Thoughts on new 6.8 Western cartridge

DuckDogDr

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Aug 24, 2019
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Feel like they missed out on a marketing push by not naming it the 270 o'connor.

I'm scratching my goatee....maybe this is my future sheep caliber
 

AkMtnRunner

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I'll probably have one when Tikka chambers a left handed one and Barnes makes some heavier 277 bullets. I can wait until then.
 

Aaron P.

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May 16, 2020
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I'll probably have one when Tikka chambers a left handed one and Barnes makes some heavier 277 bullets. I can wait until then.
Kind of where I'm at. Although I think we'll be waiting a long time. They haven't even released any rifles in 6.5 prc despite how trendy it it's been since its release.

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z987k

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Anchorage, AK
I'll probably have one when Tikka chambers a left handed one and Barnes makes some heavier 277 bullets. I can wait until then.
And then tikka will put it out in the same twist as their 270 win(1-10) and you won't be able to shoot the long/heavies.
 

jlaner0408

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SE Idaho
Kind of where I'm at. Although I think we'll be waiting a long time. They haven't even released any rifles in 6.5 prc despite how trendy it it's been since its release.

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The Tikka 6.5 PRCs are coming this year according to their 2021 catalog
 

Aaron P.

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The Tikka 6.5 PRCs are coming this year according to their 2021 catalog
Thats news to me. Good, it sounded like they're going to release last year but covid pushed it back. Save me the hassle of doing a semi-custom build.

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EmperorMA

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I'll probably have one when Tikka chambers a left handed one and Barnes makes some heavier 277 bullets. I can wait until then.
I'm looking strictly for the nonlead issue I have to deal with in Cali. That speed should work for copper expansion at longer ranges.
Winchester has developed a 162gr copper expanding bullet specifically for this cartridge.
 
Joined
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Western Iowa
I was super excited to read the review on the 6.8 Western online today. The reason why I never got on the 6.5CR bandwagon was becasue of the lack of heavy-for-caliber bullet options. This cartridge solves that problem without intolerable recoil and near-magnum performance beyond the ranges I would normally shoot. .6 or better BC in the heavier bullets and very significant advancement in my view.
 

z987k

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Anchorage, AK
I was super excited to read the review on the 6.8 Western online today. The reason why I never got on the 6.5CR bandwagon was becasue of the lack of heavy-for-caliber bullet options. This cartridge solves that problem without intolerable recoil and near-magnum performance beyond the ranges I would normally shoot. .6 or better BC in the heavier bullets and very significant advancement in my view.
6.5cm more or less brought heavy for caliber to the mainstream. It's still one of the few cartridges every manufacturer twists for long bullets at the factory.
If 140s aren't enough for your purpose that's one thing, but prior everyone was shooting 100-120 out of the 264s.
277 suffers far far more from no heavy for caliber options. In fact it's probably close to the worst possible caliber for long/heavies. Now there's a couple options, but nothing like 264, 284 or 308.
 

20 Extreme

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I have never owned nor shot anything with a .280 AI. However, on paper, the 6.8 Western looks to be extremely similar in performance to a .280 AI throated for long bullets, albeit with a longer action.

The 6.8 Western is probably even more similar to the .280 AI's shorter performance clone, the 7 SAUM.

It is closest to the mythical .270 PRC, though. Not a bad place to be.
The .270 PRC is a great place to be only I called it the 270 PHC ( Precision Hunter Cartridge). Although likely not mythical it does perform as good, or better, than the 270 Win and 270 WSM with modern lightweight bullets with less powder. I designed it to run the Hornady 145 ELDX and Nosler 150 LRAB running a 26" barrel with an 8.5 twist and was delighted when it performed great with the Berger 170 EOL as well, The 165 LRAB is the only one of 8 modern bullets that does not fit properly with bearing surface up in the neck but holds enough RL 26 to likely outperform the 6.8 Western using about 5 grains less powder with that bullet.

My health prevented me from doing load development and posting results so I sold the rifle, and all components to a young fellow who is continuing with my work and reporting to me. His results with the 140 Sierra TGK (Gamechanger) are almost unbelievable with 59.0 gr. RL 26 getting a five shot average of 3281 fps with an ES of 7 and SD of 2.8. The Model 70 MOA trigger lived up to its namesake but hopefully a new Timney wig get the group down to 1/2 MOA.

The attached picture shows 8 loads in the 270 PRC as follows.Left to Right:
1. Barnes 129 LRX COAL – 2.935” @ 0.030” off lands.
- Ladder with RL 26 - 58.5 Error ( Likely around 3315 fps) pressure OK
- 59.0 Error ( Likely around 3325 fps) Hopefully good node.
- 59.5 - 3369
- 60.0 - 3378 Pressure OK
- 60.5 - 3462 Pressure spike Max.

