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Monday, October 4, 2010


AAC had developed a new round, called the 300 Blackout, whose design criteria is ... interesting, to be sure.

It appears to me that the designers wanted to squeeze 7.62x39 ballistics into a round that would, with minimal-to-no modification to the AR platform. And I guess that in that regard, they've succeeded. But I ask ...


I'll reprint the design objectives:
• Create a reliable compact 30-cal solution for the AR platform
• Utilize existing inventory magazines while retaining their full capacity
• Create the optimal platform for sound and flash suppressed fire
• Create compatible supersonic ammo that matches 7.62x39 ballistics
• Provide the ability to penetrate barriers with high-mass projectiles
• Provide all capabilities in a lightweight, durable, low recoiling package
So the first two and the fourth criteria are the biggies - shoot a .30 caliber round out of a standard AR magazine while retaining a 30-rnd capacity, and match the ballistics of the 7.62x39 round. Mission accomplished.

The other three seem like marketing goals to me, since the optimal platform for sound and flash suppressed fire, that can penetrate barriers with high-mass projos, all in a lightweight, durable, low-recoiling package can be many things to many people.

The 300BLK will be competing with the 300 Whisper (aka the .300 Fireball) for customers. Needless to say, fan boys will buy anything (and that's what keeps a lot of companies afloat). As far as general acceptance, demand - coupled with manufacturing capacity - will determine whether this round gets a foothold in the market.

But again, I ask why? I'll try to take on all the reasons I've seen so far.

.223 isn't legal to hunt with in some locales. - Specifically mentioned were coyotes (I suppose due to the ranges that may come into play). I'm not sure why limiting your ballistics to the 7.62x39 range helps you, except that you're now able to use your AR lower and mags, but your scope won't be useful unless you're able to use 'Kentucky ' windage. It would seem to me that you'd invest in a .308 bolt action if you're looking for a .30 caliber solution for hunting. And to modify a favorite anti phrase, why would you need to retain 30-rd capacity?

The 300BLK has been submitted for SAAMI approval - OK ... big whoop. It's possible that the 300 Whisper was never intended to be approved, relying instead on the niche market aspect of the cartridge. And I'm not up to speed on what's involved in SAAMI approval, but I'm sure it involves a bit of cash, something that Mr Jones probably didn't want to put out.

300BLK would be cheaper than an AR-10 w/mags and optics. - True, but that's comparing apples to oranges. An AR-10 is .308 caliber, so chosing the 300BLK over the .308 doesn't make a whole lot of sense, because you can't get even close to the .308's ballistics. And unless you throttle the 300BLK down to .223 levels, you'd have to get new optics to fit anyway ... so all you're saving is the cost of mags.

Which begs the question: are you planning for TEOTWAWKI? Because if you are, the old adage KISS comes to mind. The more utilitarian a weapon, the more simple (by necessity) it must be. This is why I own an FN FAL ..... it's a battle-tested rifle, chambered in a battle rifle cartridge, and it's not tricked out (iron sights, and stock furniture) that I can't not do anything with it. I may not be able to do a lot of things really well, but that's the nature of the beast.

Like I said before, squeezing 7.62.39 ballistics into an AR platform is .... well, ok ... I guess. I'm familiar with the AR platform from my military service, and it's an o-k platform (I'm not passionate about any 'platform'). Can't see what all the hoopla is about building 'sniper' rifles, and tack-drivers and pseudo-benchrest rifle on the AR platform. And actually, I suppose what bothers me most is one of the reasons I'm not a fan of college football fans; it's the fanboy aspect that really turns me off. 'My AR-platform tack-driver will beat your any-other-kind-of-rifle, hands down.

Ok ... you may have a butt-load of money to engage in your masturbatory indulgences, and that's cool.

Just don't hype it as the (next) great White hope.

300BLK vs 300 Whisper? Ok ... have at it!


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