8.6 Blackout Ammo: Everything You Need to Know8.6 Blackout Ammo: Everything You Need to Know

Estimated Reading Time : 6 Minutes

  • 8.6 Blackout ammo redefines caliber capabilities, offering a unique blend of power and precision that distinguishes it from traditional cartridges.
  • Following the 300BLK design philosophy, 8.6BLK features supersonic and subsonic performance, fast twist rate, and is optimized for suppression.
  • 8.6 Blackout ammo is well-suited for hunting medium to large-sized game worldwide. This round can take down anything from hogs to cape buffalo.
  • Common .308Win and 6.5 Creedmoor firearms can be adapted to 8.6 Blackout with a simple barrel swap. All other parts remain the same.
  • There are a variety of ammo makers producing a wide range of bullets for different applications, everything from ultra-quiet subsonic rounds to incredibly fast and hard-hitting supersonics. 

8.6 Blackout Ammo: Everything You Need to Know 

8.6 Blackout ammo is an innovative cartridge that reimagines what a caliber can do. 

This groundbreaking ammunition, developed by Kevin Brittingham and the engineers at Q, offers a unique blend of power and precision that sets it apart from traditional cartridges. 

The 8.6 blackout ammo has been designed with suppressed shooting in mind, making it an excellent choice for those seeking to minimize noise without sacrificing performance. 

8.6BLK follows the same philosophy as its predecessor, 300BLK, offering both supersonic and subsonic performance and fast twist barrels. 8.6BLK is to .308 what 300BLK is to 5.56. By fitting a larger projectile in a smaller case, in this instance, a .338 projectile, you maximize energy on target while keeping sound and recoil at a minimum.  
This ingenious cartridge breaks the mold for cartridge design. Learn why 8.6 Blackout might be the perfect addition to your gun safe. 

Table of Contents

Why Shoot 8.6 BLK Ammo 

8.6 Blackout ammo was created to deliver high energy downrange while maintaining low recoil compared to other .338 caliber cartridges. The cartridge also excels when paired with a silencer.  

This innovative design was born from its predecessor - the .300 AAC Blackout. Although it delivered exceptional performance, especially when paired with suppressors, some areas could be improved upon, leading to the creation of the 8.6 Blackout. 

8.6BLK is ideal for hunting nearly any medium to large-sized game animal across the globe. It has been used effectively on everything from whitetail deer to giant African cape buffalo.  

8.6 Blackout Performance Specs 

8.6BLK takes a standard 6.5 Creedmoor case, then necks it up to fit a .338-diameter projectile. This means that it uses the same bolt face as existing .308 and 6.5 CM firearms. Like 300BLK, 8.6BLK requires only a simple barrel swap; your bolt and magazine are the exact same.  

When understanding the performance specifications of a new cartridge like the 8.6 Blackout, we must delve into bullet weight and velocity specifics. 8.6BLK offers a wide variety of loads, from subsonic to supersonic, each optimized for different types of shooting. 

8.6 Blackout Ammo vs. 300 Blackout

8.6BLK uses a .338 projectile ranging from 160- 350 grains, 300BLK uses a .308 bullet ranging from 110-220 grains on average. This means that 8.6 delivers a 10% greater diameter bullet that is about 50% heavier than its smaller sibling. These stats make 8.6BLK about 3X as effective as 300BLK. Q says you can shoot 8.6BLK three times as far, and it produces three times the energy on target. So, if you would be comfortable taking down a deer at 100 yards with your 300BLK, you could take that same deer at 300 yards with the 8.6, making it an incredible option for hunters and target shooters. 

Supersonic vs Subsonic Ammo 

8.6 Blackout ammunition can be broken down into two main categories: supersonic and subsonic.  

  1. Supersonics: These loads travel at speeds greater than the sound barrier - over 1125 fps under normal atmospheric conditions at sea-level. This makes 8.6 blackout supersonic ammo perfect for long-range shooting due to their flat shooting characteristics and ability to maintain energy well downrange because they have higher velocities. The common weight range for supersonic 8.6 blackout bullets is 160-225 grains.
  2. Subsonics: This ammunition travels slower than the sound barrier (generally less than 1050 fps depending on altitude and weather conditions), making them quieter when shot suppressed and eliminating the supersonic crack. These bullets are heavier than supersonics (270 – 350 grains on average) and generally expand larger to maintain good terminal performance.

Supersonic loads are fast-moving and hard-hitting. These loads are designed for long-range shooting and suppressed hunting at extended ranges. 

