There are few calibers that can fill as many practical roles as the 300 Blackout. 300 BO has proven its capability as a hunting, defense, and armed professional caliber. This caliber blew up in popularity in the competition scene and has gone from new boutique cartridge commonplace in only a handful of years. One of the great benefits of 300 BO is the versatility of the cartridge that allows shooters to enjoy heavy subsonic rounds as well as lighter, faster rounds that mimic the capabilities of 7.62x39 out of the same gun.
The cartridge also works well with a variety of barrel lengths on the AR platform and, maybe best of all, you can finally find factory ammo on just about any gun shop ammo shelf at reasonable prices. While there are dozens of great applications for the 300 BO, every great rifle benefits from a great optic. Let’s look at the strengths and weaknesses of this cartridge and determine which is the best 300 Blackout scope.
Table of Contents
- Practical Applications for 300 Blackout
- Realistic Capabilities
- What Type of Optic to Use?
- Best 300 Blackout Scope on the Market Review
- 1 Primary Arms Silver Series – Best mid-range 300 Blackout Scope
- 2 Monstrum G2 – Best Budget 300 Blackout Scope
- 3 Nikon P Tactical – Best Hunting 300 Blackout Scope
- 4 Trijicon Acog – Best Tactical Scope for 300 Blackout
- 5 Vortex Spitfire – Best Scope for 300 Blackout Pistol or SBR
- 6 EOTECH XPS2 – Best Scope for 300 Blackout Subsonic
- 7 ATN ThOR 4 – Best Thermal 300 Blackout Scope
- 8 Aimpoint PRO – Best Red Dot Sight for 300 Blackout
- Final Thoughts
Practical Applications for 300 Blackout
One of the first places that 300 BO gained popularity was on the three-gun scene. A .30 caliber projectile fired from the AR 15 gave many competitors a huge advantage, especially in the heavy metal categories.
The fact that heavy projectiles could be loaded in this caliber and fire at subsonic speeds made this caliber a favorite for those who prefer to shoot suppressed and those looking for a superior defense round in their AR platform rifle. This is one of features that the military was looking for when they first commissioned the creation of 300 Blackout. While the caliber has not gained wide use in military applications, it has proven that it can perform the tasks required for that role.
Hunters latched onto this cartridge quickly, and it has proven its ability to lay down medium and large game across North America. As a wild hog caliber, it has become extremely popular from both AR and Mini 14 platform rifles, and AR pistols. Many veterans and enthusiasts who hunt deer prefer to do so with a tactical style rifle, and 300 Blackout is a fantastic cartridge for whitetail deer.
While the 300 Blackout has excellent capabilities, it is important to know what the limitations when determining realistic applications. Because of the versatility of the cartridge, especially when reloaders get ahold of it, there are a number of potential ballistics tables that could be used to try and get an idea of what the bullet will do when it leaves the barrel. Due to this, let’s consider just hypersonic and subsonic rounds in very general terms.
If we think about a common hypersonic round that is 130 grains, we will see the bullet start to drop considerably after 150 yards. We can expect about 20 inches of vertical bullet drop by 200 yards, making this a capable hunting or military round for engagements within 200 yards. Loads similar to these are often compared to having similar capabilities to that of the AK47. While the round does have acceptable energy beyond 200 yards, judicious marksmanship becomes more challenging.
Heavier subsonic rounds are often fired from short barrels with suppressors. 220 grain projectiles offer similar performance to that of the .45 ACP while giving the shooter the control and capacity of a rifle. While most of us are well aware of the ability of a 220 grain pill to terminate game or an adversary, performance will drop off very quickly after 100 yards and we can expect close to 40 inches of vertical drop around the 200 yard mark. Realistically, subsonic rounds should be considered for use at targets 100 yards or nearer, especially from some of the short barrels commonly used with these loads.
What Type of Optic to Use?
When using hypersonic ammunition for hunting or competition, consider using some magnification to help with accurate shot placement while not going overboard. A rifle in 300 Blackout won’t pair well with scopes that feature exposed turrets or extreme magnifications. Using a variable or fixed optic with magnification up to 6x, or maybe 8x is about as high as you will want to go. Consider using scopes that give great awareness in the peripherals to take advantage of the benefits rifles like the AR 15 or Mini 14 provide.
