As ammo enthusiasts, it's always fascinating to compare and contrast the different calibers available on the market. Two of the most popular rounds, 300 Blackout and 556, are often compared and debated by firearms enthusiasts.
Quick Note: In this article, 300 Blackout and blkout will be used interchangeably as blkout is a common shorthand for the full caliber name .300 AAC Blackout. 5.56 ammo and 556 will refer to the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge.
As the content editor at Bulk Cheap Ammo, my name is Lisa, and I'm here to delve into the topic of 300 Blackout vs 556.
Today, we will focus on these two popular rounds, analyzing their specifications and comparing and contrasting them to determine the better option for your needs.
So get ready for an in-depth look at the 300 Blackout vs 556 cartridges. It's going to be an exciting journey as both of these calibers have their own unique benefits and features.
We all know 300 Blackout and 5.56 Ammo, but at what point is 300 Blackout superior to 5.56 ammo? Let's find out.
The 300 Blackout is a cartridge developed for short-barreled firearms, specifically for use with suppressors. This cartridge is known for its excellent accuracy and minimal recoil, making it ideal for target shooting and hunting. Additionally, the 300 Blackout can penetrate through barriers and provides significant stopping power.
The 5.56 Ammo, on the other hand, is a well-established cartridge that the military and law enforcement have used for decades. This cartridge is known for its versatility and ability to penetrate through light armor and other barriers. The 556 is also highly accurate, but its recoil can be more noticeable than the 300 Blackout.
There has been a lot of debate on the Internet about whether 300 Blackout ammo is overpriced or if the 5.56 is just a weak round for close-quarters combat. Those in favor of the 300 BLK or 5.56 will argue that their cartridge is the best, but it's impossible to say one is definitely better than the other.
Both the 300 Blackout and 5.56 NATO have their own strengths and weaknesses, which we will examine in more detail below.
|Specifications||5.56 Nato||300 Blackout|
|Bullet Diameter||.224 inches||0.308 in|
|Rim Diameter||.378 inches||.378 inches|
|Case Length||1.76 inches||1.368 inches|
|Total Length||2.26 inches||2.26 inches|
|Bullet Weight||50 to 65 grains (Standard 55)||Roughly 75 to 250+ grains|
300 BLK is designed to be used with a suppressor and has a lower velocity and higher energy than 5.56mm at close range.
5.56mm has a flatter trajectory and higher velocity, making it better suited for longer-range engagements.
Here is a comparison of the .300 Blackout and 5.56x45mm NATO cartridges in terms of their performance and design:
To compare the Case Comparison of bullets, we will compare both bullets in all sections that are mentioned below:
Size: The 300 Blackout case is shorter and wider than the 5.56 NATO case. The 300 Blackout case measures 2.26 inches in length and has a diameter of 0.30 inches. On the other hand, the 5.56 NATO case measures 2.26 inches in length and has a diameter of 0.22 inches.
Capacity: The 300 Blackout case has a larger internal volume, allowing it to hold more powder and offer higher velocities. This gives the 300 Blackout a slight advantage in terms of energy and terminal performance.
Neck Length: The 300 Blackout case has a longer neck length, which makes it easier to seat bullets and eliminates the need for a cannelure. The longer neck also makes it easier to grip the bullet and hold it in place during reloading.
Body Taper: The 300 Blackout case has a straighter body taper, making it easier to feed from a magazine. The 5.56 NATO case, on the other hand, has a slightly more tapered body, which helps it feed more reliably in some firearms.
When it comes to weight, which of these rounds carries the advantage?
The weight of the 300 blackout and 556 rounds can vary depending on the specific type of bullet and its construction. However, on average, a 300 blackout round weighs approximately 125-220 grains, while a 556 round typically weighs between 55-77 grains. The lighter weight of the 556 round makes it more suitable for high-volume shooting, while the heavier 300 blackout round provides more stopping power and is better suited for hunting and tactical use.
When it comes to power and range, the 556 NATO is the clear winner. The 556 Ammo is more powerful and can reach longer ranges than the 300 Blackout. However, the 300 blackout is quieter and is more suitable for short to medium-range shooting.
