Is the Blackout a Wipeout?
Is the Blackout a Wipeout?

Is the Blackout a Wipeout?

Its seems that all you hear about anymore – at least from tactards, tacturds and even some folks who seem rather normal on the outside – is the .300 Blackout.

I gotta admit it is a cool name though I have no idea what it means. A friend of mine owns a business he has been running for almost 30 years called Blackout Customs. He tints car windows and the name, in his case, makes perfect sense. Shortly after the Blackout was released Bill Wilson at wilson Combat introduced a similar cartridge called the 7.62 x 40 which is superior to the Blackout in every supersonic way. But, no one seemed to notice Bill’s cartridge. Maybe he should have named it the .300 Combat.

Not being all that interested in subsonic rifles due to the lack of expanding projectiles for them, the Blackout never really interested me. However, Lehigh Defense up and created a .308 caliber bullet that will expand at subsonic velocities. Actually, they developed three of these bullets and that did get my attention. Particularly so when fired from a .308 Winchester. Regardless, my job is to write about guns and stuff. Luckily, most of the guns and stuff I write about I am very interested in. So when I realized you could actually fire a subsonic bullet out of the .300 Blackout – and that it would expand and create a nasty wound – I was interested.

Expanding subsonic .300 Blackout load from Lehigh Defense.

I began working on a comprehensive test of the cartridge in both supersonic and subsonic form. To put it bluntly, after a lot of rounds down range and after mixing and shooting way too many gel blocks, I could best be described as underwhelemd.

If you want a high capacity, supersonic, .30 caliber cartridge to shoot out of your AR 15, go with Wilson’s 7.62 x 40. If you want the maximum .30 caliber power you can get out of an AR 15, go with the .30 Remington AR. If you want subsonic .30 caliber bullets to spew out of your favorite tactical carbine the .300 Blackout does have some merit but, at least in my mind it is not as versatile as a good .308 Bolt action rifle.

Still I have tried to keep a neutral position at least with regard to the article which resulted from all the testing I’ve conducted. In a few months this feature which takes an in depth look at 11 factory supersonic and subsonic loads out of the .300 Blackout will be published in the NRA’ Shooting Illustrated magazine. If you have been considering the purchase of a .300 Blackout I encourage you to read it.

As it is, until I am convinced otherwise, I consider the .300 Blackout a wipeout, a whitewash and maybe even a waste of time. Your milage may vary.


  1. Trent

    I agree whole heartedly. I can understand that some OPERATORS might need a subsonic 30cal AR-15, but for the life of me I cannot understand the excitement that the Blackout receives… other than the fantastic tacticool name of the cartridge. I mean come on… the “Blackout”, it must be badass. Everyone should have a subsonic 30cal!

    I did however get sold on the 30 Remington AR. It is an absolute thumper and a pleasure to shoot. It frustrates me to hell and back that they didn’t choose to release it as a 7mm or 6.5mm instead though. I think a 6.5 Remington AR would be a beautiful thing.

  2. Pingback: Richard Mann: Is the Blackout a Wipeout? | The Gun Feed

  3. RG

    Why is JD Jones never mentioned when this 300 Blackout is discussed. He is the originator of the thing. He calls it the 300 Wisper. That’s what I find surprising in all this. I was never impressed with either the Wisper or the Blackout. I have absolutely no use for something like this.

  4. Andy

    The big thing for me, and the reason I’ve so avidly adopted the 300BLK is that while it does nothing BETTER than everything else, it does do EVERYTHING better than anything else.

    With the “Year with the 300 Blackout” video from Haley, the recent discussion of 1000yd shots with it, the very clear advantage in Energy over the 5.56, the increased capacity over 458SOOM/450Bushmaster/500 Beo, the increased long range performance over those, the better barrier penetration over 5.56, the parts compatibility over 6.8, the ammunition availability over 7.62x40WT….. I mean, I could go on.

    Game changer? no. But this is the game the AR should have been playing all along. In my opinion, the Cartridge for the AR just caught up with the platform.

    An aside:
    But we ALL know we have an AR so we can play tactical barbie dress up, so there’s no reason everyone should be running the same thing 😉