Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout Ammo Review: AR Ready

When I’m looking to make a bulk ammo order, I’ve got a wish list that I’m looking to fulfill. I want the ammo to be accurate, reliable, and reasonably priced so I don’t have to blow my whole month’s ammo budget in one purchase.

Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout ammo checks all those boxes and more for shooters across the USA. Loaded with a 125 gr match BTHP, American Gunner 300 Blackout ammo offers the American shooter high-quality ammo for a great price.

Yet, some shooters still wonder if this ammo is the right choice for their 300 AAC Blackout rifle (spoiler alert: it is). So, in this Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout ammo review, we are going to put those fears to rest and explain why this rifle ammo is a great choice for your shooting needs.

If you’re ready to buy, we have Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout ammo in stock and ready to ship to your door. Otherwise, keep reading for the full review.

Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout Ammo Overview

Back in 1949, when Joyce Hornady founded his company, the needs of the American shooter were relatively simple. Most of them were returning from WWII and had experience using a 30-caliber bolt-action or semi-auto rifle.

It makes sense that Hornady’s first major success was a 30-cal 150-grain Spire Point hunting bullet. With so many surplus M1 Garands and 1903 Springfields hitting the market, this bullet mated perfectly with the 30-06 Springfield round, which was already popular for hunting.

However, as time forged on, the needs of the American shooter evolved with the advent of new cartridges and firearms. Sure, most 2A enthusiasts have a semi-automatic rifle like an AR-15 carbine or Ruger Mini-14 chambered in 5.56 NATO, but that same rifle can also be chambered in calibers like 300 Blackout, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, or 450 Bushmaster.

Out of all these rifle calibers, the 300 AAC Blackout has been (by a wide margin) the most successful new cartridge adapted to the AR-15 platform. The 300 Blackout (or 300 BLK for short) was developed to increase the stopping power of the AR-15 by replacing the 223 Remington and closely mimicking the terminal ballistics of Russian 7.62x39 rifle ammunition.

Unlike the 7.62x39, the 300 BLK is unique in that it can be fired at supersonic and subsonic muzzle velocities, giving shooters an incredible amount of versatility in terms of ammo selection. Developed to be fired with or without a suppressor, a 300 Blackout will experience a full powder burn in just 9 inches of barrel length, making it an ideal candidate for an SBR (short barrel rifle).

Although the 300 Blackout was initially developed for the military, it has become extremely popular with civilian shooters who enjoy deer hunting with their AR-15 carbine or simply want hearing safe subsonic ammo when combined with a silencer.

Hornady 300 Blackout ammo comes in several different flavors to suit almost any situation. Hornady Black 110 gr V-MAX is great for varmint hunting, Custom 110 gr CX is great for deer hunting, and Frontier 125 gr FMJ is perfect for plinking.

What’s missing is a round that’s great for match shooting and long-range target practice, so Hornady American Gunner stepped in to carry that banner.

Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout ammo is available loaded with a match-grade 125-grain boat tail jacketed hollow point bullet. These rounds are loaded for supersonic velocities and were developed to offer 300 Blackout shooters an extremely accurate round that wouldn’t break the bank like traditional match-grade ammo.

Hornady matches propellants with each individual cartridge in the American Gunner line to provide ideal pressures for an enjoyable and safe shooting experience. Not only does this provide amazing performance, but it also offers exceptional reliability for gas piston, direct gas impingement, and bolt-action rifle designs.

Available in a wide variety of handgun, rifle, and shotgun loads, Hornady American Gunner is quickly becoming one of the company’s most popular ammo lines based on numerous customer reviews. Thanks to its low cost and high levels of accuracy, Hornady American Gunner looks to make competitive shooting available to all shooters, even those on a budget.

Our Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout Ammo Review

There is no doubt that the 300 AAC Blackout is one of the most popular AR-15 rifle calibers across the USA, second only to the 223 Remington/5.56 NATO (yes, I know they’re different). So, when I sat down to write a review about Hornady 300 Blackout 125-grain American Gunner ammo, it’s safe to say I was pretty excited.

The Hornady American Gunner line of ammunition, as a whole, is an interesting take on meeting the needs of both weekend plinkers and competitive shooters. In the past, shooters who wanted cheap ammo were relegated to primarily full metal jacket (FMJ) ammo, while competitive shooters would typically load up with match-grade ammo.

