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Some people say the 300 AAC Blackout round isn’t good for hunting, and they might be right — if they’re using the wrong ammo. Heavier loads have a tendency to fail to expand upon impact. That means less energy is transferred to the target and therefore the shot is less effective. But a quality high velocity round with excellent expansion capability will stop that buck dead in its tracks. Barnes released their 110gr TAC-TX bullet specifically designed for 300 BLK guns earlier this year. And after extensive field testing I can say without a doubt that it’s the perfect hunting round for this caliber. Let me explain why . . .

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Last year, I used a lead-based Sierra GameKing projectile to bag my (perfectly legal if slightly small) deer. It did the job perfectly, and my “headshots only” policy on wildlife allowed me to enjoy the meat without much fear of lead poisoning. But over the course of the year, both Tyler and myself decided to voluntarily switch to lead-free all copper rounds for hunting. Given the availability of copper bullets and the health benefits involved, we figured it was the right choice. Some people still prefer good ol’ lead, but for us that was the decision we made.

Barnes has a reputation for making great solid copper bullets, and while they make .30 caliber rounds in other weights none of them work particularly well for the 300 BLK cartridge. In order to get the same mass in an all copper 150 grain bullet as you would with the lead version, you need more material. More material means a longer bullet, and longer bullets mean less case capacity for powder. I tried loading some of the regular 150 grain copper bullets in some 300 BLK cases, and my normal load would not fit. I would have needed to compress the powder to get it to chamber, and that wasn’t happening.

The difference with these rounds is both the weight and the overall shape of the bullet. At 110 grains, the projectile is light enough to leave plenty of case for powder (and the flat base also helps with case capacity). It also has a pronounced black tip, which mimics the bullet profile of a 5.56 caliber round and allows the bullet to feed perfectly in the standard M4 profile feed ramps in an AR-15’s barrel extension while providing for superior ballistic properties.

That zippy light-weight design also allows for some nifty ballistic tricks. If you’re zeroed at 100 yards, between 75 and 150 yards the deviation is less than one inch up or down. In other words, at the distances we’d normally expect to be hunting deer and hogs here in south Texas, it’s perfect — just point and shoot.

The claim with this projectile is that it will either stay in one piece or at least stay in large fragments, making it easier to find than the lead variety which has a tendency to shatter and disperse inside an animal. I wanted to put that to the test, so I decided to forgo my usual shot placement policy and substitute a more traditional heart/lung shot. And on opening day, I had an opportunity to put that claim to the test.

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A beautiful buck wandered into my view in the late afternoon. After watching it munch on some flowers for a few minutes, I raised my rifle and took one shot. The buck dropped instantly, and never got up again.

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We were able to recover the bullet, as it had dumped all of its energy in shattering the animal’s front leg and slicing through the vital organs of the animal and lodged itself in the hide on the other side, nearly poking out of the fur. After cleaning it up, the bullet appeared to have perfectly mushroomed as advertised and come out the other side in one solid piece.

There is, however, a downside to this round. Like everything 300 BLK related, the supply hasn’t exactly caught up with demand yet. Which places the price tag for these babies at right around $1.50/round factory loaded. It’s not something that you’d use for a range trip, but when you’re out hunting with your Blackout rifle it really is the perfect projectile and worth every penny.

Barnes 300 AAC Blackout 110gr TAC-TX
Price: $30.99 / 20 rounds

Ratings (out of five stars):

Overall: * * * * *
For those looking to take their .300 AAC Blackout guns into the field for some hunting, this is the perfect bullet to use. It’s a bit expensive, but you get what you pay for.

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36 Responses to Ammo Review: Barnes 300 AAC Blackout 110gr TAC-TX

  1. Nice rifles and nice bucks.

    On a separate note, when will you guys (TTAG) get around to playing with and reviewing the ARAK-21 by Faxon Firearms?

    Price is the only thing that has made me leery of jumping on it. Everything else looks great.

    It even comes in your favorite caliber Leghorn!

      • There are more than a few vids out on it for reliability testing, accuracy testing and of course full-auto lowers that make it sing, so I’m guessing it probably does. Most likely very well in fact.

        Alas! There are no TTAG tests to reference! This needs to change!

  2. 1 box of the premium bullets is still a pretty small part of the overall cost of the hunt. And with your 1 shot, 1 kill track record you will have enough ammon for seasons to come. Practice with the cheap stuff and hunt with the pricey stuff.

    • No kidding. I was done with this dude’s credibility when I read “compressed powder charge? Not gonna happen!”

      Powder is compressed with regularity in many loadings, and this is right out of a basic reloading manual, in many calibers. Dude is riddles with misinformation and superstitious ideas!

  3. I’m guessing the 6.8 SPC spec II round from Silver State Armory will perform in a similar manner, although I’m expecting it to exit since its moving about 300 FPS faster than the 300 BLK from a 16″ barrel. I’m trying to get some .308 lead free ammo, and to get it sighted in accordingly, but lead free ammo has been tough to find.

    I’ve eaten steaks from 20 plus deer shot with lead ammo, and I’ve yet to go full retard, although I’m pretty close as a CA resident.

    • “…I’ve yet to go full retard, although I’m pretty close as a CA resident.”

      You’re safe. The only ones that have gone full tard our our elected officials in Sacramento!

