New LWRC Six8 UCIW Rifle With New Magpul 6.8mm SPC PMAG

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The lucky folks at Modern Pawn and Guns, Corpus Christi TX, seems to consistently get hold of new guns before anyone else. They managed to get hold of the much anticipated LWRC Six8 UCIW Rifle, the new Magpul 6.8mm SPC PMAG and the new Federal/ATK XM6.8GD 90 grain Gold Dot ammunition.

Now if you are thinking “Steve, this is just another AR-15″, you would be wrong. It is not a standard 5.56mm AR-15 with a 6.8mm barrel. The receiver dimensions have been blown out to better accommodate the 6.8mm SPC round. The Magpul 6.8mm magazine only works with this rifle and won’t fit in a standard AR-15 lower. The magazine holds a full 30 rounds, not the usual 25 rounds held by 5.56mm conversion magazines.

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The SBR 8″ Barrel version of the Six8

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Magpul 6.8 PMAG. If you look carefully you can see the new Blood Red follower.

The guys at Modern Pawn and Guns, LWRC and a US Navy Seal, took the gun pig hunting at Wild River Ranch in South Texas to see how it fared with Federal’s new (not yet on sale) XM6.8GD 90 grain round. They shot this video …

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Federal/ATK XM6.8GD 90 Grain cartridges.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Arron

    Every time I visit TFB my wallet cries out in agony.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Now you know how we feel when we go to SHOT!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Gadgetguy1288 Randy Shooter Park

    When does this rifle come out?

    • david

      Last summer, supposedly. LOL

      • big daddy

        They are filling orders from two countries first. I think that is Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

  • SouthTexasArms

    Those of us in the 6.8 “world”, whom already shoot and enjoy the cartridge for what it was designed for, have really been following the exodus of this particular set up for quite some time. As an FFL07, we have been anxious to get our hands on the first set of lowers/uppers combinations to offer our own DI versions of these spectacular rifle systems.

    Thank you for sharing the video, and yes, the guys over at Modern Pawn and Guns are always getting the cool stuff first… I am beginning to think it’s because of people like Chris Lucci and the folks whom call him “friend” have a bit to do with it… but that’s simply speculation. Chris is one of the finest men of character that I know, and while I cannot call him friend, he has definitely been a mentor in the industry to me. His expertise in the field of necropsy and hunting acumen have made me aspire to be a better fieldsman…. conservationist and hunter, as they go hand in hand. I hope all see the video and enjoy the rare opportunities that have arisen, and look forward to the near future.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Thanks very much for the comment

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I sure like the video, presentation and well I can’t complain about anything I saw. If I could come up with the money I’d buy one in a heartbeat.

  • Brian in Seattle

    I read somewhere that LWRCi will be making the 6.8 magwell dimensions available to all manufacturers. Any truth to this? It’s too bad they’re releasing this into the current legislative shitstorm. Good luck, guys.

  • Cookie

    I have a 6.8cal Bushmaster. Would the P-mag fit this gun since it’s not a conversion? Would also like to try the new ammunition. Silver State has a new hunting round out. Hard to keep in stock however I was able to pick up a couple of boxes but have yet to get on the range due to all the snow here in South Dakota.

    • David

      No, the entire point of the rifle was to redesign everything, lower, upper and mag. Nothing is interchangeable

      • Anonymoose

        That’s silly. They would do better to make a 6.8 Pmag that fits in STANAG wells and the ACR.

        • Onomonopia

          MagPul has said repeatedly that it can’t be done due to the larger cartridge dimensions and the need for thicker polymer walls. All STANAG 6.8 mags are steel with narrow ribs to accommodate the wider case.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Epstein/667480221 Paul Epstein

    So, if the .50 Beowulf and .458 SOCOM are the biggest cartridges usable in an AR-15, how far can you stretch this one? Hopefully someone is interested in pushing the envelope.

    • Anonymoose

      8 or 9mm maybe?

  • Ian

    So it has a slightly wider magazine well to accommodate a slightly wider cartridge when using plastic magazines. I’m trembling.

