It was originally called the .30-30AR. That’s because Bill Wilson of Wilson Combat appreciates the terminal effect of the old .30-30 Winchester, but also enjoys the popular AR-15. So, he set out to make a round that would duplicate the old workhorse .30-30 in an AR-15 platform rifle. He’s certainly not the first person to try.
With the new 300 Ham’r, he may very well be the first to actually get it right.
The .30-30 Winchester is wonderful cartridge. It has likely killed more deer in North America than any other caliber. Millions of hunters have counted on it to bring down game for over a century, mostly in lever-action rifles. I’ve personally killed well over 100 game animals with Winchester, Henry, and Marlin .30-30s.
It is therefore understandable that more modern firearm designers would look to the .30-30 as a model for effective ballistic performance. It’s simple. If you can make an AK or an AR match the round-for-round capability of the Winchester 1894 in .30-30, you’ve got millions of game animals harvested to attest to the power of the cartridge’s design.
Several cartridges have attempted to do just that. Among the most popular have been loads for the AK/AKM47 chambered in 7.62×39 and the AR-15 chambered in 300 AAC Blackout. A lot of folks, like me, have used the ballistics of the .30-30 to justify hunting with the 300 Blackout or the 7.62×39. After all, the 7.62×39 delivers a .30 caliber bullet with almost the same energy as the time-proven .30-30 Winchester’s. So does the 300 Blackout (practically).
But that’s only true for some loads with some bullet weights, and even then, just “practically.” Indeed, those cartridges do come close to the .30-30 Win, and for that reason I’ve felt completely comfortable taking the deer and pigs in my area with both of those cartridges.
If a competent marksman can get a 120 lb. deer or pig under 200 yards, there’s no reason he or she should feel under-gunned with the .300BLK or 7.62×39. Under those conditions, and with the right bullet, they will get the job done.
If you can get close enough, and if it’s not too heavy an animal. The same shot with an AK I’d take on a Hill Country White Tail, I wouldn’t take on a 200 lb. Mule Deer in the Midwest. I’d leave it, as well as my AKs or my AR-15s, at home on any elk hunt anywhere. Maybe not so with the 300 Ham’r.
Earlier this summer, Bill Wilson invited several gun writers and me to his place to shoot and hunt with new Wilson Combat products, the 300 Ham’r among them. We all had free reign to shoot as much as we wanted, pull apart the guns, and pick the brains of Bill and several members of the Wilson Combat team.
The 300 Ham’r cartridge is over 10 years in the making. The extremely short history of that making is Bill Wilson took the 7.62×40 case developed by Kurt Buchert, lengthened it by .040″ and stuffed it full of Hogdon’s new CFEBLK powder.
He then pushed rounds from 110gr to 150gr through a 1:15″ twist barrel. The results were, at least on paper, very impressive. The velocity gains claimed over the 300BLK, and the corresponding energy delivered, were significant enough to justify the caliber.
Those are the claims, but what do they look like in real life? As I was not the only incredulous writer on hand to review the new chambering and the guns that fire it, Bill offered an impromptu demonstration.
Bill set up a chronograph and sent three factory 300 Blackout Remington Premier Match 125gr OTM rounds down range. He then shot 3 of the 125gr SBT 300 Ham’r rounds. The 300 Ham’r rounds were moving an average of 248fps faster. That’s a real difference.
Not only is that considerably less drop at distance, but those 300 Ham’r rounds are producing 337ft/lbs more energy at the muzzle than the 300BLK under exactly the same conditions. And both in Wilson Combat guns.
That settled that. When it comes to a comparison between the 300 Blackout and the 300 Ham’r, there really isn’t one. The 300 Ham’r wins handily. But only when we’re talking supersonic ammunition.
The 300 Ham’r wasn’t designed to fire a subsonic round. If you want to fire a subsonic .30 caliber round from an AR-pattern rifle, the 300 Blackout is infinitely superior. That’s because Wilson Combat recommends bullets weights from 110gr to 150grs for the 300 Ham’r, so subsonic isn’t recommended at all. If you want a Wilson Combat in 300BLK, they offer several models, and it’s one of their best selling chamberings.
So the 300 Ham’r beats the 300BLK’s supersonic performance, as well as the 7.62×39 and even the 7.62x40WT. But the claim was that it was equal to true modern .30-30 ballistics. Based on the evidence I saw, as well as Wilson’s published load data, which is out there for anyone to reproduce, I compared that to the loading data in my manuals from Speer, Hornady, Nosler, and Barnes, as well as commercial loading advertised by them online.
I can only find one factory .30-30Win load that outperforms the 300 Ham’r, and that’s the Hornady 160gr FTX LeveRevolution round. But note that’s out of a 24″ barrel, which is 4″ longer than any of my lever action .30-30s.
Hornady’s 10th Edition loading manual has no data that can achieve within 100fps of that load, even with a 24″ barrel. With most other loadings, the 300 Hamr’ doesn’t just match, but exceeds the .30-30’s performance. It moves the bullet faster for any particular bullet weight, and with less powder. It is simply a more efficient cartridge.
