300 AAC Blackout: Belle of the Silencers Are Legal Ball

While each vendor at the Silencers Are Legal shoot had their own specific offerings, there was one AAC invention that could be found at almost every single booth: the .300 AAC Blackout round. Whether it was an existing silencer being shown off on a 300 BLK gun or a completely new one designed around the cartridge, everyone at the shoot was jumping on the bandwagon. The reasons are obvious — the cartridge was designed specifically with silencers in mind, so its performance is unbeatable when it comes to quieting things down. One situation stuck out in my mind, though…

I was stopping by the Innovative Arms booth to check out some of their stuff (more on that later) and overheard the owner talking to a man about his hog problem. The man was interested in an M1A rifle with a silencer to start culling the herds. I was about to chime in with my usual 300 BLK evangelizing when, to my surprise, the IA guy brings it up first as the better solution. I stood there and listened as he described the benefits of the round to this man (who had never heard of it before), and each time I was about to speak up and add something he missed the IA guy went right on and did it for me.

The look on this man’s face as he heard the round described to him was one of pure joy. It was a round that did exactly what he wanted, exceeded his needs and expectations, and was readily available on the market. He was sold on the round by the time he left the booth.

Similar things happened all day along the firing line. People who had never heard of the round would sidle up to a 300 BLK gun suspicious of its claims of awesomeness, fire a couple rounds and instantly be hooked. There’s no doubt that silenced 300 BLK guns are some of the most fun you can have with your pants on (pants optional in some locations), and it seemed like everyone there came away with the same opinion.

Silencer manufacturers seem to have a standard minimum of offerings — .22lr, 9mm, .308 and 5.56 silencers — and 300 AAC Blackout appears to have inserted itself as another one of those standard calibers that companies design their silencers around. If this shoot was any indication, at least among the silencer owning public 300 AAC Blackout is here to stay.

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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!

42 Responses to 300 AAC Blackout: Belle of the Silencers Are Legal Ball

  1. avatarGuywithagun says:

    300 Blackout silencers? This is a 7.62 round. Why would they need to design 300 blackout silencers? Won’t a .308 silencer work for that? Is there something special that needs to be done to a 300BLK silencer where a .308 silencer won’t do? Is this just another marketing thing?

    Just curious.

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      I’m wondering the same thing.

    • avatarMike in NC says:

      Could it be the case that a can designed for 300 BLK could be much smaller and lighter than one made to work with every .30 cal round up to 30-06? Just a thought.

      • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

        Could be. If that is the case, just how quiet would .300BLK be out of a full-sized can? Or is there any difference?

    • avatarPhrederick says:

      Yes, .300 BLK runs with any suppressor that can handle .308 pressures.

      You can even use most .308 suppressors for .223, 6.8, or 6.5 if you get the right attachment point. AAC sells .223 and 6.5 flashhiders for their .308 cans.

      You won’t get as much reduction using .223 though a .308 suppressor as would through a .223 suppressor, but it is still below hearing loss levels. I know more than a few people who just got the 7.62-SDN-6 and run it on all their weapons so they only had to buy the one suppressor and fill out (and wait for) the one form.

  2. avatarChainsawWieldingManiac says:

    Wonder if salesdude ever bothered to mention that subsonic .300AAC is about a dollar a pull? I couldn’t afford to shoot .300AAC unless I reloaded.

    • avatarCarlosT says:

      That’s due to current production and demand levels. As ammo manufacturers tooled up for it and the market expanded, the prices would drop, especially when the bulk ammo manufacturers jumped into the game. Since the 300BLK is based off modifications to 5.56 and 7.62 components, retooling for it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge when the time comes.

      • avatarChainsawWieldingManiac says:

        Yes, there is a huge market for a round designed to work with suppressed AR-15s. That’s why I can buy .300 Whisper so cheaply these days.

        • avatarCarlosT says:

          300 Whisper was never standardized, which made establishing a wide market difficult.

          300BLK isn’t just about suppressed AR-15s. It’s also about finally getting 7.62×39-type ballistics in the AR platform without having to make major modifications of questionable reliability. The fact that you get really good suppressed performance is just another plus.

      • avatarGuywithagun says:

        Wishful thinking at best. Unless .300BLK is adopted by the U.S. military, you can expect prices to exceed .308 for good… unless maybe Wolf tools up for it. But would you want to put that crap in your gun?

        • avatarJasonM says:

          300BLk was developed in conjunction with certain groups in the US Military, and it is already available cheaper (UMC 115gr) than any brass .308. It’s been an impressive start so far.

