8.6 Blackout vs 300 Blackout

8.6 Blackout is considered to be the big brother to 300 Blackout.

Is that really true? What do these two calibers have in common and what sets them apart?

Let’s dig into these two calibers and figure out what all the hype is about.

What is 8.6 Blackout

The 8.6 Blackout represents a significant leap forward in ammunition design, building on the foundation laid by the 300 Blackout to offer shooters an unparalleled performance in suppressed and supersonic shooting. This round sets itself apart with a fast 1:3 twist rate, deviating from the traditional 1:7 and 1:8 twists found in popular calibers like the 5.56 NATO or 300 BLK. Designed to maximize “energy on target,” the 8.6 Blackout redefines precision and efficiency, promising to enhance terminal performance.

The key to the 8.6 Blackout’s innovation is its compatibility with AR-10 patterned rifles and the use of standard 308 magazines, ensuring ease of use and accessibility. The round employs a 338 subsonic load based on the 300-grain Sierra Match King, optimized for a shortened case to work flawlessly with gas-operated firearms without necessitating magazine modifications.

This low-pressure cartridge utilizes a shortened 6.5 Creedmoor case to accommodate subsonic and high ballistic coefficient projectiles. With ammunition development led by industry giants such as Gorilla, Hornady, Black Hills, and Discreet Ballistics, and designed around a 12-inch barrel, the 8.6 Blackout is poised to offer unmatched accuracy and performance.

What is 300 Blackout

The 300 Blackout (also known as 300 BLK or 7.62×35mm), is a cartridge that stands out for its exceptional balance of power, accuracy, and versatility. Developed by Advanced Armament Corporation, its design objectives were clear: offering a cartridge that excels in supersonic and subsonic applications within the existing AR-15 platform.

This adaptability makes the 300 Blackout a favorite among various shooting enthusiasts, ranging from hunters and sport shooters to those involved in tactical and defense operations. The cartridge’s compatibility with the AR-15 system is a significant advantage; shooters can switch to a 300 Blackout setup by simply changing the barrel, and maintaining the use of standard AR-15 magazines and bolts.

Supersonic loads cater to those seeking greater range and stopping power, ideal for outdoor shooting and hunting medium-sized game. Conversely, subsonic loads, which are significantly quieter and have reduced recoil, are perfect for suppressed shooting. The cartridge’s engineering provides impressive ballistics, energy delivery, and versatility, making it a powerful option for hunting, tactical applications, and home defense.

Similarities and Differences

The 8.6 Blackout and the 300 Blackout rounds share a foundational concept of enhancing shooting performance, especially in suppressed firearms, demonstrating a commitment to versatility and efficiency in design. Both calibers are born from the desire to provide shooters with more options for quiet operation without sacrificing power or accuracy.

Their development signals an ongoing evolution in ammunition technology. The use of common platform rifles, like the AR-15 for 300 BLK and AR-10 for 8.6 BLK, further illustrates their intention to integrate into existing firearm platforms.

The 8.6 Blackout incorporates a faster 1:3 twist rate compared to the 300 Blackout’s typical 1:7 or 1:8 twist rates. Likewise, the 300 Blackout is a great intermediate cartridge, whereas the 8.6 Blackout resembles more of a traditional rifle round.

Additionally, the 8.6 BLK’s design around a 12-inch barrel and its adaptation of a shortened 6.5 Creedmoor case for using subsonic and high ballistic coefficient projectiles maximizes ballistic efficiency.

In contrast, the 300 Blackout provides a versatile solution for users of AR-15 platforms, bridging the gap between the capabilities of 5.56 NATO and larger rounds, optimizing performance across a range of barrel lengths and shooting conditions.

When it comes to ammunition though, 8.6 Blackout ammo is considerably more expensive than 300 Blackout.

8.6 Blackout Ammo

The ammunition availability for the 8.6 Blackout is growing by the day thanks to manufacturers such as Gorilla Ammunition.

Gorilla Ammunition offers a wide range of loads for the 8.6 Blackout, catering to different shooting needs and barrel lengths. Among their offerings are the 285gr Subsonic Fracturing Projectiles, designed for maximum impact.

For those seeking precision at subsonic speeds, the 300gr Sierra MatchKing options are perfect, available in configurations suited for 8″, 12″, or 16″ barrels.

Hunters will find the 210gr Barnes TSX rounds and the Silverback 285gr Fracturing Subsonic Hunting Ammunition to be some of the best out there, offering deep penetration and consistent expansion.

Gorilla Ammunition’s dedication to the 8.6 Blackout caliber is evident in its comprehensive selection, providing shooters with a range of options.

8.6 Blackout Rifle

The Faxon Firearms Sentinel AR10, chambered in 8.6 Blackout, represents a significant evolution in rifle design, combining the familiarity of the AR platform with the enhanced performance of the 8.6 BLK cartridge. This combination provides a substantial upgrade in terms of range and power, making it a formidable choice for both tactical operations and hunting.

The 8.6 BLK’s ability to deliver higher energy on target at extended distances, compared to traditional AR-15 calibers, sets a new standard for precision shooting. The Sentinel AR10 takes advantage of this by incorporating features like a precision barrel with a 1:3 twist rate, ensuring stability and accuracy for heavier rounds. Its design includes a free-floating handguard and an adjustable stock or brace, optimizing ergonomics and performance.

Faxon’s commitment to quality is evident in the Sentinel’s construction, offering shooters a reliable, high-performing rifle backed by a lifetime guarantee, making it an ideal choice for those looking to leverage the capabilities of the 8.6 Blackout.

8.6 Blackout vs 300 Blackout

Faxon Firearms proudly introduces the FX7 Pershing Bolt Action Rifle in 8.6 Blackout, showcasing their dedication to precision and innovation.

Engineered for unparalleled accuracy and durability, the FX7 Pershing features a 416-R Stainless Steel barrel with a 1:3 twist rate, optimized for the 8.6 BLK cartridge. The action is designed for compatibility with Remington 700 short action stocks, chassis systems, and triggers, facilitating a wide range of customization options. An integrated 20-MOA Picatinny rail and a 70-degree bolt lift enhance its adaptability and ease of use.

8.6 Blackout vs 300 Blackout

The rifle’s bolt showcases Faxon’s original flame fluting, adding a unique aesthetic touch to its robust functionality. Finished with ArmorLube DLC coating for durability and a low-glare finish, and housed in an MDT/Faxon co-branded chassis with an MDT Skeleton stock in grey Cerakote, the FX7 Pershing is not just a bolt gun but an extension of the shooter’s capability, reflecting Faxon’s commitment to excellence.

8.6 Blackout Barrels

Faxon Firearms has manufactured a lineup of barrels specifically tailored for the 8.6 Blackout, a testament to their commitment to precision and quality.

These barrels are distinguished by a unique 1:3 twist rate, a design choice that maximizes the performance capabilities of the 8.6 Blackout cartridge, ensuring superior stability and accuracy for projectiles.

Available in various lengths, including 16″, 12″, and 8″, each barrel caters to different shooting preferences and requirements, from long-range precision to compact tactical setups. Manufactured from high-quality materials such as 4150 steel and 416-R stainless steel, and treated with advanced finishes like QPQ Nitride for durability and corrosion resistance, Faxon’s barrels are engineered to last.

With options available for both AR-10 platforms and bolt-action rifles, Faxon Firearms ensures that shooters have access to the best barrels on the market, each backed by Faxon’s Lifetime Guarantee.