8.6 Blackout: Faxon Firearms and Q’s Quest for Ballistic Excellence


In the dynamic world of firearm innovation, two names stand out—Faxon Firearms and Q. These industry titans have embarked on a singular mission: to redefine the boundaries of ballistic performance.

Their latest collaboration has given birth to a groundbreaking round that promises to shift paradigms and set new standards. Welcome to the 8.6 Blackout journey—a testament to their quest for ballistic excellence.

Join us as we delve into this captivating blend of expertise, precision, and groundbreaking innovation.

8.6 blackout

To date here is everything you need to know about the new 8.6 Blackout round, how it compares to 300 Blackout, and the radical new barrel design by Faxon Firearms.

What is 8.6 Blackout

The 8.6 BLK round was imagined and developed by Q.

When imagining 8.6 Blackout, a good starting point is to think of 8.6 BLK as the big brother to 300 Blackout. However, it’s much more than just an upgrade on 300 BLK.

Like the 300 Blackout, the 8.6 Blackout was designed primarily for suppressed shooting, however, they also have supersonic loads in development as well.

8.6 blackout

8.6 BLK is re-imagining “energy on target” by employing a fast 1:3 twist rate (compare to common 1:7 and 1:8 twists for calibers like 5.56 NATO or 300 BLK).

Other 8.6 BLK Features

  • Fits AR-10 Sized Rifles
  • 338 Subsonic Load Based around the 300 grain Sierra Match King
  • Similar to 338 Federal, but the case has been shortened to reliably work with gas guns without modification to mags
  • Uses Standard 308 Mags
  • Low-Pressure Cartridge
  • Utilizes a shortened 6.5 Creedmoor case for use of subsonic and high BC projectiles
  • Current Ammo Companies in Development: Gorilla, Hornady, Black Hills, and Discreet Ballistics
  • Designed Around a 12″ barrel

Faxon Firearms has previously shown several 8.6 Blackout loads with a 300-grain bullet and a 210-grain Barnes TTSX bullet. These loads are still in development but should become commercially available in the foreseeable future.

How is Faxon Firearms Involved

Faxon Firearms has been privileged to work with Q on developing the best possible barrels to support this revolutionary new round.

The team at Faxon Firearms is in the development of their own 8.6 BLK barrels for both the AR-10 and Remington model 700 platforms.

8.6 blackout

Faxon Barrels for the 8.6 Blackout

Faxon Firearms will be offering 1:3 twist 8.6 Blackout barrels for Remington 700 platforms and AR-10 pattern rifles. The barrels for both platforms will be available in 8″, 12″, and 16″ length options.

Remington 700 Platform

  • 8″ Light Palma, Remage style with 1:3 twist
  • 12″ Light Palma, Remage style with 1:3 twist
  • 16″ Light Palma, Remage style with 1:3 twist
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AR-10 Platform

  • 8″ Big Gunner with 1:3 twist
  • 12″ Big Gunner with 1:3 twist
  • 16″ Big Gunner with 1:3 twist

Faxon Firearms 8.6 BLK barrel Details

  • 1:3 twist rate
  • Better stabilization on long and heavy subsonic rounds
  • Better expansion of the projectiles
  • Re-allocates the energy from the sound and flash to the rotation of the bullet
  • .875 gas block journal for AR10
  • DPMS Gen 1 Pattern
  • Remage style barrels from Faxon will use a Remage style nut with a standard AR-15 armorers castle nut wrench. The nut is included.

Faxon Firearms and Q is a partnership aimed at the conception and development of high-quality barrels tailored for the game-changing 8.6 Blackout (8.6 BLK) round. This alliance signifies a harmonious fusion of expertise and vision, paving the way for a new benchmark in ballistic performance.

The hallmark of these 8.6 BLK barrels is the pioneering 1:3 twist rate, an impressive feature that harnesses the power of rotational energy, optimizing the force transferred on impact. The result? An unparalleled surge of energy on-target that promises unrivaled precision.

True to Faxon’s commitment to excellence, the creation of each 8.6 BLK barrel is a meticulous journey. Beginning life as raw bar stock at our state-of-the-art facility in Cincinnati, every barrel undergoes a stringent production process. This includes a full stress-relief treatment to ensure structural integrity and rigorous air-gauge testing to maintain the tightest tolerances. Moreover, the Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI) process adds an extra layer of assurance, detecting any imperfections, while an 11-degree target crown is employed to guarantee the apex of accuracy.

The choice of material speaks volumes about Faxon’s unwavering commitment to quality. Fabricated from the robust 4150 CMV, the barrels promise durability and resilience. Each undergoes a series of exhaustive tests through its production cycle and is eventually finished in a protective Nitride layer. This not only enhances the barrel’s longevity but also ensures it stands up to the demands of even the most avid shooter.

But Faxon’s promise doesn’t stop at quality craftsmanship. Each of our barrels undergoes an individual headspace check, assessed using precision custom-hardened gauges, a testament to our dedication to ensuring that every product that leaves our facility is of the highest standard. And to further solidify our commitment, every Faxon Barrel comes with a Lifetime Guarantee, ensuring peace of mind for our customers, and recognizing the trust they place in our brand.

