Ammunition

Review: Wilson Combat 300 HAM’R

300 HAM'R - Ammo

300 HAM’R is a new proprietary round from Bill Wilson of Wilson Combat. 

Short course: in its performance, 300 HAM’R is a significantly ramped-up .300 Blackout.

Bill’s goal was to approach .308 Winchester levels on a round that’s compatible within standard AR-15 architecture.

Like Blackout, it fits a standard .223 Rem. bolt face. Simple swap. It uses the same magazines and provides the same round capacity as Blackout also (more on that in a bit).

Round History

Wilson based 300 HAM’R on Kurt Buchert’s proven-good-but-obscure 7.62x40mm Wilson Tactical (WT) that’s been available from Wilson Combat for years.

(Wilson offers over 20 different chamberings for its AR-platform guns).

Much patient (and creative) experimentation refined that round into the 300 HAM’R, and it’s now been SAAMI-certified and can be had as a complete package (for buyers or builders).

HAM’R cases are 0.040-inches longer than the WT and a whopping 0.260 longer than Blackout.

From that, the result is an easy +300 feet per second beyond Blackout with 110-135-grain-range .308 bullets, which means a solid 2600+ fps with a 110-grain.

For hunters, that means +400 ft./lbs. muzzle-energy increase. 300 HAM’R closely matches good old .30-30 Winchester, and that was Bill Wilson’s goal.

Currently, ammo, brass and dies are available from Wilson Combat. As with any new round, how far and quickly options range all has to do with popularity.

As said, 300 HAM’R is SAAMI, so development will be documented by major industry component suppliers.

Me being me, I put together my own HAM’R from Wilson Combat brand parts, including barrel and handguard rail.

As said, and as always with Wilson Combat, you can get a complete gun, complete upper or the components separately.

I chose a 16-inch 1:15 twist Recon Tactical profile from Wilson Combat and a carbine-length gas port.

Even though the HAM’R is running higher pressure than SAAMI ceiling-sets for a Blackout, it’s nowhere close to standard now for 5.56 NATO.

No need for pressure abatement precautions. I see normal spent case condition and nothing like extraction failures.

300 HAM'R - Case Lineup
Left to right: .223 Rem., 300 BLK, 300 HAM’R. HAM’R has a 1.603-in. long case, 30-degree case shoulder, same body diameter as .223 Rem. and Blackout. But a whole lot more power!

Hunting Application

.300 Blackout has become a popular whitetail deer hunting round (around where I live, anyhow).

Given that I keep a goal of 1,000 ft./lbs. of energy at that animal, that means the viability of Blackout as a reliable idea is all about distance, and it also means that it’s edgy beyond 100 yards with most commonly available factory loads.

Given that it’s starting at +400 fps ahead of Blackout, 300 HAM’R greatly extends the confidently effective range for hunting.

Of course, bullet flight path and behavior are also all bumped up along with the extra power. Bill says it’s been dropping Arkansas wild hogs like bad habits.

300 HAM'R - Hornady
I’ve not had much time to experiment or compare to any point of conclusion, but it’s looking like a good 125-grain, such this Nosler 125 Ballistic Tip, should work well. Hornady offers 11 between 100 and 140 grains, and I can tell you that its 135 FTX will well be worth trying.

Superb Targets

One more point, and a most fortunate one. This HAM’R hammers!

Not all exquisitely accurate cartridges follow the “PPC” or “BR” blueprint-profile.

Rounds like 7mm TCU shoot very small groups using a bigger bullet, smaller case formula, and so does 300 HAM’R.

Unfortunately, I still can’t get much past 50 yards around here due to the remnants of biblical-level flooding this past season, but my groups from that distance with this HAM’R were about the size of one shot from a .45.

Some of that no doubt results from the excellent Wilson Combat match-grade barrel. These have become the new go-to for me over the past couple of years.

I am looking forward to getting farther into this cartridge as soon as I can.

300 HAM'R - Advantages
I really think this round is going to get popular. There’s just nothing not to recommend about it. There’s a whopping lot it can do, and Wilson Combat-quality standards ensure it will do it really well!

Conclusion: 300 HAM’R

On the front end, I’m really big on this 300 HAM’R. More power than Blackout, no matter what, and also no matter what it’s used for.

However! There are also just no trade-offs I can name keeping a straight face. It can’t replace Blackout as a subsonic, but it’s dang sure replaced for me otherwise.

Magazine Note: Yes, a standard 5.56/.223 magazine usually functions just fine and dandy. But, it’s best to get magazines engineered for 300 Blackout. With either Blackout or 300 HAM’R, look at the rounds loaded into a magazine box and see that the larger diameter bullet in the shorter case sits down lower, nearer to the follower ridge. For reliability, no little bit of the bullet should touch that ridge, and there are some improved designs that incorporate changes in this area.

