By Guy J. Sagi A mystique surrounds the .300 BLK (AAC Blackout), and it overshadows this utility player’s…
The .300 AAC Blackout, also known as .300 AAC or .300 Blackout, has taken the shooting world by storm in the last few years. The 5.56x45mm NATO is a fine caliber for a surprising number of applications. As a shooting community, we never envisioned many of those uses decades ago when the cartridge was born. Lucky for us, today they’ve come to fruition with advances in modern ammunition technology.
The gaps which the Blackout fills, though, are numerous because it is a regular Jekyll and Hyde; it is actually optimally used from a short barrel which is why it has been embraced as a nearly-ideal Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) cartridge, yet it performs quite well from the standard 16” barrel from an AR-15. It can fire a sub-sonic 220gr bullet which hits like a +P .45 ACP and then transitions immediately to high-power, super-sonic 110gr-150gr loads.
300 Blackout Ammo Quick Answer Box:
• What are the best uses for 300 AAC Blackout? From hog hunting to home defense, the 300 Blackout works well in a variety of applications. 300 AAC Blackout ammo is commonly used for hunting, home defense, military purposes, and plinking at the gun range. It also works well with applications involving the use of suppressors with subsonic ammo.
• What’s the difference between 300 Blackout and 223 Rem? The 7.62x35mm 300 AAC bullet is larger in size than 223 Remington. It shares ballistics similar to those of the popular AK-47 cartridge, the 7.62×39. The 223 Rem has a higher average velocity (55gr at 3,180 FPS) than the heavier 300 Blackout (125gr at 2,215 FPS) from a standard 16″ barrel.
• Will 300 Blackout kill a deer? Yes, at distances of 100 yards or closer, the 300 AAC Blackout cartridge will kill a deer. The best 300 Blackout ammo options for deer hunting have a bullet weight between 125-135 grains and a bullet type of SST, OTM, or Poly-tip.
History Of 300 AAC
The .300 Blackout is very new by shooting standards. We witnessed its release in 2010 and saw SAAMI approve it in 2011. Now it’s available everywhere. You’ll find weapons chambered for it that were not originally conceived for the cartridge. Including single-shot break open rifles, bolt action rifles, and AR-15 upper receivers are available everywhere and are just as cheap as the über-common 5.56x45mm and .223 uppers.
Hunters embraced it as a legitimate deer bagger, and for good reason. It can thump a target within reasonable distances with impressive force. It’s a good option for home defense as well. The sub-sonic ammunition offerings provide a viable home-defense caliber in the AR-15 platform which will not overshoot, over-penetrate, or blow out eardrums as badly as the 5.56.
The real clincher is this: the .300 AAC uses the exact same magazine and bolt carrier group (BCG) as any standard 5.56 carbine or upper receiver. The shooter needs only to buy a .300 AAC upper receiver (not a complete upper with BCG) to have a rifle with completely different capabilities and characteristics.
However, do not be lulled into complacency. You cannot fire .223/5.56 from a .300 AAC upper. Yes, a .223/5.56 cartridge will feed into the .300 AAC chamber but it is absolutely not safe to do so. Feeding a 300 AAC cartridge into your .223/5.56 upper will likely destroy your firearm if you try to fire it and possibly cause bodily harm. DO NOT attempt this, or any other ammunition other than what a firearm is stamped to accept and designed to accept; you will destroy equipment and could hurt yourself in the process.
300 BLK vs. 300 AAC
There is absolutely no difference between the .300 Blackout and the .300 AAC Blackout. It is the same exact thing. Yes, you can use any standard AR magazine for the Blackout and they will work fine.
Popular Ammunition Types
The .300 AAC is a very unique caliber in that AAC designed it for two separate purposes:
- Firing heavy bullets at subsonic velocities out of a short-barreled, AR-pattern weapon.
- Shooting light and medium bullets, often identical to those used in the .308 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield, operating at supersonic velocities (although much lower than its hyperactive brother, the 5.56×45).
All regular bullet types used in other .30 caliber cartridges are readily usable in the .300 AAC, as well as a number of bullet tailor-made for the Blackout. FMJ cartridges are generally the same weight as .308 Winchester FMJ rounds, ranging from 145gr to 150gr.
