What do we want? A short-barreled rifle! When do we want it? Now!
Well, you can’t have it now. You will need to enter the seemingly endless line that slowly snakes into the offices of the BATFE’s NFA Branch in West Virginia, or, as it’s better known, the place where paperwork goes to sit. The process of getting a short-barreled rifle (SBR) is not as complicated as it is time consuming. With the huge growth in suppressor sales and interest in SBRs, the NFA Branch has been overwhelmed with applications. And although folks at the branch do their best to keep up, they are sorely understaffed, and in standard government procedure, there is no real relief in sight. There have been rumors of the NFA staff being significantly expanded, but I would not hold my breath. Wait times for your tax stamp, as of this writing, are projected at 10 to 12 months. That’s a long time to wait for your SBR.
This is America, however, and out of adversity comes innovation. Although the idea of knocking off a couple of inches of barrel and then welding on a muzzle brake has been around for a while, there’s another design that caught my eye recently. Tactical Solutions has a 300 Blackout upper with an 11-inch barrel, and yet it requires no red tape or an NFA tax stamp. Curious how it works? Read on.
A Viable Solution
Tactical Solutions has expanded on the idea of the welded muzzle brake and taken it to a new level. It has created a suppressor shroud for its 300 Blackout upper. Of course, as you probably already know, the 300 Blackout is a round that screams, “Suppress me!” And most people who get SBRs already tend to mount suppressors on them. It’s one of the benefits of an SBR. You can have a suppressed weapon without it being overwhelmingly long.
The Tactical Solutions creation is the TSAR-300. It’s an upper with an 11-inch barrel that has a permanently attached suppressor shroud. The shroud technically extends the length to 16.1 inches, making it exempt from NFA rules and regulations. The shroud is designed to house your .30-caliber suppressor, which you would probably put on the gun from the start. Meanwhile, the shroud has an inside diameter of 1.75 inches, making it large enough for most of the cans on the market. It even works with most suppressors that use specific mounting adapters/brakes. You simply mount the can on the muzzle device first and then attach it to the upper, just as you would a regular direct-thread suppressor.
The party stops, however, on suppressors designed for a quick release with levers or special ratchet gears. The contact point of the suppressor is seated inside the shroud—an acceptable tradeoff to me. The shroud adds only a small amount to the overall diameter of the front of the gun with a suppressor attached. When it’s done, the gun is about the same size as a standard AR-15 with an 18-inch barrel.
Tactical Solutions sent me one of its complete TSAR-300 rifles to give it a spin. I was looking forward to this project because I’d already shot several of the company’s other guns. Although known for many things, Tactical Solutions staffers are geniuses in the .22 LR realm. Their barrels, accessories and complete guns are highly sought after, and I believed this TSAR-300 would be up there in terms of quality. To save you some time: I was not disappointed.
The rifle I received was exceptionally well made. The fit and finish are the first indicators of a gun’s performance. The forend is an XG Pro two-piece, lightweight aluminum unit with M-LOK slots. Tactical Solutions also makes a KeyMod version. The barrel has a 1-in-8-inch twist rate, and the shroud is permanently attached. Another notable feature is the full-auto-rated, mil-spec bolt carrier group. Who wouldn’t enjoy running a 300 Blackout AR in full -auto? That will have to wait for another article, however.
The lower sports a Magpul MOE SL carbine stock as well as an MOE-K2+ grip. I really like this grip because its surface provides an almost tacky grip, making it sit firmly in your hand. Although it didn’t have the high-end drop-in trigger I would have preferred, Tactical Solutions included an ALG Defense QMS trigger. This is essentially a mil-spec trigger without the initial grittiness associated with duty-style triggers. It was a nice tradeoff for the overall management of price.
The range time I spent with the TSAR-300 was pleasant. Tactical Solutions has spent extra time to clean up rough edges on the gun, just as it does with all its other items. This is an extra step showing great attention to detail that many companies skip in a rush to get products out the door.
You won’t see any 300 Blackout rifles on the line at a precision rifle competition, but I’ve had good luck accuracy- wise with the guns I’ve run. The TSAR-300 went above and beyond what I was expecting, too. I ran a variety of ammo, including Hornady’s subsonic 208-grain Black A-MAXs, Daniel Defense’s 220-grain subsonic rounds and some Remington 115-grain CTFB rounds from the back of my ammo locker. The Daniel Defense and Hornady loads gave me sub-MOA groups and again showed that the rifle could stand up for itself.
For testing, I used my old-school EliteIron D30 suppressor, and it proved to be a good match for the TSAR-300. For optics, I used a 1-4×24 Riton Mod 5 scope with an illuminated reticle. It’s a solid piece of glass from a veteran-owned company in Arizona. The scope was clear and reliable, and it’s extremely affordable.
This package worked well together and was easy to run. The trigger was firm but didn’t hinder my results. As the brass began to pile up around me, I saw multiple applications for this gun beyond range enjoyment. One area I would use it in is hunting, especially for harvesting wild hogs. The package weighed just a little over 8 pounds loaded and would be a pleasure to carry through the Texas countryside.
The 300 Blackout is an interesting round, with pros and cons like any ammunition. I have a diverse ballistic pallet, so I can easily accept it. The TSAR-300 is a great way to get the most out of this round, one that I believe is really in its element when it’s fired from a suppressed SBR.
Tactical Solutions offers the TSAR-300 as a complete rifle and as a dedicated upper. This lets you simply switch out uppers if you choose. So the question is ”Do I need a suppressor for this upper?” The answer is no. You can simply use it like any other 300 Blackout upper. But why would you? This upper is designed to be used with a suppressor. It’s built for a can—and built well. It’s a great way to get your hands on an SBR without it technically being an SBR. This will save you $200 for a tax stamp and several months of frustration.
To some, the Tactical Solutions TSAR-300 might just look like a marketing ploy or something that came out of a gun builder’s garage shop. But it’s far from that, and I would categorize it as a dedicated weapon design. The company has listened to shooters and built a solution for a challenge. Kudos to Tactical Solutions for doing it. I predict the TSAR-300 is the first of many guns we’ll see built like this. I don’t want to classify it as sneaky. Rather, it’s innovative. Now to work on concocting another story for my wife about why I need another rifle.
Tactical Solutions TSAR-300 Specs
|Caliber: 300 Blackout
|Barrel: 11 inches
|OA Length: 31.5 inches
|Weight: 6.55 pounds (empty)
|Stock: Magpul MOE SL
|Action: Direct impingement semi-auto
|Finish: Matte black
Tactical Solutions TSAR-300 Performance
|Daniel Defense 220 Subsonic
|1.00 (average), 0.90 (best)
|Hornady 208 Black A-MAX
|1.10 (average), 0.95 (best)
|Remington 115 CTFB
|1.25 (average), 1.00 (best)
*Bullet weight measured in grains, velocity in fps by chronograph and accuracy in inches for three 3-shot groups at 100 yards.
For more information, visit tacticalsol.com.
This article was originally published in “Tactical Life” August/September 2018. To order a copy and subscribe, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.