6.8 to 6.GREAT Part II – Details Matter

6.8 SPC in 2017The 6.8 SPC isn’t exactly “new” but in my case it’s certainly rediscovered and my rifle is now better than new. I’ve owned one for years, and in looking for a new “do it all” rifle I rediscovered the 6.8. Looking at that AR-15 I realized it was time to take it from 6.8 to 6.GREAT! In Part 1 I revealed the crown jewel of this project, the Wilson Combat stainless steel-fluted 18” match grade Recon Tactical barrel. I’m truly amazed with Bill Wilson and his 6.8 SPC development team’s work on this platform. The barrel’s features and benefits to the shooter are unmatched in the firearms industry.

Wilson Combat 6.8 barrel

Nevertheless, the barrel alone doesn’t make this the most versatile hunting AR platform. It’s the collaborative collection of individual parts and how they are put together that defines the firearm platform. The 6.8 SPC project was a blast and I was blessed to have help from some amazing industry leaders who, through their time and generosity, made this build the highest quality and best performing AR Hunting rifle in my collection.

My good friend Gabriel (Gabe) Cabrera, the Marketing Consultant for Breakthrough Clean Technologies agreed to help me with the rife break down and rebuild. Modesty aside, I can put a rifle together, but it was time to bring in a true professional, someone who knows the tips and tricks of building a tack driver. Gabe is extremely resourceful and well connected in the firearms industry, which really sweetened the overall build. Luckily for me, he had an extra 13.5” raw Diamondback Firearms handguard in his gun chest and we agreed it would be a perfect complement to the rifle build. How awesome is that?! Of course, we had to add a Breakthrough Clean spin, so Gabe teamed up with Mike of Rampart Gunworks of Stanford, FL for a custom black and green cerakote finish. Winning!

I’d imagine we could all agree that a great barrel can’t do its job right without the appropriate trigger. For me, when I hear the words “send it” there is only one trigger I trust in my AR hunting rifles and that’s CMC Triggers of Forth Worth Texas. CMC Triggers offers many multi-patented trigger designs with feel of a fine match grade trigger pull. Each trigger is self-contained and extremely easy to install. The Beigel family thinks BIG, Texas style and without hesitation I reached out to Jennifer Beigel, the General Manager. She and I shared a few e-mails and it was decided that the 2-stage curved trigger with the 2lb/2lb trigger pull weight is the perfect solution. The wins keep on coming!

CMC Trigger in 6.8 AR15

Forget cloud 9, the build had me on cloud 10+, dreaming of harvesting a trophy buck or wild boar on my next hunt. Better yet, the rifle will be suppressed! Shhhhhhh… Both Florida and Indiana allow suppressed rifles during deer hunting season, so it was an easy choice when deciding which bolt carrier group (BCG) to add. If you’re like me, any opportunity to have my rifle shoot cooler, cleaner and flatter is a no brainer so the LanTac-USA Enhanced Bolt Carrier Group (E-BCG) I previously reviewed was the obvious choice. Read that and I feel confident you’ll agree with my decision.

The most critical pieces of the build have been decided and it was time to choose the final touches to make the 6.8 6.GREAT! You know the feeling, you’re so close to done with AR fever kicking in. The updated rifle system would be used primarily for medium range hunting, probably no more than 300 yards or so. For that good optics and an adjustable stock needed consideration.

The Vortex “Crossfire” 3-9×40 MOA Scope and Bushnell TRS-25 mounted on a 1 O’clock Midwest Industries rail were originally installed on the rifle and they’ll continue to work nicely. As you have probably experienced yourself, deer and wild boar hunts never go as planned, so it’s a tactical advantage to shift from long range glass to a close quarters red dot solution if the opportunity presents itself. In the event I need to push a longer range shot, I installed a US Optics fixed anti-cant device to the top AR rail. This will help me keep the rifle straight, improving accuracy down range. We’re almost there!

6.8 SPC rifle build

Admittedly, I struggled a bit in deciding which buttstock to go with. The standard Magpul MOE Carbine MIL-Spec stock on the original rifle just didn’t provide the features I was looking for. The Magpul PRS Gen 3 Precision Adjustable Stock was a Magpul option, but I wasn’t convinced. I was searching for something different… At last I found what I was looking for, the Luth-AR MBA-1 Rifle Buttstock. It’s a creatively designed fully adjustable modular buttstock, providing an additional 1” height on the cheek rest, an additional 1 1/16” length of pull with the extended length buttplate and it only weighs 1.26lbs. SOLD!

Now the rifle is complete, again. Better this time around because I’ve learned a lot more. Better, and more exciting! I seriously need to go hunting, and soon! Every time I walk by my hunting rifle rack I’d swear that 6.8 calls out to me. Do you talk to your rifles too?

All kidding aside, I’d considered the 6.8 SPC upgrade years ago and all of a sudden it took on a life of its own. I’m fortunate to have so many industry partners willing to jump in and make the 6.8 to 6.GREAT a reality. My 6.8 SPC Hunting Rifle is truly a beautiful piece of work and, in my humble opinion, it’s the most versatile AR rifle platform in production.

Would you add something? Do something differently? Let us know in the comments below!

Part 1: 6.8 to 6.GREAT! Upgrade to the Wilson Combat Barrel

custom 6.8 AR15 build in 2017

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