With the advancement of bullets and new cartridges over the last decade or so the 6.5 and 6mm variants have taken the shooting world by storm. We have everything from AR-15 cartridges to short action magnums that have come out but we were missing an AR-15 6mm round that had factory ammo. The Hornady 6mm ARC looks to fill that void. They took a very accurate case design and bumped the shoulder back so we could run those high B.C. 6mm bullets out of an AR-15 mag. This new round is going to be a great round for long range shooters, medium sized game hunters, predator hunters and for shooters who just want to have fun on the range.
Looking at the potential for the 6mm ARC we have great expectations for this round for hunters and long range shooters. Running a Berger 109 Long Range Hybrid from a 20" barrel we expect to be around 2625 FPS. That gives us a subsonic range of 1150 yards at sea level. That beats the 6.5 Grendel with a 123 gr ELD-M in a 20" barrel by 150 yards. The wind drift capabilities is also better than the 6.5 Grendel 15.5" at 1000 yards with a full value 10 mph wind. The 6.5 Grendel does beat it on energy at hunting ranges but not by much. Here are the ballistics charts for both the 6mm ARC with a Berger 109gr Long Range Hybrid and 6.5 Grendel 123gr ELD-M
- If you're looking to get a 6mm ARC rifle before you jump right in and buy one make sure you know the purpose of the rifle and a rough idea on the grain weight of bullet you plan to use. With the capabilities of this round to be able to shoot a very wide range of different weights of bullets you will want to pick the correct twist rate for your bullet and muzzle velocity to ensure you get the best performance out of this round that you can. On the really light grain bullets like the 60ish grain range you can run as slow as a 10 twist. If you go up to the 90 grain range you can do a 7 to 8 twist barrel. If you plan to use it for long range and want to run the 105 and up bullets the 7 twist is where you would want to be at to get max B.C. from your bullet. The twist rates listed above are for your common AR-15 barrel lengths, if you plan to use a short barrel make sure the adjust your twist rate for the loss of muzzle velocity. If you aren't sure and want to run numbers to see how your bullets and barrel length do in different twist rates the Berger Twist Rate Calculator is a great tool. Below is a link to the calculator.
We plan to have more info on the cartridge in the very near future as we start testing it more in the next few weeks. We will be releasing our test results for light grain bullets all the way up to the heavier high B.C. bullets. So stay tuned for more info to follow.
We have been using the 6mm ARC with 103gr ELDX. This has been a great combination for medium size game hunters. Its knocking pigs down in their tracks. The 18 and 20 inch rifles we have tested have been outstanding. We have used these rifles from 50 yards all the way to 1200 yards with very good results, rather it be hunting or competition shooting. We have some footage and pictures on our facebook page of hunts we have done as of late. This is an awesome option for the predator hunters out their that want to stay in a AR-15 platform. The ability to run 50-70gr bullets for fast, flat shooting rifles is a huge plus.