 6.8 but my gun shot 3 types of factory ammo so well I decided to just go with factory. I now have enough ammo to last me many years of not only hunting but also target shooting. Although with my hunting rifles, I usually sight them in and then just practice 100 or so rounds before each hunting trip. I will probably get bored of the rifle long before I need more ammo. The problem I see I could end up having is resale when I do want to get rid of it. If the cartridge doesn't catch on, unfortunately I will be rebarreling my rifle instead of selling it. I guess around where I live, people think the 6.8 western is the latest and greatest thing. The guy at Cabelas told me they are constantly special ordering these rifles and scheels sells them out the second they come in. The crazy part to me is that I know people that already have large caliber rifles that are buying new rifles just to shoot this cartridge. If I had a bigger caliber to begin with, I wouldn't have bought this rifle but since I didn't have one I figured I would jump on the bandwagon and give it a shot.
 
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StanleyActual

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I agree with you that all of these cartridges could be hard to find. Definitely a risk I took while buying the rifle. My plan was to start reloading the 6.8 but my gun shot 3 types of factory ammo so well I decided to just go with factory. I now have enough ammo to last me many years of not only hunting but also target shooting. Although with my hunting rifles, I usually sight them in and then just practice 100 or so rounds before each hunting trip. I will probably get bored of the rifle long before I need more ammo. The problem I see I could end up having is resale when I do want to get rid of it. If the cartridge doesn't catch on, unfortunately I will be rebarreling my rifle instead of selling it. I guess around where I live, people think the 6.8 western is the latest and greatest thing. The guy at Cabelas told me they are constantly special ordering these rifles and scheels sells them out the second they come in. The crazy part to me is that I know people that already have large caliber rifles that are buying new rifles just to shoot this cartridge. If I had a bigger caliber to begin with, I wouldn't have bought this rifle but since I didn't have one I figured I would jump on the bandwagon and give it a shot.

I like it. If I didn’t have this m70 .270 already I’d go the 6.8W route. Factory ammo these days is pretty hard to beat.
It’s accurate. Slower than hand loads yeah, but .5moa or better isnt uncommon.

I’m gonna put a 20” 1:8T on my 270 and then I’ll have my 26” 7Max. That pretty well covers me for what I need to do
 

tknuts103

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Aug 23, 2021
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Minneapolis
I like it. If I didn’t have this m70 .270 already I’d go the 6.8W route. Factory ammo these days is pretty hard to beat.
It’s accurate. Slower than hand loads yeah, but .5moa or better isnt uncommon.

I’m gonna put a 20” 1:8T on my 270 and then I’ll have my 26” 7Max. That pretty well covers me for what I need to do
Can't to wrong with the m70!!
 

.300 Dakota

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Moss Point, MS
270wsm factory ammo is **** near non-existent. In comes the 6.8 Western 1:8.5T now enabling 270 guys to run those heavier bullets to distance AND factory ammunition / rifles are readily available.
There is only 1 manufacturer of brass: Winchester. There are only a couple makers of ammo - Winchester and Browning (others?) There is ammo and brass because rifles have JUST become available. Only higher end Brownings are available with sufficiently long barrels to take advantage of the heavy bullets and powder capacity. If brass and/or ammo is available after hunting season, it will only be because the round isn't popular enough to draw attention. There needs to be some better brass available to keep people interested. I don't see Lapua jumping on this. Maybe ADG, Alpha, or Peterson will oblige, but they can't keep what they currently make on the shelves, so we'll see.

I will say that what this cartridge DOES have going for it is it's the ONLY factory .277 bore available with fast twist to shoot the longest range bullets. Those bullets are available because no one can use them except for custom builders (which generally build other bore sizes preferentially), and the few factory 6.8 Western rifle owners. Anyone who owns one and likes it needs to take advantage of the availability of brass, ammo, and appropriate sized bullets now.
 

