Silver State Armory 6.8 SPC Ammunition

Silver State Armory announced the production of three new 6.8 SPC loads: a plinking round, a tactical/law enforcement round and a specialized armor-piercing (AP) round.  This collection of new 6.8 SPC rounds offers a broad range of options for different applications in a tactical situation.

Silver State Armory 6.8 SPC ammo
This is the 97 grain armor piercing, tungsten carbide bullet.

The tactical round uses an 85 grain Barnes TSX bullet traveling at 3070 fps from a 16” barrel.  When fired into 10% ballistic gelatin, the bullet has an impressive wound cavity in the first eight inches, and penetrates a total of 17.38”.  The recovered diameter of the bullet averaged 0.546”.  This performance is what a lot of people are looking for.  Silver State Armory was unable to provide me with additional performance details, such as how it worked through auto glass, etc.  Those tests are very relevant for what this cartridge was designed to do.

The plinking round was developed by Silver State Armory to provide an affordable solution for 6.8 enthusiasts to shoot their guns more often.  Frankly, this is an absolute “must have” if you have a 6.8 SPC rifle for work (military or law enforcement).  You’ve got to train, and the 6.8 SPC performs differently than a .223/5.56.  Knowing those differences is essential to the proper application of the rounds on target in a stress event.  Silver State said dealers will not be allowed to sell the plinking ammo for more than $48/box.

The last cartridge is the restricted armor-piercing round.  The 97 grain AP bullet has a tungsten carbide core that can penetrate more than 2” of steel.  This cartridge is restricted in the USA to qualified government agencies.  This is a more specialized round but could be a real asset to anyone heading overseas for deployment with a 6.8 SPC rifle.  I know that standard troops are not (and will never be) issued anything chambered in this round.  But contractors and others might be.


The Marine Corps Times is reporting that General James Mattis pushed for the adoption of the 6.8 SPC as recently as this past December.  The increased stopping power of the 6.8 SPC as compared to the current 5.56 was a significant reason behind Mattis’ efforts.

The 6.8 is a cartridge that fits into the AR-15/M-16 design envelope but uses a larger diameter (6.8 vs. 5.56mm) bullet, that generates more energy.  The idea is Marines would be able to use the same weapon platform with a chambered in a cartridge designed to be more effective at stopping the enemy.

Instead of the 6.8 SPC, the Marines recently adopted the 5.56mm Special Operations Science and Technology (SOST) cartridge, which promises to be more effective at stopping the enemy and defeating light, intermediate barriers.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

4 replies on “Silver State Armory 6.8 SPC Ammunition”

There is a much better load than the 85 grain at 3070 fps. The problem with this load is the bullet has a bad B.C. this means it is good for a shorter range than a 100 gr with a B.C. of .39 plus at 3000 fps in a 16 inch barrel. This will allow you to reach your target further out.

I’m curious how a military Veteran, who researches equipment for special tactics in ballistics, who uses the same range as the multiple law enforcement shooting competition could possibly obtain a small controlled number of rounds to use at the range?

Re-reading this old thread and just wanted to say that I’ve been puzzled as to why the Army is resurrecting a 6.8 service rifle when it previously rejected one. Probably, a big reason, is the AP potential mentioned here. DOD has long been looking for a solution to counter the proliferation of U.S. style body armor amongst potential adversaries. Think what a polymer sabboted, seventy-something grain, .556, 855A1 style, tungsten-tipped screamer doing over 3500 FPS would do to Russian or Chinese hard plates. Speed not only kills, it tends to defeat armor. That’s my guess.

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