Browning and Winchester teamed up to develop a new short-action cartridge for hunting and long-range shooting, the 6.8 Western, for 2021. While some information about the new round started to pop up late last year, the cartridge is now very official.
Adapted from the well-traveled .270 Winchester Short Magnum, 6.8 Western was optimized to use longer bullets with superior ballistics while still fitting in a short-action magazine. The 6.8 Western cartridge has a lower shoulder and shorter case length, which does decrease the case volume, but the longer, heavier projectiles make up for the difference in flight.
At 500 yards, 6.8 Western creates more energy than .270 WSM, with bullets weighing up to 175 grains. The extra energy, bullet weight and higher sectional density mean better terminal ballistics as well, giving hunters a longer range for ethical shots.
Browning and Winchester tapped Nosler and Sierra for help developing projectiles. At launch Browning is offering a 6.8 Western round loaded with a 175-grain Sierra GameKing bullet with a muzzle velocity of 2,835 feet per second, producing about 3,120 foot-pounds of force.
Winchester has three loads giving hunters even more options. Two feature Nosler bullets, including a 165-grain Accubond round and a 170-grain Silvertip round, with a third 170-grain boattail hollow point for target and match shooting. All three travel between 2,910 and 2,970 feet per second at the muzzle and make about 3,100 to 3,200 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
Both Browning and Winchester are committed to supporting the new cartridge with plenty of guns to shoot it. Browning is rolling out a line of X-Bolt rifles in 6.8 Western while Winchester will add Model 70 and XPR rifles to the mix.
Of course that’s not the only new Browning ammunition for 2021. Browning is adding a lot of new products including rifle, pistol, and shotgun ammunition.
Other new rifle ammo includes a full line of cartridges topped with Sierra Tipped GameKing bullets to make up the Long Range Pro Hunter series. Like the 6.8 Western cartridge, these are designed to perform reliably and accurately at all distances. They are also adding bulk-pack .350 Legend to the catalog.
Browning is launching a new line of “Wicked Blend” shotgun ammunition in 12- and 20-gauge for bird hunting. The Wicked Blend is a combination of round steel and bismuth shot — 30 percent bismuth shot by weight — for a best-of-both-worlds combo of pattern density and energy downrange.
See Also: Browning’s New Wicked Wing Maxus
The Wicked Blend has a stacked payload, with bismuth shot then steel shot in the shot cup. It all uses Browning’s BDX shot cup and wad, which keeps the shot together, longer, as a single payload, which also keeps patterns tight.
Finally, Browning is expanding their X-Point Defense line of self-defense handgun ammo with loads now ranging from .380 ACP all the way up to 10mm Auto. The X-Point series is loaded with X-Point bullets, which are hollow point rounds with an exposed X-shaped lead core for controlled expansion.
For more information head over to Browning’s new ammo online showcase.