8.6 Creedmoor or 8.6 BLK or 8.6 Blackout?

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What is a 8.6 Creedmoor?

First off, it is now officially called the 8.6 BLK or 8.6 Blackout, dubbed such by the very creator Kevin Brittingham. Kevin, owner of Q and inventor of the .300 Blackout cartridge first came up the with idea of a .338 caliber cartridge like the .338 Federal, but better because it has a shorter 6.5 Creedmoor based case, so it could accommodate larger and longer bullets than the .338 Federal in normal magazines, which would mean it could provide for a cartridge that could be effective at both subsonic and supersonic muzzle velocities. Not only does this owe for interesting low-noise subsonic rifles, but also for short barrel, high-punch rifles and even a cartridge being able to feed in a semi-auto configuration.

Back in 2018 when Kevin initially developed the cartridge and worked with the idea, trying to get Hornady to start manufacturing the cartridge, he intended to call it the 8.6 Creedmoor, but in June 2021 when Q made the official announcement of the cartridge on their Instagram account, they dubbed it the more appropriate 8.6 BLK or 8.6 Blackout, owing to their own unique .300 Blackout, but necked up to accommodate the 8.6 caliber bullet, and also uniquely identifying it as separate from the Creedmoor sports developed cartridges like the 6.5mm Creedmoor and the 6mm Creedmoor.

The reason why Q and Hornady are only now officially bringing it to market in 2021, is mainly because of the ammo crisis that hit since early 2019, which meant that they could not even keep up with demand of current cartridge ammo, let alone start manufacturing or marketing a new cartridge.

Brass

Why a New Cartridge

Yes, it feels like every week someone is just necking some other cartridge up or down and “bringing out a whole new cartridge”, but this time, it is really a game-changer. The 8.6 BLK is not just an improvement on previous designs or a wildcat, it changes what was thought best for hunting cartridges and tactical military cartridges all together. It shows that large long bullets can work out of small cases, and even better, high energy effective hunt kills can be made out of short barrels, even at what would be considered long range distances for hunting.

See also  .25-06 Remington for Mule Deer Hunting? Best Ammo (Round, Load, Cartridge) for a Successful Mule Deer Hunt Hunting Calibers 04 Apr, 2020 Posted By: Foundry Outdoors Is the .25-06 Remington a viable caliber/load/round/cartridge for mule deer hunting? The accurate answer is “it depends”. However, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether the .25-06 Remington is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest mule deer. As with anything, the devil is in the details. To answer the question completely, we would need to evaluate the downrange distance to the mule deer, the bullet type, the grain weight of the bullet, the physical condition of the firearm, the size of the mule deer in question, the shot placement, the local wind conditions, the expected accuracy of the shooter, the ethics of the ideal maximum number of shots – the list goes on. [Click Here to Shop .25-06 Remington Ammo]What we can do is provide a framework to understand what average conditions might look like, and whether those are reasonably viable for a shot from the average shooter to harvest a mule deer in the fewest number of shots possible, i.e., ethically. Let’s dive right in. In the question of “Is the .25-06 Remington within the ideal range of suitable calibers for mule deer hunting?” our answer is: Yes, the .25-06 Remington is A GOOD CHOICE for mule deer hunting, under average conditions, from a mid-range distance, with a medium grain expanding bullet, and with correct shot placement.Let’s look at those assumptions a bit closer in the following table. Assumption Value Caliber .25-06 Remington Animal Species Mule Deer Muzzle Energy 2360 foot-pounds Animal Weight 225 lbs Shot Distance 150 yardsWhat is the average muzzle energy for a .25-06 Remington? In this case, we have assumed the average muzzle energy for a .25-06 Remington round is approximately 2360 foot-pounds. What is the average weight of an adult male mule deer? Here we have leaned conservative by taking the average weight of a male individual of the species, since females generally weigh less and require less stopping power. In this case, the average weight of an adult male mule deer is approximately 225 lbs. [Click Here to Shop .25-06 Remington Ammo]What is the distance this species is typically hunted from? Distance, of course, plays an important role in the viability of a given caliber in mule deer hunting. The kinetic energy of the projectile drops dramatically the further downrange it travels primarily due to energy lost in the form of heat generated by friction against the air itself. This phenonemon is known as drag or air resistance. Thus, a caliber that is effective from 50 yards may not have enough stopping power from 200 yards. With that said, we have assumed the average hunting distance for mule deer to be approximately 150 yards. What about the other assumptions? We have three other primary assumptions being made here. First, the average bullet weight is encapsulated in the average muzzle energy for the .25-06 Remington. The second important assumption is ‘slightly-suboptimal’ to ‘optimal’ shot placement. That is to say, we assume the mule deer being harvested is shot directly or nearly directly in the vitals (heart and/or lungs). The third assumption is that a projectile with appropriate terminal ballistics is being used, which for hunting usually means an expanding bullet.Various calibersA common thread you may encounter in online forums is anecdote after anecdote of large animals being brought down by small caliber bullets, or small animals surviving large caliber bullets. Of course those stories exist, and they are not disputed here. A 22LR cartridge can fell a bull elephant under the right conditions, and a newborn squirrel can survive a 50 BMG round under other specific conditions. Again, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether .25-06 Remington is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest mule deer - and to this question, the response again is yes, the .25-06 Remington is A GOOD CHOICE for mule deer hunting. [Click Here to Shop .25-06 Remington Ammo]This article does not serve as the final say, but simply as a starting point for beginner hunters, as well as a venue for further discussion. Please feel free to agree, disagree, and share stories from your own experience in the comments section below. Disclaimer: the information above is purely for illustrative purposes and should not be taken as permission to use a particular caliber, a statement of the legality or safety of using certain calibers, or legal advice in any way. You must read and understand your own local laws before hunting mule deer to know whether your caliber of choice is a legal option.Foundry Outdoors is your trusted home for buying archery, camping, fishing, hunting, shooting sports, and outdoor gear online.We offer cheap ammo and bulk ammo deals on the most popular ammo calibers. We have a variety of deals on Rifle Ammo, Handgun Ammo, Shotgun Ammo & Rimfire Ammo, as well as ammo for target practice, plinking, hunting, or shooting competitions. Our website lists special deals on 9mm Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 45-70 Ammo, 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, 300 Blackout Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 5.56 Ammo, Underwood Ammo, Buffalo Bore Ammo and more special deals on bulk ammo.We offer a 100% Authenticity Guarantee on all products sold on our website. Please email us if you have questions about any of our product listings. Leave a commentComments have to be approved before showing up Your Name * Your Email * Your Comment * Post Comment

