Calibers for Beginners: The Amazing .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is a round that I have a great deal of experience on from the earliest years it was introduced. In this article I will share some of that experience with you and introduce one of the most popular and interesting cartridges of our current day. The beginner to this cartridge has a great deal to learn, so let’s get the basic facts across.

In the last ten years or so I’ve fired many, many thousands of rounds of .300 Blackout. I wrote a five-part series on it that was published on gun news site AmmoLand and it was met with great reception. People love the .300 Blackout!

In my time with the cartridge I have built several AR rifles with it that represented the very best of what is available on today’s market and truly pushed the little round to its limits. This article is meant to be informative for you so that you can understand what the .300 Blackout is in all its many forms.

First, I want to dispel some myths that surround the cartridge.

– The .300 BLK is a subsonic only cartridge. False. This is a commonly held misconception. The .300 BLK is a fantastic supersonic cartridge with ballistics that rival or equal 7.62x39mm. There are more technical ways to present this, but they aren’t worth getting into here. The round is commonly had with 110-125gr bullets that fly at speeds of up to 2400fps from a 16” barrel, although specialty rounds can be had that generate 2800fps and amazing accuracy at longer ranges.

– The .300 BLK is meant for short barrels. This is another misconception. The .300 BLK is a great cartridge from almost any barrel length. My own has a 7.5” currently and it does very well. Most common loads I fire through it show a reduction of about 15% going from 16” to 7.5”, which is really nice. I did the majority of my testing with .300 BLK out of a 16” barrel and fired supersonic ammo. It is a great modern alternative to a legacy .30-30 for many new hunters.

– .300 BLK is a short range cartridge. Again, false. I fired it past 500 yards on steel plates time and again. It isn’t the best for these ranges, but it will not become a spitball past 100 yards. I would say that my general effective range on a 100 yard zero and iron sights with the cartridge on silhouette plates is 300 yards, which is roughly the same as the AK and the 7.62x39mm.

– .300 BLK is not accurate. Again, false. It is as accurate, often more so than other current options. I’ve shot with mostly Faxon Firearms barrels, and they have all been exceptional. My current 7.5” barrel will shoot to 1.5” at 100 yards using SIG SAUER 125gr match loads. My bulk handloads using Hornady 125gr flatbase bullets and Lil Gun powder yield about 2-3” at 100 yards. Is a .300 BLK a sub-MOA machine? No and it isn’t supposed to be in most cases.

– The cartridge is pointless without a suppressor. Again, false. I don’t own a suppressor and I really don’t plan to and I shoot the cartridge all the time. It became popular as a result of the suppressor boom, but it has plenty of use without a suppressor.

The beginner and the internet ‘expert’ alike have probably been misinformed by the properties of the cartridge if they believe the above prompts. Get off the couch and off of Reddit and go to the range is all I can say. The .300 BLK is probably one of the most flexible cartridges made for the AR platform and it offers a startling range of use when compared to other options.

The cartridge can handle virtually all bullet weights in .30 caliber from lightweight 78gr Lehigh bullets to massive 245gr hardcast lead bullets that look like cylinders at speeds ranging from 800fps up to 2800fps. To the chagrin of many detractors, these bullets typically shoot very well. In fact, you can even alternate them in the magazine and they will function. I’ve done this with subsonic and supersonic on one point of aim and they just printed two groups, subs lower and supers higher.

Because of the fact that it can handle literally any bullet weight, the .300 BLK has extraordinary elasticity in performance. You can shoot your local matches with it using 110gr bullets and a mild powder charge and then go hunting later that day with an advanced expanding bullet like the Hornady 190gr Sub-X with your suppressor attached.

The speed envelope of the .300 BLK means that bullets designed for it are designed to expand at those velocities. A great deal of technology can be fit into a .30 bore these days thanks to this cartridge. I will go so far as to say that the entire .30 caliber family has benefitted from the popularity and advancement of the .300 BLK in much the same way as pistol calibers have been advanced by the popularity of .380 ACP.

The new shooter interested in the .300 BLK should consider the following facts about it:

– Low Recoil. This is a very soft shooting cartridge and it is a joy to shoot. I find it even easier to use than .223 and that is already easy enough to get along with.

– Adaptability. As I stated above, the cartridge is amazingly versatile. You can use it suppressed, unsuppressed, subsonic, supersonic, with expensive custom bullets, cheap reloads, and everything in between. It is a dream for reloaders and bulk-minded shooters as well.

– Cost. The .300 BLK has always suffered a bit when it comes to cost. This is a rapidly changing situation, as many makers are offering bulk options. Companies like Mid America Munitions offer remanufactured loads in boxes of 50 for as little as $17.00 ($0.34/rd, or about the same as most 5.56mm out there). Bulk options exist for about $0.40 a round at other companies and can be found all over the place. The thing is, folks, bigger bullets cost more and it is a simple matter of material cost for .300 BLK. Specialty rounds can run much more, well into the $2.00/rd range.

– Availability. A quick trip to my local sports stores and Cabela’s revealed that the .300 BLK section is large and rivals or exceeds most other common rifle calibers. During my quick stops, I saw no less than a dozen manufacturers available with over 25 loads on the shelves.

– Parts Commonality. The .300 BLK is based off the .223 case body and the brass can be made by trimming down the neck and shoulder of the latter. Commercial brass is widely available, but some people still prefer to make their brass this way. As an added bonus, this means that the .300 BLK can use .223/5.56 magazines. The only part that differs from any .223/5.56 part is the barrel. It’s literally just a barrel swap in most cases. Since the case head essentially comes from .223/5.56, even the bolt is the same. The fact that it works with about 99% of AR parts out there with no modification is a major part of the .300 BLK’s success story.

– Power. The power level of the .300 BLK varies with the bullets used. In states that restrict bore size for deer hunting, the .300 BLK makes a ton of sense over 5.56mm options. All that is required is a barrel change and you’re good to go. The cartridge has, in my firsthand experience, an effective hunting range using supersonic bullets of about 200 yards with an ideal distance being about 50. Remember, hunting isn’t killing. It is a pursuit and a close shot is an ethical shot. Don’t be that guy and take risks with something’s life and try to extend your reach too far.

