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I’m a major 300 AAC Blackout fanboy. I think the cartridge is perfect for my needs: killing things at about 50 to 100 yards using the shortest, quietest, and lightest gun possible. Apparently the Dutch special forces agree with my assessment as they have now announced that they are switching from their 5.56 NATO short barreled rifles to the 300 BLK cartridge. 300 BLK isn’t perfect for every application, but it was more or less custom designed to fill the role that the Dutch will be using it.


The Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Force (NL-MARSOF) are planning to purchase a new carbine chambered in the non-NATO standard 7.62×35 mm (300 BLK), with a formal tender being launched by the Netherlands’ Defence Material Organisation.

The tender is the first publicly known tender for the purchase of a 7.62×35 mm chambered rifle by any military.

In total, the Dutch naval commandos are looking to buy 195 select-fire carbines and 1.82 million 7.62×35 mm cartridges (1,345,000 ball, 244,000 subsonic, and 231,000 lead free frangible). Suppliers can apply to supply any combination of the small arms and rounds until 27 July.

The U.S. has been fielding 300 BLK firearms for a few years now, and they have been successfully used in combat. I’ve met the guy with the first confirmed 300 BLK combat kill and he can’t stop raving about it. So while the Dutch may be the first to officially issue the cartridge it’s usefulness in action is already a known value.

The whole point of 300 BLK is to give soldiers who use a short barreled gun a round that is actually designed for their firearm. Instead of re-using the aging 5.56 NATO cartridge (designed for 20 inch barrels), 300 BLK is specifically designed to burn all its powder in about 9 inches and provide the maximum muzzle energy for that barrel length. It also can be used either supersonic or subsonic without needing to change any settings on the gun, which is ideal for combat scenarios where quickly switching form subsonic to supersonic ammo might be a critical and time sensitive activity.

For the Dutch special forces, the swap makes sense. For your average shooter it may not, but this is one of those special use cases that 300 BLK was born to fill. I’m betting we will see more special operations teams swapping over to the 300 BLK in the future if all goes well here.

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  1. Hope these changes start to make the guns cheaper to run for us 🙂 I’d like to join the party!

      • Where do you see a push pad on that flashlight? It looks like a surefire and the push pad replaces the endcap on those.

      • Are we looking at the same picture? I own Scout lights, that is the push button rear in that picture. If it was using a pressure pad the cap would be all metal with a wire coming out of it.

        If he is left handed it would make sense to me. Right handed? Seems like a really odd reach to activate that light.

  2. Got a good laugh from your opening line, I heard somewhere that admitting you have a problem is the first step or something like that 🙂 My problems are that I havent built a .300 because of the ammo prices and my personal lack of a can to put on there.

    “The U.S. has been fielding 300 BLK firearms for a few years now, and they have been successfully used in combat. I’ve met the guy with the first confirmed 300 BLK combat kill and he can’t stop raving about it. ”

    Id like to hear more about this, put that fanboy mojo to good use!

  3. 300 will become cheap as dirt once the ammo gets ordered in the 100s of millions or Billions by any standing army.

    then we have a game changer. till then i will stick to 308 for long range and 556 Green Tip for everything else. both cheap and effective for my uses.

  4. The 300 BLK definitely works out of a 9″ barrel, but speeds up a bit from 16″. I’m getting an average of 2450 FPS from Hornady’s factory 110 grain “300 Whisper” supersonic load. The Barnes TTSX 110 grain is running about 2380. This from 10′ at a temp of about 80 degrees. Mines a 416R stainless.

      • You guys have a favored powder? Maybe slower burning for the 16″barrel? Also, is it the same powder you use for 5.56 loads?

        • My Hornady progressive press isn’t indexing properly. I can’t remember if I had H110 or what my 110-125 grain supersonic recipes were off the top of my head. I was using the one of the later versions of Hornady’s reloading manual. Not sure how much that helps.

  5. What does the Dutch Special Forces do? My experience with the Dutch military is limited to Afghanistan, where they pretty much stuck to Tim Hortons and were not allowed to engage in combat unless directly fired upon. To be clear though, I don’t think these were any of their special units.

    • “What does the Dutch Special Forces do?”

      Their Wiki entry notes the training is along the lines of our SEALs.

      “Though secretive, one can think of almost continuous physical and mental conditioning. Most of the 8–9 weeks is done outside of Roosendaal, and some parts in the Belgian highlands and mountains. The final week is the culmination exercise, “hell week”, which is 5 days of continuous activity including escape and evasion, forced marches and speed marches, coupled with sleep deprivation. It concludes with a final forced march carrying full load to the KCT headquarters.”

