Too funny! This is the 2nd time this has happened. I ordered some Maker (that’s a brand) .308 85gr copper bullets. Each time it was out of stock and backordered at the time of order. Each time they shipped the same day. The 2nd time was today and they shipped in under an hour. I loaded 1/2 my stock today and I think they’ll do what I want so time to get more for a production run in the near future. I think they keep them perpetually out of stock to turn away the riff raff.
The backstory on them… I was going to develop a short 12ga slug load for a new(ish) Keltec KS7 pump bullpup shotgun. The short story is that’s going to take time and I want something better suited for home defense than a 9mm PCC or even a 5.56 rifle with a can. The long gun is ungainly. Plus the 7/8 ounce slug might overpenetrate and I really don’t want to redecorate the house. These Maker 85s shouldn’t overpenetrate. They’ll also be not quiet so much as have no blast since the handgun was designed around the use of a can (that would be a silencer but that’s a misnomer). Well technically it IS a handgun according to the ATF! It’s also homemade. I made it when components were hard to get, but used connections to get the serial numbered lower and went high end for the rest of the parts. I had no waiting while Seattle, Portland, and other left coast cities burned. High end is nice since I had at least one manufacturer tell me that they would make what I wanted. It looks a little different today with a smaller, lighter sight.
The link below for more on the bullet, expansion, velocity, etc’… I include the link for the first post only.
But why the 300BLK? It was developed as the .300Whisper and reverse engineered by AAC as the 300BLK. Sure the 5.56/.223Rem can be made subsonic, but it can’t function a semi-auto for repeat shots AND be subsonic. Many of us have tried and no one has ever been successful. But the 300BLK has heavy enough bullets to keep the pressure up long enough to open the barrel port and function the gun. The only thing needed to use the 300BLK in an AR-15 is an upper, or a barrel to convert a given upper to 300BLK. Everything else can be the same. But note that some bullets require heavier springs in the mag’ and a different build inside the mag’. But those 300BLK mags are available.
Today I spent some time with it working up loads and I was able to push it to about 2400ish fps. The thread linked to above suggests 2800fps, but that velocity wouldn’t interest me even if I could get it there. I’m using military brass and that just doesn’t have the same capacity for powder as civilian brass does. But my goal was 2200-2400 fps to limit penetration while keeping ft/lbs somewhat “up there”. I can also download it to limit penetration but that also drastically reduces the ft/lbs transferred to tissue. That’s not my goal. There is a 100ft/lb difference between 2200 and 2400 fps, so I’m hoping I can get a decent group at 50 yards with the 2400fps load. It’s really a short range round with this light bullet and 50yds is OK but stretching it. But it’s where I’ll test accuracy. It’s not bad for a 10" barrel.
Today I just loaded 2 rounds each from 19.0 grains in .2 grain increments up to 20.0 grains. Just to test for velocity and pressure signs and I got none. But I got a good look at the velocity window and loads above 19.6 grains showed no significant velocity increase. So why waste the powder? I loaded 10 rounds of each for accuracy testing. If I get a 3" group @ 5o yards that would be all I require. Then I can move on to heavy subsonic bullets (think shhhhhh! ).
The 300BLK (.300 AAC Blackout) is a reloaders dream since it will do so much. Supersonic with lighter weight bullets and quiet subsonic loads with heavy bullets. All allowing semi-auto function interchangeably. I already have supersonic 180s, but 180s aren’t heavy for the cartridge. Think up to 260+ grain bullets. But since there’s a cap to subsonic the only way to add ft/lbs is to add mass to the bullet. While slow bullets don’t have huge shock they have huge penetration.
The cartridge even with a 10" barrel is capable out to 200 yards with the right ammo. Just not with the ultra light weight 85 grain bullets and not with subsonic ammo. It should be fine with 125 grain ammo. That’s also in the test queue. Maybe ultra high velocities too with sabotted .22 bullets and ultra fast for the caliber powder, but they might not function the action. I did that with .308 Win and got 3600fps out of a 14" barrel. The blast was sort of spectacular and no pressure signs. I wouldn’t expect that velocity from the tiny 300BLK case, but 3000+fps might be doable.
I have 40ish Maker 85s left and 150 more shipped today. That’s plenty for what it’s for. I have other lightweight (125s) and heavy copper expanding bullets and jacketed non expanders and I’m going to cast my own heavy bullets. Again, think quiet for the subsonic bullets. But they are relatively short range due to the rainbow trajectory. 125 yards is doable as long as accuracy is there but range estimation is important. With a 50 yd sight in they drop 6" at 100 yards and drop pretty fast beyond 100 yards. But did I mention how quiet they can be? I like quiet alot of course with a can. Or supersonic with a can. No one can tell where the shot came from since the sound travels 90° to the travel of the bullet and without the noise of the shot that’s all there is to determine origin.
If one wants raw .30 cal velocity and power the 300BLK is not that cartridge. In the AR platform (and magazines) the .300Ham’r might be more inline with that desire, and of course there is the 7.62/.308Win or the .30/06 also in .30 but other platforms.