With 220-grain subsonic loads, Smith & Wesson’s M&P15 chambered in .300 Whisper or 300 Blackout produces plenty of knockdown power—twice that of a subsonic 9mm round fired from an HK MP5 SD. Shown here with a Lucid HD7 red dot sight.
Because of its distinct mission needs and seemingly limitless budgets, the special operations community is nearly always the first to implement and utilize new weapons systems. And when it comes to weapons, these operators help sort the wheat from the chaff.
One entry weapon system, the HK MP5, was found lacking in power. The subsonic 9mm round just didn’t have the punch some critical situations need. “When people want to shoot suppressed, the MP5 SD has become obsolete because it can’t shoot through barriers, from armor to wallboard or windshields,” said Robert Silvers, AAC’s director of research and development. “That’s why HK came out with the MP7A1, but you can’t make that gun quiet. You can keep an M4 [chambered in 300 AAC] Blackout quiet, and it penetrates well, and it makes a good home defense weapon too. It has more energy than an M4 with a 16-inch barrel, and for people who want to hunt with their AR, it satisfies that. The 6.8 SPC requires additional magazines. It’s extremely versatile and can handle bullets from 110 grains to 240 grains.”
Well known to law enforcement and with a solid reputation, Smith & Wesson recently introduced the M&P15 modern sporting rifle in .300 Whisper. Even though the J.D. Jones’ .300 Whisper has been around for quite a while in AR-platform rifles and carbines, S&W hedged their bets by also announcing that their .300 Whisper-chambered weapons would “safely fire” AAC’s 300 Blackout cartridge too. With the wide range of .30 caliber projectiles available, S&W’s new M&P15 is a good choice as a subsonic, suppressed entry gun or, with a quick magazine change, as a longer-range weapon.