Preview – The Ultimate Battle Round
The official round of the good guy has been the 5.56x45mm NATO for almost half a century. It is a derivative of the .223 Remington cartridge that was developed in the United States and adopted by NATO to become the standard small arms round of most democratic countries throughout the world.
The advantages of the 5.56 are that it is fast flying, has low recoil, is lightweight and can be lugged around in large quantities. Its high velocity helps the bullet impact and fragment with such energy that the target is left with a massive wound. Even so, its stopping power has been in question for decades.
There have been reports from soldiers in recent conflicts about hitting their targets with 5.56 rounds but having no immediate stopping effect. When fired at certain distances, the high-velocity round goes too fast and fails to yaw (turn sideways) and tumble through the target. No tumbling means no massive injuries. What results instead is a bullet that flies cleanly through the target, leaving a small, ineffective wound.
In comparison, the most common round U.S. troops face is the 7.62x39mm cartridge. Made famous by its use in the Soviet-designed AK-47, the 7.62x39mm round is known for its stopping power. It doesn’t possess the range or accuracy of the 5.56, but it does stop whatever it hits.
At close to intermediate ranges—0 to 300 meters—the 7.62 is a potent manstopper. However, it is not known as an accurate round past those ranges. The 5.56 is inherently more accurate and is known to be effective farther out than the 7.62. Fans of both rounds can debate which is better until the end of time. But is there an even better-performing round out there?
Advanced Armament Company (AAC) decided to create a round that could harness the strengths of both the 5.56 and the 7.62. AAC began the reinvention of the world’s most popular rifle rounds by studying the needs of the intended users and combining them with ballistic performance and the practicality of large-scale implementation.
The new round would need to be capable of being carried in quantity and display low recoil characteristics like the currently issued 5.56 round. It would have to be hard hitting like a 7.62x39mm round and be capable of penetrating substantial barriers. It would be designed around the AR platform, making a caliber transition feasible for the U.S. military’s existing M4/M16 rifles.
What AAC came up with is the 300 AAC Blackout, also known as the 300BLK…
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