There is too much in the ever-growing world of .300 Blackout to cover here. The cartridge enjoys a massive following, is easily adapted to existing rifles and is made as a standard option by many gun makers, has nearly unlimited bullet options, and is affordable. The beginner should take a long, hard look at this cartridge and seriously consider it as a general use and do-all cartridge.

comments

  1. avatar Sammy says:

    I am a big fan of 300blk for its purpose, but it is not the most accurate of cartridges. I’m not impressed with 1.5″ at 100 yards with match ammo.

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      I don’t think any cartridge is inherently more or less accurate than others. Am I wrong?

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Don’t tell that to the Creedmoorians. (Creedmoorons?)

        1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

          “Don’t tell that to the Creedmoorians. (Creedmoorons?)”

          Creed-Morons.

          FIFY.

          *snicker* 😉

      2. avatar Jeremy D says:

        I cant tell you why but I believe you are incorrect

      3. avatar Sammy says:

        My AR15s and AR10s shoots 1/2 MOA with factory match ammo

        My 6.5 CM and 300 Norma shoots 1/3 MOA

        Yes, some calibers are more accurate than others.

        That said, my defense guns are short, suppressed 300BLKs

        1. avatar Sora says:

          It’s not the size of the bullet that made Creedmoor accurate. It’s the shoulder and bullet seating that makes it more accurate than others in same caliber.
          Of course, even in 6.5, having boat tail, length and shape of boat tail, etc. all make it accurate.
          Then there is the barrel, the bedding, frame, stock, and the nut case pulling the trigger.

      4. avatar Jermaine says:

        “Inherently accurate cartridges”

        This refers to a chambering which tends to be accurate in a wide variety of rifles, with a wide variety of ammunition, over a relatively long range.

        There is one thing I can speak to that certainly affects accuracy that is related to the cartridge, or more precisely, the load.

        Tran-sonic ammunition (which begins supersonic but falls below the speed of sound) is likely to be badly thrown off course when the sonic boom behind it catches up, so the pattern diameter will tend to grow at a much greater rate beyond that point.

        .22LR is probably the classic example. Standard .22 typically has listed muzzle velocities of about 1200fps. Because of it’s poor ballistic coefficient (typically ranging between .080 and .126) the .22 loses speed VERY quickly. The speed of sound varies with atmospheric conditions, but at roughly sea level it is normally between about 1050-1100fps. SO, between 50 and 100 yards, the vast majority of .22LR loads will pass under the sound barrier, and most shooters of .22 know this and stick to a 50 yard lane, because a 1/2 inch group at 50 yards will be far greater than 1 inch at 100 yards, and doesn’t’ really reflect much on the shooter.

        How this relates to .300BLK:

        CAVEAT: Of course there are a myriad of factors that go into muzzle velocity, and chances are unless you are shooting standard velocity ammunition filled with a typical quantity of powder of a typical burning rate through a barrel with middle of the road twist and the same length as the one in which the ammunition was tested and rated, you will almost certainly see a noticeable difference in muzzle velocity. That being said, it’s been my experience that unless you deviate wildly from the norm (like the 6″ barrel mentioned in the article) you won’t see wild deviations in muzzle velocity (more than say, 20%, and BTW, almost always LESS than rated on the box).

        However there are really only three factors that affect whether a bullet is trans-sonic; muzzle velocity, ballistic coefficient and the distance traveled, (or time traveled, but distance traveled is a direct function thereof, and it is much easier and more useful for a shooter to think in terms of yards than milliseconds).

        Most supersonic .300BLK that I looked at on cheaper than dirt dot com (they have about 77 varieties, I didn’t check them all) was rated about 2000-2400fps in bullet weights a little light for whitetail (120-140grains) that have decent ballistic coefficients, and those that list speeds at a given range have these rounds still well above the sound barrier out to around 400-500 yards, so I am confident that there is no commercially available .300BLK that is trans-sonic by 100 yards even from the shortest barrels, since that would require a loss of muzzle velocity of more than 40% of rated velocity. That would be very unusual.

        So at least in this regard, I would not expect .300BLK to be an inherently INaccurate round.

    2. avatar arc says:

      I was about to drop the coin on a 300 upper but I have other expenses first. 300BLK is right up there with 9mm and 5.56

    3. avatar little horn says:

      and it couldn’t be your barrel or any of the thousands of other variables.

    4. avatar Dracon1201 says:

      Noone wants to hear it, but your gun sucks.

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        Nah. He’s just holding it wrong.

    5. avatar Jermaine says:

      I have to agree; 1 MOA is the standard of accuracy for me. Above that simply means not accurate (though it may be good enough for some purposes) below that is sufficiently accurate to call a gun “accurate”. For the author to say that it was a myth that .300BLK is inaccurate, and then say his best groups were 1.5″ at 100 yards, and then say that his hand loads were only getting 2-3″ groups… sorry, that’s just not accurate at all. That being said, if it does the job, it’s good enough, and for hunting below 200 yards, a 6″ group is acceptable for many large game, but don’t say the gun is accurate if it’s not. I guess some people just have low standards of accuracy.

      To put this in perspective, most commercially made rifles by a respectable manufacturers can achieve MOA or sub-MOA groupings.

      If I had to guess why the article author’s rifle is inaccurate? Well, it is trying to work a slow, large bore bullet through a platform that was designed to for a fast, small bore bullet, and on top of that a platform for which accuracy was not the biggest design consideration.

      Now, I will readily admit that I don’t know anything about rifle engineering, but I do know a little about engineering in general, and generally speaking, to design a device or machine, or probably a gun for that matter, you should first decide what it needs to do, then decide what different machinery is needed to make that happen, then put it together in a logical manner, and you will achieve good results. If you take a design and start changing one specific aspect you may be able to get it to do what you want, but you will likely find out that you lose considerably in some other area of performance. I’d never pull the engine from a large semi, put it in a Corvette and expect the Corvette to handle turns like it did before, nor pull the same load as the semi.

