Dan and I visited Capital Armament in Iowa this week to check out their ammo. It checked out. We liked their defense and target ammunition so much we’ve agreed to use Cap Arms as TTAG’s official ammo supplier. Because of its cleanliness, accuracy and quality, we’re going to feed all our test guns Cap Arms ammo.

desantis blue logo no back 4 smallDuring their show-and-tell with (shown live on our Facebook page), I asked Clint Gerner to tell me why he favors 300 Blackout — in this case suppressed — over .223/5.56 for home defense. Regardless, it’s clear that 300 Blackout is no longer a boutique cartridge. Do you have a firearm chambered in the round? If not, why not? What would it take for you to adopt it?

128 Responses to DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: 300 Blackout?

      • Let’s see:
        * It comes in brass, not (mostly) steel, so it’s reloadable
        * You can safely and easily make more cases from 5.56 cases
        * The bullet jackets aren’t bi-metal (e.g. steel), so ranges (especially indoor ones) don’t freak out about you shooting armor-piercing rounds
        * It uses a standard .308 bullet, which are cheap-ish and plentiful in the US, with a wide variety
        * You can use a standard AR and AR mags, with just a barrel swap
        * This also means you can set up a sweet AR lower, and just swap uppers for 300BLK, 5.56, 9mm, 6.5, .458, etc.
        * You can get 30 rounds in a smaller magazine
        * It was designed for shorter barrels so it gets better ballistics out of a short barrel
        * It was designed to have a subsonic/suppressed and supersonic load
        * Subsonic/suppressed loads are better for home defense (Are you going to have the time, or the mental clarity, to put on ear-pro?)
        * Using it makes me a Delta-Seal Operator 😀 (j/k)

        That’s just off the top of my head.

        I have a 7.62×39 gun (a quality Czech made vz. 58, not that Russian designed garbage), but if I could convert it to 300BLK, I would love to do so.

        • Ok… Let’s take it point by point…

          At $0.25 per round, I don’t NEED to reload. It’s not actually worth my time as an hour’s worth of work might save me $10, if I’m lucky.

          AK magazines are just as plentiful as AR magazines and come in quite a few options, especially for 7.62×39. Some are almost as light as comparable 30 round AR magazines. (Looking at you PMAGS)

          For the cost of a dedicated .300 AAC upper, I can generally get a decent AK. That gives me two guns rather than one with some more fiddly bits to fail and make the entire platform unusable.

          My home defense rifles would wear a can 100% of the time. (If cans were legal where I live.) With the can on, the rifle would be perfectly ear safe, it may not be pleasant to shoot, but it won’t bust my ear drums. Without the can, subsonic 300 AAC is still dangerously loud, so it’s a distinction without a difference.

          Oh, and have fun with your short stroke piston operated, striker fired abortion.

        • Pswerge,

          1- Your evaluation of how much your time is worth is 100% subjective. The fact is reloading is an option for 300BLK, and (practically) not for 7.62×39. Huge plus both in the cost and variety of rounds that this opens up.

          2- AK mags are NOT as plentiful as AR mags. They were 10 years ago, but since then AR’s have gotten cheaper, and with a few exceptions AKs have gotten more expensive. AR-15s have become the most popular rifle in the U.S., and AK sales have not kept up.

          3 – If you’re paying $550 for a new 300BLK upper (sans bolt carrier and charging handle because they’re shared with 5.56) you’re doing it wrong. My last build was around $320.

          4 – When firing indoors, the difference between using sub-sonic ammo and super-sonic ammo is HUGE, even without a can. Ask someone who’s done it. Add a short barrel to the equation and that difference increases exponentially.

          Honestly though, if you don’t reload, don’t own an SBR/ Rifle-cal pistol, and don’t own a suppressor, you’ve missed most of the benefits of the caliber. So yeah, stick with 7.62×39.

        • 1. Brass cased AK ammo is available (even in surplus if you know where to look), the bullet selection is a point, but a tactical rifle platform is not going to gain nearly as much from hand rolled specialty ammo as a dedicated bolt gun will, so it’s largely a matter of cost. Let’s be honest, if you have the money to invest in the gear and training necessary to reload for a semi-auto, you have the cash to just buy more ammo.

          2. True, but there’s still a plethora of AK magazines on the market. Everything from surplus steel still coming out of the old com-block to modern polymer offerings being made in the US. For all their issues, I rather like the Magpul AK offerings.

          3. I have never really gotten into the idea of keeping the same bolt carrier for different uppers. I’m too concerned about head spacing issues as the parts begin to wear in. That brings your cost up to ~$500 which is the going price for a decent starter AK. (and again, gets you a complete gun)

          4. My favorite gunsmith is a .308 SBR and AK fanatic. He’s a cop, so he actually runs suppressed FAL SBR setup. It’s not pleasant to shoot indoors, even with a can, but it’s definitely ear safe. Realistically, that’s all I would want from a suppressor. I’m under no illusion of being able to build a Bond style PEW PEW gun in the real world.

          Once the Illinois state legislature gets off of their collective backsides and passes our suppressor bill, I will be in the market for at last 3 cans (1 for my AK SBR, 1 for my 5.56 SBR, and one for my .308 DMR) but until then, I’ll just keep the P220 as my nightstand gun.

          On a side note, I am jealous as hell that he has dealer sample AK machine-guns in his safe. We definitely need to turn up the heat on getting the registry opened back up and the various state bans repealed.

        • pwrserge – Okay, the 530gr Outlaw State subsonic .458 SOCOM hollow point then. It likely has 1020ftlbs at 200 yds and expands to .75″. Would you rather be shot with that than a 7.62×39?

        • Given that the higher velocity of the 7.62×39 gives it almost 50% more energy?

          Let’s not forget, the 7.62×39 is an INTERMEDIATE cartridge. The fact that you have to go up to something ridiculous to even get in the same ballpark energy wise is very telling. (That said, I’d rather be shot at by your monster round, you’ll have less ammo and have a hard time getting through barriers.)

