The 300 HAM'R is a relatively new cartridge to the market that is driving Americans crazy, fascinated by the fact that it was created by the Bill Wilson who is world famous for the quality of his 1911-style pistols. Bill Wilson is not only a great gun technician, but he is also a passionate hunter of wild boars, which abound in the surroundings of his Texas ranch. After trying all the possible cartridges, including the 300 Blackout, Bill decided to make a new one, called 300 HAM'R. The development of the cartridge lasted more than a decade and ended in 2018 with the official presentation on the market. The name is composed of bullet diameter and the contraction of the English term "hammer", with a clear allusion to the mighty weapon of Thor, Odin's son.
300 HAM'R, similarities and differences to the 300 BLK
The 300 Blackout, abbreviated as BLK, was born as a cartridge for military and law enforcement use, developed on the basis of the .300 Whisper subsonic cartridge conceived by J.D. Jones for use in suppressed weapons. The idea of the 300 Blackout is to create an ammunition that can be fired in M4 rifles while maintaining the 30-round magazine capacity, but with a much heavier and more massive projectile than the .223 Remington. The solution was put into practice by shortening the .223 cartridge case to a length of 1.368”/34.7 mm and fitting it with a 7.62mm caliber bullet. Over the years, numerous variants of the 300 BLK have been developed with both subsonic and supersonic loads, with bullet weights ranging from 110 to 220 grains. A standard commercial loading of the 300 BLK has a 147-grain FMJ bullet propelled at an initial velocity of 580 m/s for an initial energy of 1602 joules.
The main difference between the 300 Blackout and the 300 HAM'R lies in the case length, which in the new ammunition measures a full 1.603”, or 40.7 millimeters. So we have 0.235”/6 more mm of casing, for the same total cartridge length of 2.26”/57 mm. The goal Wilson wanted to reach with his 300 HAM'R was essentially to replicate the performance of the glorious .30-30 caliber, still used by American hunters in lever-action rifles, while maintaining all the advantages of compatibility with modern semi-automatic rifles offered by the 300 BLK. Ballistically, the 300 by HAM'R is superior to the 300 BLK: for example, the Hornady commercial loading with 150-grain SST bullet provides an initial velocity of 683 meters per second with an energy of 2275 joules. For further comparison, a .30-caliber cartridge fired in a 16-inch barrel propels the bullet on average to an exit velocity of 685 m/s for an energy of 2290 joules. So, Wilson's intention to replicate its performance can be said to have been successful. Recently, the cartridge obtained the official SAAMI acceptance.
The 300 caliber HAM'R cartridge is available in several different loadings marketed by Wilson Combat itself, all optimized for use in 18” barrel rifles, with bullet weights starting from 95 up to 150 grains. The world of home reloading has also moved quickly, and both Wilson and other specialized companies like Lee offer dies for this caliber. The choice of bullets already on the market is virtually unlimited.
Wilson Combat also manufactures some semi-automatic rifles in this caliber, among which the Tactical Hunter model stands out for its completeness – a semi-automatic rifle with a medium-stroke piston system, featuring an 18" suppressor ready fluted barrel, an optics rail (the rifle can be purchased already fitted with a Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 Tri-MOA scope as standard) and all the accessories of the Wilson catalog. The Armour Tuff ceramic coating is available in a wide variety of colors and camouflages, including custom ones, for a price that in the US starts at $2,500 (about €2,200). In the Wilson Combat online catalog there are also models with a shorter barrel (11.3 inches) in self-defense and law enforcement configuration.
The 300 HAM'R is an interesting cartridge for hunting, sports and operational shooting. As always, we invite you to stay tuned to all4shooters's for latest news from the international market.