The .300 Blackout is a multi-purpose, intermediate-powered rifle cartridge developed by Advanced Armament Corporation to exceed the 5.56×45mm NATO’s ballistic performance, especially when used in short-barreled rifles. The cartridge was designed to outperform the 9×19mm Luger when fired in a suppressed submachine gun/PDW.
The result is a cartridge that approaches the power of 7.62×39mm when supersonic and is optimized for use with a suppressor when loaded with heavy bullets at subsonic velocities.
Derived from the .221 Remington Fireball, the .300 Blackout can use the same breech face and magazine as the 5.56mm NATO. The primary part that requires replacement is the barrel. For the best results, shooters recommend installing a pistol-length gas system in direct-impingement (DI) firearms, such as the AR-15 pattern, and a buffer assembly to match.
Best .300 Blackout Pistols
- SIG Sauer MCX Rattler
- Bravo Company MFG RECCE-9 MCMR Pistol
- Fightlite SCR Pistol M-LOK
- Battle Arms Development (BAD) The Silent Professional
1. SIG Sauer MCX Rattler
At only 19.3” in overall length, the Rattler is a highly compact weapon. However, the tradeoff when choosing a rifle-caliber pistol at this length is that the report can be deafening because the Rattler uses a 5.5” barrel. For comparison, a .45-caliber M1911A1 or Colt Government Model has a standard barrel length of 5”. Weight is moderate at 5.1 lbs., which is less than an M1 carbine. However, at this length, the little weight that is there is less noticeable.
A common complaint of direct-impingement gas systems is that they increase fouling in the action, feeding propellant gases directly into the bolt carrier group through a gas tube and key. As a result, DI systems require more diligent cleaning of the bolt locking lugs, breech face, and chamber.
However, the Rattler is not strictly an AR-15-pattern weapon, relying instead on a bolt carrier group with dual captive return springs and guide rods actuated by a short-stroke gas piston. This is reminiscent of the AR-18, except that the gas system is adjustable in the Rattler. That adjustment isn’t only useful for accommodating different loads; it also allows you to tune the weapon to cycle with a sound suppressor, which increases dwell time.
While the Rattler is not an AR-15, it retains some parts interchangeability with the rifle pattern. You can attach the Rattler upper receiver assembly to an AR-15 lower if you have a conversion kit.
Besides the cleaner gas system, by substituting a dual return-spring system for a buffer spring assembly housed in a receiver extension, the Rattler can benefit from a fully retractable or folding stock/brace. This further reduces the overall length.
The full-length Picatinny top rail provides plenty of space for mounting optics and backup iron sights, while the free-floating handguard has M-LOK slots for attaching low-profile accessories, such as flashlights.
Overall, the Rattler is a lightweight, compact .300 Blackout pistol suitable as a vehicle or truck gun.
2. Bravo Company MFG RECCE-9 MCMR Pistol
The RECCE-9 is a .300 Blackout pistol manufactured by Bravo Company MFG (BCM). Bravo Company is a manufacturer of mil-spec AR-15-pattern weapons based in Wisconsin and founded in 2003 to serve the needs of private security contractors stationed overseas where access to high-quality AR-15 parts was scarce.
Committed to a high standard of quality and specializing in defensive/combat weaponry, BCM products have a reputation for being reliable and well-engineered. That extends to its pistols, too. When your company supplies professionals who deal with life and death daily, you can’t afford to cut corners.
The RECCE-9 is an AR-15-pattern pistol that uses a pistol-length direct-impingement gas system to actuate the bolt carrier group.
If you’re interested in purchasing an AR-15 pistol in .300 Blackout, the BCM is an affordable option that doesn’t sacrifice craftsmanship or quality control.
Longer than the Rattler, the RECCE-9 is 25” in overall length with a 9” barrel and weighs 5.4 lbs. BCM’s focus is mil-spec, and it shows. The bolt is Carpenter 158, and the barrel is 11595E. The bolt carrier group is shot-peened to relieve internal stresses and magnetic particle inspected (MPI) to ensure the parts are free from cracks.
Besides the mil-spec parts, the RECCE-9 has an 8” free-floating M-LOK handguard for accessorizing and features BCMGUNFIGHTER upgrades, such as the Compensator MOD 1 7.62. The muzzle brake reduces recoil while also minimizing lateral exhaust and muzzle blast.
Another upgrade relative to mil-spec is the PNT trigger. All engagement surfaces in this trigger assembly are not only precision ground but hand polished. For added lubricity, the components are electroless nickel plated. The nickel plating is then embedded with Teflon. The reduced friction increases the lifespan and increases the smoothness of its operation. That’s what PNT stands for — Polished, nickel, and teflon.
3. Fightlite SCR Pistol M-LOK
The SCR Pistol resembles a traditional handgun. The SCR, or Sport Configurable Rifle, is a semi-automatic sporter chambered in .223/5.56mm, attempting to assemble a featureless weapon for sale to more restrictive jurisdictions. To accommodate a traditional rifle stock, such as the semi-pistol grip Monte Carlo, the buffer spring assembly was replaced by one more like an autoloading shotgun. A pivoting tail attached to the bolt carrier compresses an angled recoil spring housed in the stock.