Remington has an extremely popular load geared at the feral hog hunting community dubbed the Hog Hammer. It uses the Barnes TSX all-copper hollow point, which penetrates more than 25% deeper than traditional lead-core bullets. As you might know, this is very important in hunting aggressive, dangerous, thick-skinned hogs.
What About 300 Whisper?
Why is the .300 AAC also known as the .300 Whisper? Suppressed sub-sonic rounds are practically soundless and hit like a hammer while remaining cost-effective and simple to find and operate. These slugs are often 190gr to 220gr Let’s take a look around some of the most popular loads out there for this excellent hybrid caliber.
Best 300 Blackout Home Defense Ammo
Fiocchi Extrema 125 Gr SST
Old-world ammunition manufacturer Fiocchi weighed in on the .300 AAC with a single self-defense offering, a 125gr soft-tip bullet which shoots clean and flies true, par for the course from a very good manufacturer.
Hornady Subsonic 190 Gr Sub-X
Designed specifically for short-barreled platforms, ideally fitted with a suppressor, the Hornady 190gr Sub-X® is perfect for home defense, especially paired with a highly compact AR pistol in .300 AAC, or a standard 16” barrel carbine. Using the iconic red polymer tip swaged into a gaping hollow point. Boasting muzzle velocity of 1,050fps and 465ft-lbs, you end up with a heavy bullet. It hits hard, a lot like a 185gr .45 ACP but offering much high volume of fire and better accuracy.
Best 300 Blackout Training Ammo
Magtech 123 Gr FMJ
Magtech produces a simple target round, taking a 123gr FMJ bullet in a standard brass case. This is very close in size, mass, and performance to the typical 7.62x39mm Soviet 123gr FMJ. Cost-effective and very useful for weapon familiarization, zeroing, and just plain fun, this is what you’d like to find in case form and pick up a few hundred.
Federal American Eagle 150 Gr FMJ
Federal brings the .300 Blackout to its affordable American Eagle line of training ammunition. Sharing a common projectile with .308 and .30-06 cartridges under the same flag, the .300 AAC with a 150gr FMJ is well suited for plinking, zeroing in optics, and is acceptable for eradicating coyote and medium-size varmint.
Best 300 Blackout Hunting Ammo
Remington Premier Match 125 Gr OTM
Remington labels it as match ammunition and it is perfectly suitable for that purpose. However, the Remington Premier Match 125gr open tip match (OTM) is also suitable for hunting medium game, generally for 100 yards and under (brush gun, anybody?). It lies somewhere between FMJ and hollow point, as it is not technically a full hollow point. However, given the lack of dedicated hunting rounds in the .300 AAC, it will suffice and do so with great accuracy.
Federal American Eagle Suppressor OTM
Federal Suppressor is really only well suited for very short-range shots in rifle hunting season. It’s also great to use in an AR pistol in states which have handgun seasons. This is a heavy OTM bullet weighing in at 220gr and is listed as exiting the muzzle at 1,000fps, with a ballistic coefficient of 0.65. It isn’t going to win any long-range matches versus similar calibers. It might, however, be just right for a chip shot handgun hunt or bagging feral hogs on a suppressed platform. All the better for wide-spread eradication.
Is 300 Blackout Right For You?
The .300 AAC Blackout, or whatever name you hear attached to it, has taken the modern sporting rifle scene by storm and shows no evidence of slowing down. While some of the other, newer options are very fine indeed (6.5 Grendel and 6.8 SPC), they are not exactly plug-and-play with existing AR lower receivers. For many of them, you have to have a complete upper and special magazines. Those calibers are really best suited for long-range environments.
The .300 AAC can’t do it all, but it can do a lot. It is the multi-tool of AR rifle calibers. The caliber gives users a lot of options for a single caliber. Also, it offers the best spread of different, completely unique applications. Lastly, it’s affordable. Compared to many non-traditional rifle cartridges, it’s a bargain. The fact that it’s affordable for the average shooter, is appealing to all of us.