The 300 Blackout round is making a comeback from relative obscurity in recent years. As ammo costs continue to rise amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, you might be wondering what types of ammunition you should stock up on.
Let’s dive deep into this cartridge and explain whether you should consider using it over your trusty .308 Winchester cartridges.
300 Blackout vs .308 Rounds: Which One Wins?
What Is a 300 Blackout Good For?
This round was originally developed as a replacement for 7.62x39mm cartridges to use with AR-15 builds, while still allowing the AR-15 to have a magazine at normal capacity. Thus, the 300 Blackout round is a great pick for short barrel rifles.
This also means it can be quite quiet, especially when paired with a suppressor and subsonic ammunition.
Naturally, this means that these rounds can be used as a suppressor cartridge for machine weapons or automatic rifles. But they can also be used as an excellent tactical cartridge, particularly when you need to be accurate in short and controlled bursts.
We think these will pair well with any short barrel rifle you have.
What’s the Difference Between Them?
There are lots of differences between 300 Blackout and .308 Winchester rounds.
Check out the comparison of the advantages of each below:
.300 Blackout Advantages
- The 300 Blackout maxes out its effective range of about 460 m provided you use a 125-grain projectile. Thus, it is a better cartridge for close to medium range shooting and tactical engagements.
- This does mean that 300 Blackout rounds are easier to control and doesn’t produce as much recoil. This is to be expected given the rifles it is supposed to be paired with; it produces much less muzzle rise than the .308 Winchester.
- We’d recommend that you use a 300 Blackout weapon and ammunition for small and medium game like deer and coyotes. You can take down bigger game and from greater distances with the .308 Winchester round.
- This might also be a better cartridge for home defense. Plus, the rounds are already designed for close-quarters use!
- The weapons you’ll pair it with are lighter and easier to control, so even those without as much upper body strength (like women) should be able to use a 300 Blackout weapon relatively capably and accurately.
- Overall, it is a better choice for quiet tactical engagements. It’s designed for use with supersonic and subsonic rounds, so pairing it with a suppressor will let you complete a tactical engagement without being heard as loudly.
.308 Winchester Advantages
- For starters, the .308 Winchester was designed and remains a full-powered rifle round. It's constructed for excellent stopping power and accuracy at a distance.
- It usually reaches much faster speeds of over 3000 ft./s compared to the 300 Blackout’s maximum speed of around 2200 ft./s. This means the Winchester is a better choice if you want to hunt big game at long distances.
- The .308 Winchester also capably serves as a tactical cartridge, specifically in a sniper or long-distance rifle or for certain semi-automatic AR-10 rifle builds.
- The .308 Winchester has a little more versatility, too, as it can work with bolt action rifles, lever-action rifles, and even more platforms. You are much more limited for hunting rifles if you are sticking with the 300 Blackout round.
- It is also much better when it comes to maximum range potential. This isn’t that surprising considering that the 7.62 NATO cartridge (basically the cousin cartridge to the .308) is used worldwide by military and police snipers everywhere.
Is the 300 Blackout or .308 Winchester More Powerful?
It depends on what you mean by “powerful.” The .308 Winchester round is more powerful in general, but the 300 Blackout round could be a more powerful choice based on your objective.
Again, we’d recommend settling with the 300 Blackout round for close-quarters or home defense needs and the .308 Winchester for long-distance hunting or sniping.