        • @pwrserge:
          Ok… Let’s take it point by point…
          You skipped a few.

          At $0.25 per round, I don’t NEED to reload. It’s not actually worth my time as an hour’s worth of work might save me $10, if I’m lucky.
          I can load over 500 rounds in an hour. That’s a lot more than $10. And it gives me the rounds I want for the use I want.
          I noticed you skipped the one about being able to shoot the ammo at any range. I guess that’s not so important.

          AK magazines are just as plentiful as AR magazines and come in quite a few options, especially for 7.62×39. Some are almost as light as comparable 30 round AR magazines. (Looking at you PMAGS)
          Wow…they’re almost as good. I’m sold, because I always aim for second best. Are they “almost” as small too, because that 7.62×39 round is pretty fat, and that taper to the case (because the Soviets couldn’t build a precision instrument to save their lives) makes the magazine larger in all three dimensions, because of the banana curve.

          For the cost of a dedicated .300 AAC upper, I can generally get a decent AK. That gives me two guns rather than one with some more fiddly bits to fail and make the entire platform unusable.
          Well gee, if you can get something “decent” for the same price as a high-end part, you should do that. Because a “decent” AR is so much more expensive than a “decent” AK (at least $20, I’d bet). Of course “decent” for ARs means a much more accurate, ergonomic gun.

          My home defense rifles would wear a can 100% of the time. (If cans were legal where I live.) With the can on, the rifle would be perfectly ear safe, it may not be pleasant to shoot, but it won’t bust my ear drums. Without the can, subsonic 300 AAC is still dangerously loud, so it’s a distinction without a difference.
          Indoors (I live inside, maybe you live in a box so this wouldn’t apply), the supersonic crack of a 5.56 or 7.62×39 is going to be incredibly loud with a suppressor. Even outdoors a suppressor just makes a rifle shot less harmful, not harmless. Let’s also skip over the fact that a 300BLK AR-15 with an 8″ barrel and collapsable stock can get very small for CQB…like in a house (or your refrigerator box in the alley).

          Oh, and have fun with your short stroke piston operated, striker fired abortion.
          Yeah…a gun designed by some of the best gunsmiths of the late 20th century. Terrible.
          They should have made it more like the AK. A long stroke piston to make it have more felt recoil and decrease reliability. A wobbly receiver and generally crude design to reduce accuracy. An ejection port that’s always open to let crap in. Maybe a fire selector that is so far from the grip that the user has to move his hand off the grip to adjust it.

        • If you cast and reload for the 300BLK, your cost per round drops to around $0.12ea, or $2.50 for a box of 20rnds.
          I strongly disagree with your assumption that if you can afford reloading, you can afford to just buy more factory ammo.

          Hornady progressive reloading setup, and LEE casting setup: ~$1,500, with a $0.15 cost per round therafter.

          7.62×39 costs ~$215/1,000rnds or $0.21 per round.

          This gives us a deficit of $0.06 per round, meaning it would take 25,000 rounds of ammo to pay for the cost of the reloading setup… SO… err…. dammit. I know the math worked when I convinced my wife to let me do it!

        • Wow Jason. You should really stick a tampon in that butthut, you’re a few minutes from bleeding out.

          But let’s talk about CQB. I’ll put my 7.62×39 Krink against any AR you can build any day of the week. With the stock folded, it’s going to be shorter than your average AR barrel. It has the exact same sight radius as any other AK, and will run suppressed all day. (Unfortunately, the only time it gets to do that is when I “test” some suppressors from my friend with the SOT.)

          Oh, and load 500 per hour? I call bullshit. Did you forget to count the time it takes you to clean and prep the brass?

          As somebody pointed out, you’d have to load ~25,000 rounds of ammo to even BREAK EVEN with your setup costs. That doesn’t even take into account the lost opportunity cost of 50 (hah!) hours of your time. Do you know what I bill for 50 hours of my time? HINT: It’s enough that I can more or less walk into a gun store, point randomly at the wall, and write a check.

        • I run combo mags in my hunting BLK with the first two rounds subsonic and the rest in the 10 rounder supersonic.

          So put that in your AK and smoke it.

        • pwrserge – I thought we were playing a friendly game. I am not insulting you. Your statement was pretty ‘bold’ and begged for holes to be poked in it. You also said “No effective rifle round..”. You did not specify intermediate rifle cartridges. The .458 SOCOM is also fairly practical and not “ridiculous” at all. It almost always has more energy at the muzzle than 7.62×39 and often has more out to 200 to 300 yards. It is perhaps a nit picky point, but that is fair game for socializing on these blogs, no?

        • @ActionPhysicalMan

          What’s the energy at the muzzle for that particular round? (and let’s be honest .458 SOCOM is one of the most ridiculously useless cartridges ever designed, it’s right up there with .50AE and .50 Beowulf)

          A good 7.62×39 round will clock in at 1550 – 1600 ft-lbs at the muzzle.

          You’re right, it’s a very blanket statement, but the point remains that the world’s most powerful sub-sonic rifle cartridge is sort-of like the world’s most fire retardant paper hat. Sure, it may be great, but the fundamental limitation of being sub-sonic cripples it against real rifle cartridges that don’t have that limitation.

          Let’s see if we can agree on a few things.

          1. No gunshot will ever be “quiet” and still be effective.
          2. A bullet does not need to be sub-sonic to be ear safe.
          3. Super-sonic rounds will tend to deliver far more effect than comparable sub-sonic rounds.

          Can we agree on these?

      • My guess is that .300 blackout is much cleaner that 7.62 x 39 – especially the ComBloc stuff. Clean burning cartridges are a much bigger deal for gas guns. NATO 5.56 is some of cleanest ammo out there.