300 BLK has more energy at close range due to its larger case diameter and slower velocity. 5.56mm has a flatter trajectory and higher velocity, making it better suited for longer-range engagements. Which one is best depends on your specific needs and the type of firearm you will use.
When it comes to recoil, the 300 blackout has a bit more kick than the 556. This is due to the heavier bullet and greater power, which increases the felt recoil. The 556 is a lighter cartridge, so it has less felt recoil.
The 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge has lighter recoil than the .300 Blackout cartridge. This is because the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge is designed to have lighter recoil, making it easier to control in rapid fire.
The 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge is widely available and is relatively inexpensive compared to other cartridges, while the .300 Blackout cartridge is less common and is typically more expensive due to the specialized nature of the cartridge. Many online retailers have a good stock of 5.56 ammo and 300 blackout with different grains availability.
5.56 ammo cost starts from $0.28 to $2 per round. Price can change at any time and that is average price.
300 blk ammo cost starts from $0.50 and goes up to $4 per round. Price can change at any time and that is average price.
When it comes to magazines, the 300 Blackout, and 5.56 NATO have distinct differences. The 300 Blackout uses a shorter magazine with fewer rounds than the 5.56 NATO magazine.
The 5.56 NATO is a larger round and uses a standard AR-15 magazine that holds more rounds.
The 300 Blackout and the 5.56 NATO are popular choices for hunting, self-defense, and competition shooting, but their magazine types are very different.
Terminal ballistics refers to studying how a projectile behaves and impacts a target. The factors considered in this study include penetration, fragmentation, and density.
While power (ft-lbs) is a significant factor, it's not the only one to consider in terminal ballistics.
Impact and bullet drop are also essential. Despite its smaller diameter, the 5.56mm bullet has high speed and fragmentation, making it a preferred choice for lethal purposes. In some instances, the 5.56mm can even penetrate armor, but extra amplification may be required.
In contrast, the 300 Blackout has a larger diameter and may be slower, but it delivers more ft-lbs of energy upon impact. This round is particularly well suited for use with suppressors. It's important to note that super and subsonic ammo can also play a role in the terminal ballistics of the 300 Blackout.
The 300 Blackout and 5.56mm NATO cartridges can both be used with either supersonic or subsonic ammunition. Supersonic ammunition refers to projectiles that travel faster than the speed of sound (1,125 feet per second at sea level), while subsonic ammunition refers to projectiles that travel slower than the speed of sound.
With supersonic 300 Blackout ammunition, it behaves similarly to the 5.56mm NATO cartridge, with high velocity and quick expansion upon impact. This results in a flatter trajectory and higher accuracy, but also in a lower penetration and energy transfer upon impact.
When using 300 blackout subsonic ammunition, it has a slower velocity and heavier bullet weight, which results in more energy transfer and greater stopping power upon impact. This makes subsonic 300 Blackout ammunition ideal for use in suppressed firearms, as the slower velocity and heavier bullet weight reduce the sound signature of the firearm.
In contrast, the 5.56mm NATO cartridge is designed to be used with supersonic ammunition, as it is optimized for use in military applications, where accuracy and quick expansion are key.
In conclusion, the 300 Blackout and 5.56mm NATO cartridges can be used with either supersonic or subsonic ammunition. Still, the 300 Blackout is optimized for use with subsonic ammunition, while the 5.56mm NATO is optimized for use with supersonic ammunition.
300 BLK and 5.56mm have their strengths and weaknesses, and the best round depends on the intended use and personal preference. When deciding, it is important to consider factors such as power, range, recoil, availability, cost, and terminal ballistics.
In conclusion, while both cartridges have their strengths and weaknesses, the 300 Blackout offers a higher level of versatility and performance for specific applications, such as suppressed firing and subsonic use. The 5.56 NATO, on the other hand, is a more versatile cartridge that offers a good balance of accuracy, velocity, and reliability.
We will continue our exploration of ammunition in the next post, where we'll delve into the comparison between "223 vs. 556 ammo." Stay tuned for more insightful analysis and a deeper understanding of these popular rounds!