Dutch MARSOF officially purchase .300 BLK SIG MCX Rifles

Among a wave of growing enthusiasm for the .300 BLK cartridge, the Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Force have officially approved the purchase and issue of 195 Sig Sauer .300 BLK MCX rifles, with integrated suppressors, and a helmet visor accommodating stock that has previously been seen on the 7.62x39mm variant of the MCX. This type of stock has been popular with many European special operations and police units, due to tactics that require the use of a helmet visor being donned while conducting operations involving smoke or any sort of gas.

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Previously we covered the possible adoption of the cartridge by the Dutch in this post. Here is the Jane’s news paragraph

SIG has delivered MCX series short-barrel carbines chambered in 7.62×35 mm (300 BLK) ammunition to the Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Force (NL-MARSOF), a company representative has told IHS Jane’s.

The SIG MCX carbines delivered to NL-MARSOF are integrally suppressed and fitted with a new folding stock developed for use with ballistic visor helmets.

Under the tender announced in June 2015 by the Netherlands’ Defence Material Organisation, the NL-MARSOF was looking to buy 195 select-fire short-barrelled carbines and 1.82 million 7.62×35 mm ball, subsonic, and lead-free frangible cartridges.

This is the first publicly announced official adoption of the .300 BLK cartridge by a military force, a contract that is often very coveted within the small arms industry. There might have been other forces that adopted the cartridge, but we just don’t know about them publicly. However, the true test of the cartridge should be ahead, as military usage can bring out the best and worst in any piece of equipment. Should the cartridge see successful usage by the Dutch, it could pave the way for further adoption around the world, and especially any adoption by a U.S. Special Operations force. Many international military and industry planners specifically look at what is being carried by U.S. SOCCOM for what to push next.

I think we all know who the first customers of the AR10 were…



Miles

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia. You can also follow us on Twitter- @Silah_Report

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


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  • DW

    That sig is probably the crankiest gun I have seen that totally made sense

  • J. Murphy

    “especially any adoption by a U.S. Special Operations force.”

    I bet Super Secret Squirrel types like Delta already have it, a SIG MCX in 300 blk fills in a hole left by the MP5SD.

    • CommonSense23

      It’s a AAC AR15 that is ran.

  • RSG

    I’m pretty invested in this caliber so this news is music to my ears. Hoping for the widest adoption possible.

    • DanGoodShot

      I’m with you on this. Although I was indifferent towards 300Blk at first. About 2 years ago a buddy finally broke me and I did a 300 build. Loaded up some cartridges and hit the range with some gel, targets and my chrony. THEN I started playing with all the different loads you can make for it. That was it… I was hooked. It was like a window opened and I understood it. I still feel unless you use it in a real situation or reload you won’t full understand just how versatile and, well, fun this round is.

      • Minuteman

        The beauty of BLK is that it’s a necked down .223 case with a .308 bullet, so you can basically reload any .308 load. In theory that is, because a heavier load such as 175gr won’t cut it due to the lack of powder in a necked down .223 case. Anyways, the marvels of ammo technology. Now why didn’t they figured that out in 1966, I can only guess… Funny thing is that 7.62×39 and 300BLK are ballistically very similar. In fact they’re so similar that you can’t mount any BLK optic on an AK-47 and mount any 7.62×39 optic on a BLK chambered rifle. I don’t see BLK becoming the staple ammo though, it performs best when suppressed and doesnt really offer anything significant over 5.56 to the average grunt. Still, 6.8mmx43 SPC II puts them all to shame though. That should have become THE general purpose round. I’d pick up a Six8 from the good folks at LWRC in a heartbeat and dump everything else if SPC weren’t boutique priced…. Paul Howe’s a leading force behind SPC and I’ll take his word any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

        • DanGoodShot

          I agree, 300 is not going to replace 556 anytime… ever. Even supersonic loads are only really effective out to 300. Ideally you want to use it within 200. However this round definitely has it’s place within specials forces or even grunts going door to door. Great for cqb, especially suppressed.
          The ability to go from subsonic suppressed to supersonic reliably by changing nothing more than the rifle’s barrel can be quite appealing from a logistical standpoint alone.
          Now from a hobbyist perspective as a reloader it’s a tinkers delight. I’ve run everything as light as 55 grain sabots all the way up to long 220’s in the same setup without a hicup once I got each load dialed in. Its all in what powder and how much per projectile.
          It has a wider range than the 308. due to powders and the faster twist rate of a 300blk barrel. 1/7-1/9 twist compaired to the usual 1-12 for a 308.
          My ruger scout has a 1/10. That I was able to get 220s to stabilize with shooting suppressed. That was fun!
          Personally, I can’t comment on the 6.8. I won’t comment on anything I have no personal knowledge on.
          As far as price, for a reloader 300blk is about equal per round of a 223 if you make your own cases and buy bulk mil surp projectiles. Heck, wait for sales, blems whatever and you get some great deals on 308 projectiles.