FMJ ammo is great for saving money as it’s cheap, while match ammo is pricey since it uses premium bullets and is often loaded with tighter quality controls in place. Hornady American Gunner ammo looks to bridge the gap between these two lines of thought and offers match-grade bullets at a price that’s nearly identical to FMJ ammo.

Handgun ammunition is exclusively loaded with Hornady XTP jacketed hollow points, while rifle ammunition is loaded with boat tail hollow point (BTHP) match bullets.

American Gunner handgun ammo is offered in standard pistol calibers, namely 380 ACP, 9mm, 40 S&W, 38 Special/357 Magnum, and 45 ACP. American Gunner rifle ammo is loaded in 223 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, 308 Winchester, 7.62x39, and of course, 300 Blackout.

Regarding the 300 Blackout offering, let’s start with the bullet and work our way back.

The 125-grain bullet weight is extremely popular with 300 BLK shooters who like to shoot at supersonic velocities. This bullet offers a great balance between muzzle velocity, trajectory, and ballistic coefficient, making it a great all-around choice for target shooting.

However, one shortfall of the 125 gr BTHP bullet is that it is a poor choice for big game hunting. Even though the projectile uses an open-tip design, this hollow point is designed for aerodynamics only and will not offer much expansion on impact. Therefore, this 300 Blackout ammo is only useful for popping varmints like coyotes and groundhogs, but make sure to check your state and local laws before hunting with match-grade ammo.

The 300 Blackout is becoming an extremely popular caliber choice for deer hunting, and if this is something you’re looking to do, I’d recommend checking out the Hornady Custom 300 Blackout 110 gr CX or Fiocchi 125 gr SST as these are designed for whitetail and hog hunting.

I would be cautious using Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout ammo for self-defense as well. That match-grade BTHP is going to behave like an FMJ in terms of terminal ballistics, so if you did have to employ the round to defend your life or home, it would likely over-penetrate.

In terms of muzzle velocity and kinetic energy, Hornady 300 Blackout ammo is on par with their competitors like Winchester, Federal, and Remington.

However, what Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout ammo offers you over the Big 3 (listed above) is that it provides shooters with match-level accuracy at nearly the same price as other companies’ FMJ ammo.

Although price is always important, another aspect that I love about this ammo is how Hornady built it with a “ground-up” approach regarding their powder choices. Although Hornady is often rather secretive about what gun powders they use, they state that powder selection is based on not only performance but also the rifle the ammo will be used in.

This means that American Gunner 300 Blackout ammo should cycle perfectly in your AR-15 or any other 300 Blackout rifle regardless of barrel length or gas system.

For the other cartridge components, Hornady always loads their ammo in high-quality brass cases that are Boxer-primed, meaning they are perfect for reloading.

Would I be happy to open up a box of this ammo and load it into my 300 BLK AR-15 for some target practice? Absolutely. This ammo offers incredible performance at a reasonable price point, and in this market, that’s something you simply cannot ignore.

I’d have no problem recommending this ammo to anyone who wants to shoot their 300 Blackout rifle recreationally or is looking to shoot a 3-gun match, as it will provide you with the accuracy you need for both close and long-range shots. And in the end, this is what the 300 Blackout was designed to do!

What’s It Best For?

American Gunner 300 Blackout 125-grain ammo is amazing for target shooting, varmint hunting, and 3-gun competitions. The 125 gr match BTHP projectile is extremely accurate and perfect for shots ranging from 3 feet to 300 yards.

And the best part? This ammo is affordable enough that you won’t need to sell a kidney to order a case or two! Making it a great option for plinking or for a fun day of shooting at the range.


Although a jacketed hollow point bullet is ideal for handgun self-defense rounds, the 125 gr BTHP bullets used in American Gunner 300 BLK ammo are not designed for expansion. This makes these rounds an inappropriate choice for big game hunting and less than ideal for self-defense due to the risk of over-penetration.

Furthermore, the allure of the 300 Blackout rifle cartridge is its ability to be shot at supersonic and subsonic muzzle velocities, and the American Gunner line of ammunition currently does not offer a subsonic load for the 300 BLK.

Pros and Cons

As much as we love ammo, we understand that no manufacturer is perfect. Here are some of the pros and cons of Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout ammunition you should be aware of.


  • Reliable
  • Accurate
  • Affordable
  • Brass cases perfect for reloading
  • Great for competitive shooting


  • Match-grade hollow point not ideal for big game hunting
  • Better options are available for self-defense
  • No subsonic option

Variation Review

Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout comes loaded in one configuration. Below you’ll find our review to understand if this ammo fits your shooting needs.

Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout 125 gr HP Match Review

Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout 125 gr HP Match ammo is built for shooters who have high demands for accuracy and quality but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for it. Loaded with a 125-grain match-grade boat tail jacketed hollow point bullet, these rounds have more than enough accuracy for long-range shooting or even a 3-gun match.

All Hornady ammo is loaded in high-quality brass cases with non-corrosive Boxer primers. Making this ammo is excellent if you like to make your own handloads. Hornady also uses its own proprietary blend of propellants to provide excellent shot-to-shot and lot-to-lot consistency.

With a muzzle velocity of 2,175 fps and muzzle energy of 1,313 ft-lbs, this ammo offers a flat trajectory for long-range shots and more than enough power to knock down steel targets or coyotes at 300 yards or more.

Ballistics for Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout Ammo

Below we’ve compiled ballistics tables for the Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout ammunition we reviewed in the previous section. Please note that the muzzle velocities listed might vary depending on your barrel length.

Note: This information comes from the manufacturer and is only informational. The actual ballistics obtained with your firearm can vary considerably from the advertised ballistics. Also, ballistics can vary from lot to lot with the same brand and type load.

Parting Shots

If you have an AR-15 or Mini-14 Tactical chambered in 300 Blackout, then you should really give this rifle ammo a serious look. So long as you’re not planning on deer hunting, this ammo is perfect for varmint control, target shooting, and plinking.

As it offers nearly match-grade accuracy at a reasonable price point, this ammo is great if you’re shooting on a budget but don’t want to compromise on accuracy.

Make sure to check out the Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout ammo we have in stock and ready to ship to your door. And while you’re at it, make sure to check out all the other Hornady ammo we have to satisfy your itchy trigger finger.

Stay safe out there, and we’ll see you on the range!

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some questions we get asked a lot here at Ammo.com about Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout ammunition.

Is Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout worth buying?

Yes, if you’re looking for 300 Blackout ammo that is great for plinking and target practice, then Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout ammo is a great choice. If you’re looking for deer-hunting ammo, then this isn’t the best option.

What is the range of Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout ammo?

Typically, supersonic 300 Blackout ammo is considered to have an effective range of around 300 yards. However, this is highly dependent on your barrel length and marksmanship skill.

Hornady American Gunner 300 Blackout Ammo Review: AR Ready originally appeared on Ammo.com


So what length barrel we talking here?
My home made 125gr Varmint grenades do 2350fps out the 16 inch barrel, yet 2100fps out the 10.5 inch barrel.


Just not really a fan myself, but some are I’ll concede. What are folks using them for besides surpressed shorties for home defense?


Sorry, should have made that clear! Our ballistic data reflect a 16" barrel.


For suppressed you use 150-180gr pills going under 1120fps.
For super duper sonic you use 125 or 110gr pills.

The 300 Black Out came out years before the 300 HAMR which is the premiere super sonic round. Since we invested in the Blackout, it was too late to change over, so we make the best out of what we have.

I use a custom 1:12 twist barrel 16 inch, the medium woman uses a 1/10 10.5 inch. So At 100 yards I can print s 1/2 MOA all day long (2x7 scope), hers does a 2 inch group (Vortex red dot), see dont see to good any more.
We dont expect to shoot past 100 yards with these, that is what the heavy metal is for.

These were made to be light and can carry them a long ways, unlike the main firearms which are 30-06s.

The 5.56 is way faster, but have 1/4 of the kinetic transfer. 5.56 shoots way further, that why we have the heavy metal.

On the other hand the 110gr varmint grenades blow yote skulls clean a part and leave a hole where the head used to be. Just like the 45/70 hitting a hog at 25 feet away, the varmint grenades explode on contact and leave a huge hole. Way smaller than the 45/70 which leave nothing.

We can use the 178 A-Max out of the bigger 30 cals for sub sonic, they just dont jellify bone like they do coming out of the 30-06s.
I consider that a waste of projectiles.

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I initially was setting up two for hog hunting with my dad. I bought a few calibers to test on pigs in East Texas during the Trump era. None got to be tested.
Took the 300 blackout’s out several times but didn’t have anything to neutralize.
Since dad passed a couple of years ago, both sit in the safe.
I was about to break out the shorty and make it my ‘bedside’ defense rifle then came alone the ATF and their messing with liberty and freedom so it sits un-used. I am not going to SBR it due to the complications going from point A to B and at night in an emergency I want some kind of brace on it, not just a ‘stick out the back’ since I will be brought out of sleep if its needed.


