A Comprehensive Comparison: 300 Blackout vs. 300 Win Mag Ammo Comparison

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300 Blackout vs. 300 Win Mag Ammo Comparison

When it comes to selecting a cartridge for your firearm, the choices can be overwhelming. Two popular options that often find themselves in the spotlight are the 300 Blackout and the 300 Winchester Magnum. While they may share a similar numerical nomenclature, these cartridges cater to different needs and preferences.

In this detailed comparison, we’ll delve into the characteristics, applications, and performance of both the 300 Blackout and the 300 Win Mag to help you make an informed decision.

1. Origins and History

300 Blackout: The 300 Blackout, also known as 7.62x35mm, was developed by Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) to provide a more potent cartridge for the AR-15 platform. It was primarily designed to offer better performance in short-barreled rifles and suppressed firearms.

  • Bullet Diameter: 7.62mm (.308 inches)
  • Case Length: 35mm (1.368 inches)
  • Overall Cartridge Length: 57mm (2.26 inches)
  • Shoulder Angle: 23 degrees
  • Base Diameter: 9.6mm (0.378 inches)
  • Rim Diameter: 9.6mm (0.378 inches)
  • Neck Diameter: 8.4mm (0.334 inches)
  • Bullet Weight: Varied, but commonly available in the range of 110 to 220 grains.
  • Typical Velocity: Depending on the load, velocities can range from around 1,900 to 2,300 feet per second.
  • Purpose: The .300 AAC Blackout is designed for short-barreled rifles and offers good performance at subsonic and supersonic velocities. It is commonly used for both suppressed and unsuppressed firearms.

300 Blackout Ammo

300 Win Mag: In contrast, the 300 Winchester Magnum (300 Win Mag) has a longer history, dating back to 1963. This magnum rifle cartridge was introduced by Winchester, aiming to deliver long-range performance suitable for big-game hunting and precision shooting.

  • Bullet Diameter: 7.62mm (.308 inches)
  • Case Length: 67.79mm (2.67 inches)
  • Overall Cartridge Length: 84.84mm (3.34 inches)
  • Shoulder Angle: 25 degrees
  • Base Diameter: 11.96mm (0.471 inches)
  • Rim Diameter: 12.01mm (0.472 inches)
  • Neck Diameter: 8.38mm (0.330 inches)
  • Bullet Weight: Common bullet weights range from 150 grains to 220 grains, with 180 grains being a popular choice.
  • Typical Velocity: Velocities can vary depending on the bullet weight and load, but common velocities range from around 2,800 to 3,200 feet per second.
  • Purpose: The .300 Win Mag is known for its long-range accuracy and high energy, making it suitable for big game hunting, including elk, moose, and large African game. It’s also used in long-range target shooting.

300 Win Mag Ammo

2. Ballistics and Performance

300 Blackout: The 300 Blackout is known for its versatility. It can be chambered in both supersonic and subsonic loads, making it adaptable for various applications. In supersonic mode, it delivers similar ballistics to the 7.62x39mm cartridge, while subsonic loads are ideal for suppressed firearms. However, its effective range is generally limited to around 300 yards.

300 Win Mag: The 300 Win Mag is a powerhouse designed for long-range shooting. It boasts impressive ballistics, with a flatter trajectory and higher muzzle velocity than the 300 Blackout. This makes it suitable for precision shooting and hunting big game at extended distances, reaching well beyond 500 yards.

3. Recoil and Shootability

300 Blackout: One of the advantages of the 300 Blackout is its mild recoil, especially when compared to magnum cartridges. This makes it more manageable for shooters of various skill levels, contributing to better accuracy, especially in rapid-fire situations.

300 Win Mag: On the other hand, the 300 Win Mag generates significant recoil due to its high muzzle velocity and energy. Shooters may find it less forgiving, requiring more skill and experience to maintain accuracy, especially in rapid succession.

4. Applications

300 Blackout: The 300 Blackout excels in close to medium-range engagements. It’s a popular choice for home defense, tactical applications, and hunting within its effective range. Its compatibility with the AR-15 platform makes it a favorite among enthusiasts looking for a compact and versatile firearm.

