.300 Blackout vs .308 Winchester: What’s The Best Cartridge?

Why Compare the 300 Blk vs 308 Win?

In this cartridge comparison article, we’ll look into the comparison between .300 Blackout vs. .308. Although they both use.308 caliber bullets, both cartridges prefer to linger out in various locations.

The contrast between these two cartridges will make for an intriguing comparison, and it serves as a fantastic illustration of why it is preferable to carry a variety of cartridges to meet various shooting requirements.

We’ll compare the performance characteristics of these two rounds by stacking them side by side. Both of them will perform admirably in a number of areas, and their performances will make them both standout choices in specific shooting situations.

This is not a conventional cartridge comparison in which we would erroneously declare one cartridge to be superior to the other. Instead, we will be able to discover the circumstances in which you could choose one cartridge over the other by examining their contrasting performances in certain areas.

How Are Cartridges Categorized?

We classify the ammunition based on diameter to length ratios. For instance, the NATO 5.56x45mm cartridge measures 5.56mm in width and 45mm in length. Now, since we use the Imperial System of measurement and the diameter of the bullet is 0.308 inches, we refer to it as the .308 Winchester (or 7.8 millimeters).

Cartridges are therefore expressed in terms of their length and diameter, but we’ll keep it easy and only talk about their diameter in inches or millimeters. Speaking of which, the 5.56x45mm is the caliber used in semi-automatic rifles and machine guns; while it is similar to the .223 Remington, it is dangerous to confuse the two due to their incomplete compatibility.

We’ll go into more detail about this safety concern, which is significant and frequently ignored, below. One important point to note is that you may use 5.56mm ammunition in a.223 Remington rifle, but you should never use 5.56mm ammunition in a.223 rifle.

Are All Bullets Interchangeable?

Before we start with the assessment, it is important to draw attention to a crucial but sometimes ignored issue: never use bullets in guns that aren’t made for them. One is chambered in the.308 Winchester caliber, while the other is in the.300 AAC Blackout caliber. Both the rifles and the chambers are different.

The 7.62x35mm.300 AAC Blackout bullet was created for the AR short-action weapon. Although it is identical to the well-known.223/5.56 caliber, using a.300 BLK hunting round in a.223/5.56 chamber is quite risky. You run the danger of breaking your weapon or gravely hurting yourself since the bullet is bigger than the barrel.

Regarding the .308 Win, it is equivalent to 7.6251mm NATO military cartridges. However, the 7.62mm NATO cartridge is the only one that can be used in a .308 Winchester big game hunting rifle. Anything else would be a bad idea.

So, while 7.6251mm NATO rounds may be used in a .308 Winchester, the reverse is not possible. Never forget to neatly label and arrange your ammunition cases.

A Brief History

.300 Blackout

The .300 AAC Blackout was introduced in 2011 by the Advanced Armament Corporation. The idea behind the creation of the .300 (Advanced Armament Corporation) AAC Blackout was to produce a round that could match the performance of enemy soldier’s firearms, particularly the 7.62×39 round, and still be used in a short barrel, AR platform with its standard capacity.

For short range work, the 5.56×45 NATO just didn’t have the right performance characteristics such as high velocities and horrible noise and flash in close quarter environments. The military had been using a standard 9mm round, but special-forces units were sometimes dissatisfied with the performance of the round.

The .300 AAC Blackout was the solution to these problems. The way the.300 BLK has adapted to so many facets of the shooting world, including special operations, competition shooters, home defense, and even hunting, is pretty amazing.

The performance of ammunition for the 300 Blackout ranges widely. Since the 300 BLK is available in both subsonic and transonic speeds, as you might expect, it may be used for a variety of tasks. Depending on the intended purpose, the ammo weights for these rounds might also vary quite a little.

.308 Winchester

The .308 Winchester is rooted in both tactical and hunting history. It was first introduced in 1952 and rapidly became a mainstay in the American hunting community. Soon after, the military accepted it because of its remarkable performance specifications, and it saw extensive usage in Vietnam until being superseded by lighter loads.

