Yes, I’m going to talk about silencers or suppressor again. The last time I did so a cacophony of whining and excuse-making began. So, before we can begin our examination of the silenced firearm we need to agree on one basic premise. That premise being the fact that the noise generated by a gunshot is a mere byproduct and does not add to the terminal performance of the bullet. If you are with me on this point lets drive on. If not, I’ll catch you next month.
The biggest trend in AR’s or black rifles today is to chamber a standard AR sized rifle for a .30 caliber cartridge. Numerous ammunition manufacturers have offered their versions to include the .300 Whisper, .30 Remington AR, 7.62x40 Wilson Tactical, and of course, the .300 AAC Blackout.
It’s no big secret that the AAC Blackout cartridge is based on J.D. Jones’ original .300 Whisper round. The Whisper was developed at a time when the ownership of AR rifles and silencers was a mere fraction of what it is today. Our modern playing field has obviously changed quite a bit in the last thirty years.
Ammunition for the .300 AAC Blackout as well as the .300 Whisper are currently available in both supersonic and sub-sonic configurations. When fired from a semi-automatic, gas-operated system there will always be some residual noise from the gas escaping the action. Also, you cannot get around the supersonic crack made by the projectile breaking the sound barrier.
For this review I’m going to focus deliberately on the sub-sonic offerings in .300. The firing system from which I will launch this ammunition will be the new AAC Micro 7 rifle chambered for .300 Blackout. Yes, we all know that Advanced Armament Corporation makes silencers not firearms. AAC is owned by the same parent company who owns Remington Arms. Viola! You have a bolt action rifle chambered for the .300 AAC Blackout.
Micro 7 Rifle Specifics
Yes, the Micro 7 is built on the Remington 700 short-action. The owner’s manual included with the rifle is actually the Rem. 700 manual. The AAC Micro 7 rifle is small and light-weight, hence the Micro moniker. The barrel is 16 inches long with a 1 in 8 twist for the slower, heavy bullets. As it is assumed the end user will be employing a silencer, the muzzle is threaded for the normal .30 caliber 5/8-24 TPI. AAC includes a thread protector.
An “X-Mark Pro” adjustable trigger with a two position safety is included as part of the package. The bolt action is fed from a four round magazine with a hinged floorplate. Atop the action AAC has include a 20 MOA Picatinny scope rail. A black nitride finish is applied to the metal parts.
The barrel and action are bedded into a black synthetic stock. This stock has an adjustable cheek piece and a rubber buttpad. Standard sling studs are located fore and aft. Empty weight is right around 6.5 pounds.
Ironic as it may sound; I used a SureFire Model 762 suppressor with adapter for this review as I was still waiting for my Tax Stamp paperwork to clear for the AAC .30 caliber silencer. Fear not, when my latest batch of Tax Stamps clear I’ll report on the AAC cans.
Range Time and Testing
When considering the sub-sonic ammunition for the .300 Blackout/Whisper, we must understand that the trajectory is going to be more like a rainbow than a laser. The Remington 220 grain Open-Tipped Match bullet is factory loaded to travel at 1010 FPS from a 16 inch barrel.
The good news is that the ballistic coefficient for this projectile is excellent, 0.573 according to my calculator. That’s better than the 175 grain .308 Winchester loads. Bullet stability is not the question. For the energy guys out there, the FPE for this projectile at 50 yards is 483. While that statistic might not seem too spectacular, when compared to traditional sub-sonic, suppressed cop guns in 9mm or .45 ACP is a bit more impressive.
For my testing I decided to zero the rifle at a practical range of fifty yards. This is no long range sniper set up by any stretch of the imagination. The optic I chose was a fixed 10x rifle scope with Mil-Dot reticle. Using the sub-sonic Remington load I fired a number of test patterns to see what kind on consistency I could expect. Fifty yard, three-shot groups were averaging in the half to one inch range. All shots were taken with the SureFire suppressor in place.
Shooters used to a twelve plus pound .308 sniper platforms may find the light-weight gun a bit frustrating. You’ll definitely notice more movement in your crosshairs than with your $3000 heavy-weight custom bolt rifle. However, we go back again to the fact that we aren’t taking thousand yard shots with the Micro 7.
Taking the entire picture into account we have a .30 caliber rifle that when suppressed generates less sound at the muzzle than a standard .22 LR rifle (unsuppressed). Practically speaking, the impact of the heavy 220 grain bullet striking a sand bag is more pronounced than the shot itself. Fired into a one-gallon jug of water the impact sound was even less.
Regarding police snipers or sharpshooters, we used to hang our hat on a mythical 75 yard average shot. The American Sniper Association has been compiling date in their “Police Sniper Utilization Reports”. The ASA has discovered that the real world average is a bit less than fifty yards.
For the police sharpshooter the idea of removing a deadly threat while maintaining the ability to hear what’s going on around you and communicate would seem attractive. Is the .300 Blackout/Whisper the end all be all? No, but it certainly is another tool for the box.
About The Author:
Mr. Markel is a former United States Marine, Police Officer, and has worked as a professional bodyguard both in the U.S. and overseas. A Subject Matter Expert on Small Arms and Tactics, Markel has provided instruction to law enforcement and U.S. Military troops.
As a recognized author and writer, Paul has penned several hundred articles published in numerous professional journals and trade periodicals. Topics include firearms training, use of force, marksmanship, less-than-lethal force options, product reviews and evaluations, emergency medical care, and much more. Sought after as a public speaker, Mr. Markel is at home in front of an audience large or small.