Adapted to the role of a handgun, a bird’s head pistol grip has replaced the SCR rifle stock. The lightest weapon on the list, the SCR Pistol weighs only 3.9 lbs.
Fightlite understands the importance of accessorizing firearms and enables you to attach not only your preferred iron sights and optics but also lights, lasers, and other paraphernalia. The SCR Pistol is equipped with a 12” Picatinny rail on top and a free-floating M-LOK handguard.
Overall length is 20.25”. The SCR Pistol has a 7.25” barrel made from 4150 vanadium steel, ferritic nitrocarburized for increased corrosion resistance. The .300 Blackout cartridge is optimized for suppressor use, so the SCR barrel has a ⅝-24 TPI (threads per inch) muzzle for wide compatibility.
Flightlite machines the upper and lower receivers from 7075-T6 aluminum forgings then applies a hard-coat anodized finish.
4. Battle Arms Development (BAD) The Silent Professional
Known for the BAD lever, Battle Arms Development has designed the Silent Professional to appeal to those shooters seeking the ultimate in ambidextrous functionality. Whether you’re left- or right-handed, you’ll be able to manipulate the Silent Professional controls with ease. For example, the charging handle is BAD’s RACK, designed to accommodate asymmetric stress and won’t bind on the receiver as you retract it. Pull it from either side, and the action cycles smoothly.
Your choice of short or standard throw, the rotary safety selector lever is accessible via either hand. Along with the ambidextrous safety, Battle Arms has included its Enhanced Nickel Teflon trigger assembly. All engagement surfaces are precision machined and feature a Nickel Teflon coating to increase the lubricity between working parts. The result is a smooth and clean trigger break.
Accessorizing the Silent Professional is a breeze because of the Picatinny top rail and 6.7” M-LOK free-floating handguard. If you need to mount a flashlight or offset backup sights, you can do so at the 3-, 6-, and 9-o’clock positions.
The 7.5” barrel is made from 4150 chrome-moly steel that BAD has treated with a black nitriding process to increase the surface’s wear and corrosion resistance. As BAD advertises, each barrel is individually headspaced with the 9310 bolt. Black nitriding is also applied to the 8620 bolt carrier to make cleaning easier, as fouling is less able to adhere to the surface.
Dimensionally, the Silent Professional is 26.25” with the brace extended and a mere 23” with the brace fully collapsed. It weighs 5.43 lbs., so it’s comparable to the BCM RECCE-9.
SBR and Pistol Categories
A short-barreled rifle, or SBR, is defined as “ . . . a rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches and any weapon made from a rifle (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if such weapon, as modified, has an overall length of less than 26 inches.” In the United States, an SBR is a Title II weapon, regulated similar to a sound suppressor or a machine gun.
Firearms designers and manufacturers have bypassed this regulation by attaching a pistol stabilizing brace, allowing the sale of short-barreled AR-15-pattern weapons chambered in intermediate rifle cartridges. Intended to be worn around the forearm, stabilizing braces are often used as makeshift shoulder stocks. While legally the weapon is a pistol, it’s a Commando-length carbine.
Advantages of a Rifle-Caliber Pistol
Some key advantages of a rifle-caliber pistol include:
- Easier to carry: Although the reduced weight is a factor in making a firearm more comfortable to carry, this works hand-in-hand with the overall length. A shorter weapon puts less strain on your muscles.
- Easier to transport: The shorter the weapon, the easier it is to stow for transport, whether in a dedicated gun case or backpack.
- More maneuverable: For moving with your weapon in confined spaces, such as corridors or the insides of vehicles, a traditional rifle or shotgun barrel can hang up on door frames or walls. The extra length of a long gun makes it easier to sweep away or grab.
In a dedicated handgun cartridge, such as 9×19mm or .45 ACP, which uses a fast-burning propellant, a short barrel is adequate. This also applies to the subsonic .300 Blackout loads designed for suppressor use.
However, rifle cartridges are loaded with slower-burning propellants designed to take advantage of the longer barrel that a rifle affords. The extra barrel length can help the bullet accelerate to a higher muzzle velocity for the supersonic Blackout loads.
A .300 Blackout pistol is a civilian-legal, NFA-compliant alternative to a short-barreled rifle. Regardless of whether you’re a competition shooter, a hunter, a police officer, or a private citizen interested in a self-defense weapon, the .300 Blackout pistol delivers the power of a rifle in a lightweight and compact package. When equipped with a pistol-length gas system, you’ll have the versatility you need to fire supersonic or subsonic loads. Supersonic loads, which accelerate relatively light bullets at high velocity, are ideal for some hunting applications and precision target shooting. You also may determine that a supersonic load is the best option for home defense, outperforming the .223/5.56mm cartridge. In contrast, subsonic velocities substitute heavier bullets, which are the perfect match for use with a suppressor. The bullet doesn’t break the sound barrier at these speeds, so there’s no miniature sonic boom.