The .300 AAC Blackout is a nearly perfect home defense cartridge. Given some of the best .300 Blackout rifle contenders, it can easily be seen as a perfect short and moderate range rifle for multiple uses among a sea of monotonous calibers and rifles. Close Quarters use is among the sweet spots for the caliber.
This is a statement that may be disregarded by some, as hype or delusion, and yet it can likely be proven by the content in this article if the reader goes into reading it with the mindset of looking for realistic capabilities.
The ballistic value of the caliber, the rifle options and the sheer enjoyment of shooting this impressive platform make it one of the most fun guns to toy around with in the world. Now it’s been said.
This article is about the best .300 Blackout rifles and there are some impressive candidates here. In it, you will get a crash course on why the .300 AAC Blackout represents one of the best, if not, the undisputed best home defense rifle in the world.Beyond that, it’s one of the best calibers and rifle platforms to try some unconventional things with. In this article, you can also expect some emphasis on some of the more interesting, non-home-defense-related concepts surrounding the .300 AAC Blackout.
The definitive statement about what makes the Best .300 Blackout Rifle
To clarify, this platform is the de-facto best home defense gun if you subscribe to a couple of concepts:
- That a rifle is better than a handgun in a gun fight
- That sound suppression is an important factor when you are in a time sensitive, close quarters encounter
You would never take the time to find your hearing protection during a home invasion; similarly, it would significantly devalue your defensive position if you are unable to hear the ambient environment.
Similarly, you would never want to use a handgun when a shoulder fired weapon of double the ballistic performance were available, not only for the accuracy and stature benefits, but also for the stopping power.
The .300 AAC Blackout rifle is the best choice because it is a medium caliber (.30 cal.) projectile, moving at an acceptable speed, with excellent energy delivery up through 150 yards and it is easily suppressible.
It utilizes the same component parts on multiple facets as the .223/5.56 AR-15 and can utilize many of the same pieces of gear you already own and train with.
Furthermore, you get the benefits of the tried and true rifle platforms (like the AR-15 and the Ruger Mini series); you get the prevention of overpenetration, or second penetration because of the inherent ballistics; as well as the easy reloading aspects of the cartridge.
This is perhaps most important, that the round has benefits in close quarters combat with regards to over penetration. The .300 AAC Blackout doesn’t tend to over penetrate and cause friendly fire concerns.
What the cartridge does well
- It can be easily suppressed, without too much degradation to performance in CQB situations
- It has mass and speed that will easily put a man-sized target down
- It can be reloaded easily with readily available components
- It can be used in existing architecture and with exiting aftermarket parts that are readily available
- It has sufficient protections built-in, with regards to wall penetration or second target hits
Why the .300 Blackout makes so much sense for the accepted platforms
It fits into the .223/5.56 casing and requires only a bit of neck work to load it, so the round has a plethora of options for the reloader or budget conscious shooter, who otherwise would never consider a “new” caliber platform.
The .300 AAC Blackout accepts the exceptionally reliable magazines from the AR platform (and similar), meaning you don’t have to buy a bunch of new hardware. A barrel change and a bolt change and you are ready to go.
It allows you to add mass on the projectile, without too much difference in recoil, operational logistics or difficulty in taking targets with the round, despite having a majority of loads capable of sub-sonic performance.
So which rifle is the best .300 Blackout rifle
There are plenty of options, as the .300 AAC Blackout has matured over the years since its early iterations (as the .300 Whisper, et al.) all the way up until Remington’s AAC division championed it as a major platform and brought it to the masses.
It is now a household name for those who want medium game performance in the field or legitimate stopping power in CQB conditions, including home defense. It has even seen some playing time with hardcore operators and industry heavyweights because of the merits of the platform.
Below you will find a good mix of .300 AAC Blackout options, each with their own specialized benefits and characteristics, all well-endowed with features that accentuate the caliber’s traits and all reasonably accepted on the broader market.
Which of these rifles will be best for your use case, depends on what you plan on using it for mostly, but don’t let the fact that it is a stellar home defense gun overshadow it’s capability in the field against animals in the deer-sized range, or on the target range for those looking for a fun gun.
Each gun below wears its best case uses on its sleeve, so it shouldn’t be too hard to see which ones make sense for you.
Remington Model 700 SPS Tactical Rifle
The dedicated game stalker that could be used to defend your home with, this offering from Remington is a very interesting option in their SPS tactical bolt action rifle line. The overall length is 36 and a quarter inches and the barrel is a short 16 and a half inches.
The threaded barrel makes adding a suppressor significantly less difficult than many other offerings on the bolt action market.