          • Minuteman

            Persnally, I’m very much in to 6.8. It is better at everything that .223/5.56, 7.62×39 and 300BLK do and can do 80% of what .308 does. The only thing BLK has over SPC is [a tad bit] better suppression, but SPC stabilizes better, hits harder and has more range. The only reason BLK is gaining ground on SPC is because SPC requires a more radical change in the existing logistics chain where as BLK allows for existing STANAG magazines to be used and requires minimal changes to the rifle, which can be done at user level during maintenance intervals. If you’d want to swap calibers across the board that is. But like you said, BLK isn’t going to replace 5.56, which has been pretty much fixed due to nowadays ammo tech and it has come a long way. Like the AR, it’s here to stay.

          • pd

            300 black subsonic is way better than a “tad” suppressed. And every single cartridge u named that 6.8 performs better than, are way cheaper to buy…..including the 308 win.

          • Minuteman

            Like I said, it has pretty much gone the way of the Dodo. I’d consolidate on one 9mm pistol, one .45 pistol, one .223/5.56 rifle and one .308 rifle. Which ideally would brake down into P226 MK25, P227 Nitron, PWS MK116 Mod2 and Galil ACE NATO .308. YMMV. I have no use nor desire to own anything outside that ammo logistics chain. Again, YMMV. Funny how SPC is so expensive as demand is actually very low, but there’s plenty supply.

        • iksnilol

          Man, I was about to upvote you until you started singing praises about SPC.

          • Minuteman

            Don’t worry, I still love you. X

          • Minuteman

            Anyway bro, jokes aside, what are your grievances towards SPC? I’m curious to know. It is actually an extremely good round and you can’t go wrong with LWRC. I would not hesitate at all to go to war with a Six8 A5 rifle topped off with a Comp M4S, Samson magnifier, BCM Gunfghter stock, BCM Mod 4 CH, Surefire M600 light, LaRue FUG grip and a Geissele Super Tricon trigger.

          • iksnilol

            http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/04/04/not-so-special-a-critical-view-of-the-6-8mm-spc/

            Mah boy Nathaniel spit fire about this ages ago. Short gist of it, doesn’t do anything better than 5.56 except “muh stopping power” within 300 meters. It’s a decent hunting cartridge tho, but for military use, not that good.

            I think you armchair a lot when your rifle is a shopping list :/

          • Minuteman

            I know that article. He and I disagree on more topics. MSG Paul Howe was a driving factor behind SPC, I’ll take his word over Nathaniel’s.

          • iksnilol

            Well, you can disagree however you like but the numbers don’t lie.

            That’s the bees knees about science, daddy-o 😉

          • Minuteman

            It won’t replace 5.56, not in a million years. Agreed. 5.56 is fine nowadays and I simply don’t see it going away, like, ever. We have very advanced ammo tech and 5.56 has come a long way.

        • pun&gun

          Ironically I think the biggest selling point for 300BLK — the commonality of magazines and easy swap-in — is the very thing that would prevent its widespread adoption outside of special units. Government likes to make weapons idiot-proof, and 300BLK rounds that fit into 5.56 magazines that fit into 5.56 rifles are decidedly NOT idiot-proof. Too much risk of some guy blowing up his rifle.
          Even absent that problem, I don’t think the 300BLK would ever be adopted as a primary rifle cartridge. It just won’t reach far enough, and the “narrow and fast” of the 5.56 offers a lot to the user in terms of penetration and flat trajectory. If anything, I think the 300BLK would be a better replacement for 9mm than 5.56; equipping officers and vehicle crews with short 300BLK PDWs is an idea that interests me for whatever reason.
          I’ve only fired 6.8 once in my life. It seems to me like most of the sales these days are toward guys who like AR-15s and want to hunt with them, but won’t or legally can’t take deer with a .22-caliber bullet. The 300BLK fills that same niche and also offers some other bonuses.
          What I don’t understand about 6.8 is the parent case. That seems to be the source of many of the gripes about the round. Why didn’t they start with a .223 case like the Blackout did? What would that change for the round’s performance?