  • anono

    A round sized to a magazine therefor a firearm which is more or less designed ground up from a magazine – not from a round as would be ideal. Then, change the dimensions of the magazine. OooooooK

    • Anonymous

      Despite your Yoda-like tendencies, this comment is probably the most insightful in the discussion. Designing a new proprietary rifle platform around a cartridge designed to fit the limitations of an older legacy platform has failboat written all over it.

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        Good observation it is:-)

        • big daddy

          That is a very in the box linear way of thinking.

  • big daddy

    This is going to change the game. When reports start coming in about the effectiveness of the system and the better overall performance of the 6.8mm round over every comparable military type round the slow turn will start. That is what they are banking on, they have spent a lot of money putting this system together. So a lot of people have the feeling that it will change the game in the long run. It’s not about the civilian market it’s about the military one. Militaries around the world will slowly start dumping their 5.56mm and 7.62x39mm weapons for the 6.8mm. It will take some time as stockpiles get low of ammo and weapons start wearing out. The Chinese 5.8mm round is a disaster so I expect them to go first with some knockoff around 2018 and everybody else to follow by 2020. It’s 2013 as far as military weaponry goes 2020 is just around the corner, they are slow to change because of the cost involved, but they do change. I was much happier to carry the M60 than the M16A1 when I served.

    • Esh325

      I never heard the Chinese say their 5.8mm was a disaster.

      • big daddy

        The Chinese won’t publicly say anything, just look at the ballistic reports of the round. We’ll see in about 5-10 years the change toward the cartridge everybody said should be used since the 1950s. So it’s nothing new and the people who know have been saying to go to a true intermediate cartridge for over 60 years. Once somebody finally does and it is coming they ALL will follow as all militaries do. Just as all sports teams do whatever works they will follow too, as the Russians and Chinese did copying some type of 5.56mm mini round of their own that nobody likes in their army(the Russian Spenatz hate the 5.45mm and use the older round or the new 9mm rifles). Then all the surplus gets shipped out to other countries until they run out and switch over. That’s the way it works if you haven’t noticed.

        • Esh325

          They did publically admit there were problems with their 5.8mm rifles at first, but I believe they have addressed them. I never heard the Russians say they were dissatisfied, in a Russian language interview, I heard them say the 5.45×39 meets all modern requirements. The 9x39mm is primarily for suppressed rifles. The 5.45×39 doesn’t make a good subsonic round.

          • big daddy

            That’s why Spetsnaz and similar units use the 9mm and went back to the 7.62mm. The average Russian grunt gets what he gets as with any military. The Chinese had problems with their bullpups. The Russians say what they are told to say, during their last incursion the soldiers complained about the 5.45 round. I always look at what a country’s special forces units are using, they use what really works not what the average soldier is given. That’s why at one time awhile back all the SAS guys had AR types of rifles and not their bullpups.

          • Esh325

            Special forces in Russia,including Spetsnaz,FSB, etc use 5.45×39,7.62×39, and 9x39mm. You can find them using a variety of rifles, be it new or old pictures.
            http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/RIAN_archive_835340_Antiterrorist_operation_in_Makhachkala.jpg

          • Anonymoose

            The reason they keep 7.62×39 rifles around is when they need to penetrate heavy cover in urban environments but don’t want to whip out their fancy AS Vals and stuff. Russian police foot patrols get the choice of either an AKS-74U or an AKMS iirc, but no 9×39 stuff because their gov’t is too broke to buy new rifles for anyone but actual spetsnaz at the moment.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            And copying our camo patterns

  • .30 dude

    .300 BLK > 6.8 spc
    Just my opinion

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Mosley/100000427622231 Mike Mosley

      Yea, thats why the country of Jordan wanted a 6.8 PDW to protect the King of their country, and NOT a 300bo.
      hundreds of different calibers in an AR style and the royal protectors took the best out there. out of an 8″ barrel your still getting 2500+ fps, it smokes the 300BO.

      should our military be concerned it is now out gunned with its own design?

      • Vitor

        Dude, they are using 90 grains bullet, those are quite light with low BC for their diameter, so they better be very fast. The thing is that the .300BLK will do quite fine out of a 8″ barrel too and have enough punch to put anyone down under 250 yards (you can’t expect to hit futher than that in a barrel 6.5″ shorter than a M4).