Wilson Combat has always prided itself on accurate weapons, and I know from previous conversations that Bill is, in his words, “uninterested in inaccurate guns.” Already knowing the 300 Ham’r is powerful, it was time to see what groups it could produce at distance, so we spent an afternoon on the 1,200 yard range.
We had steel every 100 yards, and two benches as well as prone positions to shoot from. Using the 125gr Sierra SBT and Speer 130gr FNHC rounds available from Wilson Combat, I was able to shoot a series of five-round groups at the 100 yard target. As I had no desire to be shot by the other folks on the line, or to stop the shooting, I wasn’t able to precisely measure my groups at those ranges. I hope to get the rifle in for more precise accuracy measurements at a later date.
I can, however, report that no five-round group I shot with either round printed groups outside of its own lead splash on the target. In other words, if it was paper, almost every single hole would be touching. So both rounds printed multiple five-round groups under 1″, I just can’t verify how far under 1″ at this time.
I was able to consistently ring the eight-inch plate at 400 yards with the Bill Wilson Ranch Rifle from a few different positions. With a 130gr round, drop was significant, a little over 40″. Still, that load would generate almost 700ft/lbs of energy at that range. That’s plenty for any Mule Deer, White Tail deer, or any pig, anywhere.
That same round is generating over 1,000ft/lbs at 250 yards, and a mediocre marksman will be able to put rounds inside a 4″ circle at that range under hunting conditions. With the 150gr SST loading, a 200 yard broadside shot on even elk is certain to reach the vitals. That’s from a lightweight semi-auto AR-15. I’m still wrapping my head around real mountain elk hunting with an AR-15. It wouldn’t be my first choice, but in this case, it’s completely reasonable.
On paper, on target, and on the chrono, the 300 Ham’r performs just as well if not better than the .30-30. But what about on game (and not just thin skinned deer)? How does the rifle and round perform on larger game, something like a big pig, in the really real world?
Bill’s East Texas ranch is usually packed full of hogs, and a few of them are worthy of putting the round to the test. All of them are worthy of shooting.
Anyone who’s ever had a wild hog problem can tell you, fencing pigs, in or out, is a temporary situation at best. If you have several thousand acres, as the ranch we were hunting did, the pigs are getting through somewhere.
It was also over 100 degrees, only cooling to the mid 80s at night. The pigs stay still when it’s that hot. To make matters worse, the neighboring property was flush with corn and the pigs were spending most of their time in the shade and plentiful food supply of the corn fields.
Bill warned us that pickings would probably be slim, but he guessed he had a couple dozen big boars in the area. If you don’t hunt pigs, you don’t shoot pigs, so I headed out to a particularly wooded area the very first night I was there, knowing it would likely take several mornings and evenings of hunting to be successful.
You know what they say, the harder you work, the luckier you’ll get. I could hear boars fighting and squealing in the brush even before I got to the blind. I could also see why Bill had told me that, if I saw a pig, shoot it in the neck and then follow up with a shoulder shot.
I usually just pin them through the shoulders, but when I saw the terrain, I understood why. Given how thick the brush was, and the fact that night was coming on, even if the pig only ran 30 yards, he’d be hard to find and really hard to recover. A bullet to the spine usually drops a pig in its tracks.
I moved slowly and as quietly to the blind as possible, guessing the fighting boars were probably not more than 150 yards away in the thick brush. I had barely gotten into the blind and hadn’t even closed the door behind me before the pigs I heard in the woods came out, pushing at and racing each other to get to the deer feeder. One of them never made it.
The 150gr SST bullet punched right though the 250lb boar’s spine and kept on going. The pig didn’t take a another step. As instructed, I put another round into his shoulder while he was down. Opening my pig up, a well as one another hunter had shot, I found the wound channels to be exactly what you would expect. Devastating.
This is the shoulder of a boar weighing 300lbs, shot by another hunter using the Speer 130gr FNHC, at about 100 yards away. Note not only the significant wound channel, but that a big chunk of his shoulder bone is smashed through as well. Even after this, it was a complete pass-through of both lungs, exiting just behind the opposite shoulder. Impressive and effective.
It’s accurate. It’s effective. What about reliable?
Over the course of three days, we shot the hell out of several Wilson Combat guns chambered in the new cartridge. I never saw one cleaned or lubed in any way, and we stayed there on the property. I also witnessed box after box fired through the same gun with multiple shooters.
We had to set them down on a couple of occasions because the hand guards got too hot to hold. The fact that we were already shooting in 100-degree heat probably didn’t help that much.
Once I thought I saw a failure to feed. I had my camera out and ready to catch it. It turned out that the shooter — Bill actually — just hadn’t pressed the bolt release upon inserting a new mag while sighting in a rifle. Drat!
