The 6.8 SPC is a lesser known round for the AR-15 when it comes to the knowledge of the general population, but is particularly popular with professional marksman and precision shooters.
That’s because the 6.8 SPC was designed from the very get-go to outperform the standard .223 Remington or 5.56x45mm NATO rounds at long ranges, while still being shot out of the normal AR-15 platform.
If you want to maximize the long range precision performance out of your standard 5.56 AR-15, upgrading it to a 6.8 SPC version with a new upper receiver will be one of the best things you can do.
But another component of the rifle that you will need to complete the upgrade will be to get high quality 6.8 SPC magazines.
Yes, you can theoretically load 6.8 SPC bullets in a 5.56x45mm NATO magazine if you want to, but not all 5.56 magazines will work reliably with the different 6.8 rounds. If you want to truly get the maximum reliability out of your new 6.8 AR-15, you’ll need to invest in high quality 6.8 SPC magazines.
In this guide, we will discuss what makes the 6.8 SPC a great round (just in case you’re not yet convinced it’s worth upgrading your AR-15 to the round), and then we’ll dive into a buyer’s guide of what to look for in a 6.8 SPC magazine before discussing our picks for the top three best 6.8 SPC magazines on the marketplace today.
Without any further ado, let’s begin!
Best Overall Pick: LWRC International SIX8 6.8 SPC Magazine
The LWRC International SIX8 6.8 SPC magazines may be the most expensive 6.8 SPC magazines on this list, but that’s a direct result of the fact that these magazines are built to a very high standard with a number of impressive features, including an anti-over insertion stop, stainless steel springs, and a non-slip texturing over the body of the magazine.
Best Budget Pick: C-Products AR-15 6.8 SPC Magazine
The C-Products AR-15 6.8 SPC magazines are the most affordable option on this list and are also very high quality for the price, being 100% American made with a durable stainless steel construction and Teflon-coating for superior rust and corrosion resistant. As an added bonus, they come with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
Best Value Pick: D&H Industries AR-15 6.8 SPC Magazine
The D&H Industries AR-15 6.8 SPC magazines are thoroughly tested in order to ensure maximum durability and quality. 100% American made and built to last, these magazines are an incredible value for the price that you pay for them.
Why The 6.8 SPC Round?
Officially known as the 6.8mm Remington Special Purposes Cartridge, and also sometimes referenced as the 6.8x43mm, the 6.8 SPC is an intermediate rimless bottle necked cartridge that was the result of team effort from the United States Special Operations Command, United States Army Marksmanship Unit, and Remington Arms as a potential replacement for the standard 5.56x45mm NATO round out of the short barreled AR-15 cartridge.
Now obviously the 6.8 SPC has not officially replaced the 5.56 round, but the 6.8 SPC has still found a following among precision shooters seeking a higher performing round out of the AR-15.
The 6,8 SPC is based on the .30 Remington cartridge and utilizes the same bullet diameter as the popular and well known .270 Winchester. In terms of performance, the 6.8 SPC is designed to be midway between the 5.56 and the .308 Winchester.
The reason why the 6.8 SPC was originally developed was because of the perceived deficiencies that existed with the 5.56 round across NATO. It was believed that the 5.56 was not as lethal at longer ranges as it should be, so a new round was created to help bridge the gap that existed between the 5.56 and the .308 that was used in the AR-10. The .30 Remington cartridge case was modified to fit into the standard 5.56 GI magazines, so the round could be fired out of the AR-15 without having to replace the lower.
The new round was also used with a 6.5mm caliber projectile, which was believed to offer the best combination of penetration and accuracy at longer ranges. As a result, the new round could also outperform the 7.62x39mm and 5.45x39mm rounds, which were the standard rounds in use with the Soviet Union (and now Russia).
The new caliber was officially named the 6.8 Remington Special Purposes Cartridge, utilizing the .270 diameter bullet projectile with the shortened .30 Remington cartridge case.
