300 Blackout – What are you good for?

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The 300 AAC Blackout. The new tactical flavor of the month the old timers would say and for the most part they may be right. But these are also the guys that said red dots on rifles were a waste of time and now say that about red dots on handguns.

300 Blackout is an interesting animal. For what it was designed to do it excels. For those trying to make it the new do all cartridge, they generally don’t know anything about ballistics or barrel lengths.

Let’s start with what it was designed to do. The cartridge was developed by Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) for use in the M4 carbine. The purpose was to achieve ballistics similar to the 7.62×39mm AK cartridge in an AR-15 while using standard AR-15 magazines at their normal capacity. Specifically:

  • Create a reliable compact 30-cal solution’s for AR platform
  • Utilize existent inventory magazines while retaining their full capacity
  • Create the optimal platform for sound and flash suppressed fire
  • Create compatible full power ammunition that matches 7.62×39 ballistics
  • Work with subsonic and full power ammunition without requiring adjustable gas.
  • Provide the ability to penetrate barriers with high-mass projectiles
  • Provide all capabilities in a lightweight, durable, low recoiling package

If interested I highly recommend taking a look at the original AAC PowerPoint that AAC did –http://www.300blackoutarrifle.com/uploads/1/2/7/1/12718820/300-blk.pdf

Under 16 inches the platform uses a pistol length gas system. That, along with its lower pressures, make it an ideal platform for short barrel rifles.

What AAC ended up with was a very quiet round (as quiet as a HK MP5-SD) when using subsonic ammo and a suppressor that could also switch to a very powerful 30 caliber supersonic round with only the change of a magazine. As mentioned above the round excels in short barreled applications. The platform uses all the existing pieces of the M4 weapons system (Bolt, BCG, Magazines, lower, upper, handguards) with the only change being the barrel.

So if you are looking for an SBR under 10” that will cycle reliably and have limited blowback when using a suppressor, 300 Blackout is the natural choice. The rounds development received its SAAMI certification in 2012. At the end of 2012 Travis Haley put out this video about his experiences running 300 Blackout:

The rest of this is going to be my opinion after shooting thousands of rounds of blackout in several different configurations and studying it since 2012.

If you are looking to build an SBR and want a barrel under 10″, personally I think the you should go with 300 blackout. 556 under 10 inches has historically had issues with cycling although as of writing, some upper manufacturers are starting to work out those kinks, especially in piston guns like the PWS. At the end of the day the 556 round needs velocity to be effective. At 7.5″-9″ the round has lost so much velocity that unless you are at very close ranges you will be just penciling your target (the round is not expanding or fragmenting).

300 Blackout on the other hand is designed for slower velocities and the Barnes 110 grain Black Tips are excellent at expanding out of short barrels. Which leads us to range – In my opinion 300 blackout is best served as 300 yard max with supersonic ammo like the Barns and 100 yard with expanding subsonic. You need to do the work and research here to see if your preferred short barrel length will match those estimates. I know someone reading this has a gun that they can hit milk cartons at 800 yards with their blackout, I get it, but that is not the norm.

I think in the 5″-7.5″ barrel length you’re pushing it, and those are better as 150 yards and in guns. Generally as a replacement for a subgun which it excels at (topic for another day). After 9″ I think you’re good to go. Again, this post is a moment in time and technology on this round is moving very quickly so don’t take any of this as gospel.

The round is also very quiet with subsonic ammo. With the right suppressor and the right ammo (and probably an adjustable gas block) it can be 9mm subsonic quiet. That being said don’t think you are going to get an 8″ off the shelf 300 Blackout, a 30 cal suppressor and a few boxes of Remington subsonic 220 grain ammo and it’s going to be all that quiet. It’s not, especially from the shooters ear as the AR action has a bit of a bark. If you are interested in making the round very quiet I would recommend doing research over at 300blktalk.com.

So if we put all the pieces together, we get an SBR that is shot and with a 30 cal can on the end is as long if not shorter than a 16″ gun. This makes it an excellent choice for home defense, urban environments, hunting in the eastern woodlands where 100 yard shots are hard to come by, or as a great backyard gun for plinking and not disturbing the neighbors.

What it’s not:

  • What the 300 blackout is not, is the next new round to rule them all. Personally, I wouldn’t use them in a 16″ barrel unless for hunting and you need the length for some arcane law. I personally wouldn’t use 300 blackout in anything over 12 inches.
  • It’s not going to be a good SHTF round because you will be the only one with that ammo and it’s expensive to stock up on. You also have the hazard of user error someone thinking your AR is 556 or visa versa.
  • It should not be your first AR because it’s expensive and you need rounds downrange to learn the platform.
  • It is difficult to accurately determine holdover when moving back and forth between subs and supersonic ammo.
  • Ammo availability sucks but it is getting better and there is a lot of room to grow here but no way would I give up my 556 rifles for 300 blk.