The accuracy and longer-range capabilities of this rifle mean the shooter can count on it in sub sonic and super sonic conditions to take the game they are after, without having to make complex calculations or difficult changes to the gun. It’s straightforward, inexpensive and very accurate. It is exceptionally reliable and it will drive tacks at ranges exceeding 300 yards, giving some basic load selection pre-work (subsonic loads will work to about 175 yards depending on conditions).
- Exceptionally simple design
- Smart features for use as a tactical bolt action rifle
- Very accurate
- Great stock (Hogue Overmolded design)
- Generally, just a hunting gun; not particularly well-suited to home defense or CQB
This is best for:The rancher or hunter who wants the best accuracy at a value price point and wants to easily be able to mix loads, use a suppressor and shoot a variety of game. This is a perfect fit for those who value the benefits of the .300 AAC Blackout in the hunting arena. This is a Remington Product; so is the .300 AAC Blackout.
Noveske Gen III N4 Recon Centerfire Rifles
Generally, the fit and finish, and of course, the reputation is on another level when it comes to rifles made by Noveske. The Innovative features of the entire line of products from the company easily explain why this has become a premium offering in a huge market of AR-styled firearms.
The rifle presented here is not a particularly flashy option in the .300 AAC Blackout range, but it is very good looking, even for those who don’t prefer the post-modern looks of the AR platform. The build is legitimate, and Noveske puts third party parts where they make the most sense, riding a fine line of cohesion, that keeps the gun well balanced and super-functional.
The handguard is a 13.5” NSR that has a built in 1913 rail and can be accessorized ad-nauseum, though, the gun doesn’t need a bunch of aftermarket inclusions
- Excellent design that is lightweight and maneuverable
- Great barrel for a variety of uses, but particularly well-suited to CQB
- Good decisions by Noveske for the third-party parts inclusions, including some Magpul furniture
- CERAKOTE coating
- Price point reflects a premium offering; looks are understated and may make the purchase seem middle of the road to some
This is best for:
Someone who will not compromise on any facet of build quality, functionality, accuracy or brand name. It is a very good contender for top rifle in this article. This is as a result of not just historical performance by Noveske products, but because it is simple, built to the hilt, and ready for hardcore action. It could also easily be deployed as a range gun and be right at home.
Q - HONEY BADGER 300 BLK 16" RIFLE
One of the best 308 Blackout rifles on the market for those who are dedicated to the idea of harnessing the potential of the .300 AAC Blackout in a home defense setting, and it may be the best bet if you truly are going for the whole package experience, where you will be mating a suppressor to the gun.
The low-profile, stealthy looks and the premium quality parts make this a steal at the price point and allow the user to feel confident in its operational integrity. Like its name implies, the Honey Badger is ready for action and looking for a fight.
The long, lean looks of the rifle at first glance, are a bit misleading as the gun is only 29” to 34” depending on how you have the stock positioned. A great size for close-in confrontations.
- Looks intimidating, and offers a show of force in use
- All parts are mated well together and offer some functional benefits
- Well priced considering the value of the parts and the rifle’s philosophy
- Frequently sold out
- The company is still fairly new and as such, is not as well established in all areas of the industry as many of their peers
This is best for:
The user who knows they will be utilizing a suppressor and wants the best mix or price, capability and build quality, without sacrificing on any functional aspects.
Sig Sauer - MCX
For the consumer that wants a brand name they can trust, without a bunch of unnecessary hype, the MCX 300 is a fantastic choice. The maker, Sig Sauer is a well-known, well respected institution in the industry and is constantly able to stand behind their guns and offer innovative features at a fair price.
The overall length offers good variability of many types of users, but still maintains a somewhat compact architecture to retain the CQB design benefits.
The two-position gas black allows for easy tuning for different loads, and takes the worry out of finding a perfect sub sonic round to use for self-defense, while allowing a supersonic option on the range or in the field against game animals.
- Easy switch between round types via a two-position lever style gas black actuation
- Known brand with great customer support
- Keymod handguard
- Fully ambidextrous controls
- A bit long for dedicated CQB work in small spaces – though not impossible to use
This is best for:The hunter who also wants some versatility in their deer or other medium game gun, to be used at home, and who still needs to have the capabilities of a semi-automatic rifle. Those who are dedicated to the AR platform but want hunting capabilities built in without too much fussing around.
IWI US - TAVOR XB95
IWI is a legitimate producer of weapons for the exact purpose that the .300 AAC Blackout fits. It is an obvious choice for those who want the philosophy of the IWI brand, or who are completely sold on the bullpup concept.
What you are getting with the Tavor is next generation benefits of a tried and true design that utilizes some of the same component parts of guns that have been around for decades. You are getting the best of both worlds, if you desire a bullpup design.
A tiny 26.125 inch overall length makes this a dream rifle for use in close quarters situations. It will also accept a suppressor easily and the brand stands behind their products well.
