Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Wilson Combat 6MM ARC Recon Tactical 18″ AR-15 Carbine and Hornady 6mm ARC (Advanced Rifle Cartridge) 105 gr BTHP Hornady BLACK Round: Ultimate Weapon/Ammo Combo for Home Defense and Combat/Tactical Operations?

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By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com

Image(s) Credit(s): Wilson Combat and Hornady

April 14, 2022
Last updated on 4/15/22.

Wilson Combat recently introduced their 6mm ARC Recon Tactical AR (AR-15) carbine, and it may just be the ultimate all-around tactical AR weapon/ammo platform, as you’re combining the most ergonomic and highly-developed carbine platform with what is arguably the ultimate combat cartridge. The 6mm ARC (Advanced Rifle Cartridge, developed by Hornady around their 108-grain ELD-M bullet) is arguably even superior to cartridges like the 6.5 Grendel and 6.8 SPC (6.8x43mm) with regard to combat load reduction, ballistics and versatility.

Last month, Tom Beckstrand wrote a very informative piece about the 6mm ARC’s advantages and attributes for Guns & Ammo that’s worth reading. In that piece, Beckstrand drills down on how and why the 6mm ARC is superior to the 6.5 Grendel, even though the former is smaller and lighter than the latter. The following is a key section from that piece that really caught DefenseReview’s (DR) attention:

Hornady’s case can push higher-BC bullets to greater velocities than the 6.5 Grendel. Where the 6.5 Grendel keeps a polymer-tipped 123-grain bullet above 1,800 fps out to 400 yards, the 6mm ARC can keep a 108-grain bullet above 1,800 fps out to 580 yards. Those velocities are from the same 18-inch barrel lengths for both the Grendel and the ARC. The 6mm ARC’s terminal performance window is 45 ­percent greater than the 6.5 Grendel’s. I didn’t test lighter bullets in the 6.5 Grendel because I wasn’t impressed with the BCs they offered. Of course, bullets are still lethal at velocities slower than 1,800 fps, and the 6mm ARC continues to outperform the Grendel in this metric. Where the 123-grain Grendel bullet stays supersonic out to 1,150 yards, the 6mm ARC is good until 1,350 yards.

By the way, muzzle velocity of the Hornady 108-grain ELD-M round is between 2,850 and 2,900 fps.

Anyway, that’s pretty impressive ballistic performance, and enough to really interest DR in the Wilson Combat 6MM ARC Recon Tactical 18″ AR carbine, particularly when Beckstrand is predicting “loaded ammunition to become available in the near future with bullet weights varying from around 60 grains to 108 grains,” allowing the end user to use the 6mm ARC not only for home defense, but also for hunting everthing from varmints to antelope and deer, and even for competitive rifle shooting matches.

The following information on the 6mm ARC 105 gr BTHP Hornady BLACK combat/tactical round comes directly from the Hornady website:

“Tested, selected and fielded by a specialized group within the U.S. DoD for its multipurpose combat rifle program, the versatile 6mm ARC does much of what larger cartridges can and everything that smaller cartridges can’t. Designed to meet the needs of the world’s toughest critics, the 6mm ARC utilizes efficient, high-BC bullets to deliver unprecedented performance from the AR-15 platform. Commercial 6mm ARC offerings will feature bullets selected to deliver ideal performance for hunting, match shooting and personal protection applications.

The 6mm ARC achieves results never before delivered from the AR-15 platform with the ultimate blend of system weight, performance and shootability. Equally at home in AR-15 platforms and short or micro action bolt guns, this load is suitable for applications from personal defense to match shooting, hunting, and military and law enforcement.

Balanced application of cartridge, chamber and propellant design is coupled with bullet selection for optimum all-range performance and barrel life. The 6mm ARC provides excellent terminal performance from an assortment of bullets for a variety of applications.”

Editor’s Note: Defense Review will try to get in touch with the development team at Hornady to get some more detailed information on this round, in order to do a follow-up piece on it. Obviously, a lot of time, thought and labor went into it, and it looks pretty fantastic, at least on paper. We’re also going to try to get DR writer/contributor Jeff Gurwitch’s thoughts on it, to see what he thinks.

The following information on the Wilson Combat 6mm ARC Recon Tactical comes directly from the Wilson Combat website:

“The 6mm ARC was designed by Hornady to be the highest performance long-range cartridge available in a standard AR platform rifle. Initially tested and fielded by US Special Operations forces, the 6mm ARC utilizes efficient, high-BC bullets to deliver unprecedented long-range performance with a wide variety of available bullets. Commercial 6mm ARC loads feature bullets selected to deliver ideal performance for hunting, match shooting, and personal protection applications. The 6mm ARC uses commonly available 6.5 Grendel magazines/bolts.

Wilson Combat will offer WC-15 rifles with our match-grade, 18” fluted/threaded Tactical Hunter barrel (Tactical Hunter Model) and our 18” fluted/threaded Recon barrel (Recon model). All barrels will be rifled with a 1-7.5” twist.

Available Calibers: 6mm ARC – WC-15 Platform
Barrel Length: 18″ Fluted Threaded
Overall Length: 35.25″
Weight Empty: 7 lbs 3.4 oz
*Photos may include features and/or upgrades not included in the base model and price.

*Weights shown are close approximations. Due to slight variations in all parts and/or custom option deviations, we cannot guarantee the weight to be 100% specific on any firearm.

*Prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. Firearms will be invoiced at prevailing prices at the time of delivery.

*Due to the current unprecedented demand for our firearms, some components may be substituted in order to complete your firearm in a more timely manner.

– Lightweight Billet Upper (Flat Top) and Billet Lower Receiver
– Wilson Combat Tactical Hunter Match Grade Barrel
– Mid Length Gas System with Lo-Profile Gas Block
– 5/8”x24 Threaded Muzzle with Thread Protector
– Wilson Combat 15” M-LOK Rail
– Wilson Combat/BCM Starburst Gunfighter Grip, Black
– Wilson/Rogers Super-Stoc®
– Wilson Combat TTU (Tactical Trigger Unit) M2, 4#
– Premium Bolt Carrier Assembly
– Armor-Tuff® Finish applied over Mil-Spec Hard Anodized Upper/Lower Receivers”

Company Contact Info:

Wilson Combat® & Scattergun Technologies™
2452 CR 719
Berryville, AR 72616
Order Toll Free: 1-800-955-4856
Technical Questions: 1-870-545-3618
Fax: 1-870-545-3310
Email Contact Form:

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM CST

Cage Code: 0WSZ3

Hornady® Manufacturing
3625 West Old Potash Hwy
Grand Island, NE 68803 USA
Phone: 1-800-338-3220
Phone: 1-308-382-1390
Fax: 1-308-382-5761
Email Contact Page:

Call Center Hours
Monday – Thursday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Central
Friday 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM Central

© Copyright 2022 All rights reserved. This content/material may not be republished, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without first receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links.

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Wilson Combat 6MM ARC Recon Tactical 18″ AR-15 Carbine and Hornady 6mm ARC (Advanced Rifle Cartridge) 105 gr BTHP Hornady BLACK Round: Ultimate Weapon/Ammo Combo for Home Defense and Combat/Tactical Operations? by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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