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Hornady built their 6.8 SPC ammunition from the ground up, manufacturing their own brass and designing a new 110-grain bullet for better trajectory and barrier penetration.
Hornady Manufacturing Corporation has been involved with the 6.8 SPC project from the begining, when MSG Steve Holland (5th SFG (A)) approached them to develop a bullet specifically for the new cartridge. The bullet needed to provide a high ballistic coefficient (BC) for long-range trajectory and to carry more energy to the target, and it needed to be legal for land warfare.

Shooters are accustomed to hearing that "hollow-points are illegal" for military use. This dates back to the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions, which outlawed the use of bullets "calculated to cause unnecessary suffering". In 1990, U.S. Military lawyers published a Memorandum of Law which determined that "open-tip match" (OTM) bullets such as the 175-grain Sierra MatchKing are legal under the law of war because they are designed for long-range accuracy, not for bullet fragmentation. The open-tip jacket design is a consequence of manufacturing a bullet with a very uniform base, aiding accuracy. Legal arguments aside, the result is that before a bullet can be used in war by the U.S. Military, the JAG Corps must review and approve it. This is a critical step in getting new ammunition into the hands of U.S. Military forces.

The Hornady 110-grain OTM ammunition uses small primers, and has crimped primer pockets for reliability in auto-loading rifles. The head-stamp reads "HORNADY 6.8mm REM SPC."
At the request of MSG Holland, Hornady developed a 115-grain OTM bullet. It had a cannelure ring so the rounds could be crimped, to prevent bullet set-back in recoil or while feeding. Since its introduction, Hornady has been selling these bullets to Remington for use in their factory ammunition. The 115-grain Hornady OTM was the first bullet for 6.8 SPC approved by JAG for use in war.

Hornady continued providing the 115-grain OTM bullet to Remington for several years, with no other involvement in 6.8 SPC. Known for doing exemplary product development, Hornady received many requests for 6.8 SPC ammunition. In late 2004, they made a decision to go ahead, and Hornady's ballisticians started to look at all aspects of the cartridge. Their goal was to produce ammunition that would work reliably in all 6.8 SPC weapons, from 10-inch full-auto "entry" carbines up to 20-inch rifles.