VIDEO: Reloading .300 AAC Blackout Using 5.56 Brass

One of the big benefits of the .300 AAC Blackout round is that you can use 5.56 NATO brass and turn it into .300 BLK with not too much extra work. I got bored last night and made this video describing the process in detail, walking you through the entire reloading process for .300 BLK. Make the jump for a quick comparison of the price of factory .300 BLK versus reloads.

Factory ammo:

  • Subsonic: $1.09/round
  • Supersonic: $.90

My reloads:

  • Powder: $0.03 (1 lb/$21, 700 rounds worth)
  • Primer: $0.04 (1,000/$42)
  • Bullet: $0.22 (100/$22)
  • Brass: FREE!
  • Total $/Round: $0.29

The difference is staggering, and definitely worth the investment.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

35 Responses to VIDEO: Reloading .300 AAC Blackout Using 5.56 Brass

  1. avatarH. Rearden says:

    1lb of powder = 700 rounds? I’m unable to see the video but am wondering about what powder will yield acceptable results with only 10 grains??

    My typical 5.56 load is around 24 grains; 7.62 about 42 grains.

    • After you chop off about 1/3 of the case and seat a .30 cal round, there’s not much room left for powder. 13 grains is about the maximum I can squeeze in there, and as I’m using bullets for which there is no load data I figured I should start low (220gr bullets list 10 grains as the max load, I figure that should be safe for 150gr).

      H110 is the powder, BTW.

      • avatarmuaddib says:

        with H110 hes probably using about 8 – 8.5gr per.

        i dont see a real point to the round, even at $.29 your still only remaking .30 carbine with a sptizer round.

        • avatarJohn says:

          A 120 gr .30 carbine round has 880 ft lbs of muzzle energy while a 115 or 125 gr .300 AAC has 1344-1360 ft lbs of muzzle energy…I would say thats a pretty big difference. Also you can make a 220 gr subsonic round if you like. It seems much more versatile . You can buy a .300aac upper and change an ar15 5.56 to a .300AAC in seconds and don’t even have to get new mags for it. They are on my wish list. ( if only i were wealthy )

  2. avatarSteven says:

    Wow, you need a bench mounted press.

    Wondered earlier why your “match” 223 reloads did not do better than factory in the consistency/accuracy category… Now I see that your using a Lee hand press, I doubt you went through all the steps. As you a Lee user these are the basic dies/steps you should use:
    1) Cut to length based on measurements of cerrosafe chamber casting of the rifle you are loading for.
    2) Lube brass.
    3) Full length sizing die (removes primer).
    4) Collet neck sizing die.
    5) Recheck brass length and go back to step 1 if too long.
    6) Clean brass including primer pocket. I like the ultrasonic method with Birchwood Casey Brass Cleaner. If needed, resize and/or remove primer crimp.
    7) Lube and resize bullets.
    8) Sort brass, bullets, and primers by weight.
    9) Prime. I like the RCBS universal hand priming tool over the Lee options.
    10) Rifle powder charging die/weighed powder charge.
    11) Bullet seating die.
    12) Factory crimp die.
    13) Check the OAL of the final product. It should be exact.
    14) Check weight of final product which should be the exact sum of the weights of the brass, bullet, primer, and powder. If it is anything other then the exact expected weight it is a redo or a plinker and not a match round.

    • avatarmatt says:

      What is the point of sizing the body 2 times and the neck 3 times? And I always thought you were only supposed to crimp FMJ bullets that had a cannelure.

      I cant believe Nick is reloading on a TV dinner stand either. He should seriously look in to a work bench, or at the very least a couple filing cabinets off craigslist and a thick sheet of plywood from home depot. I dont want to watch all 10 minutes, but I dont see a scale anywhere in the few frames I looked at. Powder measures can vary the charge weight a lot from throw to throw, especially if your not consistent, I dont see how you can be consistent with it mounted to that TV dinner stand. And most of all, he has a power case trimmer but only a Lee hand press? Really?

      • If by “power case trimmer” you mean “power drill and duct tape…”

        I live in a 3rd story apartment with no elevator, heavy stuff is kind of prohibitively inconvenient. Even so I do have a larger bench, but it was easier to set up the TV dinner table to film the video.

        All things that I have on my wish list…

        • avatarmatt says:

          Didnt notice the duct tape, I just fast forwarded thru the video because I all ready reload and have no intention of picking up anything in .300 AAC.

      • avatarmatt says:

        Forgot to say instead of sorting brass by weight, you should be sorting by case capacity.

      • avatarSteven says:

        Here are some quotes from Lee:

        “Tests demonstrate that even bullets which have no cannelure will shoot more accurately if crimped in place with the Lee Factory Crimp Die”
        http://leeprecision.com/xcart/Factory-Crimp-Die/

        “The Lee Collet Neck Sizing Dies: Use these dies for best accuracy, longest case life and no resizing lubricant. Only the neck of the case is resized the body is untouched so it retains the perfect fit to your guns chamber. Cases should have been fired in your firearm only and reloaded rounds are intended for use in just one firearm. These dies are the favorite of the bench rest crowd as there is no other die that can produce a more accurate cartridge.”
        http://leeprecision.com/xcart/Rifle-Dies/

        • avatarSteven says:

          Forgot to add, yes safety glasses are a must. You should also have a ABC rated fire extinguisher, and you should not be reloading in a living space.

