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.
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.