2011 really has been the Year of the 1911, but 2012 is already shaping up to be the Year of the 300 AAC Blackout. SIG, Smith & Wesson, Bushmaster, DPMS, Remington… and now Kel-Tec. We like this cartridge and we like Kel-Tec, their piston-driven rifles, and we’re pleased to hear that the SU-16 is going 300 BLK.
(At some point we’ll stop doing this but) quick refresher, the 300 AAC Blackout is a 7.62mm bullet shoved into a shortened, necked-out 5.56/.223 case; its purpose is to replicate 7.62x39mm ballistics, while being reliable and compatible with the AR platform, something that the steeply-angled case of the Russian cartridge doesn’t work well with, and has the benefit of not requiring any special upper parts or magazines, just a barrel chambered in 300 BLK.
And we’re also not all that surprised. The 300 BLK is a cartridge with the military and law enforcement in mind, as it was designed with subsonic loads in mind, not to mention short-barreled rifles. Even firing supersonic loads, the muzzle velocity difference from going to a 16- to a nine-inch barrel is less than 10 percent firing 300 BLK.
What you might not have known is that Kel-Tec’s been making an SBR SU-16, the SU-16D. More than a handful of law enforcement departments use ’em, too. Kel-Tec’s SU-16s, with their underfolding stocks and lightweight furniture aren’t just inexpensive 5.56 rifles, they’re extremely compact, and can ride up front in, say, a sedan with laptop where the cup-holders should be.
And of course they’re have a thoroughly-supported (by Kel-Tec) “aftermarket”, so accessories and parts are easy for anyone to acquire. Finally, just because Kel-Tec’s courting the police market with their four-pound rifles, doesn’t mean everyone else can’t have fun with them; this is without a doubt going to be one of the least expensive ways to break into the 300 BLK arena. With a price tag of under $600, that leaves quite a bit left over for ammunition…