      • avatarChris Dumm says:

        This is what they said about the .357 SIG several years ago, and the .45 GAP after that. Handloading makes sense for a target shooter or hunter, but for a trigger-happy Black Rifle shooter it’s a major PITA and those .30 caliber bullets aren’t cheap.

        Suppressors are going mainstream, but the cost and the de facto 6-month (or more) waiting period is going to keep most of us outside of that tent looking in.

    • avatarI_Like_Pie says:

      Um…..most rifle cartridges outside of surplus are actually more than a $1 a pull anyway.

      • avatarAnonymouse says:

        Cheap A$$ Wally-World 30-30 is still $.75+ a round.

        Cheapest in-stock .308 is $.68/round at Cheaper than Dirt.

        Cheapest subsonic 300 AAC Blackout is $.85/round…

        The cost of AAC is actually quite reasonable for a heavy bullet and an oddball round.

      • avatarMike in NC says:

        Just today at the local Dick’s Sporting Goods store they were trying to sell boxes of American Eagle .223 (20 rounds) for $11.99!

  3. avatarAPBTFan says:

    How forgiving is the Blackout to reload? Powder picky? Pressures steady when working up a load?

    • avatarMike in NC says:

      I don’t reload the 300 BLK, but have been keeping an eye on it. H110 and Lil’Gun are some of the powders mentioned often. These are powders at about the middle of the burn-rate charts. See 300blktalk forum for more.

      • avatarAPBTFan says:

        Thanks Mike. Had a bit of a read over there. Sounds like an interesting cartridge especially the whole loading for super vs. subsonic issues.

  4. avatarJason says:

    You mean to tell me Americans like .30-30 ballistics?

    Millions of deer were unavailable for comment.

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      Interesting, isn’t it? The solution to a 50-year-old cartridge’s problems can be found in a 100-year-old cartridge. Who knew?

  5. avatarTXGunGeek says:

    300BLK is forgiving. This is really a modern hash of 300Whisper. Basically the same thing but don’t tell anyone because it will start a fight. However, there are many guns that will feed and fire both whisper and blackout cartridges. I’ve been handrolling 300Whisper out of .223 brass cut, necked and turned since long before the blackout existed. It is forgiving and can be easily had in subsonic with heavy bullets and supersonic with light 7.62X39 bullets. Lots of fun to be had in this round and I am glad to see it come to widely available commercial production. for short range pig work I have been loading Sierra 220Gr Pro Hunter JRN-SP bullets and had quite good success with them. Many folks lived by the 240Gr VLD’s MatchKing bullets for a bit more range from better ballistics. But for inside 100Yds the JRN-SP works very well.

  6. avatarSkyler says:

    I still don’t understand what all the fuss is about. What are these sales points that you kept wanting to inject that the salesman gave?

    • Works out of an AR-15 with only a barrel change.

      You can reuse your existing AR-15 accessories.

      No need for a switchblock gas system, it works super or sub sonic with no changes on the gun.

      No feeding issues.

      Perfectly accurate out to 250 yards — hog distance.

      Commercially available.

      A 220 grain round traveling at 1,000 FPS, quieter than an MP5-SD.

      Awww yeah.

      • avatarEric says:

        Also: legal for hunting in many locations where .223 rounds are not.

        Reloaded off of the most common brass available (5.56×45) and the most common projectiles in production (.30 cal ranging from 110 to 240 grains).

      • avatarJames says:

        Also all true for .458SOCOM

  7. avatarDavid W. says:

    What is it about anything related to an A-frame costs more? I’m guessing a suppressed AK, or something akin to Mini-30 is out of the question?

  8. If I already have an AK in 7.62 is there any reason to be excited by this? Are the ballistics superiour?

    I know it has better subsonic offerings (blackout). But could you do a peice comparing the rounds?

    I don’t have an AR but I am thinking of getting one. Also how do 6.5 grendel and all the other “non standard” rounds stack up?

    SCIENCE!

    • The mounting options for a silencer are severely limited on an AK. Also, the gas system is inherently louder thanks to the way it is designed.

      A comparison sounds interesting, I’ll get right on that.

      The other non-standard rounds fall flat mainly on the parts interchangeability. Some require modified magazines or can’t hold many rounds. 300 BLK runs in factory standard parts with no modification.

    • avatarEric says:

      Since the Russians measure barrel diameter by its narrowest point (rifle lands) rather than its widest (rifle grooves), 7.62×39 actually uses a .312 projectile. 300 BLK (along with .30-06, .30-30, and 7.62×51 Nato) uses a .308 caliber projectile. 300 BLK has a slightly better ballistic coefficient and sectional density for a given bullet weight than 7.62×39, but that retained energy and velocity only begins to tell at ranges well over 100 yards. At closer ranges they are very similar. Indeed, one of the design goals was to approximate 7.62×39 performance in the supersonic version.

