After a hiatus, we’re back with Part 7 in the Factory to Table series. It has been a while so I will quickly bring you up to speed…
This series started when I began thinking to myself, about all of the pieces that have to come together for a successful outing, be it to the range or hunting. All the components, ammo, accessories, etc. I also thought about what would be an awesome lightweight hunting gun for relatively close distances. Be it here in the Pacific North West, or some of the terrain most people find themselves hunting in, where shots are not terribly far.
All that set me down the path of this Factory to Table series. Initially flying out to Portsmouth, NH where I built a MiniFix 300 Blackout Pistol with Q LLC. Also while there I assembled and welded up a Trash Panda Silencer for the gun. From there I drove north to meet up with David Stark of Discreet Ballistics and load some 188gr Expanding Subsonic Rounds for the gun. Then back south in NH to meet up with Cole-Tac where I had a hand in sewing up a Suppressor Cover for my silencer. And then linking up with Edgar, of Edgar Sherman Design, where I sewed up a sling for the gun. Finally making my way south, leaving New Hampshire, I went to Scalarworks in PA, where I assembled a LEAP Scope Mount for the Kahles K16i optic I was going to mount.
While it has been an adventure building all of this out, that was just the half of it. With everything assembled, it was time to get to the range and see what kind of performance I could get out of all those components I’d put together.
I initially started out zeroing the K16i, with 3GR reticle, at 50 yards using the Selous 188gr Subsonics from Discreet Ballistics. My reasoning was this… To paraphrase a friend of mine, “hunting with subsonic 300 Blackout is akin to hunting with a compound bow.” Your range is incredibly important as is shot placement. With this in mind, I figured I would zero for point of aim/point of impact at 50 yards since that was the distance from my ground blind to my bear bait. On top of that, most shooting I do at a local range is at 50 yards.
After establishing a respectable group at 50 yards with the Discreet Ballistics, I set out for adventures. Wanting to get a feel for the MiniFix I took it on a number of excursions and hikes into the mountains. Some relatively short, others longer over the course of a few days.
Overall I love what the MiniFix provides with respect to ergonomics and weight. The ESD Sling I made with Edgar facilitates being able to easily sling it across my chest and have access to it at a moment’s notice, without a bolt handle jabbing me. Or, depending on how long I am going to be hiking and not needing access, simply folding the brace and stowing it inside my pack. And all in a nice lightweight package.
One of the other benefits that became quite apparent as I hiked through the backcountry with the MiniFix is the finish. Between the Stainless Steel barrel and the clear anodized aluminum, I never found myself worrying about the finish. Hiking in the rain, or setting it down next to my pack in the snow, never gave me cause to worry. It is made for the elements.
While the MiniFix, as well as 300 Blackout in general, don’t necessarily lend themselves to long-range precision, I found myself wondering how it would do at distance and with different loads. So I started with chronographing a few different loads on a Magnetospeed. Both the Discreet Ballistics 188gr subsonic and then a few months later, some Gorilla Ammunition 125gr Sierra Match King supersonic. After I loaded the muzzle velocity into my ballistic app, I set to work shooting out to distance.
With me doing my part and adding a looooot of elevation, I could land hits consistently at 280 yards on steel with the Discreet Ballistics. I even managed to lob some out and get a hit or two at about 510 yards. For that I had maxed out the elevation in the Bushnell Nitro 4-16 and was holding below the mil reticle.
I also managed to push the Gorilla Ammunition out to 400 yards with relative ease. Shooting it at 640 yards was possible but again I had maxed out my elevation and was holding in the reticle, this time of an Arken Optics EP-4 4-16×50.
I then became curious about how the MiniFix would do with different loads from different manufacturers. I somewhat feel like 300 Blackout is the wild west of ammunition. Not a lot of consensus between manufacturers on barrel twist, bullet weight, or most anything related to the caliber. I knew the MiniFix should have no issues stabilizing heavy rounds since it has a 1:5 twist barrel, but I was curious what kind of groups I could get out of those 8 inches of stainless steel.
Pulling the Kahles K16i off, I remounted the above Arken EP-4 and settled in to shoot some groups. It was a cold day but I put down a Thermarest ground pad and got comfortable. I shot all the groups from the prone off of an Atlas Bipod while using a rear bag. This being a pistol with a folding brace, I will say it doesn’t have an adjustable length of pull or comb height. But back to its original intent, that wasn’t something I was expecting out of this package.
I proceeded to work my way through a number of different boxes of ammunition from various manufacturers. All different grain weights. Shooting two separate (5) shot groups at 100 yards. Here is what I got…
What are my thoughts after all these groups? I think it is great. I’m sure a better shooter could squeeze more out of this 8” barrel, but I am happy with the way the MiniFix performs. The internet is full of Mosin Nagant rifles that shoot 1/4 MOA all day but I have yet to see one. For the practical and acceptable accuracy of my needs, I’m pleased with the MiniFix.
Now to remount the Kahles K16i, confirm zero and get out hunting. I’ll join you next time for part 8 when I head out to hunt with the MiniFix.
You can see the video of Part – 7 below.