          • Minuteman

            I agree with you that 5.56 will not be replaced -it doesn’t need to be replaced. The round is fine and has been ‘fixed’ by nowadays ammo tech.
            5.56 is fine for “PDW” use. Most vehicle crews use M4s and they are perfectly adequate for use <300/200m. Replacing that established setup with the expensive BLK round is a solution to a non-existent problem.
            The Remington .270 case was the already existing parent case that fitted the developed projectile best, as the .223 case was simply too small to fill the stated requirement: shoot flatter, deliver more kinetic energy, deliver increased terminal effect on target over, and dodge the wind better than both .223/5.56mm and 7.62 Soviet. JSOC [mostly Delta members, Master Sergeant Paul Howe played a lead role in the developmental stages and T&E] teamed up with Remington and experimented with various bullet weights and cases. The .270 turned out to be the optimal case to fit the needs as laid out in the requirement. I don't know about enough about the in depth details as I'm by no means a ballistics or physics expert.
            As per your referrence to [necking down] the .223 case and matching it with a .308 bullet in order to fit STANAG magazines, the physical limits of the BLK parent case are what is holding the round down in the effective range realm: only so much powder will fit a case. You must keep in mind 300BLK was never envisioned for nor was it designed to be a [candidate] replacement for the 5.56mmx45 NATO GP round. It's a niche round SOF folks wanted to stretch the limits of the SMG concept a bit more, so to speak, while fitting the round to the platform of choice [the AR-15/M4 type carbine]. Over time, this ought to phase out the MP5 in favor of the 300BLK carbine for specific missions performed by SOF/SF, and perhaps SWAT but personally I don't think SWAT really need it. 5.56 serves their needs fine and is much more cost effective.

          • pun&gun

            I think you may have conflated a couple of my questions. I was wondering about putting a 6.8 bullet into a .223 case instead of the .270 case, and how that would affect performance of the 6.8 relative to the existing SPC II.
            I agree that neither vehicle crews nor SWAT really “need” 300BLK, but given that they both work in cramped quarters and usually at pretty short engagement distances, something small, handy, hard-hitting at close range, and easy on the ears with an integral suppressor seems like it would be a heck of a quality of life improvement. The two big benefits 300BLK offers are being suppression-friendly with subs, and being friendly to short barrels without a huge loss of velocity or a massive bark/fireball.

          • Minuteman

            My unscientific guess is it wouldn’t work because the rounds don’t fit in a STANAG magazine anyway. You’re basically stuck with 6.8 Pmags or Berretta’s, and the .223 case is simply too small. You’ll loose all the benefits of the 6.8 bullet. It performs best out of a .270 Remington case. Don’t forget some very experienced and qualified folks did thorough research on this one. They would have paired the 6.8 bullet with the .223 case if it would have been feasible. It just doesn’t make sense to fit a heavier bullet into a small case, you won’t get much velocity, kinetic energy and range (these are many of the areas where SPC beats BLK). SPC was born out of a long trial and error process. It is the best GP round out there hands down, and is capable of doing 80% of what 145-168gr .308 can do. I would pick it up for the military if it weren’t so darn expensive. It has gone pretty much the way of the Dodo and only remains out there to fill a niche for certain hunters. Mind you, it’s an outstanding hog round.
            No need for vast distribution of suppressors. Only SOF/SF use them.
            5.56 M4’s are fine for vehicle crews. They don’t need a Dior priced round, trust me. Dismounted combat is not their primary MOS. 300BLK is a legit option for suppressed SOF/SF missions, outside that realm it fills no significant use. 5.56 is okay.

    • Ebby123

      So much this. As military adoption in the PDW or SOF roles increases, the price of ammo and caliber-specific gear will continue to drop.

      As always: Volume Produced is inversely related to Cost Per Unit.

    • Minuteman

      Still too pricey, I ain’t buyin’ anything over $0.35 a pop, but I hear ya.

  • Swarf

    Alternate headline: Dutch MARSOF officially advances technology solutions for exploded uppers.

    • Ebby123

      Grenades are dangerous. Tanks are dangerous. SAM missiles are dangerous.

      I think the military can handle keeping two visibly different rounds separated to a more than acceptable degree – especially because 300BLK will likely only be used by SOF groups.

      These aren’t bubba’s trying to show off their first AR-15.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      There is a significant difference between a hobbyist shooting multiple ARs in multiple calibers on a single trip to the range, and a professional force that adopts a new system whole-hog.

  • Martin Grønsdal

    One kaboom due to 300 blk in a 223 rifle, and next headline will be ‘Holland officially stops using 300 BLK’

    • Duray

      Because no one in Holland has internet?

      • Martin Grønsdal

        Que?

    • smitty26

      Excuse me,Marsof is very highly trained and professional organisation.
      Not a bunch of “morons”

    • kcshooter

      It’s been well established that this is something that happens exclusively to idiots.

  • john huscio

    Looks like a 7.62×39 mag in that MCX….

    • Minuteman

      Makes me wonder why they didn’t run with PWS. Ambi controls and all that. I guess it had everything to do with a lower bid in general, and the stock request in particular.

