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  1. #1
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    Default 300 Blackout Ammunition Selection

    What loads have you selected for your 300 BO and why?

    I pose this question as I have learned through my research that most ammunition companies simply took the bullets they had on hand and moved forward. Virtually all of these were designed to expand/perform at rifle velocities and we’re not designed for subsonic use.

    It gets slightly better with the supersonic loads but again for the most part they took off the shelf bullets and that was what they loaded.
    I carry two kinds of trauma kits. One for fixing it and one for causing it.

  2. #2
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    I did a ton of research before selecting my subsonic load.

    My final choice was the Hornaday 190 gr Sub-X.

    This is a new bullet they claim was designed from the ground up for the 300 BO. After reading and watching it seems what they did was take a design from the late 80’s - early 90’s which was their 135 gr SSP (Single Shot Pistol) bullet and scale it up to 190 gr and add a plastic tip. The Sun-X has exactly the same features as the old SSP. Thinner jacket that is much thinner than a conventional bullet of equal weight that tapers thicker toward the base and a softer lead core than a normal rifle bullet which again aids in expansion at subsonic velocities.

    After all my research and finally deciding this is my choice I find out it’s made of unobtanium. I searched for a couple of weeks and finally found 2 boxes.

    So myself and a couple of local WT members headed out to the range to give it a go.

    Shot it off the bench at both 50 and 100 yards and accuracy in my rifle was better than some 220gr and 200gr that I had played with previously and had preformed well so they were my benchmark/control ammo. The Sub-X shot slightly better groups than both of my control loads.

    My other concern was that the 190gr bullet would not actually stay subsonic in my 300 BO pistol as I am running g a 10.5” barrel.

    My concerns were relieved as the first round I fired was with ear pro on and I didn’t hear much. I pulled off the ear pro and fired a second round and we were all pretty shocked to hear it was just like any other subsonic round through a can. The cycling action makes more noise than anything.

    Since I selected this round it has Ben one easier to find. It’s not on every shelf in every store or on every online retailer but it’s out there and the price has come down. I have also managed to find about half a lifetimes worth of the component bullets as well.
    I carry two kinds of trauma kits. One for fixing it and one for causing it.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for posting this.
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  4. #4
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    Indeed. I am glad that it has become much more available in recent months. I have couple dozen boxes and grab it whenever I see it. There for about 2-3 years it was impossible to find. Like Hasher said we have been looking for a quality expanding sub sonic round since the beginning. Not just a heavy FMJ or a round that was made to expand at magnum speeds.

    They make them in a couple different diameters too. Like .458 for both 45-70 and 458 Socom.

    https://www.hornady.com/bullets/sub-x#!/
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  5. #5
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    You guys can find .300 BLK ammo?

    Unless you have very specific and unique needs, subsonic loads are for playtime only. They have very poor terminal effect--even the best of them. I don't want to discourage anyone from pursuing more knowledge and advancing the art, but I would gently point out that supersonic loads deserve much more of your attention if you are selecting for defensive purposes. Light and fast is the order of the day for good fighting ammo in this cartridge.

    That said, years ago I discovered that if I zeroed my .300 at 25y with Hornady 110gr VMax, then the 208gr AMax lined up perfectly with a 36y zero (or vice-versa....it's been a few years and my notes are not near at hand). That made it easy to confirm zero with either load, depending on what I wanted to use. It was a very convenient coincidence.

    Chasing the most lethal subsonic .300 is very similar to the effort to find the most lethal .22 LR. If you need reliable incapacitation, it generally makes more sense to just step up to something more potent. Subs can be fun, but keep them in their place and don't lose sight of their shortcomings.
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  6. #6
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    When I began looking for a supersonic load I applied the same selection criteria.

    What I found for the most part was tut the same thing had occurred. They took what was on hand and loaded it up and said here you go. Again it was either match/hunting bullets in the 135-147-150 is range that were not designed to expand at lower velocities or it was their varmint weight and designs loaded up.

    Even Hornaday did this with their 110 varmint bullet.

    Then Hornaday announced the 135 FTX (Flex Tip). As near as I can tell it is their old 135 Single Shit Pistol bullet without the exposed let tip and a plastic tip because that’s what sells. I killed a lot of deer with those old SSP’s back when I could get them.

    Noq the problems began again as they were also unobtainable. I managed to find 5 boxes here and 2 there then a case of 200 and Dorkface found me 17 boxes while on vacation. And so on.
    they are a little more available now.

    So ask yourself.

    Did you select a round with a regular rifle bullet or something that was designed for these velocities?

    There are a few other loads out there. One of which features a lighter Barnes bullet they claim was purpose designed for the 300 BO. Since Randy and Connie Brooks who were stand up folks and always had the shooter in mi d sold out to Remington and the e suing bankruptcy I have some doubts. I would want to shoot some pigs or deer and autopsy them before I trusted them.

    there are a few others out there to please do your research before selecting your loads.
    I carry two kinds of trauma kits. One for fixing it and one for causing it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LawDog View Post
    You guys can find .300 BLK ammo?

    Unless you have very specific and unique needs, subsonic loads are for playtime only. They have very poor terminal effect--even the best of them. I don't want to discourage anyone from pursuing more knowledge and advancing the art, but I would gently point out that supersonic loads deserve much more of your attention if you are selecting for defensive purposes. Light and fast is the order of the day for good fighting ammo in this cartridge.