      Having read the entire article, I can’t fathom why someone would particularly choose this round for something other than it’s original military purpose or general purpose “fun” gun. But it is certainly not an “all-rounder”, (and really there never has been an “all-rounder”), and it certainly isn’t cheap enough (in my mind) to be a “fun” gun at the range for the average shooter.

  2. avatar Christopher Erickson says:

    The first AR pattern rife I built was a 9.5″ Black Hole Weaponry polyagonal barrel SBR. I put an adjustable gas block on it and a captured spring. Soft shooting and accurate. I made my own brass out of LC once fired using Hornady SST 125gr bullets. I often get 1-1.5 moa 5 shot groups at 50 yds, and 1.5-2.5 at 100 using an Eotech holographic sight. Fun to reload, and more fun to shoot!

    1. avatar Jermaine says:

      MOA shouldn’t vary between 50 and 100 yards.

      1. avatar Cigam says:

        “J” Only in the best of conditions and circumstances. Kinda like shoot’n half or full court.

  3. avatar New Continental Army says:

    Get off the couch and off of Reddit and go to the range is all I can say.”

    I think this is the best line published on TTAG in months. I read far too many commenters here and other gun blogs that post things you can tell they have no experience in, they just read some A hole regurgitating what they read. Anytime I read “*insert round here* is fat and slow, outdated, doesn’t shine enough”, I conclude they haven’t actually seen objects, animals, or people shot with said round.

    1. avatar Jeremy D says:

      Reddit is the worst. Lots of snobs parroting the same shit in an echo chamber. If its not a $800+ pistol they think its hot garbage

      1. avatar Rhodes says:

        Pistols start to be of a much better quality at about $800 though.
        Sure, Glocks, M&Ps, etc work, but they’re not the nicest things to shoot.

  4. avatar Baldwin says:

    It has to be said…300 Blackout is what 6.5 Creedmoor dreams about at night.

  5. avatar Ed says:

    You want affordability and interchangable parts in a 120ish grain .30 round…..buy an AK-47…or even just a 7.62×39 AR upper. .300 blk is just a over-hyped AK round unless you are shooting it for its designed purpose…shooting supressed sub-sonic 220 gr rounds from a 10 1/2″ barrel at urban engagement distances.

    1. avatar Joe Tast says:

      How true, In my opinion the 7.62×39 doesn’t get the hoopla credit it deserves. That cartridge is almost, almost, the equal of the deer and black bear slayer 30-30. With good bullets it can do more then most people know. …..I think the .300 Blackouts claim to fame is its compatibility with the AR platform. To each his/her own, it would be a pretty boring shooting world if we all shot the same cartridge and firearm.

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Most of the issues with 7.62×39 are from the guns and cheap surplus combloc ammo.

      The AK was designed from the Soviet’s WW2 experience as a SMG with reach out to 300m.

      Reading analysis from Afghanistan about the poor results of ISIS and Taliban shooting came from the following reasons. Mixed ammunition in magazines with 5+ identifiable headstamps being not unknown and 2-3 being normal. AKs being cut down for concealment removing butt stocks and even front sights. Poor to nonexistent training. Poor eyesight from medical issues including glaucoma from high altitude UV exposure.

      Put 7.62×39 in a good rifle with good consistent ammunition and it will surprise you. Certainly no worse than most .308 Winchester.

      1. avatar Sean says:

        Well, there’s that… and the fact they think Allah shall guide their bullets into the infidels 🤣😂

    3. avatar Timothy says:

      I both agree and disagree. I shoot both blackout and 7.62×39 and like them both. The SBR, suppressed, subsonic blackout is where it shines, I absolutely agree. But I also like that I can take supersonic rounds with me and reach out 2 or 3 hundred yards without taking another rifle (ranges near me don’t go out further than 300 yards).

      That said, for cheap plinking… 7.62×39 in my AK offers just as much power, accuracy and range for half the cost per bullet.

    4. avatar Kenneth says:

      7.62X39 suffers badly in an AR platform. The AR has a straight magazine well which makes it almost incompatible with the 7.62s pronounced case taper. Stick with a ‘rock it in’ magwell platform for the 7.62, like an AK or Ruger mini-30.

  6. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Meh… I’ll stick with my .30-30. It does everything a .300 Blackout will do only better. And it comes with a nifty lever.

    1. avatar RocketScientist says:

      “everything a .300 Blackout will do”

      .30-30 will chamber in an AR and still get good velocity out of a 7″ barrel??? NEAT!

      Don’t get me wrong, I love .30-30 and have 3 guns chambered in it. But its foolish to claim it does everything a .300BLK does. Granted, that extra functionality may be in areas you’d never use it, in which case sure, there’s zero benefit to YOU. but that doesn’t mean there’s no benefit.

      1. avatar Jermaine says:

        A 7″ barrelled AR platform is not an optimum platform for any non-military purpose, even self/home-defense. It is basically a toy. That’s fine, if you enjoy shooting that, go right ahead. I’m not going to tell you that a round needs a “point”; shooting is in itself a “point”. But don’t go around saying it’s the best thing ever. It’s not better than other rounds for any purpose other than what it was designed for, for any other purpose, it’s typically far worse than the conventional rounds.

        The whole purpose of the round as far as I can tell, was to provide the military a light-weight, short-range, subsonic gun for use against soft human targets, without having to spend the money to come up with a whole new platform. That’s about it. It’s a pretty niche cartridge. It may be adaptable to other purposes, and if it’s the only gun you have, hey, do what you have to. But if I’m buying a gun and I have my choice of chamber, there are already cartridges for those purposes that perform far better. Simply being sufficient isn’t really good enough in a competitive market.

