Smith & Wesson's New M&P15 in 300 Whisper/300 AAC Blackout

Advanced Armament Corp’s 300 AAC Black has suddenly gained a lot of traction, with many other manufacturers chambering their rifles into it, and AAC developing interesting new guns in it as well; it’s the little .30 cal that could, and now Smith & Wesson’s getting on the Blackout train.

advanced armament corp 300 aac black rifleFor reference, the 300 BLK uses a .223/5.56 case necked up to accept the .308-inch diameter bullets, providing the AR platform with a 7.62x39mm equivalent that is completely compatible with .223/5.56 bolts, extractors, and magazines (all it requires is a correctly-chambered barrel) and can be loaded to either supersonic or sub-sonic levels and remain accurate with both, at close to medium ranges.

It’s very popular with police who want to move up a notch in knock-down power and also play with silencers and other toys, as well as enthusiasts who want a cheap cartridge, in both terms of buying and reloading, that shoots major, is good for hunting, etc. without having to get a complete 7.62x39mm or x51mm upper or rifle and all the other accessories that go with that.  If you’re already thick with STANAG mags, then it’s an easy sell.

close view of stock of the 300 aac blackout rifle

Smith & Wesson’s 300 is only different in that it’s chambered in 300 Whisper, a wildcat cartridge that the 300 BLK is remarkably similar to; it is only shorter in overall length, which means that 300 BLK can be safely and accurately fired in a gun chambered in 300 Whisper, which is ballistically identical but a little more expensive.

It’s got a thick .30 cal barrel without a cutout, which has a 5/8-24 threading and eschews a front sight for a flattop-height Picatinny gas block.  The barrel has a Melonite finish, which we like a lot; it may be harder to spot fouling on the black finish, but it’s more durable and corrosion-resistant than chrome, all while cutting down on the price a bit, like the Sport.  Otherwise, it is pretty much your standard AR carbine, an M&P15PS in .30.

muzzle of the 300 aac blackout in camo

Because it can be suppressed so easily, it’s naturally got appeal for hunters who are allowed to hunt with silencers, which is why it comes with S&W’s Realtree camo finish and a ten-shot magazine; in fact, that’s our only complaint. 

Right now, it’s only available in camo, not black, which is of course the correct hue for tactical.  And you can’t make a gun that shoots 300 BLK without acknowledging its operator appeal.  So hurry up, Smith, get your tactical on.

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