TESTED: Berry’s 220gr 300 BLK Bullets

There’s no doubt: Suppressed 300 Blackout Subsonic shooting is a TON of fun! When I think of close-quarters shooting with an AR-15, 300 Blackout subs are my go-to ammunition. The problem? These subsonic 300 Blackout loads require 30 caliber bullets in the 190-250 grain range which can get real expensive real quick! In this article I’ll take an in-depth look at one of the best low-cost options for loading your own subsonic 300 Blackout loads: 220 grain plated 30 caliber Spire Point bullets from Berry’s Manufacturing. Let’s get to it!

About These Bullets

Berry’s 300 Blackout 220 grain bullets fill an important niche in the “heavy 30 caliber” bullet market, offering optimum weight and performance for 300 Blackout without breaking the bank.

Specifications

  • Copper plated bullet
  • 220 Grain
  • Designed for 300 BLK
  • SAAMI Max OAL: 2.260″
  • Maximum Velocity: 1300 FPS

Test Rifle

For the testing performed as a part of putting this article together, I used the following AR-15 rifle configuration:

Anderson Manufacturing AR-15 300 Blackout Upper:

  • 16″ Carbine length barrel, 1:8 twist
  • Carbine length gas setup

CMMG Resolute AR-15 Lower: (full rifles HERE, my CMMG 350 Legend story HERE)

This rifle performed flawlessly, absolutely love the AR Diamond trigger! I will however be looking for a better magazine setup for 300 Blackout scenarios (metal mag used would bind cartridges when loading).

Tested Loads

After some testing and trials, I settled on the following components for my subsonic 300 Blackout loads for this article:

Use load data at your own risk. Ultimate Reloader is not responsible for errors in load data on this website. Always cross-reference load data with manufacturer’s published data.

As mentioned in the video, if you’re looking for once-fired 300 Blackout brass, you can find it at Capital Cartridge (use “ULTIMATE” code to save 10%!).

This ammunition was loaded on the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP 5-station progressive reloading press:

For die stations, above we have:

  1. Sizing (expander ball only, new brass)
  2. Priming (bottom), no die used (top)
  3. Powder charge
  4. Bullet seat
  5. empty

A nice addition here would be a powder check die like Hornady’s Powder Cop, or the RCBS Lock-Out die. As mentioned in the video, the only real challenge loading with this setup is the strange balance (center of gravity) for these “top heavy” cartridges. This caused some issues with cartridges tipping forward or back of the press (no going into the completed cartridge bin). I’ll do some experimenting to figure out how to best solve that problem!

The loaded ammunition looked as good as it shot:

Chronograph Data

For the chronograph data, I used the Caldwell G2 optical chronograph and the Caldwell companion app on my iPhone (see the full review I did on this system HERE).

I chronographed two loads (see load data above), one with a 9.0 grain H-110 powder charge, and one with a 10.0 grain H-110 powder charge. Here’s the data from each test:

These are some great results! I’m thinking I’ll try 9.5 grains of H-110 as a compromise between energy retention and “supersonic buffer”. That should bring the velocity to about 1040-1050 fps, which would be perfect.

Accuracy Testing

For accuracy testing, I decided to shoot some 5-shot groups at 50 yards, the maximum distance I’ll plan to shoot at for this ammunition scenario. I didn’t have a bipod mount on my upper, so I shot off some sand bags at maximum magnification: 6 power. The AR Diamond trigger helps a LOT with concentration when shooting groups for accuracy like this! Groups averaged about 1″ at this distance which is plenty good for the kind of work I’ll be doing with these loads. One of the groups came in at exactly 0.900″:

I’m pretty confident that I could get the groups even tighter if I experimented with the following:

  • More load development
  • A different scope or higher power scope (reticle on the Strike Eagle not best for groups)
  • Shooting groups with a bolt-action 300 Blackout rifle

It would also be interesting to look at supersonic loads with these bullets, but I’d likely opt for a lighter bullet for 300 Blackout loads in that category.

Lab Tests

By testing bullets for variation in weight, diameter, and length it’s possible to objectively compare one make/model bullet to another. For the following test scenarios, 20 bullets were pulled from a brand new box of Berry’s 220 grain 300 Blackout bullets, and put through a sequence of tests.

Weight Consistency

Each bullet was placed on an A&D FX-120i lab scale which is accurate to 0.02 grains. The weight values were recorded as follows:

You’ll notice there’s a bit more weight variation for these bullets compared to some of the jacketed bullets I’ve tested. I would expect this outcome based on how electroplating works (in comparison to jacketed bullet manufacturing). For close-quarters 300 Blackout ammunition, this variation is well within acceptable criteria!

Diameter Consistency

For diameter consistency, I performed two checks for each bullet using a micrometer accurate to 0.0001″:

  1. Initial diameter measurement
  2. Second diameter measurement (bullet spun 90° from initial measurement)

Here’s the data from these tests:

These results are VERY good: These plated bullets showed pretty much the same diameter consistency as premium jacketed bullets!

Length Consistency

The length consistency measurements were a bit more straightforward. Again I used a micrometer accurate to 0.0001″ recording the length for each of the sample bullets. Here’s that data:

Again we saw more length variation compared to what would be expected for 30 caliber match bullets, but this was also expected based on how these plated bullets are formed/manufactured. For this application, length is not super-critical.

These bullets are perfect for my AR-15 close-quarters action shooting practice, and I can’t wait to start loading them in BULK. I’ll be looking at some tweaks to my loading setup in order to crank out massive quantities!

Where to Buy

You can purchase Berry’s bullets at most major retailers, and you can also buy directly from Berry’s here:

300 AAC 200gr (.308) Blackout Spire Point

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Thanks,
Gavin

6 thoughts on “TESTED: Berry’s 220gr 300 BLK Bullets”

  1. Hey Gavin

    I enjoyed your video and am enjoying loading for my 300AAC too. I have an Aero Precision 10.5″ (pistol gas). I also shoot with an Omega 30 suppressor. My objective is accurate, suppressed subs for close quarters use as well.

    I have loaded some Berrys 220 gr plated spire points with A1680. I’m not too deep into development yet but have loaded and tested loads as follows.

    2.2″ OAL
    A1680 11.1 gr / 930 to 980 fps (10 rds)

    I am trying for 1050fps so plan to test at 11.3, 11.5 and 11.7 gr.

    For comparison I have loaded and tested Sierra Pro Hunter 220gr
    A1680 / 10.9gr
    2.071″ OAL – a tiny bit of the crimp line (cannelure?) shows / 1007-1029fps
    2.040″ OAL – (seated to cannelure) / 1033-1051FPS

    I plan to try some 2.040″ at 11.1 gr next.

    I will post an update once I have a chance to get them to the range again. Who knows when that’ll be with this Covid-19 restrictions.

    Bob

  2. I left a comment on the YouTube page for this video. I’m having issues with a particular lot of these bullets where shot 1 doesn’t make it on paper at 50 yards. Then the next 4 will bunch into a 0.250″ – 0.500″ group. Not sure what’s going on. Berry’s suggested crimping and that made things way worse. First group with lightly crimped rounds only had one land on paper – rest went who knows where. I’ve tried everything I can think off and have come to the conclusion that this particular lot of bullets has some sort of issue. Any thoughts?

  3. Can you comment on how you set up your crimp on these bullets? Berry’s being relatively soft are easy to overcrimp. And with heavy for caliber bullets the crimp needs to firm enough to hold against recoil. I’ve struggled a little with this setup.
    Thoughts?

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