          For match ammo exact die adjustments are critical which is why the hand press does not do well for reloading consistently. If you want accuracy, get a press where you can permanently set the dies for a specific rifle in some kind of removable turret or set of turrets.

          Why use both the resizing die and the neck sizing die? Use the resizing die to remove the primer and reshape the sides of the brass but stop before it resizes the neck. Size the neck with the collet to match the chamber cast. Adjust the bullet seat die to set the bullet at the desired depth, but not to roll crimp. Use the factory crimp die for a consistent crimp.

        • avatarmatt says:

          If your going thru all this trouble, I dont know why you don’t just buy a decapping die, they’re only a few bucks.

          Didnt notice that you said to resize bullets, I thought you said brass a second time for some reason. If your going thru the trouble of resizing bullets, why don’t you apply a cannelure if your a fan of crimping. CH Tool & Die has them for only $50.

          Don’t turret presses have some play between the tool head and the body? Shouldnt you be recommending a single stage?

          I’m pretty sure most people reload in a living space.

          I would question Lee’s claim that the crimp die improves accuracy, they claim it does because “A firm crimp improves accuracy because pressure must build to a higher level before the bullet begins to move.” Does that not sound like marketing bullshit to you? Why not just add a couple tenths of a grain of powder to increase pressure? They go on trying to compare crimping to removing free bore.

  3. avatarJoe Grine says:

    That looks very time consuming and labor intensive. Not sure its worth the money you save.

    • avatarI_Like_Pie says:

      on a rainy day with nothing else to do….1,000 rounds of 223 for under $150 actually saves quite a bit.

      Not even close when I cast my 45/70 bullets and load them for $5 per box of 50….brass I am currently on has 20+ reloads.

      • avatarJoe Grine says:

        I guess with any luck this could change (win the lottery?!), but a day with “nothing to do” is pretty rare for me. Spending a whole day doing something just to save a couple of hundred bucks is not efficient for me. I could see reloading if I could make ammo that is more accurate than Federal Gold Match or Hornady Match, etc., but it seems to me that you really have to know what you are doing to make reloads that can beat factory match ammo (and I don’t know how to reload to that level of proficiency, so…)

        • avatarTom B says:

          Are you serious. “Spending a whole day doing something just to save a couple of hundred bucks is not efficient for me.” And yet you have so much time trolling around this site.

          “but it seems to me that you really have to know what you are doing to make reloads that can beat factory match ammo ” Actually its not that hard.

    • avatarJames D says:

      What? You’d rather fight with the little woman or just sit around making conversation with your mother-in-law? Consider the savings from reloading to be ‘earnings’ from a very relaxing second job. I’m not so sure I’d fly well with Steve’s particular equipment, but Steve does and that’s what counts. I’m almost finished with my own 300BLK carbine build and I plan to hunt hogs with it and just do a little casual range work with it. I also make my own jacketed .308 bullets (on Corbin equipment) in various weights & designs, been doing it for 18 years. I can’t wait to have fun with my new AR…my first carbine build.

  4. avatarMT Ryan says:

    Hate to be “that commenter” but having had a few occasions of a primer going off when reloading and in one case having it set off all the rest of the primers I have say it: Safety Glasses.

    Otherwise, thanks for the video. I have a bare lower I want to build on and am trying to decide what .223 length round to chamber it for.

    • avatarMatt G. says:

      Definitely. I know a guy who’s whole primer feed exploded right in front of him. Glasses are a must.

    • avatarmatt says:

      I’ve always wondered what you needed to do to make a primer go off while priming. I accidentally cut a primer in half with the priming tool on a Forster Co-ax press, and all that happened was yellow powder spilled out, and a leg of the anvil go stuck in the sliding collar.

    • avatarJames D says:

      Solid point on the safety glasses. If you don’t want to build a 5.56, try a 300 AAC Blackout or even a 6 x 45mm(6mm/.223)…bolts & magazines are identical/useable for all three calibers. Factory 6 x 45 ammo is expensive and sometimes hard to find, so learn to reload them using surplus 5.56 fired cases…not near as difficult as making 300 AAC Blackout cases from 5.56 military cases. 300 AAC Blackout ammo is fairly available on-line and somewhat reasonably priced.

  5. avatarMatt G. says:

    You should try getting some surplus pulled .30 bullets. Waaaaaaaay cheaper than $22/100. There fine for plinking.

  6. avatarTyler Kee says:

    The camera seems to have subtracted 15 pounds. You look smaller than you did in the AAC videos. Good work.