        The thing is that the .300 doesn’t require different mags to get a 30 round capacity, doesn’t require a new bolt, just a barrel swap, vain kings may forget that logistics are more important than having the coolest ammo.

        But yeah, both 6.8SPC and 7.62BLK will do quite well with short barrels.

        • .30 dude

          I agree with Vitor .300 BLK is most versatile because it only needs a barrel change and with a suppressor .300 BLK capable of subsonic unlike the 6.8.

          • Dale

            I agree with Vltor as well considering the fact that the 6.8 isn’t optimized for suppressors and subsonic shooting in the way that the 7.62 BLK is. Another thing that should be noted is that this gold dot round out of a tiny barrel is clipping along at around 2400 feet per second at the muzzle; that’s pretty hot, and after looking at the video showing a big guy getting pushed around on full auto by the rifle, I’d rather take a more controllable round that was created from the ground up to excel at 0-300 meters if I were running a platform with such a short barrel. I’m not saying that the 6.8 SPCII is a bad round; on the contrary I think that it’s a vast improvement over the 5.56 in regards to terminal ballistics, but will take a lot of training to shoot comfortably and controllably, whereas the 7.62 BLK cartridge isn’t something that’s much more difficult to control than a 5.56, and offers more versatility. I’m sure that someone will design a load around the 7.62 BLK to deliver just as much devastating soft-target performance as the 90 grain Gold Dot eventually.

            I feel that the Six8 is a very specialized platform for a specific solution to a problem that isn’t out there unless you’re already running 6.8 SPC on a widespread basis. That said, I really like to see lefty-friendly platforms like the Six8 come
            out in an AR configuration and would like to see the AR platform
            eventually become completely ambidextrous as more companies R&D these rifles to make them ambidextrous and ergonomically sound.

            It’s important to point out that logistically the 7.62 BLK round only needs a barrel change, as opposed to a new bolt, buffer and magazine, which may not seem like much until you multiply that cost by a couple hundred thousand, not including ammo and training costs. While that might not be important to Jordan or Saudi Arabia’s finest, it is important to anyone fielding a platform like that en masse and catering to the lowest proficiency level.

            All those points aside, I’m still waiting to see the 6.5 Grendel given a serious look in short barrels up to 16 inches; that cartridge is a laser beam at long range and makes the 6.8 look silly out past the 800 yard mark and would be a great contender for a service rifle cartridge eventually in my opinion.

          • Marc

            How does severely limiting your range with a low-powered 7.62 add versatility? The kool-aid is indeed strong with this revamped one trick pony.

          • Dale

            That’s the beauty of the 7.62 BLK- it’s a controllable, intermediate diameter round that can shoot suppressed and be very quiet in a short-barreled platform. If you’re not looking to shoot out past 300 yards with it, it’s a great candidate for a compact weapon. There’s no “perfect” caliber for everything, but the 7.62 BLK became interesting to me after I shot one and started to understand its strengths at close range. I’m curious to see how you view the 7.62×39 round in terms of being low-powered; I can assure you that they are anything but, especially in the full metal jacket variety close up.

            The UICW is a very short-barreled rifle. If it was designed for 0-300 meter distances, and maybe taking it out a bit further, then I feel that there is a better option for the money, recoil-management and logistical chain, and that’s 7.62 BLK. Put the 6.8 in a longer-barreled upper for a different purpose, and I’ll gladly take that rifle over a 7.62 BLK if the ballistics are good enough, which they are.

          • Anonymoose

            After 300 yards you would probably want to be using a 7.62×51 if you want maximum lethality. It’s doubtful you’d commonly reach anything outside of the BLK’s range in Iraq-style house-to-house MOUT, but obviously in large, open environments like Afghanistan that would present a problem.

          • Marc

            “Maximum lethality” is nonsense, but actually being able to hit your target at medium range without an obsene amount of holdover and kentucky windage, which will make you straight out miss your target if your range guesstimation is only slightly off, is a huge advantage.

          • Dale

            Let’s remember the old saying “‘best’ is the enemy of ‘good enough’”

            We can debate caliber all day, but ideally we need something for our infantry rifle that works close-in and to medium distances with relative effectiveness. For everything else there’s a specific caliber.