      However, the shorter the barrel, the more advantage is given to 300 BLK. Blackout is supposed to have a complete propellant burn within 12 inches of barrel length. It was specced from the ground up with SBRs in mind.

  9. avatarNot Jimbo says:

    I’m not sure if the 300BLK brouhaha isn’t overblown – I mean sure, it works well with a silencer, but as neat as that would be I’m not in the market as long as they’re that expensive and involve all that red tape. Plus, if you’re shooting a 220gr subsonic bullet, why not just suppress a .45 pistol? Also, will a 220gr subsonic bullet be enough for hogs at any distance?
    I’m interested in the 300BLK supersonic, but only because of it’s compatibility with the Stoner-pattern rifle.
    So where have I gone wrong here?

    • The reason you would not just suppress a 45 pistol is ballistics. The pistol is shooting a short squat projectile with a horrible BC at around 900 fps. 100 yards with a 45 acp is asking a lot. The 300 BLK is shooting a long projectile with a secant ogive that gives you a much better BC, .420 ish, and is pushing it out the barrel at 1050 fps, just under the sonic barrier. This combination gives you a round with more energy at any point in the trajectory, that will hold on to that energy further down range, with more inherent accuracy.

      • How do you figure all this BC stuff?

        • avatarSam says:

          Math

        • Oh HA HA -.-

          I wanted to know what equation was used…

        • avatarEric says:

          Ballistic Coefficient = Sectional Density / [particular bullet's drag coefficient / 0.5191]

          Sectional density is the mass of the bullet divided by its maximum diameter. Drag coefficient depends on the overall profile and involves lots more math… The constant 0.5191 is the drag coefficient for a “standard” projectile who’s BC is “1″.

        • Thank you Eric. I was wondering how the actual geometry of the bullet was factored in to the equation.

        • avatarPhrederick says:

          Bullet manufacturers often publish the Ballistic Coefficients of their offerings for those of us too lazy to do the math. Those that aren’t too lazy keep them honest about it.

    • avatarEric says:

      With a suppressed .45 pistol you don’t get the stability and ergonomics of a carbine, nor the increased barrel length, nor the much greater sight-radius. In short you get a lot more practical accuracy from the carbine.

      For specialized hunting, the narrower profile of the 220 grain .308 projectile, vice the 230 grain .454 one, allows dramatically-larger expansion radius for a longer, pre-incised bullet. Lehigh Defense advertises 1.4 inches of expansion in their all-copper 220 gr 300 BLK rounds while keeping more than 16 inches of penetration; plenty for pig.

      You would still need to stay roughly within pistol-hunting range for the subsonic carbine round. But if you have a pistol and your prey refuses to cooperate by staying outside that envelope, you’re stuck. With the carbine you drop the magazine, load supersonic ammunition, rack the charging handle and you’re back in business out to 300 yards.

      • avatarscott rylander says:

        and yes they do make 16″ barrels for the 300 blackout, so you dont have to “go through all the red tape” or you can just buy a complete upper from a number of co.s and pin it on your lower! there you go!

  10. avatarDaily Llama says:

    One of MY major reasons to go .300 BLK was to modify a new Stag Arms “lefty” upper with a simple barrel change – and with my existing tricked-out AR lower, I now basically have 4 rifles – all with the same, basic “feel”, balance and trigger pull. I find that incredibly beneficial for maximum “on-target” consistency. I don’t have to “re-learn” the comfort-zone of 4 separate rifles and keep re-adjusting my butt-stock / head positioning … with reflex sights.

    I have a .22LR conversion for my regular 5.56mm / .223 upper – that’s rifle #1, a cheapo plinker right there! – and, #2, the 5.56 / .223 for something more serious.

    Then, simply unpinning the 5.56mm upper in 20-30 seconds, I quickly switch to the .300 BLK upper and begin sending AK-47 firepower down-range – using standard AR magazines at full capacities! (my 3rd rifle!) – then, installing a legally-registered supressor, rifle #4 now shoots massive 220gr. rounds with little more than a loud puff – that’s all.

    Basically, one double-pouch canvas bag with one lower, 2 uppers plus the .22LR conversion kit and the .308 supressor ……. that’s truly 4 rifles inside!!!! 5 if we separate – as we should – the 5.56mm NATO rounds from “citizen” .223s. Sure works for me!!!!

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