The 300 kills Deer just fine if you don’t try shooting too far, I know out to 150 or so it kills just fine. A even better option is a 25/45 Sharps, Still baffles me why it is not popular, it is a killer on Deer sized game in AR platform, off subject but what do I know…lol.


Yeah brandons atf sux, actually atf has always sucked. I wasn’t going to SBR mine either and didn’t. Waiting for the dust to settle on the ruling. In the meantime I just rolled with their unconstitutional punches and did what they stated we could do. LEGO rifles are like that, it just takes readily available parts to be in compliance, which I got from the local manufacturer as cast offs from client guns. The cost was minimal if I paid anything at all. I can’t remember.

A shorty can be set up to be quite usable for HD with a padded buffer tube or even without the padding. The tube can be cheeked using a red dot sight. The recoil is nothing to be concerned about if it’s done correctly. Too, with a laser/light mounted and with the tube tucked under the arm and pulled back, weak hand out near the muzzle end it’s quite controllable, accurate, and you have the leverage if anyone should grab it*. OK, yes size does matter… I’m 5’8" and I find that I can shoulder a buffer tubed AR handgun with no problem with a red dot sight. Again, 300 BLK recoil just isn’t an issue. Maybe if I was planning on shooting a few hundred rounds it would be but that’s not the case.

  • A long gun when shouldered, if someone grabs the muzzle, they have the leverage and can do what they want with your firearm and there’s little one can do about it. So giving up an arm brace for HD gives up absolutely nothing if it’s used correctly.

My shorty is on the long side since the 10" barrel wears a CQB can that makes it 4" longer for (I’ll do the heavy math) a 14" “barrel”. But it handles just fine built as I described above. I can make it lighter but not much shorter, the length is pretty much is what it is since I’m just not going to change it, it works fine.

30 yards is an easy shot tucked under the arm using the laser, and few homes can justify a 30 yard indoor shot for HD. But longer shots if (when?) it comes to that are doable with the red dot sight.


I get the sub-sonic HD use, and @BrianK makes good points about their best MO. It’s something to consider and a couple of shorty units may end up on the list. Just not sure 300 BO is the cartridge we’ll pick. At least its a 30, but maybe the HAMR or American 30 would get the nod. We already load the 6.8 SPC ll so that brass is easy for us. Need a fast twist and different powders to use the heavies, but I think it would work in that role too.

Hunting with the 300 BO is MEH for me.


Very understandable. Esp’ out west it would hold little attraction for a hunting round. I wish I had mine when I was able to hunt whitetail. I would have chosen it for my favored hunting method, still hunting in the deep forest where most shots were at or less than 35 yards and I could pick precisely where I would place the bullet. Any handgun I took was just too much and so was a .308 Win carbine. But the 300BLK shorty would have been perfect. It would have kept my hands free slung cross chest, been blast free though not hearing safe, and been able to do the job with a 110-125 or even a heavy subsonic which would have been hearing safe though a bit longer. I knew about the 300 Whisper but never bought one.

300BLK is capable of subsonic, but more than that, cycling an AR while being subsonic. Many cartridges can be loaded subsonic and that’s fine in a manually operated action. But they just can’t be subsonic AND be semi-auto. BTDT decades ago. Maybe a build for a specific subsonic load would be possible, but then a supersonic load put through it would tear it apart. I’m not the person to discuss specific builds for specialty loads and I don’t do adjustable gas. I built mine to handle both super and subsonic loads. Sure I tailor my loads to the gun since not all sub sonic loads are built to do more than go bang out of an AR. That’s a pet peeve of mine. It’s easy to push a subsonic bullet out of a barrel; not so easy to make a reliable subsonic load that cycles an AR. The manufacturers should (but don’t) state whether their loads are for semi-auto or a manual action. Most also don’t discuss barrel length. In purchased ammo I’ve run across one manufacturer who states what the load is designed to work in and it works fine in short barreled ARs.

As I see it one just needs to decide if one has a need for subsonic loads in a semi-auto. If not then choose another cartridge.


I have a 8" barreled 300bo pistol. Not suppressed. Its a truck gun. Not going to need to shoot anything over 200 yds away with it. 30 cal bullets out of small frame ar that works for my purpose.