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Seth writes:

What are you using for zero distance for your blackout? I am big fan of the 50/200 zero in .223/5.56 and I am hoping there is something similar for the blackout round. I did a little experimenting on trajectory software, but didn’t come up with anything concrete.

The good news is that the old 50 yard zero works pretty well for 300 BLK as well. Here’s why . . .

300 AAC Blackout is a fantastic hunting round. So long as your target isn’t much over 100 yards, that is. While having a chunky projectile is a nice improvement over the standard 5.56 cartridge, it does mean that you lose some muzzle velocity. And in turn, the trajectory past 100 yards for this gun has been described as “rainbow-like.”

However, over that 100 yards the trajectory is remarkably consistent. With a scope height of 1.5 inches, the parabolic arc of the round peaks at 50 yards and returns once more to -1.5 inches at 100 yards. Or, in terms of hunting, a variation of less than the profile of a deer heart over 100 yards.

In my opinion, the 300 BLK round is the perfect gun for game under 100 yards away. Or, in other words, just about anything in South Texas (where I live). But when you start moving past 100 yards, its time to break out the zippier calibers. At 150, the round has dropped 6 and a half inches. At 200 its almost a foot and a half down.

I’m not saying that it can’t be done. I’m regularly singing steel at 250 with my 300 BLK rifle, with a nice +3.4 Mil hold. But that’s not a shot I would be comfortable making on wildlife. Not humane.

And that’s why I like the 50 yard zero. It keeps the trajectory nice and flat for the distance that I’m comfortable killing things, but once you reach the end of that 100 yards its like the thing falls off a damned cliff. You could get a little more distance out of a 25 yard zero (under 1.5 inch drop at 150 yards), but then the bullet moves through a little over 3 inches of variation over 100 yards compared to 1.5 inches with the 50 yard zero.

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    • Agreed, I just got mine before the craziness so it sits having only been fired once. The only stuff I can find is $1/round and I don’t need it that badly!

    • Can we possibly make it through one gun review without someone whining about ammo? I really need to stop reading the comments section…

    • Reload. Even when 300blk ammo was available it was expensive.

      I love my $0.26/rd 220gr subsonic 300blk loads.

      *hugs his progressive reloading press*

  1. I still don’t really understand the fascination with 300BO. With those numbers, it competes with the 45-70. It seems like a 1-trick pony — subsonic or nothing at all.

    • Or even the 30-30. I’m not really seeing the appeal. And I’m not being snotty about that, I really want to know.

      Is it really better than 7.62×39 or 30-30?

      Nick has probably done a comprehensive article on this very subject and I just missed it.

      • No I definitely don’t think it’s ballisticlly better than ol 7.62×39. I think it’s only benefit is that it functions better in an AR platform than 7.62×39, has more “bullet” than 5.56, while still using the same hardware except the barrell.

        • I don’t own one, but that’s my take on it. It provides a load comparable to a .30-30 or 7.62×39 that functions perfectly in an AR-15. I personally prefer .270 cal and so I lean towards the 6.8 SPC because of the better long range performance, but .300 Blackout does what it’s supposed to do really well.

  2. I still don’t really understand the fascination with 300BO. With those numbers, it competes with the 45-70, but only external ballistics. The terminal ballistics have got to suck. It seems like a 1-trick pony — subsonic or nothing at all.

    • Well, the 300blk is great for subsonic, with very little lost going from a 16″ to a 10″ barrel. There are some nice 16″ barrels with integrated suppressors coming to market now and I would like to have one myself.

      Additionally it is superior to 5.56 for hunting with supersonic (to limited distances) and fits in the mags you already have.

      So you could buy the upper and use it subsonic as a defensive rifle or as a CQB rifle and change to supersonic for additional uses. If the military or law enforcement would pick it up then the ammo price would theoretically come down as well.

