AR pistols are hot – especially for use in the world of personal protection, whether as a “truck gun” or for home defense. Jumping into the deep end of this personal defense pool, my hubs purchased a Palmetto multi-caliber lower and three uppers from Palmetto – two in 5.56 and one in 300 AAC Blackout calibers. Here’s why the AR pistol chambered in 300 AAC Blackout needs, in my honest opinion, a SilencerCo Omega 300 silencer.
Sponsored by SilencerCo
Of the two calibers, I prefer using the 300 AAC Blackout for personal defense, if possible. From what I’ve seen in hunting and varmint shooting with the uppers, and what I’ve read regarding bullet design and energy in personal defense, for my pistol I prefer to use .30 caliber ammo specifically designed for shorter barrels – the 300 AAC Blackout. Originally designed for rifle use, 5.56 (.223) caliber ammo loses a lot of velocity out of pistol barrels, and bullets for this caliber don’t perform well on targets at low velocities. There’s the old idea that bigger caliber bullets are better, too, with all other factors considered. Also, the 300 AAC Blackout gives me the option of using subsonic ammunition, which I can’t do if I shoot a 5.56.
If you know about ARs – regardless of whether they are pistols or rifles – you’ll know that they have two main assemblies, an upper and a lower. Typically, there’s no problem switching from one upper to a different upper on the same lower assembly; simply push two pins and remove the upper. Since the Powers That Be (Congress, and by extension the US Attorney General and his handmaidens, the BATFE) have chosen to draw the definition line between what is a “rifle” and what is a “pistol” at 26 inches in overall length – a 16-inch barrel, a vertical foregrip and a buttstock – as long as you stay on one side of that line or the other you have a non-NFA (National Firearms Act, or restricted) firearm.
When they established the NFA, they also threw in an important caveat – “A weapon originally designed, made, and intended …” (27 CFR Section 478.11). So, as long as you purchase a lower (the portion of an AR that makes it a firearm according to the ATF) originally designed, made, and intended to be a pistol, don’t add a buttstock to it, put only uppers with sub-16 inch barrels on it and don’t add a vertical foregrip to the upper, you have an AR pistol that doesn’t have to be registered. Violate any of these restrictions and you have an NFA weapon and are instantly subject to a felony charge, unless you have already gone through the process of registering that weapon with the government. As long as you are using AR “pistol” parts, you may interchange them, meaning you might decide later to switch from the 300 AAC Blackout pistol upper to a 5.56 pistol upper. That’s legal.
So, the hubs, aka Dr. Bomb, ordered the legal parts and now we have the ability to have two different caliber AR pistols, but not at the same time, of course.
For the purpose of this post, let’s explain why I say you need to suppress this firearm.
Because of the short barrel, it’s loud.
I mean, it’s very loud and without a suppressor, it’ll make your ears ring for a very long time, and do everlasting damage unless you wear sufficient hearing protection. So, when I want to have the AR pistol with me for personal defense situations, the gun goes with the 300 Blackout upper, Omega 300 silencer and subsonic ammo.
I talked to SilencerCo’s founder, Jonathon Shults, about his company and in particular, about the Omega. Built in a fast reaction to a competitor’s suppressor, the Omega 300 silencer is now one of the top sellers of the company.
Shults explained how it came to be: “What happened is that some of our original investors left, sold their shares and created a new company. That new company, out of the blue, launched a product and we wanted to combat that product and beat them to shipping. They’d already launched it. For the past two years prior to that, we had a product called Harvester Match. I’d been shooting it at PRS matches, hunting and everything. Back then, the team didn’t want to launch that product, and it didn’t make sense to them. Who needs another light, short can?
“This was my opportunity, so during one of my staff meetings, we talked about that company and I said, “I have an idea. I’m not sure the world will love it. I love it. … If I change these three things about my design, it would be very robust, it would meet lots of full-auto requirements, [but] wouldn’t be as indestructible as the Saker line.” Then, they came up with the name ‘Omega,’ and I think it was a little bit of a power play against the competitors.
Imagine you have to use an AR pistol for self-defense. Chances are, it’ll be low light (since according to most research, crime increases as daylight decreases). If you train with this suppressor, which is lightweight and made of titanium, and you ever need to deploy it at night, you’ll see less flash and hear less noise.
The hearing factor is important, because you want to be able to keep hearing what’s happening around you, especially after you shoot.
You may download the white paper on the Omega 300 Silencer here.
Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at https://www.ozarkian.com. View all posts by Barbara Baird
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