New for 2021 is Winchester 6.8 Western, long-range Rifle ammo designed to generate more energy than the popular 6.5 Creedmoor but less recoil than 300 WSM. To create the new .277-caliber cartridge, Winchester partnered with Browning. Together, they paired magnum power with a bullet tip with a high BC. In the end, you get a round ideal for any big-game hunting.
The 6.8 Western belongs to the relatively new school of thought predicated on the concept that cartridges of modest capacity for the caliber, pushing highly streamlined bullets heretofore considered too heavy for the caliber, make for more efficient and more accurate long-range cartridges.
Other membership requirements are that bullets be seated further out so as not to infringe on usable powder space. And because these bullets are so long and heavy for the caliber, they are launched at less than magnum velocities through barrels having faster than established twist rates.
The 6mm and 6.5 Creedmoor, and the 6.5 and .300 PRC are examples of this thinking, and all were the work of Hornady. As counterintuitive as it sounds, these rounds have proven equal or superior in extreme range competitive events once dominated by .300 and .338 magnums. Less recoil is also an integer in the long-range shooting equation because it is axiomatic that rifles that recoil less can be shot more accurately.
The 6.8 Western, then, is the newest member of this growing school of thought which kneels at the altar of “Long Range.” Initially, four factory loads are being offered, three by Winchester and one by Browning.
Given the nature of the design, this ammo works best when the bullet weighs somewhere between 165 and 175 grains. On paper, a 6.8 Western ammo weighing 160 grains has a muzzle velocity of around 3,000 feet per second. Extending the range out to 500 yards, velocity still measures in around 2,000 fps. Get ready for long-range hunting . Stock up today!