300 Blackout Range Test

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Video effective range of 300 blackout on deer

Our 300 Blackout range test and review started out from frustration. My hunting buddy, Fred had been trying to come up with good, consistent load for hunting hogs with his Daniel Defense DDM4V5 rifle in 300 Blackout caliber. This same rifle using the 5:56 NATO upper assembly shoots sub-moa groups with no problems, so he expected good accuracy from the 300 as well. He was not looking for sub-moa performance, but he was expecting good hunting accuracy in the 1-2″ range.

After trying several brands of ammo and several bullet weights from 110 grain to 220 grain with disappointing results, we decided to start over at square one and try some new hand loads and some of Remington’s new 120 grain supersonic ammo. Our goal was to find a good hunting load for the 300 AAC Blackout using factory ammunition and handloads suitable for hogs and predators.

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300 Blackout – Power For AR15 Hunting Needs

300 Blackout range test

Fred wanted the 300 Blackout for more power for larger game than the Remington 223 delivers from his AR15 rifle. His needs were similar to the military’s needs when the cartridge was designed. The Army needed more power from their M4 carbine – power similar to or better than the of the 7.62×39 rounds that were coming at them from AK47’s.

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Screen Shot 2023 02 25 at 4.37.13 PM 300 Blackout Range Test

Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) was one of the companies that tried to develop a cartridge to fill the bill along with several other companies and cartridges like the 6.8 SPC and the 6.5 Grendel. An advantage to the 300 Blackout is that to convert an M4 to 300 Blackout, only the barrel has to be changed out. The bolt and magazines were the same for the 300 as the 5.56 NATO.

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The 300 Blackout met the power needs of the military, and also gave them a very good sub-sonic cartridge using heavy bullets with suppressors for Special Forces operations. These larger, heavier bullets also penetrate hard surfaces like vehicles better than the smaller 223 bullets. After all the work was done, the military never adopted the 300 Blackout, but it has become very popular with hunters who like the AR15 platform, especially for hog and deer hunters.

300 Blackout ammunition is relatively easy to find. I visited my local Academy Sports and found ammo by Remington, Federal, Barnes, Sig Sour and the Academy Store brand ranging in bullet weights from 110 grain varmint loads to 220 grain sub-sonic. We opted for some of the Remington Supersonic 120 grain loads for our range test.

This Remington UMC 300 AAC Blackout is loaded with a 120 grain Open Tip Flat Base bullet to about 2200 fps. These Open Tip Match bullets are designed with small meplat in order to achieve the highest ballistic coefficient possible. My results confirm that to be true over my 200 yard test range. Remington UMC 300 AAC Blackout is non-corrosive, new production ammunition in boxer primer and reloadable brass cases.

300 Blackout Accuracy Test

The first couple of things we wanted to do was to give the rifle barrel a thorough cleaning and then check the scope mounts and and the scope itself to see if anything was wrong with it. Fred’s scope for the rifle is a Nikon P300BLK 2×7 with BDC reticle designed for the 300 AAC Blackout, and the mount was a Burris P.E.P.R. This combination should be great for a hunting rifle.

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Nikon P-300BLK scope

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We checked all the mounting screws and re-positioned the scope a little farther to the rear to get a little better sight picture before we started any testing. The scope has target knobs and they seemed to track very well and could find no obvious problems with the scope. Of course, under recoil, there was a possibility that something could be wrong internally, but we would have to do some shooting before we could determine that.

I worked up some light weight bullet loads for the 300 AAC with the Hornady 110 gn Vmax . Our first load with the 110 Vmax was 19 grains of Winchester 296 and Winchester primers. This is not a max load but the velocity should be up around 2200 fps. The Hornady Amax and Vmax bullets shoot well in my 223 and my 6.5 Grendel, so I thought there was a chance for good accuracy in the Blackout as well.

300 AAC Blackout accuracy
300 Blackout @100 yds -110 Hornady Vmax over 19gn Winchester 296

At the range we decided to try the hand loads first at 50 yards. The first 3 shots out of the clean barrel went into about a 1 1/2″ group. I was hoping after these fouling shots of the clean barrel the groups would tighten up a little. We adjusted the scope down a bit and moved out to 100 yards for the next groups. I had only loaded 10 rounds of this load because I did not really know how it would do. I shot two 3-shot groups and was happy with the results. The first group measured 1 1/2″ center to center, and the second went 1.29″. I really was not expecting the groups to be that good right out of the gate, but was very happy with the results.

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300 AAC Blackout range test
300 Blackout @100 yds – Remington Supersonic 120 gn Factory Loads

The next question was how would it do with heavier bullets in the 120-125 grain range that Fred wanted to use for hunting hogs. We had two boxes of Remington factory ammo, 120 gn Supersonic and the 125 grain Match ammo. First up was the Remington’s new 120 grain Supersonic, and groups averaged just over 1″. Next came the Remington Match 125 grain bullets and they did even better putting the first 3 shots into .96″!

Using the 200 yard circle on the Nikon BDC, I started launching the 120’s at the 200 yard steel plates and rang them like bells, even hitting the little 4″ plate with ease. We may never know what the original problem was, but I can assure you that the wild swine of Georgia are in trouble if the are within 200 yards of Mr. Fred’s 300 AAC Blackout.

People I talk to always want to know how the 300 Blackout compares to the 6.5 Grendel. Below is a chart comparing Hornady ammunition for each caliber using their recommended big game loads. These are from 24″ barrels and I do not think I have ever seen a 300 Blackout with a 24″ barrel.

65 300chart 300 Blackout Range Test
Hornady 300 Blackout 110 gn GMX left, 6.5 Grendel 123 SST on right

We chronographed several of the 6.5 Grendel loads from my 18″ barrel and the velocities for 120-123 grain bullet run about 2400-2425 fps. Today I checked the velocities of a 300 Blackout 120 grain Remington load and a 110 Vmax handload from a 16″ barrel. The results were great getting equaling velocities advertised from 24″ barrels.

300 Blackout Velocities from 16″ BarrelRemington 120 gn Factory load velocity – 2200 fpsHornady 110 Vmax handload velocity- 2275 fps

Next comes the field test so come back and see how the 300 Blackout does on the next hog hunt.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>