Faxon Sentinel 8.6 BLK: Serious Energy on Target

The 8.6 BLK is a cartridge designed for speed and superior performance. Although it shares a designation with 300 BLK, it’s important to note it’s not the same. If you’re interested in getting your hands on a gun chambered in this hard-hitting, fast-moving cartridge, take a closer look at the Faxon Firearms line of 8.6 BLK guns.

Faxon Firearms 8.6 BLK rifle
The Faxon Firearms 8.6 BLK line includes several lengths of firearms, all chambered in the fast 8.6 BLK cartridge. (Photo credit: Faxon Firearms)

Faxon Firearms released the following details about their 8.6 BLK line of guns:

At the core of each firearm are Faxon’s amazing 1:3 twist barrels, machined 100% in-house at their Greater Cincinnati, Ohio facility.

With three AR-10 and three Bolt Action configurations (bolt action coming later this summer), you can put the game-changing 1:3 twist to the test whether you’re on the hunt or on the range.

A side-by-side comparison of the larger 8.6 BLK alongside the smaller 300 BLK.
A side-by-side comparison of the larger 8.6 BLK alongside the smaller 300 BLK. (Photo credit: Faxon Firearms)

The company added:

The 8.6 BLK round was imagined and developed by Q.

When imagining 8.6 BLK, a good starting point is to think of 8.6 BLK as 300 BLK’s “Big Brother.” However, it’s much more than just an upgrade on 300 BLK.

8.6 BLK is re-imagining “energy on target” by employing a fast 1:3 twist rate (compare to common 1:7 and 1:8 twist for calibers like 5.56 NATO or 300 BLK).

Faxon Firearms 8.6 BLK
The Faxon Firearms 8.6 BLK guns are available as AR pistols and rifles as well as bolt-action rifles. (Photo credit: Faxon Firearms)

The lineup of 8.6 BLK guns from Faxon Firearms includes AR pistols, AR-10 rifles, and bolt-action rifles. Various lengths of barrels are also available from the gun maker.

Complete firearms include:

  • Faxon Overwatch Hunter Bolt-Action 16 inch
  • Faxon Overwatch Tactical Bolt-Action 16 inch
  • Faxon Overwatch Tactical Bolt-Action 12 inch
  • Faxon Sentinel AR-10 16 inch
  • Faxon Sentinel AR-10 Pistol 12 inch
  • Faxon Sentinel AR-10 Pistol 8 inch

AR-10 barrels include:

  • Faxon 8 inch Big Gunner
  • Faxon 12 inch Big Gunner
  • Faxon 16 inch Big Gunner

Remage barrels include:

  • Faxon 8 inch Modified Light Palma Profile
  • Faxon 12 inch Modified Light Palma Profile
  • Faxon 16 inch Modified Light Palma Profile
The Faxon Firearms AR-10 chambered in 8.6 BLK.
The Faxon Firearms AR-10 chambered in 8.6 BLK. (Photo credit: Faxon Firearms)

As mentioned above, perhaps the most fascinating thing about this cartridge is the 1:3 twist rate it’s made for. Kevin Brittingham, the cartridge’s designer, sat down with AR Build Junkies and said these are a few things you should know about this cartridge:

8.6 is still a 6.5 Creedmoor shortened case, blown out for a .338 bullet…For supersonic, the lightest bullet is going to be between 150 and 160-grain. Out of a 12″ barrel, we’ll be able to get somewhere close to 2,400 feet a second with that. We’ll have subsonic up to about 360 grain.

One of the first two offerings of this for supersonic is going to be a Barnes 210-grain bullet. It’s about 2,000 feet per second out of a 12″ barrel. It’s a 1-3 twist, so we’ve settled on the twist. We’re using some of the energy that is wasted, converting that to kinetic energy now by spinning the bullet faster. So in supersonic, it is more kinetic energy on target by spinning the bullet fast.

Discreet Ballistics did a great video that did a split screen where the only difference is that one is a 1:7 twist and the other is a 1:3 shooting gelatin. You can see that the 1:3 is two to three times the initial wound cavity…same muzzle velocity, same barrel length. Everything was exactly the same.

The product line from Faxon Firearms includes complete rifles, barrels, and the various parts needed to do your own 8.6 BLK build. Are you interested in adding one to your gun collection? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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