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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I figured I'd ask, as I'm researching this and it'd be nice to be able to ping pong things off someone who's already gone there (or is going there, too).
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Well, I've done my homework and it seems that the best mix of ballistic coefficient, weight, expansion, and speed I can find in a factory load for .300 AAC to do some suppressed hunting out to ~50-75 yards with … is:

https://www.lehighdefense.com/produ...nic-maximum-expansion-ammo?variant=1066138648

  • .638 BC
  • 194 gr
  • reliable expansion
  • 1000 fps and 430 ft/lbs of energy out of a 16" barrel
  • 965 fps and 401 ft/lbs of energy out of a 9" barrel

Spendy stuff but it has excellent reviews from those who have hunted with it. We'll see how it goes this season...
 

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I've loaded some 170gr. flat point bullets designed for the .30-30, and some 150gr Barnes "X" bullets, but have yet to shoot any deer. Both of these can be loaded to subsonic, giving up energy that heavier subsonics would give, but the bullets designs (the 170gr has a thinner jacket than standard .308" hunting bullets), and the Barnes may plop the "X" petals open at lower velocities for a nice cut through the flesh. That is if you need total subsonic, and are using a bolt gun; if using an autoloader, you will need a 200-240 ,etc,, as lighter loads will not operate the gun, and expansion is a crap shoot. Now if you don't mind hypersonic, and the accompanying crack, Nosler's or Hornady's 125gr. Ballistic Tip type bullets at 2100-2200fps will do a nice job, and have been extremely accurate even out of 1-8" twist barrels. Also, the 170gr bullets can be loaded to 1650-1700fps, making hypersonic, but likely to expand and give maximum energy and penetration with expansion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That is if you need total subsonic, and are using a bolt gun; if using an autoloader, you will need a 200-240 ,etc,, as lighter loads will not operate the gun, and expansion is a crap shoot.
The added pressure from running suppressed should, in theory, allow an autoloader to operate with (at least some) lighter loads. Running suppressed is, of course, the only reason I believe one would likely want subsonics to begin with. :)

Now if you don't mind hypersonic, and the accompanying crack, Nosler's or Hornady's 125gr. Ballistic Tip type bullets at 2100-2200fps will do a nice job, and have been extremely accurate even out of 1-8" twist barrels. Also, the 170gr bullets can be loaded to 1650-1700fps, making hypersonic, but likely to expand and give maximum energy and penetration with expansion.
In this case, I mind hypersonic -- specifically because I tend to zero a firearm for one specific load … and then only use it for that load (since it would have to be re-zero'd for a different load). My .300 AAC build is, of course, intended for ultra quiet (i.e. suppressed, subsonic) running since .300 AAC is so well-suited to it … so there won't be any supersonic cracks coming from this pistol if I can help it. :)
 

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The added pressure from running suppressed should, in theory, allow an autoloader to operate with (at least some) lighter loads. Running suppressed is, of course, the only reason I believe one would likely want subsonics to begin with. :)
The theory may be correct, if you are lucky, but a suppressor is no guarantee for functioning with "reduced" pressure loads. Good luck.

In this case, I mind hypersonic -- specifically because I tend to zero a firearm for one specific load … and then only use it for that load (since it would have to be re-zero'd for a different load). My .300 AAC build is, of course, intended for ultra quiet (i.e. suppressed, subsonic) running since .300 AAC is so well-suited to it … so there won't be any supersonic cracks coming from this pistol if I can help it. :)
After awhile, hunting becomes hunting, and adequately anchoring the animal may take precedence over the most quiet suppressed shot you can make. Also, a suppressor may add enough pressure to operate the gun with subsonic "reduced pressure" loads, but it is no guarantee. Good luck.
 

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Wow. The .300 Whisper was not some unknown wildcat. J. D. Jones developed it early on, and fully intended it to be the subsonic, suppressable wonder that it is. AAC and the boys got tired of J.D's attitude of greed and proprietariness (is that a word?) over access to the .300 Whisper, and decided to "redesign" it to grab at the money and control of market thsat Jones was trying to keep for himeslf. That redesigned cartridge, the .300 Blackout seems to be completely interchangeable with the .300 Whisper, with so slight a shoulder change, you can basically ignore it and use any brass and dies to load either. Yes, it IS a wonderful cartridge, and the 220gr subsonic has more retained energy at 400 yards than the .45ACP has at the muzzle, and a whole lot better ballistic coefficient to boot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After awhile, hunting becomes hunting, and adequately anchoring the animal may take precedence over the most quiet suppressed shot you can make.
As a hunter, anchoring the animal with a single, ethical shot is my highest priority. The reason I hunt with a suppressor is so that I do not need hearing protection -- specifically to allow me to better use my natural hearing while hunting.

In the early season I deer hunt from permanently-placed tree stands along the edges of certain fields and power lines on the private land I hunt. For this I use a suppressed Remington 700 SPS Tactical chambered in .308. My longest shot, to date, was ranged at 434 yards, and the animal ran less than 20 yards before collapse.


However, I also use a climbing stand in the woods so that I can take the hunt to where the deer are in the late season. For that, I don't need nearly as much gun. Lugging the SPS Tactical into the woods and up a haul line is a real chore, as it's big and unwieldy with the can on the end. I've taken my Marlin 30-30 up the line, too, but while it's a great brush gun, I can't readily suppress it.

Thus, the .300 AAC pistol build I just finished … which is plenty of gun for 50 to 75 yard shots … for use in a stand where I tend to only be able to see 20-30ish yards, tops, anyway. The low muzzle energy is enough to get the job done ethically as long as there's good shot placement to the vitals (i.e. double-lung) and there's reliable expansion to increase the size of the wound channel.