    • I can’t wait to get a .300BLK barrel for my XCR. My fascination with the cartridge is that it should make for a superlative defensive and (once the cost comes down) plinking round. It uses both unmodified AR-15 pattern mags and a standard 5.56/.223 bolt, meaning that I’ll be able to change calibers in about 2 minutes, by just swapping barrels. While 5.56×45 is not, in my opinion, a good defensive (or military) round, inside 100 yds (the maximum practical range I’d use a defensive carbine on my property), .300BLK leaves a big enough hole and packs enough punch to get the job done. Finally, although I’d use supersonic bullets (still with a suppressor) for defensive purposes, shooting subsonic suppressed would be a hoot.

  3. This article is just about the most horrible zeroing advice imaginable. Assuming you’d like to be able to always hit within a 4 inch target, if you were to zero the 115 grain UMC loading @2200 FPS at 23 yards (25 is close enough) you get a range of 181 yards wherein the bullet neither rises or falls more than two inches below the point of aim. Leghorn needs to stop being paraded about as an expert on well, just about anything firearms related…

  4. Barnes 110gr TAC-TX is awesome in 300 blackout. Accuracy has been 1 MOA or less with it. I tried catching a bullet in a tub of water that was 24″ long set at 50 yards. It passed completely through with plenty of energy left over. This happened twice and i didn’t find the bullet as i neglected to bring my boxes of newspaper for the backstop. These were reloads made with 19.3gr of h110 with OAL of 2.25. Not sure on fps. (i have no chrono) no signs of over pressure though. And I’d have no problem using these on deer or hogs of any size. My upper is from SOTA Arms. No malfunctions of any type from it in the first 400 rounds. Both reloads and 115gr UMC ammo.

    My zero is set at 50 yards as well

    I love my 300 blackout. I would rather shoot it than any other rifle i own. It is much easier on the ears than .223 and shoots 110gr v-max bullets to 1 MOA. Which is now my home defense round.

  5. 6.8 SPC. “what’s the best all around variant?” , my answer is the 6.8 SPC.”
    -Bill Wilson

    And that’s all I have to say about that.

    Forrest Gump

    • Not sure if anyone is still reading this thread, but Silver State Armory has 6.8 Nosler Accubond 110 grain in stock. I just ordered 10 boxes of Pro Hunter as well.

      Not bashing the 300 AAC, which I think is a cool caliber, I just don’t know if I’ll be able to feed it given the massive political stupidity regarding the 2A.

  6. Well, since I had my question posted, guess it was time for me register finally.

    Anywho, since I sent out this email some time back, I have had a chance to look into it further, and had similar results to Jimbo. If I set a zero at 200 yards, it puts me at around 1.5″ high at 100, and back to zero at 35 yards or so. Close range works perfect for pigs, hold low for 100 on white tail, and back dead on at 200.

    All that said, Nick may very well have a point concerning a kill at 100 plus yards. I would have to be very confident in an accurate hit at long range, and take into account the animal size as well.

  7. Guys, the 300 Blk is a good deer/hog round out to 200 yds or so. The trajectory is a little rainbow like and the 7.62×39 and 30-30 are pretty good comparisons. Let’s see, the 7.62×39 has been an awfully effective man-killer for over 60 years and the 30-30…killed more deer than any cartridge ever. So, the 300 Blk only matches those two huh? What’s the problem? It is an incredibly efficient cartridge and with the Barnes Tac-Tx an awesome killer. Better than the 5.56-hell yes. Gravity is a constant companion. Hits at longer distances are not an issue with a range finder a drop chart and a good rest. And, it all fits in your AR-15 envelop with only a barrel change. Sweet.

  8. So, since I already have a 5.56×45 AR and .300 blk AR. What caliber should I use for hunting over 100 yards in the AR platform?

  9. thanks for your time guys.My son bought a 300 blk out single shot the handy rifle 1-7 twist 16” barrel.he got his suppressor after 8 months of paper work.he wants to use it for deer hunting he will be shooting at most 100 yards more so inside what yardage should he sight it in at and is the 220 gr bullet the best one for him.he will be shooting subsonic.thanks again.jim and adam
    if he sights it in at 50 yrds how low will he be at 100.