    That said, years ago I discovered that if I zeroed my .300 at 25y with Hornady 110gr VMax, then the 208gr AMax lined up perfectly with a 36y zero (or vice-versa....it's been a few years and my notes are not near at hand). That made it easy to confirm zero with either load, depending on what I wanted to use. It was a very convenient coincidence.

    Chasing the most lethal subsonic .300 is very similar to the effort to find the most lethal .22 LR. If you need reliable incapacitation, it generally makes more sense to just step up to something more potent. Subs can be fun, but keep them in their place and don't lose sight of their shortcomings.

    You literally made my point for me counselor.

    The two loads you chose from Hornaday are a 110 gr varmint bullet they already had on hand and a 208 gr match bullet designed for rifle velocities.

    This is why I researched and sought out bullets designed for the velocity envelopes.

    Undoetunately my plan for field testing them on live animals yesterday, today and tomorrow ran afoul of some bad weather preventing me from making it to the farm in MO to test them both on deer were derailed by a snow storm.

    If weather permits there is a short “use anythig. But a rifle” season after Christmas so I am going to try and get back and validate my decisions.

    If I cannot do that then it’s hogs this summer and deer nest year to validate performance.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LawDog View Post
    You guys can find .300 BLK ammo?

    Unless you have very specific and unique needs, subsonic loads are for playtime only. They have very poor terminal effect--even the best of them. I don't want to discourage anyone from pursuing more knowledge and advancing the art, but I would gently point out that supersonic loads deserve much more of your attention if you are selecting for defensive purposes. Light and fast is the order of the day for good fighting ammo in this cartridge.

    That said, years ago I discovered that if I zeroed my .300 at 25y with Hornady 110gr VMax, then the 208gr AMax lined up perfectly with a 36y zero (or vice-versa....it's been a few years and my notes are not near at hand). That made it easy to confirm zero with either load, depending on what I wanted to use. It was a very convenient coincidence.

    Chasing the most lethal subsonic .300 is very similar to the effort to find the most lethal .22 LR. If you need reliable incapacitation, it generally makes more sense to just step up to something more potent. Subs can be fun, but keep them in their place and don't lose sight of their shortcomings.
    I can find a pretty good selection of .300. Sadly a lot of it is al 150 grain FMJ that ammo makers were like "Hey this will work good enough" and that's what they do. Like Hasher was saying. I know that both Hornady 110 vmax and Barnes 110 Tac tx TXS work very well on deer according to a friend that has used it a lot.

    208 Amax can be a great round when used in something like a 3006 or a 300 win mag but at sub sonic speeds it doesn't do much extra.

    As for subsonic use it shouldn't take much to see why it would be useful. Especially given the past few years and what could likely happen in the near future. Its not that hard of an extrapolation. Sometimes being less noticeable can be an asset. Especially in a smaller package.
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  9. #9
    Cast lead (powder coated of course) from a custom mould would satisfy A LOT of wants from a subsonic 300BLK shooter.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasher View Post
    What loads have you selected for your 300 BO and why?

    I pose this question as I have learned through my research that most ammunition companies simply took the bullets they had on hand and moved forward. Virtually all of these were designed to expand/perform at rifle velocities and we’re not designed for subsonic use.

    It gets slightly better with the supersonic loads but again for the most part they took off the shelf bullets and that was what they loaded.
    With respect, there are two significant points you should consider in this endeavor.

    1 - Your question is at least 10-15 years late. This has been asked and answered sooo many times since then, and the answers are out there if you search for info from people who actually hunt/kill things with this cartridge.
    2 - The 300 Blackout was designed to use existing bullets. The case length, barrel throat dimensions and seating depth, etc, were designed around working in an AR15 magazine and supersonic bullets were chosen based on profile and what worked within the velocity envelope of the cartridge.

    We now have a few more choices in both subsonic and supersonic bullets. In the supersonic realm, few except the 110gr Barnes "Black Tip", which was around almost since the beginning, offer any real improvement in terminal performance. So don't disregard choices because they've been around a long time. The best of those, besides the afore-mentioned Black Tip, are the 125gr Nosler Ballistic Tip and the 110gr Hornady V-Max. (It's Hornady, not Hornaday.)

    The thing about supersonic bullets for this cartridge - you have to understand the effect of lower velocity. Typical 30 caliber varmint bullets such as that 110 V-max are designed for explosive effect at normal rifle speeds. But lower velocity means an expanding bullet expands less and penetrates further, so some of these varmint bullets perform a lot like hunting bullets when used in the 300 Blk. Thousands of deer and pigs can attest to this.

    So choose a supersonic load with one of those three bullets, and you're at the top of the game for the most effective round in your rifle. Don't bother with anything 150gr and up for supersonics, other than just blasting stuff. They don't have the velocity to perform as you'd want. Also, I suggest avoiding the 110gr Nosler Varmaggedon; even at 300 Blk speed it is too explosive and doesn't penetrate as far as I'd want.

    On subsonics - you're much more correct there. The typical heavy match bullets used for sub loads offer very little terminal effect, but that's no secret. I'm surprised you settled on the 190gr Sub-X though, but it sounds like maybe you chose based on best accuracy instead of effect on target. It's no secret with that bullet, either, that it often fails to perform as intended; just not a reliable choice. I'm still not aware of anything short of a custom cast bullet that out performs the 194gr Lehigh Maximum Expansion bullet for subsonic 300 Blk. I believe Underwood still loads it. There are a few other options, but I urge you to keep a realistic view of accuracy requirements ("best" can often be much tighter than needed) and consider terminal effect more. You'll really need it with subsonics. LawDog is right about that being a niche role, even with the best bullets.

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