Hornady officially released news of it 6 mm ARC (Advanced Rifle Cartridge) in June 2020. Interestingly, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing delivered its first production run of REC7 rifles in the chambering to the United States Department of Defense on or before the date civilian enthusiasts learned about the cartridge.
American Rifleman was unable to locate volume of purchase or terms of the contract on various official purchasing websites, but Barrett indicated the agreement was entered into late last year.
The system now in the hands of the armed forces includes a variant of the HX-QD 762 suppressor, which is manufactured by Utah-based OSS Suppressors. There’s no confirmation on exact load procured by the military, but loads initially available to civilians will include Hornady’s 105-grain BTHP in its Black line and a 108-grain ELD Match. Sometime in the fall a 103-grain ELD-X Precision Hunter will also be commercially available.
Barrett’s testing found that when delivered with the REC7’s DI gas system, a 108-grain ELD Match bullet exited 18-inch Proof Research match-grade stainless steel or carbon-fiber barrels at speeds greater than 2,630 fps. It’s soft shooting, according to the company, accurate and the projectile remains supersonic beyond 1,000 yards.
Civilians will have to wait until Barrett fills the government order to purchase a REC7 DI chambered for 6 mm ARC, according to the news release. San Tan Tactical, Lantac and CMMG have already introduced models for the cartridge, however, and more are sure to follow.
The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Association published 6 mm ARC cartridge drawings and specifications on Jan. 20, 2020, with little fanfare. Maximum average pressure is listed at 52,000 psi and according to the organization’s official table a 108-grain bullet can exit the muzzle at 2,700 fps.
Hornady testing found the 105-grain bullet has a muzzle velocity from a 24-inch barrel of 2,750 fps. Magazine capacity of the REC7s shipped to the military is 24 cartridges.