Janurary 19, 2021

The Browning X-Bolt is Now Chambered in 6.8 Western.

6.8 Western Cartridge

"The Ultimate All-Around Long-Range Hunting Cartridge."

6.8 Western Cartridge Logo

Why choose the 6.8 Western? Put simply, the 6.8 Western is billed as offering "impressive long-range accuracy, low recoil and staggering knockdown power when you need it for both long-range shooting and hunting." That's a lot to promise from any caliber, but with bullets approaching  30 caliber weights of 165 gr and up with higher ballistic coefficients (BC) being offered, the 6.8 Western is engineered to deliver magnum performance with milder recoil.

The foundation of the 6.8 Western is a modified 270 Winchester Short Magnum case that is shortened to make room for the longer, heavier caliber bullets. With .277 caliber bullets historically in the 130-150 grain range, Winchester worked with Sierra® and Nosler® to develop heavier bullet offerings for the 6.8 Western (up to 175 gr.) that offer shooters increased penetration compared to existing .277 caliber and 6.5mm bullets.

Browning welcomes the Winchester® 6.8 Western cartridge to the X-Bolt rifle line. The cancellation of the 2021 SHOT Show certainly hasn't slowed the release of exciting new products for big game hunters and long-range shooting enthusiasts. Winchester® and Browning®, two storied outdoor brands, have successfully collaborated yet again and developed the new 6.8 Western cartridge and a wide selection of Browning X-Bolt rifles it will be chambered in.

21 new X-Bolt rifles, running the gamut from tricked-out models for hunting to feature-packed long-range models, are scheduled to be chambered in this exciting new cartridge. The X-Bolt is already widely regarded as an excellent shooter right from the box, and the addition of this flat-shooting new caliber gives rifle shooters a new opportunity to maximize downrange accuracy. The 6.8 Western is, "The Ultimate All-Around Long-Range Hunting Cartridge."

The 6.8 Western and the Browning X-Bolt. With a maximum cartridge length of only 2.995", the 6.8 Western falls into the short-action rifle realm. Short-action rifles offer the advantages of being faster cycling and lighter overall than their long-action counterparts. With comparable performance to many long-action magnums, there's little need to bring along the extra burden of a long-action magnum rifle.

In terms of weight and performance the Browning X-Bolt in particular benefits from a short-action magnum like the 6.8 Western. The X-Bolt features a trim receiver that is smaller and lighter than the competition. The accuracy of the X-Bolt has been lauded since it's introduction. Most of the credit can be attributed to the barrel that is precision button rifled and triple-checked for interior finish, straightness and air gauged for uniformity. The action of every X-Bolt is bedded into the stock to ensure the barrel is free floating.

6.8 Western Cartridge Head Stamp

How does the 6.8 Western stack up to the competition? Designed to provide magnum power and accuracy in a short-action, non-belted cartridge, the 6.8 Western is tailored for big game hunting and long-range shooting. When compared to popular magnums, the 6.8 Western is among the best. (See comparison chart below.)  

  • Maximum cartridge overall length is 2.955" to utilize newly developed long, high BC bullets.
  • 7-1/2" twist rate to stabilize modern long, heavy bullets such as those in the new Long Range Pro Hunter ammunition from Browning*.
  • Heavier bullet weights than 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC and 270 WSM
  • More energy than 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC and 7mm Rem Mag
  • Less recoil than 300 WSM, 300 Win Mag and 300 PRC
  • Long, heavy bullets ideal for big game hunting and long-range precision shooting
  • Chambered in short-action rifles for fast cycling, high accuracy and reduced rifle weight
  • Refer to the Browning Ammunition website for current specifications.

* At the time of introduction, Browning X-Bolt barrels will feature a 1 in 7-1/2" twist. Check the twist rate inscription on every rifle you purchase to confirm it has the rate best for what you intend to shoot. 

6.8 Western Compared to 270 WSM and 6.5 Creedmoor
The 6.8 Western cartridge is specifically designed to handle long, high BC bullets.

How Does it Stack Up to Other Big Game Cartridges?

6.8 Western Cartridge Comparison Chart
  • 18% more energy than 7mm Rem Mag 160 gr. Accubond@ 500 yds with similar recoil.
  • Similar energy as 300 WSM 180 gr. Accubond at 500 yds. with 14% less recoil.
  • 6% more energy than 300 Win Mag 180 gr. Accubond at 500 yds with 16% less recoil.
  • Short-action reduces rifle weight 5 oz. compared to 7mm Rem Mag and 300 Win Mag.
  • Similar trajectory as all three listed options at 500 yds.


.277 Caliber bullet selection between the 6.8 Western and 270 Win. and 270 WSM.
6.8 Western Browning Ammunition
  • Browning Long Range Pro Hunter: 175 gr. Sierra® Tipped GameKing®
  • X-Bolt Pro Rifles: 1:7-1/2 twist rate
  • Estimated Retail: $38.99 per box
6.8 Western Ballistic Chart


X-Bolt Mountain Pro Rifle Chambered in 6.8 Western Cartridge