The 300 AAC Blackout cartridge was designed specifically for the AR-15 platform. The idea was to create something that will cycle the rifle’s action in both supersonic and subsonic flavors without changing any parts, and have a round that uses the same bolt and gas system as the original 5.56 version. It’s perfect for that platform, but when you start moving to other weapon systems the benefits of the round start to fade away. Which is why a bolt action rifle in 300 BLK had me scratching my head . . .
You can see the source of my confusion. The 300 BLK is designed specifically for use in a semi-automatic magazine-fed gun, so what is it doing here in bolt action land? Let’s run down the features and see if we can’t figure it out.
The gun is a Remington Model Seven, a derivative of the insanely popular 700 series rifles that Remington is best known for. The Seven is a stripped-down version, typically featuring a shorter barrel, shorter stock, shorter action and lighter features. This Model Seven is specifically branded with AAC’s logo all over it, and comes with all the usual upgrades as standard kit.
First, the pre-installed scope rail comes standard from the factory. Normally the Model 700 and Model Seven rifles ship with the receiver drilled and tapped for scope rings, but you need to install them yourself. As a result it’s yet more work that needs to be done to make the gun shootable. The AAC Model 7 comes with a nice length of picatinny rail already attached, so all you need are a set of scope mounts and you’re good to go. These Warne mounts worked perfectly right out of the box and returned to zero on the scope just fine.
With that mount, the scope is pretty high over the bore of the rifle. Normally a Remington bolt action rifle would ship with a stock that was designed as if the engineers stuck their fingers in their ears and screamed “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” when they were told that these guns don’t have iron sights, and the comb of the stock would be WAY too low to use. But this time, they included an AAC-branded cheek riser that comes standard on the gun. If you notice, there’s some striping on the back of the riser that serves no purpose at all…other than to make it mimic the profile of an M4-2000 or 762-SDN-6 silencer. It made me chuckle for a second, so I’m gonna give it some extra points for that.
Moving forward, the barrel comes pre-threaded from the factory. It makes sense, since the rifle is co-branded with the markings of a silencer manufacturer. Nevertheless, still a great option. The barrel itself is an extremely slim profile to allow the most weight savings, but the barrel thickens enough near the start of the threads to give you a nice shoulder against which you can index your muzzle device of choice.
The threading on the gun is the standard 5/8 x 24 thread pitch, the same as the usual AR-10 threading which means that all the same muzzle gadgets will work. And, surprise surprise, AAC makes a 51 tooth mount for that thread pitch if you want to attach your silencer.
Speaking of silencers, some of you may have noticed that I’m not running my 762-SDN-6 on this gun. In fact, I have my Ti-Rant 9mm can on here instead. And the reason I can use it is that I think I’ve finally figured out its purpose.
You can run subsonic 300 BLK through a pistol can without an issue. Supersonic ammo might blow up your can, but subsonic is perfectly cool. And the reason that I’m happy to leave this can mounted on the Model Seven is that I don’t think it was meant to run anything but subsonic ammo.
That’s the only logical conclusion I can make, since the one and only benefit of 300 BLK in a bolt action rifle is that you eliminate the noise the gun makes when the action cycles. And given that subsonic 30 caliber rounds aren’t any better when fired using a big-ass case like a .308 Winchester than with a smaller case, you don’t really lose much when using 300 BLK subsonic ammo over .308 subsonic ammo. Except that you can chop off some of the action length, and its lighter.
For subsonic ammo, the gun is freakishly accurate. Using some ProGrade subsonic ammo, I was able to get about a 2 MoA group at 100 yards. What makes it freakishly accurate is that all of the variation was in the vertical spread, meaning that the age old problem of inconsistency of velocity at subsonic speeds is rearing its ugly head, and the gun is probably capable of much better groups with specially loaded ammo.
In reality, there are two reasons why someone would want to buy this gun. The first one is the noise reason, since the gun is about as quiet as you can get in a modern rifle without switching to those funky electronic primers. The second reason is the one I used when I bought this gun for myself. I already have a hunting rifle in 300 BLK, but if I wanted to take a buddy to the range or out hunting I could hand them this gun and we wouldn’t need hearing protection at all. But that logic makes less and less sense as cheaper 300 BLK uppers for the AR-15 platform become available. In fact, I might be able to build such a gun for the same price as this Model Seven.
But would that cheap AR-15 be as accurate as this? Probably not.
Remington Model 7 (AAC Version)
Caliber: 300 AAC Blackout
Barrel: 16 inches
Overall: 36 Inches
Weight: 6.9 lbs
Trigger: X-Mark Pro
MSRP: $899 ($760 street)
Ratings (Out of Five Stars):
All ratings are relative compared to the other weapons in the gun’s category.
Accuracy: * * * * *
Given that we were shooting subsonic ammo, it’s amazing.
Ergonomics: * * * * *
Definitely giving full marks for the cheek riser and synthetic stock. Excellent.
Ergonomics Firing: * * * *
The bolt sticks when cycling the action, but otherwise damn near flawless. The trigger is especially crisp.
Customization: * * * * *
Threaded from the factory and with a scope rail included, it’s about the most mod-ready a bolt action rifle you can buy.
Overall Rating: * * * *
The sticker price is the only downfall of this gun. For $500 it would knock your socks off, but at nearly $900 I’d hesitate to recommend it to new 300 BLK owners.