Over the past decade, .300 Blackout underwent a transformation from a cartridge without much of an identity and into a major contender in the shooting world. Many of the early criticisms, though, were ones that came with youth. Only rumblings existed about performance and few ammo makers manufactured the round. Its rareness and high price point also made it difficult to test. With time, however, those concerns have been alleviated.
The .300 Blackout was originally designed by Advanced Armament Corporation to mimic the ballistics performance of 7.62x39mm, the common chambering of an AK rifle, but function in standard AR rifles. The thinking was there’d be minimal differences between firing the standard 5.56mm and.300 Blackout. In essence, shooters would only need to make a few adjustments to recalibrate their rifles.
The initial proposal piqued the interests of a lot of shooters and where there’s a will there’s a way. Since those early days, the .300 Blackout has been proven in a variety of areas and through much debate its exact purpose has been narrowed to a number of options.
For suppressor shooters, owning a .300 Blackout rifle is almost a necessity. The round suppresses really, really well. After all, it was somewhat part of its origin story. With a subsonic 200+ grain bullet you can achieve a very low decibel through a silencer and still have a relatively effective round on soft tissue.
That leads to my next point. While 5.56mm (or .223 Rem.) is sometimes thought of as too small to humanely harvest deer, the .300 Blackout isn’t. Typically, these rounds range between 110 to 180 grains moving at speeds in the ballpark of 2,300 FPS.
Then, there’s size. Not of the round, but of the weapon. The .300 Blackout is effective with a short barrel, so the carbine can be very compact. Compared to the standard 5.56mm ball round, the .300 Blackout has more power and range with a shorter barrel.
Lastly, there’s availability. It is now way more feasible to find and stockpile .300 Blackout. In the early years of .300 Blackout, the availability was spotty and the cost per round was anywhere from $1.50 to $2. Since the round has been more commonly accepted, a variety of manufacturers have started to produce it. This has driven the price down and increased availability.