The news today is SOCOM has put out a RFP for a very short, very light, 300 blackout (300blk) M4 pattern rifle. They also specify such factors as subsonic ammunition performance.
Why are they doing this? First, this is a RFP. Not a new weapons program. SOCOM has an idea and they want to see if it is even feasible for the firearms industry to make it. This doesn’t mean if the program gets the green light that it lives or dies by the features outlined in the RFP. It could change radically or wither on the vine.
Second, what is actually going on here? Well…this is MY OPINION and I haven’t discussed this with anyone connected to the RFP.
SOCOM is not looking to replace the 5.56 with the 300blk. The RFP does not mean that 300blk is becoming a “service round”. If this program takes off, and I think eventually it might, that does not translate into cheaper 300blk ammunition prices for the commercial market.
What this program does is fill a glaring hole in the Table of Equipment for these types of units. Truly silent, suppressed weapons. Think about this for a minute. What did I just type? I said silent. Sticking a suppressor on the barrel of a 5.56 weapon doesn’t make it silent.
Suppressed doesn’t mean people can’t hear the weapon. I used to routinely hear suppressed 5.56 M4’s from as far as 400 yards. And on a clear day, possibly even farther.
What weapon do these types of unit have, that was suppressed, and functionally silent at distances? That would be the HK MP5SD. By design, the MP5SD can take 115g, 124g, 147g 9mm supersonic ammo and run it sub-sonic. Did you notice I listed the grains of the ammo? We call that a clue….
What is 5.56 service ammunition weight? 55g? 62? See how small and light these bullets are? The 5.56 round gets it lethality from it’s speed. Not it’s mass. So…when you take a 5.56 round and run it sub-sonic-suppressed, the results are not impressive. So…you end up with a bunch of guys firing super-sonic rifles that everyone can still hear at pretty far distances.
But 300blk? Suppressed, subsonic? 220g? That’s a thumper at room distances. And that is the crux of what I am getting it. The HK MP5SD is a CQB – room distance weapon. A suppressed, super-short, super-lite, 300blk M4 style weapon is building on THAT legacy. Not as an infantry weapon of the future.
Oh? The word? “That”? What exactly is, “That” legacy? The rifle spec’d out in the RFP is an assassin’s gun. Not a Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) as described. Get in close, shoot them in the face, move on, and nobody heard a thing. With all the great manual of arms and ergonomics of the M4.
This isn’t a 300blk story. This is a M4 story.
Now you know.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”