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.
- Copper plated bullet
- 220 Grain
- Designed for 300 BLK
- SAAMI Max OAL: 2.260″
- Maximum Velocity: 1300 FPS
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 RipStock with 6 Position Enhanced Receiver Extension
- Magpul MOE Pistol Grip
- TriggerTech AR Diamond 1.5lb Trigger (see my review HERE)
- Ambi End Plate
- Cerakote Burnt Bronze finish
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).
After some testing and trials, I settled on the following components for my subsonic 300 Blackout loads for this article:
- Berry’s 220 grain 300 Blackout bullets
- New Starline 300 Blackout Cases
- Wolf Small Rifle Magnum primers
- 9.0, 10.0 grains Hodgdon H-110 powder (See chronograph data below)
- 2.230″ COL (2.260″ is max for AR-15)
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:
- Sizing (expander ball only, new brass)
- Priming (bottom), no die used (top)
- Powder charge
- Bullet seat
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
For diameter consistency, I performed two checks for each bullet using a micrometer accurate to 0.0001″:
- Initial diameter measurement
- 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!
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:
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