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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can't find any discussion on this topic, but with AR platforms being offered with options for chambering the 6.8 mm...which would you choose?

The 5.56 seems to be widely available, but knowing the extra power is there with 6.8, which way do you go?

I'm starting to research for my first AR and I'm interested in one of the gas piston models. I really like the one Packer just picked up and they offer their models with both calibers.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Get either one you want the most to start off with, and then pick up a bolt/barrel/mag for the other caliber you want later. It's not hard at all to change calibers simply by replacing the parts I listed above.

Without knowing what you plan on using it for mostly, it's hard to help you pick the better of the two calibers with the info you have down.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm just thinking for an all purpose gun. I can't use it in PA to hunt with. I'd have to check the regulations for coyotes, but I don't think I'd even use it for that. I want it for the range and as a defensive rifle. With it have the gas piston system for the reliability and less cleaning/maintenance requirements, it'd make a nice SHTF rifle as well.

With caliber changes, I suppose using 5.56 would definitely be cheaper for range shooting.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All purpose? 5.56/.223 no doubt. I don't think the 6.8 SPC is gonna catch on any more than it has (which is a damn shame... its a great cartridge). If I wanted to hunt at all with my AR, then I'd go 6.8. Everything else, .223 is just fine and "cheap"
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wouldn't mind having a 6.8 either. Better terminal ballistics. The trade off is in expensive ammo. If it's for PD and plinking I would have to think a 5.56 would more than cover the bases.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like the price of the 5.56, but I like the ballistics of the 6.8. 5.56 is much more readily available I would assume. I'm just starting my research here, but I definitely want some sort of semi-auto rifle before the upcoming elections happen, regardless of candidate elected.

My only gripe about PA is the only thing I'll be able to use this for is the range and home defense. There's nothing else I can shoot with it. I know other states allow semi auto for hunting, but that's another debate.

I'm fairly positive that I want the shortest legal barrel length without getting a stamp for an SBR. For long range shooting, I'll be using a bolt action rifle. As far as optics, I'll be looking for something that works well out to 200 yards. I'm not too concerned with using the AR for anything farther than that. If it works well beyond that distance, bonus.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So, even though this will be a defensive gun, don't worry about the better ballistics? I guess in the house though, I have a shotgun. This would be more of a SHTF rifle for defense. In all reality, under normal circumstances, this will be a range only gun.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So, even though this will be a defensive gun, don't worry about the better ballistics? I guess in the house though, I have a shotgun. This would be more of a SHTF rifle for defense. In all reality, under normal circumstances, this will be a range only gun.
You make it sound like the .223 will just bounce off varmints of the two-legged type :D

The .223 is more than enough for defensive work. Take a look at some of the 69+ gr. defensive loads... you wont have a problem with the it :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You make it sound like the .223 will just bounce off varmints of the two-legged type :D

The .223 is more than enough for defensive work. Take a look at some of the 69+ gr. defensive loads... you wont have a problem with the it :)
That's why they developed the 6.8!;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You make it sound like the .223 will just bounce off varmints of the two-legged type :D

The .223 is more than enough for defensive work. Take a look at some of the 69+ gr. defensive loads... you wont have a problem with the it :)
I'm doing enough reading that the 556 could be better when it comes to kinetic energy. I just prefer that my firearms are closer to overkill than under powered. No, I don't want anything in .50 BMG or .458 SOCOM. But, at the same time, I had not heard of the 6.8 until today.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
But, at the same time, I had not heard of the 6.8 until today.
Its a good idea, but I'd say its still a niche cartridge, and nothing short of the military adopting it (which aint gonna happen) will change that. Parts (barrels, bolts, magazines), while not hard to find, are nowhere near as common (or cheap) as .223 parts. Factory ammo is a pain in the ass to find... its still very much a cartridge that benefits greatly from handloading.

Is it a good round? Yes. Does it work well out of the AR platform? Yes. Is it as practical as the .223? Nope.

You sound like you have your mind made up already, so I'm probably beating a dead horse, but if this is your first/only AR, I'd go with 5.56/.223.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have heard of the Grendel and, although not an AR cartridge, the 6mm-BR is extremely accurate as well.

I was wondering about the availability of ammo and what not. If the darn thing is supposed to be a SHTF rifle, I don't think I'll have nearly the trouble finding 5.56/.223 as I would the others. Same with components for reloading. Who knows, I'll do some more research and see what I can find out.

I like having the better ballistics of the other cartridges, I just don't want to be an odd ball and the odd man out when it comes to finding ammo. I already have .45 acp which is pricey enough to shoot, I don't need another addiction that's more expensive because of the rarity of the ammo.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
6.8 parts and ammo are fairly widely available. 6.5 is loaded, as far as I can find, only by Alexander Arms. 6.5 is ballistically "better" at long range, but not that many advantages other than that as a "working" load IMO.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What about something in 7.62x39 if you're gonna leave the 5.56 world? I've seen uppers somewhere, but I don't know if they were piston driven.
 
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