Suffice it to say, that I never saw a single 300 Ham’r have any issue with reliability in any way. Considering this was over thousands of rounds with multiple shooters over multiple days with several different projectiles in 100 degree heat, I’d say the rifle passes the reliability test.
When the 300 Ham’r was first announced, I assumed it was on the same “AR-12” proprietary frame as the 458 Ham’r. It is not. The 300 Ham’r is built in the traditional AR-15 footprint, and uses the AR-15 bolt carrier group and 5.55NATO/.223Rem bolt.
This is not a heavyweight rifle. It is light and extremely well balanced.
The Bill Wilson Ranch Rifle package that I hunted with weighs in at only 6lbs 2oz, empty. That’s with an 18″ barrel, making this a semi-auto rifle that is more accurate, just as powerful, and actually weighs less than my Winchester 1894 lever guns.
The light weight and generally handiness of the rifle was commented on by all of the shooters. Wilson Combat has a line of ARs chambered in the new 300 Ham’r, with a variety of different features and furniture. I spent most of my time with the Bill Wilson Ranch Rifle. This is the stripped-down, lightweight hunting rig that Bill keeps strapped to his Kawasaki Mule or in his vehicle when he’s around the ranch for hog eradication.
One of the distinctive features found on this model is fixed carbon fiber wrapped stock, the same kind used I used during my Nilgai hunt with his
friggin awesome 458 Ham’r. I’m still surprised at how much I like this stock. It’s not what I would want to lay prone behind all day, but it’s light weight, shoulders solid and very quickly, and establishes a good cheek-stock-weld for me. Do note, I prefer a low comb height, so those of you needing a high cheek piece might do better using something with a higher comb.
The rest of the rifle is the same exceptional quality as I’ve seen before on their 458 Ham’r and their AR-10 in 6.5Creedmoor I’ve previously reviewed. There is a wide variety of models available on the website. The user has many finish options available, as well as barrel lengths and styles.
The Bill Wilson Ranch rifle is sold as Bill carries it, and as I hunted with it, including the optics and rings. The included Trijicon Accupoint 3-9×40 comes mounted and zeroed for the rifle. All of the models come with the Wilson Combat Tactical Trigger Unit set at 4lbs.
Although I’ve found Wilson Combat’s guns to be worth every penny, they do cost more than a few pennies. If you would like to save a whole lot of pennies, you can find the 300 Ham’r upper receivers ready for purchase on the Wilson Combat website. They list both forged and billet upper receivers in several different barrel lengths, ready to ship.
There are eight loads of 300 Ham’r ammunition currently available from Wilson Combat, and more will soon be offered by HSM ammunition. That’s a lot of variety for a round so young in its commercial life. But at this time it’s still a reloader’s cartridge.
It is greatly appreciated that Wilson Combat has published multiple recipes on their website, along with the sources for all parts needed to reproduce these loads at home. Wilson Combat sells 300 Ham’r brass, but it can be made from 5.56NATO cases. Reloading information, taken from the Wilson Combat website, is also included at the end of this article.
Lancer, Magpul, and D&H Tactical all make 300BLK magazines. Using these, you’ll have no issues with capacity or feeding. If you use a standard 5.56 mag, you’ll reduce the capacity somewhat. That amount depends on the magazine and its design.
The last time I checked, I have AR uppers in seven different calibers. The vast majority of those builds were purely to see if I would like the caliber. For most of them, the answer was no. It’s just really hard to provide any significant improvement over the current offerings. Bill Wilson has done exactly that.
He’s developed an accurate cartridge for the AR15 that equals or exceeds the ballistics of one of the most proven cartridges ever used in North America. That it took this long, and this many iterations, says good things about the old 30-30Win, and good things about Wilson Combat as well.
Specifications: Bill Wilson Ranch Rifle Package (Multiple Other Models Available)
Caliber: .300 HAM’R
Barrel Length: 18” (TR-300HBWRIG18RT15)
Overall Length: 35.5”
Weight Empty: 6 lbs 2 oz (without optic)
Magazine Capacity: 5/10/20/30 Rounds
Billet Upper (Flat Top) and Billet Lower Receiver
Round Threaded Match Grade Barrel with Circle WC Ranch Logo
Threaded Muzzle (5/8×24) with Thread Protector
Wilson Combat 12” M-LOK Rail with Three Wilson Combat Rail Covers, Green
Ergo Ladder Top Rail Cover, 18 Slot, Black
Smoke Composite Carbon Fiber Closed Shoulder Buttstock
Wilson Combat TTU (Tactical Trigger Unit) M2, 4#
Mil-Spec Bolt and Bolt Carrier, MP Inspected, NP3
Wilson Combat/BCM Starburst Gunfighter Grip, Black
Armor-Tuff® Finish applied over Mil-Spec Hard Anodized Upper/Lower Receivers (Green/Black Standard – Forest Camo Optional)
Wilson Combat Lightweight Scope Rings
Trijicon Accupoint 3-9×40 Green Dot Riflescope Mounted and Zeroed
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style and Appearance * * * * *
Like every Wilson Combat gun I’ve reviewed, all of the rifles chambered for 300 Ham’r I shot exhibited excellent fit and finish. The Armor-Tuff finish is applied thoroughly and evenly over an anodized receiver set. There are no visible tool marks inside or outside of the gun. The receiver sets and furniture all share a theme, and flow well together. Multiple finishes are available.
