300 Blackout for hunting? Like most topics in the industry the question of whether the 300 Blackout (300BLK) is a hunting caliber is widely disputed. On one hand proponents like the idea of being able to use their AR 15 rifle platforms for hunting, but opponents will argue that it is just not the right tool for the job. No matter what your side on the subject, we figured we would go over some points on the matter for your consideration.
We wrote an article about the 300 AAC Blackout where we found that the round was created to replace the 5.56 NATO round. The purpose was to create a lightweight round that the military would be able to be carry in the field but still have the energy and stopping power. Meant to compete with the AK’s 7.62×39 ballistically, the 300BLK surpasses the round with 16.7% more energy at 300 yards. It also offers reduced recoil for better target acquisition and subsonic provides a quieter round suppressed or not. So for all intended purposes, the 300 Blackout was not created for hunting but for special forces, short range combat.
Using 300 Blackout for Hunting
Although the intended purpose was not for hunting, this doesn’t mean it can’t be used. Testimonials of hunting with the round flood in with kills of hogs, bobcats, coyotes, wolf, and deer. Many argue that it depends more on shot placement than anything else but the argument in question is more of if it is the best choice for hunting. Well what it really boils down to is it all depends on what you’re using. High velocity rounds are better than heavier loads because heavier loads tend to fail to expand upon impact and transfer less energy. What this equates to is a less effective shot. This being said, using a high velocity round with good expansion is best for hunting with 300BLK.
The general consensus? If you are planning to use the 300BLK for hunting, it is best to use lighter weights like either 110 grain or 125 grain supersonic for no farther than 150 yards or less. This will ensure maximum energy and a harder hitting shot. Among one of the most popular 300BLK rounds for hunting, Barnes has a 110 grain VOR- TX round. Subsonic rounds can still be used for hunting, but leave those rounds for smaller game like varmints. If you are looking to shoot long range, the 300BLK is not optimal.
So the 300 Blackout was not intended for hunting, but has proved to be a successful hunting round. The appeal to many is having an AR rifle that is multipurpose and can be used for defense, range, and hunting with the ability to change from subsonic to supersonic, and suppressed easily by just changing the barrel. The future looks bright for the 300BLK as a hunting round, and more than likely the capabilities of the round will continue to develop over time.