In partnering with Q and presenting the 8.6 BLK barrels, Faxon Firearms proudly reiterates its pledge to innovation, precision, and unmatched quality. Join us on this exciting trajectory into the future of ballistics.

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Why is the 1:3 Twist Rate Important

Faxon Firearms is manufacturing the barrels for these 8.6 Blackout loads. These barrels are not by any means your standard rifle barrel. Designing and manufacturing them can be a challenge, but Faxon Firearms has confidently stepped up to the plate. In order to properly stabilize the long and heavy 300-grain subsonic projectiles, the 8.6 blackout barrels have a 1:3 twist rate!

That means the round is making one full rotation every three inches of barrel length. The bore of these new barrels look more like internal threads for a bolt or screw than rifling. This revolutionary 1:3 twist greatly enhances the energy on target of the large 8.6 blackout round.

Conventionally, energy on target has been largely concerned with linear forces.

The following video highlights the devastating difference of the energy on target with a 1:3 twist rate vs a more standard 1:7 twist.

  • Top – 1:3 twist @2380fps MV with 140gr projectile
  • Bottom – 1:7 twist @2380fps MV with 140gr projectile

The fast 1:3 twist rate of the 8.6 BLK is reimagining the energy on target as having a second energy delivering component; the rotational energy of a fast spinning projectile.

8.6 Blackout FAQ

What is 8.6 Blackout good for?

The 8.6 Blackout, often referred to as 8.6 BLK, is a versatile ammunition round designed primarily for short-barreled rifles and suppressed firearms. It’s particularly good for:

  • Subsonic Shooting: Thanks to its design, the 8.6 BLK excels in subsonic applications, providing quieter shooting experiences when paired with suppressors, making it ideal for discrete hunting or shooting scenarios.
  • Hunting: With its significant on-target energy, the 8.6 Blackout is effective for hunting medium to large game at moderate ranges.
  • Compact Firepower: Given its effectiveness even in short-barreled rifles, it’s suitable for personal defense or any situation where compact firepower is advantageous.
  • Ballistic Consistency: The 8.6 BLK offers a consistent ballistic profile, which aids in accurate shooting.
  • Compatibility: It can be used with many platforms, including those initially designed for rounds like the .308, with just a barrel change.

In summary, the 8.6 Blackout is good for a range of shooting activities, from hunting to personal defense, especially when suppression or compact size is of importance.

What is the difference between 300 Blackout and 8.6 Blackout?

The 300 Blackout (300 BLK) and the 8.6 Blackout (8.6 BLK) are both innovative ammunition rounds that serve distinct purposes. Here’s a breakdown of their key differences:

  • Caliber Size:
    • The 300 Blackout is a .30 caliber round, effectively a 7.62mm projectile.
    • The 8.6 Blackout, on the other hand, is an 8.6mm projectile, which makes it larger in diameter and typically heavier.
  • Primary Use:
    • The 300 BLK was developed primarily for enhanced performance in short-barreled rifles with the added benefit of being optimized for suppressor use, making it a choice round for tactical scenarios.
    • The 8.6 BLK is tailored for short-barreled rifles and suppressed firearms, designed especially for subsonic shooting and medium-to-large game hunting.
  • Bullet Weight:
    • 300 BLK rounds typically weigh between 110 to 220 grains, with the heavier bullets often being subsonic.
    • 8.6 BLK rounds are generally heavier due to their larger diameter, contributing to their ability to retain energy at subsonic velocities.
  • Origin and Development:
    • The 300 BLK was developed to provide a more effective round for military operations in close-quarters scenarios without needing a change in the rifle platform, just a barrel swap.
    • The 8.6 BLK is a more recent innovation, building upon the principles of the 300 BLK but catering to a different set of shooting and hunting needs.
  • Platform Compatibility:
    • While both rounds can often be used in platforms designed for other cartridges with just a barrel change, the 300 BLK is frequently associated with the AR-15 platform.
    • The 8.6 BLK, due to its size and characteristics, is more closely associated with platforms like those designed for the .308.
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In summary, while both the 300 Blackout and 8.6 Blackout share some similarities in their goals for performance in specific firearms, they differ in caliber, intended use, weight, and platform compatibility.


As we’ve journeyed through the intricacies of the 8.6 Blackout’s development, it becomes evident that this isn’t just a round—it’s a symbol of relentless pursuit for perfection by Faxon Firearms and Q.

As enthusiasts, collectors, or industry professionals, it’s our prerogative to embrace and support such groundbreaking innovations. Let’s not just be passive observers. Be a part of this evolution. Test, adapt, and share your experiences with the 8.6 Blackout.

Together, we can usher in a new era of firearm excellence. Dive in, get involved, and let’s shape the future of ballistics together.

For more information, visit: FaxonFirearms.com/86BLK

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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 >>