Reliability * * * * *
Multiple shooters over several days and thousands of rounds. Zero issues. I’d bet my life or my hunt on these guns.
Accuracy * * * * *
A lightweight AR-15 delivering sub MOA accuracy gets 5 stars. I hope to let you know at a later date how sub-MOA that really is.
Overall * * * * *
Wilson Combat has achieved what many before them have tried. They have successfully matched the full capability of the venerable .30-30 Winchester with a lightweight AR-15 rifle. Congratulations to Bill and his team there. What’s even better is that they’ve been able to do this in a good-looking, extremely handy rifle, capable of being carried all day, anywhere you may want to hunt in North America. It’s accurate, reliable, and effective. My regular readers know I look for ways to keep guns out of the five star category, but considering the ballistic feat achieved here, this one probably deserves six.
Ammunition Available from the Wilson Combat Website
110gr Sierra HP-V
110gr Lehigh Controlled Chaos
125gr Sierra SBT PH
125gr Speer TNT
130gr Speer HP
130gr Speer FN HC
135gr Sierra HP-V
150gr Hornady SST
150gr Speer FN HC
150gr Sierra FN PH
Loading data from the Wilson Combat Website:
Sierra 110gr HP-V #2110, 2.160” OAL
WC 300 HAM’R case
Start load: 25.5gr A1680 or 26.0gr H CFEBLK
Max load: 27.5gr A1680 or 28.0gr H CFEBLK
Velocity range 2500 – 2600FPS
Lehigh 110gr CC #05-308-110-CUSP, 2.245” OAL
WC 300 HAM’R case
Start load: 25.5gr A1680 or 26.0gr H CFEBLK
Max load: 27.5gr A1680 or 28gr H CFEBLK
Velocity range 2500 – 2600FPS
Sierra 125gr SBT PH #2120, 2.245” OAL
WC 300 HAM’R case
Start load: 25.0gr A1680 or 26.0gr H CFEBLK
Max load: 26.5gr A1680 or 27.8gr H CFEBLK
Velocity range 2450 – 2500FPS
Speer 125gr TNT #1986/#3725, 2.245” OAL
WC 300 HAM’R case
Start load: 25.0gr A1680 or 26.0gr H CFEBLK
Max load: 26.0gr A1680 or 27.2gr H CFEBLK
Velocity range 2450 – 2500FPS
Speer 130gr FPHC #2007, 2.175” OAL
WC 300 HAM’R case
Start load: 25.0gr A1680 or 26.0gr H CFEBLK
Max load: 26.5gr A1680 or 27.8gr H CFEBLK
Velocity range 2450 – 2500FPS
Hornady 150gr SST #30303, 2.245” OAL
WC 300 HAM’R case
Start load: 23.8gr H CFEBLK
Max load: 24.8gr H CFEBLK
Velocity range 2190 – 2250FPS
Speer 150gr FNHC #2011, 2.145” OAL
WC 300 HAM’R case
Start load: 23.6gr H CFEBLK
Max load: 24.8gr H CFEBLK
Velocity range 2180 – 2240FPS
All loads were produced with WC 300 HAM’R cases, reduce the above charge weights by 5% if using cases made from .223/5.56 brass.
WARNING: Due to barrel bore dimension variations and powder lot differences WILSON COMBAT strongly recommends the use of a chronograph to work up loads in excess of the starting loads. Do not exceed the highest velocity listed for any load and do not substitute any other component for those listed.
Velocities were recorded using a Wilson Combat 18” barrel with Labradar in 90-100 degree temperature. Reduce or add 12FPS per inch for shorter or longer barrels.
NOTE: The 300 HAM’R is designed to use 110-150gr bullets at supersonic velocity and is NOT suitable for heavy bullet sub-sonic use.
WARNING: The above loading data has proven safe in Wilson Combat firearms when used properly, but because Wilson’s Gun Shop, Inc., dba Wilson Combat has no control over the components used or individual handloading practices we assume no liability (either expressed or implied) for the use of this load data information.