            That being said, 7.62×51 is an awesome round out of anything that doesn’t have a short barrel and is intended for shooting in enclosed spaces…

          • Onomonopia

            When you are buying a rifle, “only needs a barrel change” is moot. Bolts are easy and the .mil suggests pairing new barrels with new bolts anyway.

      • Kai

        Didn’t Jordan select their rifles before the .300 was even and option?

        • Dale

          Guys, I think that they did, actually; the 6.8 has been around on the mainstream market for a while (5+ years), whereas the .300 BLK hasn’t been in the mainstream for more than a year and a half.

          @facebook-100000427622231:disqus, I wouldn’t be concerned at all about being out gunned- that’s a 90 grain projectile most likely optimized for SBRs and made for a specific contract and to be used within the scope of executive protection and putting down soft targets. Our military will be “out-gunned” only when someone creates a significantly more effective training and indoctrination program than what we have now for the modern American warrior, and takes away our force-multiplication abilities.

  • Esh325

    If you’re going to go all the way by making the rifle incompatible with existing AR15, maybe it would be better to just have a new rifle design all together?

    • http://www.facebook.com/john.daniels.9484 John Daniels

      That’s what I’ve been saying all along since the first time I heard about this. Why not keep going the extra step, by bringing in an ammo company, and build this thing for 7×46 or some other true ideal cartridge.

      • Esh325

        I see the 6.8SPC,.300 BLK,6.5 grendel, as all cartridges made within the constraints of the AR15, which is not ideal. A cartridge like 7x46mm has a large appeal for the civilian market, and possibly law enforcement.

        Izmash has said they are developing a “compromise” caliber for the AK-12, but we haven’t see any of those developments yet.

  • http://twitter.com/blakedotfr Blake

    Shhh, no one tell Bill Alexander…

  • EL10

    Wasn’t the attractiveness of the 6.8 SPC to offer better ballistics than a 5.56 in the same AR platform? What makes this an attractive alternative to the same 6.8 SPC on a standard lower using standard 6.8 magazines? Certainly not cost, given the lack of parts interchangeability. How exactly does this rifle “better accommodate” the 6.8? If one is forced to buy a completely new rifle and new magazines, the 6.8 starts to suffer in ballistic comparisons to the 6.5 Grendel, for instance. I’m happy for LWRC if they have landed some big contracts with this rifle, but I don’t see this as a significant contribution.

    • Dale

      I think that this rifle, regardless of caliber, is a huge step forward with the completely ambidextrous controls. I agree with you that the 6.8 starts to become a bit wimpy when compared with the 6.5 Grendel ballistically, but the 6.8 was also developed primarily to knock soft targets down at short range in a carbine platform. The problems start to come out when you pair smaller diameter non-expanding projectiles with short barrels- the terminal effects start to suffer due to the round not reaching the adequate velocity to either fragment, yaw or otherwise create enough of a permanent and temporary cavity in soft tissue to incapacitate a target. The 6.8 round was meant to address this shortcoming by bringing a slightly larger diameter round into the equation while still coping with ball ammunition and short-barrel limitations. The end result was an intermediate caliber that made bigger holes- and therefore better incapacitated targets- when fired from a short-barreled AR platform. The obvious drawbacks were decreased round-count and having to change over a bunch of parts.

      The interesting thing about the 6.8 SPCII is that the round as an intermediate cartridge from 0-800 meters is really quite decent, which makes it a good contender as a round for relatively open areas such as Afghanistan. Unfortunately, not enough real-word data is out there for the 6.5 Grendel in an SBR barrel-length to contest the 6.8′s advantages. I still think that 7.62 BLK is the way to go in an AR platform if you’re dead set on an AR and not in 5.56 for 0-300 meters, as it is just more versatile and makes a bigger hole than the 6.8 or 6.5, while requiring only a barrel change.

