ARMALITE M-15A4 6.8 SPC

The M-15A4 employs a mid-length gas system that offers cleaner…

armalite-m-15a4-68-spc-c
The M-15A4 employs a mid-length gas system that offers cleaner and potentially more reliable operation than a carbine-length gas system.

Range Time
To evaluate the M-15A4 6.8 SPC, I fired four factory loads and two handloads. Testing was conducted in two sessions two weeks apart, but conditions were virtually identical: temperatures in the high 90s and no wind. I mounted a Trijicon AccuPoint 5-20X scope to provide ample magnification and reduce aiming error. To determine velocity with each load, a Shooting Chrony Beta Master chronograph recorded shooting data. Since the rifle’s muzzle was threaded 5/8-24, I was also able to test some loads with an Advanced Armament Corp. Cyclone suppressor.

I chose five-shot, 100-yard groups fired from a steady bench to ascertain the M-15A4’s accuracy potential. From a purely statistical standpoint, 10-shot groups provide more robust data sets, but firing half as many shots seems to work better with light-profile barrels in hot weather. Five-shot groups from this rifle produced several sub-MOA groups with a variety of loads.

I fired five, five-shot groups with Hornady’s 110-grain V-MAX loads. Ten shots averaged 2,710 feet per second (fps), the fastest of the factory loads. Group sizes ranged from 1.04 to 2.63 inches. The average group size measured 1.7 inches.

I incorporated the Cyclone suppressor when evaluating Hornady’s 120-grain SST loads. The tightest group fired with this load measured 1.809 inches. For comparison, I removed the “can” for the next groups, and it grew in size to 2.8 inches. Each group had an uncalled flyer, which added more than an inch to the final group size. Surprisingly, when the suppressor was removed, the center of the unsuppressed group only moved up and left an inch. All groups together averaged 2.37 inches. The average velocity was 2,519 fps.

The first handload was a Hornady 110-grain V-MAX driven by 31 grains of BL-C2 and a Federal small rifle match primer loaded into Hornady cases. Group sizes ranged from 1.892 inches to 2.493 inches, with an average of 2.2 inches. The second handload consisted of 23 grains of IMR 4198, with the same case and primer as the previous load, driving a 115-grain Sierra MatchKing. Group sizes ranged from 1.306 to 2.247 inches.

Final Thoughts
ArmaLite was conservative in their accuracy assessment of this being a 2-MOA rifle. I was able to find loads that outperformed this estimate. Its accuracy and firepower are an upgrade in performance over an AR chambered for 5.56mm NATO, and with the extra punch of a 6.8mm SPC II. All ArmaLites are made in America and come with a lifetime warranty. Summing up, ArmaLite, once again has crafted a weapon that is a reliable rig with fight-stopping power at an affordable price.

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