An Argument for 300 AAC Blackout..
By: Skipjack with photos by Stuntgunner
First things first. I love the 300 AAC Blackout. Now that you know that, also know that comparing 300 BLK to 6.8 or 6.5 is an apples-to-oranges type argument. Although these rounds can share a common platform (AR-15), THE 6.8 and 6.5 are 308 Winchester alternatives. I believe the 300BLK is more comparable to 7.62x 39. If you are considering up-gunning your AR15 then you must ask yourself these questions.
What do you want to do with your rifle?
Some would argue that a 308 is great for home defense. I would say this is incredibly unsafe, unless you live in a bunker with concrete walls three feet thick and don’t have a family, pets, or neighbors. Lets be real, you are probably not that guy. So let’s consider other weapons that can be more wieldable in tight spaces while being just as effective.
If you are looking for something in a carbine then the 300 BLK offers many features ideal for home defense. First the 300 BLK has subsonic ammunition. Don’t worry about blowing your ears out while clearing your house for intruders. Second, the pistol powder used to load the 300 BLK is completely burned by 9 inches so don’t worry about blinding yourself with huge muzzle flashes.
The short barrel and pistol crowd is drinking the 300 BLK cool aid. You could kill a few hours just cruising the net looking at sweet custom and home built shorties or check out the stock options offered by big companies. It also packs a 308 bullet that has been manufactured in great variety. Soft tip, hollow point, boat tail you name it and it’s available. Manufacturers have caught on and 300 BLK is driving new innovation for 308 suppressors.
Taking down a mule deer or hunting hogzilla, The 300 BLk is great out to 400 plus yards and can stop the toughest piece of bacon out there. Just search youtube and see what people are taking down with 300 BLK.
Can my personal shooting ability keep pace with the performance of my selected round?
The 6.5 will outshoot a 308 Winchester, but only after 700 yards. The 6.8 will hit out to 700 yards no problem, but be honest with yourself. Do you have the need, or ability to engage targets at those ranges? There are few individuals with the skills necessary to perform effectively at that distance, even among the military and police communities.
How much are you willing to spend?
6.8 and 6.5 will cost more than a dollar a round. 308 is typically cheaper than 6.8/6.5 and can be purchased for less than a dollar if you look in to mil surplus ammunition. 300 BLK will cost you a little over a dollar but hand loading your own can cut the expense in half. 7.62×39 is by far the cheapest and most available ammunition worldwide but match grade 7.62×39 is limited and common platforms chambered for it are not known for their precision. If you are looking for precision for the Russian round then consider a PTR 32 or the like.
If you already own a second AR then converting it to 300 BLK is easy. All you need is a barrel change and you are ready to roll. Since the parent case is a 223/556 you can use the same magazines and will not lose any capacity.
Can I use this weapon in the apocalypse?
If you are worried about Zombies then availability and track record of ammunition will be a major factor. Lets do some comparison. 6.8/6.5 are relatively new and not carried by all retailers. 308 can be found at your local Walmart and has been turning cover into concealment since 1952.
The 300 BLK is also relatively new but it can be manufactured from easy to find components namely the ubiquitous 223/556 brass, 308 bullets and pistol powder.
The same cannot be said about 6.8/6.5.
If you have a fat tax return check burning a hole in your pocket and you want the latest and greatest ‘gee whiz’ lead slinger money can buy, then don’t let common sense get in your way of having the ultimate safe queen.
Keep in mind that you might be liquidating your safe queen to pay off your divorce lawyer and I bet you will have less than 100 rounds through it.
Don’t get brow beat by useful idiots that learned all they know from Call of Duty and are super excited to let you know that your rifle is underpowered and useless.
I really don’t hate the 6.8/6.5* but the availability and economy is not there for me yet. If you want a versatile platform that won’t break the bank with great availability then consider the 300 AAC Blackout.
What do you think?
Time to hit the comments and tell me what you think! Don’t worry I can take it.
About the authors:
Skipjack is a USMC combat veteran and current law enforcement professional.
Stuntgunner is a photographer in the firearms and tactical industry
* If you want to talk about hate, talk to our editor, Will, about keymod………
40 thoughts on “An Argument for 300 AAC Blackout..”
Whats your favorite round? And feel free to blast Skipjack! He can take it, he moved out of his mom’s basement the day he joined the marines and started tearing up toy dolls!