What do you think of 300 HAM’R? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

About the Author:

Daniel Berry

Daniel Berry is an experienced marketing specialist who has been in the industry for more than 14 years. He's specialized in copywriting, SEO, social media, marketing automation and lead generation, but his "bread and butter" is blog management and writing.

Originally a sportswriter, Daniel started out working for newspapers like the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Albany Herald. He has also held marketing roles for companies like JCPenney and has worked at several marketing agencies. He has a variety of skillsets and is very familiar with marketing tools like HubSpot, SEMrush, Wordpress and more.

Daniel and his wife have two children and live in Fort Worth, TX.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (8)

  1. After waiting quite some time for all the parts to come in (barrel came in quick BTW), I finally got my 300 HAM’R built using the Wilson Ranch 18″ Barrel with Intermediate (13.25″) length gas tube. After just a few shots, the epiphany came down. I love this round! Lovers will love and Haters are going to hate.

    Don’t listen to the haters, dare to be different in a crowd full of stubby cartridge lovers.
    Hands-down this is the round that should have been developed in front of the blackout. All I see is benefit from this round and I can’t wait for the manufactures to pick this up and make it more mainstream.

  2. Just another worthless development, like so many others. If certain crappy movies are “direct to DVD”, then there are always these new cartridges that are “direct to obsolescence”. The 300 HAMR is a perfect example of a “direct to obsolescence” cartridge that you can find.

    30-30 is effective at short range hunting mostly because of the bullets it uses, which are medium weight for caliber bullets, of very light construction, and most importantly of blunt shape. Dull round nose bullets and flat nose soft points, virtually mandatory on tube fed lever action guns to avoid primer detonation in magazine under recoil, are vastly superior to spitzer bullets for terminal performance on living tissue. Their shape is naturally more efficient for using energy. Even as the spitzer’s greater ballistic coefficient makes it better for long range work, “blunts” like flat nose and round nose are better to kill with at close range, make better use of less energy.

    To get the 300 HAMR to compete with 30-30 it need not only try to get the same velocity/energy as the 30-30, it needs to use the same types of bullets. Stuffing typical spitzers into a 300 HAMR will heavily limit the terminal effect and make it far less than the 30-30. If one can get round nose and flat point bullets to feed in their auto loading rifle, maybe they can stuff 30-30 style bullets in the 300 HAMR and get good effect, but such bullets don’t tend to feed well in auto loaders. Soon, a 300 HAMR shooter might be forced to choose between poor performing spitzers that feed in his AR15 or flat nose bullets that kill game well but jam up the works. Then, why not just stick with the 30-30?

    I predict the 350 Legend will be the same exact story. Instead of loading the cartridge with flat nose bullets, like the 357 Magnum uses to great terminal effect, they seem rabidly adamant on using sharp spitzers, probably to feed in AR15’s, as well as placate morons who think that BC in such cartridges is “super important”. The result is a 350 Legend that neither shoots flat, nor does it kill like a 30-30, or 357 Magnum using flat nose soft points, or a 44 Magnum using flat nose soft points. It is a loser at everything, a winner at nothing.

    All 300 HAMR will do is screw up commonality of the 300 Blackout. It will split market share and drive down commonality of one cartridge and make availability and prices worse for everyone. Well, if 300 HAMR gets any market share, which it probably won’t. 300 HARM is probably DOA and just another conversation piece for the archive.

  3. I assume that you either need a new 300 HAM’R barrel or the chamber of your existing 300 Blackout needs to be reamed to the new profile. Can a reamer for this purpose be purchased? Another question is will a 300 HAM’R be able to safely use 300 Blackout ammunition in the manner of .357 Magnum / .38 Special revolvers?

  4. Good looking round and numbers. So, the only thing needed to convert 300 BO to the Ham’r is the barrel, correct?

  5. Agreed, the 300 HAM’R has basically opened the hunting world to a new level. Utilizing the light weigh platform of the AR-15, the HAM’R puts the AR in the same class as the venerable 30-30 Winchester. Ability to use the same bolt carrier group as the 223 Remington/5.56x45mm and the 300 Blackout creates a level of versatility unmatched.

    Last fall proved the cartridge’s high performance on Tennessee whitetail deer. A simple barrel swap will put you into a select group of demanding riflemen. The lighter weight of the AR-15 compared to the AR10 makes the rifle and the 300 HAM’R the ideal choice for those desiring portability, versatility and performance.

  6. It sounds great, I can’t wait. I have a lower i have been building and now know what it is going to be. Just get it to market,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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