One thing that has made the AR-15 platform so popular
is its modularity. You can mix, match and accessorize your rifle
to your heart’s content. It’s like Barbie for men.
Now let’s examine the more recent and commonly known .300 AAC Blackout (.300 BLK). The caliber’s name partly comes from the company that “invented” it which is Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC). So what is the difference between .300 AAC Blackout and the synonymous .300 Whisper? Without boring the reader with things like the measurement of the barrel throat etc. the answer is not much really.
The largest difference is that the .300 Whisper started as a wildcat round and AAC went to the trouble of getting the cartridge recognized by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) as a standard round.
As a sad side note, J.D. Jones never received any royalties and little recognition for his efforts. Partly in homage to J.D., Black Hills Ammunition lists the cartridge as. the .300 Blackout/Whisper.
So much for the history lesson.
BARBIE FOR MEN
One thing that has made the AR-15 platform so popular is its modularity. You can mix, match and accessorize your rifle to your heart’s content. It’s like Barbie for men.
I have exactly one AR that has not been “customized” in some way—an original Colt SP-1. For awhile I replaced the Delta rings with round ones and so I could add a quad rail to it but nothing else was changed. Out of nostalgia more than anything else, I went back to the original triangular handguards.
I decided to use Lancer Systems lower for the “build.” The unique thing about this receiver is that there is a takedown pin at the bottom of the trigger guard that allows for attaching different sizes of funnel-type magazine wells. I used the medium size, as it offers a quick reload without becoming too bulky.
WMD GUNS TO THE RESCUE
I contacted WMD Guns about receiving one of their excellent uppers for the project. Wynn Atterbury of WMD was enthused about the project and agreed to send one to me. I received the upper receiver within two weeks.
The forged upper receiver has a 16” barrel, is fitted with a 15” M-LOK handguard. The rifle has a mid-length gas system. The top rail run from the rear of the receiver to within an inch of the muzzle, with a total of 56 M-LOK slots so there’s plenty of real estate for a wide variety of accessories. A brake is attached to the muzzle that has three large slots on each side and three holes at 12 o’clock.
The upper features WMD’s proprietary NiB-X (Nickel Boron eXtreme) finish. This coating is tougher than hard chrome with a coefficient of friction near Teflon with excellent lubricity. This coating requires little wet lubrication and so it cleans easily after shooting, while protecting against the elements.
NiB-X is offered in a matte silver/gray appearance, distressed, or polished to a near chrome look. I opted for the matte silver/gray finish. It gives the rifle a classic two-tone look and is fairly unique for an AR-15-type rifle. I personally find it aesthetically pleasing.
AVOID THE KABOOM!
The .300 BLK cartridge will chamber in a 5.56 rifle, but in no way, shape or form should you ever try to fire it. The .22-caliber bore simply isn’t big enough to handle the .30-caliber projectile of the .300 BLK round, and all that pressure from the round needs to go somewhere once the primer is struck and the results can be devastating.
When I had my first .300 BLK rifle I avoided this by using only Lancer magazines—both the original and Advanced War Fighter—in the rifle. I have never placed a .5.56 round in them or a .300 BLK round in any other AR mag.
I can almost hear someone saying, “Just pay attention to what ammo you’re putting in the gun.” I agree with this in a perfect world but I often shoot with family members, including grandchildren, where there is probably three or four ARs on the range and by using a noticeably different magazine it minimizes the chance of a kaboom.
HOW DOES IT SHOOT?
I attached an Aimpoint Micro T-2 to the top rail. The T-2 has a 2 MOA dot so it covers two inches at 100 yards, four inches at 200 yards and six inches at 300 yards. That suits me fine as I rarely, if ever, shoot beyond that distance with anything but a precision rifle.
The “trick” to shooting smaller groups with a red dot sight (RDS) is to lower the intensity. While this doesn’t actually change the size of the dot, it gives the illusion of a smaller dot for greater accuracy.
I went with the ammo I had on hand for the .300 Blackout which was the Black Hills Ammunition 125-gr. TMK (Tipped Match King). This load develops 2,100 feet-per-second and 1,224 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
I obtained a rough zero at fifty yards and then fine-tuned the T-2 at 100 yards.
Shooting from the bench, I shot four three-round strings. My best group measured 1.5 inches while the average group size was 1.8 inches. Not too shabby at all with my first time out and using a RDS instead of conventional rifle scope.
I found the muzzle brake to be quite effective though, like all brakes, very loud.
I don’t have a .30 caliber suppressor at the moment, but I plan to resolve that problem in the near future to fully utilize the potential of the .300 BLK.
WMD not only offers parts and assemblies, but entire guns and NiB-X coatings.
Whether you are looking to assemble your own or purchase an entire gun, check out WMD Guns. You won’t be disappointed.
BLACK HILLS AMMUNITION