300 Blackout (300 BLK)
In case you have been living in a cave for the last several years, the 300 Blackout is the sexy new girl on the block. This article is part one of a new series on the 300 Blackout (300 BLK). While the cartridge-haters will tell you that the 300 BLK is the answer to a question no one asked it is an interesting option – especially for use with subsonic ammunition and a suppressor. After all, do we really need much more than .22lr, .45 ACP, and .308? Variety is the spice of life and the Blackout is growing in popularity.
There is much confusion regarding the .300 Whisper v. .300 Blackout. In summary:
- Whisper was developed by J.D. Jones in the early 1990′s by necking up a .221 Fireball to .30 caliber (as a side note, I hunted with a Remington XP-100 in .221 Fireball in the early 70′s – very cool pistol).
- Blackout was developed by AAC and Remington in 2009 by shortening and necking up a .223 cartridge. Why reinvent? The Whisper is not SAAMI certified. The Blackout is often referenced as the 300 AAC.
- 300 Blackout has won the PR war and is now pretty much the standard. “Blackout” was all over SHOT Show and the NRA Convention. Mainstream companies are manufacturing optics calibrated to 300 BLK ballistics.
Like the 6.5 Grendel and 6.8 SPC, the driving force behind the 300 BLK was the desire to upgrade the standard .223/5.56 rifle. Full disclosure: I regularly hunt with a Bison Armory 6.8 SPC II and love it! The combination of light weight, ergonomics, accuracy, and capacity make it a wonderful gun for hog hunting. Long-range shooters covet the 6.5 Grendel for its high ballistic coefficient bullets. So, why the 300 BLK?
Well, consider that Advanced Armament developed the 300 BLK. What is AAC known for? Suppressors, of course. The real difference between the 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, and the 300 BLK is the latter’s performance with 220 gr subsonic ammunition. That is one reason why I acquired a 300 BLK rifle – for subsonic use.
We do a lot of hog hunting in Texas. Hog hunting is an up-close and personal experience. The best (most fun) way to hunt hogs is on foot, stalk hunting, sneaking up on stock tanks, shooting on the run. The AR-15 platform with a red-dot type scope is ideal for this scenario! Shots are usually around 50 yards so velocity deterioration is not an issue. With the 300 BLK I have the choice of firing the Barnes 110 gr TAC-TX (at around 2400 fps muzzle velocity) or the Remington/PNW Arms 220 gr subsonic ammo.
Second, to be able to dispatch coyotes and test optics at our family farm without disturbing the neighbors.
Part two of this series will focus on the AAC Model 7 300 BLK rifle.
Part three will focus on testing the 220 grain subsonic ammunition with the Templar Tactical ARK30 7.5″ 300 BLK suppressor – which promises to be huge fun!
Part four will be field reports.