Keefe Report: On the Range with the LWRC SIX8

posted on March 30, 2015

The 6.8x43 mm SPC cartridge was designed to deliver improved terminal performance out of the AR-15/M16 platform, literally doubling the bullet weight over the conventional 5.56x45 mm, while still being able to use the same lower receiver. Change out the upper and the magazine, and you have a much harder-hitting platform without a substantial weight penalty.

But the guys at LWRC, including Senior Design Engineer Jason Miller, were not happy with magazine reliability using existing AR magazines with a just new follower. The magazine is the heart of any firearm; if your magazine is not 100 percent reliable, your entire platform suffers.

So LWRC went to Magpul and asked for a larger magazine designed specifically for the 6.8x43 mm SPC, and it ended up slightly larger than a standard AR magazine. That required a new lower receiver to accommodate it. Thus, the SIX8 family from LWRC that includes the Special Purpose Rifle (SPR), the A2, the A5, the Ultra-Compact Individual Weapon (UCIW) and the SIX8-Pistol, which are all built on LWRCI’s proprietary short-stroke, gas-piston system. The guns are made in semi-automatic, selective-fire and are offered as short-barreled rifles as well.

I had the opportunity to shoot the 16”-barreled SIX8-SPR on a recent field trip to Cambridge, Md., where I made steel plates ring with almost monotonous regularity, I also interviewed Miller about the changes they had to make to the gun and magazine. You can see the video above or directly on our YouTube channel.


Rock Island Armory TM22
Rock Island Armory TM22

Review: Rock Island Armory TM22

In 2021, Rock Island Armory shook things up in the defensive-pistol world when it launched the aluminum-based STK100, and in 2022 the company continues its commitment to “Total Metal” firearm construction with the TM22 rimfire rifle.

The Armed Citizen® March 27, 2023

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

New For 2023: Marlin Model 336 Classic

The first Marlin 336 introduced under Ruger's ownership will be the "Classic," and the model remains true to the original design, albeit with a few subtle updates.

In The Fold With ArmaLite

The Tech Files, dating back to the early 20th century, are a treasure trove for editorial researchers looking for unique firearm facts. File folders from the industry’s best-known manufacturers to the smallest of firms contain company literature, photographs, blueprints, drawings, schematics and more.

Product Preview: Peet SafeKeeping Dryer

Peet is primarily known for its line of shoe dryers and odor-eliminating products, but the company also offers a dehumidifier model intended for use inside gun cabinets and safes, to help fend off the formation of rust and the damage to your firearms that it can cause.

The .380 ACP: History & Performance

Despite disagreements surrounding the .380 ACP cartridge's performance, its history shows it to be a popular, effective round, because people have always enjoyed small, easy-to-carry pistols that can be quickly deployed.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.