Despite the short-lived widespread usage of the NATO variant for infantry (it was quickly supplanted by the M16/5.56 combination), the .308 Winchester cartridge has and will always have a devoted and loyal market for the serious hunter. This heavier bullet has great penetration, range, and stopping power. It may be utilized for almost every large game animal under the right conditions.

While the.308 has established itself in the realm of hunting, its performance has also established itself in police and military sharpshooting groups as well as among competitive long-range shooters.

It is simple to match your ammo with your planned hunting or shooting circumstances since there is a broad selection of ammunition available with different ammo weights and designs due to this caliber’s popularity, which is a result of its performance. The majority of bullet weights lie between 150 and 180 grains, however lesser and heavier loads are also available.

Differences Between the .300 AAC Blackout and the .308 Winchester

Specs Difference

The.308 caliber bullet is used by both the.300 BLK and the.308 Win, but that is about where the similarities end.

Even if you only briefly scan the aforementioned table when looking at the specifications of these two cartridges, several substantial discrepancies ought to stand out to you. Compared to the 300 BLK, the.308 Win case is substantially bigger, can store a lot more powder, and can sustain a lot more pressure.

As you have undoubtedly already anticipated and most of you already know, these two rounds’ performance traits will be very different from one another. That’s okay; it only implies that their functions differ.

Does The 300 Blackout Have a Heavier Recoil Than .308 Winchester?

Recoil is an issue that merits some thought, despite the fact that many guys may laugh at the concept of it having any bearing on their choice of cartridge. Depending on the use, it could become more or less significant. Recoil is inevitable for a big game hunting rifle, but you don’t want a home defense weapon to rise dramatically after each shot.

The.308 Win round generates far more recoil energy than the.300 BLK cartridge, as would be expected. This makes logical considering the uses these two cartridges are intended for, however we shall discuss it again. The.308 Win is a long-range sniping and hunting cartridge developed for long-distance killing of medium- to large-sized wildlife.

The.300 AAC Blackout, on the other hand, is designed for close-range situations where several bullets will be fired quickly. This explains why the.308 bullets have almost 4 times the recoil energy of the.300 BLK.

Simply looking at the.308 rounds reveals that they generate a sizable amount of recoil, enough to affect shots, particularly for novice or less experienced shooters. Although there are cartridges that kick harder, the.308 created enough power that you should practice with it before using it in a real situation.

Ballistics Comparison Between .308 Win vs .300 Blk

The ballistics section will cover a variety of topics, including velocity, ballistic coefficient, and trajectory. Whatever the application, you need to be well-versed in the cartridge’s operation and, in particular, in the behavior of the bullet as it exits the barrel.

These categories will help you identify the uses for which these two cartridges are most suitable as well as give you an understanding of the constraints of those uses.

.Velocity Difference Between .300 AAC Blk vs .308 Winchester

The velocity category is intriguing since it frequently affects other performance traits like recoil, accuracy, trajectory, and even stopping power. You can get a very decent idea of the round’s potential just by glancing at the velocity.

The .308 Winchester hunting round travels at a speed of 2,680 fps compared to the.300 AAC Blackout cartridge’s 2,250 fps, meaning that at 500 yards, the.308 cartridge travels at 500 fps greater than the .300.

The average velocity of supersonic ammunition for the.300 is roughly 1,125 fps, whereas subsonic ammunition has a few less fps. Simply put,.308 bullets are most effective up to 800 yards, whereas.300 Blackout bullets maintain maximum adaptability and are most effective at close range.

.308 vs .300 Blackout Ballistics Coefficient

The majority of people either place a lot of stock in the ballistic coefficient or have no concept what it is. Hunting, longer-range shooting, and even tactical contests all benefit from careful consideration of the ballistic coefficient.

