What should you may have a 6-pound gun with a 16-inch barrel to hunt all the pieces from whitetails to Cape buffalo? And picture it may shoot supersonic or quiet-subsonic searching ammo. That’s the Q founder, Kevin Brittingham’s, imaginative and prescient for the 8.6 Blackout cartridge. And despite the fact that it has began as a wildcat, the brand new cartridge has already taken large recreation and manufacturing facility ammo is changing into out there.
So is that this one other surprise cartridge that received’t take off? Or is it the .300 Blackout we all the time wished? Solely time will inform. Till then, right here’s extra data from Brittingham, who developed the 8.6 Blackout together with his group at Q.
8.6 Blackout Fundamentals
The 8.6 Blackout makes use of a .338-inch-diameter bullet in a shortened 6.5 Creedmoor case. It may be shot at tremendous and subsonic velocities.
“We settled on shortening up the 6.5 Creedmoor case as a result of it’s a bit extra environment friendly than the .308 case,” says Brittingham. The size of the case centered round becoming in an SR25 journal.
Bullet weights for 8.6 Blackout vary from 155 to 350 grains, and velocities vary from round 2,400 fps to round 1,000 fps. Brittingham says the subsonic masses are simply as quiet as .300 Blackout with higher terminal efficiency.
“I believe it’s the perfect utility cartridge ever developed,” Brittingham says. “We wished a cartridge that might work in a compact, light-weight gun with a brief barrel and will shoot supersonic or subsonic out of bolt weapons or gasoline weapons.”
“The concept with the supersonic masses is to get magnum cartridge capabilities from a normal stress cartridge in a light-weight gun,” he says. “And have a subsonic that’s very deadly. Mainly each lesson that we realized from .300 Blackout whether or not its barrel twist or bullet design, we put into this.”
“It began as a joint undertaking with a overseas navy, and a few of our particular operations teams at the moment are concerned with it,” Brittingham says. “That’s all the time thrilling to us, however we actually wished to do one thing for the business marketplace for searching. To provide the means to shoot large animals with quick barrels and light-weight weapons.”
The 8.6 Blackout was designed for use for searching with each subsonic or supersonic ammunition. Using heavier bullets and sooner rifling twist charges (extra on this later) it was additionally designed to outperform .300 Blackout.
“With some subsonic masses we’re getting 1 MOA at 300 meters, which is the place we predict the max is for subsonic searching,” Brittingham says. “That extends the .300 Blackout’s vary by thrice. It type of makes .300 Blackout out of date for searching truthfully.”
Brittingham’s first animal with subsonic 8.6 BLK was a zebra, which he shot at 30 yards. Zebras are surprisingly massive, robust critters, however that animal solely went 30 yards after a broadside shot. “I shot one at 207 yards and he went 30 or 40 yards,” he says.
The supersonic ammo is greatest for giant recreation and taking pictures to 500 yards, nevertheless Brittingham says he plans to check the subsonic on large, harmful recreation, too. He’s already put a number of Cape buffalo down with supersonic masses.
“I’ve killed 4 Cape buffalo with supersonic,” Brittingham says. “I’ve shot them from 9 to 40 yards.”
In fact, we received’t know the true accuracy potential of the load till we (and others) get to vary take a look at it. However no less than for now, Brittingham’s claims are spectacular.
Twist Price and Barrel Size
A typical .308 searching rifle has a 22-inch barrel with a 1:10 twist price. An 8.6 BLK rifle can have a 12- to 16-inch barrel with a 1:3 twist price (a lot sooner twist price than a typical rifle).
In line with Brittingham, growing the rotational velocity elevated muzzle velocity and helped subsonic bullets broaden. The Q engineers started testing with a 1:10 twist after which went to a 1:7 twist. With that change they discovered of their gel checks the preliminary wound cavity elevated by two occasions. After they went to 1:3 the wound cavity tripled.
“We settled on 1:3 twist, though most likely 1:2 is perfect, however with 1:3 all of the business copper stable bullets and bonded bullets we examined stayed collectively and with the 1:2 a few of them got here aside out of the barrel,” Brittingham says.
Skilled shooters are most likely questioning about spin drift. “It’s a 500-meter cartridge,” Brittingham says. “With a supersonic load and a 16-inch barrel, after 400 yards you’ll have to contemplate spin drift.”
One other space of concern with new cartridges is barrel life, which Brittingham says can be glorious.
“Similar to .308, you’re most likely not going to burn one out,” he says.
The 12-inch barrel is Brittingham’s most well-liked size. However he recommends a 16-inch barrel if you wish to shoot farther distances, particularly with supersonic ammo.
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Brittingham’s favourite supersonic bullet is the 210-grain Barnes TSX. With that bullet, he will get 1950 fps out of a 12-inch barrel.
“To me, it’s like taking pictures someplace between a .308 Win. and a .300 Win. Magazine,” he says. “But it surely’s a 5-pound gun with a 12-inch barrel.”
Brittingham has examined bullets from 155 to 225 grains for supersonic masses. He’s shot as much as 350-grain bullets in subsonic. “I’ve shot 30 animals in Africa with subsonic 8.6 with Hornady 315-grain Sub-X bullet,” Brittingham stated. That 315-grain Sub-X isn’t out there but, but it surely’s anticipated to be a part of Hornady’s .338 Sub-X line.
Maximizing subsonic ammo efficiency is a problem because of the decrease velocity and conserving the ammo from going supersonic in longer barrels.
“Right here’s the issue with subsonic ammo: It’s good to load for barrel size to get the perfect efficiency,” Brittingham says. To resolve for this, he says there can be barrel-length particular ammo out there.
New cartridges pop up on a regular basis, and these days, they’ve trended towards flat taking pictures and long-range efficiency. The 8.6 Blackout is completely different. It’s meant for medium-range functions and light-weight, quick rifles. It has promising outcomes from Brittingham’s testing, however solely time will inform if it may acquire sufficient traction to really tackle the .300 Blackout.