        For hunting, every popular hunting cartridge does what it does, but better: .243 is a better general cartridge for small deer (less recoil, similar effect, more range), the other .30 caliber cartridges all have better expansion for large deer or elk (because of higher velocity), except the .30-30 which typically loses a lot compared to .300BLK past 150 yards, but below 100 yards it is typically significantly more powerful, and for large elk and bear .338 cartridges are far, far better if you want a fast take-down on large game in dense woods. Another consideration is that in many states you can’t legally hunt with semi-automatics or guns with greater than a given round capacity, so many of the advantages of a semi-auto with 30 round detachable box magazines aren’t applicable to the purpose. That being said, one animal that seems to be hunted with .300BLK is feral swine, and they are not considered game animals in every state, so hunting laws may not apply to them.
        For self-defense, carrying long-arms is all but illegal. You can’t carry loaded, high powered rifles around publicly in any state I’ve ever lived in (outside of hunting season). You will stopped and questioned by police constantly while carrying an unloaded, obviously automatic long-arm any further than from your house to the trunk of your car. Whether or not you think that’s okay (I’m actually okay with it) I bet it does make it difficult to get good service when you go to the bank, liquor store, or gas station. There’s just not much legit room for self-defense rifles. I guess you could keep it in the trunk of your car in case you happened to drive past a bank robbery. But then again, since many bank robbers wear body armor, I’d much rather have a more penetrating cartridge for the task of stopping bank robberies in progress.
        For home defense, nothing really beats plain lead buckshot. Using #3 or #4 will go a long way to preventing, and are commonly available. A 12 gauge with slug is about the closest thing you will get to a guaranteed one shot stop on a human short of a crew served weapon. 20 gauge is also very effective, if you can’t handle 12ga recoil. In terms of effectiveness, buckshot is not far behind slugs at close range. As far as shotgun tube capacity goes, it’s not really an issue in home-defense shooting, the distances inside of a typical home will likely result in 80%+ rounds being well on target if you have any proficiency with the gun in question and so 5 or 6 rounds is really, really, really enough.
        As far as “being available on the AR platform” – I don’t’ see that as a purpose in itself. I could make the same argument AGAINST the .300BLK that it ISN’T widely available in any platform OTHER than the AR, which cannot be said for .308, .30-30, .45acp, .45 LC, .44 mag, all cartridges are capable of performing roles which are suggested for the .300BLK. The only advantage I see here is if you happened to be stuck with the AR platform because that’s what you have, or can afford, and you would like a bigger caliber that gives you a bunch more bullet weight for certain purposes. But understand that that’s a compromise, and not an entirely happy one; I certainly don’t’ see having to swap barrels and re-sight every time I want to use a given cartridge as an advantage of any sort, off the top of my head, and I certainly wouldn’t want to pick up an AR magazine in that rare emergency and not remember if I left it loaded with .300BLK, .223rem, 9x19mm, 40S&W, or whatever other cartridge they make AR barrels for now.

        1. avatar Jermaine says:

          preventing overpenetration*

    2. avatar Nigel the expat says:

      But no ‘shoulder things that goes up’. Definitely a ‘must have’ feature 😉

  7. avatar Paul McMichael says:

    Uh, why? We don’t need any new calibers. When Remington introduced the 8mm Magnum Elmer Keith stood up and asked, “What’s it good for?” That killed it. It only duplicated what other calibers were already doing. To paraphrase Jeff Cooper, firearms manufacturers introduce new calibers to sell firearms. Fine, that’s how they make money. 7.62X39 almost duplicated .300 BLK? Then load 7.62 X39 to those ballistics. We don’t need new calibers. Nothing new under the sun since shortly after the introduction of smokeless powder. Give us new rifles!

    1. avatar Joe Tast says:

      That 8 mag was a pretty good elk and grizzly buster. It seems Remington has always had a difficult time introducing new cartridge’s, their ideas are sound but few of them take off.

      1. avatar Paul McMichael says:

        “Was” past tense. What did it do that the .338 Win Mag wasn’t already doing? Sure, on paper it looked a little better, but in the real world it didn’t make any difference. Remington cartridges don’t take off? .223 Remington comes to mind. 7mm Remngton Magnum also. .35 Remington. I could go on, but why?

        1. avatar Joe Tast says:

          For every one Rem introduced that was a success I can give you two that weren’t. BTW the .223 was not a Rem cartridge, it was a military design taken from the Rem .222 Mag. You could go on, but why?

    2. avatar CZ Rider says:

      In the case of 300BLK it’s less about ballistics and more about compatibility and commonality. I like x39, and I have several rifles that fire it (including an AR upper), but it’s an aging cartridge made mostly in foreign countries that is being asked to do things it wasn’t really designed for if you put it in an AR-15. 300BLK offers a lot more versatility, isn’t as vulnerable to shifts in the political winds (like, say, an EO banning import of certain kinds of foreign ammo) and is easier and more reliable to use in an AR since the only part you have to change is the barrel. At this point, the only real downside to 300BLK is the cost per round.

      1. avatar DapperGunsmith says:

        THANK YOU!

    3. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      “We don’t need any new calibers.” Who is this “We”? Do you have a gerbil in your pocket? What difference does it make if a cartridge is new or old.

      1. avatar Paul McMichael says:

        Need and want are two different things. New, or old? Who cares? Name a “new” cartridge who’s ballistics aren’t closely duplicated by an “old” cartridge. Ok, some new handgun cartridges are “new.” .500 S&W Mag comes to mind, but it’s a niche cartridge. Rifles? Not so much. .300 Winchester Magnum vs .300 Winchester Short Magnum. Short mag has 100 ft per sec advantage over any given bullet weight. Yawn. Go find the short mag ammo in Backwater, Wherever. Oh, and when you shoot a game animal: ask him if he could tell the difference.

        1. avatar Timothy says:

          Since you are pointing out the difference between “need” and “want”. No one NEEDS a Chevy. There’s nothing a Chevy does that a Ford can’t. We don’t need new cars. No one NEEDS an AR-15 to hunt deer right?