NUMEROUS BULLETS ARE SUITABLE FOR THE 300 HAM’R AND COVER A WIDE VARIETY OF APPLICATIONS
Bullet Choices Suitable for the 300 HAM’R
110gr Sierra HP Varminter #2110 (extremely accurate)
110gr Hornady V-MAX #23010
110gr Barnes TSX #30835
110gr Lehigh CC #05-308-110-CUSP (our partners at Lehigh Defense designed this bullet specifically for the 300 HAM’R to provide extreme accuracy and deadly terminal performance)
125gr Sierra SBT PH #2120 (the all around choice, achieves maximum velocity, accurate and deadly)
125gr Sierra FNHP #2020
125gr Speer TNT #1986
130gr Speer FNHC #2007 (OPTIMUM hunting bullet for terminal performance)
130gr Speer HP #2005 (inexpensive and super accurate)
135gr Sierra HP Varminter #2124 (extremely accurate, great choice for predator hunting)
135gr Sierra HPBT MK #2123
150gr Hornady SST #30303 (for the largest game the cartridge is suitable for)
150gr Hornady RN IL #3035
150gr Sierra FN PH #2000 (for the largest game the cartridge is suitable for)
150gr Sierra RN PH #2135
150gr Speer FNHC #2011 (for the largest game the cartridge is suitable for)
160gr Hornady FTX #30395
Ugh another caliber for the AR. I am using the 6.5 Grendel for this job (do the same thing with a AR that you can do with a 30-30). Still nothing is wrong with having lots of choices.
I dig the 6.5Grendel as well and hunted with it last year. I run a suppressed 24″ 6.5 Grendel for longer range nighttime pig fun. But I can’t launch as heavy of a round from it as I can the 30-30 or the 300 Ham’r, and I can’t launch a 130gr round as fast as I can from the 300 Ham’r either.
But I absolutely agree, YAY options!
True, but if you look at the sectional density a 123gr 6.5 bullet has the same penetration potential as a 168gr 30 caliber bullet with better ballistic coefficient. Really in the end the only thing that matters is the prey dies. I see any of these cartridges (6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, 300 Ham’r) as capable of killing CXP2 game out to 300 yards.
Will stick to .308 and .300BLK, surplus, popularity, and availability win my money.
If I’m not mistaken you still have the full magazine capacity with the 300 HAM’R, i.e. 20 rounds in a 20-round mag vs. 15 rounds typical of the same size mag in 6.5 Grendel. I see that, availability of 300 BLK mags, availability of cheap 5.56mm brass to reload, and using the standard 5.56mm bolt all to be advantages over the Grendel. If you want to buy brass that’s already formed, MidwayUSA has Starline 300 HAM’R brass $31.99/100 and 6.5 Grendel for exactly $20 MORE per hundred. The 300 HAM’R has cheaper bullets, cheaper brass, and uses less gunpowder. I don’t reload but those things matter to a lot of people.
I think a 6.5mm based on the .458 SOCOM case, capable of using the heaviest bullets without seating them past the neck would be interesting. If you’re going to have more powder and less magazine capacity in a 6.5mm, why not take it to the limit?
Picking and choosing, but since hunting was mentioned. I know it’s important to denote whether or not one is a fanboy or not, I am not. Normally carry a .308 for elk. But…
The .300BO “go to” hunting bullet (IMO, much of this is opinion, as are all caliber discussions) for supersonic is the 110gr Barnes, especially if you want to be able to reach out beyond 50yds. I joke, somewhat. It’s true though. With a 1300FPS minimum for expansion, there is nothing else out there that is ethical for distance in that caliber. 1800FPS is the general minimum for hunting bullets to expand. +500 at the muzzle buys you a lot of distance, comparatively.
If you look at Barnes data for the 300BO, which is on their site, for free, 2400+FPS is possible with the 110 and a 16″ barrel. I personally get 2200FPS with an 8.5″ barrel with that load, so I know their data is correct. The Ham’r shows better performance with the 110, and realistically, ANY improvement in FPS is a benefit when talking fairly mundane muzzle velocities. But is that enough for yet another cartridge? Variety is the spice of life, do what you want, but nothing defies the laws of physics. Small case capacity with large diameter bullets is not going to equal great downrange performance.
As to animal size and caliber suitability. 2200FPS with the Barnes 110 (again, 8.5″ barrel) has GREATER energy at any range, than the 300gr .44 Mag max load shown on Hodgdon’s site. I’m not a .44 Mag expert, but I would *assume* that .44 load is considered suitable for elk and at least black bear. I don’t buy into energy, shot placement is what matters, but at least energy is a factual number that can be used for comparison.
DY, if you are only limiting yourself to the 110gr round, there is little benefit to the 300 Ham’r. But considering it will fire a 130gr round faster than Barnes claims they can fire a 110gr round, you’ll see the advantage is significant.
“I’m not a .44 Mag expert, but I would *assume* that .44 load is considered suitable for elk and at least black bear.”
No, the .44Magnum is not suitable for elk. Or at least, not from a pistol beyond about 25 yards. Can the animal be taken with a .44Mag? With ideal shot placement, yes. If we use the Colorado Parks and Wildlife guide for midrange elk calibers, we see they recommend at least 2,000ft/lbs delivered for a quartering toward shot. That’s more than the .44Mag delivers from the muzzle, even in a carbine length barrel. The recommendation for a broadside shot is 1,200ft/lbs delivered, which limits you to close range only.
Now for, deer, pigs, or black bear, that’s a very different story. But elk are big.
