300 Blackout Ammunition – Simplified Breakdown

300 blackout is a 30 caliber bullet optimized for suppressor use from a short barrel. The information in this guide is comprised of independent knowledge as well as external resources to provide the most concise introduction to the 300 Blackout cartridge for users who may be interested.

The data has been gathered from various resources online as well as online forums.

Brief History

300 blackout ammo

In 2010, the .300 AAC Blackout cartridge was developed by the Advanced Armament Corporation in collaboration with Remington Defense. The primary goal was to offer a .30 caliber cartridge that outperformed the 5.56mm ammunition.

The .300 BLK is essentially a 7.62 bullet in a cut-down 5.56 case, allowing for effective short-range ballistics. This design lets operators use the same magazines, lower receivers, and bolts of standard-issue rifles, but with a different barrel.

The push for a replacement for the 5.56 NATO cartridge gained momentum during the global War on Terror, where troops faced diverse combat scenarios. Due to its shortened case, the .300 BLK performs better than the 5.56 in rifles with extremely short barrels (under 9 inches) and is more effective when shooting with a suppressor.


The .300 Blackout was designed to be compatible with the M4 system, requiring only a barrel change for conversion. The cartridge's development was mainly carried out in 2010, and it received SAAMI approval on January 17, 2011.

U.S. Special Operations Command has issued a formal Request for Information seeking options to equip its commandos with an M4A1-compatible upper receiver group that fires the .300 Blackout cartridge. The weapon should be configured into a short-barreled rifle no longer than 26 inches with the stock fully extended.

Additionally, the entire personal defense weapon with the upper should not weigh more than 5.5 pounds and must have a collapsed or folded length just over 17 inches.

300 Blackout Specs

The .300 AAC Blackout cartridge was built from the existing 5.56mm cartridge, ensuring compatibility with standard AR magazines. To convert an M4 rifle to .300 Blackout, only the barrel needs to be changed.

300 blackout specs

The cartridge offers both supersonic and subsonic loads, with the latter being significantly quieter when paired with a suppressor. The .300 Blackout's noise levels with subsonic loads and a suppressor are comparable to the 9mm-fired pistol caliber carbine.

Main Application

300 blk vs 308 chart

Credit Sniper Country

The .300 Blackout cartridge was developed to address the limitations of the 5.56mm NATO, especially in terms of terminal performance. While the 5.56mm NATO is effective, the .300 Blackout offers better performance, especially in shorter barrels.

The cartridge is also designed to function in standard AR magazines and is compatible with most AR15 platforms

  • Noise Level: One of the standout features of the .300 Blackout, especially when using subsonic loads and paired with a suppressor, is its reduced noise level. To provide a quantifiable perspective, typical firearms discharge can produce noise levels upwards of 160 decibels (dB). In comparison, the .300 Blackout with subsonic loads and a suppressor can achieve noise levels closer to 130 dB or even lower, making it comparable to the noise level of a .22 caliber rifle. This is a significant reduction and is below the threshold of pain (140 dB), making it an excellent choice for operations requiring stealth and reduced noise signature.
  • Muzzle Velocity: The .300 Blackout offers a range of muzzle velocities depending on the bullet weight and type. For instance, the supersonic 125 grain FMJ bullet achieves a muzzle velocity of 2,215 feet per second. In contrast, the subsonic 220 grain bullet has a muzzle velocity of 1,010 feet per second. This versatility allows users to choose the right ammunition for their specific needs, whether it's for longer-range engagements or quiet operations.
  • Ballistic Energy: The energy delivered by the .300 Blackout is notable. The supersonic 125 grain FMJ bullet delivers a muzzle energy of 1,360 foot-pounds, ensuring effective terminal performance. On the other hand, the subsonic load, despite its reduced velocity, still manages to produce a muzzle energy of 498 foot-pounds, making it potent at closer ranges.
psa 300 blk JAKL 8.5

Ballistic Performance

The .300 Blackout's ballistic performance is versatile, catering to a range of shooting needs. This versatility is evident when we look at the different bullet types and weights available for the cartridge.

Here's a comparison of four bullet types with different weights:

110 Grain Bullet: This lightweight bullet is typically designed for supersonic speeds and offers a faster muzzle velocity. It's ideal for medium-range engagements and provides a balance between speed and energy. With a muzzle velocity around 2,400 feet per second, it can deliver a muzzle energy of approximately 1,400 foot-pounds.

125 Grain FMJ Bullet: This is a commonly used bullet weight for the .300 Blackout. The supersonic 125 grain FMJ bullet offers a muzzle velocity of 2,215 feet per second and delivers a muzzle energy of 1,360 foot-pounds. It's suitable for both hunting and target shooting, offering consistent accuracy.

147 Grain Bullet: This bullet weight is on the heavier side for supersonic loads. With a slightly slower muzzle velocity compared to the 125 grain bullet, it compensates with a higher ballistic coefficient, making it more resistant to wind drift and offering better long-range performance. Its muzzle energy is typically around 1,300 foot-pounds.

220 Grain Bullet: This is a subsonic bullet, designed to travel below the speed of sound, making it exceptionally quiet, especially when paired with a suppressor. Despite its slower muzzle velocity of 1,010 feet per second, it delivers a substantial muzzle energy of 498 foot-pounds. This bullet weight is ideal for close-range engagements where stealth and reduced noise are priorities.

300 blackout ammo

Cost Perspective: Ammo prices have indeed risen, making it essential for shooters to find a balance between training and budget. The 125 grain FMJ bullet is often recommended for training purposes as it's moderately priced and commonly available. While the 220 grain bullet offers unique advantages, its higher cost might not make it the best choice for regular training.

For those looking to train without burning through a lot of ammo, it's advisable to mix dry-fire practice with live-fire sessions. This approach helps in refining shooting techniques without the constant expense of live rounds. Additionally, always keep an eye out for bulk purchases or sales at local stores or online platforms, as buying in bulk can often reduce the cost per round.


Is 300 AAC the same as 300 Blackout?

Yes, the ".300 AAC" and ".300 Blackout" refer to the same cartridge. "AAC" stands for Advanced Armament Corporation, the company that developed the cartridge in collaboration with Remington Defense.

The full name of the cartridge is ".300 AAC Blackout," but it is commonly referred to as ".300 Blackout" for simplicity. Both terms describe the same ammunition and can be used interchangeably.

What caliber is 300 Blackout equal to?

The .300 Blackout's ballistic performance is unique, but when comparing it to other calibers in terms of performance, two calibers come to mind:

  1. 7.62x39mm: This is the cartridge commonly used in AK-47 rifles. The ballistic performance of the .300 Blackout, especially with supersonic loads, is often compared to the 7.62x39mm. Both cartridges deliver similar energy and effective range, making them suitable for medium-range engagements.
  2. .30-30 Winchester: This is a classic American rifle cartridge used in lever-action rifles. In terms of energy and effective range, the .300 Blackout with supersonic loads can be comparable to the .30-30 Winchester, especially when the .300 Blackout is fired from a rifle with a longer barrel.

How far can you shoot a 300 AAC Blackout?

300 blackout barrel length

The .300 AAC Blackout's effective range varies depending on the load and barrel length. From a 9-inch barrel, the 300 AAC Blackout 125 grain bullet has a maximum effective range of 440 meters.

When fired from a 16-inch barrel, the maximum effective range for the 300 Blackout is 460 meters or approximately 503 yards. This is the farthest distance at which you can expect to hit your target accurately with this cartridge.

For a more detailed understanding and additional information, I recommend checking out the article on 300 Blackout effective range.

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