          Screw your need. I want a rifle, I like having options for calibers. I CHOOSE the round I choose without any need to justify my needs to you. You don’t like blackout? Buy something different.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I dunno. I’m pretty sure I need my BMW. Chevy? Not so much.
          Rifles? I’d guess everyone should consider a .308, a 5.56, and a 7.62X39, due to concepts of ammo availability under certain adverse circumstances. Otherwise, you do you.

        3. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

          WSM doesn’t shoot as fast when bullet weights go up. Especially against hand loads and magnum length actions. So many modern cartridges (including the .300 blackout) don’t do anything that hasn’t already been done before. 1.5 at 100? Junk for anything except killing paper and hipster fantasies against raging mobs of zombies.

      2. avatar Richard Gere says:

        “Do you have a gerbil in your pocket?”

        That story is a DAMNED VICIOUS LIE!!!

        1. avatar Owen says:

          I lol’d at that.

        2. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          That gerbil wasn’t in his pocket.

    4. avatar DapperGunsmith says:

      What a foolish comment, show me a x39 build that feeds as well as the 300blk without taking ak mags. For a 300blk all you need is a new bbl. THATS IT. Way easier to modify an AR15 to take 300blk than it is to take x39. Putting optics on an ar15 is way easier and streamlined than an ak47. So to say “we don’t need new calibers” is foolish.. at least change it to “I don’t need new calibers” leave me out of your foolishness.

    5. avatar Jermaine says:

      I disagree with your evaluation of the 7.62×39 as sufficient. It is a cartridge designed for a military rifle that never really took hold in the civilian world outside of guys at the range wanting to blast away with 30 round magazines…

      Well, there are more stylish, more accurate, more modular rifles that come with 30 round magazines that are more popular, more available, possibly cheaper one day (if production/consumption continues the way it has been) and even have their own competitive events organized around them, AND happen to have a boltface that supports .300BLK because the original cartridge it was designed for uses the same case head. It’s simpler to convert an AR to .300BLK than to 7.62×39, generally feeds more reliably, and can use very common .223 AR magazines.

      The .300BLK expands the capacity of that platform (though, as you might see by some of my other comments, I do not believe to the extent that fans of that platform would like to think) and has similar ballistics to the waning 7.62×39. In addition to that, it is convenient for reloaders because it is made up of a common case and a common bullet.

      Put all that together, and frankly I think 7.62×39 may soon be considered “dated”. My only real complaint about it is the fanboys around it who claim it to be a miracle cartridge, and that personally I think it’s kinda funny looking with the giant long spitzer tips coming out of such a small case.

  8. avatar Paul McMichael says:

    Oh, one other thing. This 6.5mm Shitmore?
    Can someone explain how it kills anything deader than my 7mm Remington Magnum, 30-06, .308, .270, or even .243? These 16 rack bucks on my wall look pretty dead to me. Well, three or four were shot with a TC Encore muzzleloader, but you get my point.

    1. avatar New Continental Army says:

      The shitmoor is all marketing. Most of the banter about it now is in jest.

      1. avatar Paul McMichael says:

        As it should be.

      2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        I’ll have to admit, ever since Creedmoor week I’ve been actively trying to make ‘Creedmoor’ more of a punchline than a rif le cart ridge.

      3. avatar Chuck says:

        Shitmoor… Wow did you get help from a 10 year old boy coming up with that? The face is the 6.5 mm creedmoor takes advantage of modern knowledge of ballistics: ballistic coefficient, longer ogive, longer bullet etc. And it takes advantage with significant results at long distance ranges.

        Dont let the creedmoor trolls get you down, of 308 works for what you do then great. The fact it bothers you so much just gives them more motivation to keep trolling but the fact remains that creedmior in long range applications is a significant step forward in long range rifle shooting.

        1. avatar Sora says:

          Creedmoor is designed for semi-auto low recoil platforms for up to 1.5 miles for human size targets as the focus. Hence, it being picked up by DHS for sniper use.

          Each round has their purpose, bigger rounds will do the same distance with more power, but will it fit into AR-10 platform and shoot 20 rounds from a single mag with similar recoil level for follow up shots to multiple targets?

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          The 6.5 Creedmoor took advantage of a better marketing strategy than Remin gton had with it’s .260 Rem which did everything the Creedmoor does (and possibly better) a decade earlier.

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Any medium to standard length cartridge from the .25s to the .35s will do the job when paired with good projectiles.

    3. avatar Weapon Of War says:

      Because guns are fun. New cartridges are interesting. Needs? Who gives a shit?

  9. avatar John says:

    338/8.6 Creedmoor anyone? Interested in your thoughts. Supposedly a 300 blk for the AR 10…

  10. avatar Jeremy Henry says:

    I tried this cartridge and eventually got out of the game on this one. One of my favorite gun channels is Gunblue490 and he called it the 300 so what, pretty much summed up my thoughts. The only place it wins is hard barrier penetration in a mout scenario. I’ll stick to my 5.56 for that role all things being considered, think terminal ballistics. Hogs and deer where I hunt get a hot loaded 45 colt from a JM Marlin and it really works well for that application. This cartridge just didn’t fit any percieved need I may have. YMMV.

  11. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    One thing not mentioned here is that light weight 300blk bullets can chamber in a 5.56 gun and blow it up. For people who are new keep close track of your ammo!

    In terms of actual use, it’s a niche round and I’d love to have a gun for it mostly because I reload. Otherwise, not really worth it without an SBR or a can to me.

    1. avatar Sora says:

      YEP! That’s why people should start labeling their upper receivers. Lots of dust covers with labels out there now.

  12. avatar Baldwin says:

    Blackout loves short barrels and short barrels love pistol braces. And both say FU to the NFA. What’s not to like? Range toy? Opinions vary. Ammo prices? I’d venture to say Blackout has pushed as many people into reloading as the the ammo shortages of the Obama years.