I don’t think it’s a “claim” that the Barnes will shoot a 110gr at 2400FPS. It’s published data. If we want to doubt Barnes, then look at the Hodgdon load data for the 110gr VMax: 2474FPS, both 16″ barrels. I don’t have anything against Wilson, but I noticed one of the claimed FPS advantages were not oranges to oranges. I can’t find it now, but something about a a 400FPS advantage, when it was really about 200FPS when compared fairly. I guess that is marketing. I just like it to be factual…”Ham’r is significantly more powerful with 130gr bullets than the .300BO or 7.62×39″. I’m good with that.
In WA a 4″+ barrel and not rimfire/.240+ diameter is legal for all big game. You can hunt moose with a Glock 19 if you like. I’ve seen an elk go down to a .45ACP. Not saying it’s ethical, in that case apparently it was. I put far more emphasis on shot placement than energy. Any hunting season with any sort of hunting population, you will hear the cannons roar as one round does not put the animal down. 30-06, .300WM, poor shot placement or miss, that animal isn’t done. I like to think that shooters as a whole are more “hip” to things like ballistics now, but you’ll still hear from some that nothing but .300WM will kill an elk, and that it shoots flat as a laser. Those same folks will miss at 400yds, but I digress.
Bigger bullets going faster certainly don’t hurt, but if all emphasis is on bullet performance, then none is on shooter performance. I feel some forget shot placement.
Thanks for drawing my attention to the 130’s. I see no benefit over the .300 if sticking with 110’s (and subs I suppose), but if you want to shoot 130’s, the performance is definitely better.
is .44 mag suitable for elk ?
well … think of this … the .45 colt was designed to kill a horse.
and i did it well.
.44 mag is more powerful than .45 colt.
and horses are larger than elk.
yes … a .44 mag is fine for elk … within common sense restraints.
also … energy numbers are just that … numbers … not necessarily real world performance.
How would this compare to, say, a .224 Valkyrie necked up to .308?
As the Valkyrie is a necked down 6.8SPC, which has the 30 Remington as a parent case…
This is an appealing round, no doubt. I like everything but the price tag. Even uppers alone are $1200+. Surely we will get some other manufactures making .300 Ham’r uppers and there will be some budget options available.
But, for now, a $350 Marlin 336 would be my choice for this variant’s intended role.
Yep. I started out thinking this gun was pointless and dumb, and ended up wanting one. 30-30 occupies a sweet spot between power and shootability. An AR that matches its terminal performance might just be the perfect marriage of cartridge and rifle.
But the price…yikes. I’m going to have to stick with my Marlin levergun for the foreseeable future.
Marlin for the win. In my youth Savage made a pump action .30-30. Very handy and compact. Good brush and cover gun. Haven’t seen one in years.
.30-30 works for a lot of jobs. Not a long range round but I’m getting too old for long range stuff anyways. I limit myself to a max of 300 yards these days. And most shots are way closer than that.
You have not yet reached my level of laziness.
Put coffee down. Shoot the animal 500 yards away from the back porch. Send children to retrieve it. Resume coffee.
Yeah. Even by my standards that’s pretty lazy.
I need to figure out how to become a hammock sniper.
Wow cool an AR matching a 30-30 is pretty darned good. It’s been my experience at 50 yards or less the deer I hit with the .44 Mag 240gr soft points went down quicker then with the 30-30 150 great soft points,,,,within 50 yards that is.
The big issue with the “30-30 performance in an AR” goal is the platform itself. That is, the AR. I’m saying this as someone who has, and occasionally still does, hunt with one. The AR is relatively light, quick to shoulder, has a high capacity, shoots pointy bullets, and options abound for doodads and whiz-bangs. In other words, it bests the lever gun in many ways.
The problem with the hunting AR is that a lever action rifle is much simpler in materials and construction. They don’t have countless rails/slots/holes for water and mud to get into, or to have to worry about cleaning out later. It’s a real PITA to detail clean an AR after an accidental mud bath, especially with Georgia red clay. Just getting caught in a storm can take hours to dry and oil.
Maybe I’m a perfectionist, but a bolt or lever rifle is far easier to maintain.
“a real PITA to detail clean an AR after an accidental mud bath”
I take it you’ve never detail stripped a Winchester 94 then.
I have, but they’re a rare sight here. In my neck of the woods, Marlin 336s are far and away the dominant lever gun.
And the Marlin really is a simple gun to take down.
I need to get behind one of the newest Marlin guns. People are telling me they are coming back to their old level of quality. If that’s true, it’s a good thing for America.
She ain’t purdy but there’s a reason I like my H&R Pardner
you drop that marlin in a puddle of georgia red clay mud … and you got a 5 pound stick, that won’t function.
drop an ar in the same puddle … and it will continue to function.
Hope it catches on.
Now about that knife…
I’m sorry Tom but I’ve tried to post a link directly to it a couple times now without success. That knife is made by Steve Woods and it is available on the Wilson Combat website.
