When most people think of hunting, they image a person with a shotgun or a compound bow in camouflage, heading out to the woods before the break of dawn. But not many people consider hunting with a rifle, much less an AR-15. Why not? We’ll show you in this 300 Blackout hunting review, why waiting out your prey with your AR-15 might be the best idea yet.
First, let’s tackle some misconceptions surrounding the AR-15 and why people don’t see them as hunting weapons of choice:
- They think the initial purpose of the rifle is as a combat weapon.
- Its menacing looks and even more menacing portrayal in the movies. Movies have a way of giving guns a bad rep.
- The wrong attribution of AR to mean assault rifle or automatic rifle. AR actually stands for ArmorLite Rifle, ArmorLite being the company that developed the AR-15 in the 1950s. They then sold their rights to Colt Manufacturing LLC. For your information, automatic rifles are not permitted for civilian use – since 1934.
So, What Is the AR-15?
I’ll give you a simple answer. The AR-15 is one of the best sporting and hunting rifles ever made. When it comes to hunting though, in its standard configuration it is only good for small prey, and by small prey, I mean small deer and anything less than knee-high. If, however, you want to enjoy the simplicity, accuracy, and the power the AR-15 has, then you definitely have to try 300 Black Out hunting. But before we delve into those exciting waters, let’s take a closer look at the basics of AR-15 rifle hunting.
The Basics of AR-15 Hunting – It’s All About Conversion
The biggest advantage that an AR-15 has over most guns is that it is super easy and cheap to customize. You can modify, swap out, and customize nearly every part of the weapon, making it better for whatever purpose you want it to serve.
If you want to use the AR-15 for hunting, there are 3 main components you should consider when modifying your AR-15 for hunting purposes.
The receiver of your AR-15 is the base platform for the kind of rifle you want to create. It determines the caliber you will shoot out, and ultimately, the kind of prey you will hunt. Before 300 Blackout hunting, the AR-15 was limited as a hunting rifle. But all that changed in January 2011 when the SAAMI approved it as a legitimate and safe cartridge.
Today, you can swap out the standard AR-15 upper receiver and replace it with a 300 Blackout receiver, turning your AR-15 into an amazing hunting machine.
Again, just like the receiver, you can swap out your barrel for a more appropriate one. For 300 Blackout hunting, you can even use a barrel as short as 9-inches as the .300 Blackout uses fast burning powders so as to reach its full ballistic potential in a short barrel. This is a big advantage as it reduces the weight of the rifle and allows for easier stalking of prey.
And no, a shorter barrel will not compromise your accuracy it will just alter your exit velocity by making the projectile slower.
The Lower receiver
The lower receiver on the AR-15 is also customizable, but for 300 Blackout hunting, the standard lower receiver is just fine, so you don’t really have to fiddle with it unless there is a particular need. It all comes down to personal preference.
Right, now that you understand why and how an AR-15 can make a great hunting rifle, let me answer the burning question you’ve been asking, “What is 300 Blackout hunting and why all the fuss?”
300 Blackout Hunting – Dawn of a New Era
The .300 Blackout is a powerful rifle round by Advanced Armament Company (AAC) as a replacement for the MP5SD, a 9mm submachine gun used by special ops. The main requirement in designing it was that it had to have more power, and yet the same sound level, and it also had to be compatible with the M4/AR-15.
The 300 BLK, as it is affectionately known, did all that and more. When it was finally approved by the SAAMI in 2011, it gave civilians a powerful upgrade for their AR-15 rifles. The 300 Blackout gives the AR-15 the ability to shoot a much larger bullet, in fact, similar to the 7.62x39mm round used by the AK-47. And this feat sops out the upper receiver. You don’t even have to change the lower or the magazine, although if you want to, you can switch out the barrel alone since the bolt will stay the same.
And that’s not all
For those who remember the .300 Whisper, the .300 Blackout is a reincarnation and advancement of the .300 Whisper. The case is a modification of the 5.56mm NATO (by stretching it and trimming it down) and is stuffed with fast burning powders and 110-220 grain bullets. And it also comes with the advantage of the 300 Whisper – great for suppression. This makes it a very versatile load, and one that is also readily available.
In essence, the 300 Blackout is a hard-hitting, compact, and quiet gun that will give you exceptional performance within 0-300 yards. This makes it very effective for hunting, even bigger prey like elk. That is why 300 Blackout hunting is becoming very popular.
That is why the marriage between an AR-15 and the 300 Blackout is a match made in hunter’s heaven. The conversion of your basic AR-15 into a 300 Blackout hunting rifle is truly one of the easiest and most profitable conversions you can make with your AR-15 rifle. Ready to try it out? Great! Let’s take a look at some of the best 3oo Blackout uppers that you can buy to make that conversion a reality.
Best 300 Blackout Uppers for Creating the Best 300 Blackout Hunting Rifle
The .300 Blackout is a powerful rifle round that was designed by Advanced Armament Company (AAC) as a replacement for the MP5SD, a 9mm sub-machine gun that was used by special ops. The main requirement in designing it was that it had to have more power, and yet the same sound level, and it also had to be compatible with the M4/AR-15.
1. Smith and Wesson M&P Whisper
If you are looking for reliability that is backed up by a name you can trust, then the Smith and Wesson M&P Whisper. This is a traditional upper, that is faring very well in a modern world, despite it coming with a quad rail, which may seem outdated in these days of Keymod and M-Lok.
The S&W Whisper is a full-sized carbine and comes with a 16-inch barrel with a 1:7.5-inch twist, a threaded muzzle, and as a bonus, the Yankee Hill Phantom flash suppressor. This is a complete upper receiver, so it does come with a charging handle and bolt carrier group.
2. Palmetto State Armory Upper
Palmetto State Armory is one of the go-to places if you are looking to modify your AR-15 in any way. And this is especially true if you want to have a 300 Blackout hunting rifle at a very reasonable cost. One of the good things about PSA uppers is that they have a wide range of barrel lengths from as short as 7.5-inch ones all the way to 16-inch ones.
3. Aero Precision M4E1
One of the benefits of the .300 Blackout is that it is for short barrels. And short barrels are exactly what Aero Precision do, especially with the M4E1 that come in 8, 10, and 16-inch configurations. Not only do they know how to make short barrels, but Aero Precision is one company that makes modern high-quality components for AR-15’s. And that’s still not the best part.
For a great looking upper that is also reliable and powerful, despite being a budget upper, then the Aero Precision is the one to get if you want to convert your AR-15 into a powerful 300 Blackout hunting rifle.
4. Radical Firearms .300 Blackout Uppers
This is another excellent choice of inexpensive 300 Blackout uppers that work perfectly well. Radical Firearms makes uppers with barrels that range from 8.5-inch barrels to 16-inch and come in many configurations. They may not be the best looking uppers, or the most advanced, but they do work very well.
As for mounting rails, you get to choose which you prefer between Keymod, MLOK, or quad rails.
5. VLTOR Polylithic Upper
If you want to be ultra-specific in the types of mods you make on your AR-15, you may want to get an upper without a barrel. And that’s exactly what the VLTOR Polylithic upper is. This is a single piece upper and free-floating rail system that is built to last and features a keymod system.
300 Blackout Hunting – A New Level of Hunting
There you have it. An AR-15 is not an assault rifle, but it definitely is a great hunting rifle, especially once you convert it into a 300 Blackout hunting rifle. This is one rifle and chambering that is set to take your hunting to a whole new level.