        Also, for non-sbr rifles gas guns suppress “better” and “easier” (integration) than piston guns (AKs). The .300 is all about suppression is what I am told. So if you want it suppressed and clean(er) and you must have an AR platform (I do not get this but for some its a must) then .300 blackout it is.

        I am with you and the school of thought that says go 7.62 x 39. If I wanted to go suppressed I would seriously look into a rifle that is manually operated.

        * These are just musings. If someone of you have more knowledge and experience with this then please chime in and not flame.

        • I think running 7.62×39 in an AR is pants on head retarded. The AK and its cartridge were built for each other. Trying to get an AR to feed a cartridge with that much taper is an exercise in futility. That more or less makes the “dirty” thing irrelevant. I don’t think I’ve ever thoroughly cleaned my WASR in the thousands or rounds I’ve run through it, and it still functions just fine.

          As for suppression… No effective rifle round will ever be “quiet”…. I just need it to be ear safe, something that CAN be accomplished with a quality AK.

        • I was actually agreeing with you of just get an AK. I would add or another rifle chambered in 7.62 x 39 like an sks or mini-30. I think AR’s in 7.62 x 39 are a bad idea. You obviously give up alot when going subsonic but is necessary if you want to avoid the sonic crack. But yeah I am not really enamored by the blackout cartridge like some people are.

        • Pswerge,

          A 300BLK subsonic 230gr bullet has the muzzle energy of a 45AUTO +P, and is quieter than a suppressed 45.
          I’d say that’s a pretty effective, quiet round.

        • pwrserge says: No effective rifle round will ever be “quiet”
          The Lehigh 194 subsonic maximum expansion bullet looks fairly effective to me. It is also much quieter than just hearing safe. It’s very expensive, but that is beside the point;-)

        • The fact that you’re comparing sub-sonic 300 AAC ammo to pistol cartridges is rather telling. The cartridge may be effective, but it will still be a long way from a proper rifle round.

      • Just another fad. Stick with easily available common rounds that have been proven in years of real world use. 5.56. 7.62X39. .308. 30-06.

        • Aha!! You would not have typed a word in this thread other than “I love my suppressed .300 Blackout” if you lived in a free state!

        • Naw… Still not looking to get into yet another cartridge. Right now, I managed to keep my primary collection to 5.56×45, 7.62×39, .45 ACP, and 9x19mm

          Why would I want to get another gun when I already have thousands of rounds of the above stocked away?

    • Not sure you WANT rifle ballistics in a HD gun, unless your living room is 200 yards. Idk about you but my neighbors HATE when I shoot through their walls and accidentally kill them.
      I lean towards 300blk for indoor use, especially in urban environments. If you already have lots of 9 or 45, consider a PCC. 9mm ARs are crazy popular, and a 4″ barrel with a can on the end results in a tiny, quiet rig that lets you do mag dumps indoors relatively safely.
      300 blackout having ballistics similar to a pistol round is not a BAD thing, that was the INTENT, to make an AR15 safer and more effective for CQB.

      • Oh, I absolutely do. My first priority in a home defense rifle is to DRT capability. Nothing says “stop whatever the fuck you’re doing” like a double tap center mass from 7.62×39 hollow points. It also minimizes my chances of having further dealings (legal or otherwise) with the scumbag in question.

    • 300BLK is AWESOME for Hunting/Short Barrels/Reloaders/Suppressed Use/Subsonic Pest control, but it was never intended to replace the general purpose 5.56 round.

  1. I think the name of the cartridge is racist.

    First of all, “300” clearly relates to the Spartans, who were a group of militaristic male privileged white supremacists who killed innocent undocumented Persian immigrants in 480 BCE, causing global warming.

    Second, “Blackout” is hate speech and means “get the blacks out.”

    Third, the name has something to do with g_ns, and g_ns are evil.

    Can I have my Harvard professorship now?

    • Duly granted, and you’ve been made the Department Chairperson, as long as we can refer to you as “they”, or if you have high cheekbones.

    • This with a .30cal suppressor is perfect for deer. I use Barnes Tac-TX rounds and they work great. Yup, the round is supersonic, but by the time the deer hears it, it’s too late. 🙂 The sonic crack is much easier on the ears than any centerfire rifle I’ve ever hunted with. I use subs for the brush. In there, nothing presents itself more than 30 yards away or so.

  2. It would be interesting to hear the difference between unsuppressed 5.56 & 300 BLK (ie level the playing field!).

    I would assume that not many people have jumped through the hoops necessary to obtain a suppressor.

    How does the noise & flash of a home defense 12 gauge compare to a 5.56/.223? I own both but have never fired them (especially in a confined space) without ear protection!

      • Just for fun I plugged some numbers into an energy calculator.

        208 grain bullet @ 1000fps is 462 foot pounds
        55grain bullet @ 3150fps is 1212 foot pounds

        I’m all for more metal in a bullet to help a designer tweak terminal ballistics and a better ballistic coefficient, ability for a bullet to cut its way through to the target… etc…

        However, E = 1/2 MV^2 flies in the face of more mass compensating for less velocity(as they talk about in the vid). The velocity component is squared, the mass is not. 4x the mass does not make up for the loss in energy from the significantly lower velocity.

        300 AAC Blackout is neat and pistol like. The 5.56 is neat and rifle like. They are just very different. Both are useful.

        • 110 grain bullet @ 2,397fps is 1403 foot pounds. 😉

          Subsonic is meant to be quiet, but if we’re comparing super-sonic to super-sonic, the 300BLk has 15% more energy out of a 16IN barrel. As the barrel gets shorter, the energy gap compared to 5.56 increases greatly.

    • The subsonic 300BLK is going to be quieter, because the crack of 5.56 is really loud. Also 5.56 has a massive pressure wave.
      I can beat your assumption with anecdotal evidence. Everyone I know with a 300BLK rifle or pistol has a suppressor that fits that gun.
      Suppressed subsonic 300BLK is so quiet that it doesn’t set off the timer at my local indoor range’s rifle league. From the shooter’s POV, the loudest part is the bolt reengaging, followed by the spring in the buffer tube. That’s right…I can hear my spring sliding around. I’ve shot it outdoors without ear-pro and not been able to hear the shots.