- Night sights, standard
- Tiny overall dimensions and compact length give big rifle performance with small gun capabilities
- Some may not like the bullpup design
- Bullpup design has a learning curve for those who have never used one
This is best for:
The bullpup enthusiast who already knows the benefits of carrying light and compact in a firefight. This is a perfect choice for those who want something different, but still need all the ballistic advantage of a full sized barrel and the accessorizing capabilities of the excellent design of the stock/shell.
RUGER - AMERICAN RANCH AR-MAGS 300 BLK
Less a home defense rifle, than it is a medium game gun, this is a different take on the .300 AAC Blackout, which is still easily suppressible, offers some excellent advantages from an accuracy perspective, and allows the user to experiment with any kind of load without the worry that it will not feed or perform as intended.
The Ruger American is a budget priced platform that gives access to some unique features at a paltry price point. The accuracy and functional capabilities of the rifle are amazing for the money.
If you plan on shooting more for fun, and only need an occasional ranch gun or don’t live in an urban setting, this rifle can do it all for you from home defense to predator culling on the homestead.
- Simple bolt action design allows any user to intuitively understand the rifle and use it immediately
- Exceptional entry price point
- Great suppressor rifle
- Comfortable balance and swing
- Not particularly well positioned as a home defense rifle, though capable of the task in a pinch
This is best for:The rancher or hunter that needs a versatile gun for a smaller price point than most of the .300 Blackout rifles on the market. If you want to play around with the caliber and see what it can do before you drop $2000 on a premium version, the Ruger American bolt action fits the bill.
FIGHTLITE INDUSTRIES - SCR SPTR 300 BLK
A hybrid approach to the fighting rifle, the Fightlite SCR is a sporting hybrid that can take on real world tactical scenarios as well. It has a traditional stock design with modern features that can accept most AR 15 component in the mainstream product groupings, including larger capacity magazines.
The unassuming looks are a sort of camouflage for the capabilities of the rifle and the reception by users on the market has been pretty good. The round pairs well with the design philosophy and the interchangeability and upgrade potential for the SCR platform makes this a very interesting option.
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is pretty innovative considering what most companies are offering on the 5.56 and .300 Blackout markets.
- Well thought out design
- Quality manufacturing
- Lots of options for changing around the rifle
- Takes regular, mass market components for the AR platform
- Company is not as proven an entity as other competitors
- We are yet to see the long-term sustainability and wear characteristics of the design
This is best for:
The person who always wants the newest innovation or design on the market. The user who really does want a multi-purpose rifle without losing any of the benefits of a semi auto platform. The shooter who likes to stick out from the crowd.
Barrett REC7-DI GEN II
The Barrett brand name and top-quality component parts come together to make a very good light and fast version of the AR rifle with an emphasis on the .300 AAC Blackout. This is mostly a mainstream offering but has some unique style and is backed by one of the best brands in the industry.
This is a well-priced premium entry into the game and Barrett knows it. The capabilities of the design have been proven for years and the smooth exterior looks and easy to customize design makes this a real contender for the best rifle on this list for the home defense or tactical user.
You are getting a rifle that is no-nonsense and has the pedigree of a full-fledged military legacy. While most of the attention for this REC7 platform is still on the 6.8SPC and the 5.56, the sleeper here is the .300 AAC Blackout that benefits from the design mentality and the proven component mix.
- Smooth corners and well finished to avoid problems in any situation with snagging or inadvertent misapplication of controls
- Proven component mix
- Barrett builds exceptional products
- Well priced considering the heritage and component quality
- None really
This is best for:A user who knows they want a premium brand but doesn’t want to overpay. Those who will actually use their gun as the design was intended to be used – hard. Barrett fans, or those who can’t afford some of the upper-end Barrett offerings. Those who need a reliable impingement operation on their rifles, but also need tuned standard options for different loads.
Not everyone will want the .300 AAC Blackout for self defense where the engagement range is under 30 feet, and this list reflects some of that conceptionally. The gun is equally adept at taking small and medium game at moderate ranges given the shooter can spend some time selecting loads.
The sound suppression is the holy grail aspect of the caliber platform, and the .300 AAC Blackout is made for sound suppression. If you can commit to that aspect of the build, you will be unbelievably impressed by both the ballistics, and by the tactical aspects of the round.
If you cannot commit to the sound suppression aspects of the round, it can be seen as something of a “ho-hum” provider of 30 caliber performance. It is still a blast to shoot with many features that many shooters will appreciate, like the donor cartridge being the .223/5.56; or the great protection against overpenetration for the subsonic loads.This list has several options on it regardless of your shooting orientation, and undoubtedly the best .300 AAC Blackout rifle is one of the rifles on this list, you just need to decide if the caliber is right for you and then which one of these excellent rifles fits the bill.