Q: Thank you for all the years of work and knowledge you’ve passed on. I really appreciate reading your pieces and watching it. My mother’s maiden name was Spomer. They were from Hardin Montana.
I’ve been very curious about the 6.8 and have read your take on it and am pretty fascinated with it. I’ve always wanted a .270 but never could pull the trigger. Maybe it’s the name or hype, whatever it is, I’m looking at putting one together and wanted to see if I could be lucky enough to get your take.
I was looking at an Origin action by Big Horn arms with a McMillan stock and then just getting the best trigger and barrel I can convince myself to get. I’m a lefty by the way. I have a great gunsmith in Three Forks that is a big fan of the .270 so I think we could put something pretty cool together. It’s that or wait and see if I can snag a Browning when/if they come out, but with limited quantity, I’m always worried I’ll miss the bus.
A: Hi Jared,
You could certainly have some fun with the 6.8 Western. Its best asset is the 1:8 or 1:7.5 twist barrels. I shot a 1:8 twist last fall in that Browning X-Bolt, clanging steel routinely out to 550 yards, then dropping that big NE whitetail at 777 yards, farther than I’ve ever tried before and farther than I think most of us should engage game — but conditions were perfect. A 175-gr. Sierra through both shoulders. Credit the Leupold CDX system, for sure.
So, obviously, you’ll need a 270 WSM-size action and bolt face. I consider the 6.8 W. to be what the 270 WSM should have been at the start. All they did was bump the shoulder back so they could use the long bullets and throat the barrel to accommodate. But it works… You might have your gun builder optimize the throat for one bullet or another. I’d lean toward the 165-gr. Nosler ABLR. There are some screaming long Bergers out there, too. And who knows what’s coming down the pike. I’d investigate BCs and twist rates before throating.
Sounds as if you’ve thought this through, so you should do well with the build. Your other option is to pre-order the Browning if you can. Right now Bighorn Arms Origin actions are unavailable, too. Yet another option is to look for a used WSM rifle and rebarrel. Good luck. Let me know how it shakes out.