      • Thanks! That’s great information, I happen to have a stripped lower laying around, may think about building a 300 BLK upper if/when the funds allow. I would also assume that the heavier bullet would be better for hunting Texas hogs!!

        • For hogs, you probably want the supersonic bullets (something around 120gr, maybe). They’ll give you much more kinetic energy and much better range. But the supersonic round will still have the supersonic crack and more pressure wave than the subsonic round. But the fact that the 300BLK is designed for an 8″ barrel means a suppressed rifle will be a lot lighter for walking around the field than an optimal length 5.56, 7.62×39, or other intermediate rifle caliber.

          Start the SBR form 1 paperwork the same day you fill out the form 4 for the suppressor transfer and let them race. Turtle vs. snail!

    • “I would assume that not many people have jumped through the hoops necessary to obtain a suppressor.”

      Why in the world would you assume that? While I was going through the process at the Silencer Shop, I had to wait in line at every step, even though (since I am retired) I made sure I went during working hours, during the week. I’m pretty sure there are jillions of suppressed .300 SBRs around, like my 9″.

  3. Nope.

    Already have a long gun or two in 7.62×39, and while the round selection might be a little more limited, it won’t cross-chamber in any gun in 5.56×45. I tend to be a careful person, but I’ve seen too many ka-BOOM! stories to want to introduce another potential Murphy to my safe.

    • I’ve never had a problem mistaking ammo before, but the rumor of the possibility has driven me to this solution. All my blackout uppers have an unmistakable red stripe (electrical tape) around the front handguard. All the magazines have the same red stripe around the lower area of the mag. It seems to work very well. My son hunts with a blackout rifle and I don’t want there to be any chance he gets them confused.

      I do the same with my .40 cal Beretta 96’s, except with a white paint mark on the barrel and mags.

      • If that system works for you, great. I can easily believe a comparable system would work for me under normal circumstances.

        But our 5.56 and 7.62 are for run at the range and 2nd-tier home defense tools; we don’t use them for hunting but there are some sizable predators in the area.

        In the worst extreme, adrenaline going and clumsy etc, I CANNOT accidentally load a mag for the AK into an AR, and vice-versa … and neither could any of the (small list of) people who know the location and combo to our safe.

        I pray it would never come to that, but if it did, well, engineering controls are better than administrative. 🙂

  4. Like 300 BLK a lot, just wish supersonic only barrels were available (e.g. 1:12 twist). Almost a 762×39 like my Mini-30, but 6″ shorter with the stock collapsed – much more Jeep friendly for hunting. Twisting together a new upper or whole AR is a trivial exercise, the brass is widely available cheaply, and there are EXCELLENT bullets available for handloading – plenty good for hogs and deer.

  5. Personally, I am waiting for an “OK” from Unca Sam so I can build a .300BLK SBR, which will become the primary HD long gun.

    Any suggestions for a good astigmatism-friendly optic for CQB?

    • I have a slight astigmatism and use an Aimpoint micro. I like the fact that I can leave it on constantly and just change the battery every year.

      I suggest going to a LGS and asking to look through all the optics they have. For a $500+ sale, they should be willing to accommodate you.

    • Look at 1X reflex sights, or just stick to illuminated irons.

      I’ve used Aimpoints and Eotech for years. Age-related astigmatism took my Eotechs out of the picture first. All those tiny dots turned into tons of flares. More recently as it has gotten worse, my Aimpoint dots are turning into ‘comet flares’.

      At the suggestion of others I tried a Vortex 1X Reflex and it works just peachy. No blurring, no flaring, and the illumination is good as well. (Burris makes one, and Leopold used to, but don’t think they do any longer)

      Drawbacks?:

      (1) It is not a true 1x, like 1.1x and that means you cannot ‘shoot through’ it with your BUIS.

      (2) Not sure how it will hold up over time. My aimpoints have taken some not-friendly abuse and just kept on truckin’. We’ll see how the vortex stands up. Sure, it has a lifetime no-questions-asked warranty, but that doesn’t help me if it gets banged up against something during a home invasion and it fails.

    • I don’t have any experience with the higher price optics people are recommending here, but I picked up a Leatherwood hi-lux micro max b dot for my AUG over a year back. It’s worked great so far, but I haven’t tried beating it to death to see how much it can actually take. Added bonus, it claims to have a 5-10 year battery life

  6. I own a 10.5″ AR pistol, 16″ AR rifle and AK-74 in the caliber. So, I would say I really enjoy the caliber.

    PROS:
    I can load different bullet weights for different activities.
    Much better bullet selection than 7.62×39.(good luck finding subsonic 7.62×39!)
    Cheap and easy to reload for, using common components.
    Readily available brass.(.223/5.56 brass)
    Only a barrel swap away from using it in AR-15’s and AK 74s(Requires 5.56 AK mags for best functionality).
    Factory ammo groups about .5″ better than the regular 7.62×39 ammo at 100 yards for me.
    Available even if ammo exports are shut off with a pen and a phone.
    Shoots cleaner than imported 7.62×39.
    Available at Walmart.

    CONS:
    Not quite as cheap as 7.62×39.
    5.56 AK mags are expensive as hell.

    • “good luck finding subsonic 7.62×39!)”

      I’ve been out of reloading for a few decades. Is there some reason the same bullets used in .300 blk won’t work in 7.62×39? Or .308?

      • It depends on the barrel if you have .308 or .311. The main issue is reloading steel cases is not as easy as brass and 7.62×39 brass isn’t cheap from what I have seen. My comment about subs for 7.62×39 is based on the lack of availability. I can find a store near me with 300blk subs. I haven’t seen any stores with 7.62×39 subs. I know you can find it online, but the price isn’t cheap.