Subsonic rounds will pair best with low or no magnification optics. As these rounds are more suited to defensive use and have limited practical use beyond 100 yards, red dots, holographic sights, and low power fixed scopes will provide the shooter with the ability to quickly acquire and transition between targets.
When shopping for scopes to mount on your 300 Blackout, you will find that there are many options that have reticles designed to work specifically for the caliber. This is a great benefit when compared to other boutique calibers, but the 300 Blackout has been proven capable enough and gained enough popularity over the last decade or so that scope manufactures have seen a market for this feature. Generally, these reticles will work best with supersonic rounds from a 16-inch barrel unless otherwise specified. If you are looking at scopes with graduated reticles, be sure they are calibrated for 300 Blackout as the ballistics are very different from the more common 5.56 and .308 reticles available.
Best 300 Blackout Scope on the Market Review
Use the following list to help choose the right optic for your 300 Blackout. Regardless of your application or style of firearm, there is likely something in here that will fill your needs. One of the great things about this caliber is the versatility, but that can also make finding the right accessories challenging to those unfamiliar with optic capabilities. We are sure this guide will help you to make the best selection for your application.
1 Primary Arms Silver Series – Best mid-range 300 Blackout Scope
If you are looking to get the best bang for your buck on a magnified scope for your 300 Blackout, this is the scope we immediately recommend. Primary Arms has a reputation for making some of the best consumer grade scopes on the market, and this one comes with their legendary ACSS reticle. This reticle is a favorite among many respected names in the long-range shooting industry, and you can see it being used in many military grade optics. The reticle in this scope is specially calibrated to be accurate at range with supersonic 300 Blackout loads.
In addition to the reticle, the scope is made with an aluminum body, excellent lenses that provide a crisp and clear image, and has magnification from 1x to 6x which will give you the best sight picture for any practical situation with 300 Blackout. The illumination added to the reticle will help quickly acquire targets during poor lighting conditions, making this an excellent option for hunting, defense, or competition shooting. This scope will work well on most AR platform builds, including SBRs and AR pistols, but will probably be seen more often with a rifle length barrel.
2 Monstrum G2 – Best Budget 300 Blackout Scope
For a budget friendly option, Monstrum Tactical has a scope that will serve the competitor or the hunter well. This is a first focal plane scope that will help you make precise shots with fine reticle. The 1x-4x magnification will help you to transition quickly between near and far targets quickly, and the illuminated reticle will help during low light conditions.
This scope does offer extra value by including a set of medium height rings that will attach to any picatinny rail and flip-up lens covers. This scope does feature exposed turrets, which may be a little optimistic with a maximum magnification of 4x, and most shooters will likely prefer to rely on the reticle with graduations in MOA rather than making any adjustments in the turrets.
As with most Monstrum products, while you may not be expecting the highest quality glass and the finest precision tracking in the turrets, you will get a very rugged and serviceable scope for the money with a lot of features that are often reserved for much more expensive products.
3 Nikon P Tactical – Best Hunting 300 Blackout Scope
For a more traditional hunting scope, you cannot go wrong with this version of the Nikon P Tactical. This scope offers Nikon’s BDC reticle which has been calibrated for 300 Blackout. Whether you are using a Remington 700, a Ruger American, a Mini 14, or an AR in 300 Blackout, this scope will fit well and compliment the rifle for hunting applications. Hunters will also appreciate the familiar 3x-9x magnification range.
This scope does offer exposed turrets with zero stop built in, which are unlikely to be used by most 300 Blackout shooters. It is nice that cost savings were achieved by skipping the parallax adjustment that would also have probably been a waste for most hunters.
As with all Nikon products, you will appreciate the high-quality lenses which will provide a crisp and clear field of view. Nikon’s lens coatings will also help to reduce any fogging while also gathering extra light to help with those shots at dawn or dusk.
4 Trijicon Acog – Best Tactical Scope for 300 Blackout
The Trijicon ACOG is one of the most popular scopes used by the American military today. This is one of the most rugged scopes available. It has a one-piece body with a fixed 4x magnification, the reticle offers battery-free illumination and automatic brightening or dimming. The lenses are both crystal clears, and extremely resistant to scratches and damage.