The BC might not be as significant as other criteria for individuals seeking for a cartridge that will be utilized in close quarters settings, such as home defense. However, because we are discussing ammunition that may be utilized for longer-range shooting, it would be irresponsible of us to exclude the topic.

The ballistic coefficient (BC) is a figure that is obtained from an equation employing a variety of cartridge-specific data points, with the bullet design playing a significant role. Even though the subject is fascinating, the physics and math that underlie it are beyond the scope of this essay, so we’ll leave you to do more research.

The BC offers you a notion of how effectively the bullet is streamlined, to say it as simply as we can. A bullet with a greater BC will be less resistive to wind drift and drag and will be more effective at cutting through the wind. As you may expect, this affects the round’s trajectory as well as its accuracy after that.

The two.300 BLK rounds with BCs of.648 and.7 are certainly visible. These two subsonic rounds contain some of the best bullets currently on the market. Additionally, they weigh a lot more than the other rounds on this list.

Although the BCs are excellent, as we saw with the velocities and considering what we will see in following categories, these rounds are not going to be employed for long range shooting.


The trajectory is perhaps one of the most important factors when comparing the .308 vs .300 Blackout. Although the.308 Win has the potential to be a long-range cartridge, the.300 BLK falls well short of that standard.

We won’t spend the time to examine distances more than 400 yards because of this. We’ll simply go ahead and say that the.308 performs significantly better at those ranges than the.300 AAC BLK.

The two subsonic velocity .300 BLK bullets drop around 25′′ more than the remaining.300 BLK and.308 Win rounds at 200 yards and approximately 100′′ more at 300 yards, respectively. As we previously stated, this doesn’t suggest that the rounds are subpar; rather, it only signifies that they aren’t intended for use at a distance.

When compared to.308 Win rounds at 200 yards, supersonic.300 BLK bullets perform much more similarly, but they do exhibit around 4-5 more inches of bullet drop. This gap does widen as the bullets move out to the 300-yard range with the bullet drop of the .300 BLK rounds dropping 15-20″ more than the .308 Win rounds.

This category undoubtedly demonstrates how these two cartridges operate differently and will play a significant role in determining the applications in which these two cartridges should be employed.

Does the 300 Blackout Have Enough Stopping Power?

Although long-range precision shooters could pass over this area, stopping power is an important consideration for hunters and tactical users, particularly for home protection when looking at the 300 Blackout vs 308.

Its significance is very clear from why. You want to halt an intruder or someone directly threatening you and your family in their tracks by dropping game promptly and compassionately, sparing it harm and needless suffering.

The amount of stopping power that a cartridge or specific bullet has cannot be determined by a single piece of data. Powerful halting or knockdown is influenced by a number of variables. These factors include the bullet’s design, its penetration, and the power or energy it transmits down range. Of course, the shot’s location is also quite important.


It is sufficient to say that a bullet’s energy is connected to its stopping power and the force with which it strikes the target, and that energy transfer also depends on the bullet’s velocity. Salutations to Sir Isaac Newton.

When hunting, we want lovely, moral, and clean kills, and how much energy the bullet delivers determines how much it can harm the skin, tissue, and organs. We thus require the appropriate ammunition, with varying stopping powers, for use at varied ranges against coyotes, wolves, deer, elk, and bear.

In addition to other variables, a cartridge that can handle larger bullets and hotter powder loads may provide significantly more bullet energy.

According to ballistic gel testing, a.308 Winchester hunting ound has a muzzle energy of around 2620 ft-lb compared to an average of 1350 ft-lb for a.300 AAC Blackout bullet. Simply simply, the stopping power increases with muzzle energy.

An intruder at 50 yards would require less effort to dispatch than a moose at 500 yards. To deter a thief and shoot through your walls at the same time is unnecessary. 1,000 ft. lb is the general hunting guideline for deer, 1,500 ft. lb for elk, and around 1,550 ft. lb for moose. For stopping power, bullet energy is crucial, but shot location and velocity are also crucial.

