Silencer Central
300BLK Ruger American Ranch Rifle: A Perfect Suppressor Host

A couple of years ago I was in the market for a 308. I was choosing between a Savage Axis 2 and a Ruger American. The Axis went on sale, so my decision was made. I didn’t pay any attention to Ruger bolt guns again until a few months ago when I started looking for a compact rifle in 300 Blackout.

Lightweight, compact, and it accepts a standard magazine: the Ruger American Ranch Rifle fits the bill perfectly of a suppressor host.

Before 300 BLK there was 300 Whisper. 300 Whisper is a wildcat cartridge developed in the early 1990s by J.D. Jones of SSK Industries. Jones created a series of “Whisper” cartridges by cutting down common casings and resizing them to take a larger diameter bullet. The 300 Whisper uses a 221 fireball case to fire a .30 caliber bullet. “Whisper” is a trademark of SSK so gun manufacturers that wanted to use the round would often call it by other names such as 300 fireball, or 300-221.

300 BLK is a variant of 300 Whisper derived from a 5.56 case. While basically identical to 300 whisper the 300 BLK is much more common thanks to its 2011 SAAMI certification. This defined cartridges’ specifications and ensured compatibility between manufacturers across the industry.

300BLK Ruger American Ranch Rifle: A Perfect Suppressor Host
300 BLK in a 5.56 magazine

300 Blackout is a unique cartridge in the fact that both supersonic and subsonic loads are commonly manufactured. The larger bullet diameter allows for a range of bullet weights. Supersonic loads range from 110 to 150 grains and perform like 7.62X39. 200-grain subsonic loads have similar muzzle energy as 45 ACP and are able to carry that energy to distance better than pistol rounds. In addition to the better ballistic coefficient offered by the .30 caliber projectile when compared to pistol bullets, it also requires a smaller endcap on your suppressor which makes it somewhat easier to suppress. Being able to have the capabilities of both supers and subs in one rifle with only a mag change in between is pretty cool. Although, having them in a bolt gun where action noise is not a factor is even cooler.

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The 16” threaded barrel is the main feature that sets this rifle apart. Because my intended purpose for this gun was to shoot suppressed, I wanted to keep the barrel as short as possible to accommodate the additional length of a suppressor. 300 BLK was intended for use in shorter barrels with subsonic loads achieving complete powder burn at only 7.5 inches. Unfortunately, the 16″ legal minimum makes that a bit tricky so I’ll take what I can get. The barrel on this Ruger came with a 5/8×24 thread protector, but I swapped it for a SilencerCo three-prong ASR flash hider.

300BLK Ruger American Ranch Rifle: A Perfect Suppressor Host
The magwell is chamfered to help with mag insertion

I am happy that it takes standard AR mags because I already have plenty of those. I tried multiple magazine brands and sizes in addition to the ten-round Magpul PMAG that it came with, and I didn’t have issues with any of them. The magwell seems a bit snug as some mags did not drop free when released but this tightness may be necessary to keep the mag aligned properly since this magwell is about half the depth of one on a standard AR. The mag release is positioned so that you can drop the mag with your right index finger without breaking your grip.

300BLK Ruger American Ranch Rifle: A Perfect Suppressor Host
The trigger incorporates an additional safety that deactivates as the trigger is pulled

The safety is located on the tang just below the rear of the bolt. It feels well-made and has a tactile click when switched between positions. It can only be put on safe when the striker is cocked, and the fire position is color filled for easy identification.

300BLK Ruger American Ranch Rifle: A Perfect Suppressor Host

This rifle uses a three-lug bolt with a 70-degree throw. This throw angle should leave plenty of room between the bolt handle and your scope. The bolt can easily be removed by depressing a retainer lever on the left side of the receiver. 

300BLK Ruger American Ranch Rifle: A Perfect Suppressor Host

The stock is very sturdy and has a nice finish. It uses Ruger’s patented Power Bedding system which secures the receiver and free floats the barrel for improved accuracy. Injection molded stocks can sometimes feel cheap or flimsy, but this rifle doesn’t have that problem.

The trigger can be set anywhere between three and five pounds, but you have to remove the stock to make the adjustment. I got consistent breaks at 3.5 pounds, so I left it as it was. The trigger pull feels great. There is very little take-up and the wall is firm right up to the moment the trigger breaks.

300BLK Ruger American Ranch Rifle: A Perfect Suppressor Host

The average group from the three brands of ammunition I tried was about 1.3” with the best group being 0.8″ from 147gr Winchester FMJ. This is more than accurate enough for my uses seeing that most of my shots when hunting deer or hogs are within 150 yards.

This rifle serves its purpose well. It is lightweight and compact even with a suppressor. 300 Blk has little recoil while being fully capable of taking medium game, and subsonic loads don’t get any quieter than when shot from a suppressed bolt action. Even if you don’t own a suppressor, this may still be a good choice if you’re looking for a compact rifle in an intermediate cartridge. The MSRP is currently $660 but they can be found for around $550. There aren’t many rifles that offer this combination of features, so I think the price is fair. Check out Ruger’s website if you would like more information on this or any of Ruger’s rifles.