Some good articles to check out:

To sum it all up, if you are looking for an SBR under 10″ you may want to look at 300 blackout. 300 Blk vs 556? I think the boys at Primary & Secondary coved that fairly well:

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Home Defence Advice

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This is a bit of an older video but I was reminded of it when listening to an interview of Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics on the Civilian Carry Radio podcast which I would also recommend. Aaron has an amazing analytical brain about these topics and generally picks up ideas or details that are often missed.

In this video Aaron drops some good advice on home defence scenarios and when and where you may be when they occur. I think most of us have a basic idea about what we would do in a home defence situation and some of us are farther along in that evolution. This video brings up some scenarios that you may have missed and I think it’s well worth your time. I know it was for me.

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The Pocket Light Challenge

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I have been on a quest for the perfect pocket light for a while. I will start this off by saying I have a full time job and my dress requirements do not allow for a full size light. If yours does – rock and roll, more power to you. For those of us that don’t wear cargos all day long or have the ability to wear utility belts, the answer to this conundrum is a pocket light.

My general EDC, be it with a suit or khakis and a polo, is – a pistol (size dependent on dress), a pocket knife (size dependent on dress), wallet, phone, and a pocket light. The pocket light is one of those things like a pocket knife that once you have it in your pocket, it turns into an invaluable tool that you have a tendency to use three or four times a day.

If you ever take a GLOCK armors class, GLOCK has a number of accessories you can purchase when you’re at the class. One of those is a Streamlight Microstream Flashlight (I think they are like $10). At the time, I would just put a full size flashlights in my bag and pull it out if I needed a flashlight. I picked up a couple these lights at the armors course as gifts and decided to keep one for myself. It went into my pocket on day one and has lived there happily for several years.

The Microstream is a nifty little light that has a pocket clip that can also be used to clip on the front of your hat to be used as an improvised headlamp. The light is about 3 ½ inches long and weighs almost nothing of 1 ounce. It’s an LED light that has 43 lumens and has a runtime of about two hours. This was my goto light for years and I think I’m on my seventh or eighth one being they are so small they like to get lost. Every time I go back to renew my GLOCK armors cert I always taken the opportunity to pick up 4 or 5.

While perusing Modern Service Weapons blog, I came along a post by Tim Lau about how he was looking for another alternative to the Microstream. One of the lights he found was Pelican Flashlights 1910B which is about a quarter inch longer than the Microstream and weighs in a 1.5 ounces. But the main selling point is its 70 lumens vs the 43 of the Microstream.

His post got me thinking and I decided to pick one up as they are crazy cheap and while I was on Amazon I looked at what the other options were. The only one I could find at the time that in my mind was reputable was from Surefire. In true Surefire fashion the Surefire Titan is double the cost of the Pelican; that being said it is smaller and has a 115 lumens. Lumens are good especially in such a small light.

After living with these lights for about a year here are my thoughts: Continue reading

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Disturbance in the force

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The next few weeks are going to be turbulent to say the least no matter who wins the election.

I would recommend that everyone probably stop by the bank and get more cash on hand then normal. You may want to go to the grocery store and fill up the pantry and fridge. I would also recommend that you have all your cars gassed up. I think it’s best to prepare like a big winter storm is coming and you may have to hunker down for a few weeks.

For those that haven’t already voted you may want to think about doing it early when the lines are small to limit the amount of time at the polling place. A lot of chatter as of late for attacks on polling places.

Stay safe!

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The Election is coming

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We published this in July and we are pushing it out again as the market is still in your favor. I would say the election is looking more like those against the 2nd amendment have a high probability of winning.

There is an election coming and it’s going to be a shit show no matter what. The boys over at Iraqveteran8888 just did a good video on what to pick up in prep for said election. I would add to the video’s list (lessons learned from the Sandy Hook debacle):

  • Lower parts kits – took a few weeks after Sandy Hook but when they went, they all disappeared quickly and none were seen for at least 6 months to a year after.
  • Mags – pistol and AR/AK. Buy them and leave them in the wrapper, you can sell them when the panic comes. If there is some stupid ban your will be grandfathered in.
  • AR receivers – they are super cheap now (Andreson’s you can find for $39)and you can throw one or two in the safe for later
  • Ammo 556 – Wolf Gold is awesome ammo for the price. You can pick a case or two for right around $300 per right now. That will not be the case in the coming months.
  • Ammo 22lr – if you own a 22lr you know how much of a pain it has been to find ammo. It’s starting to come back around with most quantity restrictions lifted. I would highly recommend picking up as much 22lr as you can find. It’s going to disappear again and you’re not going to see it for at least a year.
  • Pistol ammo – buy a case or two now while it’s cheap.
  • AR15 – If you have been putting of buying an AR now is the time. You can get a great AR for $700 and really great AR for $1200-$1600. These have the ability to dry up in a week or two and they won’t be $700 when they come back.

If you are in the market for a new reddot, bolt gun, other accessories, or scope I would recommend diverting those funds to the above list. You will be able to find those after the panic you will not be able to find the above.

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