Some people say the 300 AAC Blackout round isn’t good for hunting, and they might be right — if they’re using the wrong ammo. Heavier loads have a tendency to fail to expand upon impact. That means less energy is transferred to the target and therefore the shot is less effective. But a quality high velocity round with excellent expansion capability will stop that buck dead in its tracks. Barnes released their 110gr TAC-TX bullet specifically designed for 300 BLK guns earlier this year. And after extensive field testing I can say without a doubt that it’s the perfect hunting round for this caliber. Let me explain why . . .
Last year, I used a lead-based Sierra GameKing projectile to bag my (perfectly legal if slightly small) deer. It did the job perfectly, and my “headshots only” policy on wildlife allowed me to enjoy the meat without much fear of lead poisoning. But over the course of the year, both Tyler and myself decided to voluntarily switch to lead-free all copper rounds for hunting. Given the availability of copper bullets and the health benefits involved, we figured it was the right choice. Some people still prefer good ol’ lead, but for us that was the decision we made.
Barnes has a reputation for making great solid copper bullets, and while they make .30 caliber rounds in other weights none of them work particularly well for the 300 BLK cartridge. In order to get the same mass in an all copper 150 grain bullet as you would with the lead version, you need more material. More material means a longer bullet, and longer bullets mean less case capacity for powder. I tried loading some of the regular 150 grain copper bullets in some 300 BLK cases, and my normal load would not fit. I would have needed to compress the powder to get it to chamber, and that wasn’t happening.
The difference with these rounds is both the weight and the overall shape of the bullet. At 110 grains, the projectile is light enough to leave plenty of case for powder (and the flat base also helps with case capacity). It also has a pronounced black tip, which mimics the bullet profile of a 5.56 caliber round and allows the bullet to feed perfectly in the standard M4 profile feed ramps in an AR-15’s barrel extension while providing for superior ballistic properties.
That zippy light-weight design also allows for some nifty ballistic tricks. If you’re zeroed at 100 yards, between 75 and 150 yards the deviation is less than one inch up or down. In other words, at the distances we’d normally expect to be hunting deer and hogs here in south Texas, it’s perfect — just point and shoot.
The claim with this projectile is that it will either stay in one piece or at least stay in large fragments, making it easier to find than the lead variety which has a tendency to shatter and disperse inside an animal. I wanted to put that to the test, so I decided to forgo my usual shot placement policy and substitute a more traditional heart/lung shot. And on opening day, I had an opportunity to put that claim to the test.
A beautiful buck wandered into my view in the late afternoon. After watching it munch on some flowers for a few minutes, I raised my rifle and took one shot. The buck dropped instantly, and never got up again.
We were able to recover the bullet, as it had dumped all of its energy in shattering the animal’s front leg and slicing through the vital organs of the animal and lodged itself in the hide on the other side, nearly poking out of the fur. After cleaning it up, the bullet appeared to have perfectly mushroomed as advertised and come out the other side in one solid piece.
There is, however, a downside to this round. Like everything 300 BLK related, the supply hasn’t exactly caught up with demand yet. Which places the price tag for these babies at right around $1.50/round factory loaded. It’s not something that you’d use for a range trip, but when you’re out hunting with your Blackout rifle it really is the perfect projectile and worth every penny.
Barnes 300 AAC Blackout 110gr TAC-TX
Price: $30.99 / 20 rounds
Ratings (out of five stars):
Overall: * * * * *
For those looking to take their .300 AAC Blackout guns into the field for some hunting, this is the perfect bullet to use. It’s a bit expensive, but you get what you pay for.