Lou270

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Jan 1, 2006
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6.8 is brand new round and ammo/guns just hit the shelf. Time will tell if it catches on and may take time. The 6.5 creedmor was around for more than 8 years before anybody noticed it and then exploded. The 6.5 prc was around for couple years before anybody other than Hornady loaded it. I rebarreled a 7 wsm to 6.8 western and both Win 165 ablr and browning 175 tmk shot sub half MOA. The results I have been seeing reported so far have been excellent accuracy with the round, no doubt because Win took the same design features that have made the 6.5cm/prc so accurate and applied them. With the 6.5 cm you have a mild recoiling round that with high bc bullets matches tradiional hunting rounds firing traditional hunting bullets (270/30-06/308) rounds energies at longer ranges with less recoil. The same can be said for the 6.5 Western vs 300 magnums. Of course you can load heavier / high bc bullets in traditional rounds and beat the newer rounds but you still have more recoil and 300 mag ballistics has been killing big game at long range well before the super high bc trend. The new rounds are not better or worse than old rounds just put in a convenient package that can often be bought cheaply (Ruger American / Win xpr etc ) that doesnt require handloading / custom barrels to get the ballistics/accuracy. I bet that is what sells a lot of rifles / ammo vs high end tinkers.
 

.300 Dakota

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Moss Point, MS
6.8 is brand new round and ammo/guns just hit the shelf. Time will tell if it catches on and may take time. The 6.5 creedmor was around for more than 8 years before anybody noticed it and then exploded. The 6.5 prc was around for couple years before anybody other than Hornady loaded it. I rebarreled a 7 wsm to 6.8 western and both Win 165 ablr and browning 175 tmk shot sub half MOA. The results I have been seeing reported so far have been excellent accuracy with the round, no doubt because Win took the same design features that have made the 6.5cm/prc so accurate and applied them. With the 6.5 cm you have a mild recoiling round that with high bc bullets matches tradiional hunting rounds firing traditional hunting bullets (270/30-06/308) rounds energies at longer ranges with less recoil. The same can be said for the 6.5 Western vs 300 magnums. Of course you can load heavier / high bc bullets in traditional rounds and beat the newer rounds but you still have more recoil and 300 mag ballistics has been killing big game at long range well before the super high bc trend. The new rounds are not better or worse than old rounds just put in a convenient package that can often be bought cheaply (Ruger American / Win xpr etc ) that doesnt require handloading / custom barrels to get the ballistics/accuracy. I bet that is what sells a lot of rifles / ammo vs high end tinkers.
Which action did you rebarrel, and what barrel (brand, twist, length, diameter) did you go with?
 

stephenr6565

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Dec 31, 2013
Messages
114
I appreciate the innovation of new cartridge designs. Folks knock the 6.5CM and the 6.5PRC. Yes, 260 Rem had been around along time, but good luck finding factory ammo. Hornady stepped in and developed a 6.5 cartridge and then stocked the shelves with components and ammo.

6.5PRC .Yeah. 6.5x284 was already here but again. good luck finding factory ammo.
It doesn’t exist. Hornady stepped in and developed a 6.5 Cartridge that mimics the ballistics of that 6.5x284 and then started pushing components a and ammo.

you can knock Hornady but the fact is, they they did fill some necessary gaps in regards to QUALITY factory ammunition availablility when no one else was. There loss, Hornadys / our gain


As far as the 6.8 Western is concerned, I can plainly see the gap they tried to fill. 270’s and 270wsm’s are running 1:10T and can’t take advantage of the heavy high BC bullets unless a barrel swap is made with a tighter twist. 270wsm factory ammo is **** near non-existent. In comes the 6.8 Western 1:8.5T now enabling 270 guys to run those heavier bullets to distance AND factory ammunition / rifles are readily available.

I don’t think the purpose of these cartridges. (6.5CM, 6.5PRC and 6.8 Western and others( was necessarily to out perform the .260’s, 6.5x284’s and 270 WSM’s. I believe theyre designed to perform “closely” but more than that that it’s about accessibility and availability of factory ammunition.

Wonderful, all those other cartridges may “slightly” out perform these new ones but only if your building your rifles and hand loading your ammo
that's one thing that boggles my mind is all the hating on the new Hornady cartridges like the creedmoor doesn't do anything the 260 can, the 6.5 PRC doesn't do anything the 6.5-284 can & the 300 PRC doesn't do anything the 30 Nosler can. When you are talking about handloads and custom chambers for the heavies they don't do anything special compared to similar sized cartridges. But you can go buy off the shelf heavy for caliber ammo that shoots nearly as good as handloads that's what they & they do it extremely good. There two things holding me back from building a 6.8 western the first is I don't know how well the factory ammo shoots as I don't know of anyone that has built or bought a 6.8. And the second is if the factory offerings do shoot well is whether or not it will catch on enough for winchester to continue to support it with good shooting factory ammo. I have a 270 WSM in a winchester featherlite that never shot very good so I have a perfect donor action for a 6.8 Western build but I am hesitant as I have no intention of handloading anymore
 
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