The 6.8 SPC will perform better out of shorter barreled AR-15 rifles than the 5.56. Since longer barrels offer better bullet velocity and accuracy (meaning that a 20 inch 5.56 AR-15 will perform better at longer ranges than a 10.5 inch or 16 inch version), the idea with the 6.8 is that it can offer equal or better performance out a 10.5 inch or 16 inch barrel than a 20 inch 5.56. As a result, you’ll get better performance at longer ranges while also having a shorter and more maneuverable firearm in tight conditions. This is a desirable feature for home defense and for deer hunting in the thick brush (the 6.8 SPC makes for an excellent deer hunting round).
In order to use the 6.8 SPC with the AR-15, all you will need to do is replace components of the upper receiver, such has the barrel, bolt, and the muzzle device. However, to make things faster entire 6.8 SPC upper receivers are often times sold instead of just the individual components. This means that if you already own a 5.56 AR-15, all you need to do to convert it to the 6.8 SPC will be to remove the 5.56 upper and then install the 6.8 upper, permitting you to still use the 5.56 lower that you already have.
You should theoretically still be able to use 5.56 magazines with the 6.8 SPC round. However, not all 5.56 magazines will function reliably with the 6.8 SPC round, which is why magazines built specifically for the 6.8 SPC caliber exist. Later in this article, every 6.8 SPC magazine that we will cover is built specifically for the round.
Can You Ever Have Too Many Magazines?
In a word: nope.
You may be wondering about exactly how many 6.8 magazines that you should stock up on. One? Two? Five? Ten? Twenty?
Well, it’s up to you, but the truth is the more magazines you have, the better. Think about it this way: what if the magazines you currently own are the only magazines that you could have for the rest of your life?
The 6.8 SPC is not the most common round for the AR-15. In the event that the supply of magazines were to dry up in the future (which could happen if demand dramatically increases as happened in late 2012 and for the duration of 2013), then the price would increase exponentially and it could be a long time before you can buy any more.
From a prepping perspective, you would also be wise to stock up on several magazines because in the event of a major disaster (such as a major economic collapse or recession, natural disaster, EMP attack, etc.) the supply would dry up even further and not go back to normal levels for several years to come.
Keep in mind that there are a myriad of things that could happen to your magazines as well, including the springs wearing out, the magazines becoming too damaged beyond any functional use, or the magazines becoming lost.
If any of these things were to happen to your magazines, you would have to buy more to resupply yourself…except that you may not even be able to resupply yourself if any of the above incidences were to happen.
That’s why stocking up on a lot of magazines now to last you for the rest of your life would be wise. Owning between five and ten magazines for your 6.8 SPC rifle would probably be a good goal to set.
Buyer’s Guide To Finding The Best Magazines For Your 6.8 SPC Rifle
These are the most important factors to consider when looking for new magazines for your 6.8 SPC rifle or carbine:
Durability and Materials
Every magazine should be built up to spec, which means that they need to be very durable. This includes the body, the follower, the spring, and so on. The two most common material options for magazines these days are aluminum and polymer when it comes to the body, and both are good to go.
Between the two, aluminum magazines are probably more durable and long lasting (generally speaking), but they will also be much heavier. This also doesn’t mean that polymer magazines are not durable, because they most certainly are. It’s up to you to decide what you want. If you do go with a polymer magazine, it will be preferential for it to have a steel spring in order to ensure proper functioning and reliability.
Built To Mil-Spec Standards
A good way to know if a magazine is ‘good to go’ out of the box is if it is officially built to mil-spec standards. This means that it can be loaded into and function in just about any AR-15 lower on the market (with the possible exception of custom lowers hat are built to very tight tolerances). Mil-spec standard magazines will also function reliably and be durable.
Permit Lock Back
When you fire the last round out of your AR-15, the bolt should lock back and remain locked back in order to signal to you that the last round has indeed been fired. However, the bolt will only if the spring to the follower is strong enough. To test this in your AR-15,drop the bolt on the empty chamber, and then insert an empty magazine. Pull back the charging handle to the rear, and ensure that the bolt catch has been smoothly engaged.
A magazine that will not allow the bolt of the AR-15 to lock back on an empty round is a clear sign that the spring is not strong enough, and therefore may not function reliably (it most certainly will not be as long lasting as a magazine that does allow the gun to lock back when empty).
When you want to eject the magazine out of your AR-15 by pushing the magazine release button, the magazine should fall right out without any inhibitions at all. If you have to use your hand to yank the magazine free, it’s a clear sign that the magazine ls likely too large and is not built to mil-spec standards (although it’s also possible in this case that the lower receiver to the AR-15 has not been built to mil-spec standards either).