Subsonic ammo is heavier and slower moving but is very quiet. These rounds are great for medium game within a few hundred yards and for showing off how quiet your rifle can be with a good silencer.

8.6 Blackout Ammo Manufacturers 

There is good off-the-shelf ammo available for 8.6BLK. 8.6 Blackout ammo specs and types of ammunition: This ammo comes in a variety of load weights and velocities to dial in your rifle and bullet selection perfectly for the task at hand. Ammo makers such as Gorilla AmmunitionCallaway Ballistics, and Discreet Ballistics are manufacturing everything from expanding subsonic ammunition to target-focused supersonic ammo for 8.6 BLK bolt action rifles and semi-auto platforms as well.  


Gorilla even fine-tunes their ammo depending on which barrel length you're running to ensure the subsonic ammo is in the optimal velocity range for accuracy and expansion. 

Maximizing the 8.6 Blackout with Suppressors 

The innovative design of the 8.6 blackout ammo makes it a prime candidate for use with suppressors. The large bore and small powder charge used in 8.6 combines to create an ideal round for suppression.  

Advantages of Using 8.6 BLK with Silencers 

Some specific suppressor models have gained popularity among users pairing them up with this unique ammo type - PorQ Chop and Short Chop from Q's lineup being notable examples due to their compact size and lightweight. These silencers were developed specifically for 8.6BLK. These silencers balance performance between sub and supersonic rounds. 

The engineers at Q intentionally designed the round to have superior subsonic performance to any other subsonic cartridges. 8.6BLK was optimized for a fast twist rate, 1:3 (1 revolution of the bullet in every 3 inches of barrel length), which results in added rotational energy and helps to stabilize heavy subsonic bullets, making them more accurate out to extended ranges.

The Best 8.6 BLK Guns 

Based on the 6.5 Creedmoor case, 8.6BLK can be fed from standard magazines without modification. This means that most bolt action rifles or AR10-style semi-automatic rifles can be easily swapped to 8.6 Blackout with just a barrel change.

Bolt-Action 8.6 BLK Rifles 

Bolt-action rifles are well known for their accuracy and reliability.  

Q's Fix bolt-action rifle shines when paired with 8.6 blackout ammo, suppressing noise without compromising performance or precision. The 8.6 Fix was built to be the perfect hunting rifle. It is lightweight, stowable, and takes advantage of the benefits of 8.6BLK. Available in barrel lengths from 12" to 18" to maximize super or subsonic performance. If you already have a Q Fix, you can easily swap the barrel for an 8.6BLK barrel, and you're good to go.  

Black Collar Arms Pork Sword is a lightweight and compact bolt action rifle available in multiple barrel lengths to tailor the weapon to your needs. The Pork Sword is highly customizable, so you can construct your 8.6 Blackout to be perfect for you, whether for hunting or just quietly plinking at the range. 

Semi Auto 8.6 BLK rifles 

In addition to popular bolt-action rifles, another contender that stands out is The Sentinel line from Faxon Firearms, which includes models chambered in 8.6 Blackout caliber. Based on the AR10 platform, the Faxon Sentinel is a semi-auto rifle that packs a punch when shooting 8.6. Semi-autos chambered in 8.6 Blackout are great when hunting game like hogs or coyotes where there are commonly follow-up shots.

8.6 Blackout Reviews 

In the world of firearms and ammunition, user feedback is paramount. It provides a practical perspective on performance, reliability, and overall satisfaction. We've gathered some reviews from users who have tried 8.6 blackout ammo as well as Q's Fix bolt-action rifle. 


"8.6 proved to be a versatile and fun setup. I think it's the ultimate hunting rig" Texas Plinking 


"In that three-to-four-hundred-yard range, you're getting a very quiet gun, you're getting psychotic ballistics, and on top of that, you get very little recoil." - Mike Jones, Garand Thumb 


"That is so quiet... and there's not much kick on this either for firing a big projectile." - Matt, Demolition Ranch 


The power and precision of 8.6 blackout ammo makes it an incredible addition to your hunting loadout.
Developed by Q, it's a game-changer in the shooting industry.
This cartridge is designed with suppressed shooting in mind, offering an optimal balance between noise reduction and performance. Its low recoil energy sets it apart from other .338 caliber cartridges, making it a favorite among target shooters and hunters.
Ammo manufacturers offer a variety of 86BLK ammo optimized for different barrel lengths and purposes - self-defense, long-range shooting, or hunting.
Pairing this large bore cartridge with suppressors like PorQ Chop or Short Chop will further enhance your shooting experience due to its characteristics, making it perfect for being shot suppressed.