  7. The beauty of the cartridge is that you can use it in an SBR and not really hurt the ballistics. You could also use one gas system to shoot supersonic or subsonic in an AR-15 DI rifle. It is excellent with a suppressor and when needed can make the AR or M series rifle a very effective rifle for urban or domestic environments. From what I understand the DOD is going to start 300aac. It will be called the 7.62×35. I think only special people that do special things in special places will be getting first. Imagine an entry weapon that also equally effective 200 yards away.

    • +1
      in a SBR, yes
      in a 16″+, no
      I have an SBR in 300blk, suppressed for pest control. The other nice thing is that the can for 300 can be shorter and lighter as well. I have no intention of running subs (other than for s&g), the fast burning pistol powder is what makes it great.

  8. “Because of its cleanliness, accuracy and quality, we’re going to feed all our test guns Cap Arms ammo.”

    I guess you guys won’t be testing any revolvers then. Or lever guns.

  9. For an AR type receiver wanting AK ballistics, it’s a much better option than 7.62×39 uppers, but it’s still not mainstream enough… for now…

  10. Congratulations 300BLK fanboys and fangirls, your cartridge has just been moved from “boutique” to faddish. 300BLK certainly has the metrics to handle certain situations, but to paraphrase pwrserge: this is a solution in search of a problem.

    • I don’t own one. I was personally annoyed with all the dorks that bought them not understanding the idea behind the round. I did some testing and shooting with it. I like the round it has its place. It also has some cool charesteristics. Particularly that it likes SBR and the gas system will cycle sub and supersonic equally well.

    • Problem: I want a semi-auto rifle I can hang a can on and still have a reasonable overall length, without sacrificing ballistics due to a short barrel, that can shoot subsonic loads for home defense without use of earpro. As a reloader, bonus points if its reloadable, brass-cased, and/or can be made from super-common 5.56 brass. Further bonus if it can be chambered in an AR-pattern rifle easily and reliably.

      Solution: .300 blk. Optimized for shorter barrel. Putting a can on it doesn’t effect balance/maneuverability as much as hanging one on a standard carbine length barrel would. readily available subsonic loading for it, so can safely shoot indoors without ear pro (yes, the russians have sub-sonic 7.62×39 loadings… i have never seen, nor heard of it being available in the US. if it was, i’m pretty sure cost would be FAR greater than .300 blk sub). Also, meets all the needs regarding reloading above.

      Sure, if we just compare supersonic loadings out of unsupressed carbine length barrels, its generally a wash vs. 7.62×39 (the russian stuff is cheaper to shoot, .300 blk is cleaner, easier to make work in an AR). but if you actually consider the use cases for which .300 blk as designed and optimized, it certainly does have a use, and if much better at it than other cartridges. Not everyone needs those abilities, but thats exactly what I’m looking for, and exactly why im building an AR like the one i described this weekend.

  11. Significantly more velocity in the standard 5.56 round vs. a subsonic .300 blackout. More than a little kinetic energy too especially if you go with bullets north of 55 grain.

    Anyone care to price what a .300 blackout upper plus suppressor would cost (I am assuming someone already has the lower or the price is more)?

    • I think you could do well to find a nice upper with it’s own BCG and a decent suppressor for around $1400. That includes the tax stamp.

  12. I only see the benefit of .300 BLK in a suppressed rifle, and I don’t see the need to go down that expensive hole just yet (a can costs more than the rifle!).

    But I would enjoy the opportunity to start shooting silently. For my hearing, of course. 😉

  13. I built a 6.8 SPC and I prefer that for now: side x side comparisons I’ve seen show 6.8 SPC superior in ballistics except in one single category—suppressed fire. And since I currently reside in California (not for much longer after the last straw of Gun-magheddon), I cannot use a suppressor and ARs will be illegal to buy or sell in another year, so it is 6.8 SPC. I really hate that Californians have to talk more about laws than talk about firearms and ammo these days. Damn tyrannical state.

  14. I have 300 BLK SBR and it is a load of fun to shoot suppressed. It is not a do all cartridge but for close engagements suppressed, it is really great. Those that bitch about the price need to stick with 7.62 x 39. AK’s are not so easy to shoot suppressed though.

  15. As soon as PSA has uppers in stock again, I will have one. For no other reason than adding another toy/tool to the collection.

  16. No. I can’t see a reason I’d ever purchase one, unless I had a reason to do allot of suppressed shooting. The round has its merits there. But outside of that, 7.62×39 is the superior round. And really, if I’m gonna go bigger than 5.56, I’m gonna skip x39 too, and be a real man about it, and go with .308.

    • Yeah, I just got a DPMS G2 Recon, 16″ .308, uses the same can as my 9″ .300 blk. Love the gun, but bigger, longer, heavier and more of a handful than the .300, one does not preclude the other, other than bullet selection they are dissimilar..

  17. I don’t “get” subsonic centerfire rifles. Is their terminal ballistics better than subsonic centerfire pistols, of larger caliber? Why would an SBR 300 Blk with subsonic be preferable to a PCC in 9MM, 40, or 45? Wouldn’t the latter have faster splits, faster transitions, and be able to use ammo that exceeds FBI standards for terminal performance? For example, Federal HST met or exceeded all of the ballistic gelatin stuff (denim, wallboard, bare, auto glass, etc) in basic pistol calibers and with subsonic velocities. How is a 300 Blk subsonic better than any of this (besides being more expensive)?

    • I had this same debate internally when considering a supressed SBR .300 BLK build. While there are some aspects where you could say there is an advantage over, lets say, suppressed .45 acp (similar bullet weights at similar velocities as .300 blk) such as better sectional density for better penetration, better ballistics for longer range shots, etc; the main reason for me was versatility. A supressed pistol, or PCC can do one thing only: shoot heavyweight large-bore low-velocity pistol bullets. The .300 can shoot similar weight/velocity bullets (however with some of the advantages listed above) but can ALSO, by merely switching ammo, shoot supersonic, high velocity .30 caliber rifle bullets. It’s like have a pistol/PCC that you can convert into an AK just by switching ammo. Thats a neat trick in my mind, and expands the versatility of the gun a bunch.

