I am piecing together an AR pistol currently and having trouble deciding between two different directions:
- 300 Blackout with an 8.5 inch barrel
- 556 with a 10.5 to 11.5 inch barrel
Concept of use is a compact weapon for urban/vehicle/CQB use. Might throw a LAW tactical folder on it for compact storage.
556 gets the nod in commonality and cost. Buddies have 556. If I am at a training course others will be running 556. If crap hits the fan, others will be running 556 and it will be a hell of a lot more prevalent. I am not abandoning the caliber and will have 556 carbines in the safe for the rest of my days.
300 blackout gets the nod in effectiveness out of a short barrel, greater versatility and potential for suppressing. If I went with the 300 blackout, I would accelerate tentative plans to get a suppressor. 300 blackout is certainly a variant round, but it is becoming increasingly common. It is here to stay.
Factory 300 blackout is spendy, but I reload, which can lower the cost of shooting 300 blackout substantially. Lead subsonic reloads are in the ballpark of 223 reloads, so not a dramatic difference for practice ammo costs.
I am leaning towards the 300 black currently; it likely fits the niche better, especially with a can added to the end. A suppressed 300 blackout is the bees knees for indoor/close quarters stuff.
So - what does the tribe think? Short 556 or 300 blackout?