    And thanks for doing this video. A .300 BLK gun just went from “want” to “need”

  7. avatarManny says:

    If I were to reload, I would just get brass that’s pre-processed into 300 AAC Blackout, then you can reload as normal.

    http://www.allweatherarms.com/1000-Pieces-Processed-300-AAC-Blackout-Brass-1000-Pcs-Processed-300-Blackout.htm

    • avatarDave says:

      I too have started playing with the 300 blk!

      I bought some preformed brass from all weather firearms and my dummy rounds wouldn’t chamber!

      Well I put them in my shiny new Wilson case gauge and I found that the cases were resized with excess headspace. I set up my resizing die (from Lee) and resized 100 cases to minimum headspace. I made a few dummies up and viola, they chambered and extracted just fine!

      I then loaded up the rest using 147 gr fmjs pulled from military rounds (very cheap), and 20 gr of 1680 powder.

      Total cost of my reloads $279/1000 for the first loading, $179 thereafter,

      A case of 7.62×39 is about $250 shipped, and can’t be reloaded!

      FTW, I reload on a dillon 550b, get one you will not regret it!

  8. avatarVic says:

    I’ve started loading for the Blackout too, thanks for the video.

    The Blackout started with turmoil for me, I too bought some 300 Blackout and 5.56 processed Brass from All weathers brass. It was cheap, but I’m still working through the brass. 1000 cases with a hand champher tool takes a long time. Some of the brass mouths are very rough, and I can’t get the tool to take off the large burrs. After suffering through 100 cases, I ordered more brass from a different vendor. http://www.bradswarehouse.com I emailed Brad and asked if his brass was ready to load, he recommended the brass that was run through a Giraud which de-burs the case. He said that he has some brass that is also annealed, which he sent me. Now the loading is easy. When I get some power tools for trimming, I’ll use up the rest of the all weathers brass(maybe). Brad’s brass is more money, but my fingers are thanking me for spending a little bit more.

    The case doesn’t hold much powder. I’m using 7.5gr of #9 with 175 gr match bullets for a subsonic load, this powder runs a little dirty, but cycles with a can. Barnes has a new 110gr TTSX, I’d like to try those in a supersonic load, H110 looks like the powder I’ll use, but I have some Ltl’gun on the shelf.

    Once I figured out the proper OAL, I can use both my Pmags and USGI mags. The UMC ammo is almost out, in Jan. I’ll place an order for 100 rounds.

  9. avatarJym Ferrier says:

    Hey Nick, any good places to get reloading supplies in NoVA?

  10. avatarMike says:

    Dude, i would get some better equipment, and some more experience. Making a youtube video with untested loads? I load 16.9 grains of H110 for my 150′s. Do some more research, man…

  11. avatarPaul says:

    there is an easier way. Take the center pin out of the dye. Run the case through the dye. Harbor freight sells a 4″ mini chop saw for $29 you can easy make a stop for the chop saw. you will cut the brass down this produces a small chunk that is easier to discard and takes less than a minute. Next rune the sizing dye again with the rod in it. and bam perfect brass cheap and easy i can do it quicker than i can reload.

    Paul

  12. avatarDaniel says:

    To all:

    Why all the criticism?

    This young man has taken his time to share something with our fraternity. I am sure he is aware that his technique is slow and maybe reloading in your living room isn’t ideal, but that is what he has.

    Once upon a time we were all poor re-loaders that lived in less than desirable quarters suited for our hobbies. My first setup was a Black and Decker portable workbench and I went down to the lumber yard and found a 1/2 sheet 4 X 4 of 1-1/8 plywood. I mounted equipment along the edges and set it up in my spare room which was supposed to contain a washer and dryer, but the girlfriend did my laundry in those days, and after she left the laundry room down the street took over.

    Personally, I am buying the .300 blackout for my AR platform, and found the video helpful.

  13. avatarJEH says:

    Thanks for the video Nick ! I know where your coming from having lived in apartments and started off with the minimal tools needed ! I think you ultimately will learn more starting off this way despite what all the “Internet Experts” will tell you ! Anyhow just wanted to say thanks as I seen a lot of responders was more worried about showing off their “vast expertise” rather than just appreciating what you done !
    Stay Safe n Shoot Straight,
    JEH

  14. avatarJEH says:

    PS: Sorry but anyone over 16 yrs old that still uses the word “Dude”…I’d bet still lives in his moms basement ! (Mike)

  15. avatarBruceB says:

    Nice Vid.
    Harbor Freight mini chop saw. Rig up a stop out from a small piece of wood with a grove channel to stabilize the brass and get consistant size. Use the chop saw to cut to length, then use a debur tool, then resize. Looks like the trimming part is your the real time vampire.

  16. avatarCarter Cammack says:

    Exactly the info and visuals I was looking for. They have the Lee “Thighmaster” kit on the shelf at Cabelas, and the whole kit is inexpensive enough to make a “dual-caliber” rifle a real option.
    So now I need an XCR-Mini in .300.
    Thanks for what you do.

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