Review: Hornady 6mm ARC

Hornady Match, Hornady Precision Hunter, Hornady Black

You see, hardly a day goes by in my neck of Oklahoma where I don’t see a wild hog, a coyote, a steel target in a pasture or something else that needs shooting. And while I’ve plugged passels of pigs with a .223 Rem., I’m ashamed to say I’ve also wounded a few. Fact is, the .223/5.56mm is too light for big boars, and it stinks for deer much past 100 yds.—or anytime shot placement is less than ideal or the angle is severe. Same goes for the .300 Blackout. A semi-automatic 6.5 Creedmoor is perfect, as is a .308 Win. around here, but the 10-lb. AR-10s (fully loaded with scope) are awfully heavy and cumbersome. Getting .243 Win.-type ballistics from an AR-15—a gun I can easily suppress, mount a night-vision optic onto and take varmint hunting yet be adequately armed if a 250-lb. pig pokes its snout from the brush at 400 yds.—now you’re talking!

Just before dark one evening, I saw a giant boar rooting my beans, so I slipped to 160 yds. and shot it just behind the shoulder. It ran about 70 yds. before piling up. An autopsy revealed a complete double-lung pass-through, despite the ELD Match bullet not being ideal for big game. It was all I had, as the 103-gr. ELD-X Precision Hunter load was not yet available at the time of the shot—it is now, though. Still, it was great performance considering the boar weighed 276 lbs. I later shot the dead boar with a full-power .300 Blackout at 100 yds. as a test, and it didn’t pass through.

At the range

At the bench, the 108-gr. load averaged 2633 f.p.s. through my chronograph, no less from the Resolute’s 16″, 1:7.5″-twist barrel. The 103-gr. Precision Hunter load recorded a 2671 f.p.s. average velocity, which, of course, is well below its 2800 f.p.s. touted velocity with a 24″ barrel—but still impressive for a carbine. This results in 1,632 ft.-lbs. of muzzle energy and more than 1,000 at 300 yds. At 1,000 yds., it results in 368 ft.-lbs. of energy with 378″ inches of drop and 93″ inches of 10-m.p.h., 90-degree deflection. According to Hornady, real-world numbers with a 24″ barrel at the muzzle will likely be around 2740 f.p.s.

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