They each serve their own role so it would depend on the individual and their needs. We all know I am a huge proponent of the 6.8 because I am a hunter and cater to the hunting crowd who shoots modern rifles with modern technology. A common hunting platform for my customers are 16″ 6.8 for deer and 12.5″ suppressed 6.8 with gen 3 NV for pigs.
Between these 3 rounds, none will touch the performance of the 6.8 in that genre.
Now if as Skipjack is discussing clearing his house, his property and other similar CQB scenarios the 300BO is the way to go hands down. Because we must think of over penetration as well as flash blindness, noise etc. (elements he mentioned in the article which were right on point). The argument between the 3 rounds is silly because they just really do not have the overlap of duties The great thing between the 3 rounds is they can all share the same lower and now you have a modular system suited to your intended duty of the day. Set up the upper half correct and you wont have to worry about different weight buffers etc, standard buffer and spring with properly ported upper halves and your golden. Suppression? No problem, adjustable gas block and again good to go.
Thanks for the feedback!
Also, many many thanks to Stuntgunner for the amazing images!
All the serious AR guys I know are reloading blackout for what i pay for 762×39. I’ve also had the chance to shoot subsonic blackout from a 10” barrel what a treat! I instantly thought “this is what i want to clear a house with.” BTW 308 is still my favorite.
.308 for sweeping and clearing especially in the middle of the night because of a strange noise is sketchy at best simply from over penetration. Unless you live out in the middle of nowhere and don’t have neighbors to think about….
pws factory .300blkout, that’s all…
I just recently finished my 8.5″ 300 BLK. Fortuitously, my stamp came back shortly after for my 7.62 Saker. Holy shnikey what a blast. My only difficulty is the ammo situation. I am getting slowly into reloading. Unfortunately, the cast projectiles I had planned on using in subsonic loads (for the sake of cost effectiveness) don’t seem to want to function properly in a full capacity magazine, which is the point. And the higher grain offerings from Hornady etc., negate the cost savings. Sigh.
I agree with most of your points but the comment about shooting past 700 yards. We do it. We do it a lot. I shoot past 1500 yards routinely. Granted I am not doing that with a 300blk, and most often only push 1k yards or more with a 6mm, but it is doable easy enough. I would say edit the article to remove that comment.
All that said, I own a 300 blk and reload for cheaper than half the price of commercial. Currently, I am at 19 cents per round using Palmetto Projectiles 203 Grain Coated bullets for subsonic rounds. For supers I will have a greater price increase, but almost all of that is the bullets (Barnes Black Tips are hard to come by).
For hunting pest game, deer in wooded areas, and shooting quietly without ear pro, it is the winner. That is the sell. AR Platform with no mods except the barrel gets you hearing safe, hard hitting, versitile carbine or SBR. That is it’s niche.
I think he was encouraging the reader to think about their own needs and basically asking you to be honest. He didnt say no one did but the majority of folks really don’t do that kind of shooting. Obviously if you do then this isn’t the round. But if you take anything from the article, it is that as a round, the 300 is great for ammo shortages, and austere times due to the round, the casing and the powder.
Good article, with great points however way off on the cost
of the 6.8 considering Hornady 120 SST and S&B 110 FMJ both cost about
$13.00 a box. These are just 2 of the most commonly used 6.8 ammo n the market.
Also as far as converting the 300BO, it does only need a barrel change where
the 6.8 and 6.5 need a barrel change, bolt and caliber specific mag. So the
cost to swap to either of those rounds really isn’t much more, you make it
sound like you’d need to take a second out on your house in order to afford
either of these cartridges.
Great point on more common components during societal
breakdown as it is all readily available, such as the 308 projectiles and 223
brass but I’d still be picking up my 5.56 rifle over the BO. I feel I would
have less opportunity to make my ammo and more to scavenge in such a situation
but that does go outside the scope of the article so an unfair argument on my
end. Your points about the 300BO being probably the best home defense gun is
spot on and I agree, there is just about nothing out there that would better
serve this role. The 300BO after all was originally designed to be a CQB SBR rifle
to replace the MP5 due to commonality of controls to a standard issued duty
rifle as well as more cost effective to swap over than purchasing all new
The 6.8 primary role is as a very effective hunting round
now days with a small (and growing) combat role overseas. The 6.5 is not a
hunting round it’s a long range round. Each of these rounds has their roles to
fill and in those roles they shine. There is no do all round and these three
have little to no overlap in duty assignment. Good article, keep it up.
