TFB EXCLUSIVE: Interview with David Stark of Discreet Ballistics on the NEW 8.6 Creedmoor

    Discreet Ballistics

    The 8.6 Creedmoor is a very mysterious caliber inside the firearms industry right now. Hopefully our interview with Ethan Lessard of Q helped shed some more light on it for all of us. Next, we wanted to pick another subject-matter-expert’s brain in David Stark of Discreet Ballistics. They have already been producing some bullets for the 8.6 Creedmoor, but they are not quite ready to be purchased by the public yet. TFB caught up with him and bombarded him with the follow questions to get his knowledge and input on the 8.6 Creedmoor.

    Adam: Many people understand that Hornady ushered in the 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmor which so many people are now enchanted with. Is the 8.6 Creedmoor something that Hornady pushed for? Is it something Discreet Ballistics was a thought-leader of? Did Q silencers push to develop it for their current offering? Or was it a unique collaborative effort between all 3 groups?

    David: It is my understanding that the genesis of 8.6 Creedmoor concept came from Ethan/Kevin at Q. I am unaware of any development Hornady is pursuing on the cartridge but having the backing from them really gives the cartridge some legs which is so important when introducing a new cartridge. We are by no means a thought leader on the cartridge, however we have been perusing some monolithic expanding copper bullets which will enhance the lethality of 8.6 at subsonic velocities.

    Adam: With the 8.6 Creedmoor being a .338 diameter cartridge, what are the grain weight offerings you will be making for consumers? If there are 3-4 expected grain weights that will perform well for consumers in this cartridge, what are some bullet tips you would be excited to try? Sub-Sonic? Range? Hunting? Defense?

    David: Our first prototypes have been in the 280gr range. This is relatively light weight compared to larger 300+gr lead core bullets which could be used  but we firmly believe the energy deficit will be offset by expansion performance during terminal ballistics. You can find some images of the expanded prototypes on our Instagram – feel free to use them.

    Adam: With The Fix by Q being the current firearm consumers will be chasing to enjoy the 8.6 Creedmoor, is a 12.5″ barrel a suggested barrel length for this cartridge? Does the 12.5″ barrel perform as desired in regards to matching up an appropriate twist rate, providing enough barrel length for an appropriate powder burn, and achieving the intended velocities of the 8.6 Creedmoor? Would a longer or shorter barrel vastly hinder or improve the performance of the cartridge?

    David: I don’t believe a barrel length has been settled on but that is really a question for Ethan at Q. I would imagine Q will make the barrel as short as possible without hindering supersonic performance too much. Twist rates will be fast which will be something unique in this platform. I’m not comfortable going on the record about this topic at this time, but I can tell you there is significant energy to be harvested from increased RPM.

    Adam: What area of the market do you see the 8.6 Creedmoor biting the largest chunk out of? Shooters who love to shoot suppressed & sub-sonic? Shooters who hunt medium-sized game (mule deer, boar, whitetail, sheep, antelope, bear, elk)? Target league shooters (300 yards or less)? PRS shooters (600 yards or greater)? Recreation? Self-defense? Potential military interest down the road?

    David: This cartridge has been described as the big bro to 300BLK so it would be used in similar situations where the user can take advantage of both super and sub capabilities. The larger projectile will perform better at longer range compared to 300BLK.

    Adam: With Discreet Ballistics leading the way for the 8.6 Creedmoor in regards to ammo development, would your secret sauce or reloading recipes be something available on your website? Or something that might be shared with Hodgdon powders or Hornady bullets where published data may become available for handloaders?

    David: Discreet Ballistics is not leading the way on ammo development on 8.6 Creedmoor. As stated before we’re collaborating with Q on expanding subsonic projectiles which we intend to load commercially at some point. We’re at the beginning stages of load development.

    Adam: I see on your website the 8.6 Creedmoor ammo is coming soon. When do you believe some would be available for consumers? Are there a specific amount of grain weight offerings coming down the pipe consumers can expect?

    David: Unsure when it will be available to consumers. Nothing on our end as it relates to 8.6 Creedmoor is set in stone.

    We want to give David Stark of Discreet Ballistics a HUGE thank you for accepting and responding to our questions! With the proliferation of silencers and sub-sonic ammunition in the last 5 years, the 8.6 Creedmoor is absolutely on our radar! So what do you guys think of the 8.6 Creedmoor? We had the good fortune to pick both Ethan Lessard’s brain from Q and now David Stark from Discreet Ballistics. They both have a wealth of information to share and it will be very interesting to see how much traction this caliber gets in the firearm industry in the coming months and years!

    Discreet Ballistics

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