300 Blackout ballistic test, updated

300 BLK-2

As popularity in the 300 Blackout/300 Whisper gains I was looking forward to this ballistic test for rangehot.com. The test platform is the Barnes Precision CQB rifle reviewed here.  I chose this rifle because it has a barrel length that is consistent with standard rifles chambered in that round and plus it is accurate enough that I have yet to hit any of the sky screens on my chronograph. That is a real good sign.

If you would be interested in learning more about the 300 Blackout click here.

Phil, a member of Carolina Shooters Community online forum, was gracious enough to accompany me on the test and donate factory and reloaded 300 Blackout ammunition for the cause.  300 Blackout ammunition can be somewhat tough to get a hold of and it can be on the expensive side so Phil was a great help.

Phil and I met midday at Hills Inc in downtown Raleigh where Clinton Jamieson, who also writes for rangehot.com was good enough to donate some factory Remington and Steadfast ammunition for 300 BLK as well.

300 BLK-5

The rounds are from left to right, Cor Bon 220gr , Barnes VorTx 110gr, Gemtech 187gr, Precision Component Technologies 90gr reload, Hornady 115gr, Hornady 125gr reload, 220gr lead hardcast reload, Steadfast 125gr Sierra Matchking, and Remington 220gr. The last round on the right is a Steadfast.

Once we got to the range and set up my chronograph and ballistic gel we started right off with some of Phil’s factory rounds and went from there. We had six factory loads and three reloads. I learned right off the 300 BLK is hard on my ballistic gel, and that sucks. As you all may know I have become very attached to my gel. It is like an old friend that is always ready for the range, you can learn a great deal from, and is ready to go again after a few hours in the oven. Sorry, that is a bit odd, maybe my editor will cut that out.

300 BLK-6

300 blackout ballistic updated


The data I was able to get.

300 BLK-1-2

The Precision Component Technologies brass ballistic tip fragmented heavily in the first 8″ as you can see in the highlighted circles on the photograph. Here is shed 44gr of it’s weight while the bullet base was found 23″ in the gel. Impressive performance.

300 BLK-1

This is the wound channel of the Hornady 115gr factory round, more impressive performance.

The heavy subsonic rounds became unstable at some point inside the first block (FBI standard block 6″ x 6″ x16″) and exited out (usually) the right side of the first block, opening up a hole.  I  put a clean target on the end of the last block to show if the rounds were going all the way and the Cor Bon and Remington rounds found their way all the way through .  The lighter supersonic bullets stayed in the block and I was able to get penetration data. I did use the normal practice of shooting a round into bare gel then through three layers but it seemed the cloth had very little to no affect on the rounds.

300 BLK-7

One of the Remington bullets exited out the bottom of the end of the first block taking a huge chunk out of my (new) range table. The hardcast lead bullet also exited the bottom of the first block of gel about 10 inches into the block.

To keep the count straight, I have wrecked my gel and ruined a range table with the 300 BLK halfway into the test.

Once all the test rounds were shot we switched the blocks around and tried the heavier subsonic bullets again hoping to trap some in the gel but got the same results of exiting through the side of the end of the first block. We were able to find several of the spent bullets under the table but as Phil was spotting and he could see the rounds exiting the side of the gel with a great deal of velocity. I am speculating the rate of twist was a bit too slow to stabilize the longer, heavier bullets in the ballistic medium. The heavier rounds saw no degradation in accuracy to the target but did become somewhat unpredictable after approximately ten inches of gel penetration. I expect this would add a bit of lethality of that bullet but this is not something I can prove without a doubt so speculation is all I have on that.

300 BLK-8


300 BLK-4

300 BLk Lehigh

Lehigh 194gr Maxium Expansion subsonic

I also had the opportunity to do some penetration test on an automotive windshield. Since this was going to be a “one shot” deal as the windshield only had about half of it was clean without cracks. I elected to try the Precision Component Technologies brass ballistic tip bullet that I loaded.

300 BLK-1-3

As you can see the bullet passed through the automotive windshield easily. As I had tortured my gel enough and did not want to get glass shards all in it I set up a 1/4″ of heavy plastic just behind the glass. The bullet penetrated the plastic and into the drivers seat but did not exit the seat.  After that shot the windshield was broken up enough I decided more rounds through the glass would not give sufficient data.

The 300 Blackout certainly is a potent round with the versatility of very light supersonic rounds to heavy subsonic that suppress well. Phil brought his suppressed Handy Rifle in 300 BLK and with the heavy bullets it had about the same report as a pellet rifle. Easily tolerated without hearing protection.  I can see it being great for varmint hunting to medium game and excellent as a self defense round but I believe about 200 yards in would be the ideal range for most rounds through the 300 BLK.  The Precision Component Technologies brass ballistic tip bullet and the Hornady 115gr factory round and the Hornady 125gr reload yielded notable destruction to the gel without over penetration and somewhat predictable results, cloth or no cloth over the gel block.



Phil Hansma

Clinton Jamieson of rangehot.com/Hills Inc.


Clear Ballistics

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5 Responses to 300 Blackout ballistic test, updated

  1. Toby Beamon August 3, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    Did you shoot the subsonic heavier bullets into the gelatin with a suppressed rifle? (Was not specified in article). If not you were getting about the same ballistics as lobbing a mortar. The subsonic rounds don’t allow enough pressure buildup in an unsuppressed rifle to achieve adequate velocity. Pistol length gas systems are even better than carbine length for .300 blk.

    • Hunter Elliott August 3, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

      We tried it with Barnes Precision AR. We did try 2 of the heavier rounds with a bolt action rifle suppressed and there was not a lot of difference. The subsonic rounds cycled the AR15 without a suppressor.
      Thanks for the heads up. I am working on the new Barnes Precision AR pistol with 5.56 and 300 BLK uppers.


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