300 Blackout has been on my “list” for a LONG time- but sometimes life gets in the way. Well now it’s time, and I’m going to “go big” with this fun cartridge including rifles, suppressors, reloading, ballistics, and more (please leave a comment with your ideas!). To start things off, let’s take a look at the AR-15 I put together using an Anderson Manufacturing 16″ upper, and Sharps Rifle Company lower!
Anderson 16″ 300 Blackout Upper
I’ve built a few AR-15s with Anderson lowers, and they have always performed well. So when it came time to start shooting 300 Blackout, I thought I would give their uppers a try! Talking with Anderson, it sounded like the best “all-rounder” would be a 16″ setup (partially due to various legality issues) with a pistol-length gas system. Why a pistol-length gas system? With small powder charges, you need to maximize dwell time (the elapsed time which the bolt carrier is pressurized) in order to ensure reliable functioning. The shorter the gas system length, the more dwell time, and that’s where the pistol-length gas system comes in!
Fog Ammunition did an article on this which is an interesting and short read: (click image below to read article)
So I ended up with a complete upper from Anderson with the EXT handguard:
I took an existing lower from the “AR-15 library”, my 25-45 Sharps Rangemaster, and put it together with the Anderson upper. The result? A pretty nice looking business-first AR-15! The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm scope works really well for the close-range shooting I’m doing with this rifle.
Initial Range Results
I’ve only had this rifle running for a few days now, and I’ve already tested it with the following ammunition: (All loaded by myself, I’ll share more on ammo in my next post!).
- 144 grain tracers, supersonic (unsuppressed)
- 155 grain Midsouth Match Monsters, supersonic (suppressed and unsuppressed)
- 190 grain Midsouth Match Monsters, supersonic and subsonic (suppressed and unsuppressed)
All of my shooting was done at the Ultimate Reloader Outpost (unsuppressed), and at THE RANGE in Yakima (both suppressed and unsuppressed).
So far everything has run 100% with the exception of some magazine issues related to my 190 grain subsonic load (barely fits in the magazine). The only issue here was stripping the first round, and I may have loaded the magazines improperly (without enough care pushing each round back). There have been a couple times when the bolt has not caught (back) on the last round- but only unsuppressed, and only two times in several hundred rounds of testing. On that note- this rifle has an adjustable gas block- and I haven’t even touched it yet! So between the adjustable gas block, different bullet options, and load adjustment (when reloading) there area LOT of tuning options for this cartridge and rifle.
There’s a lot to talk about related to 300 Blackout! Here are some of the things I plan to cover:
- Rifles and suppressors (will look at this long-term)
- Reloading, gear, and components
- Shooting scenarios
- [insert your ideas- forming 300 Blackout from 223?]
Lots more coming, so make sure you’re subscribed!