      “To prepare and to conduct all conceivable missions from the full spectrum of Special Operations such as :

      Long Range Reconnaissance / Intelligence gathering
      Overseas Counter Terrorism
      Offensive operations to protect national and NATO territory
      Peace-Keeping Operations
      Direct Action:
      Destruction of enemy infrastructure
      Saving civilians and military personnel who are taken hostage”

    • I trained with some of the Dutch Royal Marines in Curaçao in ’98 with my USMC 03 Marine Unit. Golf 2/24. It was pretty much a run’ gun through the desert. Kinda like Nutnfancy but with much less talking. Most of the troops were pretty motivated, but a SF Lt. fell off of a zipline over a river trying to impress us grunts. We laughed heartily. Good times.

      I think I was given a direct order to not go out and party with the Dutch, but I was too hungover to remember. I do remember an off-base chick specifically say “I wouldn’t condescend to date an American” to a Marine buddy who was a pretty good looking guy. That was my first experience with euro trash, as well as drinking Amstel out of a GI helmet.

    • Tim Hortons being KAF? No Dutch ground forces in Kandahar. Unless you want to send aircraft technicians outside of the wire just because. Dutch were running ops in Uruzgan province. There is plenty of stuff on youtube/liveleak.

  6. Interested to know what barrel length they are planning on running. I suspect their special forces guys are more likely to be used in local Islamic terrorist operations than anything else and 300 BLK seems ideal for this.

  7. Thanks for the article. I did not realize, until now that the 300 BLK was designed for a shorter barrel. Good to know. Thinking about getting a 300 BLK chambered upper for my S&W M&P 15. But probably not much more to just get a complete rifle. Thought on this ? Just thinking about it at this point. No hurry. Am I correct in thinking that the 300 BLK rounds can be fed by an AR-15 type of lower and use AR-15 mags ? Isn’t that what they were originally designed for ?

    • 300 Blackout was designed to run in the AR platform….I am running a 16 inch bbl on mine and my reloads with converted Lake City 5.56 brass work like a champ. Magazines can be a bit of an issue with long heavy bullets designed for subsonic use – I run those in Gen3 Pmags and they run great. One of these days I will build myself an SBR (tax stamp and all). Thinking of the Stamp Act, wasn’t that one of the reasons we threw the British out?

      • According to a 50 year old history book that I recently read, the two main reasons that the United States colonists booted the British is because the British were taxing, stamping, and licensing almost everything and the courts were violating well-established legal principles and precedent to rule in favor of the British agents who were taxing, stamping, and licensing almost everything. Sound familiar?

    • The only swap needed is a barrel/gas system. Bolt, mags, lower and everything else IS 5.56. They just chop the neck of the 5.56 case and stick a 308 bullet in. Pretty ingenious for the most part.

  8. They haven’t adopted anything. This is a request for proposals from industry that might not even result in a purchase. They are also probably likely looking at .300 Wisper as it is a recognized CIP cartrige while .300 blackout is not.

  9. Of all the rifles and rounds I’ve shot, shooting Barnes TacTX 110 grain supers out of a 9″ barrel has been by far the most surprising and exciting. We were getting groupings that were almost absurd at 50 yards. The muzzle flip and perceived recoil was less than 5.56, the flash/blast was almost non existent (out of an MPW with an AAC FH and a brake shield), the noise was on par with a pistol round. The terminal ballistics on this round are pretty awesome from what I can gather. For 100 yards and in, I’m not sure it gets any better (and I’ve of course seen the video of Haley shooting it much further). I only wish it was more prevalent and less expensive and hoping it will become so as time goes on.

    • I shot the best group of my life out of a 9″ AAC barrel with those 110gr Tac-TX rounds. Five shots just under 1/2″, factory loaded too. I am no benchrest shooter but I was amazed by the accuracy potential of the 300BLK. Another round I have had excellent results from is the 125Gr Nosler Ballistic Tip, plentiful and relatively inexpensive. Have not shot their factory loading.

  10. killing things at about 50 to 100 yards using the shortest, quietest, and lightest gun possible.

    So a Marlin 1894c in .357? Got it.

