It has been almost 3 years since the 300 Blackout was approved by SAMMI. Let’s take a look at where the 300 BLK started, where it is now, and what the future holds for this popular cartridge.
The history of the Blackout or 7.62x35mm goes back to the 1960’s and maybe before that. Wildcat cartridges like the .300-221 and the .300 Whisper invented by JD Jones helped get the 300 Blackout project off the ground. The Blackout is essentially a SAMMI standardized .300-221. Rifles that are chambered for 300 Blackout can shoot .300 Whisper, but it is not advised to shoot Blackout in the Whisper barrels. Remington and AAC looking for a solution to create a harder hitting .30 cal bullet on the AR platform without changing the majority of parts were able to get the Blackout approved by SAMMI. The 300 AAC BLACKOUT was approved by SAAMI on January 17, 2011.
The round its self is basically a .30 caliber bullet in a necked down 5.56 case and because of this it can use most of the same components. The 300 Blackout can use existing 5.56 magazines, lowers, bolts, bolt carriers, and uppers. The only thing that needs to be changed to use the Blackout is the barrel on an AR. With the larger .30 caliber bullet, your AR can have close to the same energy as the 7.62×39 round of the AK-47.
The 300 Blackout comes in sizes from 110gr to 220gr. The smaller grain bullets are super sonic and good for small game such as deer and hogs at ranges from about 200 yards in. The larger grain bullets are typically sub sonic and are extremely quiet when combined with a silencer. When the round was first introduced in 2011, it took some time for ammunition manufactures to get on board and start producing ammo. In the early days, most people that wanted to shoot 300 Blackout created their own brass from 5.56 cases and loaded their own rounds. Now at the end of 2014 there are several manufactures for 300 Blackout and reloading components are readily available. Back in 2012 we loaded our own subsonic loads in 208gr Hornady A-Max. We were seeing sound levels on par with some .22 silencers on the market.
There are several silencers that can be used with the 300 Blackout. Any of the .30 caliber silencers and even some of the handgun silencers including the SilencerCo Octane 9 and Octane 45, SilencerCo Osprey 9 and Osprey 45, the Griffin Armament Revolution 9 and Revolution 45, and the Liberty Mystic X. You can only shoot subsonic 300 Blackout through the pistol silencers however rifle silencers can handle both super sonic and subsonic.
New rifles are being created just for the 300 Blackout like the internally suppressed Liberty Leonidas and the Daniel Defense ISR. These rifles offer limited range, but have a silencer permanently attached to the upper receiver providing some of the quietest DB’s heard with the Blackout. Other manufactures have adapted HK roller locker guns to shoot the 300 Blackout. Similar to the HK MP5 SD, the 300 Blackout from Brethren Armament offers a very reliable platform with a super quiet round.
Whether you shoot 300 Blackout on a Semi-auto AR platform or a bolt gun, go out and try this great cartridge. I can grantee that you won’t be disappointed especially if it is paired with a good silencer.