EXPANDING 300 BLACKOUT SUBSONIC AMMO
300 BLK has a lot going for it, right up to the point at which you try to take advantage of its subsonic prowess for tasks other than punching paper. Common subsonic loads, even if tipped with a fragile match bullet such as the ubiquitous 220-grain Sierra Matchking, plow 0.30-inch diameter holes straight through fleshy targets and keep on truckin’ right into the next inconveniently located piece of real estate.
We’ve tried bullets that in other applications are positively explosive. Hornady’s 208-grain A-Max, for example, fragments violently when shoved out the muzzle at even .308 Win velocities, but from a Blackout you might as well be using a DeWalt. Getting a .30-cal to expand reliably at around 1,000 feet per second requires a specialized projectile, and they’re not exactly inexpensive.
Being cheap bastards, in times past we experimented by cutting back the jacket tip on an SMK and then boring out the meplat, thinking that this would be enough to induce expansion. Great theory, sucks in practice. Gel testing confirmed that it performs no better than an unaltered bullet, so why waste the effort? Cutting to the chase, we rounded up a small selection of expanding subs. Note there are a few more companies who offer bullets for you to roll your own (Cutting Edge, for example), but as work has displaced gentle-paced pursuits like reloading, we’d often rather pay in money than time.
If you decide that a subsonic 300 BLK fills your requirements for a stealthy hog slayer, or you’ve settled on that caliber for home defense duties, then you might want to avail yourself of our buyer’s guide below.