I plan to build a 300BLK upper (if I can find someplace with a 16″ barrel in stock), I have a finished upper receiver, just need the barrel, gas block and tube and a handguard. I am already loading up ammo with Hornady 30 CAL .308″ FMJBT (I already use that for my Mosin) with 17gr. IMR4227 with cut down and formed 5.56 brass. It is costing 35 cents/round since I already have thousands of .223/5.56 brass.
What intrigues me about it is that it can be simpler even than a barrel. For just a bit more I could attach said barrel to an upper, but share the BCG and charging handle, making for quick and simple swaps yet a minimal expense. Even more appealing is that my current AR is already a registered 10.5″ SBR, my suppressor is a YHM Phantom Ti QD in 7.62 (since I share it with my 300 Win Mag), and it’s got an Adams Arms piston kit…and they now offer a 12.5″ 300 BLK piston upper. Granted they want $999 for it, but that’s with a BCG included, so without that I think it would drop the price a good $200. Combine all this with the reloading setup I gifted myself for xmas to cut down on the $2.50/rd I was paying for match grade 300 Win Mag for my Nemo Omen, and I could have a sweet quiet and cheap setup for maybe $700 + some dies and pistol powder. I suppose my current stock of 190gr Sierra MatchKings wouldn’t be the greatest fit for 300 BLK, but you get the idea 😉
The only thing that holds me back is “necessity”. It seems like the only major gain (considering I’ve already got a CQB setup plus a 1000+ yd rig in the Omen) would be the super quiet subsonic, and I’m not sure that’s worth forking out that kind of scratch. I mean yeah you get a bigger punch from it, but with a 30 rd mag of 5.56 full of follow up shots, it doesn’t seem like there’s much you could do with 300 BLK that you couldn’t accomplish with a little perseverence without it. Except perhaps the over penetration angle, but if I’m ever in the situation where I’m blasting away in a panic inside my house, I don’t think that would really be at the top of my list of concerns just then.
Of course, with all that said, next time bonus time rolls around, I’ll probably give in and just go for it 🙂
Although you had some valid point and the 300blk has its place in the shooting world I would like to put my thoughts on the matter.
There is no way I am going to shoot any medium caliber out to 400 no matter the caliber. In my mind when comparing the external ballistics of all calibers mentioned here. The 300 blk/762×39 is a sub 200 yard, 6.8/6.5 is a sub 400, and 308 is a sub 600. This is realistic hunting ranges for each caliber.
Brett has already mentioned the ammo situations. For a shtf caliber I will stick with standard 5.56 due to popularity and supply. If I where in a cqb shooting suppressed then the 300 blk for sure. Home defense a pistol carbine wins here. Sub medium range hunting 6.8. Long range hunting 300 win mag.
In my eyes there is no magic caliber that will do all. Each one has its place and should be viewed as a tool and pa always taught me to use the right tool for the job.
Thanks for sharing! Quick question though, where did you see this on Facebook? We are getting hammered today.
Active Self Protection posted your article. He likes pointing out clear concise comparisons that are very informative.
This is why we have a safe with each one in it. If only my treasury department could understand this.
Great article. I currently load my own 300 blackout, 223, and 308 all for the MSR platforms. Each has their place. This article was posted on Facebook by Active Self Protection, which might be why you are getting more traffic today. https://www.facebook.com/ActiveSelfProtection?fref=nf
what are pros/cons of a pistol cal carbine vs AR pistol 300aac subsonic? I’m considering a compact setup for HD and suppressed now that my state just allowed it. Why ruin my own hearing if I have to defend myself at home? plus if we get a zombie apocalypse SHTF, defense would be under 100yds or even 50yds. thanks in advance.
I would love a 6.5 AR platform, but i don’t think there is any AR’s which holds the 6.5×55 at least ( my fav caliber), or is there?
thanks for taking the time to put together a good article. great pics. Its hard to beat a 5.56 for playing around or 3 gun but I had a local guy here Robbie wheaton of wheaton arms (south Carolina) build me 2 short barreled uppers. a 556 at 10.5 inch and my first dabble in 330 blk, an 8 inch. first thing— It is what it is. when I started there wasn’t a whole lot out there for data. much better now. as are the powders for suppressed are much more available. I tried a bunch of my powders like vita 110, v105, v 350. win 296 and others, on paper, or computer rather, Quick load, they should work but I would guess there is not enough gas as they wouldn’t function fully suppressed. With 1680 or h4198 no probs at all. the ones the data say will work like h110 and little gun would not work for me BUT the upper was not broke in yet so maybe….
