Hornady Black Box Ammunition: Going Subsonic With 300 Blackout

One of the best makers of self-defense and hunting ammo on the planet, Hornady is a name everyone recognizes. It’s made in the USA and has a reputation for their superior quality and performance. To a lot of people, Hornady is known more for their self-defense handgun ammunition. Their Critical Defense line of ammo is one of their more popular choices for self-defense enthusiasts. I remember the first time I saw their hollow point ammo with gel-filled bullets. I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Their self-defense ammo is not limited to handguns, however. They make a full range of rifle ammo for self-defense and hunting.

Hornady 208 gr ammo
The Hornady BLACK AMAX rifle ammo chambered in 300 Blackout is a high-quality subsonic round that is perfect for hunting and self-defense.

In this article, we will be focusing on Hornady’s 208 gr 300 blackout AMAX ammo. It took me a while to warm up to 300 Blackout, but over the years I have become a fan. When anything comes along to challenge the tried-and-true classics like .308, 5.56, and others, I’m hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. Other calibers have come and gone, but the 300 Blackout has held its own and is worthy to be listed among the greats. One of the things that makes it a great caliber is the ability to shoot from short-barrel rifles and with suppressors.

Let’s look at this subsonic round from Hornady and see what makes it different.

Hornady’s 300 Blackout 208gr AMAX Subsonic Ammo

The AMAX subsonic ammo boasts specially jacketed, tipped, and cored bullets to deliver the highest ballistic coefficient per bullet weight. This guarantees super flat trajectory and tighter groups than any other round on the market.

Hornady AMAX ammo 300 Blackout
Hornady pays attention to detail with their BLACK AMAX line of ammunition. The 208-gr bullet has a flat trajectory at 100 yards.

The AMAX line has proven its worth time after time, producing consistently accurate concentric bullet jackets through their AMP (Advanced Manufacturing Process). This results in near-zero wall thickness variation and allows for the most precise trajectories possible. AMAX bullets are ideal for long-range hunting due to their capacity to penetrate thick tissues and bounce back, creating fragmentary wounding that is both lethal and effective. However, they should not be used in dense brush as this increases the risk of missing or damaging tissue below their impact zone.

What is 300 Blackout good for?

300 blackout ammunition is an ideal choice for many hunting situations. It can be loaded with various bullet types and boasts superior accuracy and dependability when hunting deer, hogs, or coyotes. Varmint and predator hunters will find this cartridge to be an ideal choice. When used with suppressors or short-barreled rifles with suppressors, it cycles reliably, making it even more desirable.

This is not a long-range bullet, but at closer distances, it is extremely accurate and deadly for most hunting applications. Sometimes a fast smaller bullet is not as effective at closer distances because the speed carries a lot of the velocity through the target and beyond. Ideally, you want a bullet that will deliver all its force into the target. A bigger bullet at just a little slower speed can be a good combination for this.

Shooting with 300 Blackout
Hornady makes ammunition for almost every purpose needed. Subsonic AMAX ammo gives you quality and lower velocities for silencers and self-defense.

Self-defense is another thing 300 Blackout can be useful for. Its heavier weight and lower velocity give it good knock-down power. People use all kinds of guns for self-defense and what gun you choose depends on several factors. What you are used to shooting, the area you live in, and the type of threat you perceive the highest can dictate what type of weapon and ammo you will use. 300 blackout was designed to be a close combat round for the military, and the 208gr Subsonic round by Hornady makes it even better for self-defense.

Why Hornady Subsonic Ammo?

Hornady is good at customizing bullets for specific purposes. Sure, everyone likes to have a dump-truck load of all-purpose ammo for the apocalypse days that may or may not lay ahead. In that case, we would more than likely be ok with any bullet that fires, if we have a lot of it. But until then, having bullets made for the task at hand is even better. Many people who use 300 Blackout choose it because of its performance when shooting from a short barrel. This is ideal if you want to use a silencer as well.

Hornady 300 Blackout Subsonic ammunition
Subsonic ammunition can help maximize the effectiveness of a silencer. 300 Blackout ammo is designed for short-barrel rifles, making this a perfect combo.

When it comes to silencers, the faster bullet is not always better. It’s the opposite in fact. If you want the option of using a silencer, subsonic ammunition is the way to go. The Hornady 208 grain bullet is the best of all worlds if you are using a short-barrel rifle with a silencer for hunting or self-defense. At 100 yards it has a flat line with a 0.0-inch drop or rise. At 150 yards, it has a drop of -12.5 inches and at 200 yards, it drops to -33.5 inches. This makes it perfect for those up-close ranges (to 100 yards). With a muzzle velocity of 1020 fps, it runs slow enough to maximize the use of a silencer. This may not make it the best round for 200-yard shots but again, ammo is made for different purposes.


The Hornady Black 208 gr bullet is not a multi-purpose round, but it is one of the most accurate rounds in this caliber I have seen. It has a lower velocity which makes it good for silencers, and lowers the risk of over-penetration. The design of the bullet, including the AMP jacket, helps keep it accurate and consistent. The ammo you choose for self-defense needs to be consistent and reliable and you get both with Hornady’s Black AMAX ammo. Practice with the cheap stuff and train with the cheap stuff, but when the shot matters, don’t rely on the cheap stuff. Get something you know will hold up to the standards we should all expect for hunting and self-defense. Get Hornady Black 208.

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

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