The Hornady 6mm ARC (Advanced Rifle Cartridge) uses highly efficient, high ballistic coefficient bullets to deliver unprecedented performance from an AR-15/M4 rifle on the battlefield.
Commercial 6mm ARC offerings will feature bullets selected to deliver equally unprecedented performance for hunting and match shooting.
When considering the 6mm ARC round, one important consideration to remember is the 6mm ARC barrel. That can make or break the performance of your rifle.
What is the 6mm ARC Good For?
Is the 6mm ARC good for hunting? Accuracy and terminal ballistics are the cornerstones of Hornady Precision Hunter ammunition. Hornady engineers have developed superior, match-grade accuracy hunting loads that allow the 103-grain ELD-X bullet to achieve its maximum terminal ballistics.
The powder used in the Precision Hunter ammunition is clean burning and loaded for consistent shot-to-shot results regardless of the ambient temperature. This attention to detail provides the highest levels of accuracy and performance for the most demanding hunting conditions.
Is The Military Using 6mm ARC?
The identity of the unit that adopted the 6mm ARC is only known as "a notable Department of Defense entity" to the public. A notable Department of Defense Entity in no way means the Department of Defense proper. Special Missions Units can use whatever they desire, purchased with non-attrib funds. Those are funds that cannot be tracked or linked to a specific activity, person, or entity.
An issue that many of our infantry units faced was that the issued ammunition did not lend well to precision long-range fire from the issued M4 carbine or sniper rifle systems. The 5.56 NATO is a poor choice for anything past 300 yards, and moving to the 308 WIN only offers a marginal improvement in ballistics. With the significant weight increase in both firearm and ammunition, the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze. The 6mm ARC exists (and will thrive) because it solves this problem.
Why would select units within the military adopt the 6mm ARC? It has to do with studying and understanding our near-peer threats. Studying not only their small arms capabilities but their tactics as well. For example, the Taliban in Afghanistan knew that most of our military used the 5.56 NATO round, so if they kept their engagement distance to around 600 yards, there was no real need for them to worry about our small arms fire.
Knowing that went into the decision-making process for adopting the 6mm ARC. The unit that adopted that round can now make devastatingly accurate shots out past 600 yards with a lightweight AR-15 patterned weapon system. There was now no need to move into a heavier AR-10 rifle chambered in 308 WIN.
6mm ARC Compared to Other Cartridges
How does the 6mm ARC bridge the gap between the other well-known and well-proven cartridges?
6mm ARC vs 6.5 Grendel
The 6mm ARC delivers comparable performance from a wider array of loads, making it a more versatile choice. The terminal ballistics of the 6mm ARC outperform the 6.5 Grendel at distance.
6mm ARC vs 308
The 6mm ARC delivers substantially less felt recoil allowing shooters to call their own shots. The 6mm ARC is also lighter in weight compared to 308 and boasts a higher magazine capacity.
6mm ARC vs 5.56
The 6mm ARC ballistics outpace the 5.56. With a flatter trajectory, the ability to buck the wind better, and hold tighter groups out to 1,000+ yards make it a far better performer than 5.56 when shooting out past 300 yards.
6mm ARC Ballistics | How Fast is the 6mm ARC?
The Hornady 6mm ARC cartridge was developed to fill the gap between the 5.56 and 308 WIN cartridges. Typically to get the velocity and energy of a 308 in an AR15 package, you had to get into a larger AR10 patterned rifle. 6mm ARC allows you to stay in an AR-15 platform along with increased velocity and energy on target out to 1,000 yards…and beyond.
6mm ARC Ballistics Chart With Real World Data
Hornady 108 grain ELD with a 100-yard zero fired from an 18" barrel at a muzzle velocity of 2,635 fps.
|Range (yards)||Velocity (fps)||Elevation Hold (MILS)|
Who Makes The Best 6mm ARC Barrel?
Faxon has been in the rifle barrel game for a while now and knows a thing or two about optimizing barrels for peak performance and longevity. So it’s no wonder that their 6mm ARC barrels are some of the best in the industry.
Faxon Match Series 16" Gunner 6mm ARC Barrel
The Gunner profile is a blend of two of the best performing profiles of all time, Gov’t and Pencil. Faxon’s Gunner profile combines the durability of the Gov’t profile with the weight savings and maneuverability of the Pencil profile. The Gunner profile brings the balance of the rifle back towards the shooter’s body, limiting fatigue, and allowing for shooting, training, or hunting all day long.
Manufactured in-house from gun-barrel-quality bar-stock, the Match Series starts with 416-R in 5R rifling. 5R is a hybrid rifling, with lands opposite grooves and reduced sharp angles that reduces jacket deformation increasing velocity and easy cleaning. After rigorous testing, this 6mm ARC barrel is Nitride treated inside and out, locking in the bore, improving barrel life, and keeping the elements at bay.