Supporting your local vendors is not a bad way to be. Barnes Precision Machine  is an Apex, North Carolina based manufacturer of quality AR 15s, parts, and accessories.

It has been said the AR 15 is the erector set of the gun world. It can be set up, changed, accessorized, rethought, rebuilt, and put together to suit most any need. It can be had in several configurations and calibers depending on what you need or want.

I was given the opportunity to try a Barnes Precision 300 Blackout CQB Patrolman’s Carbine  .

For some background information on the 300 Blackout and the 300 Whisper click here.

For the 300 Blackout ballistic test click this link

I received the BP test CQB rifle shipped in a very nice case and began the search for 300 Blackout ammunition. Since this is a relatively new round and we are currently in the middle of a factory ammunition shortage, factory 300 Blackout was eluding me. After talking to Barnes Precision they were in the process of developing a bullet specifically for the 300 BLK and as soon as some was available they would donate some rounds to test the rifle with. In the mean time Paul Smith of Frontline Defense spoke with a member of his range and got some factory rounds donated to me. Thank you to both Paul and Staff Sergent G Childress  for the help.



I spoke with Jon, the man that built the test rifle, and scheduled the initial range trip. I did have to bribe him with Bojangles chicken biscuits in exchange for the Barnes Precision 300 BLK rounds. (ballistic test in the works for those rounds). We set up at fifty yards and shot a few groups to get the sights dialed in. It took a little adjustment to the front sight to get the rifle dead on at fifty yards. We then backed out to 100 yards and began to shoot for groups.

By the time we went through the donated ammunition accuracy and function was becoming clear.

After acquiring some precut .223 cases and 300 BLK dies I began to develop a load to be tested to compare factory rounds to my reload. With a box of Hornady 125gr SST, a pound of H110 propellent, and the manual, I assembled some reloads for testing. I started with 17 gr of H110 as recommended by the man that built the rifle.


The second range trip was to test my reloads as well as continued function of the rifle. I had a few hundred rounds through the CQB and had yet to clean it. With the rifle range in sight the bottom fell out and it began to rain like all get out. I decided that if the rifle was fine with the weather I was as well. My friend Gabriel was also there to dial in his new AR 15 and to get some trigger time on the test rifle. After several magazines I had shot enough to get some good data on accuracy so Gabriel and I took turns going through the rest of my reloads. An important piece of information is a muddy creek about half way between the firing line and the impact berm. I had a handful of rounds left but it was getting cold and raining hard so I wanted to get eyes on the target, close up once again at the firing line.

300 BLK data

My reload consisted of 17gr of H110 and a Hornady 125gr SST bullet.

Groups were 3 shot done from a rest at a 100 yards with iron sights. I expect I could get tighter groups with the rifle with optics but this is about as good as I can do with iron sights.


As I was walking across the foot bridge, I wondered how well the CQB would run if it had a little mud and grit in it and said “what the hell, it ain’t my rifle” and chunked it in the muddy creek. Seriously, an almost brand new Barnes Precision AR right into the drink. I let it sit into the creek about 10 minutes as the water cleared up and I could find it again. I took the magazine out, checked for bore obstructions and finished up what ammunition I had in my jacket pocket. Though the rifle functioned just fine I did get that nasty mud on my brand new Carhart jacket (I was not thrilled about getting my nice jacket nasty).


As I write this my jacket is in the wash and the rifle is soaking in the bath tub.

When I took the rifle apart to soak it after it’s therapeutic mud bath I noticed the bolt carrier group plated with nickel boron was still well lucubrated. A bit if Dawn dish washing detergent and hot water got me back to square one.

After I got it all cleaned up (and used all of my Q tips) I took a closer look at the rifle.


One of the first details I noticed was the North Carolina flag on the front of the magazine well, a very nice touch.


The Magpul pistol grip contained a storage space. I used it to house the tool to adjust the front sight, which came with the rifle.


Standard AR 15 charging handle. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it huh? Are you listening government officials?


The safety switch was in the standard place, which is idea placement, and clicked into position easily.


You can see the top picatinny rail here and how the rear sight was mounted.


The trigger broke at a clean 7 1/2 pounds with very little take up and over travel.


The Magpul flip up front sight with adjustable for elevation front sight post.


The Magpul flip up rear sight, adjustable for windage.


The Barnes Precision flash suppressor that worked well for suppressing the muzzle flash as well as helped with muzzle rise. I also installed one on the Kel-Tec PLR-16 test pistol, you can see that review here.


The Magpul MOE pistol grip is nicely stippled for a positive purchase on the CQB.


The ejection port and magazine release. Here you can clearly see the nickle boron plated bolt carrier group.


Barnes precision included a forward assist, though I have yet to need it on this rifle I am glad to see it was included.


The overall rifle with some of the reloading equipment. Hodgdon H110 propellent worked well with the .30 caliber Hornady 125gr SST.


Barnes has a really good reputation for building quality rifles and parts, and this test rifle was no disappointment. Adding the increasingly popular 300 Blackout to their product line is a solid move. I can see this rifle’s appeal to hunters, home defense, three gun matches as well as law enforcement and security. The 300 Blackout delivers solid performance in a 30 caliber bullet but in a small rifle. From my personal experience Barnes Precision builds a reliable platform for that cartridge, and it appears the rifle is waterproof.


Suggested Retail: $1608.60

Magpul MOE stock and grip.
Magpul MBUS sights w/front sight adjustment tool.

BPM A2 Style Flash Hider / Breaching Tip.
Exceptional Quality -Commercial grade /semi auto AR15 Fire Control group.

Carbine length adjustable gas system.

BPM Bolt Carrier Group w/Nickel Boron coating
Also available in:
SBR 11.5″ – MSRP: 1635.60

    • Mil Spec 7075 forged upper/lower. Upper receiver, lower receiver and hand guard hard anodized to Mil Spec Type III specifications.
    • All BPM Inc. lowers feature adjustable tension screw and detent retention set screw for rear takedown pin detent.
    • Mid length gas system (unless otherwise specified -i.e carbine length gas system on 11.5″ models & .300 Blackout)
    • 16″ 416 stainless steel Montana Rifle barrel blanks that are CNC machined in house.
    • BPM Inc. PSFFRS Ultralite Extreme 12″ Handguard complete with quick detatch sling swivel inserts and removable bipod stud.
    • Every BPM rifle ships with AR Case from Patriot Cases, Users Manual with Warranty and one Magpul PMAG




Barnes Precision

Frontline Defense

Clinton Jamieson at Hills

Gabriel Nelson of f/stop grooves


By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

8 thoughts on “Barnes Precision CQB, 300 Blackout, something old and something new.”
  1. Hi Excellent work putting this together! I wonder what AI will do in this area over the next five years.

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