      • DW

        You cannot have that stock on a normal AR.

        • Minuteman

          That’s what I figured as well. Dutch tier one know what they’re doing. Their Marines have close ties with ours, I’m pretty confident they’ve talked this over. They basically look at us for guidance and advise.

          • CommonSense23

            Can we stop using the Tier system. It doesn’t mean what people think it does.

          • Minuteman

            In common usage my friend, that is the key phrase. And it doesn’t have to be in the dictionary.

          • CommonSense23

            It’s in common usage. But it makes no actual sense how people use it. SF and Seals are Tier 3 while Rangers Batts are Tier 2. Seals and SF are far better equipped and trained though. The thing about the Tier system is it wasn’t a ranking system.

          • smitty26

            No Way Jose.We are close to the British Royal Marines.Don’t need advise from the US.It is the other way.

    • AndyHasky

      It explains why that is in the paragraph above it…

  • CommonSense23

    300BLK has been used by the US military for years.

    • It has, by some of the more secretive SF types, but this is the first “Public” adoption by a military force. CAG or DEVGRU don’t exactly have a public affairs hotline, or website…

      • mig1nc

        On Mark Owen’s blog he mentions using .300 Blk. I’ve also seen an authenticated photo of an operator in Iraq using an armory built DI gun in .300 Blk.

        • Neither of those sources are “official” in the remotest understanding of the word. My point still stands.

          • mig1nc

            Yeah, I don’t disagree. Just saying there’s a fair bit of info out there on the subject. Those teams do a lot that’s not “official”.

    • Minuteman

      I have no doubt indeed. My guess is that some highly secretive Israeli outfits such as Duvdevan are on the boat as well.

  • Stefanovich

    ‘This type of stock has been popular with many European special operations and police units, due to tactics that require the use of a helmet visor being donned while conducting operations involving smoke or any sort of gas.’

    Actually they are mostly used because of ballistic visors on European helmets, like the ULBRICHTS Zenturion helmet used by German SEK, GSG-9 and the Dutch equivalent DSI.

  • Minuteman

    These guys look like fire fighters.

    • Twilight sparkle

      Is that a bad thing?

      • Minuteman

        Not necessarily, they just look bulky. That helmet seems cumbersome to me. Kinda medieval…

        • Twilight sparkle

          I think it’s the same face mask and helmet that gign used when they got the terrorist in the Jewish market, they’re meant to stop handgun rounds instead of the usual Molotov cocktails and rocks that most most face mask are meant to stop

          • Minuteman

            That is correct.

  • CommonSense23

    Even the big two in US SOF don’t have many 300s thanks to AAC failures. The main selling point of the round wasn’t even CQB but sentry elimination.

    • Keith Dalton

      AAC failures? Explain.

      • CommonSense23

        They were supposed to deliver a set number of rifles. Most didn’t pass inspection. So the 300s were nowhere near the levels wanted.

  • Greg Torchia

    300 black you never go back and believe me 200 grain round hurts a whole lot more than a 55 grain round out of a 556

    • CommonSense23

      So you have been shot by both?

      • Greg Torchia

        Florida boar hog told me

    • iksnilol

      Why not go with .45 acp then? I mean, that’s 230 grains. that’s like 15% more bullet per bullet at the same velocity. AND it is like 50% wider meaning more bloodloss and soul-crushing stopping power.

      • MeaCulpa

        One inch musket with a short barrel FTW!

        • mig1nc

          Blunderbuss FTW

          The Pilgrims knew what’s up.

      • smitty26

        Dutch Marines dropped the .45 before 1960 in favor of the 9x19mm.

  • smitty26

    MARSOF do not use the MP5 for years(only for exercise) most used is the HK416.
    Special anti terror unit called UIM (Unit Intervention Marines) with is part of MARSOF used the FN P90.These units are trained for hostage situations like on ships and airplanes.They will use the nem SIG.The “normal” MARSOF Operators still use the HK416.These SIG will be used by a very small and select group of highly trained operators.Don’t worry : they will use the correct ammo !!

  • Sasquatch

    So how long till we get surplus 300Blk ammo?

  • smitty26

    Dutch Marines have tested the AR10,normal rifle version,short Carabin and beltfed models in combat situations at the New Guinee conflict .

  • haxfar

    I wonder if they are going to run into the same problems with the it as the russians, which led to the development of the 9x39mm.

    Sadly can’t find it now, but do distinctly remember reading that they found subsonic 7.62×39 insufficient, though no word of the bullets weight, which otoh with the .300 BLK is known.

  • John Smith

    How long till some 300 blk ammo finds its way into the chamber of a 5.56 gun???

  • Kimjungill

    Wait till their waiting months for replacement parts from sig.