300 Blackout Ammunition
History of.300 AAC Blackout Ammunition
Introduced in 2010, the .300 AAC Blackout was developed by Advanced Armament Corporation with the intention of making a .30 caliber cartridge that would offer improved performance over the 5.56 ammunition currently in use. The Idea of a replacement cartridge for the 5.56 NATO has been around since it was introduced, but the need has been taken more seriously since the Global War on Terrorism has taken our troops in harm's way in a rapid manner over a wide variety of situations and geography.
The increased terminal performance found in a .30 caliber round was the key motivation in considering replacing the 5.56. But this alone would not necessarily justify a change in the military's primary issue rifle. An important factor that was needed if the 5.56mm was to be replaced was compatibility with the M4 weapon system. The .300 AAC Blackout was built on the existing 5.56mm cartridge case, the advantage is that this allows for the same magazines used in the M4 system to be used and they can be loaded to full capacity. Also, when converting an M4 type rifle to .300 Blackout, the only part that needs to be changed is the barrel.
The .300 AAC has excellent noise reduction when subsonic loads and a suppressor are used; it has even been described by some as to being similar in noise levels to the Heckler and Koch MP5-SD. This is coupled with a bullet that is about 40% heavier and moving almost 100 feet per second faster, the .300 Blackout clearly out performs the gold standard that has been set by the MP5-SD.
The listed maximum effective range of the .300 Blackout is 500 yards with the supersonic load and 220 yards with the subsonic load. Velocities for the supersonic 125 grain bullet are about 2215 feet per second with muzzle energy of 1360 foot pounds. The Subsonic load clocks in at 1010 feet per second with 498 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. As far as downrange performance, the .300 Blackout delivers less than one inch groups at 100 yards.
So, considering the positives of the .300 AAC Blackout, the compatibility with the M4 platform is great. Increased performance in supersonic and suppressed applications is wonderful, but where does this fit into the civilian market? The most obvious answer is that it makes the AR-15 platform all the more versatile. Also, with the increase in bullet performance, the .300 Blackout is very effective for medium sized game. If that was not enough, the accuracy and controllable recoil of the .300 Blackout have been proven as it has been used by SSG Daniel Horner of the US Army's Marksmanship Unit to win the USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals in 2011. The .300 Blackout has a great deal to offer all kinds of shooters and has a very bright future.
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