24 July 2017 – The Ministry of Defence has issued a tender for .300″ Blackout supersonic and subsonic small arms ammunition – which is quite unusual because 300BLK is not a NATO-standard round.
The tender was published in an EU journal about ten days ago. Although it does not disclose the value of the contract, it does state that the initial award will be for five years, with an option to extend for another five.
300 AAC Blackout, to give it its full name, was developed as a Western alternative to the infamous 7.62×39 round used in the AK-47. It is specifically designed to fit the AR-15 family of rifles without needing any modifications other than a new barrel. Wikipedia has more.
American special forces units have apparently begun buying conversion kits for their AR-15-derived rifles, including the M4 carbine. It’s not a big leap to conclude that units such as the SBS and the Royal Marines may be carrying 300BLK rifles, particularly with the 43 Cdo Fleet Protection Group now equipped across the board with Canadian C8s, a licence-built M4.
Other recent ammo tenders included: a contract for 70gr 5.56mm ball to be used “for on-going training, familiarisation and operational requirement … primarily with short-barrelled weapons”; a bulk contract for various cartridge typesbulk contract for various cartridge types including .357″ Magnum, .38″ Special, 9mm Makarov and 7.62x54R; and various standard armour-piercing calibres including .338″ Lapua Magnum.