    1. avatar M says:

      …and that is the only reason I have interest in 300 BLK

  13. avatar Symbology says:

    “Because of the fact that it can handle literally any bullet weight”

    Really?!? That’s amazing! I’ll take some in 40 grain and a bunch in 350 grain!

    1. avatar Steve Day says:

      If you read the article again you’ll see the author had already defined the criteria of that statement…

      “The cartridge can handle virtually all bullet weights in .30 caliber from lightweight 78gr Lehigh bullets to massive 245gr hardcast lead bullets”

      I looked at Sierra’s product list and you would have to jump up to. 375 caliber to get a 350gr rifle bullet.

      1. avatar Symbology says:

        If you read my post again you’ll see that I was clearly being facetious.

  14. avatar Newb says:

    Hoping to have time to shoot mine today, just finished an 8 inch blackout to join the other ARs in the family. Probably way more logical things to do with the money, whatever though.

  15. avatar Kap says:

    another want too be 30-30, already have a .300 in Savage or win mag, either or twice the cartridge
    this wanta be Helicopter is! more trash to get the yuppies blood flowing,
    hey! here is latest super duper pooper scooper, it will shoot a gazillion yards, don’t have to
    aim and has zero recoil, lighter than a feather and option of belt feed for those target masters,
    another attempt to surpass the 7.62×39 because it’s American made actually subcontracted out of country to Mexico the sold as an American put together
    Arms industry is so hamstrung by the Anti gunners they cant be original but boy can they copy and claim new
    besides back in the day a 12 ga with #4 buck and or slugs was the answer especially effective in an over run situation!

    1. avatar DapperGunsmith says:

      soooo which one of those will feed reliably in my AR15s?

      1. avatar Jermaine says:

        YOu know that there’s nothing wrong with owning more than one gun right?

  16. avatar DapperGunsmith says:

    I have never read a more opinionated comment section in my life! You guys are sucking today! I had to sift through all the BS to find a few commentators who actually knew what the hell they were talking about and leaving intelligent comments. You are entitled to your opinion, don’t get me wrong.. but post it intelligently and don’t base it off of something you are blindly following from some unknown keyboard/youtube warrior.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Poo. Who told you that you were dapper? Hah!!

  17. avatar James W Crawford says:

    Hallelujah, you have modified the 5.56mm caliber AR-15 platform to nearly duplicate the ballistics of the 7.62x39mm cartridge of the AK-47. It actually duplicates the ballistics of the venerable M-1 carbine which was manufactured by Singer Sewing machines and ironically The US Postal Meter Company.

    Meanwhile; the Russians have been replacing their AK-47s with the AK-74 which is chambered in the 5.45mm x 39mm cartridge because they understand that the external and terminal ballistics of the AK-47 round suck.

  18. avatar Wally1 says:

    So a few years ago I drank the kool aid and have two .300 Blackout rifles. One a AR pistol and a Ruger Bolt rifle. Both like 125 grain bullets, anything heavier and they are all over the place at 100 yards. In hindsight, I would have just bought a CZ 527 in 7.62 X 39. Older and smarter, I usually just carry my old trusty Winchester 94 30/30 when hiking or hunting. It will do anything the 300 blackout will do and is light and efficient. No more hype for me. Getting back to basics, 30/30, 308, etc.

  19. avatar raptor jesus says:

    300 blackout – all of the performance of a 7.62×39 at twice the price!

    1. avatar DapperGunsmith says:

      Sometimes, but convert an AR15 to 300blk and then convert one to FEED RELIABALY in x39 then lets talk price and simplicity.

      1. avatar John says:

        Fallacy. ASC/Cproducts 28rd mags – feed flawlessly, are easy to come by and not expensive. Multiple companies manufacture 7.62×39 AR rifles and ship with these mags. PWS, POF, among many other makers of equal and lower quality. Also said rifles are based on the .223/5/56 size AR not 308 like CMMG. So toss out that point of 30 cal in a 223 package being a plus for 300blk…not an advantage. Already accomplished time and time again as illustrated above.

        300 Blk is snake oil. Dont spend hard earned cash or believe the hype.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Why in the world would you want to convert an AR when there are AKs?

  20. avatar Anymouse says:

    removed

    1. avatar Josh Wayner says:

      Comment removed for trying to lure novices into destroying their gun/harming themselves.

      1. avatar Anymouse says:

        Yes, it was meant as an obvious joke that would kick off a serious discussion. However, I think it is a vital piece of info that is sorely lacking from a “beginner” piece, bordering on negligence.
        For those beginners who don’t know what we’re talking about, the commonality of parts means that some .300 Blackout loads can be chambered and fired in a .223/5.56 NATO gun. Since the .300 Blackout bullet is too big to go down the barrel, it can result in the catastrophic build up of pressure that can blow up the gun and injure the shooter. Extra care must be taken to not let .300 Blackout get mixed with .223. Even though they can use the same magazines, it’s best to keep separate, easily distinguishable sets of magazines so that a .300 Blackout isn’t accidentally fired through a .223. If taking .223s and .300s to the range, you should only have one gun and it’s double checked ammo at a time. Leave the others safely cased.

  21. avatar Owen says:

    I have built a few 300 BLK pistols and rifles for shooting subs indoors. I wanted AR platform practice that met my indoor range specs. I reload and the roll your own aspect of 300 BLK was appealing. With coated lead bullets I can reload for ~15 cents around using reformed 223 brass. I like it. Works a lot like a 9mm PCC but has the same mags as my AR. Meets my need cheaply and keeps my muscle memory the same.

  22. So many people on this page are ragging on the 300 Blackout without ever having tried it.
    I tried four intermediate cartridges (not counting 5.56, which I consider too weak to be intermediate):
    1) 300 Blackout
    2) 7.62 x 39
    3) 30-30
    4) 6.5 Grendel
    Then I went back to 300 Blackout, after trying all four, because 300 Blackout turned out to be best for my purposes! I even fired two of them in the exact same gun, a Ruger American Rifle Ranch, one chambered for 300 Blackout, and one chambered for 7.62 x 39.