I've only ever had one animal drop in its tracks and not move at all, by the way -- and that was from a neck shot. I'm a decent enough shot to take neck shots reliably at under 100 yards, but the potential for human error is still sizeable enough that I have very mixed feelings about this shot and, thus, have only done it once. I also don't take shoulder shots, at all, since it destroys too much meat … meaning it's immaterial whether I use .308 or .300 AAC suppressed, since I'm most inclined to take a double-lung shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
So … next year I'll be adding a crossbow to my kit in order to add 30 days of bow hunting to my deer hunting season. I mention it here because I did a comparison and noted that the subsonic .300 AAC rounds I hunt with have about 6x less kinetic energy than the .308 WIN rounds I hunt with … but the .300 AAC rounds I use have about 4x more kinetic energy than the 400gr crossbow bolts (moving at 410fps, which is very fast for a cross-bow, and significantly faster than a compound bow shooting the same weight arrow) that will pass cleanly through the animal at 40 yards or less.


Obviously there's more to stopping power than KE, but it was interesting to do some quick math just to get a basis for comparison regarding the permissible threshold for ethical kills as set by the various wildlife authorities. Since big game hunting with archery equipment is a sanctioned thing … and .300 AAC subsonic rounds vastly exceed the delivered energies associated with archery equipment that meets the usual minimum draw weight standards, I feel a lot better about sub hunting with .300 AAC than I did when initially investigating it.

Shot placement is, of course, highly relevant, as always. :) It is also expected to have to track a blood trail with Archer hunting, but a double-lung shot with a 400gr bolt sporting a broadhead should, in theory, yield a fairly short track.


Surreal

P.S. Harvested a 9-pointer on the first day of rifle season using my SPS tactical, this year. He yielded 95 pounds of meat after processing, and I scored his rack at 115.2 pts with no deductions (i.e. really good genes!). I've let everything I've seen in the woods walk, since then -- including a sizeable 8 pointer that I'd like to see grow up to a 10 pointer. I'll be back out there Christmas week, hunting with the .300 AAC out of my climber … and I'm hoping to see a doe big enough to warrant squeezing the trigger.
 

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The .300 may be the wrong caliber for best suppressed, medium-large game hunting. Why not go .45 or .50, as both are available in AR variations, and delivering a heavier, larger caliber bullet at the same subsonic velocities will most assuredly kick the animal's butt a lot harder. You just need a bigger can. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
The .300 may be the wrong caliber for best suppressed, medium-large game hunting. Why not go .45 or .50, as both are available in AR variations, and delivering a heavier, larger caliber bullet at the same subsonic velocities will most assuredly kick the animal's butt a lot harder. You just need a bigger can. :)
I'm not sure why there seems to be this propensity to believe that subsonic .300 AAC rounds don't have enough bullet or energy to do the job. Plainly put, it's more than up to the task. If more people would simply do the math to compare subsonic .300 AAC rounds to arrows released from compound bows and/or bolts fired from crossbows (with draw weights appropriate to hunting, of course), it would readily become clear to them that subsonic .300 AAC rounds deliver far more energy than archery equipment already approved and in use for ethical kills.

That's the sort of comparison that's appropriate for hunting with subsonic .300 AAC rounds, by the way, specifically because the ranges for which archery equipment and .300 AAC should be used to obtain ethical kills … are about the same in terms of their sweet spots and their maximum distances. However, as previously noted, energy is not the entire picture; it's merely a useful indicator. Shot placement is always important, as is the damage the projectile does due to cutting (in the case of broadheads) or expansion (in the case of subsonic expanding bullets). Frankly, if a shooter lacks solid shot placement, then s/he has no business hunting, IMHO. Similarly, if the shooter is prone to trying to use .300 AAC at 150yds instead of 1/3 to 1/2 that distance, then, again, the shooter has no business hunting, IMHO. :)

This gun was built to be quiet, up close, and personal. If I want to reach out and touch the target, my bolt gun's good for 600 yard or less shots all day long … and I'm skilled enough to be comfortable taking those shots. I just got sick of lugging the bastard into thick, wooded areas where a compact brush gun would do. My Marlin 30-30 levergun was my old standby, but I wanted to go quiet so I don't have to risk my hearing or wear heaaring protection, so it was time to build. Plus it gave me an excuse to fart around with a pistol build rather than sticking to a rifle.

As for the can, it's a SilencerCo Hybrid 46 fitted in the photo with an ASR mount and an end-cap for .308 WIN (rather than a .45 endcap). Thus, if I want to shoot .45 it's a matter of changing the mount out for the .45 piston and then changing the endcap. But I don't see a need to go bigger.

Now if I wanted to hunt bear instead of whitetails, then yea, I'd go bigger! But I don't bear hunt...
 

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Whitetails have been carefully taken with a 9mm Para or .38 Super, ,30 Carbine, etc, but most hunters will tell you that unless the shot is darn near perfectly placed, you are going to end up, often, chasing the deer some distance. Greater smack and/or tissue damage or hydrostatic shock certainly aid in anchoring ANY animal. Subsonic .30 cal bullets just don't offer a lot of those things, although they might penetrate quite deep. An arrow often imbeds in the animal, and tears it up more as the animal travels, adding to the bloodletting. I just offer the bigger diameter bullets at the same subsonic velocity to ALWAYS offer greater tissue damage, and bigger channel to bleed out. I have used the .300 Whisper in a bolt action, but chose hypersonic 170gr ".30-30" flatpoint JSP's for my load, and the suppressor takes enough noise off that the "crack" is not hard on my ears. I have also hunted with a .510 Whisper, and there is no comparison with regards to knockdown. Subsonic .510 through a suitable can sounds a bit like a .22 short.
 
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