American Eagle has launched a new line of ammunition optimized for suppressor use. Yeah, plenty of existing ammo is already subsonic by default, but it’s not necessarily optimized for use in a silencer.
First, depending on the caliber, the load and velocity are tweaked to avoid the supersonic barrier with attention to proper function. That’s where things get tricky – making ammo work reliably at subsonic speeds, especially in platforms like the 300 AAC Blackout. Also, powder blends are tweaked to result in low powder residue. If you’ve every shot a suppressed rifle or pistol, you know that you almost always get a pleasant misting of burnt powder and gaseous funk on your face with every shot. Minimizing the gunk that’s available for blowback is a big deal.
I’ve got a variety of this new American Eagle ammo on the way including 300 AAC Blackout, 9mm, and .45 ACP, and will be using all of those with upcoming suppressor reviews. I’ve already got some boxes of 300 AAC Blackout Suppressor, so I gave that a try first.
I loaded them up in a Daniel Defense DDM4v5 300 Blackout rifle. This is a full-length carbine with a 16-inch barrel, unlike most of the blackout configurations with shorter barrels, so I fully expected velocity to be on the high side of the subsonic range.
I used a SilencerCo Specwar 762 rifle suppressor, which is appropriate for either supersonic or subsonic 300 Blackout ammo and did a little informal testing to get an idea of velocity and accuracy from this setup.
I set up a Shooting Chrony Beta Master Chronograph 15 feet down range and fired 10-shot groups. I recorded an average of 1,112.9 feet per second, which is just below the sound barrier for my local conditions. That’s OK, though, as these speeds were recorded from a full-length rifle that represents the “worst case” scenario for creeping up to the sound barrier. From a short barrel configuration or pistol platform, you’ll probably end up 50 to 100 feet per second lower.
I also did a little informal accuracy testing while I was there. This rifle is topped with a Trijicon ACOG for 300 Blackout. It’s got fixed 3x magnification, so I set a target at 50 yards. I figured this distance was a little more appropriate anyway for those big and slow 220-grain projectiles. Since I was just playing, I fired groups with varying numbers of shots.
Here’s what I found:
|Shots||Group Size (inches)|
As you can see, this is some pretty accurate ammo considering it’s lower-cost practice ammo. We’ll be using it for a number of upcoming silencer reviews, but I wanted to share an early range report.