8.6 Blackout Complete Guide

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May 3, 2024 Edited May 3, 2024 600 view(s)
8.6 Blackout Complete Guide

Ever heard of 300 Blackout? Well let us introduce you to its new big brother, 8.6 Blackout, which is making waves in the firearm industry. 

Origin of the 8.6 Blackout

The 8.6 Blackout was developed by Kevin Brittingham and the team at Q, a company known for its innovative approach to firearms and ammunition. The development of the 8.6 Blackout was partly inspired by the success of the 300 Blackout, which itself was an adaptation designed to enhance performance in shorter barrels and suppressors. The 8.6 Blackout was created to provide a larger caliber with similar versatility, optimized for use in short-barreled rifles (SBRs) and suppressors.

The idea was to create a round that could deliver more power than the 300 Blackout, suitable for both tactical applications and medium to large game hunting. The 8.6 Blackout aims to blaze a new path of subsonic, big game hunting rounds. 

How does it accomplish this? Let’s look at the ballistics…


Ballistics of the 8.6 Blackout

The ballistics of the 8.6 Blackout are impressive, primarily due to its design tailored for short-barreled rifles and suppressors. It typically uses heavier bullets, ranging from 200 to 300+ grains. The secret sauce of 8.6 Blackout though is its ultra fast twist rate, usually around 1 in 3 inches (1:3). 

Despite its low velocity, the 8.6 Blackout exhibits excellent performance in terms of energy delivered on target due to the added rotational energy from its blazing fast 500,000 RPM spin rate. Even with subsonic ammunition, the 8.6 Blackout offers enough knockdown power to take down dangerous game due to the fast spin rate that increases lethality. 


Uses of the 8.6 Blackout

Tactical Use

Its design makes it a candidate for military and law enforcement applications that require short-barreled, suppressed carbines. 


The caliber is also suitable for hunting medium to large game, thanks to its enhanced ballistic capabilities, which provide effective stopping power at ranges up to 350 yards.

Pros of the 8.6 Blackout

Power and Versatility

The 8.6 Blackout delivers more energy and stopping power at short ranges compared to many calibers used in similar-sized firearms. This makes it an excellent choice for those needing a powerful yet compact solution.

Compatibility with Existing Platforms

One of the significant advantages of the 8.6 Blackout is its compatibility with existing AR-10 platforms with minimal modifications needed. In most cases, just a barrel swap is needed to convert your .308 or 6.5 Creedmoor AR-10 to 8.6 Blackout. 

Improved Suppressor Performance

The caliber is optimized for use with suppressors, offering reduced noise and recoil, which is a significant advantage for both tactical operators and hunters. This is a legitimate 300 yard suppressed cartridge.


Cons of the 8.6 Blackout

Cost and Availability

As a fairly new caliber, the 8.6 Blackout is much more expensive and harder to find than more established cartridges. Due to its fast spin rate, the 8.6 Blackout projectile is made of solid copper, also increasing the cost. 

Limited Range

While excellent in short to medium-range applications, the 8.6 Blackout is not the best choice for long-range shooting due to its high bullet drop and velocity decay.


Bear Creek Arsenal’s 8.6 Blackout Coming Soon

Until now, 8.6 Blackout has been a very expensive caliber to get into due to the high cost of ammunition and even higher price of firearms. Bear Creek Arsenal aims to change that by producing high performance 8.6 Blackout rifles and uppers at affordable prices. Keep your eyes open for more details coming soon! 



The 8.6 Blackout represents a significant step forward in the design of rifle calibers and hints at the future of rifle cartridges. As it becomes more widespread, its impact on the shooting world is likely to grow, reflecting the ongoing evolution in firearms technology.

If you’re interested in subsonic, big game hunting, 8.6 Blackout is the game changer you should add to your arsenal. 


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Quinn S
May 6, 2024
I can't wait!!!! I need this upper in my life!! I have so many other calibers from BCA and find myself hitting refresh daily.
Michael S
May 6, 2024
This is great news! I have been building and playing with 8.6 for almost 2 years and absolutely love the round. What twist rates are going to be offered?
Thomas D
May 8, 2024
Are you going to manufacture the barrels only, or offer a complete upper as well? Also, please confirm the twist rate.
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