300 Blackout Vs 308 Winchester

Specification Comparison and Reviews

300 Blackout


308 Winchester

300 Blackout Vs 308 Winchester

Specification Comparison and Reviews

The AR-15 platform has received a lot of attention since its inception in the 1950s. The rifle’s lower cost, compatibility with multiple other firearms, and modular designs have made them extremely popular throughout their service life. Even today, new iterations are being introduced to increase the weapons’ effectiveness on the battlefield. The different calibers available for the AR-15 platform have been a large part of what has catapulted it to the forefront of firearms. There are numerous debates on which caliber is better between the 300 Blackout vs 308 Winchester This article will go over these two calibers and hopefully give you a clear idea of which is best for your needs.

Table of Contents

Categorizing a Cartridge

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of 300 Blackout vs 308, let’s talk about how to categorize a cartridge. Many people don’t realize that there are three ways to classify a cartridge. The first is by the bullet diameter.. The second is by the cartridge’s length, and the third is its method of operation. If you are in a gunfight at close range,e you will most likely be engaging in CQC (Close Quarters Combat), and the magnum class of cartridges is not suited for this type of combat. A carbine class rifle most likely won’t be chambered in a magnum cartridge due to its overbearing recoil, thus making it difficult to handle under closer quarters combat conditions. The same goes for a handgun cartridge. The second parameter to classify a cartridge is by its length.


I’m sure all of us have heard of a rifle cartridge and a pistol cartridge, but these terms refer to the length of the cartridge. The bullet is much longer in a rifle cartridge than in a pistol cartridge. The longer the cartridge, the more power it can hold, which leads to more velocity and power behind your shots. The shorter cartridges are meant for short-range engagements and CQC combat, where most of your shooting is done at point-blank or very close range. The final way to classify a cartridge is by how it’s loaded. There are three types of cartridges: single shot, semi-automatic, and automatic. A single shot cartridge requires you to manually load your next round in the chamber once you’ve expended the rounds in the magazine. Automatic means that you can hold down on the trigger and repeatedly shoot until your magazine runs dry. A semi-automatic cartridge is self-explanatory.

History of The Cartridges

Now that we’ve gone over the three ways to classify a cartridge by diameter, length, and method of operation, let’s go into some more detail about these two cartridges and their histories. We’ll start with the history of each cartridge.

300 Blackout History

The 300 Blackout was introduced in 2011 by Advanced Armament Corporation. The purpose of the 300 Blackout is to use the same cartridge across your M4 and even your submachine gun. The 300 Blackout is designed to be compatible with all of these platforms by using the standard 5.56x45mm NATO round. This makes it easy to train with one rifle and one caliber instead of three rifles with different calibers making training and joint operations much more cost-effective.


The 300 Blackout is a close-range cartridge designed in CQC situations. The round uses a 220gr projectile traveling at subsonic speeds to be silenced and have the stopping power needed for close-quarter combat. There are different kinds of loadings for the 300 Blackout. The subsonic loading is the 220gr bullet moving at 1010 feet per second, and the supersonic load is a 115gr projectile going 2120fps.

308 Winchester History

The 308 Winchester cartridge was created in 1952 by Winchester for their newly created model 70 bolt action rifle. When it comes to rifles, America loves their 30 caliber rounds. This includes the 30-30, 300 savages, and of course, the 308 Winchester, to name a few. The 308 is one of the most popular cartridges used by hunters and target shooters. It has an average fps range of  2820 to 3100 and can be loaded with a 150gr-125gr.


The 308 is an all-around cartridge, with the ability to be loaded as a heavy bullet for big game hunting up close and personal, or you could load it with a lighter bullet for target shooting at longer ranges. It has more range than the 300 Blackouts but not much stopping power. The 300 Blackout just makes up for its shortcomings by being more versatile.

Features of 300 Blackout Vs 308 Winchester

So now that you’ve learned the history of each cartridge let’s take a look at how they stack up against each other. I’m going to focus on two different areas for comparison;  their Range, velocity, and stopping power. 