      • big daddy

        The Grendel is NOT a military type of ammo, it’s for hunting. It has proven to not be effective as a military round (especially full auto) and is overmatched by the 6.8mm until you start hitting distances the average grunt would NOT be shooting at. Those distances are being addressed by more powerful weapons of the 7.62mm and .300 and .338 Lapua and .50 cal type within the squad and platoon level. I do not understand why some people who probably never served in the military keep talking about the Grendel? It doesn’t work very well in short barreled fully automatic weapons. It has been compeltely discounted in military establishments, the 6.8mm still has some interest which is growing. If I am not mistaken the new LMT with caseless ammo is using a 6.8mm bullet now not the 5.56mm.

        • Vitor

          I find very funny when someone says that the 6.8 overmatches the 6.5 in short distances. This sounds very bizarre, as if the 6.5 was a magical cartridge that would get faster the futher it goes.

          If a bullet is nasty at 800 yards, it will be even more at 400, doesn’t make any sense to say “This bullet is good from afar, but weak at close range”. If we talking about <300 yards, the 5.56mm already does a quite good job in such distances.

          Of course the slender bullet with chubby case can be problematic for the AR ejection, but I truly believe that high BC bullets are the way to go. The 6.8 punches hard but suffers a bit from having a weird, not very aeredynamic shape.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            The statement does conflict with common sense ballistics

          • Onomonopia

            Nothing magical, it was a comparison. Big Daddy’s comment made no mention of a 6.5 speeding up, but acknowledged that it slows down less given distance. Within “typical” engagement ranges, the 6.8 terminal ballistics have shown to be better while external ballistics are acceptable.

        • EL10

          The 6.5 Grendel, or something ballistically similar, could be used to replace both the 7.62 and the 5.56. The same can’t be said of the 6.8mm SPC. Thus something ballistically akin to the Grendel makes more logistical sense. But my question is why build a completely new AR for the 6.8 when the beauty of the standard AR platform has proven to be its modularity (and gave birth to the SPC in the first place)? This LWRC seems to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, though I must admit that the ambidextrous controls appear an improvement. But the latter could be accomplished on the existing platform with far lower cost. The 6.8 may slowly make inroads with the military community (if they aren’t ready to consider giving up the 7.62 too), but I don’t see this new off-sized LWRC selling very widely.

          • big daddy

            The ballistics that I have read says the past a certain range the 6.5mm keeps it’s velocity where as the 6.8 slows down. That’s all. The design of the bullet itself (6.8mm SPC) works better in short distances with wound ballistics and is a better bullet in terms of terminal abilities. I just saw a film of a Taliban trying to shoot an RPG. He got hit with over 5+ rounds from a M249. I could tell it was a M249, small round and tracers. If he was not hit with that many rounds he would have got the missile off. The rounds went right through him, you could see the ricochet behind him and the tracers bounce off his head. This is what I mean about shorter range terminal ballistics. The 6.8mm is superior in short range ballistics to any other round in it’s class, in terms of accuracy and terminal ability. I’m just going by what I have read and I have read a lot, as much as there is on the internet. And I know the difference between a BS report and real world scientific and anecdotal information.

          • Kevin Kehoe

            Really I thought the Grendel sucked on Full Auto

  • Nathaniel

    Don’t see how this is better than a standard SBR AR-15.

    It’s pretty heavy for the short barrel that it has, too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.daniels.9484 John Daniels

    The point of 6.8 SPC was to make something that fits in a standard AR15/M16 lower. But the cartridge never quite delivered the performance people wanted, so they modified it slightly and then….made a whole new lower receiver and magazine design pair to match that? While we’re redesigning magazines and frame sizes, why not do it for an ideal cartridge like 7x46mm, instead of for a cartridge that was designed from the outset to be a compromise and fit in EXISTING DESIGNS? That’s only a half step further. There’s a magazine manufacturer, and a rifle manufacturer working together, so why not bring a cartridge manufacturer like Hornady into the mix and make a complete weapon system that’s not based around a compromise that never quite worked out?

    I don’t get it. Why do all that work, and not take the extra step?

  • E

    These rifles are designed around the 6.8 round, which is a much more versatile round that that of a 5.56 or 7.62. You are taking what is amazing, and making it better.

  • greekplaya

    http://www.reddit.com/r/68SPC
    Come check out the new 6.8 SPC subreddit forum!

  • Six8

    These a-holes shot their mother! How are the kiddies going to survive??? Try shooting something that shoots back, you heroes…