This is part 1 of my CMMG .300 Blackout review. Let me get this out in the open right now – I’m a HUGE “alternative bore” AR fan. What’s alternative bore, you ask? Well, it’s simple. Any AR rifle chambered in something other than .223 Remington/5.56 NATO is considered an alternative bore AR.You see, AR chamberings generally fall into five categories:
- Pistol Calibers (9 MM, .40 Smith & Wesson, .45 ACP)
- Small Bore (.22 LR, .223 Remington/5.56 NATO, .17 HMR, .204 Ruger)
- Medium Bore (6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, .264 LBC, .260 Remington, .243 Winchester, 6.8 SPC, 7mm-08)
- Full Bore (.300 AAC Blackout, .308 Winchester, .30 Remington AR, .300 Whisper, 7.62×39, 7.62×40 WT, .338 Federal)
- Big Bore (.450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM, .499 LW, .50 Beowulf)
Yes, I know I don’t have ALL of the different cartridges listed, but this is good enough.
So, like I said, I’m a big bore AR fan. My first alternative bore AR was a .450 Bushmaster, which I still have. My second alternative AR, and my newest rifle, is chambered in .300 AAC Blackout, or .300BLK for short.
When it came time to buy a new AR, I really struggled with what to buy. I’ve had my eye on a 6.8 SPC, .308 Win…hell, even a .50 Beowulf. However, the more I read, the more I heard people rave about this new .300BLK round. It was time to do some digging!
Without going too deep into the history, allow me to explain the background. The .300BLK was developed by Advanced Armament Corp. in cooperation with Remington (both companies are owned by Freedom Group). The goal was basically a .30 caliber projectile on an AR-15 platform that can still fit 30 rounds in a standard AR-15 magazine. Well, that did it. All you have to do to convert your existing AR-15 into a .300BLK is buy a new barrel. That’s it! It uses the same upper, magazines, bolt, etc. Now that I’ve explained that, let’s get back to the review.
I investigated a number of different .300BLK ARs and ultimately settled one on from CMMG. I ended up buying it from Nova Armament in Herndon, Virginia (which, I might add, was a pleasant experience). Since CMMG builds the rifle to order, it took about a month before it came in. When it did finally come in, not only did I pick up the rifle, but I also picked up some Magpul accessories in flat dark earth (rail covers, grip, stock, trigger guard and 30 round PMAGs) to go with it. Wow, what a beauty she turned out to be. 🙂
Before I go any further, the specs on the rifle:
- Mil-spec 4140 chrome-moly steel barrel
- .300 AAC Blackout chamber
- 1:8 twist
- A2 flash hider
- WASP treated barrel, including the chamber, bore, and under the front site base
- Mid-length four rail free-float tube
- All this for $950!
When I pulled the rifle out of the box, the first thing I noticed was the build quality. There’s absolutely no slop or play between the upper and lower receiver. The rifle came with a standard 6-position adjustable stock that allows the shooter to adjust the length of pull (LOP) to fit his or her body. It also came with a standard AR-15 grip, a free-floating quad-rail handguard for mounting various accessories and an A2 “birdcage-style” flash hider.
Like I said earlier, when I picked up the rifle I also picked up some Magpul goodies. I’m a huge fan of Magpul. They offer quality accessories at a price that can’t be beat. I added an MOE stock, MOE grip, MOE trigger guard, and XT rail panels, all in flat dark earth.
When it came time to choose an optic, that required a bit more thought. I spent a few days trying to decide between a red dot or an “AR-specific” scope like Leupold’s Mark AR series or Nikon’s M-223. I don’t plan on hunting with it (initially, anyway), so I decided to go the red dot route. If I decide I want to hunt with it in the future, I can always add a scope on a quick disconnect base so I can switch back and forth.
After deciding on a red dot, I then had to figure out which one. I’ve always wanted a Trijicon ACOG, but I didn’t feel like parting with $1,000 at this time. I almost bit on a used EOTech 512, but ultimately decided on the AR-332 from Burris. So far, I’m happy I did it.
After perusing the ‘Net for a couple of hours looking for a good deal, I ultimately ended up purchasing it from Optics Plant for $310. Not a bad deal at all, if you ask me.
I’ll be doing a full review of the AR-332 in a future article, so I’m not going to dive too deep into it right now. Let me just say, though, this feels like a quality, quality piece of equipment. 🙂
So, that’s it for right now. I’m taking the gun to the range today, so look for part two of the review in the next few days.