Main thing is I like reloading, chrono-ing, and experimenting, I’ve been doing it for decades now, the 300 is a dream for that. zillions of bullets and pretty good selection of powders. the 220’s stuffed in there are pretty funny, at least on the back side of the rifle they are. I have both uppers with silencerco trifecta mounts and a .30 saker suppressor, very happy with that set up. Say what you want about the 300 but for me its just plain fun. 110 gr can be pushed to 2200 out of my 8″. I have also put adjustable gas blocks on both I’m happy with them also.
the 125 speer tnt at about 2100, no signs of pressure out of my set up. A note about subsonic– I got some bullets made for high expansion at subsonic speeds. Lehigh 194gr and outlaw 208 and 220. just got them so no testing yet, very pricey but how many do you need for hunting? there is always going to be a better cartridge out there but this one, as you pointed out has many good points . If you don’t like—don’t buy it.. As a friend of mine used to say “that’s why they make vanilla and chocolate” I guess 300 blk would be chocolate. have a good one.
Cheap thrills…..NOT!! After you get your 300 AAC upper set up, buy the suppressor; file your paperwork and pay the $200.00 tax; and get your dies and the rest of the reloading supplies, what do you have and what the hell are you going to do with it? In my part of the country, rifles have to earn their keep. I don’t get it!
I am getting a brand new 300 AAC Blackout Rifle in 2-3 days and I can’t wait to see what she can do! I have a nice collection of ammo and am ready to tear that ass up!
I’m trying to figure out if this caliber has a place with me. I’m in Delaware, so that means no silencers/suppressor for the average citizen. I know the supersonic rounds will function, but will any of the subsonics function without the ability to have noise suppression?
You don’t have to run 300 BLK subsonic. You can buy or load normal rounds FYI
My favorite caliber? Why the 7MM TCU of course. 14 in barrel 2.5 scope, takes deer at 250m+
Then there is the 14 in 30/30. Also on the to is my 5.56 that shoots 1/2 in groups at 100yds.
Friend or mine is looking for a 300 blk platform. So just looking around for info.
So like if 308 diameter bullets are for shorter ranges how do you explain a woman shooting a 30-06 took the 1986 rifle championship with an 8 in group at 1000yds?
Oh I did not use factory ammo for the 30/30. 748 and 139gr spire point boat tail. 3in group at 100 yards open sights. Alas my eyes have gone the way of an old person. Scopes cure that I heard.
I looked at a 300aacblk but negated as the overall accuracy wasn’t there. Subsonic has its places as there is no sonic boom. So is quieter from the gitgo. So like what do ya want to be hit buy? A sewing machine needle at 4kf/s or a bowling ball at 800f/s.
Subsonic isn’t the only 300 blk option FYI. You can go with regular velocity as well.
The debate over 5.56 vs 7.62×39 has been an ongoing battle since Vietnam. The platforms being the center of the argument, reliability vs accuracy. Over the years the AR has become much more reliable and since it’s always been much more accurate, in my opinion the AR vs AK argument is done. With the advent of 300blk mimicking the ballistics of the 7.62 round, the argument is reignited. Light and fast vs heavy and slow.
If you’re just a home defense/close quarters battle guy/gal then the 300blk isn’t a particularly bad choice seeing that it has more punch than the 5,56 as very close range. Stepping out past 100m the ballistics even out a bit so you don’t really see a huge advantage with either round.
At 300m the fast flat flying 5,56 will be a better bet.
Because of only the slight advantages of either round dependeon distance to the target and the
I’ve built two 300 AAC weapons systems (Pistol and Rifle) and they run great unsupressed (115 grain Supersonic). I was very reluctant to work with the 300 AAC platform till I did all my research on how and why the platform came into existence. A friend of mine finally convinced me to built one because I had an extra upper receiver sitting around collecting dust so I took the plunge and never regretted it.
I know I’m gonna be slayed in the comments for this, but not for nothing, comatose vet here not just some kid in mom & dad’s basement but I have played just about every version of COD and never, ever have I come across a 6.5, 6.3 or a . 300 AAC in the game. That being said, again, combat vet… I have a 300 BO and prefer it over the . 556 M4 issued any day and twice on Sunday. I would have killed to have this platform doing sweep and clears hunting assholes in compounds and clearing buildings in the sandbox and other places. The stopping power is second to none in those situations and had I known then…. Would have been extremely desired and sought after. Especially with a 9″or 10* barrel length with a can on the end. Would have been a total game changer hands down.
So genuinely curious here…. What’s you max effective range on the 300?