TFB Round Table: Selecting the Best 300 AAC Blackout Hunting Ammunition

    300 aac blackout

    Welcome back to another edition of TFB’s Round Table sponsored by Ammunition To Go! For those who are first joining us, this is a multi-part series where TFB will discuss the characteristics of great ammunition for specific applications. This could vary from big game hunting, plinking, precision rifle matches, small game hunting, or even pistol competitions. Chances are there is someone here at TFB who can offer you advice on buying the right round for your task at hand. This week I will offer up some tips on picking the BEST .300 AAC Blackout Hunting Ammunition! The popularity of AR pistols, larger capacity magazines, the interchangeable parts and commonality with 5.56mm/.223 Rem firearms, and the sheer fun of the .300 AAC Blackout cartridge has propelled its growth to new heights. So as we near more and more hunting seasons throughout the US we will examine what all goes into making the BEST .300 AAC Blackout Hunting Ammunition!

    TFB ROUND TABLE: SELECTING THE BEST .300 aac blackout hunting ammunition

    When it comes to the .300 AAC Blackout cartridge a lot of us might be on board for the fun and sport of the round since it uses almost all of the same parts as our 5.56mm NATO counterpart AR-15s, but what many people are learning is that it makes for a great hunting round as well. Disagree?… Our friends at AmmunitionToGo were asked, “Can you hunt with .300 BLK,” and this was their response:

    Yes. The .300 BLK is a recent cartridge, and it often takes time for cartridges to work their way into hunting circles. However, the cartridge has many attributes that make it ideal for medium-sized game hunting, including whitetail deer. First, it’s a .308-caliber cartridge, which is one of the most popular sizes for deer hunting. It also has supersonic loads available, which give hunters greater speeds. From a ballistics perspective, it’s very similar to the .30-30 Winchester, which is used for deer hunting in short-range situations. If you want a rifle that can give you enjoyable high-volume target shooting, as well as medium-range hunting capabilities, a weapon that loads the .300 BLK is a fine choice. For hunting, choose expanding rounds such as jacketed hollow points; for target shooting, choose FMJ for better internal performance and affordability.

    That is a great, concise explanation as to why the .300 AAC Blackout makes a great hunting round. Also, a point of discussion we may want to get out of the way, there are a gazillion short-hand names for .300 AAC Blackout that people use interchangeably. Here is only a paltry list of some names you might encounter in this article or in social circles discussing the cartridge:

    • .300 AAC Blackout (AAC – Advanced Armament Corporation)
    • 300BLK
    • .300 Blackout
    • .300 Black
    • .300 BLK
    300 aac blackout

    Springfield SAINT 300BLK AR-15 Pistol w/ SilencerCo Hybrid .46 Cal Silencer & Vortex Crossfire 2 MOA Red Dot

    While all of these names are nearly identical it could definitely be confusing for someone hearing about the cartridge for the 1st time. They are all simply abbreviated permutations of the exact same thing. So getting back to AmmunitionToGo’s explanation of why it is worthwhile to hunt with the .300 AAC Blackout they happened to mention .30-30 Winchester in comparison. Well, another thing that can be helpful is understanding where .300 AAC Blackout falls on the spectrum of cartridges that we already know. This can be best compared through their metric equivalencies shown below:

    • 7.62x35mm – .300 AAC Blackout
    • 7.62x39mm – 7.62x39mm
    • 7.62x51mm Rimmed – .30-30 Winchester
    • 7.62x51mm – .308 Winchester
    • 7.62x63mm – .30-06 Springfield

    So while .300 AAC Blackout is a .30 caliber cartridge and it puts itself in good company it is still the smallest one of the bunch. This is both good and bad (depending on how you look at it). It is less recoil so very enjoyable to shoot and control. It also has less energy than the other thumpers on that list so it is better suited for medium-sized game (pigs, whitetail deer, antelope, etc) as opposed to big-game animals (elk, bear, caribou, etc).

    So what goes into making the BEST .300 AAC Blackout Hunting Ammunition? Well if you followed us 2 weeks ago when we discussed the “BEST 10mm Ammo for STOPPING POW-AH” you will remember what people really mean when they passionately argue that buzzword: Foot-Lbs of Energy (Ft-Lbs). With the .300 AAC Blackout, or any hunting cartridge, what is going to humanely down game is Ft-Lbs of energy upon impact.

    300 aac blackout

    Springfield SAINT 300BLK AR-15 Pistol w/ SilencerCo Hybrid .46 Cal Silencer & Vortex Crossfire 2 MOA Red Dot

    In order to achieve good Ft-Lbs of energy, we need high velocity paired with a substantial weighted bullet. For those reasons, sub-sonic ammunition is NOT your friend when hunting. The Ft-Lbs of energy for sub-sonic ammunition runs in the realm of ~400 Ft-Lbs while its supersonic counterparts are over 3x that in the neighborhood of ~1,300 Ft-Lbs. I can hear your Comments already… You’re wrong! My cousin killed a deer with sub-sonic ammo! It’s all about shot placement!… and if that is your immediate response I would congratulate your cousin and simply say everything does not always go as planned while hunting. If you have the unfortunate luck of not making a well-placed shot the additional Ft-Lbs of energy could aid in you downing your game, even still.

    The final component to think about is the type of bullet and just like when we discussed 10mm, .223 Rem, and .308 Win for hunting you want to have something all copper or at worst a bonded bullet. When you can keep your bullet together then your target truly receives all of the energy transferred, and you will not have lead sprinkled throughout your venison when it comes time to eating it.

