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6.8MM Western

New drawing Coming

Introduced in 2021, the first thing I have to say about the 6.8mm Western is it shares the same design flaw with all too many other cartridges: the neck is so short barrel life will be significantly limited. Otherwise, it differs from the 270 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) by having a shorter case body, a longer overall length, and a faster rifling twist.

These changes were incorporated to allow use of longer, more-efficient, bullets. I have read that it incorporates tighter tolerances, as is found with the Precision Rifle Cartridge (PRC), Creedmoor, 6.5-284 Norma, and a few other newer chamberings. We can pray this is true.

All sorts of wild claims have been made and are being made about what the 6.8mm Western can and cannot do. I read one claim that it could compete with the 300 Win Mag at long range because of the higher BC bullets it can use.


Well, guess what, the 300 Win Mag can use higher BC bullets too (in guns with longer magazines, which are common, such bullets can be seated to an overall length far exceeding SAAMI maximum for the 300 Win Mag). Therefore, any such claim is either telling only part of the story or is nothing more than pure nonsense.

The 6.8 Western has significant advantages but it is not magic. The same can be said of most any chambering.

I figured this out half a century ago: the finest chambering and rifle ever designed is the one you worked long and hard to earn the money to buy, the one you dreamed about owning for many, many, years. The one you finally got after sacrificing long and hard. And, the one for which you spent many days at the loading bench and then the range, while developing an accurate pet load. Using it to fill dozens of game tags does not hurt the impression!

Conversely, the ballistically and functionally indistinguishable rifle your uncle gave you will never be as good in your mind’s eye. That is just how the human mind works.

I know this is true, at least for me. The 270 Winchester is one of my favorites because it is what I bought when I was young and very poor with very hard-earned money earned over several years of hard work and careful savings. It was also the rifle I used to take a small mountain of elk without a single failure. If that rifle had been otherwise chambered, who knows how I would feel about the 270 Winchester.


The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
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