      • I get the high velocity advantage of the 300 Blk. One really isn’t going to find a 2200 to 2400 fps solution for 9MM or 45. But if we limit our analysis to subsonic, can it be argued that 300 Blk has any advantages? Pistol rounds do have known, reliable penetration and expansion at subsonic velocities. This is pretty broadly analyzed and documented. 30 caliber rifle rounds will offer penetration at subsonic speeds, but reliable, documented expansion? There may be a boutique bullet here or there, but nothing like the heavily analyzed, LEO-optimized handgun bullets.

        The original post says, “I asked Clint Gerner to tell me why he favors 300 Blackout — in this case suppressed — over .223/5.56 for home defense.” In the home defense/ subsonic case, I am left wondering about the comparison. This, doubly so, since a friend has a 300 Blk firearm which is rather finicky about ammo. Its gas system doesn’t work well with all commercially available rounds.

        • At short ranges, benefits of a subsonic .308 rifle bullet vs a .35 (9mm) – .45 pistol round are increased penetration due to better sectional density (for situations where thats what youre looking for). And there are some new-ish bullet designs that demonstrate significant expansion at subsonic velocities (even more dramatic than pistol rounds). Think some of those cnc solid copper bullets with interesting geometry. Too soon to really consider them as reliable or proven, but the ballistics gel tests I’ve seen an early reports seem to indicate they are effective.

          At anything beyond pistol ranges (lets say 25 yards) the advantages really come out. The better ballistic coefficient means that a subsonic .300 black will drift less, retain velocity/energy better and hence drop less. So it’ll be easier to be accurate, and will hit harder when it gets there.

    • W,

      The only ballistic advantage that a suppressed short barreled rifle in .300 AAC provides over a handgun is aiming/accuracy inherent in a long-gun platform. But then again you could get the same with a pistol caliber carbine. At that point the only advantage of a rifle in .300 AAC is that you can switch to high-velocity rounds (with a muzzle velocity around 2300 fps) for longer range shots with higher retained velocity downrange due to the .30 caliber bullet’s smaller cross-section as compared to a pistol caliber carbine in 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP.

      If we are strictly limiting ourselves to home-defense or urban engagements of 50 yards or less, then a pistol caliber carbine might actually be superior (ballistically) to a short-barreled rifle in .300 AAC shooting sub-sonic ammunition … unless that subsonic ammunition immediately expands to .75 caliber or greater on impact which seems physically impossible even for a 220 grain .30 caliber bullet. (I have a hard time imagining that a bullet can expand to almost 2.5 times its nominal diameter without fragmenting at subsonic velocities.)

      Note: pistol caliber carbines shooting subsonic ammunition out of a 16 inch barrel are surprisingly quiet compared to typical handgun barrels of 2 to 4 inches. Shooting such a platform in the home would not be good for your hearing of course. At any rate any significant reduction in sound power reduces both short term and long term hearing loss which is a good thing.

      • Your point is well taken, but I would point out that a suppressed, full size .45 pistol will chase a milk jug around at 50 yards all day in the hands of even a barely competent shooter. So why bother going to a carbine?

        My go to-home defense gun is a USP .45 with a Osprey and a TLR-2 on it. Letting it off in an enclosed space using Remington Golden Sabre JHP rounds makes a sound approximately equivalent to dropping a large text book flat on a table. If you had the time to put some water in the suppressor the loudest sound is the action racking back and forth for your first 3-5 rounds.

        Given this I fail to see the point in a dedicated carbine or dropping the cash on a .300BLK build and suppressing it. It seems to me that if you want basically the same thing but cheaper you get a G21, register it as an SBR and slap a stock on it. Much cheaper than going the SBR route, still suppressed, still gives you the bennies of a stock and still accurate out to 50 yards and beyond while still a great HD kit with the stock or without.

        • Speaking of stocks on Glocks, I have been wondering if this is the sleeper solution to USPSA PCC. With an extended mag and a shoulder stock, a Glock would be very fast and probably quicker than traditional solutions on many stages.

        • strych9,

          You make valid points as well.

          Keep in mind that some people find it much easier to aim a carbine more accurately than a handgun. And (I recognize this is unlikely) if you had to make a really accurate shot at 50 yards (e.g. an attacker is holding a hostage and only presenting a few inches of his head from behind that hostage) the carbine would be better than a handgun.

          Of course a suppressor is by far and away the best solution for any firearm, whether a handgun, carbine, or long-gun. If someone is opposed to acquiring/paying for a suppressor tax stamp, then a pistol caliber carbine is the next best thing.

          By the way I stick with .40 S&W pistol caliber carbines for home defense: you get large-ish bullets (.40 caliber, 180 grain) and Glock magazines that can hold up to 29 rounds. (I personally prioritize — to a point — increased round count over size.

        • uncommon,

          While I understand your hypothetical, a rifle would be my personal tool of choice at that point.

          Inside my house I’m rolling with the suppressed USP, but I could see the point of putting a stock on my wife’s G21.

          If there was such a situation outside my house in my neighbor’s front yard my first choice would be my suppressed and scoped 16″ RRA in 5.56. In fact when my neighbor’s son got high on PCP last year, and was running around the neighborhood waving a lawnmower blade at people, the RRA was the gun I picked up. Most other people around here chose a shotgun but I was wary of exactly the hypothetical you mention here.

          Fortunately a bunch of my neighbors were cops so it was mere minutes before he was tazered into submission and face-down on my neighbors lawn in handcuffs.

        • “Fortunately a bunch of my neighbors were cops so it was mere minutes before he was tazered into submission and face-down on my neighbors lawn in handcuffs.”