The range is the most critical factor for most rifle cartridges. You need to hit your target at extended ranges if you want to hunt with it successfully, so let’s look at how these two perform. Both rounds are subsonic, so they’re supersonic past 500 yards. The 300 Blackout has a max effective range of 500 yards, while the 308 has a max effective range of 800 yards. This breaks down to about 460 yards for the 300 Blackout round and 630 yards for the 308 Winchester. With that being said, which one has more range?

Range of 300 Blackout

The answer is, it depends on what kind of round you’re using. If you’re using subsonic rounds, the answer would be 300 Blackout because subsonic rounds are better at long ranges while supersonic rounds are better at short ranges. On the other hand, if you’re using supersonic rounds, the answer would be 308 Winchester because it has more range than the 300 Blackout. Comparing these two rounds as hunting cartridges, the 308 would be better for longer ranges and more significant games. That’s because it has more range than 300 Blackout and can be loaded with larger bullets. The 300 Blackout is limited by its size in bullet selection, so you’re limited in what you can use for hunting.


When talking about cartridges, velocity is king. It doesn’t matter if you have a sleek new rifle or a tricked-out AR-15; what matters most is the bullet speed and stopping power. Let’s see how these two cartridges stack up against each other in velocity/stopping power. The 308 Winchester shoots a 125gr bullet at 3100 fps, while the 300 Blackout shoots a 125gr shot at 2215 fps. When comparing these two numbers, it’s obvious which one has more velocity/stopping power. The 308 Winchester is going almost 900fps faster than the 300 Blackout, and it is capable of holding bigger bullets as well. Most people would agree that the 308 would be more effective in stopping an animal or taking down a human target.

Stopping Power

Now that we know which cartridge has more velocity, it’s time to compare stopping power. This is important for hunting because you want your round to take down whatever you’re hunting as quickly as possible, so they don’t suffer needlessly. This is also important for self-defense, as your goal is to neutralize the threat as soon as possible.

Stopping Power of 300 Blackout

The 300 Blackout was designed to be an ideal cartridge for urban combat and close-quarters situations where maneuverability and silence are a plus. It’s also a suitable hunting cartridge but not the best because of its limited bullet selection. Both of these rounds have a similar history in combat, so how do they stack up against each other? The 308 was designed to stop enemy soldiers in battle, and it did that job exceptionally well. As far as stopping power goes, the 308 is the better round when you compare these two cartridges with each other. The 300 Blackout might have more velocity than the 308, but it’s not enough to overcome the stopping power deficit.


When talking about cartridges, ballistics is very important. It’s the science that goes into making a bullet fly accurately and powerfully to its target. If you have a cartridge that doesn’t perform well at long range, you’re going to have a hard time taking down a deer or hitting a bullseye at 100 yards. The 300 Blackout cartridge has a ballistic coefficient of 0.320 for 115gr- making it less aerodynamic than the 308 rounds. The 308 also has a high Ballistic Coefficient, which means it will fly accurately and powerfully for a longer distance than the 300 Blackout. This is important because you don’t want your bullet flying off course or losing velocity at long range.


Now that we know which one is more aerodynamic and better at long range, it’s time to compare the 300 Blackout ballistic coefficients with the 308. The 300 has a ballistic coefficient of 0.307 and can carry its velocity longer than the 308 (0.473). It also tends to be more accurate when it hits its target. This would be important if you’re hunting something with a tough hide, like an elk or bear. The 308 ballistic coefficient is 0.473 and will retain its velocity longer than the 300 Blackout rounds. If you want to hunt giant game with thick fur or are hard to take down quickly, this might be the better cartridge for the job.


When looking at cartridges, accuracy is essential because it means you’re going to hit your target more often- fast and accurate kills are equal to less suffering. You also want a cartridge that will be reliable when pushing through obstructions or windy conditions. These two cartridges have a lot of similarities so let’s compare the differences and see which one has the edge.