The 3 Best 6.8 SPC Magazines For 2019
Now that we have covered the merits of the 6.8 SPC round and what to look for in a magazine for the round, here are our picks for the top three best 6.8 SPC magazines today:
C-Products AR-15 6.8 SPC Magazine
Available at a relatively affordable price for a 6.8 SPC magazine, the C-Products AR-15 6.8 SPC magazine is built out of stainless steel with a Teflon coating over the surface for superior rust and corrosion resistance. Since stainless steel is already a very rust resistant material, you know that you’re buying a magazine where encountering moisture and humidity is not going to be a problem.
Each magazine also features an anti-tilt follower with quality springs, which are features that C-Products includes on each of their magazines. They also come with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
The C-Products 6.8 SPC magazine is available with a five, ten, twenty, or twenty eight round magazines available. However, thirty round magazine options are not available, which some people may find to be disappointing.
C-Products is a company that specializes in making magazines, so they know what they are doing. Their products are also all made in the USA, and these 6.8 SPC magazines come durable and rust resistant from the factory without an outrageous price either.
- USA made
- Come with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer
- Teflon coated for superior rust and corrosion resistance
- Stainless steel construction for superior durability
- Relatively affordable
- 30 round magazine option is not available
LWRC International SIX8 6.8 SPC Magazine
The LWRC International SIX8 6.8 SPC Magazines are the most expensive 6.8 magazines on this list, but there’s also good reason why: these magazines are built to exceed the most rigorous military performance specifications.
While these magazines are built out of polymer (making them one of the few polymer 6.8 SPC magazines in existence), they are also both impact and crush resistant. The springs in the LWRC magazines are made out of stainless steel, and there’s also an over insertion stop located on the spine to ensure that the magazines will never over insert to cause feeding or reliability issues.
Additional neat features of the LWRC magazine include the aggressive non-slip texture on the body of the magazines and the durable floorplate design that will ensure positive magazine handling.
The only fault with the LWRC magazines, if you can call it a fault, is that they are very expensive for an AR-15 magazine. But that extra expense is a direct result of the fact that these magazines are built to very high standards and with a number of impressive features that other 6.8 SPC magazines are simply lacking.
- Will also chamber and shoot the .224 Valkyrie rounds
- Carries a fully 30 rounds
- Impact and crush resistant polymer construction
- Lighter weight due to polymer build than steel magazines
- Built to exceed rigorous military performance specifications
- Has as an over insertion stop located on the spine
- Has a USGI spec stainless steel spring
- Has a non-slip texture
- Very durable floorplate design
D&H Industries AR-15 6.8 SPC Magazine
D&H Industries are well known for making some of the highest quality AR-15 magazines in existence. Not only are their magazines some of the most durable on the market, but the company will actually take random samples from each batch of magazines that are made and run them through a torture test to make sure they are functioning properly.
These magazines come with a standard twenty five round capacity, and in addition to the 6.8 Remington SPC round, you can also load .224 Valkyrie rounds into them as well. Each magazine is built at the same factory as the Bushmaster magazine, and to exceed the standard mil-spec standards.
The D&H Industries 6.8 SPC magazine is an overall excellent option and a superb value. Each of their magazines are high quality and built to survive the various torture tests they are run through. The fact that these magazines can also chamber and shoot the .224 Valkyrie round is an added bonus.
- Durable anti-tilt follower
- Built to exceed mil-spec standards
- Samples from each batch of magazines go through a rigorous testing process
- Will work with any AR-15 that accepts STANAG magazines
- 100% USA made
- Also accepts .224 Valkyrie rounds
- Made in the same factory as Bushmaster magazines
- No 30 round magazine option is available
Well, that concludes our list of the top three best 6.8 SPC magazines for 2019!
The magazines are just as important as guns themselves, because without a quality magazine, it doesn’t matter how high quality your firearm is and you’ll only encounter jamming problems and a myriad of different problems.
Fortunately, each of the 6.8 SPC magazines that we have covered here today in this article will be a solid choice for your 6.8 SPC rifle and should each last you for many years of continuous use.
Featured image by Ammoland