Create Your Own

There aren’t really any large scale manufacturers making a 8.6 BLK Factory Rifle yet, however, if you jump on the waiting list now, you may be able to snag one of the early ones when they become available soon from Q and Faxon firearms, or you can even just buy a barrel conversion from them if you already have a Fix by Q.

The other manufacturers should jump on the band wagon offering 8.6 BLK chambered barrel pretty soon after Hornady starts making the brass available, and you can even have your own build on a .308 bolt face, standard-length action, by chambering a .338 / 8.6mm barrel in it once reamers become available (just remember the tight twist rate needed to make the most of this cartridge).

8.6 BLK Twist Rate

Very fast twist rates like 1:4 and even 1:3 are used for the 8.6 BLK, as this provides greater energy at supersonic velocities, and greater accuracy at subsonic velocities, thus enabling the use and stabilization of such long and large bullets out of such short barrels. The fast twist rate, also ensures good bullet expansion even at slower velocities.

8.6 BLK Ballistics

When loaded with a 210gr Barnes TTSX bullet at a conservative 2000fps from the short 16″ barrel, you still have over a 1000 ft/lb energy on target at 375 yards, although this round is not really made for such long distances. The designers also claim that the normal energy on target figure is not applicable as the incredible rotational energy of the projectile spun at such a high speed because of the 1:3″ twist rate, multiplies the energy on target, see this video to show that.

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EDIT: Ballistic figures, chart and graph was updated in June 2022 to get closer to actual achieved muzzle velocity figures now that the round has been tested more, and showing that the initial muzzle velocity figures claimed by Q were a little overstated.

8.6 BLK for Hunting

Although very practical as a new do-all military cartridge, hunting is where the 8.6 BLK really shines. It redefines the general purpose hunting and utility rifle genre. Even during testing and R&D hunts, Kevin Brittingham and the guys from Q have been making waves online with their small Fix 8.6 BLK taking down everything from smaller CXP1 sized animals like a Black Backed Jackal, CXP2 sized game like deer, CXP3 sized animals like a large Kudu bull, all the way through to the very large and thick-skinned CXP4 sized African Cape Buffalo. Proving the versatility of the cartridge and rifle platform for a single, compact, do-it-all hunting rifle.

8.6 BLK Barrel Length

8.6 BLK vs .338 Federal

Most people that first read or heard about the 8.6 BLK, quickly asked why, given the similarity or superiority (as they thought) of the already available .338 Federal cartridge. Well, the 8.6 BLK is the quieter and more efficient version of a .338 Federal, basically with a trimmed back case and improved shoulder so you can get longer heavier subsonic bullets than you can with the .338 Federal. Overall it’s a more efficient and versatile design than the .338 Federal.

Whilst the case length of the .338 Federal is 2.015”, the 8.6 BLK case is 1.685” in length, allowing the ability to run heavy subsonic loads, 280 to 360 grains or more, whilst the longer 338 Federal case will put the ogive of those long projectiles back inside the case, which will perform badly.

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Although having a smaller case capacity, the 8.6 BLK offers more consistent ignition of the powder thanks to more case fill, which gives you more consistent performance, especially with those heavy subsonic loads. Another big upside due to the shorter case and cartridge length, the 8.6 BLK will feed out of .308 Winchester length magazines, allowing greater compatibility. Even the fact that the 8.6 BLK uses the same bolt face as the .308 Win, means you can change your barrel on your Fix or other current rifle and have your own 8.6 BLK.

Lastly, when looking a long bullets like the Berger 300gr Hybrid with a nose length of 0.955 inches, but the case to OAL length of the .338 Federal is only 0.785 inches, meaning that those bullets or similar cannot be reliably fed from a magazine, whereas it can in the 8.6 BLK.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>