Protip: Don’t Use Subsonic 300 BLK for Hunting

45 responses

  1. avatar
    Dyspeptic Gunsmith
    September 23, 2012

    Sigh.

    • avatar
      Human Being
      September 23, 2012

      Was that a disappointed sigh or a relieved sigh?

      • avatar
        Dyspeptic Gunsmith
        September 23, 2012

        Disappointed.

        This sort of thing has been hashed out in gun circles so very long ago… it is only because people are trying to achieve big game hunting rifle ballistics out of a .223 cartridge case that this is even being discussed.

        If people want to hunt with an AR-looking rifle, get a .308 AR, chamber the thing in .308, 7mm-08, .358 Winchester or… better yet, a .338 Federal. Now you’ve got a credible big-game rifle with (and this is the important point) a real selection of big-game bullets.

      • avatar
        APBTFan
        September 24, 2012

        I wholeheartedly agree with your summation of trying to make the .223 a big game cartridge.

        Although if a fella already has an AR-15 or doesn’t want/can’t afford the AR-10 platform the 6.5 Grendel and .30 AR wouldn’t be bad either.

  2. avatar
    OODALOOP
    September 23, 2012

    Yup. Anyone expect any different outcome when someone uses the wrong tool for a job? Didn’t think so…

  3. avatar
    Teddy Ruxxpen
    September 23, 2012

    So, basically short barrel 300 blackout subsonic as a PDW is equal to a 45acp handgun. I think I’d opt for the 45acp. Supersonic I’ll just stick with 5.56. Thanks for the write-up I can cross this caliber off the list.

  4. avatar
    Ani
    September 23, 2012

    Neck it down to 7mm. Worked for the 30-06 and .308.

  5. avatar
    Jason
    September 23, 2012

    Is the faster stuff a lot better or just marginally better?

    I don’t care that the AR doesn’t look like a traditional hunting rifle but I really question that it’s the right tool for the job given that you can buy a cheap bolt action in much more powerful calibers than at least this stuff that we’re talking about.

    I just deer hunt and haven’t felt the need for a semi-auto. What scenario makes you want one? Hog hunting? If so, are you dispatching many hogs at once?

    • avatar
      AnotherMatt
      September 23, 2012

      Supersonic is close to .30-30 with a light bullet, or 7.62×39 (though it tends to push heavier 150+ gr bullets faster than .300 BLK). i.e. it’s plenty for deer and such.

      .30-30 has an edge with heavier ~170gr bullets because of its case capacity.

    • avatar
      Nick Leghorn
      September 23, 2012

      I think the use case is someone who already has an AR-15 and wants to use it hunting as well instead of buying a completely new rifle. Especially if I already have the lower set up the way I like it.

      As for hog hunting, I take it you’ve never seen the herds that roam around down here. I fired as fast as I could at a herd not long ago with a bolt action and only got off two rounds before the other 10 ran over the hill.

      • avatar
        Jason
        September 23, 2012

        No, I know nothing about hog hunting. I have some interest because I well, like bacon.

        But why multiple targets? Do you like bacon that much more than me that you want to drop multiple pigs? If not, then why can’t you drop your chosen oinker with one shot?

        Thanks

      • avatar
        Nick Leghorn
        September 23, 2012

        We’re not talking about hunting with hogs so much as we are genocide. They’re an invasive species that is causing a ton of damage and need to be eradicated.

        The fact that they’re delicious just makes it that much easier.

      • avatar
        Anon in CT
        September 24, 2012

        “Delicious Genocide”.

        Great name for a band.

      • avatar
        Buuurr
        September 24, 2012

        “Jason says:

        September 23, 2012 at 22:03

        No, I know nothing about hog hunting. I have some interest because I well, like bacon.

        But why multiple targets? Do you like bacon that much more than me that you want to drop multiple pigs? If not, then why can’t you drop your chosen oinker with one shot?

        Thanks”

        Many hogs will actually charge you… and it isn’t fun. I have my Ridgeback by my side when I go… not out flushing hogs for this reason.

      • avatar
        Bryan
        March 26, 2014

        Why can’t you do this? Why can’t you do that?