          (snicker)

          Yes, an actual rifle with a scope and suppressor are definitely superior in my unlikely hostage situation. Making a shot into a few inches of exposed attacker at 50 yards with iron sights (under stress no less) can be a dicey proposition even with a carbine.

          And all of this illustrates that there is no single perfect firearm for ALL scenarios. Every firearm will have drawbacks in some scenarios.

    • The main advantage of the .300BLK is that it isn’t just a subsonic cartridge. However that aside, it also a longer range subsonic gun – with accurate range and wind estimates the improved BC of the .300 can become a significant advantage.

    • Most PCC’s are blowback operated, while a 300 blackout AR will operate using a theoretically softer shooting rotating bolt delayed action. As such, accurate splits should be easier/faster/more accurate with the blackout, even though actual recoil may be similar.

      That being said, there’s a place for both options… I’m just waiting for tax stamps so I can put stocks on both my PCC and AR/300blk and accurately compare the shouldered recoil on both. Simply shooting as pistols, my 9mm scorpion seems much softer shooting than my 300blk AR pistol, however that’s not really a fair comparison, as the palmetto projectiles cheap subsonic 300blk ammo is 203gr at around 1040fps, while my 9mm 147gr reloads shoot at around 950fps out of the scorpion, so the amount of energy/power is dramatically less (211 power factor vs 140 power factor). Using a 45ACP can, the 9mm scorpion seems much quieter at the shooters ear compared to the same can on the blackout, but I’d imagine a dedicated 762 can would make a big difference.

      • I am thinking that the Scorpion or MCX or MP5 or UMP have a lot to offer, if one wants subsonic. The open question is “why isn’t S&W playing in the PCC game?” Someone in the biz should ask them. Remember the old Beretta M12? There are a lot of ways to be cool in this field.

  18. How many people find defending their home such a pain in the ass due to a loud firearm?

    This shooting bad guys breaking in 3 or 4 times a week is ridiculous.

    Really?

    • It’s not the shooting of the bad guy, it’s the permanent hearing loss and the difficulty in talking coherently with the 5-0 when they show up. People are remarkably flippant about this topic, but both of those items can be just as life-altering as the event itself. As witness, the woman who was shot by the cops after defending her home because she couldn’t hear their commands due to firing several rounds of 12-gauge indoors.

      • ” People are remarkably flippant about this topic, but both of those items can be just as life-altering as the event itself.”

        This. You don’t want to damage your hearing because you will never get it back and even one shot in a narrow hallway with an unsuppressed firearm can do it.

        The advantages of a suppressor in an HD situation, to me, are that most home invasions will occur after dark. In a dark hallway you’ll notice things about your gun that you haven’t before, first it’s ear shattering and second the flash from the gun will destroy your night vision. Neither of those things is good if there are multiple people in your house or if you happen to miss with the first shot which is gonna leave your ears ringing, meaning they’re damaged anyway. Now add into the situation that you’ve awoken out of a dead sleep at 0300 Saturday morning after a couple glasses of that fine whisky you like… yeah this is getting worse and worse all the time and Mr. Murphy is laughing about it. Adding a suppressor deals with both issues and it’s attached to the gun so you don’t need to go looking for earpro or just deal with the damage because you didn’t have time for earpro.

        In an ideal world I’d have electronic earpro and eyepro plus my suppressed pistol with water in the muffler but it’s not likely I’ll have time for all of that when it hits the fan so I just keep the can on my bedside gun.

        • Me too. I don’t ever want to hear an unsuppressed weapon indoors without hearing protection again. My ears ring enough now. My suppressor goes on my handgun as soon as I get home. My home rifle has the Sig .338 Lapua suppressor on it and that thing really works well – no flash and comfortably quiet. I turns my nice maneuverable SBR back into a 20″ gun though.

  19. Haven’t seen anyone bring this up yet, but it was important to me. I taught my son on firearms with the AR platform. Started him with the .22 conversion kit, graduated him to .223, and now he hunts deer with .300 BLK. The controls are exactly the same (same lower even). So if he is ever placed in a stressful situation, he knows instinctually how to handle it, where the safety is, mag release, etc. I would trust him explicitly to back me up with an AR during a home invasion if it ever came to that. And if I’m not home at the time, he’ll be the primary defender of the family. Beware a kid with one rifle, he is probably pretty deadly with it.

  20. The two main reasons I don’t use .300 AAC:

    (1) I can get identical or slightly better ballistics from 7.62 x 39mm (using hollowpoints no less)
    (2) Imported 7.62 x 39 mm ammunition is about 25% of the cost of .300 AAC

  21. I have nothing against .300 Blackout per se but I don’t own one. I just haven’t seen the need nor have I been gripped by the want.

    • If cans were cheaper and easier to get I would definitely get one. But on principle, I’m not paying that much for one. My cousin bought a dozen in the past year for his collection, but hasn’t loaded up on subsonic ammo… ?

      • Somebody told you suppressors somehow NEED subsonic ammo? They are really fine additions to any gun, my biggest bitch is they alter point of aim, so how do I set the sights, suppressed or not?

  22. As a reloader and caster, I think that 300 would be awesome. (It’s on my eventually list.) Here’s why:

    -Protect my mag investment because I’m standardized. If I want battle rifle I obv have to step up but this time I don’t.
    -I can actually shoot it SUPER economically if I cast. Powder coat bullets will come in under a nickel each, add 3 cents for a primer and probably another 3-5 of powder and you’re talking .15 a round. This would be supersonic with subs coming in a bit cheaper.
    -The above reloads would almost certainly be of better quality and accuracy than a 7.62X39.
    -I’m standardized on the AR15 platform currently, so that helps drive my parts cost down. I have no issue with the AK platform except the value equation is hard to buy into for me.
    -There’s a good chance that my first venture into this will be an AR pistol. Supposedly they’re less finicky with 300blk than 5.56, not to mention 5.56 losses kinda suck in short barreled stuff.