300 Win Mag: The 300 Win Mag shines in long-range applications. It is a favored cartridge for big-game hunting, especially for large and dangerous game. Precision shooters also appreciate its capabilities for competitions and target shooting at extended distances.

5. Ammunition Availability and Cost

300 Blackout: While 300 Blackout ammunition is widely available, it tends to be more expensive than standard rifle cartridges. The availability of subsonic loads, especially with expanding bullet options, can sometimes be limited.

300 Win Mag: Being a popular magnum cartridge, the 300 Win Mag is readily available, but it comes at a higher price point compared to many other rifle cartridges. The cost of ammunition, combined with recoil, may be a consideration for budget-conscious shooters.

6. Platform Compatibility

300 Blackout: One of the significant advantages of the 300 Blackout is its compatibility with the AR-15 platform. It allows users to swap out their standard 5.56 NATO upper receiver with a 300 Blackout upper, providing a versatile and modular approach to firearms. This ease of conversion has contributed to the popularity of the 300 Blackout among AR-15 enthusiasts.

300 Win Mag: The 300 Win Mag, being a magnum cartridge, often requires a larger, more robust rifle platform. Bolt-action rifles are commonly chambered in 300 Win Mag due to their ability to handle the increased pressure generated by the cartridge. This can limit the modularity compared to platforms like the AR-15.

7. Suppressibility

300 Blackout: One of the distinctive features of the 300 Blackout is its suppressibility. The cartridge was designed with a focus on suppressed shooting, particularly with subsonic loads. When paired with a suppressor, the 300 Blackout can provide a quiet and effective solution for both tactical and recreational shooting.

300 Win Mag: While it’s possible to suppress a 300 Win Mag, the practicality is limited, especially with supersonic loads. The high-velocity nature of the cartridge often results in a loud and supersonic crack, even with a suppressor. However, advancements in suppressor technology continue to improve the overall experience.

8. Handloading and Reloading

300 Blackout: Handloading for the 300 Blackout is relatively straightforward. The case design is derived from the 5.56 NATO, making it easy to form from existing brass. Additionally, the variety of bullet options and load data available make it an attractive choice for those who enjoy the process of reloading.

300 Win Mag: Reloading for the 300 Win Mag requires more attention to detail due to the higher pressures involved. However, the availability of quality brass and a wide range of bullets makes it a popular choice among precision shooters who prefer to tailor their ammunition to specific requirements.

300 Blackout:

  • Home Defense: The mild recoil and effectiveness at short to medium ranges make the 300 Blackout a viable option for home defense.
  • Tactical Applications: Its compatibility with the AR-15 platform makes it a favorite in tactical and law enforcement circles.
  • Suppressed Shooting: The 300 Blackout shines when used with suppressors, offering a quiet shooting experience.

300 Win Mag:

  • Big Game Hunting: The 300 Win Mag’s long-range capabilities and powerful ballistics make it a top choice for hunting large game at extended distances.
  • Precision Shooting: In competitions and long-range shooting scenarios, the 300 Win Mag’s accuracy and energy retention make it a popular cartridge.
  • Military and Law Enforcement: Some military and law enforcement agencies use rifles chambered in 300 Win Mag for specific applications, particularly when extreme long-range precision is required.

As technology and firearms design continue to evolve, new trends may emerge in the use and development of both the 300 Blackout and the 300 Win Mag. Advances in materials, bullet design, and firearms technology may impact the strengths and weaknesses of each cartridge, influencing their popularity in different shooting communities.


In the choice between the 300 Blackout and the 300 Win Mag, the decision ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you prioritize versatility, ease of use, and shorter-range applications, the 300 Blackout may be the ideal choice.

On the other hand, if long-range precision shooting and hunting large game are your priorities, the 300 Win Mag stands out as a formidable option. Understanding the strengths and limitations of each cartridge will guide you toward selecting the one that best aligns with your shooting goals.

Last Updated on December 3, 2023 by

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