    • Well, I’m a little partial to the 1892 myself…. but I would posit that .357 is not quieter than 300 Blk, nor would a 16″ lever gun be shorter than a 9″ AR chambered in 300 Blk. But I can dig it. There is a certain sweet spot with a good, short .357 lever gun. Pair it up with a SW 686 pre-lock (perhaps even a 4″ Dash 4, hint hint) and you have yourself a fine little kit there… especially for NY or other such States.

    • I’ve got a Rossi .454 Casull that fits that bill pretty nicely, and it allows the user to kill most, or basically all the things

      • haha nice. Uh.. yeah, that might actually prove that whole ‘kill the soul’ myth to be true after all. The one time I touched off a .454 (out of a Ruger Alaskan), I think I might have ‘killed’ my wrist a little too (along with the backstop). And I’m not ‘recoil adverse’. What a great round for a lever gun though. A lot of potential there. Tame the beast …and in a handy 16″ 1892 at that. Sweet.

        • I would describe the recoil as “robust” far more enjoyable than .454s or even super heaver .45 Colt out of my Raging Judge. Its roughly on par with 20 gauge out of a cheap break action. my only complaint is that it’s got a kinda crappy wood stock, if I could get synthetic furniture it would get promoted to full time truck gun.

        • Yeah, I see they made a Puma 454 in stainless there for a while too. That would look bad in some black synthetic furniture. Now I’m looking at my .357 likes it’s a little pea shooter .22, thanks 😉 Ahh well, I’m on the other coast from you and things are a lot smaller out here lol. At least my ’92 has the synthetic furniture part covered (Taylor’s/Chiappa ’92 Takedown ‘Alaskan’ – haha, should be called the ‘northeastern’, imo).

        • when I got back from my last deployment I went on a kick of buying a rifle and a handgun in the same caliber from the same/similar manufacturer, so I ended up with a raging judge and an R92 .454 and a super Blackhawk .44 mag and one of the old Ruger carbines, that Ruger is a wicked little brush gun also.

        • I guess I ended up with the east coast version of that, in .357. Can pretty much do anything I need out here, but would essentially translate to a plinker out there.

      • Love my rossi ’92’s…357 in 16 and 20″ bbl. so much fun using 38spl – like plinking a 22’s

  11. Validates my decision to build a 8.5″ AR15 chambered in it. C’mon tax stamp!

    First time I fired it (16″ barrel) I knew it was something special.

  12. In my opinion .300 Blackout is a fine cartridge for close quarters combat and engagements up to about 100 yards. You get much past 100 yards, though, and the bullet is rapidly losing the velocity that is necessary for such a small and light bullet to be a serious fight stopper. Seriously, a .30 caliber 110 grain full metal jacketed bullet hitting someone at 1500 fps is going to hurt of course but it isn’t going to rapidly incapacitate someone unless you hit them in the heart or central nervous system.

    Looking at it another way, .300 Blackout is the old .30 Carbine round with an extra 300 fps at the muzzle. I don’t know anyone who touts the .30 Carbine round as being fantastic. What makes .300 Blackout so much better than .30 Carbine?

    Now, if U.S. military forces could use expanding bullets, .300 Blackout might be a lot more useful at longer ranges. Or maybe not … it is still a relatively small (0.30 caliber) bullet that weighs only 110 grains.

    • Well, if you’re talking specifically about the military’s restriction to FMJ, I can see your point.

      In regards to distance: yeah… it’s inherently optimized for SBR (and suppressed at that), so it’s definitely best at CQB ranges, but if you take that FMJ restriction out of the mix, can still be quite usable out to 300/400, and even retains more energy than 5.56 at those ranges due to it’s mass (and doesn’t rely on velocity alone for it’s terminal ballistics, so more consistent)

    • .300 BLK in subsonic is the long-overdue Western answer to the Russian 9x39mm. Except that it’s better because you only need to swap the barrel.

    • Funny, the 110gr TAC-TX bullet out of my 9″ barrel at 230yds dropped that 4 point (about the same size as a human…with a little thicker skin and more muscle) like a rock last fall! He was laying down and never stood up. The 300 BLK TAC-TX are designed to expand out to 300yds. The problem is they are starting to drop like the proverbial rock (18.75″ at 300yds!) If you can dope, they’ll drop what you’re shooting at.

  13. At the risk of potentially sounding stupid, why go with .300 Blackout when you can use 7.62 x 39 mm ammunition? Those two rounds are nearly identical in every respect — especially in terms of ballistics.

    If the 7.62 x 39 mm rounds use powder that burns too slowly to completely burn within a shorter barrel, why not just manufacture 7.62 x 39 mm rounds with faster burning powder?