  10. That trajectory just doesn’t sound right. I have a 9″ AAC. My sight over bore is about 2.7″ with a T1 or low power variable in a ADM Recon mount. With a 50 yard zero shooting 110gr TSX Black Tip, I’m about .5″ high at 100 yards, back to zero around 125, -2″ around 160 and about -6″ around 200 yards.

    My indoor range says 50, but is actually 44. This turns out to be a great zero as it puts be just under an inch high at 100 yards, back to zero around 140 and about 5″ low at 200. Using a 16″ barrel, you’d only be about 2.2″ low at 200 with this zero.

    To 180 yards, this is not much different than a 10.5″ 5.56 using 70gr TSX.

  11. I don’t mean to be, well, mean. But the near-parabolic trajectory of any and all bullets fired from a firearm is easily corrected by range estimation and sight adjustment.

    I’m an ex-Marine (and I don’t intend to argue one damned bit with another Marine about using the term ex-Marine vs. former Marine, such argument seems to be perfectly ridiculous to me). In the Vietnam era we zeroed the M-14 at 200 yards.

    Now, I understand that they zero the M-16’s at 300 yards. Who cares?

    Calculate a dope table with whatever zero floats your boat, tape it to the butt of your rifle, or, shrink it to fit within a rifle scope lens cover or do what I do and use a wrist coach (much larger and much easier to log dope in 25 yard increments), use some form of range finding, and learn to adjust for elevation (and windage, if you have a ballistic calculator). Then every shot is a hold on COM.


  12. I’m getting coyotes and stray cats and dogs roaming my property. I live on a hill top so if my 300 BLK over penetrates, how far would you think the round would travel?

  13. Well to me this is real funny.I have 2 Ati 300 blackouts & love them.I use 125 grain p.p.u. Hp ammo & have shot already 603 yards.with 2 30.00 dollar Barska scope on them.that was at a 12 inch ceramic plate.2 it took me 3 shots & I hit it.any deer with in 550 yards would not bother to shoot at all.Ati makes a great a r 15 no butts about it.

  14. Bullet weight is a BIG factor in the drop. I don’t see any mention of the weight your are using for your review

  15. @ Josh

    Re: “I still don’t really understand the fascination with 300BO. With those numbers, it competes with the 45-70, but only external ballistics. The terminal ballistics have got to suck. It seems like a 1-trick pony — subsonic or nothing at all.”

    300 AAC/Blackout arose in the 2000s during GWOT out of military requirements for an individual weapon which would hit harder than the standard-issue M-4 carbine in 5.56×45 NATO, but without a substantial increase in weight, or the need to issue an entirely new weapon system. Special ops personnel also requested a cartridge which would shoot well and hit hard suppressed, including suppressed use with SBRs.

    Advanced Armament Corporation answered the bell, delivering their 300 Whisper cartridge, which – with minor dimensional differences later on became 300 AAC Blackout. The cartridge, which is also known as 7.62×35, works with existing AR-15 pattern magazines, bolts and BCGs, and requires only a few barreled upper be installed upon a normal M-4 lower.

    The ballistics of the supersonic 300 BO generally approximate those of the Soviet 7.62×39, and especially the old Mauser 7.92×33 Kurz, bullet weight and style being alike. A 125-grain OTM leaves a 16-inch barrel @ 2215 fps, with a 110-grain Hornady V-Max @ 2375 fps. Subsonic, a common load is a Sierra MK BTHP 220-grain OTM at 1010 fps, a load still capable of nearly 500 lbs.feet of KE.

    In the civilian realm, 300 BO has found a following as an excellent medium game round, and many hog hunters prefer it for their nocturnal hunts of feral pigs. 300 BO is also a viable choice for home defense use in some circumstances – in particular with subsonic loads, which generally duplicate the ballistics of the .45 ACP/.45 Auto.

    It is a specialist cartridge, one designed to meet certain very specific needs – and it does that well. But it doesn’t really offer the versatility of some others, and can’t do everything, for example, like the .308 Winchester can.

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