The 6mm ARC (Advanced Rifle Cartridge) was created by Hornady because the DOD (Department of Defense) was looking to replace the 5.56 NATO. Despite its beginnings, it’s an excellent option for AR-platform rifles and long-range hunting in bolt-action rifles.
Choosing a 6mm ARC vs. the 6.5 Creedmoor, Grendel, or some other popular rifle caliber can be tedious. But the best place to start is with the ballistics.
This chart will give you a better understanding of the 6mm bullet drop and trajectory at long-range distances.
The 6mm ARC has a standard muzzle velocity of just over 2,700 fps and a pretty flat trajectory for long-range shots. Of course, all of this varies depending on the ammo you’re shooting, but we can also easily compare it to the more popular 6.5 Grendel.
The 6mm ARC and 6.5 Grendel are very similar calibers. Both are comparable in overall length and diameter, they have relatively low recoil, high ballistic coefficients, and similar stopping power. However, 6mm bullets typically have a flatter trajectory because the 6.5 Grendel is a bit larger.
On the other hand, the 6.5 Grendel is better for hunting big game animals and long-range shooting, while the 6mm ARC is perfect for varmints, because the latter has lighter bullets. Finally, you’re more likely to find 6.5 Grendel factory ammo on the shelves, whereas 6mm ARC shooters will benefit from reloading.
Before you stock your armory with a shiny new rifle chambered in 6mm ARC, it’s important to understand how it stacks up to other rifles.
The 6mm ARC is a newer caliber that hasn’t quite gained as much traction as other long-range calibers like the 6.5 Grendel and the 6.5 Creedmoor. Although there’s really no reason I wouldn’t pick one up, the truth is that there are simply more attractive options with more affordable factory loads and a wider selection of rifles and parts.
The 6mm ARC may very well become a more popular option for many shooters in the future. At the moment, however, it’s important to consider ammunition and rifle availability. Handloads will be key because the ammo is more expensive than other calibers and it’s a bit more challenging to find.
Of course, Hornady is an excellent company that never fails to deliver innovative shooting technology to Americans. With the high BC, flat trajectory, and effective range, this new cartridge is certainly worth an investment.
The design, bullet weight, and features in a cartridge impact the ballistics and trajectory of the rifle cartridge. If you still have questions about the 6mm ARC, 6mm ARC ammo, or anything else, I’ve included some FAQs below.
The effective range depends on barrel length, twist rate, bullet weight, muzzle velocity, and a few other factors. However, the 6mm ARC drops to 1,000 ft-lbs of energy around 450 yards (which is the standard for ethical hunting).
Both the 6mm ARC and the 6.5 Creedmoor originate from the .220 Russian and have very similar SAAMI specs.
The Hornady 6mm ARC typically has a 16-18 inch barrel.
Similar to the 6.5 Grendel and 6.5 Creedmoor, the 6mm ARC is more forgiving than other calibers. At 500 yards, we’ll see a drop of about 54”.
Wilson Combat and Savage are currently two of the more popular manufacturers of 6mm ARC rifles. Remington, Ruger, Winchester, and other popular manufacturers have yet to jump on the 6mm ARC train.
Yes. The 6mm ARC is designed for the AR-platform, gas guns, and even bolt guns.
Yes. Hornady makes ELD-Match supersonic 6mm ARC cartridges for competition and target shooting.
6mm ARC Ballistic Charts for Major Ammo Manufacturers originally appeared on Ammo.com