  4. Ah, now if only I could find some around here… good info, though. Look forward to shooting some when I can find it.

  5. Headshoting a deer is an aweful idea because of Chronic Wasting Disease. The disease lives in the spinal fluid and brain matter. If any of those deer had the disease you would have just spread the “prions” all over the area and possibly contaminated your meat. A deer can have CWD without showing obvious signs, and the disease can be transmitted to other deer if the soil is contaminated.

    I know you want to be as ethical as possible, but with the spread of CWD, headshots are not smart or ethical to the population.

  6. Lead Poisoning? Really? You are drinking the anti Kool Aid!

    Americans have been shooting game with Lead Ball, Shot, And Buck for over 300 years!!

    If there were tangible proof of lead bullets being a real, tangible, toxic environmental hazard it would have outlawed long ago!

    I remind you that true lead handling involves gasses (such as bullet casting), and gnawing your old lead based house or hull paints, not solid metallic lead (which is not retained in the body to any extent)

    Try not to scare the youth!

      • The difference is that there is no solid lead in paint. Lead based paint contains either lead chromate or lead carbonate as pigments which can be readily absorbed into the body if ingested. Solid lead metal not so much. The body tends to reject and excrete it.
        The problem the Romans encountered was not with lead water pipes, but with lead cooking utensils, and in particular lead vessels that contained acidic foods. Heat and acid create lead compounds that can be absorbed unlike the metal itself.

        • The Romans also deliberately used Lead acetate (“Sugar of Lead”) as a sweetener in wine… Along with cooking down grape juice in Lead lined vessels to make a concentrated sweetener for wine making and general culinary use.

    • >> Americans have been shooting game with Lead Ball, Shot, And Buck for over 300 years!!

      Romans have been drinking water from lead pipes for centuries (that’s why plumbing is called “plumbing”). They just didn’t know better.

  7. Nick, you should send these pictures to Barnes for promo material. Performed perfectly, and the deer looks great. If I ever get around to hunting, I will probably make the same decision about bullet choice. Seems a small price to pay for a good bit of safety.

  8. These are simply the best bullets for supersonic loads in the 300 BLK available today. Here are two reasons why:

    1). The 110 grn Barnes TAC TX yields greater energy, less drop, superior terminal performance than anything else currently on the market. The 110 Lehigh may equal or exceed but I just got those in for testing. Even 125/135 grain bullets sacrifice case capacity that yields lower velocities, lower energy levels, and greater bullet drop. The 110’s can easily be pushed to 2400 FPS. Very accurate too.

    2). My Trijicon VCOG’s BDC reticule is calibrated for the above load supersonic and 220’s subsonic. So guess what I load?

    They are pricey and scarce. Some of my backorders have just began to come in. I keep a fare stash loaded for home defense and hunting and practice with everything else. I have to say that I have had more fun with my Noveske 300BLK than any other gun that I have ever owned.

  9. Great bullet and a terrible article. How about using the reasons that these tacx bullets are made for the 300 blackout. Hence the reason they expand at lower velocities vs the tsx or ttsx. Maybe you should eat more lead and stop shooting 2 year old deer.

  10. Found the Barnes 300 makes particularly tight groups on the range as well with my S&W MP 15 300 Blackout.

    Nice ammo and a really good round for deer hunting out to about 200.

  11. I notice the 30 round magazine. Is it legal to hunt with a mag that holds more than 5 rounds where you hunt? I don’t believe you can where I used to hunt (Montana).

  12. ‘Splain this to me batman. Sorry for being so ignorant. Where in the history of the world has someone ingested enough lead from a deer shot with a bullet where they got lead poisoning? Or even elevated their lead level? Anecdotal, I know, but you are aware how many birds, squirrel, rabbits and other small game has been shot with a shotgun and how many times someone has bit down on lead shot. Including me. And some of my dead relatives who lived into their late 80’s or 90’s? Lest you think I am a retard, despite the fact that I cast bullets, used to bite down on pellets whilst growing up, and used leaded gasoline for a cleaning solvent, I was able to go to college, earning a degree, and now fly 787’s internationally for a major airline.

  13. I usually process several of the deer we shoot each year and if they were shot with c&c bullets (copper over lead) I do sometimes find small pieces of lead. I chop up the scrap cuts for my dog (freezing them in plastic bags) so I’m very meticulous about what ends up in the “treats” bag as well as what gets ground/packaged for our use. We also take a few to processors. I doubt they take the time to look for small pieces of lead (usually 1/8 to 3/16ths in size)–they just get ground up. It’s something to think about and there are some great all copper or gilding metal bullets out there now. I used this bullet in my 308 as a low-recoil round and it worked great.

  14. Thanks for the review.

    Some of these guys have not seen the peripheral damage that lead causes. Unfortunately, I get to see it first-hand, regularly. Some day, they will put two and two together and see the light, and will wonder why they didn’t switch sooner.

    When a hunting bullet is made that actually performs substantially better than lead, and has none of the risks, why not use it?

    • I agree with you on using the 110 gr TAC-TX bullet for 300 BK. I believe it is the best option available for hunting deer and hogs. To me, cost is no object in this opinion. From my investigations there is nothing better, but what data do you have that states that lead rifle bullets are an issue. There are other calibers where I believe that lead bullets are best for the caliber as hunting bullets. I am not a medical professional, but I am a highly educated person who bases decisions on data and facts.

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