        Well, along those same lines…why can’t you do single shots out of a semi? I can pull the trigger once and have one bullet come out of an AR-15…so what’s the problem? I want to target shoot with a semi…so what’s the point in going out and buying a completely different gun for pig hunting when the AR works great and is something I can become super proficient while using for targets? I shoot one time…but why do I need to only have the ability to shoot one time? Isn’t it ok to be prepared for one charging you? What’s wrong with wanting a gun that’s more versatile than a bolt action and can carry all sorts of different capacities with a mag swap and even calibers with an upper swap rather than buying 4 or 5 bolt actions? And where did you get the impression that bolts are always cheaper? I built my fairly decent quality AR for $600…the only bolt I have that matches its accuracy and costs less than that is a Ruger American…and that gun, as a bolt action, is ironically less reliable than my semi-auto AR (you gotta give up something when get sub MOA accuracy for $300 like in the American). And on top of that, my AR is modular and can have barrel replacements to make it last practically forever, is lighter than a lot of bolts that I own. My AR is the best value per money spent of any gun I own by far, including my bolt actions. So why wouldn’t I own one? …and if I own one, why wouldn’t I hunt with it? You keep asking why I need it. Why would I need to not have it? It’s simply the best choice for the money for an all around gun fitting a gazillion uses by far. I’d have to have 4 or 5 guns to fill all the same “roles” that my AR fills, and half the time I’m doing something that would benefit from 2 or more of those “roles” at once, and would have to choose which gun to leave at home if I went the “4 or 5 guns” route…whereas with the AR I just strap it on and have it all covered. There is no better value in the gun world than AR pattern rifles. With one rifle and maybe 2 uppers for it I could probably have more roles properly covered than many people can cover with an entire safe of 10+ guns.

  6. avatar
    New Order
    September 23, 2012

    Maybe the tried and true 30.06 is best here.

  7. avatar
    Accur81
    September 23, 2012

    You could always just switch to a 6.8 SPC II load and get more velocity and energy than anything a 300 AAC could muster.

    • avatar
      Nick Leghorn
      September 23, 2012

      I’ve actually got an Ask Foghorn about that scheduled for tomorrow.

      And it basically says the same thing — 6.8 SPC performs better than 300 BLK.

      • avatar
        fire_medic
        September 23, 2012

        This ^^^ is relevant to my interests!

    • avatar
      Dan
      September 24, 2012

      Why bother with wimpy 6.8 spc when there’s 308 winchester?

      • avatar
        Coltsrule101
        August 6, 2013

        The “whimpy” 6.8 puts down large Texas boar without a problem. Not a 308, but fits a MUCH lighter AR15 lower.

  8. avatar
    AnotherMatt
    September 23, 2012

    What about hunting with a .510 Whisper? :p

  9. avatar
    Justice06RR
    September 23, 2012

    People really need to understand the use of each caliber and corresponding rifle. The 300BLK serves a particular purpose: a .30caliber solution that works with your standard AR15 save the barrel. Ideal use is for suppressed work in a SBR platform.

    Of course it can be used for hunting and other sporting purposes. It is not a 5.56, .308, 6.8, or 30-06. People keep comparing and putting down this excellent caliber without really understanding it. Use it properly and it will serve you well.

    On a side note, someone mentioned going with the 45ACP over the 300BLK. You do know you have 30-60rds of 300BLK available vs maybe 9-13rds or so in a 45. Hmm… easy choice there.

    • avatar
      Matt
      September 27, 2013

      Two words that destroy your side note…. TOMMY GUN!

  10. avatar
    zbaer
    September 23, 2012

    “And while they may appear to have an open or “hollow point” tip, in reality that’s a byproduct of the manufacturing process and not a design element.”

    Don’t I recall the army or marines specifically designing a bullet like this to legally skirt the “thou shalt not use hollowpoints” rule?

    • avatar
      AnotherMatt
      September 23, 2012

      Mk318 MOD 0 or Mk 262 Mod 0/1. And it’s true. It’s an open tip match (OTM) bullet design that has a copper base so the core has to be poured through the tip. The open tip also helps it defeat barriers with less deflection.

      • avatar
        Accur81
        September 24, 2012

        And both are pretty dang cool 5.56 rounds.

      • avatar
        matt
        September 24, 2012

        poured in to a jacket? I’ve never heard of such a thing. You sure they aren’t swaged?

      • avatar
        AnotherMatt
        September 24, 2012

        Wow, yeah. For some reason my brain said squeezed (or swaged) and my fingers went with poured. You are correct, molten lead is not used.

      • avatar
        Dyspeptic Gunsmith
        September 24, 2012

        They’ll be swaged.

        You could do it yourself, actually. Noodle around for “Corbin Swaging Presses” or “Corbin Bullet Press.” They’ve been swaging open tip jackets over lead cores for a long, long time.

        For folks who shoot a lot, it’s the next step after reloading on how to bring down your reloading costs.