    When I decided against the other three cartridges:
    2) 7.62 x 39: I bought this because it’s supposed to have cheap ammo, but I soon found that with ammo, you get what you pay for. The cheap com-block ammo turned out to be inaccurate, and it’s steel-cased, which is hard on your firing pin, hard on your extractor, etc. (basically it will end up costing more in gun repairs). But when I priced the quality ammo for 7.62 x 39, such as Hornady, it turned out to be about the same price as 300 Blackout, so no money saved on ammo. Furthermore, in the same 16″ barrel, the 7.62 x 39 has more noise, more flash, more blast than the 300 Blackout, its ballistics are terrible past 100 yards, and it has more recoil (not a lot more, but still, low recoil is one of the biggest advantages of 300 Blackout).

    3) 30-30: The quality ammo in 30-30 (e.g. Hornady LeverEvolution) is every bit as expensive as 300 Blackout, sometimes more expensive. 30-30 has a lot more recoil (despite being billed as moderate recoil, my subjective opinion was that it had twice the recoil of 300 Blackout), and due to its horrible ballistics (flat bullets designed for tube-fed lever guns), it has no more energy downrange than 300 Blackout once you get past 100 yards, but has twice the recoil because you’re pushing a flat-nose bullet.

    4) 6.5 Grendel. At first, I thought this was a “magic bullet”, the AR-15 version of the 6.5 Creemoor that was designed for the AR-10! On paper, the 6.5 Grendel seems perfect: the exact same low recoil as 7.62 x 39 (same bullet weight pushed at same velocity = same recoil and exact same muzzle energy), but due to its vastly superior ballistic coefficient, the 6.5 Grendel can reach out to 1,000 yards with more energy that a .308 has at 1,000 yards! On paper, all this is true. But then I bought it and realized that the superior ballistics of the 6.5 Grendel are based on a 24″ barrel, and who on earth shoots an AR-15 with a 24″ barrel? Once you shorten the barrel to a reasonable length (my AR-15 and bolt-action Howa 1500 both had 20″ barrels), then the ballistics are back down to the same as 300 Blackout level, but it has a lot more recoil than 300 Blackout, is a lot noisier, a lot more flash and blast. Also, it’s very hard to find ammo for 6.5 Grendel. I thought one of the advantages of 6.5 Grendel was the availability of cheap Wolf ammo, but guess what? The cheap Wolf ammo doesn’t fire very well in a Howa 1500, makes it hard to open the bolt, so I called the manufacturer (Legacy Sports/Howa), and they said they don’t recommend shooting steel-cased ammo in their rifles. So, I priced the brass-cased ammo, and it cost exactly the same as 300 Blackout ammo, no price advantage, but it’s a lot harder to find 6.5 Grendel in stores, even online, because it’s such a niche market. Furthermore, although an AR-15 can easily be converted to 6.5 Grendel with just a change of barrel, bolt carrier group, and magazine, the 6.5 Grendel case head, just like the 7.62 x 39 case head, almost stretches the limits of the AR-15 platform, leading to weaker bolts and weaker extractors that have shorter service life (I’ll save the technical language for others, but you can research it). Notice that when the Serbian Army decided to switch to 6.5 Grendel, they did not choose the M-4 platform to shoot it.

    So, after trying all four cartridges, I went back to 300 Blackout (thankfully, I’d kept my ammo). Of these four cartridges, it has the softest recoil, least flash (even without a flash suppressor, there’s no flash with a 16″ barrel), least noise with a 16″ barrel, and is the most accurate of the four cartridges. As long as you don’t need a long-range cartridge (like 6.5 Grendel or 6.5 Creeeeedmooooor, had to say it!), the 300 Blackout is perfectly capable of killing deer, hogs, black bear, or any other game animals in the Northeastern U.S., or defending against two-legged predators. No, I don’t have a suppressor, but if I want to fire a shot that’s nearly as quiet as a .22, I can shoot subsonic 300 Blackout without a suppressor, and it’s not much louder than a .308 with a suppressor! That makes it better for home defense than .223 (although overpenetration is more of a concern, but Hornady recently came out with 300 Blackout subsonic Critical Defense designed to expand at subsonic speeds for home defense). It wouldn’t be my first choice for home defense, but it wouldn’t be my last choice either, as subsonic 300 Blackout has similar ballistics to .45 ACP, roughly the same weight bullet going the same speed.

    So, I didn’t “drink the Kool-Aid,” I tried all four intermediate cartridges and settled on the one that best suits my needs, 300 Blackout.
    If you want a gun with twice the recoil and the same downrange energy, but fits in your lever gun, choose the 30-30 (I like lever guns myself, but my lever guns are in 357 Magnum, 45 Colt, and 5.56).
    If you want a gun with ammo that’s impossible to find, choose the 6.5 Grendel.
    If you want a cartridge that has been obsolete for decades, and has been surpassed and outclassed by dozens of other calibers, one whose ballistics are so bad that the country that developed it has abandoned it, choose the 7.62 x 39.

    I tried all four and found 300 Blackout the best. I’m hoping Henry will soon chamber it in their Long Ranger lever-action rifle, like they did with 5.56, .308, and .243, then I’ll be even happier with it!

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      The .30-30 is simply a significantly more powerful round and with power comes recoil. It launches a heavier bullet at higher velocities than .300 Blackout, and even with flat nosed bullets has more energy at 200-300 yards than the Blackout. In fact the 160gr FTX has a BC of .330 vs .274 for the 135gr FTX or .305 for the 125gr SST, so you can shoot out to 1000 yards and your still not going to get better ballistics out of the Blackout. But it won’t fit in an AR 15…

  23. avatar Michigan Made says:

    I have many AK and AR variants of different barrel lengths. I have to say I love both, but the AK has a proven .30 record and fires quite well from my milled receiver, short barrel rifles and pistols 😉 for a fraction of the cost .15-.20 cents. Waiting for my civilian AK-15 variant. It’s a winner in my pocket book for sure! If the AK was designed and built solely in the US we wouldn’t be talking about .300 Blk. No purpose for it, a cartridge that…wait what can it do different?

