Barnaul Steel Case 300 AAC Blackout Review

Economical Russian steel case ammunition is now available in 300 AAC Blackout! We hit the range with it to find out how well it performs.

Barnaul Steel Case 300 AAC Blackout Review
Steel case 300 AAC Blackout ammunition has arrived on the US market from Barnaul of Russia.

Big news for anyone who has, or is thinking of buying a rifle or pistol chambered for 300 AAC Blackout. Economical steel case ammunition has finally been introduced in this popular caliber. The Russian Barnaul Cartridge Plant is now manufacturing 300 AAC Blackout ammunition, and shipments have arrived in the US. This is great news for anyone who enjoys shooting this .30-caliber intermediate cartridge, but is bummed out by the high cost of ammunition. Finally, there is a truly economical option available for training and recreation.

Firearms News visited the Barnaul Cartridge Plant a few years ago while members of our editorial team were adventuring in the Altai Region of Siberia. Having shot my fair share of Russian steel case ammunition, I was interested to see how this new offering would perform. Barnaul’s 300 AAC BLK load is built on a Berdan primed steel cartridge case. This features a protective high-temperature polymer coating. A silver gray in color, this finish is designed to prevent rust and corrosion, while also aiding feeding and extraction. At the base you will find a non-corrosive Berdan primer. Seated into the cartridge case is a 145-grain full metal jacket bullet. Barnaul claims this has a G1 Ballistic Coefficient of 0.366, but I would expect this to be based on mathematical calculations rather than on actual Doppler radar testing. Advertised muzzle velocity is 1,985 fps, although a barrel length is not listed. I would expect this to be from a 16-inch barrel.

Barnaul-300-Blackout
The new Barnaul offering features a 145-grain FMJ bullet, non-corrosive Berdan primer and polymer coated steel cartridge case.

While I am very excited about this new offering by Barnaul, the 145-grain bullet weight is a bit heavier than I would prefer. A 110 to 120-grain load would have been ideal, but perhaps we will see something like that down the road. With ammo on my doorstep I grabbed a pair of 300 BLKs and headed to the range. I was interested in seeing what type of velocity could be realized from barrel lengths most Blackout fans would actually gravitate to. Rob Silvers originally optimized his cartridge for use in a 9-inch barrel, so that seemed to be a natural. With the rising interest in PDWs I thought it might be prudent to also test something quite a bit shorter than 9 inches. So, I chose a SIG Sauer Rattler with a 5.5-inch barrel and an old 9-inch AAC AR-15.

Examining cartridges pulled at random from different boxes revealed no visual flaws. The cases all looked good, the primers were seated properly, the case finish was evenly applied and the projectiles had no discernable flaws. Cartridges fed, chambered, extracted and ejected without issue. Satisfied, I checked velocity and accuracy at 100 yards. I guessed there would be about a 35 fps loss per inch of barrel from the factory advertised velocity of 1,985 fps. I figured the 9-inch barrel would average about 1,740 fps, and so had an ear to ear grin when I checked the LabRadar Doppler chronograph and saw the 9-inch AAC AR-15 had averaged 1,737 fps. This load had a high of 1,748 fps and a low of 1,723 fps. Extreme spread was 24 fps and the Standard Deviation was 7.8. Accuracy from a rest using iron sights averaged 2.5 inches. This was for four 5-shot groups at 100 yards.


While my guess for the velocity of the 9-inch barrel was spot on, I was a bit off when it came to the 5.5-inch SIG Sauer Rattler. This averaged a rather sedate 1,503 fps, with a high of 1,536 and a low of 1,478 fps. Extreme Spread was 58 fps and the Standard Deviation came in at 24.4. While the velocity was on the low side, accuracy was quite good averaging 2.7 inches for four 5-shot groups. I shot these using a SIG Sauer red dot sight.


Function-wise, there were zero problems with both guns running with no problems. Bolts locked back properly and ejection was sure. I used 20 and 30-round Magpul PMAGs and experienced no problems with them. This load proved fun shooting steel plates and paper targets with, which is what I would expect most shooters will use it for. As long as it is reliable and functions well people will like it. While my test quantity was less than 500 rounds, functioning was 100% in both guns. I expect this load will prove popular once the panic buying dies down and pricing/availability returns to normal.

Barnaul .300 AAC Blackout Specifications

  • Bullet: 145 grains, full metal jacket
  • Ballistic Coefficient (G1): 0.366
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,985 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 1,268 ft/lb
  • Max Powder Pressure Bar (lb/inch2): 50,763
  • Cartridge Max Length: 2.15 inches
  • Cartridge Average Weight: 239 grains
  • Rounds per Box: 20
  • Rounds per Case: 500

For more information, visit barnaulammo.com.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Transcoded: FANIssue11-SpringfieldEdgeEVAC

Transcoded: FANIssue11-SpringfieldEdgeEVAC

Patrick Sweeney of Firearms News shows off the Springfield Edge AR pistol with a folding arm brace.

M134 Mini-Gun

M134 Mini-Gun

While filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV we had the unique opportunity to fire the M134 Minigun.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice would be ridiculous. 2nd Amendment

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous? If Not, Who Would Citizen Disarmament Help?

David Codrea - May 29, 2019

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice...

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy. Air Guns

AirForce Airguns Condor Ring-Loc Kit Review

Tom Gaylord - May 29, 2019

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy.

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the president himself. 2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers. Historical

World War II German Elefant Tank Destroyers

Neal S Shera - July 12, 2019

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers.

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

Speer's Gold Dot Carry Gun features the original G2's exclusive bullet nose design. Ammo

Speer Introduces Gold Dot Carry Gun Ammo for Compact Personal Defense Handguns

Firearms News Staff - June 20, 2020

Speer's Gold Dot Carry Gun features the original G2's exclusive bullet nose design.

CCI Ammunition announced their new Clean-22 Suppressor .22 LR rounds, packaged in their new easy-to-pour, bulk-pack cartons. Ammo

CCI Clean-22 Suppressor .22 LR Cartons – First Look

Samantha Knight - July 15, 2020

CCI Ammunition announced their new Clean-22 Suppressor .22 LR rounds, packaged in their new...

How does the 5.7x28mm stack up against the 9mm, and should you consider it for personal protection? Ammo

5.7x28mm VS 9mm — Which Is Better?

David M. Fortier - June 26, 2020

How does the 5.7x28mm stack up against the 9mm, and should you consider it for personal...

Originally developed for US Special Operations, we examine the development of SIG Sauer's 300 BLK Tipped Hunting load. Ammo

SIG Sauer Expanding 300 BLK V-Crown - How Good Is It?

Tom Beckstrand - July 02, 2020

Originally developed for US Special Operations, we examine the development of SIG Sauer's 300...

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now