  11. avatar
    Teddy Ruxxpen
    September 23, 2012

    I’m the one that mentioned to go with 45acp. I definetely see the use for the cartridge. Only as a PDW my thinking being close quarters and not needing either a SBR tax stamp or suppressor tax stamp. For longer range a heavy 75 grain 5.56 would be my choice. The cartridge fills a niche. I just can’t have it all and other cartriges suit my needs better.

    • avatar
      Accur81
      September 24, 2012

      You can shoot a 16″ barrel 300 AAC without having to worry about SBR issues. Even if you can’t legally shoot a silencer, or are on a ginormous waiting list, the 300 AAC is a really cool caliber. The subsonic rounds will still give you some decent noise reduction even without a silencer.

      I had a long conversation with several AR aficionados this weekend about it. I already have a 5.56, 6.8, and .50. Now, I’m wanting a 300. It’s really a money saving measure because I can use still use my 5.56 Pmags. I give Nick a hard time about the caliber, but its partially because I’m really starting to want one.

      • avatar
        Azman
        September 24, 2012

        Its a money saving measure to buy another gun- or at least another upper for another caliber, and then get to pay for that new caliber too. Yeah, definitely a money saving measure. ;-). /sarc

        For me think I’ll stay with 7.62×39.

      • avatar
        Human Being
        September 24, 2012

        Only the barrel is different. Everything else is standard AR15 and will work with any other 5.56 you have. Even spent 5.56 brass can be converted for ammunition and the bullets are .308s.

      • avatar
        Azman
        September 24, 2012

        It just struck me as funny, that term he used. Anyway I’m a confirmed ak fanatic. Ain’t my place if someone wants another gun.

  12. avatar
    tdiinva
    September 24, 2012

    I have to ask why someone would hunt “big” game with a 223. In Virginia, as well as most other states, it will get you an interview with a judge. 223 is for hogs, coyotes, weasels and rabid beavers and maybe small antelope. 223 is crappy round anyway. I use 243 hypervelocity rounds (3950 fps) for varmint. It has 50% more muzzle energy than 223.

  13. avatar
    Chuck
    September 24, 2012

    Comparing a 300 blackout subsonic to a .45ACP is like comparing a 1lb rock to a 1lb spear. The BC or ballistic coefficient (abiltiy to overcome air resistance in flight) is completely different between these rounds. Sure at the muzzle these rounds are simmilar, but when was the last time you walked up to a deer and shot it Richard Kuklinski style (look it up)? 225gr 300 BLK OTM has a BC of .629 while a buffalo bore 230 gr HP has a BC of .143 (in this case higher # is more gooder). What does this mean? At 50 yards a 300blk bullet will have lost 15fps while a .45acp will have lost 64fps which is a little over 4x the velocity loss. At 100 yards a 300blk bullet will have lost 28fps while a .45acp will have lost 114 fps. While I agree that a subsonic 300blk round might not be ideal for large game, saying that it is comparable to a pistol round is just not true.

  14. avatar
    Sublegend
    October 5, 2012

    I don’t understand why there this stigma with using subs for deer hunting. If you are using subs, your going to have to be in close- personally 100 yds or less. If you land a head shot, it’s game over, of course, but how is a 220 grain sub at 1050 fps any different than a broad head arrow? Break the ballistics down if you wanna, but shot placement is key. A sub will pierce a heart no problem as well as a skull. I’ve witnessed it first hand and I promise you it works well. Historically, I have only hunted tails with a .45-70 because I prefer quick, humane kills, without any bs, but a 300 blk sub will get the job done. Any other deer around will run about 30 yds and then continue to back to whatever they were doing, thus providing you with an opportunity to load your freezer in less time= more trophy time. Anyone who thinks subs are inadequate for deer is inexperienced or just a plain, bad shot- I promise you. 300wtf has been used for years in deer eradication programs in many states, there’s your proof. Just remember that with freedom comes responsibility- don’t take chances on long shots… just because you “can.”

  15. avatar
    Sublegend
    October 5, 2012

    Look, the reality is this- a 300blk sub will effieciently drop a tail, no problem. I’ve witnessed it first hand and it’s still far better than my bow. I have always used a .45-70 bc I enjoy quick, humane kills, but the Blk provides a much nicer experience. It’s so quiet that any remaining deer will run about 30yds and then continue whatever they were doing. 300wtf has been used for years in State operated eradication programs- YouTube the videos. Head shots are great, heart shots are fine as well. I’m tired of reading comments from people with no field experience with this round. Yeah, you can 30-30, 338fed, etc, but if you OWN a BLK and a CAN, by all means try it. Just remember with freedom comes responsibility. Haters

