Many outdoorsmen who like rifles will approve that the 7.62×39 and the .300 Blackout are both great cartridges that provide some benefits over the .223 Remington.
While these two cartridges are very similar, there are some differences between them.
There is also a lot of misinformation about both regarding their accuracy and how good they are for hunting.
Both these rounds are considered intermediate cartridges. They are made for semi-automatic and select-fire guns. The two cartridges also have a 30-caliber projectile.
The 7.62×39 and the .300 Blackout are meant for distances of around 300 yards. Nevertheless, they can extend this range using the right rifle, and an able marksman.
The Size of the 7.62×39 vs .300 Blackout
When comparing the two rounds they are very much alike. The 7.62×39 is a mere 4mms longer than the 300 Blackout, as it measures at 7.62×35.
The diameter measurements are a bit quirky though. In America, 30 cal. pertains to a .308 bullet diameter. However, in most of Eastern Europe, 30 caliber refers to .311.
That said, for all intents and purposes, both cartridges are virtually identical.
The 7.62×39 Origins
After World War 2, the United States along with Western European nations armed themselves with magazine-fed long arms. Examples of these were G3, the M14, and the FN FAL.
As for the USSR (at that time), they chose a carbine called the SKS in the new in-between 7.62x39mm cartridge in 1944. Not long after that weapon was replaced by the AK 47.
After that came the AKM of the same caliber. The 7.62×39 traces its design origins to the German 7.92×33 round. Soon, however, it would surpass it in more ways than one can imagine.
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The 7.62×39 was created for the effectiveness of 300 yards. The Russians knew that most troop ground battles take place at that distance.
The 7.62×39 would gain a reputation as a formidable engagement stopper with awesome barrier penetration and plenty of power.
Countries Using the 7.62×39
It would go on to become the USSR’s main battle cartridge, with every Soviet state armed with it.
The Soviets were also open to selling it to Vietnam, China, North Korea, and some Asian countries.
Other than the USA and Western Europe, the 7.62×39 was also well received in the Middle East and Africa as well.
The Soviet military would eventually replace the cartridge with the 5.45 and the AK 74. However, the 7.62×39 is still in action in many different countries.
While no longer the main service cartridge of Russia, it is still in use on the modified AK-15 in some measure.
The .300 Blackout Origins
The .300 Blackout is much younger than its Russian rival. The .300 Blackout was made with a submachine gun quality in mind.
The designers desired an increase in range, power, as well as better penetration than the 9mm round.
A weapon around the size of a submachine gun that was easy to suppress was also on the wish list.
The 300 Blackout gets its lineage from the 300 Whisper. The Whisper was a wildcat cartridge but there was never any submitting to SAAMI.
Advanced Armament Corporation, however, realized the possibilities of the 300 Whisper.
They thus came up with the 300 Blackout, and with a submission to SAAMI, it acquired standardized status.
The 300 Blackout met all the requirements of special operations commandos. The utilization of a 30 caliber cartridge had many possibilities for versatility.
For instance, one could use heavy 220-grain rounds which are ultra-quiet. From there, a soldier could quickly change to supersonic rounds for fiercer combat.
The 300 Blackout is ideal with shorter barrels, and it can attain full velocity with a 9-inch barrel.
When used in conjunction with a can, the gun remains more compact than a regular unsuppressed carbine.
The ultimate design direction was to provide a compact and less heavy weapon akin in performance to the AK in 7.62×39.
Both the 7.62×39 and the .300 Blackout are very much alike in many ways. The similarities become even more evident when one examines their ballistics.
Upon comparing a 120-grain 300 Blackout with a 124 grain 7.62 x 39 cartridge, one gets practically identical drop rates.
The variances are very similar until 500 yards. From there the 300 Blackout has a tendency to drop more, compared to the 7.62×39.
The largest variable that distinguishes the two rounds is energy. The 7.63×39 packs more velocities overall. Due to this, it is capable of superior energy to the .300 Blackout.
Still, it is not easy comparing these two on the ballistics sheets since both have very many projectile types.
The 300 Blackout will, however, edge out the 7.62×39 as there are many available subsonic rounds for suppressor applications.