This version of the ACOG features a BDC reticle which has been calibrated specifically for the 300 Blackout. One of the best parts of this reticle is the arrow style aiming point which is infinitely accurate in design, giving the shooter the most accurate shot placement possible.
No other optic on this list has the proven pedigree that this scope has in both military and law enforcement applications. This is a favorite scope of mine based on my experiences with it in Afghanistan, and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed with this scope. This scope can help you to be successful hunting or in competition, but you will find the best utility from this scope on a tactical rifle or AR pistol, or on a defensive weapon.
5 Vortex Spitfire – Best Scope for 300 Blackout Pistol or SBR
At first glance the Vortex Spitfire will look like another mid-level red dot sight, but this is actually a prism scope. Prism scopes are fantastic advances in rifle optic technology as they give the shooter all the benefits of a red dot sight but allow for more useful reticles. This sight is lightweight, rugged, and has excellent battery life, but offers a reticle that will help shooters quickly acquire close targets with the large circle or make hits at longer ranges with the precise red dot in the middle.
As with most Vortex products, the lenses on this scope are crystal clear and have coatings that help to reduce fogging and scratches. The scope comes with a riser that will allow AR shooters the ability to co-witness their iron sights to provide redundant aiming systems, though the riser may be removed to mount on other rifles if desired. Extra features that you will appreciate are the included flip up lens covers and the turret caps that have the adjustment tool built into them for easy zeroing on the range.
6 EOTECH XPS2 – Best Scope for 300 Blackout Subsonic
The XPS2 should be a familiar rifle optic for tactical rifle shooters, but there is a specific model of this sight that makes it perfect for 300 Blackout shooters. Anybody who has shot EOTECH will be familiar with their “donut of death” reticle that features a 65 MOA ring with a 2 MOA dot in the middle, giving shooters the best of both worlds when transitioning from CQB to mid-ranged targets. This model has a similar reticle, but with two dots inside the circle; they are used to make hits with 300 Blackout at varying ranges and are calibrated for both supersonic and subsonic loads.
In addition to an excellent reticle built into the optic, there are tons of other benefits. This lightweight optic has a design that allows for maximum awareness when looking down the rifle as the body of the optic is very minimal. While remaining minimal, the body that is present is extremely durable and the holographic design allows the optic to function and maintain zero even if the glass is damaged.
7 ATN ThOR 4 – Best Thermal 300 Blackout Scope
The ThOR 4 with its 1.5x-5x magnification range is suited perfectly to the strengths of the 300 Blackout when hunting at night. This scope is loaded with features such as automatic recording, automatic adjustment for bullet drop and wind, simple and intuitive operation, and a battery life of over 18 hours. This thermal scope will allow the shooter to hunt at day or night and will take all the guess work out of point of aim.
Due to the unique challenges that hog hunting provides, and the benefits that 300 Blackout has in hog hunting, this is likely the best scope for hog hunting, especially when paired with a rifle chambered in 300 Blackout. While this is easily the most expensive optic on this list, if you are serious about hog hunting this optic will give you the greatest advantages and nearly ensure your next hunt is successful.
8 Aimpoint PRO – Best Red Dot Sight for 300 Blackout
While there are a lot of optics on this list that incorporate cutting edge technology and use magnification to help find targets at range, many of us prefer a no-nonsense approach to our optics. The Aimpoint PRO gives shooters a simple dot to use as an aiming point, and other than adjustable brightness there is nothing else the user need concern themselves with.
Aimpoint has been considered the gold standard in red dot sights for decades because of their bomb-proof durability, exceptional battery life, and the crispest red dot on the market. The optic does come pre-installed into a mount that will offer a lower 1/3rd co-witness with any iron sights you may have with your AR 15. It would be a challenge to talk about tactical rifle sights or red dot sights and not mention the Aimpoint PRO as this optic has exploded onto the civilian market after the success of the military issued M68.
The 300 Blackout has proven its value in both utility and performance through a broad range of applications. While this might not quite be the round that can do everything, it can do a lot of things, and do them very well.
If you are considering 300 Blackout, or already have a firearm chambered in 300 BO, you are in good company. As with any caliber though, it will only perform as desired if the bullet finds its target. Use this guide to help find the best 300 Blackout scope that best suits your applications, and be confident when firing your 300 Blackout.