  16. avatar
    Form4
    November 9, 2012

    The 300BLK is still in its infancy. I agree that a HPBT is not a good choice for a subsonic hunting round. It is not designed to expand at subsonic velocity, it is designed to maintain its shape for accuracy while withstanding the pressures needed to propel it out of a barrel at +25k FPS.
    There are only a few .308, 180-220gr Hunting/Self-Defense rounds that have been developed to expand at subsonic velocity with the weight to cycle the AR platform. Lehigh Defense is leading the charge with their lead free Controlled Fracturing and Maximum Expansion hunting/SD rounds. They also have rounds that can be used for bolt guns with lighter weights allowing for higher velocities.
    For deer hunting with the proper bullet- Is the 5.56 better than the 300BLK both being supersonic NO.2x weight, ~+2/3 velocity. Is the 5.56 better vs a subsonic 300BLK at under 125yds, NO. Over 125yds 300BLK not good due to rapid decent but this is more of a problem with the round being at the edge of its practical range.
    The 62gr 5.56 has ~ penetration of 15-20″. 170gr CF huge wound cavity form 2-10″ penetration continued past 16″. The 200-220gr rounds show increased penetration because the higher weight retains its energy. Lighter faster bullets are recommended for home protection for exactly the opposite reason, the lighter bullet slows down faster when it impacts and doesn’t pass through as many walls.
    With the correct bullet subsonic 300BLK is a perfectly viable hunting round for medium to small sized game.

  17. avatar
    Anonymous
    May 18, 2013

    I just really like the idea of one caliber being able to be used as lightweight medium-high velocity target, varmint, and medium game round, as well as heavy subsonic replacement for 45ACP in self defense, but with 2-4X the magazine capacity of a Glock or 1911, and still be effective and accurate well out past 100 yards.

    I also like the idea that in a 10″ AR pistol configuration I can shoot the heavy subsonics, or switch to lighter supersonic rounds, and reach out to 200-400 yards, with only a 200fps velocity penalty when compared to a 16″ barrel.

    Add to that that I only have to buy one kind of brass, and two types of powder. One set of reloading dies does it all. Two barrels, with 4-5 different rounds to choose from, that can be fired from both. Interesting.

    It just seems to me this provides a tremendous amount of versatility from a common platform and caliber. For me, increased versatility = increased value.

    Is 300 AAC BLK the new do-all and end-all to make other rounds obsolete? Heck no! Not even close. But with higher performance in .308 and other calibers, in certain more limited applications, comes higher cost and reduced versatility. Choose your poison.

    There are those who will prioritize high performance, and those who will prioritize versatility at the expense of high performance. I just happen to value the overall versatility and cost effectiveness of the 300 AAC BLK for my particular needs. Your mileage may vary.

    A 1,000 yard bolt gun would still be very appealing, except for the fact that I can’t even see half that far these days, as the advancing years have taken their toll. The 300 AAC BLK shoots farther than I can see, and is more than sufficient to deal well with anything I am likely to shoot at, without breaking the bank, my ears, or my aching shoulder.

    Did I mention fun?

  18. avatar
    Kent
    August 13, 2013

    I will argue this round is perfectly capable of harvesting deer. I would limit the shot to the distance I could hit a deer brain 10 out of 10 times, and only head shoot. It’s not the gun that kills it is the hunter.

  19. avatar
    stryker
    August 30, 2013

    Wow they will let anyone write a review now. First off you have no idea how the subsonic 300AAC round is designed to work. You are expecting it to expand at subsonic velocities with bullets that are made for velocities above 2000fps. The way a heavy subsonic round kills is by tumbling. I have shot 18 deer and countless pigs with this round at subsonic velocities and never had one make it more than 50 yards max. I
    have also shot 4 deer with the 220gr outlaw state bullets. These bullets will expand into a perfect mushroom even at 800fps. All deer shot with these dropped on impact with the bullet usually just under the off sides skin. I by no means am saying this is the right round for everyone. It does what it was designed for, and that is to fit in an AR platform and take out it’s targets with less noise than a 5.56 when shot suppressed and with more energy. I use this round for hunting close to suburban areas where noise complaints are a problem. If I had my choice I would go with a 308 or 260 but to get my job done, the 300 is round of choice for me.

  20. avatar
    james b cole
    January 1, 2014

    15 white tails 14 recoveries all with sw mp 15 srt suppressor hornady 208 subs. 125 yds or less. They never heard what killedem.

  21. avatar
    Bud Suda
    April 16, 2014

    Try not to overthink this. Remember also, you can’t put too much water in a nuclear reactor.

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