As we previously said, the.308 Winchester is a long-range bullet with a greater trajectory and a better bullet drop rate than the.300 at a range of 300 yards. This does not imply that 300 rounds are subpar. They are designed primarily for shooting at close range.

Is The .308 Accurate Enough Compared To The 300 Blackout?

The category of accuracy is usually challenging in cartridge comparisons, and this is also true for the 300 Blackout and 308 cartridges. Although groupings and MOA measures are the standard, we must always be cautious when using them because so many other variables can change from day to day and from shooter to shooter.

Nevertheless, we may review some of the earlier performance categories that we have been looking at in this article and perhaps make some inferences about accuracy. We would be confident in claiming that the.308 takes the cake in terms of accuracy if we were talking about a distance, say anything more than 200 yards. The BCs exceed supersonic speeds.

The 300 BLK and.308 bullets have a significantly flatter trajectory at 200 and 300 yards. Although we stopped working on the trajectories, their benefit would only grow as the distance grew.

Now that you know that, you can work with the 300 BLK supersonic rounds at those ranges. We are confident that there are people out there, including you, who can handle such ranges. We are only asserting that the.308 will make things simpler.

The game alters significantly if you are shooting in close quarters. Even though the.308 can strike a target at these distances, it would be very difficult to accurately fire 5 or 6 bullets in fast succession with the.308 due to the recoil being so much larger than the.300 BLK. On the other hand, the.300 BLK has considerably less recoil energy and is intended to be utilized in a short barrel AR chassis.

The subsonic ammo are especially well suited for this scenario since they also reduce muzzle flare. It is not a leap to argue that the.300 BLK is more accurate at distances of 50 yards, where several bullets are fired quickly one after the other. Not necessarily from a ballistics perspective, but more from the other aspects we covered.


Many of the points we will make below have already been covered between the .300 Blackout vs .308, but it never hurts to go over them again. It’s simple to assume that the.308 cartridge is superior when comparing performance data between the 300 Black and 308, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Both of these cartridges perform exceptionally well in various uses. There is no justification for picking the.300 AAC Blackout over the.308 Win for hunting medium-sized to large wildlife. In every area, the.308 ballistics outperform the.300 AAC BLK.

The.308 is also far better for long-range competition shooting, and with carefully thought-out hand loads, its long-range performance may be further improved.

With that said, we have looked at a few of the supersonic hunting rounds for the 300 BLK. They can be utilized for medium-sized game because of their velocity, trajectory, and stopping capability, but their range is considerably more constrained.

We would definitely go toward the.300 AAC for purposes like self-defense or competitive shooting like 3-gun matches. The rationale is due to the gun platforms that may be employed in addition to its performance in the numerous areas that we have examined.

A big benefit in these circumstances is the ability of lightweight, short barrel tactical rifles to be loaded with the typical magazine size of 300 AAC BLK rounds. We enjoy the subsonic rounds in particular. You can fire off many shots swiftly and accurately thanks to low muzzle flash, low noise, and low recoil.

It is also less likely that these bullets will be fired into nearby rooms that are still hot enough to seriously injure bystanders because of their intensity and velocity. They still have more than enough energy to knock down or immobilize attackers.

Conclusion: Which is Better?

In conclusion, I believe that the distinctions between the 308 Winchester and 300 AAC Blackout are rather evident.

With more than 60 years of history, the 308 Winchester is a highly successful hunting and long-range shooting cartridge. It was created with the explicit intent of having excellent stopping power, a fast speed, and a long effective range, and it excels in each of these areas.

The 300 Blackout bullet shines in short barrels and is simple to suppress. It was intended to be fired primarily from AR type rifles. Given that it uses the same bolt and magazines, the fact that an AR-15 can be converted to 300 Blackout with only a barrel change is quite advantageous.

Understanding the distinctions is essential before making your purchase since each full powered rifle round has various functions depending on your shooting requirements.

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