2. Sierra 140 TGK COAL – 2.975” @ 0.030” off lands – Fed 210M

- Reloader 26 – 59.0 gr. = 3281fps ES 7 ; SD 2.9

3. Hornady 130 InterBond – 2.900” @ 0.025” off lands.
- Ladder with H 4831 - 62.0 gr. Full - 3393 fps * Max
- Ladder with RL 26 - 59.5 gr 3327
- 60.0 gr 3327
- 60.5 gr 3387
- 61.0 gr 3375
- 61.5 gr 3441 - Pressure Spike with a little extraction resistance.

4. Hornady 145 ELD-X – 2.955” @ 0.013” off lands - Fed 210M

- Reloader 26 – 59.5gr. = 3183fps

- H 1000 – 60.5gr. = 3074fps – ES 22 – SD 10.9

5. Nosler 150 LRAB – 2.955”@ 0.030” off lands – Fed 210M

- Reloader 26 – 59.0gr. = 3083fps. – ES 21 – SD 8.1

6. Nosler 165 LRAB – 2.955” @ 0.025” off lands.

7. Berger 150 Hunting VLD – 2.880” @ lands.

8. Berger 170 EOL – 2.985” @ 0.077” off lands – Fed 210M

- Reloader 26 – 57.5gr. =2935fps. – ES 25 – SD 9.5
 

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  • 270 PHC Loads.JPG
    270 PHC Loads.JPG
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Hostile1

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Messages
114
The .270 PRC is a great place to be only I called it the 270 PHC ( Precision Hunter Cartridge). Although likely not mythical it does perform as good, or better, than the 270 Win and 270 WSM with modern lightweight bullets with less powder. I designed it to run the Hornady 145 ELDX and Nosler 150 LRAB running a 26" barrel with an 8.5 twist and was delighted when it performed great with the Berger 170 EOL as well, The 165 LRAB is the only one of 8 modern bullets that does not fit properly with bearing surface up in the neck but holds enough RL 26 to likely outperform the 6.8 Western using about 5 grains less powder with that bullet.

My health prevented me from doing load development and posting results so I sold the rifle, and all components to a young fellow who is continuing with my work and reporting to me. His results with the 140 Sierra TGK (Gamechanger) are almost unbelievable with 59.0 gr. RL 26 getting a five shot average of 3281 fps with an ES of 7 and SD of 2.8. The Model 70 MOA trigger lived up to its namesake but hopefully a new Timney wig get the group down to 1/2 MOA.

The attached picture shows 8 loads in the 270 PRC as follows.Left to Right:
1. Barnes 129 LRX COAL – 2.935” @ 0.030” off lands.
- Ladder with RL 26 - 58.5 Error ( Likely around 3315 fps) pressure OK
- 59.0 Error ( Likely around 3325 fps) Hopefully good node.
- 59.5 - 3369
- 60.0 - 3378 Pressure OK
- 60.5 - 3462 Pressure spike Max.

2. Sierra 140 TGK COAL – 2.975” @ 0.030” off lands – Fed 210M

- Reloader 26 – 59.0 gr. = 3281fps ES 7 ; SD 2.9

3. Hornady 130 InterBond – 2.900” @ 0.025” off lands.
- Ladder with H 4831 - 62.0 gr. Full - 3393 fps * Max
- Ladder with RL 26 - 59.5 gr 3327
- 60.0 gr 3327
- 60.5 gr 3387
- 61.0 gr 3375
- 61.5 gr 3441 - Pressure Spike with a little extraction resistance.

4. Hornady 145 ELD-X – 2.955” @ 0.013” off lands - Fed 210M

- Reloader 26 – 59.5gr. = 3183fps

- H 1000 – 60.5gr. = 3074fps – ES 22 – SD 10.9

5. Nosler 150 LRAB – 2.955”@ 0.030” off lands – Fed 210M

- Reloader 26 – 59.0gr. = 3083fps. – ES 21 – SD 8.1

6. Nosler 165 LRAB – 2.955” @ 0.025” off lands.

7. Berger 150 Hunting VLD – 2.880” @ lands.

8. Berger 170 EOL – 2.985” @ 0.077” off lands – Fed 210M

- Reloader 26 – 57.5gr. =2935fps. – ES 25 – SD 9.5
Are all these numbers with a 26" tube? I'm a short barrel guy so I'm always looking for calibers that outperform there competition with less powder.
 

mtnlomo

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Jan 21, 2021
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Location
Salem, OR
A while ago I was kicking around the idea of a tikka 270 WSM build, but to swap barrels with a tighter twist and on a long action for the long heavy bullets. I ended up getting a 300 rsaum (similar to the 300 WSM) with dies and lots of brass. I think this gun will settle in to a nice little niche. While it may not be my next gun, it might be a rifle or two after that... don't tell my wife
 

