If you’re a shooter and hunter who pays attention to new tactical rifles coming onto the market—and we know you are!—you’ve no doubt noticed the many, many new black rifles offered in 300 AAC Blackout. And while industry insider Brian Stuntebeck heralded 2012 as the year of Hogs and Zombies, it might also be the year of the 300 AAC Blackout round. You may have thought to yourself, “what the heck’s a 300 Blackout?”
It’s a caliber and configuration that uses the same bolt and magazine as a .5.56mm AR rifle, but with a .30 caliber projectile (7.62x35mm) for added punch. The 300 AAC Blackout (BLK), in its many configurations, was also born to be quiet. Made with sound suppression in mind, most barrells chambered in 300 BLK are threaded to accept suppressors. But more importantly, 300 AAC BLK ammuntion is offered in a sub-sonic variety.
“Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) is the developer of the 300 AAC Blackout,” says John Hollister, AAC’s national sales manager. “That’s why you have ‘AAC’ in the name itself.” AAC began developing the 300 AAC BLK, as a round and a firearm, a few years ago. “The request came from a confidential military client,” Hollister explains. “They were looking for a specific gun to use in combat, with very specific requirements.”
Essentially, the client wanted a .30 caliber AR style platform that was ultra reliable, suppressor ready, and fired both super- and sub-sonic rounds (subsonic – “below the speed of sound,” approximately 1140fps). More on that momentarily.
About their own super-sonic rounds AAC says, “At 300 meters, 300 BLK has 16.7% more energy than 7.62x39mm [AK round]. Max effective range, using M4 military standards for hit probability, is 440 meters for a 9 inch barrel, and 460 meters for a 16 inch barrel. 300 BLK from a 9 inch barrel has the same energy at the muzzle as a 14.5 inch barrel M4, and about 5% more energy at 440 meters—even though the barrel is much shorter.” These stats are sure to drive up sales of SBRs (short barreled rifles)!
Hunters might envision this round much like a 30-30, but for an AR platform. But here’s one obvious difference from that 30-30: Using the same 30 round magazine as your .223/5.56 AR, you can load 30 rounds of 300 BLK. You’d have to carry 5 Winchester Model 1894 rifles for same load out.
The sub-sonic 300 BLK rounds use a heavier bullet, usually a 220 grain one (versus 115 to 125 grains generally found in the super-sonic options). “The 220 grain rounds essentially have the muzzle energy of a 1911 .45 ACP,” says Hollister, “but with a better ballistics coefficient because you have a tapered bullet. With a suppressor, these rounds are very quiet.” And very quiet, plus sound tactics, can create opportunities to drop muliple hogs at a time. All of which could make the 300 AAC BLK and its many variants the future of tactical hog hunting!
“Quite honestly, it’s all gone way beyond what we expected,” Hollister continues. “We made it for the military and combat, but it’s taken off with the hunting public. Hogs, deer, bobcats, you name it—I get photos sent to me all the time of game animals taken with 300 AAC BLK. There have already been a ton of hogs killed with this round and this platform!”
The .300 BLK has exceeded AAC’s expectations in another way, too. “In the last year,” Hollister notes, “basically every manufacturer of AR’s has jumped on board and offers an AAC BLK rifle in their 2012 catalogues.”
In addition to the AR platform, bolt action guns in 300 BLK are being introduced. Last year, AAC began offering the AAC Micro 7, a tactical bolt-action chambered in 300 BLK. The Micro 7 is a handy, lightweight rifle, with a 16-inch barrel. It comes suppressor ready, with a threaded muzzle (5/8-24) and an AAC thread protector included. It also features an X-Mark Pro adjustable trigger, and an AAC Picatinny scope mount pre-installed using the same beefier Torx screws used in the US Army’s M24 sniper rifle.
At the same time, AAC also brought out 300 BLK uppers for AR’s. Now, Hollister adds, AAC will soon be debuting a line of new AR rifles made in 300 BLK, set to hit the market within a month or so. They will come in Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) models, one with a 9 inch barrel, the other a 12.5 inch barrel. These SBR length rifles and uppers are NFA Class 3 firearms which must be purchased through a Class 3 Dealer. For the rest of us, the new AAC BLK rifles will also be available in a 16-inch barrel model.
The 300 AAC BLK is an exciting option for tactical hunters of all stripes. If you already are shooting one, post up on the Special Hogs Weapons and Tactics Facebook page: Facebook.com/SHWATteam.
One the Web:
Advanced Armament Corporation:
AAC’s 300 BLK page, includes ammunition, ballistics and suppressor info, as well as gel tests of 300 AAC BLK ammo in action:
Advanced Armament Corp Micro7 300 Blackout Rifle