The Special Purpose Rifle Mod 1 is ArmaLite’s tactical AR-15 with a monolithic upper. It’s available in both mid- and carbine-length varieties and while its 12-o’clock rail is fixed, the 3-, 6-, and 9- are optional. ArmaLite doesn’t sell them separately, either; they’re included with your gun. In any case, the Mod 1 is no longer just available in 5.56x45mm NATO, it’s getting made in two other established intermediate calibers.
In no particular order, they are the 6.8mm Remington SPC and 7.62x39mm. 6.8mm Remington SPC has 95% of the muzzle velocity as 5.56x45mm, and has about the same velocity at 400 yards; the advantage here is clear, though: while 5.56 is pushing a 55- or 77-grain projectile, 6.8mm is loaded from 110 grains and up.
It’s sort of an intermediate-intermediate caliber; it sits between 5.56 NATO and 7.62 NATO performance while still fitting into an AR-15 package. Its flat-shooting heavy bullets make it an extremely well-rounded cartridge, and especially popular with hunters.
7.62×39 is going slower at the muzzle and at around 400 yards, but makes up for it somewhat with its even larger, 123-154-grain bullets; the classic Soviet chambering is devastating at closer ranges, though, but we all know what its real strengths are: a very large variety of ammunition including inexpensive COMBLOC surplus.
These direct-impingement guns weigh just a hair over seven pounds and otherwise come with your standard M4 furniture and controls, and includes flip-up backup iron sights (not with holosights) and quick-detatching swivel sling mounts sunk into the side rail spots. The 5.56 SPR Mod 1s retail for about $1300 and we don’t expect anything different for SPRs in different calibers.
Both of these chamberings make fine additions to the multi- special-purpose ArmaLite SPR Mod 1 platform. Whether you’re a competitive shooter, lawman, or hunter, 6.8mm Remington SPC and 7.62x39mm offer benefits over 5.56 in certain, undeniable ways. ArmaLite has always been a good sport about building rifles in less dominant calibers, and these two new models will no doubt make a lot of shooters happy.