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Ammo of the Year: Barnes 110-Grain VOR-TX 300 AAC Blackout

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July 27, 2012
Ammo of the Year: Barnes 110-Grain VOR-TX 300 AAC Blackout - 6

Every year sees the introduction of new loads from ammunition makers. Some are intended to close caliber gaps in an existing product line. Others stand on their own as very useful loads that either promise increased performance from existing firearms or fill a need that other loads do not address.

The Advanced Armament Corporation 300 AAC Blackout 7.62x35mm cartridge (300 BLK) was designed to put .30-caliber power into a standard mil-spec AR15/M16 5.56mm/.223 platform. And it was to do so while allowing the use of standard AR 5.56mm high-capacity magazines without modification to the magazines or the lower unit, and using the standard bolt-carrier group and buffer system.

This was accomplished by shortening the 5.56mm case, necking it up to .30-caliber, and keeping the overall cartridge length to that of the standard 5.56mm/.223. In that respect, it is virtually identical to the J.D. Jones–designed .300 Whisper. The major difference is that the 300 BLK uses a slightly longer neck on the cartridge case. The 300 BLK will not chamber in a .300 Whisper, but the Whisper will chamber and fire (without any loss of accuracy) in a 300 BLK.

The resulting cartridge provides some interesting ballistic possibilities and, given the small case and efficient modern powders, a load that produces recoil levels that are very comparable to the 5.56mm.

When loaded with projectiles in the 110- to 125-grain range, the 300 BLK produces velocities of up to 2,400 fps (from a 16-inch barrel) and virtually duplicates the ballistics of the 7.62x39mm AK47 load or the venerable .30/30 Winchester. With the right bullets, it becomes a legitimate 250-yard medium-game load. Move to bullets in the 150- to 165-grain range and velocity drops by a few hundred fps. It now becomes a light-recoiling Action Rifle load that bucks the wind better than the 5.56mm and drops distant steel targets with more authority.

Load it with .30-caliber 220-grain match bullets and it goes subsonic, making it ideal for suppressed weapons in the military or law enforcement arena while providing an increase in power over 147-grain 9mm subsonic loads.

All of this is achievable with nothing more than a new barrel and maybe some tweaking of the gas system.

Barnes is the latest ammo maker to produce 300 BLK loads, and its new VOR-TX 110-grain TSX FB is our Ammo of the Year.

It features a 110-grain, polymer-tipped, all-copper Triple Shock bullet that achieves 2,400 fps from a 16-inch barrel, producing 1,407 foot-pounds of energy. That puts it squarely in the .243 Win. class, and Barnes claims reliable expansion at velocities as low as 1,300 fps.

See the shooting section in the August 2012 issue for runners up.

Comments (6)

Top Rated
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from Woollymonster wrote 37 weeks 5 days ago

All the guffawing naysayers will be playing catchup. the 300 BLK does exactly what it is supposed to; effectively engage fortified targets up to 300 meters. It is superior to the 5.56 in every respect and gives a subsonic option with the same weapon. Win-win.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeffrey Morrell wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

It's not a 308 replacement; it's a round on it's own, designed to be slow, heavy, and quiet, and work in an AR15; four things the 308 can't do. Energy at distance is not the only attractive quality of a caliber

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

You know I can't let up on this one. This is a very poor substitute for a 308. 700 lbs. of energy at 250 yds. What a hammer! Any idiot that wastes there money on this deserves what the get. Fancy name, mediocre performance. This thing is a gimmick with a catchy name.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 51 weeks ago

I won't be trying it. I wouldn't take that shot with a 30-30 either.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lou Lattin II wrote 1 year 51 weeks ago

200 YARD ZERO YIELDS 4.7" OF DROP , OVER 1700 FPS, AND OVER 700 FT LBS OF ENERGY AT 250.... NICE ROUND FOR THOSE WHO NEED THAT EXTRA UMPH FROM AN AR THAT THE 556 LACKS. DONT KNOCK IT TIL YOU TRY IT

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 51 weeks ago

" a legitimate 250 yard meddium game load". I don't think so! If yourr going to make that claim you should give us some ballistics out at that range. How much does it drop, what's the velocity, and remaining energy?

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from Lou Lattin II wrote 1 year 51 weeks ago

200 YARD ZERO YIELDS 4.7" OF DROP , OVER 1700 FPS, AND OVER 700 FT LBS OF ENERGY AT 250.... NICE ROUND FOR THOSE WHO NEED THAT EXTRA UMPH FROM AN AR THAT THE 556 LACKS. DONT KNOCK IT TIL YOU TRY IT

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeffrey Morrell wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

It's not a 308 replacement; it's a round on it's own, designed to be slow, heavy, and quiet, and work in an AR15; four things the 308 can't do. Energy at distance is not the only attractive quality of a caliber

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Woollymonster wrote 37 weeks 5 days ago

All the guffawing naysayers will be playing catchup. the 300 BLK does exactly what it is supposed to; effectively engage fortified targets up to 300 meters. It is superior to the 5.56 in every respect and gives a subsonic option with the same weapon. Win-win.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 51 weeks ago

" a legitimate 250 yard meddium game load". I don't think so! If yourr going to make that claim you should give us some ballistics out at that range. How much does it drop, what's the velocity, and remaining energy?

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 51 weeks ago

I won't be trying it. I wouldn't take that shot with a 30-30 either.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

You know I can't let up on this one. This is a very poor substitute for a 308. 700 lbs. of energy at 250 yds. What a hammer! Any idiot that wastes there money on this deserves what the get. Fancy name, mediocre performance. This thing is a gimmick with a catchy name.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)