  24. avatar john says:

    If the cost of 300blk was actually comparable to 223 I might take a look. However, I refuse to give money away for a round that does nothing better than a 7.62×39 (i do not shoot suppressed)for at least twice the cost of each trigger pull.

    223/5.56 case necked out to a .30 cal bullet. both 223 and 7.62×39 use these components but cost half as much. So the argument that “bigger bullets cost more and it is a simple matter of material cost for .300 BLK” is a total crock. The companies are using components that have been available for years and which cost them NOTHING over the manufacture of other rounds using the same components yet the price is astronomical. Thanks but no thanks, the ammo companies can stuff all your hard earned money in their pockets while I pull the trigger twice as much for the same cost and accomplish the same thing.

  25. avatar MIO says:

    So hitting steel at 500 is the qualifier for “long range” huh? I guess my 22, 9mm and so on are all long range then too. Hitting steel and actually killing is 2 different animals. It’s a short range cartridge.
    That being said the development of this cartridge and powder changes have done it wonders.

  26. avatar Tirod says:

    .300 BO isn’t new. Not at all. It was previously the .300 WHISPER, and it was being developed by SSK for suppressed use. But that is NOT the first use of the cartridge.

    It dates back to the 1980’s when the First SOF Invitational was put on in Columbia MO. That was a 3 Gun match and then the rules specifically stated that the rifle must be .30 cal. So, wildcatters also being good shooters, some arrived with .30x45mm AR’s using 5.56 necked out. They saw it would give them an advantage in rapid fire portions of the match without being an excessive looper at longer ranges.

    Despite following the letter of the rules, these guns were summarily thrown off the range. I was there, one contestant happened to snag our group and complained bitterly about the heavy handed ruling and not being able to compete. It was apparently his only rifle in the competition and without it he was toast.

    The problem really wasn’t the cartridge – it was the anti-AR mindset among a tradition minded group of shooters who could only see the “main battle rifle” as the only proper choice for Fighting Men.

    Considering the use of the cartridge for 3 Gun – no, it wasn’t meant for short barreled suppressed weapons and certainly not for short ranges. 2-300 meters was common in that match with contestants moving forward to shorter targets by their actual movement on the course on the clock. It was only later that others looked at its enhanced performance, and they were comparing it against other intermediate cartridges like 5.56, 7.62×39, etc and it’s use in the AR – as it only needed a barrel change. That is a relatively inexpensive change vs other cartridges using larger based brass which requires a larger non GI bolt.

    There is, however, one simple “negative” which it suffers, something it shares will all other non issue non NATO cartridges – there is no surplus, therefore, it’s not cheap like 5.56. It doesn’t get as much direct support when you have to expand the neck and reload it or buy commercial. The 6.xmm cartridges all suffer that. It doesn’t mean it’s a huge fault, but if you shoot lots of ammo – 10,000 rounds a year – it’s a significant cost factor to recognize.

    Once 5.56 was accepted in 3 Gun, .30×45 disappeared. Nobody considered it for competition after that. Price/performance won out. It remained a wildcatters round for some time until AAR – the silencer company owned under the Remington umbrella of companies – wanted a new cartridge that would be compatible with suppressed use and which would be cheap. They rebranded .300WHISPER and the race was on. Another attempt at throwing over the dominant cartridge in use, and this time, it worked. .300 Blackout stuck. It does not, however, replace older or larger cartridges, it offers another performance envelope which can be used within certain “best use” guidelines. Just like any other cartridge.

    As far as SBR use – or in an AR pistol – it does well and tolerated barrels as short as 8″, vs, 5.56 at 10.5″. It has that same level of power doing so, which does at least offer some tuning to fit a certain use – the same as 5.56, on shipboarding or CQB situations, where the XM177 first started in 1965.

    .300 BO new? Hardly. It’s over 30 years old now and it came before many others.

    1. avatar john says:

      No!!!! You are ruining the snake oil narrative! Bring out the pitchforks!!!

  27. avatar Cal says:

    If you’re on the 30-30 side of this madness, perhaps you should have opened with the .35 Rem. It provides everything, including a bruised shoulder and no AR platform.

  28. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

    TTAG is getting as boring as any of the magazines coming out of the NRA. AR platforms and Glocks seem to be the only firearm that the editors allow and everything else is measured against the duo. Two sad and boring designs. Guess what TTAG, ARs are not an accurate design. Working them up to be so is like polishing a turd. I say this as someone that owns them and respects their reliability and original purpose. Those that compare them to any decent bolt action don’t know what accuracy is. Every single .223 based cartridge whatever the caliber is a poor substitute for a real high power rifle. From 22-250 to .300 WM and beyond. Stop with this ridiculous push to make ARs into something they are not. It’s like watching Wal-Mart or Amazon swallow small towns. If every job you see looks like a nail yeah the hammer will do the job, to bad AR aficionados will never understand the purpose of a punch.

  29. avatar Dracon1201 says:

    People poo-pooing the round should answer this: what other round works effectively in a 6″ barrel AR at 1900fps giving me 900ft lbs of energy, and then immediately switching to a quiet subsonic round with no change in the rifle? .300blk kicks ass in every way except cost. As a PDW round it is currently unparalleled.

  30. avatar RowdyRon says:

    It might be a good cartridge, but I’m a recent AK convert.

  31. avatar John says:

    with the exception of derringer Dave and a few others, the Rest of you are morons and don’t know shit about 300 blk or the ballistics of the cartridges your talking about. your arugementive assholes

  32. avatar John says:

    with the exception of derringer Dave and a few others, the Rest of you are morons and don’t know shit about 300 blk or the ballistics of the cartridges your talking about. your arugementive assholes

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