I've been working on a rifle with the one of the latest cartridges to hit the firearms scene, its known as the .300 Blackout.
But first, a bit of history...
Created by Advance Armament Corp.(AAC) its really just a standardized version of the .300 Whisper created by JD Jones in the early 80's. Since JD Jones owned the patent, there just wasn't a whole lot of people interested in it other than the military which used it to great effect. It was designed from the ground up to be a suppressed rifle using the heaviest bullet with the best ballistic coefficient, in this case the 240 and 220 grain Sierra Boatail Match Hollow-point. It has better range and penetration capability's and it was pretty quiet...quiet enough that often the loudest sound came from the bullet striking the target.
Reamers and head space gages were hard to get and they were expensive. If you didn't reload, you only had one place to buy ammo.
Even so, it was too good a cartridge to die. To get around patent infringements, the .30-221, and the .300 Fireball were created. These were basically the same cartridge, and reamers and head-space gages became available. Hornady started making dies for reloads and it soon caught on as people recognized the fact that it was the hardest hitting bullet out there with the most quietness.
The main problem with this approach was that there were no set specifications as to standards. Most cartridges go by SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute) standards so that all die makers and case makers were on the same page, but this one didn't. Case lengths varied from 1.350 to 1.400 and everything in between, what might fit in one gun might not fit in another.
AAC came along and made it a standard. They submitted to specs to SAAMI and they approved it. AAC made a great marketing move here and they didn't patent it. This allowed any gunsmith, any company, any one that wanted to the ability to buy reamers,head-space gages and barrels. Since AAC is a big hitter in the Silencer Industry, they marketed this as a cartridge that was made to be suppressed.
The guys at Remington were impressed and they agreed to market ammo for it. As many know, that was a major step in helping the cartridge to be successful. No longer did one have to reload, and even Walmart had the ammo on the shelves.
The beauty of this round and lots of guns that are chambered in it, is that it can function as a multipurpose gun. It serves quite well with 150 grain bullets traveling at supersonic speeds to make it a serious caliber for both man or beast. In the subsonic mode, the 220 grain bullets moving at around 1050 FPS meant that it could be suppressed easily. It was just a matter of picking the cartridge for the job at hand. Got a sentry to take out? Use the subsonic and make it nice and quiet like. Got an insurgent driving toward you? Use the supersonic and light it up. The cartridge itself can fit in a standard AR magazine and one only needs to change the upper on any AR to make it work. Pop out two pins, change uppers and pop the pins back in, in less time than it took to explain it.
The concept was good enough that many companies jumped on the bandwagon and started producing both AR uppers and rifle barrels for it. In fact, they were flying off the shelfs and are still in demand.They can be had in any length and in any style.
This gun is a 9 inch upper on a Bushmaster lower. Since I am a fan of the Magpul stock because it locks up tighter than a Mil-spec collapsible, I went with it as well as the Magpul grip which just feels better in my hand. Its got a free floated hand guard and the trigger has been slicked up. Right now it has a cheapo red dot on it, but it was good enough to prove that the accuracy of this gun is more than adequate. With a good scope and some tailored hand-loads, it would be even better. The more I shoot this gun, the more I like it. The 9 incher is easy to hang on a sling, very easy to get in and out of a vehicle with and it is light enough to be carried all day and barely be noticed.
My next project is to build an integral suppressor for it that can use the existing hand guard as test and development for a company that is looking to market them.
More to come on that later.
Here is a picture. So far, I'm delighted with the gun. I may even try to whack a deer with it in the upcoming season.
Here is a cell phone pic. My apology's for that, I haven't got a new camera yet.
Disclaimer: Dont try putting a "Short Barrel Upper" on an AR unless you have the proper tax stamp. As an 07/02 Manufacturer, it is legal for me to do so. Without the proper paperwork the ATF can ruin your life.