Are these the new magnetic rounds as shown in pic. #4, attached to the bottom of that iron ore rock?
Just sayin, cool technology.
JWT, those rounds sure look like .300 Black, how about a quick and dirty (never mind the thousandths) description why they are not. Is the shoulder different? Is the case wider? Uses the same bolt and BCG, magazine, I’m missing why I can’t fire this ammo in my .300 Blk. And while we’re on the subject, what happens if I mistakenly load a mag of these into my .300 Blk? Or vice versa.
Dude, you’re killing me, that’s an article in and of itself.
Take a look at the cartridge dimensions, I’ve included links to both the 7.62X40 and the 300BLK in the article. You’ll see the 300 Ham’r’s case length is longer than the 300BLK.
So…a .30AR from 7 years ago?
I think Wilson will sell about 20 rifles.
Different parent case and entirely different dimensions. They’ve already sold a lot more than 20.
I always thought about how a slightly longer 7.62×39 would be pretty cool. Maybe we can convince the Russians to adopt it so it becomes cheap and plentiful.
Nice inverted photo
What photo appears inverted? None do to me.
The 1 of you sitting beside hog holding rifle & the 2 rounds w/hornady v-max or hornady tipped bullets.
‘MSRP: $3,650’ – Now that’s where you lost me.
Otherwise, meh. It’s just not quite the same without the little loop under the g un.
I bought a .30-30 for an unscoped rif le and I think it’s the ultimate rou nd for that. Shoots flatter than .45-70 or .44 m ag. Low recoil and cheap to shoot. With practice and the right load it can hit hard enough to take deer sized game out to 300 yards – I’m not taking a shot longer than that with the naked eye. And forget deer, east of the Mississippi it’s probably taken more moose than any other cart ridge.
If I’m looking for a serious medium game hun ting rou nd in the A R 15 platform I’d probably just go with the 6.8spc. But I don’t mind working a b olt or a le ver, so I just don’t see the point, I guess.
I agree. I still like my 6.8, 30-30 with 170 grain bullets and my 35 Remington in lever and pumps. $3650. Not for me. I have a LWRC Six 8 with different barrel lengths way under that. Then there is the 458 SOCOM 350 grainers at 1700 fps.
Yadda yadda yadda, “their AR-10 in 6.5Creedmoor I’ve previously reviewed. “
If they open up the round to everyone, it might take off with people who are not looking for suppressed action and closer range hunting.
300 BLK was made for close quarter suppressed action against people without level VI body armor.
This one is made for close range punch against animals.
Both have merits. Price will determine which one gets more popular down the road for hunting use.
Spend $3,700 on a gun to shoot ammo that you can’t find . . . . . when a .308 will do just fine.
How much is Wilson paying you guys for this piece?
You can shoot a 308 in an AR15?
And in answer to your question, zero. Hell, I’ve been paying them for about 15 years now.
so you get an AR-10. why are you acting like that is a huge deal? this makes no sense. seems like a novelty for people with extra money and want to brag. hell even a damn SCAR is cheaper than this thing! smdh
That’s without the optic and scope, which the Ranch Rifle package includes. And that one’s in 5.56 and weights a full pound more.
The SCAR17 in 308 is even more money, and weighs 2 pounds more.
So it costs less, weighs less, and you can put the upper on any AR15 lower.
An AR is designed for self defense, why would you want to hunt with this. For hunting get a top of the line Kimber or Remington and save a ton of money as opposed to buying this toy. Wilson Combat= Bragging rights. Nuff said…
Mr. Clark, the AR pattern rifle is one of the most common hunting rifles in America. Each year it takes a larger and larger share of the hunting rifle market. There’s nothing that hasn’t been taken with an AR, and that includes the African dangerous game as well.
People prefer to hunt with them because they are accurate, reliable, and highly modular. Caliber changes are as simple as the push and pull of 2 pins. You’re about 20 years behind the times.
This is idiotic. I already have a AR that shoots like a 30-30. It cost $500 and shoots 7.62×39 at .20 cents a round.
No, you don’t. I also have AKs and an AR that fire 7.62X39. The muzzle energy they produce is still 250ft/lbs less than the 300 Ham’r or the .30-30Win. Yours isn’t magically more powerful.
If you are buying commercial, not much out there is cheaper than surplus steel case 7.62X39. Those HPs and FMJs make really shitty hunting rounds. I know, I’ve used them. Even the HPs make ice pick wounds. The commercial soft point and SST rounds run about 15 to 20 cents per round less expensive than the 300 Ham’r hunting rounds.
Oddly enough, if you reload, the 300 Ham’r is actually cheaper than the 7.62X39, because reloadable 5.56 brass is cheaper than 7.62X39 brass, and .308 bullets are slightly cheaper than .310/.311 bullets.
If you reload, the 300 Ham’r is cheaper to plink, and cheaper to hunt with, than the 7.62X39.