    • Finally! Somebody asked the question I’ve been dying to hear the answer to since this trend started!

    • Well, I think that’s essentially what they did with x35 (???) — but specifically for the AR platform (which doesn’t seem to like x39 casings so much anyway) and has it’s own benefits – ie: can use your same lower/mags/great trigger… Better manual of arms than AK (safety, mag changes, charging handle), better optic options, easily free-floated, no big reciprocating charging handle banging around, etc. If you were designing an optimized SBR platform, would you design is as an AR or an AK? Not sure a long stroke piston isn’t quite as conducive to being tuned for the lighter load either. Unless we’re talking about ARAK, that’s my shot at an answer. (The limitations with the 7.62×39 casing and the legacy AK platform)

    • Because as soon as you put rounds with the faster burning powder into a rifle-barrel application, you’re going to have a bad time.

      This has been seen again and again and again and again and again and again in guns. Make a hot load of a cartridge, get it mixed up and into the ammo supply for a gun that cannot survive it, and entertainment ensues.

      • Ahhh … kind of like the specification for .357 Magnum calls for longer cases to ensure that no one uses them in firearms chambered for .38 Special.

        In this instance someone wanted a powder that burns faster to facilitate use in short barreled rifles. Thus a different cartridge (.300 AAC Blackout) ensures that people cannot use them in semi-auto rifles that are not designed for the faster burning powder.

    • Bullet selection. You have all .308 bullets to choose from. Secondly, it’s only a barrel to change. Everything else is standard 5.56 parts. No special bolts or magazines.

    • 7.62x39mm does not work in subsonic from an AR. It also does not work in existing AR magazines, and is not reliable enough in even custom AR magazines. It also has too large a bolt face for an AR. The AR bolt is already the weak link in the AR design, so why make it weaker with a larger bolt face?

  14. What are they going to do with it?

    Probably about the same as they’re doing with their current weapons: Nothing of consequence.

    Most all the nations in the EU are military no-ops. They’re simply going through the motions. Their political leadership has neither the appetite, nor the budgetary capability, to engage in direct military action outside their borders.

    • Most Western European Nations are No-Ops. They depend on the US for protection.

    • Lots of ignorance is to be expected. Dutch troops saw plenty of action in Iraq, Afghanistan and the guys that will receive these weapons will use them on anti-piracy ops as well. Look up some vids on youtube and liveleak maybe.

      btw. Dutch are also involved in bombing ISIL today.

  15. why not just go for the 6.5 Grendel?? it shoots a lot more accurate. the 6.5Grendel is in between 5.56NATO AND 7.62NATO in regards to velocity and kinetic energy. ballistics are way much better than 300Blk and 7.62×39.

    • That won’t work with standard magazines. It also won’t work with a standard bolt. It also has reduced magazine capacity. It also has much more muzzle flash and blast. It also does not have a subsonic option. It is not a good choice for short barrels.

    • Capacity, shorter weapon, ability to use subsonic and supersonic ammunition with magazine change, assuming less over-penetration, more parts interchangeability…not sure what other answers you’d want.

  16. I like the .300 BLK, i have already decided that when i get my first AR-15, it will be in .300 BLK, but i do not like the Dutch, the Netherlands ( or is it Netherworld?) is a country with a pedophile political party, literally and no , it is not underground, but a legal one. But i still like the .300 BLK.

    AAC should come out with a Blackout version of the 6mm Whisper next. And then the Mini Whisper and……..

    • We don’t have a pedophile political party. A few years ago a couple of idiots wanted to start one but the leader got convicted and nothing was heard from them again.

  17. Former USMC I shot 5. 56 for 20 years in the military and out.. I fell in love with the M4 in the military, as a civilian I shoot competition and has a private range. Us military has been wanting something more powerful then the 5. 56.. and they have this well-designed modern 30 caliber sitting right in their face. The expense would be minimum for the results they’ll get. I can tell you I shoot 300 Blackout for the last 7 years. And it mimics the 5. 56 except for energy 300 has way more energy. Recoil easily manageable. This caliber totally makes sense for our military. It all comes down to money.. but yet they will put someone and a 75 million-dollar jet and the $2, 000 suit.. but a man defending our country on the ground can’t get$5, 000 for a rifle & armor. Our soldiers should have everything Elite. Better battle helmets with Bluetooth built-in camera. Our soldiers should look like the Future Soldier.

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