    WRAP UP – BEST .300 aac blackout hunting ammunition

    Since we have been discussing Ft-Lbs of energy for the better part of this article that will be our defining metric for this Top 5 list of the “BEST .300 AAC Blackout Hunting Ammunition” available from our friends over at Ammunition to Go. We do not want to be brand preferential or bias in who makes the Top 5 list so that is why we always throw down some type of defining metric. While you read over the Top 5 keep in mind all of these attributes that make a good huntiing round:

    • Velocity – speed is the driving force in connecting with your intended target and creating energy upon impact so velocity is very valuable
    • Bullets – an all copper bullet is always your best choice for weight retention and delivery of energy, but a close 2nd would be any reputable bonded bullet as well
    • Grain Weight – typically the name of the game is the heavier the better, and that holds true with .300 AAC Blackout as long as the bullet remains supersonic in flight

    As always, thank you for reading TFB! Be safe out there, have fun while shooting, and we will see you next time for TFB’s Round Table brought to you by Ammunition to Go! Also, let us know what you think in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.


    #5 – Hornady Custom .300 AAC Blackout 110 Grain GMX (Muzzle Energy: 1,275 Ft-Lbs)

    300 aac blackout

    This 300 AAC Blackout cartridge features a 110 grain GMX projectile, a bullet made entirely of copper alloy. This bullet’s monolithic construction not only means you may fire it with impunity in California and other areas where lead projectiles are banned — because it has no jacket and core which could separate, the GMX boasts as much as 95 percent weight retention during penetration. The sleek GMX further sports a polymer tip which initiates immediate and debilitating expansion upon impact. Its pointed tip and sleek profile make this projectile remarkably accurate, and its cannelure and pressure relieving grooves further serve to lower its overall drag. It’s a fine option for hunting medium-sized game.

    #4 – Hornady Custom .300 AAC Blackout 135 Grain FTX (Muzzle Energy: 1,303 Ft-Lbs)

    300 aac blackout

    These factory fresh rounds from Hornady are loaded for superb hunting performance in rifles chambered for .300 AAC Blackout. Each of these cartridges is carefully crafted with non-corrosive Boxer primers, clean-burning propellant, and reloadable brass casings which are all matched to each other for optimal ignition rates and chamber pressure. Crowning the cartridge profile is a 135 grain Flex-Tip eXpanding (FTX) projectile which is rated for a 2,085 feet-per-second muzzle velocity out a 16-inch test barrel; while this yields a supersonic crack, these rounds are still usable with a suppressor for reduced blast and noise signature.

    Hornady’s FTX bullet features a secant ogive and pronounced boat tail rear for ultimate drag resistance and consistent accuracy; this is further enhanced by the projectiles polymer windshield which covers its hollow cavity. Upon impact with a target animal, the polymer tip is driven backwards into the cavity in order to initiate mushrooming expansion for game-dropping energy transfer. Hornady’s specially engineered copper jacket is locked to its lead core via an Interlock Ring which controls the rate of expansion in order to ensure proper weight retention and the precision placement of momentum into vital organs.

    Hornady has been famous for their component projectiles and finished ammunition for nearly seven decades. As pioneers for various new calibers, shooters can be sure that their innovations will always be at the forefront of terminal ballistics, accuracy, and safety.

    #3 – Black Hills .300 Whisper 125 Grain Sierra OTM (Muzzle Energy: 1,343 Ft-Lbs)

    300 aac blackout

    This 300 AAC Blackout cartridge by Black Hills Ammunition shows off the startlingly accurate performance of Sierra’s open tip match projectile. The bullet has technically got a hollow point, but that doesn’t impact its terminal performance — the aperture’s existence instead denotes that the bullet’s core formed in place while still molten, becoming essentially perfectly distributed as the result. Sierra took extra special care to make this bullet’s jacket as uniform in dimension and weight as possible, and made its meplat as sharp as can be — like a hypodermic needle — so that it can positively dissect the air before it, lessening drag.

    #2 – Barnes VOR-TX .300 AAC Blackout 110 Grain TAC-TX (Muzzle Energy: 1,349 Ft-Lbs)

    300 aac blackout

    This is 300 AAC BLACKOUT Barnes 110gr. TAC-TX Polymer Tip Ammo. Optimized for the 300 AAC Blackout cartridge, this specially designed profile ensures flawless magazine length loading in AR rifles. The Barnes TAC-TX provides terminal performance unmatched by the competition. All copper construction is an excellent choice for hunting and personal defense. This new ammo is brass cased, boxer primed and 100% non-corrosive. It is packed in 20rd. boxes. Muzzle Velocity: 2350 fps.

    #1 – Remington Premier Match .300 AAC Blackout 125 Grain OTM (Muzzle Energy: 1,360 Ft-Lbs)

    300 aac blackout

    If you are looking for a load so accurate you could use it to “drive tacks,” look no further than this .300 AAC Blackout match ammunition from Remington premier. Each of these factory fresh cartridges is topped with a ne of Sierra MatchKing’s world-famous open tip match projectiles. Weighing in at 125 grains, these MatchKing bullets are manufactured to exacting tolerances in diameter and weight, ensuring precision accuracy and performance. MatchKing also incorporates a boat tail design for extra in-flight stability and dependable long-range precision. Sierra MatchKing is so accurate that these bullets have been used to win more target competitions than all other bullet designs other combined.

    This ammunition is 100 percent non-corrosive, boxer primed, and features high-quality, reloadable brass cases. Remington Premier uses special loading practices to ensure their Match ammo delivers world-class performance and pin-point accuracy appropriate for all high-stakes competition. Leaving the muzzle at a velocity of 2215, each round produces a muzzle energy of 1360 foot pounds. Each package contains 20 rounds.

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