Get the same gun made by Colt or Smith&Wesson and pay 1/2 the price. The problem with Wilson Combat is they obviously love their guns so much that they don’t want to sell them. My local range got dealership status with Wilson Combat pistols, you can even rent them at the range. I asked the clerk at the signup desk how many they have sold over the last year, he said 2 or 3. Very few can afford a minimum $3000 for a 1911 considering you could buy 2 Sig Sauers or 2 Kimbers in 1911 of equal value for $3000. Wilson Combat is for one thing and one thing only, bragging rights. P.S. To rent one for the range costs 2x the usual cost of renting any other gun.
Mr. Clark, neither of the companies you’ve listed make a firearm in this caliber. As long as you discount appearance and actual performance, then yes, bragging rights are all Wilson Combat guns have left.
Info on the scope mount on the top picture?
Whole nother review.
Article mentioned east Texas as the location. God bless Texas, I love this place, BUT…it appears these photos were taken in Australia.
Seems to me that if you are an American you have a social duty to own an M4 Carbine type rifle for militia use in 5.56mm; not a similar rifle that uses different ammo in the same magazines that can blow up your M4 if loaded into it. If I had to have an AR for hunting medium to large game it would be an AR-10 in .308W.
If I want an iron sighted rifle for hunting medium to large game it will be a lever action in .30-30 (Win 1894) or .45-70 (Win 1886), but for general purpose use for medium to large game with a scope I would much prefer a bolt action .308 (Win M70), which I much prefer to an AR-10 which has inferior handling characteristics. The AR-10 is a second rate assault rifle compared to a 5.56mm M4 due its increased weight and recoil.
“Seems to me that if you are an American you have a social duty to own an M4 Carbine type rifle for militia use”
300 ham’r … check.
“not a similar rifle that uses different ammo in the same magazines that can blow up your M4 if loaded into it.”
since that is impossible … a 30 caliber bullet doesn’t fit in a 22 caliber hole …
300 ham’r … check.
I killed a large doe and several hogs with it this past week.
It works as advertised
Way out of my price range. Maybe they can sell them to all the well to do liberals leaving California
tired of writing this!!! go back to 1952, the czechs did not like the 7.62X39, thought it wasnt enough. so, they came up with the 7.62X45. it shoots 130gr bullets at 2550FPS
out of my VZ52 rifle with 20″ barrel. with new powders it shoots hornady 123 gr SST’s at 2650 FPS!!! does any of this sound familiar?? well these came to the us in the late 1980’s. so why would you say it took 10 years to come up with this cartridge when its been around for 40 years here???
oh and being 45mm it would already fit into an AR-15 style rifle.
“so why would you say it took 10 years to come up with this cartridge when its been around for 40 years here”
1. Because it’s not the same cartridge.
2. Because it fires a different diameter bullet.
3. Because it is limited to lighter weight bullets.
4. Because it doesn’t match the ballistics of the .30-30Win, which the .300Ham’r was built to replicate.
yep … and i’ll just run down to the local gun store and pick me up a box of 7.62×45.
so you chronographed a match grade round in.300 blackout against a max effort round of .300 ham’r of course the .300 blackout is going to be slower most but not all know match grade rounds are NOT loaded to max velocity because max velocity is usually NOT as accurate. just another solution looking for a problem..
your hornady book must be different from mine. At the weights that match I have the 110 gr 30-30 matching the 300 in velocity. At 150 gr I have the 30-30 traveling 40 fps faster. granted that isn’t a lot but you didn’t stick with saying that the 300 and 30-30 matched. You tried to claim that the 300 exceeded the 30-30 and I just don’t find that to be the case.
by the way, the above was with a 20″ barrel. 24″ with my numbers would probably exceeded the 300 all the way around
JW , most of these guys are reading data from a manual not a readout on a chrony read out. The 200+ ft. Per second is their. Its accurate , the 7.62×39 well it goes bang . It was designed to be a replacement for a sub gun. Anyone who has been playing with handloading for 20+ years can see that the Ham’r in 30 caliber has a huge advantage. I own blackout(2 in fact14.5 & 16″) 6.8spc, two 5.56 a 14.5 & 18″& a 6.5 grendel & even a smith & Wesson 5.45×39 uppers. Probably a 6mm ARC one day. Back in the day when norinco sks were $49 & case ammo(1080) was $60 the 300 Ham’r would still find a spot worthy of cost ( adjust for inflation) of a new round. Its brass , you throw away the powder, primer & bullet to use brass again! Barrel & brass . @ $29 a hundred & $250 for barrel WOW THATS NOT HIGH , LOOK @ 6ARC BRASS OR GRENDEL BRASS + BARREL!!!!!
So he chambered an AR15 in the 30 Apache (from the 1970’s) and rebranded it as the hammer; Right? Or, am I missing something?
i guess i’ll just run down to the local gun store and grab some 30 apache ammo ….
the 4th, and the 15th photos are upside down.
good article … thanks.
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