    If I was buying ammo I probably wouldn’t be about this unless I had a can or an SBR

    • My “eventually” just changed to now. Although I have the “short stroke, striker fired abortion”, I bought set of Hornady 300 blk dies yesterday and today I ordered a cut off saw and jig for shortening the .223 brass. PSA pistol lenght upper is next. I still have one finished 80 percent lower to put it on.
      I already cast and powder coat for 7.62×39 and x54R.
      Can will have to wait until Illinois joins free states and legalize them.

  23. I wanted better subsonic performance and I am a tinkerer so I choose a .338 Spectre instead. I do not recommend it for people who do not like to reload and test a lot. For me though, it keeps me busy doing something I like and it does fly farther (though not much) and hit harder when subsonic. It has been a bit of a struggle getting soft round nose and hollow point bullets (being that barrel extension feed ramps are not well sized for .338) to feed well but I think I am winning finally.

  24. The only benefit I see to 300blk is the ability to run subsonic and supersonic without any need for gas tweaking. If you need the extra ft lbs, swap mags. That’s cool. But strictly running it for suppressed work, you’re getting roughly the same energy on target as a 45acp. At 4 times the cost. Until all 300 loads come in at around 50¢/Rd, I’ll wait.

    • If you don’t reload 300 is more expensive, if you do it is roughly equal. Retail 300 has come way down in price, since I built my first one and that trend will continue.

  25. I don’t own a rifle in 556 that’s a caliber I don’t see a point in. I have .22 mag for a 22 caliber and 7.62×39 and a sig 556r for high volume and a bolt action and ar in 300 blk for everything else. Ask and ar mags are cheap.

  26. The concept of clean ammo entrances me. My .300 has been absolutely FILTHY after one shot, regardless of several different ammo brands. If you guys come up with ammo that runs as clean as Milspec in a 5.56 AR, let me know, I need to try it.

  27. Oh man, did you say 300 Blackout? Whew, talk about throwing a match at a can of gas 😉 I’ve been in this battle too many times by now, so I’ll just leave it to everyone else to duke it out. Love it, hate… IDGAF

  28. There are a lot of comments here comparing 300 Blackout to 7.62×39. I think a lot of people have missed the purpose of the 300 Blackout. It is not meant to be an intermediate rifle cartridge. It was designed to be used in a suppressed PDW platform as an option to replace the MP5, MP7, and M4 for CQB applications, with the ability to run supersonic or subsonic ammo without the need for changes to the gas system. Here is Robert Silvers (the brain behind the Honeybadger LVC) AA presentation on why 300 blackout works for this purpose:

    http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2012armaments/Wednesday13590Silvers.pdf

    Make your own decisions, but do it with experience and education on your side.

  29. I don’t have a 300 Blackout. Initially, the idea sounded very cool – subsonic rounds out of an AR with just an upper swap. A new upper isn’t that much. Then I looked at the price of ammo, and found out how expensive it was. True, I could reload, but then I’d have to get the reloading gear for 30 caliber, which I could share with other rifle rounds. And I’d need a new suppressor in 30 caliber, which I didn’t have at the time. And the effectiveness of the subsonic rounds still isn’t that great, unless you are just plinking or target shooting, or so I’ve heard.

    The supersonic rounds just don’t do anything for me, as I have other rifles that fill that niche or outperform it.

    What I need is the ammo to come down in price to about what I pay for 45ACP. Because right now, that’s what it is competing with for me. I have a 45 caliber silencer, reloading equipment for 45ACP and enough brass for the apocalypse. Right now I’m looking for a 45ACP carbine or upper for an AR. A plus for me is how quiet a 45 is out of a 16″ barrel, and 45ACP rounds have had many decades of terminal performance development.

  30. My go-to home defense gun is a .300 BLK AR pistol. Big lead slug, not nearly as much muzzle blast as .223, familiar AR manual of arms, short 8″ barrel is easy to move around inside home, much easier to intuitively aim under duress and remain effective than a handgun (since you generally use two hands and a “cheek weld” on these), I will suppress it as soon as the Hearing Protection Act passes and I don’t have to register my 1900’s-era-technology muffler with the Feds, putting a big bullseye target on my back, and 30 rounds on hand, standard giving much higher capacity than the average pistol. There’s a LOT to like about .300 BLK when talking about using it at CQB distances inside a building, the most obvious of which is, that’s EXACTLY what it was designed for.

    • Oh, and yes, I handload. It’s not that hard or expensive to get into. So I can make my own ammo for plinking or hunting for cheap. Try handloading 7.62×39 with bullets that don’t suck for defensive or hunting use, and your miracle 25-cent round all of a sudden costs the same to reload as a Blackout round. You cheap SOB’s who rail against the Blackout and sing the praises of x39 almost completely because you can get a spam can of cheap, inaccurate comblock ammo in x39 sound like hillbillies every time you do. There’s more to shooting than blasting away at a hillside in mag dump after magdump because you like the noise.

  31. This AK vs AR bashing bash-athon seems like total and complete nonsense to me. I own both platforms, I am immeasurably fond of both, each for entirely different reasons. My AR is an LMT MRP which means that I can have one rifle and one upper and in moments of quick work with a wrench, switch between 5.56, 300BLK, and a dedicated 22LR-chambered barrel. Hard not to like that. I’ve found the BLK super enjoyable to shoot, with or without a can (I have a can on the way, hasn’t cleared the BATFE web of bureaucracy yet, but have been able to try a friends). At some point I want to get a casting mold for the BLK because I expect that cast gas-checked bullets would work supremely well in it. And at the same time I tremendously admire the tough as a bumperjack, reliable as a bumperjack AK, and its fun to be able to pick up low cost steel case ammo and have some fun with it with no thought given or needed about it being worth the bother or savings about reloading the cartridges. If I want precision and refinement, reach for the AR. If I want something that I am confident would work under the most variable adverse and foul conditions, I’d reach for the AK.

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