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About the author: Garrett Negen has a wide variety of skills and interests. His profession as an engineer in the steel industry falls right in line with his hands-on approach to his hobbies. Whether it’s ham radio, shooting, hunting, etc., Garrett is always happy when he has a project to work on.

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  • LJ December 12, 2023, 5:27 pm

    I purchased a Ruger Gunsite Scout in .308 recently from my local Ruger dealer and was extremely disappointed with it, AND Ruger for the way they handled the problem. I have never owned a bolt action that was as rough as this Ruger. You couldn’t cycle the bolt without it binding up. Even the dealers’ gunsmith couldn’t believe how bad it was. So they sent it back to Ruger. I figured Ruger would probably just replace it. Weeks went by and Ruger finally returned it and said it was the nature of a stainless steel bolt and receiver and there was nothing they could do. BULLSHIT! As a former FFL, and Ruger collector since the 70’s, I’ll never EVER purchase another Ruger! They lost my loyalty!

  • The Dude September 24, 2022, 12:08 am

    Delete prior comment. These are awesome guns.

  • The Dude September 24, 2022, 12:07 am

    If you’ve ever shot an exposed-bolt SA gun suppressed, you would understand what blowback is and not shill poorly designed guns for suppressed use. Not only is the Mini system inaccurate, the blowback is painful. Same with the M1 carbine. Maybe an honest review is in order.

  • Nick September 19, 2022, 9:49 pm

    I just got the Ruger ranch in 300 blackout and put a sig 2×7 scope

  • Elmer Fudd September 19, 2022, 5:09 pm

    I am going against the sentiment on this. One came into stock at Academy Sports and I raced down to get check it out. I do like it overall, but walked out without buying.

    Two reasons: Cycling the bolt felt like there was sand in there. I know it could be polished up, but it turned me off. Second, after handling I thought man would I like this in a Ruger Charger .22 format! What waste extra barrel when all I wanted shorty. 16″ barrel is too much for what I would like to do with sub-sonic ammo.

    I did write Ruger and ask them nicely to consider making this in a pistol format just like the Charger. I would be first in line to get one.

  • John Fitzgibbons September 19, 2022, 1:31 pm

    I bought one 4 years ago, 300 BLK OUT. By far one of my favorite guns to date.

  • JGWILLS September 19, 2022, 12:14 pm

    Mine has served me well. I suppress it primarily with a YHM Resonator R2 and sometimes a Dead Air Sandman. I like the Ruger Americans. I also one in 308 and 22mag. I might add one in 6.5 Creedmore at some point.

  • John-Paul Cherry September 19, 2022, 11:24 am

    The below sentence is completely incorrect. ‘Whisper’ is NOT a trademark owned by AAC, but AAC does own ‘blackout’ & several dozen other trademarks. I don’t think whisper is trademarked at all. Second – one does not “avoid copyright issues” by changing or not using trademarked names. One may avoid trademark issues – which is a completely different part of the law than copyright law.

    Quote: ” “Whisper” is a trademark of AAC so to avoid copyright issues gun manufacturers that wanted to use the round would often call it by other names such as 300 fireball, or 300-221.”

  • George September 19, 2022, 8:44 am

    Whisper is a trademark of SSK Industries not AAC. AAC fucked over JD Jones on the Blackout to avoid having to pay him royalties on his design. Jones was also an idiot for not making it open source instead of being a little bitch and insisting on stupid licensing fees for the Whisper. Bill Alexander was also being dumb about the Grendel and licensing until a few of us in the industry persuaded him to be sensible.

  • Tim September 19, 2022, 8:12 am

    I bought one in 308 when they first came out. It shoots under MOA without a suppressor with most hunting ammo in 150 to 165 grain. When I add a suppressor the groups run between 3″ and 6″ depending on the load. Take the suppressor off and its right back to shooting under MOA. The weight of the suppressor causes the barrel to touch the forearm in several areas. Also mine has the worthless plastic rotary mags that break if you add 4 rounds. The other problem is no bolt lock. I have to carry it hunting on an empty chamber with the bolt uncocked. If I don’t I have to keep my hand on the bolt to keep it down. If I sling it over my shoulder it works its way open within minutes. It also catches on brush all the time. I have a farm and keep it as a tractor gun. If they had added a bolt lock and made a more robust mag it would be a good hunting rifle. If the barrel was heavier and didn’t sag it would be a good suppressed hunting rifle. I paid $330 to my door for it. I would really be upset if I spent $600 on it.

  • Matthew September 19, 2022, 6:19 am

    Can be found easily lol, it took me 6mo to find one. I got lucky on an ammo stop between Houston and Dallas and an academy actually had one. Now if only I can find the 308.