When .223 just isn’t enough…
Contrary to that provocative opening line, I’m not going to embark on a “nyah, nyah, nyha, this caliber is more betterer or less betterer” than some other. Instead, I’m going to take this opportunity to celebrate diversity. You know, like hippies.
One of the reasons that the AR or MSR (Modern Sporting Rifle) platform is so insanely popular is because it’s so darn flexible. More so than White House Spokesperson Jay Carney at an Obamacare press conference. It’s not only flexible in terms of fit (with adjustable stock options) and accessorizing (with everything from tactical lights to chainsaws), it’s flexible in terms of caliber.
Somehow or another, I got a bug up my backside to try out an AR rifle in 6.8 Remington SPC caliber. Why? Well, no good reason other than why not. That and the fact that I live in ‘Murrica.
What’s the 6.8 Remington SPC you ask? It’s a proposed solution to stopping power complaints of 5.56mm military round. It’s not as heavy and bulky as the 7.62 (.308) cartridge so one can carry plenty of ammo. It was designed for improved short-barrel performance via a joint effort between US Special Forces, the Army Marksmanship Unit and Remington. Splitting the difference between 5.56mm and 7.62×51 NATO, it’s easily adaptable to AR rifles by swapping bolt, barrel and magazine. As it shares the same overall length as the 5.56mm and .223 Remington, no changes to the AR lower receiver are required. The cartridge case is derived from the .30 Remington, so unfortunately you can’t make your own brass from scrounged-up .223 casings. As a side note, unlike the .223 / 5.56mm, it uses a large rifle primer.
Features of the Rock River Arms 6.8 SPC CAR
Rock River Arms makes a fine AR rifle. A few years back, the DEA ordered 3.2 truckloads of them and some units of the FBI and US Marshalls piggybacked onto that contract. Since that time, the RRA models have earned a solid reputation.
If you order your rifle in advance instead of buying one off the shelf, you can customize to your hearts content and a rifle will be built according to your specifications. Some of the options available include:
A2 or A4 upper receiver.
Chrome moly or chrome-lined barrel.
Flash hiders: Want a Smith Enterprise Vortex or muzzle brake? No problem.
Gas block / sight base: choose standard, low-profile or flip up ready versions are all available.
Standard or ambidextrous safety levers and magazine catches.
Handguards, grips and buttstocks: too many options to list here.
Trigger guards and bolt handles are also customizeable for normal or gloved use.
For this review, I ordered the 6.8 SPC CAR with an A4 upper receiver, the Rock River Arms Quad Rail Free Float hand guard, chrome-lined barrel, gas block sight base, Smith Enterprise Vortex flash hider and Badger Tactical Bolt Latch. Designed as an optics-ready rifle, this version is a bit of a Cadillac.