20 Extreme

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May 15, 2021
Messages
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Are all these numbers with a 26" tube? I'm a short barrel guy so I'm always looking for calibers that outperform there competition with less powder.
Yes they are all from a 26" tube. I believe that the 270 PHC would perform better than the 270 Win with shorter barrels as it seems to get more velocity with a couple of grains less powder with most bullet/powder combinations. I believe that this is largely due to the fact that the modern pointy bullets sit near the lands in the 270 PHC while they do not in the 270 Winchester. Closer Cartridge/Chamber tolerances with New and Full Length sized cases also contribute to higher velocities / grain of powder. 270 PHC Chamber, New brass and FL sized brass.jpg
CartridgeBarrelCaseIMR7977 CapH20 CapBulletOFF LandsPrimerPowderGrainsVel fps
270 Win26"Win FL66.2 gr.150 LRAB0.212"Fed 210IMR 797760.2 C2797
"""""""60.52880
"""""""60.8 C2914
""Win NS67.0 gr.""""61.5C2899
270 Win"Fed FL64.3 gr150 LRAB0.212"Fed 210IMR 797758.1 Full2720
"""""""58.7 C2747
""Fed NS64.9gr.""""59.3C2768
270 Win"Horn FL67.0 gr.150 LRAB0.212"Fed 210IMR 797760.5 Full2793
"""""61.5 C2906
270 PHC26"Horn FL65.267.9 gr.150 LRAB0.030"Fed 210IMR 7977582935
58.52952
59.0 Full2941
59.5 C2919
60.0 C2972
Accuracy Node ????60.5C3000?
"61.0 C?
 

txtransplant

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Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
45
Location
Colorado
I'm guessing most of the folks still tuning into a thread this long are already fans of the 6.8 Western cartridge, but I figured I'd share this data for anyone that is interested.

I was trying to select the cartridge for a new rifle and in doing so I created a spreadsheet to compare different loads across most of the important characteristics. I have not included every load under the sun here, but if you're hunting elk, these are the primary loads you'd be looking at.

First, I input data for as many Hornady ELD-X loads as I would consider. My goal was to make the comparisons as apples-to-apples as I could. Many of the cartridges are not loaded by Hornady (looking at you, Nosler). For those, I selected the type of bullet I might hunt with.

Finally, I conditionally formatted several of the columns to color code from best to worst.

Looking at a chart like this, you can really see how well 6.8 Western shines. It's got 300 Win Mag energy in a short action with less drift. More power than .30-06, 7mm Rem Mag, 280 AI, 270 Win, and 308 Win.

Particularly if you want a short action do-it-all round, this looks like a the best choice as far as ballistics are concerned.

I'm not typically an early adopter, but I do plan to pick up a 6.8 X-Bolt this year.

See attachments. This is all the same data sorted in several different ways. Footnotes at bottom. The 6.8 Western cartridges are in the blue rows.
 

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  • T300 - E300.pdf
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  • Short - BC.pdf
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  • D300 - E300.pdf
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  • V300.pdf
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  • E300.pdf
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20 Extreme

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Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
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I'm guessing most of the folks still tuning into a thread this long are already fans of the 6.8 Western cartridge, but I figured I'd share this data for anyone that is interested.

I was trying to select the cartridge for a new rifle and in doing so I created a spreadsheet to compare different loads across most of the important characteristics. I have not included every load under the sun here, but if you're hunting elk, these are the primary loads you'd be looking at.

First, I input data for as many Hornady ELD-X loads as I would consider. My goal was to make the comparisons as apples-to-apples as I could. Many of the cartridges are not loaded by Hornady (looking at you, Nosler). For those, I selected the type of bullet I might hunt with.

Finally, I conditionally formatted several of the columns to color code from best to worst.

Looking at a chart like this, you can really see how well 6.8 Western shines. It's got 300 Win Mag energy in a short action with less drift. More power than .30-06, 7mm Rem Mag, 280 AI, 270 Win, and 308 Win.

Particularly if you want a short action do-it-all round, this looks like a the best choice as far as ballistics are concerned.

I'm not typically an early adopter, but I do plan to pick up a 6.8 X-Bolt this year.

See attachments. This is all the same data sorted in several different ways. Footnotes at bottom. The 6.8 Western cartridges are in the blue rows.
Great data and very nicely presented. The 6.8 Western does outperform the cartridges you mentioned although the 165 LRAB load does closer to 2900 fps in 24" barreled factory rifles. However still more than enough performance for moose and elk to further than most can see to shoot. I do hope that Winchester comes up with some better brass than the 270 WSM. I am also not impressed with the case design in general as I believe it could have had much more than 0.0995" Freebore so the bullets 150 LRAB are not down in the case. My 270 PHC runs bullets' out in he neck and likely gets more velocity with about 5 or 6 grains less powder. While the 165 LRAB does sit with some bearing surface below the neck the 270 PHC still has enough capacity to likely get the same velocity as the 6/8 Western.

150 LRAB 270 WSM/270 PRC with H 1000:
270 WSM 150 LRAB.jpg
150 LRAB 270 PHC:
150 LRAB FL Brass.jpg
150 LRAB 6.8 Western:
6.8 Western 150 LRAB.jpg 6.8 Western 165 LRAB.jpg Nosler 165 LRAB.jpg 129 Barnes LRX.jpg 130 Interbond.jpg 140 Sierra Game Changer.jpg 270 PHC 145 ELD-X.jpg 270 PHC 170 EOL.jpg
 
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