Accuracy of 300 Blackout

The 300 Blackout was designed to be more accurate at shorter distances. It shoots flatter, hits more challenging, and is more reliable for hitting moving targets or small-sized games like deer, hogs, or coyotes. This isn’t its only advantage- it’s also a good choice for close-quarters combat because of its minimal muzzle flash and sound. The 308 is the more accurate cartridge overall, but it’s not perfect for close-range targets or windy conditions. The 300 Blackout also has less recoil than the 308. This means you’ll be able to get back on target faster while taking down the game humanely, so they don’t suffer needlessly.

Accuracy of 308 Winchester

Rate of Fire

Now that both cartridges have been compared, let’s see which one is faster when you’re taking shots in succession. This is important for self-defense because if the bad guy isn’t taken down, he could cause serious injury to you or your family. You also want a cartridge that’s reliable and powerful enough to stop a threat quickly. The 300 Blackout will be faster than the 308 because of its lighter round and higher velocity. This means you’ll be able to take shots at your target without losing any velocity or accuracy, and it will retain its power even after penetrating an object like a wall or door. The 308 is slower than the 300 Blackout because of its heavier bullet and lower velocity. It’s got more recoil, but it also tends to be more accurate at long ranges.

Maximum Pressure

When it comes to cartridges, pressure is extremely important. Without high enough pressure, your cartridge will not fire off the round with its standard power or velocity, translating into a loss of accuracy and damage. You also don’t want too much pressure because you could have malfunctions or explosions when firing, which can cause serious injury or death. When looking at the 300 Blackout and 308, it’s important to look at both of their specifications.


The 300 Blackout is lower in pressure than the 308 (55K psi for the 300 vs 62K psi for 308), which means it will be more reliable when firing with less chance of malfunction or explosion. This would be important if you’re in a survival situation and need to rely on your equipment. The 308 has higher than average pressure than the 300 Blackout (62K psi for 308 vs 55K psi for 300). You’ll get more velocity and power out of the 308, but it’s going to be loud and have increased recoil. Not something you want to use if you’re trying to be quiet or sneaky.


Now that we’ve compared these two cartridges against each other, it’s time to see which one is better for the hunting game. This can be important because the cartridge you use will define whether your hunt is successful, quick, and humane. You also want a cartridge that shoots fast, accurately, and hard to take down your prey. The 300 Blackout shoots flatter, hits harder, and penetrates further than the 308, making it a better option for hunting at longer ranges. It also has more stopping power with less recoil because of its lighter round.


If you’re going for smaller games like deer, hogs, or coyotes, the 300 Blackout will kill them in a single shot with most of its power left to spare. The 308 is better suited for hunting than the 300 Blackout because it’s more accurate at long ranges and has more stopping power due to its heavier bullet. It also penetrates further, but not as far or hard as the 300 Blackout.

What Should I Use?

Both of these rounds are excellent for defense in survival situations. The 308 has more stopping power with its heavier bullet, but the 300 Blackout is faster and lighter, making it easier to handle quickly. If you’re hunting game, the 300 Blackout would be better because of its hard-hitting power at nearly all ranges and flatter trajectory, which lets you take longer shots.


The standard barrel length for rifles on the 300 Blackout is 16 inches. There are also short-barreled rifles (SBR) with overall lengths under 26 inches and long-barreled rifles (LBR) with 25 to 27 inches.

Yes, you can certainly use the 300 Blackout for hunting game if that’s what you’re looking for. Just make sure you’re using the proper ammunition for a game like a deer, hogs, or coyotes within 300 yards of your target.

Yes, the 300 Blackout and 7.62×39mm are the same caliber bullet (.30). Advanced Armament Corp. developed the 300 Blackout cartridge in 2009, while the 7.62×39 has been around since 1943. 


300 Blackout is faster than 308, and the 300 has more stopping power than the 308. It also penetrates deeper but not as hard as the 308. The 308 has higher pressure and accuracy at long range, while the 300 Blackout hits harder with less recoil. 308 will be a better option for hunting because it has more stopping power and penetrates deeper.300 will be a better option if you’re defending yourself in a survival situation or want a round that’s less likely to jam or explode when firing. If you had the choice between the 300 Blackout vs 308 Winchester,  choose one depending on how you’re using them. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, so choose the one that will serve you best in your situation.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

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